The B2B Show

On The B2B Show, we showcase sales and marketing success stories from some of Ireland’s leading B2B practitioners (aka our heroes). We hope their examples and best practice advice serve as inspiration for your own challenges.

The B2B Show Episode One: David MacHale (Digital Marketing Director of Travelport Digital)

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Speaker 1: 00:04 You're listening to the podcast, we're committed to educating B2b cmos, ceos and marketeers, looking for best practices on how to grow their business, learn from your peers on the tactics, tools, and strategies they use to consistently grow their business. I'm your host, D and Blake. Let's get into the show

Speaker 2: 00:23 lighter to David. Mikael with us today. David is digital marketing director with travelport digital and he's going to talk to us today about his journey with inbound and content marketing, lessons learned and advice. I suppose we will collectively give to the BHP marketing community. So David, you're very welcome to the show. Um, can we just kick it off by you giving us a little bit of a background? Thanks for having me. Ian. I think I'm just be a bit of background on myself. I'm like B to b marketing space for the last 15 years, that time prior to working with travelport digital, I've worked in a number of different industries. So working the retail tech space worked for a company that's no, I won't buy Oracle and moved through to work in oil and gas space and worked for a number of startups as well.

Speaker 2: 01:11 So I kind of a good mix of industries and I think as well just in this whole topic I suppose around digital marketing, I think it's probably right to call say I think I've been very lucky in terms of the year I was born really as part of this I think is kind of interesting in the sense that people who are maybe a decade older than me like that, that they, they've probably grown up really well taught and were well trained and well versed and loads of experience with the fundamentals of marketing and grace know strategically what they're selling, what they're buying, value props, the four ps, all those kinds of things. And then I've been, you know, the older you get beyond that, I mean I think the, the less you've you start to know about digital or the less involved with your rn is.

Speaker 2: 01:52 I think the other aspect is is perhaps people who were 10 years younger than me, 10 years after, made sure to say I think a lot of those people are very well trained or well versed in digital marketing is in digital tactics, social media, the whole thing. They've grown up that kind of good practitioners. Yeah, they're great practitioners. I think, you know, it's, they're not necessarily though all well versed in terms of strategically what they're trying to do in marketing. So I think it's been lucky in the sense for me in terms of company in digital marketing at the right age. I started off Google paper clicks. We're just starting to develop, you know, anyone who could get in there early is making a eight on ppc dependent on your business. So I suppose my point is kind of lucky in terms of it's a good time to be born that I was in the grasp of marketing on a good grasp of digital and it's, it's kind of worthwhile.

Speaker 2: 02:42 I think the last 15 years. Very good. And can you tell us a bit of a little bit of a traveling toward digital, the business and then also what you and your team do for them? Yeah, so travel port digital, we built mobile engagement platforms for travel buddies. So we work with a lot of big brands. So we build apps, Ios, android apps for the likes of easy jazz as he had Singapore at least kind of goes. We'll also build other platforms like push notification engines. We also offer a lot of professional services to these kinds of clients. So, you know, we make a, we helped travel brands basically deliver their mobile platforms and also we help drive revenue bookings in the hundreds of millions of these brands. So within that, um, it's, it's a really exciting business, has grown very fast and my marketing team within this that I lead and the digital side, it's a small enough team.

Speaker 2: 03:31 We're part of a much bigger global marketing organization within travelport. Okay. So they, they mean they themselves, they turnover over by two and a half billion, but we're lucky to have those channels that they opened for us. And we're focused fundamentally on a lot of content strategy, digital strategy really on, on mobile and mobile apps or travel brands. Okay. And so the, I suppose the reason we're here is to talk about inbound and uncontent. So when to travelport digital start their inbound marketing journey, yet I joined the company but he a uh, just over a year and a half ago, so at the end of 2016 and I joined the business here and my roommates was two commandments help with the digital side of things. And as part of that, that's what I joined. I've experienced working to build the businesses within inbound marketing automation and that's one of the first things identified here.

Speaker 2: 04:18 So that's when our journey began. We were typically looking at a lot of traditional marketing channels and okay, activities, pr events, those kinds of things have dipped our toe a little bit in digital in the sense that we had a new website and things like that. But you know, one of the key things that I was involved in was building out that digital strategy. And in my own I just felt was a really, really good practice that we were going to bring into the business and that's when we started about a year and a half ago to do that. Okay. And what a marketing automation platform to use. So we've gone with hubspot and I think um, you know, I think there's, there's lots of different solutions out there suited us as a business. I've worked with them before, guys. Like it's the user interface, very clean. I think hope spot themselves be on the platform are very, very helpful in terms of offering support services.

Speaker 2: 05:05 If you have a query, that answer is no additional cost, that kind of thing. So they've been a good fit for us. This last one. Okay. And I suppose as we both know, there's a lot of moving parts to inbound and content. You've got the content creation, the persona analysis, the management of the marketing automation platform. Can you just give us a sense of how you manage that here with your team? It's this, there are a lot of moving bits to it. That's right. And there's a lot of KPI's and a lot of channels that can be focused on. We tend to keep it simple enough flights a week. We everything starts and strategically with the personas. So who are the buyer personas? We worked with an agency like yourself at the start of that in terms of doing that research, where do they hang out?

Speaker 2: 05:48 What are their challenges now? What kind of topics are they interested in? So once we've got that lens on that this is a buyer persona, no other content. So for example, if hr send us a a blog, they want to rise, which we have had recently and someone's day either at a recycling plant. I need to think in my head, does a persona in marketing and an airline think that's interesting. The obvious answer is no, right? So yeah, always with the lens of the persona of what would this person find interesting if if our content find its way to them? Once you have that, you build those. Once you understand their challenges, their pain points, you're building out a strategy for the year yet related to content and you're trying to be smarter about the content, so we'll often do probably do buy for big anchor pieces is what we hold them here, so that might be a big ebook around a particular topic and rather than just build anatomy book and hoping for the best, we started divvy that up into webinars, infographics into multiple blogs, social media posts, videos and so on.

Speaker 2: 06:45 So that one piece of content that we've probably worked a month or two on, we work hard to make sure it's a district that's in a variety of ways. And the third thing is I think just the last thing in terms of simple enough approaches, the distribution side, so making sure that based on the content and content, using the content based on focused on these buyer personas. You know, if the research says that they don't hang out or if they don't use twitter, we're not going to post in twitter if they're hanging out in particular linkedin groups. We're trying to add, join those groups, posting those spaces. So that's a big part of it. We'll try and reach out to news organizations, trade magazines, websites that we know that our target personas hang out. They read there and we ask them are they interested in taking up this piece of content?

Speaker 2: 07:28 So they're the three things that we focus on with our inbound strategy. Yeah, it's interesting you mentioned the breaking out of the bigger piece of content. We call that atomizing or creating solid dose from the big piece of content. We find that it sweats the asset. I have a lot more, but the distribution to is um, is, is key because you know, you can do all this work in the content up front and then the distribution piece is, is uh, is key. What, what, what channels do you use to distribute it? And so the main, the main channels that we would look at and from standard enough. But I mean we've got our email channel which is good. I mean it takes a while to build up your database and bear in mind, I suppose with Gdpr blinds come into Europe this year. I mean that's, you need consent is you can't go buying lists.

Speaker 2: 08:16 So inbound I suppose even becomes more and more important, which is consent, lead marketing, they've signed up, they've ticked a box to say they're happy to get marketing, so it's really important channel for us, email, social media, organic social media, really important bugs, a huge amount of leads, first traffic to our site and you know, there's other channels that we would use in terms of referral channels, posting the content. So was said that already I suppose on third party websites and also, I mean inbound is great but I mean just the same bank does have certain limitations so it doesn't mean to ignore everything else. So we didn't get paid channels to leverage this kind of content. So rather than pushing our products hard and say linkedin advertising will tend to spend our money on promoting bits of content. So you know, that's our, that's our whole, that's what we want people to click through and download because that piece of content, because we don't know what stage they are in the funnel, they might be interested in this.

Speaker 2: 09:09 We don't want to push in a hard sale until they start educating them selves with our content and we feel that they are warmed up enough for them, for us to speak to them about our particular product. Okay, so you mentioned organic social there. I find that quite interesting because it's free. Well free. You've got to pay for the content or the production or you have the resources internally to create it. But organic is, yeah, it's hugely valuable but I think a lot of companies struggle with it and what I'd like to understand is how many people within your organization as well as the travelport digital brand, a social, you know, the, your own social pages. Do you have many salespeople and marketing people distributing that content for you on the Oregon? Yeah, I mean to be honest, but we are lucky in that respect.

Speaker 2: 09:54 We are a business that builds essentially apps. So you know, the average age profile here is 35 years of age wise, young people. You walk around the car doors here, the young people that are engaged on social media, they tend to do a lot of the re tweeting, posting or they're engaging with this content, so if you just take the simple maths around this, if we've got 10,000 followers on a social channel and we've got the 30 different people who've each got a thousand followers around our business and I have posting, you've got $30,000 plus two attempts that I was just going a lot further. It's a lot smarter and because it's not being pushed out by brand as being pushed out by people per se, that's far, far more effective. So I wouldn't say, you know, we're looking in terms of contributors to the content here, but also people who are happy to distribute the content as well.

Speaker 2: 10:43 On our behalf on these there. Is there a directive from senior management here to encourage people to, to, to, to repost, to like to share because that it can be even for other big companies, they don't do that well and they were gonna extend. Yeah. No it's, it's, it's. I mean, they are involved in a lot of these discussions and um, particularly when you're new to an band, there's a lot of selling up front and I think it depends on how you sell this proposition to that audience. So to senior management, you're probably talking about return on investment leads, pipeline growth, the people that we want posting, you know, a lot of the time it's by raising their profile in this industry so they are happy to do that themselves. They also, if, if you're giving them the days that which is you're able to do through inbound or Hubspot, which is okay, you posted that piece of content or you wrote a piece of content for us, for our blog, here's how many views that's had.

Speaker 2: 11:34 Here's the airlines of the travel brands have actually read your piece of content and I actually, you know, good on you. That's actually a lot of this has been commercially has worked out very well. Your helping us get more eyeballs from these perspective are these prospects and these travel brands, it's going to help us drive revenue at the end of the day. So it's, it's, it, you still always need to feed back to people to encourage them. We've got chat groups here, this tell people what's going on, what topics we're doing. We pay people to write content. We literally give vouchers for anyone has a published piece of content here. So it's right at the heart of what we do. But also I think you got to give people credit, tell them either stuff is performing and as long as they feel, I think that there's a certain belonging as part of a strategic piece here, you know, on the digital marketing side, if they understand that they feel they're playing a part in last year and they're being acknowledged, you don't have to do too much pressing from up top.

Speaker 2: 12:24 Yeah. Yeah. I think that ski is given them. It's given them the feedback. Yeah. You know, you're sharing this still, you know, these results are coming out of the what. I just rewind a little bit there. Um, and you spoke about personas and one thing that interests me is like travelport digital are very clear on their target market. You, I'm not saying this to you, just what you're so strategic, your positioning is so is so narrow. You make travel apps for travel brands, so airlines and travel management companies. Yeah. So being able to put personas together, was it made easier because of that kind of strategic direction given by the business, do you think? Yes, I know, no, I think you've and narrow down the number of industries or segments that you want to target. So travel this broad based. When you start to get into it, it's, you've built airlines, got travel management companies, got hotels and car rental companies and you know if we've got a product or a solution for each of these fits yes or no, and that that's, that's now as it than with challenge actually.

Speaker 2: 13:26 Then beyond that is getting agreement on who the target personas are in each of these airlines for example. So airlines are huge rise in a sea of tens of thousands of people in certain airlines, so in terms of a digital projects, but it could even once so important like in mobile APP will go to launch it. The number of people from various departments is huge, so you've got the ecommerce people, marketing people, and some people in some airlines it lead that in other areas. Procurement might lead that and then you've got various levels of sea level depending then to vp marketing an exact, so the amount of stakeholders in it makes it relatively complicated. The only thing I would say is, you know what you're trying to do is find the balances. Okay. In our experience if we bought was the worst just to focus on say two personas in that, in that let's make a decision as a business that the two personas are whatever they decide they are and let's just focus on that.

Speaker 2: 14:19 Okay. If at other stages you find, for example, the we find that it personas are involved in the project, but they're involved in later on in the funnel, so you know you've got agreement, they want to figure Irish, those integration platforms and so on. You might then start to work internally on pieces of content that are based towards an it persona, but further on down the funnel. So most of the content we do is top of funnel mid funnel content in terms of trying to get awareness, engagement that the starting point, working with external companies yourselves to build that content. But as it's drilled further and further down when you're starting now, the company, you know, they've chosen you as a vendor, you now have an it persona to deal with. Actually we've probably enough resources I'd slide to marketing and turning this business to be able to write suitable content and pieces of materials for them that they need to know.

Speaker 2: 15:12 The main thing is whether it is with these contents, these personas is the sales cycle. So it's just. I think one thing that we found has been very useful is if you divvy up the funnel and you've got these personas, is rather than just writing great pieces of content on trends or research pieces with the emap and do an audit and say, look, where are we today? Have you got enough content when we're in negotiations or an it person asks a simple question like how am I going to connect this it system to that ot system? Yeah. Have we got a readymade piece of content or do we need to work on a new presentation that's going to take a few weeks? I'm kind of sounds like it's going to drag on. Okay. Was there a particular thing that happened in your inbound journey where you had chosen x amount of personas at the beginning?

Speaker 2: 15:57 We were doing all this top of the funnel stuff. Um, and then you're, you know, you're, you're generating results in the back of the house, but was there a point where you said, I'm going to minute. There's all these other personas that are so involved, like queer. Did you get that information from on? How did you go about, you know, deciding that this you additional stuff needed to be done as well? Some of it, I mean, part of it, the inbound journey is that marketing don't do it by themselves, right? So you're constantly involved, particularly with other stakeholders. Sales, you need to be very tight with sales. So what invariably happens the more and more you're involved in the buying process, um, with these guys you're starting to see holes in, are you first thoughts that a year and a half ago when we first started, yeah, this is going to be perfect to say actually there's a few bits of content and personas that probably a little bit more important that we need to work on.

Speaker 2: 16:53 Having said that, I mean the good thing about invent is you've written all this material over here for these, so maybe you've got a knife then so you can start to focus again on these additional personas. So you have enough buying material that's driving seo, that's bringing in people, they've, you've identified that whole buyer journey. Now you're looking at these other personas. You've also, you know, you've got a bit more resource. It's a new year. You can decide, okay, let's invest a little bit more on these personas and start targeting them as well. Okay. So very good. So just moving away from, I suppose the tanks either given, given given us loads of information there, but about you know, your inbound journey and lessons learned and moving onto results. So, so which is obviously the most important part of it from a business perspective. So what results are you seeing from your content on uninvited?

Speaker 2: 17:40 So the results have been really good. I think what we're, what we're seeing as in how we measure success is you know this, there's other things like open rates and click through rates. Engagement. That means they're just hygiene factors. We don't measure success by those is most of it is through with leads and pipeline build. So how many leads are we getting in? How many of those marketing qualified meaning people are filling in forms of downloading content, they're engaging. Are they a in an airline or travel management company or travel vertical. We're targeting the right type of people. We're targeting commercial, ecommerce marketing. People were not targeted in a HR and accounting. As we start to see that, I mean those leads are filtered out. So we're seeing really, really good results from the investment side of things. Um, so you know, the, the investment is good.

Speaker 2: 18:26 It's added a lot to our pipeline numbers. It's also led to actual customer winds as well. So in terms of cost per lead as well versus your traditional channels like events for example, you're, you're, you're literally talking about an 80 percent reduction in your cost per lead versus is going on before. Wow. Okay. And you mentioned they're filtering out because I think a lot of companies might struggle with how to do that because you know, when you do inbound you do get a lot of rubbish in there too. So. And what, how do you filter those leads? Who's responsible for it? Yeah, I think, look, there's, there's, there's two elements to this, and this was part of the journey as well, is this, your marketing automation system can do so much tonight. It can be clever and you can do things with lead scores and say, well, you know, this person from this vertical and this senior rt, we're going to start highlighting lessons.

Speaker 2: 19:21 We're going to. I don't think I have a particular lead score. We're going to pass onto a sales guy. We're going to automate an email to them. I mean the reality is that works to a certain extent, but you need. There's nothing that beats human touch here. So we have people whose job within this process is to look at that qualification and what I mean by that is you can't have a form filled. It's got 15 fields in it because you want to identify all these things before you pass it onto him. A salesperson, okay, so you know you just won't get conversions on that particular page so that the good thing, but today's world is most people's information is on linkedin. So if you got four fields filled in, you still need a person that's possibly sits in the background and says, this person looks interesting.

Speaker 2: 20:01 I've looked them up. They could fit in a few more of their job titles, but that person or that human touch is really unimportant. Part of the strategy and also a very important part of your team and they're going through the leads that come in, categorizing them. Look at, you know, doing a bit of a check. Yeah, looking at the name, look into the company, going onto Linkedin, make sure that they exist, you know, and then saying, yeah, they're right person and that's it. And um, I mean they also help in terms of what senior management who aren't necessarily going to be down in the weeds looking at an old part of all this process is in terms of surfacing that in terms of reporting. That's why you've got your labels, your leads or marketing qualified leads just to see at a top level, you know, in this region and this vertical, how we got enough of the type of qualified leads coming in.

Speaker 2: 20:49 They do help a lot in terms of changing stages. You can automate some of that, but you know, a lot of this takes a human to do a sense check, a sanity check. Okay. They ticked, they've been hugely engaged and maybe you know, on your lead scoring system you didn't put in the fact that they looked at your jobs page as a negative lead score, but actually it's someone from an airline who probably wants to work for your business. So there, there's a human touch there that needs to just have a look at some of their behavior and b then try and, you know, put it, as I said, a sanity check on that say actually that mightn't be glad. Quite a great lead. They might actually be interested in something that's very good. Is there any particular campaign or a piece of content that stands out as a.

Speaker 2: 21:33 what's the standout? Yeah, I mean we've done. Yeah, we, as I said, become a typically break these into quarterly themes. I think probably the most recent campaign is a good one to talk about. We did a campaign on mobile travel trends. Okay. So, you know, it's everything that you needed to know coming into 2018 if you're a travel brand by what's happening in this digital space, what's happening with what's happening with, you know, Alexa, I was having to have a voice chat bots and things like that. That campaign is, as you know, gone really, really well. As I said before, we start off an anchor piece, maybe an Ebook and we've done webinars falling out or they will have done videos, infographics, blogs in terms of downloads. You're, you're literally in the thousands and you're in the hundreds upon hundreds of qualified leads. The right people are, are now engaging with that content.

Speaker 2: 22:25 Um, it's helping drive a lot of conversations. So it's, it's, you know, there's probably one of the better examples are you going to have done from results wise and is there. Why? Why do you think it performed so well? I think it's a, you've, you've, you've got to have good content. Good content is delivered by, by understanding persona. But also we've leveraged here a lot of the people who actually are genuine thought leaders in this space. Being smart about getting. We built as well over a year and a half a name for ourselves as being, you know, people who know what they're talking about. They're useful with people, lots of people signing up for our blogs and lots of people coming back and engaging with us. So we've got a name for ourselves. Beginning timing wise, it's 2018, it's this December, 2017 to January 2018. You're launching these campaigns. People are interested in trends.

Speaker 2: 23:15 We ran this campaign in September 2018. It's not going to get it. So I mean it's, it's common sense to time it. Right. But I mean there's been some really good results from it as well. Just anecdotally, we have one really large American airline that says, reached out to one our sales guys and said, hey look, I've had about 15 guys in my teams or various departments have gone onto your webinar and they're just raving about this trends webinar that you did and some of the technology that you've talked about. Would you mind coming in here and presenting what you guys are doing in this space? We'd love to hear it, and that's essentially inbounded and old child, right? This is getting drunk and north leads the right leads that don't look like you're selling too hard yet, and that the prospect or the buyer feels that actually you're someone that can be trusted and has valuable information and actually, you know, they're not interested in a hard sale.

Speaker 2: 24:06 People are, are to a cynical these days. People can spot marketing or traditional marketing from a mile off. Okay. So what they're saying is, you know, we'd like to, you guys talk, you seem to be. No, no what you're talking about your poor leaders and that's really what leadership is. If someone wants to come in, they trust you and to speak. So that's, I mean that's a great little story for us and it's potentially worth, you know, some business for that. The line with particular airline. Yeah. But it's got a conversation with your sales people on the back of you adding value to a target. Your target markers. Yeah. Exact. So much value and so much value that they were compelled to pick up the phone and ringing you say. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think with, with those particular guys, I mean it's. What it's useful is that, you know, you asked as well about buying the business.

Speaker 2: 24:56 The sales guys is telling these stories, you're looking at the numbers, it's happening, it's real. And I think, you know, there's lots of success stories or anecdotes like a chair like that. It's just a recent one and it shows, you know, when we're dealing with big airlines with big budgets and things like that, and it's a lot of value in those kinds of stories. But I mean that's, that is what in by ambulance now. That's when it goes well, you know what, it takes a lot of work. Yeah. I'm persistence that needs to happen in bed. I think reality is a lot of people might try this for three or four months yet, and you've got this lifetime, remember what they called? It may be a wave of disillusionment, posting stuff out. You're doing everything that you're supposed to be doing and after three or four months we're not seeing the inquiries and not seeing the leads.

Speaker 2: 25:38 Let's give it up. Yet it takes time. People need to be patient, you need to make sure we're strategically, you've sold it onto the rest of the business that it's going to take time. Yeah, and I think we've done a lot less hard work to get us to this point today. Yeah. Yeah. I just on that point, I saw, I've told you about this guy before, a Gary Vaynerchuk who talks about sales and marketing and I know it's still a piece he did yesterday where he's talks about marketing an unspecific about sales, kind of complaining about marketing, saying, you know what, they're not delivering. What is pulling the point that he makes is that there's all of this energy goes into marketing all the time and you can't hit home runs every single week. You know, and it's, it's the, uh, it's, it's the, the, the winds that come every so often.

Speaker 2: 26:24 This is what makes it. But that's. Yeah, his point is is one piece of content can kind of can make it one video, one, you know, one of one event, what? There could be 16 events that lead up to this that could be, you know, 10 ebooks that leader for and I don't think, you know, there's this expectations, I'm delighted to say that, but there's an expectation and I don't know if it's to do with the content that's out there that if you like, inbound is like turning on a switch and all of a sudden like you'll be drinking from the firehose of needs. If that was, if that was the case, you know, we'd all be billionaires.

Speaker 2: 26:59 No, it's, it's, it's trial and error with certain bits of content as part of an era which channels have, you know, I think it's a lot of, you know, we look enough with the, with the pieces that we've chosen, the strategic big strategic pieces have gone pretty well. Yeah. I would say and, but you know, aligned to that when I say pretty well we've got our targets for the year. So, you know, in a particular quarter in particular month we've got content that, you know, still working away in the background that's bringing in numbers. If we bind it on a big piece of content, bringing in leads and it's not delivering, you'll make it up over the year there's going to be peaks and troughs. I think it's just not, you know, the advantage with things like inbound is rather than just doing a big event in March and getting 100 leads in and then just chasing all those leads.

Speaker 2: 27:46 So the next two months and then peaks, troughs like that, it gives you a bit of a consistent flat line in terms of leads. You know. And I mean there are pieces of content as well though for us this, you know, we haven't hit home runs for particularly the bottom of funnel patients. Yeah. You know, bottom of funnel, very strategic, very focused on, for example, you know, you're building out an RFP or tender. There's very few airlines and travel companies that at that point in time or interest in a piece of content like that. However, it's useful piece of content also in a one on one conversation with the salesperson to have that piece of content. So that's where I think it's useful for the two to be aware of, of the buying process for marketing people to think more like sales and sales people.

Speaker 2: 28:27 Also to be aware of, you know, go to the content that I can now share that person is issuing an RFP. I like them to be issuing that RFP property in a way that suits our business. Right. So it's, it's not rocket science, it's common sense approach, but it still can be as effective even though the numbers of downloads or engagements or small, it still might work for that one particular account. Yes. Yeah. Okay. It's very interesting. As I listened to you speak, you mentioned sales and marketing intermittently all the time and um, and I think from a, a number of perspectives, it's interesting. So first of all are the two things that spring to mind for me is, you know, you're obviously getting feedback from sales people on the quality of leads on your own. Obviously creating content for them to help in their sales process and do you want to just talk to me first of all about the feedback loop on how you, how you get.

Speaker 2: 29:21 I know you spoke earlier about about the qualification that needs to come in. What feedback have of leads that become that go further down the funnel and become sales qualified leads? How do you manage that? Yeah, so we, again, I mean it's. There are a lot of smart things you can do in your marketing automation systems in terms of saying this person is now looking and that's very useful and I'm not. Ally was broken. We got millions of data points for a certain level of sales awareness of what marketing is doing and the activities, the website, the web pages are they're alerted at the right time that someone's viewing this. Maybe that's a good time to put it in the phone call because you haven't heard them. That's useful, but I mean it has a lead management that staying on the same page and we weren't global organization.

Speaker 2: 30:06 We've, for example, three sales calls that happen, tree leads, calls that happen each week. Yeah, so per region, those sales guys on the goals with the marketing guys running through what's happened with those leads, any updates, do we need to move them in particular stage and you can succeed if you don't have that in place, you can't expect to even just, you know, monthly meeting or quarterly meeting this mock sales know exactly what marketing are doing or you know, people are busy, people are on holidays, there's leads that can drop because people didn't show up to meetings. So you just need to make sure that your clothes from a technology point of view that you're both looking at the hubspot kind of days, our, the salesforce data as to what people are doing with the content or from the second point of view, you need to have relationships and form relationships where you've got meetings, you've got colds with salespeople to run through all of these things.

Speaker 2: 30:55 Okay. So you treat different sales teams and you and you meet with them weekly to get this feedback. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So it's, you know, you've got it, it's, it's, you know as well, you got to understand as well, not every single touchpoint is digital. So you have costs, all the digital aspects. We're talking about what he did with the offline aspects. What do you do if you then yeah, I met them at a trade show. How are you feeding back that information? So those weekly calls or you know, they've been invaluable to follow up on weed, a big piece of content or a Webinar, you know, that particular account you're after. It was honest, you know, they've asked for a call back, can you make sure you're doing that? But also we had an event, how are we going to log that? So just making sure this, there's two way communication of salespeople as well even putting into this into your databases as well.

Speaker 2: 31:42 Okay. And do you find that the salespeople are good for giving in Bill Gates of, you know, piece pieces of content they've seen that you may not have seen or an event that you haven't heard of or the kind of digital. Does that feedback come as well? It happens, you know, a little bit from our sales guys. Um, I think just the way our company is set up, we have different departments that are involved in research and our own insights department so they love at the time would be the people sharing that, which is really, really useful because we have a small marketing team, as I said, we come from different backgrounds. We all have been in travel tech our whole lives so we're still learning. So we're looking over the other departments are feeding in events while competitors are doing what third parties are doing in this and it's I think as well if, if you're getting less simple things like we are getting that feedback need to respond and say thanks or actually do some of these things.

Speaker 2: 32:39 He was just not replying or actually not doing any of that said you know, acting on, under the ideas you've been sent. Best collaboration is going to dry up. Yeah. And that brings me onto the other point which is this, you know, providing content for the sales people, meaningful content. So you met you, you talked about an RFP builder or earlier. That for me is hugely beneficial in getting their buy in so you know, they can, you know, they'll give you the feedback on the leads and that can be positive, negative depending what the needs are like. But if you're giving them meaningful content, valuable content to help them, their sales process that kinda want to be good. Yeah. Look, I mean the marketing plans for the year or by quarter are signed off by sales or with sales. Right. Okay. So we don't, we're not in a bubble where we just, you know, there's three that I think people think that marketing people just go off into rooms and, and come up with fluffy ideas coloring in and we were into nice pictures and you know, that's all we care about.

Speaker 2: 33:38 No, we sit down with sales and we plan out and we think strategically. Do you agree that this particular piece of content, if we're after a strategic market, I think you know, there's, there's, there's various things that we can identify by those individuals we'd like to target with this campaign that we think will resonate with them. You're the sales guys, you're the qualifier. Do you think this will work with financing ideas a lot of the time with them. So they're all on board. They're not surprised when they see the content going. They understand the value of it. They understand when the leads have been passed over, why we're doing this, why did I need to follow up in a timely manner? Yes. Yeah. Okay. So, so, so far you've given us like, you know, so much information and so much value in terms of you know, of, of your inbound journey and much have learned.

Speaker 2: 34:24 So just kind of to, to, to bookend the inbound piece. Yeah. The quarter. The two biggest learnings you've made in the past 18 months since, since starting this inbound journey with that, with the court. I think that the two things are. The first one is inbound is is very useful, but don't ditch all your other channels. Okay, so inbound and the guys who sell in band the likes of hubspot and Marketo and these guys and they're brilliant at saying this is going to revolutionize how you do marketing. What they don't tell everyone started. That is actually the opposite. A lot of value in all these other traditional channels like events, pr and things like that. They're saying, no, you know, so you've got quite a negative lens that you can look at if you're new to this and we can say, actually let's just teach a lot of this, but that's actually not true.

Speaker 2: 35:15 Right? So that's one of the big learnings. I think we probably put a lot of eggs in the basket of inbound for a certain point in time. I'll probably ignored a little bit. So these other traditional channels which we are, for example, I paid, you know, if you, if you look at page channels, certain brands, marketing automation brands would make you believe we're already constantly doing this. I mean the reality is it's not costly. It helps you leverage content. And actually you look at what they're doing themselves, that marketing automation systems they're using paid media themselves and they don't just fully rely on inbound. Exactly. I think that's probably the first big learning. I think, you know, the other one is, is, is, is probably buyin from, from the right people at the right time. So senior management is telling them that you're going to be doing this, pitching it to that audience from a financial return on investment perspective.

Speaker 2: 36:07 But also saying this will take time and looking at that one to two year strategy as opposed to we're going to fix everything in the next six months. Okay. Yeah. So I think those two things, um, you know, if anyone is thinking about it, I think that'd be good to know in advance of going on the environment or he goes, thanks for that. Before we finish, I just have two questions are moving, moving away at moving away from inbound and content, which is what I suppose the, the lion share of this interview is about. But thinking, thinking about like the here and now, I'm like, what are you, what are you working on currently? So, you know, I kind of touched on the fact that it's not all everybody focused. Yeah. Um, we're in fairly niche sectors, right? So, um, what we're doing is still using a lot of that content, slightly reshaping our strategy away from him, Vanda more focused on account based marketing.

Speaker 2: 37:01 So one of the big, big challenges at the moment is certain products that we liked that are suitable for very specific accounts we think are need of these particular products. We've seen a gap for these particular products and solutions that we offer. So camp based marketing is something that we're working very hard on a understanding more and more training more and more with this. We've learned some mistakes along the way as well with that. How do you report out on that? Because it, it changes some of the, a traditional marketing funnel of leads, marketing, qualified sales, qualified leads to opportunity, whereas, you know, an abn funnel. Yeah. How you report through Hubspot for example, is different. So that's one of the big challenges that we're looking at. Right. So, uh, yeah, I know the bulk of this, of this conversation has been about inbound and content and on.

Speaker 2: 37:50 Thanks very much for sharing that with us David. But if you just like to finish, um, the last few questions with letting us know what you're working on currently. Yeah. So yeah, without giving too much away, there's probably two things that we're looking at as business on marketing as a business as well. Okay. So the first is a camp based marketing. So you know, we're in a niche sector. There are not a huge number of cancer, particularly if you look at something like the airline space, only a few hundred airlines in the world that we have solutions that are suitable for. So we are looking at ways and means of all of the various tactics. Okay, we need to deploy there also what that means for marketing automation systems like Hubspot, which invariably aren't built for names on account based marketing. So we're just being smart in terms of trying to, trying to be smart.

Speaker 2: 38:40 There was a heavy report back on on a camp base metrics, so rather than measuring things like marketing qualified leads and things like a traditional follow that there's marketing qualified sales qualified opportunity and so on. You're looking at things like awareness, engagement, coverage, marketing qualified accounts and so on, and you're really. And in working on each of those accounts saying, you know, are they engaging with that particular content and you're, even though you might have other airlines yet this are engaging, they're not part of your target accounts, they've just decided that you've, you've qualified them out to begin with. Yeah. So slightly different from the persona based approach. So that's one thing I noticed is a business, you know, we've, we've changed the last in the last year or two. Okay. So traditionally we build bespoke platform. It's bespoke apps for big travel brands. Okay. Now we've taken a lot of the learnings from what we've done in the bespoke space and we've productized that.

Speaker 2: 39:33 We've got a SAS platforms now that the white label apps for airlines, but it just means is we are pivoting as a company and the marketing we need to pivot as well with that, so that means total, we're widening the marketing, the available market is yet because the, the, the starting price for, for, you know, these, these product platforms versus bespoke is lower, so it's a bigger market there. So for us and for the company, marketing actually plays a much bigger role in terms of touching these, these hundreds of thousands of a cancer, various verticals that might be interested in this product where you may have a small sales team in the past. Yeah. That was focused on just small Margaret First bespoke. Now we've got marketing becomes more integral to touching the various verticals in the various countries globally. Right. Okay. And your biggest challenges at the moment where you and your team in travelport portion, the particular challenges that you're faced?

Speaker 2: 40:31 No, no, I think, I think, you know, we, we were, one of the things is probably as a company we were acquired, we were formally called mobile travel technologies until we were acquired. We've grown very fast from our 50 people a few years ago to over 300 just focused on mobile. I think one of the challenges we have is stepping away from what was essentially, you know, a, a smaller, almost like a startup brand or the okay to now having this parent company that works with the biggest travel brands and also as a team had we had to, we spread our knowledge because we're experts in a lot of spaces that their travel companies on travelport that don't have that knowledge and expertise. Okay. So I think that's one of the challenges for us is yes, how do you, how do you leverage, you know, the existing resources in a big company like travelport, particularly on the marketing side of things.

Speaker 2: 41:18 How do we keep doing what we're doing today, doing a lot of great content. I to make sure that that's being passed through. The channels were not being slowed down. How do we make sure that it's localized in terms of languages, things like that we would just wouldn't have to look at in the past, we're just focused on English specific, smaller markets now we've got, that's a challenge, but also a huge opportunity for us in this kind of new new business that we have with these white label apps. Okay, very good. Well listen, that's all the questions that we have, so it's been really, really valuable. Lots of lots of insights and learnings there for, uh, for our community. So David, thank you very much for, for sharing that with us. And Best of luck for the rest of 2018.

Speaker 3: 42:00 Thanks.


Discover how Travelport Digital nail inbound marketing including how to:

  • Get staff to contribute and distribute content
  • Developing personas in a niche market
  • Qualify inbound leads

David also discusses content topic choices and timings, the importance of Sales & Marketing alignment and the two most important things to consider when doing inbound