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Humans of Martech
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Humans of Martech

Author: Jon Taylor, Phil Gamache

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Future-proofing the humans behind the tech. Follow Jon and Phil on their mission to help marketers level up and have successful careers in the constantly evolving world of martech.
38 Episodes
Shannon McCluskey is an analytical marketing leader at the top of her game counting 10+ years of martech experience with amazing SaaS companies.She works out of Vancouver but is originally from Ottawa, she’s got a Bcom from the UofO and a masters in digital technology from university of Waterloo.She got her early start in marketing and UX at Fluidware, an Ottawa based startup with the same founders that are now behind Fellow.appFluidware was later acquired by SurveyMonkey where Shannon went on to spend almost 3 years in marketing ops where she worked with some of the top Marketo experts in the world.She went on to run the remote Ops team at an HR SaaS called Visier for almost 4 years.Shannon is currently Marketing Ops Manager at Clio - a distributed cloud-based legal tech company and she’s building an awesome team with interesting open roles right now.She’s certified by Marketo, Salesforce and Demandbase. She’s spoken at top marketing conferences like the martech conference in San Jose.Shannon-- thanks for taking the time to chat with us today!- Your journey from Ottawa startup to Survey Monkey > Visier and now Clio - What's Clio and what does your team do, how do you market to lawyers - How a remote company of 600 people is run, how your MOPs team is run - What advice do you have for aspiring MOPs professionals? How do you know this path is right for you?- Are you getting lots of applications, what are your thoughts on the supply and demand of martech talen right now?- Describe the current role / pitch the opportunity on your team- Give us an example a project someone on your team would own, like a campaign a nurture, a data hygiene program or a compliance program - In the posting, the JT is specialist, but looking at the exp and the skills required, you’re considering both early marketers willing to learn at the same time as a more seasoned IC with MKTO + SFDC experience. How do you balance that, how do you pick?- The stack you're building with- You lead a team, you're a frequent speaker and a constant learner, you also have a busy personal life, you’re a mom working from home, how do you balance everything you have going on in your life to stay happy. --Shannon on LinkedIn: Marketing Operations Specialist posting: All job openings on Clio: ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via UnminusCover art created with help via Undraw
Hey everyone, this is part 3 of 3 on marketing email audits. Whether you’re in-house or you’re consulting and want to offer email audits as a service, our hope is that you can level up your email game.In the last 2 episodes, we covered research tips and questions you should ask yourself before the audit and we also covered the actual audit and what to look for, tips and tactics. In today’s episode, we’ll cover what email improvements to suggest and experiment with, we’ll take a nice deep dive in behaviour-triggered emails.So you’ve dived into the user’s world, you’ve gone through all the emails and suggested improvements on the first emails and how to avoid selling too early. Now you want to figure out what you should suggest in terms of improvements.What are some of the highest impact experiments you’ve led? One spot I like to start is inactive users. When it comes to reactivating users, B2C can be very similar to B2B. B2C calls them abandoned cart emails, and they don’t have to be treated too differently in SaaS B2B, but it’s easy to do this wrong.Re-activating dormant usersBy day 3-4 of your onboarding sequence, it makes total sense to sell but probably only to users who have gotten started. 50-70% of free users have either left the product or are kicking the tires on several other options. We call these dormant or inactive users. They check you out really fast and give up. The majority of these are users you will never convert in the first place.But amongst this group of inactive users there's plenty who would convert if they get invited back into the product. The approach needs to be creative and helpful. We need to delight these inactive users, not sell them.The angle should rather be showcasing similar customers who have completed similar jobs to be done.Triggered-based behaviour emailsMost onboarding series are not tied to what users have completed so far in the product, it’s 100% time-based and not outcome-driven and assumes all users are ready to buy 15 minutes into their journey. Outcome driven trigger-based emails (instead of time), based on what users have completed and not completed in the product.Here’s how I’ve approached implementing this as an experiment:I would suggest starting with 3 main cohorts of users:  Discover Getting started Upgrade Most series push users quickly past steps 1 and 2 and hammers step 3 for many emails to follow. (1) DiscoverThe first activity cohort (Discover) is all about getting users to their first unit of value. For Convertkit, that might be importing your subscribers from Mailchimp, or maybe creating their first form. This is all about getting users to a quick win, browse all the different signup form options and connect it to your site. Instead of waiting 15 minutes before the next email, a triggered email could send after sign up form creation congratulating the user on connecting Convertkit to their site, reminding them how easy it is to swap forms and pushing them to the next cohort of users.If users who signup become inactive and are not able to create a signup form or do anything else after 15 minutes, it’s safe to assume we’ve lost these folks and instead of pushing them a discount or a promotion, we should be teasing them about existing customer signup pages, focusing on that first win. We need to re-activate these users before we worry about selling to them. Coordinate with the product team here for best results. What is the typical time to conversion event. Also, it is worth thinking about consequences and complexity of moving to an activated track or not.(2) Getting startedUsers enter the second activity cohort/group as soon as they complete their first unit of value. The stage is all about convincing users the product is the ideal solution and pushes them through the rest of the getting started steps. This is where email onboarding can help drive stickiness of the product by building/introducing habit-forming principles.Over time, this section can grow with multiple onboarding steps, but we could start with two simple steps like creating their first email draft or their email footer settings. (3) Upgrade to paid planNow that users have had a chance to try out the product and see parts of their brand in the product, we can start nudging them to upgrade benefits and features. Okay so all 3 of those could be lists in your automation tool. Smart lists or dynamic lists, they update as soon as someone completes an action in the product. Yeah so let’s illustrate this. We have our 5 lists right? Signups Imported subscribers Created a form Connected form to site Created broadcast draft User signs up, they get a confirmation email. As soon as they click that, send the Welcome email. So far, no segmentation.Next wait step triggers when the user enters our second list, the getting started list. This is when users have imported their subscribers in Convertkit. So we can wait until the user enters our second list, as soon as they do, they get a congratulatory email pushing them to enter list #3. We can add a max wait time on this wait step and send an email pushing users to import their subscribers after 2 hours if they aren’t on our second list yet.Next wait step would be wait until user enters our 3rd list, created a form, congratulate them and push them to connect it to their site. If user is on list 2, send them another attempt at nudging them to the next product step, if they are on list 1, nudge them to import their contacts. Segmented emails by vertical / use caseCreating segmented journeys for free users and guiding them to relevant personalized product steps.Most onboarding series are a one size fits all approach. With the volume of users signing up and the wide variance in use cases, there could be hundreds of micro onboarding journeys, all opportunities to personalize our CTAs. For Convertkit for example, I’d suggest starting with 4 segments, perhaps:  Artists; designers, filmmakers, photographers, musicians Athletes; coaches, influencers Marketers; bloggers, podcasters, makers Youtubers; streamers Instead of sending the current onboarding series to everyone (control), we segment users into groups based on their use case. Someone trying to set up a newsletter for their photography classes has different onboarding tasks than an athlete trying to connect to their fans. In order to get users to a series of moments of delight, we can personalize our messages and call to actions for each segment. Boom, that’s it folks, you survived our 3 part email audit series. Would love to hear from you if you found it valuable, if you audit emails and if you’re planning on starting it.Here’s 3 of our top takeaways from the past 3 episodes:Users have ideal paths to discovering your product or service, understand these moments deeply and use email to guide users along this path. Strike a balance between beautiful HTML design and sneaking past spam filters by not overloading users too early and sticking to a small amount of links and images in your emails to ensure deliverability. Instead of selling to all our your email subscribers, segment your users by behaviour. Your likelihood of re-activating dormant users increases tenfold with relevant personalized product steps. ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via UnminusCover art created with help via Undraw
Hey everyone, this is part 2 of 3 on marketing email audits. Whether you’re in-house or you’re consulting and want to offer email audits as a service, our hope is that you can level up your email game.In the last episode, we covered research tips and questions you should ask yourself before the audit. In today’s episode, we’ll cover the actual audit and what to look for, tips and tactics. Next week, our last episode of the series will cover what email improvements to suggest and experiment with.Alright JT, let’s get to it. There’s three crucial things I want to make sure we cover today as part of any email audit.A theme that you’ll hear throughout today’s episode is timing your emails around your user’s journey, and not selling too early or to users that aren’t ready to buy. But let's start with the confirmation email and the welcome email. Regardless of what you're auditing, those will be part of the starting journey for all new users right?Confirmation emailDepending on the scope of your audit you need to decide if you’re going to audit individual emails or more high level improvements. I prefer the former. I go email by email, not starting with the Welcome email but the confirmation email. That’s really the first email touch point. We want to maximise the chances that this email reaches the inbox. To do that we want to keep it short and simple with a single CTA, confirm your email. We don’t want too many images or text or links. We need this to land in the inbox and get through most spam filters.Such a balance of beautiful design and impact versus sneaking past email filters. Too much HTML gets caught.Welcome emailWe had a full episode dedicated to really making this email stand out, and that’s the core goal of this email. Everyone expects it. Most companies have a huge fancy HTML template with heavy brand and a bunch of helpful resources and links to get started.The danger with overloading users too soonSomething that lives rent free in my brain when I think email onboarding is Val Geisler’s dinner party strategy. When you host people over for a dinner party--be it a backyard BBQ or a fancy social event, the evening itself has many tracks.  You welcome guests,  Take their coats, introduce them to others You take their drinks order and show them to a seat there’s the appetizer round,  a main course,  side dishes,  and dessert,  and then you invite them back.  If the Welcome email has 10+ links to tutorials and courses and help articles, it’s almost like your guest’s arrive to your house for the dinner party and before they can take their coats off you shove the main course sprinkled with dessert in their face. I like this dinner guest analogy a lot. I think it's also a lot about coordinating with product. Combined, you set the ambience. The smell of food, the setting, the dress code -- email needs to blend in to the decorum. Seeing how the product<>email experience jive is a big opportunity.Instead of overwhelming users with links, Welcome emails are great starting points to train users to open the next emails. This can be done with storytelling and standing out. We should be training users to open our next email and pushing them to 1 specific moment of delight back in the product. Consider a stronger CTA to push users to finish their onboarding. They could try "Add your first subscriber" or "build your first landing page" instead of "Log in".There's an opportunity to tell the Convertkit story instead of just welcoming them to the family. Users starting an email tool are also trialing competitors. So they are getting similar emails. Selling too earlyEarly in the journey we want to nudge users to complete steps in the product that nudge them to moments of delight and getting value from the product. You don’t want to turn off users and start selling to everyone, especially not users that haven’t done much in the product yet. The best way to get users to upgrade to a paid plan is to let them try the product and reach success. Instead of talking about the benefits of upgrading to a paid plan right away, we should be telling users how and why Convertkit is their best choice.We want to be delighting the user and making sure they are accomplishing tasks in the product. Working on the user's timeline rather than asking them to upgrade right away. Mindlessly forcing people through a user journey is bad. The idea that you need to be everything to everyone is equally bad. Segmentation is key, behaviour based triggered emails are also key. That’s actually part 3/3 of our series. We covered what to do before the audit in part 1, part 2 was the actual audit and the most important aspects of the first two emails in your sequence and part 3 next week is what you should be suggesting as part of improvements. We’ll specifically be touching on segmentation and behaviour based triggered emails. Chat then.✌️--Intro music by Wowa via UnminusCover art created with help via Undraw
Educational series, product onboarding, upsell sequences… regardless of where you look in your funnel, there’s marketing emails to be audited. Like any investigation, an email audit combines thorough observations, deductive reasoning and extra points for style and bold decisions. Our hope with this 3 part series is that you can add another feather in your detective hat. Whether you’re consulting and want to offer email audits as a service or you’re in-house and you want to level up your company’s email game. We’re going to cover research and questions you should ask yourself before the audit, what to look for in your actual audit, tips, tactics and finally what improvements to suggest and experiment with.Today’s main takeaway is:Users have ideal paths to discovering your product or service, understand these moments deeply and use email to guide users along this path. Alright JT, email onboarding is close to my heart, I’ve built many of these in-house but I’ve also had the pleasure of consulting and auditing the onboarding series for a few SaaS and tech companies.It’s fascinating to get to see all the different ways you can welcome users to your product via email.Before we talk about what order to tackle things, let’s talk about great email onboarding.What’s great onboarding?Great email onboarding consists of guiding/helping users through a series of “aha” moments as they interact with your brand and product. Users receive units of value for each step as they gain confidence in the product’s ability to complete their jobs to be done. In a product-led company, this should be corroborated by the product/ux team. What wow moments exist in the ideal path, and use email to guide them along this path.Data is part 1, story is part 2 and where marketing shines. What are some examples of aha moments?Aha moments exampleI’ve been thinking through what an “aha” series of steps might look like for a free Convertkit user: A close friend recommends Convertkit as the ideal place to start for my newsletter I have a quick read through backlinko’s guide to convertkit and get a real good sense of what the product can do I’m able to quickly signup and import my subscribers from Mailchimp I’m able to build my first signup form and connect it to my WP site I watch a 20 minute video tutorial on intro to advanced automations in Pro plans I successfully connect my signup form to my WP site What email onboarding should and should not beUltimately, great email onboarding convinces users to stick around and boosts overall engagement and retention.Email onboarding should be used to: Tell the company’s story Answer questions/objections Demonstrate how the product solves user’s pain  Nudge users to specific common conversion actions Show the art of the possible Tie what the user has done in their account Email onboarding should not be used to: Get everyone to buy immediately  Send the same call to action Seem cold and impersonal An extension of your brand and product Coordinate with product experience to be integrated with it Doesn’t trip over the feet of product-based emails or sales emails Build trust/rapport Be referenceable down the line when user needs info, point of contact, etc Understanding your customers and usersBefore diving into any email audit, it’s important to get into your users’ headspace. Obviously this differs whether you're leading this audit in-house or as a consultant. Often when you are contracting, you won’t have a ton of customer research data available to you. In spite of customer research/interviews and jobs to be done insights, here’s a few places to spend a bit of time reading: Review sites on G2, capterra Tutorials on getting started with the product from the community Searching on twitter @company threads These spots really give me a sense of the language used and what problems are being solved as well the steps users need to take to be able to “hire” the company for a specific job. Gimme some JBTD examples with something like Covnertkit?Jobs to be done exampleUsers signup for Convertkit probably because they want to grow their personal brands, sites and businesses. Not because they want an email marketing tool. Some of the common themes and jobs that were highlighted throughout reviews and tutorials were: How to build an email list Send automated email reminders Sell services/contact or products/ecommerce Build a personal brand, start an audience, build a web presence The predominant themes and categories of use cases were: Artists, designers, filmmakers, photographers Athletes, coaches, influencers Marketers, bloggers, podcasters, makers Youtubers, streamers, musicians Diving deep into a few tutorials highlighted a few prerequisites for hitting what are likely common conversion actions or moments of delight in the early web building journey: Having a subscriber base Having a form connected to your site to accept new subs Share a link to your new landing page on social Send a broadcast email to subs Understanding the customer pain point precisely the moment before they start looking for you.So we just covered part 1 of our 3 part series on email audits, we talked about what great email onboarding should and should not do, we gave you spots to look for user research when there’s a whole lot to start with, and we chatted a bit about jobs to be done and user pain points. Part 2 next week dives into the email audit itself, specifically what you should be looking for in the first two emails. Catch you next time. ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via UnminusCover art created with help via Undraw
Back to office, staying fully remote, flexible hybrid setup. Global pandemics gave millions of knowledge workers the taste of remote work. And a lot of them are never going back.A global distributed workforce means access to untapped talent but it also means time zone and synchronous meeting challenges. Getting everyone from your local Toronto office to show up to the same meeting at 10am EST is pretty easy. Running the same meeting with a team spread across 5 time zones makes this much more challenging. Especially if you want to promote autonomous and flexible work schedules.The solution isn’t less meetings or hybrid meetings. The solution is asynchronous communication.In today’s episode we’re going to cover what async means exactly, being able to say “I’ll get that done on my own time”. We’ll dispel some of the misconceptions and dive into the stages of transformation towards autonomy. Hopefully you’ll be better positioned to encourage async in your day to day, whether you're in-house or freelance adapting now is key for leading any teams in the future.IntroHundreds of companies declared themselves remote first and digital first last year. A lot of them are massive corporations too. This transition will be excruciatingly slow and painful for big orgs. These orgs are studying companies who have been doing this for decades. Remote work isn’t new for everyone. Convertkit, Close, Basecamp (60+ actually much lower with recent policy changes), Helpscout, Clearbit, Buffer, Doist (100+) and Zapier is 500 people, remote-first all smaller, very little funding, innovators in the remote space.There’s also the bigger teams too.Automattic, the people behind WordPress are 1,000+ global distributed team and have been from the early days. InVision is fully remote, 1000+, GitHub is 3,000+.Something all of these distributed work pioneers talk about is over-communication in the written form, but specifically, asynchronous communication. In the world of most marketers, and knowledge workers for that matter, very little of your day to day tasks are emergencies, or require immediate action.The nature of async can be summed with a short sentence: I’ll get to that as soon as I get the chance, or on my own time. Async is sending a message and having a common understanding that an immediate response is not expected. Email is usually async. You send it and you expect an answer in a day or 2 or more. Recipient opens that email on their time and responds when they get the chance. Synchronous communication is sending a message and the recipient needs to process and respond in real time immediately. In a meeting with your team on Zoom, you say something, your team members receive and respond right away.When you take the time to think about it, most of what you do in your job could be done with a 1-way written update sent to a single person or a group of people, who can respond as soon as they get the chance. Obviously there’s times when there’s emergencies, or sometimes the nature of your work requires real time collaboration like live support teams or front line sales reps, and there’s different ways of tackling those situations than async.ExamplesInstead of saying: hey do you have 15mins to chat today About this project?Async is saying: here’s two questions I have regarding the last update you made on this project. Instead of saying: here’s an invite to a meeting where I’m going to walk you through a project update and I’m mostly going to be doing the talking, everyone will be seeing this for the first time and I’ll be asking for your attention for 1 hour and immediate feedback.Async is saying: here’s a short summary of a project update followed by a detailed overview of a problem I’m having and specific questions I’d like guidance on. Here’s what I’ve done so far, here’s when I need an answer by.BenefitsDeep work / flow stateA huge % of your workforce is introverted and perform better when they’ve had the chance to think before they are asked to give a response and give more space for flow/deep work.Tons of research shows that increasing response times allows people time to reflect and remove emotion from the equation thus making better decisions. Human centered way of workingAs one CEO, Sudeesh Nair, of ThoughtSpot, very active on Twitter about async, one of my fav quotes from him is: “…the ability to let people in whenever they want to work, however long they want to work in a day…that’s what asynchronous is about. If you think that way, you have to make more intentional changes in the work process, collaboration process, to enable every one of those people to come into the workforce.”Productive night owlsMany people are night owls. We’re all wired differently to be our most creative and intellectual during specific parts of the day, commonly, early morning and night.This is derived from chronotypes, our preferred sleeping patterns. But imagine forcing a pure night owl to work 9am to 5pm. And then giving this same person the ability to work 11-3pm and 9pm-11pm. The opposite is also true for ultra early risers like JT.Async teams give everyone way more flexibility to get their work done when they are more alert and productive. Just gotta strive for some overlap, you can’t NEVER have in-person meetings.Misconceptions / passing baton is too slow / project management tools suckPassing the baton with project management toolsThis might be hard for folks who are used to making decisions in a single room together and talking it out. Or if you’re used to getting answers to questions right away instead of spending time solo and figuring it out yourself. Consider this: globally distributed teams, who work async and master ‘passing the baton’, can get three times more done than a local team relying on everybody to be in an office between 9am and 5pm.This is something that Matt Mullenweg, Automattic CEO and WP founder has pointed out in a few podcasts. A local centralised company that runs on real-time noisy office environments with plenty of all too common consensus-seeking meetings cannot and will not survive in the next few years.Project management tools such as Asana are key to helping you run an async ship. How many sync/update meetings have you had where people go around the room one after the other updating everyone on their asana tasks when everyone knows they could’ve read up on those updates without a meeting. This requires diligence and it’s not for everyone. Project management tools often drive tennis games of back and forths. Avoiding tennis games of back and forthsOne of the biggest knocks against async is that it slows things down and often times, what could’ve been a simple pre-game discussion turned into a marathon tennis game of back and forth.Tips to avoid this: Give context, lots of context, make it skimmable Give action items, deadlines when possible Levels of autonomy / How you can help change your orgMatt Mullenweg, Automattic/WP founder often talks about his levels of autonomy, it’s modeled after the self driving car level of autonomy. 5 levels:0 - Coffee baristas, construction workers. You need to be in a physical location to do the work.1 - Not remote-friendly, old school but in seats, company space, company time.2 - Recreating the office in a remote setting. Still tons of interruptions, everyone works at the same time, lots of real-time meetings.3 - This is the stage companies finally start to adopt async processes to replace real time meetings. The focus starts to turn to written comms. You’re using project man tools to get team updates instead of doing daily huddles. 4 - Achieving true async. Truly value peoples work by their output, not time on Slack. Tapping into global talent pools. Instead of operating from 9-5 and shutting down overnight, you’re now focused on baton passing following the sun 24/7.5 - Nirvana. No company has really hit this yet. Matt even says it’s not wholly attainable. He describes it as being effortlessly effective. When everyone doesn’t just have time, but prioritizes mental health and wellness and they have the room to be their best most creative selves and have tons of fun doing it. in your org won’t happen over night, but start small, in your own team, especially if you manage a few folks. But even if you don’t, talk to your manager about things like this.Prioritize heads down time so you’re not constantly in zoom calls or on slack going back and forth.One good first step is coming up with an internal definition and guidelines for async communication.Allan Christensen, Doist COO, articulates their approach:“Everyone at Doist knows that asynchronous communication is the default, and no one should expect an immediate response from their teammates. Not only does this make working with people in other time zones possible, but it also gives people the freedom to disconnect to focus completely on their work and come back to respond later.”You heard it hear folks. Write more, meet less and summarize over chat… enter async. ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via UnminusCover art created with help via Undraw
We're going to argue two main points:  First, no-code is absolutely the future for marketing and that it opens up exciting possibilities (aka, democratizes digital marketing) Second, what really qualifies as a no-code tool is much more narrow and potentially useful than you might find elsewhere on the internet Is marketing hijacking another development trend and bending it to our own purposes? Is this an attempt to fit in with the cool kids by being part of a trend?Is the future of Martech no-code? Has it always been no-code?What does no-code really mean?Have you ever been half way through building something, a new campaign, a landing page you’re really excited about... but you hit a technical hiccup. “Oooh, might need a script for that” or “Damn, if only I could code”. As marketers, we’ve all felt this roadblock. We had a full episode dedicated to this-- episode #24: why marketers should learn to code. No-code is not using that excuse. Can’t code? Don’t know how to build scripts? No problem, there’s a no-code solution for that. Is Canva a no-code tool? Did you use code to create images in Photoshop or Illustrator? This is what tripped me up in the beginning — but Canva is one of the hottest tools today and it’s absolutely considered in the same breath as other no-code tools. While your typical definition of no-code would look at the ability to create software applications with a user interface, I’d argue that marketing’s use of no-code is a bit looser. I’d define a no-code solution as one that lowers the barrier entry to the point that you only need to use a user interface to complete your objective. No way am I going into photoshop - someone tried to teach me photoshop before and it was terrible. I’m not layering stuff — but Canva, I can get something good enough in minutes. These are pretty murky waters for us to be wading into — but such is this fascinating trend. So there's a cool difference between tools to build products and tools to sell products and run companies. no-code building / app development  no-code martech / selling products Sometimes the tool to sell a product like a podcast (promoting or ads), might also be the product in some case, like us, not monetizing, just creating content. Example, Convertkit is no-code email marketing tool, unless you know css/html and you can totally customize things behind the scenes. Is Convertkit a no-code tool to sell a product/martech or is it building a product? Convertkit is is more than just an email marketing tool, it’s what newsletter creators use to build an audience and connect with fans, it’s an email designer, a landing page builder, a form builder and they are just diving into ecommerce. Isn’t every marketing tool a no-code tool? I’ve been using Marketo or HubSpot my entire career - turns out I’ve been using no-code tools my entire. But before I start congratulating myself on being on the cutting edge of this trend, I think it’s important we really sharpen our focus here. No code isn’t about using user-interfaces to accomplish a job — I think in the marketing context it’s about breaking the dependency on technical experts as well as subject matter experts. The idea of Canva as a graphic design tool may drive some designers crazy — but it’s borne out of a marketer’s need to get good enough now and not perfection later. I love this idea of breaking the dependency on technical and subject matter experts. This has been fascinating to watch in the indie maker community. Some call this the creator economy. Think there’s a lot of newsletters and podcasts already? Think again. Worldwide pandemics have accelerated remote work but they also motivated millions of people to become creators. More and more writers, teachers, film makers, photographers, artists all go DTC-- direct to consumer. Categories: Workflow automation — tools like Zapier allow you to configure automation without knowing any python or how to connect to APIs Web development — tools like Wordpress or Webflow allow folks to create websites without getting mired in CSS or JavaScript Analytics — create reports and dashboards without being an analyst or having to fight with APIs — cough cough Klipfolio The no-code category needs to be narrower to be relevant. I see lists all the time saying that tools like Slack or HubSpot are no-code. They are awesome tools — but no marketer is coding databases and setting up scripts to send our instant messages or emails — no developer either for that matter. Instead, to be relevant, no code martech tools need to replace or substitute the need for technical or subject matter expertise. Is no-code anti-code?The no-code movement is borrowed from development and is most certainly not anti-code. In fact, the no-code movement could be said to be pro-code! In development land, the idea of no code is to remove redundant and repetitive tasks from the coding process. For example, if you’re application requires online payment, you don’t want to get bogged down coding an payment system from scratch. You’d just plug into Zuora or Stripe. No-code is about reusing components that solve common problems so you can focus your development efforts on your secret sauce. I get a sense sometimes from marketers that we mix this up — no-code isn’t anti-code! You need code to build to build these tools.Developers don’t worry about no-code taking their jobs — in fact, most I’ve talked to love them because they can focus on writing dope code instead of solving redundant problems. Is marketing hijacking a development trend? Marketing loves technology. The CMOs budget has grown exponentially in the past 10 years, and this trend continues. The rise of Revenue Operations puts a mission behind all this software — and imbues those operational activities with a mission — to enable revenue generation.These twin trends supercharge marketing when it comes to getting exposed to new products and technologies. Naturally, marketing has picked up on the no-code trend and the question is whether this really applies. Is marketing hijacking a development trend? This is an interesting question. As someone who has dedicated a lot of time to learning to code, at first I felt that — yes, marketing is borrowing a buzz word so we could fit in with the cool kids at the lunch table. I’ve been digging in a lot deeper on this, though, and I’ve refined my perspective. I believe the no-code trend absolutely applies to marketing. The future of no-codeMartech is definitely heading into the no-code waters. I don’t think it’s a transformative force per se, but rather a rapid evolution of applications to make those jobs to be done easier, faster, and better. I don’t think folks working near marketing need to be worried -- marketers want to spin up a landing page with a form almost as fast as they want to tear it down and rebuild it. I think the benefit of no-code to experts who support marketers is they’ll work on more interesting, nuanced projects. Don’t build a landing page -- let’s build a custom product page or home page.I do think one potential downfall is that quality may drop in some areas. You can’t replace a great graphic designer with Canva -- the skills required to do this work are still important and are the difference between an Apple-esque brand and your friend’s yoga studio. But that’s the point -- it allows all of us the opportunity to build and sell our stuff on the internet. Even advanced no-code martech will still require technical growth marketers — people who can troubleshoot event logs in your automation tools, people who can think in abstractions and map out a flow chart to spot vulnerabilities, and, above all, people who know how to get different tools to talk to each other and drive revenue for businesses. ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Who built this? Why did they build this? What was the purpose of this?Sometimes, marketing can look a lot like archaeology. Unearthing ancient relics, reverse engineering them, and trying to understand how they were used by your ancestors. Like an ape discovering a tool for the first time, you look at them with a mix of bewilderment and awe. I didn’t know we were so advanced back in --- 2011.You’ve discovered a marketing artifact, and the internet is full of them. Form submits that go to legacy email automation systems, blog posts written before the last ice age, and strategies for a trend that went extinct long ago.As marketers, we need to be experts at carefully extracting these artifacts, evaluating their worth, and deciding whether to revitalize them or put them in a museum.Honestly, you’ll encounter this more in your career than you’d probably like, so we’re going to chat about how to work with marketing artifactsIn the world of tech startups, a lot of marketers only last a 12-18 months before they move on to their next position. They make a bunch of content, then move on, someone comes in to fill their role. This type of inheritance is super common in all areas of marketing. Why is this a problem? No one joining a marketing company wants to inherit someone else’s mess. It’s like renting an AirBnB and finding the dishwasher is still full of dirty dishes.  At least, that’s the perception. The problem is that marketers love to create net new content. We’ve been programmed to think content is king -- and have responded by creating mountains and mountains of content.  Most of us in marketing come from some form of content creation background -- it’s literally our instinct. Nothing sucks the wind out of a new job like cleaning up someone else’s mess. It’s easy for the content side to sweep things under the rug. But for tech systems, it’s way harder to clean up.You get this perception that tool X sucks or tool Y sucks.  I know you’re deeper in the ops area -- how often do you hear a new CMO or VP start looking to migrate off of marketo or hubspot or whatever? Yea very often. Senior leaders come in with the tools they are familiar with and demand a migration in the next year haha I’ve had the experience of building on a fresh underutilized instance of Pardot Configuring and managing the Marketo beast you gave me the keys for at Klipfolio. Funny enough, now that you’re back at Klipfolio, you were stuck uncovering some of the webs I tangled. I’ve also had the migration side of this as well, while I was migrating out of Hubspot, you were migrating to Hubspot. Martech artifacts are everywhere! The maretch landscape of doom is growing everyday, and each of these vendors can easily be a failed trial. If it’s a free product, then you could be using it forever. One thing that really gets me is how underutilized existing software is before we start asking for budget for the next thing. I was the type of kid who had to finish each portion on my plate before I moved on to the next thing -- I’d eat my broccoli, then my potatoes, then my chicken.In marketing automation especially, you get players like Marketo / HubSpot that have so many features available out of the box. These features sometimes, however, aren’t as powerful as you can get from other tools. I noticed this with web personalization and forms. Hubspot has a blog CMS, they have email automation, they have forms, they have a CRM… they have something for everyone… That’s a really great way to make a mediocre tool. Everything is average to please the average user.  We use 4 tools instead of Hubspot and they all give us features and powers that hubspot alone cannot. We moved our blog to Ghost which has a beautiful UX and writing experience for my content team and they were pumped to get out of the clunky HS CMS We moved email automation to, honestly my favorite email workflow building tool. Super intuitive and fast.  I’m a huge fan of convertflow for forms, DriftRock a UK startup is also doing cool things with forms. No one wants to use a crappy tool. And obviously we use Close for our CRM.  These 4 tools cost us less than hubspot alone cost us. Totally. Also, we all like shiny objects: I think the key is to identify areas where you want to bring in a new tool. Check your toolset out, and see if they have a version of that feature. Run a test or experiment, and validate your approach. Speaking of forms, what about the web form that submits to nowhere? When I migrated out of hubspot forms, Close had like 200+ ebook and gated content forms that I needed to re-create and map to a download link and a resource. Lots of companies don’t manage this well.  Yeah, customer’s hate this -- it’s right up there with online chat that doesn’t connect with a live agent. This happens so often -- it’s not even funny It’s actually really hard to find things like form embeds on a website. I use a tool called screaming frog which has a custom extraction tool which allows you to specify different selectors to crawl your website The other way to do this is to look at forms within your system and pull them out that way -- only works if you know all the systems at play You’re giving me PTSD. Enough about marketing automation and let’s talk about the website.JT, I know you spend a lot of time in SEO land -- from talking with you I know you’re really big on updating existing content instead of just creating new content. Walk us through the advantages of that.Years ago I ran an experiment where I started updating existing content to see if I could improve traffic and rankings. What I found is that I could consistently move pages from 2nd page and beyond to the first page => this gave something like a 200-400% lift on conversions.SEO is like gardening. You don’t just toss a bunch of seeds in the ground and expect them to grow. You need to tend them and nurture them in order for them to growWhat about when the garden is overrun with weeds and the last gardener has skipped town?Resist the temptation to clearcut! There are often very valuable plants in that garden.  As an SEO, you need to get good at determining which pieces of content are distractions and which pieces of content are really valuable Use search console’s GA plug-in to see conversion rates and traffic What types of problems do you see when trying to clear out the garden? Outdated messaging, positioning Language Trends that have died JT, is there really value in updating and managing all this content? We live in such a transactional society, it’s almost always easier to create new. Heck yes it’s easier to start from scratch. I resist that temptation all the time -- it’s hard to look at a web page that is ranking on second page, figure out why it ranks, and how to preserve it’s ranking. There is a ton of value in this, however. I’ve seen first-hand how often a simple update can yield a big result. It’s way easier to improve the performance of a 2nd page asset than get a new asset all the way to 2nd page. I feel like it’s a skillset that you really need to work on. In my own career as a consultant and in-house marketer, I’ve almost always seen or been a part of website migration projects. I think this is one of the most common large scale projects for any marketer. If you’re on the SEO or content side, you’re going to spend a lot of time redesigning and relaunching websites. In other words, get good at sifting through marketing artifacts.✌️--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Jon and I are both pretty busy dudes. Jon  a father,  he works for Klipfolio,  he’s a podcaster,  he’s a consultant,  he’s learning to code and  he manages a community of marketers.  Despite all that, JT still finds time to unearth the best UFO threads on Reddit and the dankest GME meme stocks. Phil is  a husband and dog father (lolz) I work for Close,  I’m a podcaster,  I teach a post grad marketing certificate,  I mentor local marketers, and  I’m an avid member of several marketing communities Despite all that, I still find time to run a fantasy hockey league and binge all the best TV shows on Netflix.So how do we do it while staying happy and healthy (for the most part).Alright, I want to start by breaking down our weekly schedules by putting everything into 6 priority buckets: Family and friends Health Learning Work Chores Escapism and hobbies Being productive and having an effective routine gives you room to fit things from all 6 buckets into your week.Sunday nights are for time blocking I like to plan my week on Sunday nights, that’s where I finish blocking time in my calendar. Might be controversial because of weekend but sometimes I have too many work things going on in my head before bed on Sunday, so planning my week before going to sleep is a great way to put my mind at ease.Go through the list of priorities, break them up into 1-2 tasks and block time in my calendar for it. As much as I can, I like to theme my weeks with 1 big thing I want to do. What’s my #1 focus.Key here is not over blocking. Leave some flex in there to move things around as things pop up during the week.Daily walks with my dogI split between 3 modes, 1 is podcast, 2 is music, 3 is just silence.Monday nights1 hour of shitty TV if I’ve worked on the cast.Tuesday and Thursday nightsTuesdays and Thursdays are usually blocked for reading. My wife is part of a book club and is an avid reader, so we try our ebay to turn the TV off on Tuesdays and open a book.I alternate between a book on Tuesday and on Thursday I learn something, right now learning Segment.js but have plans for SQL and deeper API.Wednesday nightsI usually plan a friends or family zoom call on Wed nights, I usually have no meeting Wednesdays so I’m happy to get some social time in the second half of the day.Something we want to try is everyone picking the same recipe, we open Zoom and watch each other chaotically build a recipe and eat together.Sometimes I’ll host a Zoom with friends and we watch a bunch of hockey games over screenshare.Friday nightsMost Friday nights are reserved for my wife, we’ll usually order in and watch TV or a documentary. ✌️--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
What is the most important skill for an SEO? Technical, content, analytics, project management?Use google search to start - really look at results, what’s being displayed, what Google is automatically serving up => your job here is to intuit what Google thinks your users want.SEO is extremely competitive. I remember back when we worked together our competitors seemed to be running your playbook at the same time, and it made things tough. What’s your advice for competitive SEO? Look at the structure of the top few results on Google — What on-page elements are they using? What can you glean from the information architecture? I know you’ve tried or used most of the tools out there. For our listeners on a shoestring budget -- what do you recommend for analytics and reporting? Google Search Console and Google Analytics => This is a great feature and I’m shocked at how few people actually take the time to set this up.  So many quick tips -Set a filter to see things on second page. Sort to see top converting pages (tsk tsk set up goal tracking). Sort to see CTRs. Drill down into pages to see keywords. What about technical SEO? Everyone talks about it, but it’s I don’t think many people know how to improve this area of SEO. Google Page insights. Enter your site and see how it performs on mobile device. It gives a great print out of action items - such as sizing images, painting content before things load up. Lighthouse: Chrome developer tools and gives you a super technical review of your site.How do SEOs on a budget prepare for the future of search? Voice Search and Voice Utility. Mobile is king of SEO, and Voice is the next generation of search (still up for debate). If you ask Alexa or Siri or Google for an answer, voice search is at play. Structure your content for voice and you’ll be rewarded.✌️--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
In this episode, we’re going to talk about the best ways to integrate influencers into your marketing education. First, I want to cover the pressure on new marketers to create a brand or become an influencer. This is bullshit. It’s completely unproductive and puts undue pressure on you to post, publish, etc. Take that time and practice your craft. But what about networking? YES! Great way to build your brand :)How have you used influencers in your growth as a marketer?I’ve followed quite a few, but mostly it’s been through reading articles and doing research. Read a book! They need to be peer reviewed. I follow influencers for their smart content. I know you talk about graduating influencers -- what do you mean by that? I want to be super clear: I have nothing against any influencer. They’re brave enough and bold enough to put themselves in the public, and share their wisdom. I truly respect everyone and their talents. If it sounds like I’m throwing shade, then please know I’m being genuine! Take Neal Patel - Digital marketer, SEO - He’s done a ton of work for the community, and is particularly valuable for folks at the start of their career. As an SEO, 12 years ago I started reading some of his blogs, and ended up, moving over to the Moz blog where I started to learn more from a class of advanced SEOs like Rand Fishkin, Cyrus Shepherd, Dr. Pete, etc. I don’t read about writing good SEO content anymore — I read things like The Definitive Guide to JavaScript SEO (2021 Edition).  Obviously a massive Rand fan. I still remember reading his letter. It’s one of those saas marketing moments right? Where were you when you found out Rand was leaving Moz?I feel like the guy embodies integrity and morality in marketing. In the early days of Klipfolio, you guys built out dashboard templates and you had one with Rand. How was that?At Klipfolio we worked on an SEO dashboard Rand Fishkin described in one of his whiteboard videos. I’m a huge Rand Fishkin fan -- he’s a genuine, smart dude, and watching & reading his content makes me happy. Anyway, we built this dashboard for him, and then reached out. He was still CEO of Mox at the time, so he was super, super busy. We ended getting him to review the dashboard and promoting it out on social.Why should you follow influencers? I’d say to round out your perspective and education. Don’t just blindly follow anyone and expect results. If you find someone entertaining or witty or whatever, follow them. I’m not your mom!  It’s funny, I don’t actually see myself following influencers so much as just following smart people. I also really check whether the people I follow already confirm existing biases - it’s super helpful to find people who have different opinions or perspectives. It’s really easy to swim the same direction as everyone else -- look to people who do the opposite and then follow them. I like what you said there “smart people” not influencers. What’s the difference between a fluffy influencer and a legit smart influencer? The difference lies in the content. Dig deep. The fluffy influencer is just repeating the same things that are already shared at nauseum, that’s if they’re not talking about themselves. Real experts focus on their field, not themselves. They are opinionated, they drive real discussion, they share valuable practical things. They back up what they say, they work in the craft, they are super deep. They aren’t afraid of saying I don’t know.  But it’s tricky. It’s super easy for someone to have a legit social presence and appearance, but once you hire them or work with them you quickly uncover whether they can back up all those tweets.  How do you spot a smart influencer vs a false idol? Instead of saying, wow, Rand is so cool, I want to be like Rand and do what he does. You should be saying, wow what Rand said is fascinating, he's really made me rethink my take on mobile vs desktop, mobile didn’t kill desktop, it just took up all our free time. There’s something super fascinating about a lot of influencer relationships. I know you’re trying to be nice and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. We just saw a prominent influencer/podcaster get called out for some pretty shady practices. Yes, and you see this all the time. Pay me a bit of money and I’ll give you 15 minutes of advice or whatever. It could totally be worth it. I question the value. I think that you’re better off forming your own opinion and working through challenges with information available. I see this a lot on platforms like Product Hunt, where getting an influencer to hunt your product is like the number one factor in being successful. I disagree - I think having a great product customers love is more important. But it doesn’t change the transactional nature of influencer life. We have a podcast. Are we influencers? How do you sleep at night JT?Yes, the irony is not lost on me! I think that we have to recognize that we do influence folks -- we put content on the internet, and with it our opinions. I will say this: my goal is to provide the kind of advice I wish I got when I was starting out. Or, if you’re more senior, to provide a unique perspective... I have young kids at home -- I sleep like shit :)Alright, let’s drop a list of some of the legit people you’re following and learning from right now:Marketing celebreties Badass marketers --Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Today we are joined by the powerful Erin Blaskie. Erin is currently a fractional CMO advising startups and scaleups, currently working with Jamieson Law, Ridgebase, Heirlume and Staffy. Before going back to freelance, Erin spent 4 years leading marketing teams at Fellow, a SaaS platform for meeting productivity as well as L-SPARK, a SaaS accelerator. But Erin’s start in marketing goes further than that. in 2004 she launched a virtual assistant business (one of the firsts) and later pivoted that to a marketing agency where she worked with brands like Disney, Microsoft, Ford, she’s worked with Hollywood actors, authors and speakers helping them craft their brands. She runs a no fluff-tactical newsletter with 10k+ subscribers, she has a huge Twitter audience topping 36k.She’s a TEDx speaker, her writting’s been featured in Forbes, entrepreneur, adweek and the wall street journal.She’s also a post grad intructor, an entrepreneur mentor and a mental health advocate. Holly shit, Erin, how do you find time to appear on podcasts with all the stuff you have going on haha?Here are the questions our listeners submitted!FreelancingWhat do you wish someone would have prepared you for before starting your digital marketing career?I would especially love to learn her tips on setting expectations and boundaries with clients in her freelance/agency work. Do you feel like you’re more sales than marketer? Do you spend more hours working freelance? more than startup?All things being equal, do you think that as a freelancer, you can learn faster? more clients, more projects, more breadth of problems and tools.Startup in-houseCurious what Erin would say about which marketing roles/functions are better to hire in-house versus hiring freelance.What are some of the biggest tactical marketing mistakes you see startups make? I say tactical because I think the de facto answer is based on not having a strategy in place.  What are the best marketing strategies for early stage companies when budgets are sparse?Show notesCheck out Erin's site.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Today's episode features a call-to-action for our listeners: take a few moments, check out Women of Martech, and share it with someone you think could benefit. We're joined by Melissa Ledesma, Executive Director of Women of Martech. Here's an overview of her bio: Melissa Ledesma  Director Of Content & Comms at DMS (Digital Media Solutions), a leading global ad-tech enabled performance advertising company She's also Executive Director of Women of Martech Before the ad world, she spent several years in real estate, mortgage and entertainment playing different PR/event, email marketing roles. she works out of New Jersey and spends a good chunk of her time giving back, recently being named to the Board of Directors of her local Boys and Girls Clubs to enrich education and training of at risk children and teens Women of Martech's mission is concrete and actionable: to raise the profile of the women and their achievements in the world of Martech. Melissa walks us through how the Women of Martech community is helping women at all stages of their career to reach that next level. From member spotlights and insider resources to connecting with a vast network of 800+ martech pros, this community is like a superpower for your career.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Naomi is Director, Global Marketing Operations at EFI, a 3,000+ person tech company in the printing industry. She’s based in Vancouver but she’s been working remotely long before it was cool. She has 12+ years of experience leading high-performing global B2B demand generation teams. Before EFI she ran Marketing Ops at Sophos a cybersecurity enterprise company. Naomi is also one of the founding members of “MO-Pros”, the biggest Slack community for marketing Ops pros and recently launched a platform/site.  She’s been interviewed by prominent podcasts for her efforts spearheading a large scale enterprise migration to Marketo. David Lewis, the godfather of marketing ops podcasts says that Naomi is in his top 10 marketing ops people he’s ever worked with. Noami dives into the 3 things that stand out in most marketing operations profesionals:  ask a lot of questions and think outside the box ability to explain complex technical concept to non tech people multi task skills, sometimes the sky is falling Most marketing job postings should be read as a guideline and not taken as a prescription. The most important thing to demonstrate is your ability to learn something. When Naomi is hiring on her team she’s looking for a balance between:- technical chops- cultural fitIn the interview process, it's key to get to chat with people from other business units to assess that cultural fit. Take home assignments are not super common for entry level roles, you can get a ton from how someone answers a question. Naomi values curiosity, looking for data opinions. How do you test that in an interview, what attributes shine?The attribute that allows you to suceed is you have to be curious and always ask why. You have to be willing to break things down and rebuild it better fast and stronger. Open ended questions get interesting conversations. Let candidates explain problem solving. Look for condidates that demonstrate personal bias recognition. What's it like being a Director level MOPs at an enterprise company?Aside from lots of meetings (lol), understand where business partners want to go, can our current tech stack support those goals. Tech adoption, get everyone to use Marketo to most potential.How can people who want to stay in the IC path develop a long term career growth?Naomi sets up her team with subject matter experts. Things change too fast, having experts on specific pieces, web, email, data, so they can stay on top of those areas and bring it back to the team and educate the rest, share knowledge.Here are key elements of Naomi's onboarding strategy:  Marketo university  1-1s with key stakeholders  Viydyard videos for short training  Make sure person is plugged in and fits in  Training the data model, week by week What should marketers do in their first job:  always asking questions  how can we do this better or not  why do we do this this way If you're interested in marketing tech and you aren't a member of The MOPros community, you can signup here.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Ever get stuck waiting on a dev to update a small piece of code to fix a form/email/webpage? How about the confidence that comes from speaking at eye-level with development? Marketers have so much to gain from learning even a baseline of code. In this episode, JT is going to make the case on why you should learn some code, and I’m going to introduce you to a new community focused on helping marketers learn to code. Dude, you are always talking to me about coding. Share with our listeners your own journey.What is unique about marketers wanting to learn how to code?How hard is it to learn coding?It’s going to take time to learn to code. How do you stay motivated over the long-haul? Detach learning to code form your career -- make it a side-hobby with no implications on your jobDevil’s advocate: why not just spin up a webflow website or some other no-code option? I know you’re itching to introduce it: tell our listeners about the community.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
In this series we profile a recent marketing grad or a current student and answer some of their most pressing questions about the world of martech and how to be happy in your future marketing career.Sonya Gankina, listener and recent University of Ottawa graduate joins the show as our fourth and final #topmartechprospect.Sonya's question for us: Do you think there is still a place for Don Draper-style verbal presentations in the 2021 remote marketing world? I'm mildly ashamed to adminit I've watched all 92 Mad Men episodes at least twice. This is my favorite scene out of all the episodes. The Kodak carousel is the perfect example of how to tell a compelling story. Your average marketer would've described the new Kodak product as a NEW revolutionary slide projector. You can take a TON of pictures and put them into slides and you can share them with a room of people.But instead, Don took a different approach."This device is not a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It takes us to a place we ache to go again. It lets us travel around and around and back home again, a place we know we are loved."The full clip is worth the watch to get the full emotional punches.--Show notes:Reach out to Sonya on LinkedIn for a coffee or to connect You can visit Sonya's website and check out her digital marketing services and creative portfolio--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
In this series we profile a recent marketing grad or a current student and answer some of their most pressing questions about the world of martech and how to be happy in your future marketing career. Milan Fatoric, listener and recent University of Ottawa graduate joins the show as our third featured #topmartechprospect.Milan's question for us: What are the top 3 things you would tell every marketing student or recent grad to STOP doing?Here's some of the takeaways:1. Stop chasing a salary, chase interesting problems to solve, the money will follow2. Stop trying to establish yourself as an expert right out of school, instead, get a job and a side hustle and build credibility. Let others call you an expert.3. Stop relying on job boards to get a job you really want, instead, reach out to and hangout with people that are in jobs you want.  --Show notes:Reach out to Milan on LinkedIn for a coffee or to connect: music by Wowa via Unminus
In this series we profile a recent marketing grad or a current student and answer some of their most pressing questions about the world of martech and how to be happy in your future marketing career. Augustine Karczmarczyk, listener and University of Ottawa student joins the show as our second featured #topmartechprospect.Augustine's question for us: When it comes to building a personal brand, how can one balance publicity and privacy?  Can you be credible while concealed, or is being out in the open something you simply must embrace until you’ve established a presence?Check out the episode for JT's full rant on why you don't need to be an influencer. --This is next part is from Augustine: Hey, thanks for being one of six people in the world to look at podcast show notes! You’re probably a librarian or simply here by mistake – but EITHER way, I’m glad you’re reading this. I must have been too starstruck during our recording to mention that I welcome LinkedIn connections here: If you want to talk timber frames, off-grid housing, or a freelance project, please reach out! If you haven’t heard yet, I’m a “top martech prospect” sooo, you might want to act fast! ;) I also can’t pass up the chance to put my personal website on here too for a sweet SEO backlink boost. Look out “Saint Augustine of Hippo” – I’ve got your ranking in my sights. All the best & talk soon!--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
In this series we profile a recent marketing grad or a current student and answer some of their most pressing questions about the world of martech and how to be happy in your future marketing career. Justin Silver, listener and University of Ottawa student joins the show as our first featured #topmartechprospect.Justin's question for us: What does your “starter pack” for digital marketers” look like?Check out the meme we used to answer this question.Posting on Reddit: “how do I get a job without experience?”. Don’t post this question on social. Want experience? Market yourself. Build a website. Build a social media audience.Last minute changes. Despite a documented process, there’s always a last minute campaing request to hit quota. You just have to embrace it. Email is fast, but use it wisely. Manager in your title. Everyone is a marketing manager these days. Marketing has it’s own milatiristic understanding of rank. Marketers love to invent titles for themselves. You need to realise that titles are secondary to the things you build. Friendly reminders. Are you really running a marketing operations project if you aren’t sending weekly “friendly reminders” to people who have missed deadlines?ABM. Email everyone in the company, with the same unpersonnalized email, non stop. Don’t. Do. This. Fire extinguisher. Carve out some firefighting time on your calendar if you’re in MOPs. Things break. Things suddenly become priorities. Looking at the martech landscape and thinking “I need one of each”. FOMO in martech is a real thing. I’m not using x or y and I’m missing out. Digital marketing isn’t about having all of the tech. It’s about using your tech to the most that you can. Pocket talk translator for integrating tools together. Your CRM calls them leads, your marketing automation tool calls them people, your analytics tool calls them users. Translation required. Gotta get on {{insert.popular.trend}}. Bernie Mitts expired in what? 2 days? You don’t have to be an early adopter for everything. Loading screens for days. Whether it’s a big Marketo insteance or a long time frame report in GA, marketers battle with slow reports every day. You shouldn’t need a gaming PC to run your automation software.--Show notes:Justin's LinkedIn Profile:'s site: mentioned: Legacy conference.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Steffen Hedebrandt is co-founder of Transcripted borrowed from here.Phil Gamache:What's up, guys? Welcome to the Humans of MarTech podcast. His name is Jon Taylor, my name is Phil Gamache. Our mission is to future-proof the humans behind the tech so you can have a successful and happy career in marketing.Phil Gamache:Today on the show, we have a super special guest. We're joined by Steffen Hedebrandt. Steffen got his start in the world of marketing doing some SEO and some growth consultancy in the startup world. And he moved to Oslo in Norway to work in sales/BizDev for a company called Elance, which would eventually become Upwork after the oDesk acquisition. And he stayed there for three and a half years and moved back to Copenhagen and took a position as Head of Marketing at Airtame, a wireless HTMI product startup which John and I know very well. And at some point during your time at Airtame, you solved some pretty cool big attribution problems with some custom engines, and you started to get this itch about starting your own company.Phil Gamache:In the summer of 2019, you, Ole and Lars, both former SVPs of Trustpilot made the plunge and started DreamData. So today the main takeaway is going to be that, gone are the days where enterprise companies are the only people who can solve multitouch B2B attribution and tools like DreamData are solving this for startups and SMBs. So Steffen, thanks so much for being on the show, man.Steffen Hedebrandt:Thanks a lot, Phil. Really looking forward to it. We've talked a lot about this topic before. I'm sure we'll get pretty deep pretty fast.Phil Gamache:Like myself, I've evaluated DreamData quite a bit, so I'm super familiar with the platform itself. John, I don't know how much you know about it, but I wanted to kind of start off with your journey a little bit and go back to when you were working at Upwork basically, this big tech role and how different was that from your previous role in the startup world and what did you like most about both roles?Steffen Hedebrandt:From the get-go out of university, I joined the Vintage and Rare, which is basically, or I don't know if they exist anymore, but it was a platform for selling vintage instruments where kind of gathering shops and the shops would then put their instruments up there. And the first craft that I really learned after studying was really SEO because if you have 10,000 instruments, then you really want to have those instruments on top of Google instead of your competitors there. And, I just got super fascinated by actually how big an impact you can have when you understand that Google algorithm and how to friendly manipulate a little bit towards your own business.Steffen Hedebrandt:But, that was an almost bootstrapped kind of project which led me to reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and dipping my toes into places like Elance and trying to hire people from India and try to connect them with the other freelancers you had in Europe and other freelancers you had in the US and then suddenly you have this web of people all over the world that you have to make work and that's quite a challenge.Steffen Hedebrandt:Fun story, my first job was, I put up a job for a person to add people on Myspace that's set with a guitar in their profile image. Super non valuable, but it was just to test down. So our vintage and rare profile had more followers. I learned a ton there and we didn't make any money, but we were greatly successful on Google and having been there for I don't know how long the was, three years or so. I actually got approached by Elance as they were setting up their European office and asked whether I wanted to join that and try to promote Elance in Europe. And, me being a big fan of the platform, I thought, okay, well, I haven't made any money in the last three years, so, let me go get a real job for a period.Steffen Hedebrandt:So, the music instrument platform was really fixing anything digital, this ads, SEO, et cetera, where Elance's and Upwork was much more the traditional business development like doing PR, doing events, handing over a list of keywords that you would like to have targeted. And so it's a much more you can, say hands-off than the nitty gritty of running your own a platform, but it was really interesting to try to be part of this classical California tech company and see that from the inside. It also got big so I think we were 70 when I started at Elance. And then, when it was Upwork, it was maybe 500. I think my true love lies around the smaller companies where it's bigger from thought action, and you see the impact of your work much faster.Phil Gamache:Something we talk with so much about on the show is the value of small companies. And well, just knowing what you like and the environment that works best for you. You touched on the SEO front. I think, as we talk more and more about attribution in this episode, SEO and attribution that they go together like peanut butter and salty water. It just is such a hard combination to get right.Phil Gamache:How many times in SEO land are you talking to an executive and your trying to explain like the value of SEO and you're like, hey, well, you know that dominating search rankings and owning thought leadership and the brand space that you have there. But then connecting those dots, I think, a lot of SEOs end up thinking attribution a lot because they want to really tie things to that revenue. Maybe you can talk a little bit about how your journey has brought you from SEO into the attribution?Steffen Hedebrandt:Yes. It's like super critical spot on topic for attribution. And I think we also showed some of you, some of this stuff still when we pitched Dreamdata. The main attribution challenge is that there's so few things that we purchase the very first time we experienced it. I’d buy an ice cream on a hot summer day right away. But even just a pair of running shoes you’d go to a couple of sites. You'd maybe switch between your computer and your phone, et cetera. And if we’re then talking B2B, which that's what we address with Dreamdata, then we're also talking maybe multiple months, multiple stakeholders, even your teams has multiple touches with the customer as well. And then, very quickly it gets really complex.Steffen Hedebrandt:Just before I go to kind of how we solve it, what we really can see across all our customers is that all the organic traffic works really well to start journeys, but they're so rarely the last step of the journey. So that's where you end up in this disconnect between all the value you actually create by driving a lot of search traffic to the website. But then the sales people is the ones that convert the traffic, and then they get all the reward for closing the deals. But the deals might never have gone there if you hadn't brought in all the traffic.Jon Taylor:And, we go to this data-driven path where we want to see direct lines and businesses becoming so data-driven that we almost detach ourselves from thinking through the real marketing picture. You're right. You come in through SEO and then you download and nurture, you get a couple emails, a campaign, and then you purchase, and then it gets credit to sales call. You're like, "Wait a minute, marketing was involved in this."Jon Taylor:I saw this in my consulting life. I saw a really bad analysis that proved that accountants were the number one customer that we had. But we were an engineering firm. They were just purchasing the product at the end like, "We need more accountants." We do to pay our bills, but this wasn't the actual journey.Steffen Hedebrandt:It's so interesting. What we are after all of us, it's really just knowing the truth about what is going on. Because, when there's transparency into what's going on, then we can also do much more valid conclusions on what to do next and what to stop.Phil Gamache:That's the big word there, like trusting, having the transparency of the data, but also having buy-in from the rest of the folks in the company that they also believe in that data, attribution has such a dark reputation because a lot of folks just say that, a lot of offline purchases are never going to be tracked in this online world and attribution for B2B and for B2C isn't a real thing. So when you were at Airtame and you were trying to solve this, and you built up some custom solutions for this, talk us through like that journey and how you solved those internally and how you convinced folks in the company to believe in the data that it was like legit.Steffen Hedebrandt:I think that was a really interesting journey for me. And I actually have to correct you Phil, because we actually didn't solve that attribution problem. Not before I met my two now partners. They were pitched by our local VC for me to talk to them just to hear them out. I replied the VC saying, "I don't really think they can solve this, but I'll talk to them anyway. Now we're here.Steffen Hedebrandt:So I started out joining this company Airtame that came out of a crowdfunding campaign. So, a day we're spending several money on ads when I started there. And, over the past three years, we ramped that from zero euros a month to around $150,000 a month in ad spend. And what'd you see, is that in your initial spend, then you can kind of okay, do the gut feeling, okay, I turned that up and now we see more money. But as all low hanging fruits are gone, you're firing on all cannons, then it gets really hard to understand whether adding another 10,000 Euros a month is worth it or not.Steffen Hedebrandt:I found myself in... My practical solution was that, as long as I can prove that I'm not wasting money, then I can spend more money. Meaning that, you purchased the device and the website, so if the money I spent equal the money that we made through the ads, then it cannot be totally bad, but I had no clue about what was going on. I judged my marketing spend in the same month as I made the spend, which is completely stupid because, you know the journeys are like three or six months or so, but that was all I had. And that's obviously not a smart way to do it because the dollar you put out today takes six months to kind of... You plant the seed until the sales guy closes the deal. And that's why it's so critical to have some kind of clue on how those dots they really connect.Steffen Hedebrandt:And then, I met these two guys Lars and Ole who had been pioneering you can say, segment the CDP, almost like he was been pioneering it in Europe. He was the third ever enterprise customer at segment. And so at Trustpilot where he worked before, they had been storing all the data of the users on the website, in a database. And Trustpilot also had this problem of, it's a review platform where companies set up a profile and then it took an average 12 months from the set up of the profile until they saw revenue. So they wanted to understand what happened in the period in between, sign up to revenue.Steffen Hedebrandt:And as they solved this problem with the help of a CDP, then you could also start to ask questions. Is there a difference in the channel that they came in from? Is it better to be paid or organic or outbound? Who churns more, who has to hire LTV and so forth? We've been using segment as well and then we plugged in our data into this rough prototype that Lars and Ole had from Trustpilot. And what I could see there was actually, a good example is that, in the beginning of that year, I set up a content team with two writers, a videographer, a designer, and an editor for the team. And I've just been looking at [inaudible 00:13:33], looking at, our rank went up or we're getting more organic traffic. But, the CEO would be like, but I can't pay my salary [crosstalk 00:13:44] takes you guys have. But what we could see with that DreamData prototype was that for example, we had an alternative game, so Airtame versus another product, and we could see that those articles were actually massively valuable because ultimately, they ended up becoming into deal [inaudible 00:14:03] closed one.Steffen Hedebrandt:The only thing you can see in Google analytics is that those pages were visited. So the conclusion out of Google analytics would be to say stop that project, fire those people don't do it anymore. But in fact, one article started journeys for $60,000 within a year. So that's why it's so extremely important that you're able to connect those dots all the way from the first touch all the way through to revenue.Phil Gamache:I think you were describing a situation that I'm sure most of our listeners are very familiar with, that tangle of attribution and proving the value. One of the things I'd like to talk a little bit about is, where does Google analytics fit in the journey. It's almost table stakes for digital marketing, but you're right, it could lead you to some very poor decisions if you're not looking further down the funnel. How have you helped other people, or how do you approach the maturity curve from Google analytics into a segment, into a, into a HubSpot and connecting all these dots?Steffen Hedebrandt:This is one of the biggest challenges we have at DreamData is, kind of educating the market, meaning that telling people that Google analytics is close to useless in a B2B company.Steffen Hedebrandt:Let me start like this, do your customers purchase the first time they see something or do they need to do multiple research? Yes/No. Would they be using multiple devices in this journey? Yes/No. Would there be more people involved in taking this decision? Yes/No. Would your salespeople also be involved in this journey as well? And as you start to list all these bullets, then Google analytics starts to crumble quite severely.Steffen Hedebrandt:So to answer the question, I think it's also like an educational path and kind of an internet maturity thing. Because, now CDPs are blowing up and which helps people understand that you can actually have one person that then owns two devices that you can then start to understand if that one person, the next step is then to associate these people with for example, an account as you do in B2B. Does that make sense, Jonathan?Jon Taylor:Absolutely. Absolutely. It describes the universe that I occupy all the time and other organizations. It's also the technical issues. You described a scenario that even if you were a hundred percent aligned on everything, you're saying there's a technical issue. So I'm curious about the technical problems that you see. And obviously I'd love to hear more about how DreamData could solve that problem.Steffen Hedebrandt:But it's also kind of, it is almost like a consultancy expression, like change management process, because, man, now the CEO, he learned the Google analytics 10 years ago and it was actually okay 10 years ago because people only have a few devices.Jon Taylor:There's nothing more dangerous than a CEO and in Google analytics.Steffen Hedebrandt:But you basically have to tell a lot of the organization that you have to unlearn what you know right now and think about stuff in a different way. That is one of the biggest challenges selling our tool. It's kind of a new category, so there's not a natural spot in the budget for software for it. So that's kind of what we're trying to carve out.Phil Gamache:Yeah. Where that budget fits in is really interesting because, one thing that you've told me Steffen that really changed the way that I pitched attribution solutions internally is that, this isn't a marketing problem to solve. This isn't just on marketing to prove is content driving this, or where trials starting from.. This is a company problem and we're trying to figure out where the company is driving growth and we want to double down on those things and we want to figure out, what is driving trials? And so instead of it just always being marketing have to like come up with this battle and we need budget for this, it should really be more of this holistic approach. We need to solve this as a company.Steffen Hedebrandt:When you talk B2B, I think what this one is all about is actually being able to collect data of a full journey, meaning that you gather every single touch point then it's an opinion about what was important afterwards, but it starts with you actually storing your data and putting every single touch into a timeline. And then it can be kind of opinionated, whether which attribution model or so to use, but it starts with you actually getting out of a habit of having these cowboy salespeople with a phone that just like all the people and getting them into kind of air coal or something else. Taking every single touch you have and make sure that it's digital and make sure that it's stored somewhere so you can actually start to model it at a later point.Phil Gamache:It's super cool. So we touched on a little bit like the analytics maturity path that some of these companies go through. We talked about GA and, we throw shade at GA, but for a lot of companies that are in that startup stage that are less than 10 people or less than 20 people, an end-to-end multi-touch attribution solution isn't at the top of their list of priorities. They will just be using GA maybe they're like upgrading and relying on some UTM codes to track and see last touch and first touch. But, the end-to-end model where you can have all those touch points in the middle and then aggregate all those to a domain level, that's that's where the sophistication of needing to set up the data infrastructure, or a data warehouse where you can combine all of those touchpoints together.Phil Gamache:So why don't you touch a little bit on the service side of DreamData, the Google big query service type of package that needs to get done before you can get to the Nirvana of attribution that the visualizations kind of present.Steffen Hedebrandt:What we're trying to do with our product is incredibly ambitious because we holistically want to have every single touch that any account has any place. So, the way we do two things you can say, and then we glue those two things together. One is that we have a script that you put on your website, and this script starts to assign anonymous IDs to every visitor. And then we start to record what is this anonymous ID doing? If that anonymous ID at some point identifies themselves through a form of demo call or download depo et cetera, then we ask for permission to go look at what they did while they were anonymous. And now, as we know who they are, we can also associate them with an account. So you have this multitouch profile of just one individual that it's then put into the timeline of what does everybody from one account doing.Steffen Hedebrandt:And this is all stored in Google big query. So, you build your history off every single visitor on your website. Where did they come from, where did they go and what did they look at and so forth. So you have those touch points component.Steffen Hedebrandt:And then the other important component is what takes place everywhere else in the organization, meaning in your CRM, in your automation system, in your outreach software, in your customer success software, in your calling software. Because those are also touches that is going towards one account, and you actually want to mix all of that up to find every single touch that is part of an account journey and then map that into a nice clean journey. And with all that in place, you can start to do this analysis that we as marketers like to do, meaning that how's the ROI on Google ads? How's the ROI on a specific Google campaign? You can do that because all the campaigns arrives with a click ID, and then we can look up the click ID and see if it was part of any one journey or not.Steffen Hedebrandt:Same methodology applies to organic search as well. We use the tool ourselves a lot to do a business development because we can see which accounts are active and we can see who was it and what did they do from that account. So when your salespeople call them up, they will have something relevant to say, or when they send them a mail, they will know which campaign they actually reacted to and so forth. How does that answer?Phil Gamache:That's super cool. I think that there's a ton to unpack there, for sure. One of the things I want to highlight there that I think DreamData does better than a lot of your competitors in this space is this kind of company level sort of aggregation. You mentioned so many touch points in the B2B world, there's the end user who's going to go on your website first and he's going to look at a couple of blog posts, and then he's going to send a blog post to his technical implementer. And then that person's going to need to get the buy in from the director. There's so many people in the company involved in that. And if you're only looking at the purchaser and their journey, you're not getting the full picture of who is that first person in the company who was on the website.Phil Gamache:Can you touch on that, like super quickly? How does DreamData accomplish that? How are you able to aggregate those multiple touch points from different people all into one account and how are you doing this with reverse IP, everyone working from home now and not being in the same IP. How are you guys solving that.Steffen Hedebrandt:Let me try to remember all the questions in that one question, otherwise remind me. If we start with the script on the website and the way we link users to accounts, we have a hierarchy assess CRM where we would look you're up. So, normal CRM being obviously the first CRM, but you might also have HubSpot and you might also have Intercom and so forth. So, we get with the customer define what is the primary CRM, and then we'd say [inaudible 00:24:41] at a close IO and look to see in the CRM if we can find a connection there, then it's sorted.Steffen Hedebrandt:And if Jonathan comes along and he's not in the CRM, but he actually started to sign up to HubSpot so he receives some emails, in there we then discovered that Jonathan is also associated to close IO. If that doesn't work, then we can start to just look at the domain and say, okay, that domain is close IO. If that doesn't work, then we have an access to an IP database that we look up as well. So we do all of these things simultaneously all the time.Steffen Hedebrandt:And then, as we connect the user to to the company, then one user might have touch or in the timeline, touch one, three and five, and the other user would have touch two and four. So we organize it by timestamps, which activities took place. And that's kind of how we overcome this burden of you putting your ad spend on one person and then his boss comes with the credit card afterwards and pay you.Phil Gamache:Gotcha.Jon Taylor:One of one of the things that I observed when I did a stint as a Marketo consultant and marketing automations consultant, everyone's talking about ABM. One of the things that there's a little graphic that we're all looking at here, we should tweet this out when we do the episode. But in my opinion, you also start to see this type of attribution unlocking other capabilities. You have the ability to then, hey, now I can do account based marketing, because I actually know what works. I have a buyer cycle that's more sophisticated than just one ad for one person.Jon Taylor:I also feel like you start to get permission to do things internally within the organization. Hey, let's do some brand. We know that these things are working well, let's do some brand advertising. Something small companies don't always get to do. Do you want to talk a little bit about how you see this with your customers? You reach this Nirvana state, what starts to happen beyond just knowing more?Steffen Hedebrandt:Let's say that we are providing the best data set available to explain what's going on. Still, then you need humans to act on what the data is telling you. And, sort of the best of the cases we have, people go out and act afterwards, meaning that, hey, this, a Google ads campaign is actually thriving. Deals, let me turn up the spend on that campaign and try to make similar campaigns even as well. Or it could be to say, discover those pieces of content that drives deals. Let's do more of those. But we do also have customers who's not kind of acting enough on what the data is actually informing them. So what we're looking at now is to do some... Can we recommend stuff? This is like an outlier in terms of positive performance, do more of that. This is outlier in terms of negative, you should probably do less of that.Steffen Hedebrandt:Somewhere down the line, as we pitch to VCs, we also talk about revenue automation. Whereas, we believe that this data set is the data set that knows the most about like the commercial bit of your business. Some, given we know this, then we should also be able to buy more of your ads, depending on early signals of how those ads are performing or not.Steffen Hedebrandt:It could also be like stuff like what if scenario so say, we do a data model where you... You act like you set a budget to double, and then you predict how much revenue would come out of it. But that's further down the line of stuff that you can do. But the data is only as impactful as the people who react to the afterwards, I think.Jon Taylor:You touched on this earlier, and I think that was such a good point. You're educating the market as much as you're doing, you're solving a technological problem. Marketers exist at this interesting intersection, the skillsets that marketers have often put us direct contact with the pain points, but sometimes technically, the problems are very hard to solve. I know I'm not a data analyst by any stretch of the imagination, so the idea of, I don't know, predictive or alerting, or some sort of notification that helps to take some of the thought and some of the debate of these conversations. You're sitting at the CEO table and you're trying to figure out how to position this data. And, you're also in your own head thinking, am I really the expert here? You kind of have that self doubt. How does a vision of your platform, I think, jive with that type of marketing future?Steffen Hedebrandt:I think actually, we like to think of ourselves as almost the CTO for the CMO or kind of, let's take care of all this really hot stuff for the marketing people so they can just skim the cream and then do more of what works and stop doing what didn't work. But the truth can also be painful sometimes. If we thought to tell people, look, this is actually not driving revenue, then that can also be a problem. That's a cool thing here would be to kind of celebrate these lead ad campaigns that gathers a ton of emails, but when you look them up, there's no connection to one deals at all, but the marketing agency would say it was a success, but because you got a 100 new emails or something like that.Jon Taylor:Enter in hand wave brand-building right?Phil Gamache:So, with kind of several customers now that are set up using DreamData, what insights can you share for our listeners on trends that you've seen across customers kind of on an early basis? I know when a customer gets set up, it's probably a X amount of months until they start seeing data kind of populate. And, once the data warehouse is set up, share some insights on things that you're seeing so far, what's the typical time to revenue or what models do you see customers using the most?Steffen Hedebrandt:I'll try to say a couple of things. I think first of all, people are surprised by how long the research phase is or the phase where people are anonymous. People normally tend to understand from the moment we got that email into sales, then we converted within two months or so. But, the research phase is easily three or four months before that, which means a ton in terms of if you're trying to hit budget in the last quarter and you haven't done your marketing investment, then it's too late actually to start the journeys. So, the ramp time of the seeds you plant are actually longer than you expect.Steffen Hedebrandt:Then, I would say, all the stuff you can do that is focused on high intent is the stuff that actually kind of works. What I mean by that is, low funnel stuff is really where you should start. For example, an example is these alternative articles. Even though the volume is small, they're insanely valuable because if you're searching for an alternative to an already established brand, the intend you arrive to your website with is super big and I can't probably make money on it. Where a lot of companies, they try to go for volume, or volume at the cost of your going wider as well. And a ton of those stuff is just waste of money.Steffen Hedebrandt:And then, the overall trend is really that people have no clue about how valuable their organic and paid efforts are, because it's not connected from when you are anonymous to close one deals. A lot of people are under investing in this stuff because they cannot prove it. So they are growing a lot slower than what they actually could be if they could see like five X, the return of what they're seeing today.Phil Gamache:You touched on so many interesting points. As an SEO as well, we often get a bit of a rap for always going after a quote unquote, big keywords, high volume keywords. But when you see it at the end of the day, you're always grounded back to, "Hey, you got to do more stuff for the customer." They're asking salespeople's questions. We can answer them in a top of or bottom of funnel kind of posts. How do people react to some of this news when they start seeing, Oh crap, this isn't working. I thought this was my... My ego is attached to this work as well.Steffen Hedebrandt:Actually, what I was just about to say is that across our customers, Facebook really doesn't seem to work. There's components to that. One thing is that Google ads out of the box, that's the clique ID, whereas on Facebook, you need to actually set a click ID manually, which makes it harder to attribute. But across the board, Facebook is really not driving a lot of B2B revenue compared to Google.Steffen Hedebrandt:And yeah, as you said, Jonathan, that also leads to debates kind of, "Hey, I used to regard this as a success, but you're saying it's not a success. I don't trust you."Steffen Hedebrandt:Another problem is that we will never get to 100% without an attribution tool. So kind of people sometimes freak out if they know one data point that should be in the journey that it's not there. And they're like, okay, good. I'm not using it then. Whereas, you should think about it more as a statistical framework that takes you from knowing 10 or 20% to knowing maybe 70 or 80% as to kind of when you act on the data, it's still leading you towards a good place. But, they tend to freak out about, if they remember one single touch that, "Hey, I saw him at that place and he's not in that journey." And then obviously we need to do everything we can to get the data quality super high, but you're just never going to get to 100%, not even with the perfect tool.Phil Gamache:Yeah. There's podcasts like this one, there's no intent attribution on podcasts. There's no attribution on sending a text to your buddy who's using this platform and asking him for a candid review on it. There's always going to be these offline sources that a tool can track for every company.Steffen Hedebrandt:100%. We only do, you can say deterministic attribution, stuff we can prove happened. Like old school, what's it called, the old school marketing guys that would do TV ads or radio ads. They would do these guesstimates of... I guess it's causality that they say. I spent this money, now we make this money. And, whereas we're in the business off, we can actually prove it. That was click, that was revenue, whereas the others, did you hear this Freakonomics podcast that came out a couple of months ago?Phil Gamache:No, I don't think so.Steffen Hedebrandt:That was fun. But, they found out that for some companies, even though the best day was kind of Thursday or Black Friday or something like that, but it's because it's like correlate, then you spent more money on ads, but it actually is just because it's correlates with this is the time of year when people spend more. There's no impact [crosstalk 00:36:21].Phil Gamache:Well, that's crazy. Maybe we can end on this question. One of the things I see a lot about like debates around attribution is the modeling around it. When companies are building these custom solutions internally, they're forced to pick one model. So a first touch or multitouch, or like W shape. What I think that DreamData does super cool is this ability to just quickly on the fly change your attribution model when you're looking at a visualization. So can you touch a bit on why you guys went around that routes and, are customers loving that?Steffen Hedebrandt:I think this is actually kind of just out of the box. One of the biggest revelations that we give to people is that we help them compare attribution models. So say for paid, we'll show you five different attribution models for the paid channel right away. So we'll show you the first touch next to the last touch next to a dog reshape next to linear next to U-shaped. The answer is that depending on how you look at it, it's true that the ad started the journey, but it's also true that the ad was not the last touch. The essential bit is that you have all the information available, meaning you have the full journey and then you can then have different kinds of analysis purposes that you're trying to solve.Steffen Hedebrandt:Meaning that, if I want to understand which ads to buy more of, I think actually a first touch model is fairly legit to look at because you just want to see where the journey starts from. And then you want to do more of that. Whereas if you're looking at it from an ROI perspective, maybe you want to do a W shape, meaning, so it's touch first, conversion last conversion, et cetera. So my answer is always that you should look at all the attribution models before you decide on doing something because they all represent different parts of the truth.Phil Gamache:I love it. We'll end on this last question before we let you go,. We like to ask all our guests how they stay happy in their career and in their professional lives. You're a super busy guy. You're CRO of a company just founded a of years ago. You just got a nice big round of funding. Congrats on that, you're talking to VCs, how do you manage all this stuff? How do you stay happy in your life?Steffen Hedebrandt:Good stuff. I think I'm a little bit gifted also by being naturally motivated to continuously improve. But I guess by being in a startup, I'm just constantly motivated by, "Hey, here's an idea. Let's try and build it." And then unfolding creatively is so rewarding for me. And then seeing the result, Oh, fuck that worked or that didn't work, let's try to do more. Can we beat last month and so forth?Steffen Hedebrandt:I think because everything is so transparent in a startup, it, matters a lot whether you show up or you don't show up. That really, really motivates me. I just had a kid 20 months ago. I used to have a lot of time to then run or do CrossFit or something like that, which was a great outlet for me when you kind of feel, Oh fuck, I'm a bit full now. If you have time to do exercise a lot, because there's a lot of natural chill coming after doing so, now with a kid that's kind of... I think getting a kid has actually made me a lot better at prioritizing kind of like you've default to what drives revenue.Steffen Hedebrandt:Also, I kind of thought you would spend time on, got to get this small thing right. Nowadays, does this correlate with more revenue in the SNL and then I stay focused on those tasks.Phil Gamache:It's such a good answer. I love the aspect around the kids as well. There's this change in mindset once you start having children. As somebody in a fast paced startup you... One of my colleagues always says, I love this line actually. She says, "I'm super lazy."What she means is that she's not going to spend an ounce of effort on anything she doesn't think is going to provide return. I love that perspective and I love the perspective you shared on happiness. I think there's so much wisdom to unpack in what you just said.Phil Gamache:Steffen, thanks to you. Tank you so much for being on the show, man. We'll add in the show notes the website, where people can go check it out. I know you're active on Twitter and LinkedIn, so we'll drop links there, but thanks a lot for your time and really appreciate it.Steffen Hedebrandt:I really appreciate the invite, thanks. --Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Try to send your welcome emails on behalf of coworkers who live in the same shoes as your target users. If you’re in B2B, chances are you’re using your own product, at least a coworker is. Let them write the welcome email for new users. This is especially powerful when you serve many different verticals. Example: if you sell to marketers and sales. Ask all new users to identify with sales/marketing in the signup process. Send the welcome email to marketers from a marketer at your company who showcases how they use the product for marketing use cases. Send the welcome email to sales reps from someone on your sales team who showcases how they use the product for sales use cases. JT: Okay Phil, you showed me a screenshot of this question you answered in a Slack community. PG: Yeah shoutout to Elite Marketers and Founders Slack community that was started by Joel Musambi and Tomas Kolafa, two Ottawa-Toronto marketers. JT: So the question was about building email onboarding flows for b2b products and any great resources or things that have worked well. I know that during our time together at Klipfolio we experimented a lot with emails but in your past you’ve done a bit of freelancing and moonlighting in email onboarding land.What’s this magic welcome email that works extremely well?PG: So I want to preface this by saying that this really only works if your product sells to different segments of users. And this is usually the case right?If you only sell to marketers for example, there might still be segments in the decision makers, so you could talk to the marketing manager who’ll be using the product, you might talk to the marketing ops person who needs to integrate new tools and you might need sign off from the Director who’s the decision maker. JT: yeah we could do a full episode on segmentation, maybe we should. Okay so let’s actually use an example here, let’s go with a popular name and let’s pick a tool that tons of verticals can use, lots of use cases. PG: Yeah let’s go with Basecamp. Project management tools. There’s so many of them. In part because everyone can use a project management or todo list type of tool.Basecamp sells to a bunch of different roles. Marketers, sales, product teams, finance, you name it, there’s a use case for it. JT: So I’m on their site now, when you start a trial, there’s a few questions they ask you up front, did you go through this already?PG: haha yeah I did a bit of prep for this.When you start a trial of Basecamp they ask you for name and email, then company name and job title/role. They then ask if your company has these departments/anyone that works in these roles, they list sales, rnd, marketers, finance and managers. Then they even ask for a use case, if you’re working on any of these projects, site build, event, new product launch or rebrand. JT: That’s actually quite a lot of info to ask upfront. I’m okay with it if companies are doing something with that info though.So you finished creating an account, Welcome emails come in about 5 mins later. Are you happy? PG: I’m actually really sad haha. Basecamp is a tiny team so email segmentation and onboarding is probably super low on their list. I remember when they hired a head of marketing their job posting said something like “this job isn’t about email nurturing, though very important, the scope of this role is much broader”. And that makes a ton of sense. Small team, you gotta prioritize. JT: So the welcome email wasn’t segmented?PG: Sent from support@ and there’s no segmentation content in there despite knowing my role and my use case. They are probably using that data to inform other decisions, but I didn’t get any segmented content that could’ve boosted engagement.JT: Okay, let’s say I’m Jason or Andy at Basecamp and we hire you to upgrade our email onboarding and you need to impress the shit out of these guys. What does the welcome email look like?PG: Yeah so let’s go back to some of the questions Basecamp asks users in the signup process.By asking for job title, they could lookup specific words and put me in a role bucket. Something really cool that they do in the onboarding is ask what departments you have setup and to invite someone from that team. In this case Basecamp knows if someone is from rnd or finance. JT: So user signs up, you know they fit into 1 of 5 role buckets: Marketing Sales Rnd Finance managers PG: So then next step is nominating 1 person in your company for each of those role buckets. And you help them write the welcome email from their perspective and share how they use the product.So the welcome email to marketers comes from Andy, their head of marketing, he shows Basecamp in action for a product launch he completed recently and walks through his daily process for running marketing through basecamp.Rnd email comes in from DHH, their famous CTO. He probably reminds you that he created ruby on rails in the welcome email haha but he’s probably able to craft something totally different for a technical user compared to a marketer in Andy’s email. So maybe in that email DHH talks about Basecamp 3’s API improvements or how they break up user stories into subcomponents and sub tasks. The manager email comes from Jason their CEO and he walks other managers and team leaders through the Small Council team setup they use internally or maybe the campfire sections and how to keep the team in touch and highly collaborative. JT: love it. What you’re doing is creating instant connection with empathy in your welcome email. It’s written in language you’re familiar with and the use cases shown are super familiar with your world. PG: Yeah so haven’t done this in a bunch of places there, it doesn't always work, especially if you serve a very niche audience. But usually in B2B someone in your company resembles your target user.I find it super fun to work for a B2B company that sells to marketers or marketing ops. So I’m someone on the team but I’m also very close to the customer’s worlds, I live in similar pain points every day.--Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
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