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Benjamin: Hello Marketers, and welcome back to the MarTech podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation, and the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel, and how to improve their organic rankings. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics Suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure your writers produce effect content. There are billions of Google searches happening every day, and Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top. 

Benjamin: Today, we're going to talk about B2B Marketing with Doug Bell who is the VP of Marketing of this Podcast's sponsor, Searchmetrics. In this episode, Doug is going to tell us how he combined his previous experience in finance with an understanding of brand marketing. He's also going to tell us about Searchmetrics' customer segmentation, and how he thinks about matching the right products with the right customers. Here's our interview with Doug Bell from Searchmetrics.

Benjamin: Doug, it's great to have you here.

Doug: Hey Ben, it's good to be here. 

Benjamin: So let's start off by telling me what does the company that you work for do, and what's your role at the company?

Doug: It's funny, Ben, I think for every person that ever goes online, I think there's this whole hidden world that occurs every time you log in, hit your browser, hit your chosen search engine, and make a search. There's a tremendous amount of competition for your attention. There's some obvious things. You see some ads that pop up when you do a search, but maybe the less obvious thing is the results that pop up when you do the search that are there naturally. We call that search engine optimization. It's this art meets science practice of making sure that content is created, that actually ranks well. There's this whole universe and world around that. What Searchmetrics does is, we provide the data, and we provide some very cool tools to allow people to understand how to leverage that data, and we provide expert services all combined together in this very nice wrapper that helps, typically, pretty big companies. We do help some smaller companies, but big companies navigate that online world effectively. 

Benjamin: Part of this podcast, we have three segments, which we described in our first episodes. There's people that listen to this that are marketing pros, that understand what a B2B enterprise level SAS SEO optimization software is, there's also some people that are learning the lingo of marketing. So, B2B, business to business. Enterprise, large company. SAS, software as a service. Search engine optimization, SEO. Did I forget any acronyms at the end there?

Doug: No, Ben, congratulations. You have won the jargon award, and jargon bingo, all in one day. 

Benjamin: Bingo, okay. Kidding aside, tell me about your role at Searchmetrics. 

Doug: Ben, I'm responsible for marketing globally. We were founded 10 years ago as an agency that specializes in helping large companies deal with SEO challenges. We ultimately morphed into an enterprise software company, over time. My core function, if you boil it down at the end of the day, is making sure that that revenue curve is moving up and to the right in a predictable, steady fashion, in alignment with the board and investor's expectations. That largely means that I'm hyper concerned about brand awareness, because it leads to greater efficiency when it comes to new revenue opportunities. I'm very concerned about lead generation, and I'm concerned about efficiency in the funnel. 

Doug: Another important part of my job is to be able to help the company see around corners, and to leverage the combination of pricing, packaging, and products, such that we're in the right place at the right time on the market. 

Benjamin: Walk us through your career path. Where else have you worked, what titles, responsibilities did you have? How did you develop the skills along the way to land the VP of Marketing at Searchmetrics role?

Doug: Actually, I feel like I had a non-traditional path to Marketing leadership in the B2B space. I got my career start working at GE, as an auditor, of all things, as a finance guy. Spent the first 13, 14 years of my career in various finance and finance leadership capacities. I worked at Coca Cola, and at Cisco Systems, so first some fairly big companies. I got into marketing, because one of my vendors, when I was at Cisco, a financial software company, recruited me to help understand product to market fit, and come up with a go to market plan for a company that they'd just acquired. Really at the end of the day was a hybrid role between sales and marketing, but at its core, it was this strategic marketing job. I just fell in love with marketing, and found my true calling. Since that time, I've worked at a number of B2B SAS companies, that always seemed to be my sweet spot. 

Doug: I've especially enjoyed working for companies that are pre-scale, so think about companies that are zero to five million, or five to 10 that are looking to go to the 25, and 50 million revenue spot. With the companies I've worked for, I think the most familiar would be Ariba, which was acquired by SAP, and was one of the darlings of the .com boom back in the 2000's. 

Doug: The only thing I'd note there, is that there's a certain amount of luck and timing with everything. When I started in marketing in the early 2000's, that was very much a period where there was this transition occurring both in the software world. Where at that time, we would call it on demand software, this is back when Salesforce was this fairly unique creature out there. 

Doug: That was happening, at the same time that marketing was changing, and transforming, and moving from the art and the creative, to more of the idea of data driving decisions. It's funny, one of my big influences from that time, and one of the things that I used as a guidepost to marketing, was a very non-marketing book called, Money Ball. I think that's become a business tone for many professionals, because it boiled down the essence of performance, in this case, for the Oakland A's, one of the best teams in the history of baseball, by the way. It boiled down performance to raw stats, raw numbers, raw metrics. That's where marketing was transforming.

Doug: My background, as a finance person who ... At the end of the day, my job is just getting to the brass tacks what was happening to business without the clutter of creative. It was, bottom line, one of the numbers that was really a big help to me. 

Benjamin: You mentioned that a lot of your role is also thinking about the brand, and about product packaging, pricing, sort of traditional marketing questions. Tell me about how you've developed that muscle, coming from a data driven background?

Doug: Whether you're coming into the marketing place from a creative background, or from a financial or data background, I think that we have to, as marketers, be able to do the creative and the analytical well together. We may have a bias towards one area, but I think we end up developing both sides of that brain. The thing that ultimately helped me, 'cause I'm going to that sweet spot of using data, was that there was always something happening to the numbers that I could not explain. That was the brand, that was the idea of brand. A great example of what happens first, here at Searchmetrics as an example, we are brand dominant in Europe. You can see the impact of brand on the way that we drive new revenue, and we can see it on a programmatic level, in terms of our ability to generate interest via content, or e-mail campaigns. You can compare that to the numbers in the UK or the US, where we're less brand dominant. 

Doug: That for me, is really brand. It's this idea that the company's reputation, how people feel about a company, really can influence the numbers. That's been the muscle that has developed really the slowest for me, but it's at least something that I can appreciate, in terms of the numbers. I will also say I've learned to trust my intuition and my judgment as a consumer. I've gotten really good at stepping outside of my role, saying, "Would I want to read this content? Would I call this good software? Would I think these are good services?" That helps me at least provide the guidance, and then I know to really bring great, creative people on board, and trust their judgment.

Benjamin: Talk to me about your customers at Searchmetrics, and how do you think about your segmentation? 

Doug: We have, I think, one of the simplest and in some ways, one of the more complex segmentation exercises in front of us at Searchmetrics. On the simple side of things, it comes down to "Does your company depend on its online presence to drive revenue and brand?" Then, how does it depend on that. That tends to create our segments. For an example, if you're very much counting on your online presence, B2B, your ability to show up in search naturally to drive transactional revenue, then your behavior is determined by that. That, typically, is e-commerce. That's one important segment for us.

Doug: The other is, my content is topical, it needs to rank right away, because I drive advertising revenue based on the amount of volume I can get for that one piece of content. That's media. I'm going to generalize this much bigger bucket by saying, I have a brand presence. That's either very important for a micro-market, or it's important for a global market. I need to be seen as being either an expert, or I need my brand to show up against other brands in such a way that my online presence, and my SEO is very much about maintaining that brand presence. 

Doug: We end up having these three big mono-segments. It's e-commerce, media, and then all other, where they're really looking at brand and awareness as a driving factor for SEO.

Benjamin: Can you give me some examples now? To help you with one of them, e-commerce. A company that's selling products like Amazon, Ebay.

Doug: Those are really good examples. I would also say that the e-commerce influence is affecting brick and mortar companies as well. You would be surprised that the number of companies that you would say don't have an e-commerce concern, let's say, a car company, actually is beginning to think in terms of e-commerce. Tesla, by the way, does sell cars via their website. So, they have this e-commerce component. Apparel is an important space for us, that kind of bridges to e-commerce. So Nike, or Adidas, would fit examples. 

Benjamin: Tell me about the media and publishing industry. 

Doug: I think more classically people would tend to think of media as the New York Times, or any of the content you consume via television. But there's this whole space that is new media. It's worse, it's click bait at its best. It's teaching people how to do things in their daily lives, better. At the end of the day it's about capturing people's attention in the site geist moment of the last hour, or week, if you will. That's its own micro-industry within media, but I think that's the place that we play best, that "gotta get your attention now" place. I can't rely on what a big headline I have, I gotta find another way to get your attention. 

Benjamin: So an example of a company, like what you're talking about, is Buzzfeed. 

Doug: Yeah.

Benjamin: Okay. You have this other catch-all group of people that are trying to make sure that they have a presence, give me an example of one of those.

Doug: Good example would be Adidas, or Volkswagen, as examples of companies that see this challenge and embrace that SEO is a practice. Using search to create awareness for the company. 

Benjamin: Is there a specific set of products that each individual segment needs? How do you think about your product packaging and what your service offering is for that?

Doug: Across all those segments there's a common layer. That's what we call a technical SEO, or technical search engine optimizer. It's a position within a company. They probably at some point were a coder, or responsible for the website. They understand the essence of SEO at a very technical level. In other words, they understand the mechanics with site optimization, site structure internal linking, and how to combine that with what they would consider good to great content. They're not the purveyors of the content, they're not the people that create it, but they can recognize it, and make recommendations around better content. 

Doug: Our product service those folks all equally. Then, if we look at who's adjacent to them, that's the people that actually generate the content, and the people that are responsible for the results of what the SEO's do, and what the content generators do, in other words.

Benjamin: So essentially what you're saying is, there's a software that helps SEO optimizers, the people that are making changes to your website to make sure that the content ranks. The search metric software gives them the tools and the data they need to understand how their content is performing. You've also built that additional software to help support the creators of content, and then there's a management level where there's, again, this underlying data where people can understand how SEO optimization and organic traffic as a channel is performing. 

Doug: Yeah.

Benjamin: Talk to me about how you differentiate from your competition, and how does your business model play into that?

Doug: It's that we, as a company, culturally, don't see our boundaries ending with SEO or content. We tend to look at things very much in terms of how do we help marketers perform better in this intensely competitive online space. We have no hesitation to expand our platform. A good example, and we've talked about it kind of glancingly, is content experience. All content experience does is, it allows people to generate content that has a high probability of ranking, because there's this machine and deep learning layer existing in the background creating content that's making recommendations. As they create content that matches user intent, in other words, what people are looking for. That allows people to write without worrying about SEO's, still creating great content. That's a good example of how we don't let traditional boundaries, in other words, the difference between search, and let's say content marketing, stop us. 

Doug: I think the other piece, and another good example, is that we've recognized that the content creation process is really broken for most companies. Wherever you're listening from right now, and you're thinking about content, if you're a small company, you're like, "I got a guy writing blog posts, that's fine, it works fine." You think about an e-commerce firm, or a big brand, they're generating hundreds of millions of dollars of content every year. Quite often they're going to agencies, which do a good job, or they're going to brokers of content, to get their content reviewed. They're spending a lot of money, publishing a lot of content, that just sits there. I'm going to quote something that's a little bit out of date, but, Content Marketing Institute, important partners of ours in 2016 talked about 62 percent of all content created never gets read, because it's never found online.

Doug: Getting back to this idea of what makes us different, we just don't see boundaries there. What we're looking at right now is how can we strategically help large companies create content that's going to rank better. That's I think what makes us different. The way that consumers feel is that on a feature level, and on a service level, like the brass tacks of what they're getting, it's much more comprehensive, and much more effective, the software itself, because we don't see those boundaries. 

Benjamin: Okay, that wraps up this episode of the Martech podcast. Thanks to Doug, for joining us. In part two of this interview, which we'll publish tomorrow morning, Doug is going to talk us through his approach to reaching business to business prospects, the relationship between sales and marketing, and the difference between marketing for B2B and B2C businesses. If you can't wait until the second part of this podcast, and you would like to learn about Searchmetrics, go to to request your free tour of their platform. If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website at

Benjamin: A special thanks to you, if you're a subscriber of our podcast, we want you to feel like this is a community. So, if you have any questions, or if you'd like to be a guest on the show, feel free to reach out to me directly at, or on Twitter and LinkedIn. Our handle is BenJShapLLC. If you haven't subscribed, and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, in addition to part two to this episode with Doug Bell from Searchmetrics, we've got some great episodes lined up for you in the next few weeks. If you're interested in topics like optimizing your CPC campaigns, growth hacking, or direct mail, hit that subscribe button in your podcast app. 

Benjamin: Okay, that's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy. 

Benjamin: Hello, marketers, and welcome back to the MarTech Podcast.

Benjamin: This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve their organic rankings on Google. If you're an enterprise global marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective content. There are billions of Google searches happening every day. Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top.

Benjamin: Okay. Today we're going to finish our discussion centered around reaching B2B customers. In our last episode, Doug Bell, the VP of marketing from our sponsored Searchmetrics, walked us through how he combined his previous experience in finance with his understanding of brand marketing, how he's developed his customer segmentation at Searchmetrics, and how he matches the right customers with the right products. If you missed that last episode, I highly recommend that you go back and give it a listen.

Benjamin: That said, in today's episode, the second part of our conversation with Doug, he's going to talk us through his approach to reaching B2B prospects, the relationship between sales and marketing, and the difference between marketing a business to business and a business to consumer company.

Benjamin: Here's the second part of our interview with Doug Bell of Searchmetrics.

Benjamin: How do you reach people that are at businesses as opposed to going to consumer? Tell me about your marketing mix, how do you think about reaching your prospects, and what's the process there?

Doug: I think the best way to think about this is to think, "Am I in a recognized software category?" as a starting place. Is there a neat space that you fit into, and in our case, it's enterprise SEO software.

Doug: So, yes, that category exists. So, how do I fit within that scope and sphere? Am I well-regarded? Is my brand well-regarded? Am I likely to be in each deal cycle? And then from there you're thinking, "How do I get into more deal cycles?" And that's, I think, the simple first exercise.

Doug: Then, the next is your buyer personas. And if you don't have buyer personas, get them right away. It's been a standard part of how marketing operates. Ten years ago it was brand new, but most of us have a way of digesting our segments and our buyers through buyer personas. And then what you're doing is you're taking a look and you're saying, "What matters to them? And where are they in the sales cycle?" Making sure that you have ways of reaching buyers when they're out there looking based on your channel mix, and you're not trying to reach out to an executive buyer to teach them something when they're simply going to sign off on something.

Benjamin: Talk to me about what you view is the relationship between brand marketers--let's call it growth marketing or customer acquisition--and then sales. Where's the line in the sand?

Doug: That's a hand-off point typically, Ben. From the moment that the sales person says, "Thank you for this lead. Thank you. I've got it from here. I'm signing off, and I'm taking it." So, the piece that usually is handled by marketing is the "How do I create recognition of my brand through a combination of different channels, content syndication, social media, trade shows, what have you? How do I make sure that when that occurs either they're reaching out to me or I'm reaching out to them?"

Doug: And that whole process, in and of itself, will tend to determine your awareness in the generation strategy. But there is a point where you hand off to sales, where there is likely maybe one or two contacts and that opportunity is validated by sales, and at that point, sales then takes that life cycle the rest of the way through.

Benjamin: Okay, so, marketing's responsibility in a B2B company is to build awareness, get somebody to understand what your company is and what your products are for, to reach out to them, and to get them to engage with the sales team, which is what is called, essentially, moving somebody from being a prospect, somebody that you want to have a relationship with, to an opportunity, meaning someone that is engaging with the sales team. And when an opportunity has been created, essentially the marketing team hands that off to sales and says, "Okay, go get them."

Benjamin: As a marketer, you are responsible for driving revenue, but you're very much dependent on the sales team's ability to convert those opportunities into dollars. What are the KPIs that you look at to understand your marketing team's success and then looking at how that is converted into revenue?

Doug: So I look at, and I think a lot of B2B marketing executives look at, is what's the efficiency of my lead funnel. And what I tend to look at is what's the ratio of some important thing at the top of the funnel--I'm going to pick raw leads, in other words, leads that have not been evaluated--and then I'm going to look at the bottom of the funnel which is customer wins, irrespective of the size of the customer win. And I'm going to divide those two numbers out and make it ratio.And that's really always the key metric for me in terms of evaluating the health of the funnel.

Doug: And the reason I do that, then, is because the more efficient that funnel is and the more I can pay attention on making that funnel efficient, the less investment it takes to generate that customer win. But that's really what I tend to look at is what's my efficiency level and then I'm backing out from customer wins, all the way back out to that first metric.

Doug: In this case, I'm picking raw. It could be something higher up in the funnel, depends on what's critical to your business in that moment.

Doug: But I think, Ben, you were also asking for, "How do I measure the hand off between marketing and sales?" And that tends to be very critical, and again I'd say, going back to my original advice, don't be stopped by the efficiency of the sales organization or the hand-off process. It's not your job to be the Head of Sales, nor is it your job to close business. But look at that piece of the business because if it's inefficient, you're not going to be able to afford to feed that sales team, and their ways to address that ... if you have an adversarial relationship with sales, all is lost because there is so much great information there.

Doug: But maybe let's just focus on that hand-off piece for a bit. Really what's happening at that point is you're handing off a, could be a lead, and that hand off to sales--at that point, sales is saying, "We agree," and that's an important element, "We agree that this is something we can work with--and then sales takes that over.

Doug: But the first metric I gave you, which is in this case, I picked raw lead all the way down to customer win, that measure's full funnel effectiveness, it allows you very quickly to focus on what's important in terms of how that funnel is working. And usually what happens if it's not working, you may be handing off leads that aren't good. So define what a good lead is and make sure you're handing those off. Get rid of that ambiguity.

Doug: The other thing could be, in fact, the market has shifted and there's change happening and your price point is wrong or you're positioned poorly or fill in the blank. And that's where I think that a true marketing leader should perform best. It's in that ambiguity space, where it's easy to point fingers. Don't do that.

Benjamin: I think the other thing that we haven't talked about is what are the marketing channels? Talking about what the traditional B2B marketing mix is and what are some of the go-to channels for you?

Doug: For the traditional mix that is a combination of your online presence, and that's usually a mix between your SEO and your PPC. Throw in there social media, which has moved from content promotion and syndication to a true lead generation channel over time. People are becoming more used to using social media to find future vendors, and those things are occurring really at the top of the funnel for you. So those are the three that I think are really important.

Doug: Depending on whether you're in a category or not, in other words you're in this defined space of other software providers, the trade show route, so sponsoring trade shows having a booth or having somebody speak at a trade show or both, that can also be an important factor as well. But those are the things that typically sit at the top of your funnel.

Doug: Because the transaction amounts typically are higher in B2B staffs is not always the case, but generally speaking, especially for B2B enterprise staffs, they're bigger. Your customer set is much smaller, and this idea of broadcast media or advertising goes. That's for SAP, that's for these huge players, and even they, frankly, aren't doing much advertising.

Doug: So that layer is really about your ability to get in front of prospects because either they're searching for something or, and I mentioned before, Ben, this idea of getting in front of them and that's usually the sales development or the business development organization. And they're listening for moments. They're in their LinkedIn profiles. They're watching your behavior. Not to creep you out too much, but if you hit our website, we see your behavior, especially when you come back to the website and we can choose to reach out to you, the sales development team can.

Doug: And that's usually what's happening at the top of the funnel.

Benjamin: There's your content, which you can syndicate through social media, and what your online presence is. In some specific cases, when your category is broad enough, there are trade shows, and then there's also just having an understanding and being able to analyze what someone who interacts with any of your assets, how likely they are to convert. And that gets more into this pipe-line methodology.

Benjamin: I think that there's a channel we haven't talked about yet. You have a sales team, and in a traditional business to consumer, B2C tool, there isn't a sales person that's reaching out. There's a webpage that you put your credit card into to buy a service or a widget.

Benjamin: How does the sales team serve as a customer acquisition channel? Because I think that that's really important and the big difference between B2B and B2C.

Doug: Let's split that out into two pieces.

Doug: So there's the role of a sales organization to take an opportunity and guide that opportunity to the point that it become a customer. That, in and of itself, is a very specialized skill set. It is project management with traditional selling along with problem management, altogether in one. Those are very highly compensated people, the sales people, that is, for a good reason because that's tough to do. That's really hard to do.

Doug: Then there's this other piece that says, and this is especially true as your average selling price goes up, those sales people can actually be a very effective lead generation mechanism for you. And the reason that can be very important is because the higher your price point, the more skilled your sales force tends to be and the more capable they tend to be at getting out there and recognizing big deals for them.

Doug: So if you're a B2B staff's player that has a small price point, let's say 5K or 10K, you still have sales people, don't have them out there looking for deals. That's a waste of their time. You should have a very large inbound machine that's constantly cranking through highly qualified leads and handing them over.

Doug: I've worked for [inaudible 00:11:24] companies that had a roughly 5 to 10K price point. You don't want them out there discovering deals. It's not worth it.

Doug: But that's how the sales organizations function. They are ultimately the people that guide this fairly complex thing.

Doug: So if you think about a business, one of your future customers spending let's say $100,000 on your software per year, that sounds like an awfully big number, but it's not unusual for large enterprises. That could be career-risking stuff for the person making the purchase, so you almost need a Zen psychologist/project manager to manage that. That person could also be a very effective channel for you in terms of generating new interest and new business.

Benjamin: So you're saying that you have these very specialized product manager, problem solver, sales people, account execs that are great at walking prospect through why the product and service is the right fit for them. But it seems like their job is primarily around closing as opposed to meeting and researching and creating new contacts.

Doug: There is this, sometimes it's called business development or sales development, layer that exists, and they should have two roles.

Doug: One role is, as inbound leads come in, they're hopping all over that, qualifying those leads, getting the information to the prospect they need, up and to the point that it makes sense to hand them off to this highly qualified account executive.

Doug: The other piece is they should be out there listening in the market, typically LinkedIn is a really great source of this. They're listening and they're looking for buyer personas like the ones that you have and you've organized around marketing and products. And they're looking for opportunities to get in front of them, cold-calling instead. By the way, this is usually email or social media activity. And they're getting in front of them and saying, "You seem to be having a problem that my customers have and that we solve for them really well. How can I help you?"

Doug: So earlier when I spoke to this idea that sales person being able to get in front of a prospect, I was speaking to the SDR team or the BDR team.

Benjamin: Essentially the SDR, or the sales development reps, are able to reach out broadly because their entire responsibility is around making contacts and vetting whether somebody is interested in the product or service. The account exec is big game hunting and looking for large strategic relationships that they can cultivate over a larger period of time. Is that fair?

Doug: That's right.

Benjamin: As the VP of Marketing, what's the goal for you at this point in your career?

Doug: I think, for me, it really comes down to working at a place where I believe in the products and the people and the market. And I think it's taken me 10 years to understand this lesson. I spent a lot of time, and, frankly, I'm glad I spent that time, looking for new opportunities, looking for a broader scope of responsibility, being really willing to make change in order to get that skill set. And I value that time where I was trying to do as much as I could, and that included managing sales organizations or being the head of alliances in business development, not just marketing. I think that's an important part of any marketer's education.

Doug: But it's ultimately me being in a place where I believe in what I'm selling and what I'm marketing. I'm incredibly lucky to be at Searchmetrics, not just because it's Searchmetrics, but because that was such a great channel for me and such a great tool in my toolkit.

Doug: I'm such a great believer in the power of creating really great content that connects with people, that it makes those tougher days easier. So, Ben, for me, that's always being in a place where I believe in the products and services, and if you don't have that, go find another job.

Doug: And there's a jury, there's certainly, that says, "You know, you don't have to believe in the products. You're building skill sets." But really for me at this point that's where I want to land.

Benjamin: One of the questions I'm asking for the people that are relatively new in marketing, what lessons have you learned that you'd like to pass on? What advice do you have for new marketers that are early in their career as they're doing skill set development?

Doug: Get experience across the entire funnel in whatever capacity that you can. You don't need to be an expert in each layer, not by any means, but if you can move from email marketing and nurturing to being a digital marketer, in other words being responsible for CPC and SEO ... you can spend some time working on the trade show circuits, heck, you can be an account executive for a while ... these are hard jobs and high pressure jobs.

Doug: But it's really worth it, and I think that my experience in sales ... I fully understood much better the crud that quite often was being handed to me by marketing and the stuff that I was dealing with from products and how, at the end of the day, there was no excuse. I had to deal with that stuff, and that helped me really profoundly understand how to hand better stuff off to sales and what to prioritize.

Doug: The other thing I'd say is, this is a long game: marketing and marketing leadership. So don't get too hung up when things are going poorly and don't get too excited when things are going well. That's just a part of the game ultimately. Maybe that's just good advice in life.

Doug: So the other piece I'd say, maybe boiling it down more to the topic today, then is there is a goal for you that's been agreed to by your boss, your CEO and the board. Typically that goal is growth. Don't let anything distract you from that goal. There are times when people are going to say, "Hey, we need better T-shirts," which has a strategic thinking, numbers-driven marker that absolutely drives me bonkers. But there are times when you've got to produce really great T-shirts, but don't let the production of T-shirts or the production of collateral be the thing that drives you. How are you helping each and every day driving towards that larger, strategic goal, which is typically growth. Stay focused on that.

Benjamin: So before I let you go, anyone you're looking to meet? Anything that you're trying to promote? Feel free to give me whatever plug and how can people who are interested in you or Searchmetrics get in touch?

Doug: Well, you can always hit the website and request a contact or ask to see the product. If that's what you're interested in, I would highly encourage it. I obviously have drunk the Kool-Aid, as you speak, but we unequivocally have the best products and services on the marketplace. A big part of my job is making sure the U.S. market knows that because the European market already understands that.

Doug: But the other thing I'd say is this: I'm always looking for people with different perspectives, and the place that I'm in right now--we know this from working together, Ben, for a while--is this idea of how social media help at the top of the funnel beyond the traditional content syndication. If you have ideas there and understand that a bit better, I would love to hear more about it. I have my people I've worked with for years who are experts in social media, but I'm always fascinated to hear more in that area.

Benjamin: Great.

Benjamin: Doug, I really appreciate you joining us on the podcast, and if anybody wants to reach out to Dog, you can go to and get in touch with him that way.

Doug: This is the best podcast you've ever had, right, Ben?

Benjamin: Well, as one of our sponsors, you're always going to be our favorite.

Doug: Ben, I appreciate the time. I really enjoyed it.

Benjamin: Okay. That wraps up this episode of the MarTech Podcast. Thanks again to our guest, Doug Bell from Searchmetrics, for joining us.

Benjamin: If you're interested in learning more about Doug or Searchmetrics, go to to request a free tour of their product.

Benjamin: If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on, and if you're a subscriber to the podcast, we'd like to stop and say thank you. We want you to feel like a member of our community, so if you have questions, comments, or you'd like to be a guest on the show, feel free to reach out to me directly at You can also reach us on LinkedIn or Twitter at BenJShapLLC.

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Benjamin: Okay, that's it for today. But until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.