Grow your brand with a killer message

3 strategies for building a killer message

 

In the noisiest market companies have seen in years, how do you stand out? How do you ensure your message is concise, clear, and remarkable? Building a killer message can be tough when you take a “flavor of the day” approach. However, if you follow these 3 simple strategies, capturing mind share has never been easier. Listen to today’s podcast to find out how one seasoned pro has been building killer messages for the last 15 years.

Transcript

Kyle Hamer: (00:05)
Hello and welcome to the summit, the podcast where we bring you the knowledge and insights from industry leaders and professionals. No fluff, no double digit growth overnight schemes. We’re having real conversations with real people. I’m your host and today’s guest is my good friend, Karen Palmer. Karen, how are you this morning?

Karen Palmer: (00:23)
I’m doing well. Thanks, Kyle. Thanks for having me.

Kyle Hamer: (00:25)
Hey, we’re excited here to get into the three things you’ll never achieve without a killer messaging strategy. Um, you know, it’s been my good pleasure to know you for the last couple of years and I’ve been super impressed with, with your resume and things that you’ve done. Um, most recently I think you were the creative director at a place called receptive software before going out on your own and went through a journey of taking a multimillion dollar brand and message and rolling it into $1 billion brand and message. So love you. If you tell us a little bit about yourself, Karen.

Karen Palmer: (00:59)
Sure, yeah. Thanks for that. Um, you are correct. I was, um, most recently, uh, prior to, to going out of my own eyes, um, was working for perceptive software, which is a rapidly growing, um, software technology company based in the Kansas City, Missouri region area. And I did, we, we, it was kind of like going through, um, the stages of, of free company that time I started on the ground floor when it was just small and up and coming and, uh, we grew, um, into a, a multimillion dollar company that was eventually acquired by Lexmark. Um, so I started out as the first content strategist and writer on the team and then eventually grew into leading, um, the creative services team of writers and designers, um, for the company. So, um, prior to that, my roots are really in writing. I started out on the ad agency side of the world and did a lot of writing there and then moved into in house after that just because I loved the idea of bringing the agency model, uh, into, in house marketing team to build out that type of creative force within an actual company. And so I was really, um, you know, h uh, really fortunate to be able to do that, um, at a place like perceptive that was really open to that. And we, we created a really amazing, uh, creative in house team there.

Kyle Hamer: (02:27)
Yeah. You know, the, the reputation there proceeds you, uh, as it relates to how we got introduced. I mean, the person that introduced us was, was absolutely head over heels, which you had done a perceptive and actually super jealous being on the, uh, the acquiring side of the marketing team. But I had no idea you were in the agency business. Uh, how long were you in the, how long were you the agency world?

Karen Palmer: (02:49)
Yeah, so I am headed in BHC straight out of college. Um, I’m a journalism Grad from the zoo. I got to get that plug in there and, uh, I was in the agency, uh, for a little over two years. Um, so not in a tremendous amount of time, but learned a ton working with some great people. And, um, you know, it wasn’t, I just, I, in doing that, um, amount of work on the agency side just really got enamored with in house teams and the fact that they seemed lacking in creative resources, but I felt like, you know, there could be things they were, they could be applying internally that agencies are offering that, that they could really build up within their own environment. And so that, that took me pretty quickly from the agency side of things into, um, exploring in house.

Kyle Hamer: (03:35)
So when you were, when you were working in the agency, did you work on anything super cool that we would know? Like, is there, like, were you part of a Nike campaign or, or something even regional or local that you’re like, man, I was really glad to be a writer or a creative lead on this project?

Karen Palmer: (03:51)
Yeah. You know? Well, I would say the, the most notable, um, brands that I worked on with IBM at the time, the agency I was working with, um, it was, uh, also my first foray into business to business marketing. Um, so it was an IBM engineering arm that was, um, you know, IBM kind of has their consumer side and their business side. So we were doing, um, business to business marketing for IBM. So that was probably the most notable, um, name. Um, but then the funnest one I probably worked on was, uh, we have a local amusement park here called war of the fun.

Kyle Hamer: (04:29)
Yeah.

Karen Palmer: (04:32)
And, uh, I was able to work on, um, a fun campaign, radio, uh, radio and print campaign for worlds of fun. So being a copywriter fresh out of school, that was, that was pretty cool.

Kyle Hamer: (04:44)
You know, the thing that’s interesting about that is as you’re talking about worlds of fun worlds of fun, oceans of fun, and if it’s the campaign, I’m thinking about it slipping me, but I guarantee you that across billboards and the radio, cause I grew up in southwest Kansas that I, I guarantee you at some point your, uh, your work penetrated my family’s life and probably drove us to make a trip up there. So that’s Kinda cool.

Karen Palmer: (05:12)
Well good. I hope so. It’s a pretty, it’s pretty well known around here. So that’s great to hear.

Kyle Hamer: (05:17)
It is. So, you know, one of the, one of the things that your experience, at least when you’re talking about receptive software, you’re brought in as a, as a content strategist and that led to moving into creative director. But at the core, one of the things that, uh, you really are passionate about is having something good to say, saying it well, when it comes to your messaging strategy, what is it that’s going on that, that people don’t understand when it relates to how they present their company to the world and why does so many companies not get their message right?

Karen Palmer: (05:53)
Yeah. Well that’s, I mean, that’s a great question because I think, um, there’s so much, there’s so much noise out there today. There’s, there’s so much content to consume, as we all know, it’s social and online and everywhere, you know? And so I think a lot of companies feel like they have to just get something out there to get visibility to get in the mix and don’t really think about what they’re saying in the things they’re putting out there. And so they just ended up being part of the noise. They don’t really cut through. Um, I find that a lot, you know, clients that are just like, oh, we need a new website, we need this. And, and they don’t step back to really think about, well what is it we’re going to try and communicate to folks

Karen Palmer: (06:41)
and doing that. And so I think that, uh, you know, that’s what I’ve seen a lot of is there’s just not that stepping back to really think about who we’re going to be talking to, what’s their point of view and what do we need to say to make sure they’re going to listen. So I think that’s the biggest thing I’m seeing. And, and I do a lot of work with B to B companies again and actually in the tech space still as well as just the area that I’m heavily involved in. And again, I just, there’s a lot of that they’ll focus a little bit of naval gazing, you know, we know what we are doing, so we need to get that out there versus what is it people are looking for? And how do we connect what we’re doing is bat so leading with that ad x, that other point of view instead of your own point of view.

Kyle Hamer: (07:28)
You know, I couldn’t, I could not agree with you more that there’s a ton of navel gazing and Mirror Mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? Look at me. Look at me. Uh, the part that’s really interesting though is it seems to me at some point between when I was first to start startup and I had a great idea and I needed to convince people that they, they would work with my software or they would work with my company. I had to focus on their problems too. Oh look how great I am. W what is it you think that actually breaks in the, in the business? Is it, is it a distractions? Is it lack of focus? Is it that the, the messages, if all, what is it that that really causes them from infancy when they’re focused on customer pain and, and addressing the market to, you know, hey, we’re a larger brand and we need to Redo our website, but we only want to talk about us.

Karen Palmer: (08:21)
Yeah. I, you know, I think that, um, so a lot of a lot of companies I find it is when they hit that rapid growth mode, that things get a little muddy and whether it’s the products, all of a sudden the product has been developed more so it has more features and functions or the service was more robust. Whatever it is, they’re, you know, they’re selling, um, or they’ve really ramped up their hiring. So they have a huge workforce that are all getting onboarded and everyone’s trying to get up to speed and kind of get away, get away from them. There’s a little bit of overwhelmed to where, um, people are so focused on learning what it is that they’re selling that they don’t think about. How should we be actually positioning this or telling the story? Again, connect with, with what people want to hear. So I, I think it just becomes a bit of overwhelm and, and eventually, you know, it just leads to very, um, sort of cluttered and, and, um, static and uninspired messages that, uh, just end up not connecting with the audience. So I’d say that rapid growth really sometimes throws things off the rail.

Kyle Hamer: (09:32)
And, and is it, is it the rapid growth in that the company has lost its identity? Or is it that there’s so many new people that they don’t know what to say and so it’s everybody’s variation and spin on what the company is loosely defined as their core core ideology or core message?

Karen Palmer: (09:51)
I think the latter. I think mostly it’s, um, if you haven’t sat down and, and really gone through a proper messaging strategy in the beginning, um, it doesn’t show itself as much when there’s only five people telling the story. But once you get to 20 people or 25 or 50 people that are starting to have to tell this story and you don’t have a messaging strategy that really uplifted in the context of the audience, um, then you’re right. People just start kind of creating their own story, their own comfort during, you know, how am I comfortable telling the story? Well, this is how I’m going to tell it. And um, and unfortunately I would say a lot of those initial strategies because they don’t come at it from sort of the emotional sort of empathetic point of view. A lot of the wording is very jargon riddled. So you just sound like a software company and not a company who’s, you know, helping, you know, patients get access to their information more easily so they can sleep well at night. You know, there’s the, there’s just that difference in that, you know, how it’s, how it’s, um, communicated, which is why it’s really important to me because just having that writing background and communication, I think words are everything. How you say something is almost far more important than what you’re saying.

Kyle Hamer: (11:17)
You know, the, the, the thing that’s interesting to me is this is when it’s one or two people, I think it’s pretty easy because you have a, you have a depth of knowledge and understanding perspective, maybe even personal experience and, and as you grow, you grow rapidly. You think, ah, that’s not the most important. What may be the most important is hitting our revenue target or we may be most important is ensuring that we’re hiring the right people. How do you encourage companies who are on a rapid growth to make messaging a priority? How, how, how should they think differently about their message and, and the impact that it can have on their, their business by not deprioritizing and not waiting to get to it until later.

Karen Palmer: (12:06)
Right. Well, um, you know, there are, um, you know, I always lay out the fact that you, you have to, it’s like a how like, you have to have a solid foundation to build on. And, uh, you know, I really talk a lot about there being three critical things that just as hard as you try, you won’t achieve if you don’t first start with a strong messaging strategy. Like you just, you know, and um, you know, that there’s always that what we want to have, you know, we won’t have great content. We wanna, you know, have everyone on the same page. We want, you know, the things that just, if you don’t put the foundation down and get everyone, um, on track at one space, you’re just, you’re, you’re not gonna have that singular focus as a company driving toward your goal. Whether that’s revenue goals, whether that’s marketing goals, whether that hiring goals, you know, all of that really sentence Brown, having, uh, uh, you know, concentrated focus on who you are in and how you want to communicate your story.

Kyle Hamer: (13:10)
You know, I think the, the, the strategists, the marketing gurus, the noises you talk about in the, in the market today makes it really challenging for, for companies to understand what a good message looks like versus a bad message looks like. And since even in B2B, you’re selling human to human, right? The person on the other side of the x, the other person on the other side of the email, they are, they’re human being, right? They, they have once needs and issues just like everybody else, even though they’re responsible for say a portion or a part of a company’s revenue or their business. How do you, how do you develop a killer message and what are the, what are some of the messages that you seen that really have the most impact in the B2B world?

Karen Palmer: (13:58)
Sure, yeah. Um, well, so you know, one thing that I would say, you’re absolutely right. Um, you know, I work with a lot of BB clients and people assume, um, and I mean this is also relevant for B to c for anyone listening who’s, who’s got that focus. But yeah, they assume B2B means you have to always be very serious, buttoned down all the time. You know, this is a transactional type of conversation. And to your point is it is still humans. Humans, there are people, um, on the other side of that line who don’t leave their personal instincts at the door when they come to work that day. You know, they, they want to get to know you. They want to trust you. They want to feel a mutual connection. It sounds a little cheesy, but they want to like you, you know, no one really wants to work with someone they don’t like or at least you know, tolerate you get along with.

Karen Palmer: (14:53)
Um, and especially if they’re going to make a really, really large purchase from you and multimillion dollar purchase, you know, from a tech perspective that can often be the price tag. So, um, I had found that messages that really, um, focus still on a personal aspect of how their personal life might be dovetailing into their professional life, um, makes a big impact on people. Everyone has. There’s, um, Gotcha. She just pulled it up before that. But then they said a list of these really great, um, emotional attributes that I read back when I was in early years as a writer, that regardless of who you’re talking to, you, you know, these are the things that move people and it’s, you know, it’s like greed, fear, um, you know, pride, you know, these, these really, um, sort of core that, you know, core instincts or values, characteristics. And that doesn’t change whether you’re talking to a business person or, or you know, a consumer, um, on an individual level.

Karen Palmer: (15:57)
So I, any of those, the way you can take a, what, what a product or service is and still touch on those sort of key triggers of, you know, self promotion, you know, pride, varied. Um, I mean it sounds a little off. Maybe it sounds a little archaic, but it’s true. Like those are the triggers that, so, um, I think it’s just, it takes a little bit of a special creativity. Being able to do that and not do it too heavily handed to do it in the right way, that, that it, it connects. It doesn’t, uh, go over the top

Kyle Hamer: (16:36)
when you, when you, you know, when you and I have talked in the past, there’s really three core principles that you have to creating a, a killer messaging strategy in the first one is stuff that you’ve talked about where you’re making it meaningful and conversation and in content, but in, in that, in the structure of making it meaningful, the, the words, the emotions, the stuff you talked about, it’s almost like the seven deadly sins of, of messaging, but in reverse, right? You want to use these in messaging to help, uh, compel your, your audience to move forward. But before you get to that, there’s almost a step before that, which is, is really this simplification of an idea or of a message. Why is that so important?

Karen Palmer: (17:18)
Right? Well, it really is. I mean that, that is the number one thing. If you’re going to create these meaningful conversations and, and content. Um, I believe content is a conversation or it’s a conversation starter or continuar. Um, but really anytime you’re having a conversation, you have to keep it simple. You’re going to lose people’s attention quickly. Um, if you just sort of ramble on, you know, about yourself or about something that it may not be where their interests lies. So for instance, um, you know, one thing I always say is you have to make it about them and not you, which I’ve already touched on. I won’t Belabor that. That’s kind of a no brainer, but you need to think about who it is you’re talking to cause it, you know, it is meaningful for them. Um, you also don’t want to complicate it because there is a subliminal feeling that if it takes too long or it’s too complicated to explain your service or product, then probably your product or service is complicated.

Karen Palmer: (18:17)
So you don’t want that to, to sort of Miss Guide people into thinking, well, it could take me this long to tell you what you can do for you. That means it’s going to be really hard for you to use this too. You know, to have value. So that’s also just one of the things that people pick up on. And then I did the last one is suggest, you know, um, the short attention span that we have. You know, the, there really is, I mean, Microsoft did a study, um, again last year where, um, the human attention span is now eight seconds. And the irony is the attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds. So we are officially less than a goldfish when it comes to our attention span. And you know, there’s only so much time you have to grab and hold attention, um, for folks that are looking for what you’re selling. So that means, you know, you have to be concise about what you say. You have to keep it simple and you have to get to the point, um, but make it, make it meaningful. So I mean, it’s not an easy thing, but it can be done.

Kyle Hamer: (19:21)
You look it, it’s not only fascinating but terrifying that we have an attention span that’s only eight seconds long. And it also makes a book that I read probably 10 years ago, even more impactful because I think it was from the late eighties or early nineties and it was eight seconds to yes, a a sales guide to getting incremental commitments eight seconds at a time. And I thought at the time, wow, that’s really interesting. And yet here we are, you know, 2030 years later and the human attention span is, is lined up directly at that eight seconds. So that’s, it’s scary and fascinating. Uh, what I would be interested in is, is from your perspective, right? If you focus on having a meaningful conversation, meaningful content in the B2B world for you who’s doing it right, who’s doing it well? Give us an example of what successful, keeping it simple, keeping it consistent and doing it in bite size for goldfish or one of the groups that I think is doing a really, really good job right now is drift drift.com and they’re a, they’ve branded themselves as conversational marketing, but the emotional piece that they’re focused on, which I think is so fantastic is it’s not about you.

Kyle Hamer: (20:37)
It’s not about your service, it’s about your customer and your customer’s customer. So if you go out and you, um, listen to anything that they’re talking about, they’re talking about even in the B2B world, whether it’s your messaging on your website, the stuffing, your Chat Bot, uh, your emails and the flows that you’re having. Everything across the board needs to have a, a human to human interaction needs to feel conversational. And so they’ve built their software around enabling that. And the, and the thing that I think is beautiful is this for all the account based marketing strategies that are out there for all the automation and bots that are out there, there’s somebody that’s saying, well, it’s not really technology. It’s not really, um, an algorithm. What it is, is, is a personalized experience at scale. And we’re doing it through conversations and, and that everybody is saying the same thing across the board. And, and I find it very fascinating how quickly they’ve come out of nowhere by catapulted to the top because they know their audience, they’ve kept it simple and they’re there. It’s, you know, nine seconds, eight seconds worth of information at a time and, and making it relatable. So at least for me, the of the, the group I am seeing this do really, really well with this right now is drift.

Karen Palmer: (21:52)
That’s great. I will definitely check them out. I mean, you bring up a really good point, um, that I do want to clarify in that, you know, when I say that the, um, you know, the googles of the little than, you know, even the Amazon and Bailey, they’re going after this bear. I mean, you know, they, there’s so much technology on the back end as you know from a marketing automation perspective that makes it possible to narrow in on your audience. And so that’s where the algorithms are helpful, like finding your target. But I am a, I am 100% believer that can’t drive your message and that can’t drive the communication because at the end of the day, now that I know I have a specific person or persons I’m talking to, I still have to do the work to talk to them as a human human. So to your point, so you know, those, this is where SCO and I get into a little bit of a rumble because SEO has its place and she word placement and all of that, but, um, that only gets you so far and we’re not, you know, you’re not talking to robots, but the end of the day on the other end, you’re talking to people.

Karen Palmer: (22:58)
So I think that the technology is helping us get more laser focused on who we’re talking to, but at the end of the day, it still takes the messaging that’s crafted for people, by people to really get across, um, the point you want to make and, and compel a response.

Kyle Hamer: (23:20)
You know? And, and I think the thing that you, you touch on there is, is beyond the technology that personal, the person, one of the things that people can smell a mile away. And I think it’s, it’s intuition. It’s our fight or flight mechanism where people can smell frauds. I mean, and in today’s, today’s world of online gurus, I mean, every time you turn around, there’s a guru. And it makes me think of the, uh, I, I think that was a Paul Schneider video, the love Guru, um, from back in the early two thousands. But you know, everybody’s got their, their special sauce or the way that they’re going to change the world. Interestingly enough though, for most organizations they can overcome the, uh, the smell of being a fraud with your second step, which is consistency. Why is consistency so important in building a killer message?

Karen Palmer: (24:14)
Yeah, it’s just, um, you know, again, it probably seems like a no brainer, but, uh, getting every facet of the company on the same page is just critically important because, um, ultimately what you’re doing, whether it’s a, you know, a piece of content or sales engagement, um, or an event engagement, if you’re seeing someone at a trade show, it’s an experience that you’re creating. And if they get one message from your marketing team and a different message from your sales team and hear another message from your executive leadership in a, you know, maybe a presentation and show is very confusing. And to your point, it sort of triggers that will one, do they really know what they’re talking about? Do they know my, do they know my pain or my business? And do they really understand how they can address that? Um, and it’s also confusing for your employees.

Karen Palmer: (25:10)
So it just, even from an onboarding perspective and, and you know, getting everyone in the company, um, you know, moving in the same direction. So consistency is huge and that’s a messaging strategy. You can just help lay that out for everyone. So they know, um, regardless whether they’re in sales or marketing or executive leadership or customer support or HR, um, that this is our value proposition. This is how, you know, we can back that up. Here are the proof points behind that. Um, here’s the, you know, general, if we were stuck in an elevator, the good old elevator pitch like this is, this is what you say and everyone’s thinking from the same songbook. Um, and what that also does is then it really puts your brand stake in the ground and you’re able to own that story. And, um, you know, once you continue to turn that out, you know, repetition is memorable. So, um, it’s not about, you know, being, um, you know, robotic necessarily because obviously if I’m, you know, you have to know your eyes, but I’m talking to a particular person in this industry, I’m, I’m gonna kind of slightly, um, modify that message for that person. But at the end of the day, the core should always be the same. The core should feel, you know, very consistent across all touch points, the company

Kyle Hamer: (26:30)
and going back to your first, right. So consistency in simple. If it’s simple and consistent, it’s hard to be seen as a fraud. It’s easy to build that relationship and the trust. Right,

Karen Palmer: (26:41)
right, right. And you know, I have clients who will say, you know, nothing’s worse than when they go into a, maybe a sales presentation, a a failed opportunity. And um,

Kyle Hamer: (26:55)
yes,

Karen Palmer: (26:55)
you know, maybe later on that they lose that opportunity. And the reasoning being, well, we didn’t choose you because we didn’t know that we didn’t think you didX or y. And it’s like, oh, but we do like that’s actually what we do. And the sense too late, like you’ve lost the opportunity. So there’s so many times you hear about that where it’s like, oh, they didn’t know. They didn’t know that this was what we did. And you say, well, why didn’t they know that? Or Oh, I read this on your website, I thought that you did this. And then you know, once they get into the funnel with sale, like well they kinda hear a different story. And so it makes for a lot of confusion. And to your point, can stand up that sort of fraud flag potentially.

Kyle Hamer: (27:41)
Well, and I think the reason I bring it up or raise that in what you just said makes so much sense and keeping sales and marketing aligned. And, and I’ll, I’ll go ahead and say this. I genuinely believe that in today’s digital age, marketers have to be more like salespeople. And salespeople have to be more like marketers. And what does that mean? What that means is the consistency and simplicity and things that we’re talking about in conversations and messages have to start sales starts way earlier than it used to. And marketing goes way deeper than what we remember. And so the, the, the lines are becoming more and more blurred every day. But ultimately it’s a transference of your third point, which is building a relationship. And the, the exchange between sales and marketing today is less about, hey, I turned over a lead as much as I transferred a relationship. And if we take that perspective and we think about the relationships we’re building through our messaging and the can stuff with our audience, how will that transform our organization? Or how will that transform our message or its impact as, as you see it,

Karen Palmer: (28:53)
right? Well, exactly. That is the key. And you ultimately, um, you know, whether for you initially someone finds you via Google search or on your website or at a trade show, you’re, you’re starting a relationship. That’s the beginning of what you hope will become, you know, a series of lifetime value from this customer. Um, and so every point in that journey matters. And which is why we have the, you know, glorious buyer’s journey that so many marketers, you know, live by. And it, it does make a difference with your brand. You have to have, um, a consistent story, a consistent message from 0.1, you know, at the entry point, whether it’s in a marketing efforts to the sales engagement, um, and then hopefully, um, through the purchase cycle and then on into, um, uh, more support, um, you know, relationship. But that’s, those are the brands that are able to create this consistent, ongoing, um, and very, um, I guess you’d say like mutually beneficial relationship that continue to, you know, they, they don’t have turn, you know, they keep customer loyalty.

Karen Palmer: (30:11)
They, um, have customers that are more than willing to share their, um, testimony with their friends and colleagues to, to really, um, do some of that viral marketing that, you know, you just can’t, you can’t buy that. I mean, you know, having your customers sell your story is really the ultimate yet for a brand is to have them doing the hard work for you. So you know, when, when you communicate with customers in a way that’s easy, reliable, understandable, enjoyable. I mean, you know, people want to be inspired, they want to feel good, then um, they reward that. She, your, your company and your brand was, was returned business. And um, in spreading that word,

Kyle Hamer: (30:55)
you know, I think, I think one of the things that’s most interesting and in the B2B world, you touched on it briefly and I’ll set it up with this statement. You know, people don’t care what you say or they won’t remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel. And I think for B to c brands, brands like Nike, um, I’m trying to think of another really, really big one. Uh, fora. Um, Peloton right now is a, is a big one that’s doing a really good job as well. There’s a, there’s an element of romance and novelty that, you know, their, their idea is simple, their audience and target is clear, but what they’re trying to deliver is an emotion in their interactions and in their audience. And I think that’s an area where in B2B we’ve got to catch up. The, the B2B world is still a little too buttoned down, uh, still a little too cold and we’re missing out on an opportunity to actually build a, uh, a love affair or a, a truly passionate customer base because they fell in love with what we delivered for them. Easy. Do you think that’s true or am I off base?

Karen Palmer: (32:14)
Well, no, I, I totally agree. I mean, there’s, you know, they always talk about it. There’s only so much you can do to maybe make, you know, business to business, software sexy. Uh, but there’s always an emotional button in there. There’s, there’s always something. You just have to have to dig to find it. And I agree with you. I think that there’s a lot that B to c can teach for B2B as far as, you know, finding those, those hot buttons. Um, of course within good measure because again, you know, that’s, that’s why I find B2B so, um, challenging but in a good way because there’s a lot of tension. You have to hold there between, okay, we need to find the emotional button, but we can’t go overboard with the, the sappiness or the, you know, the outrageousness or you know, this. And, you know, you can’t just typically, you can’t throw, you know, Dwayne Johnson, the Rock in front of a software company and have him just, you know, hey, he’s on it, so let’s sell it.

Karen Palmer: (33:21)
You know, you can’t, you can’t rely on celebrity endorsement. You have to really think about it. But, um, but I agree, like, I think that there is a way that B2B needs to catch up to that. And I think that there are companies that are coming along, um, with that, you know, becoming more in tune with, with just that, um, you know, again, back again to the human instinct. Um, one example, again, I’ll just throw back to the perceptive days. You know, we, we had a series of ads at one point where, um, you know, the, the product was document management at the time. It eventually became enterprise content management, but we did a series of ads where, um, one of the key messages was, um, call it four 55 doesn’t mean over time. And, uh, and then it brought it back to, you know, if we, you know, get the information to answer the question, be home for dinner and you think about that, that’s just one that sort of carried, like people would refer to that frequently. But that’s an example I’d say of where that’s an emotional habit and for someone, they are not the setting, but hey, they’ve got a life outside of their, you know, they want to get back to their families, they want to get home. So I mean there are things like that where you can really touch on, um, the personal land, the business side, I think, and make a connection.

Kyle Hamer: (34:44)
You know, I think that there’s, um, we could probably talk for another hour or two as it relates to just stories and messages in, in, and brandy. But to sum it up, the three things you’ll never achieve without a killer marketing or a killer messaging strategy. You want to, you want to hit on those again for me, Karen, what are they? Number one is

Karen Palmer: (35:03)
sure. Yep. So, um, you won’t achieve meaningful conversations and contents [inaudible] so that’s key obviously that you gotta have something that that’s going to mean something to the audience. You’re trying to reach a consistency. Again, very important. Everyone in your organization, I’m on the same page and creating a very clear, not confusing journey for, um, for your customers. And then thirdly, it’s the relationship, just having a true relationship for us and being a organization and a brand that they want to continue to engage, that they will keep on their speed dial when they’re looking for what you’re selling and that they’ll be more than happy to share their interaction with you in a good way with their, uh, colleagues and friends.

Kyle Hamer: (35:55)
Oh Man. I don’t know if anybody out there alive could say it better than that. Karen, thank you so much for being on today.

Karen Palmer: (36:03)
Thanks so much. I appreciate it.

Kyle Hamer: (36:05)
We are, um, we’re better for having listened and spent, spent this time with you as it relates to our messaging. Uh, if somebody has questions as it relates to their message or wanting to understand how they can improve, how can they get in contact with you, Karen?

Karen Palmer: (36:21)
Yeah, absolutely. Um, they can reach me. Uh, so KP brand communications is, uh, my firm, so you can reach me@kpbrand.com or you can just fill out a formal contact us there and um, and reach out. I’d, I’d love to talk to anyone who is passionate or wants to be as passionate about their messaging.

Kyle Hamer: (36:41)
That’s awesome. Well, thank you again for being here today and thank you for everybody for listening. It’s a, again, three things you’ll never achieve without a killer messaging strategy, meaningful conversations, consistency, and a relationship. And I guarantee you your business won’t experience hypergrowth without those three until next week. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk soon.

Karen Palmer
Karen PalmerBrand Storyteller
Karen helps organizations and individuals uncover their strongest, value-driven messages; craft smart, creative brand awareness content; communicate with relevance and confidence; and leave their audiences saying “I want what you’ve got!”
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Check out this blog from Karen on Building a killer message.
Get in touch with Karen Palmer on her Website

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TRANSCRIPT

Kyle Hamer: (00:05)Hello and welcome to the summit, the podcast where we bring you the knowledge and insights from industry leaders and professionals. No fluff, no double digit growth overnight schemes. We’re having real conversations with real people. I’m your host and today’s guest is my good friend, Karen Palmer. Karen, how are you this morning?
Karen Palmer: (00:23)I’m doing well. Thanks, Kyle. Thanks for having me.
Kyle Hamer: (00:25)Hey, we’re excited here to get into the three things you’ll never achieve without a killer messaging strategy. Um, you know, it’s been my good pleasure to know you for the last couple of years and I’ve been super impressed with, with your resume and things that you’ve done. Um, most recently I think you were the creative director at a place called receptive software before going out on your own and went through a journey of taking a multimillion dollar brand and message and rolling it into $1 billion brand and message. So love you. If you tell us a little bit about yourself, Karen.
Karen Palmer: (00:59)Sure, yeah. Thanks for that. Um, you are correct. I was, um, most recently, uh, prior to, to going out of my own eyes, um, was working for perceptive software, which is a rapidly growing, um, software technology company based in the Kansas City, Missouri region area. And I did, we, we, it was kind of like going through, um, the stages of, of free company that time I started on the ground floor when it was just small and up and coming and, uh, we grew, um, into a, a multimillion dollar company that was eventually acquired by Lexmark. Um, so I started out as the first content strategist and writer on the team and then eventually grew into leading, um, the creative services team of writers and designers, um, for the company. So, um, prior to that, my roots are really in writing. I started out on the ad agency side of the world and did a lot of writing there and then moved into in house after that just because I loved the idea of bringing the agency model, uh, into, in house marketing team to build out that type of creative force within an actual company. And so I was really, um, you know, h uh, really fortunate to be able to do that, um, at a place like perceptive that was really open to that. And we, we created a really amazing, uh, creative in house team there.
Kyle Hamer: (02:27)Yeah. You know, the, the reputation there proceeds you, uh, as it relates to how we got introduced. I mean, the person that introduced us was, was absolutely head over heels, which you had done a perceptive and actually super jealous being on the, uh, the acquiring side of the marketing team. But I had no idea you were in the agency business. Uh, how long were you in the, how long were you the agency world?
Karen Palmer: (02:49)Yeah, so I am headed in BHC straight out of college. Um, I’m a journalism Grad from the zoo. I got to get that plug in there and, uh, I was in the agency, uh, for a little over two years. Um, so not in a tremendous amount of time, but learned a ton working with some great people. And, um, you know, it wasn’t, I just, I, in doing that, um, amount of work on the agency side just really got enamored with in house teams and the fact that they seemed lacking in creative resources, but I felt like, you know, there could be things they were, they could be applying internally that agencies are offering that, that they could really build up within their own environment. And so that, that took me pretty quickly from the agency side of things into, um, exploring in house.
Kyle Hamer: (03:35)So when you were, when you were working in the agency, did you work on anything super cool that we would know? Like, is there, like, were you part of a Nike campaign or, or something even regional or local that you’re like, man, I was really glad to be a writer or a creative lead on this project?
Karen Palmer: (03:51)Yeah. You know? Well, I would say the, the most notable, um, brands that I worked on with IBM at the time, the agency I was working with, um, it was, uh, also my first foray into business to business marketing. Um, so it was an IBM engineering arm that was, um, you know, IBM kind of has their consumer side and their business side. So we were doing, um, business to business marketing for IBM. So that was probably the most notable, um, name. Um, but then the funnest one I probably worked on was, uh, we have a local amusement park here called war of the fun.
Kyle Hamer: (04:29)Yeah.
Karen Palmer: (04:32)And, uh, I was able to work on, um, a fun campaign, radio, uh, radio and print campaign for worlds of fun. So being a copywriter fresh out of school, that was, that was pretty cool.
Kyle Hamer: (04:44)You know, the thing that’s interesting about that is as you’re talking about worlds of fun worlds of fun, oceans of fun, and if it’s the campaign, I’m thinking about it slipping me, but I guarantee you that across billboards and the radio, cause I grew up in southwest Kansas that I, I guarantee you at some point your, uh, your work penetrated my family’s life and probably drove us to make a trip up there. So that’s Kinda cool.
Karen Palmer: (05:12)Well good. I hope so. It’s a pretty, it’s pretty well known around here. So that’s great to hear.
Kyle Hamer: (05:17)It is. So, you know, one of the, one of the things that your experience, at least when you’re talking about receptive software, you’re brought in as a, as a content strategist and that led to moving into creative director. But at the core, one of the things that, uh, you really are passionate about is having something good to say, saying it well, when it comes to your messaging strategy, what is it that’s going on that, that people don’t understand when it relates to how they present their company to the world and why does so many companies not get their message right?
Karen Palmer: (05:53)Yeah. Well that’s, I mean, that’s a great question because I think, um, there’s so much, there’s so much noise out there today. There’s, there’s so much content to consume, as we all know, it’s social and online and everywhere, you know? And so I think a lot of companies feel like they have to just get something out there to get visibility to get in the mix and don’t really think about what they’re saying in the things they’re putting out there. And so they just ended up being part of the noise. They don’t really cut through. Um, I find that a lot, you know, clients that are just like, oh, we need a new website, we need this. And, and they don’t step back to really think about, well what is it we’re going to try and communicate to folks
Karen Palmer: (06:41)and doing that. And so I think that, uh, you know, that’s what I’ve seen a lot of is there’s just not that stepping back to really think about who we’re going to be talking to, what’s their point of view and what do we need to say to make sure they’re going to listen. So I think that’s the biggest thing I’m seeing. And, and I do a lot of work with B to B companies again and actually in the tech space still as well as just the area that I’m heavily involved in. And again, I just, there’s a lot of that they’ll focus a little bit of naval gazing, you know, we know what we are doing, so we need to get that out there versus what is it people are looking for? And how do we connect what we’re doing is bat so leading with that ad x, that other point of view instead of your own point of view.
Kyle Hamer: (07:28)You know, I couldn’t, I could not agree with you more that there’s a ton of navel gazing and Mirror Mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? Look at me. Look at me. Uh, the part that’s really interesting though is it seems to me at some point between when I was first to start startup and I had a great idea and I needed to convince people that they, they would work with my software or they would work with my company. I had to focus on their problems too. Oh look how great I am. W what is it you think that actually breaks in the, in the business? Is it, is it a distractions? Is it lack of focus? Is it that the, the messages, if all, what is it that that really causes them from infancy when they’re focused on customer pain and, and addressing the market to, you know, hey, we’re a larger brand and we need to Redo our website, but we only want to talk about us.
Karen Palmer: (08:21)Yeah. I, you know, I think that, um, so a lot of a lot of companies I find it is when they hit that rapid growth mode, that things get a little muddy and whether it’s the products, all of a sudden the product has been developed more so it has more features and functions or the service was more robust. Whatever it is, they’re, you know, they’re selling, um, or they’ve really ramped up their hiring. So they have a huge workforce that are all getting onboarded and everyone’s trying to get up to speed and kind of get away, get away from them. There’s a little bit of overwhelmed to where, um, people are so focused on learning what it is that they’re selling that they don’t think about. How should we be actually positioning this or telling the story? Again, connect with, with what people want to hear. So I, I think it just becomes a bit of overwhelm and, and eventually, you know, it just leads to very, um, sort of cluttered and, and, um, static and uninspired messages that, uh, just end up not connecting with the audience. So I’d say that rapid growth really sometimes throws things off the rail.
Kyle Hamer: (09:32)And, and is it, is it the rapid growth in that the company has lost its identity? Or is it that there’s so many new people that they don’t know what to say and so it’s everybody’s variation and spin on what the company is loosely defined as their core core ideology or core message?
Karen Palmer: (09:51)I think the latter. I think mostly it’s, um, if you haven’t sat down and, and really gone through a proper messaging strategy in the beginning, um, it doesn’t show itself as much when there’s only five people telling the story. But once you get to 20 people or 25 or 50 people that are starting to have to tell this story and you don’t have a messaging strategy that really uplifted in the context of the audience, um, then you’re right. People just start kind of creating their own story, their own comfort during, you know, how am I comfortable telling the story? Well, this is how I’m going to tell it. And um, and unfortunately I would say a lot of those initial strategies because they don’t come at it from sort of the emotional sort of empathetic point of view. A lot of the wording is very jargon riddled. So you just sound like a software company and not a company who’s, you know, helping, you know, patients get access to their information more easily so they can sleep well at night. You know, there’s the, there’s just that difference in that, you know, how it’s, how it’s, um, communicated, which is why it’s really important to me because just having that writing background and communication, I think words are everything. How you say something is almost far more important than what you’re saying.
Kyle Hamer: (11:17)You know, the, the, the thing that’s interesting to me is this is when it’s one or two people, I think it’s pretty easy because you have a, you have a depth of knowledge and understanding perspective, maybe even personal experience and, and as you grow, you grow rapidly. You think, ah, that’s not the most important. What may be the most important is hitting our revenue target or we may be most important is ensuring that we’re hiring the right people. How do you encourage companies who are on a rapid growth to make messaging a priority? How, how, how should they think differently about their message and, and the impact that it can have on their, their business by not deprioritizing and not waiting to get to it until later.
Karen Palmer: (12:06)Right. Well, um, you know, there are, um, you know, I always lay out the fact that you, you have to, it’s like a how like, you have to have a solid foundation to build on. And, uh, you know, I really talk a lot about there being three critical things that just as hard as you try, you won’t achieve if you don’t first start with a strong messaging strategy. Like you just, you know, and um, you know, that there’s always that what we want to have, you know, we won’t have great content. We wanna, you know, have everyone on the same page. We want, you know, the things that just, if you don’t put the foundation down and get everyone, um, on track at one space, you’re just, you’re, you’re not gonna have that singular focus as a company driving toward your goal. Whether that’s revenue goals, whether that’s marketing goals, whether that hiring goals, you know, all of that really sentence Brown, having, uh, uh, you know, concentrated focus on who you are in and how you want to communicate your story.
Kyle Hamer: (13:10)You know, I think the, the, the strategists, the marketing gurus, the noises you talk about in the, in the market today makes it really challenging for, for companies to understand what a good message looks like versus a bad message looks like. And since even in B2B, you’re selling human to human, right? The person on the other side of the x, the other person on the other side of the email, they are, they’re human being, right? They, they have once needs and issues just like everybody else, even though they’re responsible for say a portion or a part of a company’s revenue or their business. How do you, how do you develop a killer message and what are the, what are some of the messages that you seen that really have the most impact in the B2B world?
Karen Palmer: (13:58)Sure, yeah. Um, well, so you know, one thing that I would say, you’re absolutely right. Um, you know, I work with a lot of BB clients and people assume, um, and I mean this is also relevant for B to c for anyone listening who’s, who’s got that focus. But yeah, they assume B2B means you have to always be very serious, buttoned down all the time. You know, this is a transactional type of conversation. And to your point is it is still humans. Humans, there are people, um, on the other side of that line who don’t leave their personal instincts at the door when they come to work that day. You know, they, they want to get to know you. They want to trust you. They want to feel a mutual connection. It sounds a little cheesy, but they want to like you, you know, no one really wants to work with someone they don’t like or at least you know, tolerate you get along with.
Karen Palmer: (14:52)Um, and especially if they’re going to make a really, really large purchase from you and multimillion dollar purchase, you know, from a tech perspective that can often be the price tag. So, um, I had found that messages that really, um, focus still on a personal aspect of how their personal life might be dovetailing into their professional life, um, makes a big impact on people. Everyone has. There’s, um, Gotcha. She just pulled it up before that. But then they said a list of these really great, um, emotional attributes that I read back when I was in early years as a writer, that regardless of who you’re talking to, you, you know, these are the things that move people and it’s, you know, it’s like greed, fear, um, you know, pride, you know, these, these really, um, sort of core that, you know, core instincts or values, characteristics. And that doesn’t change whether you’re talking to a business person or, or you know, a consumer, um, on an individual level.
Karen Palmer: (15:57)So I, any of those, the way you can take a, what, what a product or service is and still touch on those sort of key triggers of, you know, self promotion, you know, pride, varied. Um, I mean it sounds a little off. Maybe it sounds a little archaic, but it’s true. Like those are the triggers that, so, um, I think it’s just, it takes a little bit of a special creativity. Being able to do that and not do it too heavily handed to do it in the right way, that, that it, it connects. It doesn’t, uh, go over the top
Kyle Hamer: (16:36)when you, when you, you know, when you and I have talked in the past, there’s really three core principles that you have to creating a, a killer messaging strategy in the first one is stuff that you’ve talked about where you’re making it meaningful and conversation and in content, but in, in that, in the structure of making it meaningful, the, the words, the emotions, the stuff you talked about, it’s almost like the seven deadly sins of, of messaging, but in reverse, right? You want to use these in messaging to help, uh, compel your, your audience to move forward. But before you get to that, there’s almost a step before that, which is, is really this simplification of an idea or of a message. Why is that so important?
Karen Palmer: (17:18)Right? Well, it really is. I mean that, that is the number one thing. If you’re going to create these meaningful conversations and, and content. Um, I believe content is a conversation or it’s a conversation starter or continuar. Um, but really anytime you’re having a conversation, you have to keep it simple. You’re going to lose people’s attention quickly. Um, if you just sort of ramble on, you know, about yourself or about something that it may not be where their interests lies. So for instance, um, you know, one thing I always say is you have to make it about them and not you, which I’ve already touched on. I won’t Belabor that. That’s kind of a no brainer, but you need to think about who it is you’re talking to cause it, you know, it is meaningful for them. Um, you also don’t want to complicate it because there is a subliminal feeling that if it takes too long or it’s too complicated to explain your service or product, then probably your product or service is complicated.
Karen Palmer: (18:17)So you don’t want that to, to sort of Miss Guide people into thinking, well, it could take me this long to tell you what you can do for you. That means it’s going to be really hard for you to use this too. You know, to have value. So that’s also just one of the things that people pick up on. And then I did the last one is suggest, you know, um, the short attention span that we have. You know, the, there really is, I mean, Microsoft did a study, um, again last year where, um, the human attention span is now eight seconds. And the irony is the attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds. So we are officially less than a goldfish when it comes to our attention span. And you know, there’s only so much time you have to grab and hold attention, um, for folks that are looking for what you’re selling. So that means, you know, you have to be concise about what you say. You have to keep it simple and you have to get to the point, um, but make it, make it meaningful. So I mean, it’s not an easy thing, but it can be done.
Kyle Hamer: (19:21)You look it, it’s not only fascinating but terrifying that we have an attention span that’s only eight seconds long. And it also makes a book that I read probably 10 years ago, even more impactful because I think it was from the late eighties or early nineties and it was eight seconds to yes, a a sales guide to getting incremental commitments eight seconds at a time. And I thought at the time, wow, that’s really interesting. And yet here we are, you know, 2030 years later and the human attention span is, is lined up directly at that eight seconds. So that’s, it’s scary and fascinating. Uh, what I would be interested in is, is from your perspective, right? If you focus on having a meaningful conversation, meaningful content in the B2B world for you who’s doing it right, who’s doing it well? Give us an example of what successful, keeping it simple, keeping it consistent and doing it in bite size for goldfish or one of the groups that I think is doing a really, really good job right now is drift drift.com and they’re a, they’ve branded themselves as conversational marketing, but the emotional piece that they’re focused on, which I think is so fantastic is it’s not about you.
Kyle Hamer: (20:37)It’s not about your service, it’s about your customer and your customer’s customer. So if you go out and you, um, listen to anything that they’re talking about, they’re talking about even in the B2B world, whether it’s your messaging on your website, the stuffing, your Chat Bot, uh, your emails and the flows that you’re having. Everything across the board needs to have a, a human to human interaction needs to feel conversational. And so they’ve built their software around enabling that. And the, and the thing that I think is beautiful is this for all the account based marketing strategies that are out there for all the automation and bots that are out there, there’s somebody that’s saying, well, it’s not really technology. It’s not really, um, an algorithm. What it is, is, is a personalized experience at scale. And we’re doing it through conversations and, and that everybody is saying the same thing across the board. And, and I find it very fascinating how quickly they’ve come out of nowhere by catapulted to the top because they know their audience, they’ve kept it simple and they’re there. It’s, you know, nine seconds, eight seconds worth of information at a time and, and making it relatable. So at least for me, the of the, the group I am seeing this do really, really well with this right now is drift.
Karen Palmer: (21:52)That’s great. I will definitely check them out. I mean, you bring up a really good point, um, that I do want to clarify in that, you know, when I say that the, um, you know, the googles of the little than, you know, even the Amazon and Bailey, they’re going after this bear. I mean, you know, they, there’s so much technology on the back end as you know from a marketing automation perspective that makes it possible to narrow in on your audience. And so that’s where the algorithms are helpful, like finding your target. But I am a, I am 100% believer that can’t drive your message and that can’t drive the communication because at the end of the day, now that I know I have a specific person or persons I’m talking to, I still have to do the work to talk to them as a human human. So to your point, so you know, those, this is where SCO and I get into a little bit of a rumble because SEO has its place and she word placement and all of that, but, um, that only gets you so far and we’re not, you know, you’re not talking to robots, but the end of the day on the other end, you’re talking to people.
Karen Palmer: (22:58)So I think that the technology is helping us get more laser focused on who we’re talking to, but at the end of the day, it still takes the messaging that’s crafted for people, by people to really get across, um, the point you want to make and, and compel a response.
Kyle Hamer: (23:19)You know? And, and I think the thing that you, you touch on there is, is beyond the technology that personal, the person, one of the things that people can smell a mile away. And I think it’s, it’s intuition. It’s our fight or flight mechanism where people can smell frauds. I mean, and in today’s, today’s world of online gurus, I mean, every time you turn around, there’s a guru. And it makes me think of the, uh, I, I think that was a Paul Schneider video, the love Guru, um, from back in the early two thousands. But you know, everybody’s got their, their special sauce or the way that they’re going to change the world. Interestingly enough though, for most organizations they can overcome the, uh, the smell of being a fraud with your second step, which is consistency. Why is consistency so important in building a killer message?
Karen Palmer: (24:14)Yeah, it’s just, um, you know, again, it probably seems like a no brainer, but, uh, getting every facet of the company on the same page is just critically important because, um, ultimately what you’re doing, whether it’s a, you know, a piece of content or sales engagement, um, or an event engagement, if you’re seeing someone at a trade show, it’s an experience that you’re creating. And if they get one message from your marketing team and a different message from your sales team and hear another message from your executive leadership in a, you know, maybe a presentation and show is very confusing. And to your point, it sort of triggers that will one, do they really know what they’re talking about? Do they know my, do they know my pain or my business? And do they really understand how they can address that? Um, and it’s also confusing for your employees.
Karen Palmer: (25:10)So it just, even from an onboarding perspective and, and you know, getting everyone in the company, um, you know, moving in the same direction. So consistency is huge and that’s a messaging strategy. You can just help lay that out for everyone. So they know, um, regardless whether they’re in sales or marketing or executive leadership or customer support or HR, um, that this is our value proposition. This is how, you know, we can back that up. Here are the proof points behind that. Um, here’s the, you know, general, if we were stuck in an elevator, the good old elevator pitch like this is, this is what you say and everyone’s thinking from the same songbook. Um, and what that also does is then it really puts your brand stake in the ground and you’re able to own that story. And, um, you know, once you continue to turn that out, you know, repetition is memorable. So, um, it’s not about, you know, being, um, you know, robotic necessarily because obviously if I’m, you know, you have to know your eyes, but I’m talking to a particular person in this industry, I’m, I’m gonna kind of slightly, um, modify that message for that person. But at the end of the day, the core should always be the same. The core should feel, you know, very consistent across all touch points, the company
Kyle Hamer: (26:30)and going back to your first, right. So consistency in simple. If it’s simple and consistent, it’s hard to be seen as a fraud. It’s easy to build that relationship and the trust. Right,
Karen Palmer: (26:41)right, right. And you know, I have clients who will say, you know, nothing’s worse than when they go into a, maybe a sales presentation, a a failed opportunity. And um,
Kyle Hamer: (26:55)yes,
Karen Palmer: (26:55)you know, maybe later on that they lose that opportunity. And the reasoning being, well, we didn’t choose you because we didn’t know that we didn’t think you didX or y. And it’s like, oh, but we do like that’s actually what we do. And the sense too late, like you’ve lost the opportunity. So there’s so many times you hear about that where it’s like, oh, they didn’t know. They didn’t know that this was what we did. And you say, well, why didn’t they know that? Or Oh, I read this on your website, I thought that you did this. And then you know, once they get into the funnel with sale, like well they kinda hear a different story. And so it makes for a lot of confusion. And to your point, can stand up that sort of fraud flag potentially.
Kyle Hamer: (27:41)Well, and I think the reason I bring it up or raise that in what you just said makes so much sense and keeping sales and marketing aligned. And, and I’ll, I’ll go ahead and say this. I genuinely believe that in today’s digital age, marketers have to be more like salespeople. And salespeople have to be more like marketers. And what does that mean? What that means is the consistency and simplicity and things that we’re talking about in conversations and messages have to start sales starts way earlier than it used to. And marketing goes way deeper than what we remember. And so the, the, the lines are becoming more and more blurred every day. But ultimately it’s a transference of your third point, which is building a relationship. And the, the exchange between sales and marketing today is less about, hey, I turned over a lead as much as I transferred a relationship. And if we take that perspective and we think about the relationships we’re building through our messaging and the can stuff with our audience, how will that transform our organization? Or how will that transform our message or its impact as, as you see it,
Karen Palmer: (28:53)right? Well, exactly. That is the key. And you ultimately, um, you know, whether for you initially someone finds you via Google search or on your website or at a trade show, you’re, you’re starting a relationship. That’s the beginning of what you hope will become, you know, a series of lifetime value from this customer. Um, and so every point in that journey matters. And which is why we have the, you know, glorious buyer’s journey that so many marketers, you know, live by. And it, it does make a difference with your brand. You have to have, um, a consistent story, a consistent message from 0.1, you know, at the entry point, whether it’s in a marketing efforts to the sales engagement, um, and then hopefully, um, through the purchase cycle and then on into, um, uh, more support, um, you know, relationship. But that’s, those are the brands that are able to create this consistent, ongoing, um, and very, um, I guess you’d say like mutually beneficial relationship that continue to, you know, they, they don’t have turn, you know, they keep customer loyalty.
Karen Palmer: (30:11)They, um, have customers that are more than willing to share their, um, testimony with their friends and colleagues to, to really, um, do some of that viral marketing that, you know, you just can’t, you can’t buy that. I mean, you know, having your customers sell your story is really the ultimate yet for a brand is to have them doing the hard work for you. So you know, when, when you communicate with customers in a way that’s easy, reliable, understandable, enjoyable. I mean, you know, people want to be inspired, they want to feel good, then um, they reward that. She, your, your company and your brand was, was returned business. And um, in spreading that word,
Kyle Hamer: (30:55)you know, I think, I think one of the things that’s most interesting and in the B2B world, you touched on it briefly and I’ll set it up with this statement. You know, people don’t care what you say or they won’t remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel. And I think for B to c brands, brands like Nike, um, I’m trying to think of another really, really big one. Uh, fora. Um, Peloton right now is a, is a big one that’s doing a really good job as well. There’s a, there’s an element of romance and novelty that, you know, their, their idea is simple, their audience and target is clear, but what they’re trying to deliver is an emotion in their interactions and in their audience. And I think that’s an area where in B2B we’ve got to catch up. The, the B2B world is still a little too buttoned down, uh, still a little too cold and we’re missing out on an opportunity to actually build a, uh, a love affair or a, a truly passionate customer base because they fell in love with what we delivered for them. Easy. Do you think that’s true or am I off base?
Karen Palmer: (32:14)Well, no, I, I totally agree. I mean, there’s, you know, they always talk about it. There’s only so much you can do to maybe make, you know, business to business, software sexy. Uh, but there’s always an emotional button in there. There’s, there’s always something. You just have to have to dig to find it. And I agree with you. I think that there’s a lot that B to c can teach for B2B as far as, you know, finding those, those hot buttons. Um, of course within good measure because again, you know, that’s, that’s why I find B2B so, um, challenging but in a good way because there’s a lot of tension. You have to hold there between, okay, we need to find the emotional button, but we can’t go overboard with the, the sappiness or the, you know, the outrageousness or you know, this. And, you know, you can’t just typically, you can’t throw, you know, Dwayne Johnson, the Rock in front of a software company and have him just, you know, hey, he’s on it, so let’s sell it.
Karen Palmer: (33:21)You know, you can’t, you can’t rely on celebrity endorsement. You have to really think about it. But, um, but I agree, like, I think that there is a way that B2B needs to catch up to that. And I think that there are companies that are coming along, um, with that, you know, becoming more in tune with, with just that, um, you know, again, back again to the human instinct. Um, one example, again, I’ll just throw back to the perceptive days. You know, we, we had a series of ads at one point where, um, you know, the, the product was document management at the time. It eventually became enterprise content management, but we did a series of ads where, um, one of the key messages was, um, call it four 55 doesn’t mean over time. And, uh, and then it brought it back to, you know, if we, you know, get the information to answer the question, be home for dinner and you think about that, that’s just one that sort of carried, like people would refer to that frequently. But that’s an example I’d say of where that’s an emotional habit and for someone, they are not the setting, but hey, they’ve got a life outside of their, you know, they want to get back to their families, they want to get home. So I mean there are things like that where you can really touch on, um, the personal land, the business side, I think, and make a connection.
Kyle Hamer: (34:44)You know, I think that there’s, um, we could probably talk for another hour or two as it relates to just stories and messages in, in, and brandy. But to sum it up, the three things you’ll never achieve without a killer marketing or a killer messaging strategy. You want to, you want to hit on those again for me, Karen, what are they? Number one is
Karen Palmer: (35:03)sure. Yep. So, um, you won’t achieve meaningful conversations and contents [inaudible] so that’s key obviously that you gotta have something that that’s going to mean something to the audience. You’re trying to reach a consistency. Again, very important. Everyone in your organization, I’m on the same page and creating a very clear, not confusing journey for, um, for your customers. And then thirdly, it’s the relationship, just having a true relationship for us and being a organization and a brand that they want to continue to engage, that they will keep on their speed dial when they’re looking for what you’re selling and that they’ll be more than happy to share their interaction with you in a good way with their, uh, colleagues and friends.
Kyle Hamer: (35:55)Oh Man. I don’t know if anybody out there alive could say it better than that. Karen, thank you so much for being on today.
Karen Palmer: (36:03)Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
Kyle Hamer: (36:05)We are, um, we’re better for having listened and spent, spent this time with you as it relates to our messaging. Uh, if somebody has questions as it relates to their message or wanting to understand how they can improve, how can they get in contact with you, Karen?
Karen Palmer: (36:21)Yeah, absolutely. Um, they can reach me. Uh, so KP brand communications is, uh, my firm, so you can reach karen@kpbrand.com or you can just fill out a formal contact us there and um, and reach out. I’d, I’d love to talk to anyone who is passionate or wants to be as passionate about their messaging.
Karen Palmer: (36:21)Yeah, absolutely. Um, they can reach me. Uh, so KP brand communications is, uh, my firm, so you can reach karen@kpbrand.com or you can just fill out a formal contact us there and um, and reach out. I’d, I’d love to talk to anyone who is passionate or wants to be as passionate about their messaging.
Kyle Hamer: (36:41)That’s awesome. Well, thank you again for being here today and thank you for everybody for listening. It’s a, again, three things you’ll never achieve without a killer messaging strategy, meaningful conversations, consistency, and a relationship. And I guarantee you your business won’t experience hypergrowth without those three until next week. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk soon.