You Should Talk To

Bryan Law, CMO of ZoomInfo on developing a successful client <> agency relationship

April 24, 2023 YouShouldTalkTo Season 1 Episode 26
You Should Talk To
Bryan Law, CMO of ZoomInfo on developing a successful client <> agency relationship
Show Notes Transcript

Developing a successful client-agency relationship takes time and dedication, and it requires open communication, transparency, and mutual trust. But above all, a client-agency partnership is a two-way street. 

In this episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Bryan Law, the chief marketing officer of ZoomInfo. They talk about what it takes to create a strong partnership, how both parties can work together on making a client-agency relationship work, and the importance of being receptive to feedback in these partnerships.


Guest-at-a-Glance

💡 Name: Bryan Law, Chief Marketing Officer of ZoomInfo

💡 Noteworthy: Bryan has over 20 years of experience in marketing, general management, strategy, e-commerce, and analytics. He has held leadership roles at ZoomInfo, Salesforce, Google, Tableau, and Monitor Deloitte, amongst others.

💡 Where to find Bryan: LinkedIn


Key Insights 

⚡Making a client-agency relationship work takes time. You can't build a strong and long-lasting partnership overnight. It takes time and dedication from both parties. Bryan says, "Normally, you're going to pay incrementally more. It's going to take a while for them to ramp [up], and so you have to be willing to make that investment in order to get the return out of them. And I think just the way in which ZoomInfo moves, we move very quickly. We iterate very quickly. I think it can be challenging for a third party to come in and really understand our business in a way that we would expect them to and move as quickly as we would expect them to. And so that's why we have not used them as much here." 

⚡The client-agency relationship is a two-way street. It takes two to make a partnership work. So, if you want to create a mutually effective partnership with your external vendor, make sure you're both committed to it. Bryan says, "The quality of the work obviously is important as well. But I do think the way in which you work together is really key and making sure that you're developing that relationship so that you're on the same page and getting the most out of the partnership." 

⚡Being receptive to feedback is one of the key traits of a good agency. Being receptive to feedback makes all the difference in a client-agency relationship. Bryan shares an example of a negative experience that turned positive. He explains, "I think, in particular, once you provide that feedback, not actioning on it is a real problem. And actually, on the flip side, that digital agency I mentioned that I've now worked with at a few companies, we had a period where it wasn't going [well], but we provided that feedback, and they jumped on it, and they said, 'Hey, this is a process we're going to put in place to make sure that we address it. This is how we're going to check in. We want to be very open about the areas that we're sort of getting that feedback.' And they would collect it across the team and share it back. So I think that's an example of where you can do a better job of it, but with this particular one, they were having issues on sort of sloppiness of work, timeliness of work, and then they weren't being responsive to the feedback and making the changes that we needed."


YouShouldTalkTo - Bryan Law

[00:00:00] Bryan Law: Either you're doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, or you're, you're doing something that's different and you're either right or you're wrong.

[00:00:05] I mean, if you're wrong, it doesn't really matter, but if you're right and you're doing the exact same thing as everyone else, it also doesn't really matter 'cause you're gonna not stand out. You need to do something that's right, that's actually unique and different or contrarian, and that's how you're gonna have your competitive advantage.

[00:00:18] Daniel Weiner: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the You Should Talk to Podcast. I am Daniel Wiener, your host, and sponsor. Today I am joined by Bryan Law, who is CMO of ZoomInfo. Bryan, thank you so much for joining us.

[00:01:09] Bryan Law: Thanks for having me, Daniel.

[00:01:11] Daniel Weiner: We're gonna dive right in. Bryan, what is an unpopular opinion you have in the marketing world or a hot take of sorts?

[00:01:18] Bryan Law: So, a lot of marketers focus on being differentiated, and that really doesn't matter. You should focus on being distinctive. So, the difference, differentiated is just what it sounds being different actually, when you go out to market, say why your products and services are different than others,

[00:01:32] distinctive is being noticed. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, the largest marketing research institute in the world, has done a ton of research in this space, and they've found that brands are essentially branded versions of their category and the actual customers that they have aren't that different, which suggests that the differentiation for attempts and focuses on different sub-segments of the market don't work.

[00:01:51] It's the distinctiveness being noticed that actually makes a difference.

[00:01:54] Daniel Weiner: That is a hot take. I talk to folks in your position all day, every day, and I don't hear that often. For those out there who don't know what ZoomInfo is, I'll ask what is ZoomInfo. And now, now I'll put you on the spot. How are you distinctive?

[00:02:08] Bryan Law: It's a really good question. So, in terms of who we are, we've been best known for being the world's best at B2B data. So, if you're trying to think of which companies to go after, which contacts to go after, which companies are showing intent for your products, that's where we've been, had our bread and butter,

[00:02:20] but we've really gone beyond that to sort of, how do you unlock insights to figure out which pieces of information suggest who and when to go after, how to engage with them, so, we have a platform across sales and marketing, if you think of an ABM platform or conversational intelligence, sales engagement,

[00:02:34] and then actually automating all of those things from a workflow perspective so you can really scale and, and maximize your growth. So, that's who we are, and then, in terms of being distinctive, what we've actually done is we've done external research that said, people when they think about our category, these are the things that they think about most

[00:02:51] and we're trying to make those connections to ZoomInfo. And so, we've changed our messaging framework to just focus on those specific points and we're about to launch a brand campaign to really try and stand out in the marketplace. So, more to come soon on that hopefully.

[00:03:03] Daniel Weiner: I was gonna say, we'll, we'll have to check back in to see how that is going, but I wish you the best of luck on it.

[00:03:07] Bryan Law: Thanks.

[00:03:08] Daniel Weiner: You've worked at a number of reputable brands with what I would consider name power, at least to me. You've been at Google, you've been at Rackspace, HEB, Salesforce, now ZoomInfo, tell us a little bit about your journey and overall, like what's the biggest change you've seen in consumer behavior in general from, you know, since the time you started to now in a post-covid world, an economy going crazy and just a, a wild time to be alive,

[00:03:33] I would argue.

[00:03:34] Bryan Law: Yeah, so definitely had a, a sort of varied career in addition to the companies I also started in consulting and in strategy, and then I moved into analytics, and then I moved into marketing, and then geographically I was also all over the world. I lived in a few different countries and worked there.

[00:03:47] So, I'd say a, a lot of change. I've been working for a little bit, I actually saw, when I was at Google, we were trying to convince people that, that digital media was a thing which is, which is kind of funny, but in terms of how people purchase at the end of the day, everyone is still a human being and the way our brain has worked has evolved over a really, really long time.

[00:04:07] And so, I think, probably the thing that's most important is actually the opposite, which is how have we been consistent, and how are we the same? And the way that our brains work is we tend to recognize faces and we tend to have different parts of our brain understand shapes versus colors versus words,

[00:04:22] and there's a lot of things that are actually built into just who we are as humans that haven't changed, but we are constantly trying to make changes despite that consistency. Something I will say from a marketing thing is the number of messages has exploded, and so, what you are actually having to come up with is, there are so many different voices, so many noises, so many images that you really do have to break through that noise even more than you might have had to do in the past,

[00:04:48] which again, is why being consistently distinctive is really, really important and trying to minimize the, the number of, sort of signals or noise that you're putting into the marketplace.

[00:04:57] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it sounds like you kind of alluded to it. I think one of the, I don't know if it's one of my hot takes, but I find in general, you know, I help relatively split down the middle, 50% B2B, 50% B2C when I first started doing this three years ago, it was largely B2B companies and I feel like the biggest thing, I don't know if they get wrong, but gets over, they overthink, you know, consistently is that the B2B buying journey is so different from a B2C buying journey

[00:05:23] and at the end of the day, like, you know, they are humans. I think we forget that and overcomplicate with, like, so much stuff, and to your point, like a million different messages, and at the end of the day, they're still consumers, you know, they're still, we used to joke at my old agency, like, they're still sitting on their toilet, playing on their phone like a regular person.

[00:05:39] They're not, you know, doing something crazy different just because they're on a B2B company. What do you think of that?

[00:05:43] Bryan Law: Yeah. It's now a few years ago there was a, a conversion rate optimization conference that I went to and, and did a session in advance. I was talking about some research where, you know, many times we think, oh, a B2C buyer, they're emotional, a B2B buyer, of course, they're rational and a lot of the research they were seen is that B2B buyers are equally emotional.

[00:06:00] They may just paper over that emotion with a rational justification for why they did it, but there's actually research that Bain did with Google this year, and Google did a, a different version with comScore last year that essentially said 90% of buyers have a day-one list, this is B2B buyers, when they start the process and almost 90% of the time they choose from that list,

[00:06:20] and, really, the way you get on that list is that you are mentally available, you're being thought of when they're in a buying situation, which isn't necessarily a rational decision. It's more just, you're brain-fired when you thought about making a purchase and then you went through with it. So, I think exactly what you said, at the end of the day, we're consumers, we're people.

[00:06:36] Our brains work in a certain way, and you need to figure out how that works in order to market to 'em.

[00:06:40] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I had actually take it one step further, and I find, in general, B2B buyers to be more irrational because to your point, they have heard a company similar to them is doing X, and they're like, "Oh, well we gotta do X too, like, if they're doing it, we gotta do it, or we gotta work with this vendor, we gotta do that, that thing,"

[00:06:58] whereas consumer, when it's their money, I like to think are a little more occasionally rational with some of that stuff, but I do find that, you know, I hear that all the time on the B2B side, "Do you know anybody who's worked with this exact company and done this exact thing?" "Maybe, I don't know.

[00:07:12] I gotta look. But also like, why do you want that?" Because it feels safer to them.

[00:07:16] Bryan Law: Yeah. Well, and, and, and interesting 'cause, so B2 B's LinkedIn Institute, and Peter Weinberg's, their leader, I, I like a lot of the research that comes out from them, But they talk about something that, not necessarily novel, but some companies, there's sort of two axes. Either you're doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, or you're, you're doing something that's different, and you're either right or you're wrong,

[00:07:36] I mean, if you're wrong, it doesn't really matter, but if you're right and you're doing the exact same thing as everyone else, it also doesn't really matter 'cause you're gonna not stand out. You need to do something that's right, that's actually unique and different or contrarian, and that's how you're gonna have your competitive advantage.

[00:07:49] And so, to your point, if all you're doing is finding out what other companies are doing and trying to copy them, you're probably not gonna stand out in the crowd, you're not gonna be doing something that's contrary and hopefully give you that step change you're gonna need for growth.

[00:08:00] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, you gotta zig when everybody else is zagging, so to speak with economy and flux and, you know, things just being weird out there in general, discretionary spending potentially low. I see it low for a lot of different companies I'm talking to. What's your advice to other CMOs and heads of marketing out there?

[00:08:15] Like, in this time of disarray, I would say? 

[00:08:18] Bryan Law: Yeah, a few things. So, hopefully, I'm always trying to look at sort of my spend and have a strong point of view of which of the things that are working better or not and by working better for us, it's sort of not just driving bottom-of-funnel impact, but also hopefully longer-term growth.

[00:08:34] And so, if you're, you're not understanding those things, definitely worth trying to figure that out. Another area where certainly for us and with a lot of our customers we've seen a lot of opportunity for efficiency is between sales and marketing. So, I think a lot of times, you know, the marketing department, you know, gets pushed on, hey, you have this big media budget, what are you doing?

[00:08:50] The sales department might get pushed on about, hey, you know, what are you doing with headcount? But it's many times the efficiencies between the two departments where I think there's a lot of opportunity 'cause there's just misaligned goals, misaligned execution which just creates a lot of waste within the company, but also sort of inefficiency when you're, you know, working with and interfacing with your customers.

[00:09:10] And so, I think that's a huge, huge space for optimizing and, and being successful.

[00:09:15] Daniel Weiner: That makes total sense. Have you changed your, you know, marketing strategies and outreach during this time, at least to, you know, understanding the, the buyer is, potentially getting put this, or having the screws put to them by CFOs and stuff like that?

[00:09:28] Bryan Law: So, we, we definitely have, so, one of the products we have is called Chorus. It's a conversational intelligence tool, which means you can sort of record conversations with customers and prospects, and something that we've done a few times now is we actually have gone and said, "Hey, when people are mentioning the economy or downturn or budget or whatnot, what are the other things that they're mentioning?"

[00:09:46] And we've actually used that to influence the messaging that we're putting out into the market or the talk track that we're doing for sales. So, we've been trying to be as thoughtful and relevant as possible in what we're putting into market. And then, something that we've noticed is that a lot of our deals are taking a little bit longer, sort of that, that cycle's elongated.

[00:10:02] And so, we've actually put a lot of effort into pipeline acceleration plate. An example of something that we would run is, you know, something comes into the, the funnel. An opportunity's been opened, it's above a certain size, you know, for companies, let's call 'em enterprise companies, and what we then go do and say is that, look, let's look at our ideal customer profile, which for us is generally sales, marketing, operations leaders.

[00:10:21] Let's pull them out, and then let's actually advertise directly to them across all of our channels. So, it's a triggered play, is what we would call it, and we've tested it across, you know, different social channels are, are on DSP across, you know, marketing email, sales email, direct mail, sales outreach, and figured out what's the combination of those that actually work best for new customers and existing customers to accelerate deals, increased deal size

[00:10:44] and that's been a pretty big shift that we started that in, I think, September or October and we've seen a lot of goodness from doing things like that. So, that would just be an example of, you know, some of the tactical shifts we also made.

[00:10:53] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, that's really smart. I, I hope I don't have to blur this out, that that was very tactical. A lot of people are gonna presumably steal that too.

[00:11:01] Bryan Law: So, well, for, for, for those who, like plays is a big thing that we've been focusing on. So, we've taken the ones that work best for us and we've actually open-sourced 'em and put 'em for free on our website. So, if you go to zoominfo.com/plays, those are literally the plays that work best for us and the customers that we see,

[00:11:16] and they're all there, sort of how to think about the audience, how to think about the trigger to kick off those plays, how to think about the sequences that are associated with it. So, yeah, I, I, I would definitely share that with your audience. We get a lot of our, our customers and prospects who are getting value from it.

[00:11:29] Daniel Weiner: That's awesome. You know, when I first reached out to you, most of the talk tracks of the, these podcasts are around agencies, and I know you have experience with that in the past, and we'll talk about it. I'm curious, talk me through how ZoomInfo thinks about agencies and vendors versus internal hires and fitting into their ecosystem.

[00:11:45] From my understanding, you are largely no agencies and vendors or mostly internal resources. Talk me through that and how you think through it.

[00:11:52] Bryan Law: Yeah, and it's definitely varied at companies that I've, I've worked with. So, I mean, I tend to think about, you know, third parties from a, a few different vectors. One, you're just needing sort of additional bandwidth. So, of the second one is you're, you're, you're really looking for, you know, additional expertise to complement

[00:12:08] sort of your internal skills. And then, the third one is maybe sort of a knowledge, a knowledge gap. And, and they're, sort of really know your industry well. They know what your competitors are doing. You're trying to, to pick their brain, and I think the way that I've thought about it, the companies I've worked at have thought about it depends on just, it varies a bit

[00:12:25] company by company. Normally, you're gonna pay incrementally more. It's gonna take a while for them to ramp, and so, you have to be willing to make that investment in order to get the return out of them and I, I think just the way in which ZoomInfo moves, we move very, very quickly. We iterate very, very quickly.

[00:12:40] I think it can be challenging for a third party to come in and really understand our business in a way that we would expect them to and move as quickly as we would expect them to. And so, that's why we have not used them as much here. We are using a couple, I've definitely used a lot across my, across my career.

[00:12:56] Daniel Weiner: It's interesting to hear your perspective of that, 'cause that is, I think the correct perspective not to be a suck-up, but I often hear the opposite, that folks think you hire an agency and, like, right away everything changes, and they are ramped up, and they understand your business and, like, whatever goal or metric you have set is, like, automatically achieved because you have decided, hey, we're gonna invest in an agency.

[00:13:18] And a lot of the, you know, before I make connections, I'm oftentimes like, ah, I don't know if that, like, I, I think there's a lot of work that needs to be done and, like, those goals and metrics and stuff. So, I think coming in with the perspective of, this is in, you know, it's largely situational, but understanding that, yeah, like, agencies are not just like a magic bullet, to, like, solve all of your problems and you still have to invest a ton of time and energy into making them successful.

[00:13:41] Bryan Law: Yeah. And one, I mean, my first 12 years of my career was actually as a consultant, which is, you know, a form of a third-party agency and normally that first meeting that we would have, which would be, you know, 30 to 45 days in, was essentially to say, "Hey, we've done a lot of work and research and we kind of understand your company and your, your industry relatively well, look, you know, don't fire us now.

[00:14:02] We're gonna start to give you some advice," and so, at the very least, and that was when we were working really hard in that first, you know, 30 to 45 days to really demonstrate that we understood what was going on, there's just naturally a ramp up. I mean, you think of anyone who enters your company,

[00:14:15] you know what varies coming to company, but it's somewhere between a month and three months at least, that's that ramp-up period. And so, agencies have to do the same thing. And so, I think there is a question of how much you expect them to be able to really understand who you are versus you're literally just buying their, their broader expertise, but it does take some time to ramp up for sure.

[00:14:32] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think there's just a hidden, "Please don't fire us," in front of everything that consultants and agencies are saying to their clients at all times. So, I, I can appreciate that. Do you think your consulting experience has made you a stronger marketing leader now that you're in this role?

[00:14:46] Bryan Law: So, I, I, I'd like to think I've benefited from all my different experiences, but one of the things when I was working in consulting, I was mainly working around growth strategy, sort of marketing strategy, some org design work, but it was across industries, and something that I think was really, really valuable across industries is many times they're facing similar problems, but don't have, you know, people are less likely to move from industry to industry, and so you don't learn as much from what other companies are, are, are doing that are not sort of your direct competitors at.

[00:15:15] I think that was really, really helpful for me. I think the speed at which consulting operates was very helpful for me. I, I think it did accelerate my career, just because you tend to have more opportunities to interface with senior leaders which was very helpful and then just the problem-solving component.

[00:15:30] I found a lot of value in 'cause I, I definitely recognize there's lots of situations when I'm definitely not the smartest person in the room and probably the, the, the least knowledgeable in a subject, but I think consulting has made me successful in knowing how to ask the right questions, knowing how to probe, being able to work with ambiguity and, and being less comfortable not having the full details.

[00:15:50] So, yeah, I'd say, in a number of ways it's been, it's been helpful.

[00:15:53] Daniel Weiner: That's great. You brought up an interesting point about consulting of working with different businesses across different verticals and finding similar, you know, issues and problems and kind of connecting them. I held a dinner two weeks ago. CMOs and VPs of marketing split. It was 20 people, so 10 B2B, 10 B2C at various stages, various sizes,

[00:16:12] and I think going in my hypothesis was, businesses of all shapes and sizes have commonalities, to your point, I think there was some hesitancy, and most people, I guess, hadn't like, I don't think it was a groundbreaking idea for me to mix B2B and B2C. I just didn't realize that people hadn't really done stuff like that

[00:16:29] and it was really interesting to see the commonalities between, you know, a B2B startup and a big consumer-facing brand and dealing with commonalities and having, you know, I think the funniest thing was, like, small companies want to operate like big companies and big companies want to operate like small companies.

[00:16:44] You know, small companies want the resources. Big companies want nimbleness and speed, and everybody's trying to figure out, and nobody knows what they're doing. It was, like, the biggest commonality of, like, "Oh my God, like, you know so many people, oh, I'm worried about economy regardless of shapes and size.

[00:16:57] I'm worried about getting fired." You know, the running joke was, CMOs have 18 months. Everybody was like, "Oh, within 18 months, we're all somewhere new." You know? So, I think it is interesting, and oftentimes people think like, oh, big enterprises, you know, only should interact with big enterprise and stuff like that and startup with startup, and to your point, like, a lot of people are dealing with very similar things. They're just different scales.

[00:17:17] Bryan Law: Yeah. Well, and something that I, 'cause I've, I've worked in both B2B and B2C, I think there's a lot of lessons to take away, sort of, you know, across the aisle to the, the different type of company. I, I mean, normally B2C you have more data. It's obviously not as much sort of a buying decision for a lot of the products that you're purchasing, but how to think about that data, how to think about leveraging it between data and technology and, and sort of the experience that you're providing.

[00:17:41] I've found very valuable trying to pull it into the, the B2B world, but it's, think we all benefit the more that we try and look at different scenarios and try and pull lessons across and at the end of the day, as a marketer, you are dealing with people within your company.

[00:17:56] You're dealing with people outside of your company, you're trying to figure out how internally to effectively manage them and get them to all work together and outside how to think about your product and hopefully purchase it. And so, there's just, I think, a lot of potential similarity to, to take advantage of,

[00:18:09] and, and in many ways, I think B2C has a lot that we can learn from in the B2B world, just because a lot of the, you know, the self-service trends that existed much earlier in, in B2C are, are shifting more into the B2B world. A lot of sort of that scaled outreach and how to do that really efficiently.

[00:18:26] We're trying to do more and more of in the B2B space and creating those journeys and understanding much multiple touchpoints. And so, I think there's a, a lot to benefit from and why I, why I enjoy having conversations with, with different, different folks.

[00:18:37] Daniel Weiner: Now when I throw my first one out west, you can be the, the first invite there. 

[00:18:41] So, most marketers I speak with, with your title are getting hit up every 12 seconds for something by agencies, vendors, solution providers, SDRs, all day. Is that the case for you?

[00:18:54] Bryan Law: Uh, yeah, so I, I probably, it varies a little bit day to day, but I'm normally getting at least 200 emails a day. Most of those are external people. And so, one of the things I'm always talking to my team about is depending on how urgently you need to reach me, these are sort of the, the sort of the ways that you should think about it

[00:19:10] 'cause practically, I, I can't even look at email until the end of the day, and then one of the things that I'm actually doing is I'm just scrolling for things that don't say external, and I'm only looking at somebody external if I recognize the name or the company just 'cause it's a ton,

[00:19:22] and so, it's hard to be able to process and, and be able to effectively just get your work done with all of the outreach that's out there.

[00:19:28] Daniel Weiner: Is there, other than lying and saying internal, is there anything that somebody can say or do if you are not in buying mode, like is, do you enjoy taking general calls? I usually find at the VP level, a lot of folks are, like, open to maybe taking exploratory calls, and once you hit the C-suite, there's just too much stuff going on to take exploratory calls and understand what's going on in the market, is that the case for you or?

[00:19:52] Bryan Law: Yeah, I mean, even if I wanted to, I just don't practically have the time. I mean, one of the things that, you know, this is something that I talk to customers about all the time. I think we all need to be super thoughtful about, like, which level of the organization we're reaching out to

[00:20:06] because, practically, having sort of someone do a, a cold email to me to sell me a product is not your most successful motion. It's gotta be someone who's within my team, get them excited about it, then they'll bring it to me having already done some research, and then I'll, you know, potentially then look and be like, "Oh, that's actually worthwhile.

[00:20:23] We should consider it," but I'm, for me to look at something cold, it's normally gonna have to come from reference or a referral within the company or someone that I know well and, and trust rather than just a blind, a blind outreach.

[00:20:37] Daniel Weiner: Sure. Say that you've made the decision like it's time, either at ZoomInfo or in the past, you're ready to hire an agency or a vendor. What can an agency in general or a vendor do when you're in evaluation mode to stand out from the crowd or be distinctive to your point?

[00:20:51] Bryan Law: Yeah. It, the end of the, end of the day, and you, and you mentioned this, and I said why it's sometimes a bad idea, but I, I think we're all, we're all looking to say, "Oh, you understand my company. You understand my problems." And so, being able to paint that picture of, "We've done this work for companies, departments, whatnot, like you, this is our sense of what your problems are and how we can help solve them,

[00:21:14] and really start with who are you as a customer and why can we help," I think it's really, really valuable. Many times, I think, agencies start with, "This is why we're, we're wonderful," which, there's certainly a way to do it, but it doesn't necessarily pierce through sort of the problem sets that I'm having.

[00:21:29] So, I think that is really, really important. One of the things I'm actually surprised by is when companies don't say, "Hey, can we have some time to pick your brain and just understand what's going on?" And even if it's at the beginning of the call and then changing your talk track as you move forward,

[00:21:44] something we used to do a ton in consulting is actually spend time on the front side being, like, "Hey, let's look at their, their earning statements or just any news about them so we could get a glimpse of what might be going on for them so that you can come into the conversation a little bit more informed."

[00:21:57] So, I think that's really important. I think the, the second thing is, as you're going through and talking about, you know, you're offering your product, your services, how are you demonstrating credibility? And that could be an example of, you know, "We've worked with other companies like you," or, "Here are awards that we've received," or, " Here is some work that we've done that's been really impactful," or particularly if it's something that's driving measurable results,

[00:22:20] "This is how we've helped companies do these things," and, and I'm surprised that companies don't do that as, as much as they should, but you need to first start with, "Hey, we understand you. We understand your problems. This is how we think we can help you solve them, and then this is why you should care."

[00:22:34] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it's an interesting song and dance. This is episode, I think 26, when this airs and, like, I get a lot of people who want, like, that research up front, and I've had other people who says, like, it backfires. They don't want people to come in and make assumptions. I can almost guarantee that you will get cold outreach that references this podcast virtually every single person has.

[00:22:53] And a, a unique example was a prospect listened to an interview with one of the CMOs on this podcast and came to a call and had made an assumption based on that, and they made the wrong assumption, and they were ruled out, like, right after that. So, I think my biggest, like, coaching I give to agencies is, like, it's good to have process,

[00:23:12] of course, like, process is great. You should have some sort of rubric, but, like, you really need to know your audience to your point, like, before doing anything, you know, what does Bryan want? What makes Bryan's life easier? What is he expecting on his call? And I think people forget a lot of times, like, they can just ask, you know, the worst that happens is you do not answer, or you don't tell them, you know?

[00:23:32] But people come to a call, like, you know, "Oh, like, I wonder what he wants." I'm like, "Did you ask?" They're like, "No, can we do that?" I'm like, "Yeah, you. You cer, you certainly can." I think people forget that often and it benefits both sides.

[00:23:42] Bryan Law: Well, I mean, one of the things that's, and, and you always have to be thoughtful of sort of coming across as too casual versus professional, but at the end of the day, you're, you're talking to people, and we tend to work well in conversation and, and where you can break down those barriers and learn a little bit more about that individual and what their priorities are,

[00:24:00] the easier it is to develop a relationship. And so, I think a lot of times the, as you're evaluating an agency, it's not just sort of what you think they're gonna pro, provide, but how they're gonna provide it, and do you feel like they're gonna be a good collaboration partner? And so, not only does asking questions help to facilitate that relationship, but sort of starting to develop that type of interaction makes you probably more attractive as someone that you know, "Oh, I could get along with this person.

[00:24:24] It seems like they're being receptive to my ideas and responsive and what not."

[00:24:28] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think, in general, rapport is the most important thing, and I think to your point about differentiation, every agency tells me they are quote-unquote different, and I'm always like, "No, you're not until you show me what you're telling me." But, like, how, and nobody really has a good answer, truthfully, and I think the only way to be distinctive in the agency space is people in process,

[00:24:47] like, to your point, the work matters a hundred percent, of course, people have to do great work or you're going to get fired, but I think everybody forgets you have to get hired first to do great work, and you have to have chemistry to do great work, and you have to align, and, like, if you don't mesh well or quote-unquote vibe, even though I hate the word, you're not gonna get good work.

[00:25:07] You know? And you, you shouldn't work together if there isn't a mesh at a certain level, but, yeah, every agency tells me they're different. I've actually been working on a post for LinkedIn, it was supposed to be a top 10 list of, like, the same stuff that agencies have on their website. Like, one of them being, like, "Oh, like, we're disruptive or, like, we care, or we're not just clients, we're partners."

[00:25:25] You know, stuff like that. And it's, like, quickly grown to, like, a list of 25 because I truthfully hear the same stuff from agencies, and I think the cream rises to the top for the ones that it's not easy, but show it rather than just saying like, "Oh, we're disruptive." I'm like, "Cool. How? Like, what's something disruptive you've done, you know, if you're so disruptive?" And usually, I get, like, big bug eyes after that. I'm like, "Oh, well shit, we weren't ready for that one." So.

[00:25:50] Bryan Law: "We, we, we were, we were disruptive in our advertising message and, and, yeah, didn't work on the substance," but yeah, and, and it ties back to the, the comment I made a little bit earlier, which is, in an ideal world, you, you can do this as sort of a scaled survey, but really trying to figure out, you know, when your customers are in buying situations, what are the thoughts, feelings, emotions that they have?

[00:26:09] Essentially, those are the things that are gonna be triggered in their brain when they're thinking about buying an agency, and then, how do you attach your brand to it? And being very, very focused on those messages is at least a way to, you know, first get into the conversation where their people are thinking, "Oh, you're, you're generally relevant to the problem I'm trying to solve for,"

[00:26:27] and then obviously, once you get into the conversation itself, you then need to go a step further and say, "Okay, like, why are you specifically trying to solve it? This is why we can help you out." But yeah, that, that distinctiveness component is important 'cause as you said, there are tons of agencies out there.

[00:26:40] It's a little bit hard at first, blush, to understand why one might be better than another one. And so, you, you first need to figure out how do you just get into the conversation. And then, once you're there, you need to make sure you're as relevant as you can be, which many times requires asking, asking some questions around what they're trying to solve for.

[00:26:55] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think it's partially on marketer's shoulders too from a responsibility standpoint to be prescriptive in terms of the ask. Like, especially as the internet just becomes more ridiculous and technology becomes more absurd and more intricate, like, being really prescriptive on the front end of, "Here's a brief or even just an outline or, like, here's what we're looking for," rather than, like, making it a guessing game.

[00:27:15] And a lot of this stuff too, I talk about, like, still I'm shocked, brands are, like, very, not all the time, but oftentimes, like, hesitant to share budgets, you know, with agency partners. They want them to, you know, get the classic line of, like, tell us what it should cost and I'm like, like, "You can do these things so many different ways,"

[00:27:32] and usually the line I'm asking, yeah, "What number would make you want to throw up?" Because I generally find that there's a number and $1 more, they want to throw up, or the CFO wants to kill 'em and $1 less, they're like, "Oh, that sounds, you know, reasonably normal," or something like that.

[00:27:46] Bryan Law: Yeah. Well, and I mean, it, it touches on a broader point for me, which is, I'm, I'm always surprised when people have a very hands-off relationship with their agencies, whether it's in the bid process or once they're actually working together, 'cause I think that, I mean, the way that you get the most out of any relationship, and certainly an agency relationship, is by trying to provide as much insight, as much information as possible,

[00:28:10] trying to make them sort of a very close member of your team, 'cause it allows them to, you know, serve you better. And so, I think even in the bid process, if you're saying, "Hey, you know, this is roughly what my budget is," you know, each of them then have that information, and then they can come back and practically at the end of the process if agency A is providing the same thing as agency B, but for less, then you can say, "Hey, I'd love to work with you, but it, it looks like you're more expensive,"

[00:28:33] but at least you're giving them sort of a, a space in which to operate with so that they, you know, they know what you're looking for, what you can potentially afford.

[00:28:40] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, it allows them to compare apples to apples when they're receiving proposals. I've seen a big shift, especially since Covid a little bit before, 'cause I worked at a small boutique agency of bigger-named brands moving towards smaller independent agencies that are usually specialized in, call it, like, one to two services.

[00:28:57] What do you think of that trend? Have you seen the same in the market?

[00:29:01] Bryan Law: Yeah. And so, I mean, said, I don't use a ton of agencies, at the moment we're, we're working with a creative agency at the moment for our brand campaign and, and they are very much, they're sort of a smaller shop focused on creative. It was something definitely that we were looking for, just, I think, many times

[00:29:17] the speed at which you can operate is a little bit different. You're trying to find someone who is really skilled and specialized in that area. When I was working at Tableau, we were working with a digital agency, I mean, we were working with someone that spanned across digital channels, but it wasn't a massive agency

[00:29:32] and for similar reasons, I think it's just, many times as you get bigger, you get overwhelmed with process and inefficiency and I think some of the spark that sometimes gets you excited about working with that agency gets lost. So, that's been the, the way that I've approached it, not sort of necessarily like brand, brand new, definitely on the, on the smaller side, a little bit more specialized.

[00:29:52] Daniel Weiner: Sure. Can you think of a really great agency experience you've had in the past, whether it's ZoomInfo or at one of your former employers and what made it so great?

[00:30:01] Bryan Law: Yeah. And I'm potentially gonna meld a few together. So, I mentioned the, the creative agency that we're working with right now. I really, really enjoy working with them, the digital agency that I've worked at a few companies, I really had a positive experience. I think, in both of those, they really, on the front side tried to understand us,

[00:30:19] they tried to understand us quickly, they really committed to trying to make the relationship work. They were open to feedback, when we provided that they were willing to pivot and change, and so, it wasn't like, "Hey, this is what we offer, and you're just gonna take it," but it really felt, like, from our side that they were collaborators with us.

[00:30:39] And again, I think what we provided, or I'd like to think we provided to both of them is as much as we could sort of openness, honesty, information that allowed them to be as successful as, as possible, and I think it's that two-way exchange that allows you to really get stuff done, I mean, at the end of the day, you need to deliver high-quality work and you need to deliver it on, on time.

[00:30:59] And sort of the impact there needs to be a way to sort of measure it is as well, so, like, the quality of the work obviously is important as well, but I do think in the way in which you work together is really, really key, and making sure that you're developing that relationship so that you're on the same page and getting the most outta the partnership.

[00:31:14] Daniel Weiner: I think quality of work is kind of just like the price of admission these days. Like, every, like, there's just so many people who do great work, especially after Covid because everything was so dispersed, you know, there are freelancers running huge businesses who are super sought after by brands, so it's interesting too, I, I constantly ask, like, you know, especially on the creative side in particular, I'm usually having conversations when I say, like, do you want, when, when you want a creative agency, I generally am asking like, "Are you looking for somebody to execute or are you hoping to win an award?"

[00:31:42] That generally is, like, the two buckets people get lumped into, and, you know, some people are like, "Oh, I don't care about winning an award, we just need somebody to, like, execute on this stuff," but to your point, like, normally my next question I think I know the answer to would be how do you get the most out of your agencies?

[00:31:55] Because I do find, like, It's pretty split. It sounds like you want a lot of collaboration and like to really work side by side, and I get a lot of other people who are like, "I'm hiring for expertise," and I want them to tell me, like, "And I, eh, I, I go either way," but it, I think more on the side of, like, I want somebody to tell me they kind of want, like, a magic answer or they hope for, like, this, you know, looking into the future of if we do this, like, it's gonna be successful, which usually isn't the case.

[00:32:22] Sounds like you're more on the collaboration side.

[00:32:24] Bryan Law: Yeah, for sure. Well, and, and, and one thing I, I should have mentioned on your, your previous question, and then I'll switch back to collaboration. I get a ton of value from sort of research, best practices, learning, just sort of what has worked and so, both with this current creative agency and then

[00:32:38] digital agency. They also had a lot of exposure to, you know, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and how they think about sort of marketing rules or, you know, Binet and Field or some of the sort of neuroscience work that's out there. And so, I think that was another sort of thing that attracted me to both of them and made us have a sort of similar mental model,

[00:32:53] but sort of to your current question, yeah, I, I think the, the more open, the more collaborative that I can be, the better. Sure, if you ask the agency that we're working with today, they, they would say we're mildly frustrating to work with 'cause we changed our mind, but, but at least.

[00:33:06] Daniel Weiner: On camera or off on camera or off camera, they would, they would tell me, "You're the best client ever." Of course.

[00:33:11] Bryan Law: But I, I think they would also say that we're, we're very sort of open with them in terms of, like, where we are, what are the decisions that we're, we're working through internally sort of where we need help. And so, I think we've tried to develop that, that close collaboration despite the fact that, like, many customers were probably sort of a bit more challenging to work with than they probably would prefer.

[00:33:30] Daniel Weiner: From being on the other side at an agency and working closely with our creative director, like, we always used to talk about tough, but fair being, like, our favorite client, you know, like, if you had a million revisions, oftentimes people are like, "Oh, like, what a pain in the ass. Like, we would've taken that all day as long as you provided feedback."

[00:33:46] You know, like, the hardest clients to work with were the ones who did not, who would be like, "Oh, like, we don't like it." "Why?" "I don't know. We just don't like it." "Oh, okay. Like, well, just go do something," you know, like, you know, you can be tough and, like, want what you want and know what you want. Those are the best clients out there.

[00:34:01] I find the ones who give feedback and, and can be prescriptive in constructive criticism and feedback.

[00:34:07] Bryan Law: Yeah. We'll see, so hopefully we would fall into that, fall into that bucket, but yeah, the, I think that's the way that you get to the best outcome is really trying to, you know, push each other and, yeah, many times it, it leads to better, in this example, better creativity and a, and a better outcome.

[00:34:21] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. Can you think of a negative agency experience you've had in the past and what made it negative?

[00:34:26] I certainly can. Everybody has one or multiple, hopefully not multiple, but most do.

[00:34:30] Bryan Law: Yeah, and, and so I mean, this one was that I'm just thinking about as a sort of a performance agency, but range of issues. I, I think one just sort of the delivery, like, the quality of the work, not paying attention to the details. So many times we were having to catch things, not being responsive to feedback,

[00:34:47] so it's not, you know, inevitably, you know, an agency will make a mistake, or it'll have someone on the project that maybe shouldn't be on the project or isn't a good, a good match. I think, in particular, once you provide that feedback and not actioning on it is a real problem and, and actually, on the flip side, the, you know, one, one that digital agency I mentioned that I've now worked with at a few companies, we had a period where it wasn't going well,

[00:35:09] but we provided that feedback and they jumped on it and they said, "Hey, this is a process we're gonna put in place to make sure that we address it. This is how we're gonna check in. We wanna be very open about the areas that we're sort of getting that feedback," and they, and they would collect it across the team and share it back.

[00:35:22] And so, I think that's an example of where you can do a better job of it, but with this particular one, they were having issues on sort of sloppiness of work, timeliness of work, and then they weren't being responsive to the feedback and making the changes that we needed, and at the end of the day that just, if, if I don't feel like I can, I'm gonna see change.

[00:35:38] That's where I have to, you know, decide I'm gonna move in another direction. And so, you provide the feedback. If you see it, see it again, you know, and you're not gonna see a change, that's when you think, okay, probably need to do something different.

[00:35:48] Daniel Weiner: A perfect segue. We love perfect segues here. I normally ask, you know, do you think a negative agency situation can be salvaged? And it sounds like it can, and it was in the one context, on the context of the performance agency, how quickly from, like, giving feedback did the, or how much more time did they have from the time you gave feedback till the time you stopped working with them?

[00:36:07] I presume you stopped working with them.

[00:36:09] Bryan Law: Yeah. I mean, changing agencies is a, is a pain.

[00:36:11] Daniel Weiner: Pain.

[00:36:12] Bryan Law: So, I, I definitely think you should do everything you can to try and make it work. And so, I, I think in, in this particular one, I mean, it was the, the team was working on it. They were noticing some issues. They let me know. I said, "Okay, go back, have these conversations," still noticed some issues.

[00:36:25] And I said, "Okay, well let me get on sort of in touch with the equivalent at the agency side and sort of talk it through," and was like, "Hey, this is a real issue. This is what we're gonna need to see is different, you know, these are some people on the project that we don't think are sort of the right ones."

[00:36:38] And then they did make some changes, and then we said, "Okay, let's give it sort of a, you know, a month. We'll check in, see how it's going, and then we circled back, and it, it wasn't seeming like it was moving the right direction, so we said, "Okay, now we need to start the process of looking for new ones,"

[00:36:52] but it obviously takes time to then, you know, talk to others and say, "Who have you worked with that works well?" And go through and find them. And I mean, I would say all, all in it. 

[00:37:00] Daniel Weiner: Until now, Bryan, you got me, 10-minute call, boom, million agencies in your inbox, you know? 

[00:37:05] Bryan Law: Yes. So, so I'd say it was a, it was a definitely a few-month process, four-ish, maybe four-ish months.

[00:37:12] Daniel Weiner: I gotcha. Yeah, it's interesting to hear, I posted about this recently actually, like, a lot of folks I talk to think, I didn't come up with the, the actual quote, but a lot of folks think that grass is always greener on the other side, but most times or a lot of the time, it's greener where you water it,

[00:37:26] and, yeah, like, folks who really invest in their agency relationships oftentimes get to a good spot. Like, I'm honest about that. I, of course, help folks find new agencies, but oftentimes, like, when people lay out a situation, I'm like, "Have you tried just, like, talking to them some more?" Like, maybe it's, like, I'm happy to help make some intros, but, like, you know, it sounds like it's not, like, the weirdest thing yet, or, like, the wildest thing I have ever heard,

[00:37:47] but, yeah, like, it takes time like any relationship, that's not the groundbreaking side of what I do, but yeah, a lot of it is, like, therapy, helping both sides talk to each other.

[00:37:56] Bryan Law: And I mean, I even think about it sort of internally. So, I mean, I've, there's about 150 people at, at, at marketing, in marketing here and I don't, as much as I want to be on top of everything that's going on within my team, I don't always have full visibility, and I mean, even as we do performance assessments at the end of the year, one of the things that, that we find is that not every individual has full visibility in terms of the work that they're doing,

[00:38:17] and so if you don't, you know, if an individual is, is not fully understanding, it's probably likely that their manager's not fully appreciated. It's certainly sort of their manager's manager. And so, being able to provide that candid feedback, one, it just, I see feedback as a gift and it's, a great way to, to learn and develop.

[00:38:32] And I always like to, to think about the people that I'm working with in addition to the agency, but, it's very, very hard to know if you're, you know, optimizing performance unless someone's telling you, and that's the way that you can actually action it.

[00:38:44] Daniel Weiner: Sure. My final agency-related question, then we'll wrap up with some fun ones. What do you think is something that agencies most of the time or a large majority of them get wrong? Or what is something that you think agencies quote-unquote got?

[00:38:57] Wow. From your lens? I mean, I say it all the time, like, I think I'll give you a head start on it.

[00:39:02] Like, I think agencies in general forget, and I again am not saying this to suck up, but I talk to somebody, CMOs, like, agencies, forget how hard your side is as well, like, how much shit you have going on and you have a board probably at a lot of places and you have investors and you have a team you're managing and a personal life and all that sort of stuff,

[00:39:19] but I'm curious, your opinion, what do you think they get wrong?

[00:39:22] Bryan Law: Yeah. And so, that's, that's certainly true, like, how, how to meet. So, to meet me halfway even at, you know, as you do sort of, so your meetings, particularly if you're getting to a stage on, like, the creative side and you're trying to rapid fire through, I have a lot of other stuff I'm doing, and so, I need to figure out how to push sort of work within my schedule,

[00:39:39] but something I was going to say that I'm, I'm always surprised by is, there's a lot of, tied into earlier comments, there are a lot of best practices out there in terms of how we respond to advertising and stimuli and sort of just ways you set up ads and, and stuff like that, that many times I'm surprised as the, you know, the customer would be like, "Hey, your best practice says you should be doing this."

[00:39:59] And, and it's that, that's definitely a way to sort of not credibility for me pretty quickly of getting something that maybe seems, like, creatively nice, but is missing out some of, like, the basic things you just need to know about, you know, how our brains work and when you see faces and, like, where their eyes are looking on ads or, like, whatever those sort of set of things are depending on what the project is,

[00:40:18] but it's, I, I think missing that sort of basic checklist of, like, we should always do these things and check against that. That I, I would say I've seen now across a few different agencies that always kind of just surprises me and, and, and catches me off guard, and then, I mean, testing's not a new thing,

[00:40:34] but how many agencies don't try and incorporate that into the process to say, like, "Hey, this is our, this is our best guess. This is what we think is gonna work, but how do we make sure that we're gonna, to validate it?" Particularly externally because as certainly as I've found within any company I've worked for, we have a decent understanding of our customers, but many times it's wrong

[00:40:51] and the best way to figure out is to actually, you know, talk to the customers or share it with the customers and see what works and that's not always something that's built into what agencies are, are, are doing. And so, they may help you put out something that seems wonderful but actually performs terribly 'cause you haven't actually validated it.

[00:41:09] Daniel Weiner: I think it's actually the best agencies or the value, the best value you see from agencies from your side is rarely what happens day 0 to, I don't know, 60 you call it, but what they're doing on day, like, 64 and 75 and, like, 82 randomly when they're changing things up, because to your point, that's why, like, one of my hot takes is, like, results aren't necessarily the way to

[00:41:31] judge an agency, it's what they do after the results come in. Like, not, not, not everything can just work, which I think is oftentimes what people think, like, if something doesn't deliver, perform, like, it's not always, it sucks, of course, everybody wants it to perform, but you learned what didn't work and you move on and hopefully get to what does work quicker, so.

[00:41:51] Bryan Law: Yeah. And it is an internal example, but I think it applies to agencies 'cause many times they're relying on the customer. I did this at one company and then it, I liked the results and, and how it helped me tell the story. And so, I did another one, which is for our website and our navigation, you know, you, you do a card-sorting exercise and say, "Hey, of all the pages, what would be the best way to organize it?"

[00:42:08] I asked marketing, I asked sales, I asked prospects, I asked customers and really we, and we then went back to sales marketing and said, "Hey, you're not gonna be surprised, you didn't agree at all in terms of how to set things up," I guess who's right, neither of you because you're completely off base with how prospects and customers think about things.

[00:42:24] And so, in the future, I'd love your ideas, but we're not gonna decide things internally. We're gonna try and validate them externally and I think that's one of the issues that agencies run into as many times they're interfacing with us and our opinions and then they're trying to solve for our opinions and our opinions are wrong.

[00:42:37] And so, I think there is an opportunity for agencies to provide that perspective, either on the front side or through the process, as you said, of how do we see what works and then how do we iterate off of it? And how do we, what are we testing for so that we actually can get thoughtful learnings, that we can do something with?

[00:42:52] Daniel Weiner: It's the biggest thing I see, especially on the creative side that I have to remind folks of, like, this isn't necessarily for you, like, this is for the customer and, like, are you even in the set? You know, like, if you're not even in the remote realm of the prospect, like, it's less for you, like, let's see how it works,

[00:43:08] which is why, like, I've probably become cynical towards creative in general because of how much creative we're served every single day, and I constantly talk, especially to brands with name power, which I know have to look at their brand standards, of course, things can't look terrible, but I'm like, if it performed and you hated how it looked, how do you think?

[00:43:26] And that usually stops people in their tracks of, like, "I don't know. That's a, that's a weird one." So, what are you most excited about in the marketing world in general? We've got artificial intelligence taking over the planet and our LinkedIn feeds. There's still NFTs and Metaverse stuff floating around, events are back, what are you most excited about?

[00:43:43] Bryan Law: So, yeah, a few, a, a few different things, so, one of them and it's, it's more related to what ZoomInfo does. I feel like they're, you know, over the decade, whatnot, there, there's been this, like, massive explosion in technology, and so, there's so many different point solutions and certainly what I've experienced and what we've seen from a research perspective is that people buy technology and don't actually integrate them.

[00:44:03] And so, it becomes not very usable. And so, we're starting to see a collapse across tech categories cross sales and marketing which I think will make us way more effective. So, I think that's a lot of fun, the ChatGPT thing I think is, is really quite interesting. We use it for our own marketing materials.

[00:44:19] I think there's a whole bunch of hype in terms of, "We're putting it into our products," like, different companies saying that, that hasn't fully been realized yet, but I think the potential is really, really exciting, and then personally, something I just really, really love is, I love how our brains work and translating that into marketing and I think there's more and more research that's coming out along those lines,

[00:44:37] that I think, it's fascinating. I mentioned Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, the neuroscience initiative at, at Wharton, also has some great research that, that they do as well, but I think the more that we really understand, like, what makes us tick and then how do you market to that is fun. And so, I, yeah, I love reading that space,

[00:44:53] I love learning about what is and isn't working and then I love being able to, to try it out.

[00:44:58] Daniel Weiner: What keeps you up at night from a marketing or business standpoint?

[00:45:02] Bryan Law: Yeah, I certainly, for us right now, 'cause we're gonna be launching in this big brand campaign is, you know, is it gonna, is it gonna work? It's a big investment. It's gonna be the first time that we're gonna be doing it. So, that's something that's very, very top-of-mind for me. And then, just the, there's a lot with sort of the economic changes, and there's also a decent amount of research that shows it's companies that make pivotal changes during downturns that tend to outperform their peers.

[00:45:25] This is, like, really a critical time, not just to sort of cut your budgets, but really to think about how am I gonna outperform and are we doing enough to take advantage of that? So, I think that's something that I'm trying to, to constantly think about and, and push myself in the team.

[00:45:38] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I hope brands remember what happened during Covid as well, 'cause again, it's easier for me to say when it's not my own money or budget or team and stuff, but, like, there you have to figure out a way to market through this stuff and, and do stuff and invest and do any, anything is better than nothing, but, like, you cannot just blanket cut, which unfortunately I still hear from brands every day that, "We've cut budget here, we've cut budget there.

[00:45:59] We're in a holding pattern. We're not doing anything." Which, it seems history has repeated.

[00:46:04] Bryan Law: Yeah, and it was actually, we'd been doing some sessions with Bain talking to, to CMOs and CROs about some of their research and I like the way that they framed it, which is the things that companies do wrong in a downturn. So, one is sort of burn the furniture. So, you cut your sale, your sales team, you cut your marketing budget.

[00:46:19] The second one is you sort of lose the plot. You're not really sure what's gonna work until you throw everything up on the dart board and you hope something's gonna work. And then, the third one is you, you get frozen and, and you actually don't make any decisions, and I think companies run the risk, you know, potentially in all three of those.

[00:46:32] And so, it's, I think it's really important to say, like, what are the things we're gonna double down on? What are we gonna invest in, even if you have to cut from elsewhere to make those investments, but then be really intentional and try and sort of make progress on, on those areas. So, certainly try to do that.

[00:46:44] Dunno that we always do it well but try to.

[00:46:47] Daniel Weiner: Don't burn the furniture. We'll, rapid fire, a couple fun ones to finish up. What was your very, very, very first job?

[00:46:53] Bryan Law: I worked in a, a bakery, it was called Stone Creek Market in, in Irvine.

[00:46:57] Daniel Weiner: Food service, everybody should have some food service experience in their life. You think it made you a better marketer or what you do now? Any, any commonalities?

[00:47:04] Bryan Law: It certainly made me less likely to eat dessert with all of this sugar that was around, but, yeah, I mean, you, you have to figure out sort of what's the, the, the best way to describe something and convey the interest plan. I know some of the things are a little bit older and you're trying to get those off the shelf.

[00:47:17] So, it was, it was definitely a, a good sort of, you know, customer interface and how to effectively communicate in a way that's gonna resonate.

[00:47:23] Daniel Weiner: What's your final meal, if you had to pick?

[00:47:26] Bryan Law: I would say a ribeye with, with cheesecake, which are two things that I don't eat anymore. So, that, that would be, yeah, just, just nice to be able to, to have those, have those more.

[00:47:36] Daniel Weiner: A huge ribeye enthusiast. My favorite and only cut of steak that I eat lately. Somebody who inspires you personally or professionally?

[00:47:44] Bryan Law: So, I'm originally from South Africa and Nelson Mandela was the sort of president there in the, in the early nineties, just an amazing, amazing man. He was imprisoned for a long time. Went through a lot when, that they were trying to gain freedom for sort of all South Africans and the way that he persevered, but importantly, the way that he really learned about his captors and how they, he learned offer cons to understand them better so that he could try to sort of shape their perception to me is a, is a really interesting way of thinking about just everything we do, but also to go through terrible times and come out so positive and trying to bring people together,

[00:48:16] anything we're doing from a work perspective, you know, that pales in comparison.

[00:48:20] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think, I often have to remind myself when I'm stressed of, like, that none of this truthfully matters, presumably, and, you know, there's much more important things to focus on. But, no, I appreciate your time. This was awesome. I would say, where can everybody find you? It's zoominfo.com. Do not email Bryan.

[00:48:35] He gets too many every day, but if they wanna look you up, we'll post your LinkedIn, which they should, they shouldn't send you any terrible messages there either, but I cannot guarantee that.

[00:48:43] Bryan Law: Yeah, but really, really appreciate the time. Thanks, Daniel.

[00:48:45] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, thanks for joining.