Creating Customer-Focused Content with Tricia Wiles
Trisha outlines her philosophy on how content should be actually valuable to your customers.
Nicole Pecaro is a creative leader with more than 10 years of design experience who has contributed to over $50 million in impacted revenue. She has conceived and executed hundreds of creative sales and marketing proposals and PPT presentations that won new and retained existing clients. She has also provided marketing department leadership, managing design resources, and building a creative team from the ground up. Her entrepreneurial drive has led to creative strategies that secured top accounts, ranging from American Express to Pepsi.
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Billy Bateman 0:01
All right, everyone. Welcome to the show today. I am your host, Billy Bateman and I am joined by the great Tricia Wiles. Tricia. Thanks for joining me today.
Thanks for the intro the great, I’ve never actually had that via descriptor before my name yet. So that’s a new one.
Well, you’re in my book, you’re great. We’ve I’ve known you for a little while and everything you do is awesome. So
Trisha, for those that don’t know you, I’ll give just a little intro. You’re the creative content manager. There at True Influence. You also host the podcast, great podcast, if you haven’t, if you haven’t listened to it, I’ll let you plug it a little bit.
And, but tell everyone just a little bit about yourself about your journey to where you got today. And then True Influence.
Tricia Wiles 0:51
Oh, yeah, the journey. That’s going to be the big story there. Thanks for the intro, Billy. Yes, I’m a creative content manager here at your influence. actually, new in the role just happened in the past few months. Actually, maybe it hasn’t even been a full month yet.
I was able to be brought on to True Influence during the very beginning of March 2020. So put your mind self-back in that place where you were when it was going on in the world. And I have a background in acting, I was a performer down here in Orlando, Florida area, working professionally around the area, as a as an actor, whether that be in musical theater, whether that be in straight plays, children’s theater, and obviously the way that the world turns, I can no longer do my job.
So, the beautiful thing about having that history and storytelling is that is what it is. It’s storytelling, right? Getting on stage learning lines, learning songs, and being able to connect with an audience. Man.
Does that align with marketing right now in the b2b space? Oh, yes, I have seen it, so it has been so much fun. I get to host conversations on the accelerating revenue series I get to I’m planning season three right now. I’ve had great guests like you, Billy and others in the industry. Michael Brenner.
Coming into Something New
Tony up off, I’ve been blessed to be able to walk into an industry coming from something completely different, and an acting world coming into b2b and saying, Okay, all right. There’s a lot to learn here. And there’s so many bright, brilliant minds around what we get to do. And then here at True Influence, I get to have those conversations, right, we get to influence get to help our customers find their next customer.
Specifically, by using the term Flynn’s Marketing Cloud, whether that’s helping us intent data to look at who is interested in what topics, what are you what are your customers searching for right now? And how can you market How can you message? How can you run campaigns against actionable data that lets you have a conversation and message specific to your customers?
We’re all Customers
And in b2b, I’m sure that they you know, we’ve all seen that we are all a customer in one shape, or form. And there are many buyers in a company with many solutions. It’s a whole big conglomeration that has to work together.
So that has been quite a joy, to be able to look at how do I how do I have conversations with your influence internally, externally, that gets a lead back to all the different kinds of buyers and personas that are out there and make those genuine connections, but that also turned into real movement in our industry? Awesome, awesome. I love that.
Billy Bateman 3:17
Yeah. Like, we all come from different backgrounds, some people, you know, they start off in b2b tech or whatever, and they just stay there. But, you know, I think the people that come in with a different perspective, after having had, you know, another career has, you could say, really helped us innovate and find new ways of doing things.
And that’s one of the things I really liked about your podcast, you know, I’ve been a guest, I’ve listened to several episodes. I always like the conversations that you have. But the question I’ve got for you is, when you’re looking to create content, whether that be a podcast or anything else, you know, how are you?
How do you find Good, Relatable Content?
How do you find that correlation between this is good, interesting content, that also relates to people I want to be my customers? Now, that’s the that has been the question. Right? That’s been the great question.
Tricia Wiles 4:10
So much, in general, b2b marketing, you can look at what’s the initiatives, right? Is it brand awareness? Is it being it getting the message across is, is part of your job in marketing supposed to be top, middle or bottom of the funnel? Right? There’s many different tactics you can take. And tanging the correlation to I just want to have a conversation and want to create content and put something out there, right?
We all know that video does certain things on certain metrics, platforms, websites, just because it’s video. And that’s been seen and been proven in industry right now. But what about the actual meat of the conversation?
So that has been a fun question that I’m now getting to really strategize around coming in, I get to
I was able to be the scheduler for our previous podcast host and then turn
And then to host myself and the series actually is on video as well, which is my cup of tea. So, we used to do video input, which is a joy. but really taken from a I get to be a part of it to help him more be part of the conversation and now I get to strategize about the why the conversation is happening has been really cool.
What is my Goal?
So, I think asking that question of yourself of, okay, is this content supposed to be something that I want to get X number of views? Because that can mean? Is that your customer that’s watching? Or is it just the industry at home? Am I trying to get into a market that’s not specifically who we sell to? Or who do we communicate with? And who can bring value from what your influence does? asking those questions can shape the way that you have your conversations and the creative content.
So that has been very fun to try and strategize to make sure that does the conversation that I’m going to have with a guest holds value for True Influence as a brand. And what we’re doing, how we can be thought leaders, what we’ve got going on internally with our products and our solutions, but are we talking about that? Or are we talking about the concepts as a whole? Are we talking about data? We’re talking about programmatic display.
Unpacking your Daily Life
We’re talking about these aspects of what we do. And then in that conversation, am I looking to my guests as well to unpack what are you doing in your daily life in your job and your role that leads into the work that you do for your customer, that’s been Nike kicker, that I’ve learned is that all of us have a customer at the end of the day. So, we’re all going to have a conversation if I have to solve a problem internally with my team so that externally, I can help my customer. And that’s been really cooled to strategize how to have those conversations to bring value. Yeah, no, I agree. Like, the internal customers sometimes are even harder to serve and get the buy off than your external customers.
Billy Bateman 6:59
Lessons from Podcasts and Virtual Events
So let me ask you this. So, you’ve been hosting the podcast for a little while. You guys also did a lot of virtual events this last year.
What have you What have you guys found? That that you What have you learned from the podcast which, you know, we were doing before the pandemic?
Tricia Wiles 7:21
Or true influence was being made before the pandemic? And, and most of us actually are hosting podcasts, like this one, to shifting to virtual events and you know, what did you learn about getting attention driving registration, and even creating that content for your virtual events? if nobody’s been if you haven’t been to your true influence virtual event, you guys do an awesome job. The experience is top notch.
Like really good. But just share some of your insights. So, what do you guys Oh, man learning is a key thing right there. Thanks for saying that for the virtual events that have been such a unique space to walk into I think that everybody in this that kind of aligns with what truth lens does what we see in the industry and marketplace right now. Let me ask you this, Billy, how many how many emails Did you get about virtual events and webinars over the past six months?
So many and I, I sent out even more because we do our own way, which we got to be part of which was super fun at the AP summit. Our VP of Marketing Terry got to share some insight about account-based engagement and how that translates with the company’s marketing thanks for doing that plug on your event for them at their but yes, right, like how many emails how many emails how many notifications? How many? How many pings and dings and messages have all of us gotten? Because we have been itching, itching to do events and in person because it requires everybody to make a different choice. And I think the biggest thing that we learned is that
Billy Bateman 9:08
The kind of company that you are, what you’re built at as like who your core what’s what your team is made up of right to influence all of us are on a team together.
Creating Authentic Conversations
Tricia Wiles 9:18
If you’re going to think that you’re something else and deliver something else at a different level, different strategies, different height, it’s not going to happen. So that’s actually the really cool thing of saying like I Korea true influence, what can we do? How can we have conversations? And so, a lot of the people that we came to have speak at the virtual event, were either customer was either
industry peers that we had great connections with someone in the company had had a connection and want to have some insight. I mentioned it before, but Tony Uphoff got to come and speak at our last virtual event and man, brilliant man, Trishna Kushner for data. She’s with NTT, I believe and just hearing the insight that seasoned practitioners who and industry leaders.
How can we Bring Value?
That was where we got to lean into and say, Okay, how can we bring value? How can we bring value to people who would attend our event? Right. We all know too, that this is just another channel of taking the message to your opponents to our customers.
And so how do we bring value inside that event to and rather than shooting for something of an insanity level and trying to take an entire trade show and put it into a three day like, that’s really do a three-day event we chose instead, to do one day event, we learned from our first one, we had it a little bit longer.
And then we’re like, you know what, we can have smaller conversations and make it a two-hour event. And then we said for the third one, hey, let’s put some engagement, let’s put some QR codes in there. Let’s do some polls.
Let’s do some feedback surveys at the end, let’s do some lunch and learn and ask you to participate. So, in that morphing of the virtual events, everybody in b2b was using them as a vehicle and we all got our emails about them, we all learn from each other. And I think that was that was a pretty cool aspect of, okay, as a user myself, if I’m going to get an email from my other industry, peer from XYZ company that says come to our virtual event to learn about our company to learn about what we do to learn about this conversation.
Did I like the email that I got? Did I like the registration page? Was it easy to use? Did I enjoy the fact that I could send it to a friend? How could I invite a friend? How could I use social media, specifically LinkedIn in the b2b space to connect and invite somebody else? Did I do it through a message, I do it through a post? Right?
Changing Strategies Over Time
So that was very interesting. As a learner of this space, I haven’t done virtual events, I’ve done events in my previous life, for other reasons, and done some trade shows and things of that nature, but actually putting one on and get to lean on my team as a whole. We had an incredible events manager, Sarah, who really led the charge in the last one.
And so that that learning pace, yeah, we’re all of us, we’re learning together. So that has been pretty fun. And we are going to have some internal, I’ll say internal events, because we’re having a sales event that we usually have to influence once every quarter, every quarter. So that’s coming up.
Now in October, we’re getting to that point where we can start to travel again, which has been interesting and fun for us. But that’s also how we’re built, right? Touring plans are built to be virtual. And so that was a precedent beforehand, before March 2020, that every quarter sale would have their in-person event. So, it was interesting to kind of say, oh, we are virtual, and let’s put a virtual event in there, too.
No other Option but Virtual Events
Yeah, we I mean, we were planning on doing our first event before the pandemic, just Hey, 2020, we’re going to do one of these virtual events. And then it was like, well, we have no other option now. Everything else was taken off the table. And I agree with you like, there was so much to be learned. And, like, everything from recruiting speakers to do you do like, you know, more of an industry level event, which is what we do every quarter, something that’s more not really like about chat phones, but it’s about the industry we serve, and how do we provide content to everybody
to help everyone learn together.
Billy Bateman 13:08
But I really loved your events. You had Jay Leno, which is one of my favorites. It’s great.
Tricia Wiles 13:16
He got to be in his, uh, his garage of cars. I’ve got to speak into some
icebreaker there. But yeah, since everybody’s doing it, that was the question of It’s no secret sauce. It’s asking your customers and talking to them directly, and saying, what questions are you facing right now? Yep. Right. How do you get the job done? What are the challenges and roadblocks in your way? Yep. Okay, these are the questions who’s qualified to ideate? about that? Answer that and unpack that. And I think actually, I will say this, this was a really cool moment.
Marketing Live Panel
We didn’t publicize it. And it was a thought afterwards of like, ah, should have recorded this. And I’m kind of glad we did it. But we were able to have lunch and learn about what happened specifically with the marketing panel.
So, we had Terry Arnold from triathlons. We had Tony Uphoff, and we had Shelly Morrison from Domo, and the three panelists said yes to a post event lunch and learn. And we had a few people from the summit sign up, and we’re in this room and it’s they’ve gotten their gift cards for grub hubs, but more importantly, it was Hey, what did you take away?
From the summit, and specifically the marketing panel, and how it relates to data and how marketing can align to make sure that we’re active, we’re How does data accelerate revenue? How do we use data in our marketing? And they all came with your questions, they all came with a follow up question. It went over went longer than expected.
The Power of Live Discussions
And I’m sitting there in this room, and I’m just watching everybody, it’s only seven of us. They’re all practitioners. Everybody has a job to do, they have a day job in this industry. And they’re just talking and trying to solve problems together. And say, what about this, and even some of the other guests that came in signed up for lunch and learn, we’re able to jump in as well and say, hey, you said this. What about this practice? Or what about this tactic?
I’m doing this here for my company, or what we’re doing internally here, we’re reaching to our customers this way. And even just bringing that together to be able to say, all right, it’s the conversation, and the conversation creates the content itself. So, it was a moment of like, I wish I recorded this.
So, I could use this later. But I also was so glad if like sometimes it’s worth it to not record the content. Because that content, that conversation, facilitated those relationships, had a moment of genuine conversation. And it wasn’t that something that we went live, and we talked about it.
So, it’s hard sometimes like right to bring the value, when most of our days are just sitting on meetings, having conversations getting work done. My husband asked me that via video. He’s like, what do you do at your meetings? And I was like, we talk, and we get work done. And he’s like, do you do things? And I was like, yes, we do things. But we have to talk.
Conversations and Ideas move us Forward
I think that everybody can relate to that a little bit of like, we all have the work of like, I got to send an email, I got to write some things down. And there’s always going to be physical things to produce, whether that’s in writing and PowerPoints and research, but also a lot of it is these conversations and ideas that move the train forward. Keep the business running?
Billy Bateman 16:51
Tracking the Effectiveness of Content
For sure. For sure. So, let me ask you this, you guys go all different types of content?
How do you track the effectiveness of that content? What do you guys do to say like, okay, you know, was the podcast? Was this episode actually effective for us was special than effective for us? What do you guys do? And what metrics are you guys looking at? To determine effectiveness.
Tricia Wiles 17:16
Absolutely. What metrics are we using to determine effectiveness? The question lies more purposely with Okay, you talked about different kinds of content. We know that we’ve got blogs, we’ve got white papers, we’ve got videos, we’ve got podcasts, right? Each of them is going to have their own specific reason for why we are doing them. Yep. That’s the level.
And in my new role of creative content, understanding that most of the things that I will be helping create facilitating conversations they’ll have with accelerating revenue, it is its top of funnel, it’s very much awareness. Can that link to something else? Right? Can that do its job and be a part of the funnel to make sure that we had a conversation about this, somebody listened, gleaned insight and says, Man, I want to learn more about programmatic display.
What Metrics are you Measuring by?
Great, here’s a blog, I can link to you to that, that talks about it. And then in turn, does this net step. So, before you can say, how do you measure what has a metric to see that was effective? What metrics are you measuring by? Do you have a strategy that you can understand of what’s the purpose of this kind of content?
Is it true for this brand awareness? Or is it really for Hey, I want to get a piece of content to then in turn, take that and give sales, an actual lead that they can turn into their pipeline? Right? That’s actually been a really cool development of watching us change, accelerating revenue series, or as I call it for short, because I say it a lot. In my day-to-day life, I had to come up with a little nickname for
Which Platform is this intended for?
Watching the strategies of where we’re hosting them. We’re hosting it on the website, we go to YouTube, do we get a podcast? You know, that changed from season one to season two? Did we use something like Domo as reporting will be able to track some of those Marchetto pages using those marketing automation plate pages to understand the strategies around it? So, I think that it is going to be different.
And the question that you asked is very pertinent because we’re in that planning stage right now, right, like season has not come out yet. It’s been I’m excited for the conversations I’m going to have. But that’s part of this strategic planning. Now, we’re going to have a point and have a purpose.
Make Content Purposeful
And that each of these pieces of content gets to be different. I think that that’s been a new revelation on my end of don’t want to make content just for the sake of saying that I checked the box, and a piece of content was made.
I want to make sure that every single piece of content is delivered, at least for my group, and then in turn for marketing, that there is an intention behind it, there’s a purpose behind it. And it can make sure that it fits together and the whole story of what True Influence is doing. Which to me that that’s right to the heart and the core of who I am. And what we do is that it’s all going to be a story. It’s all going to be told somehow. So, let’s have a clear beginning, middle and end.
Right. And so, then we get to really strategize around that.
Should you Gate Content?
Billy Bateman 20:04
I like it. I want to circle back to something you mentioned, though, gating content. So, I mean, I can’t make up my mind, I’m interested to just get your opinion on gating content, you know, like, there’s been some people that like ungated all, let people read it. and they’ll come to you, if you, you know, if you’re the right fit, they’ll raise their hand.
And then, you know, there’s kind of an older school mentality where the gate almost everything that’s, you know, not just a very high-level blog post, where do you fall in there? You know, like, where do you feel the balances with gating content to get those elites for your sales team? Because we got to get leads?
A Controversial Question
Tricia Wiles 20:44
Right? I had asked one of my leaders specifically about this, and ark manzana. He is one of our co-founders, he had a really great perspective on it.
Where, what kind of value does that piece of content bring? And is it valuable enough to say like, hey, in the industry, I’m going to give you my email for this piece of content. So, I can learn as an individual. And I’m having to remind myself, Trisha, of my email that’s connected to me, if you do your research, you can find my business email, but it’s out there that is playing.
Marketing to Reach Customers
And I know that like, as an individual, I am a part of many people’s buyers’ journey, like I know that I have opted in, because I want to learn. Yeah, and I’m trying to research I’m trying to understand I’m looking at solutions that are going to help the creative content group and the work that we’re doing in marketing to reach our customers, I understand that that’s part of it. And so, I personally feel great to give that email out. If I know that I’m like, yes, I want to get the value from what’s being given to me. And so, I would take an honest look at Okay, how, and what kind of content and conversations are you having? like, I’m also let’s be real, Billy, I’m about a year and a couple of changes into this industry.
So, I don’t know if this conversation is valuable, that it deserves any, right like, that’s something that I also want to measure to and be mindful of is that it’s part of our jobs in marketing, at least is to make sure that we’re creating that awareness. But we’re also articulating our uniqueness and our value to our customers and prospects. And knowing that like, awareness that also uniqueness and value can come in many different shapes and forms. So, I think that it has its time in place. And I think that there are certain researchers, experts, industry leaders who have the background who have the knowledge who’s done the work, right. Reminds me of them.
I’ve seen the images before where it’s like, cutting the wire $1.
Knowing which where to cut $1,000. Right. Yeah. voice that you get, because it’s that research behind it. It’s what it what is the company bringing who is producing this piece of content? What is that bringing forward. And so, understanding and being honest with the content that you’re making, and being strategic about where your intention is, and if you want to get more gated content, because you want to be able to do that, and partner with sales in that regard. That’s your company’s strategy, because of your size, what your revenue is, what your team can do. And yeah, you can get very strategic on that.
Or if you’re now in a place, I want to talk about it from the rooftops. And we have the ability to do that, because we got something else going on in the background, that is doing the campaigns in a different way that we’re partnering with other pieces of the marketing team to work together and feather all of our initiatives together to make one successful story.
I think it’s a good thing to look internally and see what you can do and what’s expected of you and how you can help your company as a whole grow. Not just your one department?
Are you Providing Value?
Billy Bateman 23:40
Oh, I get I think, you know, as you as you said, like looking at, do I really provide value, you know, enough that I would give my own email for this content is a good way of looking at it. So, I also wanted to circle back one more time to your podcast, for your next season of accelerating revenue. You’re doing it live on LinkedIn.
So, what I mean, I’ve heard of a few people starting to do this. I think it’s a really interesting idea. But what sparked that idea and in gotcha going down that path?
Tricia Wiles 24:16
oh man, the spark of the idea I got to give it to Brian Geiser are founder and CEO, the value of live conversations, the value of conversations in general, and for us part of our, our ethics and who we are as truth matters, right and having honest conversations,
that there’s an ability to be active in our marketplace and on these channels. And we understand that people are going to have questions, people are going to come and listen and be able to input into the conversation. So strategically, I was great. Historically, the way that I found most of my episodes and with my guests, if we do preparation, right?
Sometimes we’ll have a moment of like, oh, I need to relieve that I stuttered over something, or I got to change something up. But I noticed, like traditionally looking at the footage, most of the episodes, I would just film it in one shot with a guest. I my questions, we had a pre interview we had, we had our system of how we how we prepared and how we got ready for the conversation. And so, to me, it just made sense. I was like, Okay, well, if as a host, this has been kind of like second nature to have a live conversation and just talk and know where it’s going to go know what the purpose of know what we’re going to unpack, don’t do. Don’t do it yet on the pre interview, I’ve done that before.
So, I know if you host a podcast, don’t go too deep on your pre interview, I feel like sometimes, yeah, save the goodness for the actual episode, right. But that was also of like, that’s an ability that we were able to do. We’ve done over 70 episodes, and I was like, we can have live conversations. So, we tested it out a little bit actually for the summit as we prepared and it was a good tester for me to know that you can go live and know that like, I can stutter, I can mess up a word, I can slur something or say something differently.
And we’re all humans, we all do it. And if we understand that our listeners and our viewers, and whoever’s gain information from this, from this content is aware that this is going to be live. There’s a genuineness about it. And that, to me, is part of what truth matters is being honest with that conversation.
So, we’re able to take a look at that host the conversation there, but also like, hey, repurpose the content, we’re able we are going to use it in many different formats that it might pop back up six months later, and something else that comes down or open different campaign for our customers that the person on LinkedIn never would have seen that because that conversation wasn’t specifically catered towards them.
And it wasn’t for that person or for that customer persona. And it wasn’t supposed to bring value to who they are and what they do. However, the doors open, and you can come and listen and continue to learn. Awesome, awesome. I’m excited to see how that goes. May to not even try a few of them myself.
Billy Bateman 27:02
So awesome. Trisha, thank you so much. If people want to get ahold of you and continue the conversation or learn more about true influence, what’s the best way for them to reach out?
Tricia Wiles 27:12
Absolutely, you can reach out on LinkedIn, it’s where I will be the most active and TrueInfluence.com has all of the goodness about who we are, what we do, and why it matters, and helping our helping our customers connect with their customers. So that’s where you can find me. And I’m excited to be doing things online as well. It’s going to be a fun year. Well, the end of the year feels like the year is almost over, right?
Billy Bateman 27:36
I know. I know. We’re into August now. Like, don’t tell me that.
Tell me that. Oh, hey, Trisha. Well, thanks again. And we’ll chat later. All right.
Tricia Wiles 27:47