Marketing from ground zero by Matt Snodgrass
Director of Community, MarketingProfs

GrowthFit - Episode 20

Marketing from ground zero by Matt Snodgrass

Matt Snodgrass started his career as a scientist, working on neonatal blood tests for several years. After 9/11, his company needed technical representatives to go into various state hospitals to help set up bioterrorism testing equipment. He then moved into a more technical role.

From there, he led the technical services department, then moved to a drug informatics company managing their technical support team. Eventually, moving to manage the e-commerce department for several years.

Ten years later, he made the jump to MarketingProfs and has been in a variety of roles here- marketing manager, marketing director, director of community. Matt says, “It’s a much different experience working in a regulated industry such as drug informatics or healthcare, and what I’m doing now is much more fun!”

Stay tuned to learn:

  • What is CHURI as a marketing philosophy?
  • Marketing ROI, metrics, lead gen and more
  • Matt’s personal marketing learning

More about Matt at Marketing Profs

Matt: MarketingProfs is a training company that’s dedicated to building smarter marketers and helping marketers show real business results. We know that marketing can sometimes get a bad rap. We know that marketers can struggle. We’re right here with you, every step of the way. We know what marketers are experiencing because we’ve been there and done that. We’ve experienced the same thing! We’re all in this thing together, all marketers, all pulling in the same direction. This is our WHY. And it’s important that every company discovers their why and apply it to everything they do.

In terms of philosophy, we have an internal acronym we use: CHURI that stands for:

  • CONNECTED: There are no dead-ends in our content. All of our products are aligned and can flow seamlessly from one to the next. The customer is never left feeling confused as to where to go/what to do next.

  • HEART: Everything we do, we put ourselves into. You know the MarketingProfs team: our faces, our stories, our beliefs. We understand. We’ve been in your shoes. We’re right here with you and we lead with empathy.

  • UNEXPECTED: Go above and beyond. We provide experiences that surprise and delight. We’re innovative, fun, and creative.

  • RECOGNIZABLE: Anything you see from MarketingProfs, you can tell it’s ours, even if you don’t see a logo or icon. We have a distinct style that people know, understand, and can connect with.

  • INTERACTIVE: Our content sparks conversation, participation, and feedback. We’re inclusive of ALL the voices in our community.

Everything we do, every webinar we build, article we write, social media post we share, we keep CHURI in mind and try to build around those five core tenets. It’s our guiding light, our signpost, and the underpinnings of everything MarketingProfs does.

Marketing ROI, metrics, lead gen and more...

Why conversion rate matters the most

Matt: I love conversion rate, especially since my specific day-to-day and quarterly goals are based around conversion rate, but what I like better is funnel bailouts. When looking at funnel bailouts, we can see where people are leaving and, through additional research, can also (ideally) find out why. This doesn’t just provide good data for the sake of data but provides us actionable items we can fix, to help reduce bailouts. In other words, it gives us direction and meaning.

If we know quantitatively where they’re leaving, and qualitatively why they’re leaving, then we have an opportunity to create a better user experience.

The most successful and not so successful campaign you handled.

Matt: Successful: We ran an Open House back in February – for one day only, we opened the doors and allowed customers to enroll in any of our normally paid courses, for nothing. It was absolutely free. We made thousands of marketers happier (and brought in thousands of new leads) as a result of that one single day.
Unsuccessful: We partnered with a staffing and placement agency to put on a webinar about challenges in 2021. We put scores of hours of effort into building, promoting, hosting, and managing the webinar. We delivered hundreds of new leads for our partner. They delivered 13 new leads for us. Thirteen.

The biggest challenges faced by marketers in 2021

Matt: Where to start…right now, probably the biggest one is finding inspiration to keep doing what we’re doing. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s what’s really important: others. Our friends. Our family. Our community. The idea of work/life balance has been upended by working from home for the last year and our work lives and our personal lives have intersected and blurred to become almost indistinguishable. So how do we keep doing what we’re doing and still prioritize others?

Personalizing content on your website

Matt: Personalization is tough. A lot of folks think that if you drop the first name into a subject line or an email, you’re personalizing your content but there’s an adage that says “bad personalization is worse than no personalization.” On our website, if you’re logged in, we serve you content based on your customer status (enterprise member, non-enterprise member, non-member), as well as what you’ve indicated interest in within your user profile. A further step will be to personalize that content based on what you’ve interacted with in the past and shown an interest in.

The major source of lead generation for you

Matt: The majority of our leads come from our constant content creation: we release new articles, webinars, podcasts, guides, newsletters, whitepapers every day, so that stream keeps feeding our lead generation engine. We also work a lot with industry partnerships – things like email swaps, partner webinars, sponsorship exchanges, etc. We’re always looking for like-minded marketing organizations with whom we can partner in a way that will be mutually beneficial (read: we can each help the other grow our audiences. If you’re interested, please reach out and we can talk)

The most effective way of increasing a brand's online presence

Matt: Word of Mouth Marketing cannot be understated, but it can be difficult to obtain. It comes from providing a positive, repeatable, professional customer experience at every turn. That’s going back to CHURI, which we talked about above. Figure out what your organization stands for. What your WHY is. Strive to deliver that and stay true to your why in every single interaction.

Do you think Email marketing still has a role to play in lead generation?

Matt: Without question. Of all the tools and tactics we use, email is, by far, our most successful vehicle. Think about it – you’re talking to a group of people who have willingly opted in because they’re a fan of what you do. Going back to a couple of points we talked about above, we have great success in folks sharing our emails for a number of reasons:

  1. CHURI - We provide memorable, unexpected, recognizable content that people want to interact with and are inclined to share.
  2. Word of mouth - When a friend or colleague forwards you something, you’re more inclined to take action on it. It comes with the implicit stamp of approval from that person. The mere act of sharing it shows that they trust your organization and the content you put out. That’s huge.
  3. We ask – We created a sort of ambassador/referral program in which we ask folks to share the newsletter in exchange for some cool MarketingProfs gear. This has helped us grow our email list significantly.

Your take on conversion optimization.

Matt: On paper, that sounds great and it seems like that’s something you should do. But as a whole, I’m not a fan of conversion optimization, specifically, because it’s focused on an end result. An end result that benefits only your company (the conversion). But that’s short-sighted and focuses on one thing—sort of like taking a snapshot. It captures a moment. You’re getting a customer for one instant. But a single conversion at a single instant doesn’t guarantee a relationship with that customer.

And that’s what you want to focus on: building a relationship. So, instead, think about a movie. Think about how you can make a customer for life. Think about every interaction point and every step of their journey so you can make it the absolute best user experience or journey they can have: one that’s positive, rewarding, and memorable (and even, maybe, fun!).

How do you ensure that the ROI on your marketing campaigns is optimal?

Matt: There’s no better way than by talking to your customers. Every month we try to talk to a diverse group of customers to make sure we’re delivering what they want. We want to make sure that MarketingProfs is meeting marketers where they want to be, with what they need and to stay attuned to that, we need to be having these conversations. This allows us to create content that marketers want, to send emails and newsletters that are relevant, and provide information that’s useful and inspiring. All this adds up to a positive ROI.

Matt Snodgrass’s personal marketing favorites

Matt: Hands down, it’s a marketing automation system. I don’t have a specific one to recommend, but it’s imperative to have one in order to move to the “next level” for your organization.

Marketing mentors you look for while in trouble

Matt: Some folks I respect in the world of marketing:

Sources of information to keep yourself updated with marketing industry updates

Matt: I’m biased, but I read the MarketingProfs Today every day. I’m also a big fan of The Hustle, the Daily Carnage, and Total Annarchy.

Matt: Paid. Hands down. I’ve never had much luck on the organic side. Now, I say that from the standpoint of someone who isn’t an avid social media user in my personal life, so I know that bleeds over some into my professional life (which is definitely challenging, as a marketer!).

Matt’s mantras on how to become successful marketers.

Matt: Make sure you’re doing all you can to stay up to date on what’s new in marketing and tech. I read an article recently that stated, “if you’re over 45 and don’t have an under-30 mentor—not mentee, MENTOR—then you’re going to miss fundamental shifts in thinking that is happening.” It’s critical to keep up with what’s changing. Again, I’m biased, but I’d tell your audience to make sure they’re subscribed to the MarketingProfs Today newsletter to help them stay updated on what’s happening in the world of marketing. (

Advice to entry-level marketers

Matt: Go broad, not deep. Learn about a lot of different things. Marketers (especially as you advance in your career) have a relatively short shelf life, compared to other industries—especially senior-level marketers. The turnover is quick. While you could focus on PPC and be an expert on that one thing for the rest of your life, the chances of you sticking with that forever are pretty slim. If you learn about a variety of marketing areas, it makes it easier to move from one role to another, which is inevitable.

                                    “It’s critical to keep up with what’s changing.”

Contact Matt Snodgrass

Twitter: msnods

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