“The art of the question has fundamentally been lost.” As a global speaker and consultant in digital marketing and sales, Marcus Sheridan has made name for himself and his business by answering all of the questions. I couldn’t wait to talk to the content marketing legend and author about all of this, on this week’s On Brand podcast.
About Marcus Sheridan
Called a “web marketing guru” by The New York Times, the story of how Marcus Sheridan was able to save his swimming pool company, River Pools, from the economic crash of 2008 has been featured in multiple books, publications, and stories around the world—and is also the inspiration for his newest book, “They Ask, You Answer.”
Today, Sheridan has become a highly sought after global speaker and consultant in the digital sales and marketing space, working with hundreds of business and brands alike to become the most trusted voice of their industry while navigating the ultra-fast rate of change occurring within consumers and buyers today.
The 20-second version of Marcus’ story. “In 2008, I was going to lose my business. I had two consultants tell me to file for bankruptcy. I started reading about inbound marketing and content marketing and created a four-word philosophy.”
They Ask, You Answer. This philosophy applied to content marketing helped Marcus save River Pools. It’s also helped countless marketers who have read his story and heard him speak. “If you can’t explain it — if you can’t answer the questions — it’s no good.” These four words are also the title of his new book. They Ask You Answer, which is full of case studies of “digital Davids” like River Pools. “It’s 50% marketing, 25% sales, and 25% implementation.”
The most important social media question. “It’s not ‘how can I be great on Facebook today?’ It’s ‘how can I be great on Facebook forever?’ You do that by solving customers’ problems.”
How can you cultivate a culture of questions? “Businesses need to think more like buyers and less like businesses. Marketers aren’t subject matter experts.” You have to get out of your bubble and seek the expertise of leadership, engineering, and sales to effectively answer your buyer’s questions.
What question is Marcus asked most often? “It’s not, ‘I’m a leader/business owner — how do turn my business around?’ It’s ‘I’m in sales and I need leadership’s buy-in.'” Marcus recommends getting leadership re-acclimated with customers’ needs for a better connection between the business and the buyer in your sales and marketing execution.
What brand has made Marcus smile recently? “I’m gonna use this example because it would be easy for them to say, ‘but we’re too big’ — Home Depot.” Citing their “exceptional blog where they teach, teach, teach,” he noted that it features products without being too sales-y.
As We Wrap …
Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Sean Carpenter gave us a shout on Twitter for our recent episode on millennial marketing featuring Gabriella Mirabelli. Thanks for listening, Sean!
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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!