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Podcasts > Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders

The Ungated Unknown

Kerry Guard • Wednesday, October 25, 2023 • 49 minutes to listen

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Alex Titze

Vice President of Marketing, Well versed in building and leading world class marketing teams, businesses development functions, customer success teams. Background in Software Engineering, Information Security, Manufacturing, B2B and B2C retail.


Kerry Guard: Hello, I'm Kerry guard and Welcome to Tea Time with tech marketing leaders. Welcome back to the show. So excited. You're all here. If you are with us live. Please, please, please come hang out with us chat in the comments. I can't see you. Unless you like say hello. Give us a wave. Yeah, we're here for it. We look forward to all of your questions as the show goes on. So welcome. I'm so excited for the show. Today. I have Alex Tietze. With me, Alex. Hello.

Alex Titze: Hey, good afternoon.

Kerry Guard: Good and good afternoon. Yes, it's it's Thursday.

Alex Titze: It's Friday Eve right?

Kerry Guard: Not sure where this week when I feel like it. Poof. Yeah. operated? Its q4, right? That's what happens. Everything sort of gets.

Yeah, yes. It was like, you know, June yesterday. And now it's like after new Christmas shopping. It's like shoot.

Kerry Guard: Not ready. Oh, amazing. Well, I'm so excited to have you. Alex is a quick intro here. And then we're gonna get his story from his own from his own point of view, which I can't wait to share with you. But Alex is the Vice President of Marketing, who's well versed in building and leading world class marketing teams, Business Development functions, and customer success teams. It's not every day, we hear of a marketing VP in charge of so many different functions, and I can't wait circle back and unpack all things. Before we get there. Alex, you tell us what's what's your story? How did you get to this wonderful place of supporting all of these great functions?


Alex Titze: Yeah. So I think in terms of what I've learned in the marketing world is not a lot of people take the journey that I did in starting in sales. And then migrating. At some point into marketing. Most people are like, hi, you did you become allergic to money? And did you want to interact with customers last night of those things are true. I just. Yeah. So I mean, I started out in sales, I was a business development. Rep. You know, when I first came out of college, pounding phones, 100 200 dials a day, got really sick of that. So, you know, really worked hard to get brought into an account executive position, and kind of moved through from there. It was what 2019 I finished that fr secure as one of our top sales reps for the year, and President comes over to my desk saying I need you to make it bigger. I was like, He's gonna double my quota. He's like, What do you think about marketing? I was like, Yeah, I mean, you know, I love our marketing team. They're awesome. It's like, what would you think about leading that? I was like, Okay, well, I'm not technical. Like, I'm not a writer. I have absolutely no graphic design skills. So I don't really know what you want me to do here. And he's like, I just want you to get everybody on the same page, and make sure that all of the efforts that we're doing, from a marketing standpoint, align with where we're going as a company, I was like, alright, well, I can handle that. And the first couple of months, man, it was I was trying, I was, you know, trying to convince, I walked into a wonderful marketing team, I had an amazing digital expert, couple content writers and event planner, I had to win them over, because they all looked at me like, you were annoying me a few months ago could with all these sales, sell sheet requests. You know, why are you in charge now. And it was super fun. I got to learn so much from them. But where I added the experience, and where I think I've kind of started to bring everything together was actually having talks to the customers like face to face knowing how they buy, knowing why they don't buy. And not just from like a market research or an indirect fashion but like actually hearing it myself being able to apply. So that's where I think, yeah, I started to start to make some headway. And then over time, I've just learned lots more and you know, started to be somewhat, you know, on the execution side of marketing to not just like, hey, can you do this?

Kerry Guard: Yes, it's a it's hard to not. I learned by doing So I appreciate that you sort of gotta get your hands dirty to figure it out before you can actually tell somebody what you need. It's hard to tell somebody what you need when you yourself haven't really like, sat in it and done, at least for Mike's. Yeah, great. So I totally, totally relate, before we unpack this, because this is what I want to understand. And I want to help folks understand, both on the sales and marketing side is, is that bridge that you've created? And I'm really looking forward to getting to that conversation. We before we do, though, we're all human. And life is hard. And we're in q4, as we mentioned, which makes it even harder for some reason. What's one challenge you're currently having what's what's hard right now, maybe in your way, making it feel like you're pushing a boulder a little more uphill than you would like,

Alex Titze: I think it's the constant desire to like, innovate and improve and like the future looking. But at the end of the year, you're like, but I need to get everything in, like I everything has to be in by December. So how do we make things move quick? And so trying to play the long game while also not losing focus on like, the day to day and like supporting all our revenue targets?

Kerry Guard: Yeah, it's just, it's hard sometimes a balanced focus, I think there it is. So see you in December is breathing down your neck, for sure. And yeah, and ** ** in our world.

Alex Titze: I mean, q4 is not so I've been in the cybersecurity world. Everybody forgot they were supposed to be compliant this year. So they call us and like, hey, we need to get this done. But it's like, okay, you know, it's October, right. I, I know, I sent you a message in January. Why? Why did we wait?

Kerry Guard: Oh, yeah. So when they have to check those boxes before January 1 struggles real. It's like, yeah, I I totally get it q4 is nuts. And it's just goes by so quickly. So and that balance, you're you're right, I feel you are not alone in struggling with wanting to be, you know, put some seeds down towards those long term gains, especially now, with the sales cycles, being longer, with more channels having to be activated surrounding your audience more effectively. You know, and having to plant those seeds as early as humanly possible. But then at the same time figuring out where that low hanging fruit is, and capturing that and not losing it and moving on it quickly. It's yeah, struggle is real. I'm with you. And with you, I know you're not alone. We're both not alone. In that, let's start to unpack this beautiful bridge that you have built. Because when we talked months ago, now wild hunts ago, in our prep call, one of the things you mentioned is that you were you were actually doing a bit it through in your prospecting in your conversations with sales. You were sort of correct me if I'm wrong, I'm gonna butcher this really hard. And I don't want to get you in trouble with your marketing team by any stretch of the imagination. So so if I get this wrong, absolutely correct me. But you're almost doing your own marketing efforts just on that very localised, personalised level of getting the buyers what they needed, without necessarily like, always having to go to Marketing binders to dry remember that ready?

Alex Titze: Yeah, yeah. And not like I never wanted to, like cut them out by any means. But it just got to the point where I was trying to solve personalization, and like market research on a very local level. And so for me, it just made sense to just do it on my own, I really started to get into like, the analytics side of the buyer journey, and starting to figure out, okay, how can I, like if I sold someone a risk assessment? What's their next most likely service that they're going to purchase? Or like, when's the appropriate time to follow up with them and trying to create as much automation for myself like knowing Hey, this is what I'm supposed to reach out to somebody in the utility field because it's their buying cycle. Just trying to Yeah, I mean, just trying to make it very data driven and how I was able to go out and sell because I am not an extrovert. I am not like, you know, loud in your face type of salesperson that's always wanting to be in front of you. So like, I had to try to make sure that my energy is very focused. I didn't drain myself out. Honestly.

Kerry Guad: I think that's fair. And I actually think buyers probably really appreciate you for not being that way. And I when you're talking about the automation side of it, and you're talking about the personalization, you know, there's it's hard to do both Well, so what Hey, how are you? I know we're diving into the weeds pretty quickly here. We'll pull back up in a second. But I think the House is critical here, because it's where I find salespeople get a bit overwhelmed, potentially or even, you know, because that the automation isn't really supposed to be the thing they do. They're just supposed to be making those phone calls, doing those follow ups and getting folks what they need at the end of the day, while marketing is enabling them to do that effectively. So what was it a spreadsheet that you just sort of had listed of all the people you need to followup with? When did you ever like an Asana or Monday where you sort of put in tasks that repeated on certain days? Like what was sort of your process of reminding you of who those folks were, and when to follow up with those in Salesforce? What was the

Alex Titze: Yeah, I used HubSpot. It was nice. We'd build out the sequences through there. And then what was really cool is like, the ability to micro segment out all of your customers by industry, what they bought their company size, like so you could just kind of in a quick snapshot know, like, Hey, today, these 20 people have about the same characteristics. And they're on the same journey. So my talk track can be repeatable versus trying to always switch gears in your head like, Okay, who am I talking to? What's important to them? Because then two, you only have to read a few new news sources in the morning instead of like trying to tackle everything.

Kerry Guad: So it's so clear now why you're why the marketing team sort of scooped you up because you were already. You know, if you could take that kind of segmentation and automation that you're doing in HubSpot scale that across the organisation, which now also makes sense to me, why you're working with business development and customer success? That seems like a perfect alignment in terms of your capability, and their needs? Is that sort of how that path went for you.

Alex Titze: Yeah, and honestly, it was just the fun part for me. Like, I really enjoyed getting into the weeds on content creation and event planning, and all those things. But I think what was missing for us at the time was that bridge between sales and marketing. And we didn't want to interrupt like our account executives with marketing, you know, style activities. But business development was was easier if we needed to run a market research campaign. Most people are perfect for it. Right, they're hungry. They're always dialling or getting emails, activities rich. And then on the customer success side, it was really helpful if we ever wanted to, like launch a new product, or do betas or get feedback. They're the perfect customer advocate where it wasn't coming across as salesy to get that and then for us on the data side, it was like, Okay, how can I help my CSMs be better at their job? Knowing and like predicting that customer path?

Kerry Guad: It's like this. It's this interesting combination that you sort of found yourself in the intersectionality. So to speak, of sale sales, and marketing apps. Really, is that is that fair?

Alex Titze: Yeah, I think that's super fair. I would not call myself like a creative genius by anything. So I think marketing Ops is a really good spot.

Kerry Guad: So you took so you talked about segmentation. Right? Where you figured out certain people was that that sounds really manual, is that?

Alex Titze: Yeah, it was at first, trying to just learn all the Appspot you know, logic filters and things like that. It was certainly more manual than I think I wanted it to be. But we haven't invest in like a data lake or, you know, different BI tools that can do it for you. So I know there's tonnes of automation out there now that can assist with it. But yeah, at the time, we didn't have these.

Kerry Guad: Yeah, for sure. And so you created the segmentations, you looked at I think this is so interesting, because normally, you'll look at persona stuff, right? So what kind of stage accompany and size and titles and you know, who you want to talk to what messaging you want, and sounds like maybe you did some of that, but more importantly, was where they were in the buying journey.

Alex Titze: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Because I think, you know, building out your ICP is super important, ideal customer profile. And you need to know that and you need to know what like keeps him up at night and how they make decisions. But every one of those people is dealing with a different environment, right. So like for us It was, Okay, have you even laid the foundation for an information security programme? Because if not, let's not sell them all the cool buzzword things that are made for a more mature customer, even though that's probably what they're being pitched by everybody else. So just trying to really understand them at a unique, like individual level was really important.

Kerry Guad: In terms of there seems to be this shift that's happening right now in the universe. And it's been coming for awhile, but I feel like we're all sort of having this like, Aha moment of it's here. And we can all like actually see it in the sense that when leads come in, they should not be immediately sent to sales, no matter how good they look on paper, in terms of checking all the boxes and companies that the ICP essentially, but we're all like, oh, we cannot send them to sales. Yeah, are we? Am I crazy?

Alex Titze: No. I mean, yeah. Because you don't want to, you don't want to scare him away. Yeah, yeah. They may have requested a, you know, a contact form, or they downloaded a resource or whatever. But there's still so much that needs to be understood. If they are ready to make that buying decision. Because yeah, the moment you stick a salesperson like they go into that cycle, and if they're not ready for it, they go away.

Kerry Guad: Yes, Trevor, we're preaching here. We're here for it. We're, I think we also want to be clear thing, now that I see Trevor here, because we've been having great debate behind the scenes around leads, and on gating and leads aren't going anywhere, especially where third party cookies taking, you know, exiting search left and, you know, needing to have an audience that you can work with and cultivate over time. Now. I think we're all at a place of accepting that. It's also that great easy measurement that you can kick up to the exec team to show progress. So leads are here to stay. That's,

Alex Titze: yeah, yeah,

Kerry Guad: We need to capture them. So what happens for you, you know, being this lovely bridge between marketing and sales. Now, how are you thinking about that nurture path of what you get to lead? You don't kick them to sales? We're in agreement there. So what do you what do you do? You can't just let them sit there either. So how are you thinking about this new world order? That's not really new, but kind of new.

Alex Titze: Yeah, I mean, yeah, I think you're right, it's been coming for a while. And our jobs are going to get a little bit more challenging. I think, as there's a I don't know a resistance. Sometimes it feels like to gate content. Everybody wants to make it available. That's cool. You want people to read as your information as much as humanly possible. But as cookies go away, now, I don't know who the heck Reddit? How do I follow them? How do I make sure I stay in front of them? And so you go back to Okay, well, do I get the content? And then what do I do? Right, so Okay, so now I've identified who they might be are now, what campaign? Or what messaging? Do I need to put them in so that I can start to warm them up a little bit more? How can I have that credibility and validation? Around my company and our brand to know that when somebody does finally contact them, that it's not just to sell them something? How can they feel like we're going to add value to their life?

Kerry Guard: And educate? Yeah, right.

Alex Titze: Absolutely.

Kerry Guard: So let's talk about content for a second because it's really like the centrefold of any business really, in terms of success. And we're talking about getting versus on gating. So in your experience of still use the gate and know who people are, what kind of content are you getting? Are you getting everything? Are you being selective? Are you putting more out on blogs, but then longer form behind form? What's sort of your thinking and process with your team?

Alex Titze: Yeah. I mean, for where we are as an organisation, I just want all the eyes possible. So I don't gate almost anything. We will do like an annual write up. That will gate for the first couple of months of its existence, but then, you know, the timeliness of that starts to dwindle. So it's like, okay, well, let's just get it out there for all to see. See, I've always leaned more on the don't get it and hope to God that karma works its way back towards union. Like if I gave me a really good resource they'll want to buy from me. That's not always true, but you can hope for it. Yeah, it's, it's a tricky balance, though.

Kerry Guard: How do you capture that lead that? Is it not content? Is it a? Is it a demo? Is it a contact sales? What's that final? Like? Next step?

Alex Titze: Yeah. I mean, it can be you know, if it's one of our like, you know, more product driven opportunities, definitely trying to get them into a demo, get them to start interacting, maybe do a proof of concept. Otherwise, yeah, it's starting to book time with one of our SMEs along with a sales rep. But really trying to promote the value of like, you get to pick somebody's brain who's an expert in what you're looking for, as the main source of content, but then to the side, we have a salesperson that's going to follow up with you, after we give you all the good advice. How do we start to implement.

Kerry Guard: We do something similar, we have our second call is a strategist call. So we sort of do like a quick call of way to just understand the lay of the land of where you are and what your needs are. So bring the right people table. And then we'll do an hour session with one of our subject matter experts to really like, understand, ask questions. Sometimes we just say we're not for you. Here's all these ideas like you, you got this off you go right, like square peg, round hole, sort of scenario. And so I there is like major power in your people. And getting them in front of customers. I love that. How do your SMEs feel about that? Do you have like a special team that's just dedicated to that? Or do you pull people off of product to like, have a conversation?

Alex Titze: Yeah, so um, depends on the day and how caffeinated they might be. You know, we have a really awesome team. It does become a challenge, though. Like, especially like, as we hit the end of the year where they have tonnes of billable work, it's like, Okay, how much time can we have them spend talking to someone that may or may not lead to revenue. You know, while we want to help everybody in the world, but we got to keep the lights on, we got to get people paid. So it's striking that you need balance both. We're blessed from an engineering side that most of our engineers also have an MBA. So they're not just like tech folks, they actually like to talk about business and implications of that. I've not had that anywhere else. So it's a really nice superpower to have here. But ya know, that we have extroverted engineers, which I have not usually come across.

Kerry Guard: That's, that's a wonderful, unusual combination. It sounds like you have it in spades, so Rock on, and wait to use that to your company's collective advantage. I think that's amazing. In terms of what you're measuring that and so if you're not really getting your, you're letting them tell you, the customer tell you when they're essentially right to talk to an SME and the salesperson, which I think is definitely a way to go. If you're, I mean, but you got to be attributing the success somewhere. So what is that for you all? How do you know you're doing okay?

Alex Titze: Yeah, I mean, for us, when, you know, I've kind of started to narrow down, like, here's the minimum number of people that we need to actually book a time with that SME, knowing the conversion percentage beyond that. So then, because we're not gaining, we know that we just need X amount of unique visitors each month, from, you know, three to four different channels that it will, and it's at least been consistent in the last three months. I can't tell you if it's going to continue to be but we know if we get let's just say 6000 people to visit our site, this month, we know 30 to 40 of them will convert into some sort of contact request. And then from there, we know, okay, maybe five to 10 of those will end up a customer 90 days from now. So, that's Oh, yeah, I mean, it's, it's, uh, but I can, I can tell you this. We don't always know what that look like. The value of that visitor is going to be ahead of time. Because we do so many different services, some are, for sure, more valuable than others in terms of revenue, so it's like, how do you start to de identify or identify that that right customer, that's going to give me the maximum rep. We're still working.

Kerry Guard: Let's talk let's jump to top of funnel real quick because not real quick, we're gonna sit here for a second, I don't want to lie to you all. But you know, we've been sitting in like the bottom of the funnel, the functionality of like how people come in and convert, I think it's important to understand that piece before we talk about then how you activate the top of the funnel. So it's, I would imagine in you tell me in terms of your experience, but I would imagine, if you were to gate everything, it would be a very different strategy. Up top of funnel, if you right, so what's your strategy top of funnel then? If you're not, if you're trying very hard to NOT gate and just have as many eyeballs as possible?

Alex Titze: Yes, we're really active on blogs social, we tried to publish a tonne of like free tools. So like people can go and download an incident response plan or stuff that they can take home with them. Outside of that, a tonne of in person events, like I feel kind of old school in that way that like we're out shaking a lot of people's hands still in like a post COVID world you like? I don't know about that. But yeah, I mean, it's anything to generate awareness on the brand. And that's always hard to attribute that spend back to like, did it work? Did those people come from that event? Sometimes. But yeah, I mean, I think yeah, in terms of top of funnel, it's all about just trying to continue to expand that network, really leveraging our employees to be advocates of the brand, to then drive people to the site and convert that way.

Kerry Guard: So many questions, let's start with employee advocates. Because I find that that's sometimes really hard, especially when you have more introverted it looks like you're on the lucky side, where you got some extroverts over there who are a bit more willing, is that really what's coming into play those SMEs love with those MBAs love getting out there and talking.

Alex Titze: There, there's definitely a few of them that love it. We do have some that like hate social media to its core, I think it's evil. You know, which I guess in their line of work, they see the repercussions of people getting spooked, and things like that. So I get. But we have to do a lot of like, brainstorming with them of like, hey, what do you think about posting, you know, we have to lead them to the decision that they need to post and that it's important and valuable to the people that they're connected with. Because if you just tell them like, Hey, this is what we posted, here's the hashtags, you need to use crickets, like, No, nobody's gonna copy and paste that. They're out on social behaviour. So for us, it's been really trying to activate what's important to our own employees and treating them almost like customers from a marketing standpoint of like, okay, what are they passionate about? What would they be willing to share? Because they have the best content? It's in their head? It's just trying to get them to actually say,

Kerry Guard: Yeah, yeah, that's amazing that that's such a an important piece, right? To not just put a post and a hashtag in front of them, but to actually figure out what they want to be writing about. Are they are you actively then building an, are they building their own audiences? Are they just contributing to the bigger brand? What how when you're talking about employee advocacy? Like what does? Where's the line between the individual built brand building that impacts the company or vice versa?

Alex Titze: Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's for us in the service side business, because I like to say and, you know, I'm sure as my company sees this during you said it again, but in a non human trafficking way, I sell people, right, like then their time and their brains. So to be able to have them be more vocal be more visible is super important for us because it directly ties back to Okay, well, Blue Team Alpha hires really well known educated and giving people and so there is that balance, because you don't want them to like go off in left field and like start talking about their political views and like all the things that they you're not supposed to say around the dinner table. So you have to do some coaching that way. But we're really lucky in the fact that our employees tend to be very mission driven and so they all and they love, the brand of Blue Team Alpha and our founder and what he stands for, and so everybody can I wants to prop that up and use BTA as like a shield that they can go in and use as a platform.

Kerry Guard: That's awesome. I yes to this, I think when you have some wonderful folks who are who want to get out there and talk about it, enabling them and supporting them to do that giving the right platform, I think is just a beautiful approach that I haven't really heard people figure out. So thank you for, for showing us the way, Alex in terms of the top of funnel not being able to really you have to have some sort of KPIs to know that is it the is it the website's visits and engagement? Like what sort of those leading indicators that like, we got enough activity going? We're good? We're gonna hit that six houses?

Alex Titze: Yeah, I mean, we spent a lot of times and our analytics tools of like, what visitors are finding what pages we're trying to work right now on like the chat bot, and using AI to start helping people find their way down their journey without interacting with a salesperson. But yeah, I mean, it all kind of lives on the website, and then our social media engagement, really trying to use LinkedIn as a platform for our buyers. I think some of the changes that LinkedIn is made with the you know, if you have external links, all of a sudden, you're like not showing up. And so trying to like, comb through that. And using LinkedIn, almost as a separate funnel than what we push to our website. Yeah, I mean, all our content ends up being similar. But yeah, for the sake of making sure that it appears on feeds trying to keep it within the platform.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, LinkedIn doesn't really like that you we've and that really big fans of that whole external linking thing?

Alex Titze: Yeah, they got real picky about me recently. So

Kerry Guard: But it sounds like you're almost building to traverse point every year. Especially easy to not easy to do, but is possible with LinkedIn, almost a community around the brand? Is that kind of what's naturally happening through keeping everything in the platform, using content using your app, you're at employee advocates, and then, you know, those profiles in your company page.

Alex Titze: I think that's certainly what we're hoping to build. Whether or not it's there yet, I will see. Ya. But it's been it's been good so far. And it's just it's something different that I don't see a lot of other companies in our space trying to do. So hoping for at least a little while that we have a head start on it.

Kerry Guard: It takes it takes too long. What are your What are you measuring on LinkedIn? Then if you're keeping everything in platform, you obviously don't have, you know, analytics? You can see LinkedIn analytics, although Wouldn't we all love to see that? Oh, what are the the indicators or KPIs that you're paying attention to? On that side? Anything?

Alex Titze: Definitely engagement, right, new followers? Yeah, I mean, those are the two that we really want to track. It's nice to know impressions. But some of that ends up being fluff. So really, tracking engagement, right is the piece of content that we're producing being shared by people other than our employees? Because again, going back to that advocacy, it's nice, but sometimes it can inflate your numbers where it's just like you're selling to yourself internally, like, is it actually making a difference in the market?

Kerry Guard: That's a really good point. In terms of the content you're sharing on LinkedIn is, is it different than what you're sharing elsewhere? Or is it You mentioned having some tools that you have on your website? Do you bring those over to LinkedIn? Are you doing any sort of like, what contents are you leaning into from a LinkedIn standpoint?

Alex Titze: Yeah, it's more tips and tricks, shorter form content, and then reserving kind of the longer form tools for the website. So yeah, just trying to make it's more snack sized. We're working on getting more video content out there. Because you know, as you guys have seen, it's it doesn't have to be over produced anymore, either. Like it doesn't have to be in a studio. Yeah, it's awesome. Like, I follow this, this old sales leader that walks down his block every day and like this does a selfie and like gets 1000s of followers and it's amazing. So it's like, okay, well, why can't we do that? I'm sure you know, RC Don't take a walk once a week. So like, you know, let's just get him on camera.

Kerry Guard: And you're SMEs, too, right? Like if you could just do little interviews like this and showcase them till it's amazing. Going on to LinkedIn live for me, like tripled my podcast numbers. It's been wild. It's and with stream yard, I use stream yard, you can and I think the other tools do this to restream. I think those two were like I had somebody on my show on Tuesday on my founder show. And she broadcasted it out to her audience. So got like this double whammy, and not that I could see her data because it's on her audience. And that's hers. But I could see the comments and the likes and engagement way higher there than on my staff, because it's her audience of people who are following her. Right. So the power of that too, that you just don't account for when you're like, I'm just gonna go live. See what happens.

Alex Titze: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Extending your network through other people is I mean, it's every marketer's dream. If I can get three new visitors like all day long, that's it, is it?

Kerry Guard: Do you think LinkedIn does that? Well, so hats off to you for looking at video. I think it's incredibly, incredibly powerful. What other channels he's got LinkedIn, you talked about the website? How else are you driving to the website, weather channels? Have you activated? It's so it's so mind boggling to me that if you're not gating and it's so hard to measure down funnel, without that, like, are you spending money in media or being really focused on these more intentional on the organic side considering?

Alex Titze: Right now, it's all organic, we don't spend anything on ads or like promotions, things like that. We will at some point, you know, because it does allow, like, once you've built your base, and you are ranking organically, then you can start to add gas to that fire. But you know, at least from my point of view, until you have a fire that's actually going it does you no good to just spend a bunch of money on something that probably isn't going to work and is super competitive. So, yeah, in terms of ads, we don't do anything there. We're trying to build out more of like a Twitter following with that's a whole different persona that's on Twitter, right? It's not a usually not as C suite level person, it's more of our technical champion versus potentially a buyers are trying to do threat feeds and like live updates, that kind of stuff. So much different content going on there. And then starting to stand up use YouTube as well. I mean, the second largest search engine might as well make use of it.

Kerry Guard: Especially if you're gonna lean into video, why not syndicate it? Right? It's easy to do, especially with YouTube. So I love the organic approach. In terms of are you looking at, on Instagram, maybe Instagram threads and Instagram and tip top and all those fancy visual platforms that are terrifying, but also like kind of taking off and we don't always know what to do with it.

Alex Titze: Yeah. I mean, at my last organisation, I think the only person that liked our link their Instagram stuff was my mom. So like, that wasn't really good. It's like, Thanks, mom for your support. But that was and that's not what we're looking for here. You're not gonna buy anything from me. So I don't know I Instagram is like, I think you kind of have to have it. Because you're supposed to we don't really use it very much. we've debated to talk but like going back to, you know, they're stealing all of our data and it's not hosted the United States our our SMEs aren't exactly thrilled to be putting content.

Kerry Guard: That's a fair point.

Alex Titze: Yeah. Yeah, but I've heard great success stories for companies that do b2b sales using Tiktok. I am not a user of the platform myself, so it's hard for me to like be able to dive in and know like what to promote and how to best interact with an audience there. But you know, I'm sure I'll hire somebody younger than me who is a tick tock expert to get paid a lot of money now. I saw a posting for tick tock expert at For I watched it, it was like, well, like, like big brands and it was like $300,000 Starting salary. It's like, dang, I should have learned that. But it's all good.

Alex Titze: Yeah, it is wild. For some companies on the b2b side, maybe not diverse, I think that's fair are having are having great success with with tic TOCs is where buyers aren't, it's a great place to educate, especially if you're doing those shorts or be doing short, fluffy videos already. But I totally appreciate. There's a great debate right now on whether it's going to be banned or not. So until

Kerry Guard: I do find interesting, I hear good things about that. So I'm thinking about dabbling there, because the algorithms haven't kicked in yet. And so there's, it's always easier to see the people who are actually following and the content that's producing versus these other things, LinkedIn, I also meet people and they're producing content, and I don't say literally go to a profile, and look at their latest posts. I don't think about the time so frustrating. So it sounds like is a blessing. So I'm interested in in dabbling, but I think this is a really beautiful orchestration you have tightening up the bottom of the funnel in, in that automation case in that sales piece, not contacting anybody, or even asking for lead until somebody is raising their hand and saying, Yes, I want to talk to SME or salesperson, touch shots. And then it sounds like your your your segments are, they are kind of what they bought, or you're looking to buy, and then doing eautiful, personal automation and HubSpot all the way down from BD into customer success manager.

Alex Titze: They, they certainly seem to enjoy that I'm not flooding them with as many like nonsense leads as they may be used to. So that part's nice, but I think there's always the want from like, CEO is like, Hey, I would really like if you guys did more lead generation, I need more sales leads. Like, I don't know, only good ones.

Kerry Guard: It seems like you've done a really beautiful job of of building this bridge, making your different teams incredibly happy with the way that you've brought the automation into effect that personalization. And that buyers journey. Where are you headed to next? What's your you mentioned trying to figure out more on the website? Is that really a you know, how are you going about that? And what are you looking to accomplish?

**Alex Titze:**Um, you know, I think now that we started to figure out that lower funnel and like sales enablement, we know like, once somebody goes into that, you know, sales world, that they're gonna be taken care of, they have the right cloud, or or they, you know, have that journey light light lined up. Now, it's how do we continue to boost? You know, now that the wheels are starting to turn, how do we continue to add gas? So, you know, doing a lot of AV testing, you know, in our messaging right now to figure out, you know, how to increase open rate, how to get click through rate to continue to, to, you know, skyrocket if, if possible. And then, you know, from there, you know, I kind of like what we mentioned earlier, then starting to explore ads at some point, that doesn't make sense for us now, but, you know, would like to, you know, I think it's a good way to boost that top of funnel. It's not as organic, but you're reaching a different audience. So I think that's kind of where we're headed is how do we just increase overall brand visibility?

Kerry Guard: I think the beautiful thing about LinkedIn is that you can, especially from a business audience, really be able to meet a tonne of people where they are but not everybody uses LinkedIn or isn't as active on it. I find that sometimes I get messages from people I connected with, you know, months ago, that are finally responding to my my message of asking him to be on the podcast or just saying hello, like, I'm not even doing anything. You know, salesy, because that's not what you know. That's not what I'm about when I'm on LinkedIn. It's not my role. So So, I Yeah, so I do think, you know, waiting for that ceiling is super smart, you know, looking at that organic, looking at LinkedIn that way and then figuring out where to go next. And I love that you're talking about segmentation on your website, too. I think that's incredibly thoughtful of how do you learn that now before you start spending money later, so S? Oh, my gosh, I hope I was taking notes because this was fantastic. I mean, it's been the never ending roulette of gating and engaging and like, if you engage them, what do you do? And how do you measure success. And I think this is a really lovely example of how to tie it all together, where to really care about those metrics, what metrics to care about when, and then how you wire up that HubSpot to really kick in for you in the in the long run. So thank you for spilling the tea here. Alex, I appreciate you

Alex Titze: know, I, it's, it's an ever evolving journey. And I am thankful to be around a lot of really smart people. So I will not take credit for most of the thoughts that come into my brain. I learned a lot from my surroundings.

Kerry Guard: So yeah, I mean, what an amazing leap you made. So I'm sure that when you had to walk into that marketing team, it was very much of a, like you mentioned earlier, it's that time to learn. And it sounds like you took it all in. So hats off to you, sir. I want to end on my what I love to call my people first question, because you're more than a marketer. What, in the last few years in the changing of all of the things, post COVID world that we live in? Have you picked up any new hobbies or travelled anywhere new? Have you experienced something that maybe you wouldn't have given? The lock downs and the COVID? And all of like, the, the half glass full sort of feeling of it all?

**Alex Titze:**Yeah. Well, my wife and I, we were lucky enough to have a COVID baby. So that certainly was, was unique. We have to spend a lot of time together that way. You know, family couldn't visit things like that. And so I think in the evolution of that, and being able to work remotely now, so much easier. I just spend so much more time with my family, which is super, super cool. Yeah, I love it. I mean, just before we got on here, you know, my little son and comes running in there, you know, it gives me as well, little head bonk before it goes up and takes his nap. And, you know, it's, it's unfortunate, it took a pandemic for all of us to realise that flexibility is important that you can do your job from almost wherever. But, you know, super thankful, I guess that that happened. Because yeah, I mean, family time would be super, super different. If I was in an office, you know, five days a week, and it hats off to the parents and families that do have to be in an office full time. But I certainly can't imagine a world where I don't get to do this.

Kerry Guard: Oh, yes, I totally agree. We were remote before remote was a thing. And so it's just another day at the office for us. But it's so nice that more people get to really get the benefits of working from home, especially when you have kids. I have two eight year old. So yes to that. I wouldn't trade it for the world of the extra term I've gotten with them. And I'm so grateful for it. So Alex, thank you so much. This is amazing. Where can people find you?

**Alex Titze:**I mean, they can find me on LinkedIn, things like that. I try to be everywhere all at once, because that's what we're supposed to do as marketers, right? You won't find me on Instagram though. Sorry.

Kerry Guard: Thank you all so much, Alex.

Alex Titze: Thank you.

Kerry Guard: Thank you.

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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