"Join over 25 million other readers that have been educated and inspired to transform their life and business"

How to Manage a Virtual Global Business (Episode 93)

Jason Gladu is an operator by nature. He is President at Avani Media, one of the fastest-growing demand generation and marketing agencies in the US, and an expert in Content Syndication and B2B marketing. His company helps firms of all sizes – from startups with series-A funding to Fortune 200 companies – gain clients by developing targeted and personalized campaigns.

He is constantly engaged in the “War for Talent” – seeking the best talent to raise the profile of content marketing as a whole.

Jason has been in digital marketing since 2009 working for companies like Spiceworks, Ziff Davis, and Mindshare.

In addition to running Avani Media, he speaks on podcasts and at conferences, usually on demand and lead generation, and invests in commercial real estate.

Traffic Guide

Free Download

The Ultimate Guide to Website Traffic for Business

 

What you will learn

  • The importance of company and team culture
  • How to manage a virtual global business
  • The best platforms for distributing content for B2B
  • What the “dark funnel” for lead generation is
  • If the lead funnel for demand generation isn’t a straight linear process what is it?
  • The importance of communities for driving sales

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:03 - 00:02:00

Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have with me, Jason Gladu who's from Nashville, Tennessee currently. I'm from Sydney, Australia and I love these conversations and all around the world where we get to chat in high definition and discover the secrets and secret sauce of what entrepreneurs do in their business and find out where the idea came from. And we also want to try and find out what they learned along the way and what they can bring back to the world. So, Jason isn't operated by nature. He's the President of Avani Media, one of the fastest growing demand generation and marketing agencies in the US and an expert in Content Syndication, and we're gonna talk more about that later, and B2B Marketing.

His company helps firms of all sizes - from startups with series-A funding to Fortune 200 companies to gain clients by developing targeted and personalized campaigns. He is constantly engaged in the “War for Talent”, we've been talking about, this is finding good people. It's a challenge at the moment. We don't know why but we're gonna talk about that. Trying to seek the best talent to raise the profiles of content marketing as a whole. Jason has been in digital marketing since 2009 and working for companies like Spiceworks, Ziff Davis and Mindshare. In addition to running Avanti Media, he speaks on podcasts and conferences when you can get to those during the pandemic and usually on demand lead generation and invest in commercial real estate and we might have a chat about that too. I've done that recently. He also likes to talk about wine and whiskey and soccer. So that's very strange, Jason, that you actually want to talk about soccer and you're from the USA and yeah, I noticed you haven't called it football. So that's a dead giveaway.

Welcome to the show. Jason.

Jason Gladu

00:02:00 - 00:02:10

Thanks for having me, Jeff. No, I played soccer for, gosh, probably 5, 20 years and I’m a Liverpool fan.

Jeff Bullas

00:02:11 - 00:02:44

Okay, I do watch the Premier League a little bit. Not much. So what's fascinating about football is that there are many different flavors of football, almost as many as ice cream really. So because you've got the NFL and you have world championships in America. That's what I really love that the fact that the world championships in America for the NFL. And we never get invited to actually be part of your World Championships,

Jason Gladu

00:02:44 - 00:02:50

World Championships for teams that are just based in the US is what it seems like, which is always an interesting concept.

Jeff Bullas

00:02:52 - 00:03:16

Yeah. So, anyway, this by the way, it's just an observation I've had over the years about the world championships, but Jason what got you into Avani Media and well, what got you in a digital marketing? That's maybe the best place to start. Was that an inspiration that came to you in a dream? Was a friend over a beer, I don't know. How did it happen?

Jason Gladu

00:03:16 - 00:03:57

Yeah, I think I sort of fell into it. I, you know, in college it was learning about marketing and advertising. What's interesting is really journalism. I went to school for journalism, that was sort of what I ended up or thought I was going to do, realized that maybe I had better gifts of math and maybe some creative juices, but ended up kind of stumbling into demand and when I worked at Mindshare, it was sort of on working with clients in Facebook's sort of alpha stages of their advertising platform and that was sort of what hooked me.

Jeff Bullas

00:03:57 - 00:04:01

Okay, so tell us a bit about my Mindshare. What do they do?

Jason Gladu

00:04:01 - 00:04:34

Yes, so Mindshare is a massive advertising agency and when I was there they were still very large, they're owned by one of the whole thing, major holding companies and I ended up, we're working on a for a German software company called SAP. That was the client that I cut my teeth on and mainly I was brought in to do a lot of the grunt work with reporting and sort of fell into content syndication and media and programmatic reporting at that point.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:34 - 00:04:55

Okay, so because the whole media industry has been sort of totally disrupted by social media, hasn't it? So, when you were at Mindshare, it was pretty early on, I think in social media wouldn't have been, Is that correct?

Jason Gladu

00:04:55 - 00:05:47

Yeah, yeah, it was, I think social media was sort of just getting, you know, it’s that 2008-ish, 2009-ish period, right. We're sort of just getting its foothold from a revenue and advertising perspective, because up until that point, most of them from a social media perspective, I didn't care about making money or really focus on revenue and so the revenue products were an afterthought. And so this was around that time and then I think you look at like 2000 and I was probably 2012 when the Facebook started carrying a little bit more about advertising and looking like FBX, which was their extended programmatic offering, they bought at exchange and, and some of those things.

Jeff Bullas

00:05:48 - 00:06:09

It was certainly 2013, 2014. I noticed that the algorithms changed and that was shortly after Facebook floated when public and of course public shareholders don't want to buy a company that actually doesn't make money. So,

Jason Gladu

00:06:09 - 00:06:29

Yes, which will be interesting with a lot of the, uh, I feel like there's a lot of the specs that are taking companies public now, that have, that are worth more than a lot of, you know, you're seeing people at least TV carmakers going public and being worth more than every other US car manufacturer combined and they have no revenue.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:29 - 00:06:44

Yeah, well, this one interesting fact. I totally, I noticed that actually the other week is that the magic competitor Tesla, which is worth and the worth next north of a $100 billion dollars now, has sold 56 cars.

Jason Gladu

00:06:44 - 00:06:48

Yeah, like a proof of concept.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:48 - 00:07:46

Yeah. So I think I might do that, I might launch a proof of concept and so I'm a competitor to Tesla and raise maybe 150 billions. Yeah, yeah, it's interesting. I think there's gonna be a lot of pain down the track with quite a few of these companies that... and there's a move certainly in the startup area because I've been involved with over 10 years with a startup in New Zealand called Shuttlerock. And it's, I think there is a move definitely towards startups that are 10 years old now, but actually a raising money because it's gone way beyond proof of concept. I've actually got predictable revenue streams and predictable business models that are much easier to put a value against it. There is so much money washing through the world chasing any opportunity that moves almost, isn't it? It's really fascinating to watch.

Jason Gladu

00:07:46 - 00:08:11

It is and I always wonder if, or when the market will start to value cash flow or you know, actually producing a profit rather than companies just burning millions of dollars a quarter. And I think, I think that that will also be an interesting, if that tide changes, which I hope it does.

Jeff Bullas

00:08:11 - 00:08:16

Well I think it will. I think when the music stops are just wondering what's going

Jason Gladu

00:08:16 - 00:08:16

to happen.

Jeff Bullas

00:08:16 - 00:09:30

Yeah, it's just when the music stops. And we were talking a little bit about Ray Dalio from Bridgewater and his “Principles'' book and his all new one on the principles of three phases of internal conflict within nations, external conflict within nations and then capital markets and what's going to happen the future based upon centuries of cycles of empires and power. And so that's a book I just started reading and we talked a little bit about that before we got on the show, but it's going to, we're living in interesting times with the pandemic sparking things and stopping things.

So let's talk a little bit about content. So you were at IDG, you were doing content, you did journalism. So contents obviously an important part of your psyche and what you think about. So let's and I noticed in one of your notes, some of your notes, it sort of took the importance of getting your content in the right places. Can we talk a little bit about that and content syndication? What's important for B2B League and demand generation? That would be interesting.

Jason Gladu

00:09:31 - 00:10:01

Yeah, I think that it's really important when we think about content, right? To think about what's the purpose of the content, right? It's sort of, it goes without saying. But what are we really trying to achieve and who is it for? And what part of the journey there is on? Because not not everybody's on the same stage. It's not as linear as a funnel as, you know, as much as we'd like to put it on a beautiful slide and make it look very clean and simple. We know that's just not the case.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:01 - 00:10:08

It's more like, I think I've, the term I use for content is not the funnel. It's like a Matrix.

Jason Gladu

00:10:09 - 00:10:31

It's, you know, it's this very, the Matrix is a really interesting, I just have like this vision in my head now of it, which is really spot on because it's not linear. It's and I think attribution is a whole another conversation because that causes a lot of challenges when you're trying to produce content and think through what

Jeff Bullas

00:10:31 - 00:10:34

What was the first point of contact? Where did that come from?

Jason Gladu

00:10:34 - 00:10:36

Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:36 - 00:10:43

Evolution. Which is what you talked about is where did the first touch point with my company happen?

Jason Gladu

00:10:44 - 00:12:11

Yeah. And then what's the one that sort of flip the switch or move them to :Oh yes, now I now I really want to be, now I want to talk to that company” And I think as much as we, you know, in marketing want it to be like, “Oh, well they they saw on social or Facebook and then they downloaded a white paper and then they so a case study that went to a webinar. Like we know that there's so much that happens outside of the attribution software or outside of the, I think the term now a lot of folks using is, the dark funnel, right? What's happening in gated communities and social that you can't track and don't see and, you know, the whole concept of brand driving and really being a very big kick start for your demand engine, I think, is there's something there, but I was just back to the content piece. You know, part of it is what we see often done is just putting the same content piece on every piece of social platform on every B2B publication. And it's, I think that while that makes it easy, and that it's very easy to replicate. I think it's all about making sure that that content and sort of the way that it's being presented is natural for that audience and for that publication or social network.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:12 - 00:13:08

Yeah, it's the term I used to use was, in terms of marketing, for me, initially was a multiple number of social media channels rising a blog website. I challenged people to be ubiquitous in other words to be everywhere that's easier said than done and when it was all manual as it was before automation crept in the evil automation we have today. How much automation is enough? When is it bad? When is it evil? When is it tiring? When is it? Yeah. And so being ubiquitous is very important with content but then you've got to create it and then you've got to spread it and you mentioned the term which I found interesting. I hadn't heard it before. The dark funnel. What's the dark funnel?

Jason Gladu

00:13:09 - 00:15:00

So the concept is that attribution software you know and all the companies that sit in this sort of marketing attribution CRM world want to try to define attribution. And there the theory is, is it first such attribution? Can you build this attribution model? But those only consider touch points that you know of and so you know I think Gartner and Forrester and everybody's come out with research saying. And in the B2B world, buyers especially in the IT space do 70-plus% of their research before they reach out to a company. We want to engage with some of that content. Well so where is that happening? What are they doing? And the theory is it's all being done in places that marketing attribution software can't track and can't see like LinkedIn communities or Facebook groups or meet up places like, you know, back when there was in person meetups, right? Just places that marketing attribution can't look at and you can't measure as well. And so it's sort of, I think it's saying, you know, it's really easy to say, let's put more money into advertising, let's do more SEO or not, etc. because we can see that, hey, they clicked on the ad, then they went and bought or they search something on Google and then ended up on our demo page and converted to a demo. But what got them there? It's not, it's not as if like, yes, they had high intent because they search your keyword on Google. But what were the things that, what were all those things they did to, you want to get to that point? And it's just not as easy as, a marketing attribution software lead you to believe.

Jeff Bullas

00:15:01 - 00:15:20

Well, yeah, it isn't easy. It isn't this linear funnel and it is messy. It is incredibly messy and it's almost like, can I get a bucket of martin throw it against the surrounding walls that I live in and let's see if they stick and can I measure that?

Jason Gladu

00:15:21 - 00:16:32

Yeah. And I think, and I think when I think about the dark funnel and just some of the concepts, I can't help but think, as we talk about just strategies, whether that's on social or paid strategies even. A lot of, I think a lot of marketers and I don't necessarily blame them. But you want to try a strategy, you want to try a publisher, gonna try a tactic and you try it for a week, two weeks to a quarter, and then like, it didn't work right because the marketing attribution didn't pick it up. But I heard something that was, it was from YouTube. So I think it's something like to get your average to get 1000 subscribers on YouTube. On average, it takes 156 videos, right? So like that's, you know, that's a lot of videos you've got to put together 1000 subscribers. And if we had data like that, he said, hey, to really start seeing meaningful results on Linkedin, it takes, you know, it takes a, it takes, you know, 72 posts, right? People be like, “Oh, I haven't, I posted twice on my Linkedin page and I didn't get anything.” Well, okay. Well, yeah, he didn't like that's not enough to really see

Jeff Bullas

00:16:33 - 00:16:38

Yeah, and that's the sort of data that they don't teach you about in marketing school apparently.

Jason Gladu

00:16:39 - 00:16:46

Yeah, no, I think, you know, I think they teach you about the four P’s of marketing and there might that might have changed since like

Jeff Bullas

00:16:46 - 00:16:51

Like I saw someone say the four P’s dead or something. I'm going, yeah, I think they are.

Jason Gladu

00:16:51 - 00:16:59

Yeah, I'm sure I would be interested too. I'd be interested to stroll through a marketing class and see what, see what they're learning about.

Jeff Bullas

00:16:59 - 00:17:32

Well the other part of the dark funnel, which I've certainly seen it produced incredible results and it was done by Paypal and others is Quora and read it. So there there's forums within that are incredibly powerful because a lot of the Quora and Reddit, but even though they're not really paid so that they're still, I suppose the, not devoid of algorithms that control where they're going to push you like Facebook and Google, but they're a little bit more wild west, aren't they?

Jason Gladu

00:17:33 - 00:18:59

Yeah. I think that the communities is a really interesting, again not new, by any means, right? I worked at Spiceworks, which was probably the one of the first largest IT communities. That just happened naturally. Kind of just sprang up naturally. And the vendors, the B2B tech companies who said, hey there's something interesting here I, you could go in and advertise but really the value was come in and just be a part of the conversation. Don’t be salesy. Don't be like, don't come in here and talk about tech specs, don't do any of that, just be a part of the conversation, being human and see if you can help somebody. Those clients. I mean those B2B tech companies just got massive amounts of value in business that came through, again not, you're never going to see it in an attribution model because it's, you know, it's somebody saying, hey, I really like working with Chris from Eaton was really awesome and he answered my questions and and was just a really cool guy, so I'm gonna go do business with the Eaton now when I need to buy, you know, my new my new UPS or whatever it is. So I think those communities can be really, really powerful. I think Quora and Reddit, we're evaluating those for some for some customers on paid sides, but I think if you've got if brands and whether your B2B, B2C, I think there's just a ton of value and just spending time engaging with, you know, current customers, future customers or people in and around that space.

Jeff Bullas

00:18:59 - 00:19:23

Yes, it's fascinating a phrase which I rather like. A lot of companies are trying to create what we can notice monthly subscription or annual subscription models and so to get people to sign up to that, typically they joined because of content, but they stayed because of community. But communities take a lot of work and they're natural and they're messy.

Jason Gladu

00:19:23 - 00:20:22

And I think you see a lot of, I've seen over probably the last 7, 8 years of a lot of tech companies try to create a community. You know, for that very reason, right? If we keep people coming into our ecosystem, then they're likely to buy more, are likely to stick around or churn will reduce. And I think when it's when you try to do it artificially, like for that reason rather than, hey, we want to get like minded people together and let them kind of jam and do their thing and we're here to help facilitate. I think if you don't go, I know that with that belief, then it's really hard to make it work because it's just not, it's not this natural, right? It's like, I always think of it as like it's the local pub, it's the you want the people to naturally go there and naturally have this fit and I think some B2B tech brands have tried to artificially create and it just hasn't it becomes like a support for more than anything else.

Jeff Bullas

00:20:22 - 00:20:28

Yeah, it's a bit like dating really. You can't create chemistry, It's either there or it's not.

Jason Gladu

00:20:29 - 00:21:00

Yeah. And I think a lot of the, you know, a lot of the big forms just sort of happened by accident, right? It's just somebody was like, I think it would be interesting and it just kind of takes off, it's not there's not this like it sounds bad, but it's not, there's not like marketing angle to it, right? It was just trying to get people with like minded, you know, whatever it is what we're trying to solve problems or talk about answer questions like on Quora.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:01 - 00:21:33

And it's basically that being human rather than trying to, it's not about the money, it's about being human and helping people solve their problems naturally or just having conversations about problems. Then quite often in conversations about problems lead to “Oh that's a possible solution to that problem.” And what did you do when you did this? And I did that.

So you mentioned the term naturally growing community Spiceworks. So what was Spice Works? Did you work for them for a while, didn't you?

Jason Gladu

00:21:33 - 00:23:17

Yeah, so Spiceworks was an IT community. They made IT software like a help desk and a network monitor. And some things that sat behind firewalls at companies that could help IT guys and gals figure out what's on their network, what's running, what's struggling. What was unique with them is all of that was free. And so that was, this Spiceworks was founded in 2006. And that was sort of before the premium model really existed in software. And so they went hey let's give it away for free because it was targeted towards these nonprofits who didn't have a whole lot of money. And so you just say hey let's give away for free and then they sort of figured out let's just throw some ads in it and see what happens. And then I think it was a handful of years later after they've had these products that there's a help desk and , network monitor and things like that. It was a few years after they had the products, this community just sort of came up out of nowhere. I think it was like the users wanted Spiceworks to create a community and so they did. And it just kind of grew and then all of a sudden it became six million people a month were in there just from all over the world, right? You'd have people in Berlin answering people in Australia, but hey, this is how I solved my network issue or have you tried this? And then there's vendors in there saying, you know either, hey, this is how you can solve the problem you're having with our solution or, you know, maybe we're not a good fit here or somebody else. And it became this really, really interesting community and it was brought to life in London and in Austin, Texas. Every year they would do a big event in both places. And it was, there's definitely an interesting community.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:17 - 00:23:21

So they're still running well today as Spiceworks?

Jason Gladu

00:23:21 - 00:23:36

Yes. So Spiceworks was acquired by Ziff Davis in 2018 maybe. And so yeah, I mean, as far as I know, it's going, it's still going very well and the community continues to grow.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:36 - 00:23:39

So that's almost like a community by accident.

Jason Gladu

00:23:40 - 00:23:43

Yeah, and I think it's definitely

Jeff Bullas

00:23:43 - 00:23:45

It wasn't the product roadmap for that, wasn't?

Jason Gladu

00:23:45 - 00:24:12

Yeah, no, definitely not. I was there, I talked to him, I just remember it was like, this was never part of the plan, but it's great and it turned into, sort of morphed into what the company really became known for and they sort of stopped being known for their help desk and some of the other things that were just known as this massive community, which I think is short changing the, what the applications did for, you know, there are thousands of companies around the world running their applications.

Jeff Bullas

00:24:13 - 00:25:39

What I love about entrepreneurs and companies is not only where did the idea come to start this and then, but what happened along the way, and quite often it's the best idea or something that turned the company right around as an accident. So for example, I've been involved with Shuttlerock, which produces advertising videos at scale for corporations. And so, the founder, Johnny Hendrickson lives in New Zealand now and Nelson, the company sort of stumbled along for quite a few years and then what happened was, he had a backpacker from the UK show up with his girlfriend and he was painting his fence for him one day and he just happened to have a conversation, and the conversation because it's got a bit of a tech background suffer said, “What if we turn images into or static images into video?” So, and that was it. That's, that's became the product that became the center of what the Shuttlerock does today with, I think 2 or 300 staff now and evaluation, you know, hundreds of millions. It's, but before that we're just stumbling along. Yes, it was there.

Jason Gladu

00:25:39 - 00:25:55

I think that's just like so true. You know, it's like so many companies follow that path of like idea and then like that, you know, something, some inflection point happens and maybe something changes, you know, I think, and you know, everybody called the pivot. I don't know if that's always the right word.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:55 - 00:26:01

Yeah, I love Mike Tyson's phrase “Everyone's got a plan until they get hit in the face”

Jason Gladu

00:26:01 - 00:26:34

Yes, exactly. I mean, I think we like Avani Media, we went through something similar, right? Found it as like, you know, almost 15 years ago as a sort of publisher rep, repping publishers out in Australia and Japan. And, you know, sort of, I would say micro pivoted toward being an advertise marketing agency. And that was just based on the pure push from an ask from our clients who we had a really good relationship saying, hey, we really like it if you could do these things for us. And, you know, you ask enough times and here we are.

Jeff Bullas

00:26:34 - 00:27:05

So let's talk about demand generation. The other term for its lead generation, isn't it, really? And what company business doesn't want leads? So let's talk about your approach, of Avani Media's approach to lead generation, demand generation for its clients. What's the process you take them through? And we know it's not linear, but it looks, you make it look like it.

Jason Gladu

00:27:05 - 00:27:08

Just like the slide. The slide looks really good.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:08 - 00:27:21

Yeah, I know it's just, it's just beautiful straight line from spending money to making money and you just get all these wonderful clients through this completely linear funnel.

Jason Gladu

00:27:22 - 00:29:17

Yeah. We, I think it depends on all of our clients, right? It's we try to help them. What we want to do is understand, what are they doing currently? What did they do before? And really help them think through who are they trying to target? Where do they, you know, what watering holes are they visiting? Where they reading? Where they at on social? If at all. You know, I think that varies based on region, right? Not every region is as big on Linkedin as the US is. Or when you move into the chinese market, right? You've got to think about different social networks than you do in other parts of the world. And so we really try to help them think through what is that overall strategy? How do all of these channels play together? And how do we make sure the messaging is differentiated or? I'll use clousere to native. It's not a native ad but how does it make sense for that platform? And then as we as we think through that and and look at executing programs how do you make sure that if you're reaching people the same person on multiple, whether that's on Facebook or Linkedin, whether it's on like IT news which is an IT site in Australia. How do you make sure that you're moving that person and changing the ads that you see based on either what they've consumed with you or around you contextually, which is it's much easier said than done but we want to make sure that we're providing. I think this goes back to sort of the user experience right?

The better the experience that person has with your brand, the more they understand it, the more they understand that you can help solve their problem and that you are marketing towards them as a human not a company or not as an IT Manager but as like an actual person, the more likely they are to engage with your solution.

Jeff Bullas

00:29:18 - 00:29:33

So do you use technology to control that for you? Because there's a lot of platforms out there there's a lot of different standards. So do use technology to help you do that, I'm sure you do, but what do you use?

Jason Gladu

00:29:33 - 00:30:18

We use a handful. And it sort of depends on what our clients technology stack looks like because oftentimes we're plugging into Marketo for marketing automation or for sort of lead nurturing. Salesforce for major leagues, get to sales reps at a certain time, but there's a handful out there for, you know, retargeting. We've used everything from like a Madison logic platform to a True Influence platform which are mainly in the B2B tech marketing world. That's their sort of bread and butter space. Technology Advice is one that we've used their ABM tech stack for.

Jeff Bullas

00:30:19 - 00:31:29

So there's a lot of influence of platforms out there, isn't it? So as my influences and I heard the other day in my reading is that one company said that it found that a lot of influences have a lot of reach, but they don't have a lot of engagement I suppose. And that's and I've noticed that as well with the reach with me as well is that engagement and reach are two different things. And so what they're trying to do is they're trying to use sort of ambassadors rather than influencers, so maybe so that's a strange term actually in the sense that ambassador really is a micro-influencer, right? And micro-influencers have reached, but they have very high engagement because they're only talking to 100 people. Whereas an influencers may be talking to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions. And so on the influence aside, do you, in the B2B space, do you encourage your clients to engage with those ambassadors? I'd be interested in that because influencers are a hot topic.

Jason Gladu

00:31:29 - 00:33:24

Yeah, I think we've had conversations with our clients about influencers and a lot of, I mean a lot of our bigger technology clients have, you know, whether they're called advocacy, a lot of them are called like advocacy programs where they're, they've got whole teams that work with, I'd call it micro, you know, more than micro-influencers, but I think that the, I think it might have been when we're talking pre show, but the B2B influence I think is a really interesting concept. And I think it's, I don't think it's necessarily new but I think a lot of them in the B2B space, right? There's not a whole lot of unless you're just talking about SASP platforms that cost $7-$10 a month, there's not a whole lot of like discount codes or referral, like there's not a, there's the ecosystem for those referral concepts don't exist because you're selling $100 million data center, right? That yes, I will take 25% of that, thank you. But so I think it's interesting to see how companies are thinking about approaching it and whether that's, I know years ago before they split HP had an advocacy team and program and software around how they manage their advocates and what templates and tools and tricks they gave them to reach out to their sort of groups of, or spheres of influence. And I think it will be interesting to see how companies work with them because especially tech companies that span the B2C and B2B markets, because I think those groups, the B2C and influencers, like I think about NVIDIA who they sell game, you know, like they gaming sector is huge from a B2C perspective then they sell, you know, very, very expensive technology to B2B companies and those influencers aren't going to be the same.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:25 - 00:33:39

No, no, they won't be. And the challenge with an ambassador type of program is how do you scale that in terms of, how do you actually engage you have to create tech for it? So that's interesting.

Jason Gladu

00:33:40 - 00:34:25

Yeah, I think how you scale it, what the value prop is for the ambassador, right? Because, you know, it's the cut of like at that size, the scale the cut of sales or like there's some, there's some interesting things there but I do think there will be technology around it. I do think that there will be ways that you, in some ways I think of it like the early versions of social life, The social media software is that existed to help you publish content across multiple platforms like Buffer and some of the like TweetDeck, like what will, what will be built to help manage these ambassadors?

Jeff Bullas

00:34:26 - 00:34:37

And those platforms could identify who's micro influencers, who may be a macro influence. And then the other one is what metrics become important. Engagement starts to become very, very important.

Jason Gladu

00:34:38 - 00:35:32

And I think we see this in the B2B like the publishers out there, right? Like some and this goes back to your comment earlier about reach versus engagement. Some slides have massive audiences, but nobody's really clicking through on like articles or emails or anything. And then you say maybe there's a smaller site that has, you know, 100,000 people or 50,000 people. Maybe. Maybe it started as a blog. Right? But there's really rich community, right? People value each other or they value the content. Like I think back to like Paul Graham's website where he started, you know, musing on startups and and just all of that, which became a very big like cult read and in the Silicon Valley world, but that sort of started out very small. And now its massive and coltish. I think there's a lot of engagement there.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:32 - 00:35:35

So you almost seem to create a cultural movement, don't you?

Jason Gladu

00:35:36 - 00:35:38

Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:40 - 00:35:49

Yeah. So we talked, we mentioned briefly content syndication important for companies to get content in the right places. Can you talk to that?

Jason Gladu

00:35:50 - 00:37:43

Yeah, I think when we when we think about like syndicating content, I always I always tell people, it's like when you're on your local news site, you scroll down to the bottom of an article and then all of a sudden there's there's a bunch of different articles that pop up usually powered by out brainer or Tableau. I'm not sure the big ones. That is a form of like websites, syndicating their content to a third party. And when we think about that from the B2B perspective, it's how brands put their content in front of audiences they don't own at the most basic level. And so a lot of people say social, social, a very good option there. But I think there's other ways,in the ways that we talked about with clients, are there other B2B specific platforms or publishers who got, you know, more niche down audiences that want and are looking for content from brands and that's what we, that is one thing that we help our clients look through. What is a good fit for you? How do we put your content in their email newsletter and say this email newsletters focus on virtualization? Your content, if you're writing a piece about virtualization, this is a good spot to put it and then we think through, okay, are you getting this content? Do you want to collect lead information? What are the pros and cons of that decision? And then as you get leads, if you get it, what's the quality, how do we measure quality? What's the next logical path for that lead to follow? But really putting your content and finding the, for lack of a better term, databases and in audiences that exist that are highly engaged in the B2B space can be challenging but if you can figure out where to go, it can it can be a very worthwhile channel and tactic TVs.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:43 - 00:38:13

Yeah, and you've got the likely suspects of course which are going to do that with such as social, such as Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Instagram. So are you guys seeing any trend in terms of, what are interesting distribution methods to get your content out there in front to target? Is everyone surprised by some distribution methods or platforms to use?

Jason Gladu

00:38:13 - 00:40:15

I think that, you know, LinkedIn is a powerful platform, especially the B2B space. I think targeting is getting better. I think I've seen a lot of brands doing a better job on Instagram surprisingly and I think part of it just comes down to the targeting models on Facebook are just continuing to get better and better. There's, I think there's a whole separate area of outside of social, that is where a lot of the publishers, if you think about like, CIO.com or eweek dot com or Tech Republic, that use a lot of, you know, they get people who read their content that say yes, I want to, you know, send me emails, right? And so, like there's a lot of this push marketing, but with the halo effect of being from an Eweek or Tech Republic or CIO.com, and those do, those do pretty well, and there's a whole ecosystem of companies out there that exists to help facilitate this, that help clean data and help make sure that your message is getting in front of the right audience. I'd be remiss without saying right, it comes back to making sure that, you know who you want to target and making sure that the content is in the line, because, you know, if you whiff on targeting, then they're not gonna care about your content. I think if you just write something very dry and, you know, not super compelling than even if they're a good fit, even if they're in your ideal customer profile, they're probably not going to be interested in it because it's not fresh and I think a lot of B2B content can get a little stale, and so how do you write in a voice that's more organic? That's more natural. That is more compelling. That actually solves the problem, like talks about the problem and the solution and that's a case study whether that's just addressing the, you know, your prospects pain, it will be key.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:15 - 00:40:48

Yeah. Certainly creating content themselves. A pain point is definitely important. The challenge for all of us marketers and businesses trying to reach an audience that has not been overexposed is just tired of the bombardment of content. Like I remember when I started the blog back in 2009, what I did was quite novel in a way amongst a few other people too. And then as everyone leapt onto the content marketing bandwagon, it's like we're just awash in a universe of content now.

Jason Gladu

00:40:48 - 00:41:27

Well, yeah, I think it's interesting. I was having a conversation with the other day with somebody about this where it's, you know, email marketing, right, super valuable today. But it was also probably more impactful 10 years ago. And then you saw sort of the rise and fall of email newsletters and now you're sort of seeing email newsletters come back hot and heavy. You're seeing, you know, sub stack and all of these things where people are creating these email newsletters. And so I'm interested to see, are we getting to a tipping point where people have too many email newsletters again and what that does for that channel?

Jeff Bullas

00:41:28 - 00:42:32

We're seeing the rise of premium newsletters as well that people pay a subscription for. But what those premiums deliver is a lot more research and heavy data and so on that goes on behind the scenes, which means you can invest in that. So and that's something we're exploring and launching early next year. But it's really fascinating. A sort of, I joined, you know, the blogging when it was hot back in 2009, joined the social media and when it was hot and just emerging and I thought it was going to be, it was going to change a lot of what we did was gonna change the world. And that was an observation that proved to be correct. But then the big corporations came in and now we're just trying to work out okay, how do we play it from here? Did we just spend more money than that? But that's a, that gets difficult. Do we experiment more with a dark funnel? You know, the Reddit, Quora and so on. Do I become a Youtuber?

Jason Gladu

00:42:32 - 00:43:25

Maybe. I mean, I think, you know, I think you're right. I think we always try to tell our clients when we're investing their money is, look, it would be remiss without saying we should carve off 20-25% of the budget to test new tactics, new places, new ideas. Because if we just sit and watch Quora and we just sit and watch Reddit and we don't do anything even from a paid perspective or we, we get people to engage or whether that's on the brand side or on our side to engage, like we're going to miss it and you don't want to miss it because that's, you capture a lot of value built, a lot of trust when you get into something early. And so you've got to always be looking for what's new, what's the, where's the attention, where's people's attention being diverted into or, or going now, Tiktok, you know, where is it going?

Jeff Bullas

00:43:25 - 00:43:28

Yeah. And then there was clubhouse, that was another one that

Jason Gladu

00:43:28 - 00:43:34

Which was frozen, I think around somewhere. Yeah,

Jeff Bullas

00:43:35 - 00:43:42

You've got to do that. But then you don't want to be in the, get distracted by the shiny new toy syndrome.

Jason Gladu

00:43:42 - 00:44:16

Yeah. You've got to, you know, I, I think you've, you've gotta pay attention. Test. But yeah, you don't want to, you know, put all your eggs in that basket or, and, and sort of stall the progress you've made on other channels that are better, You know, producing results, whether you think those results are good or bad, you know, we always say like, just be on the lookout for new things to set aside money to test. And if, if it works and we monitor over whatever the sale cycle is 6, 9 months for a lot of our customers. We can move money there or find other avenues to continue the test.

Jeff Bullas

00:44:16 - 00:44:30

So you sort of maybe using the Pareto principle of the 80-20 year old do, the scent that we know sort of works, but it doesn't have the engagement that we really, really want. But we'll experiment with 20% to see, we can get something that hits an x factor.

Jason Gladu

00:44:31 - 00:44:44

Yep. And then, you know, maybe it's 5050 and then you're starting. Then you take those things that are, that were in that 20% early now they're making the 80% you're going to look for another new new things to spend your 20% on. Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:44:45 - 00:46:09

So you guys pivoted two years ago into more demand generation, lead generation, and that's because that's what your client said. So you're listening to your clients. But then you're growing quite rapidly and you look like doubling your team in the next year or so and you mentioned the importance of company culture and it's something I'm exploring a lot more at the moment because it's trying to create something that where you feel that the team is really value that everyone can put in. And I love Ray Dalio's one of his key revelations to me, his book Principles, which is quite a heavy read at 550 odd pages, but got some great insights. He used his credits a lot of his success to radical transparency. So, and radical transparency is where everyone feels safe to actually be able to share with the rest of the team ideas and what they think. Maybe not summed up totally correctly, but it's, so company culture is really interesting and, and maybe, and you said you're having trouble hiring good people at the moment and we don't know what that is, but we maybe have an idea.

Jason Gladu

00:46:09 - 00:48:11

Yeah. I think, you know, I think hiring is a challenge for a lot of folks. I think when you're small and growing quickly it could be you're competing with a lot of bigger brands. Maybe it's a brand and awareness challenge and I, and so there could be that, but I know big brands out there that are struggling to get the applicants for their, you know, SAS sales roles that they used to get hundreds of people for now. They're getting very little movement could be timing coming of the year as well. But back to the culture of peace. I do think culture is critical and, I always, you know, when I talk to my team and I talked to recruiters and I talked to folks, I'm like, I can train most of the skills that I need. I just, I have to be able to hire for somebody who's gonna hire for attitude and and higher for somebody who just gives you know, just quite frankly, just, just really cares because we often win by just caring about our customers and caring about them as people and caring about their outcomes and the work we do, that that helps save them time and money. And yes, we're going to all the other areas of our jobs, but that one is just connecting on a human level, I can't train that and I think because we lead with that and that's our, you know, massive core value of ours, we default to, I mean, I don't, I wouldn't go as far to say as we have the radical transparency down to, you know what Bridgewater has, but I think we do a really good job of being transparent, making sure people understand that so long as we're pulling all in the same direction and trying to solve the problem for the customer or for whatever our internal challenges. If you step on somebody's toes, like let's talk about it and but as long as we're moving and assuming positive intent and moving in the same direction, we're all going to get there and we're all going to be great and it's gonna be fine.

Jeff Bullas

00:48:12 - 00:48:29

The other challenge we have in the middle of what's been happening over the last two years with the pandemic is that we've moved very much to virtual work. How do you create culture in a very distributed environment and virtual workplaces?

Jason Gladu

00:48:30 - 00:50:37

Yeah, I think that's it's interesting because I've got some people very close to me who work completely distributed, right? The companies have been distributed for years before Covid and I think that when you, you know, there are ways people did it, when you can meet in person, you fly everybody up to the same area you get together. But I think building it now and hiring and onboarding and training remotely, especially if you didn't come from being, if you sort of were thrust into being a distributed company in a remote company is really challenging and I think everybody sort of got tired of the virtual happy hours and the, you know, all of those things and what I leaned on was just maintaining the quote unquote open door policy. I'm always here, always ready to talk to anybody on my team about anything, make sure they felt supported and trying to and this is just a personal thing for me, I feel like I do much better over video or real time communication rather than written communication, which is you know, we're talking about asynchronous communication is you know, maybe not ideal, but I'm not that I'm not as good at writing or as maybe as I'd like to be but you know, whether that's recording a Loom video and sending it out to that to a team or a person because I knew that they weren't online at the time, that worked well for us to build a sense of togetherness and belonging and help people understand that, like just because you're sitting in the same four walls and you're not seeing anybody like we are here, don't don't feel alone. And I think we've carried some of those same principles even as we've sort of started getting back together a little bit, even though we have an office in Nashville, we get together, we've hired half of our team is remote, so it sort of doesn't, some of it doesn't matter, we still have to operate like we're like we're distributed anyway.

Jeff Bullas

00:50:38 - 00:51:48

Yes. And especially when we have a virtual team that spread all around the world and this is not unusual now. We've moved from being local to global over the last 10, 15 years in that you can work from anywhere you can reach the world because social media was a two way conversation with the world until Facebook algorithms were in place. Now you only talk to how they who they think you should be talking to, which is strange people that actually show up in your feed and going, I didn't know is that engaged with them, but asynchronous communication, which is where you record it and share it. Anyone can watch it in their own time because you know, our team got together last night. We’re from Hungary to New Zealand to Philippines to Australia. Now added America to the mix, which we don't have at the moment in terms of the team, that would make it really difficult because when someone's going to have to stay up to 11 at night or get up and I'm sorry, I don't really like forcing that on anyone to, you're gonna have to get up or stay up late or get up really early.

Jason Gladu

00:51:48 - 00:53:41

Yeah, that's the, I think that's a huge challenge. But I mean I think what what sort of the last two years at least from some of the people that I know and maybe some of the decisions that have been made I think has has sort of proven right that wait, maybe if I can go get somebody in Berlin or in Hungary who can do the job and do it really, really well why would I not, I don't need them to be in Nashville or in Ohio or in California, like why don't I go get them there because they're great at what they do and I don't need to be limited by an H-1B visa or anything like that which I think massively expands your talent pool, which is awesome. I think it massively add, you know, we always talk about culture, I think historically, especially tech startups about culture, fit, always think about, okay yes, fit but also add, you know, what do you bring to the table? What do, you know, from your culture, whether you're in from a different area, a different background, make us all better? What do you add to the team? And I think the expanded hiring pool really allows companies to get more adds to their team, but you do end up running into challenges like how do I talk to everybody at the same time or do I, maybe you have something to do, I need to do that?

So, and I don't, I don't think that's solved. I think you see companies do okay, everybody from, you know, the west coast of the US to, you know, GMT, here's your all hands time and that's, you know, some people are a little bit inconvenienced, but mainly everybody's in their working hours and then you do a separate one and maybe the leadership team is the inconvenienced one now because they're staying up super late or super early to get to the, you know, Australia, you know, hours, I don't know,

Jeff Bullas

00:53:41 - 00:53:47

There's no easy answer on a global distributed team. There is no easy answers.

Jason Gladu

00:53:47 - 00:54:18

No, I think before you had major companies solving those problems and they usually have massive offices that so they didn't really have to think about it too much, The executive would fly and then show up and do the all hands, but now you have smaller companies right who can now hire anywhere in the world and sort of, that's more of the norm and so now you don't have the massive people teams and infrastructure to maybe manage all of the time zone issues that existed before, but now we're just being thrust upon smaller teams. Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:54:20 - 00:55:42

So just to wrap things up, so culture is really important and I think I read the other days, don't make the customer first, make your own team and employees first and they'll look after the customer. You make sure that you hire the right people with the term you mentioned, which I love is the right attitude, then the customer will be looked after and it can be as simple as this. I remember I was in Tallinn, Estonia about two years ago and I went to a restaurant, it was Trip Advisor's top restaurant, we managed to get in at about 9:15 at night and as we sat down at the table, everyone on the staff that served us actually crouched or sat next to us and we're face to face with us, not instead of talking down to us. You know what just that simple tactic that had obviously been instilled into the team to actually communicate and make it really personal. Look, I remember it now that's 2/2 years ago and I'm seeing it being done occasionally. It was done the other day to me in a restaurant as well because we can all get to restaurants now, apparently. So I went, you know, that's just really, it just changes the metric, it adds a chemistry that you just don't get by someone standing over you.

Jason Gladu

00:55:42 - 00:55:54

Yeah, I think there's just some little things that you can do that I had a tremendous amount of value and make that you know, person to person, human to human connection.

Jeff Bullas

00:55:54 - 00:56:19

And if you have the right attitude and the big corporations and the legacy companies, a lot of them being run from and used to be the old principle of management were walking around the command and control and what we've realized with the pandemic is you've actually got to trust people and if you got the right people then it sort of works rather nicely.

Jason Gladu

00:56:19 - 00:56:51

I always say like I if I make the hiring then I trust them because why would I hire somebody I don't trust. And so you have my trust until you hopefully never but break it or lose it. And so yeah, there's no need to walk around and do command and control its I hired you, you're do your job and I trust you that you're going to get it done and if you need help you will say something and we'll check in frequently and make sure that you're being taken care of and you're being looked after and you've got the tools and resources you need to grow as a person and help us grow as a company

Jeff Bullas

00:56:51 - 00:56:54

And actions speak louder than words, so

Jason Gladu

00:56:54 - 00:56:55

100%.

Jeff Bullas

00:56:55 - 00:57:05

So actually this is the actions we need to do as a team, we keep each other accountable and actions delivered outcomes if you step into that every day,

Jason Gladu

00:57:05 - 00:57:06

100%.

Jeff Bullas

00:57:07 - 00:57:23

So just a quick sum up, what are some of the things you'd like to share with our audience in terms of what are the biggest challenges or insights you have had regarding lead, demand generation regeneration for B2B, what some of the top tips you'd like to leave with our audience?

Jason Gladu

00:57:24 - 00:58:09

Yeah, I think some of the challenges is about looking for new water holes, new areas where people going because it's all about attention and so it's about making sure you're paying attention to that, the new things out there in the new channels and don't be afraid to test because you will miss the opportunity otherwise. And then I think from, you know, a people perspective, I always think it's like it's not it's not super helpful, but you know, I do a lot of the hiring by gut right? Do I think this person cares and can come in and care about us as people and care about our clients because we can, we can teach them most of what they know.

Jeff Bullas

00:58:10 - 00:59:14

Otherwise hire beautiful, caring people exactly that have the skills that you need and trust them to deliver it and build that culture that yeah, and team and the term I actually had used before the days, it wasn't, don't, you don't treat them as a family, be treated more as a team and that has been hard to do a certain thing of course, but I came across a great book called the 12-week Year, which is about more short sprints that's built around actions actually each week. And so 12 weeks is enough to grasp, it's not too long to forget and we're working on developing that and not over complicating the other thing too is we can try and over complicate things, but and one last thing, so you mentioned basically make sure you test what you're doing. I would totally agree with that and also hire great people. That's maybe the top tips, yep. Okay,

Jason Gladu

00:59:15 - 00:59:16

Keep it simple.

Jeff Bullas

00:59:17 - 00:59:39

I think that's very wise. Thank you very much, Jason, for your time. It has been an absolute pleasure. And from, you know, spending some time from Nashville, Tennessee. Haven't been there yet. And we're looking forward to going there. I have been in Knoxville, but not Nashville and yeah, so look forward to seeing you in real life one day, maybe in Nashville.

Jason Gladu

00:59:39 - 00:59:43

I would look forward to it. Thanks for, thanks for the time, Jeff, It was a great chat.

Jeff Bullas

00:59:43 - 00:59:44

Thanks, but it's been an absolute pleasure.

Jason Gladu

00:59:44 - 00:59:46

Yeah, cheers.