Episode 09: How to Become a Proactive B2B Marketing Leader


Brandon Snyder, Director of Marketing

Brandon Snyder is a Columbus, OH, marketing consultant with a deep understanding (and admiration) for small businesses. Brandon is also the Director of Marketing for HMB, an information and technology services company in Columbus, OH.

With over 10 years of experience having started, ran and exited businesses of his own, Brandon is uniquely qualified to help small business owners better leverage marketing to grow their business.

Many businesses struggle with marketing for one key reason: uncertainty. Brandon is on a mission to bring a mindset, framework, and tools that revenue teams can use to make marketing and sales success more predictable.


00:00 John Sheeran: B2B marketing and sales can be tough to master. Sales cycles can be long and buyers are notoriously difficult to close. That's why you need Minds On at your side. We're a B2B marketing and digital agency that's helped more than 200 clients evolve their brands, win more business and succeed more often. And we're ready to help you, visit www.mindson.com today, to schedule your no obligation consultation. Now on to today's program.

00:34 Dan Harris: I'm your host, Dan Harris and welcome back to another episode of Minds On B2B. Thank you so much everyone for clicking, subscribing, sharing, downloading and of course listening to our podcast. This is a weekly show dedicated to helping busy B2B executives, marketers and sales professionals stay informed, learn something new and perhaps apply a lesson learned or run with an idea shared by our guest. As we say at Minds On all of our minds together are better than any one mind alone. Who knows, you just might like what you hear. Connect and network with us. It's another episode of minds on B2B and guess what guys Mr. Brandon Snyder is back again.

01:18 Brandon Snyder: Here I am.

01:19 DH: Hey, hey. I really appreciate you taking time to teach, guide, counsel our listeners as we go through this process of marketing and the role you play at HMB. So maybe somebody hasn't had an opportunity to hear our previous episode. Ladies and gentlemen you should go back and find Brandon Snyder. It's amazing what we've done so far, but if it's this episode your first episode, introduce yourself and let's talk about what we're gonna talk about today.

01:47 BS: Yeah, sure, so yeah. Name is Brandon Snider, I'm the Director of Marketing at HMB. We're a technology solutions firm. So if your business needs some sort of custom technology chances are we can build it to help solve some of your challenges. And you know Dan, I think one of the things I would like to talk about today, I think there's a lot of conversation about marketing strategy and planning and lead generation, but I think so much of that being successful is how you as a marketer feel, like do you feel empowered by your organization or do you feel subservient to your organization? Before we started recording, you brought up do you know the business of your business? How to navigate the politics, because I can tell you from personal experience at previous companies, if you don't feel empowered to be successful, you are less likely to do the right marketing things to make the organization's marketing and sales revenue generating activity successful. So I think that's what I'd like to talk about today a little bit.

02:45 DH: Yeah, no, that's good. I'll just throw two other words out there. It's reactive or proactive.

02:52 BS: Sure, big words.

02:53 DH: So are you a reactive marketer or are you a proactive marketer? And I think it kind of fits in with what we're talking about, and in most cases, I think people wanna be proactive, they're not sure how to do that, so they end up being reactive and they become order takers.

03:08 BS: Totally man, and I've literally been in this position, it's taking me a lot to figure out how to grow and I think that's what I'm hoping every marketer or even if your sales are in classes, it's whatever, right? I think everyone should have a growth mind set. I would tell you, I report to the CEO of my company, he is my mentor, he's the guy that I work with to try to figure out how to navigate the business of the business and he equips me to be successful. He's a great cheerleader for me, the conversation I've had recently was, "Hey man, I have these four crazy things, I call them my personal pillars for the company. Here are my personal things, I wanna do that I think are gonna be big game changers for your company and lead to massive success in a lot of ways. I wanna do these things over the next 18 months. Will the business support me in doing those things?" and when I framed it like that, and by the way I did a lot of research on how to have this conversation.


04:08 BS: So when I had the conversation like that, zero resistance, 100% support. His thing was, "Dude if you can do all that, I'll give you whatever you need to go out and make that happen. The challenge is can you do it?" And I think there's kind of a silent understanding. Some people need the security but there's sort of this silent understanding that if you go out and do those things, it will elevate your career, your status here at HMB, thus you'll be elevated to that next level in your career, and you'll be compensated, because you're adding more value to our company, you'll be compensated fairly for what market value for the role that you're going to ascend to is. And I think that's the right mindset and I'm charged up about it, 'cause I've recently had this conversation, it's been very transformative, it's made me feel very positive and empowered. I have a lot more autonomy and a lot more confidence in things we're gonna do and I want other marketers out there to experience something similar.

05:02 DH: Yeah. And I think the four pillars idea is a great idea because you understood the business of the business you've had conversations internally, you've been at HMB for how many years?

05:12 BS: So about three and a half at this point, as of time of this recording, three and a half, yeah.

05:17 DH: Yeah. So you've navigated the waters within HMB, you found your mentor, and now you've defined these four pillars. And I'll just bring up another topic that Dennis Brouwer, who's another guest on the show mentioned, when you walk into those type of situations, one thing he says in one of the essentials of leadership is you don't demand, you ask, "What can I do for you?"

05:40 BS: Totally.

05:40 DH: And I think that you and Tom have that relationship, so I think that's a great opportunity. So use that as a tip. Listen to Dennis's episode as well. But I think this is a great, great conversation to have for anybody who's looking to grow within an organization or find a new organization and understand how to get promoted by doing the right things.

06:03 BS: Yeah, it's totally ask not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company.

06:08 DH: Alright John F. Kennedy.


06:09 BS: Yeah. And that story is true today man. And I'm telling you, I've done both. I've made the mistake of being the whiny millennial if that's what you wanna call it. And going in there and trying to be aggressive and assertive and that doesn't work. But if you go in there, leading with value, which is how ironically how you should sell and market, lead with value, dude it's paid off big. And I'm excited about all of the things that I'm gonna get to do this year, and I'm highly confident I can deliver.

06:38 DH: Right. And I can tell as we worked together over the last couple of years in conversations, your passion for the business has grown, your passion for marketing has grown. And so, can you talk a little bit about the steps?

06:53 BS: Sure.

06:53 DH: What's the first step that anyone listening could actually start to think about research and do?

07:00 BS: Yeah, so I know, I think one of the things that's been successful for me, and by the way I'm... I don't know if there's a template out there. I'm just gonna tell you the things that I've done. I think there should be a focus on your personal brand, especially when you're trying to ascend to that director level and above. There is a saying, it goes something like, if you don't control your personal brand somebody else will dictate what it is for you. And I definitely experienced that for a long time, at a lot of companies, but it's been probably over the last three months, I've really started to produce my own kind of original content, my own thought leadership, I started to define my niche and place in the market. It totally changes, internally, the business of the business, it changes the perspective of you. And it earns you, even if it's subtle, it earns you attention. I was literally in a meeting with a lot of very high level people who are very busy and distracted and when I was going through our road map for the year, leads were down, people were listening intently.

08:00 BS: And I strongly believe it's because of a lot of my LinkedIn activity, people are seeing videos of me. People talk to me in the halls, "Hey, I've seen the stuff you're doing, it's great. How do we do stuff like that?" So, it earns you a different optics in your company, your perception is different. And I think that's really important as you... And by the way, it's really fun to do. [chuckle] So as you're looking to grow and ascend, working on your personal brand while it can be scary and it's a lot of hard work after hours, it totally pays huge dividends in the long-term of your career.

08:32 BS: I would tell you, the second thing to do, Dan, you brought up being reactive versus proactive. Man, you have to be proactive, you should not wait for your management or your leadership to tell you what they want, if you're gonna be a leader and grow, you should be coming to them and saying, "Hey I understand the state of the business today, I understand where we're trying to go and what our goals are, here are the things I wanna do to help the company be wildly successful." So for me, and I can send this to you, I don't know if you wanna put it in the show notes, but I created sort of my personal pillars, like here are the four big things I wanna do going into 2019 and how it's gonna help. And I've outlined kind of an overview for the year, and then each quarter I break down to my rocks. It's very much like vision traction.

09:22 DH: Exactly.

09:22 BS: So I created tools for myself to be accountable to make sure I deliver, and I go to this tools, day to day, week to week, month to month, quarter to quarter, to make sure I'm mapping back up to my plan and I'm trouble-shooting my areas where I'm not being successful. And sometimes, for my plan to be successful, I have to work with other teams, like I have to work with recruiting, and I have to work with sales, and I gotta work with the leadership. And sometimes I'm depending on the them to kinda go with me on this journey, and I don't make excuses if they're not collaborating with me and the time I need them to, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I think it's okay to raise alarms and ask people out to lunch and walk into their office if... You gotta really fight for mind share, 'cause everyone's really busy, it's nothing personal, but you gotta go out and own it and make it happen.

10:11 DH: Yeah. And I think it's important too, as you're doing this, what's happening if people don't realize is, is you're creating a reputation for yourself in the business.

10:18 BS: Oh yeah.

10:19 DH: Whether it's a good reputation or a bad reputation. So proactive in asking questions and focusing on value is a positive reputation. Demanding, complaining and whining is not gonna get you anywhere, right?

10:33 BS: Yeah. No idea, totally.

10:35 DH: So that's perfect. So what's the last thing that you could describe for people?

10:40 BS: Yeah. And we started going into this a little bit, we talked about creating... I said I had this personal kind of plan that I follow through the year. And to me, that's kind of leading into the third piece, it's creating a system of accountability. So not only do I have this kind of four pillars thing that my leadership is all bought into and that I follow all the time. In my day to day, alright, I have this thing called a best self journal, it's kind of my day to day tactical planner. I spend a ridiculous amount of time in it when I'm not working at my day to day. So this is in the morning and in the evening, and even through the day, I'm charting my progress and making sure that every hour is full of intentional work, because I have to be intentional, I have to be purposeful with with my time. And it's not that I'm maxed out busy. That's not the point. It helps you be selective. Making sure you're spending your limited valuable time doing only the things that matter and shutting out everything else.

11:37 BS: So this is a system of accountability that I have, and this is kind of a soft thing but I verbalize every day like I have conversations with my wife when I get home, "Hey, here are the things I did today. And here's how it's mattered to everything I'm doing." I do the same thing with my close friends, if I'm driving on the way home, and we're just on a call chit chatting, I'll say, "Hey man, here are things I did today. What did you do today?" I think, when you verbalize it and you get it out there, if you start to fall off of your plan, the people who love and care for you most in your life will be the people that help motivate you to get back on plan. So I think that last part is just creating systems of accountability to make sure you're living up to what you told your management and leadership you would do.

12:23 DH: And it sounds like too that there's a level of consistency in your system and process.

12:30 BS: Absolutely.

12:30 DH: Like you said, day, night, with friends, you're communicating. So creating some schedule habit, consistency through this process makes a big deal. Alright. As we wrap up this segment about how to get out of the order taking business and into the difference making business, what's a couple of things you'd leave people with?

12:54 BS: I would tell you to... You brought up habits, right? I think you do need to get into a habitual behavior. So one of the things that I've started doing well recently and I think it's made a transformative impact already is, you pick three things that you have to do every day that are manageable kind of micro-steps, as Tom Augustine from Minds On would say, you pick three things you have to do really well and you surround those three things with five to six habits. So I have, every day I have exercise as part of my routine, and this might not be related to work, but it's part of you getting into the habit of consistently doing things well.

13:32 BS: I have time with my 14-month-old, so every day I have to read with him for 15 minutes and give him 30 minutes of devoted time as a father. I have to be mindful and with my wife. I have to read, I have to meditate. So those are things that are really important to me and I think are part of developing a habit of success, and once you have those habits, it's gonna be much easier for you to succeed and there's plenty of tools and apps and things you can find online and download that you can use as tools to help you along the way.

14:01 DH: That's fantastic. Well Brandon, how do people get a hold of you if they wanna learn more about this topic or any of the topics we've talked about so far?

14:09 BS: Yeah, so I would love if people came and checked out my personal site. I talk about a lot of topics in the marketing kind of B2B space specifically, I'm obsessed with lead generation and trying to figure out a framework that makes generating leads predictable and fun along the way. So you can go to my website at www.brandon-synder.com or you can find me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/brandonscottsynder.

14:30 DH: Alright. Well you heard him. So I would track this guy down, have a conversation with him and see what you can learn from this incredible mind. Alright, everybody, thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you on the next episode.


14:48 DH: So listeners, here's where you come in, if you have ideas for possible episode topics, like to be on the guest of the show or know someone that would be a great B2B teacher or coach, make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find me by searching Danny D Harris. You can also send me an email with the subject line, Minds On B2B idea or guest to Dan.Harris@mindson.com. The more input we get from listeners, more of the listeners, the better the podcast it's gonna be. So make sure to subscribe to iTunes or your favorite podcast player. And until next time this is Dan Harris, stay curious, connect often and learn always.

15:24 JS: Thanks for listening to today's Minds On B2B podcast, if you like what you heard today, please subscribe. Also, feel free to share this episode with your peers and colleagues, so we can keep bringing you quality content from the best minds in B2B. Until next time, from all of us at Minds On have a great week.

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