The Math of Logistics Marketing with Kara Brown
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In this episode, host Blythe Brumleve invites Kara Brown, CEO of Lead Coverage – a marketing logistics agency – to dive deep into why it’s important for marketers to know their math.

TIME STAMPS: 

00:04:27 Use data to measure ROI.

00:06:20 Invest in marketing technology.

00:12:37 Track interested buyers quickly.

00:19:26 Try new things to succeed.

00:23:48 Post regularly and engage.

00:32:29 Don’t take cold calls lightly.

00:39:03 Track funnel metrics closely.

00:41:31 Marketing: Prove the Math.

00:46:43 Outsource and strategize.

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I am your host Blythe Brumleve. And I'm happy to welcome in it Kara Brown. She is CEO at lead coverage and we are going to be diving into probably both have our favorite topics and that is marketing in logistics. So Kara, welcome to the show.

Kara Brown: 0:24

Thanks so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:27

Absolutely. I cannot wait to have this discussion. Like I told you sort of before that I had a million questions write down a hack to actually tell myself to stop writing so many questions. So let's just go ahead and dive into it. Give us a sense of of your career background and how you came to founding the company leak coverage.

Kara Brown: 0:44

Yeah, it's got down to like a two minute science. I'm pretty sure I was one of the first employees at Echo global logistics, super proud of that. So fun got to be on the floor as we spun the whole thing up. And Duggan team walked over one day and said, Hey, you want to write the s one? We're gonna go public? And I was like, Yeah, boss. I don't know what that is. But I will Google it and figure it out. So they're so kind to let me be a part of that experience. So my name is actually on the IPO press release for echo in 2009, which was awesome. Wow. Yeah. So post IPO got picked up by Osborn hassy logistics, which then became geodis, post geodis spectra Chicago, popped out kids and then moved to Atlanta. And here in Atlanta sort of restarted a consulting practice. So my husband said to me, Hey, you know, you're happiest when you work for yourself, right? And then I was like, Yeah, let's try this again. And then I learned this statistic that less than 2% of female founders will ever break a million dollars in revenue. And I said, that sounds good. Hold my beer. So we did that in about eight months. With an all female team. It was super fun. The early days were zero to one was wild. And so many women and pink walls. And it was awesome. When we do not hire men for sure. And then well hair away my partner and I sort of combined efforts he was doing PR, and I was doing marketing, but only in supply chain. And so we were sharing clients back and forth. And finally said this is kind of silly, let's just do this together. And so in 2018 19, we made it official. And so we do very specific work only in supply chain. So we'll in team do all things public relations and analyst relations. So this is anything that touches the breasts, like yourself, as well as analysts. So this is Gartner, Forrester Morningstar, sort of even the second or third tier analysts have a lot of sway in our space. So being able to use that for marketing, my team does the marketing. And then we also have a team, they'll make the first cold call. So you can use us for the entire process. And we're a HubSpot diamond shop, which just means that we know a lot about HubSpot. But a little different about us is we don't do any creative. So most agencies, even folks in our space are like making websites or picking the photos of the trucks that go on your cell sheets. That's not our jam. We are all about math. So for us, it's about AR PR, demand gen revenue operations, which is sort of the new term for sales ops, and making the first dial.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:09

I love that you said that you don't do any creative work, because that is probably the most annoying part historically, of my role is a web design because you can never tell people's preferences. It's always a you know, just something, can you make it pop or you know, whatever. And it's just annoying. So I recently just cut web design out and it's strictly website hosting best decision I ever made. I don't know why I did not do this sooner. So I love that you said that because people are just they get a little crazy when it comes to their creative, rightfully so sometimes wrongfully. So.

Kara Brown: 3:39

Yeah. And I think they're really really solid creative teams out there. And I think everything you don't need to know supply chain to know great design. You do need to know supply chain to know great copy, you need to know what press to get in front of you need to know what is going to resonate with your ideal customer profile. Are they a shipper or a carrier? What kind of verticals are they in right modes do they do. But when it comes to the website, you know, and with WordPress as ubiquitous as it is, you can outsource the WordPress website situation for a couple 100 bucks. And it's just there's not a lot of become a commodity, the same thing is designed right with Canva. And now a chat GPT to like there's just so many opportunities for people to get economies of scale without having to spend money on it. So where we can deliver value is aggregating all of that, and showing the math of marketing. So how and this is actually the first conversation that you and I had, I was like, I will put all of my clients on your podcast, if we can actually show ROI. Like let's work on it together, which we are. And so we are all about delivering actual ROI so we can track from public relations and analyst relations. You can track how much ROI you're getting from analyst relations from your gardener relationship which can be expensive, all the way down to the bottom line and the democratization of the tools now it's in all things Martex That's HubSpot demand base, six cents, sales, Intel zoom info, really lets you be able to see some really sexy data about who is interested in buying from you. And frankly, who is not?

Blythe Brumleve: 5:12

Well, when you talk about all of these different tools, is it overwhelming for your clients to know that, you know, all of these tools are on all of these different places? Are you bringing that data together? So it kind of makes it you know, I guess much more of like that, that macro level, that eagle eye view of seeing how their marketing is performing. Yeah. So

Kara Brown: 5:31

if you hire us like, we'll do it for you, right. But if you're gonna do it yourself, the average b2b tech stack marketing technology stack is 22 pieces of technology. And that's not care about number. So this is your website HubSpot. I don't know lead feeder demand base, like just the volume of tools that your marketing team is coming to you saying, hey, we need this. We're your sales team. Right, we need SalesLoft. How is SalesLoft different than HubSpot? What does HubSpot have the Salesforce doesn't have? Why do we need Salesforce and Pardot? Like why don't I do what? Why don't they work together? Because none of them work together? Right? So yeah, it's super overwhelming. For a lot of our clients, they spend time like significant amounts of time and energy picking the right tech stack. Oftentimes, they pick the wrong one, which is kind of painful. But we're tech agnostic. So we'll help you out if you're a part on Salesforce shop, or if you've chosen Zoho, and dynamics, which is not a combo that I suggest will help you and we do a lot of moving from one system on to HubSpot. It's sort of become the middle market CRM and marketing automation system of record. It's really easy to use, we can set it up for you and you can have sort of a junior person running it once it's set up. It's getting more complicated, the longer it's been out. But still, it's the best tool in the market. So yes, to answer your question, it can be super, super overwhelming. And even these quote unquote simple tools are getting really sophisticated. The other side of that, though, of life, is the amount of data you can get on your potential buyer, before they even know that you're sort of checking into them before you make a phone call is incredible. So if you know how to harness the marketing technology stack, and you know how to get in front of the right people, the amount of data you can have is unbelievable.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:23

I think for a lot of just the marketing ecosphere. In logistics, in particular, it feels like something that has been severely under invested historically. Do you see that landscape shifting over the last few years? Or is a lot of companies just still kind of stuck in? If it ain't broke? Why fix it?

Kara Brown: 7:42

Well, I like to tell you that the smart ones invest in people like me. So yeah, we've grown pretty fast. We've had some great clients, we've had some clients that don't get it even when they hire us, you can see that the leaders are like, yes, like, let's hire this woman. She clearly knows what she's doing. And then we get in and the rest of the team is just sort of behind, you know, just they haven't quite caught up with the rest of us, or the tech is too much or they're stuck in, you know, are we using the word digitization or digitalization? Nobody cares, just so we're on the same page, like nobody cares what your copy says, because they're not reading it anyway. So I think, yes, we're seeing a turn, I think what's I'm really kind of excited to see how things turn out at the end of sort of like 2024, there were a bunch of really smart folks hired in the pandemic in supply chain that never would have been hired before. Right, that never would have given supply chain sort of a second look, I'm sure you're hearing this from your CEOs that come on the podcast about venture capital and private equity that never gave supply chain a second look, you're seeing the same thing in the marketing talent pool. So two things are happening there. One is the talent available for brands like for just supply chain people in general is solid, like there's a really nice pipeline of folks that are getting laid off now. But also for us finding talent, because we only do supply chain as an agency. We're in Atlanta. So every Atlanta agency has Coca Cola as a client, like every single one, we don't have ups as a client, because they're not really our target market. And so people will come will find us and they'll be like, Oh, well, UPS must be your big client. And we're like, no, no, I don't even know. Like, I have a little bit right. And so in like our world, the hardcore sort of b2b supply chain that we do, is becoming sexier and sexier and people sort of understand what it is now. So your question was, how is it sort of changing the landscape of marketing and supply chain? I think smart executives are investing. And I think the talent is now interested in coming into the supply chain marketplace like never before.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:47

Yeah, it definitely feels like the ever given getting stuck in the Suez Canal was sort of the catalyst for the casual audience to know just what the hell you know, a global supply chain is and so for a lot of Your clients you I was listening to a video and you said you serve as three pls and freight forwarders. And then also us a lot of the shipping carriers. So are your marketing tactics different for each segment? I imagine I imagine some things are. But is it mostly the same approach for each one of those segments of the supply chain?

Kara Brown: 10:19

Yeah, I mean, great marketing is great marketing. So it follows a very, very simple sort of matrix, share good news, track interest, follow up. Pretty simple, right? You have to go from unknown to known. So if no one knows who you are, when you pick up the phone, your phone calls aren't gonna go through because no one knows who you are. So you got to build some credibility. People like you help a lot with this, right, getting our clients onto the right podcasts, getting them profiled by the right analysts, getting them into the right press so that when someone goes to your website, there's credibility there. And then emails and phone calls, and LinkedIn and all of the sort of demand gen tactics that we use. Track interest is really all things, making sure that you are talking to the right person, and that you know, that they're interested in what you're saying. So this all comes down to one question. Do you own your Tam? So what I mean by that is Do you own in your system, I don't care if it's Salesforce, Zoho, HubSpot, whatever it is, do you own every single record that could potentially buy from you? And I wouldn't when I use the word record, I mean, email address human, right, they're not leads, because they don't know who you are. So they're definitely not leads. But their records, right. So do you know, every single record who could buy from you? And 99.9% of the time? The answer is no, like, either we have a database of 30,000, but we haven't cleaned it since 2011. Shocker, like none of those are valid, or Yeah, yeah, we know a whole bunch of them. And we get it. And we have, like 4000 records on a 400,000 Tam, like, the just the math around that is like really, really, really important. And most marketers and most supply chain sort of shops, just, I don't know, it's like kind of a forgotten art of like, the sales team has a list and people are buying lists, and they're getting less, and they're not paying attention to what's in them. And then lastly, is follow up. And so a lot of times in our space, I grew up in a brokerage, right, we used to literally take out the phone book and bang out dials, like I remember those days, we have gotten a lot more sophisticated than dialing through a phonebook. And so the follow up is also super important, right? So as long as you get these three pieces correct, you get sharing good news, so that your ideal customer profile knows who you are. And when they go to look you up that you have credibility from credible resources, that you are tracking those interested parties against that sharing good news. And then you're following up inside sales and Harvard did a study in 2017. It's kind of dated, but I still like it that says if you can talk to a prospect within five minutes of them showing you a buying signal, you have a 900% better chance of closing a deal than if you wait 10 minutes 900 So you need to shit tell people your your position, track who is interested in your position and then call them immediately if they're interested. And that's really it. The language is different. The ICP sort of the ideal customer profiles are different. It's a forwarders are going after different folks and brokers and TMS is I mean there's 9000 different types of TMS is do so like our clients are all sort of going after different people in the space. But the actual physical structure of how marketing works in today's environment with technology is all the same.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:47

This episode is brought to you by SPI logistics the premier freight agent and logistics network in North America. Are you currently building your freight brokerage his book of business and feel that your capabilities are being limited due to lack of support and access to adequate technology? At SPI logistics we have the technology, the systems and the back office support to help you succeed. If you're looking to take control of your financial future and build your own business with the backing of one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, visit SPI three pl.com to learn more. Wow, that's I five minutes. So how are these people making that are they getting alerts? I'm thinking like maybe in HubSpot you get an alert when somebody is visiting your website or something like that, is that how they're making these fast connections is made literally on tracking software.

Kara Brown: 14:38

It's exactly how it happens. So the reason it's so important to own your tam in HubSpot is if Kara brown visits your website, right life.com And I am in your HubSpot. HubSpot will tell you that I'm there. I don't have to fill out a form. I don't have to click a button. I just have to literally show Hello. And if I show up, HubSpot will alert you and say Kara Brown is on your website right now. So I actually have a great story about this. So a million years ago, I did an Ironman. And I feel like a vegan because like, I have to say it on every podcast anyway. So I had sent a proposal to this guy that I knew it's a million years ago. This is like, this is this was like, the original sort of way we use this. And he ghosted me on the proposal happens all the time, I had, I had not yet learned that you don't just send a proposal that you will sit down with someone to walk through a proposal. And so I'm learning all the time. And so I start to see him hit the website. So HubSpot starts sending me alerts that this guy is like clicking all over the place. So he goes to this page, and he spent a minute goes to this page. So I finally just picked up the phone. And I was like, hey, and he was like, hey, Kara, I was just thinking about you. You sent me a proposal, like nine months ago when I think I'm ready. And I'm like, That's so weird. I was just calling to say, Hi. And like, totally closed the deal. So the short answer is yes, like it works. And if you can connect the interested buyers, HubSpot says that only 5% of your total buying market is in market at any given time. So we spray and pray to 100% of the market, looking for the fraction of that market that's actually interested in what we're selling. And with the with the data that's available today, and the technology solutions that are available today, you can actually pinpoint that 5% Pretty quickly, that the next sort of question they're gonna ask me or the next, the next like, you know, natural question is, are people doing this? Well? The answer is no. And so I think the the teams out there that are doing it really well are, you know, knock on wood, like hiring an agency like us, but also like connecting sales and marketing. So these marketing campaigns, it's more than just sending out a bunch of batch and blasts, right? It's thoughtful, it's, it's appropriate market specific, it's in an inbox when it's appropriate. And so when they hit that reply button, or they hit that yes button, that it doesn't feel like they're being you know, crammed on someone's throat. But instead, it's like, oh, man, like, you've given me enough information. Now, that makes me interested in what you're going to what you're selling, like, let's have a conversation. And those usually go really well.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:27

I love that story and how you brought it like full back full circle, there was another story that you told in another interview where you I think it was the early days of your of your marketing, I think you said it was like 2013, and you started sending out these mass emails, and significantly more open every nail. story for us to remember that, oh, it was such a great story. Because I guess, you know, truckers in particular really love to keep emailing stripper sounding names.

Kara Brown: 17:58

This actually is all about tech too, right? So this is the early days of a tool called outreach. And I mean, like early days, 2013. And I had 25 reps on the floor, and eight reps on like a desk, and they were able to use this cool tool. And so every night I would send an email out on their behalf and they would get in the morning. And they would just reply. So we had this amazing marketing qualified lead rate because people were just replying to our open loads, essentially. And one person on the team get kept getting higher MQL rates than the rest of the team over and over again. And it was the only woman. And so I was kind of irritated because I'm doing all the work. She's getting all these accolades. And I'm like, She's literally doing nothing with responding to emails. So I went ahead and turn all the boys into girls. So Joe became Rachel but became Sheila was awesome. And then a girlfriend of mine was like, Well, who are you emailing? And I was like, wow, basically, truckers, right, like dispatch and whatever. And she was like tournament strippers. So. So we had Bambi and candy was amazing. We ended up with a 68% marketing qualified lead raid and like, crushed the quarter. It was awesome. And then the software called and they were like, This feels weird to us. Like what's going on? They figured out that we were using fake Gmail addresses. They didn't love it. So they shut it down. But it was great while it lasted. But that's you know, like that's the whole game in marketing, which I think is why I love it so much is just try new stuff all the time. Right? Yes. Yeah.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:27

The spaghetti method of throwing something against the wall and see if it sticks.

Kara Brown: 19:30

Yeah. And so you know, we're doing things like like instead of doing podcasts like you're a podcast host so we will put we will put our people our clients on your podcast, but instead of recommending that our podcast host our clients host a podcast which you can tell us is a ton of work right? So instead of posting it if you really want to get your message out there this could be for like tech companies so the brokers but like TMS tip or what it providers is do with limited series podcast. Do five podcasts have someone like you produce it because you're really good at producing podcasts and they are not. And then do a limited series. So you have, you know, instead of a series of webinars, whichever ones sort of webinar it out, right, since the pandemic and do a series of limited podcasts, if it works for the New York Times, right, the New York Times 1619 podcast, like blew everything out of the water, right? Like do it for the company. And if you can find five partners, or five really smart people to come on and be a vendor or partner on that limited series podcast, that gives you content for days, I mean, days, it'll give you content. So months really? Yeah, so trying different stuff, right, limited series podcast is one trying like, we don't love the LinkedIn in mail inbox. But there is kind of a fun way that we use LinkedIn for our executives. And then we like sort of scrape who's interested in what the executives are saying, throw them into a nurture campaign. Sometimes we don't know what's going to work, sometimes we know exactly what's going to work because it always works like email. But other times, we're like, let's just try this thing. And the clients we have, they're willing to sort of like come along with us on this journey of like, let's give it a shot are usually doing really well. My new favorite thing is a tool called propensity. And propensity is an as an intent tool. So a data intent tool. So it basically tells you who in the marketplace is interested in what you're selling. And you can buy it now buy the drink. So it used to be really still it's actually really expensive. So demand base, and sixth sense are these two big tools. And they're like 100 grand a year, and you have to have a human to use them. And frankly, they're way too sophisticated for most of our supply chain clients. And so prevents it, he's got a cool solution where he does it in HubSpot, and you can do it by the drink. And so we're just trying all these things all the time with all these clients to see what sticks. And then what's really cool is the ability to sort of use that intellectual property across all of the clients. So we're trying this cool thing for TMS provider, and then we whip it into something different for a broker. And like, it's all sort of the same stuff, just different ICPs. So it's super fun. We're having a blast. Thanks for sharing that story, though. That's a good one.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:10

It was a such a fantastic story. And I was like, Oh my God, I wish I had asked that question originally, because it was just such a, it was such a great story to tell it it really is just one simple change to your marketing can have just a dramatic impact on what you

Kara Brown: 22:27

do your email address. Sex sells, it is one of those.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:33

Yeah, we all gotta make money somehow. With you had mentioned, you know, you mentioned a few times with, you know, LinkedIn strategy, let's get into the a little bit of the LinkedIn focus. And so you are really big, I'm really big on LinkedIn, I know it can be a little bit cringy. At times, I think you're really big on LinkedIn as well. So give us a sense of how somebody it knows that LinkedIn is important. But how they can get started?

Kara Brown: 22:58

Sure, I'll actually, I'll give you the whole shebang are my LinkedIn strategy is not a secret. I've talked about it on podcast before. So we can track about a million bucks in revenue to LinkedIn. And it's not a direct attribution, you can't directly attribute LinkedIn to work, except when someone feels like when someone DMS me on LinkedIn. And I like I like to talk and then we close that deal. Like I sort of assume that comes from LinkedIn now. Maybe they also met me at a trade show, or they watched your podcast, like there's many ways you can sort of see me but I call it a sort of get that a one to one, one to one connection. So my LinkedIn philosophy is post as much as possible, as many times as possible, be annoying about it, because only a fraction of your audience is gonna see what you post anyway. So you might as was posted all the time. So my structure is really simple. It's one of the very few things that I do on a regular basis. And I'm not really a process person. So I'm kind of all over the place. This is the one thing I don't miss every week. So every Tuesday afternoon, I have a call to ghost writer, she's actually a social ghost writer. These are my words. So I usually send her topics. I went to Harvard a couple weeks ago, and I had a notepad for like notes for the business. And then I had a notepad for like ideas for LinkedIn. And so I just send her topics. She keeps a running list of them. And then we go through them. And I talk for, I don't know, five to 10 minutes on each topic. She writes sort of the distilled 200 words, put them into a Google or Google doc sends them to my team, and then my team schedules them. So they're my words. But it takes me like a half an hour at the half an hour a week to come up with for podcasts, four posts a week. And then I manage all the comments. I manage all the engagement, right? I probably should be commenting more, but it's just really hard to stay engaged while you're busy. And it gets us on a really regular schedule, right. The next thing I'll tell you is the liking, sharing and engaging of posts posts should be pretty regularly, pretty regular. And it's easy to have your team or sometimes we'll do like a podcast like a LinkedIn pod, if you're on your own, to just get on there lecture and engage. So LinkedIn rewards, human interactions, not company interactions. So we don't recommend that you post from the company, on your big stuff post from the human for sure. And then the company can like, share and engage or also post later. But yeah, it's, it's actually pretty simple. I wish it was more complicated, because I sell it but like, you know, besides I mean, we also have social ghostwriter. So you can hire hire us for this. But it's, it's really about the discipline to get on the phone with this person. Easy call for me to skip. It's an easy call for me to ignore. But I don't this is a really important call for me. And after a couple of years together, Amy is my ghostwriter. She can sort of like read my mind. And she can Oh, it didn't. We talked about this before. And, hey, let's think about these in a different way. And then, like, the last part of this, which is even like kind of sexier is that it's all going to become a book. So we've got three and a half, almost four years of these LinkedIn posts, which are like, just like thought bubbles, right? And someone who is not me is gonna go through is art, like, actually right now going through the thought bubbles, sort of put them into some sort of structure and create a book. And it's already basically written, which is kind of great. And they're all my thoughts. So Charlie, actually suffering now from CES recruiting. And I talked about this a lot. She's amazing. And she does all of her own LinkedIn. She's, she's very proud that it's like all her all the time. And I'm like, No way man like. So I have no problem sharing that. They're my words, but written by someone who is a writer, right? Who has time to do it. And then all the engagements fine.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:56

I love that approach. Because I empathize with Charlie, because I love that, you know, for years, that is sort of a badge of honor that you write, everything you write sounds like you and so if you try out, like, you know, even like chat JpT, where it doesn't sound like you, you can kind of, you know, mess around with the verbiage or whatnot. And I was like, well, maybe in theory, I was thinking that this could help be my ghostwriter. For, you know, podcast transcriptions, can you take this and turn it into a LinkedIn posts, and it just doesn't say it's just not there yet. So I love that you mentioned that you have a ghostwriter. Because then they can actually take your words and turn them into something of value for somebody else, instead of just sitting in your head sitting in a notebook and never getting shared with anyone. So I love that you can actually have a process in place that gets those ideas out of your head and gets them out for the world to see.

Kara Brown: 27:48

Yeah, there is a tool that can help. Jasper is the one that we like the best. It's sort of an AI like it'll take a word giant Word document, break it into smaller ones. But you're right, like, you still have to touch it. Like you still have to, like, touch the final product. And what I love about our system is mean the first couple of months that we work together, I clearly had to go in and edit. But now like she knows my voice so well that I don't, you know, I don't even need to worry about editing the posts. And the team has got it down to a science or like they add the emojis and sometimes, sometimes they come up on my phone and I'm like, Did I have this emoji? Like, tell me about it, because you can tell like the team member that is like adding emojis is like really young and cute and hip. And then sometimes another team member will edit and they'll be like no emojis. So yes, someone else adds my emojis. I probably wouldn't use them. But it's

Blythe Brumleve: 28:46

just don't add too many. Otherwise, you'd look like a psychopath. 200 emojis and one post.

Kara Brown: 28:52

Also, I think if you're, I think this is just a carol brown thing. Like I think people take it way too seriously. Like, come on. 5% of your market is gonna see your posts if you're posting super regularly, right. And it's in our space. One of the things I hired a guy from Coca Cola, and I remember one of the things that blew his mind was I told him, No, we don't need 3000 people. We need one deal. Like we need one, right? One enterprise deal will pay for this. Right? Or like for us because we're not we're not cheap, but like one really solid client or two really solid clients a quarter and we pay for ourselves. And so you don't you don't need enormous exposure. You just need one person who matters to pay attention. And I remember going to a lunch with an old friend who's now a very successful CTO and like, doing all sorts of amazing things. And he was like, I read every post and I was like you have never liked you have never shared he's like and I never will don't expect Me too. Okay. So I would imagine that you and I both probably have bigger audiences than either of us. No. But, you know, because of the gentlemen in our lives who are in supply chain and may not like, you know, engage in social, they're probably watching us but not even like participating, if you will. So don't the lurkers. It's you know, it's fun. It's a, you know, it should be a fun sort of environment to share your expertise.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:29

One one phrase I heard years ago that completely changed how I post to social media is no one remembers your content like you remember your content. And even like Gary Vee recently is going on a tirade saying like, you need to put that same content that you've posted, posted again, that is it slightly posted again, I was like, keep doing it. Until if you believe it's good, then it's just a matter of getting those eyeballs within the first five minutes of the post that's, that's all algorithms do is they analyze it within the first five minutes of the post. And depending on the day, the time, whatever people's mood, it could take off, and it could be a dud, but keep posting it and keep trying because no one remembers your content like you do that

Kara Brown: 31:07

doesn't take away from me is to go back and do this for a while. Like maybe I could take a break for a minute and post some old stuff. Yeah,

Blythe Brumleve: 31:15

yeah, there's, there's actually a great tool that I've started shield analytics, I don't know, if you use them, they will tell you what your most impactful LinkedIn posts are. So now I'm in the process of taking those and copying them into a Google sheet and CSV so I can upload them and just have evergreen content constantly pushing out it's a pain in the ass to do it. But I think it'll set myself up for the long run. But there's that too. And that's, you're given me a lot of ideas here. And I'm like, Okay, I need to hire a ghostwriter. So go ahead and just hire another freelancer to take care of that. So I could take some of these things off my plate so I can do more conversations and have you know, talk to more smart people like you. And so as we talked about LinkedIn, what about the cold calling side of things I was on the brokerage floor as a marketer and I hated hearing to brokers just yell all day and just hammer the phones I thought What a miserable job to just be on the phone all day. But now it feels like it's kind of evolved into more of like you said earlier with the software tools that are available and you know, honing in on is it really a cold call anymore it's kind of warmed up a little bit so where do you see the the cold call playing a role in in today's the logistics marketing?

Kara Brown: 32:27

Yeah, that's a great sales really. So one phone calls or not that was definitely not dead. This is a HubSpot number. These these numbers are HubSpot numbers, but I really appreciate how much they're willing to share. So HubSpot says that cold dials, like cold cold never heard from you before, just like being in the phones convert to close deals at a 1% conversion ratio. Not so great, right. So we don't do a lot of cold cold dialing. And warm dials convert at an average of 40%. So we like the 40. That'd be great. We don't usually get up to 40 Unless they are like hardcore filled out a form. I'm interested, we're in a buying cycle, right? Like that can be super, super high. But dials aren't dead. It's just a matter of who you're dialing and making sure that you understand that they have shown some interest, right. One of the the sort of conversations that we have a lot with clients, and even our very sophisticated marketers is what is the threshold? Right? So the you think about a lead score. So a lead score has two things it has demographic and behavior and behavioral information. So the demographic information is, is Blythe a broker? Does she have more than 200 million in revenue? Is she currently using a TMS? Like what do we know about her company? What is the demographic profile? And our shipper like? What are they shipping? How big are they? What's their transmission span, etc? The behavioral profile is, has this person come to the website? How much have they clicked? How long have we been in a relationship with them a digital relationship? Have they ever clicked on a Google Ad like show me their whole history in a behavior with us? And one of the decisions that we have to make oftentimes with our clients is what is the threshold when you set the threshold so low, that we're emailing the coldest of the cold, and we're gonna make a phone call after one person opens an email, you're basically making cold calls, like we should set the expectation relatively low. If you're setting the bar pretty high, and you're saying we're only going to make phone calls, if they have, you know, given us their information freely at some point, if they have shown up to a tradeshow booth, if there's a human inside our inside our organization that owns this relationship, right? You can sort of set that bar as high as you want. But the phone calls are definitely not dead. And I think one of the sort of best in class things that we do help our clients with is understand where are the gaps in the funnel. So I'm having a text conversation with someone right now we're talking about, you know, what's the expectation? And how many leads or how many leads you're gonna bring in. And like, you know, tell me how many how many meetings you're gonna set. And I'm like, I have no idea. Like, how many of you setting today and so we did the math. And this particular person has five sales reps, let's just say they're making 100 dials a day, and he's closing about a half a meeting. That's our closing about a half a deal a day. Well, the math on that is a point oh, 2% conversion ratio. Let's so great. Right, like, so instead of just throwing more bodies at the cold dials, let's try to improve our ability to close those deals when we do get them on the phone. And the only way to do that is through all the way back to the Getting share good news, track interest follow up, right. So sharing good news, and then getting an inbound funnel, right, like really seeing people come to you and sort of you go to them gets really sexy. But that's all about credibility, building awareness, which is time intensive, expensive. And sometimes folks don't want to put the sort of time and energy into it. But cold calls are not dead. People still do them. I got one today, actually. But I think warm dials are just so much more effective. And if you can put the energy and, and diligence into creating a really strong pipeline for folks to come to you, it can take a while. But once you do it, those leads are 10 times 20 times 50 times as valuable, they'll close faster, and they'll be better clients. So we'd like to track three things. volume, velocity, and value. So volume is how many deals do I need to make my number? Value is how much is each deal worth to me? And can I go up market and velocity is how fast they're going through the funnel. And that's pretty much all you can affect. Right? You can affect one at a time. And we sort of treat it like hypothesis testing, right? So we understand the metrics, we understand the deltas, we understand what we're doing today, the goal is to 3x this or 5x this, what are we going to test right we're going to turn the boys into girls, or we're going to try a tool or we're going to spend some money or we're going to do Google AdWords, whatever it is to try to increase that. So those are the three things that we can sort of flex volume, velocity value, in sometimes cold calls will be part of it. And sometimes they're just not. So cool calling is not dead. But we much much prefer warm dials.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:35

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Kara Brown: 38:59

Yeah, it is 100% about math. That's it. I mean, it's just about math, it's about taking, and I'm happy to share, I have a pretty sexy model, like a financial model, marketing financial model that we've put together. And I'm happy to share it with anyone who wants to reach out just a Google document, put your own numbers in. But it requires understanding the funnel. So let's just say you have a three phase funnel, you have to understand top of funnel to MQL and MQL to SQL and SQL to close, right? You have a two phase funnel, you need to know that like you have to know the deltas and we work with some enormous companies, enormous companies. And when we ask them, What is your top of funnel to marketing qualified lead Delta? They look at us like we're aliens. And I'm like this is you know, you hired a marketing shop, right like not a question that she was like, You should have known this question was coming. And somebody should know like someone somewhere in your enterprise should have some math about how many humans you touched, and how many had a meeting with you. And if you don't know that delta, how are you supposed to know how many had a meeting with you and how many became like really qualified, and then how many closed? Right now everyone knows the close number, obviously. But backing into that top level of the funnel seems to be a challenge for a lot of folks. So if marketers want to sort of put their stamp on what's happening in sales, make the sales and marketing connection a lot denser, really help out a VP of sales, or a CRO, get into the math, like really get into the math, and start to prove that if you can sprinkle in a little marketing magic, right, that you can start to change some of these deltas. There's a great example, from a SaaS based company we worked with a long time ago, sort of at the tail end of this. So we started working with them, they had a 92 day from Doc sign to conversion timeline. So they were a software that handled like a freight audit payment type thing. And so they had an app. So you could sign up for the app, but they didn't get paid until you use the app. Right. And they had a 92 day from App sign up to first transit, which is a long time, it's a quarter, but they waited for a quarter. So someone said yes, I'm interested, sign up for it. And it would take them a quarter to get the cash, which is insane, right? So we sprinkle a little marketing added in that magic in there. And we took it down to nine dates. And so as a marketer, you have to know the benchmark, right, to prove the value. And I think a lot of times, marketers, we talked about sort of websites and creative, like, we focus too much on what it looks like, and is it pretty, and we don't spend enough time on the math. And so if marketers really want to understand and they they really want to see to the table, the only way to get a seat at the leadership table is to prove the math walk in there with this is how we're going to do this. And I've proven it right. So we do a lot of that and we help our clients. I love that too. So we'll like provide them with the math for the board meeting, right? To show that we've made improvements.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:07

That's awesome that you help the marketers themselves become like the superheroes in the boardroom. Because it's typically Yeah, well, it's typically when the recession like you know, what we're experiencing now or may experience in the future. That's marketing is the first thing to get cut. So I know we only have about, you know, five more minutes with you here because you gotta run. But this has been such an impactful conversation and you work with a lot of great companies, but any tips for some of the smaller to medium sized businesses out there that want to get their marketing started that they know it's important, they just don't know where to start?

Kara Brown: 42:38

Yeah, such a good question. I actually had this conversation yesterday. So I will tell you exactly. They told him. He was like, I can't afford you. What do I do instead? I was like, No problem I got to write. So number one, is by HubSpot. Okay, if you don't have it already, but the key is there's a there's a caveat Maastricht don't buy HubSpot from HubSpot. Okay. So if you buy HubSpot, from HubSpot, you're gonna pay full retail value and everyone's always like, Oh, I got a discount like No, you did it. So via a partner. We're a diamond partner, any partner like if you're like neighbor as a partner, buy it from your neighbor or even if they do like E Kai doesn't matter. Like you can buy it from like go on the website, find a partner buy it from them, you'll get a discount like you'll get extra bells and whistles because you're like with a partner by HubSpot, and then start small. And there are sort of like very specific things to do. So one is by the HubSpot tool, Bill, the HubSpot with your Tam. Okay, so go get the records sales Intel and don't love zoom info. I think it's really expensive. And technically you have to give the records back when you're done with them. It's really weird. Sales Intel is our preferred tool. Go get some leads from those guys. Stick them in your HubSpot and like know that they're exactly the right record, right like you want to go after shippers. Get the shipper human at those companies inside your HubSpot, then share some good news, two LinkedIn posts a month, one blog post, and one email newsletter a quarter. Like super simple, right? Really, really, really easy. You can outsource the content, right? There's some really nice shops out there that do a really good job outsourcing just supply chain content. Keep it light. I think one of the mistakes that smaller shops make is that they try to jump in to all the things right. And they try to I'm gonna measure volume loss in value. And oh, Kara told me to get the deltas but just take it slow, right. share the good news. Track the interest in HubSpot, and then you got to follow up right and you can outsource the follow up give it to someone else on your team. But I would say for the for the folks that are sort of just getting started or do I hire someone? The short answer is yes. But that's the formula right? And the last piece I'll say on this play is if someone walks into your office or if you are working with someone and they tell you that you need a website makeover, run the other direction. Nobody cares about your website. Nobody cares. Like, look at Amazon, their website looks terrible. And their Amazon, like nobody cares, right? As long as it looks halfway decent. And it says what you're supposed to like it says what you do, and it's kind of credible, you're fine, especially in the next two years, the next two years are not the time to spend 5060, even $20,000 on a new website, everything I'm talking about can be done without a $50,000 website. So that was that is what I would say to a shop that is sort of getting started.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:37

I love that you said that because a good website can get created for less than $1,000. Yes, probably less than $500. You don't need to be spending $50,000 on a website for God's sakes. So thank you. I love that you said that. I know you got to run. So where can folks follow more of your work? See all your great LinkedIn posts? All that good stuff? Yeah, so

Kara Brown: 45:57

we're at lead coverage. Spelled just like it sounds, I won't spell it out for you. You can reach will or I have the coverage. I'm on LinkedIn, Cara Smith brown all the time and feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help. We give lots and lots of sort of free advice for folks that need it or just begin take a little cruise through HubSpot and show you what you're missing cetera. But we are so so dedicated to supply chain and just thoroughly enjoy spending time in the entire space. Thanks so much for your time today. I'm really grateful.

Blythe Brumleve: 46:27

Thank you for coming on the show. I feel like I'm gonna book you for like six more times. I've barely scratched the surface of the questions that I got. So we're gonna have to have you back on so we can answer you know the rest of these. But Carrie, thank you so much for sharing your perspective. really valuable insights. I was, you know, taking mental notes the whole time. So I'm gonna get busy at the math and I'm gonna get busy outsourcing and I'm gonna get a ghostwriter.

Kara Brown: 46:49

I love it. Well, I wish you all the best on all of your new endeavors are gonna take now I appreciate that.

Blythe Brumleve: 46:54

Thank you so much. And we will we'll we'll see at some future conferences here in the future. And like I said, thank you again for coming on the show. My pleasure. I hope you enjoy this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You can find that email signup link along with our socials and past episodes. Over at everything is logistics.com And until next time, I'm Blythe and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan.

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.