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Episode #34

Supermetrics is one of the most successful software companies to come out of the Nordics, growing profitably and quickly to over 50 million euros in ARR (annual recurring revenue). We sat down with Demand Gen Director Edward Ford to discuss how they did it.

This post is based on our podcast episode with Edward Ford. Edward is the Demand Gen Director at Supermetrics. You can watch the entire conversation here.

1. The potential dangers of data-driven marketing

Edward from Supermetrics brought up an important point about the risks in data-driven marketing. He stressed how crucial it is to have correct data because making choices based on wrong data can cause big problems. He talked about the importance of managing marketing data well, focusing on making sure the right people can access the data, keeping the data organized and safe.

But, Edward also warned about getting too caught up in data, which can lead to “paralysis by analysis”. It’s important to find a good balance, using data to help with decisions but also keeping in mind what customers need and what’s best for the business. Data is very useful, but it needs to be used carefully and together with strategies that focus on customers and business goals.

2. Demand creation vs demand capture

In the conversation, we looked at the balance between creating demand and capturing it in marketing. Edward pointed out that only some 5% of potential customers are actively looking for solutions, but typically 95% of marketing budgets are focused on this segment of in-market buyers. Capturing demand is easier to measure, but creating demand is as or more important for long-term growth.

Edward pointed out that capturing demand, like using search ads and focusing on customers who are almost ready to buy, is a good start. But the real challenge is to reach the bigger group of the market that isn’t actively looking for solutions. Building a business case for demand creation is much more difficult, and Edward pointed out that e.g. the CMO-CFO relationship is crucial to making it happen.

3. Evolving your brand

Edward shared insights on how the Supermetrics brand and marketing tactics have evolved. Initially, their focus was on Google Ads and SEO, targeting an audience already showing interest in their services. However, growth created the need for a broader reach. This required the evolving of the brand shifting from a product-centric, quantitative approach to a narrative-driven strategy.

This change in branding also impacted the kind of makreting they were doing. A significant example was the recently held SuperSummit, Supermetrics’ first global virtual event. The sole purpose of the event was to generate awareness among potential customers, and the event was a big success.

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Watch episode: Generating demand for a 50M€ ARR SaaS company with Edward Ford

Generating demand for a 50M€ ARR SaaS company – Youtube transcript

today I’m joined by Edward Ford demand gen director at supermetric supermetric is a SAS company that helps hundreds of thousands of customers around the world better understand their marketing data the company was founded in Finland in 2013 and has rapidly grown to over 50 million in annual recurring Revenue welcome to show Edward thanks Josh you’re so much for having me you joined super metrics in 2019 um and the Joining Supermetrics marketing team was very different much smaller than it is now obviously and super metrics as a company was much smaller what made you how did this come about and what made you want to join super metric yeah it was a very different company back then for sure a lot smaller and at that time I had been working at a marketing agency here in Helsinki specialized in working with tech and SAS companies on basically growing their marketing and I had previously been working in in marketing in in Tech and this was my first entrance into the world of SAS and I just loved it loved to work with all our different clients and customers loved growing the agency business uh we had a great team like I think that was my school of marketing I would actually recommend all all markers to to go and work in an agency at some point great way to accelerate your learning and I was there for two and a half three years and you know I had the chance to work with a lot of different SAS companies from here in Finland in the nordics uh across Europe and also in North America as well uh and I always thought you know what could we do if we spent all our time focusing on just one of our customers so I was say we were working with several customers and I sort of had that buzz to go and join a SAS company and get the chance to experience things from the the other side of the table and to be inhouse and have the opportunity to go and figure things out with the sales team with the product team I think as an agency there’s also a limit in terms of the influence you have internally uh and so we were obviously working with the marketing teams in some cases co founder if they were a little bit smaller but to really get inside a SAS company and see what it looks like to to grow on for me that was the The Next Step that I wanted to make and I had heard of super metrics I actually thought they were an American company I had no idea they were based here in hinki and their office was like right by the the main railway station um I had been in contact with some members of the you know very early stage team members uh who who are still there as well there’re still some of the the original core groups still in the company and they were talking about expanding the team and the marketing team and I’ve been chatting with them on and off for for maybe six months and I was the more I got to know the company and the the people and and the business results the more interested I was I I couldn’t believe the the numbers when I saw them they this small company growing rely rapidly but also highly profitable and at that time was quite unique because this was really the era of growth at all costs raise huge amounts of VC funding get your two-year Runway pump loads of money into highes and obviously that to me sounded a little risky uh and you know now in this we’re in a situation where we kind of see some of the the downsides of of that approach whereas super metrics because of the approach we took now we’re in in a still a very healthy situation even though the market is challenging so I kind of saw that when I was looking into the company back in 2008 18 so over 5 years ago now um so I think those were some of the things that Drew me in and uh you know just to be part of a small team then but also see it grow and I felt there’s huge potential so to kind of be part of this this growth Journey from the very early days it’s the opportunity that doesn’t come along very often so I I had to to jump at it absolutely that’s interesting that you mentioned that you know from the very beginning or throughout the the Why Supermetrics has always focused on profitability company’s Journey history you’ve always been very um mindful of spending uh if I understood you correctly and not just going for this Reckless growth at all cost was that something has that some how has that kind of influenced how you’ve thought about um marketing and and and media channels and everything do you have that has that always been kind of a constraint that no we need to be very careful about how we spend and we need to keep profitability in mind yeah I think we’ve always focused on profitability I think mik the founded that’s something you know that he thinks is a basic part of business you need to be profitable and and you need to grow and that aligns with my own View of of business as well and so we’ve always focused on EA and maybe in recent years kind of before the the downturn maybe we were willing to sacrifice a little bit on that and focus on growth but we’ve always looked at a number that we want to hit and in the marketing team one of our okrs is always on LTB CAC ratio so on efficiency even you know before the last year or so so it’s always been part of the culture not just within the marketing team but I would say whyde across the company as well got it um as I mentioned in the intro your title is demand gen director What is demand generation? I don’t think there’s anyone who works in B2B marketing who hasn’t heard about demand generation I think it became popular or at least more popular in the last couple of years um could you explain how do you think about what is demand generation do we need a new term is it is it something new or is it something that’s always been done how do you think about it it’s a it’s a tricky one um I know some people love it some people hate the term even though it’s my title I’m I’m still a little 5050 to be honest I I think in a way we’ve always been generating demand as as a marketer that’s your job and and I think it doesn’t just hold to marketing it’s the job of everyone in the company to create demand through product through sales through great customer experiences through support through customer success and so forth if you think about all the different functions so in a way I think everybody is generating demand for the business but I think what happened in terms of the marketing space is that in my view demand gen was offered up as an alternative to lead gen so you shouldn’t be generating leads you should be generating demand this is where the shift has happened because I think if you go back 10 years ago when there was this big switch from outbound to inbound a big part of the original inbound Playbook was on generating leads through a conversion Point normally it was a Content offer well it was a ebook a wide paper a webinar and then you would nurture people through the funnel and eventually people would buy so trying to sort of simplify the complex B2B buying journey and I think it was a good first step in terms of helping people understand how we should be thinking about marketing it’s about giving it’s about creating value it’s about meeting the buyer where they are it’s about helping your ideal customers be better in their job but then we kind of got sucked down this lead gen black hole where you would just basically spin up uh 15 page flaky ebook you’d run a bunch of paid ads to a landing page you generate a bunch of signups which were relatively low cost and then you would stamp mql on it ship it to Sales and then surprisingly only 1% might even end up having a call with your sales team because people were interested in the content and they weren’t necessarily interested in what you had to offer so kind of figuring out the the way to make that process more effective and more efficient was like a big part of what Market is then focused on and this in my opinion has has led to a shi from well don’t think about Leen it’s all about demand genen and there’s a lot of companies out there talking about this shift and I don’t maybe I was in a little bit of a SAS bubble because I think we never really fell into this Playbook and one of the things about product Le growth and super metrics in particular is that we got to 5 million in annual recurring Revenue without a single sales team uh member there was no one in sales so it was all self- serve it was in a way B2B e-commerce so you’re working with the product team team and you’re getting people to basically buy directly through your website so you start the trial you get to know the product and then you choose to buy on not I mean other companies might go through a fremium where you can then use the basic version and then eventually if you you know get so frustrated you want to unlock some some core features then you go paid so I think canva is is a great example of a company that’s really nailed and evolved the premium model um so yeah I I think in a way this is the history of where this discussion has come and and I think that we’ve always been doing it but maybe the way in which we do it is is a little different so yeah I think that’s my my take on how we got here today I really like that that kind of historical explanation um that makes a lot of sense uh two other terms that are quite um you know often associated with that would be demand creation demand capture and yeah one thing that I feel has been true especially in the last couple years when the external the macro has been very good there’s been a lot of money slashing around there’s been a lot of money going to advertising uh and demand has generally been rising is that a lot of what we can have thought of as marketing has actually just been demand capture um what do you think about that and how do you at Super metrics distinguish between demand capture and demand generation in terms of you know the channels but also how you measure and even think about these things because I feel like people so often get confused yeah yeah I I think for me this was again this is another Viewpoint that not everyone agrees with I was actually I’m taking a course at the moment on social selling and and buying psychology and this came up last night on a webinar and I should changed my view as well because I I quite like the view that deagen is a combination of demand creation plus demand capture um but then someone was sort of challenging that and and I’ll get into it in a minute but um I I think the I always with the marketing funnel I I somehow found it a little complex I thought it was maybe a little bit too simple of a of a of a model and I do like simplification I like Frameworks but I think to me it it almost made things too simple and and you thought about things in their wrong way because the buying Journey isn’t linear it’s not really a funnel it’s very messy it’s all over the place and I uh like the thinking that if you take everyone who could potentially get value from your product so your total addressable Market only a small fraction of that audience is in a buying cycle they’re looking for a solution so people often say Prof roughly around 5% whereas the rest of the potential customer base uh are not but you need to Market to them so there you should be creating demand uh to the 95% and you should be capturing demand to the 5% and this was a great way for me to really think about how we should be approaching our marketing um and I think what happens as you said is that a lot of marketers will default to demand capture and I think a lot of companies that have CFOs or they have budgets in place is that you struggle to get budget for things like demand creation because demand capture is search ads on Google it’s bottom of funnel Investments it’s bidding on your brand term it’s bidding on like high intent uh terms where you know that there could be an opportunity to convert and really what you’re doing is that all your marketing is focusing on just converting that 5% of in Market buyers which I think is a very good place to start because you need to build that efficient bottom of funnel workflow you need alignment with sales if you have a sales Le motion you need alignment with product if you have more of a self- sered plg motion and I think as well I’ve started hearing people talk more about demand conversion so you you create demand you capture demand and you convert demand which is maybe the the very last step of of the sales process and to me it’s Al it’s essentially just a way of reframing the sort of awareness consideration decision um steps of the buying Journey uh and I think uh the the course I was on last night they were referencing Eugene schwarz’s breakthrough advertising book which is one of the OG books on marketing uh where he kind of spoke about the levels of of of people in terms of buying and that you have unaware problem aware solution aware product aware and then most aware and I think demand creation is really really just bringing the the unaware problem aware and solution aware stages together and then the demand captures product aware most aware so I think in a way everything is still the same it’s just been presented in a different format and um and uh but for me I I found that that framework quite useful to think about how we should be doing marketing and running advertising and It’s tricky because I think you know 95% of the market are maybe in that demand creation stage and 5% are in demand capture but I would you’re willing to bet that most marketing budgets have flipped the other way you probably are putting 95% into demand capture and 5% into demand creation because it’s easy to measure you can more confidently say if we invest x amount of dollars in this campaign we could get y dollars back based on you know looking at uh adword costs and and so forth whereas the demand creation part it it’s much more complex and it’s harder to build a business case around um so yeah I think those are some some of the things that that I kind of think about around this yeah that’s really interesting uh The business case for long-term marketing investments so how do you you know without going to necessarily into exact details but how do you and how have you built that business case at Super metrics because I do find that that is a big that’s the the the bottleneck is that marketers CMOS really struggle to convince the rest of the company that hey these Investments are really going to pay off we should be doing these things and it’s so easy to to default or for CFO board whoever it is say hey you know we’re spending on Google and we’re getting X you know row as why don’t we just keep spending on that and the market is trying to explain that no no that’s the that’s the current uh demand that we’re just capturing we to go and create new demand but they can make that business case so how how do you think about that yeah I think that’s a good way to go about it I think firstly you need really need to get the demand capture piece working quite efficiently and and you have um good alignment good hands off you can show that you can bring business in but then I think as well when you’re forecasting you need to build a scenario where if we only invest in bottom of funnel demand capture here’s what’s going to happen and typically what happens is that you reach a point where the amount of money you need to put in to make one extra sale becomes Higher and Higher and eventually you you kind of run out of demand to capture this all comes back to product Market fit of the space you’re in the product you built I think at Super metrics when I joined there was actually a lot of demand to capture it was a problem a lot of people had which is basically moving marketing data from all your different platforms into different reporting analytics tools dashboards uh data warehouses and so forth it was a big problem a lot of people had the problem almost any marketer any company that had a marketing team had this problem and we W of the first to solve it so there was a lot of bottom of funnel demand capture but over time when you see a lot of external factors come in you have Challenger brands people who companies that kind of come in at the low end and try to bottom out and compete on price you have other comp like your competitors are obviously innovating on the product side you have uh you know things like a pandemic which can either Drive demand or reduce demand so for Zoom for example I don’t think the marketing team really did anything but when everyone started working from home there was more demand to capture um now in an economic downturn less demand to capture so you see your marketing becomes less efficient in terms of the amount of money you need to spend to generate one sale and then you reach a point where your CAC LTB and and your pay rap period just doesn’t make sense the mats don’t work so you need to build a case like yeah we also need to be nurturing and reaching next month’s audience next quarter’s audience and you build a business case uh around that and and show that you need to balance between long-term demand creation and shorter term demand capture and really this is down to the CMO CFO relationship in particular and the only way CMO can have that discussion is firstly through building trust by showing you know I really know what I’m talking about I know the numbers inside out because CFOs deal in the language of numbers and a big part of that is data so you know we’ve been speaking to a lot of our customers and and one of the key challenges they have particularly on on the a sort of senior level is that you know we need to use data to be able to speak to our CFO to show what’s Happening uh and to show what we should be doing because a lot of companies have been using marketing data as almost like a rearview mirror it’s like well this is what happened in the past and you know we did this last month and here we can see the results whereas you should be looking at you know looking at this we forecast we should be doing these or or I believe our next best action is this and here’s where we should be investing and uh this is where you have those conversations it’s it’s not easy um but but it really comes that it’s a key part of any modern marketing leaders skill set really um so yeah I think those would be some of the key things i’ I’d advise people on in terms of building that business this case that that’s really good advice especially I think talking about that relationship um and I I think that there are psychological barriers like just the anchoring effect for instance when you known you got used to having a certain C or Ras on bottom of the funnel it feels so horrible to accept something way way less when you’re thinking about top of funnel um interesting point they mentioned data because I think one thing I’ve seen in a lot of companies as their marketing is not their marketing spend and measuring and everything is not at the level but they can have their own data to justify demand duration spend but there’s a lot of data out there to show how the effects of advertising right Baron sharp and and those kind guys have done a lot of data to show that research to show that advertising is a very broad long-term effects and so I feel like CMOS can really should leverage that kind of data a lot because they may not have their own internal data to show show why something should um to justify Investments but there’s a lot of external joural data out there um okay let’s talk about some specific um campaigns and activities Elevating the Supermetrics brand recently you held super Summit which was your first Global virtual event so can you talk about what was a strategy the Insight that led to you know hosting this thing how did it go uh what what have uh the the key key learnings been yeah this is really a good extension of the previous discussion we had because I think when I started in supermetric a lot of what we were doing was bottom of final demand capture either through paid advertising particularly on on Google ads and paid search but then also through a lot of like uh organic content uh content optimized for search so SC was a big play for us because there’s a lot of people with high intent uh searches uh people were searching for for things with which had a lot of buying intent so for example if you are trying to build out a agency budget pacing report that’s something that our technology can really help with and if you’re searching for for that and you find a super metrics article explaining how you can do that using our technology there’s a good good intent to buy um and there was a huge amount of content and and terms that we could build upon but then over time as you’re kind of growing that’s only going to get you so far as we discussed and we also saw a huge opportunity from our partners so I said earlier on super metric brings marketing data from all your different marketing and advertising platforms and brings it into a lot of reporting and analytics destinations so that you can make more confident decisions um know really what’s happening and and basically make your your best next step um using that data so we had a lot of opportunity to partner on both the data source side and the data destination side and we built this great company we built this huge company and we were seen as a market leader we were SE seen as the sort of default solution in that category by many and we felt that maybe the brand didn’t reflect that and one strategic objective we had was to elevate the brand this was a couple years ago and so we started doing a lot of more collaborations with our partners so companies like HubSpot companies like LinkedIn we got some of our customers from uh Groupon so the the American tech company and we were doing almost monthly webinars with these great partners of ours to elevate the brand and we were getting good results from the webinars as well in terms of uh awareness and engagement but also generating some opportunities uh and demos as well and we built a pretty good playbook and we kind of got to the point where okay this is good now we need to go bigger and we had been speaking about a flagship industry level event for some time similar to what hopspot had done really well around the inbound movement but sort of focusing on the the marketing and measurement space and we had talked about super Summit earlier um but we kind of held back and then I think we felt this this was the right time to to launch that particularly since we’ve had a lot of changes happening on from the product side a lot of Innovations uh there as well so we’re excited to show what’s Happening we we have a unique view as as a market leader to to really see what’s happening we speak with so many of our customers and it was a great chance to kind of share that narrative the story and share what we think marketing measurement is going to look like in 2024 and Beyond we we brought key Partners in and it just exploded we didn’t know it would be so big we had over 8,000 people sign up at one point we had over 2,200 people live in a session the chat was just going crazy it was almost like a like a twitch chat it was funny that we were thinking oh it’s a professional B2B conference and you know people are just themselves and it was a lot of fun it was a great way to engage with new audiences we have a lot of existing customers as well a lot of existing contacts and uh really kind of helped position ourselves as as a company that that wants to be part of the conversation around marketing measurement as we go into next year and Beyond so those I think were some of the the key things that we wanted to do and and we also see events as a key piece of of our regional playbooks as we go into next year so as we’ve grown I’d say you know we were purely global company when I joined and we’re still Global but now we have regional marketing teams we’re getting more Regional in terms of you know what’s happening in North America is different to what’s happening in Europe which is different to what’s happening in the Asia Pacific so we see super Summit as a brand that we can kind of have Global Flagship digital events but we can also take them offline so we’re actually having our first super Summit Meetup in Sydney at the end of November this month and that’s going to be really fun to have the same brand but as a small more intimate meet up um compared to say you know a big Global summer with 8,000 people so events will be a big plate for us next year and we kind of also wanted to kick that off at the end of this year build a brand and and kind of give ourselves the opportunity to to experiment around offline and online events next year so so that was the the thinking here got it and safe to say that these are uh these would be a demand creation type activity and you’re measuring and and thinking about it accordingly yeah I think Super Sonic Global was very much on the awareness pie so really a demand creation play and I think we can play with that maybe we’ll have more more bottom ofile content maybe more actionable um events uh and then I think as well depending how the regional teams want to play um maybe it’s more could be even something just for customers or there’s a lot of ways we could go with it but yeah this this specific one was uh more of a demand creation awareness play got it and do you think a fair kind of generalized lesson would be that you Thought leadership making a strategic shift from product to brand know obviously the format depends a lot on on the resources and the scale and the type of audience you’re going for but it seems like your your kind of focus is you know defining your category quite clearly and then figuring out what are the activities of formats that would allow us to reach that kind of thought leadership position in that category is that kind of what exactly yeah because I mean you know we we W focus on that when I joined for example it was very much on capturing as much demand as we could whereas now in the market we’re in the the plans we have from the product that won’t work you need to sort of develop a story develop develop a unique point of view and you need to go to market and and share that and so it’s a very very different Playbook than you know search ads and uh search optimized content for example Yeah you mentioned uh or or that kind of in the early days when you first joined it was very much so about the products capturing existing demand and and now it’s turned more into awareness piece and kind of this um I think what you call narrative L demand cre creation so how how do you come up how do you go about making that transition and what I guess what I’m asking is because the the the product ledge piece is quite numerical right you can look at you know which campaigns are performing better along these metrics when you to start talking about narrative it becomes a lot more subjective and you have to take a long-term view of where you want to bring the the company and the brand and how the category as a whole is going to evolve so what was the approach that you took um to kind of make that switch and to also decide on the direction that you want to take the Super metric brand yeah so I think you kind of reach a point where you realize we need to level up and it might be a big change in your strategy it might be a big change in your product road map it might be a big change in who you’re trying to reach might be a big change in terms of the competitive situation but there’s probably going to be some trigger where you reach a point where you think like we need to really think about this um and it might not necessarily be later on it could be really early if you’re building out a new category if you’re creating something completely new if you’re taking a new approach to solve a specific issue you need a really strong story and um so I think that’s kind of that there’s the point when you realize this is this is what we need to do um yeah and so in terms of the the measurement piece and there is definitely a lot more uncertainty around you know if we build this story do we know it’s going to fly is it a bit of a spend a month developing this great narrative and um strategic Viewpoint and then you go out the market and you have no idea is it going to stick or not so we’re also pretty uh pretty data LED and and we’re also pretty systematic in how we approach uh things like this so the first thing we did was just talk to a whole host of our customers and we spoke to a host of customers who we hadn’t directly targeted so slightly more senior in in the in the marketing organization and kind of wanted to understand their world and how they view things uh and that really gave us the insights so it’s not necessarily something we came up with but it’s really about understanding our customers where they see this space uh and then of course our view as well being involved in in this field and having been a part of the marketing measurement space for over 10 years we of course have a a view as well and we see where things are going and we developed a first version of of this and we did a lot of uh took a lot of qualitative data so we actually as a marketing team uh broke up and everybody had to try and secure 5 to 10 interviews with people who would match up our ideal buyer and we’d actually pitch it we’d go through the story we’d say you know this is what we think’s happening does this resonate with you we got feedback and so we already knew when we kind of tied it together that this was based on real data it was based on qualitative data from our ideal customers it was based on our own insights and experience and then it was qualified because we had already run it and and gotten feedback and tweet it so we had a lot of confidence going into the bigger launch uh but I think as well the narrative is also something that we can develop over time it’s it’s at a conversion right now that I’d say it’s quite early and then that’s going to evolve and develop as well as we go into next year um but we have that locked down so I think as well you can be quite systematic in how you develop these things and you can check in and make sure you you’re on the right track get feedback uh data is not just quantitative it’s not just numbers in spreadsheets it’s also words for people so uh a good thing to keep in mind as well that’s really good you mentioned that there’s there is some kind of um there was some kind of trigger that made you realize oh we need to step up we need to take this to the next level did that also apply apply to how you’re thinking about just marketing spend media spend in General Media channels or do you still have this kind of conservative profitable profitable first profitability first kind of mindset where it comes to spend or did you also start challenging maybe some of those um old Notions yeah I I think this was what I ref earlier where we had discussions around should we sacrifice a little on Eid and invest more in growth uh and this was kind of pre pre- downturn um this discussion and it was very much when our CMO joined so she joined in 2021 mid 2021 kind of late spring early summer uh so I’d already been in the company over two and a half years at that point and we also felt at that point you know we need a CMO because we need someone who’s kind of done this and and can kind of show us how we can actually build this company to to the size we want it to be because I think even I think when I joined supermetrics was one of the smallest companies I’d ever worked at but already by that point I think it was the biggest company I worked at and now for sure I’ve never worked in a company this large before so that’s quite interesting from a kind of own your own personal experience um so kind of having the awareness to know that you know we need something want to to come in and help get us to the the next next level and so that’s also where we started having discussions around more of a narrative I mean I’ve always been an advocate of a strong story like story is the strategy um and and so to kind of have someone who could kind of drive that forward uh and have these discussions as well with the the rest of the senior leadership team uh and and yeah now we got to the point where it was time to really rethink about that and and understand that unique point of view so I’d say those were probably some of the the key factors around this and then also the the discussion around where do we invest money and what trade-offs do we make around profitability and growth and so forth yeah it it really does sound and from the outside it seems like you made a lot of those correct decisions at the correct time um which uh in terms of how you wanted to transform transform the brand and evolve it I I think for the most part I think we made a lot of good decisions at the right time but that being said I we also made some wrong decisions um as well um so you know you always need to make a decision with as much data as you can sometimes you don’t have perfect amount you you sometimes need to make a bet um but that’s how it goes I think it’s the same for everybody but I I think for the most part we made made pretty good decisions at the right time um I want to go back to another campaign or initiative uh that you launched uh in 2020 I think your podcast Why they launched a podcast um I’d be curious to learn about what was the thought process there how did you think about you know what what the the value what the function of the podcast is how you going to measure it and so on yeah so this was a a discussion we had at that time and we kind of felt like you know we we need to we’re at the point where we need to start layering things on top of what we’re already doing and I had had a lot of excess success with podcasts previously I know a lot of companies in the B2B space had had a lot of success with podcasts and we found that there were some good podcasts around digital analytics and there obviously a lot of podcasts around marketing and we wanted to take that space of having a show where we could talk about analytics and and data from the marketing perspective and so the marketing analytics show was born this was also in the sort of early days of the pandemic and uh we actually saw that you know people were listening to a lot of podcast we thought maybe people aren’t going to listen to podcast because no one’s commuting to work but there’s also people didn’t really have much to do so people were you know reading books and and they were listening to podcast they were knitting they were painting and so forth um and and I had seen that in the other podcast I was running at that time and so we thought it was a good chance to to get in um into that space and I think our approach was actually a little off looking looking back I think that it was good that we did it but we tried to make it an extension of our existing content strategy which at that point was very product l so a lot of feedback we often had and this is probably biased feedback because we were speaking to a lot of practitioners is that they wanted content to be actionable and it you know really show you how to do things don’t just talk high level but really show and so I said like a lot of our content was How To tutorial BAS type it was giving a solution to to a problem people knew that they had and serving up super metrics as one way you could solve that and some of the episodes were maybe a little bit too how to actionable which I think would work well in a blog format or a video format um but at the same time we had a lot of really good uh episodes early on um I think our very first episode was how marketers can think like analysts so we had an data analysts come in and talk about their world and how marketers can take that that kind of analytical systematic thinking and we had some on um data storytelling so how you can tell a story with your data and different Frameworks as well so we we found we sort of experimenting with it as well and we could kind of see which episodes worked and it was uh very sort of guess Centric in that we were bringing experts from from the outside and and hearing their views and we were there kind of repurposing that across email uh we were creating content out of it as well uh and over time we you know we built a good base and and now when we’re bringing the narrative it’s great that we did that because podcast is a huge Channel I that that is going to be super good for exactly this sort of more narrative L marketing when you have this unique point of view as we’re kind of Shifting the strategy as you’re trying to go higher in in the organization bringing your you know thought leadership into play and so what we’ve done is that we actually flipped the the name from the marketing analytics show to the marketing Intelligence show which is sort of the the space that we we realize we’re we’re operating in in that it’s not just analyzing data but it’s also using that to make better decisions to basically use data to power your next step to really have a good understanding of what’s going on enabling marketing leadership to talk to their CFO have a seat at the board table show that marketing is really impacting revenue and not just the Arts and Crafts department and so so that’s marketing intelligence uh and and that’s the the space we’re playing in and what we’ve done is that we’re now actually having the majority of episodes with our internal experts so we have uh CMO has been on several episodes we’ve had members from the marketing team talking about how we use data we have our uh members from our Solutions engineering team who are really you know working with customers and and digging into topics that are relevant to them and and sharing our view uh so it’s a great way to align the narrative our unique point of view uh and bring that into market and of course we come back to measurement as well and you can kind of see how that podcast is grown over time I think it’s a good leading indicator of are people interested in your content are you reaching the right audiences because I think there’s a certain amount of people who would listen to a 45 minute podcast episode about marketing data governance Frameworks but I my assumption is that if anyone’s listening to that they’re probably a good fit potential customer for us or maybe an existing customer um and then the other thing is just qualitative feedback again so during super Summit at the very end of the event we had a kind of virtual Lounge where we had some people dropping in we had a Q&A with our CMO and and the first person who who kind of joined that and and was speaking was saying hey I found you through the podcast I was listening to one of your recent episodes it was so good it helped me with a problem I had and then started listening to a bunch of other episodes and I found your content now I’m here I’m looking at your products so you hear these things and and um you you kind of pick pick up on them that you know this this works and that’s how a podcast works and that’s exactly what worked back uh in in my agency days when when I launched another podcast around B2B SAS marketing so that’s kind of what we were thinking at the time so um and that’s how it’s evolved over time as well and how we see it now so it’s a good decision that we made maybe we post it slightly the wrong way but but that being said I think it was great we did it and and now we have another platform we can lean into now thanks for you know going through that kind of how how it evolved and and as you said I mean you know even if you maybe have a launch it with a slightly you know different Focus than you have now it’s still the fact that you launched it and were able to evolve it is is what matters and I also love that qualitative unprompted qualitative feedback is so valuable when we’re talking about that demand creation it’s not you can’t easily measure or track it but I think it’s a hugely valuable signal um when when there’s so much data and information out there and someone comes and tells you like oh I really appreciate what you did here and I listen to it and I impacted me that’s a hugely valuable signal um we’re running short in time but I’d love to ask you just a couple of Rapid fired questions yeah uh what you wrote in a recent LinkedIn post quote stop launching new marketing campaigns end quote what do you mean by that yeah I think it was stop launching new marketing campaigns and start analyzing your existing ones so I think this was more about um making sure that when you launch a campaign that that’s when the work is is is is done that that’s really when the work starts I think when you launch so look at performance look at days over time see how it’s trending look at efficiency look at results depending what you’re trying to achieve with that specific campaign and I think there’s a lot you can squeeze out of optimizing and modifying your existing campaigns um maybe even more than if you put the same amount of work in launching something new so of course you want to bring out new campaigns and ensure that there’s uh new new messages and and new stories coming out but I think as well optimizing modifying renewing creative uh of existing campaigns there’s there’s a lot you can get so that was my my take on on that one I I think it’s a really good reminder um another good good reminder uh here’s here’s another quote from post uh quote as a marketer sometimes your job is to just hype the out of something internally within your company what was it that that prompted you to to have that realization yeah this this is also something we spoke about a lot back in my agency days and uh if you remember the company drift when they kind of brought out the the sort of alternative to the forms as a conversion point and they made everything more conversational they spoke a lot about internal marketing and we picked up on that they were one of our customers we worked with Dave Gart and their team uh back in the day and a key audience for your marketing is not just people outside your company on the market but it’s everybody inside your company so you need to firstly align everyone internally on what you’re talking about what the new narrative what the new strategy is what does this mean for the sales team obviously aligning closely with product but then you also need to talk about why you’re making these moves so most people aren’t marketers inside a company and to us it makes a lot of sense that you know we need to shift from bottom of funnel playbooks demand capture to layering demand creation on top we need to reach the 95% we need to make sure we’re building out q1’s pipeline already now and you need to educate people internally on that and when you’re doing something let’s take super Summit as an example where you have your first big glob digital Flagship event you’re trying to generate you know over 5 to 10K attendees you want 2,000 people live online all talking about marketing analytics and you need to Hype that up internally and I think marketing is really about momentum a big part of that is that you’re out there you’re often the first touch with most prospects who kind of enter your I don’t want to use the word funnel but that sort of buying journey and you need to build momentum within the market but also within the company I think marketing can be a great Catalyst for for action for for enthusiasm for for motivation uh and I think a lot of really good marketers that I I admire they create that buzz yes within their market and within their prospective uh customer base and and so forth but they also do it internally as well so I think it’s a huge untapped opportunity particularly as you grow that you know if you’re marketing team of five but you work in a company of 100 people you could all of a sudden scale the marketing team from five to 100 if you can get everyone on board and excited so that’s my my spin on that one that’s a good kind of uh framing shift perspective shift okayed last question um there’s a lot of talk maybe um not not as much as it used to be but still a lot of talk about data driven marketing quote unquote um super metric probably processes more marketing data than anyone any company in the world and so you’re kind of right in the middle of it um you’ve G given a lot of good examples of how you’ve internally used marketing sorry use data qualitative and quantitative to inform your decisions but I’d be curious to know is there anything you see um in terms of common mistakes or ways that this so-called data marketing is being misused abused or misunderstood yeah I think there’s a couple I I think the the first thing if you’re relying on your data and you’re making decisions based on data which which you should the first thing you need to do is ensure that the data is reliable I think often a a a risk or a trap you might fall into is that you’re making decisions based on inaccurate data and I spoke earlier about someone wanting to listen to a 45 minute podcast about marketing data governance Frameworks well I think most marketing problems can be related back to marketing data governance problems this is something one of my colleagues from our Solutions editing team Evan said when we were just having a kind of informal chat and it really stuck out at me and I was like whoa whoa whoa what do you mean by this and and we kind of opened that up and then I got him on the podcast and was like we’re going to do a 45 minute discussion about this and and really marketing data governance is ensuring the data you have within the marketing team is accurate it’s high quality it’s secure people can access it and so we look at marketing data governments from from three angles firstly it’s data access so making sure the right people in your organization have access to the right data they need to do their job there’s data quality so organizing your data naming conventions media taxonomy tagging infrastructure ensuring you can link it to suitable campaigns we say in in super metrics well depends who you ask how they say it but basically in out if you get in um in terms of data you’re going to get out in terms of the decisions you make the actions you take so data quality is one of the key pillars of marketing data governance in my opinion and then data security just making sure you have a secure way to collect process store your data obviously privacy compliance are much more at the focus point now than they used to be which is good because I think it used to be a bit of a wild west in the early days of the internet is like just do what you want um so great that we have that so I think that’s the first thing that just makes sure that you have good good data and then I think as well we often speak about paralysis by analysis where you just overanalyze you maybe get too deep into it I think it’s about getting to the point where you have enough confidence to make a decision and when you’ve reached that point then you can move on um so I think that’s what data driven means to me um I think uh another thing is also thinking about not just being driven by your data but also you need to make sure you’re driven by your customer and you need to be driven by your business objective and and where your organization is going so uh I I I think of it you know when when you speak about being data driven I think some marketers use it as a badge of honor uh and for sure you need to be using your data you need to be leaning on your data but also remember you have your customer in your business that you need to be driven by as well so I think those are some good practices when it comes to how you actually work with your data really good takeaways uh edver it’s been a pleasure to have you on uh thank you so much obviously people should definitely go check out if if our customers listeners are not familiar with supermc check out either podcast or upcoming events or or just the the website um if people want to connect with you and listen hear more from you I think LinkedIn is probably the best yeah LinkedIn is definitely the best place so if you want to connect follow up go check me out on on LinkedIn I’m I’m pretty active there as well as you can see with my hot takes um so yeah hopefully hopefully there’ll be more of those coming um so we’ll put a link to to your personal Link in the show notes um thank like I said thank you so much for coming on and uh have a great rest of the day thanks so much for having me this was awesome thank you for listening you can find all episodes of the growth pod on Spotify YouTube and apple [Music] podcasts

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