In this episode I speak with Guillaume Cabane, G to his friends. G is the mad scientist who has worked in the growth team at Mention and Segment before joining Drift as VP of Growth. G loves experimenting with marketing tactics and tech tools. He is also passionate about customer psychology and how provide the best user experience possible. This is a jam packed podcast where we talk marketing history, SaaS tools and marketing strategies.

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Things we discussed in this episode that you should check out:

https://www.drift.com – Drift – Conversational Marketing Platform
https://amplitude.com – Amplitude – Analytics software
https://segment.com – Segment – Analytics, API & data storage
https://blog.drift.com/growth-machine – ICE framework for growth
https://growthhackers.com/software – Growth Hackers Projects – Manage growth experiments
https://www.madkudu.com – Madkudu – Lead scoring
https://zapier.com – Zapier – App integration
https://www.hull.io – Hull.io – Data segmentation
https://www.datanyze.com – Datanyze – Technographics

Last 5 questions:

What’s your best piece of marketing advice?
Do it your way. Learn from others, but don’t replicate. Do your own stuff. What works for someone else will not work for you. If you do what others do how can you win over them?

Can you recommend a book to our listeners?
“Influence” by Cialdini –  to learn psychology. And marketing is everything about psychology.

What software tool couldn’t you live without?
Clearbit.

What’s your favourite example of a marketing campaign?
Apple – think Different

Which other podcasts do you listen to?
Seeking Wisdom

Transcript

Matt Byrom:
Thank you all for joining me today for this episode of the Marketing Strategies Podcast. Today, I’m joined by G, a super interesting guy who has been referred to as the mad scientist. He was the head of growth for Mention and the VP of growth at The Segment before recently joining Drift in the VP of growth role. I’m excited to chat about growth, experiments, marketing, strategies and more. So, let’s dive right in. Hey G, how you doing today man?

G:
Hey Matt, thanks for having me today.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah, you’re welcome. Really good to have you on. Really interesting time in your career just recently joining Drift, really cool product and team they’ve got over there.

G:
Thanks.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah, so I guess then I’d first like to dive in to your background. It’s really interesting, like I said. While researching your career I’ve been really, really interested and impressed by the number of prominent companies you’ve worked for at literally the key periods of their growth. And I was just wondering how you feel you’ve learned and developed your skills as you’ve moved through these companies?

G:
Yeah, I mean I think to be honest I’ve been lucky because I was a teen in ’90s and I was fortunate enough that my parents could give me at the same time a computer and an internet connection. And I was living in France and I mean that’s not obvious in the late ’90s. And that helped me build websites at a not-for-profit, but we actually made some profits in that not-for-profit by selling ads in the late ’90s. So I started my career as a publisher. That’s how I started. Publishing content. And then moved to Apple for five years, which means I was at Apple when Apple launched the iPhone.

Matt Byrom:
Wow. What a time, hey.

G:
Yeah. And those were the days. Those were … like I learned a ton. That’s my first real job where I learned the most early on in my career, when I had a mentor. That was at Apple. And I was working on the online Apple store for businesses, which means I was trying to get businesses to buy Apple products online in 2004. And that was a very different time than it is today. We’re talking like 14 years ago when companies did not want to put their credit card online. When they did not want to click on banners. And there was no such thing as the social networks that we know about today. So, yeah I mean I was very lucky to be able to be there.

G:
And I think the reason why I think I’m lucky is marketers these days need to learn a lot about a lot of different channels. They need to learn about email, about advertising, about social networks, about content. But they don’t have the opportunities to work on all those channels, because companies … internet companies are so big, so verticalized that we’re usually going to focus a young marketer on one specific channel. Which means that they’re going to become the expert at email or the expert of advertising.

G:
But back in the days, when I started, people were just like coming to do marketing on the internet and that was my channel. I was in charge of the internet channel and anything was game. Which means I learned a ton and I added a ton of experience in a way that is really hard to replicate today unless you are the sole marketer in a really small start up. That’s the way it works. So, I mean that’s probably the foundation of my career.

Matt Byrom:
And I guess back in the day there wasn’t the broad scope of really sophisticated software or … and really sophisticated processes and experiments that people run these days. Back in the day it was really quite simple. Although still a new technology it was really quite simple compared to what people do today.

G:
Sure. On the other hand, people often ask me, “When did you become like a growth person?” And I think, in a way, it was at Apple, because at Apple when you work in Europe, where I was in marketing, you can’t change the price of a product – of course not. You can’t change the name of the product, or the packaging or whatever. You can’t change anything, because it’s Apple, which means your options are fairly limited. And I still had to generate leads for my sales people. And my boss at the time, I can say that now because he’s retired, Jean Paul Jeannette said, “No. We’re not going to create campaigns because that requires approval from the higher ups and you’ll never get approval. We’re going to create experiments.”

Matt Byrom:
Okay.

G:
“Experiments, we don’t need to ask approval for that. We can just do them, we’ll get the metrics and if it works then we’ll ask approval.”

G:
What did I know? I was 20 years old. I said, “Okay boss!”

G:
Of course that was not how things were supposed to be done, but it worked so well for us. And we were doing experiments on experiments. Doing things without asking for approval, asking our partners to delay invoicing – to not invoice us until we had solid metrics. Until we could come and then present with solid metrics. And that’s growth hacking. Experimenting …

Matt Byrom:
So what sort of experiments were you running back in the day?

G:
Mostly lead generation, demand generation campaigns. Stuff like we’d do ads … I mean I did ads in newspapers, which might sound crazy to people out here, but like I bought ads in newspapers. I did bundles with online ads where I would promote the bundle with a Mac and something else. Because we’re not able to discount the price of the Mac, we’d actually bundle it with a printer and something else and we’d discount the total product saying that it was not the Mac we discounted it was the printer. It was borderline, but it worked. And so that’s the kind of thing that we would do.

Matt Byrom:
That’s cool. And obviously I alluded to your pseudonym “The Mad Scientist” and is this when this came about in the early days of you thinking about ideas and thinking about things other people didn’t try and experimenting with different lead generation tactics, for example?

G:
No, I think that’s a bit later. I think that’s a bit later when I left Apple when Apple moved to London and I stayed in Paris, shortly thereafter I moved in to an IP security company. And so as the CMO, I was first PM and then CMO for an IP security company. I did consulting, pen testing, and stuff like that. And I learned how to work with white hat hackers of course. I also learned a ton about the dark side of the world and the pen testing and the hackers and social engineering. I learned a ton during those almost two years. And I then realized that marketing isn’t that far from what, you know, I’d say people who do social engineering do to convince you that you did win the Bill Gates lottery. Right?

G:
In both cases someone is trying to convince someone else of something through an email and of course one is very different than the other because the product exists and the other one it doesn’t, but still the approach is interesting – how they do it. How is it that these businesses survive? How is it that they’re able to sometimes get you to give your password or your social security number or whatever, right? Because they’re able to gain trust. They’re able to convince you. Marketing in some ways is similar. And so I learned a lot. I learned also a lot about how the internet works and how I can use that to my advantage. And I think that’s when I started to go a bit crazy and more creative, we could say, on marketing.

Matt Byrom:
And this is when you’re effectively learning your skills, honing your skills on the job in the early days of your first … the start of your career really.

Matt Byrom:
I guess when we get to your later career, your more recent career, we look at prominent companies like Mention and Segment and obviously more recently Drift. But these companies for example, Mention and Segment, you’ve been at these companies at times when they have achieved rapid growth and they’ve really become prominent companies out in the market. Do you feel like you’ve influenced those in a big way, have you been a big part of the growth for those businesses?

G:
I hope so, but you’d have to actually ask the CEO of Mention and Segment for that, but yeah … obviously there’s a … for example, Mention, when I came they had no marketing team, they had no analytics, no data whatsoever on customers, and the process for the two sales people to find leads was to look in the list of sign ups of the previous day for about an hour. Just scroll through it and find … click on emails that looked interesting. That was the process. And then when I left they had segments installed, they had analytics and tracking on all the actions of the users. There was predictive analytics, predictive scoring to tell you when people went on the website, which ones were valuable and when people signed up there was lead scoring to ping an email automatically the sign up and the name of the right sales rep. So I mean yeah we changed a ton of things during my tenure. And we … actually we increased the efficiency of sales reps by tenfold, at least.

Matt Byrom:
And when you mention sales and marketing I know some of the articles you’ve written that I’ve been reading recently talk about the interplay between sales and marketing – how do you feel about that? Do you feel that marketing drives sales or do you feel it’s the other way around? How do you feel the interplay works there? It’s a very important thing.

G:
Usually sales, to be honest, so that people that listen to this podcast know … usually that’s a big pain point. I think I’ve solved it. And I think the way I’ve solved it is the following. I’ve created an agreement that goes both ways. Because I’m now able to predict the value of each lead – the sales velocity, the expected close rate, and the amount in dollars – I know how many qualified leads we need to reach the sales quota. And I am not the one doing that. I have given the keys to that to a third party company called Madkudu. So the third party does the lead qualification and so they are independent. I am not the one making that score, neither is the sales. So once they give the score we know if that lead counts or not and we know how many leads we need of that quality each month. That’s my engagement, my SLA, my service level agreement, downwards to the sales.

G:
Now, if you look at the revenue, which we are all focused on, you need to reach the leads in a specific time frame. The faster the better to optimize revenue, which means the sales have an SLA, a service level agreement upwards to me and the better leads, highest quality, they’ve got four hours to get to them. If they don’t get to them in four hours they will get redistributed. And in 24 hours for the top 50%. Otherwise they are detrimental to the value of the leads I bring in.

G:
And so by having an upwards and a downwards agreement, we now have very little to debate. It’s really helpful.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah. That’s super cool. So it’s effectively taking all the guess work and all the assumption out of it and really making it a science really. So you’re saying, “We have so many leads at this score, they’re going down to sales. Sales have to adhere to their SLA up to us and then we should get the defined output.”

G:
Yeah. It’s predictable. You know the whole point of a funnel with solid metrics is that it’s predictable. And you know some marketers should stop doing stupid things like for example uploading a webinar with a thousand emails. Because there’s no intent there. Those people could work for qualified companies but it’s not because they listened to the webinar that they have the desire to buy the product right? And so you need to think through if you are optimizing your marketers on leads and leads only then you are going fail as a CEO.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah, absolutely. There’s no quality there.

Matt Byrom:
Okay so what I would like to talk about is how you would start growth at a company. So for example, you recently started at Drift five or so months ago. What was your first week like? Where did you begin? What was the first set of actions you took? What did you look at and how did you start to understand where you could make a real difference to their team?

G:
It’s different for everyone. In my case I now have enough experience in the vendors I want. I’ve got two main paths that I’m following when I join a company. One is I bring in the vendors I need to succeed and the second thing is I implement tracking. None of the companies I have joined in the past five years have had correct tracking implemented.

Matt Byrom:
And what would you define the correct tracking as?

G:
Even Segment! You got to understand that I … we implemented, with the growth team, we implemented segment tracking at Segment because it was incorrect. How crazy is that?

Matt Byrom:
Yeah. And what would you define as the right tracking? What would be your …

G:
Yeah. You need to be able to understand what people are doing step by step so that your machine learning that you apply can predict what are the “ah-ha” moments. If you’re not … if you have product market ………. and your tracking does not enable you to discover the “ah-ha” moment, the magical moment where people see the value and buy, if you can’t see it the machine learning won’t see it and you’re not going to be able to double down on what works. You won’t know what works. You don’t know what people are buying or not buying, you don’t know what you are leaving. So that’s crazy. In most companies I see they know nothing.

Matt Byrom:
And what would you define as the “ah-ha” moments? Where would you see those in your analytics? What would be the flag to say, “The customer’s happy” or “The customer wants to do this” for example?

G:
For me it’s really the perception of value. It’s not when they … so we often talk of activation. I’m not a big fan of that because activation, it’s an internal metric right? It’s like when you think the people perceive value. It’s wrong. For example, at Segment activation was when people were sending data to Segment. That’s … they’re not getting value yet because their data stays within Segment and goes nowhere right? The value gets from when you’re actually sending data to Segment and then it goes somewhere else in to another tool. Segment tripped. We used to count activation as people who have installed R3S but that’s wrong. They have value when they have chats. And actually that’s not true. They get value when those chats actually become leads and they get revenue. Then they perceive the value.

G:
We need to be able to analyze that perception of value ……….. but I prefer to ask people. There’s this great psychology hack that you can do, which is when people sign up, once they sign up you add another question after the sign up which is, “What does success look like? What are you trying to achieve?” And they can write it down, or you can search from like a drop down menu. And then you can map that to what they’re doing and bring them back to, “Hey, now you’ve achieved your goal.” And they have that perception and now they’re ready to pay. They can’t back down.

Matt Byrom:
And you were able to manage that on a mass scale so if the amount of customers that signed up for Drift, you can tie that back to every customer and speak with that customer specifically or …

G:
Sure.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah. And that’s done by the sales team is it?

G:
Sure I mean … I use stuff like………. to do natural language processing and just do like simple categorization and tagging through our text. It works fairly well.

Matt Byrom:
Amazing. That’s fantastic.

Matt Byrom:
So I read an article recently that you wrote called, “Marketing Automation is Broken: And That’s Exactly Why I Joined Drift”. I was wondering if you could tell us a bit more about what is it about Drift that you feel can fix marketing automation?

G:
Sure. Marketing automation, if you think of the tools like Pardot, Marketo, HubSpot – I mean, those were amazing tools, they changed and they made marketing much easier 10 years ago. 15 years ago. The problem nowadays is marketing has become way more competitive. Online has been way more competitive and those tools now are legacy tools. They’re not flexible enough. They don’t use the latest technology, cutting edge technology. And so they are becoming increasingly complex and they are actually optimizing you the marketer. They’re pushing you to lower the costs and to have a lot and lot of contact – talk to a lot of people at the same time. So they’re trying to push you to do mass scale marketing with very little value to the user. It’s basically send the same message to everyone in the same stage. And I hate that, because people are different. Each and every individual is different. Has different needs and has different pains and perceptions of how they’re going to solve that pain. And your product can be seen from different angles. And pushing the same message in the same way at the same moment to everyone is just an awful customer experience. It’s awful.

G:
And that’s what most tools are doing. They helped us get to a point where at least we’re saying something to the customers, but now we can do so much more. Now we can actually create a more personalized experience by learning about the customer and actually having conversations with them.

G:
The point of Drift is we want you to have more revenue with less emails, less conversations. Just talk to the right people at the right moment. I’m not here to push you to do massive email campaigns. I think that’s a bad idea. My goal is to help you, help my customers be successful at bringing in more revenue by doing less. That’s my goal.

Matt Byrom:
And that like you said, makes it a personal communication with the people that you’re speaking to. So less conversations, more personal, more value. So it’s really bringing it back to before marketing automation systems came out really, it’s bringing it back to the personal communication that you would get in a retail store or something like that but actually for the online space.

G:
Exactly. Yeah, the retail store is the great example especially the Apple retail store, which we love as an example. I think the point of Drift is we’re bringing it back … we’re trying to emanate, simulate that experience online – that quality experience – with the tools to make it manageable. If it’s just, “Hey you should talk to everyone” and you’re on your own, that’s not helpful. We are creating the tools, the machine learning, the natural language processing, the integrations with other partners to pull in the right data to help you be extremely efficient and automate what can be automated and let you the human focus on the conversation.

Matt Byrom:
Absolutely. That’s cool. That’s super cool. And what’s your vision for the future of Drift? Where do you see this going in the next five or so years? What would be the next steps?

G:
Yeah. I mean five years is a long time so I can be pretty bold about that one. Five years from now I see Drift replacing a good chunk of the sales force. I’m not talking about Salesforce the company, the wicked. I’m talking of sales force in two words – the people who are sales. A lot of what those people are doing, especially the top of the funnel, the SDRs – sales development reps and BDRs – business development reps – what they do is not super qualitative. They are optimized to place a ton of calls, send a ton of emails of low value. And we’re paying those humans to do that and it’s a pretty lame job. And I think we can help those people focus on what they’re good at, which is having conversations, and help the businesses as they displace those jobs with good automation.

G:
I think the difference is that this year, 2018, we’ll be able to send the first batch of emails to the right people at the right time with the right message. But we won’t be able to answer, because that requires a lot of NLP and ML. Five years from now, however, there’s going to be a shift. The shift is going to be right now as a human – you, Matt – you perceive an email you get from a human when you’re convinced it is a human, as having a higher face value than an automated email, correct?

Matt Byrom:
Yes, absolutely.

G:
Okay. Why is that? Why do you value … no, why is it?

Matt Byrom:
Yeah, you feel like you’re dealing with a person.

G:
Is it because that … yeah. But why do you think that it’s more valuable? Is it because past experience informs you that the automated email is bad or is it because you feel for the human that has shed tears and sweat to write the email?

Matt Byrom:
Yeah I mean you feel like somebody’s got a personal connection there. They’re making assumptions and advice and giving you help to support you through your journey really, so I guess that’s what it might be.

G:
So that’s I think what big shift will be in five years. I think in five years we won’t care who is sending the message we’ll just look at the face value of the message. Does that message, whichever the channel, does that message bring me value? Is it valuable to me? Is the information in there valuable? Am I learning something? Is it helping me? And if it is I don’t care if it’s a human or a bot that’s impersonating a human or just a bot – I don’t care, if it’s super relevant, I don’t care.

Matt Byrom:
If it’s bringing you value.

G:
That’s what’s going to change and once that change happens, everything … the whole playing field is going to change, because then you don’t need all those sales people right? Because we need the sales people because right now we’re not able to aggregate the data in an email and because there’s this high perception of value. But when that changes imagine the consequences.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah and you can be brought value, you can be helped without even a human being involved.

G:
Uh-huh.

Matt Byrom:
Awesome. And so we got quite deep in to that. I’d like to bring it back to sort of to the growth strategies. If you were to look at for example, listeners who are starting out in growth and they have a business it might be a product business, a service business, a SaaS business – where would you start? Would you map out the customer journey and walk through all the different areas where you can improve, add value and bring the … test different growth experiments for example so that you can actually try things? Is that where you would start?

G:
Yeah. Definitely. I always try to create a funnel and then I try to look in that funnel for what’s leaking. And try to … I know the industry metrics and I know………. experience with the different conversion rates in the funnel. And so when I look at a funnel I can say, “Hey, here we can do 2x. Here we can do 3x” or maybe, “There, there’s not much to win.” For example, at Drift our close rate is way higher than industry and so there’s no point in trying to optimize it. When you see a higher close rate it’s telling you one thing, you need more leads. And sometimes it’s the opposite. Sometimes you see a company with like a lot of leads and super low close rate. That means that they need some lead qualification.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah.

G:
So looking at the metrics really helps you understand what recommendations you need to make.

Matt Byrom:
And which software tools would you actually use to map out the journey on that basis as the funnel?

G:
I usually … so my tracking is done with Segment and the actual analytics I do it with Amplitude.

Matt Byrom:
Amplitude.

G:
Yeah.

Matt Byrom:
Okay. Cool.

G:
Really good tool. And it’s free until 10 million events, which is pretty darn good.

Matt Byrom:
Is that similar to Heap or KISSmetrics for example?

G:
Yeah, very similar.

Matt Byrom:
And you can just map out each section, each stage in the funnel and literally you look at the metrics, see if they’re higher or lower than industry standard, and that’s how you know which areas to focus on and run experiments for example?

G:
Exactly.

Matt Byrom:
And what experiments would you start with? How would you actually decide which experiments to run for each area? How would you prioritize?

G:
So usually, so I use the growth framework, which is called ICE – the impact, confidence and ease from growth hackers………. and I try to make estimates what’s the potential impact of the experiment, how long is it going to take us to build it, what’s the risk factor? So looking at that we then prioritize the right experiment, so it can be sending cold emails, it can be improving the sign up flow or so many different things. But I usually work with a PM and engineer where once we understand the experiment we try to make it, each of us, and then we try to come to an agreement on what the actual estimate should be.

Matt Byrom:
And then you’ll enter improve or test different scenarios to see if you can actually get better …

G:
Yeah but you know what, I would say the most important thing is not being really good at having ideas. It’s easy to have ideas. What’s really important is to test a lot of things.

Matt Byrom:
Right.

G:
What I talk with a lot of growth people about – a lot of growth people – you know what the one defining metric that is tied to success? It’s the number of experiments you run per week.

Matt Byrom:
Okay.

G:
If you’re able to run more experiments just by the nature of things you’re going to find success. It’s just a matter of time. In my case I usually succeed between one out of three times to one out of seven times. Maybe three out of ten. And it’s the same for all the other folks that I know, because growth is experimental. If you’re succeeding like 70% of the time, 90% of the time, you’re not a growth team, you’re a product team. And that’s fine. I have nothing against product teams, it’s just that you’re not experimental. The point of growth is that you’re here to fail. You’re here to fail. And if you fail fast you can move on and you can try something else. If you take a month to fail, then that means there’s only 12 experiments, you’ve got only 12 bets per year. That means you’re going to think a lot, you’re going to weigh your chances a lot and you no longer a growth a team. You’re not moving fast. So you’ve got to move fast. You have to test two or three things per week.

Matt Byrom:
And is that how many different things you’re testing at the moment in Drift for example?

G:
Yeah, yeah. So unfortunately for me I usually tend to test a lot more what I or my team can do. I usually overshoot what’s actually possible. But yes. I usually have a lot of irons in the fire at the same time, because I’m not smarter than other people and I’m not faster than other people. It’s not true. I just try to have multiple project open at the same time. It’s the opposite of being focused. I am not focused. Because being focused means I do one thing at a time and do it well, but in my case I can’t do that because otherwise I’m not going to go fast enough. And so I have maybe ten different projects open at the same time. And I have other people, I have other partners, or third parties working on them slowly but that means that every week I can get a project that’s like three weeks long three times a week.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah so you’re learning, constantly learning from rapid testing really.

G:
Yeah for sure.

Matt Byrom:
And how do you track and keep organized all the different growth experiments with scenarios and results, and hypotheses for example – how do you keep track of everything?

G:
Yeah I use Growth Hackers Project, so growthhackers.com it’s a community, they also have this SaaS tool which is called Projects where you can input all the theories, all the hypotheses and all the results in a knowledge base. It’s pretty good.

Matt Byrom:
And that works for you to keep track of everything in there?

G:
Yeah.

Matt Byrom:
Amazing. That’s great to know.

Matt Byrom:
And how important is SEO in your growth landscape?

G:
It used to be huge. These days much less. I think SEO as pure optimization is kind of slowly going away, whereas now it’s really good content that’s dominating.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah.

G:
And the reason for that is Google’s just becoming better and better at finding if your content is good by itself. It doesn’t need you to give you all the metadata it doesn’t give you … I mean ten years ago we were like optimizing metadata. Five years ago we were optimizing rich snippets. And now, none of that. Google’s just finding it’s way around. But if we do great content we do get a lot of good traffic.

Matt Byrom:
Yes. Yeah, quality content wins over everything these days and it’s hard to actually know if you’re creating the perfect content, it’s just got to offer a lot of value really.

G:
But you know when you’re there.

Matt Byrom:
Yes.

G:
That’s the point. You know when you’re there. The problem is when you’re not there, you don’t know what to do. Once you’re there it’s kind of a weird conundrum, once you’re there you see it. And you can not miss it. You know at Drift, there clearly is this great content and this great traffic. Why is that is not obvious. At what point, what changed? But now we found the recipe and we’re baking the same thing every day.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah and you just feel that you’re on a growth trajectory these days?

G:
Yeah.

Matt Byrom:
That’s awesome. Well that’s exactly the place you want to be really.

G:
Yeah for sure.

Matt Byrom:
So over the years, over the last few years what marketing strategies would you attribute to your biggest wins?

G:
I think things around email and taking a step back is actually predicting ahead of my competitors who we should talk to about what topic and when. So moving from being reactive, which is where most companies are, or most competitors are, they react to people coming to the website. They’re very reactive. I try to be predictive. I try to predict who’s in the market, who’s interested, what’s their pain point, how much are they willing to pay? And I try to reach out to them before even they think about coming to me. Because then the cost is much lower and I’ve got no competitors. And so I mean sure, I………. but I get open rates of like 80%, response rates in the 15%. Way above what most people would get. It’s because it’s super high quality content.

G:
It’s super high quality content, it’s valuable, it’s the right time, it’s the right person, it’s not spammy. You can think of it as just email, I think of it as being very predictive.

Matt Byrom:
So personal email is what you would attribute your biggest win to?

G:
Personally yeah. For sure. Emails.

G:
As for Drift, Drift has been very successful with awareness, inbound channels, podcasts, social media, blog posts, just delivering great content every day. That’s how Drift grew. And a bit of referral.

Matt Byrom:
Okay. So the inbound marketing way of life really?

G:
Yeah well Drift was founded by people who were formally at HubSpot, so inbound marketing is their thing.

Matt Byrom:
Absolutely. And do you guys have a dedicated content creation team internally as well?

G:
Yeah. Yeah that’s like one of our strongest team is the marketing team.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah. And do you guys use a content calendar then to keep track of everything you do day by day?

G:
They do have a content calendar. I’m not part of that team so I’m not super aware of how they do it, but yeah they definitely have a calendar.

Matt Byrom:
And will you test experiments on actually … the promotion of content as well or like maybe their landing pages and things as well?

G:
No, we don’t promote content we don’t. It’s kind of weird to say that we don’t need to.

Matt Byrom:
No?

G:
No we don’t need to. It just works.

Matt Byrom:
The audience is there.

G:
Yeah, yeah, I mean … everyone is super engaged. Our CEO posts stuff like videos like one maybe that was on LinkedIn, we get 300 uploads and 80 comments on each of those posts and they can milk those posts for leads. How many CEOs are willing to do that?

Matt Byrom:
You’re in a great position there.

G:
Yeah.

Matt Byrom:
So looking forward to 2018, we’ve just started, what’s important for you, what’s on your radar, what things do you still have to test and what’s coming up for you?

G:
I mean for me at Drift, building the growth team. That’s probably the biggest challenge. Hiring the right people to build the best growth B2B growth team in San Francisco with me. That’s my biggest challenge.

G:
I think for the market is the explosion of Mar Tech. You know that slide of the 5,000 logos?

Matt Byrom:
Yes.

G:
That’s becoming a problem, because now we didn’t have any choice. And this was like East Germany ten years ago where we had like … you wanted like one………. vendor, you went to DNB and that was it. Now there’s like hundreds of those, and you don’t know how to choose anymore. That’s becoming a problem. And so it has expanded like the universe, now it needs to contract a bit again. There’s just too many options, too many of those vendors, it’s just not going to cut it. Even financially, even if the product is good.

Matt Byrom:
And you feel there might be a reduction in the amount of SaaS companies out there over the next few years?

G:
It has to. It has to. Just too many options right now and there are going to be some winners and some losers.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah. I guess with everything really as well. You mentioned previously that you bring in vendors as well as actually growing things internally.

G:
Yeah.

Matt Byrom:
So you would actually use external agencies and teams and resources or are there software products and things you would bring in?

G:
It’s more software products. Though I do outsource a lot of projects … crazy projects in engineering to those software products because those teams usually are happy to work with me to create better products.

Matt Byrom:
Okay. What type of companies do you work with?

G:
Sure. I work with Clearbit, a third party data. A great data defender. I work with Madkudu, which I named before for leads scoring. I work with Zapier for automation. I work with MonkeyLearn for very simple machine learning as a service. I work with Intelliminds who does web optimization, one to one web optimization on our sites. Segment of course for the data tracking. Amplitude, we talked about that for the BI. Hull.io, H-U-L-L, which is an ETL and………. platform. Really great to bring all of those data sources in one central web tapestry. Datanyze to know more about the technologies of the company. Man, so many companies. You know? So many.

Matt Byrom:
It’s good to get the insight though I appreciate you reeling off a few companies there. Quite a number I heard of but a few I haven’t. A few I know you work with as well, so that’s really interesting, but I’ll certainly check a few of those out. So, it’s been fantastic and really interesting talking to you today G. Looks like we’re coming up to our last five questions so if you’re ready.

G:
Ready.

Matt Byrom:
So what’s your best piece of marketing advice?

G:
Do it your way. Don’t … learn from others, but don’t replicate. Do your own stuff. What works for someone else will not work for you. If you do what others do how can you win over them?

Matt Byrom:
Absolutely. And learn from things that don’t work and things that do work as well I guess?

G:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Matt Byrom:
And can you recommend a book to our listeners?

G:
Yeah, my go to book is “Influence” by Cialdini to learn psychology. And marketing is everything about psychology.

Matt Byrom:
Cool. And what software tool couldn’t you live without?

G:
Clearbit. If Clearbit goes down I go back……….

Matt Byrom:
Yes. I use Clearbit, it’s awesome and anyone who hasn’t should check it out.

Matt Byrom:
What’s your favorite example of a marketing campaign?

G:
Oh my favorite one? Oh man, Apple’s think different campaign.

Matt Byrom:
Yeah, that’s a big one.

G:
Yeah, that’s my favorite for sure.

Matt Byrom:
And which of the podcasts do you listen to and should we listen to?

G:
Seeking Wisdom. We actually do that podcast, we don’t talk about the product but we invite CEOs who share their 20 – 30 years of experience and any execs. And it’s a great podcast to learn faster. Podcasts, books, content – it’s about learning from other people’s mistakes. I think that’s probably the last word is you only have 24 hours you can’t create more time. There’s only one way to be better, to go faster, is to learn from others who have done it. And the podcast or book or whatever the medium is, that’s how you do it.

Matt Byrom:
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks very much for your wise words today, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you and I encourage everyone to check out Drift and take a trial and listen again to the next podcast.

G:
Thanks Matt.