Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More with Pam! I have a very, very special guest today, Bernie Borges.
Bernie is a Vice President of Global Content Marketing at iQor, content marketing strategist, and co-founder at Vengreso. Also, he was the host of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with 300 episodes published.
Today we talk about account-based podcasting and why businesses need it.
In this episode:
- What is account-based podcasting?
- What is the process for an ABM podcast?
- Is there such thing as a perfect frequency of podcast episodes, and what are some of the biggest takeaways from doing an ABM podcast?
- What are the sales and marketing benefits of the ABM podcasting approach?
- How can businesses use their strategy and goals for more successful podcasting?
- Two schools of podcasting postproduction, what are the recommendations in terms of editing a podcast?
- how to measure the success of ABM podcasting?
- Future trends and the next generation of podcasts and podcasting.
- Pros and cons of building presence using a third-party platform
Quotes from the episode:
“If someone is trying to get it [podcast] off the ground, or they’re not quite sure where it’s going, take some time to think about what do you want to achieve with your podcast? And then just put a plan around that and ask people what they want, then filter that advice.”
“In the context of account-based podcasting, the way that we measure success is, are we building relationships? So we’re measuring success by how many opportunities are we creating as a result of our podcast?”
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My guest today is Bernie Borges. I have known him for a little while, and he’s a fantastic MC, a co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of an agency called Vengreso. He also has a long-running podcast, Modern Marketing Engine. So have a listen on your favorite listening platform.
Bernie Borges: Pam. I am thrilled to be here. Thank you so much for having me. It’s so good to be with you.
Pam Didner: Yeah. And today, we’re going to talk about podcasting, and you have a specific term. I want to get to know a little, a little bit about that–Account-based podcasting. So, can you tell us how often you publish your episode and what are some of the biggest takeaways from doing your podcast?
Bernie Borges: ] First, if you don’t mind. I’ll answer the second question first because I want to lead it into the other part. So, um, really my, my biggest takeaways from being a podcaster now for about seven years is that, um, it’s a lot of work, Pam.
Pam Didner: I know. Tell me about it! I know!
Bernie Borges: I know you know. And so it’s a lot of work, so it takes commitment, but, more than anything, and as a marketer–marketers know this–it takes a strategy. You’ve got to have a strategy, to begin with. So in my case, I’ll share my strategy with you, and I share how, how often we, uh, we publish.
I say we because it’s part of our company. So you introduced me as Chief Customer Officer at Vengreso, and we’re a B2B digital sales training company. We’re not an agency. We’re a training company. So we, we help, we work with B2B sales teams, and we train them on using omnichannel digital selling. So my podcast is one of two podcasts, the Modern Marketing Engine podcast. And then we have the Modern Selling Podcast.
So Pam, our strategy of Vengreso is we have one podcast—my marketing podcast–speaks to the marketing executive, which is one of the three stakeholders that we sell to is the marketing executive, right? Our Modern Selling Podcast addresses sellers and sales enablement, the other ICP, other ideal customer profiles that we target. Right?
Pam Didner: You are speaking about my favorite topic, sales enablement, and one of my favorite terms, ideal customer profile. Yes. Yes, we are talking (laughs).
Bernie Borges: So, again, back to your question, what’re your biggest takeaways. You’ve got to have a strategy. So my podcast is addressing the market. I interview marketers on their modern marketing journey, right. I am using my air quotes. And then our sales podcast, which I don’t host. That’s hosted by our CEO Mario Martinez, Jr. He’s interviewing sales leadership as a new leader. The strategy behind it, Pam, is we’re building relationships with marketers in target accounts. Right. And that’s, that’s my biggest takeaway is you’ve got to have that strategy, know what the purpose is of your podcast, and then stay focused on that strategy.
And then how often do I publish? I was mentioning off-air, used to be once a week, scaled it back to three times a month, just because, as I said, it is a lot of work, right?
Pam Didner: Yeah, because you made a very account-specific, so you probably are very selective in terms of your say, uh, guests. And then you’ll probably have to spend time working with your guests to determine the topic you want to talk about. And there is quite a bit of prep work that needs to happen. Even you do it three times a month, that’s still a lot.
Bernie Borges: Yeah. And in many cases, I’m interviewing CMOs and mid to large brands. So I asked them for a 30-minute preparation call. Right. And in that 30 minutes, I come prepared. I have a template outline that I go through, and I build the outline with that CMO in that call, just like we’re talking right now on a Zoom call. And then, at the end of that, I’ve got a document. I share it with my guests, and I get their buy-in on the outline we’ve built. And then, we schedule the actual podcast recording.
And that one I asked for one hour. Because the podcast recording will take 30 to 45 minutes, there’s no way that we can try to squeeze it into a 3- minute conversation.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I 100% agree with you when I schedule any kind of podcast interview, and I schedule about one hour as well, even though the podcast itself is less than 30 minutes, but I want to make sure I have a buffer time in between to make sure that we prep each other or, um, you know, there’s always glitches, and wifi is not working or whatnot. So you want to make sure that you have the buffer time.
Bernie Borges: The other thing, Pam, that I want to point out in terms of, you know, another big takeaway is that I am dedicated, and I think I can say with confidence that I deliver on this Pam and that is, I am dedicated to showcasing my guests thought leadership.
Pam Didner: Yeah.
Bernie Borges: I want them to shine, and I go out of my way first building the outline with them. And then, when I interview them, I don’t do a lot of talking. I interview them. I engage a little bit, but they’re doing most of the talking. Right. So I’m giving them an opportunity, a platform to showcase their thought leadership on a specific topic.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I take a different approach. Usually, mine is like, “Let’s have a conversation”, going back and forth, but I hear you. You have a completely different approach, and that works very well, especially for thought leaders. You want them to share their knowledge, their know-how, and you want your audience to soak in. So that makes perfect sense.
And, you know, I do 100% agree with you that the strategy is an important part of it. I know there’s a lot of people who are like, “Oh yeah, why don’t we start a podcast?” And they are just starting. And I think that if you don’t have a business goal in mind, and you are doing it as a side project or something that you are passionate about, that’s probably okay. But it’s very hard to sustain it. Would you agree? What if you don’t have a strategy or don’t have a specific goal associated with it?
Bernie Borges: Yeah. First of all, it’s okay to start a podcast without really knowing where you’re going to go with it. This is my second podcast, Pam, my first podcast had 49 episodes, and I had no strategy. I had a co-host, and all we did was just, you know, banter about digital marketing stuff–whatever we thought about that day, there was no strategy, and it was just for fun. There was no business plan behind it.
Pam Didner: But you did 49 of them. That’s pretty impressive!
Bernie Borges: You know what? Because we had fun with it. But there was no business strategy behind it. But what I learned from that was the importance of having the strategy behind the podcast. So that’s when I started this one, you know, I, I doubled down on that strategy. So to your question, you know, if someone is, is maybe trying to get it off the ground, or they’re not quite sure where it’s going, just take some time to think about, you know, what do you want to achieve with your podcast?
What are you strong and good at? What are you passionate about? And then just put a plan around that and ask people, what do they want and, you know, ask for advice and then filter that advice because sometimes you get good advice and sometimes not so good advice, but just listen to people on, you know, what might be a good direction for you to go.
And then, at some point, write it down, create the plan and then if you feel really good about that plan, just stick to it. It doesn’t mean you can never change it or tweak it or any of that. Right. Cause you know, we all tweak plans. But at least take some time, get some input from people and formulate a plan.
Again, what do you want to achieve with the podcast? If it’s an interview podcast, what are the types of people you want to interview? If you’re solo podcasts, what’s the topic that’s your wheelhouse and then just doubles down on, on a plan. That’s the advice.
Pam Didner: Eventually, it comes back. What do you want to accomplish? What is your objective? And what can the audience get out of it?
Another question I would like to ask you, and that there are two different schools I have heard in terms of the podcast. Some people say, don’t do any editing and just that to be, and be authentic. I’m actually at a school that I want to edit, and I want to make it succinct. And I want to have an intro and outro. I want to make it sound professional.
Do you have a specific preference, or do you have any recommendations in terms of which one should go with?
Bernie Borges: Okay. I do have a preference for editing and for having an intro. I have a preference for it to be a professional audio experience. And the reason is, well, again, back to your strategy, right? If your strategy is to be it, just have fun with it, and you don’t care, then, don’t, if you don’t want to do that.
But the reason is that there are so many podcasts out there now I don’t even know what the number is. I don’t even know, but there’s a lot of them out there, right. Like bazillions of them. Right. And so, the listener has options. So I’m very mindful of that. S think like a marketer all the time, how do I get the listener’s attention within that first minute? So I keep them there, right? Just like on a website content above the fold. Right. You know, that kind of thinking. So I’ve got a, I’ve got a prerecorded intro, and then I go to, I introduce my guests right away and what we’re going to talk about. Uh, and then I have a sponsor message in the middle. And then I have an outro message at the end.
There’s something else that I do, Pam, that, um, has become sort of my signature thing that I do on my podcast. And that is, remember I mentioned that, uh, the guest is doing most of the talking. Am I just interviewing them? Although I do interact with them, I don’t mean that. I just ask a question and then go to the next class question. I do interact with them a little bit, but they’re doing most of the talking. But what I do at the end of the interview, the quote-unquote interview is I do a recap, and that recap is usually not less than two and sometimes five minutes long.
Pam Didner: You do five minutes long recap?
Bernie Borges: Sometimes, not always. Now, the way that I do that is I’ve got an outline in front of me. And then I’m also taking notes while we’re talking. And then I do the recap, and then I asked, “is there anything that you’d like to add to the recap?” I prepped them in advance, and I say,” Hey, feel free. I’m going to invite you to add something to my recap. Whatever you add, just keep it fairly brief because we’re at the end, like keep it to like a minute or two, not 10 or 15 minutes of additional comments.” Right. So they know what I’m expecting or asking of them. Um, and that’s just part of my format.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I don’t do the recap at the end. And I do it a recap like between questions like you answer specific questions, but the answer was kind of long. And then, I will do a quick summary. So yeah, I, I took a similar approach, but I wouldn’t say consistently. But I understand where you’re coming from. So that’s very, very good.
Bernie Borges: The, the other thing is, um, I didn’t do the editing now a long time ago. I used to do my editing. That was a long time ago, but—
Pam Didner: No, I don’t do my editing either. I have a great editor Gretchen, and if she is like a watching out for everything and she edited everything out and make it very succinct and concise, I love her, so.
Bernie Borges: That’s great.
Pam Didner: All right. Now it comes back to a topic that we want to talk about today–Account-based podcasting. And you touch a little bit about that. Obviously, on sale size on the account-based selling on the marketing side is account-based marketing, which is ABM, and that’s pretty much a buzzword nowadays, and, interestingly, you mentioned account-based podcasting.
Bernie Borges: Yeah. Um, it is what I call the kissing cousin to account-based selling or account-based marketing. And it’s a pretty simple concept. And that is in an organization that sells B2B, you target accounts, right? You identify the accounts that you’re targeting, whatever that criteria might be. It might be by vertical industry, my named account, whatever it may be. And then you target the role–the ICP–within that account that is a good fit for your podcast.
Now you obviously have to have a good alignment between a podcast and that role. So in my case, I mentioned earlier that at Vengreso, we have three ICPs, right. We have the head of Marketing, the head of Sales, and the head of Sales Enablement. Those are the three people that that generally are part of the buying committee. And in any one organization, one might be more influential than the other. So we just look at the target accounts, and then we start reaching out and invite those people onto our podcast.
So for me, the Modern Marketing Engine podcasts, I’m inviting the senior-most senior ranking, like the CMOs, VP of Marketing. You know, sometimes they accept and sometimes they don’t. As you said, I’m 300 episodes in, so the outreach strategy includes some social proof, right? Like, “Hey, here’s some people that I’ve interviewed in the past,” you know, and I showed them the visual, you know, images and what that looks like. And we’re going to promote the podcast as evergreen content. So the podcast episode is going to be promoted for about a year.
By and large, I get a lot of acceptances, but it is a simple concept of who are the target companies? And then invite the ICP onto your podcast. Now here’s a key point, though, Pam, I’m not inviting them onto my podcast to sell to them. I’m inviting them to the podcast to showcase their thought leadership. But what that’s going to enable me to do is to begin a relationship.
Pam Didner: Yeah, it’s a starting point. It’s a starting point. And it’s kind of like a tactic, uh, as a part of ABM, which is account-based marketing. And this is one specific marketing tactic that you can use to start building a relationship with, uh, target accounts.
Bernie Borges: Exactly.
Pam Didner: That’s very, very smart. Your sales team appreciates you doing this. It’s kind of like building the relationship, you all at trailblazer, you open a little bit of a door for them, right. So they can carry on the conversation with them moving forward by sharing content or whatever they have to do.
Bernie Borges: Yep. Yep.
Pam Didner: So, what are some of the challenges of implementing account-based podcasting?
Bernie Borges: There’s a lot of internal coordination that needs to happen because I’m not doing it in a vacuum. I don’t select the accounts.
Pam Didner: It’s done by the sales team, I assume. Right?
Bernie Borges: It’s a combination of the sales and marketing teams identifying our target accounts. So it is a, it’s a collaborative effort. So, it takes some internal collaboration. That’s one of the challenges. Uh, and then the work that’s involved in doing the outreach to, in my case, the marketing executives. Now, the work, sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s not so easy. It just depends on what level of contact we may or may not already have with that individual.
So doing the outreach and then set up what I mentioned earlier, that planning call. And then the work that’s involved. I don’t just show up for a 30-minute call. I have to prepare for that call; you know what that’s like. Um, and then I do have some internal resources that help, but a lot of it does fall on me. So, you know, when I deliver the presentation on account-based podcasting, I talk about the fact that the host of the show needs to be both authoritative on the topic and good at doing the call preparation and then conducting the interview. And then, in addition to that, naturally building the relationship with that individual.
So it’s just all those details, you know, that when you add them all up, they’re time-consuming so. But you know, it’s also rewarding. It’s satisfying. I learn from my guests, and enjoy the conversations that I have, the interviews that I conduct. I love the feedback that I get from the marketplace–meaning I get people randomly just giving me feedback. They might connect with me on LinkedIn or email me. “Hey, I enjoyed that episode, episode number 278” or whatever the number was right on this topic, you know, that kind of thing.
Um, and then often my guests will also recommend someone, and that can get a bit tricky, because remember we’re doing account-based podcasting, so they’re not, they might recommend someone, they know that may not be a fit. So I just politely thank them, but I don’t commit to necessarily following up because I need to do some due diligence to make sure.
Pam Didner: Yeah, to make sure, because you want to make sure you align with your strategy. That’s very, very understandable and sensible. Yeah. So how do you measure success?
Bernie Borges: So, in this case, in the context of account-based podcasting, how we measure success is, are we building relationships? So we’re measuring success by how many opportunities are we creating as a result of our podcast? And I will tell you that, on average, about half of the podcast interviews that we create do result in conversations about how we can help them. Now, I’m not going to divulge, you know, close rates after that, um,
Pam Didner: But it’s opened the door.
Bernie Borges: Exactly. It’s opening the door, and it’s authentic because when that door opens like they’re willing, they’re willing. We asked them, “is your sales team struggling with prospecting and filling the pipeline?” You know, because that’s what we do. We help sales teams fill their pipeline. And if the answer is “yes,” they’re willing to have that conversation to know how we can help them.
In today’s day and age, the hardest thing for B2B salespeople is prospecting. The hardest thing is getting opportunities to fill their pipeline. So that’s how we monetize the podcast is by using it as a door opener if you will. I prefer to call it a relationship builder because those relationships open doors to conversations that lead to opportunities.
Pam Didner: So it sounds like it’s very, very strategic when you do the podcasting. And there is biz dev and relationship building and demand gen benefits associated with it you know, shooting all the benefits and, or shooting all the three stones at once. So, which is great.
And that leads me to another question. So you are fully aware of Clubhouse, and the main people said that’s the next generation or the next phase of the podcasting. This is everybody’s using their phone and they just like call-in or are in a room, and people started talking.
What is your thought on Clubhouse? And also the future trend, if you will, uh, the next generation of podcasting?
Bernie Borges: So I am on the fence with Clubhouse. Uh, I have dabbled in it, and that’s, uh, that’s probably the best way for me to characterize it — the biggest thing for me, just the demands of my work schedule. The biggest thing for me is the time. Yeah. And in the dabbling that I’ve done, because I’ll even go open up the app and just to see what’s going on without even actually listening without even joining a room or joining a conversation, right. I’ll just see what’s there. And I see people on there that are on there a lot.
Pam Didner: I know! I was like, “you were there the whole time? Seriously?”
Bernie Borges: Yeah. And I’ve joined some kind of some rooms where they’re talking about “yeah, we’ve been over for six hours now”, and I’m like, “What?” So that’s my thing; I just don’t have the time. Conceptually, I think it’s fascinating. I think it is scratching an itch that people have, which is the itch to have a conversation on any topic.
Pam Didner: Especially during the Pandemic.
Bernie Borges: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. What I think it is leading to us is that LinkedIn has announced that they’re going to do something similar to that.
Pam Didner: Twitter did that, too. And Facebook is going to add that. Yeah, I see that that’s an additional feature that’s very similar to Clubhouse that will be added.
Bernie Borges: Yeah. So I’m wondering, you know, if Clubhouse is going to become like a Snapchat and, if you know what I mean by that Snapchat when they first came out, they innovated.
Pam Didner: Hot. It was so hot.
Bernie Borges: Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, Facebook and Instagram, and now even LinkedIn has stories. So I think what they’re doing is interesting and innovative. I just think that the big social networks are going to come out with their version of it. I’m not going to make any predictions on the impact it’s going to have on Clubhouse; who knows. You know, there’ll probably be a loyal core group to Clubhouse for some time, whether or not it survives long-term. I don’t know. Do you remember Vine from Twitter? You know, that was hot for a while, right? And then, you know, it got killed, right. I would probably list a few others that were hot for a while, and then it got killed. I’m not making that prediction for Clubhouse. I’m just saying that LinkedIn Facebook, they’ve noticed we’ll have to see what happen.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I have my thought about that as well, Bernie. I mean, your point is valid. And my take on this is what the podcast you and I are doing, if nothing else, uh, we are creating original content, and we upload it to our platform, your website, my website. Right? So in a way, it’s not just doing the relationship building that is more or less driving traffic to our website.
I am always kind of wary of building the following or the presence of a third-party platform. Does that make sense? Like, yeah, fine. You know we all use Facebook, we’ll use LinkedIn to share the information and, uh, they all have like you know the number of the people that they can follow you or whatnot. But from my perspective, at the end of the day, it’s important to build or control your original content or manage your original content with your platform. And that is your website.
Bernie Borges: Yeah.
Pam Didner: That probably sounds very old school, but I just feel that the third party platform can go away in no time. Then all of a sudden, everything that you do is gone. And they can also take away your content, and they can take away, your following and then what’s next?
So I would like to ask you one silly question, two, and you can pick one to answer. Number one: What is the most useless talent you possess? And number two: do you have a ridiculous goal in your life?
Bernie Borges: Um, I’ll start with the most useless talent. I can demonstrate it to you. It’s visual—
Pam Didner: (laughs) Just remember this is a podcast!
Bernie Borges: I know! I know! I’m going to have to explain it to those that are just listening. Right. So I can snap my–is this called the forefinger? My forefinger and middle finger, right. I can snap these two fingers, and I’ve been able to do that since I was a kid. Right. So. Grab your thumb and your forefinger together, like, like a little zero, right. And then, and then just snap it, but then snap it against your middle finger.
Pam Didner: I cannot do that. I cannot do that.
Bernie Borges: I know I I’ve been doing that all my life. And then I learned many years ago that not everyone could do that.
Pam Didner: What do you mean not everybody can do it? Very few people can do it! (laughs)
Bernie Borges: Right. But it’s useless. Like, so what? (both laugh)
Pam Didner: This is awesome. And I’m trying right now. I was like, “oh my God, I cannot do it. I cannot snap.”
Bernie Borges: I’m doing it right now—forefinger snapping into the middle finger.
Pam Didner: Oh my God. Yes, that’s indeed useless. (laughs)
Bernie Borges: Totally useless.
Pam Didner: Hey, thank you so much for coming to my podcast and sharing your perspective on that journey of doing the podcast more than 300 episodes. And I do agree with you 100%. It starts with strategy. Even you are doing it organically, but somehow in the middle, you know, you still need to sit back and have a self-reflection in terms of the strategy and what you want to take your podcasts. And I loved your idea of account-based podcasting, which has a very strategic role in your podcasting, inviting the target customers you want to stop building the relationship.
And I think that’s a fantastic idea. That I didn’t even think about that, you know, kudos to you. I learned something new today. Thank you to you, Bernie.
Bernie Borges: Thank you, Pam. Thank you so much for having me, and congratulations on your podcast. You’re doing a wonderful job with it. You’re putting a lot of hard work into it. It shows its quality, and you also are up in the one 70 or so range. You’re knocking on the door of 200. So keep it going. And I’m going to. I’m here to cheer you on.
Pam Didner: Thank you. You rock, Bernie.
Bernie Borges: You rock, Pam!