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Episode 288: When ‘Cataclysmic Change’ Makes Your Services a Necessity with Sean Spicer at Agile IT

Episode Summary

Sean Spicer’s experience in digital marketing spans 20 years — and he hasn’t looked back.

On this episode of Tech Qualified, Justin Brown interviews Sean, who is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Agile IT, a company that provides cloud-first managed services.

His company has been at the forefront of the digital revolution for years. But recently some things have changed.

When the stay-at-home orders came in as COVID-19 started spreading in the US, the phones started ringing off the hook. Companies needed solutions for their sudden remote workforce — and they needed them fast.

“We’re in a really fortunate place that this is a solution we’ve offered, and now we’re just developing it a little bit more and delivering it a little bit faster,” he says.

For Sean, being able to provide essential services that allow people and their companies to work in safe conditions from their homes has also affected him personally, giving him renewed purpose: “Seeing those impacts and seeing how we’re actually helping instead of just being another technology company really gives me chills.”

Guest Profile

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  • Name: Sean Spicer
  • What he does: At Agile IT, Sean Spicer heads both the sales and marketing departments, integrating two sides of the business that he believes should help carry each other.
  • Company: Agile IT
  • Noteworthy: For Sean, the social impact of his work is important. He’s worked for several companies in social good industries, and in his current role, he’s found a sense of purpose in the help he can provide people during the current health crisis.

Key Insights

  • Sean says that Agile IT’s services haven’t changed but what has is the speed with which they are able to roll through a sale. Normally a deal can take between 45 and 60 days. But now that there is an unprecedented demand, things are moving much faster. Businesses are forced to transform, so demand is up.
  • Marketing at Agile IT is not only about collaborating with the sales team but also making sure they keep communication with engineers open, Sean says. Once a project is about 75% done, they will typically hear back from engineers to make sure they are making informed decisions. Their goal isn't just to migrate people, he says, but to create true business outcomes from IT transformation.
  • Content, for Sean, must be useful. He’s not focused on listicles and quick reads. He wants readers to find something actionable and educational no matter what. As a marketer, he enjoys engaging with readers and sharing ideas beyond the explicit production of the content.

Episode Highlights

  • Purpose-driven IT
“I get to see a positive impact from what I do when I go to the office every day, to see that there’s an impact. Right now, we’ve enabled hospitals to send their non-essential workers home. We have intake specialists sitting at home instead of sitting in the hospitals. Seeing those impacts and seeing how we’re actually helping instead of just being another technology company gives me chills and really provides purpose to what I’m doing.”
  • Letting your true colors shine
“One thing to keep in mind is that it has to be authentic. It can’t be a marketing spiel or a press release saying, ‘Oh, we’re doing the sunshiny thing.’ It really needs to be true and done not for that selfish motive of what our marketing is going to look like six months down the line. But I don’t think companies even have the time to think about that right now. We’re in a time of such rapid pivots and almost cataclysmic change that you’re seeing the true character of companies come out.”
  • Working the SEO angle to get the right clients
“We’ve had some very good initiatives around SEO, so we’re able to hit prospects at their time of need. We ranked top on Google, for example. Somebody reads this article, they see that there are things they can do, it’s fairly in-depth but not highly technical, and there’s a video demo that goes with it. They get a taste and they know what’s possible, but they don’t know how to do it themselves. So, at that point, they engage with us.”
  • Digestible digital material - a blog/ebook combo
“After the blog, and once somebody is engaged with us, a lot of these blogs I’ve turned into PDFs, and we call them, ‘blooks.’ They’re not really your standard ebook with all the graphs and everything, but it’s an easily digestible and easily shareable PDF.”
  • The sales/marketing balance
“I don’t even think it’s a challenge to balance. It’s almost like carrying a 20-pound weight in each arm. They carry each other. By being part of the sales cycle, I’m able to identify unique needs. So, we’re getting 20,000 hits on licensing, but there’s a whole lot of interest in this particular license, and because I get to see that, then I can generate the content, and it just works as a perpetual cycle.”
  • Ahead of the content game with pay-per-click
“Generally, I’ll know about three or four months before we’re going to start bringing something new out to market and I’ll start to generate teaser content. Occasionally, the teaser content is too good, and we’ll have leads before we have a product ready, which is a great problem to have, but generally it takes sometimes six to eight months to really get solid SEO results. So PPC is to provide that initial bit of traffic first.”
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