In this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast, you’ll be introduced to Chris Carpentier, Product Marketing Manager of Benchmark, based in Tempe, Arizona. Chris will share his thoughts on digital marketing, content marketing, and product marketing in the B2B marketplace.
Chris Carpentier experienced Product Marketing Manager with a history of working in the electrical and electronic manufacturing industry. He is skilled in sales, management, content marketing, business development, and creative problem-solving.
Listen to the full episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast to learn more about:
- Building consensus among team members
- Delivering content for different stages of the buyer’s journey
- Ensuring the right CTAs are placed on the right web pages
- Getting out of your marketing bubble
- Learning how people digest content
- Understanding the buyer’s journey on a deeper level
Watch the Podcast Interview
Listen to the Podcast Interview
Chris has advice on differentiation:
“One of the more important things is consensus-building. I think for consensus-building when, okay, fine, you've converted one person to your view of the world. Still, now they've got to go in their organization and convert everybody else to their view of the world so you can get a really large purchase done if you're in that type of business in the B2B sphere, a one thousand-word blog probably won't be the best way to help hasten that along. So, that's where you have to differentiate your content and offer up other things besides what might be easy now, which is the focus on blogs, for example, that everybody else has and how hyper-saturated that area of content already is.”
Chris also talked about making the content creation process easier:
“There's a lot of really great tools that are coming out as far as content automation to a certain extent is concerned, as far as making it easier to make bite-sized pieces of content, for example. When I'm trying to approach a tool like that, we use one tool with videos to help automate our process as far as -- we've got a blog; how can we make it into a stackable social media video? Kind of like you'll see on Bloomberg's Snapchat or Instagram or something so that we can just turn it into a nice little video.”
Chris also discusses mistakes B2B marketing teams are making:
“The idea about being true to your brand and having the right tools in place or having the right organizational buy-in in place to deliver on those brand promises, as far as digital goes, is really important. That's what I thought would be a good thing to cover at that point because there's a lot of organizations, as we mentioned, that aren't getting the subject matter expert buy-in, don't have the right tools at the forefront of the customer journey to deliver on some of their promises about being friendly or being approachable.”
All of this and more is discussed in this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast. To learn more about Chris Carpentier and contact him with any questions about the topics discussed, you can find him on LinkedIn or at Benchmark.
Lightly Edited Transcript
Joshua Feinberg (00:49): Hi, it's Joshua Feinberg from the B2B Digitized Podcast. And I have a very special guest with me here today. I'm welcoming Chris Carpentier, who is a Product Marketing Manager at Benchmark in Phoenix. Chris, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining me today.
Chris Carpentier (01:06): Thanks for having me, Josh. You were the original, as far as I'm concerned, for getting me into marketing in the first place. I remember when you were hosting the HubSpot user groups down in Boca Raton, Florida. I attended one of those as part of a SCORE conference, Service Corps of Retired Executives, I think junior year or something. And that's really what kind of pushed me in this direction. So, it's kind of surreal to be here now and talking to you many years later, and I appreciate being on the show.
Joshua Feinberg (01:35): That's awesome. It's funny, looking back now, when we first met, it was probably back in 2015, about six years ago. What impressed me is, I didn't see a lot of college students taking the initiative to come out and learn about small business issues and entrepreneurial issues. It reminded me a little bit of something that I would have done my junior, sophomore, senior year in college, trying to figure out everything about what to do with next steps. So yeah, that really made a strong impression.
Joshua Feinberg (02:02): I remember you also were instrumental in introducing me to the folks at Tech Runway, too; you were involved with that at the time. Cool. So, for viewers or listeners who aren't familiar with your background, could you walk me through a little bit about your career journey, how you ended up in your current role at Benchmark, and the steps along the way that got you there?
Chris Carpentier (02:25): Sure, sure. So, like we were talking about just now, as far as my start in business, I started at Florida Atlantic University, which had a really good entrepreneurship program over there. So, I got a degree in management and entrepreneurship at FAU and was involved in the startup community. Tech Runway is a great example of an accelerator spinning out some exciting businesses in the South Florida area.
Chris Carpentier (02:52): From there, I wanted to go to a tech company, found a really exciting one in Telit, which is an IoT company primarily, and I started as a kind of generalist in the marketing team and started focusing more on the three-year tenure there towards content marketing and digital marketing as my specialty area and something I enjoyed. After that, I wanted to get my MBA and decided it'd be a good time to get a broader, higher-level scope of the world of business and how I could contribute.
Chris Carpentier (03:23): So, I found the Arizona State University MBA program to be an exciting one to join. Again, kind of similar to FAU as far as a great startup culture, a great tech scene over here too, in Phoenix, that's growing. So, that was attractive to me; along with the weather, going from Florida to Arizona, you can see where my priorities lie.
Chris Carpentier (03:44): So, two years there, I did an internship at the pharmaceutical company Merck, in their strategy department, specifically for sales and marketing, and that was interesting. Completely not focused on external messaging; it was more internally, getting everybody together and on the same page on what markets to target and different things like that, out of my comfort zone, but that's what made it exciting.
Chris Carpentier (04:05): Then, I decided to stay in Tempe for full-time employment after the MBA. And this is where Benchmark seemed like a great fit. So, Benchmark is about a $2 billion size firm in... What people mostly see as the contract manufacturing space, we call ourselves an engineering and manufacturing services firm. So, we help bring products to market for larger OEMs that operate in pretty complicated or regulatory-heavy spaces.
Chris Carpentier (04:34): It was an exciting role for me, because I got to dip my hand a little bit into product marketing, even if primarily we're offering these manufacturing services, how we bring them to market, value propositions, and things like that are what I focus on in the industrial, medical and semi-cap sectors. So, it's been about three months in the Benchmark role, really enjoying it so far. And yeah, we're wrapping our heads around all sorts of these digital strategies that you bring up on the podcast every week.
Joshua Feinberg (05:01): It's fascinating too, to look at your background, that you've managed in a very short period of time to have experience with entrepreneurs, startups, like pre-revenue, mid-market for a couple of years, and now enterprise, which gives you some very interesting perspective on how to structure different campaigns and goals and initiatives with very different levels of resources.
Chris Carpentier (05:21): Early on, I tried to capture as much perspective as possible to inform the rest of my career. So, I'm grateful and blessed that I've been able to do that so far. Yeah.
Joshua Feinberg (05:33): That's terrific. So, for someone that is just getting started, that's contemplating a career in marketing and working with a company that's going to be focused a little bit more on the business side, on B2B, what advice would you give to someone that's just starting that they should be thinking about in the first couple of years of their career?
Chris Carpentier (05:54): I would say it's really important for those types of folks to put themselves in the shoes of the buyer and try to understand the buyer’s journey on a deeper type of level. I think that when you're going into the B2B marketing world, it's easy to focus on, "Okay, let me put out as much content as possible. What are the different topics that the company I'm working for covers? Okay, let me put out some content, and we'll go from there."
Chris Carpentier (06:22): But I think in that rush of things -- and that's new learning for them, they're going into the B2B marketing world, maybe they haven't written blogs before, maybe they haven't identified what a customer journey is or the different steps to it, so they focus on these external, big things. But there's actually a lot of stuff that introspectively they could look at as a B2B buyer or as a B2C buyer, as far as what they do in their consumer life, that would inform them better about the journey of their customers that they're trying to target.
Chris Carpentier (06:52): You talk about it a lot on the podcast, it's one of the reasons I really enjoy following your LinkedIn for example, is you'll talk about how our consumer lives affect our lives as B2B buyers or the folks that we're trying to influence as marketers. I think that's really apt when it comes to; we want things quicker, we want to talk to people, salespeople, less and less. And if you can think of those things as a new person in the B2B marketing space, you might think to yourself, "Oh, okay, maybe the only CTA that we have to download a white paper or be contacted by a salesperson isn't actually going to get me the conversions that I need."
Chris Carpentier (07:32): And that's one pretty big and important lesson that will hopefully drive those folks to bigger successes, to consider what other CTAs you might want to look at, or what other types of calls to action you're going to put at the end of the blog or an end of a white paper or something to actually get conversions and make people feel as if they're going to get some help by pressing that button or what have you.
Joshua Feinberg (07:56): It's interesting, if I think about this five or six-year period, even leading up to the pandemic, there was a really strong motion and people wanting to self-serve and not really wanting... And just doing tons of research before they're open to talking with someone from sales, and it being more and more difficult for sales to get involved in these early conversations. Then, of course, now with nobody having physical phones on their desk very often anymore, and people working from home and just the whole notion has completely changed. I'm wondering, in the roles that you've had, if you think about when you were just starting to learn about digital marketing as a student back at FAU, where the curriculum was probably either current or maybe even a few years in the rearview mirror, to where we are now, does it seem like it's just been six years of progress and acceleration? Or do you see a much bigger jump forward in terms of people's buying behaviors?
Chris Carpentier (08:53): Yeah, I mean, I think there has been a big jump forward, and I think the issue lies, for example, during my MBA in the past two years, that's when that acceleration happened; it hit right between first and second year. So, you've got marketers that might be in that program for the first time trying to switch careers from engineering to marketing or supply chain to marketing. They have a picture of an organization back before the MBA that just isn't the same now that the MBA has come through. So, that changes things as far as where some of the priorities should lie.
Chris Carpentier (09:27): I think the other difficult thing is that makes it a case where, if you're going to bring these new types of calls to action or new ways of influencing folks along the buyer's journey, you're going to have to get out of the marketing bubble and talk to other people elsewhere in your organization to get some of this stuff done.
Chris Carpentier (09:46): If self-service is really important, okay, maybe we have a chatbot on the website to help people click through and self-select to the area that interests them. We're going to have to have, at least at some point, either subject matter experts or sales folks on that bot, helping them out, go through that process, or at least getting the process set up if it's going to be all automated. And that's going to be a big change for these different types of organizations that marketing will probably have to influence.
Chris Carpentier (10:17): So, I think a lot of what I focus on when I talk to people and the marketing program at ASU, I present every so often, is how much you have to get out of the bubble and focus on influencing folks to see from the marketing point of view and see from their point of view, how we can work together to get stuff done for these new types of buyers that are out there.
Joshua Feinberg (10:36): Yeah. That brings up a really interesting point about who is in the best position to have that close, early conversation with potential customers? If prospects are truly allergic to sales until they're really far along, product teams, in theory, should be pretty close, but yeah, who's going to own that critical customer insight to figure out what we're missing? What's top of mind? How do we get closer to really understanding who it is and why they should pay attention to us in the first place?
Joshua Feinberg (11:07): Interesting too; when I ask entrepreneurs about differentiation, they almost always go into how their products and services are differentiated. The reality is, there are just so many people and so many organizations that are now cranking out thousands of blog posts and videos and posts and everything. The first battle is to have something unique and valuable, and relevant to get people to pay attention.
Chris Carpentier (11:30): Oh yeah. And I've had to come out of the fog, like the rest of the MBA students I was describing after the past two years, and update how I approach different issues when it comes to where along the buyer journey we're going to deliver certain pieces of content? Or how we're going to address potential leads or customers? Yeah, I've had to point to different areas to understand what could be some other ways, looking at the buyer's journey. Gartner always comes out with great sales and marketing resources, and they talk about the B2B buyer's job.
Chris Carpentier (12:07): One of the more important things is consensus building. I think for consensus-building when, okay, fine, you've converted one person to your view of the world. Still, now they've got to go in their organization and convert everybody else to their view of the world so you can get a really large purchase done if you're in that type of business in the B2B sphere, a one thousand-word blog probably won't be the best way to help hasten that along. So, that's where you have to differentiate your content and offer up other things besides what might be easy now, which is the focus on blogs, for example, like you said, that everybody else has and how hyper-saturated that area of content already is.
Joshua Feinberg (12:46): Yeah. And there's this big pushback in the last year or two of marketing teams that are going after things that are easy to check off the box, like getting MQLs and ebook downloads but don't necessarily have a high purchase intent. So, it's tough to get from there to a sales conversation, and then all of that's just being fueled by trying to show progress at any cost of VC-backed companies.
Joshua Feinberg (13:09): It's a challenge to figure all of this out because the reality is most salespeople do want to be involved in these conversations early on, but most of them haven't quite changed the positioning to where they want to talk about the contents of webinars and white papers. They want to go directly into trying to qualify someone and move the process along. So, that whole context switching and getting the culture to change to be about expertise, as opposed to just products, it's such a big challenge. And I think it’s one of the biggest daunting things that need to be figured out at the C-level of organizations.
Chris Carpentier (13:45): Yeah, no, that's for certain. I mean, if we talk about that consensus-building aspect, I mean, one of the things that I think we're trying to do more of at my company is to have the snackable pieces of content but in formats that are easy to distribute via email, easy to get past firewalls, and stuff like that, won't get hung up somewhere along the chain, so that we can send that to the champion within the organization and help them disseminate it around the rest of the organization if they think that Benchmark, for example, is a really good fit for whatever problems they have in the manufacturing or engineering space.
Joshua Feinberg (14:20): So, you're relatively early on in your career in digital marketing content, marketing, product marketing. But I know you've had the opportunity to work with some people who are probably midway through their career, in their 40s, probably even pushing into early 50s, 20, and 25 years into their careers. And I'm trying to... Everyone has, for the last seven or eight years, been in this unique space of like, "Okay, I can speak boomer, I can speak millennial, and Gen Z." One sees that it's not going to be very far off before the Chris Carpentier’s are controlling a significant budget and in a decision-making role. How has that all played out when you've been on teams where you represent that new generation of buyers, but you're working with people that are pretty far along in their career and are trying to stay relevant? How does that consensus-building usually work out?
Chris Carpentier (15:14): Yeah. I mean, it's certainly something I'm doing right now as I try to bring different tools into Benchmark's marketing toolset to help us figure out either from the perspective of, "If I was a buyer, how would I want to be interacted with?" Or, "I am a buyer, and these are the different ways I've interacted with other companies. Can we bring these types of things in, from the inside looking out, to make our content creation processes easier?" Or what have you?
Chris Carpentier (15:41): There's a lot of, I think, really great tools that are coming out as far as content automation to a certain extent is concerned, as far as making it easier to make bite-sized pieces of content, for example. When I'm trying to approach a tool like that, we use one tool with videos to help automate our process as far as -- we've got a blog; how can we make it into a stackable social media video? Kind of like you'll see on Bloomberg's Snapchat or Instagram or something so that we can just turn it into a nice little video.
Chris Carpentier (16:17): And I think the consensus-building part of that for me is bringing out the proof points and reminding myself that I guess folks that are higher up in the organization that have looked at problems a certain type of way, you've got just to hone in on, "Look, this is the ROI. This is how much time we can save; this is how much money we'll save based on intern hours or whatever, using this type of tool versus another. Here are different types of success that have been brought by other companies using this type of tool. And this is how it's going to be relevant to us."
Chris Carpentier (16:53): The MBA, for example, teaches you a lot about how you're going to be building a consensus in an organization and how important that is. Going back to the first question about folks new to the digital marketing sphere, the consensus-building part is critical. And I think you have to be honed in on how your managers, for example, might interpret the world. And I think for me, it goes back to the ROI. It goes back to, if we're going to dedicate this amount of budget, what are we going to get out of it? Is this going to make my life easier or harder? And don't worry so much about the super technical details that we, as younger folks, might understand better than folks that are higher up in the ladder and already have a concrete definition of what digital marketing should be in their mind.
Joshua Feinberg (17:41): I think one of the biggest challenges if I look back over the last eight or ten years, there was this general steamrolling of branding budgets away into demand generation and lead generation budgets, where everything could be measured. So, what's ended up happening now is the pendulum has swung so far that you have people blindly following these OKRs and goals and everything. Yeah, we got these 10,000 MQLs and created all this pipeline and everything like that.
Joshua Feinberg (18:11): The reality though is, it's become more important than ever to have a brand, but the challenge is it's difficult to measure, and it's a long game, it's not something like you're going to create a podcast or a brand new YouTube channel or video series or conference and immediately you're going to go from zero to 10,000 in a matter of a couple of months or significantly influence a pipeline of revenue growth that quickly.
Chris Carpentier (18:34): Oh yeah, yeah. That's for sure. And the thing is because tools like AI-assisted tools are coming out, we talked about chatbots and things, the video example I just gave. There is an opportunity now; I think as things get more automated to bring that digital marketing budget and swing it back the other way to the longer-term brand type of things. If you're a brand in the B2B space that is supposed to be friendly, you're supposed to be approachable and have subject matter experts you can trust that are accessible and solve problems for other businesses. Well, you can put them on a chatbot now, and I kind of see it almost like a little bit of a longer-term brand exercise as far as how accessible they are.
Chris Carpentier (19:19): You might chalk that up to brand if you're looking at a big organization; 10 people clicked through a chatbot, and you have built up, in their minds, brand equity that you are an approachable brand. I think there are ways to do that now with the tools that are coming out that may not have been available five or ten years earlier in digital marketing experience, as far as ways to customize how you approach the buyer journey and how you reach out to folks and get moments of value that are going to speak out to the potential consumers as your organization is not only talking the talk but walking the walk when it comes to whatever brand they say that they have.
Joshua Feinberg (20:02): The AI and the chatbots are super interesting to me as well because it feeds into this whole idea that people just don't have patience anymore. They're not going to watch the 60-minute webinar recording. I've noticed that even more and more, I'm playing back videos at 1.25 or 1.5x speed and still watching a 40-minute recording in 60 minutes.
Joshua Feinberg (20:25): But there's something even deeper than that, and I think that's the whole repurposing movement, where, let's say, you're talking about six best practices, and your speaker is talking for 48 or 50 minutes and then some Q&A. It's very likely that the audience doesn't love all six of those best practices equally. And numbers two and five are where they pop. And suppose you chop them up in smaller three and five-minute videos. In that case, you'll likely get people to watch the whole thing, as opposed to getting bummed and saying, "I'm looking at my analytics and my heat map in the video hosting software, YouTube or whatever, and why are people only making it to minute number 12 out of 60? Don't they know all the good stuff?"
Joshua Feinberg (20:59): It's the same thing with the long-form content. You have this great 40-page ebook, but maybe people want to consume it in a bunch of 500-word blog posts. Or maybe the 500-word blog post is too much, and there are two or three tweetable 280-character versions of it that'll resonate. Without having a good, solid editorial production process and testing these things, you'll just never know.
Chris Carpentier (21:24): Yep. No, that's for certain, I mean, I'm a fan of your podcast, but the way that I take it in is by LinkedIn posts and different things that you're posting all the time. I'm not even sitting down maybe to listen to that whole thing, but the snippets are what gets me. It also has the benefit of you've gone in after the fact, after the conversation and curated what you think the best and most relevant pieces of content are going to be.
Chris Carpentier (21:48): I am still following up enough that I think at the end of the day, after maybe three posts or something, I'm getting the full picture of what was conversed with that specific podcast guest or something. That's the way people digest content. I'm constantly looking over my shoulder as far as, is the time that I'm spending looking at different types of software that might help my marketing funnel; how much time should I be spending on this versus other things? Am I going to get the buy-in from the rest of my organization to use this tool? If not, I'm kind of wasting some time here; let me not do that. The brands that make it more easy and approachable not to have that risk when you're doing the research are the ones that I think will win in the end.
Joshua Feinberg (22:32): I think one of the challenging things too, in any organization, is winning over the internal subject matter experts to have them participate. It can be a pretty light level of participation on their part, like an internal subject matter expert that you interview for a half hour like this four times a year. It's very, very low on their part; you give them a half dozen things we want to talk about, come prepared, record it. And from that, you have a piece of long-form content; you have a bunch of short-form content, you can transcribe it, turn it into text posts, images posts, and everything.
Joshua Feinberg (23:01): But getting that level of commitment when people are like, "I don't have four half-hour blocks spread out over the year." You're like, "Really? Don’t you have two hours a year? We're going to put you in lights. You're going to be famous. People are going to be tapping you on the shoulder at conferences." But these are big cultural issues for companies to surmount and overcome.
Chris Carpentier (23:20): Yeah, they can be. If things like that are coming up, then if it happens enough and marketing folks hit up against those sort of roadblocks, all right, well, let's go back to the CMO and the rest of those sales and marketing organizations and say, "Hey, we need some sort of brand change because we're supposed to be approachable. We're supposed to be all these different things, but if we can't provide this value to customers early on, we have some sort of issue that's popping up, and we might want to change the way that we talk about ourselves."
Joshua Feinberg (23:49): Chris, what do you think is the biggest mistake that B2B marketing teams, digital marketing teams are making right now that you see in many different contexts across the board?
Chris Carpentier (23:59): Yeah, I think, a lot of it's covered, and we just happened to bring it up earlier in the conversation, but the idea about being true to your brand and having the right tools in place or having the right organizational buy-in in place to deliver on those brand promises, as far as digital goes, is really important. That's what I thought would be a good thing to cover at that point because there's a lot of organizations, as we mentioned, that aren't getting the subject matter expert buy-in, don't have the right tools at the forefront of the customer journey to deliver on some of their promises about being friendly or being approachable.
Chris Carpentier (24:42): I think that's where it's really important to either step back and look at your digital toolset if you're just the marketing team in your bubble. But then when you're working with the rest of the organization, trying to figure out how we can get the organizational buy-in, how can we make the sales team, for example, think about things differently and give them a reason for investing earlier on in the buyer's journey, so that overall we can attract more customers to the business and get more leads to things that are at the core of marketing from the get-go.
Chris Carpentier (25:15): We also talked about an issue with folks just focusing on blogs or just these other types of written pieces of content. Suppose you don't have the things to back it up, making it quick and easy to book a meeting with the calendar link or something. In that case, you're going to be missing out on what buyers are concerned with nowadays because they're either experiencing it with your competitors, or they're experiencing it in their consumer lives with Amazon automating the heck out of the customer service process to a good end. And that's going to be a big issue for these folks coming in.
Joshua Feinberg (25:50): It's funny, not an hour ago, I was looking at my LinkedIn feed, and one of my colleagues was putting a debate out there about how salespeople think everyone wants to have the calendar link to self-book a meeting. And the CMO perspective is, "Don't give me a meeting link; tell me when you're available for when I'm going to take your meeting." And he was like, "Who's right?" I'm like, "Probably the CMO is putting the salesperson in the vendor box and making them jump through a ridiculous amount of hoops." They aren't even motivated to want to have the meeting with the salesperson; they’re trying to tell someone that they took the meeting for the sake of having a meeting.
Joshua Feinberg (26:20): So, it's a combination of two problems. It's a combination that one, the sales team should be trying harder. I've been saying for probably five or six years that, look at the email signature, the business card, the LinkedIn profile, and come up with a better synonym for what it is that your sales team does. Anything with an advisor, consultant, specialist, or something like that, knocks the socks off of sales development or account executive or something like that. So, there's a positioning problem on that side where the prospect doesn't feel motivated to want to have the meeting in the first place because they don't see value in it.
Joshua Feinberg (26:50): Then, on the other side, you just have a marketing executive who's completely overreacting. Who's completely saturated when marketing doesn't see -- marketing to marketers is incredibly challenging just in and of itself -- and doesn't see the unique value in having that conversation. But yeah, the reality is everyone's trying to get rid of friction. I always say things like, "Imagine that your ideal prospect is researching on a holiday weekend." It's 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon, and they have an hour to work on this. They don't want to wait until Wednesday morning when you're available, 96 hours from now.
Joshua Feinberg (27:24): And whoever's going to make the self-serve experience and have great on-demand videos to watch and comparison guides and case studies, whatever, there's a really good chance that they're going to accelerate dramatically with the self-serve, DIY kind of resources as opposed to waiting for a person.
Chris Carpentier (27:39): Oh yeah. Yep. That's certain, I mean, for example, I mean, in all the different B2B roles I've had, we've tried to focus on, for example, ROI calculators, can we get some sort of really useful tool that'll help the consumer understand their journey they're going to be going through for a manufacturing process or an IT process or choosing one sort of pharmaceutical versus another?
Chris Carpentier (28:05): But then the next question becomes, all right, maybe we can get the tool out there, but do we have an adaptive enough salesforce or do we have a sales force that believes in us in the holistic sales and marketing journey together, that they're going to use those types of tools to help hasten a conversation? And what training do we have to do to make it easier for them to do that? How do we connect results on a calculator with what the sales folks are going to do, for example? And these are different tools we have to work with, between sales and marketing and IT a lot of the time, too, to help get a more holistic brand experience that speaks to what we talk about on investors reports or what have you.
Joshua Feinberg (28:45): I think the idea of the case study interviews and similar kinds of social proof is incredibly important now, just because people have become so much more cynical, jaded, resistant to this. And whether it's content like that on your site, you're only going to share your big success stories with content they come across on, like review websites; people are all influenced as they go through that flywheel motion of, where are the customers that turned into the promoters, and the evangelists, and the brand ambassadors, that are going to help to fuel that positive word of mouth?
Chris Carpentier (29:15): Exactly. Yeah.
Joshua Feinberg (29:16): It's all back to the brand.
Chris Carpentier (29:18): That's entirely true.
Joshua Feinberg (29:21): So, Chris, one final area I wanted to ask you about today is where you think digital marketing in a B2B context is headed next? Is there something you see going on right now where we're going to look back two years from now and realize that there was a big inflection point going on?
Chris Carpentier (29:35): I mean, I am trying to keep as close an eye as possible on some of the different tools coming up as far as the content automation goes. I touched a little bit briefly on it before, but things that you see going on with GPT-3 for text interpretation and then putting out some text inputs and outputs. Some of the deep fake AI technology that you see out there. I mean, right now, they're being used to humorously copy, mirror politicians, and different things for commercials and whatnot.
Chris Carpentier (30:10): But I think that will allow for organizations that know that ABM is important. I can speak for all the organizations I've worked in; that’s completely how they've been going, as far as how they think about marketing, starting with a few organizations and landing and expanding from there.
Chris Carpentier (30:29): These automation tools, I think, will help more sophisticated strategies go through as far as how you can. I mean, right now, there are tools out there; you can record yourself like we're doing right now with the video and saying, "Hi, I'm Chris, check out this company and this tool we have." And then through some of the deep fake technology, it'll be iterated a hundred different times, it'll go to a hundred different contacts in a certain organization or something.
Chris Carpentier (30:55): And I think those types of tools is really what's going to help organizations that are suffering from smaller and smaller marketing budgets but still have pretty sophisticated ABM type of campaigns, but it's going to be like we were talking about earlier with the younger generation come up, it's going to be the TikTok generation, I think, that's going to embrace that and make that happen.
Chris Carpentier (31:16): Hopefully, upper-level managers will be open to those types of suggestions and let them flow through the organization, so they can differentiate themselves against competitors by giving a personalized type of experience through these AI types of tools that make it a lot easier to address a large audience in a personalized type of way.
Joshua Feinberg (31:36): I've even seen among the podcasting tools, there was one that, what was it? Descript, where it not only transcribes, but it will automatically detect all of your “ums” and “ahs” and filler words and get those out of there not only on the transcript but on the audio. But then you can go back, and it takes a sample of your voice. And if you missed a couple of words, it simulates your voice without having to go back and rerecord it.
Joshua Feinberg (32:04): So, if you have any kind of training content like HubSpot Academy is a fantastic example of this, where there's certain content that changes monthly, there's certain content that is a little more evergreen, they're good for a year or two, and they're trying to make it more modular. Suppose you think about podcasts or product content, where in between when you did the recording and when it's going live two weeks later, two changes need to be made without resetting the whole thing. Amazing what the AI can do to help you figure out and simulate with that. So yeah, that makes a ton of sense, especially applying it to ABM and the concept of shorter and shorter videos. YouTube is already copying TikTok with that, with YouTube Shorts, no attention span.
Chris Carpentier (32:49): That's for sure. Yeah. I've had to delete YouTube because of that. Because I'm stuck in that funnel, no TikTok, but I got YouTube. Hopefully, these AI tools bring out a larger conversation; now, we can err less on the side of caution when making content in the B2B setting. I think that's one thing that hangs up a lot of B2B teams is, let's not try new things, but let's make sure everything's buttoned up and creative, let's buy a $5 million studio to record things.
Chris Carpentier (33:20): That's appropriate for some things, and maybe not for others like we're doing right now. These tools, these AI tools, can back up a lot of it as far as post-editing goes so that you can be confident in the content you're putting out to your consumers and not invest quite as much time in it. So you can experiment more and figure out what works and what doesn't work. And then, a year later, put the budget in the appropriate place based on what you've learned from the data.
Joshua Feinberg (33:45): Even just pre-pandemic to where we are now, when I approached small business owners about video, their first reaction was, $3,000 to $5,000 for a one or two-minute professionally produced, overproduced video, that would take two months to create. Like things would change two months after it went live, and it would sit under museum glass and not get touched.
Joshua Feinberg (34:05): There still is a place for some of that. It's probably 10% or 20% for a small business, but the other 80% is this. Your product changes, and you need to update your explainer video; the studio is like Camtasia or Zoom video or something like that. Now it's recorded, and it's live that day or the next day. So, it allows rapid iterations on all of this. And most of all, the education, the trust-building, the bonding is there much faster, a lot less sterile, a lot less corporate.
Chris Carpentier (34:31): And the iterative nature of that type of content might be scary to a lot of folks, but it should be a lot less scary because you can always just change something out or re-record a new video, and it's a 30-minute investment in time instead of an hour or something -- or not an hour, days or weeks.
Joshua Feinberg (34:47): If you think about the content calendar, there are always ten ideas, and I'm going to guess and say that number two and number seven are going to be the best ones, and you're going to think it's like, "No, Josh, it's like three and five." And it ends up being like one that neither of us picked. And you won't know that if you don't have a way to produce and ship quickly and look at the data.
Chris Carpentier (35:06): Oh yeah, no, that's the truth.
Joshua Feinberg (35:09): All that makes a world of difference to figuring out what's working, better customer experience, and helping to solve for your goals. Well, Chris, I appreciate you taking the time to join me on the podcast today. If someone has any questions for you or wants to connect, what's the best way to reach you? I know you're active on LinkedIn.
Chris Carpentier (35:25): Yeah. LinkedIn would be the way to go for sure. Yeah, definitely share any questions you have or whatever. Go on LinkedIn. I'm happy to talk to people there and talk a little bit more about my journey especially. Hopefully, it'll be fun. Some of the younger folks coming through digital that want to ask questions, I'm more than happy and all ears to offer what opinions or experience I can.
Joshua Feinberg (35:46): Great. And if someone wants to learn a little more about Benchmark and your team’s work, what's the best URL you'd send them to?
Chris Carpentier (35:53): So it's tricky. The company is Benchmark, but you have to go to bench.com; that’s the URL we got. So you could learn more about all the different manufacturing and engineering services we do for organizations in really complex markets, usually regulated ones, that might want to bring a certain product to market.
Joshua Feinberg (36:13): Cool. As I said, I think there is a piece of thought leadership learning book or something like that, of the experiences of working with entrepreneurs and mid-market and enterprise marketing all within the first five, six, seven years of your career and what there is to learn from that because it's about as well-rounded as you can get with the different perspectives and contexts.
Chris Carpentier (36:34): It makes me dizzy sometimes, but I'm appreciative of it.
Joshua Feinberg (36:37): That's terrific. Chris, thanks again so much. I look forward to connecting again in person, sooner rather than later.
Chris Carpentier (36:43): All right. Sounds good. Thank you, Josh.
Joshua Feinberg (36:45): Take care. Stay safe.