The Top Marketing Channel Most People Ignore (And How This Can Be Your #1 New Source Of Leads)

Marketing Swipe File

The best performing marketing channel might be right in front of you. On this episode of the Swipe File, DG talks about the power of internal marketing and how you can use the people at your company to 10x your marketing results starting this week. Remember: most people inside of your company have no idea what you do as a marketer.

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Dave Gerhardt: Hey everybody. It’s DG back with another episode of The Swipe File and on this episode I’m going to talk about the top marketing channel that most people ignore and how you can turn it into your number one new source of leads. Let’s do it.

I feel like one out of every four articles in marketing is about marketing and sales alignment or people not understanding marketing or not getting the value of marketing. And so I think you’re just crazy if you’re in marketing today and you don’t go in knowing that. I think so many people have a blind spot, which is like oh yeah, I do marketing. Everybody gets marketing. No. You have to retrain yourself. So listen to this episode today, starting today, retrain yourself that no one, just take this approach.

Nobody gets marketing and nobody cares about what you’re doing. If you have that mindset, then that’s going to completely change the way you do marketing. Internally and externally. So I could do a whole podcast on an externally, Steven Pressfield says, nobody, what does he say? What the hell, I’m having a blank. What the hell is the name of his book? This is why I need a producer or somebody who could tell me right now. It’s like Nobody Gives a Shit. This is ridiculous. I have Monday, I am recording this on a Monday. I got to find this book. Hold on. Can you bear with me for a second? Oh, Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit. So I love that mindset because that mindset changes everything you do.

So Steven Pressfield, I’m just going to talk about it now. So Steven Pressfield, a famous author, wrote a million books and he used to work at an ad agency and while he was at the ad agency he changed his mindset to you have all these clients. If you’re at an agency you have all these clients who think that their thing is the best thing since sliced bread. And your job at an agency though is you have to create great campaigns for this company, but you also have to push back on them and say hold on, nobody gives a shit about this. And so I love that mindset. We’ll talk more about that.

But for today I want to talk about what it means internally. So this is something that I learned early on in my career. I learned this, well I started off at a PR agency and when you’re in a PR agency, you basically have to always be merchandising your work. That’s a term that I always used. Merchandising your work. And you have to do it because you have a client who is busy, they’re busy as hell. You maybe have one call with them a week, one 30 minute call, where somebody is probably looking at their email while they’re talking to you. They’re not fully engaged, but they’re paying you a lot of money.

And so your job is to always be showing value. And if you only showed value on that 30 minute call every single week, you wouldn’t be, that contract when wouldn’t get renewed the next month or the next year whenever it was up. Because you need to always be showing … The last thing you want to do is have somebody be like huh, I wonder what that PR agency is doing for us. You need to always be preempting that. You need to always be top of mind and letting people know the value.

And I was able to learn from a bunch of awesome people there and I learned that you always would be proactively sharing what you’re doing and what you’re working on. Hey, I just saw this article, here’s how we’re responding. Hey, we’re working on this blog post based on this thing that we saw you guys tweet. Hey, this other article came out, so we’re going to write our version. So you always have to be doing that stuff proactively and explaining why you’re doing it.

And then so I took that and then I went to a bigger company, Constant Contact. At the time they probably had 1500 people and I started to learn that internal marketing was such an important piece of the job. I started to look around the company and look at the people who were really well known within the company, well respected within the company, had a lot of power within individual teams in the company. And it was because they were able to go and talk to other people around the company and they were always presenting in front of other people and showing hey, here’s what we’re doing and here’s why it matters.

So I took that with me and when I started at Drift I was really the first full time marketer at the company in a team of, I don’t know, there’s probably like seven or eight other people. Majority of them were a couple of designers, basically it was a couple of designers and all engineers. That was the team. And one product manager. That was the team. And so I went in there as the only marketing person at a company who had for about a year only had engineers and designers. And so from day one, we do this thing every Friday at Drift called show and tell where every department goes around and shows what they did that week. And this was back in the day at Drift, two years ago, there was only person in marketing and there was only one person in sales or there was only person here.

So it literally us around a table. It was much less formal than it is today. Sharing what we did that week. And that’s when I started to make it like okay, so I’m new at the brand new at this company, thinking about my first week. I’m brand new at this company and the big thing I did in the first week was I wrote a blog post. That’s how I could have positioned that at show and tell. That first Friday, getting up in front of a team of people who have no idea what marketing does, there are skeptical about marketing people. Why are you hiring a business person? This is a team full of engineers and designers.

So I could have gotten up in front of company said hey, today, this week, so I want to tell you guys about what I did this week. The big thing I did this week was I wrote a blog post and I tweeted four times. Think about how that would have gone if I just said what I did. But what I did was tell a story. This is so important. So instead of saying hey, here’s what I did, I told a story for us. I said look, how do you all, I’m making this up but I’m guessing this is probably what it was. Which is I would tell, I’ll tell you what I think I said or what I would say now, which is hey, how do you all buy from businesses today? You probably have some type of relationship with them. First you start listening to their podcasts, you start reading their blog. Well, today at Drift, we had no blog or prior to this week, we had no blog. So we launched our blog and we published our first article.

Here’s why this matters. One, boom. We were trying to go after marketers, so we want to talk about X, Y, Z. Two, and so you’re able to build up this story as opposed to getting up in front of the company and saying what I said earlier. And so ever since then, we have used the marketing team as we’ve grown, we’ve used show and tell on Fridays as an opportunity to show what we’re doing. And it’s even more important now. Now there’s 130 plus people at Drift. And I love that because I actually think that, I really do fundamentally believe that every single person’s job at Drift is marketing. The more the company grows, I get so excited. Not just because we’re growing, but because every new person that comes to the company, that’s another LinkedIn profile. That’s another Twitter page, that’s another Instagram account. That’s all more channels from one person that can help amplify our message.

And so it’s not just to get people to care about what you’re doing as a marketer, but it’s to get them to care so then they can go and help amplify your message. If you can’t get the people inside of your company bought into what you’re doing, there’s no way you’re going to be able to get the external, the world to do it. So that’s what I think about a lot, is I really care a lot about internal marketing and I think about how can I get people here fired up? And also it helps you tell your story. Instead of pressure testing your story for the first time out to the world to customers, obviously that is what matters the most, it’s going to be a different reaction, I treat the internal presentations that we have here as a big deal. As I am going to tell the world about this and could somebody just take this right now and share it externally and would customers care and would they understand?

That’s the level of thinking that I try to put in. And it doesn’t mean that I’m spending hours on something, but just means that if I’m going to get up in front of the company, I want to talk about why we’re doing something and why it matters because it’s going to be a a much better response if I can get 130 people here at Drift bought in because they’re going to help amplify it. They’re going to sell it better. They’re going to get our customers more excited about if they’re on the customer success team. The product team is going to get more excited about building more stuff. So it really does matter and I think it goes far beyond like just getting a message out out to the world.

So that’s what I want to leave you with today, which is like think about what you’re doing in marketing and how can you do a better job of explaining why that matters to the rest of the team? And even in Drift today, our team, our marketing team, we try to be very transparent and we have a kind of a guideline for marketing, which is like, we call it show your work. Which is basically you can’t just show your work at show and tell on Friday, you’re expected to show your work every single day. That can just be sharing a screenshot or a quick video in Slack. But everyone’s always expected to be sharing their work, to showing their work. I think that goes a long way to sharing what the marketing team is working on. So it should never be a mystery.

So A, we share our work all day in Slack so anybody can see it as we’re working on stuff. But then B, we also spend a bunch of time before launches, whether it’s at show and tell or a dedicated meeting to get the rest of the company fired up. We even go to the level of like, here’s the headline we’re going to use. Here’s how we’re distributing this. Here’s what we expect. Here’s what we think is going to happen. Here’s a big story that we’re trying to tell. So then everybody leaves that meeting being like yes, I’m fired up for the launch tomorrow. I know what everybody’s doing.

And this is actually, if you go back to the very first episode of Marketing Monday, I’ve talked about how we took over LinkedIn and generated 300,000 views without spending a dollar. And it led to our biggest traffic day in Drift history. And the reason why that worked was because the Friday before, if you listen to that podcast, I talk about the Friday before at show and tell we got the whole company bought into why we’re going to do it. And so then when on Tuesday morning, we actually launched this thing everybody was excited to go and share our message and to go and share their own videos on LinkedIn. So it all started with internal communication.

So going back to Tom’s tweet from the beginning, Tom love you, I can’t stress it enough. I think you hit the nail on the head. If you don’t care about internal marketing, then you’re doing it wrong. And I think that’s going to be a limiting factor in how much you can grow your career, how much you can grow your marketing team just you as an individual marketer. You have to be able to show back to the rest of the company why you’re doing what you’re doing because it matters. And people want to know or like Ileus, our founder and CTO, always trolls me, which is like I know your tweet. Hey, he just tweets all day. And he’s trolling me because he can do that. But he knows the value of marketing. But that’s a joke because that’s what it is at so many companies. It’s like oh the marketing team just tweets, right? Yeah. Or they just write blog posts. And so you always have to think about the why, the same way you would go back and explain the why to the rest of the people that are interested in your business.

So look, think about internal marketing. One actionable thing, I want you to get one thing out of every one of these Marketing Mondays. You don’t have to agree, you don’t have to necessarily do it, but I want you to take one thing away, one new thing to think about, one new things go out and try. So this week your mission is to go out there and just try to do a better job communicating with the rest of the team why you’re doing what you’re doing. Maybe if you’ve never done this before, do this. Buy the team lunch, do a lunch and learn and say I’m going to talk about what marketing does at our company. Not about a specific campaign, not about something that you just did overall. Here’s what marketing does.

Hey, this is Janna. She does events. This is Amy, she does video. This is Dan, he does demand gen. Here’s what they all do. Here’s what we’re working on right now. Give them a sense and open up the door to your marketing team. I promise you, you’re going to start to get more people bought in.

And the next thing, your biggest challenge after that is going to be how people, you can’t give the rest of the team content fast enough. They’re always coming up to us, what can I promote? DG how can I help promote this? That’s the culture that you have to build a in order to win today.

So thanks for listening. I’m looking at my notes because I want to make sure that I give Tom Wentworth some love. So go shout out @twentworth12 on Twitter and say @davegerhardt is trying to make you famous because you have great advice about internal market.

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Swipe File. If you like the podcast, make sure to subscribe, leave a review, text your friends, tell your mother, do whatever you want to do. It’d be awesome if you helped spread the word about the show.

But I have a little special for you because you’re listening to my podcast. If you go to,, you will see a six minute video that I made that is about Steve Jobs’ story telling secrets, and you can get it all for free. Plus if you sign up there, you will unlock this crazy new thing that we’re building behind the scenes called Drift Insider. We’re going to give you some of our best content exclusively, so go and check it out. The way, the secret way to get on this list right now is to go to You have to watch the first video and you’ll be able to get the rest when they all come out. Check it out. If not, check it out soon and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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