Building a Story that Engages Customers and Staff
Building a Story that Engages Customers and Staff
Is your story engaging your customers and staff the way you want?
If you want to find out ways to build a story that connects with your customers and staff, join us for this Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, where Morgan Norris, Senior Brand and Content Specialist, TREW Marketing, shares how employers can build a story that fuels their staff’s passion and engages their ideal customers.
Morgan Norris is the Senior Brand and Content Strategist at TREW Marketing. For over 15 years, she has been developing and utilizing her skills in content marketing to create powerful content for technology companies. Morgan guides companies to have a strong brand identity, well-planned business, and marketing goals, and create great content. She asks the right questions to develop an outflow of content that radiates the company’s strong brand that will attract the leads you want.
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Morgan enjoys educating others, sharing best practices, and discussing new trends. Morgan has a BA, BS, Public Relations, and Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin.
Damon opens this Livestream with his traditional energy, even if Nicole is the stand-in host for today’s session. He warmly welcomes Morgan to the MFG Success Series platform.
Nicole is equally energetic to have Morgan on the show as a fellow content marketer. She is eager to hear Morgan’s insights on AI, SEO, and her expertise as a brand strategist, having worked at True Marketing.
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The conversation warms up with some light repartee on cookies. Damon shares a fun fact. His wife made him chocolate chip cookies for Valentine’s Day because he likes cookies so much. He then hands it over to Nicole to discuss building great stories.
Nicole asks Morgan how her company helps clients develop their brand positioning and voice. She also asks why it is important for manufacturers to consider and plan for this.
The guest explains content marketing and how to use content to guide customers through their buying journey. The first step in this regard is to define the customer and the company’s offering. Interviewing customers is also important to understand their pain points and use their words in creating content. Morgan suggests conducting anonymous customer interviews for internal purposes.
Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.
Nicole thinks that the app called “the surprising” is great because it leads with the customer and uses their words to create messaging, which is more efficient. She mentions using a word cloud to gather customer language.
Morgan shares a story about a client who focused on messaging quality, but customers were more interested in scrap reduction. It immediately resonated with prospects when they flipped the message to talk about scrap reduction. The story emphasizes “the words that we’re using are so important when we’re targeting specific people.”
Damon believes it’s important to speak in the customers’ voice when promoting a product or service because they want to know how it will help them, not just assume quality.
Morgan maintains that sometimes customers have more emotional or felt needs, such as making their job easier, which can be uncovered through customer research.
Damon furthers the conversation, saying people buy based on emotions rather than data and that buying is emotional, while the rationale behind it needs to make sense. He thinks understanding customers’ goals and day-to-day challenges can help businesses get the feeling right and move up the ladder.
Nicole inquires the guest about the breakdown of content creation for clients regarding the top, middle, and end of the funnel. She wants to know the typical percentages for demand generation and the end of the funnel and what process works best for this.
Morgan says that a little over half of technical audiences go online on their own before engaging with sales and that they usually narrow down to a couple of vendors before engaging. She suggests looking at gaps in turning contacts into marketing or sales-qualified leads and supplementing with gated content like webinars and white papers. Morgan emphasizes the importance of nurturing leads with more content over time rather than expecting immediate responses after a white paper download, stating that “making sure we’re doing that nurturing is, I think, the most important” aspect of content creation.
Nicole asks Morgan about the impact of AI, particularly ChatGPT, on content creation and SEO. Nicole would like to know more about the experiment and how ChatGPT is expected to change SEO in the future.
Morgan discusses the rise of AI-generated content and its impact on SEO. Google favors answers to direct questions and snippets, but the issue with using AI-generated content is that it’s not branded and can produce generalized content.
Morgan points out that technical inaccuracies and plagiarism are also potential issues. Engineers typically search multiple pages of search results to find the appropriate answer, so assuming that AI-generated solutions are always relevant is naive. However, AI-generated content can be a useful brainstorming tool.
Morgan explains in a conversation that they have recently created a guide on using Jasper generative AI for content development. This is timely because Google is currently favoring direct answers to questions. However, using AI-generated content has issues, such as not producing branded content and paraphrasing information. Engineers also hesitate to rely on AI-generated content because it may not always provide the right answer.
Morgan suggests using AI tools as brainstorming tools and provides examples of different AI content writing tools, such as Jasper, CO:Writer, ChatGPT, and Magic, that they used to produce content. In their guide, they walk through the input and output of the tools used and how they could use the generated content. They also share an example of a blog post that was initially AI-generated and then marked up to 96% different in the final version.
While talking about the importance of truth in using AI content writing tools, Nicole says these tools are designed to ingest data and improve with time. But there still needs to be a way to determine what’s true and what’s not. She also notes that using these tools for technical and niche topics may be challenging.
Morgan also talks about the potential for AI tools to generate content from longer writing pieces, such as a 4000-word white paper turned into a three-part blog series. The writer platform allows users to input a style guide for their writing, and the tool will provide suggestions to adhere to it. The platform can also adjust writing style and substance, such as capitalization and reading level. A company has used the writer platform to ensure that all the content coming out of the parent company looks and sounds the same.
Copywriter Jonathan Spooner’s quote, “technology is a wonderful servant but a terrible master,” resonates with Nicole as she discusses the potential benefits and drawbacks of AI tools like Jett. She sees the potential for faster content creation and repurposing, such as turning blog posts into social media posts or audio transcripts into blogs. However, Nicole acknowledges that with any new technology, there will be both positive and negative impacts.
Morgan agrees with Nicole that “Google’s algorithm updates can be painful at times.”
Likewise, Morgan highlights how AI tools are changing how organizations approach content creation and knowledge management. Rather than relying solely on a CEO as a thought leader, the organization must consider which topics each team member can speak to and how to deliver that message effectively. The ease of generating content with AI tools means that employees need to have a deep understanding of the topic and be able to deliver it on the spot.
Morgan advises marketers to stay engaged in conversations at every level. Leadership needs to give the necessary training throughout the organization for people to talk about topics.
In the early 2000s, technology companies didn’t allow engineers to talk to the public, but now they need to provide training and be open to letting their employees speak.
Damon wants to know what Morgan would speak about at the Electronics Representatives Association Contract Conference in Austin.
Morgan reveals that she and Wendy would lead sessions next week in Austin for electronics reps and manufacturers. They would discuss technical audiences’ research and buying habits and provide advice on crafting messages and creating strong content for prospects to engage with.
people, content, morgan, customers, cookies, talking, question, tool, ai, brand, marketing, topics, hear, write, marketers, company, clients, engage, create, nicole
Damon Pistulka, Morgan Norris, Nicole Donnelly
Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone, welcome once again it is Friday and that means it is time for the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of your co hosts Damon Pistulka. And that person right over there is not Kurt Anderson.
Nicole Donnelly 00:18
I’m just wearing a mask. This is totally
Damon Pistulka 00:22
sir current. We’ve got Nicole Donnelly in here today. Take it over for Kurt. Sorry, Kurt. You never know. Nicole, take it away. We’re gonna be talking today about building a story that engages customers and staff and really brings people into it. We got Morgan Norris here today. Take it away, Nicole.
Nicole Donnelly 00:48
Oh, this is so exciting to have another fellow content marketer on the program today I’m rolled out Oh, excited to just hear everything Morgan has to say about all that’s happening right now with AI and all of that madness and SEO and can’t wait to hear all about her expertise. She’s got so much experience working at true marketing as a brand strategist and your brand strategist. And so so excited, Morgan for you to be on the show. Welcome. This is awesome.
Morgan Norris 01:19
You. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Well, I have
Nicole Donnelly 01:23
I think just like my first question is, I hear that you have this amazing chocolate chip. I have to tell you, if I’m on my deathbed, the number one thing I want is a warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookie like that is like my favorite food on the planet. So I want you to you can’t I’m sure it’s a secret recipe but you give our listeners a little taste of what makes your your cookies so great. The secret
Morgan Norris 01:51
recipe and on occasion, like if you’re gonna move overseas, or if you’re on your deathbed, I’ll give it to you. But until then I just deliver cookies to my friends and coworkers. So the thing about these cookies is they’re like crusted you know, you’ve got like the crust on the outside and they’re not. I don’t like an under baked cookie where it’s like no gloppy, but it’s still extremely soft on the
Nicole Donnelly 02:28
on the two
Morgan Norris 02:30
tweaks to the regular recipe, and one is that you cook them shorter at a higher temperature and the other tweak is in a couple of ingredients and I can’t share. But I did we just had a team retreat two weeks ago in Florida our whole team met together and I brought frozen logs of cookie dough packed in ice in my checked baggage, that’s I can bake them hot and fresh when we got there.
Nicole Donnelly 02:59
Hot fresh cookies now are you
Damon Pistulka 03:01
on they said cookies made with love. Awesome. Hi
Nicole Donnelly 03:04
Wendy. Welcome to the show. Oh my gosh. Ask Are you an oatmeal or not oatmeal girl with your I love
Morgan Norris 03:11
oatmeal. But for these cookies, these are plain chocolate chip cookies. I can do like a snickerdoodle alteration. But that’s it. And then I’m gonna leave the oatmeal cookies to somebody else to make sounds like you.
Damon Pistulka 03:26
There is nothing I don’t I’m like you, Nicole. If I had a cookie like that on my deathbed. I go out and style. Right. I agree. There’s just something about that. None of this cookie can’t be hard. And not a good one.
Nicole Donnelly 03:41
Yeah, but that crisp on the outside. nailed that. Yes.
Damon Pistulka 03:46
Yes. I have one other question about your cookie recipe. Just one kind of chocolate chip, or more than one? Oh,
Morgan Norris 03:54
I put one kind in there. But I’d be open to adding others. Yeah. And actually, if there’s a bunch of little kids coming to my house, I don’t put chocolate chips in them. And I put a lot of sprinkles so they don’t get chocolate all over. Oh, that’s nice. There you
Damon Pistulka 04:12
Love it. Well, the fun fact is my wife made me chocolate chip cookies for Valentine’s Day. That’s how much I like cookies. That’s awesome. Oh, yeah. Well, I saw I was like, Whoa, bonus. This is this is great. Awesome. So take it away. Nicole. Let’s talk about building new great, great stories. These great stories want to hear about this? Yes.
Nicole Donnelly 04:39
Tell us. Let’s start with that. So Morgan, tell us, you know, what do you guys do when you’re working with clients? How do you help them develop their brand positioning and help them identify what their brand voice should be? And maybe tell us a little bit about why why is that so important, especially for manufacturers to be thinking about that and planning that
Morgan Norris 04:59
yet. So This is It’s a big question. But what happens is, we, we all sit here, and we hear about content marketing, and we think I need content, and we need a lot of content. What’s gonna go on it. And realistically, what happens, especially with this really b2b technical audience, you’re you’re explaining complex products, you claim to have a sales cycle that is six 912 months long.
And so your salespeople might be there talking to customers talking to prospects along the way, but they’re not talking to them. 24/7, they’re not talking to every customer all the time every day. And so what you need is you need content there to fill those gaps and guide them through that, that buyers journey. And so, a few things that we like to start with are the first thing is positioning and messaging.
So what happens there, as we walk clients through this process, where they’re going to identify exactly who their customers are, and who they’re not, I was asked like, man, what, what business? Have you turned down this year? Who did you say no to? Who do you wish you would have said no to? And why? Right? You’re gonna have a really lively discussion about to write we said yes to this, but oh, my gosh, we shouldn’t have because this aspect of it was too hard, right? Where are those customers?
What are their pain points, and I’ll touch on that in a second. And then flipping so those are about your customer, and then flipping to your company, what it is that you offer? And how do you deliver it. And if we can identify and define, succinctly, if we can define each of those five points, who your customers are, where they are, why they need you, and then what you do, and how you do it.
That is the journey that your customer is going on. And you’re going to be able to provide content, all throughout that journey, because your content targeting who that customer is, you’re just trying to meet them where they are, maybe they’re a new engineering grad right now, maybe they’re even in school right now. And you need them, you don’t need them to buy anything from you.
You need them to use your tools in their lab, in university, so that when they have purchasing power, they get there later, and they come back to you right. And so it’s been able to nurture people through this process. And one thing we’ve been talking a lot about lately is interviewing customers. So this, we just did it actually internally, at Drew marketing, we were doing a brand project.
And it was hilarious, because the same thing happened internally, that always happens when our with our clients, when I say I’ll get we get together a room, we create like a brand branding committee. And so usually, ideally, that’s a kind of a C level type person. It’s somebody that represents sales, from a high level, somebody that represents marketing from a high level. And then I also really love to have an on the ground salesperson, and an engineer working with the products or solution, get all those voices in one room.
But what we do is we say okay, we want to talk to some customers about what it’s like to work with you. And so who would be some good customers talk to you, and somebody will throw out a name? And they’ll say, Well, we know why they like working with us. I’ll say, Well, I want to understand, you know, how they found you why they chose you guys over somebody else. And somebody else will throw out a customer name.
And they’ll say, Well, I know they chose us because of this. And that’s exactly what our team did. I looked at our president, so I want to interview some customers. And she said, Yeah, but we know about this one. And we know about this one. And that’s not it. It’s not this, like general. We know why they’re here, where they came from, we want to hear the words that they are using. And we want to hear them articulate the pain points they have in their own words. And so I love to get connected with like seven to 10 customers.
And then we’ll ask them questions, we make it really, really easy. A lot of times, manufacturers are working with kind of the end customer is maybe selling some kind of solution that has all these manufacturers products or solutions wrapped up in it, they don’t want to talk they want to put their name necessarily to the manufacturers brand. And so talking to a customer can sometimes like doing a case study sometimes is like impossible, right?
Having some branded named case study. But we just take all of that off the table and say we just want to interview you to talk about your experience. Your even your feedback is going to be presented anonymously, with the kind of cluster of feedback that we get from everyone back to leadership and it’s for internal purposes only. And all of a sudden, all those barriers fall down. And somebody says great, give me a call on my way home from work. I’ll be in the car at 530 Perfect.
It’s one To ask them a handful of questions about what challenges they faced in their day to day job, I want to hear what the pressures are they have at work, but also what their goals are personally, right? We want to, we want to be that person’s hero, we want to give them the product or the solution that they need, that makes them excel in their job. And Nathan, all of a sudden, they become an advocate for us, right? They’re gonna bring us in later.
And so we interview customers, and really pay attention to what themes come up. Often you take down kind of notes during those interviews, and you start to hear the same things over and over again. So what themes come up? And what specific words are they using? The last thing is, were there any benefits that they experienced? They didn’t even know they would experience when they decided to work? Who? Because we don’t want it? We shouldn’t be hidden. Right? We should get out in front and market though.
Nicole Donnelly 10:57
Like the surprising, but I love that the surprising? It’s a great app. Yeah, no, I love the the, I think it’s just so key that you’re going directly to customers and leading with the customer. And also just hearing the words they’re using to describe the, you know, the client, that’s so huge, like we do that to where we put together a word cloud. Based on that, yeah, I can, you can use that. And it makes it so much easier to create messaging, when you’re actually using the words that customers are saying, because you’re gonna play with the draw on those people, it’s just so much more efficient. That is amazing.
Morgan Norris 11:34
We had a customer a couple of years ago, who created coatings that go on plastic, like a polymer coating that goes on plastic. And we interviewed there, we talked to the leadership team, kind of their branding committee first, and they said, here’s why our product is better. And one of the key things they were doubling down on was, was quality. Overall, in the process, they were messaging quality, quality, quality, quality, quality. And then I talked to their customers.
And it turns out what happens multiple customers mentioned, what happens is if the polymer coating gets messed up, and they have, they create scrap plastic, they have to like, he was like just envisioning, like, throw it in this bin. When the bin gets to a certain level, we have to melt it all down, stop the plant, and start, like spend an entire day using the plant tools to re melt all this plastic and basically recycle it into something usable again. And he was like all of a sudden, everything is off track.
And so yes, the message was quality, it needs to be a good product. But the key for those customers that they the thing they liked about our client was they were reducing the scrap they were producing. And when we flipped that message and talked about scrap reduction, it immediately related with their prospects. And it’s just so interesting, because it’s it was it’s the same general benefit. But the words that we’re using are so important to when you’re targeting specific people.
Damon Pistulka 13:14
Even when they were the change there, they were speaking in their customers voice rather in their voice, because you know, customer is going to assume quality, but how’s it really helped them? That’s what they want to know, right?
Nicole Donnelly 13:28
How’s it really helped them? Exactly? Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 13:32
Yeah. Cuz you said, you said a couple things. And this isn’t one of the things that I really want to bring back up that I know a lot of people miss in marketing. And it’s, if you’re in b2b Marketing, a lot of times if you’re marketing to people in big companies, you have to be and I love how you’re interviewing customers, because they’ve got internal politics they’re dealing with, they’ve got their understanding their personal goals, what are they trying to do? It’s such a big deal in large companies.
It’s not like, it’s much different than if you’re selling to someone that’s in a smaller company that then may have more autonomy and do those kinds of things. I mean, there are just certain things that you can do if you understand that, that can drastically move you up in their priority to work with you. Right? You make their life easier make their make their chance of success in their position. Much better with your solutions. Yeah, you’re gonna move up that ladder.
Morgan Norris 14:32
Yeah, yeah. And sometimes you uncover some of those more like felt needs like that, like, You made my job so much easier. Because this this and this, like, I want to call you first every time.
Damon Pistulka 14:43
Yeah. Well, people, everybody thinks that people buy because of data. And I personally believe that people buy because of feeling. Yes, you have to you have to, you got to rationalize it in the end decision to buy it is really emotional. And the the rationale or the rationale behind it just has to mean, it’s not a really dumb decision I’m making.
Try it, I’m going to try to rationalize it if I really believe I really emotionally strong in it. I mean, how many how many times I don’t know, people go out and buy a new car and they got one, you know, there are other ones sitting there, that’s just fine at but I need that, you know, there’s there’s so many things that we do like that.
And that happens, I think if you can, with like your you guys are doing, understanding the goals, understanding the day to day challenges of these people to really help them and get that feeling right. You can move up that ladder.
Morgan Norris 15:43
Yeah, and get them to be known as the person who’s making good decisions and who’s selecting good products implementing good software and systems.
Damon Pistulka 15:52
Nicole Donnelly 15:55
I love that. So I have a question for you about the buyers journey. Like, typically, what percentage of the content that you create, usually for your clients is going to be more about like top of funnel like demand gen kind of content? And what what percentage of it is more like the middle of the funnel more end of the funnel? Like how do you kind of break that down? What’s your process for that? And what do you see works really well now.
Morgan Norris 16:17
So a few things going into that we find that a little over engineers, technical audiences are saying that a little over half of their buyers journey they’re doing online first on their own. Before they’re engaging with sales, the the point that they want to tip over and engage with sales is when they there are a few things they realize their their challenge they’re trying to solve is so technically complex that it’s going to involve talking to a person, right.
And at that point, they’ve usually narrowed down pretty close to a couple of vendors. So that’s kind of one thing to keep in mind, there’s got to be a decent amount of content out there in front of you to, to kind of pave the way there. But then one of the biggest things to look at is just where your gaps I think we pull numbers and data.
And so if we look at your total, you know, contacts, and we’re having trouble turning those contacts into marketing, qualified leads, or sales, qualified leads, where those gaps are where we want to supplement with content. So if we’ve got a lot of contacts, but we’re not, they’re not qualified, we want to try and do some gated type contents and webinars and white papers and things like that, to draw people into a next step, and to get them to engage.
And that’s kind of where some more marketing automation tools come in. But definitely when we start, the higher level brand content has got to be there to sustain people throughout their journey. I had a we do this writing course every year, where we take people in and kind of go through a six week writing training, and they get coaching along the way, and things like that.
And it’s often people who are, they’re responsible, either marketing isn’t the only part of their job. They’ve got some marketing in there. And they need to get up to speed on some tools and practices to make constant development easier. Or they’re the only marketer in their company. And they’re kind of facing all the pressures at once. But one thing, I had a woman take this course last year, and she wrote a white paper.
And she said, I’m getting like downing results on people downloading the site paper, she was posting about it on LinkedIn, they included it as a CTA from an article that they put in a trade publication. And the numbers are going through the roof on downloads, and she said, but after somebody downloads the white paper, I email them and ask them if they want to meet. And I’m getting like no responses. Because they’re not ready. They’re not ready, right?
We just introduced them to your brand, to your approach to solutions. And now we’ve got to wait and nurture them a little bit with some more content over time. So let’s schedule out kind of, you know, e newsletters at the end of every month with a roundup of content that’s targeted towards them. So making sure we’re doing that nurturing is, I think the most important versus kind of a number of pieces there. But you definitely need the content that people can go and access without you is important.
Nicole Donnelly 19:38
Yeah. I love that. I love what you said there about nurturing and I think that’s like so hard sometimes for for business leaders to get their heads around is that it’s not going to be a one touch and you’re going to have a lead kind of situation. Like there’s like a foundation that needs to be built and a relationship. It’s like you know, you don’t ask someone to go out on a date with you in the Mass. You’d ask them to marry you. All right. There is a process there.
And I think that’s important that that that buyer or you know, business owners and leaders understand that this is you know, very much a relationship as Damon has said before on my podcast marketing is farming. And it’s all about that long term kind of investment. So that’s great. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 20:21
you do you have to we got a lot of guests here. I’m gonna want to Yeah, point out a few. Wow, we got people in here. We got Vina and Gary course Wendy was here earlier. And Matt said, Yes, Nicole. Whitney from Texas. And Whitney was was nice enough. She said it was glitching. So she put the Facebook thing in here. The cookies got a lot of comments so far. And Brandon says, how do we how do we move past the cookies? I agree. Go back there with your piece.
Yeah, we’re gonna talk about some of the legit question Who else we got? Sarah. Some names I can’t pronounce. But I’m gonna put you on the screen. Got some from Morocco. Now. I’m getting down because there’s some good ones here. Because that’s this the this is where? When he was talking about LinkedIn glitch, but this is one. And I can’t I can’t pronounce your first name right off the bat. But this is awesome. telling me a story, and I will live in my heart forever.
Nicole Donnelly 21:23
Oh, that is so good. It’s so relevant for today. Yes,
Damon Pistulka 21:28
I saw that. I was like, This is awesome. There. We got anger. And yeah, so thanks so much. Thanks so much, everyone for being here. We’ve got Morgan Norris with us today. So continue on. This is awesome. This is awesome.
Nicole Donnelly 21:44
Well, I haven’t I have another question for you just about SVO. And AI as everyone in the world has been hearing about chat GVT it’s like exploded, it’s everywhere. Talk about it, right? Because we are content creators, all of us here on this map. And so it is definitely impacting us. It’s impacting our clients. And I think, you know, as marketers, we have to be ahead of it. We’ve got to be staying up to date, because the changes are happening all the time.
Right. So I just was talking with Wendy the other day, and she was telling me that you guys just did this really great experiment on what the results are from, you know, Chet GPT. And how that compares to, you know, a real human writer, if you will. I think I would love to just like hear more about that experiment. You can share that with the listeners first. And then I have some follow up questions for you about about like, what you see how you see this changing SEO going forward?
Morgan Norris 22:35
Yeah. Okay. So yeah, so it’s timely, because we just put together a guide on this. And I’ll drop it in the chat in a second when I stopped talking but put together a guide on using generative AI for content development, specifically for communicating about technical b2b, complex topics.
And what we did. So what’s happening is, Google right now is really favoring answers to direct questions. And so you think about when you go to Google, and you type in a question, and it pops up those little like snippet answers, they are. Everybody wants snippets, but also snippets, meaning somebody who’s not necessarily coming to your site, they’re getting their question answered.
And they’re not even touching your, your brand, your anything they’re getting like your sentence answer. So I’ve mixed feelings about snippets that we will be favoring these quick answers, which pairs with this rise of AI generated content, which means we can go into a tool, type of question, grab an answer, dump it on our site. Okay. Great problems with this are. It’s not any sort of branded content.
I’ll talk about benefits in a minute, because there are some benefits right now. But some of the issues that we’re seeing is it’s not branded content. And actually, if you try and get it to write about a brand, you hit a lot of snacks. Because what these tools do is they’re there’s kind of scouring all of the available information and reprocessing and regurgitating it in a different way. And so, plagiarism doesn’t seem to be an issue, but they’re paraphrasing and rewording stuff.
And what you don’t want is your brand reword it. I tell our clients like we do a brand messaging project, and you have messaging in you. In a year, you’re going to come back to me and say, Maybe we should redo our messaging and I’m gonna say no, because you interact with your messaging every day and you might be tired of it but your customers don’t they interact with it like once a month or when they’re in It feels process with you.
That’s it. They need years and years and years of that brand messaging coming over and over again. And if you try and write about your company or anything proprietary through an AI generator, it’s just going to turn it into kind of, like, generalized much.
So don’t do that. So those are kind of issues that we’re seeing, as well as like technical. There are, you’ll find like technical inaccuracies and stuff. We were talking about this before we started, but part of it is engineers, we find, we’ll search they’ll go through at least half of engineers will go to page five on search results to find the answer that they need before they even click on anything.
Right. So they’re, they’re scouring through 50 results to find the right one. And to just assume that you’re going to ask a question, and the answer that spit out is the one that is appropriate for your audience. It’s pretty naive to think and so there’s just there’s a lot of like hesitancy there. Things that these tools are working for, I think, are they make a really good? Like, brainstorm, buddy, they make a good phone a friend. So you love
Nicole Donnelly 26:17
a friend? That’s awesome. As a research tool,
Morgan Norris 26:21
yeah. Are we through? So yeah, in the same way, though, that if I was going to write about, about testing measurement equipment in what companies are facing when products go obsolete, I would pitter around Electronic Design Magazine, and I would read some articles there, you kind of jump around. And so this is just one more tool that you can kind of use to jump around in there. I think sometimes writers have a hard time going from blank page to like your introduction sentence.
And so great. Use a tool like this to just be that friend, as you’re sitting by yourself with your computer to kind of go back and forth with that works fine. What we did on our site in the weekend have posted this all in this guide, is there five different examples that we use, and we walk through what tool we use. So we used Jasper, which is in AI content writing tool, they have an SEO integration as well. We use CO write, which is a program by the platform writer.
We use chat GBT, and we used magic, right, which is built into Canva, a design tool that we already use, so that one’s low hanging fruit. But we walk through kind of what we input, what it output. And then if and how we were able to use that. And so we did some different things like headline generation, I had one, do an entire blog post on a technical topic. And then I posted the marked up vert started with the AI version and then posted it marked up where it ended. And the final post, probably 96% of it was different. So
Nicole Donnelly 28:05
I bet it took more time just to mark it up and edit. Right. That’s
Morgan Norris 28:09
what I was telling Woody. I said, I didn’t definitely when I write when to write the next one, I did not use the tool. Right, but it took more time to actually comb through content that it created.
Nicole Donnelly 28:24
Yeah, absolutely. I think just thinking about this, the other thing that comes to mind is just truth. Like there’s no way for this tool to determine what’s actually true. It these tools, the way that they’re built, the way that they’re designed, is it’s just the more data that they ingest the they say they’re going to get better and they’re going to be more refined, but there’s still no, like, source, there’s no way to to determine what’s true and what’s not true. And that opens up a whole can of worms, because then if they were designed that way, who decides what’s true and what’s not, you know?
So I think anybody using them has to go into this, you know, has to know like, Okay, I can’t confirm that what this is spitting out is actually the truth. And if you’re dealing like you are with very technical buyers who are very niche, that’s another challenge, too, is like, there may not be content out there that they can even pull from because it’s what they’re what the technical topics are talking about are so niche.
Morgan Norris 29:16
Right, right. For sure. And, and things like chat, GBT, haven’t they like their splash screen comes up and says it stopped calling data in 2021 I believe Yeah. So yes. Anything new might not be helpful.
Damon Pistulka 29:33
Yeah, it’s it’s got to stay relevant. And there’s there’s so many things like, like you talked about you look at the you take that as we were talking before we got on today. One step further. And Google what the snippets and if it if AI changed a Google search to a search for something and it comes up with the answer. I just talked about the engineers going to page five Find the right answer. How do you really believe that you’re going to be able to do that? The right answer over time for so many different questions? Yeah.
Morgan Norris 30:08
And I see on there Gary asked about is it possible to train Jett chat GBT through conversation contexts? So chat, GBT actually right now is starting to add chat. GBT plus which again, this is something that the news is coming out every day. So that is that’s definitely a next step.
So things I would I’m excited to see in AI tools is I would love to put in a 4000 word, white paper and had it produced a three blog series for me and like, the intro and the outro like reference the the two between them, like not a big deal, but that would save me 40 minutes. And so there’s some things like that there are some training tools where the training tools right now are working are. So I mentioned co write, which is an AI generator tool from the company writer, and writer also has a tool they started with a tool that’s similar to Grammarly. If you use Grammarly, that gives you suggestions and stuff.
But in writer you can. You can like set your parameters and your tone. And it basically you write them in the platform and it will say, hey, based on your style guide, you need to refer to this product like this or you know, amazing, even just the little stuff like as a company, you use an Oxford comma, or you like input your style guide, the way that you talk about products, the way that you both style and substance. So like things like capitalization and grammar.
But also, you know, you’re right, it looks like you’re writing this at a 12th grade reading level. But your style is set to like eighth grade or whatever.
And so it can do that I actually had an interesting conversation in content marketing world last year with somebody who had taken a writing course and he’s now his company has acquired multiple companies. And he has acquired all these marketers and he said I think I’m going to try instead of hiring an editor a buying the writer platform and putting all of our style and having all these teams use it so that all the content that’s coming out of now one umbrella parent company looks and sounds the same. Interesting
Damon Pistulka 32:41
there. Yeah, there’s just so many different ways that we’re going to see this use in the future that are going to be beneficial you know, it’s not going to I look at it like you said earlier Morgan it’s it’s an assistant it’s a tool to help you and your your buddy when you’re sitting there alone.
Brainstorming buddy, I think you said or something like that. It’s yeah, it’s that that’s, I’ve really found it helpful for that with my writing because you know that your blank page staring and you go okay, I’m gonna ask two or three questions to get me thinking in chat GPT and it spits out what you want and you go oh, there’s a piece there’s a piece there’s a piece now I’m gonna start writing
Morgan Norris 33:20
Yeah, it’ll be even right mindframe right. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 33:23
yeah, I just wrote this uh, let it go. No, go ahead. Go ahead. And I was
Nicole Donnelly 33:26
gonna say I just read this really great quote from a copywriter Jonathan Spooner I just think I just loved it it just says technology is a wonderful servant but a terrible master and I think this is a perfect exactly go this library go you know, and it’s true for any like technology that’s come out like think about when iPhones came out there’s like so much good and so much bad that comes up any new you know, you know, the atomic bomb for example,
like so many things so there’s going to be good and bad that’s going to come from this and I think yeah, like it’s it’s going to be great for you know, making it faster to create like you know, repurposing content I think like turning blog posts into social media posts, you know, audio transcripts into blog, you know, all of that I think it’ll be really really great for that’s how we’re using it.
Morgan Norris 34:13
Right and I think there’s this these AI content development tools are coming out and that’s people are getting really excited by that news but I think we forget to we’ve been using some of these tools we’ve been using this stuff has evolved right because yes, you don’t need a transcriber anymore we can put we can put this video recording and and get it 90% there through a voice to text kind of program like
Nicole Donnelly 34:45
I which we love.
Damon Pistulka 34:46
Yeah, use it every week. But
Nicole Donnelly 34:49
there’s also something for like small business owners who don’t have like a content writer on staff. I think there might be a real like they might be really tempted to just and I know many of them are right I’m now going to the chat GPT and write a blog post for me on this topic.
And I think there’s real danger for small business owners or people that don’t have, you know, the resources in house to do that, to to approach it that way. And just think about this as being like a way for them to generate, like, unique content, because it’s just not, let’s not I don’t think it’s how it should be used, or how it’s designed, or how it’s going to work truthfully.
Morgan Norris 35:25
Right. View. So we do like, man, as marketers, and I mean, business is, Google’s algorithm updates can be painful at times. But
Nicole Donnelly 35:40
that was so like, I was like, you know, very, very well and very emotional for Yeah,
Morgan Norris 35:49
but they are often they’re, they’re constantly solving for some kind of issue that’s coming up. And you had mentioned SEO before, but we were going to have new problems, and the new problems are going to be generically junk content that’s created. And then bounce rates, right? Because if you’re writing to answer a specific question, or kind of those, like listicle, Buzzfeed type articles, that’s like, you know, 10 reasons, your makeups not staying on whatever, right?
Like, it can write that for you. And then as a reader, you scan that, and you are off that page, and three seconds, and you haven’t engaged with anything, you you have no recollection of what brand you went to. And so I do think that there will be a push to create even stronger, more unique continent to really capture audiences and gain traffic that way.
Nicole Donnelly 36:57
Yeah, I think like even this, this isn’t a perfect example of, of something that AI can’t really replicate is investing, you know, for for manufacturers out there really thinking about how can you get involved in live events, podcasting?
Yeah, you know, these types of situations where you’re basically creating thought leadership in real time. Yeah. And positioning yourself as an expert versus something derivative that an AI bot can pull off the web, you know, from anything. So I think it’s a good thing for people to be thinking about. Damon, you’re like ahead of the curve here. Who knew? Who knew you were going to be ahead of the curve? 120? So did
Damon Pistulka 37:38
when when you talk about it, Morgan? Oh, and the people that you know, you talked about engineers and stuff I did at one time back in the stone age’s when school for engineering. And, you know, the technical stuff that they’re talking about whether you’re talking about transducers or design or whatever the heck you’re talking about.
You know, I think a live discussion, and the content you generate from that is so powerful, because that, again, you come back to why do people want to learn more about you the problems you’re solving and things like that? Yes, they want to learn how to solve the problem. But they also want to learn about the people that are solving the problem that they would have to be working with.
And I think that what we’re talking about and really is, it’s the title, you know, building a story that engages customers that brand voice and if your brand voice is going to be, yes, I can teach you how to do you know, nuclear fusion, if that’s what you want to do. But we’re gonna have fun doing it. And you’re going to be, you know, you’re going to be comfortable alongside us the whole way, because we help people this way. And they get to know that part of it that really allows them to engage with them, right? The people,
Morgan Norris 38:55
and it opens up the organization to, I think, because in the past, we’ve thought, Okay, our CEO needs to be our thought leader. And they’re going to get out there. And they’re going to speak at this conference. And they’re going to author this article. And this is it. And all of a sudden, now, this has gotten to be a layered approach, right?
As a company, we’ve got to decide what topics are we ahead on what topics are we so entrenched in that we know them back to front and can talk about them? What does it look like for the CEO to talk about that? What does it look like for the VP of engineering to talk about that? And what does it look like for the design group manager and the new designer that we just hired out of school? What does it look like for all of them to talk to that message?
And I think that that will become so much more powerful, and we are going to have to switch a conversation so quickly because like you better believe our fight. Kids aren’t going to turn in an army of paper on the five main themes of The Great Gatsby like They can write that in two seconds with these tools, right? Yeah, you’re gonna have to be, it’s gonna have to be kind of processed knowledge and things that can be delivered on the spot, you’ve got to own it so well, that you can talk to it on the spot.
Nicole Donnelly 40:14
So I think it speaks to like the importance of companies to really have strong points of views, whatever the topic is, whatever their point of view is, have a point of view so that it’s not just like, generic, whatever, like, and I think that’s really great that, you know, what you just suggested there is like, going, you know, as business leaders really asking them, what are the topics that you want to be known for, that you have deep expertise on? And like, getting focused and strategic about that? And making sure that when you’re creating content, that you’re really having a strong point of view? On those topics? Yep. For sure. Some,
Damon Pistulka 40:52
and then you said, process knowledge, I wrote it down, just because I think that is where, if you’re, if you’re, if you have, like you said, you’re building the right story, but then you can share process knowledge with people, I’m not just talking about how I do nuclear fusion, I’m talking about how you how you can do nuclear fusion, it’s how I’ve done it in the the challenges we’ve had, and what we’re going to need to look at in real world and all this other stuff that makes us feel it?
Well, it brings the human element into what we do. Yeah. And that’s where people can engage in, we come back again, to, you know, people know, doing business with who they know, like, and trust.
Nicole Donnelly 41:33
Yeah, yeah, you know, that also speaks to kind of Google’s changes with their algorithm, it’s always historically been eat, right, like, expertise, authority, and trust, are the three main things that they use to rank content. And that’s shifted to be this new, like, they’ve thrown in experience. Now, it’s not just expertise, authority, and trust.
Now, they’re also ranking based on experience. And I, I think this is all going to just continue to evolve in that direction, where people, you know, they want to hear your experience, they want to hear your stories, they want to hear how you did it. And, you know, and that’s what people are going to use, that’s going to be kind of like the the thing that they’re going to be using to to trust you.
Morgan Norris 42:13
There’s, there’s, it’s gonna require leadership to open their hands a little bit. And both kind of give the training that’s needed throughout the organization for people to be able to talk to some of these topics, and then also be willing to do that I remember working for, you know, technology companies in the early 2000s.
And we would have people really fantastic engineers, but that from that sea level space, they’re saying, no, no, no, no, don’t let them talk, don’t let them talk. Like, we need to be in complete control of the message. And we’re gonna have to just give them training, and then be willing to open that hand if we want to stay engaged in the conversation at every level.
Nicole Donnelly 42:57
That’s really great advice. I will tell you, some of my clients have voiced that same concern to me, leadership is like, I’m not comfortable with some of our staff members going out and sharing on posting on LinkedIn approach of like, okay, well, if that’s the case, you know, how can we address that objection from senior leadership? Well, we need to make sure that we’re training them and that they, you know, they have really a good understanding and knowledge of these topics so that we’re not going to worry what they’re going to share and whether or not it’s accurate. That’s, that’s really great advice. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 43:26
Yeah. Yeah. Well, we’re running into our, our time. And I want to say a couple of things. Morgan, you guys are speaking at the electronic rep Association contract conference next week in Austin. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on. There.
Morgan Norris 43:43
You are, yeah, Wendy and I are leading sessions. That’s Monday and Tuesday, next week in Austin, electronics, reps, manufacturers. And there we’re going to be talking about we’ll talk a lot about kind of research and buying habits of technical audiences, and then really kind of digging into crafting your message, creating content, that strong and can live there for your prospects to engage with when they’re not engaging with you, personally. And so that’ll be next week, and we’re looking forward to it.
Nicole Donnelly 44:18
Oh, my gosh, I saw you guys present at the industrial marketing summit last fall. And I was just like, blown away. You guys did such a tremendous job together presenting on the buyers journey. Yeah. So anyone out there if you have a chance to see Wendy and Morgan and action at an event, they are just they do such a superb job. I learned so much from them during that presentation. And I know that anybody who goes there and sees you guys in action, it’s going to be such a great experience and they’re gonna walk away with tons of information. So check that out.
Damon Pistulka 44:53
Awesome. Yeah, I’m trying I’m not usually doing this but I tried to share the link to your marketer guide to the FBI in the post, so hopefully, hopefully you got there. I put it in there. Want to thank you for coming today, Morgan? Yeah.
Morgan Norris 45:12
Thanks for having me.
Damon Pistulka 45:13
Yeah, it’s always nice having Nicole here.
Nicole Donnelly 45:17
Oh my gosh, it’s never the same without a job. Or we miss you come back. Yeah, I was or Where’s Kurt Anderson when you need them? Right. Yeah, energy. But yeah, this has been super fun. I’m like, I’m super, it was really an honor to be able to have this conversation with you, Morgan, because I just have so much respect for you and look up to you. So. So. So thank you.
Damon Pistulka 45:41
Thank you so much for sharing the information. And Matt had one question at the end is when we were talking about employees, yeah. And and other people being I think what you said Morgan was relevant for this too. You know, if you’re going to have an employee that wants to start a podcast for the company, you just need to make sure that your year or beyond one or you’re going to be on, everyone should know, you know what, what the expectations are? And I think then let them go. Yes,
Morgan Norris 46:07
yes. And if you want to, if you want to start one, go beyond a few first, and then decide if you really want to start one, or if you would just like to be on them.
Nicole Donnelly 46:15
That’s a really great, great. And I think progressive companies, they’re gonna have to be thinking, the companies that decide to do this kind of work through the podcast, and those are the ones that are going to be succeeding in the years ahead. So you gotta get on the train.
Morgan Norris 46:31
Yep, for sure. For sure.
Damon Pistulka 46:33
That’s for sure. We’re going what’s the best way to get a hold of you too? I always like to make sure that,
Morgan Norris 46:38
yeah, you can connect with me through LinkedIn or my email address is Morgan MLR. Ga n at true marketing, tr E W. marketing.com.
Damon Pistulka 46:48
All right, awesome.
Nicole Donnelly 46:50
Awesome. All right, Morgan. Well, next time I come to Georgetown, sit just around the corner.
Morgan Norris 46:54
I know. You’re fine. Excellent.
Nicole Donnelly 46:57
You can go get a cupcake at the Georgetown cupcake. And I will bring you cookies. It’s not a cookie, but we can do a trade. I’ll get a cupcake. You bring me a cookie.
Morgan Norris 47:05
Let’s do it. Be happy.
Damon Pistulka 47:08
That would be an awesome day. Well, thanks, everyone for being here. Thank you for being here. Morgan. Nicole, thanks so much for helping today and CO hosting. So incredible getting to have you and today talking to you and Morgan the conversation was was really, really special to be able to listen to. And thanks everyone else for being here today.
We have too many to mention, but we appreciate you all come back again. Next week, we’ll have another episode of manufacturing ecommerce success. And who knows? We’ll see. Mystery? Yes, have a good one, everyone. I’m excited. All right. Hang out for a minute. Morgan. We’ll talk when we’re done.
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