Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Guest: Aimee Schuster with Bandwidth Strategy
December 4, 2023

Episode 5

Fractional CMO, author and frequent podcast interviewee Aimee Schuster joins our pod to break down her view of what ails many sales and marketing departments in organizations today. Covering a topic near and dear to our own hearts, Aimee shares the context and thinking behind her recently published piece, “The 5 Indicators of Healthy Sales-Marketing Alignment: How can a business ensure sales and marketing teams communicate and are on the same page?”

As the founder and CMO/COO of Bandwidth Strategy, Aimee supports $5M-100M major revenue companies in creating, growing and improving marketing departments to execute on lead generation and overall brand awareness. Working closely with the company’s leadership, Amy and her team develop comprehensive strategies that align with business goals and priorities through strategic operations, digital marketing, demand generation, revenue building, and more. Her work has been featured in prominent publications such as FastCompany, Business Insider, and Marketing Dive.

Show Links: The 5 indicators of healthy sales-marketing alignment

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Tom Nixon (00:01.277)
Welcome back everyone to Bullhorns and Bull’s Eyes. If you are unclear as to why we’re calling this Bullhorns and Bull’s Eyes, Curtis, we spent an episode, episode four, going into detail, but summarize it just quickly before we bring on our guest today.

Curtis Hays (00:19.088)
Yeah, so what Bullhorn’s is more of your area of expertise, branding, communications, a lot more of what you would probably expect to be traditional marketing. And then we see the bulls eyes as more of what we’re doing today in digital marketing, where you can be a lot more precise with the types of things you’re doing with advertising, Google Ads, Facebook, using data and analytics to target specific users on specific platforms.

So we do believe that those two coming together do make for more successful, kind of holistic campaigns, that those do need to live together. You can’t do one effectively, likely without the other.

Tom Nixon (01:01.065)
This is true. So yeah combination of one to many and one to one So go back to episode 4 if that’s of interest to you, but wait before we start this episode. There’s something missing. Hold on There we go Now I feel like I’m on the right podcast and look that shine for my head is gone Yeah, see yeah, it kind of breaks down the shine a little bit. So All right. We’ll see how this fits. So what we do have a great guest talk

Curtis Hays (01:04.817)
Yep.

Curtis Hays (01:13.064)
You’ve got one too. I love it.

Aimee Schuster (01:13.731)
Oh

Curtis Hays (01:19.016)
That was a surprise even for me.

Tom Nixon (01:29.061)
very intelligently about both bull horns and bulls eyes. And that’s someone you introduced me to recently. So why don’t you introduce her to our listeners?

Curtis Hays (01:37.084)
Yeah, so Aimee’s a marketing leader who I had the opportunity to work with a number of years ago at a former client of mine. And I’m truly a privilege to have gotten to work with her at that company. I believe that…

You know, she really knows how to align sales and marketing teams. She creates cultures of accountability with clear expectations and, you know, strong leadership. And, um, I think, uh, your influence on me extends far beyond our working relationship. You’ve been a incredible source for referrals to me over the years. And so really excited to have you on this podcast, Aimee, and maybe tell us a little bit about what, uh, what you’ve been up to the last couple of years.

Aimee Schuster (02:25.71)
Absolutely. Well, thank you Curtis and Tom and I feel that I was not given the memo on the dress code with the hat So I knew Curtis had it, but I didn’t know Tom was going to also so I feel a little underdressed But appreciate being here. So I You know Curtis and I met God almost ten years ago now, which is crazy When I was working as you mentioned at a startup, I have a 25 year career in B2B marketing I tell people all the time

Curtis Hays (02:32.268)
Yeah.

Aimee Schuster (02:55.964)
I sell the invisible, you can’t check it out, you can’t hold it. These are relationships and softwares that are enterprise level in terms of their sales cycles and agreements. Have worked with marketing teams and sales teams throughout my career trying to support those types of efforts. What I’ve been doing for the last three years is a fractional CMO for a company I founded called Bandwidth Strategy. So I help organizations from 10 million to 100 million in revenue from everything from being

actual in-house fractional CMO, meaning I’m with them about 20 hours a week. I usually have an email with that organization, privative financials, I’m managing people in and out of the organization, helping them along in a place and time where they’re going through the transition, to actually doing contract work, just regular, typical marketing, marketing sales alignment work that needs to be done for different clients. I’m super lucky that I get to do this on a regular basis now.

the pieces of my job that I always loved, which was the beginning. And yeah, so that’s what I’ve been up to and clearly again, very underdressed, but excited for our conversation.

Curtis Hays (04:08.209)
Yeah.

Aimee Schuster (04:14.238)
I’m dressed appropriately, got it. Okay, good. Just so we set the boundaries, it makes sense.

Tom Nixon (04:18.572)
you’re a little bit of a little bit of a

Tom Nixon (04:32.037)
maybe Curtis and I have shared so long and so sort of harmoniously that we decided to make a podcast about it. And that is this sort of misalignment or misconnection between the sales function in the marketing function, which you would think, okay, these two are both at the same end in mind. They should be working collaboratively. But as Curtis and I have found, that’s often not the case. And sometimes it’s directly adversarial and sometimes it’s just a matter of.

we don’t have the right systems in place and so we came across you’ve written on this topic. You’ve actually been on other podcasts about this topic, but you’ve identified five indicators that you say of healthy sales marketing alignment. So you’re sort of looking at that through the glass half full unlike the way that I just couched it. But maybe we could go into some of those for the you can expound on why these are so important and Curtis you and I can maybe share our war stories where we found.

What is the result when these things don’t exist? So Aimee, the first one is you asked the question, do you have a shared language? What do you mean by that?

Curtis Hays (05:31.968)
Mm-hmm.

Aimee Schuster (05:38.366)
Yeah, so I’ll sort of get to that in just a second. I do want to pick up on part of what you said, which is that adversarial relationship, I think unfortunately starts a lot of times at the C-suite level where you have leaders who say, well, I want my sales and marketing to have a little bit of tension, right? They see that as a positive because it drives, and I just fundamentally disagree with that phenomenon. I think that if you want, you would never want your finance and your legal,

team to be adversarial. You would never want CES and your delivery teams to be adversarial. Why would you want sales and marketing to be adversarial? It just doesn’t really make sense to me. I think it comes from that bro type culture that a lot of startups began in and started in and this idea that if we can insert a little bit of frustration, it’ll make everybody work harder. And that’s just not the case, right?

Tom Nixon (06:09.097)
Hehehehe

Aimee Schuster (06:38.34)
does sales because they’re really good at getting out, at finding those opportunities of people that don’t already know about us. Marketing is really good at making sure that once people know about us, we can bring those people further into the process. So I think that there’s definitely a struggle there, but I…

I’m often upset by the fact that it is purposeful. So that’s number one. When I walk into a lot of organizations, whether it’s from that C-suite level or not from that C-suite level, and there’s just a breakdown in communication, and I know you guys have talked about this on the podcast too, making sure you have that shared language and understanding what does a lead mean. And that term can just be so loaded, right? Good leads, bad leads, marketing leads, sales leads.

Aimee Schuster (07:29.96)
a lead? Do we understand what that terminology means? And if we don’t, can we further break it down and or exercise that term altogether? I did that recently at a client, right? We said we’re no longer going to use the term leads. What we’re going to say is people are hand raisers, right? They filled out a form that specifically says they are looking to be spoken to. And then we have people who are learners. Those are folks that have filled out forms that say, I want to read your blog. I want to be a part of the newsletter. I want to get more information for you, but I

have people who are more in the outbound sales folks, you know, they’re not aware of us at all, but those are outbound leads, outbound opportunities that the sales organization is going after. No matter what the definition, if you can all, sales and marketing, come together and agree on what those definitions are, that’s incredibly important and will create much less friction as you move forward.

Curtis Hays (08:25.257)
Yeah.

Tom Nixon (08:25.349)
Yeah, Curtis, you, I mean, you a lot of what you do going back to the bullseyes is this lead generation. So, um, what nomenclatures do you adopt or how do you approach that same issue? Cause you see it too directly.

Curtis Hays (08:36.72)
Yeah, and oftentimes there’s confusion, like Aimee said. So you’re gonna have marketing qualified leads, sales qualified lead. All of a sudden you throw in terms like prospect. And then, well, what’s the difference, right? And you might have some, maybe some larger sales organizations that don’t have the process, you might have one set of people who are using one set of terminology and selecting things in the CRM one way, and other people who are doing something different.

Aimee Schuster (08:50.21)
Mm-hmm.

Curtis Hays (09:06.448)
And so, you know, I think having the definitions and then knowing.

you know, who’s responsible for those as well. So oftentimes I think from my perspective in marketing, where we might be more responsible for the lead generation side of it, the people and the quantity that are filling out a form, it really goes another level to that. And so I like this, Aimee, like the hand raisers, you know, or the people who really do wanna be contacted because that’s what we’re looking for. We’re, I wanna be measured off the quality

that we’re bringing. And so a lot of what you and I have talked about is that feedback loop to find out from sales if there is good quality. So however we define that, I don’t care, as long as we do have that shared definition and we’re getting that feedback.

Aimee Schuster (09:57.162)
Yeah, and I know Kurt is something you do and that I also really impart upon the organizations that I work with is a constant revisiting of those terms because a lot of times what you defined six months ago will change. It will change because leadership has changed. It will change because needs have changed. It will change because there is something in the market that has affected it. But so many times I’ll walk into an organization and sales will think it means one thing and marketing thinks it means another. And that’s because six months ago it did mean…

one thing. And now, because there’s a new CMO, because there’s a new development within the organization, it means something different. And so you have to constantly revisit those definitions. I would say, if not monthly, quarterly, to make sure that everybody still agrees on what everything means.

Curtis Hays (10:45.372)
Yeah, I’ve actually seen, Tom, if I could have one more thing to that, where these definitions have to match up to the workflows within the platforms. So we’ve seen where a Salesforce admin was scoring leads and changing the status, the lifecycle status of a lead to a specific label, like prospect, but sales was told only touch these leads.

Aimee Schuster (10:55.648)
Mm-hmm.

Curtis Hays (11:14.12)
that are at this status. And so you had leads that were literally going into a black hole. They were being created, but then nobody was touching. But were people who had raised their hands who did want to be interacted with. So it’s the definitions and that’s shared across the organization. But the systems you’re using also have to align to that. There’s sort of this IT component to everything, because we are, in many cases, using these sophisticated systems.

Aimee Schuster (11:21.456)
Mm-hmm.

Curtis Hays (11:43.605)
to help us keep track of everything, that all of that needs to match as well.

Tom Nixon (11:49.413)
Yeah. And I’m not nearly as technical or as intelligent as either of you, but I would also like, I think it would be healthy for organizations to recognize that there is typically a different wiring between what makes a good marketing person and what makes a good salesperson. So as a hopefully a good marketing person, I’m perfectly fine. If the phone’s not ringing and I know I’m making an impact.

with the work that I’m doing because it’s done with strategy and it’s not always necessarily, again, the bull horns, is not always necessarily to drive leads. Sometimes it’s to build brand and authority and reputation and build trust and all of the things that make the lead generation easier. So the way you can tell, by the way, how people are wired is if me being an introvert, I don’t wanna talk to anyone, so I will email them or text them. A good salesperson will respond to that email

email or text with a phone call. You ever email somebody or text somebody and then they call, hey, I got your email. I just thought it’d be easier. Those people want to talk to people. Those people are in the business of immediate gratification, not delayed gratification. That’s what makes a great salesperson great. I think they’re aggressive. They want to talk to people. They want to solve the problem now. So, but understanding that wiring difference, you know, call it disc or whatever it is and recognize that those things are real, I think could go a long way to like

getting those teams to work together and at least understand each other. And while they’re both trying to ultimately result in revenue generation, Aimee, they’re going to go about it different ways and you need to, I think you need to be able to live with that and make that live with it, optimize it.

Aimee Schuster (13:26.786)
Yeah, I agree and I think part of what Curtis was saying before about the systems is really true The systems have created a ton of transparency, which has been super positive It’s also created a lot of overlap between the two organizations and does create some of that confusion at times I think as a marketer in you know, mostly small to mid-size B2B startups

I do have a lot of concern when the phones aren’t ringing because as a marketer, it’s a big part of my job to make those phones ring. But at the same time, I’m also going to respect the fact that it’s a holistic process and that there isn’t one thing you can do. There’s always that asking, what’s the one thing we can do? I get that question everywhere I go from every CEO. I want the one thing and I want to put all my chips down on the one thing.

Curtis Hays (14:17.376)
Mm-hmm.

Aimee Schuster (14:22.244)
Works if you want the one thing don’t do marketing and just do sales, right? Just put all of your chips down on sales and spend all of your money on sales on sales people who are going to go out and do the work that you can Replicate on a regular basis and is easy to understand marketing is a different world. There is no one thing There are lots of things that are going to impact as you go along the cycle, but it’s not just the one thing

Tom Nixon (14:50.009)
Yeah, very true. Very true. All right, let’s move on to the second thing here. You say, do you have service level agreements? Now, I’m familiar with an SLA kind of in the in what Curtis might do, right? It’s like the agreement. There’s scope of work. Here’s what we do. Here’s what’s expected of each. What do you mean by asking if there’s a service level agreement within corporations or companies?

Aimee Schuster (15:11.25)
So the SLA, again, I agree with you that most of the time you get that when you go to a customer success department. How long are they expected to, before they have to respond to an email or a phone call from a client?

To me, sales is marketing’s client and always has been. And what is my SLA to sales? And as a good client, what is their SLA to me? If I am putting leads over the wall to sales, to Curtis’s point, there should never be a black hole, right? There should never be a opportunity that’s lost because we all agree that four hours is how long or whatever that time period is, that four hours, say,

in which a lead is picked up and when that doesn’t happen at four hours and one minute, I get a notification and that person’s boss gets a notification. Why hasn’t that lead been worked? In the same way, if they’re coming back to me with questions and or leads that are hand raisers or learners that are not good, what is my SLA to them to understand?

What didn’t work and how can I adjust that for next time? So it’s that shared Um, it’s that shared responsibility and making sure that there are established rules and metrics and notifications If those SLAs are not being met and how do we and again and Curtis you’ve talked about this I heard on one of the pod. It’s not

It’s not a situation where you meet with someone and you want to browbeat them, right? But you do want to have agreements because if you guys don’t have agreements and you’re not meeting them Then the work isn’t getting done. So it’s how do you figure out what’s going wrong so that you can make it, right? Do you have to make the times longer? Do the times need to be shorter or is sales just so damn frustrated with the leads that they’re getting that they’ve just thrown their hands up and said I’m just doing cold calling all the time all of those pieces of information help you to become a better marketer.

Curtis Hays (16:44.681)
Mm-hmm.

Tom Nixon (17:08.901)
Yeah, Curtis, we’ve seen this like just as recently as yesterday. We were talking about the sometimes absence of the SLA, the agreed upon response time is never like we’ll go into a HubSpot or a Salesforce. And sales team is complaining they’re not getting any good leads. Then we can say, well, what happened with this one? This Joe Smith filled out a form and requested to be contacted. Nothing.

Curtis Hays (17:30.852)
Right. Yeah, I actually have a really good example that I just discovered happened with a client where their IT changed a setting on a pick list field to make it required in Salesforce, and that broke our feed for all of our contact forms to Salesforce. Now the check and balance we have with that is there are people in sales who also receive an email of the lead, but there was this huge gap in qualified leads.

Aimee Schuster (17:48.095)
Yeah.

Curtis Hays (17:59.636)
that we saw over the last month. So, Director of Sales and us are drilling down in the data, trying to figure out what’s happening. Clicks are basically the same, conversions are the same. Why do we have a 50% drop in qualified leads? And lo and behold, through the investigation, figure out it’s an IT issue, but this check and balance piece of, well, the people in sales received an email. Why did they not see that?

this email they received a notification that record didn’t match in Salesforce. So it was like now they’re ignoring this piece here, but I don’t receive that same email notification and I don’t have any access to Salesforce. So I’m sort of in the blind and there’s a trust. So we’re realizing there’s a, to meet that SLA, there’s another level of check and balance even that we need to like figure out how to put into place. Again, these systems sort of cause this and I think the,

recognizing that my visibility into what happens is somewhat limited, right? So to put on the marketing team an expectation of leads or qualified leads without visibility into anything that happens on the other end. Aimee, I think it’s brilliant that you have these S, these SLAs because now you create clear expectations, clear roles and responsibilities. You set a system of accountability and there’s no longer pointing fingers.

You’re just like, okay, something broke in the system, let’s fix it and figure out why. Versus if that’s not there, it does, there’s this dysfunction that can exist where you are pointing figures, you are blaming, and that’s not good.

Aimee Schuster (19:42.814)
So it’s an active versus a passive strategy of management. And when we go back to the systems and we go back to the marketing of 20 to 25 years ago, I think it was a very passive experience, right? I put up a billboard on a highway and I watched it. I put on a magazine ad. These are passive means of driving awareness. You fast forward to these systems that create, well, you just input the system, right? And then the leads come in.

of experience, right? It’s very active experience and it constantly has to be monitored and checked just like a website, just like an email campaign. It does feel like there’s this belief system that marketing is a set it and forget it, that I just put in a CMO or I put in a CRM or I put in an ad campaign and I just let it go, right? Marketing is an incredibly active dynamic experience in this day and age and this is a big part of that is understanding and managing those systems.

and those SLAs between teams.

Tom Nixon (20:45.481)
Absolutely. Okay, Curtis, you brought this up earlier. Let’s get Aimee’s thoughts on it. The question you pose is do you have agreed upon prospect titles?

So what are we talking about here? Where’s the breakdown when you find it?

Curtis Hays (21:01.24)
So those would be like the life cycle stages. So oftentimes these platforms, these systems, you get something like a HubSpot and they’re gonna have predefined set of rules of terminology within the system. You can change those. A lot of times these organizations will onboard you and maybe help you through some level of definitions and those types of things. But like you mentioned, Aimee, and I think you said this on another podcast with the average.

executive or maybe director in marketing, like how long are they staying with organizations? Not very long. So, even if it was set at one time in the CRM, somebody new comes in that starts changing definitions, and if the CRM doesn’t match, there’s a lot of confusion that could potentially happen.

Aimee Schuster (21:34.61)
Oh yeah. No.

Aimee Schuster (21:50.462)
Yeah, I think that’s true. I also think there’s a step outside of the CRM, which is what is your ICP and what is your personas? Right. What defines success? I just did this project for a company that I’m consulting with, and it was actually a it was part and parcel to their offsite. I got sales and marketing together. We did our summit and we actually defined the ICP and the persona together so that everybody agreed on what success was. Right.

handing over associate level real estate prospectors, both marketing and sales knows, because we’ve defined senior director as the correct title for a good lead, that’s not the right lead to be coming across. So I’m not scoping those people. I’m not trying to get those people. And if I do get those people, they are…

you know, folks that can be seen by sales, but not worked by sales, because they’re not in the ICP. They’re not one of the personas we’re going after. So getting the teams together to make sure that you agree on what those ICPs are and what the personas are ahead of time before you input them into the CRM, that’s part of the off-system, off-cycle work that you need to do on probably a twice-yearly basis to make sure you agree on who’s coming in and if they are successful.

Curtis Hays (23:13.384)
What do you see happen in these organizations that are able to do this? So you like, we oftentimes think that the activities or the activities we’re doing are very impersonal. You know, it’s very transactional. We’re calling them leads. It’s cold in many ways, but the relationship between sales and a prospect, people are gonna buy from people who they’re comfortable with. And so, you know, at the very start for marketing to treat…

that as just a transaction, just a lead, just a number, seems to fall short. So if you’re implementing those things, like what changes in organizations, like once you’re able to do that?

Aimee Schuster (23:56.362)
I think if you, again, it starts from the top, are you providing?

Content of value. Are you trying to educate people in the moments that they have questions? I think ultimately that is what sets the tone of the relationship And making sure that you as the marketer are thinking about your ICP and your persona What their problems are you and sales have agreed on that? So it makes it really easy to go out and create content that solves those problems and bring people into the experience In a way that’s authentic and real

that makes them either want to learn more as learners or speak to someone as a hand raiser. Those, that path sounds so simple and it is, right? Really hard to implement, but very simple to say. And so how do you do that? Again,

an authentic relationship between sales and marketing, an understanding of who your ICP and your personas are, an understanding of their problems, and then being able to answer those problems in the moments they have those questions. Those are four steps to making sure that it’s an authentic and real experience that isn’t a transaction, right? It is an education of an individual who is coming to your organization.

Tom Nixon (25:12.365)
Yep. Yeah, and I was using the actual real scenario. It sounded like a silly hypothetical where the leads were not being followed up on literally at all. Like sales had no visibility. Yeah. And so I’m going to use that as a jumping off point to combine your four and five because it speaks to what Curtis Deny’s mission is with this podcast. And that’s we keep calling it closing the loop between sales and marketing. And it’s this reporting function. Curtis uses the word mutual accountability.

Aimee Schuster (25:21.452)
Mm-hmm.

Curtis Hays (25:21.512)
Yeah, they just went to a black hole.

Aimee Schuster (25:36.181)
Mm-hmm.

Tom Nixon (25:42.185)
Um but we’re talking about the reporting that goes from marketing to sales and then from sales back into marketing and then the two of you can talk about why that’s so important and then Curtis you can speak to what happens when that’s actually happening. The magic that’s created. It’s not just kumbaya in the office. It’s actual results. So Aimee why don’t you start.

Aimee Schuster (26:02.038)
So I think it starts with.

what we talked about earlier, which is what’s the day-to-day reporting, right? Are we, do we have the SLAs and are we getting, are we getting pings when SLAs are not met, right? Because that, that creates mutual accountability on a regular basis so that it doesn’t all build up, right? This is a relationship. You don’t want to have to go to therapy with 10 years worth of anger at your, at the other side, right? You want to have daily interactions so that you understand where things are falling apart on a micro level. On a higher level, the most

effective work that I did between sales and marketing was when I had every other week meetings with the sales leaders and then quarterly summits with the entire sales and marketing organizations. So it was every other week where I went through the high level, what are the numbers, and then I went down one level and I said great here’s an example of a closed one, a closed loss, and an in-flight

Aimee Schuster (27:04.196)
actually create personas for each one of those people. So I would physically get their picture from LinkedIn, bring them in, describe their path, how they got to us, what materials they read, how long ago they converted, what the path was to actually close one, what the path was to close lost, and where they are in the cycle, right?

It created human-ness, humanization. I created a human out of the transaction, right? Sounds good. But what it really did was create a dialogue about a person, not just about a pool of numbers. And that was really, really impactful in creating that type of long-term relationship. And then on a quarterly basis, doing what we talked about at the beginning, making sure the definitions are still in place, the SLAs are still right, do we need to monitor anything? Do we need to change anything?

Curtis Hays (27:26.678)
Mm-hmm.

Tom Nixon (27:29.373)
Hehehe

Aimee Schuster (27:54.348)
That’s more of the tactical regular. Do we need new ICPs? Do we need new personas? Should we sunset once? Are there bigger picture strategic questions that we need to answer? And then on a weekly basis, who are the people that are coming and how can we actually put faces in names? And then on a daily basis, like where are we hitting or missing our SLAs? So daily, twice a month, and then quarterly is the cadence that I think creates the most success.

Tom Nixon (28:20.357)
Yeah, Curtis, so speak to because we were just having this conversation yesterday with a client and what that does to the integrity of the data that you’re relying on when you’re doing digital because no data is you’re just throwing darts without even a bull’s eye. Just hopefully there’s a target somewhere. You might hit somebody might kill somebody. But when you have this data and it’s reporting, talk about this sort of regenerative intelligence that comes from just actual report.

No opinions, just the facts.

Curtis Hays (28:51.632)
Yeah, mainly it’s twofold. The first being, we have visibility to it. So as humans ourselves, we can analyze that data and determine which levers that we wanna pull. Whether it’s, hey, something’s working over on this platform here, so let’s increase our budget. Something’s not working over here. Let’s change the audience who we’re targeting. Of course, you can’t, in many cases, do some of those things in…

unless you’ve defined what Aimee defined. You know, oftentimes we’ll have a client who’s like, hey, we wanna do Google Ads because we think that’s going to work, but they can’t define who’s their target audience, what are they going to say? Yeah, we just want leads, but we don’t know who the leads are, we don’t know what we need to say to them, we don’t know what we need to give them once they get to the website. So I do like what you said, Aimee, that it’s easy to say.

Aimee Schuster (29:28.17)
they want to talk to. We just want ads. We just want ads.

Tom Nixon (29:29.917)
Mm-hmm.

8.

Curtis Hays (29:47.296)
kind of in practice, but to actually implement it is very difficult because it’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of stages you need to go through. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not something you can just turn on tomorrow to fix. There’s some kind of pre-planning and strategy and development that you need to do. And then when you have that feedback loop, you can use data to sort of fine tune the strategy. The second piece of it, which is relatively new in the digital space,

is to take that offline conversion data in this B2B area that we tend to work in, or even B2C that’s lead gen, and give that data back to the platforms. So we’re actually in a scenario with a client right now where we just onboarded them, we jumped into their HubSpot, they’ve got sales stages, they’re collecting all the right data, their salespeople are working the leads, they’re working on defining definitions for us. The missing link now is really then sending that data

Aimee Schuster (30:20.258)
Mm-hmm.

Curtis Hays (30:45.92)
to Google and Facebook or Meta. And what it then does is learn, the algorithms now learn off the qualified leads and converted business. So they understand the personas from sort of a digital perspective. Those journeys that Aimee’s manually doing, what content did they look at, how did they get to the website. These platforms are gonna know that information about these users. And so we can give that data.

virtually in real time after a status is changed in the CRM, back to those platforms so it goes and finds more people like those people without us having to pull any levers. The algorithms can now do it for us. And it can transform a business like we talked about with Mario, we started doing that a year ago and he had a 75% increase in revenue from digital advertising and spent 4% less. I mean that transforms a business right there.

Tom Nixon (31:43.609)
Yeah, for sure. Well, cool. Well, this has been great. We will link to that article in the show notes. So if people want to read your full and complete thoughts on the topic, Aimee, they could do so just in closing. Let’s talk about how we opened and Curtis or you maybe you define yourself as a fractional CMO, which is just a concept that I think is gaining a lot of favor lately for whatever reason. Curtis and I are fractional something or others ourselves. We call our combination of ours.

Aimee Schuster (31:43.894)
Yep.

Aimee Schuster (32:09.097)
Hehehehehe

Tom Nixon (32:10.973)
talents, a team Lance and there’s other fractional specialists within our group. Yeah. I wish I could say it was my own, but it was the great Brian Clark has coined that. Um, so yes, we, we fully believe in the power of this fractionality. Um, what are you finding? What does it allow you to do? Maybe that you can’t do in house somewhere as a full time CMO.

Aimee Schuster (32:13.282)
Ooh, I like that! I like Team Lance. That’s good.

Aimee Schuster (32:32.43)
It’s interesting and I talk about this a lot where I don’t say anything different as a 1099 than I said as a W2. It’s all the same stuff, but now I’m brilliant. I don’t understand what happened. But there is a psychology around bringing in someone from the outside. As a fractional, I’m not worried about my job, right?

Aimee Schuster (33:02.064)
because I’m not playing the politics. I’m not trying to get promoted. I think in most situations, I’m not looking to extend my contract. This is an opportunity for me to parachute in, provide as much value as possible to the folks that are either in the C-suite or on the marketing side or the sales side. It’s not a situation in which you can question sort of what the…

the authenticity is behind it. It really is a chance to just do the work, which I love. There isn’t that political undercurrent to it, which is really nice. So for me, it gives me an insane amount of flexibility to do the type of work that I love, which is building and starting things for the most part, without all the pressure and the question mark around a lot of what happens in full time.

So for me it’s really fun and I think I’m gonna steal Team Lance because I think that’s a great term as well.

Tom Nixon (34:07.565)
Okay. Yeah. Twice removed. Not from Brian Clark. Cool. Well, Curtis, thank you for introducing me to Aimee. Thank you for inviting her on the podcast. Thank you so much for being here, Aimee. Um, Curtis, my hats off to both of you. There we go. That, that feels more natural. Go ahead, Curtis. Close us out.

Curtis Hays (34:19.592)
Yeah. I actually, you guys have a shared passion maybe, passion may not be the right word, but for yacht rock on a personal level. Aimee, you talked about yacht rock, I think on your Peloton, do you listen to me?

Aimee Schuster (34:19.826)
Hehehe

Tom Nixon (34:30.436)
Ooh.

Aimee Schuster (34:33.534)
No, I need to clarify. It is not a passion. I was aware of it. I felt that Tom’s passion for it was something that I could respect and be very interested in and had experienced it in a Peloton ride. I don’t want to take away from his authentic yacht rock experience. So.

Tom Nixon (35:01.293)
Yeah, if you’re looking for a podcast, not about business, then that might be one for you. It’s called out of the main. Um, I’ll leave you with this though. The Peloton group has it all wrong when it comes to yacht rock. If you want to find out why check out of the main.

Aimee Schuster (35:04.921)
Hahaha

Aimee Schuster (35:15.05)
There you go. That’s a good segue. I love it.

Curtis Hays (35:15.657)
Yeah.

Tom Nixon (35:17.969)
All right, everyone, thank you so much, Curtis. We’ll see you next time on the Bullhorns and Bullseyes podcast.

Tom Nixon (35:26.025)
Cool.

Curtis Hays (35:26.208)
All right.

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Additional episodes:

Tom Nixon Curtis Hays

Episode 4: Going Meta on Bullhorns & Bullseyes

In a very "meta" episode, Curtis and Tom discuss the meaning behind "Bullhorns and Bullseyes." What are some examples of "bullhorn" tactics, and what are some examples of "bullseye" methodologies?

Mario Daquila 3

Episode 3: Closing the Loop Between Sales & Marketing

Curtis and Tom are once again joined by Mario D'Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, for Part Three of our multi-chapter success story.

Mario Daquila 2

Episode 2: Systemizing Sales & Marketing

Curtis and Tom are rejoined by guest Mario D'Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, for Part Two of our multi-chapter success story.

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