What does it take to design the perfect buyer experience, leaving your customers in love with your organization? In this episode, Nick sits down with Moni Oloyede, Director of Marketing Infrastructure at Fidelis Cybersecurity, to dive into details on understanding the point of view of companies’ target audiences and the gap having a lack of effective communication.
What does it take to design the perfect buyer experience, leaving your customers in love with your organization? In this episode, Nick sits down with Moni Oloyede, Director of Marketing Infrastructure at Fidelis Cybersecurity, to discuss:
- Why buyer experiences are crucial to long-term customer growth
- The importance of truly effective internal communication
- How empathy helps us both communicate with each other, as well as the customer
This episode is perfect for anyone looking to perfect their companies’ relationship with consumers, and learn more about how to leave a lasting impression on people, not just gaining their attention.
Nick: Hello everybody and Welcome to Mind the Gap, Enablix’s only podcast seeking sales and marketing alignment. I’m your host, Nick Ziech-Lopez and this week I’m joined by Moni Oloyede.
Moni, how’s it going?
Moni: I’m great Nick.
How are you?
Nick: So we were just talking about, we have tried to record this at least one other time. We’ve been plagued by audio visual issues.
I feel like we’re going to figure it out on this go round.
Moni: This is going to be great.
Nick: But so Moni, your household name, everybody knows Moni. Tommy James and the Shondells, they made that one song about Moni. But for those that don’t, for the people that aren’t familiar, could you tell the people what it is that you do?
Who are you?
Moni: Sure thing.
I’m currently the Director of Marketing Infrastructure at Fidelis Cybersecurity, but I’ve been in the marketing operations and marketing technology space since 2005. My first job out of college was with a company that was an early adopter of Eloqua. They were literally customer number five, six, something like that.
This is the only thing I’ve ever done in my professional career.
Nick: Wow and you said you were the Director of Marketing Infrastructure at Fidelis, is that correct?
Moni: That’s correct.
Nick: Okay. It’s actually the first thing I wanted to talk about today. Because honestly maybe I haven’t seen enough, but marketing infrastructure itself I found kind of interesting.
Can you tell me a little bit about what that is as a department and what you’re doing for marketing infrastructure? Because I’m seeing so many people talk about things like rev. ops. and mark. ops. and all of this.
Where does infrastructure sit there?
Moni: Yeah, so actually I’m not sure if I’ve seen other people with this title. I may be one of the first. I don’t want to toot my own horn here. When I was out for promotion, my traditional role has been kind of marketing operations in that kind of title and space. I had the feeling that my job encompassed more than that personally. It seemed like infrastructure was more of the right alignment for what I was actually doing at the time and what I currently do now.
So infrastructure, my job role encompasses the website infrastructure, the marketing tech. stack, reporting, analytics, SEO, and our digital advertising. So those are the things that I own under my current role. The reason why I wanted it to be more than operations and sort of revenue ops. is because one of my biggest sticking points, if anyone’s ever listened to me speak about anything ever, is that I don’t love it when marketing operations is tied to revenue generation.
I don’t like that because in my opinion the entire company is responsible for revenue, not one department and certainly not one department within a department, which is operations inside the marketing department.
Right, and I don’t like it when our campaigns per say are dependent upon revenue because marketing in my opinion is the communication of value. You’re naturally giving your natural, your service department. That’s not necessarily about getting money. If you do your job correctly, people will give you their money.
That’s kind of how I kind of think about it and approach it. I’m not going to sit here and get on a soap box and act like I’m not responsible for a revenue quota and my department never says that, that’s not what I’m saying. Oh, we definitely are and we definitely do. But the way we approach it is slightly different.
Like I said, I think from an operational standpoint and just from that purview of looking at our campaigns and how we build them and how we approach them. I have more ownership over the structure of it and the process of it than if it’s going to be to revenue or not.
If I’m doing my job and demand gen is doing their job and creative is doing their job and if comms is doing their job then we’re all going to make money. Right.
So that’s kind of the approach to the infrastructure part of my job.
Nick: I’m interested in this because I think that there’s a pendulum swing of marketing is on the hook for revenue, marketing shouldn’t be on the hook for revenue, some of what marketing does should be on the hook for revenue.
I heard the other day, someone said that brands should not be tied to revenue. Brands should just exist and the number of people that so very seriously agreed and disagreed with that, I think if you could bottle that energy up, you could power linkedin.com for seven years.
But what I’m interested in is what you said about marketing ops., marketing infrastructure, don’t tie it to the revenue. Can you tell me just broader when we talk about marketing vs. sales, where do you see what marketing has then been responsible for? You had said…
Nick: What is it contrading value or…
Moni: Communicating value yes…
Nick: Communicating value, I knew it was a word that started with a C. How do you see things fitting within that?
And then who’s ultimately responsible for what?
So the short answer, I’m just gonna jump to the answer to that question, which is the company is responsible for revenue. The entire business is responsible for revenue. That’s the answer to that question.
And marketing has tradition. This is why marketing is women and sales is men and that blah…
Moni: …Archetype or whatever because marketing is about communicating.
If you go into a company and they have a marketing problem, they have a communication problem. Right.
If you go into a company that has a sales problem, they have a problem with relationship building traditionally, right? So sales is building relationships and marketing is communicating value. If you do those things together effectively, you’re going to make money.
So it’s like who’s responsible. If you go into a company, everybody knows if I’m marketing a product that’s garbage and that people hate…I can market it until I’m blue in the face. I’m not going to make any money. Right. So it was just like the notion that marketing is responsible for this quota is kind of ridiculous.
But I get where it comes from. Marketing, spins money. That’s what we do. It’s just like a black hole of like, you spend a lot of money. And a lot of times we’ve not been good communicators and not communicate effectively, so our money goes into a black hole and you have to stop that. But the way that you stop that is not tracking everything the prospect of the lead does because that annoys the crap out of the lead and they don’t want to deal with that.
The way you do that is by understanding the customer, communicating with them effectively, offering them value so that they do want to come back and engage with you. I know that’s easier said than done. It sounds like, oh wave a magic wand. Just communicate effectively.
The reason why most companies fall down is because they think that communicating is just talking at people. If I’m able to sell you and use a bunch of buzzwords that I think you will like then you’ll buy from me and that’s not communicating. Communicating is actually listening. That’s the majority of communications. Listening and listening effectively and listening with empathy. That’s the part that we need to work on a lot with our customer and our customer set because they tell us what they want all the time.
If you were listening to your customers with empathy, you wouldn’t have a tray in forms on your website.
Moni: You wouldn’t have pop-up ads every five seconds, right.
If you were listening effectively with empathy, and I don’t want to be here like, go to our website and act like we don’t do these things. I got a master to serve too as well, but there’s a time and place for a lot of these things and there’s a buyer’s journey.
When you apply certain tactics within the buyer’s journey is what makes it effective.
Nick: So I’m interested in what you said about marketing is communicating value. Sales is forming relationships. I think we’re coming around to the idea that companies have marketing problems. I think for the last 10 years in the mainstream it’s if you’re not making enough money, you have a sales problem. It’s all sales.
Do you have guide points for how you walk into a situation, how do you know if it’s a sales or a marketing problem? What do you look at to say this is a marketing problem or no the marketing is there, the value is there, people get it. We’re having a sales problem because we can’t form those relationships.
How do you see that?
Moni: That’s a great question. It’s a feeling. It’s like how do you know something is art or pornography? Right? It’s not like a straight definition.
Nick: Okay…I asked the government for money.
Moni: You know it when you feel it and people know when they’re getting sold to and when they’re being guided along and given an effective message.
I feel like one of the issues with sales is it takes, we’ve all been in these sorts of organizations where sales feels like take, take, take, gimme, gimme, gimme. There’s not a lot of exchange going on and there’s not a lot of upfront offers. Like on a lot of good sales teams you’ll notice they give first and then take later.
The first is, let me give you something free, something for your value, time, effort, not always something monetary. In exchange later when I deem it’s necessary or that you’re in the right spot for that offer, I’ll offer you something. The proper exchange of value is probably when you know you have a good sales team and when you don’t.
So a fly like oh, I’ll give you a $20 gift card for this meeting or something then I just hammer you every five seconds with a bunch of emails and bombard you. That’s not a good sales team. But if I offer you a $20 gift card, and then six months later when I see that your perusing the website or that I’m using a bombor or some other tool that you’re now researching or something in my industry or some other products that I offer, then I reach out to you and you remember that I offered you that olive branch value. That’s a proper sales exchange.
So we know these things, but the demand on the business is so heavy that we skirt them because someone’s breathing down my neck who’s breathing down their neck who’s breathing down their neck and shit rolls downhill.
Well that was an alternative name for this podcast by the way, “Shit rolls down.”
I don’t push back on that, but I wonder because I agree with you from the idea of communicating, portraying, and then giving value.
In the short term, the medium term, how do you know if that’s working?
When I say working, because I can give so much value, I can give it an incredible amount of value and never make money, but it seems like I’ve communicated value.
What do you look for in the meantime, in the first six months in the first four, five, six months to know if the “give first take later” is going to show through?
Moni: I think that mentality may be part of the issue. If you take some high-end brands, I’ll just say like a Nordstrom, for example, how is Nordstrom able to charge what they charge for basically the same products at Macy’s or JC Penny’s or anywhere. You know what I mean?
They went let’s have free returns, let’s make this a pleasant customer experience. When I walk into Nordstrom’s, I don’t have 15 counter girls in my face asking me what I want to buy, what I want to do. You know what I mean?
But I willingly hand them a chunk of money for this purse I know I could probably get somewhere else cheaper. That’s user experience and that’s all communication of value. When I walk in there, I know what’s going to be a pleasant experience and that I’m going to enjoy being in that environment and that I’m not necessarily going to get hounded for making a purchase.
I think that sometimes it’s like the customer doesn’t work on your timeframe. They don’t think in six months, nine months that such and such company has to meet their quarter. They don’t care. We can’t force people to do anything.
We can’t say that someone’s going to purchase our product in six months or something. If it’s working or not. The unit of measurement is kind of the real thing that’s the value of something you can’t measure and that’s the problem. That’s where a lot of us fall down.
I actually did a presentation on this back in October actually on the things that actually matter to customers that I think you can’t measure at all.
It’s like if they talk to their friends, families, and colleagues about the product. If they are engaging on Reddit forums…
Moni: Or these other forums where it’s not easy for you to correct.
Nick: I saw the other day that the best and the absolute worst thing for marketers is people taking screenshots. It’s like the best because they love something enough to share it. It’s the worst because you’ll never know.
Moni: You’ll never know exactly. Is it the worst? Do you have to know everything that we have to know every breath that somebody takes?
Nick: I’ll tell you so you take Nordstrom, for example, so the answer is to take like $85 million dollars in financing and then wait.
Nick: So the issue is it’s a very hard issue, so how long? I think you’re absolutely right.
The customer is not working on any timeline that you want them to. You can have an average buying cycle, but that means nothing.
Moni: Right, no.
Nick: Like effectively. The issue is then how long and maybe it’s person to person. I am looking for how long you have to run in the red. light? I really like your Nordstrom example because you can say it’s close. If after 18 months if this thing isn’t working, it’s probably not going to work.
But I would say Nordstrom has other markers where they’re confident in the approach that they’re taking. That’s what I’m saying. I feel like Nordstrom probably has done extensive enough customer research and value markers to know that their bet is going to pay off because they know their audience inside and out based on sentiment. Not based on tracking their web behavior and all this other stuff.
They probably sat in a room and talked to their ideal audience and went, is this what you want? And then gave it to them.
It’s just like, we do the hardest thing and we don’t do the easiest thing, which is just ask our customers what they want and then give it to them.
It’s like we want to skirt around and track everything that they ever do online. Which half of that stuff is arbitrary and we’ve nothing. Instead of just being like do you like this or that? Do you want this or that? And then just giving it to them.
Nick: That’s where in Enablix we want to focus more of our time. What I’m pushing for is for us to stand up. Like we have customer advisory boards, a little bit of what you’re talking about. And then a lot of times, like informal customer panels. What I’m thinking of is taking the idea of like decidedly not customer panels.
People that show another platform over us, but I know that we were close. You liked the idea of what we do. Do you mind if I can get your opinion on this?
Because ultimately you’re the one I wanted, like whoever you are. How do I get more of that feedback?
Moni: Exactly. Exactly. 100%. Right.
That’s the stuff we as marketers need to do and sit and listen and listen with empathy and not listen for keywords and not gotcha questions, but like leading questions that leads me to ultimately do the thing that I want to do and not really listen to you.
Because we all do that too.
Nick: That’s why I don’t listen. I just wait to talk.
Moni: Yeah. Spoken like a man.
Nick: Hahaha. Another good name for a podcast by the way. Anyways.
We talk a lot about communication. Something we had mentioned before the episode was you felt we talked about minding the gap term about the gap between sales and marketing. You believe it comes down to a lack of effective internal communication. Not enough of it, but effectively, correct.
Nick: Can you tell me a little bit about what that means?
Moni: How well does marketing know sales and sales knows marketing? How well do you know what it’s like to sit in the shoes of a salesperson day to day? That’s a stressful freaking job. They’re doing a lot. I get why they don’t want to update Salesforce.
Do you know how much pressure I have to have on my back? Number one. You know how much time it takes to engage with people, engage with prospects, prospects who don’t want to listen at all go chase down. C-level executives have lunch with them. Try to get them to get in your face. You know what I mean? It’s a lot of work.
Then they go into marketing and all I need is this paper that tells me why our company is better than this and marketing gives them a thousand excuses on why it can’t happen. I’m asking you for the simplest thing and you can make it work, but you’re giving me a ton of leads that don’t even know who we are. You want me to call on them? They never even heard of us. I gotta dial a million names.
Nick: I remember going to that webinar a month ago.
Moni: I want this simple thing and you’re asking me to do this insanely time-consuming thing. I have to have a quarter that’s insane breathing down my neck. Does marketing really have empathy for what a salesperson does day to day? Does a sales person have empathy for what a marketer is doing? Do you know how many customers are everywhere? Customers are everywhere. It’s not like it was 10, 15 years ago where there are three places that you can go and then you go to a trade show and then have this audience.
They’re everywhere. They’re on every social platform, digital. They don’t want to deal with us at all. They can smell us coming a mile away. No one wants to fill out these forms. It’s just like there’s so much to do. It costs so much money. The company doesn’t want to spend a dime on it, unless you prove that the thing works and you don’t know if it works because you haven’t done it yet and can’t prove it yet. So you don’t want the thing. So it’s just like the circle that goes around and around.
I’m giving you these names the best that I can, but I know that they don’t necessarily meet all the criteria and want to hand you a check right now. But hello at least they’ve done something. Give me a freaking break. You know what I mean?
How much does the other role know about the other’s role again with empathy and understanding for the pain of that role. Like probably not a lot on either end.
Nick: Recently we had Phil Brougham on the podcast and he put it in an interesting way I’ve never heard anybody say. He went from sales to product marketing, and he said that what most people don’t understand is sales is perhaps the only people that has ever trying to get a company to do something that is potentially against this best interest.
In your job, no matter what department or area you feel like you’re working in the company’s best interest, even if the decision you’re making or somebody is making is a mistake.
Nick: But as a sales person, there are people at that company who legitimately don’t want to buy your things and many times.
Moni: Yeah. Yeah.
Nick: Even in a great sale. So how are you going to work against someone’s best interest? Is it entirely another ballgame?
Moni: Correct. 100.
Nick: So let’s think some bottoms up here. So the problem is a misunderstanding of alignment, because even thinking of misunderstanding communication. To give your example, it feels like hey, I just need this small thing, but the marketer gets a hundred of those a week and has no idea if anybody’s ever used it.
Nick: And I’m trying to think, do we switch? Do we buddy up? How do we form effective communication? How do we start to grow that empathy?
Moni: We have to start listening and we have to start empathizing with the other person. Because again, anytime you’re trying to communicate anything to anyone you have to start with, do you understand my point of view? If we don’t start there, you’re probably going to hit up against a brick wall.
Like you’re going to get defensive or you’re going to assume that they don’t understand. You’re going to tune them out. So you have to come with hey, I understand. You’re dealing with a lot. I understand. Here are your challenges. Here’s where I’m coming from and then you can do the magic word, compromise.
Not all issues are going to get solved. But if you give me a little and I give you a little, we can make it far away and that is what I think we need to start doing as a sales and marketing organization. I also think it’s a telltale sign that if you have sales and marketing struggles, but a successful organization, I don’t necessarily think you’re a successful organization.
You’re somehow overcoming a challenge somewhere and you’re masking a bunch of issues. But if you have a successful sales and marketing team, you were a hundred percent of a successful company. A hundred percent of the time. So again I always like to think in a philosophical type of thinking.
If you solve a big problem, every other problem becomes super simple. So that’s why I focus on communication of value because if we can communicate effectively, everything else is 10 times as easy. And again, I know it’s a hard thing to do. A lot of people can not communicate effectively.
Especially in this era, it’s not in our nature to listen. We’re in the me generation, the selfie, the self person, like I’m the smartest person in the room. Listen to me, see all my tweets, like all my Facebook posts, let’s look at my Instagram. It’s about me, me, me. We’re not in the nature of listening and empathizing with other people. So it’s a challenge 100%.
But if you do it a lot of the marketing trust me gets so much freaking easier. Because you can communicate internally, externally with partners very well, whoever and so forth, whoever we need to talk to for your audience. How well do you know and understand your audience? If you know and understand them well and empathize with their needs, communication becomes exponentially easier.
It really is.
Nick: I think what I used to do with product and engineering teams that I think applies here too that helps communication, is the idea of one person speaking for however many times and see if you can do everything right. The budget’s not important, right? It’s just the things that the people in this room could do and we have all the time. What would we do?
Sometimes to understand someone’s end goal, like sales vs. marketing are probably going to want to do…Like marketing, what would you have the sales team do if you could do anything? And sales, what would you have marketing do? And this is in a blameless environment.
We’re not trying to say, because oftentimes it’s just the idea that we think we want the same thing, but we don’t.
Moni: I was going to say to your point where you’re going down that road, I would say get them in a room and then have the other repeat what they just heard. That’s the exercise.
What did you just hear me say? So if they repeat back correctly, then we have something. But normally people talk at each other, not to each other. It gets interpreted incorrectly a lot of the time. The exercise I think is get them in a room, have them explain what they really want, and then have the other side repeat what they just heard.
Nick: I like that idea. That sounds like an improv game that I never played.
So, its internal communication is the cause in many ways of the gap.
Nick: Other than I would say forced listening time is how I would say it for now. We’re going to cut it up. Me and you were going to market a better name for it. But aside from the forced listening time, any go-to strategies, any things to check out right now that you think if people are feeling sales and marketing stripe, I’m going to call it. I’m gonna call that a bucket of like oh, we’re just having these issues. Because I know so many companies just feel like they could be doing better there. Do you have a tip? You say, oh go do this thing or is it just finding ways to more effectively listen.
Where’s your head at?
Moni: It’s going to be a lot of communication. I think that’s the number one thing you can do.
I think all the other exercises are just band-aids until you figure out how to communicate effectively. But effective communication is one thing that I was always told from the beginning, and I think that every marketing operation is told about how to work with sales and go find your champion. There’s always that one guy or gal that will just take any help they could possibly get anywhere.
And not that they’re necessarily like the gunner, but that person is the worker. That’s the worker bee. I’ll just try anything. I’ll take help from anywhere, which also signals something about that person’s personality. That kind of go getter. I’ll try it, I’m open, you know, whatever.
And they’re open to talk. And normally Chatty Cathy’s too as well. It’s just something about that personality archetype that I like to work with as well. Because they’re great for feedback which is what marketing needs a lot. Sometimes, sales don’t want to hurt our feelings.
You know what I mean? We’re just not such fragile people.
Nick: What type of people are you working with Mony? Mony, mony no.
Moni: It’s more like, you know how guys don’t want to see girls cry? Like they want to tell them the truth, but they don’t want to make them try.
Moni: It’s like sometimes you gotta cry cause you got to get that emotion out. You know what I mean? Women don’t also understand that women cry, but we also get over it pretty quick.
It’s just like letting the tears flow and then let’s blow our nose and figure out how to move on. So yes, you’ll hear that, I don’t like these leaves or they suck or whatever, but that’s not feedback. That’s just how you’re feeling. Feedback is this wasn’t good for these reasons.
When I call these people, this is what they told me. That’s feedback and that’s constructive versus I don’t like this. There’s nothing I can do with that. That just sounds like your feelings.
Moni: So that’s part of it too, as well. I would say one of the biggest keys to marketers is you have to know your audience. When I’m telling them to execute external communications, especially when some marketers stay like that, especially in operations, we actually tend to be introverts. We’re not very extroverted people, which is kind of backwards from marketing.
But if you want to know your audience and you’re too timid to go talk to them or whatever, it’s like I was listening to one professor or something, like go read like 10 publications, that audience goes in, looks at, or consumes. Pick out the common terminology that you see over and over and over again. That’s one.
Or do that same exercise and just highlight the keys that stand out to you. This is what I learned about this, or this is what I liked or whatever. Because then you kind of also probably that audience kind of likes that kind of verbiage too. So the way that they speak or this type of value hits you too as well.
Nick: That’s exactly what we did. We did a blog post with Kristin Tindel a few weeks ago and she said the most important thing is you need to understand your customer. She called it the customer’s mental model. Because it’s going to be different even if you know everything it’s going to be different than yours. She said it’s the words they use.
She was in digital marketing. Hers was highly tactical to take those words and start bidding on them on Google because that’s what they’re looking for. That’s in a tactical sense.
But even if you zoom out to what you said, the benefit to that was there were a lot of really cool things about having three places to go meet your customers 15 and more years ago. That was cool. If I go to the trade show, I better walk away with customers because if I don’t, I’m screwed.
The cool thing now is I can see what all my customers are reading, not their browser. But LinkedIn, and all this stuff, and there’s so much more information there. It’s just energy and time to use it.
Nick: And someone has to prioritize it.
Moni: Exactly. Also, day in the life, I got sucked into a day in the life videos on YouTube. So like there’s one for everyone. So I’m in cybersecurity. So it’s like a day in the life of a cybersecurity, day in the life of a network security guy or whatever. There’s one for dang near every inch.
I’m sure there’s a day in the life of the sales guy. And it’s just that person with their day and sometimes their day is not important. Most of those videos are not about their actual job, it’s just about their life. Like what they do, like cybersecurity engineers, you’re looking at their environment. They’re in darkness. They drink a lot of coffee. They are normally isolated or they have some meetings here or there. It’s mostly in front of a computer.
What type of person, what type of mindset goes with someone who’s in a dark environment by themselves? A lot of drinks, a lot of coffee, stairs in front of the computer.
What is that mental makeup? That has nothing to do with cybersecurity, but just that person. What type of person is that? And now you’re actually starting to get a whole framework of them as a 3D person and not just some flat person on the internet. That likes to go to Reddit and likes to look at anamae.
Nick: Oh, so many persona exercises that list five things. No, you’re missing the forest for the trees.
Moni: Facts. Exactly. Make this a whole for you person, not just a title and a name in the company.
Nick: We are coming up on time. We’re 30 minutes. That’s a hefty podcast.
Is there anything you’d like to plug or give a shout out to? Our viewers, so it’s in the dozens of thousands.
It’s not quite, but anything you’d like to point people to that you got going on.
So yes, you can follow me at my name on all socials. So it’s Moni Oloyede. I do have my own website called Momartech.
I am teaching other marketing operations professionals how to do marketing operations. So there’s no school for marketing operations. Most of us just kind of fall into this role. But there is in my opinion, a process and structure for properly executing marketing operations which is not taught.
I will be doing that, so it’s Momartech.com.
Nick: Listen with a name that catchy, you have to believe she knows what she’s talking about.
So we will, if you’re listening, those resources will be featured on the podcast episode page so you can find them there if you have any questions.
I will say we’re going to have you back on again in the future to talk about whether marketing ops. should live under marketing or a generalized operations function.
Moni: I love it.
Nick: Because I’m sure we have a lot of thoughts on that.
Moni: I have a lot of thoughts on everything Nick.
Nick: That’s the final podcast title for today, a lot of thoughts and everything. Thank you so much for coming on today Moni. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.
Moni: Thank you so much for having me!
Nick: This has been Mine the Gap, a podcast about sales and marketing alignment put on by Enablix.
My name is Nick Ziech-Lopez.
Thanks for listening.