LeadCrunch Webinar: Use AI to Find Your Best Prospects, July 15, 2021 - Register Here

How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust with Senior Executives

B2B Content marketing

15 Min Read

J. David Green

Listen now on these popular platforms

Share this podcast

Highlights from this episode

Podcast Transcript

Today on the podcast we are joined by a fantastic guest, Yadin Porter de Leon. Yadin is the Global Executive Content Strategist for VMware, a pioneer in virtualization and an innovator in cloud and business mobility. Yadin has a passion for building things from the ground up and collaboratively innovating from within at startups as well as large corporations. At VMware, Yadin has the difficult job of trying to reach very senior level executives in large accounts that are in the IT department. In today’s episode he shares his philosophy on the building a trusted network, applying the Jobs-to-Be-Done Theory, and better understanding the buyer’s journey by taking an investigative journalist approach. If you know what it’s like to have to reach a senior level audience, you’re going to really enjoy this episode. So be sure to tune in.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Difference between content given away freely, versus content with enough perceived value
  • Defining the Jobs-to-Be-Done Theory; what it means for content marketing
  • Understanding the role of trust in content marketing. especially with executive audiences
  • Moving away from persona’s and towards “mini-documentaries” style investigative journalism.
  • Getting to the heart of the buyer’s journey through first-hand research.
  • The two books Yadin recommends most for content marketers.


“It’s like if by some miracle some sales person gets my phone number and gives me a call, I scream at them and tell them to get off the phone.” — @porterdeleon [0:02:05.1]

“There’s this very tight circle of trust and CIOs are in the roles they are in because they built this network of people around them that they don’t need to go and download white papers and get calls from reps.” — @porterdeleon [0:02:27.1]

“When the whole idea of inbound and whole idea of content marketing came about was because we wanted to actually deliver value to people consistently on a regular basis to ultimately help them do what they do better.” — @porterdeleon [0:12:59.1]

 Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Yadin Porter de Leon — https://www.linkedin.com/in/porterdeleon/

Yadin on Twitter — https://twitter.com/porterdeleon

VMware — https://www.vmware.com/

Clayton Christensen — http://www.claytonchristensen.com/

How Will You Measure Your Life?https://www.amazon.com/How-Will-Measure-Your-Life/dp/0062102419

Seth Godin — https://www.sethgodin.com/

Marc Andreessen — https://www.forbes.com/profile/marc-andreessen/#834c0d657aad

The Innovator’s Dilemma — https://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Technologies-Management-Innovation/dp/1633691780

Competing Against Luck — https://www.amazon.com/Competing-Against-Luck-Innovation-Customer/dp/0062435612

Jobs-to-Be-Done Theory — https://jtbd.info/2-what-is-jobs-to-be-done-jtbd-796b82081cca

Marketing Malpracticehttps://hbr.org/2005/12/marketing-malpractice-the-cause-and-the-cure

Killing Marketing — https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Marketing-Innovative-Businesses-Turning/dp/1260026426

Content Marketing Institute — https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

Content Marketing World — https://www.contentmarketingworld.com/


[0:00:07.2] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. Help us start a movement to make B2B marketers the maestros of shareholder value. On our website, LeadCrunch.com, you can find timestamped transcripts of these podcasts and info about the guests. Subscribe to these podcasts on all major platforms, like iTunes. Send topic or guest suggestions to the host at david.green@leadcrunch.ai.

Here’s Dave.

 [0:00:34.2] DG: Hi, this is Dave Green with LeadCrunch. Thanks so much for joining. I’m here today with a fantastic guest, Yadin Porter de León. Yadin is the Global Executive Content Strategist for VMware. He was with Druva before that. He has the difficult job of trying to reach very senior level executives in large accounts that are in the IT department. If you have to reach a senior level audience, and you know how hard that is, and I think you’re going to really enjoy what we’re talking about today.

Yadin, welcome to the show, thank you so much for joining.

[0:01:05.6] YPDL: How are you doing?

[0:01:07.8] DG: Fantastic. I’m doing well. I’m doing well. Thanks. Thanks so much for asking. Well, thank you first of all for your interest in this. It looks like you just started with VMware. I was looking at your profile again on LinkedIn and it looks it looks like you’re the person that’s largely responsible for the content strategy for VMware, if I read the profile correctly. Is that the case?

[0:01:32.9] YPDL: From an executive kind of standpoint, yes. The EXO level, or CIO really, CIO minus one, minus two. At least we got it there. Yeah, for content.

[0:01:45.5] DG: Well, that’s a tough audience to get their moment of attention.

[0:01:50.8] YPDL: It is. You got to get right in front of them most of the time. It was great. I was actually at that event earlier this year and I was talking to one of the CIOs and I was just like, “So, how do you consume thing, how do people reach you? How do they get your attention?” “Well, you’ve got to be in my circle of trust, you know? It’s like if by some miracle some sales person gets my phone number and gives me a call, I scream at them and tell them to get off the phone.” I thought that was one of my favorite quotes. You’re like, “Poor-like inside sales persons getting screamed at by you.” Well, yeah it makes sense too.

I have that whole philosophy, the circle of trust so there’s this very tight circle of trust and CIOs are in the roles they are in because they built this network of people around them that they don’t need to go download white papers and get calls from reps and stuff like, where basically they have those resources already there. It’s like you’re really bringing the person on, because they like their approach, the philosophy. Their vision is right and they’ll have all the resources they need, whether it’s a technical resource, whether it’s leadership thought-trend resource, whatever they’re in guarding built that in. Anyways, get off my little philosophical soapbox there.

Listen to the Podcast: Why Empathy is the Future of Marketing


[0:03:04.1] DG: I’m doing research and using the research for the purpose of content marketing. We have a demand gen facing service and product capability, and so there are topics that are really interesting to our audience. One of those is the whole broad topic around what is it that makes an asset gateable, right? So it’ll attract people, whether they’re CIOs or not, to share their identity right and in a lead generation type campaign.

What I was hoping is that you might be – you might have some thoughts around that and might be willing to share your thoughts around what’s the difference between content that you give away freely, versus content that has enough value, perceived value that someone would tell you who they are.

[0:03:57.3] YPDL: Yeah. I’ll give you those two perspectives and those two come from two people I highly revere; one is Clayton Christensen, father disruptive innovation. The other Seth Godin who I believe is the greatest content marketer of our time.

Clayton, are you familiar with Clayton Christensen?

[0:04:10.3] DG: Yeah, you know that’s so funny, I recommend to all new people his book about, I think it’s called How Will You Manage Your Life or something like that, but –

[0:04:18.7] YPDL: Oh yes, How Will You Measure Your Life?

[0:04:21.0] DG: Measure Your Life. Right, yeah.

[0:04:23.5] YPDL: Good to see this re-thought everything, which is interesting because I thought he was already in a really great relationship. One of the funniest things about that too is he goes on the road and talks to people, I mean he was even on the stage with Marc Andreessen, talking about that book and talking about how most of us implement a strategy for basically getting divorced and having our kids hate our guts. How do we do that? We don’t intend to do that, but how do we not implement that strategy, but anything we can go on a tangent.

But yeah, no. He’s probably, as you know, better known for that book he did, which is The Innovator’s Dilemma. But have you read Competing Against Luck?

 [0:04:52.9] DG: No.

[0:04:54.6] YPDL: That I think should be required reading. I mean, anyone as I’m building my team now, anyone who’s going to be on the team that I build that will be required reading for them; Competing Against Luck. What that is he went and of course did all that research on how do you – how does disruption happen? How do all these really smart people who do all the right things get disrupted? Then after that was hugely successful. Now disruptions a normal part of our vernacular, even though most people use it wrong. When they say disruptive innovation, they don’t actually know what they’re talking about, just because it’s been popularized.

Anyways, words have a life of their own. Don’t get me started on that, but what he then went to set out to do is that okay, well how do you innovate? How do you go out and innovate? That’s where your first question comes in, what makes something gateable? That goes back to what Clayton Christensen created, which was called – what he calls the Jobs-to-Be-Done Theory. Jobs-to-Be-Done means that anyone is actually trying to get a job done, and there are social, emotional, economic, political components and circumstances to that job they’re trying to do.

Let’s say you figured out that working with all sorts of great people from Bezos to people at Intuit, to Netflix, all these people to say, “Okay, well what is the right unit of analysis?” He quickly came to the point of years ago, and so this was years in the making, and I read this is his first piece on this and I think in the Harvard Business Review you called the Marketing Malpractice, which I thought was really a great title and he laser-guided on the fact that just because somebody is 45 and they drive a BMW and they happen to live in particular zip code, does not make them buy the New York Times on Sunday. They’re trying to get a job done.

So I was actually just having a great conversation with somebody at a company, disaster recovery technology company, and I was talking about a great piece that they wrote was called — It was on disaster recover, so this is just digital information that you want back when something bad happens. Something bad happens in your data center and you want to get that information, all the data back.

That was a gated asset and the reason why it was valuable is because it helped people do a specific job. Now that’s very verbose, very specific, very technical. Those things are quite clear in many cases. Like this is, either the brand has a great deal of respect and earns trust and you have a specific job you’re trying to do, which is, let’s say, build out a disaster recovery solution. This company, Zurdo, created an asset that it’s going to help you get that job done. There’s a billion – a whole bunch of different jobs.

Whether or not someone’s willing to give you the information really is to help them get a job or get a job done and make progress at getting that job done, and that asset is going to help them do it. Another example is I want to increase my status in a particular situation, so I might buy a car because I want to get a job done. Not just getting into, but getting myself from here to there doesn’t make us, you know, Isn’t what I want to do. I want to show people that I have a certain amount of means, so I’m going to buy a Maserati, or I’m going to buy a Tesla and I want it, I have a specific identity. My identity is that I care about the environment, so I’m going to buy a hybrid and that’s the reason, that’s the job I’m trying to get done.

Now there’s a whole bunch of other different components to that. When you’re looking at gated assets, you’re looking – I’ll kind of go back to one of the things I was talking about earlier, which is that circle of trust and so one of those components of let’s say this job that I’m trying to make progress on, I have to trust to a certain degree that that asset is going to actually help me make progress.

There’s a bunch of different components to that. Whether it’s a brand that I already recognize, or whether it’s a colleague that is already recommended that I go to this source, like for example the Zurdo example with their white paper on disaster recovery. I had a colleague recommend that I’d go and I consume that piece of content. That is a component of that.

As far as gated assets go, that’s the number one thing is that gated asset has to help somebody make progress in a job they’re doing and I can go deep into the Clayton Christensen framework of how you create some of the jobs you done, how do you discover it, all those components too, but that’s it in a nutshell, if you really want to drill down deep, I’ve got a blog post written on it. There’s a whole lot of really great literature as well in regards to Clayton Christensen’s Jobs-to-be-Done. That’s where I would put that on.

Maybe at this point, now we kind of pause and get into more specifics of what you’re looking for as far as different components of assets, all those different things, but that’s just — at a high level, that’s the first core piece that I would put out there.

[0:09:37.8] DG: Yeah. That is really interesting. I love the Jobs-to-be-Done theory that he has. I’m ashamed to say that I had not thought about it specifically in this context. Let me ask you, just a follow-up question to that, because I find this fascinating. How do you get at what the job is relative to the solution you’re selling, what that job is that needs to be done so that you can create the right kind of asset that would be helpful to them?

[0:10:06.4] YPDL: The best way to do that is basically what you’re doing is you’re creating instead of a persona document, which is very – it’s a shortcut that a lot of people use to try and drill down into that job to be done. I don’t really know that they’re doing it. The whole article about Marketing Malpractice goes into stop, and basically to stop doing personas and actually talk to people. Instead of creating persona, what you’re doing is basically creating a mini-documentary about a person who would consume a piece of content, buy a product, whatever you might try to be doing, getting that job to be done. You’re creating that mini-documentary around that.

Let’s say for example in the book, they described this one person who bought a mattress at Costco, and they talked about all the different things that led up to that. It’s like, “Well, what’s important to you about a bed? What kind of beds that you previously?” Part of it is like, “Well where are you on that inner journey of buying a mattress? You’ve tried this, you tried that, you’ve tried this and then, what was the decision like that you made? What were the different things that you thought about when you got the mattress? What concerned you? What made you scared? What made you risk-averse? What are the different things?”

Of course prices always adds into it. “As far as your – may have the money, but you allocate it in different ways. How important is this to you to buy up? What are the different qualities of the mattress that are going to make you buy that and then where are you going to buy it? How are you going to get it to your house? How you going to dispose of your old mattress? Where is it in your buying cycle, what time of the year was it that that you bought?”

All this information basically and just imagine creating a documentary film about one person making a particular choice. That documentary film is going to basically inform you, or you could call it a case study, or however you frame it, you can call it that. It is those questions you have to be in that mode of that sort of investigative journalistic mode, rather than the, “I’m going to build a persona mode to create solution activation sheets that will then go into battle cards that will go to sales people.” It’s like, “No, that’s not what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to find out what was that not,” – I wouldn’t say buyer’s journey like that, but, “What was that job journey?”

Ultimately, that person is going to hire something to do a particular job, just like you’re hiring anybody to do a particular job. There’s a process by which you go and it’s a very different mindset than you’re building a persona. When you’re building a person, okay this person cares about these, these, these, and here’s where they are and here’s how we’re going to reach them. We’re going to do this programmatic about that.”

Now there’s value in those approaches and I’ve definitely seeing people make money by putting X number of dollars into a particular demand gen engine and you get X number of pipeline out. Yes, that is a proven, well-trodden way to do it. People are used to, in many cases, to be talked at and talked to and find information that way, but when the whole idea of inbound and whole idea of content marketing came about was because we wanted actually deliver value to people consistently on a regular basis to ultimately help them do what they do better.

That’s where the jobs theory comes in. It’s like, “Well how can you help someone do what they do better?” And that could be living better, it could be sleeping better, it could be being more healthy, it could be getting a better job, improving their skills. You get to that job to be done by creating that mini-documentary, and it’s only done by going out and doing original research. That’s the best way to do it.

I mean, if you go and you take other research from let’s say IDC, IDG, CIO, magazine, Harvard Business Review, you can collect a lot of this. You can get real close by collecting through a third-party data that has a lot of this stuff, but you never really get down to it and you actually take that information and then say, “Okay, here’s my hypothesis. Let me grab some people who I think might be able to tell me what the journey is,” or people who completed the journey, did it, downloaded the asset, or went and bought the product. Let me say, “Well, what process did you go through?” There’s going to be more than one job and you’re not going to find one reason for someone who’s going to download stuff. Like for example, I looked at the Zurdo paper because I was the head of content at a tech company that was also doing disaster recovery. I wanted to see what they were saying so that I actually created something new and unique that was my job to be done. There you go.

[0:14:17.1] DG: That is that is totally outstanding. The book for marketers that you would recommend from Clayton Christensen above all others is that Competing Against Luck? Or do you think that there’s more than one that they ought to read?

[0:14:28.4] YPDL: There’s two books. Yeah, Competing Against Luck, that is gives you the foundation to understanding. Then I would say Killing Marketing. If you’re a content marketer, I would say Killing Marketing is the number one and that’s done by the Content Marketing Institute; Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, phenomenal individuals who started Content Marketing World in Ohio. They’re just constantly opposed to moving it anywhere else on the planet when every once in a while.

So those two books I would recommend that people read, number one definitely Clayton Christensen. I say for that for everything. I say that for entrepreneurs, for people in sales, for people in marketing, for people in product, it speaks to every single component of a company.

[0:15:07.7] DG: Great advice. Well, that will do it for today. I want to remind everyone before we go that you can find don our website, at leadcrunch.com under the resource section, full transcripts of this podcast and other podcasts, links to our guest and things that we’ve talked about on this show.

Thank you very much, Yadin, a fantastic set of insights. Can’t thank you enough for joining us today and sharing what you’ve learned. Thank you again.

[0:15:27.8] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. On our website, LeadCrunch.com, you can find timestamped transcripts and info about the guests. You can send topics or guest suggestions to the host at david.green@leadcrunch.ai. Subscribe to these podcasts on all the major platforms, like iTunes.

Thanks for joining us, and we wish you happy, data-driven growth.