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Account-based Mindset
Marketing
ABM
Oct
06

Quacy Superville on Empathy, Relevance, and B2B Marketing

Riley Smith
Content Contributor
Photo by:

UviaUs

Get out of your comfort zone to make better connections.

Quacy Superville, often known as Q, bakes empathy, value, and purpose into his approach to accomplishing goals. In his day-to-day, he works with clients to develop and implement marketing and sales strategies that are rooted in data and audience understanding.

We sat down with him to talk about empathy, relevance, and what we can learn about communication from the beauty of music.

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Can you tell us a bit more about your current role?

I’m an Account Director at Transmission Agency. If you don’t know Transmission Agency, we’re one of the largest B2B independent agencies in the world. We work with some of the most recognizable brands in B2B tech.

We’ve also had some recent success with small-to-medium sized businesses. Mostly medium-sized business brands positioning themselves in the marketplace.

What is a day-in-the-life like for you in your current role?

As an Account Director, I work with multiple teams at the agency. Specifically, we have stakeholders on the creative side, the media and activation side of things.

We at Transmission consider media as part of activation, and activation as an all-encompassing  element of connecting with the end user and customer.

So I work with creative, activation, project management, and other stakeholders across the business to deliver on the work that we secure for clients. A key focus of what I do is to meet with clients and really dive deep into understanding their objectives.

What do they want to accomplish short term, long term? What’s their north star? I help them define that as well.

My job is to dig a little deeper to understand their needs and see if the desired business outcome is realistic and attainable. And can we measure it?

Then I work with my strategy team to orchestrate a successful campaign. We figure out what teams we’re going to need to pull in, and then we engage those teams. That way it’s a lot more efficient.

Your role includes something very important that’s often overlooked: defining success and making sure everyone is on the same page with that definition!

One-hundred percent. It’s not only understanding success for that specific client stakeholder, for instance, we work with marketing a lot, but marketing works hand-in-hand with sales to reach certain revenue goals. So we help them understand how everyone is in it together.

Then we translate that into work and objectives that they’re focused on, and show them how it relates to those revenue goals or their product marketing goals.

What do you see as common pain points or challenges for your customers?

There are so many challenges in the world we’re living in right now, and we’re all trying to adjust. But one of the biggest obstacles our clients face is being able to connect with their end users.

There’s this inherent need to overcomplicate or dilute messaging to encompass everyone. But you know, as well as me, that if you’re talking to everyone, you’re really talking to no one.

Luckily enough, it’s one of the easiest things to overcome. But there’s always an investment of time and resources to do so.

What role does relevance play in overcoming those obstacles?

I see relevance as a combination of finding value and finding a way to deliver that value.

It starts with empathy.

It starts with empathizing with your audience, not just at the surface level; where you look at desires and interests, but deeper than that.

What does our audience’s day-to-day look like? How do our marketing communications show up in their day? What can we do to embody value for that end user?

Value is sometimes more than just monetary ROI! Sometimes it’s cutting down delivery time or making that person’s day better. Or, how do you help that person progress in their career?

I think empathy is one of the foundational elements of finding that value and delivering relevance. Once you have that understanding and develop empathy, you can go a step further and figure out ways to connect.

Identifying and empathizing with these audiences, while figuring out a way to be part of a natural conversation with them is one of the most fundamental things understood by brands that are winning.

What are some challenges to tapping into that empathy?

One of the things I learned quickly in my career is that there’s always a way to do something once you put your mind to it. I think that's a fundamental part of the mindset.

This is also why Transmission thinks about connecting with audiences in terms of “activation.” We’ve broadened our scope of what most marketing agencies consider related tasks. Most agencies have separate departments for different things, right?

We’ve created a process that encompasses our media and our social teams, including organic and even social listening elements. We bring it all under one umbrella, even physical media, like direct mail, or any other way you can reach your audience.

We’ve brought all that together into the mindset of activation. We’ve identified the message, we’ve done the creative, we’ve done the strategy. We understand the audience. Now let’s look at ways that we can connect with that end user.

It might not be traditional media, but it might be a mix of organic and some boosting activities to reach an audience. But to get back to the point, there’s always a way. You have to put your mind to accomplishing that goal, and that’s sometimes the hardest part.

You have to figure out the goal, and the next objective, and be very clear about how that objective is going to be measured, because that will influence the strategy, tools and tactics you use to accomplish it.

Do you have any books or resources you recommend for someone trying to build this mindset?

Years ago I read, or listened to (I listen to a lot of audiobooks) It’s Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Marketers who are finding new ways of connecting to audiences are going to be in the forefront, and it’s lonely out there!

There are so many resources you can tap into, like this blog right here, and your podcast REACH. I’d say make sure you use those resources, tap into the wisdom of legends in the industry and legends in psychology.

I had a really keen interest in psychology and human behavior in college. That grew into a lot of the work I have done in sales and marketing. It’s helped me so much.

I think this comes back to relevance. At the core, people want to be understood and they want to see that they’ve been understood.

If your brand is able to demonstrate that, and able to relate with these audiences. Where they currently are, and where they hope to be. You’re going to make a strong connection and your brand is going to resonate. And you’re going to convert.

Do you have any personal stories of this mindset helping you connect to an audience?

Three and a half years ago, the CEO of our America’s division reached out and invited me to be a part of the founding San Francisco team. We started with three or four people.

Over the course of three and a half years, we’ve grown our office to about one hundred and fifteen people across different departments. We’ve been able to do that because of the value we deliver to our clients.

I remember about two years ago, we had a client we were working with on the enterprise and commercial side. We had demonstrated some success for them on that front, so they reached out to us because they had launched a new product line about seven months prior and weren’t getting much traction in the market.

It was a networking product specifically for a SMB audience, very much for your typical mom and pop shop.

The company’s initial request seeked help tapping into the power of influencer marketing.

We listened, but as we dug a little deeper, we noticed a broken customer journey on their website. So we had to bring this to their attention.

We helped them address that issue first before we started driving traffic to that website. Not a lot of agencies opt to have candid conversations with their clients, but honestly, that's where the value lives.

That pilot project was successful, and led to a global relationship with this customer. We helped position the brand globally in over 5 priority countries, and this has been one of our most successful campaigns.

It was a success because we started with understanding the audience, understanding the flow of their customer journey, the audience “watering holes,” where they got their news. We looked at the things surrounding the purchase. Not only the business drivers, but the hopes, desires, and dreams of the audience.

Through that, we noticed there were referral elements and watering holes that weren’t apparent at the beginning. We were able to find them because we invested the time to dive into that audience and develop an understanding and clear messaging.

We had a whole activation framework, one of the first in the industry, that incorporated everything from influencer marketing to reviews to paid media to organic, all of it working together with one goal in mind.

We won some awards for that campaign, but even better than that, the client was able to displace some competitors and win market share.

It was funny, because we started off with a really bold goal, and we knocked it down a bit because the clients just wanted to be a viable competitor in that space. But internally, we were pushing for that bold goal. We were pushing toward the bold goal of making them the number one solution in that marketplace. And that was something we were able to do.

Would you consider yourself a music lover?

Music is definitely an important influence in my life. Music has the power to put you in whatever mindset you need for what you’re trying to achieve. It helps me like that throughout my day.

For the music you love, what do you think makes it feel “relevant” to you?

I think it’s the power to make emotional connections not only in the present, but also in the historical sense.

You hear a song on the radio, and suddenly memories are flashing by. They may be good childhood memories, or may be the time you were stuck cramming for a test.

Music is powerful in that sense. It's a connection to time and space, and can take you anywhere, in an instant.

What else can we learn about relevance and communication from music?

There are definitely certain elements of communication inherent and embedded in the way music is delivered.

Repetition, for one, helps a message stick. And the clarity and catchiness of a good hook.

It’s been super helpful in my personal communications and business communications, for instance in pitching an idea, or conveying a message. These concepts from music help us be memorable and leave a lasting impression.

The message of a good song lasts way beyond the moment you finish listening to the song, right? You get a song stuck in your head, and you can’t get it out!

Talking about this makes me think of an example. For one of our clients, where we were deep in research and conversations around understanding the audience. One of the senior sales folks over there shared a good story.

He had been trying for years to get at a meeting with a specific company and build a relationship with a specific Chief Information Security Officer.

But he wasn’t getting through, until he found out this particular CISO was really interested in this one cause. He was actually going to be at a fundraising event for this cause. They were having a fundraising fair, and this CISO was going to be in the dunk tank!

So this sales person goes to the fair, and before the CISO takes his place in the dunk tank, he was able to talk to him in that social setting. And he made a wager, “If I’m able to dunk you five times in a row, will you take a meeting with me?”

He made it fun. Of course the CISO takes the bet… but he didn’t know that sales person, before he was in sales, was a professional baseball player! He was in the minor leagues, whatever step is right before the majors.

Long story short, he won the bet and got the meeting. He went out of his comfort zone, going to the fair, and because of that he was able to connect to the prospect in a new place.

He not only made it fun, he was able to help raise money for the cause and be a part of that connected experience.

When I think back on my life and the most memorable moments, it’s those out of the ordinary, sometimes stressful moments. They mean the most. Because it's then that you’re able to get over an obstacle, and crystalize the memory.

In the moment, when we’re looking at an obstacle head on, it looks so big, so grandiose, but in the grand scheme of things, life is a fun journey.

What’s on your playlist?

In preparation for this, I was listening to some house music. EDM gets me into the zone and helps me power through to get ideas out.

As far as my favorite genre, it really depends on where I’m headed or what I’m doing. Lately I’ve been tapping into up and coming underground/indie artists.

One artist that comes to mind, though he’s not really “underground” anymore, is LaRussell out of Vallejo, California. He’s in rap/hip-hop. What I like about him is his approach and his mindset.

He’s an underdog, but he cares about his message as an artist. He’s turned down many record deals actually, and has built a community around what he’s trying to accomplish.

He started a nonprofit called GoodCompenny who supports local artists.

He has this great mindset and focus on innovation. He transformed his own backyard into a concert venue, so he does backyard concerts and sometimes garage concerts, just different types of ideas that may be unconventional but still reaches the goal.

And reaches the goal on his terms!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us today!

I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. These are good conversations to have.

One of the main drivers in my life has always been leaving a lasting impact. Not only to the clients I serve, but also to my team.

When I work on developing future leaders and imparting experience, transferring knowledge, it’s always important to hone in on what’s going to be the most impactful. I try to bring that mindset into my client relationships and my personal life, as well.

What is that one, most impactful thing we can do to leave behind a lasting legacy?

Join the conversation

We’re diving even deeper into Empathy on our podcast, REACH, where we explore the mindsets of high achievers and then seek to apply the lessons to life, business, and of course, marketing.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to listen to the podcast, please visit www.ReachABM.com to listen through your favorite podcast provider.

If you’d like to talk with industry experts and share your own knowledge, please follow our Linkedin Page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/reachabm/.

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