[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hello, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. I’m here with two ‘gentlemenly’ guests, and we are going to be talking about the infinite value of feedback loops. This is a really exciting topic for us, especially for me. I’m in attribution all day, all the time, trying to optimize and improve campaigns.
[00:00:23] Kevin Dieny: So, the first guest I have today is Matt Widmyer. He is the sales development manager at CallSource. He oversees the ever-growing sales development division here while working as a liaison between the marketing and sales departments, whether there is an individual or a team operational gap, he’ll roll up his sleeves and get to work. He is a problem solver. He is a mentor and he is a coach all rolled into one. Matt has a wife and daughter and loves all things outdoors.
[00:00:55] Matt Widmyer: Thanks for having me.
[00:00:59] Kevin Dieny: All right. Our second host we have going with us today is Ronn Burner again. Ronn Burner is an independent marketing strategy consultant. He applies his marketing MBA with his marketing automation expert experience to help organizations design, execute and measure their marketing strategies. When he is not designing programs, Ronn’s time is spent as an avid sports and fitness fanatic and can be spotted with his 11 year old son at Disneyland on any given weekend… literally! Welcome, Ronn.
[00:01:31] Ronn Burner: Hey, good to see you guys again. Happy to be here.
[00:01:34] Matt Widmyer: Likewise.
[00:01:37] Kevin Dieny: All right. So today’s topic on the infinite value of feedback loops. I wanted to set the stage again and properly define what we’re talking about when you say feedback loops. I think that would be a good place to get started. So I figure I would put it in form of like a metaphor. So a feedback loop is a lot like to me anyway, the speedometer in your car.
[00:02:03] Kevin Dieny: So when you press the gas or acceleration, you see the speed increase when you let off or you press the brake, you see the speed decrease. I think the really important part about a feedback loop is actually how long it takes before the, the cause and effect occur, because that way you can learn from it, right?
[00:02:25] Kevin Dieny: So a car pressing the gas is almost an immediate… boom acceleration and braking is the same. You press that and you’re almost immediately feeling the impact. So the best feedback loops you know in business, they’re going to be the ones that you apply a change or a correction or something and it has almost an immediate impact because you can say, okay, I did something – here’s the effect on that.
[00:02:51] Kevin Dieny: I changed this setting on this thing and my clicks or my leads or whatever went down. I changed my subject headline in my email and my open rates went up. Those are direct, almost immediate things that can happen. Now, there’s also things that take a long time.
[00:03:08] Kevin Dieny: Those are worse. Those are the hardest feedback loops to manage. I think of like a sunburn being a really hard feedback loop because you can play all day at the beach and not really feel that your skin is cooking. And then later that night have a horrible time sleeping cause you have blisters and stuff.
[00:03:25] Kevin Dieny: It takes so long before the impact of that affects you. So the feedback loop is harder to learn from. You might be like, well, is it the fact that I played outside or that I was barbecuing or whatever it is. How could that give me these blisters? So it’s a little hard to make the connections.
[00:03:43] Kevin Dieny: So when it comes to a business and thinking about their feedback loops, where the value comes from, I want to just start us off with, why do you think a business ignores a feedback loop, or ignores measurement, ignores tracking? So I’ll throw this one to Ronn first. Ronn, why do you think a business may ignore the feedback loop?
[00:04:10] Ronn Burner: I think a lot of it has to do with moving too fast. A feedback loop requires, you know, the focus, being on acquiring information to make your process or product better. So oftentimes there’s an idea at the inception, and then you just move forward with that idea and you don’t really actually consider the unintended consequences until they’re so glaring, you have no choice, but to focus on them.
[00:04:39] Ronn Burner: In my experience, it’s usually just, yeah, people get moving so fast and companies and organizations get moving so fast because ideas are great and you just want to execute on them and you want to do them. But you really need to spend as part of the strategy, you really do need to focus on, okay, we need to reassess this.
[00:04:58] Ronn Burner: We need to address it. We need to take in information, just to make it better. How do we make it better?
[00:05:04] Kevin Dieny: Nobody gets every business decision, right… every single time. So you think it might be a little bit of the paralysis of, well, what if we make a mistake? What if we do it wrong? Do you think that’s a part of it?
[00:05:18] Ronn Burner: I do think it’s a part of it because one of the traps I often see, and I’m probably guilty of, doing is when you get going, if things are working it’s acceptable, it’s easy to say, even though if it’s not ideal, you’re like it is functioning. This is working so we can get by with this. If we just keep stacking, it’s kind of like reading material, we just keep stacking it up, but we’re never actually reading it stacking faster than we’re able to consume it.
[00:05:45] Ronn Burner: And, with identifying little issues that aren’t perfect from the get-go, but you can get by and nobody really none the wiser, so to speak. I do think that that tends to play a role and often times you don’t want to really dive into it if it’s working as it is because you might discover, oh, this is bad and of course that’s more reason why you should be doing it.
[00:06:08] Kevin Dieny: Right. Okay. Matt, was there anything you wanted to add about why a business in your experience might want, or might be ignoring feedback loops?
[00:06:18] Matt Widmyer: Yeah, I think the main reason why something like that would happen is because, whoever is in charge of the campaign was not all on the same page at the beginning in terms of how it’s, how we’re measuring success or failure.
[00:06:32] Matt Widmyer: Right. So if we have, the predefined metrics, okay, we’re going to look at this, this is what I hope to happen, this is what I expect to happen. If we can marry somewhere in the middle, we can continue this on for a couple more months. If not, we pull the plug. Those conversations usually don’t happen to the extent they should is from my experience. Answer #2 is because, um, somebody stubborn and doesn’t want to, doesn’t want to look at what’s happening.
[00:07:04] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. I mean, we have dealt with campaigns that we will launch maybe in tandem with other departments or maybe just with like specific individuals. And when the question comes, okay, well, what’s, what’s success for this look like, how are we going to know that this is working or not? And if that part of it is ignored, like to me, I think, well then if measurement tracking is ignored, then why do it?
[00:07:31] Kevin Dieny: Obviously we want to increase whatever the goal is. Leads generally, sales, increase retention, something like that. But when we’re not measuring it, we could be doing something else and it could be, if we’re not measuring it, then it could have a greater or less impact. So there’s no way to know whether one thing is better than another.
[00:07:52] Kevin Dieny: Obviously something is better than nothing usually, but rarely is a business, like, “Okay, I’m willing to just throw resources at this and I don’t care what happens if it’s successful or not, I’m just assuming it will be.” So that’s a problem, I usually see as there’s so much effort paid into what something looks like, how something has to work, how it will perform in, you know, the last metric at the bottom, like sales or something.
[00:08:20] Kevin Dieny: But how are we going to see them smaller, incremental things that show us that it’s working? We’ve sent emails and no one opened. So maybe those email addresses we had are the problem, not the email itself. It’s possible the subject line was so horrible or something ended it up in spam, but there’s a couple of things I’d want to evaluate there other than just saying like, oh, the email entirely is trash or is it a terrible channel for us? Is there anything else you wanted to add on that anybody?
[00:08:54] Matt Widmyer: I think you, uh, I think he covered it. I think the important thing is just for everyone to get on the same page before something is given the green light.
[00:09:02] Ronn Burner: Yeah I think its just, at its core, the essence of feedback loop is efficiency. It’s like, how can we remove the middleman? How can we make this process simpler? You need to be open to accepting information and asking the questions and then if it’s your staff, or the internal sources, they need to be willing to provide the details, whatever it helps, whatever processes can be put in place to make it more efficient and easier on everybody.
[00:09:30] Ronn Burner: That’s kind of at the core of what you want to do. And we live in a feedback loop all day, every day. We’re going through it, like Kevin said with the driving. You do something and you get a result. And your figuring out quickly, that was stupid. There’s a better way to do this.
[00:09:46] Kevin Dieny: All right. I got another question for you. So how are you guys using feedback loops in email marketing, sales development, prospecting in any kind of marketing, sales, or anything you’re doing, interacting with businesses? What are maybe some examples or something where you’d like to share how you’re using a feedback loop to improve… right, with the information you’re getting whatever it is you are doing. So that could be a campaign, an initiative, something like that. So, start with Matt.
[00:10:17] Matt Widmyer: We have, as the SDR manager, again, a team of a half dozen, we have new initiatives pop up all the time, right? And usually primarily pretty heavy call campaigns with some other things, supporting it, obviously marketing and chats and emails and everything.
[00:10:35] Matt Widmyer: Before we take on initiatives, we need to decide what is success for this? If we’re getting appointments from a new list that we have, great – let’s see if we can keep getting them. I don’t want people wasting their time on something. So I think there’s a good amount of activity into something as a couple of hundred activities.
[00:10:55] Matt Widmyer: So if literally nothing’s happened, maybe we adjust the approach a little bit. If it still seems like it’s promising, but the thing that’s annoying for me the most as a manager is for somebody to come to me and tell me a lists sucks and they’ve only made for three or four phone calls on it.
[00:11:15] Matt Widmyer: So there is a threshold where I would like to be able to confidently be able to adjust and tweak and calibrate if you will the direction we take on something. Three isn’t enough, a thousand is probably too many, depending on the total audience. And if we can figure out a way to maybe there’s a segment of that audience, that makes a little bit more sense, right?
[00:11:38] Matt Widmyer: So it’s not necessarily a day to day, but it’s a couple days to a week, its just little check-ins revaluate. We have Salesforce dashboards set up for every metric I care about. Then obviously the anecdotal stuff, the stuff that you don’t have in fields, like, Hey, this is what I’m running into a lot, or this is the general vibe I’m getting from this, or just the conversational stuff when you check in. It’s multi-level but yet it’s data supported with anecdotal stuff, basically.
[00:12:11] Kevin Dieny: That’s great. So here’s a question for you again, Matt. Who is responsible for the success of, let’s say some of the metrics, is it? And what I’m getting to here is, is it ever more than one person?
[00:12:30] Matt Widmyer: I feel like this is a loaded question.
[00:12:33] Kevin Dieny: It totally is.
[00:12:35] Matt Widmyer: No, it is. How did the thing originate? You know, it’s obviously the person doing it, but it is on me too to make sure that my team is equipped to be able to reach out to an audience. It’s a group effort. It’s not just one person. Right. And it takes buy-in from everybody.
[00:12:49] Matt Widmyer: So if there’s something they need that, I can’t readily see then it’s on them to let me know. If it’s something they’re doing that’s wrong I’m not going to let a couple of weeks go by to tell them I’m going to address it as soon as I find out. If I see they’ve made 200 phone calls and not even connected with one person they should be talking to we need to figure out a way to either get past gatekeepers or maybe we need to find a different phone number for these folks or something. Or if they’re connecting with a bunch of people and not getting any appointments, then it’s absolutely whatever they’re telling these people.
[00:13:24] Matt Widmyer: Or maybe that’s not even an attractive offer to this audience, it could be a number of things, but you only find these things out… you can almost kind of narrow it down by looking at the data.
[00:13:35] Kevin Dieny: Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And that’s basically a little bit of the art part of feedback loop management is how long do, how long do I give it? Are the inputs going in, correct? Is there something I need to change that maybe unrelated to necessarily what’s going on that may impact this?
[00:13:54] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot of questions that a feedback loop opens up when you’re not, let’s say getting your performance, even if you are getting the goal or even above the goal you want, there could be a lot of stuff going wrong and it’s still important to look into.
[00:14:08] Kevin Dieny: Okay, Ronn, for you, is there any feedback loops you’re utilizing or you tend to utilize that are really important to you that you wanted to talk to or share?
[00:14:17] Ronn Burner: My approach to feedback loop, I think of it differently from the whole standpoint of marketing attractiveness. There’s the internal and external components of things, so to me, a feedback loop composes, the internal: which is your team. So how processes are in place within your organization? What is not efficient and what is not working is people stepping on each other’s toes and things of that nature, which nobody does intentionally, but it just shows a flaw in the process.
[00:14:41] Ronn Burner: That is definitely a feedback loop and the way I approach that with my team, I am a firm firm believer in trusting my team. I want the ball in somebody’s court at all times, because when it’s in multiple hands, it tends to fall through the cracks because you can point the finger on accident. And to me that approach, it gives empowerment.
[00:15:04] Ronn Burner: You’re empowering your team or each specific member. And now they feel like they have responsibility and they feel like they have purpose. And, they feel like they matter to a point where nobody wants to drop the ball. So if the ball is in their plate, they’re almost certainly going to put their best foot forward to do it rather than it being in a group setting.
[00:15:22] Ronn Burner: So that sort of feedback approach. And I like that as a marketing manager, I have the weekly meetings and I know as a team, we also had this sort of a thing, but I like to talk about successes now in the successes of what was successful for the week. But I also like to find out: what can we do better?
[00:15:37] Ronn Burner: Did anybody notice anything that we can streamline our work on? That component of a feedback loop and that kind of open communication without feeling like there’s some sort of hierarchy or you’re talking up for talking down to each other because we’re a collective team and all components – everybody’s area of expertise is very important.
[00:15:57] Ronn Burner: I don’t tell the social media team how to do things. I ask them, this is what our strategy is, what we want to do. So what do you guys think? And then they can let me know. So we are all on the same page and that feedback loop is very important.
[00:16:08] Ronn Burner: Then the external component of it is. The area of expertise of outbound emails and things of that nature. And you alluded to it with subject lines, which is obviously if you’re not getting email opens, the first thing you go to is databases. What’s the database hygiene? And of course, that feedback loops is to figure out if, if it’s pristine or not, or make it pristine, hopefully you already know that answer. So then when you’re not receiving any opens or any email analytics, it’s due to, either the cadence, either the messaging, the subject line, things of that nature. The external component, what I mean by that feedback loop is that’s coming from, the customer or coming from the client. So what is their feedback?
[00:16:50] Ronn Burner: And there’s such a thing as action by inaction. So to your point, Kevin, if they’re not opening emails, if they’re not clicking, if they’re not doing any of the CTA. They’re profiling themselves in a way that we know you’re there, but you’re not interested. So we’re not offering you value probably, or we’re not speaking to the right persona.
[00:17:08] Ronn Burner: So then all of these things like Matt said is you collect all this data. And as long as you have a plan to know what to do with that data, you can really start to hone in on messaging and trying to, up the stakes, up to ante, up to analytics.
[00:17:21] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, so you bring up two really interesting things there. The first one is there’s two types of, let’s say data that comes from a feedback loop. The first one. Let’s say call it the traditional data that you’d say 1, 2, 3, 1000 thousand clicks opens. I’m talking about an integer numbers, like quantifiable data that is telling us something and based on what we expect or what we know, maybe a baseline it’s either better or worse or at average than what we expect.
[00:17:49] Kevin Dieny: And that’s a feedback loop, it’s numerical. There’s also the qualitative… emotional… anecdotal, someone saying these leads are crap. Like how Matt was mentioning this list is garbage, but then he immediately goes to, okay, let me see what the quant side is saying. Let me see what the numbers say.
[00:18:08] Kevin Dieny: And that can be an unemotional feedback loop. It’s not to discount the emotional side. The emotional side is incredibly important, especially when managing, but if you scope down like a magnifying glass, really down to the individual metric of a specific email not being opened or not. It could have a lot of emotional components to it.
[00:18:29] Kevin Dieny: When you look at it from high level and you see big numbers, like I got only a 5% open or whatever it is, and you expect a 15, then okay, something’s wrong. But exactly what is wrong is really difficult is really… complex. It can be a hard thing to untangle. The other part of it that stood out to me was what if something’s not going well, I make a change, and then immediately afterward it gets worse. It gets worse then bad that it already was. Lets just put it in the format of a little story.
[00:19:05] Kevin Dieny: We sent an email out when you get only 5% opens and we’re expecting 15. And so we said, fixing the database is a big, hard problem for our small business. Let’s just change the subject line and we changed it. And now we’re seeing 2% opens. We’re only looking at that one metric. That seems like it made things worse. So what do you do Ronn, when you’re managing the feedback loops and the corrections and still something goes wrong or worse like that side of it.
[00:19:35] Ronn Burner: Yeah. I consider that to be, it’s still a learning, the result is negative, but it was still a learning thing. So you know what not to do next time. When it comes to the database, I’m an automation by trade. I’m an automation guy. So I have so many programs built in and I call it proof of life.
[00:19:54] Ronn Burner: If I want to know that there’s somebody on the other end, so right there, I’m cutting the fat. I’m trimming the fat for those non engaged people. And they’re handled in a different way where it’s more of a slow drip over a cadence over time. Just trying to get a, to find a pulse. So something down the road, they eventually click.
[00:20:12] Ronn Burner: So the true automation elements of things that are being centered, they’re only to the, I don’t want to say highly engaged, but those that have shown me that there’s a, somebody on the other end of that email. When I make a decision or I try something because of, again, as an automation guy, AB testing is a really big part of life, you know, you really want, and it’s everything from CTA button colors.
[00:20:35] Ronn Burner: It’s almost fun stuff. When you make a decision that doesn’t work, it’s usually, nothing’s drastic. Nothing’s crazy. So I’m going to change something and I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bath water. If I see something’s not quite working, right.
[00:20:49] Ronn Burner: I’m going to say, okay, how about this? And it’s just a subtle tweak because another main thing in stilled, in my mind is you want the messaging to always remain the same. So I don’t want them to all of a sudden assuming they know who we are. You don’t want them to see an email that looks completely different than the organization that you are, and that the messages that you’ve been sending across all of your channels.
[00:21:11] Ronn Burner: I can’t think of a decision I’ve ever made incorrectly. I’m joking. Of course. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that would have been too drastic. Something that comes to mind is long email form versus short email form.
[00:21:27] Ronn Burner: And again, that goes back to the persona. What audience are you talking to? Because there are certain audiences that the long email form it’s more storytelling and they need to be coerced and they need to trust you. So they want to read that. Then I know I’ve worked in the past with, auto dealerships and I know that their audience is, they want to get straight to the point.
[00:21:49] Ronn Burner: They want to go straight to the button. They want to go straight to the call to action. All the storytelling that you could incorporate in there, they would scroll right past that and go to the button if they were interested or not. The takeaway would be, I would make subtle changes rather than, big, wholesale changes that are pretty much drastically changing everything that you’ve done up until that point.
[00:22:08] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s a really good point to make, smaller manageable changes can oftentimes swing numbers in a huge way. We have called it here, making testing experimental changes and then the, which are small. And then we call it cannon balling where we think the whole idea needs to change.
[00:22:27] Kevin Dieny: And we need to pivot in a big way. And we generally do that when we’re forced to unfortunately, or when we’ve tested a bunch and we’re come to the conclusion. This just doesn’t seem to be working. How Matt mentioned, we’ve got to give up on this move to something else. Let’s change the pace entirely.
[00:22:45] Kevin Dieny: So question for you, Matt. What is the long-term consequence of ignoring a feedback loop? What are some consequences of ignoring the process of setting up feedback loops entirely?
[00:23:00] Matt Widmyer: Well, yeah, I think the worst possible consequences I lose my job for, for doing something way too long that’s not working. There are other consequences as well. We could potentially damage the relationship we have with an audience by going too far into something thats not working, we could start to irritate some people. I do think that there’s always something to be learned.
[00:23:26] Matt Widmyer: Even from your sunscreen example at the beginning or your sunburn example, you can learn, there’s no total loss, right. Because you can learn, okay, next time you go out and sunscreen, then you, you put on some SPF 20 and then you get burned again. And it’s like, okay, maybe I need SPF 40 next time.
[00:23:43] Matt Widmyer: And then you get burnt again, and then it’s like, okay, maybe I can stay out of the sun or I just use an umbrella where everywhere I go or, and bring Aloe Vera with me everywhere I go. There’s something to be learned in any case. It’s never realistic to be making like little micro changes and stuff like that, but you should have an idea of the checkpoints and stuff like that. You don’t want it to go on for too long because there’s a lot at risk: the quality of the list and you’re getting people to say no before they even know what you do.
[00:24:14] Matt Widmyer: But I do agree with Ronn, in terms of not changing too many things at once because by making little tweaks, you’re able to isolate what is actually wrong with the approach. A lot of times it’s just a matter of tweaking the talk track a little bit. We usually go in somewhat prepared, we know that audience typically works for us.
[00:24:41] Matt Widmyer: You go in with your best foot forward and an educated guests of what you think is going to work based on historical stuff. And then if it’s not working, it’s usually I’m not opening up this call the right way, or this is a hot button for them and make sure you mentioned this or it’s usually one or two little things.
[00:25:01] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s great, Matt. You mentioned some really good things that I want to summarize around and then I’ll give it back to you guys just to add any last things you want to this. So in summary, the feedback loop is being able to measure the performance of something as it goes, but also to give you the information you need to know what you should tweak either next time or in real time on the fly. And that is the process of improving performance; adding value to the business that does equal more leads, more interactions, more engagements, more sales, greater revenue, increased retention.
[00:25:43] Kevin Dieny: The reason that there’s infinite value there is that you can always change something. Now the last component of that right is, well, what do I change first? There’s a priorities. Not all feedback is going to be equal. Some things are going to be very valuable and some things are going to just be like, okay, it didn’t work, but this is a Christmas email.
[00:26:05] Kevin Dieny: We sent it once a year. It doesn’t need to drive leads, right? What is its purpose? And then the other thing is looking at a campaign and initiative. Anything. Is it trackable? Are we measuring it? Do we care? If it’s an awareness thing. If it’s just to get some good rapport with an audience, it may not necessarily need to be fully trackable.
[00:26:24] Kevin Dieny: And sometimes the difference between the untrackable and a trackable thing is a lot of money and expense. So maybe we just don’t have the budget for that. We can’t track this per se.
[00:26:36] Kevin Dieny: Data feedback is best I would say, but I wouldn’t ignore the emotional anecdotal feedback, especially in different situations in managing people.
[00:26:46] Kevin Dieny: There’s a lot of bias out there. So that’s why data is I say, as our preference, my preference, it removes some of the bias, but you can easily skew and bias anything. The feedback loops that tell us that we are doing something wrong or that we suck at something. Honestly it’s hard to take, right?
[00:27:04] Kevin Dieny: This thing you put a lot of time and effort in didn’t work. Okay. Does that mean you are a bad marketer business owner, leader salesperson? No, it just means, there’s something there that can be improved. You can get better. You can, move this in the right direction. It’s just got to be worth it.
[00:27:21] Kevin Dieny: So I wouldn’t get all worked up about something that you can just, move on or change or can improve starting small. Like Matt said is probably the right way. If you change, or like Ron alluded to you change too many things, you get into multi-variate work. And then in that case, you’re like, well, I changed five things, but I don’t know which one actually worked.
[00:27:41] Kevin Dieny: That’s a problem. I mean it’s better… but if someone was to say, well, what exactly was the thing that worked or if it starts to not work. And you’re kind of like, wait, I don’t know exactly which one to fix. And that’s tough. So focus on what can be greatly improved by doing the smallest amount of effort is probably just a smart management decision or smart way to work.
[00:28:03] Kevin Dieny: Pouring a whole bunch of effort into a tiny little corner of a graphic that’s barely, anyone’s going to see on the last page, doesn’t need as much attention. When someone lands on a page, they’re going to see the top. Are they gonna scroll down to the bottom?
[00:28:16] Kevin Dieny: Probably not. So does that need the most attention? Probably not. Some people just don’t scroll. They want it immediately. So that’s where the attention should be paid. That’s a lot of experience talking but that’s come from feedback loops.
[00:28:31] Kevin Dieny: I am on the side of Ronn, and I think Matt probably would agree to where you want the responsibility of things to be in one person’s hand, as he mentioned, like the ball in one person’s court, and that’s by scoping in. In macro and a large view, like Matt mentioned, everyone has a piece, everyone’s a cog in this machine, but when you zoom in scope in, you really want that small decisions being made, that people can be responsible for the performance on that people can feel awesome, I want to learn from this and improve. That’s where I think it works best.
[00:29:06] Kevin Dieny: That’s the summary, and you take all that in and you say, well, what do I do with all this? I think you look at some of the most important things going on in your business and you ask yourself, okay, well, what does success look like?
[00:29:18] Kevin Dieny: How am I measuring that?
[00:29:20] Kevin Dieny: Who’s responsible for that? If it’s more than one person, then maybe it’s nobody. That’s usually where I go to. What are we doing about it, and is there anything we can do about it? Those are basic business decision topics that we’re alluding to here with feedback loops.
[00:29:36] Kevin Dieny: Ronn, is there anything else you’d like to add or point out about the feedback loops?
[00:29:42] Ronn Burner: Something that was asked earlier is the negative component. What are the negative effects of a poor feedback loop? And the simple answer is just cost. It’s expensive because you’re inefficient. So things are not working on your team or in your organization on that side and the outward facing stuff you’re not getting the return on the investment.
[00:30:04] Ronn Burner: That is also expensive. Finding leads is expensive. If the process is really bad, turnover is also very expensive. So KPIs and these sorts of things, becoming an expensive problem for an organization. And as a leader, your KPIs are somehow tied to that and you want to be as efficient and show as much return on investment as you can.
[00:30:22] Ronn Burner: The other thing is what’s the perfect, what’s the ideal situation, what is the dream scenario, the dream path that you want something to work in and what the ideal state looks like. And then you try to create that. And when you find those obstacles, now you try to solve for those obstacles.
[00:30:39] Ronn Burner: So really what you’re doing for the ideal streamlined feedback loop is removing obstacles. I think of it a little bit like, when we were talking about multi-variant, apply best practices and then apply like the whole medical profession to it.
[00:30:51] Ronn Burner: How do they solve problems? They remove what they know is not the problem. We know this is not the problem. So now let’s move on to this. And then you keep what is good and you try to filter down and what is not as good. Really efficiency and process and trying to get high performing as you can, both internally and externally.
[00:31:14] Kevin Dieny: That’s some great points Ronn. I really liked the idea of separating out what it’s not first, because you could spend a lot of time pointing out problems when we’re trying to work towards solutions.
[00:31:26] Kevin Dieny: Matt, was there anything else that you wanted to add about the feedback loops?
[00:31:30] Matt Widmyer: Yeah. I mean, I just wanted you guys to know that we are all in fact drinking out of the same Punchbowl here. Strategy wise, there’s could be multiple people involved from a tactical level. Yes, one owner. One person either gets the credit or the blame when it comes to actually doing the thing.
[00:31:48] Matt Widmyer: I say that half joking, but no, it is, just from bartending in the past, it’s a lot easier to make a drink if one person’s doing it. I don’t need somebody to get the cup for me. And then someone else fills it up with ice and then the other person goes and gets some Xs and the liquor, I just wanna make the drink and then give it to the table.
[00:32:03] Matt Widmyer: Its going to be the most quickest, efficient thing. If I am making it wrong along the way. Cool, I’ll pour it out and make the other one. It’s still going to be quicker than having five people cause then you have people along the way say, oh, you put too much ice in or whatever. Just let me do, let me make the drink.
[00:32:19] Matt Widmyer: The goal of all these feedback loops, we’re all trying to hit some sort of goal, right? So these, whatever the activity we’re doing that requires these feedback loops, the feedback loop is for the sake of, should we continue to do it or not?
[00:32:36] Matt Widmyer: Thats really the question that we’re trying to answer here. And if so, then what do we need to change or do we need to change anything? One funny example that we had, Kevin, working together, Ronn, you might even have been here for this. We did an ad campaign that then our phones are ringing off the hook for people that want to buy trampolines.
[00:32:56] Matt Widmyer: We don’t sell trampolines, not even close, probably the furthest away from what we actually do here. That’s something I wouldn’t wait a week to go back to Kevin and say, Hey, by the way, our phones have been ringing for an entire every day, every second of every day for an entire week.
[00:33:11] Matt Widmyer: Part of me wanted to get in the trampoline business but the other part of me is like, “Hey, shut this off because it’s annoying and we don’t do that.” You’d want to address it a lot sooner than later, some of this stuff where we’re still unsure, we’re on the fence. Okay. Let’s plug away a little bit longer and see what happens.
[00:33:27] Matt Widmyer: But at some point the decision needs to be made, whether you continue to do something or not. Because as Ronn alluded to, your job at stake is a very extreme example, but for every second you’re sitting there on the fence, you’re not sure what to do. You are using company resources, whether it’s time, energy, some of these effort and you’re actually not only doing that, you’re actually subtracting from something else somebody could be doing.
[00:33:56] Matt Widmyer: So it’s actually twice if you’re doing the wrong thing, but as long as you’re learning something, and it’s not taking too long. It’s not failing little small failing and tripping along the way is not a bad thing. It’s actually a really good thing.
[00:34:13] Kevin Dieny: That’s excellent. Some really good examples there and I love the, I remember the trampolines there. It’s not, that’s not the only one that ended up like that. We’ve also had some crazy, bus fairs and stuff like that, people asking about them.
[00:34:26] Kevin Dieny: The takeaway is here that, nobody’s going to get every business decision right. Feedback loops, are to help you get them right eventually. That’s what they’re for. Like Matt said, they’re either to continue to do something or stop something.
[00:34:37] Kevin Dieny: So business decisions are made all the time. They’re not going to be right all the time. Sometimes they’re more weighty and more costly to make than others. And that’s just the way it is. And constantly evaluating feedback loops and small manageable decisions, will help.
[00:34:51] Kevin Dieny: Like Ronn said, a good example is A/B testing. If you can incorporate that in, that’s a great way to get going. So gentlemen, how can people find and connect with you, Ronn?
[00:35:02] Ronn Burner: Ronn Burner is my name on LinkedIn and it’s my name everywhere else.
[00:35:07] Kevin Dieny: Awesome. Thanks, Ronn. How about you, Matt?
[00:35:09] Matt Widmyer: Same thing, Matt Widmyer uh, LinkedIn it’s W I D M Y E R.
[00:35:15] Kevin Dieny: I’m also on LinkedIn and everyone… thank you for listening. If you want to check out the show notes, you want to check out anything to do with this episode, we will post it on that page. We’re really grateful for you listening. Thank you again. Thanks guys.
[00:35:29] Matt Widmyer: Thanks