Ep. 99 – Panel Discussion w/ Kylie Lang & James Hipkin

How to Create Better B2B Marketing Funnels (Part 1)

Creating, implementing, and measuring the results of activities within a marketing funnel is a challenge that B2B marketers are constantly confronted with. What should they focus on? How should they measure success? What should they base their marketing activities on?

Tune in to Part 1 of our panel discussion where we speak to B2B marketing experts Kylie Lang (Quiz Funnel Strategist, Kylie Lang) and James Hipkin (CEO & Founder, Inn8ly) about the top of the marketing funnel. During our discussion, Kylie and James talk to us about the importance of developing the right strategy, some “bad habits” that B2B marketers should avoid, and some untapped opportunities at the top of the funnel. They both also highlight some relevant customer success stories and explain how data should be leveraged to deliver a more personalized marketing approach. 

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Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The importance of starting with a strategy and developing customer avatars as well as the customer journey map prior to execution [2:26]
  • Why many marketers are skipping the strategy aspect and developing avatars based on the assumptions [10:52]
  • Some of the bad habits of B2B marketers [18:00]
  • Some untapped opportunities when it comes to the top of the marketing funnel [27:59]
    • Videos, on-demand webinars and quizzes
  • How to leverage data to create something specific and personalized for qualified leads [37:33]
    • Reverse engineer your best customers’ journey
    • Test big things

Companies & links mentioned:



Christian Klepp  00:00

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss our thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. 

All right, welcome everyone to the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today, as you can probably tell by me fidgeting in my seat, I’m really excited. I’m absolutely thrilled because I’m embarking on something together with two other folks that I haven’t attempted before. And that is a three-part mini-series / panel discussion on a topic that keeps many B2B marketers out there occupied – the marketing funnel. So today, I am joined by two seasoned B2B marketing veterans who are both experts in their respective fields. So let me make some quick introductions before we dive in. So, first of all, Kylie Lang, also known as the quiz funnel, queen, and she helps B2B companies to generate the right leads for their businesses through engaging quizzes. And she joins us from a beautiful region of France, in the Bordeaux region, I believe it is. And number two is Mr. James Hopkin who’s joining us from Northern California. And he’s an expert in all things around the creation, development and launching of websites, as well as the ecosystem surrounding that. Welcome to both of you. And I’m really excited to have you on the show today.

James Hipkin  01:13

Happy to be here.

Kylie Lang  01:43

Yeah, definitely.

Christian Klepp  01:45

All right. That was, that was a heck of an intro. So let’s, let’s dive in. Let’s kick off the discussion by talking about the top of the marketing funnel. So as we all know, this is where we develop content for the purpose of raising awareness for companies’ products and services, which will also ultimately lead to lead generation. But let’s take a step back, right. And let’s talk about why it’s important for B2B marketers to start with a strategy before they jump straight into the execution. And I think both of you have something to say about that. But please also discuss the importance of that, and of customer avatars, as well as the customer journey. So ladies first, Kylie.

Kylie Lang  02:26

Oh thank you so much. And thank you for that lovely intro. Okay, so I have always been a big advocate of before you do anything, you have to understand who your market is, and what your market wants. And quite often, your audience will be split into more than one, it isn’t always just a general avatar, there can often be more than one avatars. So when you’re looking at putting together any top of funnel, Lead Magnet generating any type of traffic, the first thing you have to know is what problem are you solving? What problem is it that you’re solving for your audience, because you can’t create anything, until you actually know what it is your audience want. And I’m always amazed about the amount of people that haven’t done this homework before they sit down and design a PDF or create any type of content, whether it’s a blog post, a Podcast episode, whatever it might be. So for me, the very first thing I do when I’m working with a client, is ask them to tell me about their audience. What do they know about their audience? What questions that their audience ask them on a regular basis. And this is usually the first place we start, because their perceived notion of their audience can often be very different from their actual audience. So one of the first things we do is dive into a place where we know their audience are hanging out and ask them questions. What are they stuck on what is holding them back from XYZ, because for us, we want to get that information from the horse’s mouth. So before we do anything, in creating any type of lead generation, Lead Magnet content, anything, we have to get from the horse’s mouth, what the problem is, because the voice of the customer is also important within this as well, because it actually determines what type of language you’re going to use, what type of questions you’re gonna ask, what type of language you’re gonna use within whatever it is that you create. Because again, the way you think about things is often very different to the way your audience thinks about things because you are in it. You are part and parts of what it is that you do. So you’re going to use terminology that’s very familiar to you, familiar to other people in your industry. But is that how somebody else would describe it who isn’t you, who is not in your industry, who is actually looking for your help? Do they describe it in the same way? And I think for me, that’s the first place that you start. James, I’m sure you’ve got something to say around that part.

James Hipkin  05:03

Yeah, I mean, I loved everything you said, and you’re right on. I’m going to contribute perhaps a nuance to this, in that you talked about your customer avatar isn’t homogeneous, there’s probably sub segments within that. And that’s absolutely true. But there’s a very key sub segment that often gets missed, and particularly with B2B marketers. The reality is, in the vast majority of categories, 80% of sales are coming from 20% of customers.

Kylie Lang  05:38


James Hipkin  05:39

And understanding those best customers, understanding their needs, their avatar, their journey, is an important distinction, because the success of a marketing funnel starts at the top. And it starts by getting the best quality prospects in at the beginning. And these best customers, because they’re heavy category users, they have a much deeper understanding of, of what’s being offered in the category, they understand your product, they understand what your competitors are offering. And if you speak to them, like they’re, you know, middle of the bell curve, occasional users, you’re going to put them off.

Kylie Lang  06:27


James Hipkin  06:28

So that distinction amongst best customers and understanding who your best customers are, is, I think, a vital stepping stone to success with any marketing funnel, because it really will set you apart, you can have exactly the same market share as your competitor. But if your customer base is dominated by best customers, guess what your revenue is going to be 2 to 3x what it is your competitors are receiving with the same market share.

Kylie Lang  07:01

Absolutely. And from what you’re saying there as well, something that I’ve really learned. And something that has helped me to really establish myself and set myself apart is knowing what it is that has drawn those customers, those really good customers, those ideal ones that you could work with day in day out – what has drawn them to me specifically.

James Hipkin  07:23


Kylie Lang  07:24

And that is also a big part of what you need to put out there. Because your personality, especially if in B2B, you are the brand, you are a big part of that. And even when I was running a company that had a team of 10 of us, I was still very much the face of that brand. So another thing you have to bear to learn how to do is inject your personality into what you’re doing. Understand who you are, what makes you different, what makes you stand out. For me, I call that your fad factor. It’s just a nice little terminology that I like which I nicked from X Factor, but I’ve preferred that fad factor. It works well what makes you stand out what makes people relate to you. And don’t be afraid to embrace that. And I’ll give you a little example. Last week, I was on a call with a client a discovery call. And it was the easiest discovery call I have ever done in my life. This particular lady said to me, I could not wait to speak to you, I can’t believe you love the Sound of Music as much as I do. And I also can’t believe you love Abba, too. I mean, what a combination. She said, I just knew you were the person for me. Oh, and by the way, I love all the stories you tell on your website. So for me, she was the perfect customer. Within 24 hours, she’d signed up for my biggest package, I’d really had to do very little at all. Yes, she’d been through my lead magnet and she’d seen everything that I do. But her opening line to me was about one of the things that I happen to be passionate about. Now I get it not everyone is going to be passionate about the sound of music. That’s not the point of this. The point is people connect with me because of the things I love. They’re not going to love all the same things as me. But there’s a lot of things they do. And it’s these things that you surround yourself with at that top of funnel point before you create what it is that you’re creating. It all comes under knowing your audience, understanding your audience and relating to your audience and not being afraid to own that.

James Hipkin  09:28

Right and understanding their journey, and using your marketing activities. And we’re gonna get into this in a future episode when we talk about the mid funnel but understanding their journey and creating your marketing efforts so rather than you know, interrupting, you are supporting their journey.

Kylie Lang  09:50


James Hipkin  09:51

Whatever that requires. In your case, it was the fab factor. Love that by the way. I wish I could pull that off. I can’t. You’re doing a great job of it.

Christian Klepp  10:02

Maybe you can sing an Abba song, and then you’ll be good.

Kylie Lang  10:05

Trust me, you don’t want to hear that. Not for me.

Christian Klepp  10:11

I really love where this is going, guys. And thank you so much for sharing. I’d like to go back to something that both of you brought up, you know, especially when you’re talking about knowing your audience and understanding where they’re coming from, and, you know, finding something that’s relatable. Why do you think there’s still so many marketers out there that that skip this part? Okay, first question. Second question is, why are there so many companies and I’ve seen this happen, they develop these avatars based on what they assume the target audience or who they, they assumed that the target audience is A but actually, it’s B. So please.

James Hipkin  10:52

A really important characteristic of a successful marketer is deep humility. The reason why you your statement, I mean, it’s so correct, is there’s an awful lot of arrogance, where they’re assuming that because they believe this, therefore, their customers must believe this. But if you approach your marketing with deep humility, and accept that you are not who you’re talking to, and that you must listen to what your customers are looking for, moving yourself out of the inside of where you are into the outside where they are, that requires a level of humility, that isn’t all that common. In the marketing world, I mean, to be successful, and marketing, you have to have a strong personality, you have to be able to stand up to the winds coming from all directions, your finance department, your CEO, all the different people who are beating on you, the sales team, the sales manager, you know, you have to be able to stand up on to all of that. And yet to be really a successful marketer, you have to be able to put all that aside. And listen carefully, and with great humility to what your customers are saying.

Kylie Lang  12:18

You’re absolutely right. And one of the biggest things I remember being taught, and this was taught to me by my father, who was one of the best salesmen I’ve ever met, was, it’s never about you, it is always about them. Put them first, think about them first, never say I always say you, and you’re starting to get somewhere. But to talk to your first question… I think for a lot of people, and we’ve all heard this phrase, the riches are in the niches and I think now it’s very much about the riches are in the micro niches, people are afraid to embrace this type of thing. And I think that’s where part of the problem is, they feel like if they don’t become who it is they think everybody wants them to be, that they’re not going to get anywhere. And it’s a similar viewpoint what people have, when they’re thinking about narrowing down niching down, they don’t want to because they believe that actually, they’re going to have less at the marketplace. But what they’re actually doing is the complete opposite. It just, they have to be able to understand that by by embracing who you are, by really listening to your audience and doing what it is that your audience want from you, not what you want to do for your audience, that actually it’s a winning scenario for you, and niching down all of those things are things you need to be able to do in order to be able to have a very targeted specific message. It’s that old adage, talk to everybody, and you’re talking to nobody. So you know it, it’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie. And as my dad said to me, you know, you have to listen to people. You’ve got to when you’re selling, selling is more about listening than talking. And it’s exactly the same with this, you have to listen to your audience. They are the ones who are buying what it is that you’re selling, whatever that might be. So therefore, listen to them, why wouldn’t you?

James Hipkin  14:17

And listen with an open mind? Yes, you can’t have your… push your preconceived notions into what you’re listening to. You know, and that’s, that’s the what I was talking about with the humility thing. So yeah, it’s, I think that that’s people give lip service to the strategy side of this, and it’s a box that needs to be checked in, they check the box. You know, most people have heard of an avatar. I find that when I’m having these conversations with marketers, you know, the LPS, we have an avatar, and I said, okay, so have you mapped the customer journey? Yeah. And then that’s when they get… what you mean by that. And that they’re both important.

Kylie Lang  15:04


James Hipkin  15:05

They’re both important because that understanding that journey because the, the reality is it’s not a black and white decision, they go from you not even being a dot on their horizon because they have no need right now, to going through a phase of consideration, I guess I’ve got to figure this out, because it looks like this is a problem into a phase of prospecting. And these are all different attitudinal sets and different interest levels and different questions are in their mind. And if you can build your marketing to support that journey, you are going to both attract people more efficiently, but to Kylie’s point, you’re going to attract a higher quality of customer as a result of this. So you’re, you’re hitting your marketing funnel with your foot already on the accelerator.

Kylie Lang  15:58

Absolutely. And one of the other phrases I’ve learned along the way is the whole attract and repel, don’t be afraid to repel those people that aren’t the right fit. And I think we’ve all suffered with this at some point in time. It’s Oh, my goodness, I’m losing subscribers, or I’ve been unfollowed, or whatever it might be. Actually, that is a good thing. I think one of the first times I received an email from somebody telling me they didn’t like my stories in the emails, I remember thinking, well, that’s fine. I’m glad you’re unsubscribing. Because you’re clearly not my customer. If you don’t like my stories, you’re never gonna want to work with me, because this is who I am. And it’s so important

James Hipkin  16:41

That is so important.

Kylie Lang  16:43

Absolutely. And the whole customer experience. I mean, when I’m working with a client, the first thing we do start at the end, the first question I asked them is, how do you want somebody to feel at the end of this journey? And what do you want them to do? What is the end point here, and then you reverse engineer it back again, because unless you know what the end goal is, which is now we’re moving on to the strategy part, I guess, but unless you know what that end goal is, how you want them to feel, and what that experience is going to look like? How do you know what to create at the top of your funnel? Where are you leading them? It’s like going on a journey without mapping a route. You can’t do it. Otherwise, you’re just going to be driving aimlessly around and nobody wants that.

James Hipkin  17:26

Or it’s the Queen said to Alice and Alice in Wonderland, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.

Kylie Lang  17:33

Yeah. That’s a good one, I might have to take that off from you. I like that.

Christian Klepp  17:38

Absolutely. And I’m gonna just segue this conversation into the next question, because we do need to touch on strategy. But we can talk about some of the bad habits if we’re already starting to talk about it. Let’s expand on that a little bit. Because certainly one of the bad habits is jumping straight into the execution, which we all know, is a road to nowhere, please.

Kylie Lang  18:00

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think one of the worst habits I find from people is literally they create something that they’re going to give to people for free, without actually knowing why they’re doing it. Why are they doing it? What are they doing it for? They come up with something very generic, which is, you know, some kind of checklist, or cheat sheet or workbook or eBook that could essentially work for a myriad of different people. And that being the case, nobody ever actually uses it, because they haven’t taken the time to pinpoint exactly what pain point that one piece of content is going to solve. What is the challenge that they’re helping somebody to overcome? And you can’t be generic with that, because a one size fits all approach now does not work. You have to be specific, you have to be targeted.

Christian Klepp  18:58

Excuse me I’m sorry, can you can you say that a little bit louder for the people in the back? (laugh)

Kylie Lang  19:04

Yeah, I’m the I always beat this drum. It’s one of those things that now more than ever, especially since COVID, we had two years, when we were being beaten over the head with free this free that free… People are a lot wiser now, you know, those popups that you see, we will close them without even looking at what they are because we’re so sick of them. So unless you have something that is so super targeted to your ideal client, then you’re on, as you said, the road to nowhere, really. So that’s probably for me is one of the biggest problems I see is generic versus targeted. And that is huge. Right?

James Hipkin  19:45

And just building on that. You know, people try to do the same thing over and over again and you know, they think that the answer is to make it bigger and better. We did work a few years ago with I had Cisco as a client, and particularly the Chief Technology Officer at Cisco. And they were running these big events, big conferences, this was pre pandemic, this was years ago. But the idea is still valid. And they were having a hard time getting people to attend these events. And they needed the Chief Technology Officer at corporations to attend and they were sending bigger and more involved and more fancy direct mail packages out to these Chief Technology Officers to try to entice them to sign up for these events. And we came to them and said, I don’t think you’re solving the problem that needs to be solved. The problem that needs to be solved is not the quality of your event. It’s very high quality, the problem that it’s not that the Chief Technology Officer is not interested in your event, they probably are. The problem that you’re trying to solve is your messaging is not getting past the gatekeeper.

Kylie Lang  21:07


James Hipkin  21:08

It’s hitting the executive assistant and getting put into the circular file. Because the executive system is going well, this is a waste of my boss’s time. And there goes. So what we did is we put together a small little invite envelope three by five, using high quality rags stock, handwritten calligraphy on the address, personal stamp inside of it was a personal invitation to this CTO, signed by chambers, signed by the CEO of Cisco, in ink by hand. Wow. Okay.

Kylie Lang  21:56

And I bet that worked.

James Hipkin  21:57

Yeah, it worked like crazy. Wow. And I think the key mistake that’s often made is that people don’t really understand the problem they’re trying to solve with their lead magnet or etc. So they end up just throwing the same thing out there that they’ve always done before. You know, and everybody’s hard drive is clogged up with PDFs they haven’t read.

Christian Klepp  22:22

No, those are, those are all fantastic anecdotes, and thanks for sharing that. Um, I just wanted to throw one of my personal stories in there. Well, I mean, we all get these right, to Kylie’s point, like over the past two years, we’ve been so inundated, and I’ve heard this term and I’ve kept using it now we keep getting pitch slapped. It’s, it’s just and I think it’s, I wouldn’t even be exaggerating if I say we are mercilessly pitch slapped. Because the moment you connect with somebody on LinkedIn, and then boom, you’re thrown into this, like automated cadence, right? And if it’s not the automated cadence, it’s to your point Kylie like, Okay, so here’s a free eBook. Here’s a video about Lord knows what. And I don’t even have 10 seconds to look at it, then the follow up comes, have you looked at it yet? Alright. And I think the last person that that threw me into one of those sequences, and it was a it was a wealth, wealth manager. I asked him, I decided not to be, you know, I decided to be gracious, and cordial and said, Hey, listen, thanks for reaching out, I don’t actually need your services. But you know, you’re not doing yourself any favors by following up with me five times a week. Right? Like, what was the plan to annoy me and to become your customer? Right. And I get that, like, you know, they have a quota to hit. But this is clearly not A) it’s not the way to do it and B) it’s, I’d be surprised if it was working. Right.

James Hipkin  23:55

Yeah, that will get to measurement later in this conversation with the measurement. And I think what Kali was saying before about this was is germane, I, I will send people a link to the blog post I wrote on mid funnel marketing. Yes. Because you know, that building the know like and trust factor is… I know it sounds a little woowoo for a B2B audience. But it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. And even in a B2B thing, it’s still people and it’s still people having to make difficult, often very expensive decisions on something that they need to have some trust about. Yes, and the pitch slap is the antithesis of that.

Kylie Lang  24:41

Absolutely. People want to fall in love with the brand. They want to feel like they know that brand. They don’t want to feel like they are just going to be part of a company where they are part of a number. They actually it that there’s certain brands that just we all know this that do this so well. But for me, one of them is Tiffany. Now Tiffany don’t have necessarily the best jewelry, but oh my goodness, the story they tell, the way they present their merchandise. Of course, I want to walk out of a Tiffany store swinging my barrack feeling like, you know, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And I’m Audrey Hepburn. That’s where I see myself within that story. But that’s where they’re doing this so well, they know how to speak to their target market. They know the stories they need to tell, and they know their market. And somebody else that does this really well. And now I’ve completely forgotten… the Anthropology. So they did a study, they know their customers so well, they even know what music to put into the stores, because they’ve spent so much time learning about their customer, watching their customer, understanding their customer, that the way they design their stores, they’ve actually got little subsets within their stores. And I remember reading an article from the marketing manager for Anthropology about this. And I’m thinking to myself, now there is a company who is taking the time to understand their audience, and not try to sell to everyone, but sell to those, that particular niche that they work for. And then finding that sub niche within that that subset of people and sell to them at the same time with the way they display the different clothes, etc, etc. So it can be done with big brands, it can be done with any brand, it can be done with a one man band, it can be done with a company who’s got 5000 employees, right.

James Hipkin  26:35

Because the know like and trust is, you know, they, the prospective consumer wants to understand who the brand is. But they also want evidence that the brand understands who they are. It’s a reciprocal thing. And that it’s B2C but it’s absolutely B2B, because the decisions being made are often 10s of 1000s of dollars, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, I mean, people’s careers are often at stake, and having that level of understanding and building that into your marketing program, understanding the journey that these prospects are going through, it’s really important.

Christian Klepp  27:21

Absolutely, absolutely. And with that said, I’m gonna move us on to the topic of untapped opportunities. When it comes to top of the marketing funnel, right, off you go.

James Hipkin  27:59

I’m gonna I’m gonna start and I’m then I’m gonna set Kylie up to talk about one of my other passions. But one of the things that in this wonderful age that we live in that I think is underutilized as a top of funnel technique is video. And video comes in lots of different formats, there is the obvious presentation of video. And video can be very effective, because the way the tracking technology works, you can understand who has actually watched 75% of the video. And that becomes a lead generation where you can then serve a remarketing ad just to those people. And then support their journey, support them, invite them into the funnel, etc. So as a top of funnel technique, it can be very effective, and it doesn’t get utilized nearly as much. And people love videos. They love to watch things they love to be able to hear. But and it gives you a chance to get your personality across. And that’s a really key thing. But another format of video is the on demand webinar. Which again, if you can put your tracking in place, you can start to get a sense for who it is that gets all away. You can tease in the beginning of the audit and throughout the ongoing webinar, that there’s a great opportunity at the end of the webinar. And that’s where you can put your call to action. And it’s a great way to draw the right people into your funnel. It’s another format of video that that works very effectively. And then the next thing I’d suggest is Kylie’s particular expertise, which is using quizzes. Quizzes at the top of the funnel are very entertaining. But they’re also very informative. They’re informative to the customer, and they’re informative to the brand. And that’s why I like them is because it is a two way dialogue, a quizzes a two way dialogue. And it gives you a great opportunity to draw people in to get their email address to get them engaged. And Kylie will can speak to this in a lot more detail than I can but I think it’s another area that is really a powerful top of funnel tactic.

Kylie Lang  30:26

I couldn’t agree more for obvious reasons, because it’s what I do, being a crisp funnel strategist. But the thing is now is, as we discussed, we think like PDFs, they are static, there’s no interaction there, they are relying on you downloading something, opening it immediately and reading it. And most people don’t do that. So it sits and gathers virtual dust on somebody’s desktop. But with a quiz, it’s interactive. So you’re taking part in something straightaway. And when you create a quiz, that is answering a question that you know, your audience has, there’s something very powerful there, it can be curiosity based, because as humans, we’re kind of hardwired to want to have self-knowledge, we want to learn more about ourselves. So that’s part of the appeal of a quiz. But something else you need to think about is in this iOS 14 world that we find ourselves in, we’ve lost all access to third party and first party data. What a quiz does is it gives you zero party data. So what I mean by that is third party data is the data that platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google, etcetera, etcetera, are able to share with you or were able to share with you. Now you have to give permission, everyone’s opted out. Big problem. First party data is the data you track. So for example, how people are using your website, etcetera, etcetera. Again, you have to get permission from them. However, using a quiz gives you zero party data, it’s data that you are collecting willingly, without really asking for permission, because you’re taking people on an amazing journey. So if you take the time to actually understand the biggest pain point of your audience, and this is the point where we do become a little bit more generic, because you’re taking a pain point that works for the majority of your audience. But then you break that pain point down with the results to be more specific as to why that pain point exists in the first place. But then, the key to this is being very, very clever with your questions. So doing a quiz isn’t about just popping up a quiz, whipping up a few questions, and off we go. Now, there’s different types of questions. There’s diagnosis, and there’s non diagnosis. And the diagnosis questions as it sounds is simply how you diagnose somebody and put them in a particular outcome or bucket. But the ones that are more important than me, and where the zero party data comes in, is the non-diagnosis questions. They’re the questions you ask, which are there to help you understand your clients. So imagine if you could ask a question in a quiz that gave you the results of how somebody makes buying decisions. Do they buy on FOMO? Are they people that do their research? Do they like to make considered decisions? Do they like to hang around and stalk somebody for a year before they buy from them? You can find this information out so that when you do your email marketing, and you come to do an open cart, for example, you can then segment your audience. So they get different styles of sales emails, emails that are actually going to work for them. Because somebody who buys on FOMO probably will react to a timer counting down at the top of their email, but somebody who doesn’t buy on FOMO is going to find that the biggest turnoff on demand, so you’re going to lose them. I mean, that’s just one example. But using those non diagnosis questions, you can find out so much from your audience. But you have to be clever with this. And when you’re doing your questions, going back to James’s comment about taking your clients on a journey and giving them an experience, you have to do the same with your questions. And for me, when I’m creating questions, it’s about thinking about it in the same way as you would a book, when you read a book, they don’t just dive in and throw you into the middle of all the action, they warm you up. First of all, they get you feeling like you’re ready to dive into the action, then they give you the meat, they give you that, you know, hyper experience, and then they start to bring you down again at the end to the point where you’re like, Oh my God, I hope there’s a sequel to that book. And that for you is where you’re hoping they’ll give you their name and email address because you’ve done such a good job. So that is just part of the power of quizzes. But like I say for me right now in where we are in this whole web 3.0 world. It’s the zero party data because you can take that data and you can feed it back to platforms like Facebook to make your ads even better.

James Hipkin  35:05

Right. And also going to circle back to something we talked about earlier. A well-crafted quiz can help you find those best customers.

Kylie Lang  35:17


James Hipkin  35:18

Can help you filter out the folks who are going to buy once in a while. but really are not the backbone of your business. You aren’t the people who are going to buy four or five, six times over the course of the next 18 months, whatever the business cycle is, you want those heavy customers and quizzes are really if they’re done, if you’re clever about it, they’re can be very effective to help filter and stream, who those best customers are, the folks that are really worth the investment that’s required to build that relationship.

Kylie Lang  35:52

Definitely. And it’s all about the experience and the journey that you take them on. And it starts at the top of funnel. And if that isn’t an amazing experience, remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. So that quiz has to be hot to draw. Otherwise, they’re not going to want to open your emails, they’re not going to want to take that next step that you’re sending them or whatever that next step might be. So this top of funnel thing that you create has to be the beginning of something amazing. Because if you can give them an amazing experience from the moment they enter your world, whether that’s through seeing you on social media, whether that’s your website, and then going into your quiz. If you can do that, that makes everything else so much easier. Because people then realize that if this is what you give them for free, imagine what it’s like to actually work with you. And as James said, You want buyers not browsers.

Christian Klepp  36:51

Or lurkers?

Kylie Lang  36:56

We all have our fair share of them.

Christian Klepp  36:58

Indeed, okay. No, thank you for that. And thank you for all these great examples. So let’s touch on the topic. Well. Guys love it or hate it. Let’s talk about data. All right. So as we know, many marketers are obsessed with collecting data at this stage. But to the point, the points that you both brought up in this conversation, many don’t always use it in the right way. So talk to us about why there should be a greater focus on leveraging data to create something specific and personalized for qualified leads.

James Hipkin  37:09

I’m going to build on what’s something that Kylie said before, and I loved it when I heard it. And I took note, and that’s you need to start at the end. Yeah. Common mistake I see with data is people analyze the data as the as the waterfall is presenting itself. These are the number of leads, this is the conversion, and they follow this all the way through. But the mistake that’s made, or the opportunity that’s missed, is not closing the circle, not taking the those end people and then reverse engineering back up. Because what if you, you know, building on again, this ongoing theme of mine about best customers, you know, having a very successful marketing funnel by virtue of, you know, leads and conversions and all those standard metrics is fine. But if what you’re getting at the end of this process, is people who buy once in a while, your numbers are still look fine. But the net result is not great. But if you can take the folks at the end of the process, who are the heavy consumers, the heavy category, users who are your best customers, and then follow their journey back up, you will gain a that data will give you an awful lot of insight onto how to improve your marketing efforts. I mean, it’s the classic water the flowers and prune the weeds. Right. And so the if you work backwards, using your data rather than forwards, you’re going to get a better sense for, okay, I did these things, but they’re not generating the quality of customer that I’m looking for. But this pathway over here did generate the quality. So I’m gonna stop putting water in that plant. And I’m going to start putting more effort over here. So the understanding that data and reverse engineering it coming from the closes the circle. And I think that that’s a common mistake that’s made with data is not closing the circle.

Christian Klepp  39:49


Kylie Lang  39:49

Yeah, I think too many people get focused on clicks and open rates and all of those things, which now aren’t as easy to track anyway with iOS 15… It’s if that one is, you know, causing us pain points. So really, as you say, understanding what that journey is starting from the end and working your way back is the only way to do it because that way you’ve actually got something that’s proven. You have a proven client that is sitting there that has gone through a specific part of your journey. I mean, one of the things that we do on a regular basis as well is to analyze where we might be having drop off rates. So an example of that would be when we create a quiz, yes, you let it run for six to eight weeks, you need to make sure you’ve had at least 100 people go through it, preferably more, usually between 300 to 400 people go through a quiz, but then there’s always a drop off rate somewhere. And this is another way of looking at your data. You go in, you look at the quiz data, and you see where are they actually dropping off? At what point are they saying, I don’t want to continue this journey anymore, it might just be that one of the questions isn’t hitting the right spot. So you either take it out, or maybe it needs to shift position. But that’s another way of using your data. Because you have to look at not just what you’ve got out there. But what you’ve got out there and why it might be working on might not be working, whatever you create at the top of your funnel is never going to be perfect straight out the gate. Never. Yep, so it’s a case of looking at it and understanding all the leaky parts of that funnel, and fixing them one by one. And that is only done when you look at your actual data and you analyze what’s happening. But one, one little thing to that point is only ever fixed one thing at a time. Otherwise, you don’t know what the problem was in the first place. So if you’re going to change one question around you change one question around, you don’t do anything else. But that’s another way that I tend to look at data is…

James Hipkin  31:54

Testing is a underutilized… I mean everybody nods their head and goes, Yes, we do testing. Truthfully, they probably don’t. And you know, it’s, first of all, test big things. Yes, green versus blue is not a big thing. This offer versus that offer. That’s a big thing. And again, like I said before, you want to test it all the way through look for drop offs, like Kylie is talking about look for places where you can streamline or reduce friction. I mean, what some of the work I’ve done in web, the web world, every time you introduce a click into a stream, you lose about 60% of your traffic. That’s not a small number.

Kylie Lang  42:47

It’s not,

James Hipkin  42:48

You know,

Christian Klepp  42:48

Significant. Yeah

James Hipkin  42:49

Yeah. I mean, it’s a silly example. But still, I see it still and people get all enamored with using the hamburger menu on a desktop app. Right. And I’m like, no stop. Because as soon as you introduce a hamburger, you’ve added another click into the user experience. Now, it’s practical on a mobile device. But in a B2B world, most of the sales, most of the traffic is going to be desktop. So don’t stick an extra click into the, into the thing. So testing, testing big things, you know, and then once you have a control, test to beat the control. You know, don’t throw all of your money at it. But you know, look for how can I make this better. And that’s Kylie’s point about finding the spots that break in and testing, seeing, you know, univariant testing is the technical term for it. You can do multivariate testing, but that requires a level of math that if you’ve got people on your staff who can do that, then fine, but otherwise, otherwise. You know, and so that’d be my thought on data. The key things that I see missing is people are only one directional, they start at the top and then go through to the end, but they don’t close, they don’t start at the end and move back up to the top.

Kylie Lang  44:23

Yeah, they don’t close the loop, you know.

James Hipkin  44:24

And then people are not using testing nearly enough to understand which quiz is working? Or which video is working, or which webinar is working, or whatever the you’re using? Which one is not only is it working from the point of view of the waterfall of open rates, and clicks and conversions, etc. But are you getting the quality customer at the end? Yeah, I mean, I’ll pay $100 a lead all day long, if I’m generating a customer that’s generating $5,000 in lifetime value, you know, as opposed to paying $50 a lead and I’m generating a customer who’s generating have a $500 value. You know, I’ve saved money on the lead. Yeah, but is it really working?

Christian Klepp  45:19

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Wow. This has been an amazing conversation, guys, and I’m really looking forward to part two. So Kylie and James, thank you so much for your time today.

Kylie Lang  45:32

Thank you for having me.

James Hipkin  45:33

Thank you very much Christian. It’s been a blast.

Christian Klepp  45:36

All right. So now folks that we’ve covered the top of the funnel in our discussion today, what comes next? What happens in the middle of the funnel? What should B2B marketers focus on and avoid? For that, tune in next week for part two of this mini-series to find out. Same time, same channel, bom, bom bom. In the meantime, take care. Stay safe and talk to you soon. This is your host, Christian Klepp signing off for now.


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