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Walking the Messaging/Audience tightrope

Kerry Guard • Wednesday, May 17, 2023 • 48 minutes to listen

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Matthew Ziegler

Experienced Product Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in technical fields. Skilled in product marketing, international marketing and data analysis with a Master of Science (MSc) focused in International Business & Emerging Markets from The University of Edinburgh.


Hello, I'm Kerry guard and Welcome to Tea Time tech marketing leaders.

Welcome back to the show. So grateful you're here.

I had a wonderful conversation with Matthew Ziegler back in q4, sometime. I'm a little out of order. So thank you, Matt, for your patience waiting for your show. I'm very excited to share this episode.

Matthew is a technical product marketer for a company called Claroty. And I've been talking to a lot of product marketers lately. And the thing that keeps coming up for product marketers is messaging. And getting away from talking about your products and your features, and getting more in line with solutions and the challenges that your ideal customer profile has in relation to what problems your product solves.

But Matthew was really interesting because the way he thinks about messaging is this, I don't want to say black and white, but it's the fine line, he walks between speaking to the data of what's actually happening in a way that isn't about striking fear into the hearts of his customers and forcing them to buy based off of that emotion. It's more about informing. And then following up intentionally, and it's this really lovely balance that he strikes.

And we unpack that together. And I can't wait for you to take a listen.

Before we get there a little bit about Matthew Ziegler. He's Director of Product Marketing at Claroty. Claroty is on a mission to secure all cyber physical systems across industrial healthcare and enterprise environments, the extended internet of things as well, their platform is deployed by hundreds of organisations at 1000s of sites across all seven continents. Matthew, in particular, is an experienced product marketing manager with demonstrated history of working in technical fields, skilled impact marketing, international marketing and data analysis with a Master of Science focused in international business and emerging markets from the University of Edinburgh.

And we talk a lot about his background and how it's this wonderful intersectionality of things that he then brings to the table in the way that he sees bringing products to market.


Kerry: Hi, Matt, thank you for joining me on Tea Time and tech marketing leaders.

Matt: Hey, thanks for having me.

Kerry: I'm so excited to have you and what have you I love. I love that you're sitting in New York City right now. And I get to enjoy your view. So thank you for that little gift to me.

Matt: Yeah, of course, always welcome.

Kerry:  Before we get to the heart of our conversation, which I'm dying to dig into. Tell me your story. Matt, what do you do? And how did you get there?

Matt: Yeah, so I'm the Director of Product Marketing for a company called Clarity. We're a cybersecurity company that focuses on protecting cyber physical systems. So basically any digital device that controls a physical process, I guess an example of this could be anything from the PLC devices that control manufacturing processes. Regulate safety controls and power plants and utilities. Medical devices that deliver patient care are building management systems that control things like airflow and temperature and these types of facilities. I've always been interested in technical things, especially on the automation side, you know, I worked for a while in marketing for semiconductor equipment and chemical manufacturing. I did a short stint in industrial printing, always on the marketing, product marketing messaging side of things. So it just kind of was a natural evolution into the cyber physical world.

Kerry: And why why marketing? Like did you choose marketing or did marketing choose you?

Matt: Um, you know, I guess I guess I don't really know how to answer that because I would just go for it. So I guess we could say that I chose it. But if I look back as why I went to school for it, I have no idea. It just it felt natural at the time. And of course I like talking so it was a good fit. But definitely on the technical side of things that you know, I don't know that I would see myself on the b2c marketing in the front

Kerry: Wow, you I don't want to know many people who actually went to school for marketing. So that is that's always very interesting. And you went to school in in Edinburgh for that, or was that for something else?

Matt: That was for something else. So I did my undergraduate and marketing at the University of Louisiana, in the very, very deep South. And I had always been interested in international business. So I figured, you know, what the heck, I should actually go internationally to do an international business degree. So I found a programme at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on international business in emerging markets. So I went went ahead and got my masters there. After that, I decided, well, I have a degree in emerging markets now. I should go live in one. So I moved to India for a little while, and worked at a 3d printing startup. lived all over and gotten around a bit.

Kerry: A little bit a little bit. Are you feel like you're settled in New York? Are you looking like Where can I go to next? What sort of to get that itch? Every few years? I feel like I do. Get that itch.

Matt: Oh, yeah, definitely. Especially growing up the way I did moving every few years. Even as an adult now it's like, okay, when you know, when's the next place, but it's really hard to leave New York. You know, I'm coming up on five years here. Now, it's almost the longest place I've ever lived continuously. So, you know, especially the last two years in the pandemic, you know, it was very like, oh, maybe I should leave New York look for greener pastures, less crowded pastures, but uh, it just ended up being really hard to leave.

Kerry: It's hard to leave. I can attest to that. I can tell you one reason why I left is because my now husband couldn't move to me. You had a green card at Microsoft. And I had had to go to him. And I was like, I never thought I'd leave this place. But here we go. Here we go. Someday, I have an inkling I'll find myself back there.

Matt: Oh, something's always open.

Kerry: I know. Right? It's right there. What a great story. I love how you have this order to business, this dual University background that you got to do it all around the world, in terms of today, and what you're facing with clarity was one challenge that's keeping you up at night, something that you head scratcher.

Matt: Yeah, I guess, as always, in product marketing messaging is a huge one. You know, so much goes into crafting a message that will resonate without just being another voice or being confusing or otherwise alienating the audience in the technical world, just because these products, you know, you're also in the marketing department, finding yourself playing translator, as well as marketer, because you're trying to take, you know, very deep concepts and position them in a way that makes sense so that people actually buying them, not the people that design them. So that's always my biggest challenge. And then, of course, you know, if you look at the the next step of that would be enablement. How do you get your field teams, your sales, your solution engineering teams to carry that message in a clear and consistent way?

Kerry: I have so many questions, which is good, because actually, spoiler alert, this is what we're going to be talking about. One thing you said that, I don't know if it was the alliteration of it, that sticking with me but alienating the audience. It feels easy to do these days, especially with the technical audience who's sceptical already? Is that, is that the case? Or is it just a just sort of natural way of you thinking of wanting to make sure that the message is sort of thoughtful and intentional? Or is it because you have to be extra specially intentional and thoughtful, given who you're speaking to?

Matt: You know, I think it's a combination of all of them. You can alienate the audience by just having an unclear message or having a message that's deemed sort of as you're talking down to them about the technology. On the flip side, you can over promise in terms of what your technology provides. And then of course, you can alienate them through FUD marketing, the fear, uncertainty and doubt, and of marketing, which, you know, isn't maybe applicable to every industry, even though you'd be surprised how many people try and introduce Fudd into the most innocuous of messages. But yeah, that's a really big way to turn people off. I think you must have these pair of shoes or your feet will fall off.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. You know, marketing after school snacks yoghurts? I mean, the idea of your kid growing up to be gotten unhealthy because they didn't have their yoghurt. beds, it's it. I guess it makes sense that people gravitate towards the emotional side of marketing because As you know, especially in school, you're that's one of the things is that people make decisions based off emotion or these other drivers. But that's one of the big ones. So you think, Oh, I'm going to talk on that, because that's going to be an easy way to resonate. But if you go too far, or you tug on it in the wrong way, then it's, it's going to turn people off.

Kerry: I want to see your for a second you're giving me you're giving me a platform to rant for. And I think this is so applicable to drive me nuts. So I'm playing one of the apps you know, I play these games on on apps just to fiddle with. And there's this ad, this one ad that comes up constantly about somebody who has who has cracked the code on how to win your ex back. Oh, yes, I know. This is so I know, Edie uses, like fun marketing all over it of like how to change their mind. And it's, it's so gross. And it's i

Matt: Yeah, it's one of those I just can't agree with you more of like, he is clearly following some sort of playbook that is geared towards, you know, playing into that emotional impact of like, why making someone want to be with you just Oh, yeah. Oh, awesome.

Kerry: Looks like pandas makes marketers look bad.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. I mean, it is really I mean, and it's a bad look.

Kerry: It's a terrible look. And I wish I could like unsubscribe. Describe for certain ads, that would be one of them.

Matt: Yeah, well, and it's, you know, if you hear your a lot of people describe unscrupulous lawyers as ambulance chasers and things like that. And that's really what a lot of fun marketing can be, especially in my world of cybersecurity, when you know, we see an attack happen, or, you know, a ransomware incident or something, people, people use that for messaging, and it's fine to lay out the risks in the environment that you're dealing in, it's fine to convey how IT technology overcomes these risks, but to say, you know, to set the stage with this, imagine you're in a hospital and the lights go out, and you know, your loved one is sitting there in the bed and their medical devices start, you know, blinking on and off because of a ransomware incident. It's it, it feels just wrong, to take that approach towards messaging, but to outline the risks of, hey, medical devices are vulnerable to ransomware incidents, because of connectivity, you know, digital transformation, all of these things that are connecting the physical and cyber worlds around us. Those you know, it's a, it's a, it's still the same, you're getting to the same point at the end of the day that yes, lives are at risk because of connectivity, because connectivity has been done hastily or without cybersecurity in mind. But you're not doing it on a, such a direct level, where you're like, trying to get into the psyche of someone, so they just whip out their credit card. Which anyway, isn't how the buying cycle for most b2b processes work, you've got 20 people involved in the decision. So you know, getting one person to make a snap decision to call you isn't, isn't going to close the deal. Anyway, it just looks bad.

Kerry: From a b2b perspective, especially in cyber and talking to your audience of technical advisors, I'll call them could be C style, it could be if it's smaller company, it might be more of a CTO, whatever gets up but in talking to that audience specifically, it's not an emotional decision for them, is it?

Matt: I'm not usually I mean, a lot of the times especially in the environments that we deal in so heavy industry, you know, manufacturing, whether it's food and beverage, pharmaceutical, critical infrastructure. So energy and water distribution, energy generation, and then of course, healthcare. It can be emotional, just because especially if you're the head of a hospital group, for example. Your entire goal, everything you do is to deliver high quality patient care at the end of the day. Even if you make more money doing it or you save money on your procurement because of better you know, data driven decisions, you're still trying to deliver high quality care. Same with infrastructure, you're trying to keep powering lights on so you know people can live so it can be emotional, but it also is all financial. You know, you want to make your organisation grow. You know, if you're a food and beverage manufacturer, alcoholic beverages for example. Go ahead have a major sporting event. That is your peak time of year. So that's, you know, more more uptime and financial driven. So it really just depends on which part of the buyer you're speaking to. But I guess, long, long answer to your question is it can still be emotional, even if it is b2b, just because of the areas that that are involved.

Kerry: From a b2b perspective in the messaging standpoint, so how do you balance between that emotional side? Wanting to talk, you know, if the audience is making decision that could be emotional? Do you play into that at all? I've said, it's feels like a fine line between how you set up your messaging in that regard? Or do you just stick to the facts?

Matt: Right, yeah, no, I think the it is definitely a balance. And I think, at least from my perspective, I try and lean more towards the facts more towards the straight the value of the solution. So of course, part of that is understanding the environment that it's going into. So the needs of a healthcare environment are different from the needs of an electrical utilities generation, or a food and beverage manufacturer or pharmaceutical manufacturer. So I think a lot of it is just showing them that you understand the applications of their environment, what challenges they face. And then when you start to get into, okay, I understand this environment, I'm conveying the value of what the problem we solve is, the emotional side gets in when it's when you start talking about the implications of not doing it. What are you know, it's great, we can do all these things, we can serve your environment, we can provide this value in terms of continued uptime, health and safety risks to your personnel, just because physical processes affect the physical environment. So what happens if you don't do this? And that's where a lot of people tip in favour of the emotional side is that, you know, there's implications for not doing things, especially in the cybersecurity world. You know, if it's working really well, you don't necessarily hear about it. So it's easy to have it go in the back of your mind at that point, and not want to spend money on it, because well, I never hear about it. Well, it's because it's working, because you've invested in it. But if you don't, here's the areas where things could go awry.

Kerry: And that's yeah, I could see how that would easily play into the emotion and sort of scare people. And that, that sounds like but come into play real easily. If you're talking about things that could go wrong. If you're not, if you don't do this thing that we're telling you to do.

Matt: Right. And I know you said put it aside for a second. But I guess, when you get back to the emotional side, trying to like to convey that to the buyer. It naturally leads back into the foot arena. And I don't mean, you do it. I just meant, yeah. But becomes part of the conversation. The second you talk about emotional buying.

Kerry: Yes. All right. So it sounds like trying to sort of let that question live for the audience. Right? You don't need to necessarily answer that. It's more that. Talking through that, you know, I think when people are normally searching for they have when they start going out and trying to figure out if this is something they need, there's a pattern of search of like why they need this thing or why it sparked or what challenge that they're having for then for you to show up in sort of view that answer. You can peek there, it sounds like you could pique their interest from a high level from that high level intent standpoint, that top of funnel by talking about the challenges they could be having that maybe they haven't spotted yet. But you could do it in a way that's again, not like the world's going to implode if you don't do this thing, it's more of, hey, people are having this challenge. Here's how we fix it. Maybe you're not having that yet. That's fine. So just so you know, if this thing happens, we're over here, and this is what we do. Right? And so it's bringing people along, to ultimately make the decision themselves is really how I feel like the market shifted these last like 510 years. And they don't want the fear factor anymore. They don't want you to scare them into making they don't want this to be an emotional decision. They want to feel in control of making the decision themselves.

Matt: Yep. Yeah. And, you know, one, one really easy way to avoid that is just don't use hypotheticals as much and people and it sounds, I guess, like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people still use hypotheticals. You know, use your imagination. Let's let's paint this really dark picture of what could happen to you. But, you know, people don't need you to stoke their imagination. People have pretty wild imaginations. especially in this day and age, yeah, give them examples of what is happening. You're not, you're not creating this big scary monster, you're showing the one that already exists. And you're talking about, Hey, these are the ways to avoid encountering this big, scary monster. And here's here are real examples of ways that maybe your competitors or people in your industry have faced this. And here's how they overcame it. And if you want to go a step further, here's how we helped them overcome it. But you're using real examples that are not, verifiably not exaggerated. Because when you get into the realm of imagination, it's very easy to exaggerate. So

Kerry: yeah, I love that. No, I think that's a really important distinction. I'm really Yeah, I, I use I wonder a lot which I need. Yeah. And I need to wonder, got a couple of real examples happening around me. In terms of messaging, and fun, some of the things you mentioned, it sounds like it's use case really, that comes into play there of showing up from a use case or a case study sort of standpoint. How does we sort of talked about this when we were prepping? And this is where I'm really curious, because in those use cases, whether it's your use case, or our competitors, or something that's happening in the market, those statistics that show up? It, there's still feels like there's a balance there between showing the information and being clear about it. But also, like not trying to show like you're taking advantage of the situation either.

Matt: Right? Yeah, I mean, you definitely. Well, it goes back to the ambulance chaser thing, you don't want to just because something happened, immediately jump on it. And I think that that takes a lot of restraint for organisations, especially small ones, you know, they because they don't have as many avenues to get the word out there as a large enterprise latching on to these market events. In my world, whether it's a cybersecurity incident, or another industry, it's easier to latch on to those and say, oh, I want to contribute to the conversation happening around this this thing that happened. But if if you're going to be saying the same thing as everyone else, and just trying to get out there for the sake of getting out there, then you're you become associated that, but not necessarily in a helpful way. And I think that that's applicable to to any industry is, I guess, if you're not going to add anything new to the conversation, nobody likes white noise. So it's just, you know, it's just fun. At the end of the day, if you're just parroting the same thing everyone else is saying?

Kerry: Yes, I think there's a lot of that right now, especially as some of these new newer startups in cyber especially are sort of popping up. It's hard to find it feels like cyber is really is a sort of exploding from an industry standpoint. But in Collin in relation to the fact that more cyberattacks are actually happening, and it's this balancing act between building the products fast enough to combat that. And also trying to, you know, build market share and get their name out there. Because if they don't have capital, then they can't keep building to them protect. So it's that endless cycle.

Matt: Right? And it's like playing Whack a Mole with the creativity of people. You know, these malicious actors they you close off one door and they find another so it's, it's staying ahead of the curve in that regard. And you're right there's there's 1000 companies a day that pop up that solve very specific issues in networking.

Kerry: So how do they break through that noise then if they're if they're trying to stay away from ambulance chasing of the news, if they're trying to not fall into the the hypotheticals and scaring people into buying their product? What would you say to those startups trying to trying to find their voice? How? What's something that you sort of wish you knew when you were in that moment?

Matt: Um, I think I hate to use the phrase thought leadership, but contributing to the broader body of knowledge around your field. It doesn't matter if it's cybersecurity or some other tech subject, you know, advertising or manufacturing, just contributing to that broader body of knowledge for your industry, is a really good way to get attention that is unique to you because it's something you've done.

Kerry: I love that. Because it is the Leadership isn't just about, I find that with Thought Leadership, you tend to put out similar information with a different with your own sort of spin on it. Oh, for sure, versus creating anything new. So when you're talking about what you bring to the broader body of knowledge, it sounds like it, you're contributing new thought, a new idea in relation to exactly what it is that you do that nobody else is doing.

Matt: Yeah, definitely. And in the cybersecurity space, I have a great example of this zero trust, everybody's talking about zero trust writing a zero trust white paper, and I've written a zero trust white paper, so I'm not, you know, immune to it. But I don't necessarily know that that's thought leadership anymore. If I'm just putting my spin on zero trust. I'm understand I'm helping contextualise it to our space, you know, what does zero trust look like in an industrial environment in a medical environment? But when I say you know, thought leadership, I do mean, you know, real, something new, what have you researched? Or what has your organisation done to better that space, because it really, it makes the industry better for everyone. And a lot of people, you know, they don't want to write about it, because they're thinking, Oh, I'm giving away my secret sauce. Don't give it away. But you can still talk about how your how you are changing the industry. I mean, if you're gonna put on your website, you know, we're changing the world through this, this and this, talk about how you're doing that in a way that's, that's new.

Kerry: This is an interesting cartoon, because I feel like you there's no harm. I think it builds better trust, if you can sort of give I guess it's a little different in cyber, but I, you know, if you can give away some of your secret sauce to build that trust, you know, if people want to go do it, here it is, here's how you go do it. Chances are, they're not going to know how or want to or have the energy or cycles, so they're going to help, they're going to come to you to essentially make it happen. And for those who are too small, who can't yet then they look, they they'll remember you when the time comes. And then they do need that, right? Because like you gave me this thing that got me started on this journey. And that come back to you and say, Okay, I need you to do this, because I have the funding now for you to do it.

Matt: Yeah, so yeah, exactly. I mean, get out there, submit to conference, submit conference papers, speak anywhere you can, you know, it's it's a slower build, I would concede that. I mean, yeah, you're not going to get on MSNBC talking about, you know, the growth of your company. And Forbes is not going to put you on the cover of their magazine as the next big tech leader, because you submitted a couple of conference papers. But within your circle, you'll become more recognised as that thought leader, a real thought leader. So it really takes getting known in your circle before you start to break out of that I think trying to do the other way around, getting on the front page of forms, so that your circle recognises you is a backwards way of looking at it. And at the end of the day, that big, big time recognition is not what's going to grow your business, I think as much well, like. So when you're talking about startups, you don't need 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of customers, right? You want to, that'd be a little scary if you made that happen overnight. That slow build, because your company is going to build with you. And so really thinking about well, how many customers? Do I need to sustain my business right now? What do I want to grow into creating those those? Those goals? And then from there figuring out okay, who, you know, who are my personas? Who do I need to talk to? What do they look like and then tailoring that message in a way that speaks directly to them in that pain point, right? I mean, if you're trying to speak too broad and too big of an audience, then you're not gonna get the right people who actually want to wait, so how waste?

Matt: Exactly? Yeah, I mean, don't get me wrong. There's definitely a value in, you know, broad media coverage recognition, like PEEP is an example of being on the front cover of a magazine. There's value in that for sure. But if you don't have the credibility in your own field, it's just not going to translate as deeply as it could.

Kerry: Yeah. So in terms of aligning messaging with your audience, layering the that evidence with statistics, and staying away from the hypotheticals and the Fudd Is there anything from a messaging standpoint that you feel like people are still not getting or still doing wrong, so to speak of how they could be doing this better? Or specifically for the cybersecurity audience? I mean, it's very technical. They're not. They see, I feel like they see through inauthenticity real quick. So It's a very hard line to walk when you're trying to get your message out there. So is there anything else where you feel like you've seen something in the market that people need to stop doing and a better solution for them?

Matt: Yeah, um, you know, I don't know that there's any continuous unique problem that I from my position see is, you know, it's more just the same old, know what your product does. And like, why it matters, don't you know how your product works is important to understand, it's important to communicate as well where you can, but the majority of people are not buying your product, because of how it works. It's what it does for them. So truly understanding your buyer. And again, this is not new at all. But knowing the applicability of your product, you know, how it works great. Why does it matter? And keep it clear, keep it concise, like you said, Stay or stay away from the hypotheticals?

Kerry: You know, it sounds like you're talking about not leading with features.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Don't lead with features. And don't lead with the, the F word fluff. We hear, we hear that a lot. And when we're creating messaging is that, you know, you don't want to just have marketing fluff. And that's one of the biggest insults you can get from your sales and field teams is that you're just giving me fluff. So, you know, we try to avoid that.

Kerry: So how do you make it tangible without leading with so much the how and the features relating to how, like how, how is your customer, your prospect going to actually use it set the stage for them, that lets them understand that,

Matt: okay, you know, me, you know, my processes, you know, my stakeholders, you know, what's going on in my industry, I think verticalization is a really, really strong thing these days. Because there are so many technologies out there, so many companies coming out. Not again, not just in cybersecurity, but there's, it feels like and I don't know the numbers behind this, but it feels like there's more companies coming up every day than ever before. And they they solve very specific issues. And some of them claim to solve every issue under the sun. So I think that, you know, nobody, people don't want that generic anymore. They don't want that company that has the broadest portfolio of, you know, 5000 networking solutions to, you know, we can be your one stop shop. They're buying specific solutions for specific problems, and for companies that understand their environment that understand their stakeholders. And I think a lot of it, you know, we see that translating, whether it's in one direction, or the other to the consumer side as well. I mean, as consumers, we also no longer go for generic things. We, you know, we want specialised things, we want that streaming service that just does horror movies, and then a separate one that just does comedy movies. So it's really, you don't know which direction it's coming from. But it's kind of the theme of today.

Kerry: I feel like we grew up in a world and you had a very different childhood, which is glorious. I'm curious how this plays into it. But it feels like in my childhood, and we I grew up, it was very much and my mom's a teacher. So I, I, you know, if you think of a classroom was very much teaching to the middle. And so everything becomes very vanilla, because you're teaching to the kids who all sort of operate in the middle, and you're just trying to get the kids on the edge, you know, keeping the kids who are doing really well from being bored, and just trying to bring the kids at the bottom along enough that they get it so that they can like move on. Right. So when you're teaching to the middle, you're not creating enough variation to allow the kids who are doing really well to flourish and go be up above and beyond. And then the kids at the bottom, you're leaving them essentially behind, they're never going to be successful, you're they're never going to be successful, because you never gave them a chance to learn within their element. But when you can figure out just like we're talking about your audiences, and then how you can teach each persona, right, then you're creating different flavours of information and how you present the information. And technology has certainly helped in that way. So I feel like that's now that we're moving away from teaching to the middle. And we're really understanding humanity and all what we all bring to the table and the differences that make us all up and that no one person is the same, nor are we all going to learn the same right? Then we do want something that speaks to us in a really niche sort of way.

Matt: So definitely we want that curated experience that bespoke message, you know, the, the made for you buying experience. Because there are so many people involved in b2b Buying processes, you know, procurement, finance, security and risk, you know, manufacturing it, all of these people have very different priorities, and they want to know that you understand their priority. And that to you, their priorities, the most important concern, you're telling the same, you know, that to everybody else in the buying process, but understanding their needs curating your message to the buyer, to the persona. Again, it's not new me, people have been talking about, you know, Persona based marketing for a long time. But I think as the diversification grows in the buying process, that really becomes a discipline in and of itself.

Kerry: And it sounds like, you know, in terms of getting specific into the industry, so like, you're talking about pharmaceutical, so if your product, for example, only served pharma, then you don't need to try and understand it finance, as CISOs across three different industries, or four or five, you just don't know how this industry with these folks, what's important to them, it sounds like it's a little easier. You know, from a marketing standpoint, as well to be really intentional, when you can sort of take out too many variables.

Matt: Easier to focus, definitely, but also easier to mess up in the sense that because if you're speaking to a very specific persona, so a procurement buyer in a pharmaceutical environment. They also have very specific verbiage for the way that they they use things or concerns about purchasing things that need to be some level of FDA compliance. And if you go in there, and okay, you're talking about a lot of things, but you don't mention something very specific, like FDA compliance, then they're going to that's, they're gonna notice, because yeah, if you're so tailored to me, how have you missed the biggest thing in my environment? That is unique to my environment?

Kerry: It sounds like you really know your stuff, if you're going to niche down that specifically, like you can't Yeah, so yeah, really, with high level information, you really have to, to your point, be really intentional, specific about it. So more like work.

Matt: Sure, definitely. And it again, it's, it's nice, because you know that you just have to focus on that one thing. So from a focus standpoint, great, I need to learn all I can about this environment. But that also means that you're really setting yourself up to make yourself look like an outsider if you if you get it wrong. The easiest example I always use is if you walk into a semiconductor facility, and call it a plant, or a plant, it's a fan. semiconductor manufacturing facilities are called fabs, not manufacturing plants, not factories. And second, you call it a factory, they're gonna know that you don't deal with semiconductor companies very often do. Yeah.

Kerry: That's so true. Yeah, you gotta have all the lingo down, especially in this day and age where they have a word for everything in every industry, and an acronym to go with it. Right. And

Matt: it's small, like I, I can see that like, all right, icon, it's a factory at the end of the day. But if you're trying to speak to that person, they want to know that they're the only one in your world.

Kerry: Let's, let's end here with this last question, because I think this is cool. Circling back to the messaging piece of it. Is there is and again, I feel like this whole conversation, which has been lovely, it's been around balance of how you balance all these different variables in a way that speaks thoughtfully to your audience that gives them what they need, that doesn't scare them into buying, but make sure you understand them. How do you do that? From a messaging standpoint, how do you create that balance in the way that we're talking? Because one of the things we hear from a messaging standpoint is that you want to be careful to not use too much jargon or too many acronyms or you want to just speak you know, sort of plain English or so you know, as as far as the phrase goes, so in that sense, talking about using the right verbiage, but also being careful not to jargon up your your landing page. What's where's that balance?

Matt: Um, you know, I think test driving it, you know, messaging is a living thing, it's iterative, you put it out there. Internally, of course, after you create it, marketing, product marketing, sure we own messaging, but we don't do it in a silo. So talking to product management, talking to your field teams, you know, ask them how they're selling it, because just because you know you're creating it doesn't mean you shouldn't take that feedback from the field because they know what works when they're in front of a customer. So test driving it with your field with your internal development teams. Understanding that's it's an iterative process. And that you can you can adjust as you go, is really the best way in my mind to find that balance. Because of course, yeah, I've been doing this for years now. But that doesn't mean I'm the authority on it, there's always something new out there. So my word is not the word on messaging this product. And I think it's just important to understand that and go in with that very collaborative approach to messaging. And in terms of targeting, you know, your landing page, if the landing page is for a specific buyer, jargon the heck out of it. In my opinion, if you're, if you're sending something to a procurement guide, a pharmaceutical company, a specific campaign, make it look like it was made just for him. You know, if if somebody lands on that landing page that's totally outside of your buyer, buyer realm, they're never going to be a customer. And this is just my opinion, they don't, you know, if they don't understand it, they don't understand it, they're never gonna buy it from you anyway. Because they somehow landed on your landing page, you really want to speak to your customers. I like I understand that sounds could sound a bit self destructive, depending on the on the business. So if you have a broad buyer base, by all means, don't do that.

Kerry: Right. But I but when you're talking about specific landing that like you specific personas, specific people who are buying a specific thing, get specific. And in a way, that's not your whole website, but it's segments and landing page that it doesn't even necessarily need to be connected to the rest of your website just yet. It could just be for paid ads, where you know, you're targeting these people to come through this process to make this decision. And this is how far they are in the in the funnel, right and test video pages, you can test it out really easily. So actually, it's iterative.

Matt: Yeah, totally iterative. I also think it's the beauty of technology has brought us and brought us to a place where we can get more personalised in this way that we didn't really have before, we had to have this sort of catch all environment. And thanks to segmentation in the right, Marta, you can be really intentional. And I, I love that. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for this conversation. I do. I do think it's been this balancing act of everything we talked about came back to how do you balance these variables to ensure the right messaging to the right audience? In a really intentional, thoughtful way, is there anything that we missed or that you want to add just after sort of experiencing the conversation that you one last thing you want to say?

Matt: Yeah, no. I think the it all comes back to show restraint in your messaging, you know, it's okay to tell your to tout what makes you unique, what makes you different? You know, I get I've had some people come to me and say, Why are you so afraid to say we're the best? And it's, I think we are the best, but just saying it doesn't mean anything, we have to be able to prove it and we have to have the restraint enough to to know that we have to prove it before we can say it I think that's

Kerry: I love that no thank you so much before we close out here, you are you know, even though you chose marketing or marketing shows you you are more than a marketer and more than a product marketer. So, I have three quick questions for you to round out our conversation here. The first one is Have you picked up any new hobbies these last few years given the change of things.

Matt: No. Anti-climactic. But no, I think I've just doubled down on the the ones I always enjoyed. I cook a lot I bake a lot. I guess if you consider coming up with ad hoc business ideas on the backs of napkins, then sure I've done a lot more of that these past two years. You know, game, meeting with people I know gaming it out thinking what would we do if we did this? How would we do this? Yeah, maybe that's become a hobby just fantasising about all the different businesses you could one day start.

Kerry: Yeah, that's super fun. I would totally enjoy that sample. question for you is you're in the office right now just so cool. And we got some folks there that are part of your team. If you all were brainstorming, or maybe you're just walking around and meeting people and saying hi, or seeing what they got going on what music would you want playing overhead, sort of set a vibe.

Matt: Oh, that's tough. So one thing, especially in these in these mixed environments, when it comes to music, I always think is fun is to just tell everyone to pick one song and put it on. So like, make a playlist where everyone just contributes one song that way, it's like, Alright, you're gonna, you're gonna get some that are, you know, not your taste at all. You're going to put on something that everyone's going to hate. But at least everyone's like, Oh, cool. This is like, you know, we're not setting the mood to everybody at once. We're just letting everyone contribute to the moon. It also it's a nice way to have to get to know people.

Kerry: I love that what would be what would be your song? What would you contribute?

Matt: Oh, boy. You know, I always think about whatever whatever thing you're stuck on right now. I'm a big fan of prog metal, so probably anything by a band called Gojira. It's definitely would not be everyone's taste, I'm guessing. But yeah. That's exactly.

Kerry: Videos playlists. I love that. Man. Totally steal it. Last question for you. If you could travel anywhere in the world without long lines, vaccination passes, COVID testing getting sick, which is a totally a thing right now. Is none of those things were an issue. Do you go to why?

Matt: You know, I've always wanted to go to Germany. And I know that that's not like the most imaginative answer. Of all the places I've been it's always been circling around Germany, but never actually haven't gotten there. So yeah, that's where I would probably go right now if I could.

Kerry: Especially right now with all the holiday markets, they have the ability scores versus markets would be

Matt: Something Yeah. I was saying when we first chatting before we started recording. You know, winter is my that is my comfort comfort zone. So if I can be in the mountains right now and Germany with a mug and a sausage, I'd be happy.

Kerry: Love it. I love that. Thank you so much. This was this was an absolute joy. So grateful.

Matt: Thank you for having me.


That was my competition with Matthew Ziggler. If you'd like to get in touch with Matt, please head on over to LinkedIn. His link is in the show notes. Thank you so much, Matt. What a joy. I'm so grateful. So grateful for the conversation. And thank you listeners for hanging out with me again. I'm always grateful to have you. If you liked this episode, please like subscribe and share.

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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