Business Growth Accelerator

143 | Prepare for the recession with these 2 frameworks (strategy and execution) that will align your marketing and sales to your business goals. With experienced fractional CMO Mike Harris

July 18, 2022 Isar Meitis and Mike Harris Season 2 Episode 143
143 | Prepare for the recession with these 2 frameworks (strategy and execution) that will align your marketing and sales to your business goals. With experienced fractional CMO Mike Harris
Business Growth Accelerator
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Business Growth Accelerator
143 | Prepare for the recession with these 2 frameworks (strategy and execution) that will align your marketing and sales to your business goals. With experienced fractional CMO Mike Harris
Jul 18, 2022 Season 2 Episode 143
Isar Meitis and Mike Harris

To create a winning product you have to know the ins and outs of the market.

Here's a 5 step framework from marketer Mike Harris on how to evaluate a marketplace: 
1. What are the trends in the industry?
2. Who or what is setting those trends?
3. How are we reacting to these trends?
4. How's the competition reacting?
5. What SHOULD we do?

If you want more ideas on market evaluations and marketing, check out my full interview with Mike on episode 143 of the Business Growth Accelerator Show!

Here's what Mike and I covered on the podcast:
πŸ’₯ 5 Frameworks To Become Great At Marketing.
πŸ’₯ How To Create Marketing/Sales Alignment.
πŸ’₯And so much MORE!



Hi, It's Isar the host of the Business Growth Accelerator Podcast
I am passionate about growing businesses and helping CEOs, business leaders, and entrepreneurs become more successful. I am also passionate about relationship building, community creation for businesses, and value creation through content.
I would love it if you connect with me on LinkedIn. Drop me a DM, and LMK you listened to the podcast, what you think and what topics you would like me to cover πŸ™

Show Notes Transcript

To create a winning product you have to know the ins and outs of the market.

Here's a 5 step framework from marketer Mike Harris on how to evaluate a marketplace: 
1. What are the trends in the industry?
2. Who or what is setting those trends?
3. How are we reacting to these trends?
4. How's the competition reacting?
5. What SHOULD we do?

If you want more ideas on market evaluations and marketing, check out my full interview with Mike on episode 143 of the Business Growth Accelerator Show!

Here's what Mike and I covered on the podcast:
πŸ’₯ 5 Frameworks To Become Great At Marketing.
πŸ’₯ How To Create Marketing/Sales Alignment.
πŸ’₯And so much MORE!



Hi, It's Isar the host of the Business Growth Accelerator Podcast
I am passionate about growing businesses and helping CEOs, business leaders, and entrepreneurs become more successful. I am also passionate about relationship building, community creation for businesses, and value creation through content.
I would love it if you connect with me on LinkedIn. Drop me a DM, and LMK you listened to the podcast, what you think and what topics you would like me to cover πŸ™

Mike Harris:

I think a lot of marketers had been misled and I don't know whether that's, from academia or from inertia or just not staying current. But most marketers have been misled to think that a marketing qualified lead has some value to it. And I'm the first one to tell you it does not. It does not. and I'll, even take the protagonist position here and say most sales qualified leads. they don't belong in the pipe. So what I try to, explain to clients is that there's no such thing as a sales qualified lead until a conversation has happened.

Hello and welcome to the Business Growth Accelerator. This is Isar Meitis, your host and the person you're listening to is Mike Harris. Mike and his company has been providing marketing strategy services, and helping companies identify both the strategy and the ways for execution for many years, he's an expert on that topic. In our conversation today, Mike is going to share with us the step by step frameworks that he uses to help companies identify the right marketing strategy and how to practically execute that strategy.

Isar Meitis:

Hello and welcome to the Business Growth Accelerator. This is Isar Meitis, your host, and I have a special so for you today. And I, you know, I don't have a crystal ball, but it seems like we're walking straight into a recession, which means selling stuff, whatever it is that you're selling is most likely gonna get harder. Now what happens in most organizations, whether it's a product service, doesn't matter when sales starts declining, one of the few things happen. You either. Replace the VP of sales, you hire some kind of other fancy name of NTT, like a CRO to manage the VP of sales. So now he has more alignment with other stuff in the company, you hire some kind of a sales coach to train your sales people better, or you blame the marketing team. That's usually what happens. One of those things or a combination of the above. Yeah. But not enough salespeople, not enough business leaders actually go back and say, maybe sales is not the source of the problem. Maybe it's something else. And so when I saw some posts from my carrier, it was my guest and followed the, you know, the, the trail to his profile on LinkedIn and from there to his website and finding what he does. So Mike and his company provides marketing strategy and demand generation and growth marketing services as fractional CMO, and, and as consulting services to SaaS companies. And he. Approach is very holistic on how to find the source of the problem of why sales are either declining or not growing in the pace you want them to grow. And I really loved his approach. The problem may not be sales. The outcome is that you're not getting enough sales. And so I really like the approach. I think it's very powerful and hence, I invited him for the show by the way, Mike just launches own podcast. So now we have another podcast you can go to immediately after this, it's called the SaaS Marketing Mastery. And you'll see, after this conversation today that it's definitely worth listening to Mike. So you may wanna follow his podcast as well. And so I'm really excited to welcome Mike Harris to show Mike, welcome to the business growth accelerator.

Mike Harris:

Thank you Isar. I'm very proud to be here,

Isar Meitis:

Mike. I know what you're doing now for the past. I dunno how many years, but when was the point in time in your career that you figure out that there's a better, broader approach to reviewing what's not working in sales. Like what was that aha moment for your process for you that got you to what you're doing today?

Mike Harris:

I think it started with my, my training. you know, I have a, a master's degree in business with a major in marketing and finance. but in those days in the eighties, the emphasis was on the whole business, you know, so we learned a great deal about all the different parts. So at least, I, at least I knew enough to be dangerous when I got outta business school. yeah, but I was, but, so I was still dumber than dirt as it turned out for the real world. so anyway, I was really fortunate. My first job out of business school was with a fortune 500 and, there was a turnaround going on, within a particular division, a division that was doing about a hundred million. And, the company CEO had hired baiting company out of Boston, to come in and figure out what was going on. And since I was the new kid on the block, Apparently didn't know anything I was assigned to shadow them and, you know, like bring them coffee and sharpen their pencils and, you know, all, all of that good stuff with my fancy new MBA degree. But, anyway, so basically my whole early training was in turnaround. and I was, I was fortunate enough to be able to, to, to take what the turnaround was quite successful. And I was fortunate to take what I learned working with this prominent consulting firm into other situations as they came up in my career and I was able to, to, to test, you know, what I had learned and see if it would work in different situations. And quite frankly it did. And so when it comes to sales, every situation that I had been involved in, whether it was a company turnaround or just a marketing turnaround, I always started with the sales people, you know, because they were gorillas, they were the ones on the front line. And, and I just didn't, I just didn't think that any, any market research or anybody who spent all their time in the office, not talking to the marketplace, would be a lower priority in terms of, of where I could gain the knowledge that I needed. And, you know, besides salespeople were a lot more fun to hang around with I mean, you know, you know, most, most of my conversations involve beer and, you know, back in the day, I, you know, how I really enjoyed drinking beer. I be, I don't drink as much now. Cause I'm older. it was,

Zoom recording - June 29, 2022:

it

Isar Meitis:

was a lot of fun. Yeah. Def definitely people with expense accounts who know the cool places are more fun, more fun to hang out with. Yes. So. I love it. So you really learned this from an external company that you were just lucky to be in the right place in the right time and hang out for the journey. When did you start doing this on your own as a consultant?

Mike Harris:

Oh, gosh, that would've been, right after nine 11 ESR. So 2000, because I was working as a CMO for a tech company in, in San Diego, and had been in tech for a few years by then. And when nine 11 hit, I don't know if you remember, but it decimated

Isar Meitis:

the tech industry. I mean, I, I was in the tech industry in 2001, so I definitely remember

Mike Harris:

Okay. So, so, so you get it. so basically what happened was customers stopped buying tech products. Investors stopped investing in tech products. and, you know, companies like mine who were, were just on the verge of, you know, a major new offering were all of a sudden just frozen, right? Yeah. Yeah. The fir the first thing that happened was I had to, to lay off most of the marketing team. And then the next thing that happened was I had to lay off the rest of the marketing team. yeah. And then the next thing that happened was I got laid off. Yeah, yeah. You know, and so I had two small kids and a, you know, a mortgage on a nice house in San Diego, and I really didn't know what to do. so I just started calling up some friends and, right away I landed, a couple of, interim CMO jobs, both with very nice size companies. And that's that created the bridge between Mike Harris as a W2 employee and Mike Harris as the Founder and Owner of Harris CMO Partners.

Isar Meitis:

Great story. I, I think in many cases, you know, the. When God gives you lemons, right? You have, sometimes we luck out if we do the right things and, and it puts us on, on an interesting path. Yeah. Let's dive in. So you, when you come to a company now and you wanna figure out why things are not working, what are the things you're trying to figure out? How are you trying to figure. Well, the first thing that I focus on are, is the quantitative data. I mean, most answers are buried in the numbers. If one has the patience in the knowhow to find the right numbers and assess them correctly. So every turnaround that I've done, I start with the most obvious thing, which is the product, right. Or the product mix I should say. Yep. What I do is I take a look at the, the margins and the sales history of, all the products in a product line or a product mix to see if anything jumps out at right. because most, most companies, that I work with have fallen prey to the 80 20 rule. Yep. Right. So 80% of their products are, you know, they're just kinda collecting dust on the shelf. Yeah. Yet the other 20% are producing, the real, the real revenue in margin. So yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's the first place that I start. And, and then what, so now, so now you've identified that there's, a clear winner on the product or service side. What happens then? Like what's the next step?

Mike Harris:

Well, the next step is to examine the market, okay. You know, and examine it up close and, Oh, I'm sorry. No, I, I, I, I begged to differ. I I've made a mistake here. The next thing to do is to look at the, environment in which you're selling. So that's the marketplace, right? Okay. So I have five step framework for evaluating marketplace, and it's really simple. Anybody can do this. So the first one is what are the trends in the industry? And what's driving it. And one of the trends in the industry, the second thing is what's driving those trends, you know, in order for a marketer or a CEO to be able to visualize a year or two out. Well, you know, they must know what's driving those trends. Right. And then the third thing to do is, I ask. what are we currently doing with the trends? And then the fourth thing I ask is, what's the competition doing about those trends? And so by the time you've gotten through 1, 2, 3, and 4 then you can answer number 5 which is what should we be doing about those trends.

Isar Meitis:

So let's make it more specific. Can you give me an example of what do you mean by trends in an, in.

Mike Harris:

Yes, let's take a look at, let's take a look at software, SA product. Let's just take accounting software for instance. Okay, awesome. accounting software, when it first emerged, you know, the whole point was to get, to offer some relief from the spreadsheet.

Isar Meitis:

I'm sorry. Spreadsheet. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Freud. Freud would love what you just did.

Mike Harris:

and that was a Freudian slip right there. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, accounting software is designed to get people away from the, the spreadsheet, spreadsheet, craziness, just like a CRM or marketing automation platform. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Okay. So when these, when these types of platforms first, first emerge, the first mover usually gets, you know, a big piece of, of that marketplace. Sure. But then over time, you know, it, that particular attention attracts new entrances into the marketplace. You know, new investment into the marketplace, right? Yeah. And so the incumbent, the front runner winds up spending more and more and more on sales and marketing to even just remain, with the same market share, let alone, yeah. let alone gain, gain more wage share, right?

Isar Meitis:

Yeah. Got it. So you're saying it's about watching what other people are doing, what changes are happening. So if you, if you're talking about big transits, if we go back to your accounting software, it's from going like from on-premise to cloud, like these kind of changes. That's what you're talking

Mike Harris:

about. Yes. Exactly. And then there's, I mean, there's so many different changes that, marketers must always keep an eye on. So like back in, you know, 10 years ago, it was really kind of rare for the purchasing department to be involved in the SAS purchase that usually rested with the, the it department and the CEO. Right. and today, I mean, purchasing departments are really heavily involved and the things that, the things that, that, that, that twirl, their propellers, so to speak are not the same things that twirl, the CFOs propellers or the it department's propellers. Yeah. Yeah. Well, the implication for sales and marketing is, well now we've got to craft messaging, that works just for this particular, set of influencers in that

Isar Meitis:

purchase decision. Yeah. So I, I wanna ask a follow up question because I think it's very interesting. And you touched about the point that it's even within your organization, there are multiple stakeholders that are involved in the process, right? What's the actual process, like, do you, I mean, the actual process of finding those trends and talking about them is this like a brainstorming session that you facilitate between different leaders in the company? Like, if let's say I wanna do this, what you just suggested, those five points. If I wanna do this in my business, right. What do I do? What's the actual

Mike Harris:

process? It's, it's, it's 90% telephone. It's 90%, interaction. So the first thing we do and I wrote a guide on this is, spend 10 year old allocate. 10% of your time to the web searches, you know, and web searches will typically be able to give you a baseline. but we can't always take that to the bank. You know, we have to either validate or invalidate what, what we're doing. Yeah. So if you have the baseline, then you can create a discussion guide. So the question is, who do I take that discussion guide to, and to talk to. Right. I think most, of lots and lots of people out there say, go talk to the customer. Well, what the customer wants is better products

Isar Meitis:

for free. I mean, right.

Mike Harris:

so you're gonna be able to get some information from the customer, but I really, prefer talking to industry experts like financial analysts who cover that market space. I mean, they, you know, their, their job is to be at that helicopter view. Interesting. And understand what those trends are. You know, now sometimes a financial analyst will take your call and sometimes they won't. I mean, it's a, you know, everything is, you know, you're taking a chance, right. But if you can get a financial analyst from a, from a good firm to talk about that market space, I mean, you've struck goal. Right.

Isar Meitis:

So, okay. So I, first of all, great tip. I, would've never thought of that. Mm-hmm as far as talking to the analysts that, that look at your industry and they can give you trends and so on, how do you move that to action? So let's say, because you said step four, I think was, or step five is what are we going to do about these trends? Yeah. Correct. How do you decide what to do Now You've identified something what's the next step to make it practical. And executionable,

Mike Harris:

I see what you're saying. So with me, everything, involves what I call a consideration set. Okay. OK. So, okay. So if I understand the trends and I understand what my competitors doing about those trends, and I create a consideration set of all the options that are available to me and, knowing full well that I'm only gonna pick, one or two or three is a very, some small number that I have the time and resources to execute on, And then what I'll do is I will, go back to the internet and search for, how effective the options that I'm thinking about might be in my situation. Okay. So if we go back to the one with the, B2B purchases in the purchasing department, we have to address that mostly with content and sales training. Okay. So we gotta create content that appeals to a purchasing agent. Right? Sure. Yep. which is a lot different than content that'll appeal to a CEO quite frankly. Correct. Yeah. and, we go to the sales training because if this new trend, if we've noticed this new trend and say, Hey, B2B purchasers are now people that, are part of that complex sale at XYZ company. let's talk about how we talk to the B2B purchasers. What kind of language do we use? What kind of questions do we ask them? to get them engaged in the sales process with us.

Isar Meitis:

Interesting. Yeah. So I, again, a pattern that I'm seeing is a very holistic, broad view of the business. There is no, it's not a sales problem. It's not a marketing problem. It's not a product problem. Everything has to be in sync and all these stakeholders have to be aligned for this to work, which I really, really like, because at the end of the day, if one of those components is not there, it's not gonna be aligned. And it's either gonna not support the goal that you're trying to get to, or even be in the way of, of getting there. Yeah. Let's, let's change gears. I know you also have an execution framework. So now that you're like, we know the direction we need to go, because we understand the trends in the market. We understand what the competition is doing. We have picked the ones that most fit our resources and capabilities. Then what, like what's the execution framework that will allow me to execute on this new direction. Yeah,

Mike Harris:

sure. I've got, five points for that too. And by the way, these are also great for thinking ahead to, potential recessionary conditions or recession conditions. Right. For sure. So, you know, certainly it works both in good times and bad times, but, the five point framework is first offers in messaging. That is what is most important to your prospects. It's also, what's most important to your sales team, right? So there's so many different, aspects of offers and messaging, but it really comes down to is this something contemporary and am I offering at the right place and at the right time. Okay. And there's, a whole iceberg of stuff underneath that. but you, we want to get to number two here. So the next thing, number two is, the technology that we're using to distribute the offers in the messaging and, you and I both know that that is, it's really a very complex world now. technology can be as Byzantine as we want to make it, you know, with, with

Isar Meitis:

yeah, yeah, yeah,

Mike Harris:

yeah. With 5,000 marketing automation platforms out there, I mean, come on. you know, and then everything that you look at also has 5,000, right? every other function.

Isar Meitis:

Yeah.

Mike Harris:

So it's so important to be on top of technology. And you talk about something that trends constantly. It's this evolution of technology. And I'll give you a good example. two years ago I was paying$700 a month for a marketing automation platform. Right. I bought a lot of sizzle and I didn't eat really all that much of the steak, but, you know, blah, blah, blah. And so, I started looking around thinking why maybe you spending too much. I don't wanna see if I can find some other alternative. And I did. I found one, I think it was from an Eastern European. Company, that, I bought two years for$250. And, guess what it does, 90% of what the$700 a month solution did. Right.

Isar Meitis:

So, yeah, I think by the way, what's more interesting is it doesn't matter if it does 90% of what the 700 R month thing did. Yeah. It does 90% of what you needed to do because the 700 R a month thing probably does 50 other things you don't actually use. And I see that so many times that company by the go to big brand in the market, because that's what everybody else has. And it's a, you know, it's the bells and whistles. It's like, well, why should I do research? If 50% of my competitors use this, it's probably the right thing to do. But then you actually use 20% of what the thing does or 50% of what the thing does. And, and there's something else that does that 50% for one 10th of the price. And in many cases, With a lot easier implementation. So now you don't need the team running this new tool, but the actual people who are the salespeople, the marketing people, whoever the people are, accounting, people can use it themselves without an external, support. So I agree with you a hundred

Mike Harris:

percent. Yeah. So we as marketers, we just really have to know. A fair amount about it. And the only way to learn it is just to dig in and learn it. It's not, it's not easy. It wasn't easy for me originally because of all the terms and words, I didn't even know what a server was 10 years ago. Well, maybe 15 years ago, whatever. But, all those things are critically important. Bandwidth is critically important. of those things. So the technology was number two and that's extremely important. The third thing are the skill sets and capabilities, in the team. Right. So that would include the W2 employees who are employed in marketing and also the agencies. I mean, do I the right skillset? is everybody on the same page with the technology that I've purchased and are they all using it, a maximum degree?

Isar Meitis:

may I ask you a question? that I'm very curious about. Wouldn't that be somewhat the other way around, like, don't you look at? What capabilities we have in house as part of what software I need to buy, because otherwise I'm gonna buy the software and nobody will be able to know how to use it. No. So you're saying that's the tech we need and if needed, I'll hire the right people either or contract the right people to help me run the software that i need?

Mike Harris:

Well, first I'll try training the people that are already, you know, I mean,

Isar Meitis:

good point if I've done my job and I've hired smart people, that should be the first place that I turn to. So one of the things I have with some of these really big, heavy hitters in CRM and marketing automation is, having to hire some third party expert to execute on those platforms. Right. or having, to put a full time person in charge of just entering data for CRM. Yep. Okay. So that really defeats initial purpose of having CRM and marketing animation. So, no, I don't, I don't, I would never buy technology to suit existing, skill sets because technology evolves much faster than skillsets too. Yeah. Okay. Good point. Good point. Okay. So we said offers and messaging. We said the right tech. We said the right skills and capabilities in house. That's correct. That's the fourth thing

Mike Harris:

that is correct. And then the next thing is, which is critically important for sales is, teamwork and processes. Okay. So I think you and I have had this discussion, it is my firm belief. Now that sales and marketing in B2B anyway in my world are merging together. And the reason that's happening is because the, platforms have merged together. So 10 years ago we had CRM over here and we had marketing automation over here and that would justify having these siloed teams.

Isar Meitis:

Right.

Mike Harris:

but today, most of the platforms have CRM and marketing automation combined. And it's really important for sales to know what marketing's doing, and then marketing to know what sales is doing. for instance, in the sales pipe, every one of these platforms has a sales pipe. Well, if marketing and sales are not in agreement on how the stages of the sales pipe, defining the stages of sales pipe, and what the probabilities are of each stage, getting all the way to a closed deal. and that creates conflict and conflict slows down work. Okay. And so that takes us to the process. if we have the teamwork, is the process in place, right? And so I know there's a lot of lip surface plate to process, but for me, process between marketing sales is marketing, getting up outta cubicle, walking over to sales and saying, Hey, this is what I'm thinking about in sales pipe. let, me know what you think. Right. And that's a simplistic explanation. I mean, there's a lot of different ways to communicate, but that really is essential.

Isar Meitis:

No, absolutely. I, I think the, especially in today's world where, like you saying, there's a lot of overlap between sales and marketing, by the way. Not necessarily from the right reason. I think for many years, Marketing was forced to become a part of the sales process because a lot of the sales functions were not readily available. I'll give you an example, access to people's emails and phone numbers, right? So historically 10 years ago, somehow you needed to get that information, right? So you, you had to have landing pages and freebies on the website and stuff like that. So people will give you their email address. So then you can follow up today. There are multiple platforms out there that will give you the email address and the phone number and the color of the underwear that any person on the planet that you want has. So that whole function of marketing that is really not a marketing function. It's a sales function. I need to know the email of that person that I won't be selling to. You. It was pushed away from marketing, which is, it's not really a marketing activity. Cause marketing's role is to create demand for the product and services. Yeah. This role is not demand. This is a very technical thing I need this guy's email. Great. So I, I think there was a, a big misunderstanding and it still is in a lot of companies and definitely in, in the SaaS work that you live in, where marketing are a support team for sales versus a, we are out there to create demand for the progress and services. And once the demand comes here, you Have to close, which is the sales side of things. And I think that creates a part of the problem, right. That, that the roles. Are not clearly defined between sales and marketing. Do you see that as well? When you, when you work with companies?

Mike Harris:

Oh gosh. Yeah. All, all the time. And I think a great example that would help illustrate that anyway, is it's, a CRM marketing automation technology example. So most platforms today will have a, lead scoring function in them. Right. Right. Okay. So if you give the lead scoring assignment to a marketer, what they're gonna come up with is a whole lot different than, if you had given that lead scoring, assignment to a salesperson, right? Yep. and typically they're both. Right. Right. But they must be joined at the hip because that particular assignment, that task of defining. how scoring works in our particular, space is critical for revenue forecasting. it's, hugely critical. And I think a lot of marketers had been misled and I don't know whether that's, from academia or from inertia or just not staying current. but most marketers have been misled to think that a marketing qualified lead has some value to it. And I'm the first one to tell you it does not. It does not. and I'll, even take the protagonist position here and say most sales qualified leads. they don't belong in the pipe. So what I try to, explain to clients is that there's no such thing as a sales qualified lead until a conversation has happened yeah. Between two people, right? Yep. I mean, there, there's no such thing as a lead when somebody downloads

Isar Meitis:

your, you know yeah. I'm, I'm a hundred percent with you, you know, it's at the end of the day, it's a sales qualified lead is when it will close become a closed one contract or sale or whatever it is that you're doing for your company at a reasonable rate, 25, 30%, not two, not four, which is a lot of like, oh, it's a qualified lead. We are converting at 4%. I'm like, that means you have to talk to 25 different people to close one deal. How does that make it. Qualified. And so I'm with you a hundred percent, right? It's about, yeah. The whole terminology today is messed up and it does not make any

Mike Harris:

sense. Yeah. And so what happens, I think, is as a result of that is you'll get a lot of marketing departments that are cranking out all of this, this content and whatever for, for prospects who are not in the market, they're out of market. Yeah. Right. When, you know, if you, if you want to direct your company's resources efficiently, You really need to, to find those people who are in market and then woo. You know?

Isar Meitis:

Yeah. Then hand them over to sales. exactly. yeah. Makes perfect sense. So I, I stopped you in the process. We said that step four was really creating the teamwork between the different teams in the company, mostly sales and marketing, but obviously there's a lot of other supporting teams to make that work. Yeah. Yeah. What's the next step? What's the fifth one. You said there are five of

Mike Harris:

them. Well, the, the fifth step is our, is market segmentation. Okay. and I think you and I talked about this before, you know, that bell went off in my head many years ago when I read an article in Harvard business review, that, showed definitively that companies that do market segmentation well grow faster. At a higher profit than companies who don't do it well. And of course it makes such sense because if you're, if you're segmenting your market, well, you are, you're focusing scarce resources on that part of the market that is most more likely, to produce revenue for you. Right. It's really simple, but a lot, I, I still find a lot of marketers that don't, don't really understand market sensation, let alone how to do it. It's not that hard, you know, it just, just a matter of focusing on it.

Isar Meitis:

Yeah. I, you know what, let's, let's dive into this because, because I like the factors that it's not hard. I think there is a big difference between not hard and being simple to do. Yeah. The fact that it's easy, doesn't make it simple. That's correct. Yeah. So, so when you, when you talk about going and doing an exercise of market segmentation, right. And since you're a frameworks guy, I'm sure you have a framework for that as well. What do you look at? Like, what are the steps that let you go into a company you don't know, because you do this as a fractional CMO, you come in, you don't necessarily know the industry. You don't necessarily know their competition. How do you, what are the microsteps like that you take in order to say, okay, here is how we find our segment.

Mike Harris:

And that, of course, that opens up that whole discussion about total available market, total, total viable market, total this market, total, that market, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I did a, I did a project one time, one of the very few consumer projects I did, I did for a startup running shoot company. Right. And their whole, their whole deal was they're gonna sell these Wiz bang, running shoes, on the internet only, you know? and so the investors and the, and the, and the company were looking at this gigantic. You know, sneaker market, which I mean, you know, Nike and all that sort of thing. And just kind of like going, oh, you know, look at, look at all the money that we could, you know, and so when I finally did the numbers, I had to spend some time, you know, doing the crunch in the numbers. but the total, the total viable market, kept narrowing and narrowing and narrowing And the final cut card was, you know, people who were like serious athletes who had the money, who this, that, and the other, and who would buy, who, who shopped on the internet and were comfortable buying shoes on the internet. Well, that took the total market from this. To this yeah. In, in a, in a big hurry. Right. And we need to apply that same logic, that same thinking to everything that we do because most, you know, I think I share with you, I spent a lot of time, in west coast with, in, in the west coast technology scene did a lot of investor panels and that sort of thing. And I mean, almost to a person, a new founder will stand up and say, my market is, you know, a hundred trillion you know, then the investors immediately start rolling their eyes and going okay. That's yeah. So it's, but it's so critical. I mean, it's, it's really, really important for companies that have been around a while because that market changes. It's very fluid. It's very dynamic. I had a client one time on the west coast that had, that was in, data analysis software and the, the, the, the CRO and I got into it when, you know, I, I, I brought up the fact that a hundred new competitors had entered the space in the last five years. Well, the company was 20 years old, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, and so, and they hadn't kept up with what the competition was doing. And, and so it turned out to be a kind of, a bit of a, of a abrasive engagement, because the, the, the company leaders just said, Hey, we only compete with, you know, competitor number one, who was the, you know, the, the, the unicorn unicorn darling of Silicon valley. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This, this little client's revenue had shrunk from 20 million to 15 million in last year. Right? Yeah. So we only compete against them and IBM, and I'm like, Those companies, those guys don't know you're on the planet. yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's get, let's get realistic about our, our, our market and our, our segmentation. Yeah,

Isar Meitis:

yeah. Yeah. I, I agree with you. I think, you know, it's it's and, and I think you touched on a very critical point, which is markets are changing all the time and your segment will change with it. Oh. Whether it's because of new technology, whether it's because of new generation of people is now holding those key positions in the decision making process, in your client's, universe. And so on. Like, there's so many things that can impact how you need to segment. And then going back to your messages that you touched on, I think it's phenomenal. I think you, with those frameworks really cover all the ticks in all the boxes that you need to be thinking of while going through this process of really analyzing sales. And I think, again, going into a recession, most likely, hopefully not. And if it is hopefully quick, but regardless, this works, like you said in good times and bad times. So it's a good exercise to do. Even if you think business as usual, it's a good exercise to go through and, and look through these prisms at what you do and saying, oh, maybe we should do this and that. So I really appreciate you coming and sharing with us. If people wanna connect with you, if people wanna follow you, if people wanna hire you, how do they do that? What's the best way to find you? Well, the

Mike Harris:

best way to find me is just do a search on Mike Harris, marketing, Mike Harris marketing, and my website will pop up. if you want to look for the website, it's Harris CMO partners, you can always reach out to me on LinkedIn. I've got an appointment, scheduler on, on my profile. So it's not easy to talk to, you know,

Isar Meitis:

I I'll attest to that. I found you through LinkedIn. We connected very quickly. We jumped on the call very quickly, so definitely approachable and definitely very knowledgeable as you can all hear. And now you have a podcast, so people can go and follow your podcast as well. So thank you. Thank you. So much for coming. Thank you so much for sharing. This was really, really great. I appreciate you taking the time.

Mike Harris:

Okay. Yeah. Sorry. Thank you for having me. I look forward to more conversations in the future.

What a great conversation with Mike. The fact that he has successfully implemented this for multiple businesses across different sectors just shows that his frameworks actually work. And I'm so glad he was able to share it with us. If you're looking for more marketing insights, there are two episodes. I would really like you to listen to. One was episode one 16. It's called state of digital marketing in 2022. The good, the bad, the ugly, and a huge opportunity. And the other is episode 118, a marketing methodology that doubled online sales for$150 million company. Both these shows are very detailed and provide great insights that you can implement in your business to improve your marketing strategy and win more business. And until next time have an amazing week.