Today's workplaces have evolved and grown since our grandparents - or even our parents - entered the workforce. Here are some of the most common challenges that managers face in the modern workplace.
Jeff Lambert (00:02):
Today's workplaces have evolved and grown since our grandparents' time, or even our parents' time since they entered the workforce. Here's some of the most common challenges that managers are facing in today's modern workplace. Hello everybody and welcome to Inbound Academy brought to you by Rizen. As always, I'm your host, Jeff Lambert. Will is joining me today, but not in the studio this time as we are practicing safe social distancing concerning the current worldwide health situation that we're faced with. So Will, thanks for joining us remotely. How you holding up?
Will Avila (00:40):
Hey Jeff, thanks for your time. I'm doing good here, practicing social distance like you said. And I mean, obviously as an organization we all work remote, so this is for us at least, is pretty business as usual. But doing good. Things are fine.
Jeff Lambert (00:58):
That's good. That's good.
Will Avila (00:58):
I'm really lucky to be in this country period.
Jeff Lambert (01:03):
It's true. People have it a lot worse. The fact that we can even connect digitally like this and continue doing the podcast, it's kind of a testament to the ability for us to keep things going, not only in this country, but just with this company. So I'm thankful for all of our listeners who are joining us today. We are going to continue bringing you the same content and the same services that we continue to bring you here at Rizen, regardless of the situation that we currently find ourselves in. I know we're committed to that, wouldn't you say, Will?
Will Avila (01:34):
Jeff Lambert (01:36):
So why don't we go ahead and jump into our topic today. A lot of our client base, people that we speak to here at Rizen, are marketing managers, people who are in positions of overseeing staff, that carry out different workflows that have to do with running a marketing firm or agency. Will, how much would you say of our readership, our viewership, our client base are in that category?
Will Avila (02:02):
Well, a lot of our clients, I'm trying to think here, a lot of them actually have physical locations. There's a few eCommerce ones that have obviously more of a logistics set up, but they still have some infrastructure in place. But the majority of the client service businesses that we actually help have locations. So I don't think there's really a remote company that we work with right now like us.
Jeff Lambert (02:36):
Gotcha. Wait, Will, I'm going to cut there. Let me rephrase that. That wasn't a great question to throw in at you. I was thinking about in terms of like how many people we expect to be tuning into this.
Will Avila (02:48):
Oh, okay. Okay.
Jeff Lambert (02:49):
So I'm going to cut that question and I'm going to think of another way to start up that.
Will Avila (02:52):
Jeff Lambert (02:52):
So let's keep recording now and I'm just going to keep the conversation going.
Will Avila (02:58):
Jeff Lambert (03:00):
So overall, Will, I think that we look at the situation today across any industry, but including marketing of course, and that's the one we want to speak to. There's a generational shift happening where we have people that are exiting the workforce who are used to more traditional management styles and technologies, to new ways to be able to do business. And marketing managers, they have to adjust, right? I mean, can you go over what are some changes that marketing departments are seeing? How are things evolving on the ground?
Will Avila (03:30):
Well, more than just marketing departments, I'm seeing overall organizations move to using video conference technology. They're using more collaboration software like Slack. You have also a lot of people starting to get familiar with technology that they weren't used to before. And overall, I guess you could say that just the rigid structure of employee/managers is going to change because of all this. Cubicles and isolated teams, they're going to go away. There's going to be more collaboration, more trust. You're going to see more systems in place to monitor metrics, like for salespeople, phone calls, for maybe people who do operations, logging their time.
Will Avila (04:28):
I think after we get through all this, it's going to make us better and stronger. I had to drive to purchase groceries yesterday and I noticed a lot less traffic. You know, you see reports of less pollution overall. There's really a lot that is going to change for the better, in my opinion. There are definitely groups that are going to suffer, that are going to have a hard time. For example, my mom. She was having a hard time just adapting to all this, but I think if you're open to change and as long as you know you're willing to help others, this could be overall a good shift.
Jeff Lambert (05:08):
Yeah. The world is changing, and I think even because of the current situation we find ourselves in with this pandemic, people are changing, like you said, how they travel, how they commute, how they do business, how they handle even just social communication. And we're seeing the changes. You mentioned environmentally, we're seeing a pollution drop. I was just reading an article that in Venice for the first time in, they don't even know how many years, the water's running clear in the canals because the tourism level has dropped. So, there's always I think a benefit and a drawback to when these things happen. And for some people it's going to be a drawback at first technologically, because like you said, things are changing, strategies are changing, how we relate to each other in the workplace. But overall I agree with you, I think it's going to be a good change. And I think we're going to see that change too in how people advertise to audiences, right? Like how do you see that overall changing too?
Will Avila (06:01):
Well, I mean, if you think about it, people are not out. So park benches, newspaper ads, even radio commercials, people will probably be streaming music. There's going to be a big impact there. And more people are online researching information, trying to learn, and the way that companies now react to these people, it's pretty obvious. Like on my Facebook, people are trying to sell me masks, right? They're trying to sell me weights. Traditionally, the retailers would advertise online. But now, I think I was driving and I heard a commercial for some attorneys, some law firm, and I was like, "Wow, how many impressions did this law firm lose because of this less people on the road? How many people are just going to research attorneys online?" for example. So, this is going to be a big shift to move people more towards inbound marketing, digital marketing, and just overall a shift in consumer behavior. Maybe even people who were not comfortable or maybe were a little bit more traditional, as they become more versed on technology, that they're going to shift to.
Jeff Lambert (07:20):
Agreed. And I think this means marketing departments and people that run marketing departments, do you think they're going to have to change their strategies and possibly become, I guess, more creative as to how they reach the consumer?
Will Avila (07:32):
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. You see that now, where marketing agencies are tilting their leaders, they're rebranding them as creative directors. You have to think outside of the box, especially when you have such a dynamic and fast moving world where information is available for anything at just the click of a mouse. Right? So definitely going to be a big shift. It's going to lead to new challenges. You're going to have to test different things more. Obviously, whatever you're doing, you should be tracking everything. If you can't track it, you shouldn't be doing it. And seeing how the different changes is going to affect sales and overall marketing results for you.
Jeff Lambert (08:31):
So what do you think is going to be some of the challenges that people who run marketing departments are going to face? Let's start off with, give me one common challenge you see coming up that marketing managers are really going to have to adapt to and get their staff on board with?
Will Avila (08:47):
So I think analytics is a big one. Just stats in general, like how many calls are sales people making while they're at home. How is the website performing now versus before when maybe you weren't dependent on web sales as much? How are you using social media now to communicate your message as a brand, and how are you engaging your brands?So if you're not versed in these different tools, if you're not sure how to test the correct way, you're going to be at a disadvantage. And now is the right time to get your training up and learn all these things.
Jeff Lambert (09:33):
So if I'm a manager of a marketing department, I've been doing it for 20 years, maybe I'm still a bit new to using analytics and testing my material and really looking at the stats to see how things are performing, and trying to create that unified message for my brand, do you have any suggestions on where I could go to maybe get some skills development, some professional updates to be able to help meet this challenge?
Will Avila (09:59):
Absolutely. There's a bunch of sites. There's Skillshare, Udemy, U-D-E-M-Y, there's HubSpot. I mean, you can find courses for pretty much anything on their online. You can provide that to an entire team or department. Right? You can hire an agency, for example, to help mentor and train your team to acquire the skills that lead to actual growth. That's another alternative. We're a firm believer in hiring experts and coaches as needed. Yeah, those are probably the two best ways. You know, reading books is always good, taking tests to challenge what you know. Those are all important things that you should implement to become more dynamic overall.
Jeff Lambert (10:56):
Yeah, it can't be something that you ignore, especially from a management position. And just to say, since I joined Rizen, one thing I really appreciate about the company is there is kind of an attitude, a culture that we don't know everything and we have to keep learning. And we set aside time on a regular basis to be able to get together and update our skills. And we put a big focus on professional development, wouldn't you say, Will?
Will Avila (11:20):
Yeah, definitely. I was thinking last night, I have a book that I was reading and I was thinking, "Wow, I'm probably not taking enough courses/reading enough materials." And I encourage everybody to, at minimum, at minimum a couple of hours a week. And that's too little in my opinion. But you have spurts. But at least having the habit. So definitely want to instill that in your culture and enforce people to a certain degree to learn.
Jeff Lambert (11:56):
Absolutely. I agree. All right, so we talked about the importance of using analytics in your planning and trying to make sure that your staff is looking at the numbers as they develop their strategies and review their strategies. Can you talk about another challenge that marketing managers are facing today? And maybe we can talk about some solutions as well?
Will Avila (12:14):
Yeah, yeah. I'd say another big challenge is sales and marketing are not communicating the right way, right? Marketing puts out certain material, but sales is perhaps talking about something different. Leads aren't being properly followed up with, for example, that are hot. Marketing is not sending the right leads to sales when they're ready. And just overall, communication between those two departments. And this is a problem that's been going on for a while. So one of the shortcuts to this is to develop an SLA. SLA is a document. It's almost like a legal document between marketing and sales. And there's an interesting stat I remember from Salesforce, that only 54% of marketers say they're empowered to collaborate with sales teams. Right?
Jeff Lambert (13:13):
Will Avila (13:13):
So you need to really make sure that those departments are in sync, and that document is very helpful to do that.
Jeff Lambert (13:24):
That makes sense. So you mentioned HubSpot as being a great option to kind of bring sales and marketing together. What are some ways that HubSpot does that, off the top of your head? Are there some, just things that jump out at you that make it easy for that to happen?
Will Avila (13:39):
So HubSpot, technically it's a sales and marketing platform and it's really good for having the data... What it does is, it has all the data of a contact, of a prospect, or a lead, if you want to call them that. And it has that collaboration within the same tool between both departments. So because it was designed to work with both those different groups of people, intrinsically it gives it that advantage. Right? So we have a salesperson puts in a note, it can trigger something for marketing to do. Or if marketing is doing something with a lead and the lead reacts, it triggers something for the sales person to do. I mean, I can't even think off the top of my head. There's so many ways it works together, but it's definitely a great tool.
Jeff Lambert (14:45):
Having one platform where both can use that and you're playing off the same information, I can see why that would be valuable, absolutely.
Will Avila (14:51):
Jeff Lambert (14:51):
So I'd encourage our listeners, if you're not using HubSpot, check them out. You can get started for free on HubSpot, right?
Will Avila (14:57):
Yeah. And I think they actually have right now... They're about to release some free products within the next 90 days and some reduced pricing for the next 90 days, or for a year I think, for some of the things. I mean, I don't have the exact details right now, but I'm sure you can find it if you just Google it online. Also, you can also reach out to us if you need some help getting those products set up for you. But they're trying to, I guess, empower people to work remotely more efficiently. And they have great tools for that.
Will Avila (15:32):
And it's interesting because over the last week and a half, we've been setting up a lot of these customers that have... Not that they've had a version, but that they have been slower to adapt to the tools, they've instantly adapted them. And we've helped them adapt. And there's definitely an increased workload because of that. But it's going to help these businesses longterm, and then for the short term, it'll help them remain competitive because they're offering these options and adjusting to the technology and the needs of people.
Jeff Lambert (16:07):
Right. And I'll make sure for our listeners, I'm going to put a link in the show notes, as I always do, how you can contact Rizen if you'd like a little bit more guidance on how you can roll out being able to use HubSpot to unify your team, as well as the link to HubSpot and some of the upcoming deals that you had mentioned, Will, to make it easy for our listeners to jump on the bandwagon with us in using HubSpot. Why don't we shift to another challenge for marketing managers? You know, I think outreach is always something that we have to think about in marketing, how we have to kind of change our tactics to match the current situation of how society interacts with each other and how we can reach people. Do you have any insight as to what managers could do to improve their outreach efforts?
Will Avila (16:52):
Yeah, it's definitely crucial to offer audiences more than just standard outreach. And standard, it could be just a phone call back. Right?
Jeff Lambert (17:00):
Will Avila (17:00):
But I think something it's like 80% of customers believe the experience a company provides is just as valuable as their product or service. So most customers already expect you to reach out on social media and send emails with sales and new products. And I'm sure you've seen that, you buy something and you get subscribed to their newsletters, et cetera. You want to start creating value with customers by creating experiences they wouldn't receive from your competition. I mean, I'll give you a few examples. I order cauliflower pizza dough, and I buy it direct from the manufacturer because it's something that I buy in bulk. And I get personalized recipes for my cauliflower recipes. I also order a certain brand of jello my wife and I have found difficult to find, and then they send me coupons as well. They send me recipes.
Will Avila (17:59):
So little things like that can really help you differentiate, create that value. Make the nurturing of the relationship more important than the sales. Obviously, I was just thinking of the jello recipe. They were trying to send me their... It was a muffin. It was a muffin stuffed with pudding. That's what it was. Because it's jello and pudding. But the muffin recipe I had to buy from them. Right? So I was like, "Ugh," like, "you're making me buy something else." So a little bit irritating, but I guess I can adapt the recipe. But they still provided value, they gave me a good idea. Like make a putting stuffed muffin, right? So you'll notice things like that really go a long way. Obviously, I got a little annoyed. Maybe I'm just cranky as I get older. But it's overall showing you how they create a relationship with me.
Jeff Lambert (19:02):
Yeah. It's kind of like what I heard at one time, "You want to create brand evangelists." Like talking about a product you really like because they're sending you great content all the time. They care about the fact that you're using their product or their service in different ways. And you kind of like buy into the culture of the product that you're using. I think that's really important.
Will Avila (19:21):
Exactly. Exactly. So just think about how you do it. Be tasteful, respectful, don't spam, don't be a pest. I like to use that word. Don't be a pest. Don't just try and sell only, because people can see through what you're doing. They understand what you're doing. And it's very difficult to stay in somebody's inbox because they can just unsubscribe from you. I mean, I'm assuming everybody here has an unsubscribe option, right? That's a given. So respect the relationship, just like if it's your wife or child. These are people who you have to respect overall.
Jeff Lambert (20:04):
Yep. I agree, Will. I mean, we have to realize competition is fierce nowadays because the barriers to starting a business, to creating a product, is much lower than it used to be. So if you don't treat the customer with respect, there's going to be somebody right behind you who's going to offer that experience that you're not.
Will Avila (20:21):
Jeff Lambert (20:22):
Well, why don't we wrap up with one more challenge that marketing managers can think about adapting to so they can run their departments a little bit more efficiency. Can you talk to us a little bit about measuring analytics? We talked about it's important to look at them, but there's so many to keep track of. Do you have any guidance on what you should be paying attention to when you take that jump into really looking behind the curtain at how your content is performing?
Will Avila (20:48):
Yeah. Yeah. This is a difficult question to answer, but I mean, I've answered this before. And I think the easiest way of measuring analytics is to obviously look at who is seeing the analytics. The CEO wants to see sales increasing, right? There's a different set of metrics that he cares about. A marketing manager is maybe going to look a little bit more details. Right? A content manager is going to look at different metrics. But if you really want to organize the metrics, you can organize a metrics by awareness stage. So attracting people, getting traffic. So how are your blogs doing to generate traffic? How are your landing pages doing to generate traffic? So then you want to have consideration metrics. So how are our people growing from attract to convert? How are the forms working? How are the calls to action working? And then, all the metrics around the consideration stage.
Will Avila (21:57):
Then you have the decision stage and seeing how all your leads are moving through the decision stage. So I think separating metrics within each stage is a good, efficient way to do it. I think you need to be careful with how many metrics you show. Analytical people may want to see more metrics, but CEOs, you probably want to be more limited to higher level type of metrics. There's no exact metric that you should be reporting on that is always every single time critical. Rather, it's a lot of them between each stage.
Jeff Lambert (22:52):
And going back to a point you just mentioned, Will, there's so many to keep track of, it's going to vary based on the department and what your duties are. I think it's a good idea to keep in mind, too, just like we talked about previously, there are professional development courses that you can take that would show you like, "These are really good measurements to pay attention to if you work in this specifically." And there's agencies out there that can help you take a look at what you should focus on. So really it comes down to realizing you need it and finding the right resources to use. Would you say that's a fair statement?
Will Avila (23:23):
Yeah. I mean, you definitely want to look at materials out there, subscribe to courses, et cetera. And obviously finding a partner, coach, or training personnel who can help you get all these metrics, for example, set up or to understand them if you have the budget for that.
Jeff Lambert (23:45):
Yep, that makes perfect sense. And so just to recap what we talked about, the importance of paying attention to analytics if you're in a management position, and taking a look at those. We talked about the importance of making sure your staff is up to date on what they're doing, making sure that you're collaborating with someone else, that you're creating a positive experience that's better than what your competition is doing for the customer. And then like we just talked about, making sure that you are paying attention to the right metrics.
Will Avila (24:14):
Jeff Lambert (24:14):
Overall, Will, is this a hard transition that managers have to face in order to adapt to this new world that we're stepping into?
Will Avila (24:25):
You know, a lot of companies already have metrics in place. I don't think that's difficult. I think there are going to be some metrics that they are not used to looking at, that they're going to have to start paying attention to. And it depends on the department, right? A factory probably has metrics that they look at with regards to their output of their product. So that's already done. But how the marketers who are now remote, what they are doing with their time, what the salespeople are doing, or other personnel, those are going to be new challenges. And just being able to understand what they're doing. And I think, now that we're talking about this, the reason I say I think this is going to be for the better is because a lot of people can get the job done faster. As long as the job is getting done within your organization and your metrics are overall trending up, people are going to be more efficient.
Will Avila (25:26):
You don't have to necessarily watch their hours, and like, "Why didn't you put in eight hours?" Because I think that's unproductive because people can fake their time, for example, or lie. And so, as long as the job is getting done and you overall understand the bigger numbers behind your organization and how the smaller ones relate to it, I think you'll be okay moving forward.
Jeff Lambert (25:56):
That's a good place to leave off, Will. You gave a good plug for our next episode. We're going to be talking to Nicole about communicating with millennials and Gen Z, these new generations of the workforce that are coming in and how you can work better with them. So yeah, it's a two-step process. You have to update your own skills in terms of how you're marketing and what you're paying attention to, and you also have to change how you communicate and how you administrate to a different group of people coming in.
Jeff Lambert (26:20):
So with that said, that's a good plug. People, tune into our next episode because we're going to cover another aspect of this. And Will, thanks for taking time to come by and discuss this, and certainly stay safe during this time and I'm sure we'll get together again soon for another topic.
Will Avila (26:35):
Yes, definitely, Jeff. You too. Stay safe. Stay quarantined.
Jeff Lambert (26:41):
And to our listeners, thank you so much for joining us again for another episode, and remember, you can expect a new one every week. It's always going to be filled with advice that's going to help you grow your business. And remember, if you're looking for an experienced, friendly, and results-driven team that can help you with this growth, check out Rizen by going to goRizen.com. That's Rizen with a Z. You can also, excuse me, follow us on social media. We're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and you can search for us at the username @RizenInbound. That's one word, @RizenInbound.
Jeff Lambert (27:15):
And for the people that have been tuning in every week and you're loyal to the following, and you've gotten to know what muffin recipes Will likes and the type of bagels that I enjoy, one way that you can help us continue to grow the podcast, if you can just take a minute, leave a review on the podcast app that you're using, it can be as simple as assigning some stars or as large as leaving like an actual written review, that helps us get in front of new listeners. And our goal is to help anybody who is in the business of trying to grow their business to be able to do that. But overall, thanks for your listenership, thanks for your support, and we'll see you on the next episode.
Jeff Lambert (27:51):