The content marketing game isn’t what it used to be. These days, marketers need to appeal to both algorithms AND people. In the week’s episode Will Davis and Mike Sweeney chat with GoCanvas Vice President, App Store & Content, Michael Benedict about the evolution of content marketing, GoCanvas’ history of thriving in the SEO world, and how his marketing team learns what content is most valuable to their sales team.
Will Davis: Welcome to ONNAMP: Oh No! Not Another Marketing Podcast. I’m your host Will Davis. I’m the Chief Marketing Technology Officer and Co-Founder at Right Source with over 20 years of experience in the marketing space. In this podcast, we’ll cover everything from strategy to content to MarTech platforms and everything in between. You’ll hear honest talk about successes and failures with our guests. Plenty of analogies, maybe a couple of jokes, and a lot of data points along the way.
Michael Benedict: It’s not just that the content has to be really solid — the content, breadth and depth. More importantly, it has to be unique and it has to be unique to two audiences: an algorithm and an end user. And I think that’s another thing that’s changed, right? I mean, we’re building content for both machines as well as for people.
Will Davis: Welcome! Joining us today: Mike Benedict, VP at GoCanvas and my business partner at Right Source, Mike Sweeney, CEO. Thanks for joining us, Mike. Thank you, Will, it’s great to be here this afternoon. So Mike, a quick intro and we try to keep these a little bit fun. You’re originally from Texas, resided in what Sweeney refers to as the great state of New Jersey, which is always a mouthful and big question on your birthday — celebratory day, 10-gallon hat and air pistols or guido fedora and big meatball sub?
Michael Benedict: Oh, I like that idea of the air pistols, but actually it’s a little different. It’s Lucchese boots. So, I’m still a Texan through and through, you know, when you’re from Texas and you live in New Jersey, people automatically assume there’s a joke that comes after that, right? I mean if there’s two states begging to be made fun of it’s Texas and New Jersey.
Will Davis: So, Mike, your official title at GoCanvas is Vice President of App Store and Content, that’s an interesting title and we don’t see that in a lot of companies. Talk a little bit about what that means.
Michael Benedict: Yeah, sure. So, GoCanvas is very much a content-driven company. We have been from our founding and, really, content falls into two big buckets. One of them is the App store that is essentially a very large globalized template library. And what it is, is that helps us segue any kind of business. It’s looking to move from pen, paper, and clipboard to doing things on a mobile device. They can find a template similar to what they’ve been filling out on paper and download it. And obviously we optimize that very much for SEO. So that’s one side of it. And then the other side of it is we have thought leadership content and the purpose of that really is to kind of help businesses wrap their brains around what it means to capture information and data on mobile. Right? And how can that benefit their organization? And what we want to do is basically contextualize the product for very specific industries.
Will Davis: And that’s been interesting as we’ve kind of watched the evolution of GoCanvas to be able to hit some of those really specific industries and describe, not just talking about product benefits straight ahead and hitting people over the head with the sales pitch, but using that content to educate people on some of the information they’d be missing or some of the opportunities they’re missing really specific to their industry.
Michael Benedict: That’s correct, it’s a really interesting point because I’ll give you an example. One of the things that we’ve focus on a lot, is safety. I mean, it’s just something that our products are a natural fit for, right? Our products are used overwhelmingly in the field construction sites, truckers on the side of the road, that kind of thing.
And what a lot of these businesses don’t realize is how much safety regulations are changing, how much OSHA is changing, OSHA fines, that level of enforcement and things like that. And what does that mean for you and how do you approach that? And that’s what our are a lot of our content is about. It’s to help guide you through that. And it’s not a sales piece necessarily. It’s just a, here’s how you can run your business better, protect yourself, and kind of subtly: here’s how mobile data collection and GoCanvas can kind of help you in that process. So, it’s really about helping democratize important industry information very succinctly for specific businesses.
Will Davis: Yeah, I think it’s a great example of content marketing in taking that educational content for the buyer, helping them to understand there’s a challenge or a problem out there they may not even be thinking about, they may not be aware of. And then providing a subtle solution and kind of uncovering that whole, “hey, you could be capturing this information digitally” versus trying to explain what GoCanvas does very succinctly in different industries, which can be really challenging, and the buyer may not even be ready or know how to digest that.
Michael Benedict: I think it’s an interesting point. I think everybody would like to add one thing to that is that you really want to make it more about what is the value-add content to the end reader. Right? You want to talk about your company, but really that’s advertising at that point. And what we have found, interestingly, a lot of qualitative feedback from our sales team is, look, these are facilitators of the sales process, right? People are in the decision making mode. These are businesses, we’re B2B. We’re not B2C, right? So they want to have some information, they want to see how other people have succeeded in doing this and that’s just how you do it, right? And then you can kind of say, “yes, we can help you with that.”
Mike Sweeney: So Mike, you said something pretty fascinating. You said that the company itself is very much a content-driven company and I would have looked at you guys from what I know and said, “well you’re largely marketing and sales driven.” So maybe if you can clarify kind of which one is it? Is it a mix of both? And, more importantly, where does that come from? Because a lot of companies are product focused or operations focused. Is that straight from the top? Was there an edict right from the beginning that this is what, how we’re going to build this business?
Michael Bendict: It’s a really great question, Mike and it’s definitely been an evolution. We’re definitely, investing quite heavily in our product and our dev teams. But to answer your question, it does go back to the founding of the company and it really starts and it has remained very much at the top with our CEO, Jim Quigley. Jim is by his nature is sort of a natural marketer and very much a natural salesman. And he got on board very early on and I’m talking 2008 now, right? So this is a very different world as we all know when it comes to content. The value of content and especially as it dealt with the App store and how that could help us grow and scale this company very, very quickly. And it was a hunch on his part that definitely proved right.
Will Davis: Taking a step back for a minute. You talked about Jim Quigley and some of the early days of GoCanvas. You were pretty early into the business, but previously had worked at a very large company, Deluxe Corporation. What do those different experiences look like? And as a marketer, you know, what were the places where you had to change your approach or stretch yourself or approach things a little bit differently?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, you know, it is. So, talk about the difference between night and day. One was a hundred-year-old company, 5,500 employees, a lot of manufacturing facilities. But it was a big supplier and it is a big supplier to small businesses. They sell to about 6 million small businesses, uh, and they have about 60% of our country’s financial institutions, uh, as customers. So they’re a heavy hitter. And it was a great place to kind of cut my teeth on SMB marketing. So that helped because that’s what GoCanvas does, right? We’re very much in the SMB world as well. The change was interesting because you kind of go from a very structured corporate environment to you’re the seventh employee in a company that’s in a very small townhouse in Reston, Virginia with another company and one bathroom. And, yeah, my desk was in the hallway. So it was, it was interesting. And, what I would say to people is this: there’s two things that really stood out immediately and that was I was at Deluxe for 14 years, right? So I think one of them was that there’s a whole different sense of informality, right? When you work at a startup, right? It just, things just happen more spontaneously than they do with a big company. And I think the bigger thing is time. The concept of time becomes very fluid. Your days become long, very, very long because you’ve got a short window to prove yourself, right? You get some initial funding and you just, you got to go in there and make it happen quickly.
Will Davis: And I can imagine coupling that with the time you joined GoCanvas a lot of changes in the way people are marketing in kind of, we talked about the growth of content, much heavier focus on digital, uh, coming from a company that much of its business had been actually in manufacturing printed products. That’s kind of a really interesting confluence of a lot of circumstances all at once. So what were some of those changes you saw particularly around digital marketing at that time?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, so I think that we GoCanvas jumped on the SEO bandwagon really early and that’s, that was our marketing strategy for a good number of years. And so I would say that it was kind of a little bit more biased towards all SEO. But it was also an interesting segue very early into “how do you leverage content and SEO effectively?” And I know we’re going to get into this, but how you do that today has changed a lot in the last eight years.
Will Davis: And that’s a challenge too, right? Because it is constantly changing. I always tell people, if you’re not interested in being a lifelong learner, then don’t get into this business because probably between the time we record this podcast and when it gets published on the Internet and then when someone actually may listen to it, some of these things may have changed one, three, five, 10 times or more. Right? So, you know, looking at that constant iteration, how do you look at things like SEO, which is a huge part of GoCanvas’ business and figure out what’s working, what do you need to change and what’s next?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, so, we’re a very data-driven company and we have a lot of excellent data to help us see what’s working full funnel. But I think, it’s interesting. I’ve been in marketing now for over 20 years and what you, what we’ve seen change quite dramatically is that the level of expertise and the knowledge and breadth and depth involved for email or SEO or whatever, it has gotten a lot more intense. So you need to surround yourself with some really smart people that that’s all they do, right? They focus on SEO or they focus on email and they do it for a lot of different people and they’re always experimenting and trying new tools. Because you can’t do it on your own. I think that’s the key thing for people to understand.
Will Davis: Awesome. Transition to my next question, which was going back to the days of the townhouse: you, seven people, another company, one bathroom. How, many people in marketing?
Michael Benedict: Today, it’s roughly seven or eight in-house at GoCanvas.
Will Davis: Then you tap into, as you talked about some of these other specialty areas, folks that have kind of deeper teams or agencies or other providers or to go deeper in those areas, right?
Michael Benedict: Correct. Yeah. And, it’s one of those things where you’re always, as a company, kind of looking at how much do you bring in-house versus how much do you outsource? And I think that conversation, again, has shifted, just for the reasons we just talked about.
Mike Sweeney: So quick follow up on that, Mike. So you’ve got this great team now. I know a lot of them, a lot of talented people running around, both in marketing and on the content side and I know you use some agencies and what have you. So there’s a lot of strengths there. Can you think about though, for those that are out there, building marketing and content teams, any of the mistakes you made along the way or just misfires or misjudgments?
Michael Benedict: You know, what I would say is, get your data in order as quickly as you can. What you want to learn really quickly, especially depending on how broad you go into the market is, what industries are doing really well for you, what customers segments. We certainly had some data, but when you get into really deep data down to an individual, content item level, then you really start to understand what’s working and what’s not. Because as you look to scale, and again, you’re trying to scale quickly, right? Most companies want to grow quickly. You want to have a good understanding of where your hot spots are and where they’re not.
Will Davis: Yeah. That’s interesting. You talked about some of the places where you were focused on content and creating really specific vertical content to Sweeney’s question and then your point, how did you identify those industries? Because I know, you know, the first time I heard where your focus was when we were just having a conversation, I thought, wow, you know, of course mining seems like just an awesome industry for a startup to tackle. And it seems counterintuitive to some of the sort of, you know, typical startup focus areas. But I know there was a lot of thinking and planning there. So how’d you go through that process?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, the one good thing about the product is it sort of naturally can be used across industries, right? It can be used by doctors, it can be used by people running manufacturing facilities or somebody coming to replace your locks right on your house. But the product kind of naturally and sort of very much organically, what we found is the market kind of gravitated to us. We target more field service-oriented businesses — folks that were doing things on pen and paper and clipboard and probably got sick of doing it that way and wanted a much more efficient way to do it. And so those were our early markets. Also, when I joined the company I had a lot of experience because it was the same market segment I had marketed to for many years previously. So I had a really good sense. When we built out the App store, I knew which verticals we wanted to focus on pretty much straight away and which ones we didn’t want to.
Will Davis: You mentioned the App store and I think, you know, that’s a really interesting piece to look at as we talk about marketing and content because there’s both that, how do you market to the top of the funnel folks and then how do you market to get folks into the App store? And those are kind of different approaches. I know content is a big part of that. How do you segment that content? How do you figure out sort of what goes where and how you’re creating the right content for each of those segments?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, so it, it’s a little bit of a experimentation, right? That has to go on a lot of it because our content is geared to very specific industries that kind of lends itself from a search standpoint. But you know, even there, what we’re learning is it’s all about semantics, right? If every one of us in this room did a search…if we searched for the same thing, we may use language a little differently. So, you know, as a marketer that’s trying to leverage search, how do you sort of understand the semantics of what people are trying to do and then understand those semantics on a lot of different industries and a lot of different use cases? You can’t do it. That’s where you need algorithms and that’s where you need a lot of great technology to help you out. But that’s kind of what you need to do to win, right? If you’re going to win on Google.
Will Davis: Yeah. I was fascinated to hear when Google had their most recent testimony from Congress (and that seems to be happening more and more these days) but that still to this day, north of 20% of searches are a completely new to Google, meaning Google has never seen that combination of words in a search before. And, I think part of that is just as you said, we all search a little bit differently. And I think part of that is, you know, many, many years, call it 25 years, 20 years into using search engines and we’ve gotten better at searching. Right? I think there was a time, and I don’t know if you guys have had this experience, but there’s a time when there was someone in the office who was good at Google. You’re like, “oh, go to Will. He knows how to find stuff in Google,” which is just ridiculous now to think about it, right? I mean, of course you’re finding what you’re looking for in Google. But for a while that was a thing and I think we’ve all kind of gotten these places. So, in the weeds a little bit, how do you reverse engineer? You talked about having your own algorithms to look at these are the types of searches we want to make sure we’re ranking for. What does that process look like?
Michael Benedict: Well, it’s one that’s evolving. We’ve developed some proprietary stuff ourselves, but there’s also a lot of really good tools out there now that can help you dissect that down to a very specific search level. So you search for a particular search term, “elevator inspections,” and there are software programs out there that will say, here’s the 20 different ways people are searching for that and here’s the one you really want to focus on. And here are the other questions related to that so you can score an FAQ on Google and here’s other topics you should consider. So I think the level of sophistication of how content can be found in Google has really been amped pretty significantly, especially in the last 24 months.
Will Davis: And you guys at GoCanvas are very metrics driven as we talked about. So what does that kind of scorecard scoreboard look like? What are the things you’re measuring both on the App store side and then also on your more thought leadership-oriented content? What are those specific metrics and what did they tell you?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, and I’ll tell you what’s nice is we take, I’ll take some liberties here when saying this: we take two very different approaches when it comes to metrics with thought leadership versus the App store. They App store is an acquisition engine. And it has some very definitive goals it has to achieve, right? We bring in at least at the top of the funnel and then everything kind of follows suit. So that’s very easy to measure and we’re held to goals and very accountable for that. Thought leadership, though, it’s interesting. We are very metrics driven and kind of when we initially launched a lot of our content, like the eBooks and infographics, there was a lot of, how shall I say this, interest in how those were performing, right? And, you know, people had more of a traditional top of funnel mindset about it, but as we’ve launched them, it’s been sort of moved away from that and we kind of understand that again, that’s just part of the sales process and we need to have these assets. What I do think and similar to search though some of the tools that we have available to understand the efficacy of content marketing have gotten a lot better, right? So we now for an interactive pieces, we can look at what topics are doing really well, what quizzes people are clicking on. So you know, what’s a hot topic right now in content marketing, content proliferation? Well, what do you proliferate? Where do you start from? Right? And I think that that’s one thing that’s changed with content marketing. It’s kind of helped all of us in the industry kind of say, “well look, you know, we know there was a lot of interest in this particular topic. Let’s build out a lot more a subject area around it.”
Will Davis: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And as you sort of alluded to the evolution of content marketing where I think many companies started getting on the bandwagon and GoCanvas as an exception, but sort of said we need to create content because we need to create content versus some of this idea of we need to create content because we’re trying to drive some type of a business outcome. With that in mind, you’ve tried a number of different formats and, and really thinking about where the buyers going. Right? So everything you mentioned quizzes, interactive content.
Michael Benedict: You know, I, I think we started like with a lot of companies, we started with PDFs and then they moved and migrated onto interactive eBooks and infographics. Look, I’m going to tell you the best thing that I’ve seen come out of those. And that is the receptivity by the sales team. The people that are going to send these out again and again to users because the, the whole interactiveness is just, it’s beautiful. It’s fun. You get into it, you can skip around. You see things moving and little hands waving at you. You don’t get that with a PDF. And so when I see the sales team get excited, I know we’re going to get some leverage out of this content. They’re going to send it out because, listen, you’re going to really enjoy looking at this. So that has been very big for us aside from like all the metrics that I just talked about that you can get out of that.
Mike Sweeney: So I have a quick one on that, Mike. You preempted a question related to salespeople and their use of content, which is, it sounds like you’re saying your crew (and I know you’ve got a pretty significant a sales team — inside, outside, what have you). They use the content, but we also know in most companies some use it and some don’t. That’s just our reality. Do you have a sense inside GoCanvas why certain folks do use it, why they don’t and why certain pieces are used and certain ones aren’t. Do you get analytical about that?
Michael Benedict: Well, we, we definitely survey our sales folks quite a bit to understand what they find useful and what they don’t. And the wonderful thing about salespeople, especially when marketing asks them questions, they very much put their cards on the table. They love to tell you what they think good and bad. And I think a lot of it comes down to, you know, as we’ve scaled as an organization, it’s how do we just let people know these assets exist and educate them on because we’re hiring really fast. And when you’re onboarding that many people and we know we’re constantly growing and diversifying our content, sort of, how do you effectively let them know that it’s here and they can use it and more importantly how they should use it, right? You can’t just assume with sales folks that you can hand them an eBook and they know what to do with it. You need to help walk them through it, how to use it.
Will Davis: So Mike, where do you see the future of content marketing going? What’s next?
Michael Benedict: Yeah. So last summer I had, uh, the opportunity to attend the Distilled Conference in Boston, an SEO conference, and it was really a very compelling conference. And there were a couple of themes that came out of that that just resonated with me and just sort of stuck with me. And one of them is that the amount of content being produced is up 300%. But the level of engagement is up only 5%. And you know, no surprise, we’re seeing serious diminishing returns from content. Right. So, that’s one thing. The other is that they talked a lot about organic and they talked a lot about search engines and how much space, specifically companies like Google are allocating to organic. It’s shrinking, right? When you look at Alphabet’s revenue, 84% of it is tied back to paid advertising, right? I know they do their cars and whatever, air flying airplanes and whatever, but uh, seriously, it comes down to that. And when you’re a public company and you have to grow (and this is what they talked about very candidly at the conference) by 15, 20 billion every year, you really need to leverage your key drivers. So those are kind of the big things that I think really stood out to me. And, and I think the bottom line from that, Will, was that look you’ve got less space to work with, right, as a marketer. But you also know that Google in their rankings, very much values, content, breadth and depth. So it just means that we as content marketers have to really up our game.
Will Davis: Yeah, that was a really great point, Mike, because some of the things we’ve seen them even going back, what was it, eight, nine years ago where there’s all this skepticism, will Facebook survive? Not The skepticism that exists now for different reasons, but to say it’s different than, yeah, I mean then it was, can they monetize mobile? And we’ve seen the answer to that, which is stick ads everywhere and not allow organic content to show up for almost anyone. And I don’t say that in a derogatory way. But again, to your point, shareholders want to receive value, right? And coupling that with what you identified so that, that content shock phenomenon — there’s so much content out there. Everyone’s creating content more and more and more and more and more. So there’s, you know, as I hear it from you and then we see this everyday, right? More content. But that content is going individually to fewer people without putting some money behind it. So how does that change your approach at GoCanvas?
Michael Benedict: Well, it’s interesting because you know, in the thought leadership stuff, we have to think about what is really unique out there. If you’re going to target an industry like construction, transportation, manufacturing, there’s a lot of content out there, right? So, what are you delivering this kind of compelling and unique content that they haven’t already seen? It’s, it’s a little bit of a different story with the App store because the App store is very much an SEO play and it’s not just that the content has to be really solid, right? Content, breadth and depth. But more importantly, it has to be unique and it has to be unique to two audiences, an algorithm and an end user. And I think that’s another thing that’s changed, right? I mean we’re, we’re building content for both machines as well as for people.
Will Davis: Yeah. And that’s a challenge. How do you figure out that? Okay, so this piece is designed for humans and the machines and what does it need to contain when you go through that process in order to say, “great, this ranks for SEO and will be helpful to the buyer,” because I’ve seen far too many that skew all the way in one direction or another where it’s like this probably ranks really well in search but was written by a robot. Or at least for a robot and gave me as a human no value.
Michael Benedict: Yeah. I like to use the term merchandising license, right? You, you really have to read it as a human and say, you know what, I’d be interested in this. If I were a contractor in Iowa, would I care or would this just sound like we’re jamming keywords. And Google’s onto that kind of stuff, right? So, you wouldn’t end up ranking anyways for it.
Will Davis: Going pretty deep on SEO and kind of where content is going. I want to pivot a little bit and talk more about some of the team and business aspects. So, as you’ve built out that marketing team, going from, you know, seven people in the townhouse to where you are now, what were the attributes? What were the skill sets? What were the people you started looking for and what do those people look like today?
Michael Benedict: Well, you know, we stepped back a little bit and we start with a higher level of you, of a potential employee and look at the cultural fit first and foremost. So it’s interesting, right? Somebody sends you a resume, you get a good sense are they accomplished, do they look like they a good baseline of knowledge, that kind of thing. And we really start there to make sure they would be a good fit. We have a very good culture at GoCanvas, a great culture actually. And we want to make sure they’re a good fit, right? Because listen, when you’re a small marketing team, you work very closely together, you work with a lot of different groups within the company. But that kind of gets a little deeper into answering your question. Listen, we’re looking for not only expertise but proven expertise, right? Because these people and you know, can somebody come into an organization is very metrics driven and prove themselves. So that’s also a big factor of what we look at too.
Will Davis: You talked about kind of those attributes. What are the skill sets in terms of those backgrounds where they have accomplished things do you say, “we are looking for people who are well rounded” or you’re looking for people who go deep in SEO or marketing technology or analytics. And where do you see some of the focus today?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, I think what has changed and what is a greater focus now is folks that have actually worked with and ideally implemented a lot of different marketing technologies, right? It just makes it easier because, again, we’re very open to trying new technologies. Having somebody that’s gone through the implementation process, work with dev teams, you know, done the migrations, that kind of thing, that just makes a for a very solid candidate in our eyes.
Will Davis: Great. And we’ve talked earlier about marketing and sales working together and some of that feedback you get, the surveys you put together on the content usage, but as you’ve scaled marketing, how are you keeping those teams close? How are you ensuring that there is that overused phrase, hard to achieve sales and marketing alignment?
Michael Benedict: Well, we have actually a very symbiotic relationship with our sales team. And every year, certain folks within both groups sit down. We know what numbers we need to hit as a company and we just hammer out a bottoms up forecast. How many leads are we going to need? How many top leads are going to need? How many closed accounts? How many reps are we going to need to call those accounts and qualify them and close them and whatnot. And that’s an ongoing discussion. So that’s one way that we definitely keep it tight. But I would say the other ways we get them very involved — let me give you some examples. On the content side, when we’ve developed eBooks, we know that certain sales reps are just nail it in certain industries — they’re really good experts. We have them talk to the writers because this is, again, we’re marketing and sales can benefit from each other. They bring in the language of the context, that kind of thing. And obviously every year when we build out a content calendar, we work with them, we present it to them and we look for their feedback. So we try to keep that symbiosis going.
Will Davis: That’s great. And you get kind of the input and the buy-in and the industry expertise before you go and create a lot of content and then kind of cram it back to them and hope that they’re going to use it. I’d imagine to our earlier conversation about kind of effectiveness and adoption of using that content and the first approach of getting their buy-in early and getting their input is far more effective than saying “marketing went off in a corner and made this piece. Now go use it.”
Michael Benedict: Hey, absolutely. Listen, what I’m looking for are internal advocates on the sales team. Right. Those little rah rah and those who cheer when we bring out a new eBook. And the more of those I can get going, the better because then their peers see them doing it and follow suit.
Will Davis: That’s great. So, um, more kind of business focus question here for a minute. As GoCanvas has grown successfully and had a number of rounds of funding continues to grow and move from that startup scale stage to a scale up. Um, what role is marketing play? And I guess I’d say in two parts, obviously one we’ve talked about a lot of how marketing has been able to drive the business and help sales, but two how has marketing help from an investor standpoint and you know, are there investors you were trying to use marketing to get on their radar? Are there things you’ve prepared for investors? How does, how does marketing function in that role?
Michael Benedict: Yeah, that’s a really good question. And it, to me it comes down to two things. One: it’s metrics, metrics, metrics. Most of the investors just eat data up and really marketing has sort of the bird’s-eye view of a company, right? And in many respects the core performance, right? Not The whole financial side that’s a CFO provides. And that’s what investors want to see. Are you able to scale this business? And I think what they want to see from marketing is that you have a really solid plan about how you’re going to continue to grow and scale the business and that you’ve proven that you can deliver on it.
Mike Sweeney: So Mike, that’s the kind of data-driven, predictable funnel, predictable ROI, side of marketing. But there’s another side that we all know about, which is kind of the, we’ll call it the softer side, the brand side, the culture side, these things that feel really hard to measure, but we know sitting in this room are really important. Do the folks that fund you guys acknowledge that or is it, listen, just show me the metrics and if you guys want to go and do that brand stuff you enjoy it, we understand it’s important, do they talk about it?
Michael Benedict: They talked quite a bit about it. And, and culture is a huge thing that we find both the investors are looking for a cultural fit with the company they’re looking to invest in. And obviously we’re looking for from our investors as well. So, no, that definitely plays a part in it and look, hey, listen to these people. They’re very, very bright. They get that companies have to develop brands that have a personality, have a voice, a unique voice. And, what we’ve seen is that they’re very receptive to the idea and willing to invest in it.
Will Davis: One last question. Your tip for, uh, you know, younger 20 years ago Mike… what would you tell that Mike now knowing what you know?
Michael Benedict: Wow, that’s a tough question. Thomas Friedman, he’s a writer for the New York Times. He wrote a great book many years ago called a titled “The World is Flat.” And you know, he talked about how talent is becoming, you know, just, you have to have a high, high level of talent, right to make it in this world now. And he said, listen, you have to have talent, but keep this one thing in mind. Just be flexible. Be willing to pivot, pivot jobs, pivot locations. That’s what it’s gonna take to survive. And I read that many, many years ago and that’s always stuck with me. And that’s always been a paradigm that I’ve kept kind of front and center.
Will Davis: Great advice. Well, Mike, Thanks for joining us today. Sweeney, thanks for sitting in and the three man booth, talk to you soon.
Michael Benedict: Thank you guys. Appreciate it.