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Kap Chatfield 00:20
Hey gang, welcome back to B2B Podcasting, the show to help B2B CEOs, brand leaders, sales leaders and marketing leaders, skip ads, and be the show. I'm your host, Kap Chatfield, CEO of Rveal Media. Today we have Cassidy Shield on the show today. This guy is a data narrative genius and he's a brilliant marketer. I love what he's doing. He's the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Narrative Science. And he's also the host of a show called Leading with Data, which is all about helping brands understand how to make data a more human experience and how to make better data driven decisions for the organization. So Cassidy, it's truly a pleasure to have you on the show today.
Cassidy Shield 01:02
Yeah, Kap. Thanks for having me. What a wonderful introduction. I don't think I can live up to that, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Kap Chatfield 01:11
Well, I was going to bring out the confetti cannons, but I thought, "you know what, I don't want to scare him off". So that's what you get today. But hey, Cassidy, seriously, it's really cool having you on the show. I know, a lot of our audience members are in that place where you know, as you kind of heard in our intro, they're CEOs, brand leaders, sales leaders, marketing leaders. I think you could speak to really all those different desires based off of the role that you play in your organization. And data, it's so it's so big these days. So we can go into like some of the nitty gritty of of how you're using data on your show and or how you're making data driven decisions for your show. But let's start at square one. Why don't you just give us a little bit of an intro of Narrative Science and even this product that you guys have called Lexio?
Cassidy Shield 01:56
Yeah, we're a we're a company that pioneered a way to take data and turn it into stories or natural language, human language. You can think of like, why do we want to do that? And kind of our mission as a company is we want to make data understandable for everyone. And so that's been our journey over the last 10 years. The latest product that we consider kind of the teacher of like analytics is a product called Lexio. The problem that Lexio simply solves is like, despite us all having data at our fingertips at every moment in time, the vast majority of companies aren't making decisions based on data. And we want to change that. And we think one of the reasons is because the technology, the tools out there today, people can't consume data, how we consume information and the rest of their lives. And we're here to change that. And that's what we that's what we're building with Lexico and taking the market.
Kap Chatfield 02:47
Why do you think it's so important for companies to make quote, unquote, data driven decisions? Versus, I mean, it might sound kind of like a stupid question. But rather than going by intuition, or really, I mean, maybe in your experience, how else are they making decisions? Honestly?
Cassidy Shield 03:03
Yeah, I think there's been enough research out there that shows that humans are lousy at using gut and intuition to make decisions. Now, that doesn't mean, you don't leverage that or use that in the decision making process. But having data to also inform those decisions is a way to just think bad, better and faster, and more accurate decisions for a company. The research has proven this out, there's many books on this. And so, you know, what we want to do is just enable humans to not just blindly look at data and make decisions on that. But we want to be able to put it in front of them in a way that's very easy and natural for them. So they can use that to help augment their decision making and obviously use their experience alongside that as well. I would argue, if you think about what what is intuition? Intuition is experience that you've developed over time by looking at signals, and by having experiences that one could argue is data in a very unstructured way. So yeah, that's how we kind of inform our intuition is through our experiences, and in many ways you can think of experiences is just another form of data throughout our lives.
Kap Chatfield 04:09
I think you're, you're really onto something with that, because very few of us, if any of us, truly have the ability to like foresee things, that we've had no sort of kind of background narrative for, pattern recognition for, to be able to kind of project of what that could be in the future. So that's really cool that you guys are doing that. Now, I would love for you to break down Lexio specifically. So how is this a product that actually helps these businesses understand and interpret their data?
Cassidy Shield 04:41
Yeah, so so let's talk about like, kind of the overall or the status quo and what most of us do today is some analysts has given us a dashboard after we ask them a question. And that dashboard has a visual on that. And what we need to do, what we do as humans every time we look at that, is we ask ourselves a series of questions. What am I looking at? Why is it doing, why is it data showing me what it's showing me? Meaning I'm trying to interpret what it means. Then I'm going to ask myself, "what's it going to do in the future? Is it going to go up or down? What's it mean for me? What should I do about it? These are all things as a human being, we actually have to figure it out on our own by looking at the data that's given to us. So we took a step back, and we said, listen, not only are people given it up on that, on that kind of process, even when they do experience it, it's confusing, and they don't really get what they need out of it. So we asked ourselves, "how do people consume information in their daily lives?" You go to Apple news, you go to Twitter, go to New York Times, the information is comes to you, you follow topics, you read what's most important to you. And we said, "well, what if we could build an experience like that, on the back of language, where we tell people what they need to know about their business, about their function, about the tactics or campaigns that they're running in a way that it's easy for them to digest and consume that stories versus charts and graphs? That's what we did. And on the backside, we haven't been told or asked ourselves like, "well, do they always want to log into a tool to do this? Or can we bring it to them in their daily workflow?" That daily workflow could be on their mobile phone, it could be an email, it could be in Slack. So because we've moved beyond just showing them charts and graphs, we moved this into language, that allows us to put it pretty much anywhere people work. And that's what we're trying to solve here. And that is, you know, data and insights from data that need to be part of your workflow every day. Not something that you go to do once a week or once a month. And that's the shift in paradigm that we're trying to make. If you do that every day, and guess what you build? You build experience, you build intuition, you have better judgment, you make better decisions. That's kind of the the method behind our madness.
Kap Chatfield 06:51
You're like really connecting the right side of the brain and the left side of the brain taking these metrics, which otherwise could be very complex. I love what you said about applying language to them, which really makes it the most consumable and easy to understand for people. That's super smart.
Cassidy Shield 07:08
Yeah, if you think about it, what do we, what have we done over the last 20 years? We've tried to figure out like the language of the machine. What does this mean to me? The numbers, the charts, the graphs. We turned that around, and we said, "what happens if we get a machine to communicate more in the language that we're used to? As humans? Would that be easier for us to understand?" And we feel like it would.
Kap Chatfield 07:28
So good. Were you a marketing guy first, or a data guy first?
Cassidy Shield 07:33
So if you're way back in my history, I would say, if those are the two choices, definitely data guy. So I grew up in supply chain and operations. I then went into software product management, and then somewhere along the line, somebody convinced me to become a marketer. So I've been solving problems with data long before my journey through marketing. I call it kind of the third chapter in my career, reluctantly, and so yeah, data person before a marketing person.
Kap Chatfield 08:03
So okay, I want to, I want to talk about how you are leveraging like this amazing marketing tool, the Leading With Data show that you guys are doing, but because you're a data guy first, I feel I feel like it's appropriate to ask you this question, I just want your candid take on this. As somebody in the marketing world first, personally, I'm starting to realize that data is becoming more and more important for the work that we do. Obviously, we're serving, you know, senior level executives of these organizations that want to be able to track the effectiveness of work that we're doing. Let's just say we're doing a show for them, we want to be able to track the effectiveness of that. But we're constantly running into these challenges of software can only, you know, attribute so much data to, to what you're doing and the performance really, of what your of what you're executing. What, how I would love to hear your take on like, particularly with your company, how are you guys managing the tension between quantitative data, that data and then the qualitative data?
Cassidy Shield 09:07
Yeah. So we have this kind of concept that we focus on in our company in our marketing team around like measuring what matters, and driving to what matters. And so let me give an example of what that means in terms of marketing. I hold the marketing team accountable for generating pipeline. We're largely an inbound shop. So what I want to know is with the sales team, how much pipeline are we generating? We then know obviously, how that pipelines converting to bookings or revenue, and we know what our goal is. So that's what I would call the Northstar for the marketing team. Now they're going to do a bunch of things, to try to hit that goal and target some of those things that you can measure directly IE, somebody comes to our website and you fill out a demo or request as a lead. That obviously gets handed to sales. We can see how that converts. But they're gonna do a bunch of other things that they that we know we need to do to help build demand more longer term. That is, before you have somebody raise their hand to buy your product, they need to know who you are. And so, you know, the job of the marketing team is to be able to balance those two things. What we're looking at is is the ability to balance those two things equating to what our target is in terms of hitting pipeline, which will generate and turn that into revenue with the sales team. And so I'm less concerned about the attribution, meaning, what's every little thing the marketing team is doing and can we measure all that in the context of the goal of pipeline generation? I'm more looking at kind of the macro macro metric, which is the goal. Now, what I do the press on that team is, you know, anytime you have a goal, you have leading indicators. So I help them break those things down and look at the things that we're doing. What are the leading indicators? Are they trending and tracking to where we want them to go? If they do do that, do we feel like that's going to result in the you know, is that going to equal the results we want down the road? So for things like the podcast, like we're not expecting the podcast to generate direct attribution to revenue, that'd be crazy. We've yet we've had other guests talk about that. But at the same time, we want to know like within the tactic of podcasts like do we feel good about what it's doing? Are people watching it? Are people saying good things about it? Is it getting easier to get folks on the show? Are we able to take the content and the insights we learned in the podcast and apply those to, you know, learnings within the company, or to the community as a whole. And so if we're doing more of those things, and it's creating broader awareness, more engagement, and more goodwill, then that's how we think about measuring that versus something else, like paid media, we may measure a completely different way.
Kap Chatfield 11:50
That's really cool. I'm a huge proponent of the power of doing a show, especially a show like what you guys are doing where it's a very thought leadership centric show. Is your your whole team actually gets better because you're committing to doing this content. You're you're materializing, you're articulating more clearly what you're thinking, and you're and you're working through problems. And just it makes you a smarter team. So I'd love to talk about that more in a moment. But I'm curious just about the show in general, you guys started the show Leading With Data. Why did you feel like the market needed the content that you guys wanted to produce through the show?
Cassidy Shield 12:30
Yeah, I mean, let me talk about how the show originated. And that was, it's early, what 2020? You know, like everybody else, we had to pivot our marketing strategy because of COVID. And we'd been discussing this idea of doing a podcast, and we realized, like, listen, the world's going in a completely different direction, it's time. So the first generation of this was actually a video show that we would do live, and we put it on YouTube. And then eventually, we turned that into a podcast. The reason we did that is because we were really pivoting to get into the analytics space. And we wanted to build our knowledge, build relationships in the community, and get back to the community by finding people who we believe kind of thought like us, and not thought like us in terms of like buying our products, but thought like us in terms of believing that data can change, you know, people in the business world and teams and organizations for the better. And that's why we named it Leading With Data and that is, what we're looking for. We're looking for people to come tell their story about how they're using data to drive change in their organizations. We didn't really see that out there in the market. But selfishly, we also wanted to do it because it allowed us to, you know, control and have those dialogues and and learn from the thought leaders that we bring on the show.
Kap Chatfield 13:59
So I'm sure you've been able to interview some pretty cool people on the show. What have been some, what's been like one of your favorite things to discuss or learn about as you've done the show and interviewed these guests?
Cassidy Shield 14:12
That's a really good question. Um, what, what I love the most is like the diversity of the people I've talked to. So I've talked to folks who've been founders of analytics companies, I've talked to folks who've been founders of agencies. So like, I love hearing kind of a founders story. And they're all kind of backed by some type of innovation, with the people that we're dealing with. And just hearing the story of how that how this group of people took an insight that was out there and they saw something that nobody else saw. And they're able to turn that into a successful business. I find that amazing. But on the flip side, I just did one recently with somebody who's like a head of strategy and analytics at their company, and the person, you could tell by the type of the depth of the conversation we had, that this person knew what they were doing, like they were hands on driving change on the front line and were able to articulate that back to our audience in a way where this massively tangible for the audience to be like, "I need to go actually implement that tomorrow". And so that's what we really try to get at is, no matter what level we talk to, what can people literally go do tomorrow to change the game in their team and the organization in their company? And to hear those stories at all levels, and it's inspiring to hear them. And I mean, I love it selfishly, because I'm learning from all these people every time I talk to him, so I'm sure you feel the same way.
Kap Chatfield 15:37
I know. It's the same, I feel the same way. It's like, it's such a hack, because I'm bringing such amazing guests like yourself on the show, I just get to like, pick your guys' brains for 60 minutes. And it helps me grow my business and apply new things to my business. So it's, there really is such a huge value value add. I'm curious specifically about your team? How was? How has, have you seen, I should say, the content from the show help your team grow in its thought leadership regarding data storytelling?
Cassidy Shield 16:07
Yeah, well, it's interesting, I think, certainly the team, like, the show is a big conduit for our ability to kind of develop content, and promote that back out to the community, and in turn, kind of that builds goodwill and awareness of who we are in that community. So the team has done an amazing job of being like, "Okay, here's a show it, we record it for 45, 50, you know, 60 minutes. There's a treasure trove of insight in that, go package that up, take it back out in many different forms". The team's gotten really good at that. So when you think about like, "what's in that for them?" Is yes, they've understood, and they've learned a lot about how to talk about analytics in the industry. But they've also been able to hone their content marketing skills, because we have such a wide range of kind of good content that just needs to be kind of harness packaged and, you know, for each specific channel. So I think it's been a good conduit too for the creativity of the team in terms of being able to amplify, you know, the stories that are told on the show, and which, in return, obviously, that's benefits us.
Kap Chatfield 17:12
It's like it's truly a flywheel. I mean, you're you create the show, you bring on some amazing guests, they help you kind of pinpoint some really unique topics that maybe you wouldn't have come up with on your own. If you bring it back to your marketing team, it becomes more content that you can create an eBooks. By the way, guys, if you if you need to check them out, you should. Go to Narrative Science dot com, look at all of the content they have like PDFs and ebooks, and it's really beautifully designed too. So as far as like, the marketing and the storytelling element of your product, it's you guys are truly doing an amazing job. And I think it actually kind of leads well into my next question, because you guys are, you know, you're really the leader of sales and marketing for a SaaS product, particularly, particularly with this product Lexio. I know you guys have some other products, but that's like your, your main one that you guys want to promote right now. And I'm also seeing a lot of sass products last, a lot of sass companies start doing their own shows. There's a handful that come my mind that are actually doing like a podcast or video podcasts or something like that. So why did you think it was important for Narrative Science to do its own show? Was it because of this content flywheel? Like thing? Or was it because specifically because of COVID? Or, or what, were you guys looking at the trends of what these other SaaS companies were doing?
Cassidy Shield 18:32
Yeah, we looked at this and we said, "Listen, we feel like we're doing something that's pioneering". We went down this process of thinking about category creation, category design, which has been kind of a key pillar of kind of our strategy. And we also want to build an own our own community. So we love tapping into other people's community, but we're, we also looked at this and said, "Listen, we need to build our own". And so not only do we did a podcast, we did, you know, four virtual events during the COVID period, the first one happened a month after we all went home. So our ability to kind of pivot be probably one of the first companies out there that actually did a virtual event. You know, once we're all sitting in front of our front of zoom, where we have about 4000 people registered and spent no money on it. So that was just the beginning of us saying, "listen, we're creative, we have a story to tell, we want to build our own community, we're going to find like-minded people, and we're gonna go do this on our own and make it happen". And really, the the credit goes to the team, like super scrappy, ambitious hungry team who's been able to kind of do that and it's kind of snowballed from there. And I would say, you take that kind of mentality, you couple it with me pushing a team and the company be more data driven. And what we've generated in a marketing team and the rest of our organization would hate me to say this is the marketing team is the alpha in the company. And so we're the ones that you know, you know, stir the drink right now as far as like driving the company forward and putting pressure on sales, putting pressure on product. Wasn't always the case, it seldom is the case of marketing's in that role. But hats off to the team, I feel like, you know, they know they kind of combined creativity and content with ability of being data driven, and knowing where to focus that creativity has been a massive differentiator and kind of the success of the team versus other marketing organizations.
Kap Chatfield 20:31
Yeah, that's awesome. I hats off to you guys, especially with the virtual events and doing that it's such a search, like whether you could say strategic, or very providentially aligned time to have that event go go down. That's super cool. Congrats to you guys. I have a question. I want to kind of pull from both sides of your brain as far as being a data guy and being a marketing guy and a marketing leader. There's so much data that can come out of doing a show, and I'm sure you guys are kind of looking at that stuff, too, as far as downloads and views. And then you have your micro content, the impressions on that, how many shares, engagement? All that sort of stuff. It can be kind of overwhelming. Like, there's so much data, it's almost like where do we even begin with this? So I'm curious, speaking to another b2b show, producer, or host, how can someone who is doing a b2b podcast or show create meaning out of all of that data? Like where would they begin to, to kind of create their own narrative with it?
Cassidy Shield 21:32
Um, so that's a good question. I would say, listen, I, as a data guy, I look at a lot of metrics in our business, in our marketing team. The metrics I don't look at very often is how the show's doing. Hmm. And we have a process that we run with the show in terms of like, how we promote it, how I promote it, how we promote it, how we use it to kind of create other assets, you mentioned the ebooks. What I'm really looking for, and I would even call it data wise is is how do the guests feel? And if they feel great, and they're promoting it to their networks, and people are liking it, and they're feeling good and my team is doing the job that we set out to do in terms of leveraging these assets, that's more what I'm looking at. I'm more looking at the process, are we executing against it with high quality? Are the guests loving it? And are we pushing the envelope internally in terms of how much more we can do? In terms of even show development or leveraging the output. So as a data guy that seems like it's backwards, but I'm much more looking at our ability to kind of keep raising the bar and maximizing the asset that we do create off the show. And never go tomorrow go and say, oh, yeah, it's like, are more people watching it? Are we getting more streams? You know, the woman on my team who kind of runs the show day to day, she obviously looks at these things much more than I do. But this is a case where I have much more of a macro view. I'm less concerned about the the quantitative side, much more concerned about the qualitative side.
Kap Chatfield 23:23
Why is that?
Cassidy Shield 23:26
Because I know like we're not doing this to, to drive kind of, we're not going to try to we're not going to ever connect the dots between the the show and the content and like our ability to generate pipeline and revenue. We have to have a belief that it's going to happen if we do a really good job, if we create content that's valuable to the community, if the folks who were on the show have, feel like they were treated as royalty. And that we're producing high quality content out of that and being able to reflect what we learned on the show for others. If we do that really well, we have to have confidence that like that's going to pay off. Certainly, if nobody's looking at it, the reviews are bad, and it's hard to get guests like, then we're doing something wrong. But if, you know, assuming all those things are trending in a positive direction. I'm fine with that. It's what we're doing to build awareness of who we are and so forth and so on. Versus you said something. Yeah, go for it.
Kap Chatfield 24:24
Sorry. You just said something that I just I really want to kind of pick at and get kind of tactical with. You said that treating your guests like royalty is a big part of like whether or not you guys are succeeding with the show or not. Because it's it's all about relationship, right? Like you're you're building these very strategic relationships with the people you bring on your show. You want to leave them with a good taste in their mouth after interacting with your team and just the whole show experience. So how do you guys treat your guests like royalty?
Cassidy Shield 24:51
So first of all, what we're not I'm always I'm not looking, I'm looking for people who I find interesting who I think others would find interesting. So meaning, I'm not looking for big name celebrities who have large followings to put on the show. I'm looking for people who I feel like are true practitioners that are that are kind of the everyday people that may not even be on LinkedIn all the time that people can learn from. So that's one. Two is I put in a lot of work upfront before we have the show. Like I'll write an outline for everybody, we'll have a pre call, I'll do my research, I'll outline kind of here's the format and when I think we should go through. We give them full editorial rights to this, so some people, some people are very senior, and they need their marketing team to look at this before it goes out. Super comfortable with that. On the back end, we're cutting up the assets in a way that makes it very easy for them to share on their network. And we share in Highland, and when we share, we highlight them, we don't highlight ourselves ever. In this case. You think about the packaging that we do, the packaging is all the ebooks the packaging is all in line with putting the spotlight back on the person who had the insight, not us. So, you know, it's like they're the star of the show, not us. And so what I want to make sure we're doing is like giving them a forum for them to be able to tell their story, their experience. We never talk about Narrative Science, I never sell them what we do. It's kind of church and state. And so that's kind of how we treat it. And it's really I try to put myself in the position of like, it's all about them on the show and hearing what they have to say and their expertise.
Kap Chatfield 26:40
I'm sure that helps you in the long run too, though. Like, because I think sometimes we can get too your, you wear two different hats. I mean, you're you're overseeing sales and marketing, and both are needed, may marketing kind of has this long term approach to their work. Sales naturally has a very short term mindset with trying to get deals closed, trying to move action, right? And I think sometimes you know, people can do a show and you can you can do it tastefully, where you have a hope that maybe you can get some business out of it. But you have to keep your motives genuine about, "hey, I want to, I want to keep this an experience that's good, that's like a win for you and also a win for the audience". Because if you're just trying to put people on your show that, you know, that you could do business with, but they don't actually bring value to your audience, it could really kind of shoot a shoot an arrow in your brand, which isn't helpful at all, like you got to you have to really have that genuine approach to it.
Cassidy Shield 27:42
Yeah, I mean, there are certainly people we've had on the show who I'd love to be having as customers. But that's, that's a choice that they're going to have to make on their own time and their own way. It's not something where I'm going to be putting it in front of them and saying, "hey, you know, thanks for coming on the show. Would you like to buy our products?" I would, never do that.
Kap Chatfield 27:56
Right? If they're ever, they know you, they know the company, they the relationships been formed, they will come back when they have any questions about that. And that's, that's you can you can trust that. I'm curious, though.
Cassidy Shield 27:57
And I know, I know, you've had this, folks, this similar perspective on your show. But that's kind of our philosophy in general. If you do a great job in building category, establishing community, giving back, have something interesting to say when folks show up on our site and clear differentiation, then people will people know how to raise their hand to buy something or try something, right? You know, you don't need to force it down their throat, like modern buyers understand how the buying process works. So we give back, we educate, we make it very clear what we do versus others. We let people decide when they're ready to enter the buying process. Not us.
Kap Chatfield 28:52
So do you guys have an outbound sales strategy? Or is it pretty much strictly inbound?
Cassidy Shield 28:57
It's, for all intents and purposes, inbound.
Kap Chatfield 29:03
It's working. That's awesome. Yeah, that's way more fun, honestly.
Cassidy Shield 29:07
Yeah, we'll see. We'll have to, you know, maybe at some point, we have to augment that. But like, you know, our experience in outbound for what we do, and we've dabbled with this over time as a company is we've never made it successful. Now, that doesn't mean we don't go outbound or go strike up and build relationships with current customers, because we have some very large customers and we have multiple things we could sell on in various divisions. Those mainly go back to our database for people who've expressed interest in the past and see if they're ready now. I mean, there's things that we can do that we've established over time in a way that's not incongruent to kind of our philosophy. But as far as cold prospecting goes, we rarely do that. We've tried it, we've had horrible success.
Kap Chatfield 29:53
Yeah. Do you feel like that's because part of what you guys are doing is so I feel like I just kind of have this intuition. You might be like a intuition. You have, you have a disorganized data in your mind that's making this decision but, or giving this insight, but my theory is, is that when you have a product or a service that the market doesn't yet have language for, it's really hard to go and do the cold call approach or cold prospecting approach, because there's so much trust that needs to be built. There's so much education that needs to be put out there. And and that's a long game approach like that takes time to do. Is, is that part of what the issue you think for why it's been difficult?
Cassidy Shield 30:39
Yeah, that's very well said. I'll give you a structural way to think about that. And that is, because of where we are in the market that you just outlined very well, we're at a point where it's early adopters. So if you think about Crossing the Chasm, we're in these early adopter markets, that by definition, early adopters find you, you don't find them. So what we need to do is put out the bat signal. Here's who we are, here's why we're different. You know, we're normal people like everybody else. We believe in innovation, we believe in data can make a difference. Yada, yada, yada. They'll see it. And then they'll decide, is this something that meets my needs from an early adopter perspective?
Kap Chatfield 31:21
I think that's partly why, again, I just, I'm really fascinated with this medium, and I'm sure you you're enjoying it, too, you've got your own gear. So you're invested in this thing, your own, your own teams invested in this thing. But that's one reason why I really like this medium of the video podcast is because it's, first of all, it's episodic. So you keep showing up, whether it's every other week, every once a month, or every week or twice a week, whatever. You keep showing up and that allows you to build rapport over time and answer new questions and even overcome objections and things like that. And the other element about it that I love is that it's, it's long enough, each episode is long enough, where you can really kind of demonstrate what you want to say, versus like fighting for a five second window in an ad, and hope, hopefully, you know, winning the attention to like, keep someone watching for another 10 seconds or whatever.
Cassidy Shield 32:14
Yeah, I mean, you think about what you learn in 45 minutes talking to somebody who's in your industry, or in, you know, on a topic that you're interested or your community who would be interested in. You get a lot of insight in 45 minutes, or 60 minutes or 30 minutes. Yeah, versus like, you know, a couple posts on LinkedIn or versus like coming to somebody's website for a minute and a half. And so obviously, that's a commitment on the, on the, on the standpoint of the person who's on the show and a guest. But, you know, learning from that, just substantially. This is a way we're all teaching ourselves how to do something, how to do podcasting, I listen to you, how to do marketing, I might listen to Walker, get a little Chris Walker to do and be an analytics leader, maybe listen to our podcast or somebody else's. It's like, this is kind of a modern way that we're all learning more about kind of the the craft that we're most interested in. And I think, from a show perspective, that's kind of our duty out there is to help educate the audience and community.
Kap Chatfield 33:21
Um, I want to go back to the data side of things regarding the show, because I am interested, I know that you said you don't look at the show metrics too much. But what you did make a point, though, about like returning viewers or unique viewers, so I'm just curious as far as like, there are things you can track. What would you say for a show would be the most important KPIs? And doesn't have to be a ton, but like, what would be like the most interesting for you to look at with your team?
Cassidy Shield 33:55
So there's a few things. The first thing I'm looking at is, Is it easier or harder? This isn't quite quantitative. But is it easier or harder to get guests on our show? That's the first thing I want to know. I feel like it's gotten a lot easier. Two is, this is not so quantitative either and that is are the guests promoting it? Meaning have we done a good enough job where they felt really good, they feel proud, we've given them the assets. Or are they are they promoting it? Three, I will also look selfishly at when I promote it how well is that how well does that do? But that's also often a reflection of how well I've promoted it versus like who the person was and what the content was. That's more of a learning for me, meaning, I didn't take the good enough time to kind of promote it myself. Um, we do look at like views and all the metrics that you'd look at to just make sure that viewership is increasing. I don't really have a goal. Katie on my team who looks at the podcast probably does have a goal in her mind of like, what good increase in reach and viewership is. We will look at those from time to time, like we adjusted some of our show length based on looking at some of that data where we're like, listen, it seems like most people are bowing out after this period of time, maybe some of these shows are too long. We go back and reflect on those shows, what was happening. We would adjust kind of our format, and so forth. So some places where we've tactically use the data to kind of adjust the show and tighten things up, which has been helpful. And then I would say the other one is just content reuse. And that is, are we taking the asset, are we taking are we getting the maximum kind of reach and exposure out of the assets that we're creating? Out of the shows?
Kap Chatfield 35:52
Uh that's list, but it's no, that's actually a really good list. That's a strong list, because those things are qualitative, but they you can actually measure those things. Like you can in the same way with your sales pipeline, you could you can look at a win rate with how many people do you put in the pipeline actually close when category closed, lowest category or closed last category? You can do the same thing with inviting guests on your show and see like, okay, are are, you know, we're trying to invite like, I know, you can even kind of create like a matrix of like, "Hey, are we trying to invite guests that are in like, the lower left hand corner of the matrix, or the upper right hand corner of the matrix?" Higher, you know, higher reward, higher risk, or whatever, I guess you could say? Yeah, we do something like that.
Cassidy Shield 36:40
And I would say the maybe the fifth category is like we do look at from time to time, you know, content of the show, who came to see like, what is that trend mean? Like, if we, you know, not rollicking for the ones, like there's sometimes people on the show who have a big following, we know the topics hot, it's gonna go really well. And it does. There's other ones that are surprising that we're like, we think it's more of a niche show great content. And it actually takes off, and we're like, Hmm, maybe we need more of that. And so there is kind of that production quality of like looking at the data being like, and when we think about that, we're thinking of it not because we want more views, we're thinking of, "maybe the community needs more of that information". And so we should go find more people like that, because it feels like if it exceeded our expectations, maybe that's because the community is kind of starved for that type of insight.
Kap Chatfield 37:40
That's so good. I'm actually I'm going to take all those things that you said, I'm going to do some personal homework, and try to create ways of tracking those things. I think those are so strong, especially because the featured guests element, getting them on the show, that's like one of the biggest value adds of having a show is getting to build those relationships. And if they're a few of them are saying yes, it's probably because the branding of your show is going in the wrong direction. Or you're not inviting the right guests on your show. Are the guests promoting it? That's another element as far as like, hey, is this something that they're proud of? Do they want to like put their face on this and put their name on this? And then, you know, I think generally too those metrics that are a little bit easier to track like viewership as long as it's increasing, I think that's helpful. Content reused, just I'm just recapping all them because they're so good. That one for me, I think that's like the biggest one. Because for me, as a guy who's creating this content myself, that's something that I tell my team all the time, the thing that keeps me up at night is content that we've created, that we haven't either published or haven't maximized, because that can be so helpful, and so in, and leveraged in multiple places. So that's great, man. That's a strong list. I want to, I want to kind of rewind it a little bit, you and I, this would be more of like a fun conversation to have just about the power of what we call at our company "show marketing". You were a part of a company a few years ago, where you you guys, actually you didn't do a video podcast, you actually did like a scripted series, a scripted show. So I'd love for you to kind of tee up what was the company? Was like, what was your product? And then what was the show about and why did you guys do it?
Cassidy Shield 39:23
Man. So this is going to date me. This is going to date me. It was a long time ago. It's probably 10 plus years ago, I was at a company called Alcatel Lucent, telecom company, big company. 10s of 1000s of people. And we're marketing, I was running marketing for a software division. And you know, some folks on my team are marketers and all the all the great ideas come from the people on your team. They're like there's some absurdity in the software that we're selling about how people function today. And one of the absurdities was kind of like how an IT organization ran and handled internal communications like phone and video. And another one was about call center software. So it's these topics that are kind of boring. But like the way people had to go about using technology at that time to do their jobs was asinine. And so the team came up with this idea of like, "why don't we just create like a parody?" And like, we ran them as, like one was a five part series, the other was like seven or eight part series. We had you know, we had kind of a main actor, told the backstory, we show them like, interacting every day, and like the absurdity of like, what they had to go through to do their job in a very kind of comic way, well done. And we would release these things like one at a time, like, episode like, here's episode one, and then we leave a cliffhanger. And here's episode two. The only reason we're doing this was just to build awareness and have some fun. Sales seem to loved, because he showed around to the customers and kind of it wasn't a hard sell, because it was more like, "hey, you know, we think this is great, take a look". And people most everybody's like, "yeah, that's our situation". Um, and it just took off. Like, you know, this is kind of before LinkedIn, and like, maybe even before LinkedIn, and Twitter, it was a while ago. And yeah, 10s of 1000s 100,000 views on YouTube. Just a lot of fun. Like, it was just like, you know, those are things that in that type of company, this is like a really risky, risky proposition. Very conservative company, we did it anyway. And ended up everybody in the company loved it. I mean, this is something that went, you know, CEOs watching these things. Because it was just like that kind of visibility and you know that type of creativity that the team did. So I often think about that. "I'm like, Huh, why don't we do those things today?" You know, like take something in b2b that we all but I think is like data in b2b, like what we do, we think it's super important. But for a lot of people, it's kind of boring and arduous, like, how could they? How can we make that fun for people and and entertain them along the way? So that was the example. It was very successful. It wasn't actually that expensive. I can't remember what we spent, it was probably easily under 50,000, if not less.
Kap Chatfield 42:28
You said, you asked a question that I think is such a good question that a lot of b2b brand leaders or marketers are asking themselves, and I kind of want to end the episode with this question. Why don't b2b companies do more of that stuff? In your opinion?
Cassidy Shield 42:56
Man, that's a good question. Okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna answer it from what came into my mind. I think most b2b marketers are sheep and they just follow the crowd or follow the herd. And I think there's a small percentage who are actually the innovators out there and hopefully they hear this idea and they take it and they run with it. But there's a lot of, you know, you think about the examples we hold up for great b2b marketing, it's literally the same examples we all use. Because there's so few of them. At the same time, you know, you can read about everything else on LinkedIn around b2b marketing and the problem with with it, it's 90% of the people are doing the same thing. So we just need we need more marketing leaders or marketing teams that are the alphas that are taking risks, doing things different, breaking the mold. And you know, hopefully with shows like yourselves and sharing these examples, we'll, we'll get there.
Kap Chatfield 44:02
I like that. You'll you'll see that as a quote graphic, "we need more marketing teams that are willing to be the alphas". That's, that's my type of language. You might get some flack so I'll make sure to put you're gonna by the way, I'm sure people are gonna reach out just to say that they were impressed and impacted. But if you do want to shoot him a note and challenge them and say, "Hey, I'm innovative or whatever", in the show notes of this episode, we're gonna put Cassidy's LinkedIn bio, so you can or LinkedIn link, you can click it, follow him, connect with him. You can also check out Narrative Science. We'll put a link for his company's website there. And then also Cassidy's show that he's the host of Leading With Data. We'll put that link so you guys can check it out as well. Cassidy, this was a really fun conversation, man. Thanks for joining us on the show.
Cassidy Shield 44:44
Yeah Kap, thanks for having me. My pleasure.