Authentic Content Strategy with Camille Trent

Lauren Volpi's headshot on a blue background

Camille Trent is the head of content at Dooly, where she helps sales teams close more deals, faster. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with her pup and two favorite redheads. Or she’s trying to coach the Portland Trail Blazers to victory from her couch.

Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Long Story Short:

  • How to develop content strategy that successfully breaks through the noise
  • The value of authentic, approachable content – and how to develop it
  • Showing the tangible impact of brand, both for the company and as an individual
  • Using ‘method marketing’ to better relate to your audience and keep your finger on the pulse of your market
  • How training to understand your audience is an ongoing process for marketers
  • The best way to leverage the power of personal branding

 

Resources:

State of Demand Gen

The Growth Hub 

SEO for the Rest of Us

Made to Stick

Never Split the Difference

 

Connect with Camille:

LinkedIn

Dooly on LinkedIn

 

Connect with the Host:

Jeff Sirkin on LinkedIn

 

Connect with Sirkin Research:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn

Transcript:

Jeff Sirkin:
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Long Story Short, the podcast about storytelling and connection. I’m your host, Jeff Sirkin. On this show, we talk to people making a difference as marketers, entrepreneurs, and social impact advocates. We dig into actionable strategies and tactics to help you connect with your audience and keep your finger on the pulse of your market. My guest this week is Camille Trent. She’s the head of content at Dooly where she helps sales teams close more deals faster. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with her pup and her two favorite redheads, or she’s trying to coach the Portland trailblazers to victory from her couch.

Jeff Sirkin:
In this episode, we get into developing content strategy and creating an authentic brand both for a company and as an individual. While it’s a commonly held belief that the value of brand is impossible or very hard to measure, we dig into ways to show you the value of brand in action. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Camille Trent.

Jeff Sirkin:
Hi, Camille, thanks for being with us on Long Story Short.

Camille Trent:
Thanks, Jeff. Happy to be here.

Jeff Sirkin:
So there’s certainly no shortage of digital content these days. And if you aren’t breaking through the noise, you’re adding to it. So with that in mind, how do you begin thinking about developing your content strategy at Dooly?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. So I think depending on the company that you’re at, it’s just sort of assessing the landscape like, what have you already built and what is there to still build? And so couple things that I think about, the category itself, how defined is the category itself? And also maybe how transactional it is. And so what I mean by that is a lower priced product might be able to do… It might make sense to prioritize SEO even sooner, right? Or something with a very defined category that people are already searching for. Once they get that information on it, they will buy if it’s a short buying process and almost more like e-commerce would be like a good example of this, right? Then it might make sense to optimize for SEO first because of those factors and because people are… there’s already search intent there. Right?

Camille Trent:
Whereas if you are more like Dooly which is the company that I’m at now where it’s a less defined category right now, there hasn’t existed a similar tool sort of until we came along. And so then you have to kind of rethink your strategy of, “Okay, how do I expose the problems in the market that people know about but they’re not necessarily searching for because they don’t know that this product exists?” Right? It’s not call recording. It’s not helping with your outreach. Right? And so these are common sales tech products now, but this is a different thing. Where do we start? Right? Where do we start with our content? So those are a couple things that I keep in mind, just level setting.

Camille Trent:
And then the other part is, who are we really selling to? Who is our real audience? We might have an idea of that, but this is why it’s so important to bring in a product marketer earlier, just a strategic marketer basically whose job it is to sort of evaluate the market, understand the market, deeply understand our product, and understand the intersection between those things and where we’re going to be successful and where we should prioritize. And so as the content marketer, we are lucky enough to have a great product marketer on board. If you don’t have that, usually the content lead ends up playing that position. That and the growth marketer might sort of co-own that of marketing strategy, and who are we talking to and what’s the voice? Right?

Jeff Sirkin:
Great. And I love that concept. And I think the first thing that I want to sort of unpack there is around the category definition. I think that’s so important and I think something that maybe doesn’t get thought of enough. I mean, I see so much where I don’t want to call it cookie-cutter, but there’s sort of more of a playbook. Right? And I think to your point, it’s really saying, “No, there’s really so many things that will alter how you need to think about this,” but I think it’s a great point, the idea that it’s not necessarily what foothold your company has, although that’s part of it, of course, but fundamentally, the problem that you solve and the product from the market, is that something that’s familiar to people? Because again, it’s sort of a matter of where do you need to meet the expectations of the buyers? Or to your point at Dooly, which again is sort of a unique animal in and of itself is, no, you need to help connect. They’re aware of the pain. They’re not aware that there is a solution to the pain. There isn’t today a well-defined category that it fits into that they’re already familiar with.

Jeff Sirkin:
And so again, you just need to start that conversation in a much different place.

Camille Trent:
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So a good example too is I want to specify that you can still do SEO, right? You just might have to… you have to do it differently if you’re going to do it. So for instance, people are still looking at… One thing that comes up is forecasting, right? And so the way that people think about forecasting and sort of the myths or misunderstandings around it was something that we noticed both on the sales side and then just in the community in general. And so we help a lot more with the input side, right? Of when you are inputting the data, you are able to get data out of it. You can have the best forecasting tool in the world, but if you don’t have any data that you’re inputting, or if your data is flawed or the sample size is too small, you’re not going to have an accurate forecast. Right? Or you’re not going to have the data you need to make decisions.

Camille Trent:
And so sort of clarifying that. We just did a piece about this about good inputs lead to good outputs sort of thing, and which is something that we do, but it’s also just like an education piece for the market of everything that goes into a forecast. Right? And so making sure that all of your pieces, especially in B2B content, educate. That you’re getting value out of it, but then also ideally have it be something that you are an expert in and just talking about, for instance, for us like sales in general, just finding out, what are we really an expert in and what are the common misconceptions or objections that come up? And then using some of those sales conversations to fuel your content.

Jeff Sirkin:
As an analyst, you really preach into the choir here around when it comes to modeling, garbage in, garbage out. Right? And the idea that no tool is going to be able to make up for bad or dirty or biased or incomplete data. And I think, again, that’s maybe an entirely different conversation around like it’s not the tool’s fault and the tool is not a replacement for good process, which again, I think, is a whole other thing, but I love that perspective.

Camille Trent:
Yeah, it’s funny because that’s just one content example, but yeah, but there’s a lot of applications, right? And it’s because it’s qualitative and quantitative and marketing too of you’re looking at the dashboards, you’re looking at the numbers on your site, you’re looking at the conversions. All that’s very important, but probably more important is having those one-to-one conversations with people and figuring how they say things and how they think about your product or how they think about the space, how they think about their problems like the number of times that a customer has rephrased their problem in a way that we didn’t think about it. And if you don’t have those conversations, we’d never think about it. Right? And then just the time to really understand what you do and how you should talk about it, you’re just lengthening that for yourself by not having those conversations.

Jeff Sirkin:
I love that. And so I want to talk about… I love the tone that Dooly has. In particular, I think of the careers page and I love some of the data that it has on the employees. And again, it’s fun, but it feels so approachable and yet in a really authentic way. Not like it’s trying too hard. And so I’m curious internally, how do you and the team work to maintain that?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I mean, it really is an inside out sort of culture in that way. The careers page you pointed about, that was led by our people and culture team, which is largely in charge of and has done an excellent job of setting that culture and sort of setting that tone and that’s permeated through the external brand as well. And so really setting up an environment where people can feel creative or that they can feel like they can have their own personal brands and that they can be the true authentic itself not to sound too cliché. But yeah, when people just feel like the freedom to do what they want and to not be judged for it, that really starts with internal marketing.

Camille Trent:
And I think oftentimes, that’s your people and culture team that sort of sets that tone and where we get things like Dooligans and that that’s become something that we rally around. Right? And then we have also three company values that comes directly from the CEO, but then the whole executive leadership team weighs in on, and even the way that we phrase those fits back to that tone. And also early days, freedom to sell is something that we champion a lot too. And so yeah, all of those things build brand. And then Mark, my boss, has also done a great job of in the first iteration of the website, having that sort of tone throughout, speaking directly to one person and just really translating that internal brand to external brand, and again, talking directly to salespeople and not to us.

Jeff Sirkin:
Yeah. I mean, just from my perspective, it’s refreshing, you don’t see a lot of really B2B software brand with that kind of tone. It stands out and it’s… I mean, I think you and I talked before and saying it almost feels and sounds more like a lifestyle brand as opposed to sort of a traditional B2B software.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I mean, one thing that Mark says a lot that I like is essentially that he’s a B2C marketer in a B2B role. Right? And so if you take on that challenge of not just… it’s not something where it’s like you can take all the tactics from B2C and that’ll translate to B2B. They’re very different, but there’s a lot that doesn’t need… that’s different needlessly, right? That’s like, “Oh, we think that we have to be boring all the time or that we have to use jargon, or we have to have these colors on our site.” Right? And so we’ve rejected some of those philosophies.

Jeff Sirkin:
I love that. And speaking of which, I’m a huge believer that building a brand is the most valuable thing companies can do, but I think they don’t put enough emphasis behind it because it’s harder typically to directly prove the ROI. And so I’m curious, what are some of the ways that you’ve seen that the value of brand really having tangible impact?

Camille Trent:
When I was starting on LinkedIn and seeing success there and seeing it quantitatively and qualitatively, but seeing what types of business that was driving. So early days, I was talking about copywriting, and sure enough, I would get DMs about freelance copywriting, mostly some full-time roles and things. And then as I was evolving my strategy, but also just evolving my writing and what I wanted to talk about, started talking more about content marketing and then started getting more roles around content marketing around full-time positions. And the eventually led to my first job in SaaS. This was not too long ago. So that was the first time that I broke into SaaS.

Camille Trent:
And then as I’ve progressed roles or as I’ve changed roles, all these things have changed where it’s like I was working for a marketing place for freelance marketers. Right? And I was talking a lot from the brand itself about what we do and about not just content marketing, but growth marketing. So then people would reach out about, “Hey, I’m looking for a marketer,” and this was both in DMs but also the demo requests that were coming through and some people putting LinkedIn, some people putting paid. We had a pretty holistic marketing going on, but it was tracking specifically some of the things coming in through LinkedIn just because some things were coming in through me personally. And so I could easily track that.

Camille Trent:
So some learnings there. And then as I moved here, more conversations with salespeople, and yeah, looking for sales solutions. And then you also get marketers too that are like, “Hey, I like the marketing that you’re doing at Dooly. If you can give me any advice on this.” It just all goes back to the type of marketing that you’re doing and the way that you’re positioning yourself or the way that you’re positioning your company. You can see the ROI. It’s not hard to track. It’s harder to track qualitative than quantitative, but it’s not impossible. So a couple things is capturing those moments, capturing either when people are like, “I love your content. I’ve been following…” That type of stuff. So those are the leading indicators. But then last week or the week before, someone had left a comment when we launched our like sales happiness index, which was like a research report about the state of sales.

Camille Trent:
Someone left a comment that said, “Okay, you got me. I just closed the deal with you all,” or something. Right? And so see, sometimes this rarely happens. Right? But sometimes there’s indicators like that that are like, “Oh, this post wasn’t the reason.” That deal had started well before. Right? There are so many touches that go into marketing, but it just goes to show that a LinkedIn post, something that people think is very top of funnel and is maybe not something worth investing in, in this case, was helpful in the bottom of funnel. Right? And the last stages of someone deciding if they want to use our product or if it’s worth putting money into. And so I like that example of just social specifically, it doesn’t have to be like a top of funnel channel.

Camille Trent:
And then, yeah, taking all that qualitative data, seeing where there’s patterns, synthesizing it, showing it to the team so that they know something’s happening in that channel. Right? Because admittedly, it is hard to track. And then the last thing that is more of… Yeah. Something Chris Walker has talked about a lot is just like adding the form fill of like, “How did you hear about us?” And then you’re able to track like, where are people…? It’s probably more than one place. Right? They’ve probably seen ads. They’ve probably seen you on social. They might have read a blog, but it’s interesting to see, where do you think that you heard about us? Right? Where are you seeing us the most and where do you… if you’re asking them like what comes to mind, like what’s top of mind when you think of Dooly, for instance. Right? And so starting to track that now as well. And that was something that we did at my past company as well.

Jeff Sirkin:
Yeah. And I’ve always seen brand for a company is really the rising tide that lifts all boats. And for me, I’ve always said to me, the most beneficial metric to measure when it comes to brand, and you kind of hit the nail in the head, right? With everything that’s going on and it’s hard to measure parts of it because there’s dark social, there’s word of mouth, and there’s so much going on that you can’t see. But so what I always like to measure is natural search traffic because especially if we’re talking branded search, a lot of that stuff will then end up at the end of the funnel as natural search. So on one hand, don’t overweight your attribution and say, “Oh, natural search is doing all this.” But to me, that’s more a recognition of the brand you’ve built as a company. And I would love to hear, I know specifically I think you had mentioned that some of the BDRs, for instance, at Dooly, just really being able to feel the real impact of the brand you’ve built in just some of the calls they’re able to make. Right?

Camille Trent:
Yeah, yeah. So two things there that I wanted to unpack. So the first thing that I want to make sure that I don’t gloss over is a lot of times when we’re tracking content, we’re tracking marketing, we’re looking at the where, right? Like what you’re saying like, what channel? Right? The what and where. What channel? Where are they coming in from? Right? And then don’t go any deeper than that because you’re right. Even in our reports where we’ve spent definitely less time, we’re starting to spend more but less time in SEO and in organic search. But if you look at the reports, it still says a lot of the data or a lot of the traffic is coming in through there. Right? And so then it’s like the next step of looking at your keywords, right?

Camille Trent:
Sometimes you can better track this, but let’s say you have just a basic setup, you can still do go into Ahrefs or Google Analytics and be like… or Google Search Console rather and say like, “Yeah, here are the keywords.” And if they’re mostly branded keywords, then you know that people are searching for you based on brand rather than based on your service. Right?

Jeff Sirkin:
Exactly.

Camille Trent:
Based on keywords around your service. Right? And so that really shows you their understanding of your company and your intent with a brand-based search is typically going to be higher. Whereas if I’m just looking for the service, unless you’re a local business or more of a transactional business where it’s like if you check these boxes, I will buy from you right now, that’s not typically the case in B2B. And so for that reason, you’re just one in a million when someone’s searching that rather than when someone’s like, “Hey, I like what this brand is doing. I like some of the things they’re talking about. I want to find out more about them.”

Jeff Sirkin:
I love that. And again, I think that kind of speaks to what we started with, is really how defined the product category is. Because if people are starting to look more for the solution that you provide, great, that’s one thing, but to your point, if not, then it is branded and it’s more about the impact of the brand that’s having in the market.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. And then you had a second question in there, so remind me of the-

Jeff Sirkin:
Yeah. It was around the value of Dooly’s brand specifically and what impact that’s had even just, for instance, on the BDR team.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. Okay. I posted the other day about seeing the alignment happen between marketing and sales. And just for context, we brought on a BDR team in the last few months led by Asaad who’s doing a great job, so shout out to him. But we have now a three-person BDR team or four with Asaad. And yeah. So a lot of the comments in talking to them about, how can we help you? How can we support you? Figuring out those flows and the handoffs and things that some of the feedback that we were getting was really positive. And basically, they’re like, “If you’ve ever worked in a BDR role somewhere else, and then you’ve come here, it’s like night and day because oftentimes, what BDRs do and what they do here is outbound.”

Camille Trent:
But outbound with a company that has a brand versus outbound with a company without a brand, you can imagine how those conversations would be different. I’m going to be more guarded if you’re calling me… Well, first off, I’m going to be more guarded if you’re calling me, period. But if you are calling me and I’ve never heard of your brand and you immediately are trying to sell me, it’s just probably not going to work. Right? There are expert salespeople that can get past that stage, but it’s very, very difficult. And basically, people have their guard up and they don’t want to be sold that way typically. They want to be able to do their own research and be able to find out about you naturally and sort of like passively in the meantime.

Camille Trent:
And so when you do have some of that built already, then it makes sales a lot easier. Whether that’s like outbound or inbound. And it’s both in our case where we’re driving inbound, but we have this sales team that’s able to reach out and say, “Hey, I noticed X, Y, and Z and we’re from Dooly and we do…” I’m botching the script. I don’t know the script. And they all create their own, which is the brilliant part of it. But they’ll say that they’re from Dooly and then they’ll get this response of, “Oh, I love Dooly.” You know what I mean? And it’s like an easy conversation of even if they’re not interested or ready for the product at that time, they’re happy to just chat because our BDRs are also so expert sellers too. So they’ve made a strategic move of bringing in experienced salespeople.

Camille Trent:
And that can add to the conversation and that are interested in doing some marketing for the most part. All of those things help because now it’s like not just the Dooly brand, but it’s like their personal brand like in the case of someone like a Daniel Ryan or like Asaad, is that they’re known and respected in the sales community. And now we have more too like Sam and Jess. So all of those people are known as salespeople and they’re peers. And so it’s different to talk to a peer or to talk to somebody with a brand that has been helping you already or has been entertaining you already than someone coming out of the blue and being like they haven’t earned basically the right to continue the conversation that was never started.

Jeff Sirkin:
Yeah. And I love that because again, I think what we’re kind of coming back to is that while traditionally we always say, “Oh, it’s impossible or really hard at best to measure brand,” some of the ways is you just mentioned like BDR connect rates and their success rates and the likelihood of moving to a next step. And some of those, length of conversations even, even frankly retention of BDRs and things like that, a lot of these things that you can see that brand sort of underpins all of that, and it really is that sort of the invisible tide that’s rising. And if you have it, you’ll see all of those things being more effective. But again, it’s one of those things where you know what it feels like when you have it. But I think, again, it’s something that companies need to take a harder look at as opposed to just saying, “Hey, well, it doesn’t show up high in our attribution report,” back to what we talked about a little before.

Camille Trent:
It’s got to be like multi-touch and not just like a software that says that they’re multi-touch, but using your intuition combined with the data and setting up good processes for collecting data, right? Going back to that good inputs, good outputs.

Jeff Sirkin:
Absolutely. And the other thing is as we’ve been talking, we’ve kind of been weaving in and out of company brand, personal brand kind of almost as one and the same. And I think that it’s really just fascinating to think about that. And my perspective is that people want to hear from people more than companies. And so I have a stat for you is that Apple has the most powerful, valuable brand in the world, but on Twitter, their CEO, Tim Cook, who is not Steve Jobs, has twice as many followers as Apple, the brand. Right? And again, even in a case like Apple, even giant consumer product, we think about this as, “Oh, of course, the brand has all this clout,” yet even in that sort of situation, people want to hear more what Tim Cook has to say than what Apple has to say.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I mean, that’s a great example. I’ve heard people mention it too, but I think the thing that you pointed out is like he is not Steve Jobs. He’s not even the founder. He’s not like this… He is obviously a big personality and a big person in the space. But yeah, he’s not like this mega innovator, founder.

Jeff Sirkin:
Yeah. He’s not Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg. He’s not one of these people that’s sort of out front almost that I would imagine if you asked people on the street what percent of people could even name the CEO of Apple, I’d be willing to bet it’s a pretty low percentage, but everyone knows Apple. Right?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. And you see it on LinkedIn too. Right? So something like a Clari, I think of Kyle Coleman, right? I think of him more than I think of Clari, right? And I’m sure that’s the case for Dooly for people too, is they associate it with whoever it is in the company that they resonate with or they associate with the most. So yeah, completely agree.

Jeff Sirkin:
Well, I was going to ask you if it’s a coincidence that you personally happen to have twice as many followers as Dooley does on LinkedIn. So there you go. There’s back to the Tim Cook example. So you are Tim Cook apparently.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I mean, to be honest, it was a little bit nerve-wracking to come into a company where I was no longer in the subject matter expert in ways. Right? There’s certainly overlap. And I’ve realized this more and more as I’ve been in the role, but yeah. I definitely try and prioritize and put our salespeople in the spotlight because they’re the true subject matter experts. And so I do have a platform where I can sort of help with that. Right? And so both in the messaging around our brand and promoting specific content, for instance, I’m happy to use my platform for that. But then also promoting events that other people are in and our event strategy in general is always to put a subject matter expert from Dooly in there.

Camille Trent:
I’ve been on a few events and I can do the MC thing fairly well and being sort of that third party and making sure that everyone has their turn to chime in. But for the most part, I like to have at least one subject matter expert. And oftentimes, that is from our company, Michelle, who’s our VP of revenue. In other cases, it’s Asaad who’s our BDR manager or one of our BDRs. We’ve had our rev ops director on as well. So it depends on the topic, but really trying to who put them in the spotlight. I feel like they are our subject matter experts and they’re the ones that I want in the center.

Camille Trent:
So that’s been a work in progress in building the content strategy and building the distribution strategy. And the other thing I’ll add here as another shout out to Mark of early days, he thought about distribution strategy. And that was one thing that drew me here, was he thought about partnering with what I consider media companies of LinkedIn pages and partners in the revenue space. Right? And partnering with them to help distribute the content that we create to the places where these communities are. And so it’s a lot there. So that’s sort of like the second step for me that we’ve already done a little bit of, is educating and empowering the people within our company that are interested in personal branding or that are interested in getting involved. And that’s everyone from CS, to product, to engineering, to sales.

Camille Trent:
Everyone has something to contribute still and can resonate with someone else in a tech company that would be an ideal fit for us. Right? And so that’s like in the back of my mind, but ahead of that is if you make the people within your company successful, if you set them up to succeed and they have a clear roadmap that it’s going to pay dividends to you, and it could be that they leave and they do another thing, but if you’re treating them well, then they will remember that. Right? And they will refer you and remain friendly. There’s just going to be good karma that comes from that.

Jeff Sirkin:
Absolutely. And so some of the things you were talking about is how you put in your case, as Dooly sells to salespeople really putting the salespeople in the forefront as a subject matter experts. And so we love on this show talking about how to keep your finger on the pulse of your market. And so as a marketer, unless you’re sort of somebody who’s selling to other marketers, you need to think about… you need to put on a different hat and develop content messaging for an audience that you are not necessarily directly a part of. And so I’m curious, how would you recommend marketers sort of train to understand their audience?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. Okay. So this goes back to kind of this method marketing that I talk about, which is really just like my coined term for good marketing because I think about the actors that you really respect that when you read up about their process and they’re losing weight and they’re changing their diet and they are changing the way that they talk and they’re doing this for a year to sort of prep for and stay in character for a movie. Right? And I don’t think it needs to be that extreme for a marketer. Right? But I do think that it makes sense for you to probably be reading and consuming similar content to what your audience consumes just so that you can remain, as you said, on the pulse of what types of content is going to resonate with them, what are the trends around the space?

Camille Trent:
This all depends on your content strategy and whether you lean into trend content or educational content or a blend, but yeah. But sort of getting in that same mindset and it can be reading books, reading the same types of books that people would read, listening to those podcasts, going into the communities, engaging there. So all those things help. And then obviously talking to customers, talking to sales, to get a more narrow view on top of that of, okay, what are the salespeople that are most interested in buying or the most likely to buy at some point? What are the things that they’re asking? What’s their specific persona? And what is that role typically? So combination of those things that I would call method marketing,

Jeff Sirkin:
I love the concept of method marketing and the other of thing I would add to that is just whoever plays that role that you sell to within your own organization, make best friends with them, right? Shadow them, listen in on calls, do what you can to really, to your point, kind of get yourself into that character. I think then that will much better allow you to speak as a part of that audience.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. It’s funny because it’s kind of a… I don’t know if it’s a mad man concept, but it is sort of like an advertising concept, which is where I started my career and what I studied in college. And this is kind of a silly example, but as a student, we were asked by KFC. So we we’d work with some of these big brands or big agencies who would basically hire on the advertising students to come up with campaigns or to come up with copy or whatever, different types of projects. But they essentially gave us a bunch of like KFC gift cards. And you think about that and you’re like, “Okay, the reason is they want us to try the chicken, go to their location.” It’s in part a sales marketing tactic for them of like, “You actually are our demographic. We want actually you to just start eating our chicken.”

Camille Trent:
The idea around is like that’s research in that case of going to that location, seeing who else is there, eating the chicken, figuring out when someone would eat chicken. I don’t know. It seems so silly when it’s chicken. Right? But that was part of advertising, right? Is figuring out the insights and figuring out who eats this food and when they eat it and why they eat it and what they like about it. You know what I mean? And so same sort of concept. We just don’t think about it as much for B2B.

Jeff Sirkin:
No, it’s a great point. I mean, I think of Taco Bell and the whole idea of it’s probably 10, 15 years ago, they created that idea of fourth meal, right? The fact that it’s sort of late night food. But I’m sure, again, that came up organically from people saying, “No, this is when I eat it, right? When it’s midnight and Taco Bell’s still open, that’s what I’m craving right now. But they literally have now embraced that and turned that into part of their marketing instead of just kind of staying the course.

Camille Trent:
It’s funny that you’d bring up Taco Bell, but that was another agency that reached out to us, was one of their clients was Taco Bell. And so we got the chance to pitch commercial ideas to Taco Bell. And so one of them was mine, but it was really my husband’s because I went home and I was like, “Hey, I have a couple ideas that I think are close.” And one of them was based on my teacher in high school would allow us to have snacks or allow us to bring fast food in if you brought him one as well. So for instance, if you brought in a burrito, if you bought in a slice of pizza, which is the most common thing, you’d also have to bring him a slice of pizza or give him half of your skills or whatever. It was like the teacher tax.

Jeff Sirkin:
That’s a pretty good deal, I’m not going to lie.

Camille Trent:
That’s a pretty good idea. And that was kind of like the concept that I had for the commercial, is the whole concept that the brief that we were given was basically… it was like an unshareable snack, right? It was like just the right size for one person. And that was the insight you’re supposed to develop the creative round. So that’s what I came in with.

Jeff Sirkin:
I love that.

Camille Trent:
Was talking to Brandon about it, and he was like, “That reminds me about how you always steal my food. When you buy something and then I’ll buy something and then somehow you still end up eating my thing.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s great. That’s the insight, that’s the commercial. That’s better.” And so we just did the girlfriend version too of the girlfriend that always steals the boyfriend’s food and they liked that idea. And then it ended up showing during the Super Bowl, basically. It was right after the Super Bowl. So that’s my now claim to fame of… I joke that it’s all been downhill from there. I’m never going to top that.

Camille Trent:
But the whole point of this is that it came back from an insight of like I’d eat a lot of Taco Bell in high school and then both of us were the age demographic for Taco Bell. So they left out there, and then yeah, just talking it out and landing on that insight of like, “Yep, that’s it.” And pitching it. It’s partly just like talking to the people that are actually using this product, consuming this product.

Jeff Sirkin:
I love that. So are you ready for a couple rapid fire questions?

Camille Trent:
Yeah, let’s do it.

Jeff Sirkin:
Okay. So what would you say is the most overrated market activity or tactic out there?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. So I think it’s gating and I’ll preface it by saying like we still do some gating. And I think though that there’s a time and a place for it. I’ve certainly signed up for things, given my email for things that I don’t regret. Right? Because I got good content from it. I still either read the newsletter or downloaded the thing, consumed the thing. I’m not bitter about it, but when you get something and then you sort of like abuse that and make me regret my choice of signing up, then that’s kind of when you get in trouble. So Erin Bossa, when I talked to her about this, I like the way that she phrased it in saying that you have to deliver on the value. Right? And so I think if you are delivering on what you’re promising with something like a gate, then it’s okay. Me for my personal content, for the most part, I don’t think I’ve gated anything personally. And so different strategies, again, for different companies and different things that you’re trying to accomplish.

Jeff Sirkin:
I certainly agree with that. And I like the idea of just making sure that you’re aware that there is a value exchange, right? It is fundamentally a cash register if you’re asking somebody for information. So you need to make sure that you’re delivering on that. So now, what about the flip side? What would you say is the most underrated or undervalued marketing activity or tactic?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of the things that I believe in like people are catching onto of more and more people are creating a podcast, for instance, the more and more people are on social. But I think what’s still probably the most underrated part of it is the consistency. I don’t know if people understand that most of the value comes from showing up every day or showing up at least frequently rather than just bursts of energy. Right? That you’d rather just be the person that’s grinding it out. I think it’s the wrong impression, but the person that is just showing up every day and that’s you that has a clearer strategy that is consistent in that one thing rather than sort of being all over the place in terms of the actual content that they’re delivering. So consistency in the content, but also consistency in the frequency. That the combination of those things is where you see the most success versus bursts of energy on a channel.

Jeff Sirkin:
As somebody who has a podcast and has been pretty consistent with it, I think that’s a great answer. And then what would you say either thinking back to your own career and/or for anybody else especially earlier in their career as a marketer, from your perspective, what do you think the most important skill or skillset or perspective is to have as a marketer?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. So I think it’s like soft skills, curiosity is the number one thing that comes to mind of a lot of times, you don’t have a playbook when you’re coming into your job, especially as a SaaS startup marketer. So it’s different depending on your marketing role, but across the board, I think curiosity leads to you wanting to talk to customers, you asking the follow-up question and that also helps with something like a podcast or even interviewing someone for a long form story. Getting to the good stuff, getting to the content often comes because you’re curious and you want to get there and not because you have the playbook to get there. So I think that is one of the weird things about the job is, what is it? Right? There’s a lot of jokes about nobody understanding your marketing job and because it’s not the same wherever you go, it’s going to look a little bit different. And so your success is largely going to be around curiosity and consistency.

Jeff Sirkin:
I couldn’t agree more. Intellectual curiosity is the way I refer to it is always my answer to that same question. And for me, I always think of even just whatever role you’re playing within marketing is being curious intentionally about upstream, downstream, customer because again, I think especially as marketing gets more and more specialized, it’s not just, okay, you might be a paid search expert. Right? But if you don’t fundamentally have an understanding of who the buyer is, who you’re trying to reach and why, then again, then you’re not going to be as effective even if you have those specialized skills. So to me, it’s always a matter of being more intentionally curious and stepping outside of your world just to kind of think of all the things that are interconnected to it.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. Intentional is a really good word for it as well because it’s basically the guardrails part, right? It’s one thing to be curious, but if you’re exploring too much of your curiosity for things that are outside of things that you can market, then you’re not going to have as much success in that marketing role. So being curious within your space basically or with those guardrails is helpful for someone like me who can be easily distracted. Got to set those guardrails.

Jeff Sirkin:
And what resources, books, blogs, podcasts have been beneficial to you and you’d want to recommend to our audience?

Camille Trent:
The main ones that come to mind is State of Demand Gen. Now, that’s the one that I listen to the most frequently and in part because of their consistency. They put out episodes multiple times a week. So something to learn by the way that they’re doing their podcast and outside of the content. I also like… I think it’s called The Growth Hub. I think it’s by Superpath. That one’s a good one. They go really deep and they’re very just strategic. It’s almost more of like a leadership founder type podcast. So anyone that’s just interested in just business in general, that’s a good one to listen to. Yeah. I have a couple friends that do some good podcasts. So there’s SEO For The Rest of Us, Brendan Hufford. So I like that from more of the content perspective. Yeah. Those are a few that come to mind right now that I like.

Jeff Sirkin:
Great. And we’ll link to all of those in the show notes.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. Honestly, I read a lot of advertising and some marketing books in college. I haven’t read a ton since then. The ones that stuck though, I think it’s important to… there’s important lesson there of if you’re recommending copywriting books and you don’t remember what was the copy in those books, I don’t know if that’s a great book. So the one that stuck was ironically called Made to Stick. It was an orange book and that whole idea is formatting something or creating something in a way that it will stick. Right? That it’ll stay top of mind in someone’s brain. And that’s a big part of copywriting, especially brand copywriting. So that theory and the way that they go about it stuck with me. And yeah, honestly, that’s the number one copywriting book that comes to mind or advertising book.

Camille Trent:
And then on more of that method marketing side, the one that I’ve been recommending recently is a Chris Voss book that’s Never Split the Difference. It’s a negotiation book, but it’s helpful for, one, understanding sales and the strategies behind that and just getting some good content that would be applicable to salespeople, but then also it relates back to copywriting, how you would use that and written. Just basically just oftentimes is just written sales copy. Right? So yeah. So I really liked that both for my current role, and then just that crossover between sales, copy, content marketing, all of that. So those are the two that I often recommend.

Jeff Sirkin:
That’s great. And then before we let you go, where can people find and connect with you on social media?

Camille Trent:
Yeah. So most commonplace best place I could recommend is still on LinkedIn. So just Camille Trent should come up there. And yeah. Otherwise, just take a look at Dooly’s page there. And if you’re a salesperson, check out the website too, and you can kind of see some of the things we’re talking about with the bright colors and tone of voice, and we have a lot of fun there. So yeah, find me on LinkedIn.

Jeff Sirkin:
Great. And again, all of that will be in the show notes. And Camille, thank you so much for joining us and thanks for taking the time.

Camille Trent:
Yeah. I’m happy to be on here and thank you for setting this up. This is fun.

Jeff Sirkin:
I really enjoyed the conversation with Camille. I especially love her method marketing technique. And for the large majority of us who don’t market to marketers, it’s a great approach to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you want to learn more about the resources mentioned in the episode, you can find them in our show notes. In addition, we’re publishing the full text transcripts of the episodes on our website at sirkinresearch.com/podcast. Thank you for listening, and I hope you’ll join us for a new story next week on Long Story Short.

 

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