The Structured Playbook: Marketing to Build Brands

David Bozin is a Partner at Structured, the performance marketing agency that helps build DTC brands across paid acquisition, retention, content creation, and marketplace management.

David and the Structured team are masters of leveraging the full suite of marketing tools. We sat down with David for a deep dive into:

  1. How Structured works with young brands and companies 
  2. Leveraging multiple forms of content for a GTM push
  3. The best tactics for generating and maintaining buyer journey touchpoints
“Across the board, it is a game of getting people started on their journey and then meeting their level of intent with understanding, enthusiasm, and a solution.”

What It Means To Build With Brands and Companies

David shares the typical use cases when a company comes to Structured, what they need, what outcomes they want, and how Structured plugs in to drive those outcomes.

At a high level, there are three different stages of companies that Structured works with:

  1. High net revenue – Companies with existing infrastructure, that either don't have the team to execute the resource-intensive marketing process internally, have outgrown their internal team, or aren't necessarily happy with what they have going on in general.
  2. Up-and-coming – Companies doing $250,000-500,000/month, that have product-market fit and an established database. They are finding scale and have a host of net new revenue opportunities that can make a serious impact on both bottom line and top line.
  3. Zero-to-One – These companies don't have too much built out, they have a product idea, maybe they've just launched, maybe they've been in the market for a while, but there's still a lot that they need to build.
Lessons from Building Alongside Early-Stage Brands

For David, the Zero-to-One companies become the most interesting conversations. These companies are making a massive investment in the foundations of the brand.

Many of the companies have massive distribution opportunities, whether it's through paid ads, a big name attached to it, or a separate business attached that brings leads and cross-selling.

For these companies, the conversation is straightforward. They know that from launch, you need to create an A+ customer journey, and hit people with the right messaging, at the right time.

But, outside of that, they need to remain efficient in your spending across influencers, paid ads, and spending on MarTech because cash is king early days.

That's where Structured comes in to build and optimize the funnel to help companies operate as efficiently as possible, getting the highest ROI out of early marketing investments.

“We make sure that if we're pouring water into the bucket, that bucket is patched up and has as few leaks as possible.”

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How To Nail Organic Content for a GTM Motion

Structured works with consumer brands and B2B companies. David shares some learnings about the levers that a company can pull to match their target audience as they go to market.

Given our focus on content, David highlighted the role of organic content as part of that go-to-market function.

The best organic growth levers include long-form pillar content, SEO, and email, but the specific use cases for each vary based on the target audience and the stage of the buyer journey.

Strategically, David thinks about the order that a company should pull levers and how they all feed into a cohesive GTM push. SEO and organic long-form are what drive people to the site.

The Role of SEO

SEO is all about identifying arbitrage opportunities and figuring out the keywords to go after.

In addition, companies need to look for the best long-tail keywords to rank for. For audiences looking for something super specific, they need to be the first brand that comes up.

David shares that there's an inverse relationship – the more specific you get, the more tied it is to the company, but the lower the volume. Identify that trade-off, and figure out where the opportunity is.

The Role of Editorial

For David, organic editorial has the potential of being really interesting for companies building out their own content, especially in the B2B world.

Most companies will have some form of a blog but the fact of the matter is that if we think of ourselves as consumers, how often are you clicking into a D2C's brand blog? Not really often.

For B2B, a blog is more relevant and serves multiple purposes right at the cusp of organic turning into SEO. A B2B blog can span everything from awareness to education to conversion.

David shares that when working with B2B companies, Structured is very prescriptive around the content that they push out – “With each piece, we’re always trying to solve a particular problem.”

He also shares companies can leverage content to boost partnerships and audience sharing.

While the typical D2C list growth tool is giveaways with multiple brands working together, from the lens of B2B, how do you work with someone who already has a pre-existing audience?

Content becomes a smart and efficient way to grow your audience, to drive as much traffic over to yourself through distribution, social proof, and co-amplification.

As a startup, you win by speaking to a particular topic in depth. Similarly, it's in your guest’s interest to push the content, because it makes them look like the expert that they are.

For David, this is a great way to reach a big audience via the partner or guest even though as a company you might not have your own.

Prioritizing Your GTM Content

So, what should be the top content priorities for a GTM push? David gives a few tips:

  • Focus SEO efforts on rankable, long-tail keywords
  • Generate organic content with the audience in mind via collaborations, etc.
  • Ensure internal mechanisms to be able to do something with the people that come in
  • Leverage email and SMS for follow-up and multiple touchpoints
“Reach people and keep reaching them. Otherwise, people forget, and there's no guarantee that the next time you or a partner post that they'll actually see it.”

How to Move High-Ticket Leads Through Your Funnel 

Unsurprisingly, a database of potential customers is a key piece of any GTM push. In David’s eyes, CTAs embedded in your content are crucial to building this database.

The end goal is to drive people to demo and conversion, but at the same time, you have the ability to segment the audience based on the source and where they're coming from.

David tends to operate a bit more aggressively, pushing people to demo so that they sign up for the product. Especially for freemium models, there's no reason not to.

When your audience is small, push to the primary intent. Simultaneously, email allows people to opt-in or opt-out, and you can track what they're most interested in.

For companies with the ability to do so, David suggests a primary CTA with a follow-up email with conditional splits in the flow itself, with one option for "Book a demo." And then right below, a secondary CTA that says, "I'm only interested in the newsletter."

When someone clicks, all of a sudden, you get a signal that they don't want to book a demo, they're only interested in the content that you're pushing out – segment prospects accordingly.

Don’t continuously try to push “just newsletter” people down a demo, because maybe six months down the line they’ll be interested in a demo. By shoving the demo in their face for so long, they might end up unsubscribing or ignoring it altogether.

Effective Touchpoints to Boost Conversion

What works for any given company will likely depend on a host of company-specific criteria – information on the size of the company, the size of the opportunity, and AOV or contract size. 

If customers are not going to be spending a lot, then it doesn't make sense for the company to spend money and have salespeople reach out to someone.

Throwing good money (and good tactics) after low-value customers is effectively a waste of resources to reach out to someone who isn't ready to pay.

Typically, if someone is high intent, they’re actively and aggressively looking for solutions and you're not the only solution that they're looking at.

From experience, David sees that most companies have a minimum of 7 or 8 touchpoints before there is any action, and are competing against a few other adjacent companies.

That's where there is more urgency, and the space is difficult to navigate because as consumers, we don't want to be sold to, we want to buy.

“Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes you follow up with someone 20x, call, fax, email, send postcards, or give a Starbucks gift card to hop on a 20-minute demo.”
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