Welcome back to another episode of Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders! Today, we are thrilled to have Mason Cosby, the Founder of Scrappy ABM, joining us to share his insights on cultivating and activating leads in the ever-changing market.
Get ready to discover the strategies and tactics that will help you generate quality leads and convert them into loyal customers, all without breaking the bank on expensive Martech. So grab your favorite cup of tea, sit back, and let's dive into this episode filled with actionable tips and expert advice from Mason Cosby.
Mason Cosby: Hey, Kerry.
Kerry Guard: Paternity leave. Welcome back.
Mason Cosby: Thank you.
Kerry Guard: Day 4? Day 3?
Mason Cosby: Day 2. Day 2. I got back Wednesday.
Kerry Guard: Day 2. How's it feel? Full on the swing? Long by your groove?
Mason Cosby: Digging out of an inbox, catching up on everything that's been done thus far in the month of August because I I work at a small company called Sales Assembly that does Sales enablement for the go to market team. And, you know, small scrappy companies a lot changes in the course of a month. So, just getting up to speed and then figuring out, alright, how do we hit these goals for So excited to chat through some of those things, and chat through kind of the concept of scrappy ABM which I've been evangelizing a lot over the past Feels like a couple years, but, really, the term scrap ABM came to me about 5 months ago. So excited to chat.
Kerry Guard: Double and down. Doubling down. I love it. And we're gonna we're gonna unpack it, and it's gonna be great. I gotta say the pictures of Of you and baby together is just been such a treat. It's like, I think we've all missed you while you've been on If but also, like, haven't missed you because we get these, like, gems that end up in our LinkedIn feeds of Mason with baby. Oh god. She's so cute.
Mason Cosby: She is. She may end up making a guest appearance if I can swing it, but we'll see.
Kerry Guard: Oh, well, that is for our listeners to wanna hang on so that that they can see that happen. It's gonna be great. Tell us your story, Mason. You're now at sales assembly, but how'd you get there?
Mason Cosby: Yeah. So I mean, long story short, started a career in sales, selling print advertising, which as you might imagine was super fun. And from there, Little thing called COVID hit. So after, doing print ads, I, which to give you context, yes, I was linked print ads in 2019, 2020, so clearly up to date with all the things. But, essentially, when COVID hit, I I Didn't know what I was doing. I couldn't land a job. I couldn't do anything to save my life, and, really just dove all in on digital marketing. And if you you go look at my LinkedIn, there's not any graduation, but quite literally 64 different certifications that I've taken, Because I there's so much great information available on the Internet.
Mason Cosby: But, yeah, from there, landed in a Fintech company, helped The implementation of Salesforce Pardot built out this full marketing strategy. And for better and for worse, they were a very legacy industry, so I learned a lot, but also recognize I I wanna go somewhere where I can really grow and learn. So that's where I think my career really, took shape and pretty significantly, I grew personally. So I recommend to almost any marketer, doing a stint in an agency. You just learn so much so quickly, Because a lot of a lot of marketing today is a lot of internal advocacy for what marketing should be doing, whereas in most cases when you're in an in an agency, there's already at least general buy in, so it's less how do I argue to do the right things and more of just doing the right things. So, spent 2 years at a company called Mojo Media Labs in the in the midst of that 2 year stint, we ended up getting acquired by a company called Gravity Global. Went from a 25 person boutique agency that focused on ABM to, the world's most awarded b to b agency, and ran marketing and sales for the account based Marketing division, and really, again, I think I owe most of everything that I know about actually effective marketing to That too, you're sent in the agency space. And then as we've alluded, there's this beautiful little girl that I now have.
Mason Cosby: So I Ended up as much as I loved my agency stint. Working in a global agency meant a lot of, international travel sometimes. So, I wanna be more present at home, and as a result have transitioned into a company called sales assembly, where, again, If you've picked anything up already, I'm a big fan of learning. I'm a big fan of growing yourself, and that's what Sales Simply offers is specific sales enablement skill development training for the entire go to Team in the b two b tech space. We work with about a 150 different clients, helping them up level their sales and CS teams. So that is My story in a nutshell, and what brings me here today?
Kerry Guard: I have so many questions. Let's start with, you mentioned there was a couple resources. You You took every, qualification under the sun during COVID. What were, like, your highlights of, I wish I knew this 2 years ago.
Mason Cosby: Well, for starters, I wish I'd asked more questions of what certifications I should be taking, because as much as there's so much available information on the Internet, there's also a lot of, misinformation on the Internet or not even misinformation, but, plea books that may have worked 5 years ago, but I don't know if you've looked, there's a lot that's changed in the past 5 years. So that's why I personally love HubSpot academy. HubSpot provides a lot of fantastic training, but also their most popular courses are updated every 2 years. So HubSpot is typically pretty up to date on a lot of things. Admittedly, they there are some things that may be a little bit more legacy, but that's okay. I think it's a fantastic resource. Additionally, specific when specifically when it comes to account based marketing, would be demand based. So demand based has a number of certifications, that normally costs some money.
Mason Cosby: I have actually been seeing a friend number of ads recently that they're giving away their go to market strategist certification for free. There's a $400 value. I'm not Paid or sponsored. I've just taken a fair number of demand based certifications, and those are super, super helpful. And then the final thing is, Like, those are free resources, but I'm also a big proponent of, where necessary, going for a paid resource. So, for example, I became what is called a story brand certified guy, and I think that changed my life. And Yes. There's there's no exaggeration on that.
Mason Cosby: Like, I Got connected to a community of marketers. I learned so much from that community of marketers. And then the just the training that I got that was I mean, it was a 4 day intensive, but then weekly continued training and education with more senior tenured marketers. I I think that that Certification in and of itself provided me literally the acceleration of 10 years on my career. So it was an investment, And there's no way around that, but I would not be in my career where I am today or the marketer that I am today without Some of those investments. So again, if you're looking to get started, go free, but eventually, buying a certification is just buying knowledge. And we're knowledge based So you have to actually understand and learn, and the best way to do that and the best knowledge is typically given through some kind of a paywall.
Kerry Guard: I mean, it's the same as go with college, just in a different format in some degree.
Mason Cosby: I would
Kerry Guard: Well, yeah. Mhmm. Poking poking buttons here. But, I mean, now this day and age of it depend. If you wanna be a teacher, a lawyer, or a doctor, you gotta go to you gotta go to college. But, like, for what we do and for how much information is out there to your point, I mean, those are 3 solid resources on how to really stand up your career. And I'm a big I'm a big story brand person, Donald Miller. He knows what's up.
Kerry Guard: Yep. And I also read the book and, dove in deep. I didn't get the certification, which is interesting to hear from you that you did. So what about that in particular felt? Was it the fact that you got a certification in StoryBrand, or was it or was it there's something specific in regards As to how they taught or what they taught in the 4 day sort of deep dive. Like, what was it for you that felt so game changing?
Mason Cosby: Yeah. For me, I I bought confidence, because I went through StoryBrand has a online platform that's $275 a year. So I think relatively expensive from that perspective. They've got a lot of great content in there, but there's no feedback loop. So I'm just sitting in my living room with on demand content that you know could be good but could also be garbage. I have no one telling me if it's good or bad or really anything around it. And what the certification provided was 2 things. 1, I got live training from the expert himself, Donald Miller, And submitted my work.
Mason Cosby: And, there was granted, it was right before lunch break, so I don't know how much to, to take credit for this, but he looked at what I submitted and reviewed it in front of 80 other people and said there's actually not a single change I would make to this. This was perfect. Now granted, Again right before lunch, so maybe he just wanted to get out for lunch, but all that to say about confidence that I know what I'm doing. And then the other piece to it is I did white labeled work program certified guides, because in my day job sometimes there are things that you just can't push forward. Again, there's well, there's a approval, Depending on the organization in which you work, often outside consultants are listened to more because a marketer internally becomes the profit in their own town and Kind of becomes noise. So from that perspective, by being able to white label for other people, I developed significant conviction around the things that I know work, Because I was able to without any back and forth or internal again that's why I recommend the agency stent. You can just execute more quickly. And then, again, because as a young marketer, if you've only taken certifications, you're only doing what you Think will work, but if you've never done it and you've never gotten the results, you don't have conviction around it.
Mason Cosby: So the what the story brand guide community gave me was the option you do to truly execute without having to argue about what we should or shouldn't be doing. I just executed. I generated revenue for clients, and I was like, oh, I'm actually good at this. I know what I'm doing. So That's what the certification provided me. Not not the badge. That doesn't really matter. What matters is that I have confidence and conviction in what I'm doing.
Kerry Guard: Oh my gosh. I love that. And I I haven't grown up in agency world and actually then creating an agency myself. I totally agree that there's This level of initially, like, coming in and being able to say, this is what we know to work and this is why. Here's all of the Historical knowledge we have across multiple clients to prove that versus being a single marketer Bouncing from brand to brand then trying to, like, sell that in is a different experience. And I do It is a bit sink or swim depending on what agency you go to. I think we talked about this in the marketing ladder when I joined you. It can be Really grueling, but, man, the the life experience you get from those 1st few years at an agency is Certainly game changing.
Mason Cosby: So
Kerry Guard: Yeah. I agree. Totally agree there. In terms of a challenge you're currently having, You're getting back in the swing. You just had a big girl. Is that really what's feel what you're feeling right now, or is there another challenge that you're like you're facing.
Mason Cosby: I mean, I think every marketer is facing the challenge of, couple of different things. One, It's not as easy to sell this year as it was last year or the year before. So even in that context of things that were working aren't right now. So as much as I have conviction around specific things, I'm like, I know that this will pay off in the long term. A drum that I've been beating Right now and for a lot of marketers is, yes, like, brand building is absolutely necessary in the long term, but The long term doesn't get here if we don't deliver in the short term. Mhmm. So as much as, yes, I'm gonna go build all the brand, and I wanna do all, like, For lack of like fun brand activation activities, like, I have a pipeline goal that I've gotta meet. And if we are not hitting our pipeline goal, and not even just from a pipeline goal perspective, if our pipeline isn't converting into actual revenue, You don't get the right to build the brand.
Mason Cosby: So I know again, I know, and all the data suggests that for long term Scalability, brand building delivers a greater return on investment in the long term without questioning. Yeah. But you you have to have the appropriate level of sales activation to then build out the brand. So one One of the challenges that I'm currently working through is, you know, I've been with sales assembly for 6 months. The one of those months I was on paternity leave. So really I had 5 months of execution. I think for the 1st two and a half to 3 months, it's really focused on brand building because in 2021 and 2022 that's where I focus my efforts. And, I mean it delivered, but it delivered in about month 10.
Mason Cosby: So let's put it, like, let's call it it is. Whereas now, we're, again, really 6 months in, it's working. Like, we've we're generating more inbound pipeline, But the the pipeline is stalling. The pipeline is, not closing at the same rate in which we would expect from an inbound type. So what I'm looking at are essentially currently what are the repeatable sales activation plays that I can do based off of 3rd party intent data or first party intent data and engagement data to then understand how do I deliver to our sales team 20 a week. I don't wanna do 100. I wanna do 1,000, but I want 20.
Mason Cosby: I feel good about 20 from the sources that we've got, and I can Explain some of those different sources. But again from from my perspective, if I can deliver 20 a week, and again those 20 are Right fit, engaged people where there's a clear reason to reach out, I I would anticipate that we could convert probably. Again, that's 80 80 a month. We could probably convert 10%, 15% into a booked meeting. And again, if our goal for that month Is booking 30 calls a month, 35? If I can create repeatable sales activation plays that we do on a month in and month out basis Deliver half of it then we can work on other ways like for example building brand that then delivers and that we weren't even targeting, looking at referral programs and partner programs. Like, there are other ways where we can get it. Where I'm really focused right now is what are the repeatable sales activation plays that we can do that They're a little bit scrappy, and we can talk about scrappy ABM through this. But Mhmm.
Mason Cosby: Again, looking at what are the things that we can build that will deliver on some level of a consistent basis, Some meetings. So I think that transitions us well into scrappy ABM.
Kerry Guard: I think it does. I do wanna say That we're all sort of feeling the same thing. It's there there's a big shift back to brand that everybody's feeling from from multiple conversations I've been having. And it's the The time it takes to do, and I'm I'm looking forward to seeing how how scrap the ADM can play into that. So you're not alone in knowing that brand is the way, but also, like, no time to waste. Real quick story. I had a meeting today, actually, and I showed them, like, The ideal journey of the things we would do to really make sure that they have their foundation situated to building into their website to then activate the channels. And they're like, we will yes to foundation.
Kerry Guard: We agree that that's important. However, given our budget, like, we really need that website piece. Right? Can we skip To that and what does that look like, and can we do that a bit, quote, unquote, scrappier to get there and then build back into it? So Everyone's sort of feeling like there's gotta be a way to sort of hit the ground running knowing that we need to then back Track a bit and then build up. So yes. Yes to that. In terms of ABM, we've been we've mentioned this acronym now multiple I'm in my my initial briefing of what this thing was to our to our build up Tell us, Mason, for our listeners what ABM means to you, and how you think about it.
Mason Cosby: Yeah. So before we do that, I'm gonna bring in such a quick guest.
Kerry Guard: Oh my gosh.
Mason Cosby: Anybody that's watching, she's very cute, and she's gonna be probably the world's best marketer. So, anyway, Now for account based marketing thank you.
Kerry Guard: Aw, thank you. She's amazing.
Mason Cosby: So for account based marketing, I'm gonna steal the definition that I had for my former employer. So it is a b two b growth strategy that aligns marketing and sales around a set of shared target accounts. So what I hate about account based marketing as a term is that it's called account based marketing as opposed to account based strategy. You've seen other Organizations try to implement, like, account based strategy or account based sales or account based experiences, and it's like they don't resonate as well, like ABM is the term, and that's fine. But at the end of the day, it's actually more of a growth strategy between marketing and sales. To answer the question for people that are Thinking well, what is account based experiences? I view that as the inclusion of the success team. So you actually have a true full funnel account based approach From beginning to end, from awareness into acquisition, into retention, and expansion. So that's ABM at its core.
Kerry Guard: The way you described it makes it feel like Because you have all of these systems, marketing sales and success, that is generally built for Bigger companies who have these 3 things. Correct?
Mason Cosby: Generally speaking, yeah, the I was talking with another Individual earlier today that was exploring account based platforms. And they're kind of this the associated, I don't know. Stigma around account based marketing is that it's incredibly expensive. Because, yes, you've got these 3 different organizations, or You've got a fully established marketing team and a fully established sales team. And then on top of that in order to implement account based marketing, oh, you have to have an ABM platform, obviously. And those range from 60 to $200,000 a year. And that's just for the ABM platform, not Mentioned also the data enrichment platform and the intent data and the gifting platform and all of that combined. I mean, you're you're looking at anywhere from about 150 2 50 sometimes upwards of 300 in annual costs for technology to build an account based program.
Mason Cosby: So, again, At that point, people are like, oh, cool. I'll never do ABM because I don't I don't have the budget to implement $300,000 in just technology, not to mention additional headcount, not to mention potential agencies, not to potential or not to mention additional just, like, Bandwidth on your existing team and deprioritizing other things that may be working okay to prioritize something that you haven't proven yet. So That's that's where people really tend to think and land on account based marketing.
Kerry Guard: Is it though? Like, That's so coming back to being scrappy. Right? And, I mean, do you need all of those things to be successful? Well, to it's in the range. Right? So you mentioned 60 to 200 k is a huge range. There's definitely certain tech stacks you can build in there depending on what you need of, like, shifting versus just a basic CRM. But, like,
Mason Cosby: No. The answer is no. You don't need that.
Kerry Guard: Right. So What does scrappy mean to you?
Mason Cosby: Yeah. So from my perspective, it is leveraging what you have today and focusing on the fundamentals and the actual strategy in and of itself In building the appropriate foundation for an account based focus, it's cheesy, it's corny, but I I can't think of another way to say it of, like, account based marketing is not necessarily even a strategy. It's more of a mindset of how do I shift from I want to go after as many leads and Let me hit all the right numbers knowing that if I engage 3,000 people at this email sequence, I might have a 1% response rate that would then convert at 5 5% into a meeting. So after that all shakes out, I've got, like, literally less than, like, 2 Thanks for sending out 3,000 emails, which again, if you look at some of the recent data, granted, forgive dad brain, it was before Pat Lee, but I mean something to the extent of, like, outreach put out something of, like, 4% of automated emails are getting even a response. So again, from that perspective, It's just not working if you have all of this lead focused approach. What works far better is saying who is our best fit customer, How many customers do we need to close this year, and how do we then identify not 1 to 1, but maybe like 1 to 3? And say if we need to close a 100 customers this year, How do we intentionally and specifically engage 300 accounts with the intent that we would close a third? That's a very different approach than I'm gonna go after 30,000 accounts and see what shakes out.
Kerry Guard: Let's talk about, accounts for a second. We keep saying the word accounts, And you mentioned it in terms of sales enablement and having sales and marketing aligned around specific accounts. But what is account? There's we're we're throwing these terms at accounts and leads.
Mason Cosby: Yes.
Kerry Guard: Right? They're 2 different things.
Mason Cosby: Yes. So, when we think about a lead, typically, that is an individual. So for the case of sales assembly, I I'm trying to specifically bring in CROs of b two b tech companies that are typically in the scale up stage. So not necessarily full on startup, but they are at the point where they've got product market fit and they are growing their teams and need the additional skill training to Help those teams grow. So if I focus on the individual and I have a persona That is that. And I then go after every single one of the companies that are b two b tech, scale up, CRO. That's it. That's my criteria.
Mason Cosby: Those would all be individual leads. So I'm only going after the CRO, and even from that perspective, like, if I only think about creating content so if we wanna take it from the inbound approach. If, like, if I only think about creating content and Focusing every single thing that I do on just the CRO of b two b tech companies that scale up stage organizations, That's that's a lead focused approach. Whereas in reality, no one in B2B makes a decision on their own unless they're very teeny tiny and like Or just a founder. In most cases, you're engaging a decision making committee, and on that committee there are people that are the decision maker, Like the actual budget holder that can say, yes. Like, I'm good with this. You've got people that are key influencers that need to be bought in. You've got end users that have to use the Product or use the service, and you have what are called blockers.
Mason Cosby: And this is your standard, the c f no. So from that perspective, You need to engage all of those different people within the buying committee to actually get a yes in b two b. So that is not Contact or lead focused that is business, that is account focused. So again, how are we not just going after the right decision maker? I don't know about you. I'm busy. So, like, I don't typically unless I'm, like, very actively in market, which is roughly only 3% Of your market in any given time, like I'm not typically doing a lot of research, but maybe it's one of my team Happens if someone wants something and they bring it to me, I'm way more likely to engage because someone else on my team brought something to me. So again thinking about not how I engage the CRO exclusively, but how do I make the c r o aware of us? They're probably not going to engage in an actual ad, but maybe I can make their director of sales or their director of enablement Also aware of us. Maybe I can make their, area VP of sales aware of us.
Mason Cosby: And then fantastic. We've now engaged enablement. We've engaged Different levels of sales, and maybe we're putting on some events for their actual end users, their account executives. We're like, this thing is awesome. I would love To get more involved with sales assembly. So at all different levels of the organization we're building affinity towards our brand so that when sales assembly comes up, You're like, oh yeah, we know that company, they're pretty cool. I'd be interested in buying from them. So again, it's not just how do I go through the CRO, you're never gonna break through Unless you're in the active 3%.
Kerry Guard: Yeah. The chief the chief mark the chief officer of whatever is always going to be the busiest. And there aren't as many of them as the practitioners no matter how you're looking at it, whether you're looking at sales, marketing, CSOs, IT, whatever the case may be in terms of an org, you know, top down org. The chief of x is always going to be much harder to engage with because there's less of them, they're far busier, and they're getting hounded. So using an account based approach like you're talking about, Mason, in terms of looking at the full stack of all the folks and not just in the stack because I love what you said Oh, the CF no. Oh, gosh. Yes. Like, how are you gonna convince A chief financial officer that's weird.
Kerry Guard: A chief financial officer that This is okay to buy, and it's going to generate revenue in the long run. Like, if you can get them to agree, Did everybody else would be good? Right? So I love what you're saying about, you know, Activating the full stack and looking outside in terms of what other service you know, what other pieces within the organization you're Going to need to get buy in from lawyers or another one. Moyer, they're fine when you get us. You slide a scope of work across their their desk. Yes. So so I I think in terms of when we're talking about accounts, we're not just talking about There it's twofold. Right, Mason? It's what brands and companies do you wanna work with first. And then the second is All those brands and companies you wanna work with, who within those companies do you need to make their lives easier? Oh, with and not just the 1 person, the CR like you mentioned, but all the roles and responsibilities.
Kerry Guard: How are you going to make all those roles do a better job within the organization? Let's talk about The brand like, the accounts from a company standpoint for a second because I think it's really hard to sort of identify, Like, how niche and nitty gritty do you need to get, or do you wanna sort of try and, like, throw a big net? Like, how do you start identifying who you wanna be talking to from the company side before you get into the Yeah. Nitty Grayside.
Mason Cosby: It's a great question. It's the constant question of what's our ICP? So ICP being idle client profile. Currently, you know, I've got a a good friend in another tech company that's like, there just literally is not a technology that exists. And I I don't know if you guys are familiar with GTN Partners. They're they're an analyst firm. And when it comes to the ICP, there is not Any, like, single techno like, there are technologies that try, but there's not any single technology that can definitively say, like, this is your IC patent that exist today. Maybe there's some new tech startup that, like, happened in the past month and a half that I'm not aware of. But from my from
Kerry Guard: Not that I'm aware of.
Mason Cosby: From July. It doesn't exist. So the way in which you define your ideal client profile is through Extensive internal conversations, and you would look at your close one opportunities. You'd also look at your close lost opportunities to figure out, like, why you lost because the thing that all people don't talk about with their ICP is negative attributes. So, like, what is something that discounts someone from actually being a good fit? We only typically focus on the positive attributes. So and I'll even when I talk about attributes, there's a variety of things that you can look at. So, The most standard people are looking at would be firmographic. So it's looking at your location, your revenue amount, the number of employees, like the department heads.
Kerry Guard: Industry.
Mason Cosby: Yeah. Industry, those kinds of things. What's less looked at would be things like psychographics. So, or technographics, which Technographics is a fancy way of saying like what technology do they use. So for me, I prefer, and this is may offend some people, Like as I've done freelance projects or when I was agency side, prefer to work with people that were in the HubSpot ecosystem as opposed to the Salesforce ecosystem because HubSpot attracts a specific kind of culture. I enjoyed working with that kind of culture. Sorry for anybody that's on Salesforce or Salesforce love, like that's just a personal preference.
Mason Cosby: So from that perspective, like there's something that technographics can actually tell you as well based on like where they're prioritizing. So another example would be If they don't have a gifting platform, period, it may be that it's not been a priority, they haven't been focused on gifting, or it could also an indication, sorry to be so blunt, that they don't have a scalable way of appreciating their customers. So maybe customer retention and customer appreciation isn't as much of a focus. That can be an indication for something. So again just from that perspective overall, looking at all those different tiers of firmographic, technographic, Psychographics to understand more deeply, like who is our ideal client profile. The other things to look at just to get really really nitty gritty would just be NPS scores, And customer engagement. So if you see specific kinds of customers that are always happy, they're always engaged, those are the right things. And then also, this is where you get finance involved and they're really happy is looking at profitability of your clients.
Mason Cosby: So you're gonna have their specific clients that are happy, Take less time, are raving fans, and there's a consistency within those cohorts, then those are the best kinds of customers to go after. So that's like All retroactive. There's also then the idea of moving into a different industry or different market, so that's a great use for an account based program. So it tells us something we're exploring a different vertical, for example, and focusing potentially on, specific industry verticals as opposed to b to b scale up. So, again, there we'll run some campaigns. We'll run some experiments on those different industries To see do they resonate? Do they buy more quickly? Is there a higher deal value? Like, in looking at those specific things to then prove, oh, our ICP is actually different. So again, that's why I I say it's it's twofold. It's looking at historical data.
Mason Cosby: It's looking at, again, the understanding of why these customers are so successful While also then looking at the market trends to see is there another opportunity if we were to go into a different vertical, a different industry, a different, tech stack. So that's the, I didn't use the words it depends like I normally do, so I'm proud of that. But that was my long winded it depends. Small wins.
Kerry Guard: Small wins. No. I think that's, a great way. And I do wanna move on from, like, identifying your account. But one thing I wanna Say, that you mentioned is I had it, and it's gone because I was hanging on your every word. So we'll come back to it. So we've identified our accounts.
Kerry Guard: We've gotten really nitty gritty on it. Oh, that's what I wanted to ask. You mentioned moving industries or moving into another category that maybe you your I your current ICP or your current Customers aren't leaning. At what point do you sort of make that leap? Like, is it because you've tapped out or your profits gone flat? Like, why would you Jabble in something that hasn't been proven.
Mason Cosby: It depends. So It could be that, yes, you've tapped out. So, a lot of, especially early stage organizations, they are relationship led. So from that perspective, the buyers are typically people that aren't actually buying necessarily because of the organizational brand, but they're buying because of the founder brand. So to To put it bluntly, like, a lot of your early customers might have been customers out of convenience, not out of actual product market fit. To put like I hate to say that directly, but it may be something that, oh, we are seeing after a Couple of years what we thought was our ICP. We're actually seeing a decrease in our customer retention rates. We're seeing a decrease in our profitability.
Mason Cosby: We're seeing Any number of things. So from that perspective, there could be an opportunity to really dive more deeply into, Oh, we're experimenting with this new market. They're buying more quickly. They have an increased deal value. Probably a good opportunity to go after that industry. So, again, it's just looking at your current, go to market maturity and then figuring out the best next steps.
Kerry Guard: Yeah. No. I love that. Let's talk about so we have our ICP. Talk about customer journey. Right? So, like, it's all well and good. This idea of if you build it, they will come concept It's Yeah. No longer, that it's a deal of the nineties when we could keyword stuff till we are below the face, which is no more.
Kerry Guard: So we have we have our ideal customer. Now how do we thoughtfully because the journey has We changed in terms of how buyers want to engage with a brand. It's on their terms, folks. So if you think that you have the upper hand, The game has changed. Yes. So talk me through with scrappy ABM how you start to Activate that audience in a really intentional way.
Mason Cosby: So there's a variety of ways in which you can do that. I think one of the more, I wouldn't say more common, but is now starting, I think, to pick up some level of steam, would be a podcast. The booking rates around a podcast are Typically upwards again again, if you have an established podcast. Maybe not on your 1st episode, but once you have an established podcast going, your booking rates are upwards of potentially 80% when you do outreach to somebody and saying, hey, I'd love for you to be on our podcast. So again, that's a way that you can build a 1 to 1 relationship With a potential best fit customer. So again I'm seeing an increase of more people doing that, it seems to be working. So that's again, I think that transcends Various industries. Another approach that I really, really love that I don't see a lot of people talking about is, there there are a lot of communities that exist, Many of which are free, but that's not where you're actually gonna get the value.
Mason Cosby: So identifying are there specific paid micro communities That my best fit customers are a part of, and how do I become an active member of that community and specifically add value? Because that essentially becomes An exclusive channel through which you can do 1 to 1 outreach and 1 to 1 engagement. So again, from personally on the agency side, I'm getting involved in marketing communities that were not massively expensive, but like 10, $20 a month. And we ended up closing 4 deals at a $150,000 annual contract value That is literally over a 100 x ROI.
Kerry Guard: Mhmm.
Mason Cosby: So again, just from that perspective of Where are my best fit customers? And again, we hear this all the time in, like, a theory of, like, go where your customers are hanging out, like, go post on LinkedIn. But, like, Are you actually going to where your customers are hanging out in like micro communities? So again that's a scrappy play. We're seeing a rise on micro events as well. It's like hosting a dinner, hosting a lunch. And it doesn't have to be even all that fancy. Like What I've seen really successful marketers and sellers do, and I try to do this in Indianapolis, not with the intent even to sell, but just to get to know my local community of b two b tech people. I'd be lying if I had if there weren't any conversations actually started out of 20 people coming together just to get lunch. With the context being we're getting together because we're in the same professional environment.
Mason Cosby: So again, overall, it it is just truly getting a little bit creative and thinking through. I don't I maybe don't have a ton of money. I maybe don't have, all this bandwidth. So how do I make the most with what I have With the intent that I will build relationships with my best fit customers, add value to them, And inevitably, invite them into a conversation where it doesn't feel sales y, but it feels like this is the next logical step in our relationship.
Kerry Guard: Let's break these down because they're all very interesting approaches. They are on I would argue, having done some of these, that while cost effective, they you get more out that you put in TimeWise. So from a podcasting standpoint, in my experience, totally agree. Case in point. Right? So, like, I host a podcast. I just posted on LinkedIn today about this where We're running basically what my business partner if you watch Ted Lasso, if you don't even if you don't like Soccer, football, whatever. It's still from a leadership standpoint. Amazing lessons.
Kerry Guard: Highly recommended. But in the show at the very end of the season, there's this play they call total football. And they have A player in the middle. Instead of moving the ball down the field from player to player to next player to next player to Score goal, they have 1 player that's in control, who sees the field, knows their players, knows their strong suits, see who's open, and can make in the moment. And so a podcast is a great way sort of play total Football total marketing where you get to create these engagements in these relationships that won't always be A one to 1 sales relationship. I've actually made more friends through podcasting that then refer me through knowing that we're a great fit to help them from a marketing standpoint. Right? So if you're gonna do podcasting, in my experience, it's just having that To your point, like, that open mind of, like, this isn't talk about dark funnel. Right? Like, this isn't gonna be a 1 to 1.
Kerry Guard: I'm gonna have a conversation and refer to sales and then we're gonna start working with them. That's maybe happened twice in my whole time podcasting. That's not to say that that's all the sales I've closed. It's just in that one to 1 engagement I've done for 4 years. You've been doing this for a long time as well. So talk to me about your experience in podcasting and how you've been able to cultivate those relationships and how that's netted out for you.
Mason Cosby: Yeah. It's been interesting. Because I, for about 2 years, hosted a marketing careers focused podcast while I worked at an agency. So, again, what I did through that podcast was build and I I wanna be very clear. In retrospect, this was an incredible play. On the forethought, I literally just wanted to build a career focused podcast. Like, there was no this wasn't even a part of my day job. Like, it was a hobby for me if I'm being really direct.
Mason Cosby: But what I ended up doing was again inviting our target accounts onto a podcast. And when When I look at a job posting all it is is somebody saying like I have a problem and I need help. So again essentially we would focus on their career path, and how they got to where they are today, which then as a Potential seller gives me a lot of understanding of where are their strong suits, where they deeply understand marketing, or potentially their weak points. Because I understand the ways in which they Grew up in marketing over the past 20 years, and where else are you going to get firsthand understanding of someone's entire career journey? At the end, We then talk through the roles that they're actively hiring for, and they talk through the growth trajectory of their company and where they're planning to make investments. So from there, I had really intimate knowledge of their business and them, but I didn't sell them. What I did As I help them land people in their organization, and what ended up happening was 2 things. 1, the leader that I interviewed liked me because I helped them find talent. 2, The person that landed in that job liked me because I helped him find a job.
Mason Cosby: So I had 2 internal evangelists for Mason Cosby, the human being. One One of which was a decision maker, one of which was either a key influencer or an end user of whatever I would be selling, which at that time was marketing services. From there, Whenever they would be hiring, once a month, I would promote them. And it was a way that I, without asking for anything in return, stayed top of mind in front of mind For the decision makers at my best fit customers. And eventually and that's the problem. It's eventually.
Kerry Guard: Mhmm.
Mason Cosby: I can't tell you exactly when. I don't have intent data because it's scrappy. But, eventually, what happened is people that needed support and help, they didn't even actually come to me to buy agency services. They just knew that I was well connected, and they said, hey, Mason. I'm struggling with this, this, and this. Do you know anybody that can help? And I would say, yeah, me. So that's how we ended up actually closing over $1,000,000 out of the marketing ladder, which again Was a hobby that cost me $32 a month and had nothing to do with the actual business. I built genuine relationships with my best fit customers And help them without asking for anything in return.
Kerry Guard: And that is exactly what my post is all about. Right? Like, it's becoming that's That circle of influence, that middle person that's just well connected that can help people get to the right thing that they need to solve problem that they're having is exactly where people need to be to to close that $1,000,000. On the flip side, in my experience and it depends on what tech stack and what avenue you choose, But it can take time. So it's $32 a month towards the tools, but in terms of your time, What was the investment there?
Mason Cosby: You know, when I first started, I would do a 15 to 30 minute call as a prep call, But eventually it got to the point where I could send it in an email that was primarily templatized. And so scheduling was automated. I literally just would reach out to people and say, hey. I'm hire or looks like you're hiring. Would you be interested to come on a podcast to promote the roles that you're hiring for? So I had, like, a 95% acceptance right on that front. And then from there, you know, it's an hour long interview. So 4 hours a month, plus we'll add an extra hour for interviewing or sorry, for scheduling and email and comms and all that kind of stuff. And I mean, it was an additional 5 hours a month That again, over the long term resulted in $1,000,000 in close won revenue, that was directly attributable not to mention the overall Brand goodwill, and I hate to put it this bluntly, but, like, nobody knew I was 3 years ago, like, didn't exist.
Mason Cosby: So the podcast not only resulted in Immediate closed won revenue through my own show, but it resulted in me getting interviewed on another podcast, and, resulted in me growing a following on LinkedIn that has Now delivered additional revenue that has resulted in me getting in person speaking engagements that people now think I'm like, I've I've won awards for thought leadership, and 3 years ago, Didn't exist. So it's not just the podcast, the direct attributable revenue. It is the overall Everything else that comes out of it that I think is why, from my perspective, a podcast is one of the best scrappy ABM plays that you can run.
Kerry Guard: It's a consistency too. Like you said, you did it every week and this was the play that you ran. And I love how focused you were too. Mine's been a bit of an evolution. Like, I initially, to get started, just wanted to talk to people I knew that were doing interesting creative marketing things, And then I doubled down on my ICP later on. But until this year where I've gone live and I've gotten consistent about it, which actually, fun fact, I don't know how that did you ever not like, did you ever just do recordings, or have you always been? You always did them live, didn't you?
Mason Cosby: Yeah. The very first one was live. And just from my perspective, I figured 2 things, 1, doing it live makes it easier in post editing because people are typically on, and they don't make as many mistakes, and they're not like, oh, I hated that, can we Rerun at that, and then 2, because it was a time investment I wanted to maximize the time investment, so I figured This will count as a LinkedIn post for the day, and people may tune in. And if they don't, totally fine, but it it's almost a guaranteed notification to my network that I'm doing something, and it's a way to stay top of mind. So from my perspective, I think I only did 2 that were not live. The rest of them were were livestreamed.
Kerry Guard: So 2 things I learned, so I've done it both ways now. 1 is going live doubled my audience pretty much immediately. Wild. And the second thing is to your point, 100% is completely reduced my postproduction because I now do my intro and outro while I'm hanging out versus trying to do that later. I'm more on point. Got my questions ready. I'm a little bit more buttoned up. It's now giving my team time to do, clips and things that, like, the market is now asking for versus before of long form.
Kerry Guard: So live. Wild. Yes. I'm in agreement. Let's talk about I'm looking at time. I'm trying to be cognizant, but also you mentioned 2 other things that are scrappy PM moves that feel scrappy in terms of money, but not necessarily in terms of time. So community, Spending a little bit to find your niche communities of where people hang out. I've struggled with this because in terms of being authentic to those communities and not looking like I'm just being A snooper.
Kerry Guard: I haven't actually been able to get into the communities that I want to get into. So, like, One of my industries is cybersecurity, and there's a cybersecurity marketing industry marketing society, and they don't let vendors in. And good on them. I totally agree with it. I'm for it, but also, like, as a vendor, I can access it. So what sort of the balance and that of, like, not wanting to be a creepy salesperson who's just snooping for the next deal, but, like, showing up and really caring and getting in there.
Mason Cosby: First, you just mentioned it, but it's actually caring. So, like, In these communities, I actually care about the success of other people. And if they ever buy from me, fantastic. But if not, that's okay. I know that the Long term net benefit of being a helpful individual in the communities where I thrive is going to only Pay dividends in the long run. So, again, I know that that's a long run thing. So I'll be honest. Like, these plays that we're talking about are not necessarily, like, the Sales activation plays that I was referencing earlier, like, we can talk through some of those as well real quick, but it is genuinely caring about the success of the people in the community, and you can't fake So from that perspective, if you're only joining because you're like, oh perfect, a pool of my potential customers, like you're You're probably not gonna do well, you're probably gonna get kicked out.
Mason Cosby: So that's the first thing. Second thing, for any community where you can't be invited. So for example, I am not able to join CMO Coffee Talk because I'm not formally a CMO. Totally makes sense. But I love CMO Coffee Talk, I love people in CMO Coffee Fuck. So I build relationships with people that I know are involved in CMO Coffee Talk. And what's been interesting is they are actually now doing referrals within Centimeters of Coffee Talk without me being in the community because I built those relationships With the people that are a part of that community. So there's that piece, and then the final thought is I've it's been interesting.
Mason Cosby: I've not been allowed in communities because I've been a vendor, but I've been allowed in To speak for specific engagements. So again, if I provide significant value to the market, I've been become a valuable person to bring in to that add value to that community in a short term way, not in a long term ongoing way. But If you in your case, if you, like, went really, really hard for 6 months on cyber secure security marketing on LinkedIn, you You probably would get invited to speak, and that's all you talked about for 6 months because you become a well known fixture within the cybersecurity space. I Became a fixture of, like, marketing careers for, like, 2 years. I then very intentionally pivoted to scrappy ABM, But like I'm now having to summit, like my engagement is actually very down, my follower increase is very down, because I've now actually Pivoted what I talk about, but a year and a half from now, I'll be synonymous with Scrappy ABN. That's great. That's what I want. So from that perspective, it's going to It's just putting in the reps and the time to become synonymous with a specific industry or term.
Mason Cosby: And as a result, these communities will invite you to speak.
Kerry Guard: I will say that I've had a ton of folks from the cybersecurity marketing society on my show. You can go check out. They have amazing content, around how to market to cybersecurity specifically. And then we actually just got a fresh referral through the community Having not been in the community. So yes to that. It's put to everything we're saying though, like, being scrappy is one thing, but you have to, One, I'm gonna curse, but I think it's I think it's warranted. Give a shit literally about who you're really wanting to help and showing up for them with not expecting anything in return, sort of that pay it forward mentality, and then, Inconsistently and then doubling down on the things you really care about, how you wanna help those folks. So Both of those things have warranted how both the podcasting and the community can help in that.
Kerry Guard: And, hey, if you can do both, Even better. Let's talk about the micro events because this is coming up more and more. And I think it's something, especially if you're in A local community where you're within a sphere where you can actually bring people together physically has seen tremendous uptick. I just had somebody on my show from the company Drata, and he hosted his own event for the company that went spectacular for this reason. So in your experience, Mason, how have you seen micro events be a scrappy ABM method and on work for you.
Mason Cosby: Yeah. So for starters, what's the intent? So is it we're gonna do pipe conversion, we're going to Do pipeline acceleration, or we want to do an awareness play. So I don't know if you have seen LinkedIn. There was a, an event that was called house of aligned. So the company aligned. Mhmm. Those guys are great.
Kerry Guard: Yep.
Mason Cosby: They essentially got, like I think it was 20 different influencers in the b to b tech space to come together for, like, a few days. And, essentially, they just created the greatest sense of FOMO and cocreated content with a bunch of people that they will then use for the next 6 months. So their play actually wasn't to sell anybody at the event, it was hey look at how cool and awesome we are, you should work with us, and we're gonna now have content for the next month. So like, that That is a totally viable play that will pay dividends in the long run. If it's pipe gin, what we're actually finding is interesting to think through for sales assembly, because sales simply actually does host micro events and dinners across the country pretty much every single month. Like we had a CS dinner, customer success dinner last night in Chicago. For us, our our dinners are actually typically more of a pipeline acceleration play. So people already know that sales simply exists.
Mason Cosby: They're already actively in the conversation. This is a way that we can have another touch point to get them to continue in the conversation. So from that perspective, we use the upfront invitation to the event to Get them to say yes, and then we follow-up and say, like, hey, before we hop on or before we go to dinner, would you be interested in, like, hopping on a quick call just to, like, get to know each other, and we can introduce you at the dinner to other people. Great. What's been most interesting would be happy hours at conferences. So we'd hosted a happy hour at SaaSter last night. Apparently had like a 150 c r o's and v p's of sales come to this happy hour, and I've heard from our sales team that it was the most successful event that we've done all year, Because you got a 150 of your best fit customers to come hang out with you for 5 hours and like just have a good time. And then What happens is for example our CRO's name is Matt Green, he's got like 19,000 followers on LinkedIn.
Mason Cosby: People are like I see you all the time, like what do you do? And he gets to then pitch them because he was invited to pitch them. And they were like oh that's cool, I need that, cool. And then it so it's come that these micro events at larger events have actually become a great pipe gen opportunity. So again it just depends on the intent of what you're trying to accomplish. Now if If you're a small marketer in a local area, I would focus on these as networking opportunities with the intent that you would inevitably create pipeline, but it's not going to happen on the 1st lunch or dinner. It's probably gonna happen on the And again, I wouldn't even put it on the company dime, I would just go have lunch with people in your local community because worst thing that happens is you make some friends. Darn.
Kerry Guard: Yes. Connection. I think we're all starving for that these days. And these are 3 great ways to not only create pipeline and revenue for your company in the long run, but they're also great ways to Form connections that will carry you beyond this one job in this one moment. I feel like that's the real takeaway. And you are a living, breathing example of that, Mason. I'm so grateful for this conversation. Where can people find you if they wanna learn more about scrappy ABM?
Mason Cosby: Well, first, LinkedIn is kinda where I spend a lot of my time. Second, if you wanna learn more about the concept of scrappy ABM, I also do have a podcast that is lovingly titled Scrappy ABM. I did take a break because I had a child. So, more episodes will be coming, towards the end of this month, but we got 20 episodes out already. And then lastly, I I would be remiss if I didn't mention specifically sales assembly. So again, like if you're a B2B tech company that's in that scale up stage looking to better up level your team, that's what we do. And I'd be happy to get you connected to the right people to talk further about that.
Kerry Guard: Amazing. Before we go, I do like to ask you my people first question because you are more then a seller and a marketer. In the last few years, given the change of the world, I and I know you said baby girl, so You can't use this as your answer because that would defeat the purpose. But have you picked up any other new hobbies than being a girl dad in the last few years given the change of the world.
Mason Cosby: Loophole. I became a husband In 2020. So
Kerry Guard: Wow. In COVID, you got married.
Mason Cosby: Yep. That's a whole other story in and of itself.
Kerry Guard: But you went but you you hung in there and you decided to not push it and you doubled down and you made it happen. Mhmm. Was it remote? Was it just immediate family? Give me something.
Mason Cosby: Like a 100 people. We're in Mississippi. Nobody cared. It's great. Fair enough.
Kerry Guard: Mason, thank you so much.
Mason Cosby: Thank you.
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Mason Cosby is a driven and determined individual who works for Sales Assembly, a small but dynamic company specializing in Sales enablement for the go-to-market team. In his role, Mason is responsible for catching up on all the tasks and accomplishments from the busy month of August. With a company as agile as Sales Assembly, he knows that a lot can change in a short amount of time. Mason is passionate about achieving the goals set before him and is eager to discuss strategies for success, including the concept of scrappy Account-Based Marketing (ABM). This concept, which he has been advocating for the past few years, came to Mason about five months ago and he is excited to share his knowledge and insights on this innovative approach.