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Marketing and The Science of Behavioral Change – Sean Doyle
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Marketing and The Science of Behavioral Change – Sean Doyle

If you’re a baseball fan, you know that for the pitcher, pitching isn’t just about their arm speed. There are far more processes that must all come together to make a pitcher effective. And so the same can be said for sales and marketing.

Most people aren’t struggling with their sales departments. What’s happening is they’re spending too much money on sales and underinvesting in marketing, because they are having to rely on sales to do all of this work. Business owners need to know how to market better and what to expect, but also what to ask for from their own internal departments. In this episode, Sean Doyle of Fitz Martin, gives us a scientific approach to sales and marketing, and shows us a more effective way to close the deal.

Rich: My guest today is principal at Fitz Martin, Inc., a leading consultancy focused on sales, marketing, and management sales and marketing technology services and revenue operations. He and his team at Fitz Martin are focused on long-term value creation through a sales first scientific approach to driving revenue.

Over a 25+ year career in more than 5,000 client engagements, he has amassed unmatched expertise in helping B2B companies sell more to their most profitable customers. Today we’re going to be exploring the science of behavioral change with Sean Doyle. Sean, welcome to the show.

Sean: Thank you, Rich. I’ve been looking forward to this.

Rich: Me, too.

Sean: You’re from beautiful Portland, Maine, one of the greatest places on earth.

Rich: You got it right. And now you know that if you come and stay here, the place at the top of the hill, the new Westin is actually a completely overhauled hotel. So you’ve got more options than ever before.

Sean: Well, a decade ago it was the worst place with the best view. So now it’s the best place with the best view.

Rich: Yes, actually the Top of the East is still a great place to watch the sunset while you’re having beverages.

Sean: But that’s not why we’re here.

Rich: No, that’s not why we’re here today. We’re talking about behavioral change. So since we’re talking about the science of behavioral change, let’s just start with the basics. What is a definition that you would use for behavioral change? What does it mean to you, exactly?

Sean: Well, that’s a good question and I’m unprepared for that. But I think I can wing it. Alright Rich, let me give you a little backstory. The story goes that I was tired of living kind of in the hope that I could do something better for my clients next year, and I kept watching my clients who had hoped something would be different, or he heroes, you know, in business, the hero is always the person who closes the deal.

But as a marketer I was always like, that’s just not right, man. I contributed, we all contributed marketing, but the sales guys keep getting to be the heroes. Well, and that’s coming from an old fashioned idea of attribution being last touch. So sales always got that hero status.

And then there was hubris. I saw all of these clients with these consultants that came in and would say what I’d been saying or something, and it would fall flat. And the overly confident guys got all the money and then I got left with all the hard problems of tackling things day to day like a business advisor would, or a business owner would. And then our business, man it is filled with a bunch of charismatic sales and marketing folks who promise the world. So hope, heroes, hubris, hype. I just was like, I got it. There’s got to be something better to this then approaching business that way.

So what I thought was what if we use the science of behavioral change and then we’d have this foundation. And on this foundation that I could rely on, I could trust, I could codify, I could understand where a prospect was in the steps of change. Which is really the same thing as buying isn’t it? Because all of your prospects are doing something now, they’re buying from somebody else now. So we’ve got to get them to change behavior. So if we take the science of behavioral change and apply it to sales and marketing, then I can move past hope, heroes, hubris, and hype, and I can start saying, here’s what’s going on, I can identify it.

So the transtheoretical theorem of behavioral change is what we landed on. And it was put together by three scientists, Norcross, Prochaska and Di Clemente. And it’s just a brilliant science because not only does it identify the stages of change, which we as marketers know as the consumer decision journey, not a lot of big news there. But it identifies there’s processes that help people move forward in certain places in the consumer decision journey and in the process of change. And these processes don’t work at every point in the consumer decision journey, they only work at specific places.

So when I learned that I was like, wow, this is amazing. This is the aha moment where I can come in and help guide a client, help untangled these complicated sales and marketing problems – which is what we love to do – and give reasons for it other than I’m a charismatic marketing guy. This is what you should do. Or we don’t even allow people in our office to say I like something, that’s just off limits. You can’t say I like it because that’s not a reason to do anything. That’s just emotional. So anyway, I’m getting excited Rich.

Rich: All right, so I’m curious, how did you find your path to behavioral science, what drew you to that? Were you a psychology major in college and then this all started bubbling up, or were you just looking for something to kind of get ahead of the charismatic skills?

Sean: Rich, do you ever in life look back and have perfect clarity on some behavior of yours that happened a jillion years ago?

Rich: Yes. I can’t remember breakfast, but I do remember those moments of clarity. Sure.

Sean: So I look back in college, for some reason I took psychology classes as electives, which is just a bizarre. Why not do basket weaving with everybody else? So I did have an interest in that, but I wish I could say there was this intellectual ascent to this model. But the reality is that while I had been producing successful work for clients, I couldn’t figure out why and how to repeat it in any business person. Anybody in your audience Rich that’s listening, they’re looking not only for a way to make sense thing happened, but how do you repeat it? That’s where the value creation occurs in business.

So this idea was actually presented to me in a book called Changing for Good. And again, I point to Prochaska, Norcross and Di Clemente. It was given to me by a sales coach of mine and a guy named Blair Enns. And Blair didn’t realize, I think, that he was going to change the trajectory of my career when he did this. Or maybe he did, he’s a really good consultant. So yeah, I was trying to figure out how to sell better and was given this book on behavioral change by Blair. And I would tell all anybody listening they should get on that. Here’s your first book promotion. It’s not even my book, what am I doing here? Changing for Good, get it on Amazon, buy a used copy, it’s brilliant. If you understand this, it is a foundation – you used that word, I think – it’s a foundation upon which marketers can make decisions, salespeople can make decisions.

But probably more importantly in small to mid-sized business, people are looking for a way to not repeat last year’s mistakes, not repeat working and thinking on how to make things happen in sales that’s not going to be disappointment again. Because we’ve all,  everybody’s hired an agency, I don’t think I’ve ever had a client who hadn’t hired an agency, some expert like you or me. I wasn’t really disappointed in what happened, and then I come in later and there’s no budget left and we help start breaking down the problems. It’s because there’s some really specific mistakes that most marketers make, and then management doesn’t know how to guide and direct marketing. And salespeople have ability just to bludgeon their way into causing revenue. So everybody in management love sales. Rich, do I sound like I’m talking down what you and I do for a living?

Rich: No, no, no. What I’m curious about though, if you can kind of set the stage for us, you mentioned that there’s a few different stages in the customer journey. And then you also said you need to identify some key moments where people transition or in a position to transition to the next stage where we can help them.

Would you just kind of give us the basics of what the stages are in your worldview? And then as a second part question, how do you start to identify those moments where we can make the biggest difference in a customer’s journey?

Sean: Let’s start with a late night TV ad we’ve all seen. So you remember those ads for some kind of car wax product that they go to the junkyard and they get this trashed car and they go to the hood and they clean the right side and they leave the left side alone with that perfect line right down the middle. And you go, “Wow. Look at that!” It’s that before and after. That doesn’t sound very sexy in our very complicated digital advanced state, but those before and after ads really tap into something that behavioral science informs with great clarity.

So to answer your question, let’s think about that ad and say, okay, so I get it. Not many people here are selling a wax on TV, and that’s okay because this applies to the largest CapEx, B2B decision-making journey or the smallest consumer decision making journey, because it’s all about people making change from doing something one way to another way. So the” aha” moment is that I want to focus on today – there’s a lot of them – is that when people look backward and there’s a time when people look forward and early stage consumer decision journey, people are looking backward. They don’t see a reason to change. They’re not even interested in changing. In fact, they’ve got a pattern of behavior, a pattern of buying that’s perfectly acceptable to them, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

So as a marketer, or as a business person, or as a sales person, the thing that you can’t do is talk to somebody who’s looking backward at their current behavior and keep talking to them about looking backward, right? That only does one thing, it helps them not move forward. So if you’re looking backward at your current behavior and you see no need for change, and you’re presented an ad that shows a future state only, “Oh, look how glorious it could be if you buy our product and service, are you interested?”

Rich: Not as much, no.

Sean: Right. Because you’re happy with the way things are. You’re kind of, let’s call it, you could say at the most they’re resistant to change. They’re unaware of the need for change, they’ve never begun to contemplate. The science says they have not had their consciousness raised to understand there’s another way of seeing. It’s not that these prospects can’t see solutions, they don’t even see the problem because they’re living in it. So as marketer, as a sales person, as a business owner, look at your marketing. And if all you’re doing is showing future state, you’ve got to remember your prospects are all looking backward, so they’re not interested.

That’s why that stupid car wax in the junkyard, that made me go, “Huh, look at that, there’s a better way of doing things. Maybe I should consider this. Maybe I should contemplate.” And that’s what behavioral science would call the next step, is this step of contemplating. So give people a reason. Now I don’t say you have to always do before and after ads, I’m just saying it’s really powerful.

Another way to do that kind of jarring of somebody out of pre-contemplation and moving them into contemplation, is a process called social liberation. So social liberation would be simply, “Well look at that. Rich Brooks does a certain thing a certain way, and I saw it on his Instagram account, or I heard about him on his podcast. That’s interesting. Rich is very successful. He knows what he’s doing. Maybe I should consider that.” So think about social media, right? I don’t know Kim Kardashian, of course, I don’t know her personally but why does she get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to put something on her social media accounts? She’s liberating a whole group of people who had never contemplated doing something. Maybe it’s makeup, maybe it’s clothing, maybe it’s shoes, maybe it’s a lifestyle choice, whatever. I’ve never even considered it, but I saw it there. And if I look up to Kim Kardashians then wow, maybe I could be more like her. That’s why that works. Did you ever wonder why that works?

Rich: When it comes to Kim Kardashian, I always wonder why, but that’s beside the point. I certainly understand getting into woodworking videos during COVID that some of the guys and women who I follow on YouTube when they use a certain tool I’m like, “Huh? Maybe that’s what I should add to my workshop.” So I get the idea behind it.

Sean: I do want to clarify, I said, if you look up to her, I didn’t say you did.

Rich: Right, right. I understand.

Sean: Yeah. There is something to be learned from pop culture, even in something like I do, which is a lot of B2B work, a lot of high capital expenditure decision making. Like, what can we learn from Kim Kardashian? Well, that might be a good title for a book. I don’t know.

But you know, there’s also, I mean, and I’m not pimping that this social media is what social liberation is. I mean, any kind of advertisement where you see a hero, it could be a hero of business. We did some ads, gosh, maybe 20 years ago where we took a CEO of a local bank and put him on a full page print. You remember paper when they put ink on it and it was called a newspaper?

Rich: Yeah, I had my silly putty. Absolutely.

Sean: It was a great technology. And yes, I did that, too. Not everybody listening knows what we just referred to. I think we let them look it up. And I think that this ad where we featured the CEO talking about the economy, talking about business, it worked because the only mention of the service that was being sold – which in this case was a law firm – the only mention was down in the bottom corner. Had about 30 words that said we’ve been pleased to serve the CEO for 20 years as their counsel. Well, that gave social liberation to other executives to go, “Wow. If that CEO uses that service, maybe I should. I’ve never contemplated using that service.”

Instead, what most of us do in marketing, most businesses are going out there saying “you should use my product, you should use my service”. And you wonder why your audience is not just flocking to you, right? You’re frustrated by it because you believe that you may have the better mouse trap and you certainly, every entrepreneur believes they do, so why are people not rushing to your mousetrap? It’s because they’re not looking for a better mouse trap, right? They’re not contemplating. So you’ve got to use behavioral science to help people move from looking backward to looking forward. Consciousness raising and social liberation are processes that are really powerful.

Rich: I was going to say, so thinking about this through the digital marketing lens, whether it’s search engine optimization, blogging, podcasts, social media, what are some of the ways that a small to medium-sized business can start to put some of these behavioral change tactics to use? Because the story of the bank president is a good one. But on some level it’s a testimonial, right? So I’m sure we’ve all done testimonials. So what made that one so powerful when maybe some of the testimonials we put on our own website seem to fall flat?

Sean: Great question. So I would say that the simple answer is that testimonial didn’t talk about the product or the service. So now every business owner out there is going, “Well, why would I do a testimonial that doesn’t talk about the product? Why would I pay an agency? Why would I interview? Why would I pay to publish? Why would I do that if you’re not going to talk about the service?”

Remember, pre-contemplators aren’t looking for your service. They’re not looking for your product. So the goal is just to engage them and help them rethink. And I’ll call it an “aha” moment, right? The goal of somebody early stage from pre-contemplation to contemplation. I just want them to go, “Huh, maybe I should consider that they’re in a state of denial at this point.”

Now once they’ve begun that consideration, and this is where I would say digitally speaking, your website has one job. And most people don’t think about websites like this, but the behavioral science informs that there’s two ways you can move people from contemplating farther down the path, closer to the exchange relationship, and that’s the use of emotional arousal and rational re-evaluation. Well, most businesses are using those techniques, emotional arousal.

Let’s move it forward to a, or let’s talk about a car ad, like your car zipping through the turns and beautiful people together. And I’m going, “Wow. That could be me.” Well, I’m not even contemplating buying a car, so why do you just spend that money on me? It’s just the wrong message. But once I’m looking for a car now, that’s very powerful. So the car advertisers aren’t really probably trying to raise people who are not interested in cars. They’re just taking people who are interested in cars and moving them forward.

Well, so for the small business, the midsize business, digital is your opportunity. The contemplating process leads us all to do the one thing. The last time you bought something Rich, what did you do?

Rich: I researched online. I went to forums. I joined groups on Facebook. For me, it’s almost always online. And during COVID all that did is speed it up.

Sean: Yeah. So online is this incredibly powerful place, and that’s why. And there’s anonymity online so I can safely research, I can look that’s one. That’s one reason that we are now recommending to our clients don’t gate your content, because when you gate content you’re forcing people to lose their anonymity. And if you put your best information behind a wall and require me to even put my email in, that’s a form of exchange, right? I’ll give you my email if you give me this brilliant content.

Well, I’m researching. I don’t know you. I don’t trust you. I’ve got no reason to, why should I? And what’s my fear? We all have the same fear of when we plug our email in, right. Oh, my gosh, there it goes, the workflow. In fact, I got a pretty brilliant workflow, you probably wrote it Rich, I got an email from somebody who’s trying to sell something to me and I’m just not interested. I don’t even remember what it is but it said, “You’re at the end of the email workflows.” That was the subject line header. Because they’re acknowledging, we all know, if I look at a nectar bed I’m going to get emails from nectar forever. Warby Parker are the worst. Those ads follow me around forever. So there’s a cost, we’re inflicting a cost way before the buyer is ready to buy anything.

So open up that digital content. You have the information to emotionally arouse people, give them the tools to rationally re-evaluate people. Continue to raise their consciousness. That’s the role of your website? So business leaders should be looking at and asking their agencies, asking their help, explain to me what these digital tools should be doing at different stages of the consumer decision journey.

Rich: I just want to pause for a second here because there’s some good stuff here and I want to make sure, I want to add my own 2 cents, but I want to ask you some questions.

So we’ve been talking about pre-contemplators and contemplators. And pre-contemplators are not even aware that there’s a better thing out there. They’re totally fine. For me, it sounds like that’s a great role for social media because they’re not actively searching for anything, but they may be scrolling through Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, whatever. And we might be able to start to seed their thought process with the fact that there is a better option out there that they hadn’t even considered. Where the contemplators, maybe SEO or paid search might be more accurate to get in front of them because they’re actively searching for some of these things.

And then you bring in the website, which I always think people forget is part of digital marketing. In fact, maybe the most important part. You talked about emotional arousal and, what was it, rational?

Sean: Rational re-evaluation.

Rich: So can you talk a little bit more about what, I mean, I think we all know what emotional arousal means, but what is rational re-evaluation all about?

Sean: It’s probably not as odd perhaps as it sounds. So let me start by saying, why is that website so valuable? It’s a signal of intent. And you just made a really great observation, Rich. Somebody on your website that’s signaling intent to buy because they’re engaged in looking and considering changing their behavior. That’s a much more valuable prospect, so that’s a great observation, Rich, you just proves your expertise. That’s awesome.

And then the other thing you said that’s brilliant is that’s when paid advertising becomes really valuable. So we love this idea of, we call it disruption marketing. So let other people, let bigger, better funded competitors create interest, and then disrupt the buying cycle for that person going through change and really don’t invest money in the early stage. Common vernacular would be awareness. So if you really want to be a gutsy sales and marketing leadership, cut your budget that creates awareness. Kill it, stop it. And just let your bigger, better funded person and then heavily invest in disrupting the flow that other business is creating by using remarketing using keywords. I mean, just spend the money there, because you’ve got that person who’s signaled an intent of behavioral change and find them.

So that’s a little bit, you got to your play and maybe that’s sophomore level, not freshmen level. I don’t know what level we were. Maybe it’s postgraduate, I don’t know. But anyway, so yeah, emotional arousal. The goal on emotional arousal is not just to get somebody excited, but it’s the person who’s going in the wrong direction. They’re there. They’re going to continue with their bad behavior. So remember this science is built around some concepts of behavioral change that came from the cessation of smoking. So emotional arousal has got to be something that goes,”Huh? If I keep smoking, what we all see is if you keep smoking, you’re going to die.” That’s the advertising.

Well, the other side of that, the emotion, that’s the negative. That’s the looking backward, right? The positive side has been underplayed in the smoking cessation communications. And that’s look at the life you can have if you don’t. And that’s where if you look at the patches and all that, the smoking cessation that the pharmacy world does, they’re all doing look forward, looking forward. So they’re using social liberation, the looking backward. They’re letting government fund that brilliantly. Let’s let the government pay for it. And then looking forward, the pharmacy industry is saying, “Look at the life you could have. Look at the healthy, the happy, the family.” So that’s the emotional arousal.

So you’ve got to think, you’ve got to have that before and after. And there’s a pretty good demonstration consumer wise of before and after, even though it was funded by two different parties interestingly enough. So somebody who’s going to be emotionally aroused, you’ve still got to remember you’re shifting from looking back to looking forward. Not only looking forward, most of our emotional arousal on most websites only looks forward. Does anybody have a testimonial who says, “I used to buy from X, Y, Z agency before I bought from Rich Brooks. Now that I buy from Rich Brooks, my marketing works.” We just start with, “I buy from Rich Brooks and my marketing works”. Well, give me that contrast.

It’s even a better story just to give me the before and after. So rational re-evaluation. Now I’m going to finally do it. You asked me to do so. When a prospect calls and they’re seeking for information or they come to the website and they’re beginning to look at more pros than cons, they’re looking for information in a deeper way. And they’re beginning to signal intent of what if I buy. So we need facts.

So some mistakes that I see, most small businesses will make one of two mistakes. One, the small business leader is comfortable with rational. Let’s present all the information. So they approved the website, that’s all this rational stuff, and they don’t let the emotional side show. Or they say something like, “Well, we’re selling sand and you just can’t get excited about sand, it’s just a commodity.” Well, if you do sell a commodity product, everybody has got some personal pains. And if I can convince you that if you’ll buy my sand we’re going to have good commodity pricing. But you know what? I’ve never let down one of my customers, we have a 100% delivery on time rate and you or your job is safer when you buy my sand at the same commodity price. Well, that’s an emotional arousal, it’s not rational. The rational side is the spec of the sand, the grain of the sand, the type of sand, how the sand is used. I don’t know enough about sand, but you get the point. So you’ve got to have both.

So the other side of that is if it’s purely emotional, and maybe consumer products tend to be more emotional and not rational. And you could argue that that works. It’s just leaving out half of the way your prospects think, like, give me a rational way.  

Rich: I’m understanding what you’re saying though, on our website, we should be going after both the emotional arousal side of things. But we also need to present the rational re-evaluation as well. Correct?

Sean: Yes.

Rich: We’ve also heard that every decision is emotional, and then we rationalize it after. So if that’s true, how does that maybe work into what we’re doing? And I guess I’m trying to understand what should the typical small business owner or marketer be putting on their website to make sure that they’re engaging both that emotional and rational side, if that’s the ultimate goal here?

Sean: Well, also to untangle the first question, which is we rationalize all decisions after making them emotionally. We’re going to have to call James Prochaska because that’s a deeper level and I’ve guess that’s past freshmen, sophomore, postgraduate. I don’t know how to answer that, but I do know that what the science says is that it takes both. Now whether the timing of them, one subsequent or one’s following, I think that really ultimately becomes a personal decision.

And I’ll exaggerate some personas here. My accountant probably makes things more heavily leaning on the rational side, but with some emotional contribution. What’s an emotional character?

Rich: In the accounting world, I don’t know.

Sean: No, no non-accounting. I don’t know, the local actor, the local social media star probably makes decisions more emotionally, but there’s still some rational as part of it. It’s human to have both aspects of it. The science also says you’ve got to continue raising your consciousness. So your website has to do emotional arousal, rational re-evaluation, and it continues to raise consciousness.

So let’s just pick on the smoking again. You’ve still got to have some references because this person is only beginning to look forward. Not only looking back where they’re just beginning to look forward, so you’ve got to keep them primed, you’ve got to keep them remembering why they were considering this. So maybe we pick on Volvo, who used to have the position of incredibly safe cars. So they would show you all the great things Volvo could do, the reliability and all that stuff. But they’d still always have a wreck in their ads. Right? They would remind you of the reason that you were looking at this. Social liberation, that still should be present.

This is where those testimonials should be on your website. But again, you’ve got to have testimonials that reach the person’s needs where they are. So this person that’s in this change, moving from contemplation into preparation of change, they’re still looking backward and looking forward. So a testimonial that only looks forward has no value. It’s not, well, no value is probably an exaggeration, it has very little value. It’s not powerful. But most practitioners of sales and marketing will only look forward because we all want the hero. Right? As humans, we’re wired to love heroes. There’s a reason, all the Marvel movies. And I mean, we all love them. You know, even if we don’t like Marvel, we love heroes. I mean, we’re wired that way. So we want to focus on the hero.

But anybody who’s ever done any storytelling tells you what about a story? A story that’s only up, we don’t watch it. It’s boring. You’ve got to have an arc, right? Here’s this person, things got really bad, things get really good and then we love it. But if you don’t have that arc, if you don’t have the courage to tell the bad part of the story, they’re boring stories.  Man up, tell some good, interesting stories.

Rich: So we’ve talked a little bit about pre-contemplation stage and contemplation stage. How do we move people out of contemplation and ultimately, so they’re going to want to buy our products, or have we already tackled that? It feels like there’s still another stage that we really haven’t delved into here.

Sean: Oh, so this is the three hour podcast episode? I can’t remember. Yeah. I think we’ve covered probably the most important parts of where marketing is heavily rooted. And what I wanted to do today is really help people who are guiding and leading marketing, because that’s most often the area that is frustrating to them.

Most people aren’t struggling with their sales departments. What most people are as they’re spending too much money on sales, underinvesting in marketing, because they are having to rely on sales to do all of this work. I want to elevate the marketing of businesses across the country. I want business owners to know how to market better and what to expect and what to ask for from their agencies, what to ask for from their own internal departments.

So to answer your question again, I have this habit of not answering your question right away, don’t I?  It’s an interesting thing as behavioral science moves forward, you flip over into a stage called “preparation”, and then you’re actually taking action. And then the next step is a changed behavior. So maybe that’s another episode for another day. But I’ll tell you that this is where marketing and sales have a, let’s call it an equal weighting. Marketing and sales should be helping.

I’m going to use the worst of all leads, almost a curse word, the lead generation guy. So lead gens, we got to lead in and if we throw it over the wall to sales. Most small business owners, medium size business owners, and we spend a lot of time in the lower middle market, so those are people who are really codifying and systematizing their businesses. There’s imaginary walls where marketing does the early stage stuff, and then we throw it over the wall and sales closes it. Well, that’s an incomplete stereotype. That’s an incomplete understanding of how behavior changes.

Marketing can have impact by equipping sales all the way through the latest stages of closing deals. Sales can I have impact by helping inform marketing with business intelligence, early stage. As a habit, our agency meets with sales at least every two weeks. Well, sometimes every once a month, if it’s a long stage, but we meet with the sales team, not the executives, not the marketing guys. And guess what happens? Those people have a real sense of how to talk to their prospects, the words to use, and most marketing isn’t allowed late stage because the sales guys don’t want us there. Because we talk like marketers, we don’t talk like the way the prospects talk.

So there’s a whole other conversation. There’s actually five processes that have a heavy impact on closing deals. And we’ve only talked about four so far. So I think that the “aha” moment is get rid of that wall, marketing should have access all the way through the sales cycle. And sales, you should be willing to accept marketing if it’s informed, if marketing’s built on science and go back to this behavioral change model, this is not some flighty marketing guy like Rich or Sean. You know, earrings, long ponytails. If you’re looking at us, you’d realize why that’s funny. I can’t tell if Rich has an earring, but I’m telling you neither of us have long hair.

Rich: Not for 20 or 30 years. I did it when it was edgy, but now that everybody does it.

Sean: Yeah, exactly.

Rich: Sean, just as far as a tactical things, you talked about how to improve testimonials for us, by looking backwards as well as looking forward. You’ve talked about ungating our content so that we can further along the customer journey. Are there any specific tactical things that you think a small to medium sized business could do in their digital marketing that would make a difference that is in line with all this behavioral change conversation we’ve had today?

Sean: Yeah. Rich you do a great job of summarizing concisely, the points.

Rich: That’s my superpower.

Sean: I think we touched on this earlier and I think it’s worth looking at it again or just mentioning it again. And that’s the use of media money and separating it into two stages, two groups, and the use really, I guess, of all your marketing. But thinking about things from the website forward, sales typically takes over and anything marketing’s producing, let’s say workflows or where there’s been signals of intent already existing, those should be forward-looking ideas. Now before that website visit, before they’re contemplating, they should be demonstrating, looking backward or understanding that the prospect’s looking backward, or you’re not going to connect, the audience isn’t going to listen because they don’t like understand it. They don’t see this future state.

Go back to the smoking ads. The beautiful family and the long life and all the health is irrelevant unless you understand I might die if I don’t quit smoking. So you’ve got to understand that, then look at your marketing money and your media money, and spend it on two types of campaigns. So if you hire somebody like Rich to really dive into your media, to look at your digital tools, they should be presenting something – and probably do already very intuitively – looking at causing contemplation. Ads should look very differently than somebody who’s contemplating moving forward. So you could do this interruption marketing, somebody who’s already searching a keyword ad should lead you to a landing page that is already leaning on looking forward. Statements with a remnant of looking backward to remind people, versus an ad that’s maybe a display digital ad. That’s where you want to start raising consciousness and creating social liberation.

Those are two different types of communication. So whether it’s ads or any other digital tool, then you’ve got to have two different campaigns. So I would re-evaluate what you’re doing with your, let’s just use the vernacular, your ad words, your Google ads budgets. Do you have two campaigns running at least? One campaign for this interruption marketing that’s forward looking, and one campaign that addresses people who aren’t even contemplating yet. At minimum, I would make sure you have two campaigns in place.

Rich: Awesome. Before I let you go, I know we’ve got a special gift for some quick typing listeners out there. Can you share the details with us?

Sean: Yes. Uh, so I work at a company called Fitz Martin, and that’s F I T Z M A R T I N. And if you go to Fitzmartin.com/freehelp, Rich has very graciously purchased a few books. I was published at the grace of being published a couple years back by Rock Bench Publishing, and I don’t make a living selling books, so I’ll give you a few since Rich bought them for you. If you just drop in, if you want that exchange relationship. Ooh, listen to what I’m doing. Okay. It’s probably too late stage, right? I promise I won’t hound you with anything. I’ll just drop the book in the mail. And I’d be glad to share that it’s a book written for executives who are in charge of managing marketing and sales, but have no training in that task. So I’d be more than glad to share, and actually on the free help page at fitzmartin.com/freehelp page, you’ll find this framework. You’ll find some videos, you’ll find all kinds of resources. I’m too old to pretend like this is big secret stuff and you’ve got to hire me. Just come, learn, and enjoy it. I think you’ll get some benefit. Our typical client makes $283 for every dollar they spend with us, and this is the same tools, the same framework that we’re using to help them so nice return.

Rich: And if you’re listening, you don’t have to pull off to the side of the road right now. We’ll make sure that all of those links are in the show notes. Sean, this is great. Where can people find you online if they’re looking for that $283 return out there?

Sean: Yeah, it’s great. So fitzmartin.com is great. I’ve also done some free videos around this idea, it’s seanmdoyle.com. Of course you could just go on to Amazon and get the book there. Rich, your podcast is so valuable. Agents of Change is an incredible tool, so focused. I love how it’s so easy to live around a theoretical, and you just drive things down to the practical, the valuable, how to do it built on a foundation of insight. It’s a great podcast. Thank you.

Rich: I appreciate that, my pleasure. Sean, thanks so much for your time today and we’ll be in touch.

Show Notes:

Sean Doyle focuses his expertise on helping small business owners improve their marketing so they sell more, to the right customers. Check out his educational video series, and don’t miss out on your chance for a free book.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of ChangeHe’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.