Transform Your B2B Podcast into an ABM Powerhouse with Terminus' Jim Gilkey
Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to the Casted Podcast. It's the destination for the most innovative and forward- thinking marketers in B2B like you. Each week I host conversations with brilliant marketing leaders on the tactics and tricks that they're harnessing to reach their revenue goals, rev their thought leadership engines, amplify their marketing voice in the marketplace, and ultimately drive real business results. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted, and this is the Casted Podcast.
Jim Gilkey: My name's Jim Gilkey. I am a senior account executive at Terminus and also the host of the podcast Account Based Beverages.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Account Based Beverages, so let's start there. How did that come to be? Tell me that origin story.
Jim Gilkey: Yeah. So in my last role, and I'm swimming upstream a little bit here, most people make the leap from sales role into a marketing role. My last role, I was actually a director of marketing at a staffing firm, and I was tasked by my CMO to figure out what ABM was and to get that launched at our company. And I knew that I was being brought in to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, but I didn't know a ton about account- based marketing. And whenever I went out to go and look at any kind of resources that I could online, there were a lot of longer podcasts that were very pie in the sky in a perfect world. And when I would try things in the office, it was not a perfect world and things would blow up in my face. There was a lot of learnings. And so when I came over to the team after I'd kind of figured out how to... and maybe I'll say it this way, I am the type of person I like to make mistakes twice just to make sure they're mistakes, but eventually I'll come around and figure out how to make things work. We saw tremendous success using the Terminus platform. So much so that at the end of the year I ended up reaching out to my client success manager at Terminus, asked if they would make an introduction for me to meet the team and see if I could work here. And once I came on board at Terminus and started talking to customers and prospects that were having the same issues that I was having, I realized there is a need for some sort of education in a very concise format because marketers have multiple projects on their calendar at every time. If you don't have 1, 400 tabs open, are you even really in marketing? And they also need really practical advice because sometimes your perfect world scenario is not going to serve you well when you actually try to implement and things don't turn out the way that you thought they might. So I created Account Based Beverages to give myself the resource that wish I had when I was at my previous company. And it has really taken off because we've found that a lot of other people really want this concise format and they really want this practical advice. And then the last piece that I wanted to make sure that I added on was the human element because humans don't typically relate to brands as well as they do to other people. I wanted to make sure I had that element of what is your favorite beverage? I don't put any restrictions on it, and it is great adventure for me to get to try a lot of new beverages while learning a lot about marketing.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I love it. I love it. So Casted, we've been doing this for four years, and I love hearing the stories from more and more people like you that are like, " This was a thing I knew we needed to do. Added the human element." It did so many things for the company, I knew it was something I wanted to do. From your perspective, tell me a little bit more about podcasting in B2B specifically and why you think it's something that is really starting to take hold? Why is it a thing?
Jim Gilkey: There are a few major roles that I believe podcasting plays when it comes to B2B. One is it is more of a conversation rather than talking at people. There's a lot of resources that are online that are very much reminiscent of sitting in a 300 person lecture hall and having somebody talk to you for an hour or maybe talk at you for an hour. Conversations happen over podcasts, the real stories that people remember, I heard in a class about storytelling that when people are entranced in a story is the only time that they don't have a secondary line of thought. They're not daydreaming at all. They're only thinking about the story, which is why you go to a movie and you lose track of time. You have no idea how long the movie is because you are so enveloped in this story that is unfolding. And I think podcasts have that same sense of enveloping you in the narrative between these two individuals or maybe even in giving you a sense of something that you could maybe accomplish with in your business. And so having those relationships, I think, is super important. Having the conversational nature is really important, and it is a great way for companies to not just wait until somebody might be showing interest and filling out a demo request form on their page, but when you are looking at less than 5% of your total addressable market being in market right now, this quarter, we're going to be woefully sorry if you're waiting until that moment before you first reach out and first start to build a relationship with them. The companies that are really winning, especially in 2023, are the ones that are educating individuals. They're helping them solve pains. They're helping them to pivot and to realize opportunities that make them the hero within their business. And once they come around to that point where they now are in a buying cycle, they're going to go to the person that's been teaching them and guiding them over the period of time that they've just been learning, but not necessarily in a buying cycle.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Oh, 100%. Yeah. I know that was true for me, thinking back to when I first started listening to podcasts, some of the things you touched on were getting actionable information that I could take back and implement to either make my job easier or to have a hero moment and implement something that would work. The advice that you get from somebody who feels like a trusted guy to trusted advisor is really unique to podcasting, I think. One thing that you talked about with kind of a one to many approach, podcasting is still seen that way for some. Let's buck that stereotype and break down that myth because I'm really, really... I mean the whole thing that we're going to get into today is podcasting for ABM. Like from an ABM standpoint with an ABM mindset, how does podcasting fit into an ABM strategy?
Jim Gilkey: Yeah, there are a few different points of inflection where podcasting fits in really well. One of those that I don't think enough companies leverage is at the very top of the funnel. I think companies typically think of the content first and being a thought leader and sharing some advice that will help. But far fewer companies are out there starting to do research on accounts that know fit their ideal client profile. And after they research those accounts, they then start to research buyers within those accounts. And when you research a buyer, now you're getting into the speak of people that would be spending money with you and you can start to speak their language a little bit better. You're starting to spend time in the places where they're spending their time, and then you can map your value prop to those individual buyers. Now, I had years ago working with a sales coach here in Indie, Brian Neal, a suggestion if a prospect would not meet with a salesperson because you're trying to sell to them, then start a podcast because this is a great way to start to build a relationship with somebody that you want to have that relationship that could carry into revenue someday. But inviting them onto a podcast, genuinely being interested in what they're doing, trying to promote them and make them the hero, I think is going to be kind of a theme of this conversation today. But once you start to realize their business and the things that make them successful, what keeps them up at night, but it doesn't feel like a sales conversation, they let the guard down. You can help to one, promote them and their ideas and then also strengthen those ideas by taking the information from that podcast, and then starting to create more content around it or continuing the relationship as you move into a place where they might be in a buying cycle, and now they know you and they have the relationship with you. And so it's a much easier transition into becoming a customer because you've put in the hard work.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Okay. So let's break that down. Let's get into the how, right? Because I think that at a high level you hear little bits and pieces of this as far as, yep, use the podcast to... I mean from we're all about amplified marketing. Take the podcast, ring it out, amplify it across multiple channels. You hear that a lot on this show. And then you're adding to that like, yes, and build a relationship with the people that you have on the show and the people that you're talking to through the show. So let's really get into how? I want to hear how you do that right. And then later we'll get into how mistakes that you could make, but how do you think through it? What does that actually look like? Break it down for me.
Jim Gilkey: So when you start to break down your revenue, when you start to look at what are those common characteristics of companies that generate the most revenue or maybe are the easiest sales cycle or the longest standing customers, you can start to look at what are those common characteristics, develop that ICP. The very first thing that I do after I have come up with a target list for ABM is I want to go and start to connect with as many of those people online as I can. So for me, I'm real big on LinkedIn. I have invested a lot of time in building relationships and also promoting a lot of content and connecting with those individuals just to listen is a great first step. And once you spend time with them and start to hear their voice, then it naturally starts to shape the way that you think and see the world. And joining maybe some of those different communities that they're in, there's some sales and marketing communities online, which is primarily the individuals that I talked to that I was able to join. And then when you see those people that tend to shine because they have a great perspective, or maybe a unique perspective, or they're so passionate about something they're willing to die on that hill, then you're able to reach out to them because it's not, as people call it, the pitch slap on LinkedIn. You send the LinkedIn request expecting that they're going to buy from you just because you were nice enough to send them a LinkedIn request. There's a big difference, and LinkedIn will show you if people are following you and when they started to follow you. So if you can see that somebody has been following you for a number of months, there's a CEO in Northern Indiana that told me he gets over a hundred different pieces of outreach every day and he won't respond to any of them. It's just mass delete, except for if he recognizes your name because you have commented on one of his posts, then he will 100% of the time respond to you because he knows that your comment on his post lets it be seen by a few more people and that's helping him. And so when you start to follow these individuals, step one is listening to them. Step two is starting to engage with them, not just that's cool, or great work, or one of these comments that's easy to kind of glaze over, but showing that you read it, maybe asking another question, maybe giving a piece of your insight begins a conversation. And that makes it really easy for me. When I start to look at an individual that I want to be working with, I can see a post that they have online, I can comment on it, but then I take that to my direct messages with the individual. I mentioned the podcast that I have, I mentioned that I want to bring them on and dive into this a little bit more or get a real life example. The key for me has been reducing the friction as much as possible. So having a form that they can fill out, giving them ideas of what they can talk about on that podcast, and making it really easy for them to book time based off of their schedule and not having to fit into the one or two hours that I might have available, that ensures that these get booked within a week where they still remember my name versus months out in the future when they might not remember what the meeting's about at all. And then having some sort of follow up sequence after that. So you spend some time on a call, you enable them with, here is a graphic that I made, here is promotional material so you can help promote this. And when it's all about them and sharing their expertise and making them look like the hero, that's when you have a really solid relationship that you can then move into. One of the things that we didn't talk about on the podcast is what you're doing around whatever my offering or service is, which makes a really easy transition to having a conversation and not assuming that the timing is going to be right. But the idea of giving and giving and giving before you have any sort of ask makes it a lot easier when you go for that ask for people to at least be responsive and to be having those conversations. And even when it's a no, a lot of the times for me, it turns into a no, but I have a colleague that's also looking for this.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Okay. So I love this, I'm hearing you have slow down. You have to listen more than you speak. You have to actually build a relationship. No silver bullet, no hack, no automated relationship building, but be a person trying to build a relationship with another person.
Jim Gilkey: Yes. Yes. There's a reason why when things go wrong, people are more willing to call up a hotline or get on a social media platform and just scream out of business knowing that it's just a faceless entity. But once you have a relationship with somebody, it's a lot harder to go to them and have the same kind of reaction, it's usually a much softer tone because there is an actual relationship there. And I think when you treat people like people, that's when everything starts to shift.
Lindsay Tjepkema: And so perhaps this is a segue into what people can do wrong, but I mean, let's pause on this for a second. I think especially there's a lot of conversation about generative AI, and we're not going to go down that path, but the results of all of that is more noise, create content faster, publish faster, create more faster, automate everything. And so it's refreshing to hear that how much value, the reminder of how much value there is in human connection, in human conversation, in investing time, in getting to know someone, and building a real relationship. My co- founder says all the time, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. And I think the same goes for this, which is really refreshing. So if that's the case, if that's the what to do, what do we not do? What do you see happening as far as the wrong way to try to squeeze ABM and podcasting together? What are you seeing that makes you cringe?
Jim Gilkey: Yeah. So this is probably a great avenue for introducing this concept, which I'm going to start to create more and more content around LinkedIn on this, but there is ABM and there's what I call CBM, it's check the box marketing. And there's a lot of marketers that will go out there and they do something that they've always done, where they will put a lot of time and effort into a strategy without trying to measure any of it. What ends up happening is they try to treat account- based marketing like they treat demand gen, and they might call it a demand gen 2. 0. The problem is when you start to target too many accounts, when you try to be something to everyone, you start to lose a little bit of what makes you unique and what makes you personalized. And so my biggest piece of advice is continue to target, and you can always go and do all of the research that you've done on one individual and then try to find others that look similar to them and tweak the message just a little. But to take a very generic message and just share it with everyone, it's not ABM because you're not marketing to any specific account or any specific use case. There's a great leader online, Sam, who has her Sam Sales, if you want to search the hashtag. And she always says, " Show me you know me." And this is the new personalization. It's not using a cheesy insert company name here. That was novel 15 years ago, but now it's just noise. Just like a lot of the other marketing tactics that were new so long ago. Right now, you need to start to speak the language that individuals speak. And when you start to target lists of 5, 000, 200, a thousand, all on the same exact tactic with the same exact message, you start to lose some of that personalization. The second piece is there are companies that wait very, very late before getting started. And when individuals start to do research and they start to show intent signals, that is not the time to begin starting to build a relationship with them because they probably have relationships with others. And people can tell what's in your heart, it seems a little greedy when you are only showing up when you know they have something to offer you. And if there are other individuals that have been putting the time and effort into building that relationship and teaching over a period of time, waiting until intense signals start, puts you way behind the eight- ball in comparison with a lot of your competitors. And the other piece to kind of round this out is in sales they say a lot of, " We don't want to ever be single threaded." Which means we don't ever only want to talk to one person within an account, same goes with marketing. But I would say, " We don't ever want to be single channeled. We don't want to just go after advertising because we've only done advertising." When you look at different individuals and the channels that they prefer, some prefer email, some people prefer working with display and seeing ads and they'll click on those ads. I'm not one of those people. And then there are individuals that want to learn through video and through podcasts. And so when I had an experience a few years ago that I was talking to the chief marketing officer of a major outdoor brand, I won't name them, but I was challenging him on why they were so late to the game with creating social media accounts, branded social media accounts. And what he told me was, I don't want to create a Twitter handle because then people can at mention us and start speaking badly about us online. And I said, " I have bad news for you." People are already speaking about you badly online. You just don't have voice in the conversation and you can't respond to them. It's the same for companies that are not doing podcasting because they're afraid to get into it. And it seems like a big complex thing. Your competitors are doing podcasts and they are teaching your prospects that could make the difference on hitting your goal for this year. And just because you don't feel like you have the resources to get started, there are ways to get started as I have done with my podcast, just as one individual that's really excited about a topic that wants to do this on his own dime. And it doesn't have to be something where you have really complex distribution model and all this automation set up just getting started by sending somebody a LinkedIn DM, asking if they have 15 minutes to hop on, share one piece of advice in their favorite beverage. That could be all you need to get started and have a voice.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's fantastic. Yeah, and that's actually when we launched our maturity curve a few months ago, it was with exactly that in mind. And you don't have to start at level five maturity, having it all baked out, understanding your attribution model and how you're going to use every single channel to drive audience growth. And just start with good conversations and record them and start sharing them. And for you, as you do get your footing and as you do start to grow and start to publish a show and grow an audience, and say, " Okay, how am I going to measure this thing?" How have you approached that and how do you recommend, especially from both the standpoint of yes, podcasting and content creation, but also ABM? Two parts, what are you measuring and how have you approached that? When did you start? How have you approached measurement in general as far as what you want to see and when did that come into the mix for you strategically?
Jim Gilkey: Yeah. There are a few posts that I saw on LinkedIn that it kind of shooked me a little bit when I started to look at this. One was Refined Labs talking about this attribution mirage when they were only using their software to do marketing attribution, showing a channel like podcasting with 0% attribution versus when they finally got around to adding in a, how did you hear about us? How did this get started? They found that 52.94%, that's over half of their deals came in through their podcast that they have. And the second was Sam Kuehnle at Loxo shared the call recording software and being able to look into the number of companies that mention a podcast in the sales cycle versus the ones that never mention a podcast, and the win rate literally being double with those that mention a podcast. Those are these pieces that although they're not built into a specific software technology that can measure, they're absolutely vital. So for me, it is as simple as having a Google sheet and measuring the number of downloads for each of the podcasts, the engagement on different social channels where I'm sharing this, and it's also taking screenshots when I see people coming in through LinkedIn mentioning the podcast and they want to have a conversation with me because you really do need both until we get to a point where we all have chips, and every little thing that we ever think or do measuring, which will probably never happen, you're going to have to do a little bit of both sides, what you can measure and scale, and what you can't measure and scale. And a lot of times it just takes asking individuals, have you heard of this? Or how did you come to us? Before you start to realize this really is moving the needle. The other pieces, you got to be patient. I say this all the time with AMB, it's not a light switch that you flip and all of a sudden you have revenue coming in, you're going enough to start to engage more accounts and then identify the contacts of those accounts, and then start conversations with the sales team, and let them take over with their sales process before you'll ever see revenue coming in with a podcast. Very much you have to trust that this is a process that has worked for thousands of people, and know that you're going have to go in and start creating content on a consistent basis and hold yourself to that consistency because it could be six months or nine months before you see a single thing come in. And with my podcast that I launched last May, it wasn't until the beginning of this year that I started to be invited onto podcasts or speak at conferences and have people come inbound. But once that starts to tip the scale, it's pretty incredible how much that snowballs over a very short period of time. So trusting the process and measuring what you can are my two pieces of advice.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I like that. Yeah. Podcasting is absolutely a marathon, not a sprint. You might see some quick wins, especially when you are using that content as we always advocate, don't just publish it, use it across other channels. You might see some things come in, which is great, but it's a marathon. You build that audience over time, you build that fan base over time, you build that trust, you build those relationships over time. Okay. So tell me, looking forward, how do you see that podcasting in and among B2B brands evolving over time? We've come a long way in the last few years. Where do you think we'll be a couple of years from now as far as B2B brands adopting podcasting or not? Anything it'll look like.
Jim Gilkey: On your normal bell curve? I think we will get to a point, and we're not even to the great upswing in number of companies that are going to launch podcasts yet, but there will be more companies getting into it. There are going to be through a lot of the different upgrades in software and softwares that haven't even been emerging yet. Companies are going to get faster at content creation with the podcast. They're going to get better at distribution on more channels and faster distribution after they record. And then I think the second wave of this is you're going to see podcasts that start to break the mold and splinter off into new genres. And I started following this podcast by Jim Quick about your brain, and every episode was absolutely mind- blowing. And they were all about six minutes or nine minutes, and this is when I started to get the confidence that I could create something that was sustainable, that my average episode is six minutes long, and I try to shoot for that five to 10 minute range. I have one episode that's over 10 minutes, but it was so good I couldn't cut out anymore without really cutting out a lot of the meat of it. And I think there is going to be a space for even shorter episodes and even longer episodes. I never thought that somebody with ADHD I would be able to listen to over a 30- minute podcast. And here I am listening to one kind of in the background as I'm updating the CRM today, it's three hours long. And I am just absolutely invested in this, and we'll finish it after we get off this call. But I think you'll start to see different styles. I think there's going to be always the human connection and a lot of the storytelling and relationship building, but then you'll also start to see some that kind of bleed into the space that webinars and live events take right now because having on the demand webinar doesn't quite have the same ring to it or staying power as having an episode of a podcast seems a little bit more formal. And so the companies that start to get into that space and start to use this in ways that I'm sure we haven't even thought about yet, I'm excited to see where this ends up.
Lindsay Tjepkema: You said something that I think is really important to dwell on for a minute, which is you have really short episodes. Almost all of them are under 10 minutes. And that kind of goes against the grain a little bit. I think most people think that you need to do a weekly episode that's 30 minutes long because that's what everybody does. And no, I mean, think about who it's for, why you're doing it, and what they're most likely wanting to listen to and learn from. And you're also listening to one that's three hours long. So get creative, do what you want to do, do what you think is going to be best for your audience and best for your brand. So with that in mind, with breaking the rules because there are no rules, what advice, whether it's that and or anything else do you have for marketers who are getting started in podcasting or exploring what else they can do with podcasting, especially with as part of their ABM strategy?
Jim Gilkey: The biggest advice is get started. There is a lot of paralysis by analysis out there with marketers and a lot of fear that they're going to do something that might not work out. But we all know that marketing's all about testing everything. You test the right people, you test the right companies, the right messaging, the right creative, and eventually you'll start to learn what is that equation that leads to success. And so getting started and getting real feedback and real results is probably the best piece of advice. There are also other things that I think could really move the needle for many companies, one of which is having some sort of unique voice or perspective. It is okay to be liked by everybody. There's nothing wrong with that. But a lot of times when you take the approach of wanting to please everybody in the world and something I've suffered with, you end up kind of vanilla. You don't say anything that would offend anybody, but you also don't say anything that would really move people to action. And I had a guest on my show, Bolaji Oyejide, and he said that you need to be so fired up about your perspective and you want people to come and die on the hill with you. Whatever hill you're willing to die on, you want other people to join you. And that is a next level passion that will naturally create that unique voice for you when you get started. If you're not sure where you should go for that perspective or how to sort of formulate that for your brand, one of the best pieces of advice is to start to look at either through real conversations with your clients, listening through call recordings, or even talking to some of your go- to- market team, what are those frequently asked questions that everybody comes to you with? What are those reasons that your customers say that they work with you or switched to you and they stay with you? And you'll start to understand what are these individuals the most passionate about? And once you start to get enough of that kind of feedback, you start to formulate your own thoughts and opinions on what if that really matters the most or resonates the most with you. And you have to find that personal level of connection as well, because if you're not into it, people can usually tell. And I'm a very, very passionate person, so you can tell when I believe something versus when I'm just kind of waiting through the waters and trying to see if it's too hot or too cold to really go in deeper. And so that's a really great place to start is with your market that you're eventually going to try to use this to get into.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I love it. I love it. Okay. So Account Based Beverages, where can we find more about it? Where can we listen, and what do you want people to know?
Jim Gilkey: Yeah. So we are wrapped up with season one, recording season two starting tomorrow. And so these will be back online in a couple of weeks. First, we'll post these on LinkedIn on Thursday mornings, no relation to Thirsty Thursday and Account Based Beverages, I promise. But we will also, everywhere you can find a podcast, we'll launch the podcasts on Thursdays as well. And then recently created a website, accountbasedbeverages. com where you can look through the library of episodes, and working on converting a lot of these into YouTube videos, so it's also searchable there as well. So very, very blessed to have so many brilliant marketers joining me on the show, sharing their one piece of advice, their favorite drink, and excited for season two here shortly.
Lindsay Tjepkema: So my thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your advice, and kind of connecting the dots between podcasting and ABM. I appreciate you being here, Jim.
Jim Gilkey: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Hey, that's our show. Thanks for joining in. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, and you can find me on Twitter @ CastedLindsay and on LinkedIn. You know the drill, if you like this show, you'll like our other episodes too. So consider subscribing, sharing with others, and maybe even leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice. And if you're ready to harness the power of podcasting for your brand strategy, make sure that you click the link in our show notes to subscribe to the Casted newsletter and to all of our shows. You can also go to casted. us for the latest content from our team of experts to yours. Until next time.
Are you frustrated with your ABM efforts despite creating quality content and promotion? As B2B marketers, we often get carried away with creating generic, one-size-fits-all content that fails to connect with our target audience on a personal level.
That's where the power of personalized podcasting comes in, driving stronger relationships, better engagement, and more sales.
Our special guest Jim Gilkey, an experienced Senior Account Executive at Terminus and host of Account Based Beverages, joins us to discuss how to build genuine relationships in the B2B marketing landscape, leverage the potential of podcasting in amplifying your account-based marketing initiatives, and avoid the trap of superficial personalization. Learn the critical factors for measuring the success of your podcasting efforts in tandem with your ABM strategies and prepare for the next wave of B2B podcasting with innovative content styles.