How To Use Digital Transformation To Get Results with Nick Wojdyla, Director of Digital Marketing and Communications at Cummins
Speaker 1: Welcome to Page One or Bust, your ultimate guide to getting on page one of search engines. In this episode, we talk to Nick Wojdyla about digital transformation. He's the Director of Digital Marketing and Communications at Cummins, a centurial manufacturer that designs fuel engines, and just like a vehicle is useless without the right engine, Nick understands that a successful digital transformation needs the right marketing tools to drive your business to its ultimate destination. Today, you'll hear data driven insights and time saving advice you don't want to miss, but before we get into it, here's a brief word from today's sponsor. Page One or Bust is brought to you by DemandJump. Get insights, drive outcomes with DemandJump. Get started creating content that ranks at demandjump. com today. And now, here are your co-hosts, Christopher Day and Ryan Brock.
Christopher Day: Welcome back to Page One or Bust! This is your host, Christopher Day, the CEO and co- founder of DemandJump, and as always joined by my co- host, Chief Content Officer here at DemandJump, Ryan Brock. How's it going, Ryan?
Ryan Brock: Yo, going well. It's a beautiful, sunny day apparently, according to Toph today anyway.
Christopher Day: Absolutely. We're joined today by Nick Wojdyla. We are so excited to have Nick with us. He is the Director of Digital Marketing at Cummins. How you doing today, Nick?
Nick Wojdyla: Oh, I'm doing good.
Christopher Day: Awesome. Well, we've got a great episode lined up here for everyone. Today, we're going to talk about marketing tools, the good, the bad, the ugly. Plus, how to stop being a tool chaser. Nobody wants to be a tool chaser, and the relationship between sales and marketing, and then also, there's a fun buzzword that's been bouncing around the industry here over the last several years, and that's digital transformation. We might even get into a little bit about what it really truly means to execute on digital transformation. Without further ado, Nick, you've been at Cummins now for 10 years and a director for almost five years, so talk to us a little bit about the scope of your role.
Nick Wojdyla: I'll take it back a sec. Before I even joined Cummins, my first marketing role was at a company that did... All they did was webinars. They would host these webinars on various subjects. They'd bring in a subject expert that was kind of the sponsor of the webinar, and my job was to do all of the marketing efforts to get as much registration for those webinars as possible because then, essentially, they would sell that list to the sponsor company. I did that for a year, and I think even six months in, I'm like, oh, this can't be what marketing is. This can't be what I signed up for.
Ryan Brock: When was this? What year?
Nick Wojdyla: 2008 or nine.
Ryan Brock: It's so funny. We had another guest on this show who said that, that was the golden year of the podcast, that you could just throw a podcast out there and they'd just come flocking, but that doesn't sound like it was your experience.
Nick Wojdyla: People would attend. We would do a boatload of them, but it's just such a repetitive task being in that role. It's like, oh my God. I'm doing the same thing over and over. This can't be what marketing is.
Christopher Day: Monotonous.
Nick Wojdyla: This is a nightmare. Six months in, I realized it started looking around, and then after about a year is when I ended up getting my first role at Cummins as a marketing specialist, just bottom of the totem pole, going to get, designing flyers, going to go pick them up at Kinkos, set up the trade show, all the grunt work. I did that, and I would say even a couple of months into that role, I quickly noticed that there was almost no digital marketing being done. The website was managed by IT, so if you wanted to change a photo, you had to put in an IT request. This was like 2010, 11. Social media was just becoming a thing for businesses to look into, so we had an account but really didn't post. I kind of asked my boss at the time, " Can I play around with all this stuff? I'll still go to Kinko's, but can I mess around with some of this digital stuff?" And he was like, " Ah, sure, kid. Go have fun." After a couple of months, some of it started to work. We updated the website, started getting some requests for quotes and different leads for service events, and started to make some money, and they were like, " Oh, there's something here," so I just slowly started to pivot my work to more of that. And then, a couple years go by, you start getting more attention from other folks at the company, other folks around the world that work at work at that company, " Hey, help me with that. I need help with this," and just kept doing that and building my own reputation and my own brand within the company doing that, all the way up to the point now where I lead the digital marketing operations team. We're responsible for all the tools, the technology, the processes, heavy into marketing strategy and all that fun stuff.
Ryan Brock: Man, I'm already getting nostalgic for that period in time. It seems like everybody I talk to who is a young digital marketing leader kind of came in around then, and it was just the wild west and there were no rules and nobody knew anything, and the ones who could just get creative and clever are the ones who figured it out. I've had imposter syndrome for years, but it's just like, well, nobody else knew any of this either when I started, so we all had to learn it together. There's still just a lot of guessing and a lot of trying to figure it out and experimenting and failing and then trying something else. Even when there is some maturity to the industry, which I feel like we do have now, it's still always based on, but I reserve the right to be completely wrong tomorrow because everything might change overnight and we just don't know what's going to happen.
Christopher Day: What's in your toolkit today, Nick, as you think about executing on the business? What tools have worked well for you in various channels, and how do you think about, there's what, 8, 000 marketing tools out there that anybody can pick from today? Talk to us a little bit about your technology stack.
Nick Wojdyla: You're right. There is 8, 000 plus tools, and I feel like every day there's a new one. At least, I get solicited for new ones all the time.
Ryan Brock: You're at Cummins, so you have an unlimited budget because you're enterprise, so you probably have 7500 of them.
Nick Wojdyla: I have a blank check, and I buy them all. It's tough because you got to figure out what do you actually need, first of all? And the tool comes last with me. You got to have a strategy, you got to have some objective, and then the tool can fix whatever the problem is, but we have, in total, 20 tools out of the 8, 000 that we could potentially have in our toolkit, and I think sometimes the specific tool... There's a lot of tools that do the same thing more or less. Everyone has a value proposition of why they're slightly different, but if you think about asset management like a dam, there's dozens of them. They basically do the same thing more or less. Some have some pros and cons compared to each other, but they can store documents, they can tag them, you can find them. When I think about the tools, we look for three things in particular. Something that can give us consumer insights or information that we otherwise don't already have as a company. Something that can help us orchestrate or automate the various tactics. Ideally something omnichannel, again, some marketing automation platform, and then a third being something that can help harmonize and consolidate and visualize all of the marketing or sales data that we're generating.
Ryan Brock: Have you ever had any experiences where you find a really great tool and maybe the tool thinks it belongs in one of those categories, but it belongs in the other, or you try to use it one way, but it really... I've seen a lot of things that are trying to be automated right now that the tools aren't really ready for that, so they're better as execution tools, but they're pivoted as, they're presented as automation tools. Do you ever see any crossed wires out there in terms of positioning?
Nick Wojdyla: I've seen it more in the account based marketing space. There's a lot of tools that they'll say, " We're account based marketing tool," and then we really dig into it when they explain what it does. It's either more of a DMP, a data platform, or it's more of a Marketo automation thing, and it kind of does both not well, but a little bit of both, so then you end up questioning, well, why don't I just get two other tools and I can accomplish what I really need to do full on. I think that's where I've seen it the most, but there's probably tons more of examples of things like that.
Christopher Day: You've talked in the past a little bit about data alone. Just building on that, data alone doesn't in and of itself help form strategy. What do you mean by that?
Nick Wojdyla: If I think about, you've got to have some sort of an objective or a goal or some skeleton of a strategy even before there's any data or analytics in play. The company has to have an objective. There's got to be something that you want to do. You got to have somewhat of an idea who your customer is, somewhat of an idea of what you want them to do and what you're trying to gain at the end of the day, and then I think the data can come in as a layer on top of that to help prove or disprove some of your thoughts or theories. Again, just having a bunch of data is pretty useless unless you have a way to turn it into insights. The analogy I'll use is if you just dumped a hundred thousand Lego pieces on the floor in a room and said, " All right, go build a castle." Well, I could build a castle with five pieces. I could build a castle with all 100,000 pieces. They're both technically a castle, but one's completely different than the other. Insights is, if you had instructions on how to use X amount of pieces to build something. I think that's the gap that a lot of companies face is they do generate a lot of data. It's all on the table, and they think, all right, we got it. Now, we can do better, make more decisions, but then they're like, oh man, I don't know how to translate this into an actionable next step. So really-
Christopher Day: I love that analogy.
Nick Wojdyla: The insights is the key.
Christopher Day: Having that instruction book next to that pile of Legos helps you figure out, okay, I should start with, these are the two most important pieces I should start with. I'm going to snap those together and now I'm going to go to the next step. I'm going to snap these pieces together. I think that's maybe one of the best analogies I've heard so far. I love it.
Ryan Brock: It's like a step up from your standard analogy, Toph. It's the same idea. Toph likes to talk about, DemandJump is an insights tool, so we talk about certain SEO tools. They'll give you data that's like having an atlas or a map, and we're trying to be Google Maps. We're trying to not just show you what's out there, but how to get to where you want to go. Both very valid metaphors, but I love the Lego one. It's beautiful.
Christopher Day: How do you think about, Nick, the relationship between sales and marketing? Historically, those two disciplines kind of had to work somewhat in a silo, and now over the past, let's say, I don't know, inside the last 10 years, it's easier to try to work in concert, to get sales and marketing working together and be able to assemble that data to work more efficiently together. How do you think about that? How have you navigated the relationship between bringing sales and marketing closer together?
Nick Wojdyla: I think technology has helped a lot. If you think way back in the day, you had sales teams essentially cold calling customers. In parallel to that, you had marketers sending direct mail or going to trade shows and they were like passing ships in the night. There really was no way to connect those activities together at all, but now with digital, you could have salespeople sharing content on LinkedIn, for example, to customers of theirs and marketing can see that data, and then marketing can also run ads on LinkedIn, and you can start to connect those dots and really work hand in hand. The technology kind of enabled that, but I think companies have started to really look at the total customer experience and realizing that a customer is engaging with salespeople. They're also engaging with marketing content. They're also engaging with, maybe if you have a service arm, they're engaging with someone behind the counter. They're engaging with your customer help support customer care center. All of them are kind of evenly weighted in that experience in representing the brand and whatever the case may be. I think companies are looking at it that way, and the smarter ones are ensuring that those teams, not just marketing and sales, but all four of those groups are really collaborating that they all share a common north star of what they're trying to accomplish and where they're trying to get with their customer. Everyone kind of has their component and they can pass the baton where needed as they're doing their work, so I think if you get smart, and again, that's back to the strategy piece. If you're aligned on that strategy, the technology helps enable it, but you got to get alignment at the top and not just have marketing doing things, throwing it over the fence to sales. Maybe they'd throw some stuff back over the fence. That fence needs to be gone. It just needs to be two groups, again, going hand in hand to accomplish whatever the objective.
Ryan Brock: Let's talk about that in the lens of SEO then, specifically, Page One or Bust, baby, so if any marketing tactic has traditionally been, any digital marketing tactic I should say, has traditionally been a black box, it's SEO. It's the mystery space. It's an OZ behind the curtain pulling strings, and you hope they're right and you can trust them, so I would imagine for a lot of organizations connecting and aligning that tactic with a sales strategy, for example, maybe is the biggest leap to make. How do you get from, we don't even know why this works or what works to, this is actually contributing in a meaningful way to our pipeline and our funnel. Maybe the best way to explore this is to just ask you, how has SEO changed during your tenure at Cummins? Because you've been there for a while and as long as you've had any sort of an insight into that, how has that black box evolved and what are you guys doing now? Is it aligning with your sales process? Is it finding that same in- step jiving sort of energy?
Nick Wojdyla: It's interesting. There's a lot to unpack there. If you think about back in the day, again, back when, what do they call it, keyword stuffing? You would put-
Christopher Day: Exactly.
Nick Wojdyla: ...meta tags of whatever you wanted. The content you had on the page was almost irrelevant. You could trick the search engine for you to populate on the first page for literally whatever you wanted.
Ryan Brock: I remember teaching a group of marketers once, the alt text on your image, don't worry about it. Just stuff it full of keywords, which is-
Nick Wojdyla: Everyone did that. That was like-
Ryan Brock: It's so bad.
Nick Wojdyla: I just want traffic. It wasn't the right traffic, but you got traffic. Again, back to what we said about just messing around and experimenting. Someone noticed that worked and they're like, let's just keep doing that, and then eventually they realized, oh, this doesn't work. This is the wrong traffic.
Ryan Brock: Well, then Google said, " No. Bad. You're not supposed to be doing that."
Nick Wojdyla: That's the other thing that is out of your control is, Google will change its rules or whoever the main player in the space is in the future. They set certain rules and they changed our algorithms, and then you're like, I don't know how they're judging what goes where. It's kind of just, you make some changes and you just pray it works. 10 years ago, there was no way to have a sure fire home run, this will work. I still think there's, not a misconception, but a gap between tactics and effort around SEO and generating good organic content and getting the traffic from that comparative to running ads or doing some other paid effort. I feel like a lot of companies are more likely to throw a million dollars at paid advertising, maybe even through Google versus throw a million dollars at creating good organic content, and that million dollars on the paid, as soon as the money stops, the faucet's turned off. It's temporary, but-
Ryan Brock: That content's an appreciating asset. It's an investment that... You own it. It's yours.
Nick Wojdyla: We have articles and pages that were created 10, 15 years ago that still generate traffic to this day, and it's an investment we made a long time ago.
Ryan Brock: Even better, we've found that an article like that, maybe 15 years later, something gets out of date. You go in and you update it. We've found that the search engines love that. They're going to reward you for going in and make the difference. That long- term approach is something that a lot of marketers are a little bit too antsy, I think, to wait for and see what happens.
Nick Wojdyla: I agree. I think it's just getting everyone to really compare it to say, all right, well if you're spending X on this paid tactic or whatever the thing might be, what if you spent that on organic? Granted, you may not get the results tomorrow because again, with the paid ads, I turn ads on today, I'll get clicks today or tomorrow. Organic, it may take some time, but it's going to come, it's ramp up, but it's going to stay up there somewhere. It might plateau, but it's going to stay pretty consistent. It won't go to zero hardly ever or over a long period of time. Getting people used to that, and I think the other challenge that we used to see a lot, I don't even know how I would say this, but everyone wants to rank for everything related to what their company does. Depending on what you do as a company that might be near impossible or might not just make sense. We'd always get feedback of, oh, I searched for this and we're not showing up, but we do 200, 000 things. It's going to be tough to rank for all of those tomorrow. What's the priority and what do we really want to rank for and all that. There's a lot of... I wish there was this much energy put into that at companies as there is put into, again, paid advertising or even an events team that does trade shows. You have a dozen people supporting an events team. You definitely don't have a dozen people supporting organic SEO content and driving pipeline, but you should.
Ryan Brock: I think that's why we think this whole pillar approach is the future, because we're really changing the way that we are thinking as marketers about the value of search data. It's not just a keyword that you can think about in average monthly search volume, but it's the world's intent. It's humanity's questions and deep yearnings and pain and what better source of direction for a marketer is there than that?
Christopher Day: I think what people are finding out, that there's a lot of tools out there that focus on optimizing the data inside your four walls, and that's important. How do we serve those customers that we already know? How do we serve them better, give them a better customer experience? That 360 degree view of the customer. There's this massive pot of gold that's sitting outside the four walls, all that data outside the four walls, that a company can't see, touch, and feel, and that's this whole world of SEO, and do you any ability to look at that opportunity through, as you all just mentioned? Through the lens or through the eyes of the customer versus through the eyes of the company. That's where the magic happens, and as you had mentioned earlier, talking about appreciating asset, and if you're spending a million dollars on paid search, if you get that organic piece aligned to the customer journey through their eyes and their pain and what they're feeling and asking, you also see your paid efforts, even if you kept the same volume, your cost actually goes down by three to four x because you get rewarded for that organic alignment, which is really powerful. And then as a marketer, you can decide, now you're playing chess. Checkers are gone. Now you're playing chess. Gosh, where do I want to shift these pieces around? Do I want to go ahead and attack a new channel with some of that savings or keep the same level of spend and even up my volume more or put more into the appreciate and asset of content? Then it puts you into a real position of power, on that go- to- market strategy for a company. Just high level question on how you think about centralizing data and analysis to inform all departments within the company. Can you talk a little bit about that, which I kind of equate that to digital transformation, really centralizing all of these disparate pieces of data to try to get other departments throughout the company, more kind of all pulling on the same rope, which is really hard to manage. Any thoughts about that before we go into some quick hits?
Nick Wojdyla: Sure. The first thing is, you've got to have whatever that view is for your company. It might be all the way from starting at, we acquired a prospect and you got all the nurturing and all the steps along the way and lead gen, and then it turns into a sales opportunity and it gets one lost and whatever happens to it. Just to give you an alignment on that vision and what metrics and numbers go there, then I think you can start to zoom into each one to say, " Who's responsible for this one?" It may be one group, it may be multiple groups, and taking ownership of that. And then you could dive deeper and say, " If I'm responsible for the prospect one, here's all the things I can do in the KPIs and the data I need to make sure I'm fulfilling that bucket," and then there's another one that the sales team's responsible for. Then, you look at any gaps and see, that's usually where the transformation work comes in. The gaps says, " Oh, I can't see that data, or I can't make that number better," whether it's a technology gap or a process gap, that's where then you see these transformation projects come out where it's, we need, whether it's a new tool, integrate existing tools. We have the right tools, but the wrong, either people or process operating them. That's typically where those transformations projects come out of, and I've always said, ideally, and I don't know if any companies ever had this happen, but ideally, you would never have to have a transformation if you constantly just keep up with things. I think a lot of companies, whether it's a lack of investment or whatever, they'll do some stuff, 10 years ago, whatever, and then they kind of stop and they kind of get complacent with whatever the tools processes are, and then five, 10 years go by and they're like, " Oh my God, I'm so far behind." Now, you have to transform, but if you just did a little bit every year, you would never really have to transform because you've just kind of... It's just like working out. If you work out every day, eventually you'll be in shape and then you'll stay in shape. If you stop, you'll get fat, and then you can start again, but that's going to take forever to get back. It's just, how do you keep that pace and momentum? And I think that could prevent a lot of this huge transformation work that's going on and is really costly typically, and time consuming.
Christopher Day: I love that. I think it's spot on. Let's move into some quick hitters. Any marketing myths that you've busted along the way that you want to share with any of our listeners?
Nick Wojdyla: Oh, that's a good one. Back to the whole, again, we talked about the SEO versus the paid stuff. I feel like the default is just, I'm going to pay. I'm going to get my traffic now, and then I'm going to move on, and just the fact that's the home run. Again, 10 years ago, maybe it was, and then they're just stuck on that. Trying to think long term, and that same investment could go much farther on some maybe more organic stuff.
Ryan Brock: Instant gratification, it's a powerful force.
Nick Wojdyla: It's human nature. You want to be able to go to your boss and be, " Look what I did," in a short time and not have to say, " Give me 18 months and then I'll show you the results if you're still around.
Christopher Day: What's the last thing you searched for?
Nick Wojdyla: I bought a new wireless access point for my house.
Christopher Day: Sweet.
Nick Wojdyla: I had issues connecting it, so I was looking up, which by the way, I couldn't find the information I was looking for. Nothing was showing up organically. I think I found some Reddit forum or something where some guy did it and showed me, but the website of the company had basic troubleshooting to the point which is, I know this. This isn't anything that I don't already know. And then, it was just a bunch of irrelevant topics that Google was spitting out at me that I'm like, oh, this is not what I'm looking for. It was a good example of SEO failing.
Ryan Brock: What a fantastic ... Back to what we were saying about the value of this search data to a business, not just to marketers, but to a whole business. If you're building a product, you can go out there and figure out why people are upset with the products they have right now, and then you answer that problem both with the design of your product and with the way that you're marketing it and you're talking about it online. That synergy is beautiful. Whoever that company is, you should give them a shout out sometime and let them know that they have some ground to cover.
Nick Wojdyla: That's the thing, I was looking for any company, even a different company that made access points. Someone helped me with this. The brand of the product wasn't the problem. It was just a connection issue. I'm like, someone has to have had this problem before, and again, it was a nightmare to find it.
Ryan Brock: I did read a stat recently that Reddit is quickly becoming a competitive search engine to Google just because of this user- generated content that oftentimes users, they're the ones who know what they need and they're the ones who are going to talk about what cares about them, so for a company to guess at that and produce, sometimes it's harder than for individual communities to spring up around something, so because of that user generated content that's more likely to cover a wider base of use cases, it's going to be easier to go to that product's subreddit and find an answer to a problem than it is to go to Google.
Nick Wojdyla: A hundred percent agree, and even if they don't have the solution, you'll see everyone, what they tried and didn't work, so it just saves you a boatload of time. I totally agree with you on that.
Christopher Day: All right, Nick, last question for you. What are the top three marketing tools that you can't live without?
Nick Wojdyla: I'll shout you guys out. DemandJump, we got customer insights and the content piece for sure is something that we can't live without. Again, back to my three, an automation system. We use Oracle, but there's a ton of them out there, but you need one. And then, something to harmonize and visualize your data. We use a Salesforce datorama platform, Tableau. There's others out there, but those are the three. Again, if you only gave me three, those are the three I'd pick. I think you could do some damage with that.
Christopher Day: That's awesome. Nick, how can people find out more about you? Where can they find out more about you and more about Cummins?
Nick Wojdyla: I'm on LinkedIn. Nick Wojdyla. There's probably not a lot of those, so you could probably find me pretty easily on there. I don't really have anything. I don't have my own podcasts. I'm not as cool as you guys yet and projects going on. You can find me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on there posting, and if you send me a message or you want to talk about anything related to marketing or technology, I'm usually down for that.
Ryan Brock: Love it. Thanks so much, Nick.
Christopher Day: Yeah, thank you very much.
Nick Wojdyla: Yeah, thanks guys.
Christopher Day: Thank you very much out there, everybody listening out there. This has been an awesome episode with Nick Wojdyla at Cummins, the Director of Digital Marketing, and until next time on Page One or Bust, have a great weekend.
Speaker 1: Page One or Bust is brought to you by DemandJump. Know the exact content to create to increase first page rankings and drive outcomes with DemandJump. Get started for free today at demandjump. com.
In this episode, you’ll hear from a Fortune 100 Digital Marketing Director who shares advice on how to take “digital transformation” from a buzzword to a methodology – one that results in highly coveted page one rankings. We talk to Nick Wojdyla, Director of Digital Marketing and Communications at Cummins, to get some data-driven insights you won’t want to miss, like picking the best SEO tools, creating a data management plan, and keeping your transformation affordable, plus much more.