Welcome to another episode of 3-Minute-Marketing, where we interview the world’s top growth-marketing leaders and turn their insights into short, binge-worthy TED talks for your listening pleasure.
Today’s guest is Ryan George, CMO at Docupace Technologies, a SaaS catering to wealth management firms. Ryan is a very interesting person who has been in the financial space for a long time, with previous stops at GuideStone Financial, 1st Global, and U.S. Global Investors.
Ryan talks about reporting in a way that executives can really understand and rally behind. So my question for him was, “Why do marketers need to report results in a non-marketing language?”.
- It’s important for marketers to understand how other people see their business. Accounts see marketers as a cost expense, so you have to demonstrate your value.
- Show when a lead comes in and the activity it takes to engage the lead. Show all the work that’s being done to queue them up and get them in front of the right kinds of people.
- A slide with a bunch of marketing data like CPC, keywords, and where traffic is coming from is going to get lost. They want to know what you’re doing to push their brand forward and what you’re doing to get in front of the right people.
- Elevate the brand into the conversations that people are naturally going towards. Engage with influencers.
- How many shots on goal do you have? How many times did you get engagement from somebody that you know can buy?
- How are you doing month to month? If you’re bringing in 25 leads are they the right leads that are going down the funnel?
- Skip the fancy metrics and report on leads, sales, and pipeline opportunities. Tell people “here’s what happened and here’s why it matters”.
– You’re listening to Three Minute Marketing, where we interview the world’s top growth marketing leaders and distill their knowledge into actionable bite size insights. Now here’s your host, Chris Mechanic.
– [Chris Mechanic] Hey, what’s up everybody. Welcome to another episode of Three Minute Marketing. Today’s guest is a very interesting person, Ryan George, who’s CMO of Docupace Technologies, who is a SaaS catering to wealth management firms, helping them to process and digitize their data. He’s been in the financial space for a long time. Before that, working with GuideStone Financial, First Global, and US Global Investors. He talks about reporting in such a way that executives understand and can rally behind. And then in the bonus footage, he basically asked me for some advice on their own website. So I do a little kind of coaching clinic with him and lay down some of that fire just for your viewing and enjoyment purposes. So check it out, hope you enjoy, and let me know.
– [Ryan George] I mean, I think it’s core for marketers to understand how other people see their business. So if I’m talking to accountants, they’re going to see marketing as just a cost expense, right? They just see as spending money. So we have to demonstrate the value. So, one thing I like to do is like with leads. Go ahead and show when a lead comes in, show the activity it takes to be able to get them engaged, show them when the sales team takes it. Which is careful ’cause you don’t want to take credit for the sales team ’cause they don’t like that. But showing them all the work we’re doing to cue them up in front of the right type of people. And I think it’s just those conversations. The data, if I put up a slide together that had a bunch of marketing data, like I said, cost per clicks or where different traffic’s coming from and keywords, they just get lost. ABM just completely get lost. What they want to know is, what are we doing to push our brand forward? What are we doing to get in front of the right people in the financial services space? We have the benefit of… Because people have to be registered, we know exactly who the clients are. We know how to contact them. We know how to get in front of the challenges. Everybody knows that. Right? So what we have to do is show how to break through all that noise and be able to make those connections. And I think from my time at Docupace, what we really tried to focus on is, elevate the brand into the conversations that people are naturally going toward, right? So engaging with influencers, engaging in conversations. We had this idea of starting what we call the back office revolutions, right? So that’s not a marketing term at all. Like we’re going to start a revolution. And it has after years really taken on because what we did is instead of spotting a trend saying, “Hey, this is happening.” We sort of packaged it in a way that people can get excited about.
– [Chris Mechanic] So how do you report? Like what is contained on the slides in one of your reports? And we have like about a minute left.
– [Ryan George] Sure. So when we do the typical lead funnel, so I like to look at on target context. So how many shot… What I call shots on goal. So how many times do we get engagement from somebody that we know can buy? Right? So that’s one key measurement for us. We also look for, you know, inbound lead generation. I mean, inbound links generation so we can get more traffic. We look at, you know, how much do people coming to a landing page can convert? But that’s really for the marketing team to look for more optimize. What we report out on is, how are we doing month to month? Now, we bring in 25 leads, are they the right leads that are then going down the funnel or they’re automatically kick me out? If they’re kicking out, then it’s not the right group we’re getting in front of.
– [Chris Mechanic] So you basically, so to summarize here, skip the fancy metrics. When you’re talking to execs, skip CPCs, skip CTRs, skip impression share voice, whatever, and basically report on lead sales pipeline opportunities.
– [Ryan George] So here’s what happened, here’s why it matters.
– [Chris Mechanic] Here’s what happened, here’s why it matters. If you guys enjoyed this, please drop us a like or a comment. We read each one, we love them. And also feel free to let us know if you have any topics that you want us to cover later. Ryan and I are going to continue talking here for a few minutes. You should see some bonus footage, a link to some bonus footage somewhere around this video, or it may just start right now.
– [Ryan George] What do you focus on? I mean, I know you’re a marketer of course, but what’s your core value then?
– [Chris Mechanic] Traffic and conversions. So like a lot of what you were talking about. You know, there’s a lot that goes to it, but at the end of the day, we drive traffic, you know, with search social native display, whatever the channel is, and then we convert that traffic usually into leads. Most of what we do is more like lead-gen focused. Probably like 80, 90% lead-gen to first 10 to 20% e-com. So yeah, those are our primary.
– [Ryan George] You know, you depreciate. We’ve had good success. I think we had 286 unique qualified buyers come in last year. And I think we’ve been able to capture about 47% of those are still either closed or somewhere on the pipeline. So we’re getting in front of the right people. What I’ve found is, with inbound, I mean, they’re coming to us almost ready to buy, you know, they’re trying to verify whether they’re making the right decision or not. Outbound you have to do much more, you know, introduction and explanation of course.
– [Chris Mechanic] Oh yeah. Dude, outbound… Yeah. Outbound is not going to convert.
– [Ryan George] Brutal
– [Chris Mechanic] Like we’ll convert similar to you, 35, 40, maybe sometimes even 50% on warm referrals. Warm referrals really convert at the highest rates, but then cold, like cold outreach will convert at like less than 10%.
– [Ryan George] I mean, you get them, I get them, I generally don’t respond to them.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. Oh, I get a ton of them. I get them all the time. So where do you guy… So you’re kind of doing more ABM it sounds like. Like you have like a universe of eligible accounts and you’re basically going after those ones.
– [Ryan George] We are. We do also do a lot of PR invisibility as well, you know, with… It’s enterprise technology, it’s, you know, generally a multi-year commitment because you’re wrapping your entire business around our technology. So once they get on the platform, they tend to not leave. So, you know, engaging with consultants and other people who help others, you know. Our future customers make those decisions is important, and really trying to provide content and thought leadership on, you know, either we demonstrate we know this space and how their product ties in and just basically make it easy for people to find us.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. And so what are your… Well, are you guys doing well? Like it sounds like you’re doing fairly well, but like what’s working best for you right now? Is it LinkedIn mostly or just organic search?
– [Ryan George] LinkedIn’s working well. I mean, I think backing up to… I got here in September of 2020.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah.
– [Ryan George] The brand had gotten pretty stale and people are just sort of like, “Oh, well, they’re not ever really going to care about us.” And I was like, “F that.” Like, of course, they do. And so like we just got to make them care. So we sort of went on this journey of, you know, telling people why it’s important, telling people why it’s valuable, you know. People don’t think process improvement workflows efficiency is important, but everybody would love to have less burdensome mundane tasks on brands. Right?
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah.
– [Ryan George] And so just taking that and running that. We did a rebrand in early 2021, and have just sort of tried to elevate ourselves to where we think our rightful place within the landscape is.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. Yeah. It’s a challenge for you guys because it’s a very feature rich sale, right? Like you want to show all the features of these things. So translating that back into like, how can this actually make my life better and focusing more on the benefits? I feel is probably challenging for you guys.
– [Ryan George] Yeah. So if we try to sell the whole platform at once, it will never work. It’s completely overwhelming and people just can’t… They can’t sink their teeth into it. So what we try to do is, you know, solution selling. So asking the right questions. Generally, like I said, we know a lot about the prospect before we’re talking to them. And they’ll come with specific requests and we can steer them towards certain areas of the platform that like have that grounded conversation. Like, are they recruiting a lot of advisors? Well, we have a transitions program. And that can actually make things tangible, but we found-
– [Chris Mechanic] So is this like an ERP basically for wealth management firms?
– [Ryan George] It would be adjacent to that. So it’s back office platform systems that would manage documents, manage workflow, connects to other technologies of the ecosystem like your CRM or your custodian. So we were sort of sitting that middle ground of being that engine in the background.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah.
– [Ryan George] What’s really fascinating is… I’m blanking on what I was about to say. It was going to be a fantastic point. So we can’t sell it all at once, but we’ve found things don’t work. Like cost aversion doesn’t work. Right? ‘Cause people don’t see the ROI and like you’re eliminating cost. They see it as eliminating cost. So we’ve had to figure out ways to hour saved equals how many dollars and how many people are… You know, can you drive average revenue per employee higher? You know, everybody wants more revenue, but are they actually getting more revenue, are they with more staff or are they getting same staff more revenue? You know, things like that.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yep. And so you might want to think about… So there’s this classic headline formula that’s like, how to get something awesome without doing something that sucks. You know, like how to get rich without working 80 hours a week or how to lose weight without like eating broccoli for dinner, you know? So if you could identify that thing that they’re doing currently without your product which sucks. And I don’t know what it is, but let’s just say it’s stuffing envelopes. Like let’s just say that you, you know, are automating that process. So it’s something like, never stuff an envelope again, or you know, like focusing on that thing that sucks that they don’t have to do in the language, I think could help people to understand. ‘Cause part of it in a space like yours is helping people to understand like what the heck is this thing? Especially ’cause it has so many features it sounds like in so many different functionalities. Like from recruitment to, you know, God knows what else. The other modules do, right?
– [Ryan George] But we’re continuing to develop those. I like that like, how to get something valuable with… Yeah. ‘Cause that is like the mail thing. It’s what certain stuffing envelopes is having a process return mail ’cause the address is wrong. Like literally hundreds of hours are spent just throwing mail in the trash.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. So that could be it. If I may, and we don’t need to publish this, but can I give you a couple quick tips?
– [Ryan George] Sure.
– [Chris Mechanic] Just like on the… Well, I’m just looking at the homepage and delaying-
– [Ryan George] No, our website sucks, I’ll take whatever. We’re in the process of overhauling it. So bring it up.
– [Chris Mechanic] It kind of just uses a lot of words to say not really that much, you know. And there’s words like productivity and profitability, there’s words like automating and platform and operate, and it’s just like kind of buzz wordy a little bit.
– [Ryan George] Yeah. It’s [indistinct] features lacking benefits.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. That is it. But I can’t help but to think that there’s got to be some like succinct and compelling way, you know, to introduce people to this. And then to your point, like this is a big… It sounds like a large sale and a large, you know, implementation process.
– [Ryan George] Year long sales cycle.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. So it might be a little early for the contact us CTA. You know, like you might link to something there that’s like a little bit higher up in the funnel. Maybe just like-
– [Ryan George] That’s really one of the things we’re fixing. Initially I think it was just demo, demo, demo.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah.
– [Ryan George] So I hear you. You are validating what my fears and beliefs have been.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah. So, and then as I scroll down, you know, it’s kind of just buzz word heaven over here like a comprehensive, customizable, digital operation solution. Like have you ever seen, I think it’s the show, Silicon Valley from HBO?
– [Ryan George] Yeah.
– [Chris Mechanic] Where the one guy goes out into the desert and like does mushrooms to try to come up with a name of his… Or a name for his new business. And he’s like, “Synergistic integration.” You know, he’s just like saying all these buzz words, all like high out of his Gordon shrooms.
– [Ryan George] I haven’t seen it in a while, but I found that NBA jargon like calculator once that was pretty awesome.
– [Chris Mechanic] Oh yeah, yeah, exactly. So it’s kind of just like almost a practice in brevity. Like how can you say half the number of words in here? And you’ll inevitably need to leave some stuff out.
– [Ryan George] Yeah, totally agree. I didn’t write a word on there. And so I’m happy to take whatever feedback is there.
– [Chris Mechanic] And you know what you can do? It looks like you’ve got Hotjar.
– [Ryan George] We did. I dunno if it’s still in place.
– [Ryan George] Yes.
– [Chris Mechanic] Like just to see, and then you can conditionally trigger other questions based on there. And Hotjar’s so cool ’cause it makes it just very easy to do. Like you don’t need any tech skills whatsoever. So I love LinkedIn. These days, the only problem is it’s so expensive. But the messenger ads, messenger ads and InMail ads are still surprisingly cheap. So if you have people like banging on the phones, like calling on this, you know, this universe of accounts that you’re looking at, it makes a lot of sense to load that same audience up into LinkedIn, you know. So say it’s like 1,000 companies you basically create… Like you should have ads or campaigns targeting those thousand companies probably on the various platforms, but particularly in terms of messenger ads. ‘Cause I think it’s like… It’s pretty cheap. I think it’s like 50 cents a send, 30 cents a send something, but the open rates are like super high and the clickthrough rates are pretty high too. So like on a cost per click basis, it’ll be like three, four, $5, versus sometimes 10, 20, 30, 40. You know, with a small and well defined audience like it sounds like you have, like you might pay $50 a click or $60 a click because it’s all about the clickthrough rate.
– [Ryan George] Well, yeah. And we can… If we’re targeting the right people with a good message, like it doesn’t have to be the volume play. Like it just could be the right message for the right person.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yeah.
– [Ryan George] Yeah, I get… You know, I’ve actually bought three technologies the past 18 months through LinkedIn messages? Because they just caught me at the right time and it was right. But I also get, you know, at least three or four day, like pitched every AI lead-gen thing and planet. And I just ignore them ’cause you can sort of tell like, “Oh that person’s not real.” Like their profile’s fake. Like they don’t have any activity. ‘Cause I’ve been pitched like, “We’ll set up 100 fake profiles for you. We can sit out stuff.” It’s like, “No I don’t want fake people selling our software.” But if we get our sales people do it, I mean, they have regions that have targeted accounts like to be easy to build.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yep. And you know, so LinkedIn Organic is an arbitrage play right now. Meaning that it’s just like free traffic. Like I’ll post on… So the TLDR is if you can get even one or two people, ideally like, you know, fairly renowned people like the CEO of your company or yourself, you know, as CMO or maybe like some board member or something, If you can get them active on LinkedIn and get them a little training just on Organic LinkedIn, ’cause there’s some secrets to, you know, making it work better than not. The main secret being like it’s all about the first 100 characters of your post, you know, ’cause it truncates. So like that first 100 characters you should think of like an email subject line basically.
– [Ryan George] Yeah.
– [Chris Mechanic] You know?
– [Ryan George] Yeah, I hate the people. Like people have gotten into really long posts. I’m not going to give them that.
– [Chris Mechanic] Right, that’s too long, man. But you also see broetry a lot. Like you see like the one line space, one line space, they call that broetry, which encourages further reading. Because if you can get… So long form, the reason I think people are doing it is because if you can get someone to click see more and then to spend time with that post is dwell time, and that’s like a heavy signal that LinkedIn uses. Like if nobody’s dwelling… You know, if nobody’s spending any time on your posts, and everyone that clicks see more just like go, you know, brushes past it after click and see more, it’s a lot different and your distribution will be different than if you do get people to click see more and to spend time with it.
– [Ryan George] Yeah, ’cause they measure how long somebody like hovers over it, right? Or stops scrolling.
– [Chris Mechanic] Yep. And that’s a major intense signal. So basically, if you can get, you know, just one or two evangelists internally posting, like you will probably get more views in a week than your website gets in the whole month. That’s how it works with me. Sometimes I get more views on a single post than our website gets in a whole month. We get like maybe 10,000, 15,000 visits a month, you know?
– [Ryan George] So question on that, should they post themselves? Should they repost the Docupace company post? Like what would be the most effective play there?
– [Chris Mechanic] Post themselves. Ideally you want to post original content from a personal profile, ’cause LinkedIn wants businesses to pay. So your reach, your organic reach on your business page, like won’t be as strong. You should get the posting kind of originating from the personal profiles and then repost those on your business pages, you know?
– [Ryan George] Gotcha.
– [Chris Mechanic] There was this dude, G, his name was Guillaume. He was French. He owns this firm called Lemlist and he was on the podcast not long ago. His firm, they started like a few years ago and they just got like $150 million valuation, super smart guy.
– [Ryan George] Nice.
– [Chris Mechanic] But he told me about a strategy that they’re using internally where the heads of all the departments have committed to a LinkedIn like organic publishing activity, where they’re each publishing several times a week, basically documenting their journey, you know. Like that’s their goal is basically to document the journey. So they write about the good, the bad, the ugly, and not just all like, Hurray, Hurray, we won this, we won that kind of stuff. And he said it’s like basically driven all the new deals.
– [Ryan George] I definitely think our CEO’s pretty… I mean, he and I have worked together for a decade, we’re pretty close friends. I mean, he’s… Will pretty much do whatever I ask him to. I need to direct him appropriately.
– [Chris Mechanic] So Ryan, tell everybody listening where they can learn more about you and/or Docupace?
– [Ryan George] Sure. Well, I’m easy to find on LinkedIn. I probably spend a little bit too much time there, but Docupace is D-O-C-U-P-A-C-E.com. We got lots of cool stuff going on, lots of cool posts, lots of good content that’s relevant for people within the industry and outside.
– [Chris Mechanic] Awesome. All right. Well, definitely we’ll check that out and include a link in the show notes, and we will see you soon, Ryan.