The Best Performing Marketing Channel That No One Ever Talks About (From The Seeking Wisdom Vault)

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Best Performing Marketing Channel That No One Ever Talks About (From The Seeking Wisdom Vault). The summary for this episode is: Real talk. If you don’t care about internal marketing, you might be missing out on a golden opportunity. Tune into this throwback episode of the Swipe File for a timeless marketing lesson on the importance of internal marketing. You'll learn what it is, how it helps you amplify your message (inside of the company and out), and one thing you can do to take action with internal marketing today.

DG: Hey, what's up everybody. It's DG back for another episode of the Swipe File. This one we're digging in the crates a little bit. There's so much content out there that we've had. We've got to do better republishing it. So Molly, who does all the behind the scenes on the podcast hit me up and she's like," Hey, let's do a throwback episode of some really good stuff." So this episode that we're bringing to you now is all about the power of internal marketing. Internal marketing, I think it's the most important marketing channel that nobody ever spends time thinking about or talking about. And it can have a huge impact on your business. For us, we've turned hundreds of people that work at Drift into advocates for our brand, and it's made a big difference in our growth and our visibility and awareness in the market. And they've become, honestly, the most important member of our marketing team is all about people who don't do marketing at Drift, but are advocates of our company. So I'm going to talk about some of our internal marketing secrets. I think you're going to like this episode, it's super practical and tactical. Pull over, take some notes. Here we go. The most important marketing channel no one talks about, internal marketing. This one actually inspired by a tweet from my guy, everyone's favorite Drift customer, Tom Wentworth, who is the CMO at RapidMiner. He was a CMO at Acquia. He's just done a bunch of awesome stuff in his career in marketing. I look up to Tom a lot and have learned a lot from him. So, when he tweets stuff, I read it. And so you should check him out with his Twitter @ twentworth12. I think it's 12. I'll double check that. But anyway, he tweeted, I saw this tweet from him. He said," The best performing marketing channel that no one talks about is marketing internally to others at your company." And I wanted to jump up and down because I'm not kidding, this is something that I talk about so much with our team here at Drift. This is a really important topic to me. It's helped me a lot in my career early on so far. And I think it's something that people don't appreciate or think about enough. So I want to spend a couple minutes and talk about that today on Marketing Monday. So, I feel like one out of every four articles in marketing is about marketing and sales alignment, or people not understanding marketing or not getting the value of marketing. And so I think like, you're just crazy if you're in marketing today and you don't go in knowing that. I think so many people have a blind spot, which is like," Oh yeah, I do marketing. Everybody gets marketing." No, you have to retrain yourself. So listen to this episode today, starting today, retrain yourself that no one, just take this approach. Nobody gets marketing and nobody cares about what you're doing. Okay? If you have that mindset, then that's going to completely change the way you do marketing, right. Internally and externally. So I could do a whole podcast on an externally, Steven Pressfield says," Nobody..." What does he say? What the hell is? I'm having a blank... What is it? What the hell is the name of his book? This is why I need... I need, like, I need a producer or somebody who could tell me right now. It's like, nobody gives a shit. This is ridiculous. I'm recording this on a Monday. I got to find this book. Hold on. Can you bear with me for a second? Oh," Nobody wants to read your shit." Right? Okay. So I love that mindset because that mindset changes everything you do. So he, Steven Pressfield, I'm just going to talk about now. So Steven Pressfield, famous author wrote a million books and he used to work at an ad agency. And while he was at the ad agency, he changed his mindset to, you have all these clients. If you're at an agency, you have all these clients who think that their thing is the best thing since sliced bread, right? And your job at an agency though, is you have to create great campaigns for this company, but you also have to push back on them and say," Hold on, nobody gives a shit about this." And so I love that mindset. We'll talk more about that. But for today, I want to talk about what it means internally. So this is something that I learned early on in my career. I learned this at... I started off at a PR agency. And when you're in a PR agency, you basically have to always be merchandising your work. That's the term that I always used, merchandising your work. And you have to do it because you have a client who is busy. They're busy as hell. You maybe have one call with them a week, one 30 minute call where somebody is probably looking at their email while they're talking to you. They're not fully engaged. But they're paying you a lot of money. And so your job is to always be showing value. And if you only showed value on that 30 minute call every single week, that contract wouldn't get renewed the next month or the next year, whenever it was up, because you need to always be showing... The last thing you want to do is have somebody be like," Huh, I wonder what that PR agency is doing for us." Right, like you need to always be preempting that. You need to always be top of mind and letting people know the value. And so I was able to learn from a bunch of awesome people there. And I learned that like, you always need to be proactively sharing what you're doing and what you're working on." Hey, I just saw this article. Here's how we're responding."" Hey, we're working on this blog post based on this thing that we saw you guys tweet."" Hey, this other article came out. So we're going to write our version." So you always have to be doing that stuff proactively and explaining why you're doing it. And then, so I took that and then I went to a bigger company, Constant Contact, at the time they probably had 1500 people. And I started to learn that internal marketing was such an important piece of the job. I started to look around the company and look at the people who were really well known within the company, well- respected within the company, had a lot of power within individual teams in the company. And it was because they were able to go and talk to other people around the company. And they were always presenting in front of other people and showing," Hey, here's what we're doing. And here's why it matters." So I took that with me. And when I started at Drift, I was really the first full- time marketer at the company in a team of, I don't know, there's probably like seven or eight other people. Majority of them were a couple of designers and... It was basically a couple of designers and all engineers, that was the team, and one product manager. That was the team. And so I went in there as the only marketing person at a company, who had for about a year, only had engineers and designers. And so from day one, we do this thing every Friday at Drift called Show and Tell, where every department goes around and shows kind of what they did that week. And this was back in the day at Drift two years ago, there was only one person in marketing and there was only one person in sales or there's only one person here. So it'd literally be us around a table. It's much less formal than it is today, sharing what we did that week. And that's when I started to make it like," Okay, brand new at this company," thinking about my first week," I'm brand new at this company. And the big thing I did in the first week was I wrote a blog post," right? That's how I could have positioned that at Show and Tell. That first Friday, getting up in front of a team of people who have no idea what marketing does, that are skeptical about marketing people. Why are you hiring a business person? There's a team full of engineers and designers, right? So I could have gotten up in front of a company and said," Hey, today this week, so I want to tell you guys about what I did this week. The big thing I did this week was I wrote a blog post and I tweeted four times." Right like, think about how that would have gone if I just said what I did, right. But what I did was tell a story. This is so important. So instead of saying," Hey, here's what I did." I told a story for us. I said," Look, how do you all," like I'm making this up, but I'm guessing this is probably what it was, right. Which is like, I'll tell you what I think I said or what I would say now, which is like," Hey, how do you all buy from businesses today, right? You probably have some type of relationship with them first. You start listening to their podcasts. You start reading their blog, right? Well, today at Drift, we had no blog. Or prior to this week, we had no blog. So we launched our blog and we published our first article. Here's why this matters." One, boom." We're trying to go after marketers. So we want to talk about X, Y, and Z," two. And so you're able to build up this story as opposed to getting up in front of the company and saying what I said earlier. And so ever since then, like we have used the marketing team as we've grown, we've used Show and Tell on Fridays as an opportunity to show what we're doing. And it's even more important now. Now there's 130 plus people at Drift. And I love that because I actually think that, I really do fundamentally believe that every single person's job at Drift is marketing, right? The more the company grows. I get so excited, not just because we're growing, but because every new person that comes to the company, that's another LinkedIn profile. That's another Twitter page, that's another Instagram account, right? That's all more channels from one person that can help amplify our message. And so it's not just to get people to care about what you're doing as a marketer, but it's to get them to care so then they can go and help amplify your message, right? If you can't get the people inside of your company bought into what you're doing, there's no way you're going to be able to get the world to do it. So that's what I think about a lot is, I really care a lot about internal marketing. And I think about," How can I get people here fired up?" And also it helps you tell your story instead of pressure testing your story for the first time out to the world, to customers, obviously that is what matters the most. It's going to be a different reaction. I treat the internal presentations that we have here as a big deal. As like, I am going to tell the world about this and could somebody just take this right now and share it externally and would customers care and would they understand? That's the level of thinking that I try to put in, and it doesn't mean that I'm spending hours on something. But it just means that like, if I'm going to get up in front of the company, I want to talk about why we're doing something and why it matters because it's going to be a better a much better response if I can get 130 people here at Drift bought in, because they're going to help amplify it, they're going to sell it better. They're going to get our customers more excited about it if they're on the customer success team, right? The product team is going to get more excited about building more stuff. It really does matter. And I think it goes far beyond like just getting a message out to the world. So that's what I want to leave you with today, which is like, think about what you're doing in marketing and how can you do a better job of explaining why that matters to the rest of the team? And even in Drift today, our marketing team, we try to be very transparent. We have a kind of a guideline for marketing, which is like, we call it, show your work, which is basically you can't just show your work at Show and Tell on Friday, you're expected to show your work every single day. And that can just be sharing a screenshot or a quick video in Slack, but everyone's always expected to be sharing their work. I think that goes a long way to sharing what the marketing team is working on, so it should never be a mystery. So A, we share our work all day in Slack, so anybody can see it as we're working on stuff. But then B, we also spend a bunch of time before launches, whether it's at Show and Tell or a dedicated meeting, to get the rest of the company fired up. We say, we even go to the level of like," Here's the headline we're going to use," right?" Here's how we're distributing this. Here's what we expect. Here's what we think is going to happen. Here's the big story that we're trying to tell." So then everybody leaves that meeting being like," Yes, I'm fired up for the launch tomorrow. I know what everybody's doing." And this is actually, if you go back to the very first episode of Marketing Monday, I talked about how we took over LinkedIn and generated 300,000 views without spending a dollar. And it led to our biggest traffic day in Drift history. And the reason why that worked was because the Friday before, if you listen to that podcast, I talked about the Friday before at Show and Tell, we got the whole company bought into why we're going to do it. And so then when on Tuesday morning, we actually launched this thing, everybody was excited to go and share our message and to go and share their own videos on LinkedIn. So it all started with internal communication. So going back to Tom's tweet from the beginning, Tom, love you. I can't stress it enough. I think you hit the nail on the head like, if you don't care about internal marketing, then you're doing it wrong. And I think that's going to be a limiting factor in how much you can grow your career. How much you can grow your marketing team, just you as an individual marketer. You have to be able to show back to the rest of the company, why you're doing what you're doing. Because it matters. And people want to know, or like Elias, our founder and CTO, always trolls me, which is like," I know your tweeting."" He just tweets all day," right. And he's trolling me because he can do that. But he knows the value of marketing. That's a joke because that's what it is at so many companies. It's like," Oh, the marketing team just tweets," right? Yeah. Or," They just write blog posts." And so you always have to think about the why, the same way you'd go back and explain the why to the rest of the people that are interested in your business. So look, think about internal marketing. I want you to get one thing out of every one of these Marketing Mondays, you don't have to agree. You don't have to necessarily do it, but I want you to take one thing away. One new thing to think about, one new thing to go out and try. So this week, your mission is to go out there and just try to do a better job communicating with the rest of the team, why you're doing what you're doing. Maybe if you've never done this before, do this. Buy the team lunch, do a Lunch and Learn and say," I'm going to talk about what marketing does at our company," right? Not about a specific campaign, not about something that you just did. Overall, here's what marketing does." Hey, this is Janet. She does events. This is Amy. She does video. This is Dan. He does demand gen. Here's what they all do. Here's what we're working on right now." Give them a sense, right? Open up the door to your marketing team. I promise you, you're going to start to get more people bought in. And the next thing that your biggest challenge after that is going to be, you can't give the rest of the team content fast enough. They're always coming up to us now," What can I promote? DG, how can I help promote this," right? That's the culture that you have to build in order to win today. So thanks for listening. I'm looking at my notes because I want to make sure that I give Tom Wentworth some love. So go shout out twentworth12 on Twitter and say," Dave Gerhardt is trying to make you famous because you have great advice about internal marketing." Hey, what's up everybody, it's DG. And I hope that I'll see you at Hypergrowth in San Francisco. It's November 18th. The venue is amazing. We were there last year and it's going to be even better this year, but I want to hook you up as a loyal listener of this podcast. So if you use my code, swipefile99, you'll get a huge discount on a ticket. It's something like 300%, 400%. I don't know, not a math guy. But you'll get a huge discount and we'll see you there. I'm going to be there. I'm flying out to San Francisco. I think I'm going to MC that day. So I'll be there. It's going to be an amazing day. Lots of learning. If you're in marketing, if you're listening to this podcast, you got to go. Okay? Hypergrowth, San Francisco, November 18th. Use my promo code, swipefile99. And you can go and get your ticket at hypergrowth. com. That's pretty simple. See ya.


Real talk. If you don’t care about internal marketing, you might be missing out on a golden opportunity. Tune into this throwback episode of the Swipe File for a timeless marketing lesson on the importance of internal marketing. You'll learn what it is, how it helps you amplify your message (inside of the company and out), and one thing you can do to take action with internal marketing today.