REACH–A B2B Marketing Podcast
REACH–A B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 16 · 4 months ago

Improved ABM Results From Empathy w/ Keith Pranghofer—the Kishi Bashi Story 4 of 4


Outcomes are often a product of our outlook. In this final episode of our series on empathy and relevance in B2B marketing, we hear musician and filmmaker Kishi Bashi reflect on his decade-long development as an artist. We’re interested to know how listening to the stories of others has affected his approach to the creative process. We’ll also speak with Microsoft’s Keith Pranghofer about developing these same qualities in account-based marketing.

Most of us would admit that our actions are heavily influenced by our attitude. Whether we drag our feet or have a spring in our step, is our attitude informed by real life experience or lack thereof? In this final episode in the series, we hear musician and filmmaker Kishibashi reflect on his decade long development as an artist. We're interested to know how listening to the stories of others has affected his outlook. We'll also speak with Microsoft Keith Pranghoff, for about developing these same qualities in a B m. This is a podcast about communication, marketing and the account based mindset. This is reach well. Thanks so much for joining us today on our final episode exploring the mindsets of empathy and relevance. My name is Jeromy and I'm joined today by CEO and agency founder Jason Fergusson. Welcome, glad to have you and chief creative officer Garrett Krinsky. I'm excited about today. You know, we've had some incredible we'll guess, in this series, starting of course with Keishi Bashi. It was so nice of him to share his story with us. I know this isn't his typical podcast, but I'm so glad that he did, because Tom Sereg, his manager, had some super interesting insights about the parallels in the music industry. A lot of listeners responded really well to what Justin Barriso had to say about emotional intelligence, and Q superville from transmission. He had some really great anecdotes about showing empathy for relevant marketing too. You know, as q mentioned in his interview, if you're talking to everyone, you're talking to no one. Just talk to one person. That's where the success is. I hadn't thought about it before I heard Kay's interview, but that's really what it's about, is getting down into that one to one level, which isn't that a B M? You know, that's exactly what we're talking about it and having that intimate moment. Is that what customers want from a brand, from a product? There's humanity in that conversation, and maybe it was tom that said it in an episode thirteen about what people are expecting from a musician. And today is not just the music either. Right. Intimacy in terms of performance is one thing, but we're living in a in a digital era, right, and so they want access to that art, is what they think. They want access to what they're doing. They want. They want special access right. So I thought that's kind of interesting too. As we're thinking about this idea of relevancy, especially in our day and age, is is how do we show up in the right way for individuals? Even the content that's put out. Does it look authentic or does it look too polished, you know, like we see what performs better actually his content that's not cut up all beautifully. These should be candid conversations. How do people see more of us? They should see that through our mistakes and that's what people are drawn to. So I think that is a way of showing up in a relevant way, because that's what people expect. I suppose that can mean an adjustment for ourselves. US too, is week maybe reconsider our personal or corporate brand, to consider less of our own image and more of the value that we bring to others. Kay told me when we were talking that he felt those growing pains personally. He said he's still the same person but he's emerged from the last ten years with a fresh perspective and motivation. I think for any artist growth or personal growth of any kind, if your business owner or whatever, you have to keep trying new things, because I'm of the philosophy that if you do something for several years, you're going to be good at it enough to the point that it could be a part of your career. And so if you're passionate about something, if you stick to it, you're going to achieve a level of mastery and experience that people will want. And so with the documentary filmmaking, you know, this is my first for a and in the beginning I was really bad at interviewing people and I was not a very articulate person and not a documentary. And you know, I've been pretty involved in my music DEOs and I love animation. I've directed some animation before.

Just a history doc by itself is difficult to get into. You know, you have to be in a certain mindset. Is a collaboration between the council includes music. I feel like it makes it easier. So I guess like the idea of Song Films. It's like a new medium that I'm trying to create here. So it's about music and history together. It's tricky because it is it a music documentary, or is it a history documentary, or is it something? You know, it's a social documentary, Um and I think it's all three. I'm making an album and when it comes to story, story without an ending, it's not about being angry about the past or being disillusioned. It's about cherishing your humanity and really getting to the root of what cause these problems, to understand them and then to move on and to unify. Whatever you do has to come from a place of love. At the end of the day, you should be able to freak of one another and just move on and then do the best protect everybody. In the past five years, after making this movie, Oh my Yutti, I'm just like way more woke than I was before, because I've been studying racism and marginalization for like the past four years, like pretty heavily, and so I'm a more mature artist, more accountable myself. I'm still the same person. I'm curious to see how it will affect me. I'm definitely less selfish, I think. I think I used to be making music about anything I wanted. Now I understand I have a bigger responsibility, so I'm a little more emotionally mature these days. There's a personal note here about being a musician. I want to create art for me and hopefully someone sees something in that. But then he grew into listening first and then creating art to further that conversation. And I feel like personally, as marketers, it's like we have to grow beyond just being a visual artist versus a designer, versus a marketer who listens and then responds with compassion. And maybe to me that's the growth trajectory personally, I think, coming from our direction and creative direction, towards crafting things that resonate and that show empathy. Yeah, that is a universally crucial transition that I think every designer needs to submit to. You know, you start with that motivation to express yourself, but eventually you really need to let go of your personal motivations and absorb the motivation of your client. I feel like to the challenge as a creative is having ideas and coming to a client with an idea versus developing something after you listen. Like I'm guilty of this all the time. I hear the client, I hear a brief, I come to the brief meeting with a fully baked idea in my mind and then how do I fit what they're saying into my fully baked idea. You know. Yeah, do you? Do you think that that comes from seeing a repeating pattern, that of needs over time and then developing a kind of knee jerk reaction or assumption based on that past experience? Because a part of that is is actually taught right, and we're always looking for ways to apply frameworks to problems and marketing megs, four PS, whatever. Right, maybe we have like this overarching framework that we know it's going to connect with with most of our target audience. But this framework of the four PS of product price promotion, partnership, that was back in the forties, that this framework was developed. Now personalization is there. So on account based marketing, how do we now get really granular with those drivers, personal and professional, with the individuals that we want to connect with, having some empathy of understanding their situation,...

...their motives, what's driving them, and showing up in that way? It becomes highly relevant. Now we've taken a story that connects with a broader audience and now made it just for them. Yeah, so let's try to resolve a few of these lingering questions about applying these principles in an account based environment, specifically we're excited to have a veteran, a B M or with us today, Keith Prang Hoffer. Awesome, thanks, Jason. Thanks realm me. Nice to meet you both. Welcome, Keith. Can you give us, uh, maybe a little bit about your role and who you're working with? Yeah, I work at Microsoft and I spent my career last fifteen years and account based marketing, but currently work with large I s V partners really focused on driving long term transformation leveraging the cloud. So it's not just how we're going to go to market as a single organization, but how do you go to market with another billion dollar company? It's a lot of fun, very cool. How did you get into account based marketing specifically, like where did where that journey start? At Microsoft and lead field marketing for consulting services business and you think about where a being really originated from, his back in the consulting world and they need to know their customers deeper and be able to build a broader portfolio of business. So that's how I got connected into it through the I t services Marketing Association, rights and a twelve years ago, and then it's moved into product and now into partnerships. So now you're I s V. help our listeners. What does that stand for? Independent software vendors? So I guess Microsoft's and I S V. If you have a SAS solution running up in the cloud, yeah, you can be an IE V. got it. So we're talking right now about this idea of relevance. Is this mindset of relevance and, as you're talking to a musician currently, this idea of being relevant plays a key role in music connecting with an audience. And likely you find that maybe similar as a marketer. How do we connect with our audience? You know? Yeah, I use the analogy from the movie inception. I love that movie, and in the film, Leonardo DiCaprio is a thief. Friday's a professional deep that goes out and steals corporate secrets, but he gets into the subconscious of his targets right, these people that he's going after. and to me I think there's two things that bleed into that. Is I'm not out there to take corporate secrets, but I'm not there to win mind share. And so relevance isn't just how did I get the message right or the content or the specific event, but it's this experience where I'm able to not just understand what my customer, or who I'm trying to serve, wants right now, but what do they dream to accomplish or what do they dream to accomplished for there in customers, and how do I become parts of that dream or help shape it? To me, that is true relative, because then I have mind share and I have preference. With those two things, you can do a lot of good for yourself and your customers. Like, what enables you to do that? How do you gain that share of mind in our target audience? Yeah, there's a myriad of tools, but for me it's access. So getting in and actually spending time with your clients or your customers, getting to know their end customers. So how do I get to know and be embedded with that customer? How do I get to have conversations with them? How do I get to build with them and even then talk with their inn customers, go to their events, go to their stores, experience it. To me, those are the things that really allow you to bring relevance and gain that mind share that, I think, differentiate marketers that do it great versus marketers that do it really good. Could you describe what that time spent is accomplishing. Like what...

...are you looking for when you make these visits? Well, listening is a lot of it, but I'll tell a story of actually one of than my employees that did such a great job. He actually went to a bank that we were working with and he spent time going actually into the bank as an in customer, not online, not go into the a t m, but actually went to the teller stand just to take out money cash a check. So he went to the step of actually seeing, like what does a physical experience look like? What are the human interactions that the employees that that customer are giving to their in customers? And so it was more lived experience versus having to go and come with the set of questions and hear the things I'm going to go probe, but to actually go in and breathe that experience of going into a bank and him explaining his process of how he did that. It really brought that to life for me. Now you can't go do it everywhere, but to me it's not necessarily coming in with the set agenda but actually living that experience that an in customer is going to give you insight that you could just bring back to that client that you're going after. That's gonna help you build a rapport that you wouldn't be able to do by asking questions. And what's your customer churn rate or what's your ideal customer profile? What's Your Business Challenges? What keeps you up at night? Actually coming in and saying hey, like, this is how I felt coming into your bank, right, whether that was good or bad, it's gonna unlock new conversations where you get to just listen and explore. So going experience how that brand shows up in the market. Yeah, I love that because it's like, how do you stay relevant in the minds of your audience? That takes understanding them, having empathy for our audience. What do you think are some of the barriers that we have to demonstrating genuine empathy for our ideal audience or right, your customer? Yeah, I think one of the things that is a barrier is access and probably our own comfort level and asking to have that access and permission. So, very specifically an account base, oftentimes we rely on the sales team to be our messenger or the voice of the customer back to us. So I think in some ways we hold ourselves back as marketers and doing it well, being able to go out a little bit on the limb and push and say, Hey, look, I want to go be part of that conversation, I want to go lead that conversation, coming out of the office and engaging in the same way as salesperson would with their customers is one of the barriersers and where we operate today in terms of being so virtual and remote. I think that creates a new barrier where we are all rushed for time. We want to get to the insights, we don't want to bother people. And then the other barriers, I think, just the amounts of information and what is meaningful and what is not. How do you sift through all that and find the time to actually pull out the nuggets so that you can respond with, as you said, empathy? Right, it is challenging. This is like super challenging. I think even just this remote environment that makes it even more challenging. And what I'm fine too is just being able to resume getting back in person with customers. It's been so valuable, right, because there's just little things we just can't pick up on even on a video chat or call or text or whatever. I think gets a Buddhist story that goes along the lines of, you know, you're walking down a path and actually see somebody as a rock on them and like, oh, that must be really painful. I have empathy for you, but then taking it that next step to say, let me help move that rock off you. That's actually showing compassion. So it's an empathy and action. I think many of us don't take that step towards. What's the action to be able to...

...bring together a great experience or put on a great show. Now it goes back to, I think, time and access. It seems like sometimes it's just ourselves, you know, getting out of our getting out of our way and in one way or another, right getting a level of immersion where you get that insight allows you to not only be relevant, because personnas get us relevant, right roles get us relevant, but now displaying empathy, being compassionate and action to go along with the feeling is so key of immersing yourself in the concerns of the clients. There's this other idea of even timing right. Sometimes it's it's the right time, sometimes it's a wrong time. What role does timing play in all of this. Yeah, new journey is the same and it's never straight, even as much as we want to put it into line your sales cycle. So timing, yes, is so important, but I would say like, don't let yourselfs feel like that you're too late to the game to come and participate then and go make it happen, versus hole back, because people are always continuing evaluating these days. But I'd go back one other thing. I think where everybody's missing the opportunity is that it's been so much time on the internal connection Um and you will never be able to demonstrate empathy for spending all your time on the internal alignment without saying all right, now, how do we bring the customer into the full I think the most important part is the customer. That circles back, I think, to your whole emphasis on access, then right, because that is often the layer that we maybe don't get access to. We've talked about it in the past how there is a level of vulnerability to getting access to the customer because you are asking questions that paint your immediate client as not having all the answers because, again, we are talking about in most cases, prospects that we're talking to. So what's the best way to gain that perspective? You know, without that ability, didn't necessarily sit in the room with someone. I think trying to understand your sales teams or Your Business Development Folks, where are they struggling, and come back to think about how you might be able to help them solve some of those challenges. So it may not be immediately getting access to the customer, but it might be all right, how do I help solve some of their challenges that they may be experiencing and bringing ideas to the table, whether that's they're trying to get a meeting with a certain buyer that they know is going to be influential or they're struggling to land a message or how they're going to show up through a proposal or through some executive meeting. They think bringing solutions and ideas of how you can enable them to be better. It's gonna build you a champion with that person. Didn't start to introduce the access to the customers. I think that's one way of trying to think about it as a stepping stone. If your blocker is internally, I think, to your point of externally, I go back to like actually bringing back the experience that you may have had with that customer, that lived experience of their brand or that they give their in customer, bringing that back to them. If you want to overcome that external barrier, if you can't get in, you have to bring them something that's meaningful. They just don't want to hear the same world pitch. Bring them something that's meaningful that you've experienced or seen. I pretty much guarantee you that's going to get somebody listening and it might be somebody that you didn't think cares in that buying center or in that organization someplace. It's going to open up by their opportunities and other conversations, any other like tools, strategies, books, resources you feel that would be helpful for other marketers and maybe even around this idea of relevance that have helped you do it. You know better. You know. I think for me it's building the network and having conversations with peers in your industry or your function and spending the time to do that, learning from others, even reading with my kids to me as I try to teach my kids. I realized there's...

...something I can take out of that right and you think about relevance and that how you have to bubble down what can be really complex topics into something that a child can understand. It's been in with my kids, like I'm learning a lot just through them, and it's really today where I learned the most and I would encourage others to try to prioritize the time around that. But that's great. Like if you were to look back on your younger self give them advice that would help you in your role. What would you say to your younger self fifteen years back, knowing what you know? Two things. One, don't overthink it. Do you think there's something that needs to be said? Say It, all right, say it with kindness, say it with empathy and compassion. Let's say it. Don't overthink it. And then the second thing is oftentimes we go through life and we have experiences and we think something went wrong or we didn't show up our best and we tell this story to ourselves of you know, I could have done it better this way or I really upset that person, when your reality, none of that happened. You just told that story yourself and you've spent so much time and energy, in many ways, breaking yourself down that wasn't necessary. So I started to ask people if I've felt I struggled on something. Hey, like this is what I'm telling myself, like, how do you feel about it? And of the time that's that's not what happened. And it happened on a partner call that I was on three weeks ago where I had said something I thought that wasn't the right thing to say. I think I've derailed this meeting and I followed back up with our development manager. His response was that was awesome, it was a great call. We're moving things forward and even though it's just thirty minutes, I created all this stress and anxiety for myself that wasn't needed and all that energy gone. So those are the two things. Don't have as they get. Don't let your own mind get in the way and create stories that aren't there. So I think Keith mentioned at best when he talked about access, and to me, access is the challenge. Yeah, and so as a big takeaway, this is the honest discussion with our clients. How much access can we get and then we can set an expectation for what this thing is actually going to do. So that's the key to me, is understanding how much access we can have, gaining that access, getting what we need from it and then building around that in our messaging, in our content, in our craft, in the pieces we put out into the world. A challenge in terms of gaining access to maybe key decision makers, influencers that affect a company decision. There's also this challenge of access to the actual customer as well, and so a lot of times we may be relying on the insights provided by maybe tools, we may be relying on insights provided by the front line, maybe their field marketers, maybe they're sales executives, etcetera, which are all beneficial, but can we go that extra step and put ourselves there? I think a common tenant through this entire discussion is this idea of being consultative right in their approach, and that's really one being an expert, but it's also kind of taking that listening position, identifying truly what that problem is before presenting, as we've discussed, the solution. So can we go that extra step? If at all possible, we should, because we're going to have the most relevant empathetic communication possible. There's an underlying mindset here too, I think, in valuing their perspectives of others right, seeing others in a different way, working on our attitude, and I appreciate... honest Kishi Bashi was about that journey. I feel like, despite what we've gone through, is human beings. Second, there's nothing more. We're still getting better and better at it's still better to be alive now than it ever has been. It's like that two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. We're always going forward, so let's just keep staying positive and, uh, do everything from a place of love. I think we'll be headed in the right direction. Thanks again to Kishi Bashi for providing the story for this series. If you want to learn more about his new documentary, a Moriati visit O M oh I Y A R I song film Dot Com. We'd also like to thank our friends over at Ega guys stories for collaborating with us on this piece. If you like, inspiring stories that highlight the journey toward purpose, will be the I K I G AI LAB DOT C O. I've thrown some hard or l s at you there. We'll have links in this show notes. You know, we've talked at length in this series about the need to really listen to our audience, but how do we get them talking? In our next series we're gonna take a journey to the future with education platform founder Chris Dough, who's going to talk to us about the value of involvement. We'll hear from neuroscience researchers, authors, experts and socratic reasoning and yes, marketers on how to guide meaningful conversations to favorable outcomes. You'RE gonna want to hit that subscribe button because we want you with us next time on reach.

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