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So What? How to build a marketing strategy

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.

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In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on building a marketing strategy. We walk through SWOT and Traction frameworks, what to do with the analysis, and how to turn that into a measurable strategy. Catch the replay here:

So What? How to build a marketing strategy


In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • What frameworks to use for your strategy (SWOT) and tactics (Traction)
  • What to do with the analysis
  • Turning that into a measurable strategy

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Change Management and Digital Transformation – 10/28/2021


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:


AI-Generated Transcript:


Christopher Penn 0:23
Happy Thursday everyone this is so what the marketing analytics and insights show is John and i this week, Katie is somewhere in the woods being chased by bears.

John Wall 0:35
Hopefully not.

Christopher Penn 0:37
Or a very large squirrels, one of the two. This week, in her apps, we’re gonna spend some time talking about building marketing strategies with frameworks. One of the things that a lot of folks in marketing seem to have a struggle with is, particularly this time of year is putting onto paper what the strategy is going to be for the next year. And having some kind of framework is a good way to start building out that strategy. It gives you something other than a blank sheet of paper that that lovely paralyzing feeling of, I don’t know what we should be doing. So we’re gonna take a look at two frameworks, a tactical framework called traction, and then a strategic framework. SWOT analysis. So John, why not start off with what is traction other than something you’re in when you’re severely injured?

John Wall 1:29
Yeah, right, right. We’re not talking about therapy. Here. We’re talking about trying to get the some actual movement, get things growing and running. The whole traction framework was basically taken from Gabriel Weinberg and Justin mares, they wrote a book called traction a few years back. And yeah, it was ridiculous, I covered everything you could do on the marketing and sales fronts. And I have a bittersweet relationship with it, because I had just done B2B marketing confessions. And their book was just better. Like, if I had to suggest one book to buy, I’d be like, no buy attraction first, then buy their book, because I had a lot of the campaigns and things right, but they got it right with the framework, they came up with a framework that makes it very easy to understand, and easier to put to use. And so that’s what we’ll talk about for a couple minutes here, just to get you on board, there’s three big components to their, their strategy. And the first is the 5050 rule, which is just that you should be spending half your time trying to grow the business half is working on the product to make the product better what you think it needs to be, but the other half needs to be spent on growing the business. And the pitfall for that is always, you know, the build it and they will come argument, you know, people think that, you know, if you build the best product, you’re going to win in the marketplace. And unfortunately, history is littered with fantastic products that you know, didn’t make the out into the wild, usually, because somebody was cheaper and faster. And so as a result, society as a whole has a creamier solution, you know, even though better products tried and work. And yet the attraction framework, I should say, too, was actually built upon research with a bunch of VCs and with hundreds of startups, they went back after, you know, the funds had closed down and said, okay, which ones succeeded, and why did they win? And 5050 is one part of it, you know, the ability to put enough work into growing the business. So that’s one. So from there, you’re okay, what do you do with that other 50 when you need to figure out how to grow the business. And the second component that is called the bull’s eye rule. And that rule is that you only want to pick three channels to work in, when you start at the very beginning, a big mistake that everybody makes is, you know, they get a 50 grand marketing budget. And so they sprinkle it around in 50 different little buckets all over the place. And anybody who’s been through, you know, more than one rodeo knows that that’s just complete disaster and a headache that’s going to kill you. And the solution to that is you pick three channels, you test all three against each other. And hopefully, and usually one of the three will have some traction, some activity. And the second one, maybe you want to try for another round. And the third one, usually you drop, and you just keep this iterative cycle going of pick one work, and over time, you will eventually just have all of the channels where there’s 21 channels in the model, and you’ll have all of them. But you start with three and you just as they generate a positive ROI, then you can decide to you know, go deeper and until you hit a point of diminishing returns. But by that point, it’s paying for itself and you can keep moving forward. So that’s the cycle and so then the big Of course reveal from all this is Alright, so what are the 21 channels? Where does everything actually, you know, come to bear and where do you actually put your money. And so this is the updated mom now, to be honest with this too. This is it’s based on Gabriel and Justin’s original model, but over the years We’ve added different branches and changed a bunch of things as things have evolved and moved. So the overall model here breaks down into four channels. Now, Product Marketing, which is you know, you can actually generate traction and do marketing programs by making changes to the product. At the bottom of sales, there’s just the, you know, putting a person to person discussion going in one flavor or another to make that work. marketing analytics is its own branch, because we are now at the stage where the analytics that you’re doing not only justify what’s working and not working, but you can actually get competitive advantage if your marketing analytics has moved farther enough down the down the as part of your model. And as far as what you’re doing, and we can dig in more to that. And then pretty much everything else on the classic marketing stuff. For that we’ve grabbed spin sex, Gini Dietrich says peso framework, which is paid, earned, shared and owned, but basically all the content that you create, you know, the content creation is its whole huge branch of the tree. And a lot of these efforts can take a lot of time and resources to become, you know, generate positive ROI and get things moving. But so with this list here, you would end up picking three out of here for your start to get going and continue to work through the the table as you go.

Christopher Penn 6:17
How do I how do I know which three to seven, there’s a

John Wall 6:19
lot in here, there is and and this is one thing that they make no bones about this is that there’s no way to know you have to jump in there and just start doing it, you know, you have to start running these programs. And the good thing is, like with social and display ads, right, you can run ads for a week, you can put 400 bucks into it in a week, and just see if it gives you any lift or not. And that’ll you know, let you decide whether you want to go forward with it or not. Now, most products are going to be having some kind of website, right. So you basically by default, are going to be doing some SEO and some content on the website. Most businesses are going to try and build their community around email marketing, so you’re going to have some kind of email functions going on. So that’s two right there. So you really have very little wiggle room, as you get started, you know, it’s gonna be challenging to narrow it down to three and figure out which way to go. The only other thing that they were very clear about is it tends to happen that whenever you go into any organization, if you go to the whole team and say, Okay, what should the three be usually two of the three, everybody’s in sync on, you know, people know that, yeah, these are the things that we’re doing right now that are working. And so it’s the third one that you have to go. But again, you can do you know, because you’re small and agile, one week, cycles, you know, try something for a week and see if it does anything. And if it doesn’t, well, then you rotate one of the three out and just keep working your way through the through the pile. But so this is great, because it gives you you know, at the beginning of the year, you can say, Okay, here’s what we’ve got in mind, here’s how fast the cycles are going to be, you know, maybe map out the next three or four you want to test as things fail, and at least gives you a structure, you know of what to do and where to go on that. And yeah, I mean, I can start to drill down further and we can kind of define these unless I don’t know Chris, is there a better way to go? Or any questions?

Christopher Penn 8:04
Yeah. So let’s, let’s pretend, let’s pretend I’ve got I’ve got a new book coming out, right? I’ve got a new book. And it’s okay, whatever. I, what do I how do I use this to make my dreams come true of that book being an Amazon top, you know, top seller? Right? Well,

John Wall 8:24
so for you for what you’ve got going on? I mean, obviously, email marketing, right, you’ve got the almost timely list was is massive, so that you just,

Christopher Penn 8:31
let’s pretend I got none of that. Like, oh,

John Wall 8:34
really, you’re it’s Ground Zero startup,

Christopher Penn 8:36
I got a brand new book, you know, Pokemon for marketers. And no one’s ever heard of me. In the Pokemon space, what do I do I buy I’ve got the book, and I’m sure it’s going pretty good, right? You know, Snorlax is comparable to your nurturing campaigns? How do I take this and turn it into into something useful?

John Wall 8:58
Yeah, so if you’re starting from ground zero, you know, one place that is pretty easy to start is usually search engine marketing and social and display ads. So at least just get one of the SEO tools, you know, run it through it, find out where are the websites that people are talking about this stuff? How hard is it going to be to, you know, if you write 10 articles, are you going to get any traction on that? And you know, are people actually going to read your stuff? Do they want to hear about it? And then you can just force that traffic with with ads, you know, you want to take and buy a couple topics and throw them out there. And yeah, for something like a book, in fact, most of the most effective people, as I see in this front, they don’t even write the book, they just start running ads for a couple of weeks and say, Hey, preorder this book. It’s about you know, you know, do you love having chameleon, you know, decide your search strategy. Go ahead and pick here. And what they’ll find is you know, some topics Yeah, you think they’re cool, but you just you get absolutely zero hits on the ads, or and the other one You know, you do have go to the landing page sign up to be notified when the book is published, you know, which is you make some date that you’re lying about that, you know, you hopefully you’re going to hit but you’re going to be six months late, because books are always late. But But mining out ads is the way to at least get some instant feedback on where that’s going,

Christopher Penn 10:17
that belong in Product Marketing man.

John Wall 10:20
Well, you know, that’s it. Yeah, you had a great point. And the like, this stuff is really pretty mushy. The big thing is that you pick three, and you stick with it, but kind of everything overlaps, like search engine optimization. Yeah, that’s marketing analytics. But really, a ton of that is driven by content, like you do have this, you know, the site structure and technical issues. But then, you know, a lot of that falls under the content marketing, publishing text. So they can be all over the place. And yeah, they tend to kind of leech out of their buckets as they go. But yeah, you pretty much again, the key is to like, pick three things to run with the most important thing you don’t want to do, if you have a marketing team of like one or two, you don’t want to be checking in on 10 programs, you know, because then the big part of that is that the trend that they saw over and over again, is that these marketing programs have steep learning curves, somebody who’s done, you know, social and display ads for a specific topic for six months, is, you know, 30 to 100 times more effective at running those ad campaigns, that somebody that’s doing it for the first week, the first time, you just learn so much as you go, that starting really small and just getting super good. And single channels is way more important than, you know, sprinkling money around all over the place. And just praying that stuff the exam. You know, for the book, one, like events could be key, you know, if there’s a community, obviously, for Pokemon, if you can, you know, back in the day, in the time before, when we used to go places, you could go to a Pokemon GO events and things like that you’d have, you know, give away a coupon for the book or whatever, that could be a huge successful thing for you. Yeah, the book. Oh, go ahead.

Christopher Penn 12:03
How does the product marketing section fit into so I got it got the book, you know, poke you on for marketers, whatever, like, how did those pieces in that blue relate to it?

John Wall 12:12
Right, so the big thing with the product marketing branch is, and it’s at the top, because these can be the most effective activities, is there anything you can do with the product, so that it will organically spread? Okay, so, you know, all the social networks totally leverage this right? as part of their engineering as marketing. When you sign on to the new social network, hey, upload your contact books, give us everybody. And so now, every time you’re sending a message to somebody saying, hey, you’re on head book, you know, welcome, come invite your aunts and uncles, and 65 people, and any of these organic things that are baked right into the product, a lot of it too, is just share your results, you know, you use x product, go ahead and publish your results to social. That’s the kind of stuff that can give you exponential growth, you know, because if something there works, and it just spreads like wildfire in its own, you get like the clubhouse effect, you know, who knows whether the app is really that good or not, but if everybody decides it’s cool this week, you know, you’re gonna get millions of downloads, and then a little bit of an angle on that is sometimes instead of so engineering as marketing is when you’re baking that stuff into the product, you also have existing platforms slide into that. So for example, any B2B SaaS thing, sooner or later you start to consider if it should have a Hubspot or a Salesforce integration, because if you can latch on to another platform, that’s just going to be you know, again, the bodies can just start pouring in from its own momentum. You don’t even have to get involved if you had a trying to think of a good angle for Pokemon. You know, if you could bake the Pokemon into Salesforce Trailblazer, where, you know, additional Trailblazer badges include Pokemon that would probably sell itself instantly you could retire off that

Christopher Penn 13:57
off Sharpie.

John Wall 14:00
Yeah, let’s do some game of vacation. Come on, get on board.

Christopher Penn 14:05
Okay, so assuming I’ve got a book that really isn’t a whole I can engineer to it because it is just a pile of pages right? We’re gonna something like influencer marketing fit in here.

John Wall 14:16
Yeah. So that influencer kind of is a little bit in between it’s, that’s, you know, classic awareness stuff. So it’s either conventional PR or it’s just your social it’s a matter of you know, do you get somebody to help you out with that? Or do you do it yourself in which case you’d be doing a ton of social but yeah, that’s for a book that could be a killer one you know, if you find top players and get them to endorse your book and say that it’s there and some of that could drop down on the sales channel to a good affiliate program. You know, a lot of influencer marketing is actually just affiliate programs. You know, it’s not that they really like it that much it but if they’re getting two bucks a copy, suddenly you’re gonna find that they’re willing to, to share it with everybody in the whole community, which can be great. Gotcha. Let me think. Yeah, go ahead. What else? Any other

Christopher Penn 15:06
questions? Well, so this is predicated on I guess the, this is much more of a tactical framework than is a strategic framework, right? Because it’s like, you know, where you’re trying to go. Now this is the map for how you’re going to get there.

John Wall 15:18
Yeah, and the big thing is, this is presuming that there is there there, you know, I hate to use that hackneyed phrase, but, you know, it’s you’ve already done the homework. And I think a lot of the stuff you’re going to talk about with lining up your strategy, but you’re kind of placing all your bets that you’ve already got the ship pointed in the right direction, and it’s just a matter of getting it moving faster. Because Yeah, this well, it will prove itself out really quickly. If you pick three channels and hit three channels, you know, once a week for four weeks, and you’ve gone through 12 channels, and you’re all zeros, it’s time to back up and do another a different kind of analysis. Alright,

Christopher Penn 15:57
so speaking of that, let’s let’s pivot to our friend the SWOT analysis. Now, John, based on on your past experience, What do you remember about SWOT analysis from like, all those Harvard Business Review case studies we all had to read?

John Wall 16:10
Oh, yeah, well, the case studies are a big part of it. But for me, it’s always this is like the classic kickoff activity, you know, they put the paper up on the the easel goes up at the once a year company meeting, and everybody runs through this. And yeah, I don’t know. Looking back now having more historical, you know, understanding of things like that’s absolutely insane. Like, why the hell would you do that with the whole company on board like, that’s for like a small group of managers to do and like figure out before you just throw it out to the rest of the world. So yeah, I guess that’s, I didn’t realize the places that I were was at were such a complete asylum, because, you know, that’s just as total insanity. I think the other thing, too, I know, you and Katie have done a bunch of stuff with us. And most people don’t do it properly. You know, they screw up the threats and the opportunities. So yeah, so I’m interested in you giving me the kind of the, you know, the actual method that works, so we can get

Christopher Penn 17:11
the grumpy old men complaining about the world first. So this is an example this is from a former team at old company. This is a SWOT analysis somebody put together for starting up a find a new financial planning blog. And in that initial planning, meeting, this this team and the people who were on I was a, a neutral observer, let’s say, and this is what they came up with was strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, which is what SWOT stands for. And they identify there’s the strengths of this new blog content products, they have good subject matter experts and skilled writers on staff the weaknesses that no advertising plan unclear hosting, namely, like they didn’t know where they’re gonna make this thing live on their company’s website. The opportunities were unique perspective, new spa, financial planning, and the threats were saturated market for financial blogs. Now I’m going to tell you off the bat, this fails. This is this isn’t. But what what’s, what do you see here, John?

John Wall 18:12
Yeah, yeah, like, this is all they’re looking at their own company and saying, hey, these are our strengths, our weaknesses, our opportunities, our threats, you’re supposed to be applying this to the market like this is what’s happening in the world. And the opportunities are like, here’s the things we can grab, and the threats or here’s the other people that are trying to grab it, or structural problems with getting there. So yeah, it seems like this is just a completely This is more psychologists couch stuff than actually looking at what’s going on in the market.

Christopher Penn 18:41
I’m gonna actually take it a step further down than that this is, so a SWOT analysis. Let’s go ahead and actually draw one up here, and we’re gonna do the standard two by two matrix, right, which is every consultants favorite. And we’re gonna do strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. Here’s Mistake number one people make with SWOT analysis. They think it is to sort of this big a morphus thing. This is not what this is. SWOT analysis is you versus one other competitor. Because in order to be able to clarify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you need to have it be that specific, you versus one competitor of some kind. That’s Mistake number one. You can’t even really do with the marketplace because the marketplace is kind of as big a morphus thing. It’s like you in this other thing. So that’s that’s number one. Number two is let’s go change costs here. You’re right. strengths and weaknesses. That’s us, right? So if I’ve got a new Pokemon book, right that or we’ve got a new podcast or we have a we’re consulting agency, what are our strengths? The things that we’re good at what are our weaknesses the things that we are bad at and these are things that are under theoretically under our control so if I’m putting out we’ve got a marketing podcast right like marketing over coffee Our strength is that we’ve been doing this show for one of our strengths we will do a show for 15 years now we’ve amassed a large audience we have a consistent format and a publishing schedule these are all things that our customers would find valuable our weaknesses we probably don’t advertise enough right? We probably we don’t really because it’s not a full time job we don’t have a full time marketing plan behind it right we just kind of do things and we don’t there’s not a lot of order or structure to it I mean the show does well for sure but it probably could be bigger if we if these things that were in the innate to our practices didn’t stand it right now from from your perspective thinking about the podcast well I got accepted that’s a good example what are some of the other strengths and weaknesses that are unique to marketing over coffee

John Wall 21:09
you know, the community is huge on the strength side you know it’s the fact that we both in our own careers to have been doing the same network and building the same audience so that’s that’s a big deal but yeah, it’s interesting that that space has changed in that you know, I think a strength that was being an early adopter you know, coming in and being able to kind of build things up before it goes but now that almost goes into a weakness now in that well I guess that’s more of a threat to but it’s just the landscape has changed it’s far more difficult for us to cut through the clutter just because there’s so many other different outlets out there and guest fatigue and all kinds of things like that.

Christopher Penn 21:54
Yeah, I would say being early I don’t think belongs either because it’s not something we have control over like we can’t troll that we were we’re not early and in a lot of ways it doesn’t really matter our community absolutely is under our control how much we choose to our community to nurture our communities same is true for like the analytics for Marcus like we have that community is an advantage the strength but it is also something that we have to actively work on it just doesn’t happen our audience same thing. So what other things are under our control? Do we either have do we do well or do we do poorly?

John Wall 22:30
Yeah. community can even be sliced up a couple of ways because there’s listeners and that it’s also guests and experts you know we have a Rolodex of people that can come on as guests and are willing to talk to us and then yeah, we do have a track record of you know understanding what makes a great story and puts together a compelling episode you know, call that hosting skill or whatever you want to call that but that is definitely something that we kind of already know what works and doesn’t work compared to a lot of the other stuff out there

Christopher Penn 23:04
what would you put on the weakness side

John Wall 23:06
Yeah, I was just thinking of a weakness you know again, it’s a weakness that we have control over and could make easier Yeah, I get you know just pure on budget you know, if we were to you know, have a market you know, a six figure marketing plan to promote the thing you know, that would be a big deal. Also, I’ve always wanted to do more work as far as becoming part of a network you know, like, do we need to Is it possible to and the whole space is going through this but like it just seems obvious that if six or seven shows on similar topics could align and they would just benefit from doing that kind of stuff but there’s just not enough for most properties it’s just too much of a struggle just to get the show out the door so there’s not enough strategy going on

Christopher Penn 24:00
right? Yeah, I was I put that into partners Okay. Now let’s pick a competitor so a competing show for whom that we compete with audience with technically in the podcasting space that’s literally everybody else right. So that that’s you know, Joe Rogan, that’s all you know, the the entire space. Let’s pick, let’s pick one in particular, I’m going to go with like Gary Vaynerchuk, because, you know, easy, prominent person, that’s gonna be our competitor. Here’s where again, we’re SWOT analysis goes wrong. These threats and opportunities. We we think of them as these acts, you know, weird, crazy externalities, when really all this is is our competitors strength, and our competitors weaknesses. Right. So now, we are doing the inverse exercise here. So for Gary’s show, he’s got a huge audience, right? That’s he’s got a fantastic guy. He has a content machine. So he has content velocity that is out of this world. He has staff he has 20 Seven staff just responsible for producing his stuff alone. Which is just not even the idea of having a five man camera crew following you around all day. Recording every single thing you do is slightly odd. But you know it works and distribution right so because he’s got this large network he’s got a distribution pretty well handle and he spends money like crazy. So he’s got a huge ad budget t on his stuff is spending on one of his recent podcasts was saying he spends a couple $100,000 a month on on just promoting his stuff, and he doesn’t care about the results at all. He’s like, I just want I just need to see eyeballs on my stuff. I don’t care who it is, you know, he has a kids show and stuff. Like I just want people paying attention to my stuff. So weaknesses, things are there under his control. Because of this, inherently, he inherently has a lack of focus. Try everything to see what was working, which means that there’s also a lot, a lot of waste, right? If you’re, you know, building a kid’s show for marketing, and you’re expecting you know, you’re trying to build a cartoons and comic books and stuff about your personal IP. That’s a a reasonable 15 to 20 year plan. Because the kid who’s 10 today who becomes an entrepreneur at 30. Yeah, if you are still alive, then that may be a good bet. But it’s a little bit tough. And because of the way that he does his content, there is a lack of originality. If you watch his YouTube channel, you don’t need to listen to his podcast, right? If you read his blog, you don’t need to watch his YouTube channel and stuff. He’s because he’s repurposing all the time. It’s pretty much the same stuff in every channel. And so if you’re trying to make a podcast successful, it should be something there that you can’t get other places. Now, from a big picture perspective, because of the the, the, the size of the strengths that he’s working with his strengths, greatly outlet power, his weaknesses, right, you know, he’s been enormously successful, and leveraging his networks. But the next step in a SWOT analysis to say, Okay, what are the things here that cancels each other out? Right? Other things that, you know, when we look at our strengths versus his weaknesses, do they map well? We do have good focus, right? So that is something that we can double down on because we have focus he doesn’t necessarily we don’t have a lot of waste because we don’t begin with right. But that is something here on this I we say okay, this is something we need to do more of, because yes, he’s he’s wasting money, but just that sheer distribution is working for him. So that’s kind of a thing that, I would say we add a plus one on priority, their lack of originality. Again, this is a good one for us, our content is good. When you do the guests from marketing over coffee, how do you? How do you decide what you’re going to talk about is like, you know, the I guess the thing I would say is, when you watch say, like Melissa benoist, promoting her new book, and you check out the Kelly Clarkson show, and Ellen and Oprah, it’s literally the same seven questions. She gets asked all the time, how did you come up with the idea for this book, so if you watched one, you don’t need to watch the others. Whereas a show like hot ones? The way Sean Evans does his interviewing, he does a crap ton of research. And he’s always asking questions that you’ve not heard on other shows. So when we do this, when you do this, the guests with marking over coffee, how original are the guests answers?

John Wall 28:46
Yeah, it’s the same thing like you’re talking about with hot wings. And it doesn’t scale that well. But it is the fact that, like, I’ve read the books, I always talk about how other interviews start with page one, I usually start with page 250. Like the best things you can get from an author yet, because people don’t realize this, when a book is finally in readers hands, the author has moved on for a full year. So the question of like, okay, now that you finished this book, like what are you working on? Now? That’s actually an answer that they’re not gonna give to all those other interviews? Because the other ones are just, they’re gonna have to start from page one, like, Oh, what’s this book about anyways? So yeah, that that is one thing is to do a lot more research and qualification, and you’re taking more of an MPR approach to the interviews.

Christopher Penn 29:33
Okay. And then for the segments that we do, how would you know, again, there’s stuff that we’ll see in the say, like Search Engine Land or things like that, how would you improve that? So that was even more original. So even if you read the article and Search Engine Land, listening to the show would be of benefit?

John Wall 29:53
Yeah, I think that’s, you know, one is that that stuff is being curated. So it’s, you know, you don’t have to read all the Because we’re going through, and we’re giving you the 10 most important ones for this week, and then it’s also the gut check on, we can actually provide additional commentary to, you know, as far as, yeah, no, we’ve tried that. And that’s a bunch of baloney. And you know, or that, yes, that does really work, and you need to do it. So yeah, that’s a very specialized info that we’re adding on to that. And yeah, there’s definitely value in there, somebody that listens to us for 20 minutes is basically saving themselves, you know, an hour and a half of combing through other outlets or trying to test stuff on their own.

Christopher Penn 30:30
Right. Okay. So what we’re starting to get now in terms of this framework is, it’s no longer just a laundry list of random posts, which is what it always ends up ends up being like some Yo, today strategic wallet post, it’s all over here, like, and now what we’re starting to outline the things that we can do, because remember, this is all about control, we have no control of what Gary Vaynerchuk does, you know, just like we have no control over what Accenture does, you know, we’re speaking for Trust Insights, we have no control, if you’re McDonald’s, you have no control over what Burger King does. But we have full control over these things. So based on these weaknesses, we’ve identified and these strengths, we can say, okay, we need as an action plan, let’s go with green here, we need to increase our originality and research, we need to continue to improve the value of our content, but we’re doing okay, on experts, we need to improve more of our community, because community is something that Gary does pretty well too. But we need to find our niche, something there that he doesn’t have and doesn’t care about. Because again, if you’re a small company going up a big one, you’re not going to take on the big one on a you know, face to face punching match. And when the same issue for the audience can be better. On the weaknesses side, we probably the budget is one thing, we probably need an actual marketing.

John Wall 31:55
Right, right.

Christopher Penn 31:58
with things like KPIs so that when you see other shows talking about, you know, the size of the audience, we can differentiate and say, Yes, we have 20,000 listeners, we don’t have 20 million. But 15 of those 20,000 are the are the buyers for the people who choose to advertise with the show. So if the goal is to make money, we can say yes, it’s not as big, but it is substantially better quality, then a different show. What else would you say prioritize you on the on the weaknesses side?

John Wall 32:35
You know, I think that’s pretty tough. Because as I’m going back now, you know, even though we don’t have the classic business plan, there has been, you know, I am picking off the three campaigns because we’ve been doing PR, you know, over the past two years now, I’ve actually been doing paid interviews on other casts. And so we’re starting to figure out if that works or not a paid ad campaigns have been running over the past year. So that’s been working. And then after that, it’s some SEO, you know, keeping the website in order. But I think, and that’s actually one that can go up on the strength is, you know, having 15 years of posts up on the website. There’s a ton of content out there. And so, you know, maybe 20% of the transcripts have been done, like the rest of the transcripts need to be done. There’s other things that we need to do to generate more traffic to the site, and to get that going. Yeah, other actions stuff. And then you know, I do always have my ear to the ground with partnership stuff. But that’s not entirely in our control. I’m not going to start up the partner program myself, that’s for sure. So it’s more just a listening thing.

Christopher Penn 33:36
Yep. So now what we’ve done here is we actually, I should have done this in reverse order, but it’s fine. is we’ve identified the strategic imperatives using the SWOT analysis, if our goal is to deal with the Gary Vaynerchuk show now, if we want to talk about the landscape as hold, this would not be the right framework, something like Porter’s five forces would be a better framework because it’s intended to talk about what’s happening in the landscape as a whole podcasting as a whole is changing. SWOT is for you need to take a baseball bat to specific competitors needs, you need to somehow get advantage in the space, especially if it’s a single larger competitor of some kind. And this is the way to use it. And then once you’ve got that, then you took those, those those bullet lists of, okay, we need to improve our interview content, we need to improve our SEO, we need to assign some marketing KPIs. And now we can map it to traction. So based on that, like one of the first things that come to mind is okay, we’re not going to do partnerships, but how can we do that product marketing, the engineering as marketing, and turn that into how do we build that into the show?

John Wall 34:46
Yeah, and now when you end up doing this, when clients want this kind of analysis, then so are you going in and usually doing it for three or four competitors to get a better picture of the space or how does that usually work?

Christopher Penn 34:56
It depends. It really depends on the client. Because if it’s And then how much creep they have. The question that we always like to ask people is, who do you lose to in RFPs or in sales pitches. So like back when, when Katie and I worked at a PR agency, we lost to Golan Harris and Edelman, but mostly because element there are a lot of client pitches we were in where like, you know, the budget wouldn’t even get element out of bed. So, but Golan house was one of the big ones. And so that was the first thing was to say, Okay, well, what specifically are Why are we losing to them? And you can do this for a lot of competitors. But once you get above two or three, then you start saying you know what, you need to do a Porter’s five forces first. Because it’s pretty clear, you don’t understand the space, there’s something in the in the space itself, you don’t understand. And then once you understand the space, you’ll your SWOT analysis gets better, because you can discount all those distractions that are in the space and say, Okay, what specifically does this competitor do in the context of the field, that they’re doing better that we’re losing to them on sales pitches?

John Wall 36:08
Yeah, that makes sense. I can see that having that be sales driven. Yeah. Cuz any semi mature company has a couple thorns that they’re always complaining about? Oh, yeah,

Christopher Penn 36:16
totally. And, you know, one of the things that you hear a lot in, in PR, and I know it drives PR practitioners applause when somebody asks, like, you know, who are your competitors, and a company in namely says, We’re so unique, we have no competitors.

John Wall 36:34
Yeah, there’s no competition, right?

Christopher Penn 36:36
There’s no competition, which is your code for? We have a product?

John Wall 36:39
Yeah, we don’t know what the hell’s going on at all.

Christopher Penn 36:43
Exactly. So if you were in a case like that, that’s, you know, again, while those warning signs where the framework you have to work with is not the right one, because it’s clear that this is something that you know, somebody doesn’t quite understand. It’s like when you look at Porter’s five forces, let’s go ahead and bring this up here. You’re looking at things like this is the right one. Here. I think I am. No, that’s levenstein. The framework? Yeah, I think this is of course, I’ve got Porsche forces off to go look it up somewhere. Oh, there it is. So your bargaining power suppliers, threat of substitutes threat of new entrants and bargaining power of buyers. So in a case like a podcast, your your bargaining power of buyers is your audience. Namely, how easy is it for an audience to switch? How much power do they have over you? Right? podcasting? It’s super easy, that that drive time slot or that you know, time in the gym, they got 40 minutes to listen to two shows? Is your show gonna be one of them. If your show is like, two hours long. You’re you are at risk to that bargaining power of buyers, Sanford threat of substitutes, right again, is there another show? And this is where your unique selling proposition comes in? Is there another show that does what you do, but does it better? faster, cheaper? With podcast, it’s a quality issue, right? Like you were saying with interviews. Now this goes back to that SWOT analysis if the quality of the interview is so good, that you can’t get that anywhere else you’re going to watch that again. I go I look at Sean Evans and hot ones hot ones is a brilliant show cuz nobody else can do that. Even if you were to come up with like a ridiculous like, you know, similar concept like you know, you have to cut onions for an entire hour while we ask you questions. It comes across as a terrible knock off as opposed to like, okay, let’s torment people we know where people were familiar with celebrities, by making them eat increasingly, you know, spicy food and then try to keep their composure. It there’s there’s very little threat of substitutes there.

John Wall 38:58
Yeah, no, they’ve totally locked that down. That shows amazing.

Christopher Penn 39:01
Exactly. And so with a podcast, it’s like, okay, are there fair associates? Yeah, is that of threats? The bargaining power of suppliers is an interesting one for podcasting. Because there’s isn’t really a supplier in the traditional sense. But for us, and this goes back to what you’re saying earlier, SEO is a big deal, right. And this is where an attribution model is really important for your marketing because your attribution model is your supplier model. I said again, your attribution model is your supplier model. Though the channels that are in your attribution model are supplying you with audience that as a marketer is your raw material attention. So what bargaining power to suppliers have

John Wall 39:46
is Yeah, that’s really interesting, though. Yeah, because it’s so that kind of goes into the idea, you know, of what Gary Vaynerchuk is doing. Like he has this huge machine with millions of people in it. So his bargaining power with his suppliers that you know, His suppliers are serving it up to him easily. Whereas trying to generate that crowd that’s and that’s, that’s an interesting point to think about to all the celebrity podcasts, you know, they show up with a crowd behind them so that the the money that they have to put into that to make that work is just significantly less.

Christopher Penn 40:16
Except in Gary’s case, he has to spend a couple 100 grand a month to keep that audience right. So his suppliers actually have a fair amount of power over him. But for us, in marketing, with things like SEO, Google has enormous power over us, right, Google one change in the search listings, and you’re you are gone, right, you have vanished. So that’s something that has to be considered. And again, going back to the SWOT analysis, that 15 year, history does matter. Because from Google’s perspective of expertise, authority and trustworthiness, a new show coming, you’re starting up, that didn’t have a big ad budget, something would have been a substantial disadvantage to an existing well established show, because that we have the we have built that content authority at Google that is we have a little bit of power with that supplier, not much, but a little bit. And then of course, the threat of new entrants has been the story for the last four years. And podcasting because every person and their cousin is tempted to start a podcast Now the good news is they last for three episodes. Because a lot of work.

John Wall 41:23
Yeah, it’s free to start a bad podcast.

Christopher Penn 41:27
Exactly. So Porter’s five forces is a model I think you should probably do before you do a SWOT analysis so that you understand. What does the landscape look like how you know how much of a buzzsaw we walking face first into and then once you’ve done this, and then you do a SWOT analysis that helps you understand that specific competitor, then you have your from your SWOT analysis, you pull those pieces out, that’s your punch list that goes into traction.

John Wall 41:54
Yeah, like it’s a full ramp, that’s enough to you can at least convince your boss, you have some idea, you know, what the hell you’re doing for 2022?

Christopher Penn 42:01
Exactly. So that’s today’s show, we looked at these two now three frameworks, really, what to do with the analysis, and then turning that into a measurable strategy. And remember, as you look at something we talked about this with with Porter’s five forces a little bit, we talked about it a lot more here with the SWOT analysis in terms of these specific things like the community that is measurable, like you can measure community numbers, community engagement, your budget span, your cost per acquisition, all these things have have KPIs attached to them. And then once you go into traction, you’re talking about now, very specific metrics, your email marketing, click through rates and stuff like that. So if you follow this process, you can quickly identify Okay, here are the things that we need to pay attention to. Here’s what we need to do. And here’s how we measure each of those things. But if you prefer to have someone to talk to to talk to you about it, let us know we’re happy to help out. So any, any final parting words, John?

John Wall 43:04
No, just you know, make sure you get your paperwork ahead of time before you get asked for it. That makes life much easier.

Christopher Penn 43:11
Alright, so with that, we will. Thanks for watching and we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more. Check out the Trust Insights podcast at Trust slash t AI podcast and a weekly email newsletter at Trust slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.

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