<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1324445537888680&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Podcast: The Importance of Failure in Data-Driven Growth with Sean Hackner, VP Sales and Marketing, NetWise

NetWise Aug 19, 2021 12:58:20 PM
Data-Driven Marketer Banner

Listen:

Show Notes:

This week our guest is NetWise VP of Sales and Marketing Sean Hackner and we're talking about his experience with the evolution of data-driven marketing and sales.

As you'll be able to tell right away, Sean isn't from the States. We start off talking a bit about his background and his early jobs in South Africa and how and why he ended up in the states and eventually working with NetWise.

Then we get into his experiences with digital marketing and spending what seemed (at the time) seemed like a crazy amount on early google ads. This gets us to a great chat about why everyone seems to come to the marketing department when they need something. Hint: it's because we're the storytellers.

From there we jump into the new media landscape, talking about the emergence of things like TikTok and two-way media. Of course, two-way media, where users can create the same as consume, is the reason that the data-driven methodology has exploded. Yes, TikTok makes us feel a bit old, but this is also core to marketing, and particularly the data-driven mindset. You have to try new things, and you have to breed a culture in which its okay to fail.

Listen to the episode for all of this, and more!

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_South_African_slang_words

More Netwise:

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | Web I Blog+Newsletter

Transcript:

... And I've been at a restaurant and they've asked me, and I said, "Just give us a glass of water." And the guy's like, "What?" I'm like, "I'm not speaking another language."

Adam Kerpelman:

How do you say that, Brian?

Brian Jones:

Oh, well I grew up saying water (sounds like “wooter”).

Adam Kerpelman:

It's what I was looking for. [crosstalk 00:00:17]

Brian Jones:

Water, which is still hard, but I try to think through it.

Adam Kerpelman:

That's what my dad said. When I slide back into saying it, when I'm back East.

Brian Jones:

So if I meet someone from South Africa this weekend, I should say, "How's it, bro?"

Sean Hackner:

Yeah, for real that's [crosstalk 00:00:38].

Adam Kerpelman:

Hey, it's data-driven marketers sponsored by NetWise. I'm Adam.

Brian Jones:

I'm Brian.

Sean Hackner:

And I'm Sean.

Adam Kerpelman:

Welcome back for another hang in the databasement. Thanks for Janice and special thanks to our guests this week, Sean Hackner. You're our second internal guest. We had Chris Powell on before, but Sean is a NetWise's VP of sales and marketing. So technically my boss.

Sean Hackner:

But team member.

Adam Kerpelman:

Right. Exactly. Team member.

Brian Jones:

We're all team members here.

Adam Kerpelman:

We're all team members.

Sean Hackner:

I've never lacked titles.

Brian Jones:

If we were in nearby, we would all be holding hands during the podcast.

Adam Kerpelman:

So, only one hand, I need to work some buttons. So yeah, I guess, traditionally at this point we just throw it to the guests to give us a little bit of their background and stuff. And I feel like you might need to start even further back because we can already tell, you're not from the states.

Sean Hackner:

No.

Adam Kerpelman:

And then make sure you hit the part about being in the army and everything.

Sean Hackner:

Oh, man [crosstalk 00:01:56].

Adam Kerpelman:

How did you end up at NetWise?

Sean Hackner:

Thank you for having me follow Chris, a legend in this industry. So I'm very honored. I started at NetWise now 10 months ago. I've known Dwight for about five or six years through a business vestige group. And we've had some interesting moments together on some of the trips, and he is an absolutely awesome guy. So he's been courting me for a while. And I was in a business that we finally closed the doors due to COVID after about 20 years. And just made the jump, decided to... I've been doing sales and marketing for what seems like forever.

Sean Hackner:

If I go back to my days in South Africa, I started working at 12, and selling stuff on the side of the road and working for my dad's company. And then one of my first big breaks, and this was after the army, did I mention the army? Not yet.

Adam Kerpelman:

I did.

Sean Hackner:

So, it was mandatory to do the army and South Africa. I also learned a lot from the army. You learn from, I think everything. You got to learn from all places good or bad. Not one of my favorite places, but I saw what they were trying to do. They try and break you and make you. Make you in what they wanted. And I think they do that in all armies and all cults. And some businesses used to do that. You look at the old Xerox salesmen, those guys were an army. So my first big break was Corona Beer. They were dropping sanctions in South Africa and we contacted Corona Beer and said, we'd love the agency.

Sean Hackner:

So at 18 years old, I went and did a survey. That was like the first marketing. So we went around, how much beer do you have? Who's your clientele? Building that persona and saw that there was a market for it. Now you must remember in South Africa, we drink very strong, hot beer. And the beer industry is 99% owned by the South African breweries. So we were gunning for 1% of the market with a light beer.

Adam Kerpelman:

A very light beer.

Sean Hackner:

They called it a girls' beer.

Adam Kerpelman:

There you go. That's how you say it.

Sean Hackner:

Right. And then I flew to Brussels to do a presentation. Again, more marketing, we had to put a presentation together and say why we needed the agency. They flew back with us, long story short. We eventually got the agency and sold that just before I came to America. And that was probably one of the reasons I did come here is, one of them is opportunity. We had no more opportunity to grow there. There's not the opportunity you have here. And security and safety for my eventual family.

Sean Hackner:

That were a couple of the reasons we came over. And then I came over, went to college because that was the only way I could get into the country. Of course, by that stage I was 21. And then my first job out of then was enterprise Rent-A-Car. And I recommend anyone to go work there because you learn a bit of everything. You've got to do sales, you've got to do marketing. And they don't give you a lot to go off of. You got to go there and figure it out. And the sales and marketing and enterprise was awesome. Worked my way up there and then just started at a couple of jobs. In those days, no one wanted to sponsor a foreigner.

Sean Hackner:

So I had to find a job that would eventually sponsor you. And now it's a little bit more common, but back then it was pretty hard to find one of those jobs. And work my way up through different companies and eventually opened my own, which we had for two decades. And we really were pioneers with Google, with Facebook, our spend nearly 18 years ago, we were 50 to 75,000 a month just on Google for PC. So that's a lot of money back then.

Sean Hackner:

But it was the RoI, you were always looking at the RoI and growing through the platforms. And the one I can remember is Act, which was the CRM of the day, where it was just a contact software, but I've seen how marketing has changed in getting your story out there in all the enablement tools for sales and marketing. But where sales was the golden child, marketing has come and trumped all of that. Marketing has taken over. Like Adam was saying, if anyone wants anything in the company, they're going to add up and they say, this is what we need. And they're not going in a procedural manner, they sort of bombard him from above.

Brian Jones:

He said okay when we gave him that job description.

Sean Hackner:

Yeah. Right.

Adam Kerpelman:

The skill set that lands people in marketing ultimately is about telling stories. And it's about communication and like, yeah, it's about branding and it's about all that kind of stuff. And it's about coordinating campaigns, but the people that ended up drawn to it start out, I find mostly as storytellers. And the reality is, when you want to get anything done with humans, the best way to do it is to start from telling a story.

Adam Kerpelman:

This is literally, this is what they teach in negotiation classes in law school. They're just like, if you want to ask for a thing, start by telling the story of why you have to have that thing. Don't just say, "Here's my final offer." You have to say, "Here's why we need this. And here's why my client needs that. And here's why we're inflexible in that point." And like you make the other side understand what's going on.

Adam Kerpelman:

So, yeah, they always end up going to the storytellers with HR needs to get a thing done. If something internal has to happen, certainly there's all the marketing things, but then they also end up coming to it. Just sort of, that's my main theory on why marketing ends up eating so much other stuff, or at least overlapping with so much other stuff I think, is because like, we're the ones with the skill set to get other humans to do things.

Sean Hackner:

So, do you think storytelling it's becoming a lost art? I think because not many people can tell a story. These days, no one wants to hear a story. They want a 32nd or, sorry, I don't know how much TikTok is it 10 seconds? 20-

Adam Kerpelman:

60.

Sean Hackner:

60 seconds. So, how much of a story can you tell in 60 seconds? And you guys have young kids. I loved when my parents used to read me a story, we didn't have a TV. So we used to live on a farm and we listened to the radio to storytelling and I was good at sales. And maybe because I was good at telling some stories, but that's why reading to your children is so important every night. I used to take pride when I used to get home at night before they went to bed, I always got home late. They were bathed, and I got an incredible wife to do all that and allow me to work.

Sean Hackner:

And one of my favorite times was just reading them stories because like their eyes would open up, and I can see one of my son has become a good salesman because he can tell a story. So don't forget, read to your kids.

Brian Jones:

Tell them stories.

Adam Kerpelman:

The defense that I usually put forward in service of things like TikTok is that it's just different storytelling, but it's always only kind of like a top 10% of the general population that can actually do the thing via any medium. And it's true with books and radio and podcasts and marketing and whatever. It's sometimes hard to adapt to a new medium and go. You can't possibly tell a story in 60 seconds, actually they can, we're just not as prime to consume it. And the story it looks different. And so we're not used to the progression. It doesn't move through three acts that like they teach you in screenwriting class.

Sean Hackner:

Thanks Adam. Like my kids just call me old.

Brian Jones:

[crosstalk 00:11:08] calls me old every day.[crosstalk 00:11:10] on TikTok.

Adam Kerpelman:

I feel old constantly for how much I have to work now to stay on top of. People make fun of me for sharing TikToks. And it's like, I'm half here for work because I need to understand what's happening on this new thing. That's a phenomenon.

Brian Jones:

It's funny how if you're struggling to like understand how to get something out of a medium, it's probably even harder for you to figure out how to do something productive there. Like anyone can have on TikTok and be entertained, I think, because it's extraordinarily addictive how it's built, but to then to be able to like get in there and feel like you're getting value out of it, as who's not familiar with that medium, like I don't even use Instagram. So I'm like two levels of like image and video away from what the kids are doing these days. So I just feel weird and out of place when I'm looking at TikTok, it's like this makes me feel icky.

Adam Kerpelman:

Maybe this is a good transition back to the data-driven marketing and kind of, a conversation with Sean about the progression of some of this stuff. But the last thing I usually say in defense of that stuff, that's what makes me excited for the world, is that the real shift that happened with social media and the modern emergent media technologies is that it's a two way street for the first time in like half a century. Like we talk about what we grew up with. Well, everyone in this room here grew up at least through their formative years with consumptive media technology. Right?

Brian Jones:

Yeah. That was it.

Adam Kerpelman:

And watch TV. You sit and listen to the radio. Unless you call in to the radio, like you're not taking part in creating that stuff in the other direction. And so what's so exciting to me, like when I see a bunch of kids on the beach, like carefully crafting a TikTok, for sure have part of my brain that goes, "Oh my gosh." [crosstalk 00:13:10] to the whatever.

Adam Kerpelman:

But then I think no, but at least they're making stuff, because like I never grew up, like it wasn't until college and I started taking some film classes that I went, "Oh shit, I could actually make the TV that I grew up watching, except I got to go to school and I got to study cameras that I got to do all this stuff." And now kids just grow up with phones and they're like, of course I can make TV. I have a phone. That part excites me.

Sean Hackner:

So you look at the kids. So, growing up in South Africa was very different, but the kids of today, I don't care if you grew up in Iran, in South Africa, in China, all the kids of today on the same level. Because they all got access to a smartphone and it's allowed them all to be looking at TikTok, looking at Facebook, looking at Instagram. Now that's where my wife gets her news from TikTok. So that's where I get updated on some of my news that and Instagram, because I'm not on any of those platforms.

Brian Jones:

Yeah. It is interesting to see the penetration of smartphones. I like how you said that Sean, it has leveled the playing field in a really crazy way that we've never seen before.

Adam Kerpelman:

Everyone has access to the compute power of this, that it takes to go to the moon.

Brian Jones:

And usually when I say something like everyone has access to something, I'm an idiot and I have to wind it back and be like, wealthy people in America have access to it, but that's not true with smartphones. You can look at those poor countries and they've leaped through a bunch of phone, penetration of smartphones. It's really wild.

Adam Kerpelman:

It's something like 80%. It's pretty crazy.

Sean Hackner:

They didn't go like here the progression was your home computer. And then there, there was no home computer, because they don't have electricity. We don't have WiFi or internet access. So it was pointless. But I did use one of the first computers when I was 16, 17. I was in the south of France. I was living in the South of France for a few months.

Sean Hackner:

And it was called something Tel and you could go on it and book a movie ticket. So this was 30 plus years ago. It was like the first computer. Many teller, I think it was called. It was like, all you could do is like book a movie. And we thought it was like the coolest thing. We could actually book a movie on it.

Adam Kerpelman:

So then I think the bridge from that idea of the two-way street to the data-driven thing is, things get taken over by a data-driven methodology. Like once they're two way streets, once you have information coming back, which wasn't traditionally how marketing was, you would put marketing out in the world and then hopefully just your sales go up, I guess. But with your background in sales, the two way street exists there more so. Which is why it's that marketing eating sales thing that we talk about.

Adam Kerpelman:

Sales has always had the relationship with the customer, which means they're actually getting the feedback. And so I want to double back to what you're saying about the CRM stuff, and just your historical experience, but then also your experience even just coming into NetWise, because like we've said before, until you came on board at NetWise, we were all still keeping everything in an Excel spreadsheet.

Brian Jones:

And by everything you mean a little bit of stuff?

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah.

Sean Hackner:

Yeah. So the progression of all that, and again, getting back to the data. When we did marketing, you use the word called hope, and that was marketing. That's what it was about in those days. It was all about hope. You put it out there and you hope for the best. We had-

Adam Kerpelman:

Brain pray.

Sean Hackner:

That was it. You hope the mailer worked. You hope the different campaigns got out there. And until the CRMs develop where you could capture the data and I'm now saying data, I used to say data, but no one would understand me. So I'm glad I've progressed to say data. So until we could grab the data, so we had the software and the tools to compile and be able to spit out reports about that data. And one of the things again is phones.

Sean Hackner:

And back in the day you had the old phone system, you couldn't pull data from it. So that progressed. And then you could actually see how much time sales was on the call, who called in? How much time he was on the phone? And then when you could layer that with some of your marketing and get some attribution, it's technology that has advanced this so quickly. Going back to those days with fax machine, I mean, craziness.

Adam Kerpelman:

Interesting, that hadn't occurred to me in terms of just the idea that when you introduce phones, instead of say house calls, then you create a situation where now we can keep you in one place and count the number of calls that you make, instead of relying on you to faithfully report to us, how many houses you stopped by or whatever.

Sean Hackner:

Oh, door to door sales sucks.

Adam Kerpelman:

That's wild, sound sweaty.

Sean Hackner:

Yeah. Depends where you are, but door to door sales sucks, man. But again, you have different techniques for selling and being face-to-face with someone is sometimes easier, has a pros and cons. And then on the phone, you have your pros and cons because you can be whoever you want. You're on the other side of a phone, and now what's happened with technology, you now have a video. So you're now combining the face-to-face sales with the phone sales, because now you can see the person.

Sean Hackner:

So now you're looking at their eyes, you can see some of the tricks they used to use on those door to door sales. But what I see the most is, and that's what I loved here at NetWise getting back to the last 10 months is, you have a leadership team, Brian, Richard, and Dwight, that are wizard. They can see the future. They can see what needs to be done in order to do it. And a lot of companies don't, a lot of companies are still stuck in some of those old methods and hoping for the best. You've got to be able to... There's a saying about the ship leaving the harbor, that's what ships were made for.

Sean Hackner:

They weren't made to stay in the harbor. You've got to be able to, and that goes with my philosophy about, listen, some things are going to fail. It's going to fail. And when they do, we learn from it, what worked, what didn't work. And we got to keep shooting those arrows because if you keep them all in the quiver, you're never going to eat.

Brian Jones:

Yeah. I appreciate your comparing Dwight, Richard, me to wizards. Obviously it's especially funny thinking through our progression with marketing because you came on board and have really helped us, really helped us put a team together and like organize projects and processes and how we run it. Before you though, we spent like two years trying to do that and we just kept falling on our face. And part of it was because it's hard. Our company was founded by Dwight who is extremely experienced enterprise, like outside sales person. That's what he spent most of his career doing.

Brian Jones:

And Richard also has mostly been sales in his career. And then I came on board a few years after that and I'm entirely technology. And so we had no marketing, no real true marketing experience. Like we encountered marketing, we touch marketing. But when it was time to commit, it was that classic problem of, this is a whole other department in a business that none of us have ever operated. So you have that disconnect where you don't really know what happens, you know what comes out of it sometimes, you might know what [crosstalk 00:21:44], but you don't know how it's done.

Brian Jones:

So we were so scared to commit to stuff. We were scared to spend money. We were scared to hire people. So when we finally finally got the right person who could come in and like work with us and like personalities matched and like the energy matched. And we had the guts to hire you, which was a huge step for us. Right?

Sean Hackner:

Yep. Listen, I remember those 10 months ago. It feels like longer, but I just started the ball rolling. I think the credit has to go to Adam and Mark, that's just come on board and you, this was like a combined effort. And that's what I love about those companies. Anyone and everyone is always willing to step up, add to their not necessarily to their own department, but to other departments. And that's what's making it work.

Sean Hackner:

I think we've left egos at the door, which in a lot of companies is critically damaging to the organization. And that's what a lot of it's making work and it comes from the top down. So, I appreciate environments that we are allowed to thrive in and are allowed to go a little bit outside the lane.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. So one of the things you mentioned there, which goes to everything you were saying about the attitude internally, and then is really an interesting conflict, I think in the broader like global professional world, or I should say at least in the US professional world, because I don't have much global experience, there's a mismatch between, I think how everyone... let me say it this way. Everybody loves their sports analogies in this space in the professional world and then certainly in sales, yet the professional world misses one key part of why I think everyone is so drawn to sports and sports stories.

Adam Kerpelman:

Like in sports, you want to win, but you're not afraid to lose and you're taking a swing at it. And if you fail, yeah, your coach may be yelled at you for five, 10 minutes, but then the next day you show up at practice and they just say, "Okay, we're focusing on the next one." And you've got to bust your to do the next one and do it better, whatever it is, your game, your race, whatever. And that's what actually serves you once you're a member of a team professionally, yet I feel like I've spent my whole life in a world where everyone acts like that's the case, but then they assess your resume when you go to get hired for a new job.

Adam Kerpelman:

And all they're looking at is your past failures and going, "I don't know if you should be on our team because in the past you failed some." And it's like, "Yeah, that's the point I improved. And I moved on to the next one." I don't know about that.

Sean Hackner:

No one talks about that. You're right, Adam. I mean, no one talks about failures anymore.

Adam Kerpelman:

They do, but in that weird sort of like fetishized startup way, but they don't apply it then down the chain it feels like. To the understanding of-

Brian Jones:

[crosstalk 00:24:50] like to talk about failures when someone's like a miraculous-

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah, once someone [crosstalk 00:24:57] 10 years. Yeah.

Sean Hackner:

You got [inaudible 00:24:59] to be able to talk about failure.

Brian Jones:

Yeah, totally. It's super unfair.

Adam Kerpelman:

So, I do think, and this actually comes back to the data-driven like why I like the data-driven approach, because it's a way that's almost science-based to talk about a thing that we have talked, used football to talk about in most of American life forever. Like you have to do tests and most tests fail until you find the thing that works. And that really is actually part of a data-driven approach. As much as we tell the stories about sports, what we're driving toward is that same idea of like, you got to go take reps and those reps will reveal what actually gets done.

Adam Kerpelman:

But if you don't have a culture of understanding that, and understanding that even as deep as how the reporting works, and how the reassessment process works, then you just going to end up with a thing where everyone's afraid to fail and afraid to look bad to their bosses. And so nobody ever takes a chance at everything and you never come up with any novel answers. And then eventually your marketing machine sucks. And you hire a consultant that comes in and goes, actually. And the actually is like everything I just said in the last two minutes of ranting.

Sean Hackner:

Failure is because when people... I think it stems from culture and the different cultures and from when you're younger. Failure, sometimes it's looked at that's why this new generation, no one fails. Everyone succeeds. Everyone gets a participation trophy because they trying to make it, "Oh, you came third. That's great." No, it's not great. Fail is fun. And I've failed as much as the next... I was talking to Jack and he's like, "Well, do you have any regrets turning 50?" I go, "I have regrets, but I look at them as..."

Sean Hackner:

It's like in sales, I look at, what did I do wrong? Can I learn from that experience? And then I grow from it. And I think that's just what Adam said. And that whole philosophy that failing is bad is terrible. We can't have that philosophy. You've got to keep pushing on it. And that's why I keep positive about everything because listen, there's some times that we can all go sit in the corner and cry. But like Rocky says, you got to get back up. Life's going to hit you, man. And it's going to hit you when you least expect it. And when it does, it's a gut punch, get back up.

Sean Hackner:

You're going to lose money. You're going to... all the failures in life, you're going to feel a little bit of everything. And as you get older, you're going to do them. So couple of regrets, but not many mostly lessons.

Brian Jones:

I like to think that if you think you're failing, it just means that you're not defining success properly. Like if you come into a project and you execute on it, and it doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to, sales, for instance. You're trying to sell a new product. You're trying to market a new product. The message is not resonating. It means you didn't know the market well enough. So the project shouldn't have been defined as sell it successfully with this method. The success should have been defined as, go find out what the message is. So that process makes you rethink, how am I doing things? Yeah.

Sean Hackner:

Exactly.

Adam Kerpelman:

I think you said that really well, Brian, and the funny thing though, that it makes me think of it is, I don't know, some other podcasts I was listening to, or a founder of a company was talking about their conversion rate on some sort of like demand gen strategy. And he was like, "So we realized that there was a misunderstanding. And so, those people weren't signing up for a product. So we just eliminated them from our reporting." And it's like, wait a minute. That's not the idea though.

Adam Kerpelman:

You just suddenly started telling VCs that you were converting at 75% because you took out all the people you were converting out of your metrics. That's a very different thing from what [crosstalk 00:29:21].

Brian Jones:

Whole different stories we're talking about VCs.

Adam Kerpelman:

So you mean it's okay to lie to the VCs?

Brian Jones:

Totally.

Adam Kerpelman:

Just getting [inaudible 00:29:33].

Brian Jones:

Just kidding.

Adam Kerpelman:

But to your point, like, yeah. Some of it is failure that isn't even failure. Some of it is just understanding that you have to do these things incrementally. And so, you can't, like I was about to start talking about it in terms of sales, but maybe Sean can provide that context better. For marketing standpoint. I don't start from converting people to customers when I'm trying to think about something, because the first thing I got to do is try to find a tap, a vein of traffic that we can tap into.

Adam Kerpelman:

And so I don't start... like, the initial goal is not conversions because that's setting yourself up for failure at the beginning of a campaign. Certainly I hope we get conversions and I'm putting all the pieces together thinking of conversions, but for me, a success state is just traffic for us right now, for example. If we're getting the impressions, that we're at least starting from the right place. And if some percentage of those impressions are taking any secondary action, then to me, that's success, or at least not failure-

Sean Hackner:

You've set it up that way.

Adam Kerpelman:

That's an example of reframing it. Like understanding even what failure means and reframing the... a lot of times you have to realize that the exercise you're undertaking is maybe not the right one if you feel like a failure constantly.

Sean Hackner:

Yeah. That's like going door to door sales in a Jewish neighborhood trying to sell a Bible. It's kind of similar, so-

Adam Kerpelman:

Or the new Testament.

Sean Hackner:

I don't know if that was a good analogy, but I think nowadays you can be a little bit more sophisticated in your approach. Meaning just what you said. It's not going for the conversions because we know that touches thought leadership content out there is part of the landscape that's needed to get the conversions. So in the past, the only metric I had was, did I get a lead? Yes or no. That was the good or bad. But I think we've progressed now because we gathering all those information where we can make smarter decisions now with the data that's provided.

Sean Hackner:

So now when we go after a sales lead, when we get one from you, we look at what page did they stay on the website? What were they interested? How did they come into the website? So now my sales guys can be a little bit more knowledgeable and smarter in their approach, making sure that it resonates with the same sort of messaging that they are accustomed to. Again, data-driven is key to all of this. And in the past, we didn't have the data. The data was on a piece of paper that we sat in a boardroom and thought and hoped.

Sean Hackner:

So thought and hope were big parts of businesses back in 30 years ago, nowadays it's all about data. That's we make decisions. And when I go and present a report, they want the data to back it up.

Brian Jones:

Actually sort of beat me to my next talking point, which was to ask really pointedly about, what does it look like as you move toward data-driven sales, as it is down funnel from data-driven marketing? And it sounds like, part of what you're saying is the reason they're overlapping and the reason as we say marketing is eating sales.

Brian Jones:

It's not really eating it so much as they just overlap more and more because, if I can, out of my marketing machine report to your team in sales, what they looked at, what narrative it was that grabbed their attention to begin with, then the sales rep can pick up that narrative and just start by answering the questions that we know they already have, because this is what they Googled. And this is the page that they looked at and that kind of stuff.

Sean Hackner:

Yeah, you're making our job easier. Because in the past, again, we had to guess what it was or we had to assume, and you know what assumptions do. So now we just able to take a much smarter approach to how we're doing it. And plus we have tools. So then we can go in and look at their LinkedIn, see how big their business is, see if they can afford our product. The data that we can get out there is incredible.

Sean Hackner:

So when we can give out data product, and that's how we pitch it to these customers. We're giving you knowledge, that is good, just going to make you and your customers so much smarter.

Adam Kerpelman:

So then I think maybe the last piece to sort of wrap up by coming back to something we've touched on before, just comes down to the cultural piece. What do you think are the sticking points in terms of trying to introduce this new data-driven way to do things? I know, NetWise has been very accepting, but that's not the case for everyone who's possibly listening to this. Like what needs to change culturally for you to be able to roll these methodologies and this kind of way of looking at the world into a company if you're trying to say, "You know we could be more data-driven over here."

Sean Hackner:

Yeah. Good question. I think what's happening is, you first got to have an attitude that change is inevitable. So everyone fights change, in all ways shapes and forms, but everything changes. The seasons, the trees, our bodies, everything changes. And a lot of people don't want to adapt. And that's the biggest problem with everything is that, no one wants to adapt to the change. And those that aren't, die. So businesses that aren't adapting and we see them, I've seen people reach out to Dwight and myself saying, you know what's working, what are you guys doing?

Sean Hackner:

And the same thing with, when we talk to customers, we talk to big companies and some sophisticated marketers, and they're not data-driven, and they're not executing on the data. So number one is, you got to have a philosophy that you've got to be willing to adapt to the change. And then one of the biggest parts of is having the fortitude to execute. It's tough. And because you've got to commit money, people to it, it's not just something you can just execute on. You've got, to do it properly, to do it properly. So I think those are that's the best answers I could give.

Adam Kerpelman:

The other part of that, that I think that's interesting. And this kind of goes back to what I was saying about my like professional use of TikTok and stuff, my pseudo professional use of TikTok, because let's be real, I'm enjoying it on a personal level as well. Is you can adapt to adaptations and I don't mean like you can get used to whatever you're adapting to. You can do things to make your brain better at being ready for the next wave of change, that will inevitably happen.

Adam Kerpelman:

And so I think, one of these splits that makes it extra frustrating between millennials and older generations is that we grew up with a new, like computer chip coming out that let a new thing happen. That was weird and different every year. Like, since we were 15. So I'm very aware that my brain is primed to just be like, hey, new software. Okay, whatever, I'll figure out where the button is within three or four weeks. And then I'll stop being frustrated that I can't find the button I'm looking for.

Adam Kerpelman:

But it is what it comes down to like brain plasticity in that level, like the value of trying to learn a foreign language, not necessarily that you end up speaking French, it's that you're rewiring your brain to be able to learn of another language, which applies to all of this stuff. Because then you go to work and at work, they're like, "Hey, we're going to change our reporting." And you can be like, "Yeah. Okay, that's fine." It'll take me 21 days to get used to the new change. But after that whatever.

Sean Hackner:

Or the trick is, you just hire smart people like you and Mark that know this stuff and can change on the fly.

Adam Kerpelman:

And then trust them. Yeah.

Sean Hackner:

And then now you guys need to hire 20 year olds to keep up with this momentum.

Adam Kerpelman:

And that a little bit gets to my thought experiment to maybe wrap up with, which is, how do you keep that as a cultural value inside of a company? Or how do you introduce exercises that will help your team keep that mindset? Because I think it'd be a really valuable thing to be able to say to everyone, okay, you're all going to go learn German because it's weird and it's hard and it's very different, and that's just going to be our exercise. And it's going to be about the shift that I was just talking about. But like, you can't do that. That's not going to work. How do you build that adaptation into culture I guess, it's the question? You start by hiring people that are prime to adapt. That's one way.

Sean Hackner:

I think we tie this all in and I think we've come full circle, and we go back to telling a story. So you've got to be able to sell them on the story. So you've got to come up with the story, the bread, the meat, the bread. And you've got to tell the story on why they need to learn German. And maybe you're not selling them on the German. You're selling them on something completely different. So it's all about the story on why we do things, and how we do things. It's how we communicate that to the rest of the team. And if you start off with these positive vibes and we start off with everyone being engaged, I think that's step one, because you need that engagement.

Sean Hackner:

Now comes, you need to put that messaging out there and putting us in the right directions. We're human beings, you can hurt us in the way we want it all from the story. So I think when you start telling the story on why you want us to learn German, I think you'll have a couple takers.

Brian Jones:

I like it.

Sean Hackner:

Not me. [crosstalk 00:40:27] German. Can you pick French or something a little beautiful.

Adam Kerpelman:

I picked German because I already know it. So it would be easier ask for me.

Sean Hackner:

[crosstalk 00:40:38] like that story.

Adam Kerpelman:

Anyway, like you said full circle. It feels like a pretty good place to wrap this up. Thanks for listening everyone. Like, subscribe, join us for the next one. And thanks for joining us. Sean, this is great.

Sean Hackner:

Thank you. You guys are awesome. Thank you guys.

Adam Kerpelman:

This has been the data-driven marketer, sponsored by NetWise. I'm Adam.

Brian Jones:

I'm Brian.

Sean Hackner:

And I'm Sean.

Brian Jones:

Take it easy everybody.

Sean Hackner:

Cheers.