Eliminating the Marketing Guesswork with Mike Lewis
Overview: In this episode of Digital Conversations, Mike Lewis chats about marketing attribution, understanding intent, and other principles regarding B2B sales.
Guest: Mike Lewis is Co-Founder and CRO of Click360, an AI-driven analytics platform enabling businesses, sales and marketing teams to understand their customers’ journeys while putting each customer on the best path to revenue.
All right, everyone. Welcome to Digital Conversations. I’m your host, Billy Bateman. And today I am joined by Mike Lewis, co founder and CIO at click 360. Mike, how you doing, man?
Doing really well. Thanks for having me.
Appreciate that. I’m excited to have this conversation, we’re going to talk a lot about intent and figuring out you know, which visitors matter and, and where they’re coming from.
But before we get into that, just tell us a little bit about yourself and about Click 360.
Yeah, it’s funny, I never know how far back to go in these kinds of questions like, Do I go back to my the dawn of time? Or do we just start with the company? I’ll tell you, what I think is super interesting is sort of it’ll bring us into this conversation is the way in which I sort of ended up with the my partner here, Click360.
Throughout my career, I started a very commoditized sales space where you know, there’s really no way to actually know what a qualified lead is, you know, it was a numbers game, the more people you contact, the more people hopefully convert.
And then from there actually moved into more of the world of marketing, where we were putting signs on walls and hoping people would call. And there’s a problem with hope in marketing, right, there’s really no place for it. Gosh, I hope les calls me.
Allocating Marketing Budget
And so I’ve been whittling down the ability to give marketers the information needed to know where their budgets are best allocated. So when I originally bumped into my partner, who was in the process of, you know, learning about or building out this marketing intent machine, that’s where I really saw that there was an opportunity to give marketers that immediate feedback on what’s working and what’s not.
So what the Click360 platform really is, is it’s a customer journey optimization platform, uses a form of AI called Deep Learning to recognize that behavioral intent that says, this person is more likely to convert to revenue than this person. So that marketer can actually reach back and say, these marketing channels actually source those people most likely to convert to revenue.
So we move away from that dreaded guessing test where you know, I go back to that sign on a wall, do a bunch of marketing, hope somebody calls to being able to measure in real time, that behavioral intent that says, you know, there’s there’s signaling in patterns of behavior that says this person is going to buy and so marketer can actually affect that deal. By seeing that behavior. Yeah.
Moving Beyond Guess and Test
That’s where we are today. And, you know, the biggest problem that we’re solving for, especially with, you know, third party cookies going away in the iOS 14 privacy update, the big problem we’re solving for, for marketers, it’s just understanding which marketing channels work. So they don’t have to do that, like I said, that dreaded guest and test.
Yeah, nobody. I mean, we all have to do it to a certain degree. But exactly after a little while, you shouldn’t have to, you know, should be like, okay, these are channels that produce, and this is where we should be sending them.
How to Find out What’s Working
So, tell us, tell me a little bit more about how you guys are helping people figure out which channels are actually working?
Yeah, it’s a great question. And even to what you just said, you know, we have to do a little bit of the guesswork in the beginning, the hardest part and something I think COVID exacerbated for a lot of people’s understanding that humans are not like singular entities, right?
The funnel is not everyone fits into this one size fits all funnel, and ends up revenue. There’s a multitude of different funnels for every single person, every single behavior, every single product, and you typically have multiple ways people convert to revenue.
The problem for marketers too, is that that behavior changes daily. I mean, minutely, if you think about, what did your competitor do? Did they change price? Do they add a feature? Did you know all of a sudden, your behavior changes, so your funnel changes?
So we’re really helping marketers understand not only what’s the most valuable place for a certain marketing piece, and where it goes in the funnel, but as then he changes how to adapt with that, so that you’re not creating your funnel on day one, and hoping it’s the same funnel and working on day 365? Yeah, yeah. Like, dude, everything’s changed.
Effects of Covid
You know, in the last 12 months, what we saw with our customers, all of a sudden conversations, web visitors last April, last March, just through the roof, compared to where they were the prior year.
And, but conversion didn’t really go up. You know, in fact, it actually took a little bit of a hit. Because we had to change how we were engaging people.
Were this was like, the only channel we had for a while and, and still for a lot of businesses that, you know, we’re used to, like, Hey, we go to trade shows. We put on our own events, we get to rub shoulders with people. It’s like, though, it’s all coming through your website.
Changes in Bot Behavior
Now. Did you see a difference in the way people engage with chatbots as well? Because as everyone started going online, I’m assuming the chat bot became a ton more valuable in that customer journey.
Bringing in Live Chat
Yeah, yeah. We’d some more people trying to engage with the bot and not just like prospects. A lot of that increase for our customers was customers. You know, coming try to get help trying to contact people, and the bots, you know, if I see a bot on somebody’s side, I assume like, Hey, I can get connected to somebody right away.
Not always the, you know, not always the case depends on what you want to do. And a lot of our customers adapted and decided, you know, where we didn’t give them an option to get connected to our support team through the bot on the homepage, it was very sales/marketing focused, adding that in helped quite a bit.
Weathering the Storm
Because, you know, we all know it was dark times a year ago, wondering, a lot of us are we’re going to be in business, so we’re going to survive, you know, like, you’ve got to keep those current customers happy. And, and, you know, people that made the made the pivot, added that were more open and more accessible to their customers weathered the storm fairly well. I think so did that piece right there.
And what was going through my mind as you were saying, that is, you said it was salesy, or was it was like the bot was too salesy, or to marketing and something I even had a conversation with somebody about yesterday is, in a lot of these businesses, the thing that is super hard to do is understand intent.
The Middle Ground
When somebody raises their hand and says, I’m interested, yeah, what does that mean? So I would say, you know, one of the biggest problems in sales and marketing, I’m sure you guys know, is there, there’s this clash in the middle, where marketing spends a ton of money driving leads, and then hands them off to sales and sales says, Well, these aren’t qualified. Yeah.
Or you’ve got somebody raises their hand and says, I’m interested in a demo. And as soon as they realize they have to talk to a salesperson, they back out almost immediately, like, I’m not there yet.
That interested, I see where you guys have this ability to sort of mediate between the two and say, yes, this person is interested, but they may not be at that sales stage yet. They may just want more information, and they don’t need to be with somebody who has, you know, commission breath on their on their mind, if they’re not ready for that yet.
Yeah, yeah, no, we we’ve started giving people intense scores within our own product. So we could say, okay, you know, like, Hey, you know, let the bot just engage with these guys that are lower-level intent. But once they’ve, you know, raised their hand and said, You know, I want to talk to somebody like, dude, you got to talk to him, like, right away. Right? Right away.
We I was actually just going over this with our consulting team, they were running some numbers on okay, if we, how fast do you respond to that chat request, once they’ve raised their hand?
And what does that look like for actually having a productive conversation with the person, if you respond in under a minute, as compared to that one to two minute window, you’re 130% more likely to have a conversation.
And if you’re still in that one to two minute window, as opposed to anything past it, you were 119% more likely to have a conversation. So it’s all about you got to get to them quick, you got to get engaged, once they’ve raised their hand, they’re not going to stick around for long. Yeah. And so I mean, that’s really one of the root problems we want to get to and solve for is because as you also know, the person who raises their hand may also not always be the decision maker. Yeah.
Selling to Committees
So really, what we’re trying to do behind the scenes, you know, the great old analogy of, you know, the tip of the iceberg is what you see, and then everything underwater is the problem. They’re trying to solve what I mean, I think something like, over 56% of the buying decision is done by the time somebody raises their hand, we’re really, you know, to our topics in an attempt, we’re trying to understand what caused that hands are raised, first of all, and does this have the same kind of intent that we would expect for someone with this behavior.
So that as you jump on that phone, you first of all, you know, if you get on within a minute or two minutes, you’re gonna do much better. But second of all, you’ve got some background as to, you know, these kinds of companies tend to buy this kind of way.
And we know that even though we have this hand raised, we still need to see the CEO, or the CMOS males to get where you, are you tracking the like, all the different people from a different from accounts on the website, and then even taking that back to like, seniority level as well. It’s a super good question.
When we originally built the platform, we’re about 20 to 23 months in at this point, it was originally meant for the complex B2B sales cycle where you did Yes, have multiple decision makers and you want to be able to differentiate between those behaviors. Yep. So that, you know, if you were selling complex IT solutions, you knew that you didn’t have true account intent until the IT person had been there, right, the guy who was actually going to plug it in.
Fast forward through COVID, where everyone’s trying to figure out e-commerce. It’s a very similar situation where we’re not it’s not necessarily differentiating between the people and the account, but it’s the 91012 ways people convert to revenue when they come back from a social media site, come back from an email campaign return from an SMS and just understand that behavior. Okay. Okay. So and then, let’s go
Want to dig into just a little bit more on? What behaviors on the site? So like, Hey, you know, I’m coming in, I’m looking, you know, how are you guys seeing like, okay, you know, I look at this combination of pages I look at this specific page I’m on, is it time? Like, what? What should people be paying attention to? it?
That’s a great question. There’s a multitude of things. And a lot of what’s out there is measuring activity. And obviously, activity doesn’t necessarily indicate intent. Yeah. So the original thing people were doing was what’s called a lead score, which is a great way to get started if you’ve done nothing.
So you take what you it just, it’s got a little bias built into it, which can sometimes be the problem. But it’s a great way to get started. But basically, you say, I think these behaviors are valuable, so I weight them as such. So then you can start to create some kind of value score and 10 score based on that.
But what I would look at for people in general is not so much, how much did they do? But yes, is there a continuous? Is there a pattern that you can discern from other behaviors that converts revenue.
So you can do a lot of reverse multi touch attribution with platforms like you know, HubSpot, few others, where you can see every page they touched. So if you can start to see which ones of those over time have dollars associated with them, you have some information, right?
As to do some of that, you know, behavioral scoring, the biggest difference, the way we’re doing it is we’re doing it in real time, we’re doing that pattern and sequencing. So not that they touch it. It’s where, and when. Yeah, everything you mentioned is a big piece of it. Time spent sources, they came from things they look at order and sequence which happens.
Okay. All right. So what kind of you said you started out with B2B sales and marketing? I’m guessing you expanded a little bit like Where? Where are you seeing the best success for customers?
the best success or the people that are having the biggest pain, which is, you know, the folks that are spending gobs of money, its marketing efforts, and they have very little insight into which dollars drive the best returns. So the best successes are those folks where, you know, they spend money on the paid ads, the cost per clicks, and all that, they just need to know which of them are actually driving revenue.
And right now, right now, the biggest problem for them is they can see most of the clicks, they can see most of the activities, but they cannot connect the behavior to the activities. So we’re having a lot of success in places where they’re, basically they’re spending enough money to want to know which monies are working best. Right?
They’ve got enough activity going on, they need to be able to prioritize, you know, when when five hands raise which hand you can call first, if you can call it five. Great, do it. But if you got to focus on if you got one salesperson and 200 leads, first of all, you’re doing a great job, right? Yeah. But if you have to be able to prioritize your efforts and your budgets, you know, and it’s not just Hey, I’ve got some money, and I can throw it in marketing. And if it works, it works great. It’s it’s the people who really want to hone in on $1 spent on Channel One is worth more than the dollar spent on channel two.
Awesome, awesome, man. Okay, so if I’m like, let’s say, you know, I’m a demand Gen marketer, I’m new into figuring this out in a new role. Yeah, I don’t have a tool like Click 360 yet, but you know, I’ve got Google Analytics and some good web analytics tools. What would you say the I should start looking at and tracking just on my own to get a good idea of where I should be spending my money?
That’s a really good question. And I would even I usually defer to marketers on next. I think marketers are much better at this than I am. But they should start to look at, you know, set up your goals and things like Google Analytics, it’s a free tool, it’s great. You can set up the goal to be how many downloads that I get a certain document, how many meetings you’re booked? I mean, whatever your metric is.
There’s a really smart marketer here in the Twin Cities who said, measure the data that gets you the information that gets you the revenue. So, yeah, what if your key metric is going to be demos, and you have a good idea of how many demos you need to get a certain amount of revenue, then, you know, set up your goals and conversions for you know, getting demos done? Yeah. So that’s a great place to start.
I like it. I like it, man. Oh, man, before before we wrap, is there anything that I should have asked you, you know, you’re like, hey, Billy was smart. He actually would ask me this question.
No, Billy is smart.
No, I really, I really do like what you guys are doing, you know, which is probably what brings us here today.
But the one thing I would say that I think people should know, in general, especially as we’re sitting here, you know, beginning of 2021 as the iOS updates and privacy updates, and third party cookie updates, you know, as that stuff starts to go away, and marketers can’t do what they used to do, which is pay for eyeballs.
Start creating those first party customer journeys. You know, marketers are really good at storytelling and creating brands. And right now what we’re a space where we pay for eyeballs. And we need to get back to doing that organic thing where we create really cool content that allows people to subscribe, you know, and self aligned with the business.
I think now is the time to start figuring out, you know, what our, what our plans gonna be for 2021 that drives organic traffic. So we don’t have to do as much of this, you know, spray and pray. Pay for eyeball stuff.
Yeah. Oh, hey, man. I love it. I love it. Dude, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you been awesome. And if people want to reach out and learn more about you or continue the conversation, what’s the best way for them to do that?
The best way they can if they just want some information, they can check the website is click360.io. Or you can reach out to me at MikeLewis@click360.IO if you have specific questions, and we’ll chat from there.
All right. Thanks, Mike.
I appreciate it. Take care.