people, business, customers, kurt, kelly, small businesses, gail, manufacturing, online, find, website, linkedin, research, opportunity, google search, awesome, marketing, lurkers, person, peer groups
Damon Pistulka, Gail Robertson, Kelly Berry
Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone. Dan, we are on time today. Just wanted to let you know that. And we had a little bit of technical difficulties here, but I’m gonna get Kurt on the line. So, let’s start. Let’s start with that everyone. Today we are going to be talking about digital marketing strategies for skeptics. We got Kelly berry coming on, it’s gonna be a great show. We’re really ready to go. And we’re gonna get things started. So let’s get Kurt up here with us, Kurt. How are you doing today? Kurt? What does it look like Kurt to me? Kurt, your hair your own hair.
Gail Robertson 00:38
When I was just dating me your
Damon Pistulka 00:45
I thought you said you were in Utah riding bike and now your workers that you came on and said occurred. How did that work?
Gail Robertson 00:51
I’m just here looking at looking out my window at the you see that? Oh, it’s too bright.
Damon Pistulka 00:57
Yeah, can’t see them.
Gail Robertson 01:00
There’s big rocks back there.
Damon Pistulka 01:02
Well, Gail, if you’re here today. What Why don’t you help co host
Gail Robertson 01:06
you know what? That sounds great since I’m here anyways.
Damon Pistulka 01:09
Yeah, might as well. This is awesome. This is awesome gal. But we’re gonna talk to Kelly berry here. We’re gonna bring her on stage and we were having a little bit of fun. Kurt is actually on the weekend with his family. It’s awesome. He’s in Florida. Hopefully he’s got sunscreen. We don’t want him to come back with a burnt bean. That’s for sure. Because that’s not good. So we’re gonna bring Yeah, we’re gonna bring Kelly on line right now. So Kelly, awesome to have you here. We got Kelly berry here. Welcome. Okay.
Kelly Berry 01:41
Hi, Damon. Hi, Gail. It’s good to see you.
Gail Robertson 01:44
Nice to meet you. Yes, yeah. All right here. All right,
Damon Pistulka 01:48
everyone. Welcome once again to the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of the CO hosts Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I have the guest co host Gail Robertson up taking the stage for Kurt Anderson. And then we have Kelly Berry, from learn start and grow and resource ability that’s going to talk today about digital marketing strategies for skeptics, which I love this topic. Because who haven’t you met in business that’s been around for a while that is not a skeptic. That’s what I want to know.
Kelly Berry 02:22
Yeah, there certainly are plenty of skeptics. And there’s plenty of reasons to be skeptical too. So it’s it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart as I work mainly with small b2b manufacturing businesses and my practice.
Damon Pistulka 02:36
Yeah, yeah. So that’s, that’s why and, and one of the other things that Kurt said Is he said he met you through the Doric Dorie Clark group. And recognize you guys. Yeah, yeah. recognized experts. You guys were first introduced there. And he actually told me that Dory is going to be on our show in July sometime. Yeah, I
Kelly Berry 02:56
think he mentioned that to me, too. Yeah. It’s gonna be fun.
Damon Pistulka 02:58
Gonna be fun. So now, you’ve been doing it. Now, your road into marketing is is a little different than some because you started out as at Nestle as a quality, if I didn’t write the quality assurance Annaleigh.
Kelly Berry 03:17
Yeah, my background is in statistics. My undergraduate degree was in math, and my first few jobs were in statistical data analysis. And then I ended up when I got my MBA, I ended up teaching a class in at the University of Wisconsin here in Eau Claire, called applied quantitative methods, which is all about how to use statistics to improve businesses, some of that statistical process control for manufacturing, or quality assurance is what I did at Nestle to optimize recipes. So, yeah, that was my background. So not a I’m, I don’t consider myself a marketer at all, I consider myself you know, maybe an analyst and a researcher.
Because it’s it my path has kind of led me to be, you know, much deeper into market research, including, you know, teaching that and then, you know, doing market research for clients. And, you know, really just spending a lot of my time these days with small b2b, mostly manufacturing businesses, doing market research and running peer groups. And that’s just really become my passion. But I do approach everything from a pretty analytical perspective. I don’t have the creative side whatsoever. So I’m just I look at the numbers and what are the numbers tell you? So that’s what I do.
Damon Pistulka 04:36
That’s, that’s awesome. Well, you know, you brought back a little bit of nightmares for me, because part of my graduate work that I did was in statistics, and actually when I was in molding, we did a bunch of a know of analysis of various multiple variables to see that blah, blah, blah. Oh, my goodness, that’s, it’s mind bending stuff when you can analyze things like that, but it’s cool that people know how to Do it. So awesome, awesome stuff. Why don’t I just want to say, Hey, we got, we got Elizabeth Jeffrey’s here today, Dan, of course, you hit us he was at 31 he was there. Then he was at then he was here when I was 30. So Dan was getting us there. And, and we got anger. Fingers here
Gail Robertson 05:22
is not hurt. This is Gail.
Damon Pistulka 05:25
Yep. We’ve got Gail with us here today, obviously. Kristina Harrington. Yes. Another Wisconsin person. That’s awesome. And Dan talks about there’s nothing wrong with that approach to marketing. And I believe I believe he’s right. And because at the end of the day, you know, one of the things that I think helps to alleviate skepticism is when you can prove results. Yeah, and show that things are working. And that
Kelly Berry 05:51
challenge these days, I think, yes,
Damon Pistulka 05:55
yes. Well, and I think when you and I were talking, I had received a report from a marketing person that worked with one of our clients that we weren’t involved in any of that part of their business. And I was like, huh, this is interesting. Because results in that report, and results that I would think would happen were quite the same. Say that. And I think that, that that’s is an interesting point. So when you start to talk about digital marketing strategies for skeptics, what are some of the key underlying factors where you go, if you’re going to help to convert a skeptic? This is base one.
Kelly Berry 06:38
Well, honestly, I am a skeptic myself, so. So I’m not necessarily trying to convert people, so much as educate them a little bit on the data. You know, we know digital marketing is necessary, especially in light of the, you know, post pandemic, when we couldn’t go to conferences and trade shows or knock on people’s doors. So a lot moved online. And you know, the data tells us that 90% of b2b customers start their journey online, you know, so think about where do you go to start? If you don’t know somebody that can give you that answer, the first thing you do is Google it, right? So that’s what people are doing. And if you’re, you’re looking for those customers who are looking for you, if you’re not aligned, they’re not going to find you, right.
So but when they make that decision process, most of them like to get pretty far along in the decision process, reading lots of content and looking to see what they can figure out. And so really, I think we have switched the mode of how sales works so that people are already qualifying themselves as leads, they’re, it’s a self qualification process, because by the time they’ve contacted you, they already know that they want to buy something, and they’ve already done their homework to get information on you.
You know, one of the statistics I saw was that people are typically more than halfway through making their purchase decision before they even reach out. So the whole process, the traditional sales process has been seeing a huge transformation and how it works. And if you’re not creating that content online, for people to find you, where will where would they find you? So you know, that’s the starting point.
But then how do you get them to find you online? When, in my opinion, you know, the giant companies, Google Apple, you know, and all the big corporations that have hundreds of 1000s of dollars, millions of dollars in budget to be found on line? How does the small business ever compete against that? How do you get found online, it used to be a whole lot easier to make sure you were on the top search, you know, and then now it’s harder and harder every day. And so, you know, people throw money at, you know, AdWords and content and a social media, and then they wonder, does it really have an impact?
Damon Pistulka 09:00
Yeah. Well, Gail, I know you’ve got some questions here. Gail, if people out there don’t know Gail is the king and queen of curiosity. So I know you got some questions here for Kelly,
Gail Robertson 09:11
I just want to say one thing is that I didn’t take a stats course. And it’s the biggest regret. So what I rely on is people like yourself, because and I’m becoming very much really immersed in learning more about data, because the key is to always know who your audience is. And without that, you’re just, you know, it’s that old saying in marketing, it used to be you know, you throw enough stuff on the wall and see what sticks and that just won’t like that is so outdated.
Yeah, I would like to ask you a bit about and I did post about this on on my LinkedIn was about the 2021 Wisconsin manufacturing report. And even though that was specific to your area, I know you said it applied elsewhere. And we were just talking earlier about you know, that I always say if you need to listen for the train in existence, and if you hear the train like Do you need to either get out of the way or get hit by the train? So can you maybe talk about that? Because I know, that report basically indicated? What is the difference between a successful business and a less successful business?
Kelly Berry 10:11
Yeah, and it comes down to, and really this is the challenge that I see with the businesses I work with is, you know, I kind of call it taking the time to pick your head up from, you know, putting all the fires out and the day to day operations, you know, especially the businesses I work with that are typically in the range of, you know, 20 to 70 employees. Oftentimes, the business owner is wearing all the hats, they’re the finance person and the marketing person, and you know, making all the decisions.
And so their time is can be just completely overwhelmed with just managing the business, especially to you know, today when people are struggling to hire employees, and there’s supply chain issues, and then you’re not able to deliver product to your customers. So, so much going on, how do you, you know, take the time to stop and look further ahead when you’re, you know, already worrying about day to day. But the fact of the matter is, if you don’t, then you may not have a business in the future, we’re in a, you know, kind of a huge disruption with what’s going on right now.
And a big transition. If you look at what’s going on in the, you know, the world around us, I mean, not just the, you know, war in Ukraine, and everyone’s wondering, are we going to be moving into a recession? And we’re still having lots of supply chain issues? And are we really moving to green energy? Or are we not moving to green energy, so many things going on, and the large businesses have, you know, teams of people that are devoted to long range planning, but small businesses need to really make that extra effort to stop that day to day stuff. And, and start looking ahead.
And, you know, and that actually even ties back to digital marketing. Because if you’re looking at your industry and are providing some insights, then that’s really valuable content for your customers. And then they may turn to you as a, you know, if you’re an expert or an authority in that field, because you didn’t take the time just to step back. It helps, you know, create that trust for potential customers.
Gail Robertson 12:14
And a follow up question that a lot of times I hear, especially in manufacturing that, well, you know, digital marketing or marketing works for a B to C, but Oh, A B is completely different. So I asked that question, because I know I have an answer. I’m sure Damon as it is, I’d really like your perspective from a research
Kelly Berry 12:36
point of view, right? Yeah. And the research shows that there has been a lot more digital marketing going on. One of the key reasons is because a lot of the buyers in the industrial world now are millennials or is Zoomers Gen Z. And this generation, they prefer to not speak on the telephone, they prefer to quietly do some research in the background, they want to read everything they can do their own research, make their own decisions and interact with people as little as possible.
So if you want to sell to those, you know, millennials and Gen Zers, then you need to be online. So that’s a huge portion of it is just that shift. And then certainly the pandemic moved a lot of people online, when maybe they a lot of their sales were coming through networking events, or you know, trade shows and that kind of thing. And then a lot of people were looking to maybe even be able to make that whole purchase decision online.
And that’s been really a huge shift for a lot of businesses who have never sold online before their website is just a, you know, a brochure, if you will, and then call our salesperson. And I think we’re gonna see a shift from that as well. I mean, certainly when things are custom, you can’t put price quotes on there. But more and more businesses are looking to make purchases directly online without having to interact with somebody. Yeah, okay, this
Gail Robertson 14:01
I got to do a Kurt. That’s a mic drop moment.
Damon Pistulka 14:04
Yay, go. Thanks, Kurt.
Gail Robertson 14:10
You had to put like, Oh, my God.
Damon Pistulka 14:16
This is incredible. This is incredible. I mean, we’ve been talking about this forever, right? We’ve been talking about and I’ll tell you what Chris Harrington shared I shared an article last week or the week before about Native analog and native digital people. And I keep bringing this up because these people that you’re talking about that are making the buying decisions are native digital people for the most part, and it will continue to be more and more of that. And while you can continue to be successful for a while selling 100% traditional, you’re losing market share everyday to those people.
Gail Robertson 14:48
And you know, one of the things I find really intriguing about all of this discussion, because you’re writing and we’ve talked about this so often is that it’s people there’s not like companies people don’t buy from me They’re buying from us.
Kelly Berry 15:01
And that’s been a big shift to Yes. And it makes those personal connections.
Gail Robertson 15:06
And everybody is searching. You know, I’m on a trip right now. And I’ve made two decisions based on the search I did through Google, biking, I went on their website, their content, everything, they had information that delivered us to go get our bikes there, even though there were bikes closer to the park.
They had, yeah, that decision was made online first. And the same thing, and I think there’s a disconnect. And this is the biggest divide I see is that this is how people are living their life over here. But somehow they think, in manufacturing, all of a sudden people react differently. And I that’s to me, is this chasm. So I don’t, and this is where you come in with, I think the research we need.
Kelly Berry 15:53
Yeah, well, and it’s, yeah, it’s a huge challenge, really, because I am convinced that you need to have an online presence, I’m convinced that you need to have content so that people can find you and understand you, and that you become someone that they know, like and trust, even before they’ve met you. So that’s so important. But then if you look at the data of how people find things online, it does not make you want to spend your money online. So for example, LinkedIn is a huge place for connecting for b2b.
However, the average engagement rate on LinkedIn is point three 5%. So what does that tell you? I mean, that’s of people who already are connected to you, you know, less or less than one out of 100 will even engage, like or post or anything. And so there’s really not, you know, so you’re thinking, if you’re, you know, posting all that stuff online, how do you get this to convert to a customer when the engagement rate is so low?
And then, if we look at Google searches, maybe you’ve noticed how they’ve changed over time, the ads aren’t on the right anymore. They’re kind of hidden, you know, in the search. And then on top of that, the statistic I found was that over half of all Google searches, never leave the search engine results page, don’t even click on a single link. Yep. Because Google is doing such a good job giving you the answer you’re looking for right away, that you don’t need to go to anybody’s website. So as a small business owner, how do you get anyone to even find your website? When they’re not even clicking on a single link?
You know, one option is to try to be the person that has the answer to the question. But that’s not an easy thing to do. And a lot of those questions are more vague. But the other way is to just start to be a little bit more creative about how people find you, and how you find people beyond just, you know, Google AdWords and search engine optimization, but you know, finding other ways to connect with business owners.
Damon Pistulka 18:02
Another one another, another one, because it is it is so true. You got to stand out. And I think the one thing that you said here 50% of the people never leave because they get answers. And I see myself yesterday did two or three searches. And I was just like, right there. Here’s what I need to do. Bla bla bla bla bla. And, yeah, they’re just gonna stop for a second. Val said, this is interacting with people as little as possible. She’s suddenly feeling younger.
I like, there you go. And then And then, Chris, she shared that article, it was awesome. If you haven’t seen it, go back and take a look at it. Because it really was a great one to do. And, and Chris had the great point. Great point. And Dan said, too, he said, I’m looking at my kids differently than I did before. But it’s something I mean that you know, well, Gail, you’ve got a young son, I’ve got a young son and watching the way that they just live their lives is a lot different.
Gail Robertson 19:01
Definitely big on YouTube. I’d like to go back to something you said about the engagement on LinkedIn though, because one of the things I find interesting is that when they’re when they’re there’s a lot here people engaging, but there’s a lot of lurkers and I find I do some things on tick tock and I am surprised that how many people have seen my tick tock, but I never knew they seen it. But
Kelly Berry 19:22
there are lurkers right?
Gail Robertson 19:26
Could you talk about that? Because a lot of times, I’d like to understand maybe if you’ve done any research around that about on LinkedIn, I think only 1% of people on LinkedIn actually are posting and doing. So does that equate to maybe greater? And this is maybe a leading question greater potential, because if you even do a few posts you’re further in and people.
Kelly Berry 19:52
Absolutely. I know that. I just saw a study recently. I don’t have it right in front of me that was actually about Twitter, and the percentage of people that are lurkers on Twitter. which was a huge percentage and how you can’t, don’t ignore the lurkers was essentially what they were saying. Because they are reading and the people that do engage with you may ultimately encourage those lurkers to also engage with you.
So if they see that you’re someone that does have some engagement, then that’s kind of, you know, what you expect to see. And I would imagine the same statistic holds true in LinkedIn. Always a lot of lurkers, people are, you know, just scrolling through and looking to see what they can find, but not making very many comments. And so, if you are present and you are sharing, you know, actual information, not just, you know, schmooze II salesy stuff, but helpful information. You know, that’s the key, you know, and that’s what all the digital marketers will say, which of course, I’m not a digital marketer, I’m a market researcher.
But the digital marketers are always saying, you know, content is king. You don’t want to have all your posts be about you and about your sales, you want it to be very, very much customer focused. And same thing for your website. You know, if you’re doing a website, and it’s all about my company, I do this or we do this and not you the customer, then you know, that is hampering your sales as well. People typically want to hear about how you can solve their problem. More so than anything else.
Damon Pistulka 21:20
Yes, you don’t want your website as Kurt would say, to have the dreaded OUI syndrome.
Kelly Berry 21:28
Damon Pistulka 21:28
I listen to Ford coined that. And it’s something we use often because that’s in manufacturing, we honestly, we just like is like, Ah, you start to look at some of these, these websites. And like, we have great quality, we’ve got all these awesome machines, we got all that and think about it from the buyers perspective, they got no idea, or they can’t do what you just talked about a minute ago, they can’t get through the buying process. When you say, I’ve got this great big Maura Siki, five axis thing with this envelope. And it’s like, they don’t know what it’s Yeah, I mean, wire trying to enter? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we need to understand, what do you make, and here’s what I need made,
Kelly Berry 22:09
right? Case studies are a great way to do that having a separate page for each industry that you work with is a great way to do that. So people can better identify themselves with what they see on your website. You know, so those are some key points, you know, because one of the things I talk about in my digital marketing for skeptics class is that you need to make sure that your website meets some, you know, minimum criteria. And one of that is, you know, the focus on the customer more than you for certain.
And then the other is, you know, case studies, examples, testimonials, anything that can help your potential customers identify with what they’re finding online. So, that’s so important. You know, and in the, it’s a, you know, free course that I put together, there’s five minutes of listening or reading, and then five minutes of homework. And so homework might be reach out to some of your best customers and ask them for testimonials to put on your website, you know, or go see if you have Google Analytics, set up and see what it’s telling you, you know, things like that.
So the idea is that, you know, a little bit of homework can go a long way. And if you are following content in the right places, and then sharing it or curating it, and can become that trusted source of information, that’s going to be what catches the eye of those, whether they’re lurkers on LinkedIn, or people that are finding your website and looking to see what you have to say. You need to be able to draw them in with the content that helps them identify that you can help solve their problem.
Gail Robertson 23:42
Yes, there’s gold there, if you spend some time looking in there, and a funny little story, I’ve in the past have had some smaller clients. I said, Oh, you know, I go to the checklist website said you have Google endless Aha, Oh, yeah. And I go, okay. Do you have any reports and they look at me like you think the Google I like fairies come in the night? Google Analytics?
Damon Pistulka 24:09
Gail Robertson 24:11
Thanks. Can you talk about Google Analytics, and also maybe talk about your course it’s free. Yeah. for it, which I think is amazing, because I’ve already just in the first one, like, you have dropped some amazing content information. So David, we probably should, I guess, make sure those get in the comments later. But Google Analytics, what do you want to say about that? Is there anything you can give any tips suggestions? The power of it?
Kelly Berry 24:36
Well, you know, again, I’m not a digital marketer. So I don’t get into all the nitty gritty detail. But my the point of the matter is that you should understand where people are coming from, when they go to your website. Are they coming from LinkedIn? Are they coming from just a general search? Are they coming from a Chamber of Commerce website or, you know, the more you can understand where people are finding you, and how often they’re Finding you and how long they’re on the pages and which pages they’re on that’s those are all clues for you to figure out what’s working and not working.
So when we have this challenge of, you know, throwing money, and the statistic I have is that for, for businesses under 20 employees, the average spend on social media is 2500 a month. And for 20 to 50 employees, it’s more like between 4007 1000 a month, and that’s just on social media spend. So if you’re spending that much money, is it doing anything? You know, even if people are engaging, they’re liking and commenting. Does it turn into a sale ever? Yeah. And so Google Analytics is a great way to see if I’m posting these things on LinkedIn, is it sending them to the web page?
Are they finding that and certainly, landing pages are a great way to do that to where you’ve got a specific page, so you know, who’s getting it and where it’s coming from? Because those are all, you know, clues, little data points that can help you see what’s working and what’s not working in your, your whole marketing campaign. So how many people are going to you directly where they’re just typing in your domain name? How many are going through a Google search? How many are coming through other connections? And where do you have your website, you know, linked?
Where else does it exist? Where people could find you? Are you on Association pages are members of, you know, organizations that would help people find you in a, you know, an easier manner, again, because we know, the challenges of a Google search, and having you show up on that search, and having someone click on your page is just the heart, you know, it’s getting harder and harder to do. So, where else? Do you? Are you out there that people can find you? And then are they finding you? That’s one of the pieces of information you’ll find out from those analytics?
Damon Pistulka 26:46
Yes. Gail, do some follow up to that.
Gail Robertson 26:50
No, I’m good. Unless you have I mean, I, I always have.
Damon Pistulka 26:53
I just, I think about this, and I, you bring up such a great point with, it’s so difficult to rank on Google. And you don’t want to just flush those efforts, right? Because you want to be there you want to show up. But when you’re competing against big companies, or that’s the, you know, like LinkedIn, just do the Google search on yourself with your company name. And I’ll bet LinkedIn is up there and the early ones, and your own website probably isn’t, it’s they’re probably head, it’s just because of the marketing power of these kinds of companies. Yeah. So when you look at it, what are some of the interesting ways that you see people standing out?
Kelly Berry 27:33
Well, I think where the best way to stand out is to not play the game that you don’t think you’re going to win, which is the, you know, rank high on Google searches. So again, the one key is to really, really niche down who are your customers? Who is your what’s your best customer? How much detail do you know about this customer? And then where do they get their information? I mean, it’s the same marketing questions you would ask me to see for that matter. But do they belong to any trade associations? Do they attend any events. And so and there are tools out there that help can help you make some of those connections, and, and find opportunity.
So maybe rather than, you know, paying 1000s of money of dollars to, you know, to Google AdWords, instead, sponsor a podcast, you know, where you can have a little ad on a podcast that you know, is a popular one for people in your market or your industry? So look for some of the more obscure things can you find a trade association where your customers hang out or, you know, Manufacturing Association for a certain region, and again, sponsor a webinar or, you know, join a board where you can volunteer and get to actually know some people in person or you know, virtually person or whatever.
So, again, you know, ultimately it comes down to those personal connections, but try some maybe unconventional ways to do that. So that if you only have a little bit of time and money, you’re playing in an area where there already are more of your customers and fewer people in general that you’re you know, that are you showing up the right places.
Damon Pistulka 29:16
Yeah, I think that’s great, because and Gail, you just interviewed Raisa Gonzo, this week, this week. Last week, last time runs together for me, but it was it’s awesome to talk to Ray because Ray brings up one thing and you’re as you’re talking about this Kelly, most b2b manufacturers aren’t looking to add 1000s of customers you’re looking to add, he like races. If you had a three it’s going to be a wonderful year if you add 10 You’re probably not going to know what you’re going to do for the next two years kind of thing.
So and that’s really what a lot of b2b customers, because b2b customers keep need to keep in mind because the same thing that I used to sell sneakers to the world is not what I need to be doing as a b2b person that each client is worth a million dollars, right? Or $10 million, or whatever that is it and it allows you to get much more niche down much farther. Because I’m only looking for a handful of customers, right? And I think it’s, it’s a fun thing, because from a marketing standpoint, and from a salesperson standpoint, you get to understand your customers a lot. Yeah, so, right. You guys take it from here. I just did. You’re just doing this is awesome.
Gail Robertson 30:32
I want to add one thing, Kelly, because this is how Damon This has always stood out. We all have our sayings, right? So mine is I said, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I may be your shot of tequila. And so when I saw Ray at the tradeshow, he brought me a little bottle of tequila. So I kept that running. But David’s great saying is you want to be the red m&m in the bowl of green, which kind of fits in exactly what you were just saying is finding those opportunities, right? Places where you can stand out, which is so key,
Kelly Berry 31:04
right? Yeah. Yeah, one of the things I say all the time to my CEO peer groups is in disruption, there is opportunity. So singing, yeah, again. This opportunity
Gail Robertson 31:23
was here, right, David? He’d say, Okay, everybody stop.
Damon Pistulka 31:28
Gail Robertson 31:29
breathe in. Breathing in. I love that. Because I always think, right, even when COVID first hit it, it all depends. You can always say, you know, the sky is falling. Woe is me. Yeah. How can we? How can we find the opportunity here? Right? Where’s the
Kelly Berry 31:49
opportunity, because if there’s disruption, people are looking for new solutions to problems, they’re losing their brand loyalty, they’re willing to try new things. This is when people are going to be more open to buying or changing their habits. And so that’s where the opportunity is.
Gail Robertson 32:07
Now, opportunity, and you know, a lot of times people when I always say to it’s like, you know, to me, here’s a simple one, if it’s pouring rain outside, everybody thinks it’s terrible. I’m like, Oh, great, I can do work inside and not feel bad about missing sunlight, I actually have to spin it
Kelly Berry 32:25
the right way. Yeah, definitely
Damon Pistulka 32:27
need to understand that because there are opportunities in that disruption, like you said. So from a researchers perspective, what are some things interesting that you’ve learned over the last couple of years that you go, man, this is, there’s been some big changes?
Kelly Berry 32:45
Well, you know, again, I, one of my goals and working with businesses, as I said, to force them to look up, but it’s also to look out at what’s going on, and all the changes that we’re seeing. So for example, 3d printing, is going to disrupt a lot of manufacturing, and hasn’t maybe started to do that yet.
And I don’t even mean that, you know, everything’s gonna be made with a 3d printer, but solving parts problems, you know, spare parts, things like that. And then you can add, you know, the Internet of Things, or artificial intelligence that’s going to make a manufacturing line, you know, it’s going to tell you when things are need maintenance, or before something fails, and, you know, keep things going a little more smoothly, you know, I think we’re gonna see technology playing a huge role.
And of course, that’s a challenge for small businesses, because how do you decide when to invest in new technology. And so again, you have to think about if we’re one of the first to invest in this new technology, and it means that our line doesn’t stop running, or we can add, you know, more productivity or efficiency in what we’re doing, then is that worth the investment? So, it really paying attention to those two, those signs of when is the time to make some good investment decisions.
It’s actually something I’ve encouraged businesses if they have money that they’ve gotten because of COVID, you know, invest that money in your, you know, your equipment and your plans, and, and growing so that you can automate as much as you can, you know, maybe you don’t need as many employees, if you’re automating more, and then look at the demographics, we’re going to be moving into a time period where it’s gonna be even more challenging to find someone to hire. We, right now, immigration rates are very low, and the population you know, a lot of people are aging out. And so is that your knowledge base?
You know, the that’s a big issue is knowledge transfer, as you as you have employees retire, is all the knowledge in their head or have you been able to transfer it to other people or document it in some way? And then what does the future of education look like? In terms of who are your ideal future employees? And I think small businesses have huge advantages over larger businesses because they’re There’s a lot more loyalty when you work for a small business owner, they know you they know your family, everyone works together, it’s hard to just, I don’t know, lay 600 people off by zoom, for example.
So you know, used to be that big business was where you want it to be for your career, because you would get the pension and all the lovely benefits, and you could just be there forever. And it just doesn’t work that way anymore. I think, you know, whether you’re running your own business or working with or for other small businesses, there’s more loyalty there. And, you know, it gives people that ability to work together and kind of find the right path for the business based on the people that are on your team.
Damon Pistulka 35:42
Yeah, yeah, that’s it’s so much in there. Because it is the opportunity for the smaller businesses to really connect with people at a deeper level, both internally and their customers. I don’t think you can match that in a large business.
Kelly Berry 35:59
Right? I agree. They’re constantly trying to track all that data right now. You know, everywhere you go, you’re being tracked. But small businesses know those people, they don’t just have the data, because the data can be misleading sometimes. Yeah. So that’s, that’s for sure. Connections mean a lot.
Damon Pistulka 36:17
Yeah, cuz again, it’s we’ve talked about this many times, Gail, many people, that human to human, that’s what it is. It’s human business. Yeah, as we move down the
Kelly Berry 36:25
road, that should be your goal with digital marketing to is, you know, because marketing can be both inbound and outbound. So if I know who my ideal customers are, then the more I’m online, the more I have the opportunity to connect with those customers. And if I can, you know, find them on LinkedIn and see what they’re commenting on and get to connect with them, then you’re making that personal connection, but you’re not doing it by going to a trade show or knocking on doors. Just a different way to do it.
Damon Pistulka 36:53
Gail Robertson 36:53
yeah, one of the things that you’re doing, and I just, I think this is really crucial, because we have so much data at our fingertips. And what I really find impressive about what you’re talking about you’re doing is that you’re the person that can take that and sift through it because you can sit on a bunch of Google Analytics reports.
And if you don’t, if you’re not able to take that in, like this, like to me, it’s like another language almost like, you know, a language right now that I’m not as adept at, for example. So I would say more and more, I look to people who can analyze that. Could you maybe talk about that in this aspect of it being like another language? Because some companies may say, oh, yeah, we’ve got Google Analytics, we get these reports, and the reports come through each week, and someone looks what’s what do you think is needed? Next? What, again, leading question but
Kelly Berry 37:46
you know, it’s actually, it’s not always the numbers, it’s also kind of just looking for those signals of change. And that’s one of the things that I do again, because I’m a market researcher, I spent a lot of my time reading trade journals, journal articles, business journals, and you start to see patterns, you start to recognize them. And you know, that’s one of the, my job when I am hired to do market research is to see, you know, where’s the lowest hanging fruit, for example, which industries or new types of customers have the best potential for our business. And so I’m reading a lot of detailed reports, I’m reading industry trends and all that.
But the key is to synthesize it all, to pull it all together in a way that makes sense. You know, because my clients don’t need the numbers. I mean, they like to know that my opinion is based on you know, on data, but they want to know, what should we do next. And I, you know, so if I say, Okay, I looked at these eight different industries, and based on what I see, this one has the best potential, I can give you all the data that I use to make that decision. But what they ultimately want is, for me to say, you know, this is, this is where to go.
And again, this is the thing that small business owners have such a hard time doing, because they don’t have the time. You know, a lot of times I end up validating what they thought, but they weren’t comfortable making that decision without someone doing the data analysis or the research. And then just kind of seeing those general trends is another place where they don’t have the time. And that’s kind of where I see my role is I’m someone that can do all this reading, look for those signals of change, point them out to people and be that resource for them so that they can use that information to help drive their own strategy.
Gail Robertson 39:31
That’s that is it awesome. That is the key of everything along with the earlier statement about you know, the change that about opportunity is that we there’s we need more translations.
Damon Pistulka 39:47
Yes. Yeah, exactly.
Kelly Berry 39:49
It takes time and it takes you know, it’s I’ve been doing this for years now. And so just pulling it all together until I have kind of formed my own opinion or, you know, process I have to process everything. So, you know, I spend a lot of time reading and then I have to, I ended up usually walking my dogs, and then it all kind of, you know, going through my brain and I start to make connections and see where those opportunities are.
And you know, I have the time because this is what I do for a living, that small businesses don’t. And so that’s become my kind of my mission in life. And that’s when I created learn start grow is how can I take all the stuff that I do? Put it online, make it accessible to small business owners, and then hold them accountable through peer groups to make sure they’re actually following through on it? You can’t just hand them information. But also, you know, that accountability piece too.
Damon Pistulka 40:40
Did you see that transition there that Kelly did, it was so awesome, because I was gonna ask about learn start grow and the CEO peer groups, but it is, you know, this is I really think the power of peer groups is not only providing information, but helping people and holding them accountable and helping them actually execute. Yeah, because that’s where we make the money. Right? Right, make the progress.
Kelly Berry 41:05
So if I can help them first by sharing the research, you know, making, you know, comments, and what’s standing out to me, and then also, you know, group people together into these peer groups, where the, you know, they’re all holding each other accountable.
Set aside that time, you know, ideally, once a month, spend a couple hours step aside from the day to day, look up, look ahead, see where you want to go think about what you need to do to get there and hold each other accountable for doing it. You know, it’s all about small businesses and I just such an avid supporter of small business, and this is the little area where I think I can make a difference. So that’s what I’m going after.
Damon Pistulka 41:44
Awesome. All Gail, what I just I’m just sitting back flabbergasted. So awesome. having you on Kelly Gill, what, what, you know, your I know, you your curiosity has to be the curiosity meter has to be pegged right here. So it is let it out?
Gail Robertson 42:00
Well, one of the things part of my business, I talk about signups suit up and show up. And already, Kelly’s talked about the power of showing up because that is in that whole idea of opportunity. And this is what people have also the greatest fear about. And where I see the dots being connected here being Damon, I see you kind of an operations guy, I’m kind of the marketing person that we have Kelly here who could like connect these dots. Because we know a lot of times companies know how to do the things, but then how do you get that out to the world?
So again, it goes back to instead of throwing everything against the wall, why not use your energy in the end your resources? And I think that’s Kelly, what you’re saying, and based on the research I’ve done on you is that that’s your spot is that you’re gonna say let you’re gonna help people save time and money to get to where they need to go quicker and better meandering all over the
Kelly Berry 43:00
way. Yeah, right. Yeah, I actually have a private online community. And, you know, the idea is that people can just subscribe to that pay a subscription fee, and you gain access to any information that’s in there, as well as connecting with other business owners, because I think there’s such a huge value in doing that. But already in that community I put together every Friday, I put something together called Five for Friday. And it’s five news topics that stood out to me that I think are relevant to small business owners, again, looking for those signals of change that might indicate what’s going on.
And it might be something like, you know, what’s the consensus about whether we’re heading into a recession or not? Or what are some new ways people are attracting, you know, hiring new business people or, you know, the fact that they’re, they’re making houses out of 3d printed concrete in Texas, or, you know, whatever obscure stories I can find that I think could have an impact on businesses and small businesses and the opportunities that they can pursue, because they you can pivot quickly as a small business, but you’ve got to be paying attention.
Damon Pistulka 44:02
Yeah. I just said, I’m saying, Well, you know, it is it is 16. After the hour, we do need to wrap up here. I just want to be respectful of everyone’s time. Kelly, thank you so much for being here today. I just I’ve just heard Twitter. There we go.
Kelly Berry 44:23
Awesome. To be here with you. It was such a fun talking to both of you, really? And I appreciate all the comments that I’ve been watching as well. Yeah. So it’s just nice to be around other people that share my passion for working with small businesses and you know, trying to make a difference.
Damon Pistulka 44:41
Yeah, and I want to say thanks, Gail, so much for stepping in today. And in bringing some hair to the show. You know, Kurt and I, we don’t do that really well. And you blew us out of the water there. That’s awesome. Took us over the top like I expected, I would just want to say thanks, Dan and John. Christina Ngor. Adam. Val, everyone else that comes back supports us does the comments in here.
And thanks so much for spending your time with us today. Thanks so much for being here. Everyone. Gail, it was awesome. It was just fun. It was fun. I’m so glad we could get the king and queen of curiosity on here with us because I knew that her and Kelly would do wonderful. And it was spectacular.
Gail Robertson 45:29
Can I ask one last question? If because this is what I would ask on my show to finally do it live? Is that? How do you exercise your curious brain?
Kelly Berry 45:40
That’s such a hard thing to do when you’re so hard. Yeah, you know, there I, I took a bunch of courses on futures thinking and discovered that to be a successful futures thinker, you have to be creative. And that involves a lot of curiosity. And just being open minded to thinking new things. And so I kind of forced myself to this is great activity, which is think about the your, you know, two or five years in the future. And then write a fiction story in the third person about you about your business, or whatever you want to write about, what are you doing?
I mean, just write about a typical day. So what are you doing in this day? Where are you? Who are you? Who are you spending time with? And because essentially, you got to make this stuff up. You know, and so you’ve got to be curious about all the things that are going on around you so that you can see how they might all fit into what your ideal future looks like.
And so, you know, that’s the piece it forces, you know, and so I’m constantly reading because I’m always curious about well, how might this affect things? And how might that affect things and I’ve spent so much time reading, and but that’s how I kind of all tie it in is trying to think about, what does this mean, for me moving forward? What does it mean for other people, for other businesses moving forward? What are all these little things going on? Where they’re going to look like in a few years? You know, if you go back a few years and time and see what was things like then let’s go ahead. But writing it like a fiction story is an interesting exercise. Cool.
Gail Robertson 47:16
Okay. Thank you. That’s
Damon Pistulka 47:16
awesome question. Awesome answer. Great. Great. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, everyone for being here. Thanks, Gail Kelly, I just appreciate it. And we’ll be back again next week. And I don’t know who the guest is obviously, Kurt Kurt’s the one that pulls that together. So we’ll be here but thanks, everyone, and have a great weekend.