Artwork for podcast Close The Loop
The Infinite Value of Feedback Loops
Episode 230th August 2021 • Close The Loop • CallSource
00:00:00 00:36:13

Share Episode

Transcripts

Kevin Dieny:

Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast.

Kevin Dieny:

I'm here with two gentlemenly guests, and we are going to be talking about

Kevin Dieny:

the infinite value of feedback loops.

Kevin Dieny:

This is a really exciting topic for us, especially for me.

Kevin Dieny:

I'm in attribution all day, all the time, trying to optimize and improve campaigns.

Kevin Dieny:

So, the first guest I have today is Matt Widmyer.

Kevin Dieny:

He is the sales development manager at CallSource.

Kevin Dieny:

He oversees the ever-growing sales development division here while working

Kevin Dieny:

as a liaison between the marketing and sales departments, whether there is an

Kevin Dieny:

individual or a team operational gap, he'll roll up his sleeves and get to work.

Kevin Dieny:

He is a problem solver.

Kevin Dieny:

He is a mentor and he is a coach all rolled into one.

Kevin Dieny:

Matt has a wife and daughter and loves all things outdoors.

Matt:

Thanks for having me.

Kevin Dieny:

All right.

Kevin Dieny:

Our second host we have going with us today is Ronn Burner again.

Kevin Dieny:

Ronn Burner is an independent marketing strategy consultant.

Kevin Dieny:

He applies his marketing MBA with his marketing automation expert experience

Kevin Dieny:

to help organizations design, execute and measure their marketing strategies.

Kevin Dieny:

When he is not designing programs, Ronn's time is spent as an avid

Kevin Dieny:

sports and fitness fanatic and can be spotted with his 11 year old son

Kevin Dieny:

at Disneyland on any given weekend...

Kevin Dieny:

literally!

Kevin Dieny:

Welcome, Ronn.

Ronn:

Hey, good to see you guys again.

Ronn:

Happy to be here.

Matt:

Likewise.

Kevin Dieny:

All right.

Kevin Dieny:

So today's topic on the infinite value of feedback loops.

Kevin Dieny:

I wanted to set the stage again and properly define what we're talking

Kevin Dieny:

about when you say feedback loops.

Kevin Dieny:

I think that would be a good place to get started.

Kevin Dieny:

So I figure I would put it in form of like a metaphor.

Kevin Dieny:

So a feedback loop is a lot like to me anyway, the speedometer in your car.

Kevin Dieny:

So when you press the gas or acceleration, you see the speed increase

Kevin Dieny:

when you let off or you press the brake, you see the speed decrease.

Kevin Dieny:

I think the really important part about a feedback loop is actually

Kevin Dieny:

how long it takes before the, the cause and effect occur, because that

Kevin Dieny:

way you can learn from it, right?

Kevin Dieny:

So a car pressing the gas is almost an immediate...

Kevin Dieny:

boom acceleration and braking is the same.

Kevin Dieny:

You press that and you're almost immediately feeling the impact.

Kevin Dieny:

So the best feedback loops you know in business, they're going to be the ones

Kevin Dieny:

that you apply a change or a correction or something and it has almost an immediate

Kevin Dieny:

impact because you can say, okay, I did something - here's the effect on that.

Kevin Dieny:

I changed this setting on this thing and my clicks or my

Kevin Dieny:

leads or whatever went down.

Kevin Dieny:

I changed my subject headline in my email and my open rates went up.

Kevin Dieny:

Those are direct, almost immediate things that can happen.

Kevin Dieny:

Now, there's also things that take a long time.

Kevin Dieny:

Those are worse.

Kevin Dieny:

Those are the hardest feedback loops to manage.

Kevin Dieny:

I think of like a sunburn being a really hard feedback loop because you

Kevin Dieny:

can play all day at the beach and not really feel that your skin is cooking.

Kevin Dieny:

And then later that night have a horrible time sleeping cause

Kevin Dieny:

you have blisters and stuff.

Kevin Dieny:

It takes so long before the impact of that affects you.

Kevin Dieny:

So the feedback loop is harder to learn from.

Kevin Dieny:

You might be like, well, is it the fact that I played outside or that

Kevin Dieny:

I was barbecuing or whatever it is.

Kevin Dieny:

How could that give me these blisters?

Kevin Dieny:

So it's a little hard to make the connections.

Kevin Dieny:

So when it comes to a business and thinking about their feedback loops,

Kevin Dieny:

where the value comes from, I want to just start us off with, why do you think

Kevin Dieny:

a business ignores a feedback loop, or ignores measurement, ignores tracking?

Kevin Dieny:

So I'll throw this one to Ronn first.

Kevin Dieny:

Ronn, why do you think a business may ignore the feedback loop?

Ronn:

I think a lot of it has to do with moving too fast.

Ronn:

A feedback loop requires, you know, the focus, being on acquiring information

Ronn:

to make your process or product better.

Ronn:

So oftentimes there's an idea at the inception, and then you just move

Ronn:

forward with that idea and you don't really actually consider the unintended

Ronn:

consequences until they're so glaring, you have no choice, but to focus on them.

Ronn:

In my experience, it's usually just, yeah, people get moving so fast

Ronn:

and companies and organizations get moving so fast because ideas are

Ronn:

great and you just want to execute on them and you want to do them.

Ronn:

But you really need to spend as part of the strategy, you really do need to

Ronn:

focus on, okay, we need to reassess this.

Ronn:

We need to address it.

Ronn:

We need to take in information, just to make it better.

Ronn:

How do we make it better?

Kevin Dieny:

Nobody gets every business decision, right...

Kevin Dieny:

every single time.

Kevin Dieny:

So you think it might be a little bit of the paralysis of,

Kevin Dieny:

well, what if we make a mistake?

Kevin Dieny:

What if we do it wrong?

Kevin Dieny:

Do you think that's a part of it?

Ronn:

I do think it's a part of it because one of the traps I often see,

Ronn:

and I'm probably guilty of, doing is when you get going, if things

Ronn:

are working it's acceptable, it's easy to say, even though if it's not

Ronn:

ideal, you're like it is functioning.

Ronn:

This is working so we can get by with this.

Ronn:

If we just keep stacking, it's kind of like reading material, we just

Ronn:

keep stacking it up, but we're never actually reading it stacking faster

Ronn:

than we're able to consume it.

Ronn:

And, with identifying little issues that aren't perfect from the get-go,

Ronn:

but you can get by and nobody really none the wiser, so to speak.

Ronn:

I do think that that tends to play a role and often times you don't want

Ronn:

to really dive into it if it's working as it is because you might discover,

Ronn:

oh, this is bad and of course that's more reason why you should be doing it.

Kevin Dieny:

Right.

Kevin Dieny:

Okay.

Kevin Dieny:

Matt, was there anything you wanted to add about why a business in

Kevin Dieny:

your experience might want, or might be ignoring feedback loops?

Matt:

Yeah, I think the main reason why something like that would happen

Matt:

is because, whoever is in charge of the campaign was not all on the same page

Matt:

at the beginning in terms of how it's, how we're measuring success or failure.

Matt:

Right.

Matt:

So if we have, the predefined metrics, okay, we're going to look at this,

Matt:

this is what I hope to happen, this is what I expect to happen.

Matt:

If we can marry somewhere in the middle, we can continue this

Matt:

on for a couple more months.

Matt:

If not, we pull the plug.

Matt:

Those conversations usually don't happen to the extent they

Matt:

should is from my experience.

Matt:

Answer #2 is because, um, somebody stubborn and doesn't want to, doesn't

Matt:

want to look at what's happening.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah.

Kevin Dieny:

I mean, we have dealt with campaigns that we will launch maybe in tandem

Kevin Dieny:

with other departments or maybe just with like specific individuals.

Kevin Dieny:

And when the question comes, okay, well, what's, what's success for

Kevin Dieny:

this look like, how are we going to know that this is working or not?

Kevin Dieny:

And if that part of it is ignored, like to me, I think, well then if measurement

Kevin Dieny:

tracking is ignored, then why do it?

Kevin Dieny:

Obviously we want to increase whatever the goal is.

Kevin Dieny:

Leads generally, sales, increase retention, something like that.

Kevin Dieny:

But when we're not measuring it, we could be doing something else and it could

Kevin Dieny:

be, if we're not measuring it, then it could have a greater or less impact.

Kevin Dieny:

So there's no way to know whether one thing is better than another.

Kevin Dieny:

Obviously something is better than nothing usually, but rarely is a

Kevin Dieny:

business, like, "Okay, I'm willing to just throw resources at this and I don't

Kevin Dieny:

care what happens if it's successful or not, I'm just assuming it will be."

Kevin Dieny:

So that's a problem, I usually see as there's so much effort paid into what

Kevin Dieny:

something looks like, how something has to work, how it will perform

Kevin Dieny:

in, you know, the last metric at the bottom, like sales or something.

Kevin Dieny:

But how are we going to see them smaller, incremental things

Kevin Dieny:

that show us that it's working?

Kevin Dieny:

We've sent emails and no one opened.

Kevin Dieny:

So maybe those email addresses we had are the problem, not the email itself.

Kevin Dieny:

It's possible the subject line was so horrible or something ended it up in

Kevin Dieny:

spam, but there's a couple of things I'd want to evaluate there other than just

Kevin Dieny:

saying like, oh, the email entirely is trash or is it a terrible channel for us?

Kevin Dieny:

Is there anything else you wanted to add on that anybody?

Matt:

I think you, uh, I think he covered it.

Matt:

I think the important thing is just for everyone to get on the same page before

Matt:

something is given the green light.

Ronn:

Yeah I think its just, at its core, the essence of

Ronn:

feedback loop is efficiency.

Ronn:

It's like, how can we remove the middleman?

Ronn:

How can we make this process simpler?

Ronn:

You need to be open to accepting information and asking the questions

Ronn:

and then if it's your staff, or the internal sources, they need to

Ronn:

be willing to provide the details, whatever it helps, whatever processes

Ronn:

can be put in place to make it more efficient and easier on everybody.

Ronn:

That's kind of at the core of what you want to do.

Ronn:

And we live in a feedback loop all day, every day.

Ronn:

We're going through it, like Kevin said with the driving.

Ronn:

You do something and you get a result.

Ronn:

And your figuring out quickly, that was stupid.

Ronn:

There's a better way to do this.

Kevin Dieny:

All right.

Kevin Dieny:

I got another question for you.

Kevin Dieny:

So how are you guys using feedback loops in email marketing, sales

Kevin Dieny:

development, prospecting in any kind of marketing, sales, or anything you're

Kevin Dieny:

doing, interacting with businesses?

Kevin Dieny:

What are maybe some examples or something where you'd like to share how you're

Kevin Dieny:

using a feedback loop to improve...

Kevin Dieny:

right, with the information you're getting whatever it is you are doing.

Kevin Dieny:

So that could be a campaign, an initiative, something like that.

Kevin Dieny:

So, start with Matt.

Matt:

We have, as the SDR manager, again, a team of a half dozen, we have new

Matt:

initiatives pop up all the time, right?

Matt:

And usually primarily pretty heavy call campaigns with some other things,

Matt:

supporting it, obviously marketing and chats and emails and everything.

Matt:

Before we take on initiatives, we need to decide what is success for this?

Matt:

If we're getting appointments from a new list that we have, great - let's

Matt:

see if we can keep getting them.

Matt:

I don't want people wasting their time on something.

Matt:

So I think there's a good amount of activity into something as

Matt:

a couple of hundred activities.

Matt:

So if literally nothing's happened, maybe we adjust the approach a little bit.

Matt:

If it still seems like it's promising, but the thing that's annoying for me the most

Matt:

as a manager is for somebody to come to me and tell me a lists sucks and they've only

Matt:

made for three or four phone calls on it.

Matt:

So there is a threshold where I would like to be able to confidently be able

Matt:

to adjust and tweak and calibrate if you will the direction we take on something.

Matt:

Three isn't enough, a thousand is probably too many, depending on the total audience.

Matt:

And if we can figure out a way to maybe there's a segment of that audience, that

Matt:

makes a little bit more sense, right?

Matt:

So it's not necessarily a day to day, but it's a couple days to a week,

Matt:

its just little check-ins revaluate.

Matt:

We have Salesforce dashboards set up for every metric I care about.

Matt:

Then obviously the anecdotal stuff, the stuff that you don't have in fields,

Matt:

like, Hey, this is what I'm running into a lot, or this is the general

Matt:

vibe I'm getting from this, or just the conversational stuff when you check in.

Matt:

It's multi-level but yet it's data supported with anecdotal stuff, basically.

Kevin Dieny:

That's great.

Kevin Dieny:

So here's a question for you again, Matt.

Kevin Dieny:

Who is responsible for the success of, let's say some of the metrics, is it?

Kevin Dieny:

And what I'm getting to here is, is it ever more than one person?

Matt:

I feel like this is a loaded question.

Kevin Dieny:

It totally is.

Matt:

No, it is.

Matt:

How did the thing originate?

Matt:

You know, it's obviously the person doing it, but it is on me too to make

Matt:

sure that my team is equipped to be able to reach out to an audience.

Matt:

It's a group effort.

Matt:

It's not just one person.

Matt:

Right.

Matt:

And it takes buy-in from everybody.

Matt:

So if there's something they need that, I can't readily see

Matt:

then it's on them to let me know.

Matt:

If it's something they're doing that's wrong I'm not going to let a couple

Matt:

of weeks go by to tell them I'm going to address it as soon as I find out.

Matt:

If I see they've made 200 phone calls and not even connected with one person they

Matt:

should be talking to we need to figure out a way to either get past gatekeepers or

Matt:

maybe we need to find a different phone number for these folks or something.

Matt:

Or if they're connecting with a bunch of people and not getting any

Matt:

appointments, then it's absolutely whatever they're telling these people.

Matt:

Or maybe that's not even an attractive offer to this audience,

Matt:

it could be a number of things, but you only find these things out...

Matt:

you can almost kind of narrow it down by looking at the data.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah.

Kevin Dieny:

That makes a lot of sense.

Kevin Dieny:

And that's basically a little bit of the art part of feedback loop management

Kevin Dieny:

is how long do, how long do I give it?

Kevin Dieny:

Are the inputs going in, correct?

Kevin Dieny:

Is there something I need to change that maybe unrelated to necessarily

Kevin Dieny:

what's going on that may impact this?

Kevin Dieny:

There's a lot of questions that a feedback loop opens up when you're not,

Kevin Dieny:

let's say getting your performance, even if you are getting the goal or

Kevin Dieny:

even above the goal you want, there could be a lot of stuff going wrong

Kevin Dieny:

and it's still important to look into.

Kevin Dieny:

Okay, Ronn, for you, is there any feedback loops you're utilizing or you tend to

Kevin Dieny:

utilize that are really important to you that you wanted to talk to or share?

Ronn:

My approach to feedback loop, I think of it differently from the whole

Ronn:

standpoint of marketing attractiveness.

Ronn:

There's the internal and external components of things, so to me,

Ronn:

a feedback loop composes, the internal: which is your team.

Ronn:

So how processes are in place within your organization?

Ronn:

What is not efficient and what is not working is people stepping on each

Ronn:

other's toes and things of that nature, which nobody does intentionally, but

Ronn:

it just shows a flaw in the process.

Ronn:

That is definitely a feedback loop and the way I approach that with my team, I am a

Ronn:

firm firm believer in trusting my team.

Ronn:

I want the ball in somebody's court at all times, because when it's in

Ronn:

multiple hands, it tends to fall through the cracks because you

Ronn:

can point the finger on accident.

Ronn:

And to me that approach, it gives empowerment.

Ronn:

You're empowering your team or each specific member.

Ronn:

And now they feel like they have responsibility and they

Ronn:

feel like they have purpose.

Ronn:

And, they feel like they matter to a point where nobody wants to drop the ball.

Ronn:

So if the ball is in their plate, they're almost certainly going to put

Ronn:

their best foot forward to do it rather than it being in a group setting.

Ronn:

So that sort of feedback approach.

Ronn:

And I like that as a marketing manager, I have the weekly meetings and I know

Ronn:

as a team, we also had this sort of a thing, but I like to talk about

Ronn:

successes now in the successes of what was successful for the week.

Ronn:

But I also like to find out: what can we do better?

Ronn:

Did anybody notice anything that we can streamline our work on?

Ronn:

That component of a feedback loop and that kind of open communication without feeling

Ronn:

like there's some sort of hierarchy or you're talking up for talking down to

Ronn:

each other because we're a collective team and all components - everybody's

Ronn:

area of expertise is very important.

Ronn:

I don't tell the social media team how to do things.

Ronn:

I ask them, this is what our strategy is, what we want to do.

Ronn:

So what do you guys think?

Ronn:

And then they can let me know.

Ronn:

So we are all on the same page and that feedback loop is very important.

Ronn:

Then the external component of it is.

Ronn:

The area of expertise of outbound emails and things of that nature.

Ronn:

And you alluded to it with subject lines, which is obviously if you're

Ronn:

not getting email opens, the first thing you go to is databases.

Ronn:

What's the database hygiene?

Ronn:

And of course, that feedback loops is to figure out if, if it's pristine or

Ronn:

not, or make it pristine, hopefully you already know that answer.

Ronn:

So then when you're not receiving any opens or any email analytics, it's due to,

Ronn:

either the cadence, either the messaging, the subject line, things of that nature.

Ronn:

The external component, what I mean by that feedback loop is that's coming from,

Ronn:

the customer or coming from the client.

Ronn:

So what is their feedback?

Ronn:

And there's such a thing as action by inaction.

Ronn:

So to your point, Kevin, if they're not opening emails, if they're not clicking,

Ronn:

if they're not doing any of the CTA.

Ronn:

They're profiling themselves in a way that we know you're

Ronn:

there, but you're not interested.

Ronn:

So we're not offering you value probably, or we're not

Ronn:

speaking to the right persona.

Ronn:

So then all of these things like Matt said is you collect all this data.

Ronn:

And as long as you have a plan to know what to do with that data,

Ronn:

you can really start to hone in on messaging and trying to, up the

Ronn:

stakes, up to ante, up to analytics.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah, so you bring up two really interesting things there.

Kevin Dieny:

The first one is there's two types of, let's say data that

Kevin Dieny:

comes from a feedback loop.

Kevin Dieny:

The first one.

Kevin Dieny:

Let's say call it the traditional data that you'd say 1, 2, 3,

Kevin Dieny:

1000 thousand clicks opens.

Kevin Dieny:

I'm talking about an integer numbers, like quantifiable data that is telling

Kevin Dieny:

us something and based on what we expect or what we know, maybe a

Kevin Dieny:

baseline it's either better or worse or at average than what we expect.

Kevin Dieny:

And that's a feedback loop, it's numerical.

Kevin Dieny:

There's also the qualitative...

Kevin Dieny:

emotional...

Kevin Dieny:

anecdotal, someone saying these leads are crap.

Kevin Dieny:

Like how Matt was mentioning this list is garbage, but then he

Kevin Dieny:

immediately goes to, okay, let me see what the quant side is saying.

Kevin Dieny:

Let me see what the numbers say.

Kevin Dieny:

And that can be an unemotional feedback loop.

Kevin Dieny:

It's not to discount the emotional side.

Kevin Dieny:

The emotional side is incredibly important, especially when managing, but

Kevin Dieny:

if you scope down like a magnifying glass, really down to the individual metric of

Kevin Dieny:

a specific email not being opened or not.

Kevin Dieny:

It could have a lot of emotional components to it.

Kevin Dieny:

When you look at it from high level and you see big numbers, like I got only a

Kevin Dieny:

5% open or whatever it is, and you expect a 15, then okay, something's wrong.

Kevin Dieny:

But exactly what is wrong is really difficult is really...

Kevin Dieny:

complex.

Kevin Dieny:

It can be a hard thing to untangle.

Kevin Dieny:

The other part of it that stood out to me was what if something's not

Kevin Dieny:

going well, I make a change, and then immediately afterward it gets worse.

Kevin Dieny:

It gets worse then bad that it already was.

Kevin Dieny:

Lets just put it in the format of a little story.

Kevin Dieny:

We sent an email out when you get only 5% opens and we're expecting 15.

Kevin Dieny:

And so we said, fixing the database is a big, hard problem for our small business.

Kevin Dieny:

Let's just change the subject line and we changed it.

Kevin Dieny:

And now we're seeing 2% opens.

Kevin Dieny:

We're only looking at that one metric.

Kevin Dieny:

That seems like it made things worse.

Kevin Dieny:

So what do you do Ronn, when you're managing the feedback loops and the

Kevin Dieny:

corrections and still something goes wrong or worse like that side of it.

Ronn:

Yeah.

Ronn:

I consider that to be, it's still a learning, the result is negative,

Ronn:

but it was still a learning thing.

Ronn:

So you know what not to do next time.

Ronn:

When it comes to the database, I'm an automation by trade.

Ronn:

I'm an automation guy.

Ronn:

So I have so many programs built in and I call it proof of life.

Ronn:

If I want to know that there's somebody on the other end, so

Ronn:

right there, I'm cutting the fat.

Ronn:

I'm trimming the fat for those non engaged people.

Ronn:

And they're handled in a different way where it's more of a slow

Ronn:

drip over a cadence over time.

Ronn:

Just trying to get a, to find a pulse.

Ronn:

So something down the road, they eventually click.

Ronn:

So the true automation elements of things that are being centered,

Ronn:

they're only to the, I don't want to say highly engaged, but those that

Ronn:

have shown me that there's a, somebody on the other end of that email.

Ronn:

When I make a decision or I try something because of, again, as an automation

Ronn:

guy, AB testing is a really big part of life, you know, you really want, and

Ronn:

it's everything from CTA button colors.

Ronn:

It's almost fun stuff.

Ronn:

When you make a decision that doesn't work, it's usually, nothing's drastic.

Ronn:

Nothing's crazy.

Ronn:

So I'm going to change something and I'm not going to throw the

Ronn:

baby out with the bath water.

Ronn:

If I see something's not quite working, right.

Ronn:

I'm going to say, okay, how about this?

Ronn:

And it's just a subtle tweak because another main thing in

Ronn:

stilled, in my mind is you want the messaging to always remain the same.

Ronn:

So I don't want them to all of a sudden assuming they know who we are.

Ronn:

You don't want them to see an email that looks completely different than

Ronn:

the organization that you are, and that the messages that you've been

Ronn:

sending across all of your channels.

Ronn:

I can't think of a decision I've ever made incorrectly.

Ronn:

I'm joking.

Ronn:

Of course.

Ronn:

I can't think of anything off the top of my head that would have been too drastic.

Ronn:

Something that comes to mind is long email form versus short email form.

Ronn:

And again, that goes back to the persona.

Ronn:

What audience are you talking to?

Ronn:

Because there are certain audiences that the long email form it's more

Ronn:

storytelling and they need to be coerced and they need to trust you.

Ronn:

So they want to read that.

Ronn:

Then I know I've worked in the past with, auto dealerships and I

Ronn:

know that their audience is, they want to get straight to the point.

Ronn:

They want to go straight to the button.

Ronn:

They want to go straight to the call to action.

Ronn:

All the storytelling that you could incorporate in there, they would

Ronn:

scroll right past that and go to the button if they were interested or not.

Ronn:

The takeaway would be, I would make subtle changes rather than, big,

Ronn:

wholesale changes that are pretty much drastically changing everything

Ronn:

that you've done up until that point.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah, that's a really good point to make, smaller

Kevin Dieny:

manageable changes can oftentimes swing numbers in a huge way.

Kevin Dieny:

We have called it here, making testing experimental changes

Kevin Dieny:

and then the, which are small.

Kevin Dieny:

And then we call it cannon balling where we think the whole idea needs to change.

Kevin Dieny:

And we need to pivot in a big way.

Kevin Dieny:

And we generally do that when we're forced to unfortunately, or when we've tested a

Kevin Dieny:

bunch and we're come to the conclusion.

Kevin Dieny:

This just doesn't seem to be working.

Kevin Dieny:

How Matt mentioned, we've got to give up on this move to something else.

Kevin Dieny:

Let's change the pace entirely.

Kevin Dieny:

So question for you, Matt.

Kevin Dieny:

What is the long-term consequence of ignoring a feedback loop?

Kevin Dieny:

What are some consequences of ignoring the process of setting

Kevin Dieny:

up feedback loops entirely?

Matt:

Well, yeah, I think the worst possible consequences I lose

Matt:

my job for, for doing something way too long that's not working.

Matt:

There are other consequences as well.

Matt:

We could potentially damage the relationship we have with an

Matt:

audience by going too far into something thats not working, we

Matt:

could start to irritate some people.

Matt:

I do think that there's always something to be learned.

Matt:

Even from your sunscreen example at the beginning or your sunburn example, you

Matt:

can learn, there's no total loss, right.

Matt:

Because you can learn, okay, next time you go out and sunscreen, then you, you put on

Matt:

some SPF 20 and then you get burned again.

Matt:

And it's like, okay, maybe I need SPF 40 next time.

Matt:

And then you get burnt again, and then it's like, okay, maybe I can stay out

Matt:

of the sun or I just use an umbrella where everywhere I go or, and bring

Matt:

Aloe Vera with me everywhere I go.

Matt:

There's something to be learned in any case.

Matt:

It's never realistic to be making like little micro changes and stuff like

Matt:

that, but you should have an idea of the checkpoints and stuff like that.

Matt:

You don't want it to go on for too long because there's a lot at risk: the quality

Matt:

of the list and you're getting people to say no before they even know what you do.

Matt:

But I do agree with Ronn, in terms of not changing too many things

Matt:

at once because by making little tweaks, you're able to isolate what

Matt:

is actually wrong with the approach.

Matt:

A lot of times it's just a matter of tweaking the talk track a little bit.

Matt:

We usually go in somewhat prepared, we know that audience typically works for us.

Matt:

You go in with your best foot forward and an educated guests of what you think is

Matt:

going to work based on historical stuff.

Matt:

And then if it's not working, it's usually I'm not opening up this call the

Matt:

right way, or this is a hot button for them and make sure you mentioned this or

Matt:

it's usually one or two little things.

Kevin Dieny:

Yeah, that's great, Matt.

Kevin Dieny:

You mentioned some really good things that I want to summarize around and

Kevin Dieny:

then I'll give it back to you guys just to add any last things you want to this.

Kevin Dieny:

So in summary, the feedback loop is being able to measure the performance

Kevin Dieny:

of something as it goes, but also to give you the information you need

Kevin Dieny:

to know what you should tweak either next time or in real time on the fly.

Kevin Dieny:

And that is the process of improving performance; adding value to the

Kevin Dieny:

business that does equal more leads, more interactions, more

Kevin Dieny:

engagements, more sales, greater revenue, increased retention.

Kevin Dieny:

The reason that there's infinite value there is that you can

Kevin Dieny:

always change something.

Kevin Dieny:

Now the last component of that right is, well, what do I change first?

Kevin Dieny:

There's a priorities.

Kevin Dieny:

Not all feedback is going to be equal.

Kevin Dieny:

Some things are going to be very valuable and some things are going

Kevin Dieny:

to just be like, okay, it didn't work, but this is a Christmas email.

Kevin Dieny:

We sent it once a year.

Kevin Dieny:

It doesn't need to drive leads, right?

Kevin Dieny:

What is its purpose?

Kevin Dieny:

And then the other thing is looking at a campaign and initiative.

Kevin Dieny:

Anything.

Kevin Dieny:

Is it trackable?

Kevin Dieny:

Are we measuring it?

Kevin Dieny:

Do we care?

Kevin Dieny:

If it's an awareness thing.

Kevin Dieny:

If it's just to get some good rapport with an audience, it may not

Kevin Dieny:

necessarily need to be fully trackable.

Kevin Dieny:

And sometimes the difference between the untrackable and a trackable

Kevin Dieny:

thing is a lot of money and expense.

Kevin Dieny:

So maybe we just don't have the budget for that.

Kevin Dieny:

We can't track this per se.

Kevin Dieny:

Data feedback is best I would say, but I wouldn't ignore the emotional

Kevin Dieny:

anecdotal feedback, especially in different situations in managing people.

Kevin Dieny:

There's a lot of bias out there.

Kevin Dieny:

So that's why data is I say, as our preference, my preference, it

Kevin Dieny:

removes some of the bias, but you can easily skew and bias anything.

Kevin Dieny:

The feedback loops that tell us that we are doing something wrong

Kevin Dieny:

or that we suck at something.

Kevin Dieny:

Honestly it's hard to take, right?

Kevin Dieny:

This thing you put a lot of time and effort in didn't work.

Kevin Dieny:

Okay.

Kevin Dieny:

Does that mean you are a bad marketer business owner, leader salesperson?

Kevin Dieny:

No, it just means, there's something there that can be improved.

Kevin Dieny:

You can get better.

Kevin Dieny:

You can, move this in the right direction.

Kevin Dieny:

It's just got to be worth it.

Kevin Dieny:

So I wouldn't get all worked up about something that you can just, move on or

Kevin Dieny:

change or can improve starting small.

Kevin Dieny:

Like Matt said is probably the right way.

Kevin Dieny:

If you change, or like Ron alluded to you change too many things,

Kevin Dieny:

you get into multi-variate work.

Kevin Dieny:

And then in that case, you're like, well, I changed five things, but I

Kevin Dieny:

don't know which one actually worked.

Kevin Dieny:

That's a problem.

Kevin Dieny:

I mean it's better...

Kevin Dieny:

but if someone was to say, well, what exactly was the thing that

Kevin Dieny:

worked or if it starts to not work.

Kevin Dieny:

And you're kind of like, wait, I don't know exactly which one to fix.

Kevin Dieny:

And that's tough.

Kevin Dieny:

So focus on what can be greatly improved by doing the smallest amount

Kevin Dieny:

of effort is probably just a smart management decision or smart way to work.

Kevin Dieny:

Pouring a whole bunch of effort into a tiny little corner of a graphic that's

Kevin Dieny:

barely, anyone's going to see on the last page, doesn't need as much attention.

Kevin Dieny:

When someone lands on a page, they're going to see the top.

Kevin Dieny:

Are they gonna scroll down to the bottom?

Kevin Dieny:

Probably not.

Kevin Dieny:

So does that need the most attention?

Kevin Dieny:

Probably not.

Kevin Dieny:

Some people just don't scroll.

Kevin Dieny:

They want it immediately.

Kevin Dieny:

So that's where the attention should be paid.

Kevin Dieny:

That's a lot of experience talking but that's come from feedback loops.

Kevin Dieny:

I am on the side of Ronn, and I think Matt probably would agree to where

Kevin Dieny:

you want the responsibility of things to be in one person's hand, as he

Kevin Dieny:

mentioned, like the ball in one person's court, and that's by scoping in.

Kevin Dieny:

In macro and a large view, like Matt mentioned, everyone has a piece,

Kevin Dieny:

everyone's a cog in this machine, but when you zoom in scope in, you really want that

Kevin Dieny:

small decisions being made, that people can be responsible for the performance

Kevin Dieny:

on that people can feel awesome, I want to learn from this and improve.

Kevin Dieny:

That's where I think it works best.

Kevin Dieny:

That's the summary, and you take all that in and you say, well,

Kevin Dieny:

what do I do with all this?

Kevin Dieny:

I think you look at some of the most important things going on in your

Kevin Dieny:

business and you ask yourself, okay, well, what does success look like?

Kevin Dieny:

How am I measuring that?

Kevin Dieny:

Who's responsible for that?

Kevin Dieny:

If it's more than one person, then maybe it's nobody.

Kevin Dieny:

That's usually where I go to.

Kevin Dieny:

What are we doing about it, and is there anything we can do about it?

Kevin Dieny:

Those are basic business decision topics that we're alluding

Kevin Dieny:

to here with feedback loops.

Kevin Dieny:

Ronn, is there anything else you'd like to add or point out about the feedback loops?

Ronn:

Something that was asked earlier is the negative component.

Ronn:

What are the negative effects of a poor feedback loop?

Ronn:

And the simple answer is just cost.

Ronn:

It's expensive because you're inefficient.

Ronn:

So things are not working on your team or in your organization on that side

Ronn:

and the outward facing stuff you're not getting the return on the investment.

Ronn:

That is also expensive.

Ronn:

Finding leads is expensive.

Ronn:

If the process is really bad, turnover is also very expensive.

Ronn:

So KPIs and these sorts of things, becoming an expensive

Ronn:

problem for an organization.

Ronn:

And as a leader, your KPIs are somehow tied to that and you want

Ronn:

to be as efficient and show as much return on investment as you can.

Ronn:

The other thing is what's the perfect, what's the ideal situation, what is

Ronn:

the dream scenario, the dream path that you want something to work in

Ronn:

and what the ideal state looks like.

Ronn:

And then you try to create that.

Ronn:

And when you find those obstacles, now you try to solve for those obstacles.

Ronn:

So really what you're doing for the ideal streamlined feedback

Ronn:

loop is removing obstacles.

Ronn:

I think of it a little bit like, when we were talking about multi-variant,

Ronn:

apply best practices and then apply like the whole medical profession to it.

Ronn:

How do they solve problems?

Ronn:

They remove what they know is not the problem.

Ronn:

We know this is not the problem.

Ronn:

So now let's move on to this.

Ronn:

And then you keep what is good and you try to filter down and what is not as good.

Ronn:

Really efficiency and process and trying to get high performing as you

Ronn:

can, both internally and externally.

Kevin Dieny:

That's some great points Ronn.

Kevin Dieny:

I really liked the idea of separating out what it's not first, because

Kevin Dieny:

you could spend a lot of time pointing out problems when we're

Kevin Dieny:

trying to work towards solutions.

Kevin Dieny:

Matt, was there anything else that you wanted to add about the feedback loops?

Matt:

Yeah.

Matt:

I mean, I just wanted you guys to know that we are all in fact drinking

Matt:

out of the same Punchbowl here.

Matt:

Strategy wise, there's could be multiple people involved from a tactical level.

Matt:

Yes, one owner.

Matt:

One person either gets the credit or the blame when it comes

Matt:

to actually doing the thing.

Matt:

I say that half joking, but no, it is, just from bartending in the

Matt:

past, it's a lot easier to make a drink if one person's doing it.

Matt:

I don't need somebody to get the cup for me.

Matt:

And then someone else fills it up with ice and then the other person goes and gets

Matt:

some Xs and the liquor, I just wanna make the drink and then give it to the table.

Matt:

Its going to be the most quickest, efficient thing.

Matt:

If I am making it wrong along the way.

Matt:

Cool, I'll pour it out and make the other one.

Matt:

It's still going to be quicker than having five people cause then you

Matt:

have people along the way say, oh, you put too much ice in or whatever.

Matt:

Just let me do, let me make the drink.

Matt:

The goal of all these feedback loops, we're all trying to

Matt:

hit some sort of goal, right?

Matt:

So these, whatever the activity we're doing that requires these feedback loops,

Matt:

the feedback loop is for the sake of, should we continue to do it or not?

Matt:

Thats really the question that we're trying to answer here.

Matt:

And if so, then what do we need to change or do we need to change anything?

Matt:

One funny example that we had, Kevin, working together, Ronn, you

Matt:

might even have been here for this.

Matt:

We did an ad campaign that then our phones are ringing off the hook for

Matt:

people that want to buy trampolines.

Matt:

We don't sell trampolines, not even close, probably the furthest

Matt:

away from what we actually do here.

Matt:

That's something I wouldn't wait a week to go back to Kevin and say,

Matt:

Hey, by the way, our phones have been ringing for an entire every day, every

Matt:

second of every day for an entire week.

Matt:

Part of me wanted to get in the trampoline business but the other part of me

Matt:

is like, "Hey, shut this off because it's annoying and we don't do that."

Matt:

You'd want to address it a lot sooner than later, some of this stuff where

Matt:

we're still unsure, we're on the fence.

Matt:

Okay.

Matt:

Let's plug away a little bit longer and see what happens.

Matt:

But at some point the decision needs to be made, whether you

Matt:

continue to do something or not.

Matt:

Because as Ronn alluded to, your job at stake is a very extreme example, but

Matt:

for every second you're sitting there on the fence, you're not sure what to do.

Matt:

You are using company resources, whether it's time, energy, some of these effort

Matt:

and you're actually not only doing that, you're actually subtracting from

Matt:

something else somebody could be doing.

Matt:

So it's actually twice if you're doing the wrong thing, but as

Matt:

long as you're learning something, and it's not taking too long.

Matt:

It's not failing little small failing and tripping along the way is not a bad thing.

Matt:

It's actually a really good thing.

Kevin Dieny:

That's excellent.

Kevin Dieny:

Some really good examples there and I love the, I remember the trampolines there.

Kevin Dieny:

It's not, that's not the only one that ended up like that.

Kevin Dieny:

We've also had some crazy, bus fairs and stuff like that, people asking about them.

Kevin Dieny:

The takeaway is here that, nobody's going to get every business decision right.

Kevin Dieny:

Feedback loops, are to help you get them right eventually.

Kevin Dieny:

That's what they're for.

Kevin Dieny:

Like Matt said, they're either to continue to do something or stop something.

Kevin Dieny:

So business decisions are made all the time.

Kevin Dieny:

They're not going to be right all the time.

Kevin Dieny:

Sometimes they're more weighty and more costly to make than others.

Kevin Dieny:

And that's just the way it is.

Kevin Dieny:

And constantly evaluating feedback loops and small manageable decisions, will help.

Kevin Dieny:

Like Ronn said, a good example is A/B testing.

Kevin Dieny:

If you can incorporate that in, that's a great way to get going.

Kevin Dieny:

So gentlemen, how can people find and connect with you, Ronn?

Ronn:

Ronn Burner is my name on LinkedIn and it's my name everywhere else.

Kevin Dieny:

Awesome.

Kevin Dieny:

Thanks, Ronn.

Kevin Dieny:

How about you, Matt?

Matt:

Same thing, Matt Widmyer uh, LinkedIn it's w I D M Y E R.

Kevin Dieny:

I'm also on LinkedIn and everyone...

Kevin Dieny:

thank you for listening.

Kevin Dieny:

If you want to check out the show notes, you want to check out

Kevin Dieny:

anything to do with this episode, we will post it on that page.

Kevin Dieny:

We're really grateful for you listening.

Kevin Dieny:

Thank you again.

Kevin Dieny:

Thanks guys.

Links