What do B2B marketers need to know about customer engagement in 2024, and why is it more important than ever to utilize all relevant channels for making connections? Kris Rudeegraap, CEO at Sendoso, knows the importance of both, and for the newest episode of our Elevate B2B Marketing Podcast, he sat down with our founder Lee Odden to explore the power of customer engagement when B2B marketers are able to take advantage of all available channels, where to find joy in B2B marketing, and much more.
The Elevate B2B Marketing Podcast features uniquely insightful conversations that inform and inspire by some of the world’s leading B2B marketers, with each episode digging deeply into the issues and topics that are vital to B2B brands today.
In this interview, Kris shared his insights on many of the key issues B2B brands are facing today, including:
– Heightened focus on the customer
– Customer engagement in B2B marketing
– Utilizing all relevant channels
– The power of handwritten notes
– Prioritizing intent data
– Making B2B marketing fun
– Finding the whole data story
You’ll find the full interview podcast [here](link), and you can also listen on your favorite podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Libsyn:
You can also check out the full video of Kris’s fascinating conversation with Lee [here](link).
Be sure to also subscribe to the Elevate B2B Marketing Podcast to stay up-to-date as each new episode premiers.
B2B Marketing Insights From Kris Rudeegraap
You’ll also find a complete transcription of Kris’ fascinating podcast episode below.
Lee: Hello and welcome to the Elevate B2B Marketing podcast, the show where we have conversations that inform, include, and inspire with the best in B2B marketing. I’m your host, Lee Odden, co-founder of TopRank Marketing, and today we’re talking with Kris Rudeegraap, CEO of Sendoso. Chris has extensive experience in the B2B space, is a entrepreneur, an investor, and an advisor. He’s got a lot going on, and I’m really excited about sharing his insights with you today. Welcome to the show, Kris.
Kris: Thanks for having me, Lee. I’m really excited to be here.
Lee: We actually met at the BtoB Summit in Paris, and what a great experience that was — sharing insights in English to people in France. It was my first time speaking in France, I don’t know about you.
Kris: Yes, it was my first time speaking in Europe. I’ve gone to a couple of panels, but this was my first time leading a keynote.
Lee: When we met, you shared a brilliant idea, about something that you implemented early on and you’ve continued at Sendoso, where you’ve been nurturing and managing a community of influential leaders in the industry in which you operate. Can you share more about that and what it does for you?
Kris: I call it my personal industry advisory group. Another way to think about it though is that I have a community of what I call micro advisors. What’s different about this than what most founders, entrepreneurs, or CEOs do is that a lot of founders and CEOs will create a kind of executive advisory group — maybe 5, 6, or 7 people. They might also have a customer advisory group that again, might have 10 or 15 people involved in it. My program has a hundred plus people involved. It includes folks who I’ve met along this journey over the last five years. There’s a group of customers who are a part of it. There are CMOs, CROs, CCOs — the gambit of different types of people around the world who I will provide an update to once a month, giving them highlights and milestones and interesting updates on the business. I’ll also come to them with optional asks throughout the month, probably one or two asks that could be related to, “Hey, can I get your feedback on X, Y, Z?” Or, “Can you be a part of this talk track and case study, or a blog post we’re writing?” Or, “Can you help me with some market research? I’m thinking about X, Y, Z — can I get your opinion or referrals? Can I get your referral for someone who we’re hiring or someone who we’re trying to get a meeting with?” It’s been quite unique, and quite fun seeing that group grow, meeting with them virtually and in person over the last few years, and really having this kind of mini think tank group who I can go to, who all are personally interested in seeing the success of Sendoso happen.
Lee: I think that’s so smart on many different levels. I mean, you’ve got this brain trust, this collective wisdom that you can tap into. And at the same time, I suspect a lot of these folks are influential in their own right. You know, everyone’s influential about something. There are a lot of companies that do what you’re talking about in terms of a customer advisory council or a board of advisors or something like that. And a lot of times they even go and implement influencer engagement types of initiatives, but they usually stop at these small numbers, you know? The idea of you managing a relationship, or building a community really around something that everyone can understand and be invested in, really provides motivation and inspiration for them to help you be successful. I just think that’s great. It’s like influence at scale almost, and from my biased perspective, it’s pretty impressive.
At the conference, you gave a keynote presentation as you mentioned, and the topic was full-funnel marketing. In the session description, it talked about seven plays that you can add to your playbook today, and I was wondering if you could share a takeaway, and give our audience a short version, if you will, of what advice you shared with those B2B marketers in Paris.
Kris: My goal for the conversation was really talk about a lot of the changing trends we’re seeing, and one of them is the heightened focus on your customer, especially over the last year and a half where times have been difficult, with headwinds from the macroeconomic situation. It’s five times more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep your existing customers. With that, a lot of people have been using the term ABM — account-based marketing — for years and years, and some of it implies that you’re going to be doing marketing to your existing customers for expansion. But I wanted to debunk that, and really call it full-funnel marketing, mainly because I see a lot of marketers kind of end with the one opportunity and they’ll say, “OK, I’m doing ABM and I found a target account list, and I’m going to run targeted ads and run programs to target these prospects, and then I’m going to help sales get them to the finish line, and then our job’s done, and we’re going to do more of that.”
“It’s five times more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep your existing customers.” — Kris Rudeegraap @rudeegraap of @sendosohq
For me, it was really like, well — are you doing ABM to market to your customers? And if not, here’s a better way to look at it from the lens of full-funnel marketing, and really the takeaway with that is rather than really thinking about expanding your customers as a salesy sales motion, think about driving usage, adoption, and advocacy. And once you have those really honed in, then expansion comes easier after that. I talked about some of those nuances.
Lee: That’s great. It’s kind of like an adage we have, in our case, the best investment in marketing is the quality of the product, but you know, it’s the usage of the product, the adoption of the product, right? Because no powerful form of marketing exists other than word of mouth and advocacy and that sort of thing.
As you mentioned, there’s a lot going on in the business environment right now, including generative AI, AI in general, and autonomous AI — these challenges both economically perceived and real. In the midst of this sort of uncertainty and chaos to some degree, if you had to pick one thing — and I know this is a tough question — but if there is…