Glasshive Exec: Effective Communication Means Keeping The Message Simple
Joseph F. Kovar
‘A lot of times, we tend to send out content or collateral that you think the end user wants to see, and it’s not really what they want to see. So we have the power to actually see and have that visibility to see how our campaigns are performing,’ says Christine Ululati, Glasshive’s vice president of vendor partnerships, in a session at XChange.
Communication may be a basic human trait, but effective communication often requires outside help.
That’s the message from Christine Ululati, vice president of vendor partnerships at Glasshive, an Allen, Texas-based developer of a sales and marketing app aimed at helping MSPs simplify and automate their marketing and communications.
Marketing in layman’s terms at its core is just trying to communicate with someone who will see or hear an advertisement and so is technically simple, Ululati Sunday told an audience of MSPs and solution providers at the XChange March 2023 conference being held this week in Orlando, Fla. XChange is hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.
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That simplicity should also show through with some of the modern tools used for digital marketing or rich media communication, Ululati said.
“The difference there is that it’s a combination of words, images, audio and video used because it encourages consumers to interact and engage with your content,” she said. “Simple enough. So why, for the love of God, is communication so hard? We humans have been around for a little while, and you’d think that we’d have this concept worked out. And yet we struggle.”
Effective communication requires keeping the message simple, Ululati said.
“For whatever reason, we tend to overcomplicate things when we’re communicating,” she said. “They say as consumers, we like to read content at a third- to sixth-grade reading level. It’s easier to consume, right? We want to read titles and headers and bullet points. And it’s easy to forget and leave out details.”
Tone, focus and especially consistency are very important when communicating, Ululati said. But complicating all that is the fact that one has to communicate with a variety of audiences, whether it’s employees, superiors, clients and investors, she said.
“If you’re not an experienced marketer, it’s so important to learn how to communicate from the inside out,” she said. “What do I mean? I mean those closest to you, your current customers or your employees, are the ones that are going to give you the most leeway in practicing how to best communicate with those furthest from you, [such as] those prospective customers you’re trying to reach.”
Successful business communications is getting more difficult as the environment is changing, Ululati said.
About 67 percent of a B2B buyer’s’journey is done digitally, she said, citing a report from call tracking and analytics software developer DialogTech. About 74 percent of B2B buyers are likely to buy based on consumer experience alone, she said, citing a report from job search site Zippia. And 41 percent of B2B buyers read at least three pieces of content before contacting a salesperson, she said, citing a study by user on-boarding software developer UserGuiding.
“I asked you, do you currently have at least three pieces of content for every product that you sell?” she said. “Probably not. Because it’s expensive. We don’t really know where to start.”
Ululati said Glasshive aims to improve MSP communication using a combination of multiple platforms that many companies are already familiar with and using, including HubSpot, Salesforce, Canva, MailChimp and more.
“If they all had a baby, it would probably be Glasshive,” she said.
The big difference about Glasshive is that it was made for the tech industry and is an MSP-first tool with industry experts backing it up, she said.
“We use AI for data enrichment, pulling all the data so you don’t just sit there and do data entry,” she said. “Big data, we have aggregate insights, industrywide insights so you can see how you’re performing within the industry or how your campaigns are performing. [We have] prebuilt sales and marketing assets so you don’t have to create anything. It’s already in there.”
The company also integrates with other MSP tool providers including ConnectWise and Autotask, and adds a user interface with a loud pink color palette, Ululati said.
“So we mix all that up, and we get a magical rich media content library with thousands of magically branded marketing assets every month,” she said. “What do I mean? I mean, you don’t have to log in to [graphic design tool software] Canva to create a piece of content when maybe you don’t even know where to start, and then have to upload it into HubSpot to send it out. It’s already done for you.”
HubSpot, Salesforce and so on are powerful tools but are only as powerful as what a business puts into them, Ululati said.
“Glasshive already has that in there,” she said.
Those vendors are connected with partners, agencies and independent consultants and are all constantly contributing to MSPs’ success, Ululati said.
“[And Glasshive] automatically brands,” she said. “There’s literally a little magic wand that you click, and it’ll brand your assets to your colors, logos and calls to action.”
MSPs as a whole struggle with sales and marketing, whether because it’s not one of their specialized skill sets or there’s never enough time to send out all the needed emails or make the needed follow-up activities, Ululati said.
‘[Glasshive] gives you complete visibility into all of that,” she said. “All of your sales activities, the campaigns you’re sending out, the emails, how they’re performing, who’s clicking on what, do they like it, do they not. A lot of times, we tend to send out content or collateral that you think the end user wants to see, and it’s not really what they want to see. So we have the power to actually see and have that visibility to see how our campaigns are performing.”
More importantly, the whole process can be automated, Ululati said.
“[We have a] conditional logic board,” she said. “If this, then that. If a prospective customer fills out a submission form, then after 24 hours they get an automated email with some type of collateral in there, maybe a PDF or white paper or e-book. If this customer clicks on that e-book, if they open this email, then there are follow-up tasks assigned to it like, ‘Hey dude, this lead’s hot. Call it with a script attached to that.”
Shane Eldredge, lead technician at Firefly, a Wenatchee, Wash.-based MSP, said that Ululati opened his eyes to the importance of looking for help with marketing and communications.
“I’m definitely going to take it to my sales guy because the biggest portion of IT that we struggle with at the moment is getting information out there,” Eldredge told CRN. “He’s running sales for all of us. He’s trying to do marketing, and he’s stretched five different ways. And we need one way for him to get the information out there. And for what that Glasshive tool offers, and for the price of it, it seems like a no-brainer.”
Currently, Firefly uses manual processes, including a variety of tools and doing cold calls, to get its message out to prospective customers, Eldredge said.
“It’s doing leads that we get in and just trying to take a stab in the dark and see what’s out there,” he said. “And it’s dragging our sales guy different places. It’s him sending these emails. So why not have a tool that can do it with some marketing materials built into it?”