The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 3 months ago

Mining Customer Insights From Search Data w/ Derek Mabie

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You know you need clearer insight into your customer to build better products or deliver more valuable services. One way to get that insight is by listening to your sales and customer service teams. What are they hearing firsthand?

But there's another source of insight that you might not have thought about — search data. What can you learn from the words your prospects and customers type into Google or YouTube before they decide what to buy?

In this episode of The Manufacturing Executive, Derek Mabie, former president and partner at Evolve Digital Labs, talks about how real human beings search for and buy products online.

Here's what Derek and I discussed:

  1. What you can learn from the search confessional
  2. Tools and tactics you can use to process search information
  3. How to marry qualitative and quantitative data to get fresh insights

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When i think of voice of the customer,this is the most uninterrupted or unadulterated version of the voice ofthe customer is what happens in the search engines so pulling that stuffout and organizing it can give you such great visibility into what yourcustomers needs are and then what we think is where the opportunity existsfor innovation as well. Welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that aredriving midsize manufacturers forward here. You'll discover new insights frompassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles, and you will learn from b to b sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business developmentstrategies inside your business. Let's get into the show, welcome to another episode of themanufacturing executive podcast, i'm joe sullivan your host and a co founderof the industrial marketing agency garillas. Seventy six. There are a lotof ways to better understand your prospects and customers what they careabout their needs, their pains, the outcomes they're trying to achieve sothat we can build better products and deliver more valuable services. Some ofthese things we learned just by doing the work we do day in and day out. Wecan gather these insights by spending more time with our sales wraps accountmanagers and customer service folks by soaking up what their hearing firsthand, their customer interviews and voice of customer work all importantstuff, and i encourage all of it, but there's one source for insights thatyou might not have thought about when it comes to rand and productdevelopment and that's search data, the words your prospects and customersphysically type into google or youtube or amazon, to help them find solutions,get questions answered and ultimately...

...decide who or what to put in theirconsideration set when it's time to buy. My guest today has built his career onthe back of search data and the way that real human beings look forinformation online and he's going to break all of this down for you. So onthat note, let's get into it derek maybe was most recently, the ceo andfounder of evolved digital laps, a business intelligence and digitalconsulting firm headquartered in saint louis missouri, evolve as purchased injune of two thousand and nineteen by blue holdings. Ll c ten years after itsinception under derick's leadership, evolved, has perfected an innovativedigital framework for health care organizations that not only minimizesthe risk of marketing waste, but also strategize growth around completingpatient and consumer jobs. To be done. Online evolved was an ink magazine,five hundred fastest grown company and back to back years and made the top onethousand three consecutive years, a rare feat achieved by less than twentyfive companies per year. Derek was probably the driving force behindevolves, innovative and data focused approach and aiding health careorganizations to identify and resolve their digital product andtransformation challenges, as well as strategizing, actionable and holisticopportunities for predictable and profitable growth. Online derek helpedbroker the successful relationship between evolve and washingtonuniversity in st louis to develop a data science internship program thatbecame a critical component to developing talent to meet the growingdemands from evolves clients during his tenure, deryck and evolved digital labswere tapped by companies like paypal, mark charter, communications, site men,washington, university, an enterprise rena car to help fuel growth, innovateon line and delight customers. Derek has been invited to speak at industryconferences and his work has been published in forbes mao clinicpublishing and the wall street journal. He wrote the first syllabus for searchengine, optimization class at the university of missouri, st louis, andtaught the inaugural semester prior to...

...starting evolved, derek worked inkansas city for m m g y global, the largest travel and hospitalityadvertising agency in the country and attended the university of oklahoma'sprice business college in norman oklahoma, studying managementinformation systems, derek welcome the show this is the dereck, maybe bio,podcast, that's quite long. Yes, it is that was quite long, so version to. Iwill interview you so we'll wrap it up. You know it's funny. You put those downon paper; sometimes it doesn't seem that long and then you read it andyou're like like okay, that was that was a lot, but you know what it's yougot some good stuff there. So it's led you to where you are so excited to talkabout that yeah thanks so much for having me and thanks to the audiencefor indulging that that unauthorized biography, awesome well, so dereck wego a long way back at this point were like old friends now you, even thoughwe we don't. I do feel like i'm that old, but but i guess when you look atat everything we've been through since i can rmember you and me and johnfranko, my business partner, who you know well sitting on the corner ofyucatan maryland and saint st louis, the central west and a coffee cartel,which is no longer there and we were talking about, are very young at thetime marketing businesses that were you were a solo preneur. I think i was aslike me, john and one other guy, maybe and figuring out how we were going tobuild something from nothing and i guess a lot's happened since then uhyeah, no doubt about it. It's been an awesome ride and, frankly, some of thebest parts are the friendships that you make the relationships that you buildwith guys, like you and john, and watching your organization grow and allthe amazing things that you guys are constantly doing. And for me justreaching that point where someone said hey, we, like your business, so muchhere's a check to leave. It's pretty awesome. We grab dinner. I remember itwhat christ's steak house, probably a year and a half two years ago, wheneverit was when you sold your business, and i remember thinking like wow. This islike a a pretty amazing moment to have watched. You know you do that over overthe course of ten years, or so it's...

...pretty cool. Now i appreciate it yeah iwas. It was a great culmination awesome, so you've taken this wealth ofknowledge that you've accumulated about how marketing you know how marketingaffects people, how people buy, how companies approach product, innovationand now you're building something from those experiences which is reallyawesome. So tell us about click score yeah thanks, so much yeah, i'm reallyexcited about what we're doing at click score. So when you're sitting on theagency side, you definitely have one perspective after selling evolve. Istarted helping and investing in a few companies a d and getting them up andrunning, and starting and and one of the constant challenges we would runinto was the hiring of digital agencies and,most specifically, the hiring of the agency that we were going to entrustour very precious capital to place media and what i quickly realized wasthe difficulty and the decision of who you're going to hire and then how muchcontrol you hand over to this this agency, or this digital media,professional. And so with my previous experience and some things i've beentoying around with, i decided to start click score, which is essentially acredit score for your digital media. Buying right now, we're doing it forthe google properties and later this summer, we're going to roll outfacebook properties and then ultimately, we're going to try to move into theamazon space as well. But it's really about trying to bring ameritocracy to media buying and to get that verified trust. I think that mostbusinesses are looking for when they're placing these digital media dollars andto what really is like big text black box. So we just want to bring somevisibility to that and an effectively click scores, just measuring that deltabetween what you could have paid for a...

...click and what you actually paid for aclick. And we think that in that delta, there's probably twenty forty somecases. What we've seen after going through about three hundred and fiftyaccounts as much as sixty or seventy percent gap between what you could havepaid, what you should have paid and what you ultimately paid. So we'reexcited about the opportunity to give companies that visibility and hopefullyput some more growth to their top line by reinvesting saving that money andreinvesting that cash. No it's great and it creates accountability on themarketers en because fremen frankly, like you and i have come up in thisdigital era of marketing. I was talking about this recently on one of mypodcast episodes, but, like i graduated college in o five, and it was that fallwhen google analytics like came out right and so like you prior to thatthink about accountability on the marketing front. There was hardlyanything and it's getting better and better, but i think it's reallyimportant because, like you said like people who are buying marketingservices, you're just you're taking a big gamble right, yeah reallyabsolutely, and what you have to remember, i think, is most of the time.Big tech and the media buying agency are really tightly aligned, they'regoing to be compensated based, ultimately on our success, but there'sa lot of time between where you may be able to determine what success is andhow much money is spent to get there and, and so the alignment between theagencies and big tech is one that is like. Okay, let's help them run bettercampaigns, but let's also get a larger share of wallet from them, and- and sosometimes i think that comes with some compromised decision making and, andcertainly it puts a challenge on the motivation. And so what we want to dois really bring some visibility into the value of the changes that agenciesare making and just provide that a...

...verification that things that are beingplaced are in your best interests and changes that are being made are in yourbest interest. I think it's great thanks fan so derek. As you know, weyou know, we are very focused, like our audience. Is the manufacturing sectorand midsize manufacture specifically- and i was talking to you a few weeksago- batlen what? How can you take some of your experts and apply it in theirworld and something that really stuck out stuck out to me when you and johnand i were catching up a little while back here? Is you know the this ideathat we can use search data to actually impact rnd and product development? Andso i just i jumped on that right away because you know we'll get into this alittle more later to but like we really were big advocates of doing customerinterviews and voice of customer work, and things like that, which i think arereally really important, because they, the words of your customers, can affectthese things to our indian product development, in addition to yourmarketing strategy. But i don't know that i really have thought about searchdata as having an impact on r nd product development, and, if i'm notthinking about it, i'm certain that most of our manufacturing clients arenot either so i'd love for you to talk a little bit about that yeah.Absolutely one of the things that we were really digging into had evolvedprior to my departure. Was this idea of the search confessional and what wemeant by the search? Confessional was our belief. Our notion was people willgo to search engines, whether that's google youtube amazon whatever, andthey will search for things, they'll type things in that they want. Ittypically say out loud right and that's because the wall has been broken downof fear of judgment or most inhibitions, and so we got this idea that you knowif we could collect large amounts of...

...data on certain subjects and thenorganize it in a way that makes sense for a particular industry or product orcustomer type. We could get this really valuable insight into what needs thecustomers actually have and when i think about a manufacturing business,one of the challenges, because you are in most cases pretty far removed fromyour end user right, whether it's you have a group of clients that are comingto you, asking you to make a very specific product for them or yourmanufacturing and then ultimately delivering something to the end userinside of that manufacturing plant that facility, your good distance away fromyour end user, and so that's one issue. The other issue is: can you geteverybody in a room that are the decision makers and stake holders ofyour company and agree on what customer needs you're trying to solve? Forthat's, sometimes, i think, is a real challenge to. We all know the solutionsthat we sell and we have a sense of what job the customer is trying to getdone, but it's difficult to agree on what are the needs of the indus and thecustomer and what are the most important or satisfied needs, and sothat's where we really see search coming in and making a big difference,because we get this very transparent, unbiased view from the customer. When ithink of voice of the customer, this is the most uninterrupted or unadulteratedversion of the voice of the customers. What happens in the search engines sopulling that stuff out and organizing it can give you such great visibilityinto what your customers needs are and then what we think is where theopportunity exists for innovation as...

...well. So how do you first of all, ilove. I love that it's i think it's so smart. I mean you know it's like you'regathering insights, but the person on the custers and doesn't is it on? Doesit feel like they're on stage or having to having to say what they're expectedto say? It's you know it's not framed. It's not framed by an interviewer isnot contextualized by another audience right. It's we think, there's somethingvery wrong and important about that point of need right, so think about allthe times that you go to your phone to google, something because of in thatmoment that need right. So we want to mind that out when it's relevant toyour business and your service, sure, okay, so to speaking to thismanufacturing audience who may not have a ton of level, you know a huge levelof marketing sophistication, or at least on the you know the search front.That's like your world. You ran a so heavy agency for many years. What tools,what tactics like? How do they? How can they go start to try to process some ofthis information? Yeah! That's a good question, so my recommendation would beto the leadership of these manufacturing companies if they havesomeone inside their organization in charge of marketing communication. Tostart the conversation there to say: hey, i just learned about or have juststarted thinking about, google in a different way, amazon in a differentway, and i'd really like to build a database, a list of the queries or thequestions that our customers are clients and their in users are outthere searching. Let's just get a little smarter about that. I think thatthat's an easy step, one right and essentially what you're asking them todo- is to make a keyword list. Okay, to make a database of the queries relatedto your customers are clients and users.

I think that's a that's a great stepone and you can start to see that language that voice of the customer inthat in that day, ta base. I think the critical second step is to start to geta sense of or organizing that data in the order in which these customerssearch. So, in other words, are they starting a search with the outcome inmind, or do they already have your product or service in hand right andstart to organize those two different types of queries, because they're goingto mean different things for your company and the innovation opportunitythat exists? I think that's great advice, good goods very simple way tostart leaning on the people in your organization. You have a little bit ofunderstanding of this and and yeah now, because you know this is the type ofstuff that people are used to hearing about to help craft content right likeyou, you lean into what people are looking for. The questions you'regetting on sales, calls things you're getting an customer interviews, but nowto look at the rnd in product development, side of your business andsay: okay, how do we apply the i mean these are the same insights, it's allabout what? What? What does your ardiente care about right? What are theneeds? They have that's right. What are they? What are they struggling with?What are the pain points, the the place where you want to essentially map outright, if you can visualize in your mind a quadrant right that x and y accessand on one side, you're doing importance and on the other side,you're doing satisfaction? You want to look at these queries and volume, andfrequency of these queries will give you an indication of how important orhow satisfied are these needs right and so to connect the dot and bring it allfull circle. Now that you have this information or you have the rightquestions to ask, or you have the right...

...understanding of what the customersneeds are now you can go into a room and ask your customers. Ask the endusers. Tell me about this problem. Tell me when you are trying to solve forthis. What gets in your way right, and so it's a quick, easy way to map outthat importance and satisfaction based on how they're trying to get this jobdone with the search queries and going into the room and knowing what arethese opportunities for us to improve this product or improve this process tohelp this customer get the job done better, that's great! So, let's thinkabout this in some real world application right. Yes, that's exactlywhere i was going to go next like where have you seen? Have you seen thesupplied before yeah? So, let's, let's think about something: let's do a thotiexperiment that we can all relate to all right, joe you and i both have kids.That means that we eat. We eat pizza at least once a week right. That's thethat's a guarantee! Okay! So, let's think about how people historicallyhave ordered pizza right. You went to the phone book. You called up the pizzaplace. You go to google, you call up to pizza place, okay! Now, let's thinkabout that. How that can be measured right, you can measure in coming phonecalls. You can measure the amount of time your brand is searched, okay. Sowhat if we took a brand like dominos dominoes, says: okay, our brand hassearched this many times this in our phone rings this many times, and wehave this many sales orders right. So why do i have all of these additionalcalls that don't turn into sales orders? Well, i think it's pretty reasonable toassume that a meaningful amount of time people are calling is because they wantto know where the hello, their pizza is...

...right and so you're, putting all thatwork force through a second iteration of effort for the exact same customerright. So if some marketing folk and technology folk are sitting in the roomand they're, seeing this, it's easy for them to understand how a digitalexperience could help take the burden and manage the expectation of this customer right. So, inter thedominos tracker, now not everybody uses that app. But what i can assure you isthat the amount of times that people have searched dominoes and needing thatsecond touch point decreases because of that innovation of that dominos tracker,and so it's a way where, by using search data and leveraging it againstyour own internal knowledge, you can start to identify areas forinnovation, whether it's a better customer experience like this providesan e commerce system like maybe this provides or reducing the work burdenthat they're challenged with at that point in time right so opportunities toinnovate exist in all of our companies. Like that, the challenges, how do i oneidentify them and then to prioritize them and what we've seen happen withcompanies that can make this a piece of their rnd or innovation process?They've been able to uncover these types of opportunities and in existedall different formats right. The dominos tracker is a digital format,but it might also be a simple additional feature that you add to aligit. It might also be an additional...

...service, our benefit that you add on toyour current service, offering. So you know it's that search data that givesus insight into demand and need and then, ultimately, that alignment withyour business information and your business goals that can drive realinnovation and real value. Yeah, that's really well said, makes a ton of sense.So dereck, you you've all know you've been a numbers guy for much of yourcareer, if not always in, i can remember actually your old office priorto the last one you were at with involve like remember you, like you,busting out this eight hundred page excel book like a decade ago, and youwere telling me about all the stuff, you're learning and like jaws drop andso like a gorilla. We we're a hundred percent behind a you know. Aqualitative way of collecting insights and identifying patterns were also verybig advocates, as i said earlier about, you, know: quantitative and qualitativeright like customer interviews, voice of customer like we love this stuff, itimpacts marketing strategy as a whole. It impacts specific content. You knowthat we see our clients needing to create. How do you put those thingstogether like you started to hint at this, but you know because because it'sboth important but marrying the qualitative and quantitative insightsas as a business owner as a marketer yeah. It's a great question and i dothink it's one of the big challenges and in fact i would say that inside ofbigger organizations, this probably is the major inhibitor to innovation,because there's one school of thought that is going to be all aboutexercising through qualitative and there's another school of thought thatrelies so heavily on quantitative right. But i do think it is the marriage ofthe two that that brings the art and science together. That allows companiesto be truly great. I think the key to being able to do that is to understandthe role in the place that each have...

...and what you're trying to accomplishwhat. I don't think it's very easy to do with things like search data or webanalytics. It's really difficult to understand how you should be speakingto your customers and what communication strategy resonates. Ithink that that is better served coming from interviews with your clients oryour customer base, or conversations with your sales force or those customerservice representers who are interfacing with those clients. Butwhat i do think that the day that helps to drive and sets the table for thatthat qualitative action is prioritizing what problems and what segment orelements of the market are you going to pursue right, and so i think that thereal work for the quantitative is to size and prioritize, and then thequalitative comes in and answers that question you marry it together and itstarts to answer that question of what are we going to say? Who are we goingto say it to, and why are we saying this right? Why does this matter topeople? Google has gotten so good at answeringthe questions in a search engine result page that they've taken the burden offof the searcher to add very much context or color to what they're doingright and the reality is each one of these big tech platforms are going tocontinue to take away the amount of information over time that they'regoing to give to you for free, especially and so that information isgoing to have to come from those customers and those am users. So ithink it's used the data for logically mapping out what your productchallenges are. What your innovation needs are use that qualitative to startto understand what are the colors, the...

...shapes the sizes were going to use.What are the words on the page we're going to use? I think those things arestill left best tested and understood, hearing it straight from the sourceright. So it is that marriage of understanding that prediction comesfrom the math and science element of these things, but the brand and theadditional value comes from the communication side and that i thinkthat's the qualitative sin great answer so dark. What didn't? What did i notask you here that wing to add to this conversation? If anything, and is thereany additional advice? You'd offer a manufacturing leader about you knowputting some of this stuff into practice yeah. So i guess a couplethings you know in terms of putting it into practice. Most organizations are trying to figure out what data means tothem and whether it's some sort of internet of things, data coming fromdevices or it's there assembly lines- and you know you've had guests ontalking about automation and ai and all that stuff in the factory. That'sreally great for the efficiency and effectiveness in which your deployingresources, but what i would encourage these leaders to build what i think aretruly innovative and great companies. You really don't have to look too muchfurther than these big tech companies and look at what they're doing and howthey're using information right and borrowing from their greatest resource, which is thethe customer base. They have the user base, they have in the day that itproduces and so learning how to extract valuable data from those platforms.About your end, users about your customers and clients will allow you tobuild the products and services that your customers and clients want, and soyour ability to create more valuable...

...experiences can come from these otherplatforms, where it's harder to. I think, look at just the act of creatingthe good and know just from how it's produced. What the next innovative stepfor the organization is. So it's not something that let's go back to thatquadrant system. Most companies are good at products and process or salesand communication. It's really really really hard to be a company grade atboth. We have a lot of companies here in the midwest that are really great atproduct in process, but need other third parties or somebody else to comein and do sales and communication stuff for them. I think if you can start todevelop a discipline up here in sales and communication from a dataperspective, you will buy us moses, almost just by momentum, an effortyou'll start to get better at that sales and communication aspect rightand a lot of the skill sets to extract that data and to analyze that dataexist. Inside of these companies right, you talked to you joke about the exceldeal. Look most organizations of meaningful size are starting to bringin people who are good and excel people who have business intelligencebackgrounds, people who have data science backgrounds, that's all you're,really asking these folks to do is to clean, organize and analyze data. Itjust is coming from sources that aren't necessarily second hand to tomanufacturers, but getting involved in that. I just cannot express that enough.It's i've heard google, as the best mouse trap on hgh right like this ideathat they have so much information and understanding about your own customerand your business borrow from that borrow from that right and then thelast thing i want to hit is how great does it feel to be n? A milwaukee'sbuck fan that...

...i've had i've. Been s. T question quitea bit. I bet you have. I was just talking of earlier today to somebody my senior year of high school is twothousand and one- and i remember going to buffalo wild wings and watching likeevery buck. Seventy sixers game to almost make it to the nba finals thatwas twenty years ago and now that now we're back so was that glenn robinson,oh yeah, big dog and big ray allen, sam cassel yeah. So that's right all right!Well, good luck to the box, a man thanks! So much so yeah! Thanks fordoing this derek and before we let you go, and i let you give yourself a plughere for click score and like. Where can people get in touch with you andand learn more about what you're doing? No, i appreciate that so click scoredot io. If you're trying to hire a new media agency, we can help with that. Wecan write the rp and take you through the whole process. If you're, using anagency or a free, lance or even your own in house team- and you just want ata sense of where do we sort of shake out in the market, how much of a googletax are, we paying go to clicko dad io and you can find that out for free setup an account and you can reach out to me there derek got maybe at clico, daoor by me linton. It's not a lot jerk maybe's out there, so it's not too hardawesome! Well, derek thanks for doing this man. This is great! Oh yer! It wasa pleasure thanks. So much so you bet. As for the rest of you, i hope to catchyou on the next episode of the manufacturing executive. You've been listening to themanufacturing executive podcast to ensure that you never missed an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learnmore about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an everexpanding collection of articles, videos guides and tools, specificallyfor b, to b manufacturers at gorilla. Seventy sicot flash a word. Thank you!So much for listening until next time.

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