The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep 50: Modern Demand Generation w/ Chris Walker

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Modern Demand Generation w/ Chris Walker

Hello, everyone. And welcome back tothe revenue collective podcast. I am your host, Brandon Martin, and you'relistening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked Revenue Collectivemembers some really basic questions, and they have great answers. Especiallytoday. We're coming to you on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. So please hitthe subscribe button so you don't miss an opportunity to learn from the greatmembers of our community. And many of them could be your future boss. Sotoday, our guest is Chris Walker, CEO at Refined Labs, and we talk about whyreally knowing your customer is the key to marketing before we get going withthe questions I want to tell you a little bit about this month. Sponsorsix cents six cents the number one account engagement platform. How to toidentify accounts that are in market for your solution. Prioritize yourefforts, engage buyers the right way with highly relevant messaging andmeasure what actually matters. With a six inch platform, you're able to getinto more deals, improve win rates,...

...increase overall pipeline and optimizedbudget. Spend to learn more. Visit six cents dot com slash revenue collectedAll right, let's do this. Episode number 10. Is this a good time? Alright,we're in. Thank you so much for being here. We have Chris Walker. He is theCEO of Refined Labs out of Boston. I am excited to chat with you, man. Awesometo be here. Thank you for having me. Yeah, of course. We, uh, some o grevenue collective members of part of your team. Megan Bowen, who gets a lotof love from folks and, uh, you know, tell us a little bit about refined labs.How you got the role you've gotten. Kind of, You know, your your path ongetting there. Yeah. First off, Megan's incredible. She joined our our companyin August of 2020. And ever since, our company has been moving in the rightdirection. I'm really glad she's here. So you joined the revenue collectedbecause of Megan? Just No, I mean all the CMOs and all the executives that weinteract with our in revenue collective...

...and honestly, like, Yes, we are avendor, but I consider myself more like, ahead of demand generation for thecompanies that we work for than a vendor. If you know what I'm sayinglike it's the way that we've set it up is more like we're a part time employee.That's just not a W two. So anyway, to get back to the question, what we dohere at Refined Labs, we help B two b SAS companies that have sales leadmotions transform their demand generation programs. Their sales teamcan win more business and the marketing team can generate more pipeline. That'swhat we do that's great. And just about your career. Like give us a couple ofthe highlights of the steps you took to get where you are. Yeah, I think mycareer is actually pretty pretty interesting. So I studied biomedicaland electrical engineering in college, and then I started. You're an engineer?Yeah, and I think it gives me actually quite a big advantage because I think Ithink about demand generation. And actually, revenue generation as a wholeis one large system. It's just like systems engineering. There's inputs,you do things to them and their outputs, and you have to tweak the system andthings like that and so started engineering and then thought I wasgoing to design medical devices. That's...

...what I wanted to do when I was leavingcollege. And then I got actually into the real world, and I I felt like whatit was like to be an engineer. And I was like, Wow, um, and then immediately,I was in a project where I had to go out and talk to customers, and I had totalk about customers to get feedback on the product, to understand what we'regonna what features we're gonna build next and click to me, it was like, Oh,I care a lot more about how customers are going to use the product thanactually coding it. That was a big shift for me. And so I moved intoupstream marketing, which I think is easy thing, just pre launch. Like whatfeatures are going to build market research, pricing a lot of things likethat. I did that for 3 to 5 years of my career and then moved into demandgeneration inside of my first venture funding company in 2000 and 15 16. Andwhen I was inside of that company, it was 100% field sales outbound. When Igot there, marketing in a in a lot of company to be companies would be likethis, especially in more traditional industries, marketing and salesenablement and trade show booths and then, you know, occasionally generatingleads or building lists or sending...

...emails. And I was like, We can dobetter than we can do better than this. So I went on a mission because Irecognized how how buyers actually buy things and recognize that marketing wascritical to the growth of this company. And so I started to to go on thatmission, and I was very lucky inside of that company. I had a gift that mostmarketers never have, which is that the company was very well funded, had agreat product, and the executives didn't know what I should be doingright. And they didn't know how to measure what I was doing. And so I justdid the things that made the most sense. I set the metrics, which were pipelineand revenue and sales cycle, length and deal velocity and things like that. Andthen I started When you center on metrics like that, a lot of the thingsthat companies do in terms of demand generation right now, don't make senseanymore. And so and so just by adjusting the metrics allowed me tofigure out the things that work best that influence things that actuallymatter to a business. And then when I got out into that company eventually Ip. O. And has continues to be successful. And I looked out in theworld and I was like, Wow, like what I...

...did there for the past 2.5 years wasreally special, and I don't see a lot of other people doing it. I think weshould go and actually try and help companies do this. And so that's kindof where where the refined labs companies started. I started as aconsultant. A couple of our companies had a lot of success early on, and thenwe started to build a team. And now we are. We're almost 20 employees, and wework with 21 B two B South companies, predominantly in North America, butalso in a me a u K as well. Okay, cool. And your remote distributed. Beenremote from the beginning. The main reason? Yeah, the main reason is fortalent like the people that we're looking for are like top talent demandmarketers, and you're not going to find all those people inside of a two mileradius in Boston to come to your office. So we have employees in 13 states,mainly for talent access, And so the there there hasn't been a transition toremote work for us. We've been remote since the beginning. Um, we've been onboarding a lot more new employees since...

...this happened. We've gone through agrowth acceleration over the past 12 months, and so we've had to workthrough those processes. But I, um I believe that we have been very wellpositioned to kind of go through this time, man. Knock on wood that, uh, thisis gonna maybe even funnel into your next question here, which is, like, youknow, an example of of luck and success. It sounds like there's some luck inbeing a remote, fully remote company prior to this, all happening from apandemic perspective. But, uh, you know, maybe something like give us anotherexample of where, like, luck played, played a factor into your success. So I was weird because there was somepost on link to say it was going to comment on that was sort of in the samevein, which is that I believe that you put yourself in positions to be moreluckily lucky. It's not all about luck, right? No, no, it was the preparedperson, right? Like that. That's exactly you are you are You create moreplaces where you can get lucky where something good happens to you and justby doing the right things. And so I would say you kind of got me here. Imean, I'm not sure what about what...

...about a story of, like, extreme hustle,like a real hard work that that that kind of pushed through something thatgot either a deal done or a partnership done or Yeah. I mean, I've alwaysworked very hard. I remember into, like, 2000 years. It's not lucky, but itactually was like something that I did. And it involves hard work. And so inthe first 2 to 3 years of my career, I started a couple of e commercecompanies on my own in my bedroom, like in the off hours. And I remembersometimes it stayed up until four in the morning to ship a couple ofpackages that I was going to make, like, $9 net margin on and then going to worka couple hours later and the the key and those companies, you know, they gotto a couple 100 K or something like that, and it was good. But the key isthat I learned a lot. I learned how to read A P and L. I learned what taximplications were. I learned how to manage cash flow and inventory wheninventory is coming in from China or Turkey or somewhere else, and you needto understand how long it's gonna take...

...you to sell it. And I most importantly,I learned how to advertise with my own money, where you need to generate aprofit. You need to have a customer acquisition cost that's lower than yourprofit. Yeah, and and B to B to B companies. They, for whatever reason,don't look at it this way. They look at it at cost per lead, not customeracquisition costs. And so, um, I think I was lucky to do that. And now I c btwo b marketing through that lens, which gives me, I think, a pretty largeadvantage. It also sounds like I don't know, getting that muscle flex of, youknow, working in the middle of the night on something that is hard. Butbut fulfilling. I can actually remember the moment in my career that I wentfrom working hard to working really damn hard, right? Like whatever thoseextra hours are like. You have them, everybody has them. And whether youapply them to these things certainly...

...matters. All right, well, this next oneplug your show. I know every every Tuesday, you said every Tuesday eveninghere, So the podcast is called State of Dementia and podcasts. We have severalcontent pillars on there, and so one of the pillars is a show called Demandsand Live, a live show that we do every Tuesday night, 7:30 p.m. Eastern 4 30Pacific, where you can come on to zoom. There's about 50 to 100 demandmarketers and things like some salespeople, some solo preneurs thatshow up, and it's a live Q and A format for like 90 minutes or two hours, whereyou can literally ask your question. That's free consulting that otherpeople pay a lot of money for. And so if you're interested in that feel freeto join us, I love it Well, it leads into my next question, which is Give usa sales tactic of all these things you're probably firing 50 60 of everyweek on this. Give us a sales tactic or marketing tactic Does not matter thatpeople can use tomorrow to help their business. The best sales tactic is goodmarketing. I don't think that I do any selling. Yeah, so like we have, we haveplenty of people that come in and want to work with us, and we spend more timevetting whether or not they're going to...

...be successful with us than trying tosell them on anything, right? But what would be good Give like a good exampleof what good marketing means. So when you break down marketing, I see it as acouple key things. One understand your customers deeply and and a lot ofpeople hear that and like, yeah, I do, but like you really need to. So I thinkthat's it's really hard to quantify, but I spend so much time with ourcustomers inside of the market on LinkedIn, talking to hundreds of demandmarketers everyday interviewing people, talking to CMOs like having people onmy podcast. I'm always. It's a constant form of market research all the time.And so that's that's one. In order to, like start doing good marketing, youneed to have that foundation, and then you need to understand how you can helpthose people. And so I understand how you can help them and then create sometype of content. Content is how you how you do marketing in this part in thistime of the world. And so you create content that helps them do something,and the key is without expecting them...

...anything in return. It's hard because a lot of marketersget scored on lead numbers or things like that, and the content actually isa backhanded sales pitch to try and convert into a lead. And it's hard fora lot of people to flip their mind around where it's just like I'm goingto give this to someone. And the only kpi of whether or not I'm successful ishow many people send me a note afterwards and say that was reallyhelpful. Yeah, you're talking my language. I had the pleasure of workingwith Gary V at Risi and, uh, your you look familiar. That's why I mean, comeon. Thank you, economy. And like all this stuff, I mean, he always talksabout Just give, give, give, give, give, never ask. And, uh, I love that Iobviously also came from a hospitality background where you are, your instinctis give never take and, uh, certainly has helped me in my career. You know,it's nice to hear that, though, because I should probably do a little bit moreof that in my own business. But I love it. Love it. All right, So a couple oflightning round we'll ask a few questions. What's the key positionyou're hiring for right now? Who do you...

...need in the team? Director level demandgeneration. Okay. And that's of course, remote because you have your entireteam remote. What about any shoutouts? Who who do you follow? Content wisethat you appreciate and like, like the messages that they put out a couple ofpeople that I I appreciate their point of view. I think Kyle A. C is a topnotch CMO in terms of his level of creativity. Um, and just as overallthinking. So I really appreciate he doesn't post as often as I do, but thethings that he posts and I just watched what their company does, and I thinkit's really smart. I also appreciate Dave Gerhard. I think that him and Iwas mindset align quite a bit in terms of like what we think about in terms ofbrand and building a media company instead of a marketing team and thingslike that. And then, lastly, Catano Dinar He was the co host of our demandsand live for the first six months, and he comes on once a month now to do thatwith me still, and him and I are so aligned on what demand? Generation andmetrics and tech and a lot of the a lot...

...of the things that people think are Howdo I say this that go against conventional wisdom or go against thenorm? But it's clear that we're right. Yeah, yeah, I like that. Great. Andwhat about some up and commerce and folks that you like, uh, you know,earlier in their career and and got to keep an eye out for? To be honest, Idon't spend enough time consuming information to kind of like realizedthe up and comers. But there's a ton of, of really talented people inside of mycompany that I, uh you know, I really appreciate. I think they're doingawesome things got out entire refined Labs team all right, and then, lastlyand very important to my heart. Give us a restaurant that we should go to.Could be in Boston. Could be anywhere but give a favorite spot to, uh to go.And in some some place I hope you're going to hit either now or postpandemic or whatever. Yeah, so I'll give you a sleeper. I was there onWednesday, actually, because it's so good and it's called. It's called Chopsand it's located in the South end of...

Boston and it's a steakhouse. Um, andthere's a lot of kind of like popular steakhouses in Boston. This one's like,uh, for whatever reason, a lot of people don't know about it. And, gosh,is it good? So it's got a great atmosphere. Your traditional big stakes,nice glass of cabernet, a little bit more modern, feel a little bit more wayback then, like a really high end steakhouse. And so I appreciate theatmosphere and the people and the food is awesome. Love it, man. That'sawesome. I'll definitely check it out when I'm in town. Chris, thank you somuch. I think our audience certainly learn something from you, and at leastthey know where to find you every Tuesday night. So shout out to that. Iappreciate you being here with us and, uh, you know, good luck with everything.Awesome. Great to be here. Thanks, everyone. All right, that's our show.Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate and reviewin the apple podcasts Spotify app. Send it to some friends and make sure to hitthe subscribe button on your favorite platform. A reminder this episode wasbrought to you by six cents. Powered by AI Predictive Analytics. Success helpsyou to unite your entire revenue team...

...for the shared set of data to achievepredictable revenue growth. I had a ton of fun today. I hope you did too.Please don't press your numbers. Say something Mhm.

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