SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Jamie Capozzi, Executive Creative Director at Intelligent Demand

According to Jamie Capozzi, Executive Creative Director at Intelligent Demand, now is the time for sales and marketing to work more closely together to craft a more unified sales and marketing messaging. In this interview, Jamie shares some important processes that can help sales and marketing teams work better when working from home and also talks about some best practices to follow when creating your brand message.

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Can you tell us a little about yourself Jamie?

I have the best job in the world; I’m a Dad. I also write about stuff and design things!

When it comes to sales and marketing in the B2B world today, what are the top 5 ways you would advise sales and marketing leaders to inculcate more creativity in their everyday processes?

1) Turn your phone off for 20 minutes, get outside, and go for a walk. Grounding exercises like this help you clear your head, take in your surroundings, and be present. I prefer running, and I’ve never met a sticky issue; a good run didn’t work out.

2) Keep your eyes and ears open to everything. It’s not about your idea but THE idea that matters, and that can come from anywhere.

3) Design more negative space into your life. COVID locked us up, and Zoom kept the team together, but how many video meetings do you now have per day? Creative ideas happen when you ponder when you have time to write or go for a walk. Protect those vital spaces between the four-hour blocks of meetings because that’s where the problem solving happens. I like to block off my “negative space” right on my google calendar.

4) Everyone in every organization is part of sales and marketing, regardless of what department you report. For example, my writers and designs are not artists, and the work they create is not “theirs,” they’re problem solvers helping our clients generate revenue.

5) Let your people help troubleshoot your problems. I notice far too often leaders dealing out solutions instead of presenting the issues and having their teams come back with ideas. Do you want to fire your people up? Empower them.

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What are some of the biggest challenges you see in sales messaging and outbound cadences today, how would you advise teams to create campaigns that not only share relevant information but also stand out?

I love this question, and I’d like to answer it in a few different ways.

First of all, Marketing and Sales have far more in common with one another than they think. Both have the same goals, and if they achieved a symbiotic relationship, then the customer wins. Connecting the companies’ sales efforts directly to the broader marketing campaign helps to create an even more unified message than would otherwise be achievable by operating in silos. So, speak in the same voice and work together to craft the message.

Secondly, as marketers, we strive to create emotional connections through authentic communication and storytelling, but Sales have a significant opportunity to make real human connections. The rubber meets the road with Sales, so act like a human when speaking to other humans. Drop the jargon, release the pressure, and have real human to human engagement. Marketing can put out a message, but salespeople are the true ambassadors of any campaign if the two sides are in lockstep.

And finally, add value to every interaction, I’m talking to you marketers. It’s a must for Sales to interact with prospects, but it’s imperative; they have something of value to bring to the relationship. If Sales are going to ask for anything, they first must be able to give something in return. As marketers, we can create valuable and relevant content that can be used to further conversations. So, reach out to your Sales team and ask them what is on their radar and how you can help nurture those interactions to strengthen the relationship.

Could you share your thoughts on the few things that B2C campaigns and the creative process there can inspire in the B2B world?

I think there are significant similarities in how people interact with B2B and B2C brands. For example, they both require brands to be distinctive, produce quality content, and leverage storytelling to create an emotional connection. The ultimate goal is to earn trust by appealing to key decision-makers’ hearts and minds with more than just product features and price points. B2B agencies tend to be tech-obsessed, but we can’t forget that it’s a human connection that triggers action at the end of the day.

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When it comes to marketing campaigns today in B2B and Tech, several leading brands do craft messaging with a sense of uniqueness, but most other brands tend to replicate what others do in the market- what tips would you share with teams who struggle with creating their own unique footprint or concept?

Big, bold ideas win the day. Sure, it’s scary to break away from the pack into unfamiliar waters, but that great unknown is where visibility lives. There are herd mentalities in every industry. Copycats are going to mimic any successful market leader, but that’s a short-term strategy. For example, how many products do you know of added an “i” in front of their name after Apple launched the iPod? Too many to count, but how many of those products or brands exist today? If you find yourself swimming in the pack, following the leader, ask yourself, “what makes you so special, and why should anyone care?” Inside of that answer is a seed that you can use to grow a unique market position for your brand and create a new lane to pass your competition.

Given that the current economic conditions push sales and marketing leaders to be more customer centric in their approach with the aim of enhancing overall CX and not just focusing on selling or marketing, in what ways would you suggest teams create a brand reputation that shows just how customer-centric they are?

Marketing is about helping. When you’re creating content, make sure it’s accessible and relevant. It’s painful to lose time and effort, creating content no one is interested in or doesn’t fully consume. Just creating content isn’t enough anymore; it must be compelling and concise. Video is by far the easiest to digest, but I still see articles that exceed 1200 words, and honestly, no one is going to read that much anymore. I would be surprised if anyone is reading this now, given its so late in the interview. Keep your content short, distribute it often, and stay on brand. The goal is to build trust, and that takes time, so be patient and consistent and positive results will come.

Any last few thoughts to share before wrapping up?

So, here’s a great example of the power of storytelling. I love business books, and I’ve read a bookcase full of them, but I’m honest, I rarely implement their teachings. Some outline brilliant processes and tactics, but the books that stick with me are the books that I connect with on an emotional level. I go back to these books periodically over the years during the times I need them.

I should preface this by saying, I’m an endurance athlete, and pain management is part of the game.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. 

Whenever I feel down about whatever is going on in my day-to-day life or when I struggle with my training, I pick up this book and read it for a while. Refreshing my memory about what these men went through makes me laugh off whatever troubles I may have. A perspective is a powerful tool, and this story has provided me with necessary framing repeatedly.

I’m in the middle of training for an Ironman triathlon, and needless to say, I’ve been reading this book a lot lately!

Intelligent Demand (ID) is a full service revenue agency that helps our clients find, keep and grow relationships with their ideal customers.

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