Revenue Rehab: It's like therapy, but for marketers
March 8, 2023

Building Trust: 3 Ways to Gain More Credibility With the C-suite

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Stacey Danheiser, the Founder and CMO at Shake Marketing Group. Stacey Danheiser is a seasoned marketing executive specializing in building go-to-market strategies and high-performing marketing teams for...

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Stacey Danheiser, the Founder and CMO at Shake Marketing Group.

Stacey Danheiser is a seasoned marketing executive specializing in building go-to-market strategies and high-performing marketing teams for scaling b2b organizations. Helping to transform over two dozen B2B enterprises from product pushers to customer-value led organizations, Stacey’s approach to grow revenue and profits through targeted, cohesive marketing and sales has led her clients to achieve 118% year over year revenue growth, Inc 5000 listings, over $200 million in closed sales, 90% marketing team retention, customer ‘sweet spot’ growth of 207% year over year.

Stacey runs Soar Marketing Society, a B2B marketing community & mentorship program to help B2B marketers build more credibility with the C-suite. Through customized guidance and training, she helps her students learn how to build customer-focused strategies that drive results. Stacey has also appeared as a guest speaker at various in-person and virtual events led by the Business Marketing Association, University of Colorado LEEDS alumni, Hays, Jack Welch Management Institute, and >30 marketing and business podcasts.

As co-author of two marketing books covering marketing and sales alignment, customer value propositions, and how to develop high-performing marketing teams, Stacey has further contributed her advice to Forrester Research and has written numerous articles for The Journal of Sales Transformation and the ISMM publication Winning Edge. 

In this week’s episode of Revenue Rehab, join Brandi and Stacey on the couch as they guide CMOs to greater success through their discussion on Building Trust: 3 Ways to Gain More Credibility With the C-suite.

Bullet Points of Key Topics + Chapter Markers:

  • Topic #1 Point One: Internal Marketing [11:53] What is not discussed very often in marketing roles “is the reality of doing internal marketing” says Stacey, “and how much time and energy and effort really needs to be put into building relationships with your key stakeholders”.  Stacey notes how a recent Deloitte study reported that only 46% of the C-suite said that the CMO should own the Marketing plan, which is one reason why she cites this internal investigation and marketing exercise is so important.
  • Topic #2 Point Two: Knowing Your Customer [19:53] The CEO and the rest of the C-suite want Marketing to come to the table with the best understanding of the customer, Stacey notes.  However, typically, the marketing department doesn’t budget for customer research, as it usually isn’t owned by Marketing, but it is a critical piece to gaining more credibility with the C-suite.
  • Topic #3 Point Three: Knowing the Business [25:55] “So there is another stat that I saw,” Stacey shares, “[that] less than 40% of marketers create goals that align with business objectives”.  That is problematic when looking to build credibility with your CEO, not to mention creating a successful marketing campaign.  Learning what the business is trying to achieve is essential.

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Stacey’s one thing is a scorecard she’s created called the Confident Marketer Scorecard (linked below). The scorecard covers the four key areas of Marketing success: Mindset & Competencies, Planning, Execution and Leadership. Use it to find out how you score on high-performance marketing indicators and increase your ability to build impactful and confident marketing strategies in the digital era.

Buzzword Banishment:

Stacey’s Buzzword to Banish is ‘transformation’. “We actually did some research into the sea of sameness” says Stacey. “We studied a few different industries and looked at what are the most overused words when it comes to communicating value. And ‘transformation’ was at the top”, she shares.  It’s gotten to the point where it is so overused that it is just skimmed over at this point.


Get in touch with Stacey Danheiser on:

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Intro VO  00:07

Welcome to revenue rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita Brandi Starr

Brandi Starr  00:35

Hello Hello Hello and welcome to another episode of revenue rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr and we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Stacey Danheiser. Stacey is the founder of shake marketing group and a seasoned marketing executive specializing in building go to market strategies and high performing marketing teams for scaling b2b organizations. She has helped transform over two dozen b2b enterprises, from product pushers to customer value led organizations. Her approach to grow revenue and profits through targeted cohesive marketing and sales has led her clients to achieve 118% year over year revenue growth, Inc 5000 listings over 200 million and close sales 90% marketing team retention customer sweet spot growth of 207% year over year. Stacy also runs soar marketing society, a b2b marketing community and mentorship program. To help b2b marketers build more credibility with the C suite. She is the co author of two marketing books covering marketing and sales alignment, customer value customer value propositions, and how to develop high performing marketing teams. Stacey Welcome to revenue rehab, your session begins now.

Stacey Danheiser  02:03

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited about our chat today.

Brandi Starr  02:07

Yes, I'm excited to have you and your resume is definitely super impressive. So I think our listeners are really going to enjoy our time on the couch. But before we jump into that, I like to break the ice with a little wolf saw moments that I call buzzword. banishment. So what buzzword would you like to get rid of forever?

Stacey Danheiser  02:34

I would have to say, transformation is on the top of my list. We actually did some research into the sea of sameness. We studied a few different industries and looked at what are the most overused words when it comes to communicating value. And transformation was at the top and specifically around, you know, digital transformation and the evolution from kind of pushing everything online. It's just now gotten to the point where it's so overused that we kind of all skim over it. We don't even read it anymore. And so that would be probably at the top of my list. Yeah, I'm

Brandi Starr  03:15

with you there. I remember at one point, it was productivity and efficiency, like those were the two things that everything improved productivity and improved efficiency. And now everything is all about transformation. And it is, you know, it is it is truly a buzzword, where it just kind of gets thrown in there. And it's like, well, what does that really mean?

Stacey Danheiser  03:38

Yes, exactly. Awesome.

Brandi Starr  03:41

Well, now that we've gotten that off our chest, we will not have any transformations today. Yeah. Tell me what brings you to revenue rehab today?

Stacey Danheiser  03:52

Yes, so I am really noticing a a problem. When I talked to marketing leaders and CMOS, about kind of two sides of the coin. I talked to a lot of CEOs and Chief Revenue officers that really want to believe in their marketing teams. And they want their marketing teams to have more influence in the organization internally. But there's a stat I think it was from boathouse that said, you know, 86% of CEOs believe that CMOS have the power to influence key decisions in the C suite, but only 34% Have confidence in their CMOS. And so I want to talk about this issue today about how to build confidence and credibility as a marketing leader. And really bridge the gap. You know, CEOs are saying they want it marketing leaders are saying they want it but for some reason this gap still exists.

Brandi Starr  04:49

Awesome. And so before we dive into it, I believe in setting intentions. It gives us focus it gives us purpose and most important, it helps our listeners know what they should act Fact, from our discussion today. So what is your intention? What would you like people to take away from our conversation?

Stacey Danheiser  05:08

Yeah, I'm going to cover, you know, three key shifts that marketing leaders can make today to start moving the needle to gain confidence and credibility. And, you know, the, I guess the number one intention that I would have is that this is something that you can own, it is not something that you have to wait for your leadership to come and tap you on the shoulder to focus on but that you actually have the power today to start making inroads to to improve the influence and credibility.

Brandi Starr  05:40

Awesome. So my first question is, I think you hit on something that comes up a lot, that is a little baffling, which is the fact that there's not a gap and what the desire is, because marketing leaders, I consistently hear people talk about the fight for the seat at the table, how do we make sure that we're, you know, speaking the language of business, and you know, all these things, it's like, we want the influence, we know that we have the right information and insight to influence our organizations. What I'm hearing you say is that CEOs want that from marketing. So why why is there why does the gap even exists? Like, if we both want the same things, you know, it's almost like magically, it should just happen. So why why is the problem persistent?

Stacey Danheiser  06:34

Yeah, I think there's a couple couple of reasons. The first, I mean, so my background, I worked at several different fortune 500 companies, and continue to work with large b2b organizations, as well as kind of those that are in the scaling phase. And what I find is that, and this, there's a stat, I think out there as well, that very few of these leaders have a marketing background. So they are trained as engineers, they're trained as finance professionals, they are brought up in a different world learning a different process, and a different way of looking at things that marketers by the way, are not trained on. So automatically, you have this disconnect, because we have different thought worlds and different perspectives. And so that leads to a miscommunication often with the business and the you know, the CEO relying on the finance people, I mean, they have the tightest relationship is really between the CEO and the CFO. And then marketing comes in dropping all of this jargon, and starting to talk about brand narrative and brand purpose and value propositions and messaging and positioning and brand essence and ABM and content. And none of that is language that the CEO or the CFO is used to hearing, nor are they versed in it. So like the dictionary, in other words, is, is completely different. So I think those are kind of the two the two big worlds or perspectives to understand is marketers and and the C suite are really not talking the same language, if you boil it down.

Brandi Starr  08:19

Okay, and I know like this conversation has come up a couple of times, just both in the podcast as well as just in some of my one on one conversations. And, you know, others have said that it is almost a learning gap. So, for example, in episode nine, I talked to Adam new Waterson and he was talking about, you know, uncoupling from marketing and moving, you know, his journey and moving into product engineering, so that he could learn some of those things that were a gap. I've heard others talk about, you know, continuing education opportunities to make sure that you, you know, speak the language of the CFO, and, you know, get some of the other insights around product management and finance and investing and things that may be a gap for those that have come up through the traditional marketing ranks. So why, you know, and I hear you that it's, it's confidence and credibility. So I almost challenge you to say, why is it not education and exposure?

Stacey Danheiser  09:31

Yeah, I think what I'm hearing and when I talk with marketing leaders today, they are being questioned so much. And this Potentially, yes, one of the reasons is a learning gap. There. You know, there's there's generally kind of three areas that I tell folks to focus on when this is happening. But over time, what happens is if you're constantly questioned and questioned and questioned and questioned, it starts to kind of chip away at your confidence and what I'm hearing from people is Yeah, that's That's me. I'm in that situation I've now been, I've been questioned so much that I'm, I don't even know if I'm recommending the right things. And now I have people questioning me, I can't defend it. And so I think it's it's basically, education is step one. But then what happens if you don't do that? Or if you don't have the support, then over time, it leads to a confidence crisis almost.

Brandi Starr  10:25

Yeah. And I think you hit on a really good point. And that's really what I wanted to dig into and uncover. Because I can think way, way back before I was in a leadership role, you know, my first time presenting to the C suite. You know, I think I was just a marketing manager at that point. But I had an initiative and I was asked to present it. And I thought I did amazing, like, I had my slides, I had my numbers, like, I thought I just did the damn thing. And then at the end, I think it was the CFO, I can't remember at this point just goes. I mean, so what is this, any of this actually mean for us, and it very much was this Walmart wall was crushed. And, you know, the takeaway, like I, you know, had some conversations with my VP after that, and that's where she kind of gave me you know, more insight on to how to prepare for those discussions and what they care about. And so I do you know, that one experience, so many, many moons ago, has stuck with me. And I am far more conscious, just because of that one thing. And of course, I've learned, you know, so much more over the years, but I am conscious of like, what are they going to think? Am I answering the right questions? So I do see where you're going with the confidence and credibility and how some of those experiences can really leave people shook.

Stacey Danheiser  11:53

Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think the other piece too, you know, that we don't talk about very often in in marketing roles is the reality of doing internal marketing, and how much time and energy and effort really needs to be put into building relationships with your key stakeholders, understanding what everybody wants on the C suite, and kind of playing that, you know, orchestrator role. And, you know, generally, this is never listed in the job description, the collaboration and the buy in and the amount of time that is required to build internal relationships. But that's, that's really kind of the key part of the role. And I've seen, you know, many people work themselves out of a job, because they stopped focusing on that. And they thought that, you know, the results speak for themselves. And the problem is, and I don't know if this happens in other departments, but I see it mostly in, in marketing, and maybe HR a little bit where it's just a sea of opinions. And there's got to be somebody that steps up and says, Nope, we have a process, we have a plan, this is what we're going to go through. And here's what good looks like and really setting the vision. And I think that piece is missing right now, in a lot of organizations, that marketing is not owning the vision. And therefore, other people in the C suite feel like they need to come up with the vision. And, you know, there was a, there was a report, and I was trying to find it on my desktop, and I can't find it. But it was a Deloitte study and stat that said, the question was, who owns the marketing plan? And who's responsible for building the marketing plan? And you know, only 46% of the C suite said that it was the CMO. I mean, marketing is Chief Marketing Officer and only 46% of the C suite thinks that marketing should own the marketing plan. I mean, something is clearly right. And so that's kind of that brings me to actually point number one in, you know, what I encourage people to do, which is really some internal sort of investigation on what your organization thinks the role of marketing is. And I learned this a little bit the hard way, you know, I came I grew up in consumer marketing. Where there was there was, we were not question we had very big budgets I worked for, for large organizations, multi million dollars, we were doing sponsorships and TV ads. And, you know, we sponsored NASCAR and the Olympics and marketing was sales. We put money into marketing and branding. And then we got sales. There was no separate sales department. So when I switched over to b2b, all of a sudden, it's marketing with this tiny little budget. And then we had this sales organization who was really responsible for driving sales over the finish line. And so I had to learn, you know, how to work with with that function. And I came in and very quickly realize that the sales organization basically thought of marketing as event planners, marketing does events. We have this whole entire calendar of events and here's the things that we want to you know, golf sponsorships and other trade shows and things like that. it. And, you know, meanwhile, I was like, Wait, marketing is not just events marketing is so but it took me some time to set the vision and to share with them that marketing is more than events. But it was a very useful exercise. And, and we I still go through this a lot today when I do evaluations and assessments for companies in the marketing team, I always ask the C suite, what do you think the role of marketing is, because perception is reality. And that is what you have to work with. And so if they say, well, marketing is there to generate leads, or marketing is there to put events together or marketing is there to ship out collateral? You know, it just depending on the industry, people have a different lens that they're viewing marketing through. So that's, that's kind of always a good starting point is to see what you're working with. And to, and then I always write this down, because that's the language then that I want to feed back to them. That's what they view the department as, and then now we're, we're talking the same language, marketing is there to tap into what the customers value and to help us communicate and grow our business Great. That becomes really the sort of mantra or mission for the marketing organization versus filling it with a whole bunch of, you know, jargon, which is what a lot of marketing teams do today.

Brandi Starr  16:19

Yeah, and I love that as a starting point. Because if you think about an any situation, if two people or in business, a group of people go into a situation with a different vision of what good looks like, or what we're trying to accomplish, it's like you've started off at a conflict, you know, from the beginning. And I use a lot of dating analogies, especially because, you know, this is a play on therapy. And one of the things I thought about, or one of the things that I learned was, there was an example of a husband and wife that, you know, got married, and immediately had all this friction when they moved in together. And it was a situation where the wife was like, Hey, honey, there's a link, a leak in the kitchen sink, and the husband calls plumber, plumber comes out the next day fixes the kitchen sink, husband feels like, okay, you know, mission accomplished, job well done, wife is annoyed. And he doesn't understand why the wife is annoyed. Because from her perspective, it was a husband's job to fix it, she expected him to go to the garage and grab a wrench and get up under the sink and make it work. And he's like, you know, that's not my skill. He grew up in a house where the dad made sure things were taken care of, but wasn't the one to do them. And so it was like this conflict on what is the role of a husband, when it comes to maintaining the house caused friction in a marriage, because they did not agree. And so it's really what I'm hearing from you, the same sort of thing is that the head of marketing, and the C suite, need to be clear about what their expectations are of the role of marketing, so that they're starting on a level playing field.

Stacey Danheiser  18:08

Yeah. And I have found that, exactly, I love that analogy. And I found that, you know, I've been asked to review job descriptions. And I don't think that is a good gauge for how somebody views the role. A lot of these job descriptions seem to be, you know, somebody went to Google typed in, you know, CMO or VP of marketing, and copy and pasted a whole bunch of bullet points together and put it into one job description. And then what happens. And that's usually what happens. And if you were to peel back, the onion a little bit on, like, what each of those bullet points mean, that I don't think the company could really defend or ask, so I don't, you know, some people I've heard, hey, I read the job description, this is perfect. This is exactly meant for me. And then I got into the organization. And all of a sudden, culturally, we're not aligned. And everybody has a different vision of marketing and what we should be doing. And now I'm just frustrated. And I just, I don't think job descriptions are currently set up to, you know, capture all of that, and how the culture views marketing and the role of marketing in the organization. So that's why I like to do this as an exercise. It's something that you can do right now. Or you can even do like a quick little survey. Hey, I'm planning for the year. And what a quick question for everybody anonymously. Can you guys answer this one question? What do you believe the role of marketing is in our organization? We're coming up with a new mission. And just to see what you get back, what do you think marketing is responsible for? And so I think it's just a good a good place so that you you know what you're working with, because you can't change anybody's minds if you don't know what they believe in the first place.

Brandi Starr  19:53

Awesome. So point number one is the internal investigation. Give us number two.

Stacey Danheiser  19:59

Okay. Number two is about knowing your customer. So this one, you know, seems obvious. And I, we talk a lot about this, but the CEO and the rest of the C suite want marketing to come to the table with the best understanding of the customer and the most insights of the customer. Now, what I'm finding because I've been doing some research with with a scorecard that I created, as well as just my client client work is that very rarely do marketing departments, especially in b2b budget for any customer research, they don't really own customer research, and they don't budget for customer research. And their and their employees are typically not talking to customers. So that begs the question, well, then how are they learning about the customers? Well, they're getting, you know, secondhand information from either the customer success team, that's usually kind of on the operation side, or complaints kind of post, post customer, or from the sales organization. But keep in mind that these are generally fragmented pieces of information that are coming across, not necessarily a holistic view of what's happening in the customer's world. So it's a piece that, you know, at minimum, cuz I, at minimum, I believe companies should be budgeting for real customer research, that is a formal process that is a is led by a neutral party that is not seen as you know, the cause. Because the problem with if you try to run this in house as a formal project, sometimes people view it as coming with a whole bunch of biases, and that you're here to throw the sales team out of the bus or throw the customer success team under the bus. And so by outsourcing it to kind of a neutral third party, you kind of remove that, that piece of the puzzle, and that somebody is just presenting information back to the business and how to make decisions based on that. So that piece, though, is you know, very rarely I find that marketers get very stuck in, and you can even see it now that how roles are designed. There's a lot of specialization in the marketing function, right? There's marketing operations, and there's all of the digital pieces, somebody that just does social media, just as website or just as copywriting or just as creative development. And what you don't really have unless the organization is larger, and then we're starting to see this a little bit more with some, some really big global organizations, where they're starting to come back to the customer focus, which is okay, now we have a head of marketing for financial services segment, we have a head of marketing for the healthcare segment, we have a head of marketing for, you know, the various customer segments at their serve, because the whole purpose is to get smarter and better and more relevant to that customer group. And so marketers that are, you know, brand new in their career, or are so specialized in a tactic are missing the big picture, which is, what is what do our customers think? And how do we bring this insight back to the business and make decisions based on that?

Brandi Starr  23:15

Okay, and so just connecting this back to the confidence and credibility in the C suite, what I'm hearing is when you as the head of marketing, know your customer, and like, you know, the word know, in like capital letters, when you really know your customer, that is going to lead to more confidence in speaking about what the plan should look like, and how marketing should be run to support that customer. And the credibility like I want to make sure that we connect

Stacey Danheiser  23:49

that well, what it what it actually does, yeah, so So some number one, it gets you invited to those strategic conversations, because now you are seen as the authority and the voice of what is happening with our customer base. Nobody else around the table right now, who do they rely on for that? Generally, the sales team, but that is a very short term view of what's happening this month or this quarter. So this, the sales team can say, well, here's what's happening. And here's the top five deals, and this one fell through and this one is on, you know, hinging on the edge or whatever. So you have sort of that short term view. But if you have marketing, who is now looking at sort of the long term view, here's what's happening in the market. Here's what's happening in the industry. Here's what's happening with our top customer segments. Here's what's happening with we said we want to grow in financial services segment, let me tell you what's happening in the financial services segment. This is how I think our business can be relevant to the financial services industry right now. That is what I'm talking about. All of a sudden, everybody kind of leans in because they're interested. Nobody else is presenting that level of detail and information and insights about the customer base and that's what the business wants. The business wants. A guarantee. Right? or a collective decision making capability to say we understand where the markets going, we understand what customers want, we understand what the issues and challenges are. And we're excited because we have an opportunity to solve those, those issues and problems. And it's just a different lens that, you know, marketers, I think, get, I have like a nine step framework, it's step eight is execute. And everybody seems to want to start at step eight, let's execute. And this is taking a step back saying, Nope, we're not just and so what happens, you know, in a board meeting, or a stakeholder meeting is that marketing comes in and they're just presenting on execution. Here's the five campaigns are running, here's how we're doing, here's our customer acquisition cost. And that's a very execution oriented view of, of marketing versus sort of that bigger picture of strategy and how this connects back to the business.

Brandi Starr  25:55

Awesome. So I want to hear point number three, you got me on the edge of my seat? Got internal investigation, no, our customer, and number three.

Stacey Danheiser  26:05

Okay, so number three, which, which we kind of you alluded to at the beginning, but it goes to, it's about knowing the business. So there is a another stat that I saw, and I think, who came up with this one operational marketing index was the source of this, less than 40% of marketers create goals that align with business objectives. So if you think about that from a stamp, it's for a second, why I don't, you know, confusing to me that marketing has their own separate goals from the business. But also, it tells me that maybe marketing just doesn't understand the business, and that they don't really understand what the business is trying to achieve. And so, you know, this is something that I recommend, this is kind of going back to that education piece, either taking a class about how to read financial statements, or sitting down with the finance people and building a dashboard together. But really, the things that you want to understand are, you know, what are the revenue targets for the organization? And how are those broken down and measured? Is it by month? Is it by quarter is it by year, by segment by geography, like really getting by product line, that is what's driving the business, that's how the business is being measured. So marketing absolutely needs to know these. Now, in my experience, working with marketers, and salespeople, sales can rattle these off the top of their head, they know exactly what they're trying to achieve. And it's like their driving force. Marketers, when you ask this question, it's a, I gotta get back to you on that, I have no idea, I think it's a slide somewhere buried in my email. And so it's, it's making that top of mind because that is the goal of the business. And that's pretty much what you need to also be aligned to. The next piece about the business is understanding who the top competitors are, and really getting a clear understanding of who the company perceives to be competitors. And what, how the company perceives the them to be different or better, themselves to be different or better. So again, this is an alignment thing, because I find that most companies don't, they cannot agree on this, you ask six different people, and they're all gonna say six different things. So marketing as kind of owning that piece that that is always sort of Top of Mind. The third is around which customers are the most profitable, and why. And this is something that is really interesting, because I, I worked in an organization where we had, we went through eight or nine company acquisitions while I was there, so we kept inheriting all of these different customers. And on the surface, you could say, Wow, we have a lot of customers, this looks great. But really, there was a very few that were a highly profitable customer segment, because the cost to serve some of these are so expensive, they called multiple times a day, they needed a lot of help and assistance, and we weren't getting enough money really to justify that cost. So not sometimes people look at Oh, well we have, you know, 25 customers, and they're all profitable, and that's just not going to be the case. So it's diving deeper into the data to understand what which customers buy the most from you. how long they've been a customer with you. And and what characteristics do they have? Is it potentially geography related or industry related or maybe company stage related? This starts to get into customer segmentation, and really educating kind of yourselves on on that piece so that like, as an example, I see a lot of marketing teams say, Well, we're trying to get X number of leads. That's my job. My job is to get leads. But meanwhile, they're leaving money on the table with their existing customer base because they're only buying One out of the 10 products that they serve, they sell, they sell. And so it's just it's a little bit kind of looking through a more strategic lens about customer profitability. And then finally, how does the company make money? So can you answer that question? How does your company make money and, and learning like, for example, one, one company that I worked with, you know, we had, there was two metrics that were the most important. One was sales, what was sold in the in the quarter, but then the second was revenue, because the our implementation period was, you know, 12 months. And so we weren't getting any revenue, we might have sold something, but we weren't getting the revenue until 12 months later. And so there was always this lag. And those were two different metrics, and two different things that we had to be considerate of, you know, when when building marketing plans. So that that is sort of the final piece. And And what's interesting when I've asked this question, Hey, do you have a marketing plan? Most people say somewhat or No, like it's split more majority are either in the somewhat or no bucket only 47% Say, Yes, we have a marketing plan. And what's interesting about that is the then I asked him a follow up question, do you have enough resources to execute your marketing plan. And like 99%, of marketing leaders say, No, we don't have enough resources. But to me, there's a misalignment here, because you're building the marketing plan, of which execution is one of those pieces to consider. So if the if you don't have enough resources to execute your marketing plan, then something's off in the marketing plan that you built, that you need to go back and make sure that it's aligned to the top business priorities.

Brandi Starr  31:48

But then, isn't that part a little bit of a catch 22. Because if I think about where I have built marketing plans, and you know, as a consultant, I get involved in supporting my clients and building their plans. In many cases, the plan has to support a certain output. So you know, if marketing needs to originate or influence a certain amount of revenue, or a certain velocity, like whatever those business objectives are, the plan has to be built in a way that supports achieving that. Yep, which is independent of the resources required, because, you know, thinking about it, like I could build a plan that we could 100% with confidence, you know, with just a little bit of stretch, be able to execute with the resources available, but that may or may not lead to the business objectives. So it's almost like, do you build your plan to the objectives? Or do you build your plan to the resources, making the assumption that you can't get more resources? I mean, obviously, ideally, you know, the plan, and you filled the gap in, in your resources. But that's not always an option. And, you know, in our current economic condition for most people, not a reality right now. So, it you know, it's I know, this is just a little bit off topic, but just really made me think about it, that it is a little bit of a catch 22.

Stacey Danheiser  33:26

Yeah, I mean, I think there's different, I like to provide options when looking at plans to say, here's what we can do today, with the resources we have, you know, we're doing all the things in house, or we're, you know, if there's, this is all sort of within a retainer for the agency. And here's what we can handle, if we want to spend a little bit more money. Here's what this kind of part two looks like, we can add on these other things. And the business does not know that, by the way, they they assumed that the plan that's being presented is 100% executable with the resources because you're not asking for any additional resources. And so I think that's the piece that I have seen, like, when I when I look at marketing plan, I'm like, well, was this like a wish? Some of it looks like a wish list. So wish list of things that you want to do versus the reality. Here's our reality, we can do this, our wish list is this. But that's going to require, you know, two additional headcount or X, number of dollars for freelancers or whatever. And it's, I think it's really up to the marketing leader to present that in a way that the business then can make a decision. You know, are we are we staying with our current situation? And if so, don't add on? Because otherwise the expectation is, yeah, that stuff that you put on the wish list that looks good, let's do that. Oh, can I get extra money or people know, they can. But there's this there's a miscommunication I think with with how it's being presented.

Brandi Starr  34:55

Okay. And so my last question for you is, if we nailed these three things. So we do our internal investigation, we get aligned on the role of marketing, we really know our customer, we really know our business, what is the outcome, paint the picture for me of what the future looks like, when a marketing leader is able to accomplish these things?

Stacey Danheiser  35:19

Yeah, so the first is really being in control of what marketing is working on. And, and being able to confidently say no to the pet projects, or ideas of the day, that are coming your way, whether that's from the sales team, or whether that's from the CEO. And so, you know, by by having a, a plan that is aligned to the business that is agreed upon, then and that, and that you know, how you're going to measure and report it back, all of a sudden, you know, that becomes sort of your guiding your guiding lights. Now, what I typically advise is that people bake about 80% of this and leave about 20%, to experiment and to try new things and, you know, be able to adjust to the changing climate, because we don't know what's going to happen this year, we go into fear and, and things could fall apart after six months, which you're going to make some shifts. But in general, you know, I've always sort of been in the quality over quantity bucket when it comes to marketing. And what the result then is, is that people are not bogged down in their jobs, they are excited to come to work. And they're they're excited to be there and work on initiatives that are going to drive the business forward versus chaotic, trying to get things done working all hours of the night to meet some arbitrary deadline that somebody says, for some reason. And so I think that's that to me, and I have personally shift me that that shift with teams that I have overseen, because it was where the previous, the previous mantra was more about quantity of activity, which we just want to show how busy we are, and how much stuff we're doing and all this great, these great things that we're doing. versus, you know, half of these are not impactful. And by the way, the team is on the edge of burnout and going to quit. And so you know, that to me is sort of the magical formula is that people want to be there. They're excited with what they're working on. And by the way, what you're working on is is meaning meaningful and impactful for the business. And that you are now then as a result, invited to participate in these strategic conversations and, you know, working within your wheelhouse of what you were meant to do as a marketing leader.

Brandi Starr  37:45

Awesome. And talking about our challenges is just the first step. And nothing changes, if nothing changes. So I you know, in traditional therapy, the therapist will give the client some homework, but here at revenue rehab, we like to flip that on its head and ask you to give us some homework. So I always like to ask our guests to give us that one thing. What's our one action item? If we are trying to move in the direction of gaining more confidence and credibility with the C suite? What's our first step?

Stacey Danheiser  38:18

Yes, so I have created a scorecard called the confident marketing team scorecard because I believe, you know, first step is awareness. What? How are you currently performing? And what and if you realistically assess your team, What score would you give them? And you can also this is a link, it's online, you can also share this with your, with your stakeholders, if you feel comfortable kind of getting their opinion as well, how do they perceive the marketing team? Because I think that will identify gaps and what you should focus on because everybody's going to be different, right? Some people are going to be really great at certain aspects and then need to dive deeper into others. And so that the purpose of the scorecard is to really just help illuminate Where do you specifically have gaps so that you can start to make adjustments and improvements. They're

Brandi Starr  39:11

awesome. And I can say I was a beta tester for the scorecard. And I can vouch that it is good stuff. And so we'll make sure to put the link to that scorecard in the show notes. So wherever you are listening, check out the details, and we'll have a link there for you. Because I do think it is a great starting point of just being able to give yourself some insights. And I'm always a sucker for a good tool in you know, and the quizzes that that helped to give you something meaningful, so we'll definitely share that as well.

Stacey Danheiser  39:49

Thank you.

Brandi Starr  39:51

And for those listening. Once you finish this discussion, I definitely encourage you to go back to Episode 46 where I talked to KIPP Night. And Kip also shared some similar statistics and sentiments around the CEOs perception of marketing, and how to improve in this area. So if you haven't already listened to 46 That's a good secondary next step after listening to my discussion with Stacey today. Well, Stacey, I have enjoyed our discussion. But that's our time for today. But before we go, tell us how can our audience connect with you?

Stacey Danheiser  40:35

Yes, so I am on LinkedIn Stacy, Dan Heiser, pretty active there would love to connect with you. I also if you're in b2b marketing, I run a community called soar marketing society. It's free for b2b marketers to join. And then also my website is shake MKTG. I've been

Brandi Starr  40:57

Awesome. So we will put the links to those things in the show notes as well, so that everyone can stay connected with Stacy. Will. Stacy, thank you so much for joining me today.

Stacey Danheiser  41:09

Yes, thank you for having me. I appreciate. Awesome.

Brandi Starr  41:13

And thank everyone for joining us today. I hope that you have enjoyed my conversation with Stacey. I can't believe we're already at the end. See you next time. Bye.

Outro VO  41:25

You've been listening to Reverend rehab with your host brandy star. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at revenue we have dot live. We're also on Twitter and Instagram at revenue rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.



Stacey DanheiserProfile Photo

Stacey Danheiser

Founder and CMO

Stacey Danheiser is the founder of Shake Marketing Group, and a seasoned marketing executive specializing in building go-to-market strategies and high-performing marketing teams for scaling b2b organizations.
She has helped transform over two dozen B2B enterprises from product pushers to customer-value led organizations. Her approach to grow revenue and profits through targeted, cohesive marketing and sales has led her clients to achieve 118% YoY revenue growth, Inc 5000 listings, over $200 million in closed sales, 90% marketing team retention, customer ‘sweet spot’ growth of 207% YoY.
Prior to consulting, Stacey led marketing for several Fortune 500 companies across the cable, telecom and financial services industries. She’s held leadership positions in all areas of marketing - from go-to-market strategy to field execution, delivering unprecedented, multi-million dollar growth in sales and revenue.

Stacey runs Soar Marketing Society, a b2b marketing community & mentorship program to help b2b marketers build more credibility with the C-suite. Through customized guidance and training, she helps her students learn how to build customer-focused strategies that drive results.

Stacey is the co-author of two marketing books covering marketing and sales alignment, customer value propositions, and how to develop high-performing marketing teams. She has contributed her advice to Forrester Research and has written numerous articles for The Journal of Sales Transformation and the ISMM publication Winning Edge. Stacey has also appeared as a guest speaker at various in-person and virtual events led by the Business Marketing Association, University of Colorado LEEDS alumni, Hays, Jack Welch Management Institute, and >30 marketing and business podcasts.