Nicolas Derico is Director of Marketing at Wayflyer. FINITE podcast host Alex Price took time to record an episode with Nicolas focused on the ‘B2C-ification’, sometimes talked about as the humanisation of B2B marketing. Nicolas has some refreshing perspectives on building a more human and authentic brand in the B2B space, and some other B2B tech companies that are worth watching too.

This episode covers: 

  • About Nicolas’ career and experience at Wayflyer
  • What the term ‘B2C-ification’ means 
  • The issues in marketing a startup with an enterprise approach
  • The importance of innovation in a saturated market 
  • How to implement innovative strategies
  • Using case studies as an example of ‘B2C-ification’
  • How to use data to drive content marketing

Listen to the full podcast here:

& once you’re done listening, check out our other episodes here!

Full Transcript

Alex (00:07):

Hello everyone and welcome back. It’s FINITE podcast time. And today I’m talking with Nic Derico. Nic is the Director of Marketing at Wayflyer, an innovative business that helps to finance e-commerce companies. They provide finance and marketing advice to e-commerce founders. And we’re talking about the ‘B2C-ification’ of B2B marketing, humanisation of B2B marketing, whatever you want to call it. Tapping into the emotional side of B2B marketing in a way that a lot of B2B businesses fail to do, and Nic has some really awesome refreshing views on this as a subject and lots of other companies out there that are doing it pretty well. So I hope you enjoy this episode.

FINITE  (00:47):

The FINITE community and podcast are kindly supported by 93x, the digital agency working exclusively with ambitious, fast growth B2B technology companies. Visit 93x.agency to find out about how they partner with marketing team and B2B technology companies to drive digital growth.

Alex (01:08):

Hey Nic, thanks for joining me today.

Nicolas (01:09):

No thank you for having me. I’m excited about this.

Alex (01:13):

I’m looking forward to talking. So we’ve got a subject coming up, which I think is one that people talk about pretty regularly in any B2B marketing debate. It’s probably the one that pops up on my LinkedIn feed the most, which is this kind of what we’ve called the ‘B2C-ification’ of B2B marketing, I guess the humanisation of B2B marketing. Maybe there’s another way, so many different times used, but it’s one that’s I think pretty much on everybody’s radar. But before we dive into, and we talked a bit more about what it means exactly, tell us a little bit about you, your background and experience so far and your kind of current role and team.

About Nicolas’ career and Wayflyer

Nicolas (01:46):

Yeah, the current term doesn’t roll off the tongue. So someone smarter than me is going to have to come up with a better word. And as soon as you come up with it, just let me know, please, because that’s not going to work that we’re using. But yeah, about me anyway, I’ve been doing marketing in startups for the best part of the last decade. I started with very, very small startups back in Spain. I was probably one of 10 to 15 employees in each one of those. And I was the first marketing hire. And, you know, we didn’t succeed in any of them, all three of them.

And then I went completely left and I joined a B2B SaaS company with, at the time 300 or so employees, and I spent my last five years over there doing B2B enterprise marketing. We had a, our AOV was a hundred thousand a year. It was selling enterprise technologies to the likes of, Google used us, Oracle, the US government, big, big corporations or governmental organisations. And, yeah, did my time over there. And, and, and where I currently am is a company called Wayflyer out of Dublin, Ireland.

And what Wayflyer does is they serve, or we serve, financing for eCommerce brands, particularly B2C brands living primarily out of Shopify. So we’ll provide them with funding that they can then use to make bigger inventory orders or increase their marketing budgets and overall grow faster. But we will also use the data that we, the same data we use for underwriting the financing.

We will also use and mix it with our analytics expertise and our marketing in house expertise to give you marketing advice. We’ll tell you where to deploy your funds while we give you funds to double and triple your marketing budget, which, you know, we feel like it’s the best mix between the bad concept, which is a great financing vehicle and the value add that the VC, the VCs have been given for, you know, 20 years now for technology companies. We’ll tell you how to spend. We’ll tell you, we’ll give you tips on how to improve your business and give you the money to grow.

Alex (03:56):

Nice, nice module. And so the current role for you, I mean, how big is the kind of marketing function? What does the day to day look like? Have you got other kind of marketers on your team at the moment?

Nicolas (04:05):

Yeah. You see I need to negotiate better because when I joined I was probably the 12th or 13th employee, and now we’re up to 30, but the marketing team is still me, while we’re hiring. So if you’re, if you’re a talented marketing person get in touch with me, I’d love to talk to you.

Alex (04:19):

Cool. What’s the role you’re hiring for? 

Nicolas (04:21):

I’m hiring for our growth person, someone to run the relationship with our agency, we have a media agency called Brain Labs, those are mostly for acquisition marketing. And I would like someone to have that relationship. And then I’m looking for someone to help me with content, because a lot of what we do is it’s content, it’s VR, it’s foreign marketing. It’s things that require a person with that inclination. And at this point, that person is mostly me. So I would like to get a partner that will help me there. So those two roles are open, but there are more coming.

Alex (04:54):

It sounds exciting. I think that’s quite common in all the marketers I talk to is that, and why the FINITE community we’re running has, I think grown so strong is that even in quite big businesses, like B2B marketing function can be quite small and quite isolated. And I think it’s a common thread, but exciting that you’ve got a few highs on the horizon and things are growing, which is cool. So let’s dig into the topic. The word that we said needs redefining is ‘B2C-ification’. As I said, I guess I often see this as people describing a humanisation of B2B marketing. A number of ways and like slightly different angles of approaching it, but set the scene for us. Tell us kind of what it means from your perspective. 

What does ‘B2C-ification’ mean? 

Nicolas (05:36):

Sure. So the best way I have of explaining it is asking people to look at the big B2B enterprise companies, you know, the Salesforce and the Oracles of the world and how they do marketing. It’s very enterprisey. It’s a lot of stock photos and, you know, a lot of words that don’t really mean anything, and the latest buzz word. And GDPR is a big thing now. So let’s make a campaign about that, and bringing it back to how people behave, for me it’s about reverse engineering the sales process, and in companies that I’ve worked for historically marketing will work in one way and try to be two notches more corporate than they should be.

And sales on the other hand is just having human conversations about people’s pain points and, and there are different scales for how corporate your sales team will be. You know, you’re likely to be more corporate as a marketer, than sales is actually being so, so when you actually go and get engaged in those conversations and get involved and listen to those calls, we’ve become a big fan of, and see how customers talk about your product. It’s a lot more simpler than your marketing copy.

And then there’s the component of how people make purchasing decisions, even in complex sort of boardroom situations where you may need approval and buy in from five, six people, it’s usually one person that is driving the decision and everybody just needs to check boxes and your product team will do a great job of giving you sort of the logical proof that those five or six people are going to require to make the purchasing decision. But the one person that is actually driving the purchasing decision is making an emotional decision with your brand. 

And essentially what they need to do now is when you look at case studies, for example, the way we do case studies is very different from the way other B2B companies do case studies. And the way I do case studies in my previous role, that was a lot more corporate. I don’t want to put the emphasis on this is 10% ROI, or 100% ROI, or I don’t want to call me in straight away with top line KPIs. I want to give you a story about how we made an impact in the life of my target audience.

Alex (08:00):

We were talking just before that that approach of the focus on the persona seems to be the starting point, right? Like, would you say that’s the, to do this properly, that’s where it all begins is just really a deep understanding of target audience and persona and pain points and challenges? Cause it’s interesting that you say that the, and I’d never to be honest, maybe that’s a blind spot of my own, but I’d always assumed that maybe it was the sales side that was a bit more corporate and that actually, maybe, I don’t know, probably just my own bias, but thinking marketers were more in touch with deep understanding of personas. But I think the way you framed it actually makes sense, but is that, is that fair to say?

Nicolas (08:40):

I think marketers are better at making assumptions about personas. I think sales it’s just natural because sales are in the room all the time. So sales have the rapport and have the one-to-one relationship that marketing can aspire to have, but will never actually have, because they’re not in 100% of those conversations. So, so I think we’re better at thinking who may our ideal customer be, when it gets real and people are in the room, it’s always sales that is there. And we can only, we can be the fly on the wall if we’re able to listen in to those calls, but it’s never us having that conversation.

And I’ve had to humble myself as a marketer, because I thought that I knew better and I was just making assumptions. And when I make assumptions, 50% of the time, I’m wrong,

Alex (09:27):

This isn’t for everyone, this approach, right? Like I think as you point out, there’s a lot of big successful corporates in the tech space. The Salesforces, the Oracles, there are huge successful businesses and they don’t necessarily take this approach, but I guess there’s a risk that they set the direction, right? They set the tone for everybody else. And so if you’re a 30 person startup, you can see why a founder or a CFO or anyone else kind of leading a business might think we should do marketing like Salesforce, or we should do marketing like Oracle. So what if others in the business don’t agree with this approach? And have you run into that as a challenge? 

Trying to use an enterprise approach in a startup

Nicolas (10:06):

Oh, you’ll find that. I mean you should never try to market like Salesforce or Oracle because, you know, it’s just, it’s just not feasible. It’s a different scale. You know, it’s a different game. Sales people talk about this a lot that the CRO that will take you to 1 million ARR is not the same CRO that will take you to 10 million. And that’s not the same CRO that will take you to 25 million. And that’s not the same CRO that will take you to IPO. And with marketers, we sort of have the marketing stacks and strategies.

We have the feeling that the same strategy that brought me to 1 million, it’s going to bring me 25. It’s going to bring me to IPO and that’s not right. Personally, I feel like I’m better at the early stage when we get to 10 million ARR. Then I’m probably going to get dumped off. And that’s fine because my skill set just doesn’t translate to that level. But there are things that you can do when you have 100% brand recognition like Salesforce does, verses when you’re a 30 person startup.

And if you look at the way that Salesforce marketed themselves 30 years ago, and they were trying to break into the market, it’s a completely different playbook. For one, they didn’t have a marketing person, they would go door to door and sell. So it’s a completely different playbook. You know, the way I usually answer that question is it makes sense.

There’s a component of doing things differently, but the whole idea behind the startup that by definition is disruptive is that you’re going to do things different. So I don’t know why marketers struggle making that comparison, you know, most entrepreneurs, and we are assuming that that CEO, CFO is an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs come from a place of, maybe this is a better way of doing things, whether it’s a brand new way or, you know, a better mousetrap, we don’t know, but the energy is that and marketers have an opportunity to match that energy with their marketing strategy.

But look at if Oracle and Salesforce were great in the 90s and were high growth in the 90s and whatever, look at the companies, the new age, SaaS companies founded 2013, 2014 that are exploding now in IPO. And now look at how they do marketing. It’s completely different.

If you look at the Drifts of the world, you look at the Previews of the world, you look at the Gongs of the world. Gong just raised… they’re valued at two billion, they just raised 200 million, they’re exploding. The last round was a 10th of that and that was 18 months ago. And they have one of the most recognisable brands in SaaS. Why? Because they’re unique and they’re fiercely unique and unapologetically unique.

My favourite’s, Klarna. Klarna, what they do is they do buy now pay later services. So essentially they do credit. They will not like me if I did say they do credit, but they do an equivalent of credit, I’m not related to Klarna, I won’t get sued. And look at how they do marketing. Their best performing ad is Snoop Dog in a bed talking about how smooth payments are the bed is pink, everything around the bed is pink is silk. Okay. And there you have the biggest rapper of the 90s and still a very recognisable face in pop culture, telling you the payments with Klarna are very smooth. There is no chance that that would have happened 10, 20, 30 years ago, but Klarna is rewarded for having an unorthodox marketing playbook for a financial services company.

And when you talk to the CMO in Florida, he tells you if I talk to people, to my consumers and Klarna’s different, because they’re a business to business, to consumer company, they need to convince people on both sides. For who’re in B2B, it’s a bit simpler. So this is more of a consumer play that also attracts businesses right? If you talk to the CMO, the CMO will tell you, hey, if I talk to people about conversion rates and how with Klarna, you can increase your MRR and for consumers, it allows them to spend now and delay payments, and they talk about Klarna as a financial services company, people fall asleep, and he makes perfect sense. So he has to go that way.

I know there, and I know this is not B2B, so I’ll be brief with this one, Oatly has built a Oatly does oat milk, and they’re getting sued into not being able to say they’re oat milk. And now having to say, they are an oat drink, but they’ve built a marketing strategy around getting sued and getting PR whenever they get sued and counter attacking, even harder, doubling down on the campaigns that got them sued and it’s genius. So you have all these genius companies that are completely going left, and I don’t know about you, but I get a lot more excited about those. Then I get about the Oracles and the Salesforce of the world.

Alex (14:46):

Yeah. I agree. I guess, do you think that part of the reason behind this is that there’s so much like tactical marketing information out there now that if you sat down in front of a computer and you Google anything to do with a marketing discipline or approach or tactic, you’re probably gonna find like one HubSpot article that was written five years ago, and then like 50 others that have been written off the back of that one HubSpot article, all just trying to get traffic for SEO and all basically saying the same things. And there’s very little unique thinking out there, and it’s quite easy to get stuck in an echo chamber of the same advice on the same things from the same people and big MarTech companies and agencies sometimes are guilty too.

Is that part of the issue, like it’s just hard to break free? There’s all these, all these kinds of playbooks and advice, things that really are kind of just variations of the same piece of advice.

Innovation in a saturated market 

Nicolas (15:37):

Yeah. I feel like when those corporate companies became what they are today and they may or may not be living off momentum, like if you think something like Cisco, they live with momentum, right? Yeah. And when they were breaking into the market, the differentiator was technology. Right? And whenever I hear someone say what you said it sort of hurts my ego because I used to be that guy. I used to be that marketer that was extremely tactical, just focussed on being the best marketer I can be. And I’ve been in this job for six months working with e-commerce founders everyday.

And when you look at the breakdown of e-commerce brands, they have the same suppliers. They are grouped around the same vertical. So you’ll have a lot of brands doing bamboo toothbrushes and back massagers and things like that. So they’ll sell skincare products, they’ll be grouped around the same verticals all the time. So they’ll have 15, 20 competitors that they can manage, right? They’ll have the same suppliers, the same shipping lines, the same fulfilment systems, they’ll use the same channels for advertising. They’ll be targeting the same audiences on Facebook and Google, because there are only so many of those and they’ll have a similar level of sophistication. So my question is, how do you get a niche?

The only way to get a niche is branding and with technology, we’re not quite there yet. There’s a lot of innovation that can happen, but we’re going in that direction where brand and your go to market is not a differentiating factor anymore because everybody uses the same playbook, at least in marketing. And it’s very easy to fall in the trap of using the same playbook all the time. And there’s just not enough innovation on the marketing end versus like there is on the technology end. And so that, it is a product, but not only in marketing, but also in the ability to differentiate yourself on the product.

Alex (17:33):

I’m always keen with these podcast episodes that people feel like they can leave and take something with them and think about how they might implement something like this. I guess, are there things you’d recommend? Like having maybe been on this journey and it sounded like in the previous company before Wayflyer, you probably didn’t have as much of an opportunity to think in this way and the kind of more traditional enterprise space, but, you know, do you need to define a tone of voice document?

Do you need to, is there kind of a journey you need to take stakeholders on to say, like, this is how we talk about ourselves? And every time you produce a piece of content and you kind of compare it against some parameters or some guidelines on a more day to day basis, like how do you start to implement some of the things that are brilliant thoughts, but can easy to say, but harder to do?

How to implement innovative strategies

Nicolas (18:13):

Yeah. First step is you get a founder that gets marketed and that gets attention. That is the one most important factor in whether you’re going to be successful with this approach or not. You also have to do sort of the introspection and figure out what type of marketer you are. Because for me, it comes very naturally. I get very excited about thanks, including the lives of my customers. So for me, it’s very easy. If you’re more of a technical, data driven, introverted CMO, maybe there’s another playbook for you. There’s money to be made.

I don’t want it to come across as I think this is the only way to build a brand or build a business in 2020. It’s not, it’s a different approach, it’s one that works for me. And I see working for a lot of other CMOs in my situation, but it’s definitely not for everybody. I think, once those two steps were cleared, what we went through is a process of understanding how we sound and the role we need to play.

For us we serve founders that are extremely busy and running a business. You know, they have to wear a lot of hats. And I know we throw that word around a lot, but I don’t think anyone wears more hats than an e-commerce founder. You know, they’re the product designer and they’re the marketing guy and, you know, the fulfillments guy in the front lines and they’re having to manage their finances because they may not have an accountant. So they wear a lot of hats. So for us, we sat down and we said, okay, which role do we play? And we wanted to play a role, and what we came to is we want to enable founders, but we also want to motivate them.

We want to show them that there are things that they can do to improve their performance. And we do that through the couple of things that we know about, right? Finance and marketing. And we do that fairly well, but then there’s a component of motivation that we do, that it doesn’t get measured. It doesn’t have a KPI to it. But what we want to do is we want to encourage founders to keep on with their business, put more work into it because we’re giving them all these examples of successful people.

And it’s a similar playbook to what Shopify does to be, to be fair. You know, Shopify will put business owners in the forefront and I think it’s extremely smart. They have a reality show coming out, on one of the American networks that is essentially just a camera man following e-commerce founders around. And it’s produced by Shopify ventures. Tell me one B2B enterprise company that would be open to building a production company on top of their marketing team. I don’t know one. Shopify is doing it because they get where the new game is. They don’t want to be marketing teams. They want to be media companies. So that’s awesome.

But yeah, on more of the practical side, if you can sit down with people that are frontline, you know your product people, your sales people, your founders, and have an honest conversation about tone of voice and the way you speak and sort of the values that you want to push without saying something like we want to be friendly. I don’t know any company that doesn’t want to be friendly. But when you talk about closeness and how motivational you want to be, those are things that are a choice, that you can make.

So having the tone of voice conversation and grouping around values that will show up in your copy is extremely useful. And one thing that made it click for everybody is we went through the exercise of figuring out if we had unlimited budget, who would be Wayflyer’s speaker at a Keynote. If we could get them to, we a Wayflyer con with every e-commerce founder in the world who would do the keynote? Who would embody the brand’s values better than anyone else? And look, if Klarna did that exercise and they came up with Snoop Dogg? I love it.

Alex (22:14):

I noticed on your website, you have founder stories listed, which I really liked. I think a lot of companies would, would go with case studies as a terminology and you click on that page and you would see corporate logos, and you click on the founder stories page on your site and you see human faces and it lists the company name, but it talks about the founder and how they started. And tell us a bit about the thinking behind that.

Case studies as an example of ‘B2C-ification’

Nicolas (22:35):

Yeah, I mean, authenticity is at the core of that. I was just in a conversation an hour ago with a founder that is building a video review product and they started at B2B SaaS because they felt that was the place to be. And they quickly realised that it’s, it’s just not, I mean, companies want high production, want to have a properly produced video. And the guy’s idea is essentially, pull your iPhone out of your pocket and record a 60 second review with you using the product. And it just, it didn’t transfer. So he’s pivoting to e-commerce because he understands that B2C e-commerce is probably the best place for that because of authenticity.

And I would like to think that B2B is going to a place like that, where those really authentic case studies are valuable and are useful. I just don’t think the industry is there quite yet. The concept with founder stories, if you’ve been on the end of a case study call that comes after, first of all, how do you source the case study? The case study or the marketing, unless you have a lot of leverage during the contract negotiation process, the marketing clause is something that sales throws in to justify a discount. At least that’s my experience.

So starting from there, the client has no incentive other than they’ve signed on the dotted line to be in that conversation with you. Okay? So that sort of sets the table, right? So that’s not good. And then when you actually talk to them, they don’t want to talk about the ROI that your platform has given them, or the specifics about how great your on boarding team is. They want to talk about the impact that you’ve made in their lives. And when they talk about that, versus they talk about your mandated points, the conversation just flows different. Why? Because when you talk about their impact as a human, they know how to talk about that.

They don’t do the research on how much ROI your product has given them because their job is not to do your job for them, or for you. So it comes from that. And I’ve been on the other end of those case study calls and they’re always awkward and I hated hosting them and I hated doing them just because they’re not natural. So, going back to your point with what we’re doing with the founder’s stories is we’re not putting Wayflyer in the centre.

I just want to tell you about Dan, who has an eyewear company in Dublin. And I want to tell you how he started. He started out of his mom’s kitchen, essentially building and shipping glasses. And they weren’t graduated, so he would have to put the lenses on the thingies. And he did that for a while. And then he started advertising on Facebook and he scaled his business over time in 18 months. And now he’s in a place where he has actually a couple of retail stores, and he has a very solid business out of Shopify. And he’s been able to bring in a cofounder and he’s been able to hire people to do the fulfillment for him. So he can go back to what he really likes doing, which is the product design.

So he comes full circle and I’ll throw in how Wayflyer may or may not have helped in that process. But I want you to, if you’re working out of your mom’s kitchen and your sort of day 30 for Dan’s timeline, or whether you’re in year one, and you started your first retail store, or you’re in year two, and your Shopify sales are exploding. I want you to be able to relate to Dan because Dan went through the same troubles and problems and challenges that you did.

And that is a much more natural, much more human, much more powerful connection than a case study of Wayflyer because, you know, at the end of the day, and when it gets about the brand, nobody cares about what they’re buying, they care about what that thing that they’re buying is going to do for them and not feel like marketers. We’ve been very good at talking about that. But when it actually comes to putting pen to paper and writing that out and putting that feeling at the centre for marketing, we haven’t followed through.

Alex (27:06):

Flip side of this is that the nature of what you do means you have a lot of data on the companies that you work with in the e-commerce landscape generally. And I guess around marketing and marketing spend too. So this is maybe the slightly more dry and data-driven side of marketing media, but can you talk about how you use some of that data to kind of drive content marketing?

And I guess the kind of question that relates to this is we’ve talked a lot about the brand work, but brand on itself, I think when it’s underpinned by some of the more tactical marketing and the two work together as the perfect storm, right? And you can’t just do brand work that you can’t really do any attribution on, and you can’t really report on without doing some of the more data driven stuff too. So is it a combination of both, that needs to be kind of balanced out?

How can data drive content marketing?

Nicolas (27:52):

Yeah. At the end of the day, your brand is the collection of what people think about every asset that you’ve put out. And that’s maybe an ad, or it may be a piece of content, a blog post, a video, a podcast, anything that you’re doing, it’s the collection of all of that. So everything that I’ve talked about and alluded to in the first, I guess, 20 minutes of this podcast, that’s all the heart and soul behind everything we do.

But then in the topic of content marketing specifically, let me tell you how I sort of got to the idea, and then I’ll tell you what the idea is, right? As part of our sales process, part of my morning routine is listening to sales calls and an on boarding call that we do is we have one of our data scientists, very smart numbers people, we have them break down the accounts and performance of our clients. And just as value add, just for being a Wayflyer client, we’ll give you four to six hours of analytics and marketing consulting that will give you the tactical roadmap for the next 90 days, in terms of optimisations, new channels, things that you can do to perform better and to spend your budget more efficiently. Right?

So what I did for the first month that I was here is I sat on a bunch of those calls and I listened to every other call that I could slide into. And, when you’re sitting in that call, you’re not the presenter, so you can observe, right? And, we have maybe a 10 slide deck with different things around what I just referred to. And there’s one slide in that deck that people pay complete attention to. And you can tell just by looking at people’s size, especially through Zoom and Hangouts, which is where we’re running most of our business now.

And I guess 99% of companies are in the same boat with us. There’s one slide where you see their eyes go the biggest. And that is the one slide where we compare their performance against their peers in our bathroom, right? That was the one that they care. We give them all the tactical advice in the world, you know, got 20% out of your conversion campaigns put into consideration, install your Google tracking pixel. And this way we can give them all of that.

But the ones that they care the most about it is the one that benchmarks their performance against their peers, right? So this concept that they’ve sort of run into, mixed with marketing’s ability to catch those things without hearing them, or having sales or analytics tell us, allows us to say, okay, how can we take that concept and take it to volume and do it in an efficient way. So now, when you sign up to Wayflyer, you’ll get a weekly email. And at the bottom of the email, the bottom 50% will be your classical newsletter, right?

It will be things like my latest blog post and any piece of news, any coverage that we may have gotten, any video series that we may be doing on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, things that you would expect in a marketing newsletter, but the top is your performance for the last week. If you’ve connected your accounts to Wayflyer you’re at that stage versus your peers. But otherwise, if I know which vertical you work in, which I’m very likely to do, I’ll tell you how your peers converted, right? And what I’ll do right underneath if I don’t have your data yet, I’ll ask you to activate your account so I can compare every week, your performance with your peer.

The result: 70, 80% open rates on our call contacts. Why? Because they use that as their weekly benchmarking to know, hey, am I doing well? Or am I not? And most importantly, Hey, I’m doing better. Is that because of me? Or is it the market? Which is something that marketers tend to ignore for some reason. And I think I know why, which is sometimes it doesn’t make us look good because we don’t have full control of the market. Right?

But when you see something like COVID in March where all of a sudden CACs plummet, and they go, hey, is it the AB testing that I did? Is it me trying this new channel? Is it this new creative that I put forward, or is it just the market? Right. And we can answer that question, give me 15 minutes. I’ll check how your peers are doing. I’ll check how the average e -commerce companies are doing and I’ll push that to you. Right? So that’s what we’re doing on email.

And we think about email as a distribution of content marketing in many ways. But for content marketing in particular, there are a lot of newsletters out there that break down best opening pages or best emails or best Facebook creatives, right? And there will be an expert that will break down exactly why he expects those creatives to work. Right. What I can do is I can go to my data. I can pull up the 10 Facebook creatives, Facebook ads that have the best return on ad spend, and I can send them to you in a newsletter. Hey, out of the hundreds of companies that use Wayflyer, these are the 10 best performing ads for the month. And I use my marketing expertise to give you some context on why I think they’re working, right?

Which is a much more valuable thing than just saying, hey, these are five tips that you can use to optimise on Google or here is 5, 10 things that you can do to improve your email marketing deliverability or things like that that are broad. That probably all comes from the same HubSpot post from 5 years ago. I can tell you what it’s working like. And every business has an advantage like that, that they can use.

Gong is a company that does this very well. And they’ve started doing it recently. And my beef with them is a problem that many, many marketers share, but they do something very smart, they have a lot of sales, analytics data. So they’ll do things like comparing the close one rates of deals, where the representative has sweared or swore deals, where both people swore and deals where nobody swore. And you see that when everybody swears the close rates just go through the roof, right?

So that’s very smart, very interesting data that you can take. And maybe that’s not actionable, but it’s very interesting, but they’ll have 20 or 25 concepts that are highly actionable for their customer base and their potential customer base that comes from their data. Now, my beef with Udi who’s the CMO at gong is that, hey Udi, the correlation and causation are different things brother. They’re swearing because they have that rapport because they have that human connection that allows them to swear and makes them more likely to want to do business together. So that’s the correlation point. And he says, hey, a million people saw that post. I don’t care, just because it’s extremely interesting. It’s extremely relevant. It’s extremely actionable. And it gets people sharing.

Alex (34:54):

Yeah, I think that’s great. I’ve followed gong on LinkedIn too and Udi I think, yeah, it’s a constant stream of interesting insights. I guess I’m just conscious of the time, but to wrap up, are there any other examples? Obviously, Dave Gerhardt is now at Privy and you mentioned Privy earlier and he’s always done some great stuff, but is still doing some great stuff, at Privy too.

Gong I think are leading the way, at least on my LinkedIn feed, but yeah, are those kind of the main ones? You mentioned Drift too, anyone else that you think people should check out and keep an eye on?

Nicolas (35:21):

Klarna, I’m a big fan of those guys. Wayflyer. I’m a big fan of those guys. Yeah. I think those are the ones that come to mind.

Alex (35:28):

Yeah. Klarna was one of my favorites. When I think at one point you went on the home page of their website and there was a pink dog of some kind with really long hair, like running along in a slow motion video. And yeah, it makes you think most businesses in the financial services space would never be anywhere, even close to that kind of round led marketing. But it’s pretty powerful.

Nicolas (35:46):

Tell me what does that have to do with a financial services company that allows you to buy now and pay later? Nothing. But we all remember that. It does the same with Snoop dog in the bed. And I remember that, that’s the value of a brand.

Alex (36:02):

Absolutely. Well, it’s been a pleasure talking. I think there’s a lot there. I think you’ve got some awesome views that are pretty refreshing for a lot of the B2B tech marketing space. And I hope that I think everyone else listening will agree with me, but a big thank you for your time.

Nicolas (36:15):

I appreciate it. It’s a pleasure.

Alex (36:18):

Cheers, Nic.

FINITE  (36:21):

Thanks for listening. We’re super busy at FINITE building the best community possible for marketers working in the B2B technology sector to connect, share, and learn. Along with our podcast, we host a series of online discussions, so make sure you head to finite.community to subscribe and keep up to date with upcoming events.