Content marketing has become such a crowded space in almost every industry, it’s hard to get content to stick out, to pop, to truly go viral.
But it’s not enough that the content stick out – it must communicate the actual value the brand will deliver.
We’ve got a great story from our latest podcast guest illustrating why popular content isn't always the best content for the client – plus many more lesson-filled stories – from Jonathan Fashbaugh, President, Pro Impressions Marketing. Lessons about communicating with consumers in their language, attention to detail in a niche pays dividends, and so much more.
This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
Well-written content put together by someone who understands the business can go a very long way toward the client's success. Don't go around your supervisor, and you don't throw your weight around as the new person.
These are a few of the lessons Jonathan Fashbaugh, President, Pro Impressions Marketing, shared with me in Episode #5 of the How I Made It in Marketing podcast.
Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen in Amazon Music
Some lessons from Fashbaugh that emerged in our discussion:
Fashbaugh also shared lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with in his career:
Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages – free digital marketing course from MECLABS Institute, MarketingSherpa’s parent organization
Banner Blindness: Why your marketing messages are hiding in plain sight
Ask MarketingSherpa: Copywriting for non-native English speakers
Quick Win Intensive – from MECLABS Institute
Value Proposition Workshop – from MECLABS Institute
Marketing 101: What is a Design Brief? (with 2 examples)
Customer Centricity: How to use transparency to generate customer trust – featured session from Michael Norton, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
500 Mangled, Stretchy Rubber Guys: Make sure you have the right marketing partner for your super creative plan (Podcast Episode #3) – Discussion with Michelle Burrows, CMO, Splashtop
Not ready for a listen just yet? Interested in searching the content? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our conversation.
Daniel Burstein: Content marketing has become such a crowded space in almost every industry, it's so hard to stick out. I think sometimes we have the wrong focus. We're trying to go viral; we're trying to get popular, but that shouldn't be the goal. The goal should be to help a relevant ideal customer.
We've got a great story from today's guest illustrating why popular content isn't always the best content for the client or for our brands. It's got a lot of other great stories. He's going to share stories about how well-written content put together by someone who understands that business can go a really long way toward the client's success.
How attention to detail in a niche especially pays dividends, and he's going to share lessons, what he's learned from the people he's collaborated with in his career. Don't go around your supervisor and don't throw your weight around as the new person. Always get the client or prospect on the phone before you give up the goods and with communicating with customers in their own language.
Great lessons. Joining me today is Jonathan Fashbaugh, president of Pro Impressions Marketing. Thanks for joining us, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Hey, Daniel. I am really excited to be here.
Daniel Burstein: Great. Well, before we jump into your story, just give us a little background about what are you working on now? What would you do?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Well, I head up a digital agency, Pro Impressions Marketing like you said. Our client base is exclusively dentists. And that's just a niche that we kind of fell into. But our focus is just helping them find new patients on the internet through kind of all things digital, all things content. We love doing it.
Daniel Burstein: That's great. And if you're listening and you're not, you know, you don't market to dentists, I think there's a lot of broad lessons here. I've worked a lot in the B2B and tech space in my career and a lot of the things Jonathan told me, I’m like it’s very relevant to tech software, B2B, really, any complex marketing. Like this first lesson really, I think applies to anyone. You want to tell us, so you say popular content isn't always the best content for the client, which at first kind of seems wrong. Like, of course, we want to make our stuff popular.
But what did you do to try to make something go viral and how did you kind of get bitten on the neck by it I’ll say?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, yeah. I mean, so at the end of the day, dentists are local businesses. Sometimes we don't tend to think of it that way, and sometimes we end up having to actually educate the dentist about that. But a lot of marketing tactics are, you know, all about driving traffic to the website.
And, you know, at first blush, that's what we were really trying to do as well. You know, in the heyday of content marketing where there wasn't a whole lot of rules, we were just, you know, any idea we came up with, we were writing about and so for one of our offices, we wrote, this was when the TV show True Blood was brand new, and so, one of the articles we wrote was just about how the people on True Blood were able to make that effect where their teeth pop out.
You know, the vampire teeth. And so, we wrote about how they did that on the show, but then how it's actually possible to have vampire teeth using porcelain veneers. And, you know, we did not say, “so contact our office to get vampire teeth” or anything like that, but we wrote the post about how that could be done. And you know, it's probably not a good thing, but you know, that's how you could have vampire if you wanted it.
What we kind of didn't anticipate was people all over the country calling our clients saying, Oh yeah, I want vampire teeth? Can you do that for me? And you know, I mean, you could be tempted to think, Well shoot, that's a customer for the dentist. Why wouldn't they want that?
But you know, their belief was that is a very bad idea for your mouth. And they certainly weren't going to hold spots in their schedule for, you know, someone in New York to, in theory, fly in and get vampire teeth. I mean, you could probably hear crickets on the other end when those calls came in because the front desk person was like. What? You want, vampire? No, we don't do that.
Daniel Burstein: Just for any marketer because I hear this all the time, “Oh, we've generated this many leads.” You know, sometimes they're using kind of some questionable tactics, not even content marketing, some other tactics that have, you know, find questionable, like really that worked? And we're like, “Oh, we generated this many leads, we generated this many leads things,” and it’s like, “ok, what is your lead definition?”
And then sometimes there's a pause, you know, like, “Well we got a name and we got a phone number so our sales team can call them” and it’s like, “is that really a lead?” So sorry, what happened?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: No, that's a huge point and something that we constantly struggle with educating our clients and future clients when they're comparing us to other agencies. The definition of a lead is so critical because especially agencies that kind of startup and sort of dabble in dental.
You know, they'll talk about guaranteeing a certain number of leads will what the dentist hears is a certain number of patients. But in the marketer's point of view, if they get a subscription to a newsletter or sign up for a white paper, they've just delivered a lead.
But the dentist is not scheduling an appointment. And that's what happened with this practice. They called us and they're like, “We're getting phone call after phone call from people asking about vampire teeth. Can you please point out on that article somehow that we don't do this?”
And so that's what we did, literally in bold text at the top of the article we put, we do not offer vampire teeth as a service. And guess what happened to their call volume? It stayed exactly the same people still call it. We're like yeah, I'm very interested in getting vampire teeth. So, in the end, we just had to take it down, even though it was a highly successful piece of content from a traffic standpoint. And, you know, a crappy lead gen standpoint, it didn't actually help grow the practice.
Daniel Burstein: Well, I love that, too, because banner blindness is just such an issue on so many websites, I mean, there are so many times where we felt, “Hey, we put something on a website, and we put it up. Why? Why we are we still having questions.” Just recently, so as we were talking about, you know, our parent organization, MECLABS Institute launched a free digital marketing course.
But we had four older On-Demand courses, you know, the new ones free, we charged $695 for. We don't want to take those pages down. There were old pages, they were up, they had info. So, we just put a clear message at the top, very clear message at the top of, you know, “Hey, we no longer offer this course, but click here and go to the free course.” And we'd still get messages of like, because we used to have like the first session free on the paid courses. So, they were like, “Hey, I watched the first session. I can't watch the rest of your sessions. I can’t find it, how do I buy it?” We mentioned it right at the top. And so, what we had to do to is ultimately just take down those pages and redirect it right to the free course.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Follow directions is hard.
Daniel Burstein: It's hard, this is a common theme in the podcast is, we are not our customers. So, when we are working on our websites and our web page and all this stuff, I mean we're just so focused on them, our clients, websites that, you know, we know everything on there.
When we had a new banner that gives information we are like, oh wow, this is a big new thing that people will now see there's this new banner with this information, and they don't care. They're on their phone scrolling really quick. They've got three tabs open. They're listening to something they don't notice, you know? So, we call it banner blindness. It's the very frequent problem. But so one other thing I thought when I heard your story and talking about, you know, B2B technology and software companies, is there was a very prominent software company.
I won't mention them in the marketing space, and they would generate a lot of content. They’d get a lot of, you know, big audience. But I noticed, you know, they're their target market was business owners, you know, small business owners, medium business owners. And their posts, their blog posts just were written by interns. And so, they were very focused on all of these topics that like, you know, we're trending media culturally. All these things that were to maybe more of like a college age segment that weren't really bringing in small and medium businesses.
A very different focus, though that also brings up the idea of being careful who is, you know, when we when we do things like blogs and social media, we think, Oh, great, we'll get the intern to do it. We'll get, you know, the new junior marketer to do it, make sure if they're doing it, they have a really good understanding. A really good customer theory of who they're writing to, what their pain points are, what they care about, what your company's value proposition is. I see you nodding, I think you must have run into similar issues.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, I mean, it's really difficult, especially, you know, when you're hiring new talent where they feel like they know everything about marketing, but they don't know the client. The content that comes out can be technically accurate. And from a marketing standpoint, pretty smart.
But, if it doesn't really address the end customer's goals or is not in line with their business model, then yeah, it's just going to be a lot of noise and that concept's not going to pull a lot of weight for them.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I think your next story is a great example of how to solve that problem because when you say it can be technically accurate, but it's not right. I've gotten a question before from a copywriter overseas and he said, “Hey, I want to be a copywriter, but I'm a non-native English speaker. You know, how can I do it?”
And I let him know, you know, Hey, we're all nonnative speakers really. Like anytime you're starting in a new industry, you need to learn to speak that language. When I first started in the tech industry with companies like IBM and VMware VA systems and I didn't come from that background I needed to learn that language, you know, because I wouldn't be credible to anyone, I talked on the phone with to interview or anyone I wrote to. And so, what you did, I love this is it's such a cool way to really learn the language you say a “well-written content put together by someone who understands that business can go a very long way toward the client's success”.
And tell me about how you like shadowed this dentist and kind of lived his life for a short time to really understand them.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah. Well, our very first client when I launched our agency was a dentist, and he told me that he wanted to build a website or at least add a page to his website about this new denture procedure. And then it was like going to revolutionize dentures.
And I said, Well, that's really exciting. I know nothing about it, though. And so, I asked him, well can I go with you to the seminar because he hadn't actually gone to the seminar yet? And he was like, “Well, sure, I guess, let me ask” and got permission to go there. And you know, there was a lot of stuff that went right over my head because I am not a dentist, but I mean, was able to just glean, you know, tidbits of things that when they were especially talking about how they talked to their patients.
That, to me, was gold for what we would write to kind of prime the pump a little bit on what they should expect, the process involved and the problems that it's solved. And really understand that from a dentist perspective, but then as a marketer, being able to translate that, you know, into layman's terms that would still hit on those pain points just as an example, you know, you typically think of old people as having these short faces, you know, kind of smushed up faces because their missing teeth. But what happens? I mean, what I learned this course is that it's because those teeth have worn down over time. And so the typical denture procedure is, we're going to put some teeth in your face that kind of fit your mouth, you know?
But when you lose teeth, your jaw bones actually shrink. And people don't understand that. And so they'll get their dentures and technically they have teeth in, but they still look old. And this dental procedure was revolutionary because they actually factored in the bone loss and gave them dentures that restored the facial height.
The vertical dimension is the technical term. But it's making people younger because they factored that in. So, we were able to then describe that in layman's terms to say, you know, you're going to have a more youthful appearance because we're going to compensate for the smushed look of your face, you know?
Daniel Burstein: I mean, that's. I'll tell you why I love that, and that's beautiful. It's one of the things I love best about a career in marketing is the curiosity. Like, I love learning about how these different industries or companies work and then getting to communicate that in a compelling way to the customer. I mean, you got to be curious in this industry, and one thing I found that’s really effective is just kind of sitting down and kind of picking their brains and talking to them about how their company works. So, I’ll give you an example we were talking before this call. One of the things that a parent organization of Marketing Sherpa, MECLABS Institute does, is we have these quick win intensives.
We have these value proposition workshops where we get in the same room for two days, three days with a specific methodology, with leaders of a company, and we help them find their wins. We help them find their value prop and the things that we do in those meetings are valuable, but what I found is really valuable is just lunch, it's like when you're sitting, when you know, we're taking a break, we're eating lunch with them, just love picking their brains about, “Oh, why are you in this industry and why are you in this business? And why do you do this thing?”
And I remember one of them right here in Jackson on this oceanfront hotel beautiful and just kind of talking. And I was really curious why they started this security company. And, you know, there's enough security companies. Yeah, we all want to make money, why did you start it? They were giving me this really fascinating story about how this set up they found of other security systems was so hard, and that the steps they took to make the setup easier, which is stuff that didn't really as much come up in our formal conversations kind of did. But hearing that backstory of like, wow, that's fascinating that's some gold there that you really have to, you know, mine. And so, you talked about going to an industry event like, you know, you're surrounding yourself with those dentists. You're eating lunch with them, dinner going to a party. I mean, you're just kind of, it's just kind of seeping into your pores, right?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, yeah. And I mean, the dentists, the other dentists that were there, and I promised the guy putting on the event, look, I'm not going to be passing out business cards or anything. I just really just want to learn it was during lunches and that kind of thing where the dentists said, So you don't work in Dr. Lawrence's office? No, no, I don't. So, but what do you do? Well, I'm a marketer but why are you here? You know, I thought, well, I need to know about this business so that I can write about it. And so, I wrote the content for this website. Because when I first started the business, it was just going to be me a computer and like ten clients would run off ride off into the sunset together, and that was my business model.
So, I wrote this content and built this website and it, you know, sort of almost lost me to the client because he didn't really need me after that content went live. I mean, it interacted well with the patients and so that he got good conversions. And, you know, obviously we optimized it for search. But you know, it just performed so well that, you know, occasionally he would just take his foot off the pedal with the marketing, and we wouldn't have to, you know, do ongoing stuff.
And, you know, it was really at the top of the search engines until he retired, and we took his website down. But I really think it was just because the content was unique to him and hit on the pieces of not just the dentures, but other aspects of what he did.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, that's great, I mean, sometimes, you know, we think we've got the template down for the website, we'll just stick the information in. But there is a subtle difference that you know customers can tell they can feel in any industry, like if we bathe in that knowledge like it's going to come out through us in our writing, you can't overlook that. And another thing, this really ties into our next story when you have that deep understanding of the industries you’re serving, you will notice things that other agencies and other marketers don't notice. I love this story. You say, “attention to detail in a niche pays dividends”. So, you know, stock photos. I mean, they're helpful. Yes, it's been better. It's been a lot cheaper than, you know, what marketers used to do in the old days where they have to have photo shoots for anything. But they could be the bane of our existence.
So, tell us, give us an example that that happened to you.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, I mean, I was building a page for a client about dental implants, and there's a stock photo that I'd seen around on other websites. And you know, when you're scrolling through stock photos looking for something to use, she was just a beautiful gal, great skin, great hair, kind of tossing her head back with a laugh on a beach, I think. And this client was in Orange County. And so I was like, this is a great stock photo, and I was putting it in and I looked a little closer. And sure enough, this gal is missing a tooth.
It's not her front tooth. So, it wasn't really obvious, but it was pretty clear you're following the curve of her smile. There's a big old black gap in her smile. It's going round all these other websites because, like I said, I'd seen it before sure enough, right on there you know cosmetic dentistry page. There's a gal missing a tooth. I actually used it as a sales tactic a little bit that I would contact those offices and say, “hey, did you know that you have a photo of a gal missing a tooth on your cosmetic dentistry page? Maybe it's supposed to be a before, I don't know, but…”
Daniel Burstein: Make sure you’re clear. But yeah, I mean, it gets them to, you know, really understanding that industry and speaking that language. The one thing I learned, you know, in writing it, MarketingSherpa, since I'm doing this two decades now or more. I was always interested in the most advanced tactics and the most advanced things; the most complex things and it was so interesting. And every now and then when kind of a more entry level person, when they're starting out, I assigned them to more of kind of like a one-on-one kind of basic topic, and sometimes those one-on-one basic topics to do way better than our advanced stuff. And it really made me realize now we specifically do some one-on-one content just to help that, made me realize there are people there just wanting to learn the industry. They're wanting to get interested and bathe in it and understand it.
And I think so for anyone engaged in content and marketing for whatever industry you're in. Think about that. Not just, I'm not writing for me. You're not just writing for yourself. What are some of those basics you can give them so they can understand that industry so they can concentrate and focus on it and notice things like a missing tooth in a stock photo?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Right? Right. I mean, I'm sure that there are nuances in every industry where if you can identify either big wins or something, that would be just a kind of critical but subtle failure to avoid, you know, like maybe it's an auto business and you know you, you want to promote them, but they don't sell, you know, foreign cars or something. Then you've got to let your design team know that so that they don't, you know, choose photos that have foreign cars, or I don't know that maybe that's a terrible example. I have to educate my designers about the type of dentistry that our dentists do so that they, you know, the missing teeth is something that, you know, I would hope that the average designer can pick up on. But, you know, there are, you know, really sexy people that have really terrible teeth and our dentists notice it every time. If we pick a stock photo, that is a gorgeous photo, but they have, you know, crooked teeth or bite problems that just, you know, are like nails on a chalkboard for our docs.
Daniel Burstein: Well, and that is, you know, we've written about this before, the creative brief, the design brief. If you're, you know, a marketing director, if you're an agency account executive, it is so important to give context, that crucial context, to a designer and a writer in that design brief in that creative brief. So they know those subtle things and they can communicate them.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Absolutely.
Daniel Burstein: Alright so we talked about the things you made in your marketing career, some lessons, some stories from that. But the other key thing we do as marketers not just make things, we collaborate with people, it's the other people.
So, let's talk about some of the people you learn from in your career, some of the lessons that we can give the audience. And the first person is Robert Schmachtenberger, the owner of Idolum. Feel free to correct me there.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Robin, Robin Schmachtenberger, yeah.
Daniel Burstein: Robin Schmachtenberger. Yeah, and you said, and I love this, “don't go around your supervisor and don't throw your weight around as a new person”. What? What mistake did you make earlier in your career?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, I mean, I guess we're in the portion of the program where I get to talk about how big of an idiot I was. But yeah, I mean I was just a young kid fresh out of school, and I had been duplicating CDs for a while and then started like authoring CD ROMs. This is how long ago it was.
And I got them to, you know, hire me full time. And that made me feel like I was just some big shot, got all puffed up and decided that I wanted to workdays instead of nights because that sounded like a lot more fun. And I don't know why I didn't go to my direct supervisor, but I went to Robin and was like, “So yesterday I got promoted to a full-time position. I'd now like to work during the days,” just the totally oblivious to the fact that I was, you know, not really earning my, you know, I didn't have enough clout or pull in the in the job.
Yeah, I hadn't paid my dues. That's exactly it. Yeah. And then, you know, totally went around my boss to just ask for this big favor. And it was just like one of those things that you remember in your brain and it's just you want to cringe every time you think about it, like, how dumb was I? And Robin should have probably let me go on the spot. What are you thinking, man?
And my direct supervisor again, probably should have chewed me out. But they were really compassionate. I think they recognized that I just didn't know how to be a professional yet, you know, I didn't know my limits, and I didn't know the appropriate protocol. And so, Robin was very gracious and just said, you know, I'll think about that I'll talk with your, your boss. And I think his name was Bill, too. And we'll get back to you. And then a little bit later, my direct supervisor was like, hey, did you go to Rob? And then, like, asked to change your schedule?
I said, well, yeah, yeah, I did. What? Why didn't we talk about this? And he gently but firmly said you do not do that. That is not how you conduct yourself as a professional. So, it is a great learning experience. And now, as a supervisor, I try to have the same kind of compassion if someone else screws up like that and just doesn't know what they're doing.
Daniel Burstein: I mean, mistakes are we don't want to make mistakes, but they're great because they're better teachers than college or better teachers than MBAs. And mistakes are made, and you can either make your own mistakes or that's why we have the “How I Made It Marketing podcast. You can listen to other people's mistakes and learn from them.
So now you have a distributed agency, right? So, I assume a lot of people you hire, you. Might not even meet in person. You're interviewing over the zoom. They're just working remotely. So how is that affected? Like how you bring them on board and teach them about a culture and all those things?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest challenge is the non-verbal stuff. I mean, we definitely insist on a Zoom interview, at the very least, but trying to understand what kind of person we have in front of us in an awkward, I mean, interviews are awkward to begin with, but then you're, you know, sitting in front of a camera, you don't know where to look. You know, you try to have again, some compassion for that situation, while at the same time knowing, is this someone that I can trust because I don't know when I'll actually meet them in person.
And yet I'm going to be paying them a lot of money to do work for people that trust me. And, you know, it's definitely something that's a new frontier for us and I guess the world at large, you know, we're still learning the best way to do that.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, and another challenge with remote work is, you know, I remember when I worked in the agency and I pitched my ideas, I had the luxury of almost always doing it in person. You're there with the people, you can engage them, you can guide the conversation, you can read them a little better.
So these days, that's not always the case. And this brings us to this great lesson from Bill Fukui, the Senior Director of Business Development and MedShark Digital. And he said, “always get the client or prospect on the phone before you give up the goods”. So how did that teach you about how to pitch the clients? How to pitch your creative ideas?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, I mean, that was a super formative lesson that really pressed into just not being afraid of conflict. You know, it's awfully easy to just fire off an email and hope for the best. And now, as I'm training younger professionals, I have to insist on the same thing, you know, I mean, we want approval on a mockup. We want a yes to a proposal that we put together. But if you just fire that off in an email, you might as well kiss it goodbye and know that you're sort of setting yourself up for failure. It doesn't feel like it, because you know our design team, so they work really hard on these mockups.
We put together these proposals, hopefully with a lot of good thought into what the prospect needs and what we're offering. But then I think there's just a timid part of us that would love to get away from the situation where we're going to be told no. And it's a lot better to instead get them on the phone. Walk them through., this is why we did this, and this is why we do this, or this is why I'm proposing this, because you have this problem and this outcome that could happen if we solve it, and you're really guiding the thought process, not just presenting something, but you're helping shape the way that it's perceived by the other party. And you're going to get a lot more yeses when you do it that way.
As long as you can, you know, have the emotional intelligence to say, I feel that conflict, I feel that possibility of being told, no, I'm going to press into it and say pick up the phone or insist on scheduling that Zoom meeting where I can share my screen and walk the customer through that. You know that it takes more work to do it that way, but it will make you more productive. It'll make you get more yeses.
Daniel Burstein: I think the other challenges when that's not your business or industry and even sometimes what it is, you don’t understand the value of the finished product. You know, like I'll go in see Jackson Pollock. And be like, I could do that, you know, because you just see the painting on the wall, you don't understand the value behind it. There’s a great, we had a professor from Harvard Business School, Michael Nork, who came out and spoke at one of our Marketing Sherpa summits.
And he had this great example, which I always loved. He does research on trust through transparency. On this idea that if people understand the process better, they'll value the product more. And it gives a great anecdote about a locksmith. And the locksmith told them, you know, when I was first a locksmith, you know, someone would be locked out of their house, and I wasn't very good at it. And I'd be, you know, take me an hour, an hour and a half. I'd be sweating and I'd be cursing, I'd be knocking. Finally, I just had to, like, kind of break their door down to get them in. And then I'd say, No, OK. You know, $150 and they'd be like, Hey, no problem. Here you go. You know, because they say, it's all the work. I went into it.
And he's like. Now, he's like, I've gotten really good in like two minutes. I can boop boop boop, you know, do the right things, get the door open. I'm like $150 and they're like, What? You know, what am I paying for? And so, is that idea of like the second experience is a better customer experience, right? Your door is not broken down to a lot quicker, but you don't see that value and it's the same thing, I think when we present our creative ideas, when we present our marketing ideas, you know, whether it's to laymen like a dentist who's not used to marketing or even to a marketing director, a CMO like they really need to understand sometimes the process you went through and also why you made the choices you did. Why we did this instead of that, that, yeah, we thought of this and not that.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, for sure. For sure. It's like the other way or scenario I've heard that described in. Is for attorneys, you know, they're like, well, I'm paying $400 for you to write this letter. No, you're paying $400 for all the years I've spent in law school, you know. And knowing what to put in the letter.
Daniel Burstein: That’s exactly right. So, yeah, I think there was I think it's the Dale Carnegie book. There was a famous example of, you know, how to influence friends, what was it how to win friends and influence people, how someone goes into a factory, and you know, there's a big piece of machinery that's not working. And they, like, take a paper clip or something and do something. And then they give like a bill for $10,000 and they're like, What? We need a break down of this, you know, an itemized bill. And so, it's like, OK, the itemized bill was, you know, paperclip $1, you know, knowing where to put the paperclip $9,999.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Right? Right. Well, and I think just describing it. Whatever you do in terms of what is actually happening for the client as the end result, it's not that this is a really special paperclip and I'm going to insert it in this specific way because that's the way it has to be done in this type of machine that is this model.
No, it's your productivity was at zero and you were really concerned about this machine. You thought it was broken. It was going to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace and all your productivity was being lost and now your productivity is restored.
The widgets that you make that you sell for, you know, $20 a piece at this volume, you now restored in that productivity, and you didn't have to replace your machine that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here's my $10,000 invoice.
Daniel Burstein: What is the resulting experience for the client, exactly? Yeah. Nobody wants a drill. They want a hole in the wall, right? That's a famous thing. So your last example here is something kind of we touched on earlier, but it's great. Communicating with consumers in their language. What did you learn from Jeff Haddad, the owner and a dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah, Jeff actually is a dentist that teaches dentists. He's a master marketer, and I love working with him because he totally gets the importance of marketing. But he also knows that his role is what it is, and lets us do the marketing for him without, you know, he would say it took a lot of time to earn his trust and let us do what we do. But I actually attend a lot of the seminars that he teaches, and it's just amazing to hear him teach people, other dentists again to, you know, they treat TMJ disorder.
That's a big thing for them. And in doing so, they use this machine. It's called a K 7 it’s by a company called Myotronics, and it has this jaw tracking software where you put a magnet on their teeth and they're opening and closing their bite, and they're tracking how these muscles are firing using EEG stuff, you know, the same thing that they use to track heart monitors.
There's a lot of science that goes into this, and these dentists are just, nom nom eating it up, getting really excited, spending a lot of money on this technology and so the process that these dentists go through, it ends up with them wanting to lead with that. You know, again, going back to the paperclip analogy to, you know, talk about the amazing paperclip and, you know, all these details.
And Jeff's like, “no, no, this is all you tell them. This is a bite computer. It's helping us to understand how hard your muscles are working when you open and close your mouth. And so, we're going to use this bite computer to understand where your jaw is most comfortable.” You know, not… “We're going to measure your EEG’s and make sure that the masseters muscle and the streamer mastoid are, you know, firing.” And the same time with this amount, you know, he gets them to use the language that is most accessible to the patient and to help them understand the value of what they're doing without getting into the nuances that the patient doesn't care about
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, speak their language, I mean, honestly, the same is true, I'd imagine, in the medical industry and many other industries for search, right? So, we saw an example with IBM where they were using their brand and terminology smarter workforce.
Right? And they weren't getting good results in search, people clicking through when they change to talking about H.R. analytics, human resources analytics. It’s actually what people were looking for. So, it's kind of getting out of our own head. These are branded terms our technical terms, our medical terms and understanding. What does it mean to the customer? How do they communicate?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Yeah. And tie it back to the pain points to, I think, is the critical thing? I mean, in the case of TMJ disorder, that's literally what they have is pain, you know. And saying, you know, you customer, we understand that you're in pain and we have helped hundreds of patients just like you get out of pain, get out of the lockjaw scenario and the popping and the clicking and the neck pain through the use of our treatment. So, we'll use a bite computer, we’ll treat your jaw to get you to the right position and then you'll be living a life without pain. And at no point did they mention the brand on the computer, the details involved, because they don't want to confuse them or scare them. It's just all about the patient journey.
Daniel Burstein: Great, that's great, yeah, it reminds me of an old Jerry Seinfeld joke, you talk about being in the airplane. Then the pilot gets on he’s like, I'm going to take it up to 10,000 feet, then I'm going to go to 5000 feet, and I’m going to that and this. And Jerry is like, that is great as long as we get to the place on the ticket, I’m good. I'm good. I don't know how you do it, just get me to the place that it says on the ticket.
So, thanks for your stories, Jonathan here. For some final parting words for audience, I want to ask you what are the key qualities of an effective marketer? What would you leave our audience with?
Jonathan Fashbaugh: I would say that, you know, understanding beyond the marketing, where the marketing ends and the business begins. Understanding where that hand-off happens and get involved, you know, in at least understanding it, if not influencing it.
We recently had a review on Google from one of our customers that said, Pro Impressions has changed the way that we interact with our patients. And it's just like, Oh my gosh. That is like a beautiful thing to hear to say. And you know, that doesn't have to do with marketing in terms of lead gen – but has everything to do with what we get paid to do, which is put butts in chairs.
And so, if you don't understand the full process, the full sales funnel and move beyond your little portion of it, you can end up being held accountable for something that's outside of your control because you never took the time to understand the full process and point out potential you know, pitfalls.
Daniel Burstein: That’s good. I think it gets back to kind of the original thing we talked about in this episode was understand what a lead is. Right? If it's just a name and an email address and phone number, and you’re just throwing it someone else and feel like my job is done. You're not going to be that effective. Well, thank you so much for your time, Jonathan, we really appreciate you joining us today.
Jonathan Fashbaugh: Absolutely. Really glad to be here. And I can't wait to listen to more of the Marketing Sherpa podcast because I already listened to so much. I mean, I learned so much from Michelle Burrows and some of the other interviews that you've been doing.
Daniel Burstein: Awesome. Well, thanks for that mention, thanks to everyone for listening.
Get Better Business Results With a Skillfully Applied Customer-first Marketing Strategy
The customer-first approach of MarketingSherpa’s agency services can help you build the most effective strategy to serve customers and improve results, and then implement it across every customer touchpoint.Get More Info >
MECLABS SuperFunnel Research Cohort
Join us for a live, interactive session and learn along with our community.RSVP >
Marketer Vs Machine
Marketer Vs Machine: We need to train the marketer to train the machine.Watch Now >
Free Marketing Course
Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages (with this free online marketing course)See Course >
Project and Ideas Pitch Template
A free template to help you win approval for your proposed projects and campaignsGet the Template >
Six Quick CTA checklists
These CTA checklists are specifically designed for your team — something practical to hold up against your CTAs to help the time-pressed marketer quickly consider the customer psychology of your “asks” and how you can improve them.Get the Checklists >
Infographic: How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind
You need a repeatable methodology focused on building your organization’s customer wisdom throughout your campaigns and websites. This infographic can get you started.Get the Infographic >
Infographic: 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design
To build an effective page from scratch, you need to begin with the psychology of your customer. This infographic can get you started.Get the Infographic >
Receive the latest case studies and data on email, lead gen, and social media along with MarketingSherpa updates and promotions.