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Podcasts > Tea Time With Tech Marketing Leaders

Story Brand Marketing Frameworks & Failing Forward

Kerry Guard • Wednesday, March 8, 2023 • 58 minutes to listen

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Cameron Ragano

Cami is an innovative and success-focused Marketing Executive with an advanced understanding of B2B marketing, initiating new campaigns, developing sales strategies, appealing to large enterprise and business accounts, and generating cutting-edge marketing initiatives. A natural leader, she oversees cross-functional teams and ensure high efficiency and productivity. She takes pride in mobilizing new employees and ensuring the staff is successful. With a diverse range of skills across print and digital channels including social media and email-based campaigns, She is able to reach larger audiences and maximize profitability through multiple avenues. She excels within strict deadlines and mitigate risks through research and strategic planning. She reduce marketing expenses by implementing feasible budgets and supervising effective allocation. Among some of her other strengths include clear communication, networking, brand management, lead generation and conversion, business development, and complex problem-solving.


Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and Welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Welcome back.

So excited to have you all here as I am talking about a very near and dear topic that has gotten a bit of controversy lately, which is interesting. And so I'm excited to share this with you before I get into it.

This week, I am joined by Cameron Ragano. Just go Cami. So you'll hear me call her Cami a lot. Cami has actually been in the cybersecurity business for the last nine years in terms of marketing these companies. She's currently the VP of Marketing at psyche, where she is helping them build their brand from the ground up. She's using the story brand framework, which I have been studying for years now. I actually think it's very useful and helpful platform and framework to start with, however, and Cami uses it and she talks about how she uses it, which I think is great.

And the way she uses it is really intentional and thoughtful. And the reason why it's getting a little bit of a bad rap right now is because some people are using it. I want to say incorrectly, as it's a framework, so you can use it however you want. But in terms of cybersecurity, and this idea of FUD fear, uncertainty and doubt, some people are leaning into the framework in a way that gives it a bad rap in terms of being able to create content that's very much banking on fear and such uncertainty and doubt it's very easy to get caught in the trap of using using it in this manner.

And Cami and I break it down as to how that happens and how to avoid it. I love this conversation. Cami has been cyber for nine years she is the VP of Marketing at Site gain.

A little bit more about her is that she is an innovative and success focused marketing executive with an advanced understanding of b2b marketing, initiating new campaigns developing sales strategies appealing to large enterprise and business accounts and generate cutting edge marketing initiatives to the natural leader she oversees cross functional teams and ensures high efficiency and productivity. She takes pride in mobilising new employees ensuring that the staff is successful. With a diverse range of skills across print and digital channels, including social media and email base campaigns, she's able to reach larger audiences and maximise profitability through multiple avenues. She excels with strict deadlines and mitigates risks through research and strategic planning. And that's really where this compensation comes in is she does the does the upfront work to really set the brand up for success and using this framework. She has won awards in 2024 op stars of the year, and it's pretty marketer of the year, as well as LEED certified expert. And she's got a little certification number there for you to check out on her LinkedIn profile. I really love this conversation with Kami. I thought it was really nice to have somebody using this framework in a really thoughtful way. And I think you all will enjoy it. So however you listen to podcasts, pop on some headphones, take a walk, walk the dog, go outside, go for a run, or if you want to take notes and lean in that you can do that to whatever suits you. But let's take a listen.


Kerry: Hi, Cami, thank you for joining me on teach. I would check marketing leaders.

Of course. Thank you, Kerry, how are you?

Kerry: I'm good. Thanks. I'm stoked to have you on.

I am so excited. I know. We've been talking about this for about a month. So I'm glad we got

Kerry: time flies. Before we get into now that we've teed everybody up and they're on the edge of their seats for what we're about to talk to today. Before we get into that, why don't you tell us your story can be what do you do and how did you get there?

Cami: Yeah. So currently, I am the VP of Marketing for cycling. I am relatively new to this role in terms of how long I've been at Site gain for and it's been really exciting, challenging, and you know, I've been learning a lot along the way being the very first marketing hire. And a lot of you know what I the knowledge and the experience I had prior to sight gain really, I think helped me to get in this position. So Oh, I actually started in sales. My first job ever, I sold Symantec and bear toss in the sled industry on the East Coast region. So that was really fun. I was held accountable for a pipeline. And it was the bigger company so really helped me to get my footing, I would say in marketing, because being, you know, definitely more on the b2b side, I like to make sure that I understand the pains that sales team is going through. Because if you don't, it's really hard to have a really solid relationship with, you know, your counterparts in revenue. So that's kind of how I started. And that's what I look for also in people that I want to work with, in terms of on the marketing side. And then I've been at, oh, my gosh, I think psyching is my fifth, cybersecurity startup. So I've been a little, little bit of everywhere. My most recent before site gain was Cybrary, I was one of the first 10 employees there. Now, over 100, I was there for five years, was definitely the most growth in my career. But also personally, I learned a lot about myself, how I like to work, how I like to be, you know, challenge in the work life and also being at a startup is very, very demanding, and in hypergrowth is very different than any other startup I'd worked at previously. So learning how to balance your work in your personal life was definitely something that took me a while to learn, but I'm a very big, big advocate for it now, because you don't want people burning out and you know, you want to you want to ensure that people are being able to also put their best foot forward and that doesn't happen when there's no work life balance. So yeah, that Cybrary was, you know, that it was such a great company, still is a great company. And they you know, they've just been in this growth, stage her probably the five you'd like they're still in it. So that's really cool to see. But all of the experience, me being fully held accountable to pipeline working in conjunction with sales, revenue, having that relationship with sales, I think really helped me to get where I am because everything that I do, I you know, I'm very big on data driven marketing and working cross functionally within sales, but also you know, you have that product engineering team, stuff like that. So it cyber made me very well rounded and being held responsible for pipeline, which is very detrimental to revenue at the company, but also, you know, voting me responsible as a leader to make sure that we were, you know, cross functionally working together towards you know, the right goal and, and all that fun stuff.

Kerry: So, I have so many questions. It sounds like you've done this before this whole like joining a startup early stage and helping them grow think five times now. Yeah, yeah, that's, that's fascinating. Why cyber? I mean, did you just happen to like land in cyber or cyber always been the place what's, what's your journey there?

Cami: You know, a, I never like in college, I actually studied public relations. I've wanted to go into either entertainment or crisis communications, in that you're very different. But leaning on the crisis side of things it I realised that like, I don't want to say stressful environment, but a pressure filled environment I thrive really well in. I got my you know, my first job in sales, which happened to be a technology sales working for a distributor, so it just kind of opened the doors for me. And I never really looked back. Once I was able to get my foot in the cybersecurity door. I think that this industry is there's never going to be a lack of jobs. And the longer you're in it, you also and I might be biassed, but I think cybersecurity marketing is probably one of the hardest types of marketing. There is in terms of industries just because you're talking to some of the smartest people in the world. And you know, being able to continue to not only hone in on my skills to To make sure that you know, I'm appealing to the right persona, and I'm speaking more of their language instead of the marketing language that you see. It's something that I also wanted to continue to do. I love learning, that was a really big thing for me, as well. And I thought that I would have the most opportunity and challenging opportunity in cyber. So I've just just stayed and you know, I've continued, I do love it. Now at first it was like, this is this is hard. But once you get your footing, and you have, you know, support from not only you know, the people that you're growing with, but also from leadership to fail forward. That was, the biggest thing for me was I was given an opportunity to build and just so many different things, but it was always about failing forward. It was never about if you feel what, like, you're gone. It's like, okay, you failed, or you didn't do what you thought What did you learn and how you can make it better next time. And that you know, it and that's, I think, across all industries, not particularly cyber, but that is where I've had my most experiences learning those, those sales through the cybersecurity marketing, you know, industry that there is

Kerry: iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate, yeah, I learning is through failure. How are we supposed to learn if we don't make mistakes? No one is perfect. Sorry to break it to y'all.

Cami: No one, no one and it's hard working in that environment is just, it's so great. Because you don't, it's not that you feel bad, because you're learning and you're becoming better.

Kerry: You also don't have time, you don't. You don't have time to wallow with your failure. You got to pick yourself off and keep going.

Cami: Yeah, and you you just keep going and you just make it better. And you know, you make yourself better.

Kerry: I totally love this and totally great. I think this is going to transition nicely into our core conversation. But before we get there, before we get there, Kami, tell me what's one challenge you're currently facing?

Cami: That is such a good one. I think there's it's probably twofold. Right now, I am the only marketer on our team. And you know, we're definitely very early stage, I think there's like seven employees. And so it's, it's really interesting going from, you know, I was in that position in terms of like how many employees there were five years ago, but now being in, you know, an executive position that's not only focusing on marketing, but also helping to create the culture of the company and make sure that we're, you know, building something that one our customers are going to love and talk about, but also our employees, we want them to work, you know, in a place that makes them happy challenges them encourages them to learn every day. So that's definitely been on like a personal. It's been a little challenging balance balancing both of those things. But I'm learning how to time block a little bit better to make sure that I'm able to accomplish more of the revenue impacting things as well. And then the other thing I would say is, and I feel like this is just it's always the biggest thing, right? It's just messaging tone. We are, you know, they've, we are going through a rebrand right now a very big rebrand. I'm very into more of the disruptive marketing. So I definitely challenged our executives, to take a step back from what they've been doing the past couple of years. So getting everyone on the same page, in terms of this is how we, you know, want to talk to this type of person, this persona, this is how we want to talk at a brand level is definitely very interesting. But I will say I have a great executive team. And they are so open and willing to work with me. And they're also some of the smartest people I've ever met in my life. So it also is very beneficial to me to be able to have those types of people in my corner to bounce things off of back and forth. So I would say those two things are currently kind of the challenges that I'm going through.

Kerry: Which leads beautifully into our conversation today because it is about messaging and how you position yourself which I think is really interesting that you said that you're challenging that your executive team to be more disruptive. So what does disruptive mean to you?

Cami: You know, I think that I, like I look at going to, like Blackhat, I went to Blackhat, for the first time in years, since the pandemic, or even before that. So going there, I just like, there were so many, like, nothing really stood out and caught my attention. There's always the big brands, right, that have so much money to spend, and you know, can do it all up, which is amazing. But being a company that is not it, you know, does not have a huge marketing budget, there's a lot of creative things that you can do that are out of, I feel like more than the normative marketing that you see, that's kind of like in more ingrained in those companies that have, you know, been around for quite some time. So for me, disruption is making sure that our product is, you know, making an impact. It's being seen within this industry, where there's 1000s of vendors. And, you know, sticking out like, something that was really big for me, was our colours. We were right now we're blue. And I was like, Absolutely not. We like that just. And, you know, we all talked about it. And it was so funny, because we're working with this agency right now. And they were like, without even knowing that I had said that they were like, they had like done a competitive analysis. And they're like, so everyone is blue. You guys really need to get away from blue. I was like, Well, don't worry. Yeah, are already on it. And I think that there's also a way that you can present yourself from the brand level, that that is different, and involves. I think everyone's you know, doing content, thought leadership, stuff like that. But engagement is a really big piece that I'm having my executive team work on from their own, like personal standpoint, because I want them engaging across LinkedIn, you know, reaching out to those CISOs those risk officers within companies that were trying to make customers like, comment on the posts that they're getting out there, you know, challenge the posts that they're getting out there, ask people for feedback, don't just post a blog, and like or like repost a blog that CNN had, like, I'm really challenging on the engagement front, so that when people look at Site gain, it's not just our colours, our logo, what our product is, but you also see our leadership and even our employees really ingrained into what our product is doing across the cybersecurity industry. So that's such

Kerry: a challenging thing for executives, I find sort of wrap their brains around of like, well, what do I need to be doing on LinkedIn? Nobody cares about what I have to say and like, what do I need to be out there for and, and that feels very imposter syndrome to me. Right? Like, I mean, if you're trying to get your brand out there and and to have a voice people buy from people. So it's not just about sight gain, but it's about who built psych aid and why you built like gain and your story and the power of that. But this impostor syndrome sort of creeps into executive sprains and, and they feel like they're not worthy enough to contribute to Lincoln greater good.

Cami: I think you, you know, you hit the nail on the head there, because that's, that's a really good way to look at it. Because, you know, you have these CISOs from huge companies that, you know, I'm you know, I've never been a founder or anything, but I'm sure that's intimidating. And but at the same time, like, Look at, look at what you did, and like, do you have gotten x amount of series of funding, you have employees, people are backing this idea that you have. So I think in on LinkedIn, sometimes I feel like people are a little bit more nervous to post their opinions like in the beginning, but there are quite a few people that like I follow that post religiously. And I feel like once you get in that habit of not only posting but engaging it becomes second nature and it's also on the personal side, it really helps you to become you know, I want people to reach out to Christian he's our founder like to comment on an article and that is more PR, but like, imagine if someone just came across a comment that he wrote on length Then I was like, wow, this is super interesting. I want to talk to him more about this, like, you want people kind of coming to you is that thought leader and asking for some more knowledge. So that's, that's where my head is at. And I need to do the same thing honestly on my end, because if I'm going to be asking my executive team to do it, I really want to also, you know, do it. I've done it kind of behind the scenes before, but I want to do it myself as well, which is

Kerry: why you're here. And I'm so excited to have you, Kenny. But I think this engagement piece is really important. And the habit pieces is helpful, too. So what are some things you do? You're obviously joining a podcast? Yay. What are in terms of is there a certain like, every day you do specific things you said, you talked about scheduled blocking? Like do you have every day you wake up? And these are these are the LinkedIn things you do at certain times? And you tell your executives to do that? What sort of tips and tricks do you have there?

Cami: Yeah, so time blocking is huge for me. And I typically try and do it a week out. Because what I've set forward is a six month plan. So I have a timeline of when I'm supposed to hit objectives. So by following that plan, and the objectives, I have to hit in like the month of October, I'm able to time block those things out in advance, to make sure that I hit my goals, because you're also going to be in meetings, people are gonna, you know, wants you to be listening to Gong calls. And you know, I have cell sales development under me at Site game, so also, you know, managing someone I want, you know, you have to make sure that you're also getting time in to do the work necessary. So time blocking is huge for me, and I actually, you know, it's really funny, I'm a bit of like a very type a procrastinator or a little bit of a perfectionist, but I am a procrastinator, which is so interesting, right? Like, I want this thing to be perfect. But then I wait until like the day of and then I crank it out in the morning. But that when I am up at like, five or 6am just cranking through something like again, crisis PR I like the pressure. It just like kind of invigorates me and I get excited about what I'm about to be like talking about or presenting. Because it's almost like it's a rush of, you know, completing a project doing the project. But that I you know, it's I don't think it's the best. It's really to say, if you know what's right or wrong, so that helps. But yeah, and then also I tried to take, I tried to get a walk in every day, whether that be in the morning before work, during work at lunch, like, I need a minute to decompress, think through things, stuff like that. So that really helps. And the other thing, this might be a little weird. I don't know if people dream about work, but I sometimes have dreams about work. So I have like a dream work book that sits next to me. So like when I wake up at 3am I was like, Oh my God, that's such a good idea. I can just jot it down. So I don't

Kerry: know that you have good ideas and your dreams because a lot of us have nightmares. So that is fantastic. I know it's yeah, that's super interesting. But I love what you're talking about. I so for me, I'm sort of similar where I tend to do my best work at the last minute, but I feel like it's because my subconscious is processing it. Yes. And then when I sit down I can like be like okay, now I now I'm in a place where I can really just like let my brain dump and make it happen. But yeah, I'm I'm severely I like I need that sort of tight timeframe. And don't give me long deadlines. That are what I need it tomorrow.

Cami: Yeah, no, I am the same way put me put me under the gun like

Kerry: the same way. I love it. Um, so in terms of your messaging and your tone. And you've done this five times now. How where do you start?

Cami: Yeah. So a story branding, right? That was by far is the most influential book I've I've read. For me in the marketing space. It's by Donald Miller. It's called Building a story brand 10 out of 10 recommend. It's amazing if you're having trouble really trying to create the story and tell the story of what your company is out there trying to do. So at Cybrary when I got their you know, they originally had hired me on to go to events and get leads for the b2b product that was like three months old and we had already had a platform of over a million people. And it which was incredible, right? But when I got there, we were only collecting the user name, and the email. That's all we were profiling. And I think we all took a step back, all 10 of us at the company were like, Why aren't we using our own lead database? To sell our product to? Why are we spending all this money sending these two girls to events when we already have this in house. So we essentially implemented a profiling, as you could call it, system to really start to build up the b2b funnel. So like, so I get there, right. And we don't know who's using our platform, we just know we have a lot of people. So we get to the point where, okay, we now see who is using our platform, what they're doing, and you know, the things that they're interested in. But we still were having issues, hitting like some revenue targets. And we took a step back, and we basically broke our product down, or I'm sorry, our audience segments down to four categories, which was students, practitioners, thank you, analysts, to engineers, manager and directors, and then senior leadership. So we created these essentially, four categories. And what I was challenged with was, how are we going to message these people to sell our b2b product, and also we have a consumer, we have a consumer product as well. So, you know, we did this huge exercise, it also involved the sales team, which was great. And you know, I'm a huge proponent for sales being in the mix, because they're the ones that are telling the story, that's the most impactful their story is what's going to sell or not the product. So we involve sales. And we essentially went through and did a story brand for each of those audience segments. And we were able to determine, how are we the guide for for students, and that because students was probably one of our bigger segments, and we really wanted them on our consumer side. So you know, we had built out this thing called career paths. And I think we were one of the first people to really build out career paths, in terms of like having a product that went along and trains you for that career path, what you wanted to get. So building those out becoming that guide for these people that wanted to break into the cybersecurity industry was so impactful, because we are telling them how they can do this now, and how sight and you know, this is how you become the hero of your own story and get to where you want to get and cyber is going to be there step by step guiding you through this process. And, you know, giving you access to these amazing mentors that we have this huge catalogue. So that was super impactful on our consumer side. And then it got a little interesting on our b2b side, I would say, because analysts and engineers, you know, they they had a job if that is, you know, if they're telling us that they are doing X, Y, and Z. They are with a company. So we, you know, tried to do a lot of the b2c b2b notion because technically, this isn't someone that can make a decision, and they wouldn't be a good candidate for our consumer product as well. But there's also that story that we can tell to, you know, a manager and senior leadership have a you have X amount of employees coming to Cybrary not using the training that you're providing at the company and coming to a third party platform platform to skill up and grow within their career. Let me tell you that we can give like we can, basically, you know, help you to grow your own people, you know, don't have them going to third party training resources when you can do that in house implemented into their every day and essentially help to combat attrition. within within the sock, I mean, I think what average sock analysts last 18 months at a company, so the analysts and or the practitioner side of things, which was super interesting for us, because we also could ask, essentially, these practitioners to bring their manager in for a demo, like, Hey, did you know your company could be paying for this for you? Why? Why are you spending your own money, bring your manager on board, and we'll give you guys, you know, premium access to our cyber team. So you can see what that's like in a team environment. So figuring out how we could guide those practitioners that are trying to skill up and become those managers was definitely interesting. And a lot of I think, cybersecurity vendors like, there, it's not about skilling up or the employee side of things. And I think that it wasn't very common in the place that you know, you had the cybersecurity company, reaching out and telling you the steps that you could take to help you get from an analyst and, you know, go to tier two, tier three. And so that was really fun to figure out. And we also were able to zero in on if, like, certain segments were gravitating towards certain courses, or career paths or labs, in double down there. So also using their activity. And once we noticed an engagement with a course for like longer than X amount of time, we could then nurture them to, you know, push them to continue on with this, because it's gonna help you to finish this career path, stuff like that. So the that's kind of what we, you know, we had both sides of the consumer product in the b2b product within our that middle segment of practitioners. And then I kind of already talked through what we were doing on, you know, the leadership side, there was, you know, a lot of people were also coming to cyber for themselves, they weren't coming necessarily, because they knew that we had a b2b business product. So there was product education that we also had to do. On the marketing side, when you know, these we call them in our using registered users, when they were registering on our platform, which you can do for free and get access to our free content that we provided. We had to figure out how do we tell the story of our product? And how will this solve the pain points that you're facing right now? In your job role? I think that there was there's, there's always gonna be a lack of jobs bill. Right. Is that right? Yeah, there's always this huge cybersecurity skills gap, that it's just I think it's always gonna be there. There's not enough people

Kerry: changing so quickly. Yeah. And it's just constantly changing.

Cami: Yeah. And so we basically had to, you know, how do we help you to make an onboarding programme, that when you bring on a new analyst, engineer, you can already upfront, have a plan for them for the next six months, and help them to harness their skills, stuff like that. So a lot of it was really trying to pull on those pain points that we knew that they were having trouble with, that we basically came up with, there were five use cases around why a person would need cyber in for business. And it definitely, you get once you're down the funnel, we get a better sense of how that use case is really relating to the customer. And we had like different slide decks that sales would use based on the use case and stuff like that. But we were able to, essentially let all of the b2b prospects know that we have these use cases. And then you know, asking them like, what is your biggest challenge right now? What are you facing? And if there's anything that you could do to change that, what would that be? So using story branding, to, like bring it all back like, because we had that frame book and framework,

Kerry: because free book is great.

Cami: Yeah, that framework and not only In marketing was following it. But it was also happening on, you know, the sales calls that we were having. And then it was, you know, like from, like sales development, and then all the way through, you know, account executive and deal closure, we were able to track and measure how effective that was for us. And, you know, my time there essentially, like in terms of inbound pipeline, we started at zero at the time I left, we were well into the double digit digits of millions and pipeline. And I owe a lot of that to story branding, and enabling me, enabling the sales team. And even you know, enabling and getting confirmation from our executives that this is, this is the direction we want to take. And if we didn't have that, I feel like, it would just have been shooting in the dark. If you don't understand the pain points and how you're trying to help your prospect, then why even try it all. Because then it's just it becomes, like, more, you know, that's just selfish, but I guess it was a business. But like, if you're out here working for a company, and you're trying to make a difference in the world, and you know, a certain industry, you really have to make sure that you're aligning with that, that top level decision maker and prospect that you have, if you're not like, it's just, they're gonna ignore you, they're not gonna want to talk with you. It comes off super super salesy, and yes, you're selling a product. But we didn't want to be like a salesperson, we wanted to be more of an advisor, we want to make sure that we're advising you and giving you what you need as our customer to be successful and using our product and also be successful within your own job. And for the you know, your team be be successful in the leader that you are. So really focusing on focusing in on those things helped us to scale really quickly. And we made it repeatable, scalable, and we were able to accomplish a lot in five years. And I have shout out, Ryan, Cory, and Ralph Sita, they were our co founders, they, they were amazing. And like I said, allowing me to, and my team, you know, allowing us to fail forward and figure it out. And you know, just do what you got to do. But let's, let's figure it out. Let's iterate and let's try and make sure we have a product that is needed.

Kerry: So let's, let's break this down a little bit. So story brand is a framework by Donald Miller. It's a seven part book. He's got a tonne of material on it. Follow him on Instagram, he's got a podcast about building your business. It's a serious I followed, I actually had my team do a breakout room three or four years ago, which was really fun around the seven parts of story brand. And really what it is just to, like simplify this for our listeners is it's basically taking the standard framework you use in writing a narrative, any narrative. Usually it's used in fiction, or nonfiction or even in playwrights or screen plays. And it's basically the hero's journey. Yes. It's the hero's journey. And the important thing about this framework and the aha moment for everyone who reads it, is that as the brand you are not the hero.

Cami: No, you are the guide. You are the

Kerry: guide. But that's sort of this moment of like, oh,

yeah, right. About you. Like

Kerry: you. You're the Yoda though. I mean, which is pretty cool to think about. That is his last Star Wars references throughout the you get to be Yoda. Like what better way to go on this adventure than to feel like you're your Yoda and Obi Wan in this hero's journey. And the hero being these personas you're talking about so for you CAMI that sounds like it's really the first step is figuring out who are you even talking to? Yep. Right that ICP that primary audience and it sounds like for you. For Cybrary you had multiple? Yeah, right. It's those five those five personas you talked about. And then From there, you figure out what problems they're having. Right? When you think about Luke. And the big existential problem he had and trying to, you know, wipe out the Deathstar. Right? I will, I do like Star Wars, but storebrand Donald Miller attempts to use a lag. So it's easy, we all understand it. But it is right like, and in cybersecurity, it is these big existential problems of like, what these products are trying to solve. It's not the products and how they work themselves. They tend to I don't know if you've found this Cami, and maybe this was sort of where you were trying to read pivot Cybrary. But it's like, it's not really about your features.

Cami: No, it's not we hated feature selling it. Why would Why should why does that matter? That doesn't tell me anything. Very much a value based selling is? I don't know if that's a term, but that is now. No, it is now. Yeah, that is VBS. That is what we did at at Cybrary. And there was actually one point where my CEO was like, if there's a feature in this email that you're not sending, and I was like, Okay, nope. But the challenge, that's a challenge, right? Like that really helped me to take a step back, like, think, again, back to the story branding. And you know, what, how do you talk about this plan? You know, and make sure that you're doing it in a way that doesn't come off as salesy but comes off as guiding.

Kerry: Yeah, so it's a solution, right. So your audience has a problem. And you're trying to give them the solution, just like Yoda did a bit teaching Luke how to use the force and, and raise all of the things. It's what's you know, the force was essentially the feature, so to speak. But he wasn't talking about it as a feature where he was talking about the outcome that was going through essentially happened. And really, it's that it is that like, what, what are what is the hero trying to achieve in this? What is the solution thereafter, and being that guide and how to achieve that solution with a clear plan, which is what you mentioned. So Donald Miller mentioned three, like you should keep things simple. Under threes, I'm sure that there are really like seven to 10 steps on what to do in terms of how to achieve this ultimate solution. There's probably a lot more in there. But keep it like, what are the three things like they need a discovery call to understand, like, what it is you do, what the pricing is, could it be and how they implement it, right? And then the second step is, well, how do I get this thing started? And the third step is like, how do I keep this thing going? Right? Like, simple and simple. It's hard.

Cami: Yeah. So it's hard. And it's super, you know, interesting that you bring up those, those three steps, because something else that we started to also implement was having customer success more involved. By the time I was, it was probably like a year before I left. But ultimately, these are the people who are implementing a lot of what you're, you know, what you're going to be doing, and they're the ones that, you know, really are that guy once you once they buy, and they're on, you know, as a customer like the CSM becomes the guide. So we wanted to figure out how we could allow CSM to do their, you know, main focus of retention and upsell expansion, but also make, you know, have them on these calls. Not necessarily discovery, but I would say like after the trial, we would want them to be there, as you know, a secondary resource if they went, Hey, like, I would love it, if you could set up you know, my own career path that I have for my company and then like that CSM helps them to do that. And that is a sticky feature. But it's more like the they focus like okay, well why why do you want this career path? What does this lead to kind of trying to pull that story out of them as well? Because once you pull that story out, you're able to then when it comes time for renewal, you retell that story of what you did to help them so yeah, we that was it was definitely interesting and trying to balance their time. But was was really helpful having them there. And another thing I meant, you mentioned the problem, right so another thing that was difficult with cyber was a lot of people didn't know that they had in a problem like that related to training, and you know, you come from this brick and mortar space of in person, boot camps, you're gone eyes off last for at least a week going through training and doing a lab, but you're literally only doing it that week in a boot camp style. And so like, how do you keep up? Right? So, like, that was that was such the norm, you know, before Cybrary was, became a company, that we had to educate, what that actually meant, and how much money because also boot camps, I think cost like five to $10,000, like per person. Yeah. And so it's like, you can do the same thing, give them access to continuing education, make this part of, you know, their, you know, quarterly monthly goals that they have to achieve x, y, z. And I lost my train of thought, make this part of the goals, while also saving money. And you know, being able to potentially spend more on another product and other another headcount, like, it was really interesting. having those conversations and educating people of the problem, because it was like kind of that I don't like that switch from being in the classroom to being online, virtually and doing something. So knowing

Kerry: that they had another option than boot camps like that there was more of a cost effective way. And that your company could contribute to that I always think that such a huge moment in time for the end user of like, oh, like, I don't have to pay for this out of pocket. Tell me more. Exactly. So you have a plan, you create a clear plan, like we talked about those three steps. And then it says calls to action, right? Like, I think, I feel like there's this shift that's happening. I don't know, if you're feeling Academy, but it, it feels like people are like, there was sort of this moment in time where people sort of wanted to get it to get their foot in the door from a sales perspective of like, let me just connect with you. And then let me just have a quick call with you. And then let me figure out what all your problems are. And then let me figure out how to sell you right. And I feel like people, sales teams in particular are getting a bit better, at least I hope they are at being very clear, like, this is a sales conversation, I want to figure out what your biggest challenges are. And then I want to see if there's opportunity for here for us to connect and solve those for you. And if not, then not a big deal. But I feel like there's more transparency that's happening around that, because people are tired of feeling like the carpet sort of being pulled out from underneath them do is that shift happening here, I feel like story brand is very much proponent of that, like be very clear with what your outcome needs to be.

Cami: I am definitely seeing more of that. And on the marketing side. I'm actually seeing a lot of marketers start to, I don't wanna say call people out, but call people out. You know, they'll hide who it is, and whatnot. But like, I think that that is a marvellous way to get feedback and to understand but like, I think I'd like there was one thing I saw on LinkedIn. And like the seaso was pretty upset that someone was just like, I'll give you $300 to do it to do a demo, and didn't talk about like, anything else. Just like here's the thing to me. Yeah. And it's like why, like, why aren't you understand it like before you like it was a personal I appreciate like a personal message. So like, instead of doing that, like why don't you understand do some recent more research on who you're reaching out to where they work, where you think there might be pain points, because there's similar ones that you've addressed within the same industry, stuff like that. And so when I saw that, that was very like, I liked seeing it just because I think that it enables sales to dive deeper and not be just about close one close last, and especially sales development. And I'm I think I'm also seeing a shift where sales development is starting to roll up to marketing, which is what I advocated for acts like game. I think that that makes so much sense because they're the first person in terms of like sales as getting that message across when they're connecting one on one. And if that message isn't aligned with more Getting and you're not held accountable to the same things marketing is held accountable for pipeline, then how how do you you know, how do you ensure that you're taking direction and learning. And I like seeing that. Not to say that sales doesn't do a good job of, you know, leading sales development, I think it's just shifting a little bit where sales is focused on new business or expansion, revenue, and then sales development, top of top of funnel is focused on pipeline and getting those people in the door, because that's all mark, you know, we're, you know, we're top of funnel were doing demand gen, and we should be partnering with sales development on those strategies that we're doing. So I like seeing that shift. And I think I'm willing to bet that some of those, you know, messages and things we've been seeing across LinkedIn, like sales developments under marketing, if if we're starting to see that change, it just feels like marketing is having. Or maybe he's being more intentional with sales development, which I just, I really liked seeing it.

Kerry: Yeah, it's been a lovely shift. Um, I think it's an important shift to the other thing that Donald Miller talks about in his story brand that I actually want to kind of, like I was big proponent of his full framework years ago. And now that and I've been using it, but now that I'm rereading it in talking with you, Kami, I want to push back on this last on the second to last one a bit about discuss the potential for failure. I think that has seen its day, like people are gonna make their own decisions, they've done their homework, they know what the failure is, they don't need us to point it out to them. You know, fear, uncertainty and doubt are dead. It's

Cami: yeah, I have the fear based marketing FBM, if you will, like that. is completely done with I feel like it even blackout like I saw nothing. Like they already know. Like, we don't need to tell them they have a problem, or they're failing at their job like, that makes no one feel good. Instead, be that be the partner. So yeah, that's, that's super interesting. And I think that that's been for me, like, at cyber, we never really did anything like your based. But especially at sight game, I'm like, Absolutely. Are we not going to do anything where we're trying to instil that XYZ is going to happen to someone if they don't use our product, because that is not a real tactic. They should be wanting to use it, because it's going to help with XYZ, and further protect their company and make them honestly like, makes them a better leader, you know, we're able to give, you know, empirical data. So now you can go to the board with one slide. And know for sure, are you protecting something or not? And if you weren't, how did you remediate it? And sorry, I'm doing a little pitch of psyche net immunity. But it's nothing. Nothing fear base just more on the solution to the problems that you're facing.

Kerry: Yeah, so Donald, we love you. And we know that this is the framework in which like, in which story happens, and the hero's journey where you do sort of need that it's sort of that psychological moment of like, Why is this person so hell bent on making this thing happen? And it's because of that potential failure? Yes. But our audience already knows what their potential failure is, and they know what they're up against. We don't need to point that out to let's just focus on the success, which is really how you end the story of like the outcome of why working with your product is going to help them succeed in their jobs at the end of the day. So that is story brand, y'all. Jump on board. We're happy to answer any questions you have. Me is clearly an expert here as well. We could talk about this all day. And so CAMI just to wrap up here in terms of the storybrand framework in terms of what you've done from implementing it. Is there any last piece of advice before somebody picks up the book to help them get started, or I wish I had known this thing before I began this journey. What any last piece of advice you want to leave with folks.

Cami: Test. Once you figure out what you want to be leading with tests as soon as you can, and have measurables and hold yourself accountable to goals that you want to try and reach by, you know, implementing the story, right. I know it seems like it can be difficult to actually measure doing something like this across messaging, and seeing seeing an impact, but if, if you're doing if you're changing coffee on pages like you can implement a B test you crazy Natick is a great product to use, where are people clicking? Where their eyes going? Where are they scrolling? Just test, iterate, figure out what's working, figure out what's not working and figure out the why. And never be afraid to change. I think like, I've done storybrand So many times, I can tell you that the first time I did it at cyber was not what we were doing year five, we, you know, we you always you have to pivot with the market. So I would say,

Kerry: test, iterate, test, fail forward, fail forward, fail forward. Cami this was lovely. Before we close out real quick. I know we're at time. But one quick question for you because people need to know you more than the market or that you are more than a market or two. Have you picked up a new hobbies in the last few years given COVID?

Cami: Well, so I just me My wife bought our first house this past February, and I've always been into decorating but I've taken it to the next level after send you some pictures because it we moved into 100 year old completely renovated Victorian home. And so like we just had a huge Halloween party. I've three fireplaces like decorated all of them. My wife I could see behind you. Yeah, yeah, well, this is for my wedding. But yeah, I love putting like, I'm very much in marketing. I love seeing the outcome of decorating, like getting all the things and then like, wow, I just made that I just did that. So I would say decor and home decorating has really been my passion since moving in here.

Kerry: That is awesome. I totally feel that I've done the same thing. I was like, the last time we bought a house when we moved out. We did all the things to make it look better. And I was like next time we're the minimal event. We're gonna do all the things to make it. So yeah, I love that. Cami this has been awesome. Thank you so much for joining me.

Cami: Thank you so much, Kerry and thank you everyone.

Kerry: That was my conversation with Cameron. If you'd like to learn more about the story brand framework and how she's been utilising it in a non fear, uncertainty and doubt way, please be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. Kenny, thank you so much for joining me, Kevin Rigondeaux everybody. And thank you listeners. If you enjoyed this episode, please like subscribe and share. I'm grateful to have you grateful you're here.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

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