Meet Ralf Paschen, Chief Marketing Officer of xtype. My latest guest discussed product marketing, sales enablement and agile marketing in this podcast discussion.
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How many times have you read a company’s marketing and thought – they’re not talking to a customer; they’re talking to themselves.
This is especially prevalent in B2B. I’ve seen this on homepages, landing pages, print ads, in press releases, and on and on.
I started my career as a copywriter and then worked in sales enablement. So I – it is tempting to write for the person signing your check.
But where the revenue for that check really comes from is the customer. Always write for the customer.
As our latest guest put it in his podcast guest application – ‘Outside-in messaging is the important factor for success.’
To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories, I talked to Ralf Paschen, Chief Marketing Officer, xtype.
The venture-backed startup just announced $10.8 million in growth funding. Paschen uses five to 10 artificial intelligence and automation tools to run his department.
Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.
Some lessons from Paschen that emerged in our discussion:
Paschen was in Enterprise Sales and all he got was feature presentations. Not something you can sell value or get higher on the customer side to drive bigger deals. So he created his own slides to explain features in a different way of what the value is and why they should choose his company. Product Marketing was not a department at that time and therefore Product Management was driving the sales enablement and messaging.
The lesson was to speak the language of the customer, define the right target person and speak about the value for this persona. This is outside-in messaging.
When you are young you know almost everything better than anybody else in private and business life. In business life you need to learn how to trust each other and try to get as much help as possible from other colleagues in sales or marketing. From his time in Sales, he learned that the lonely wolf is not the winner in sales. It is the player who asks for help in all areas to help to close the deal. Same in marketing.
Use external consultants and freelancers as they know their job better than you. Just trust and see how it works out. Learn from it and adjust accordingly.
Agile development started this approach and Paschen believes this works for other departments as well. He believes this should be the way to go forward in marketing. Try something, use data to make decisions, fail fast with the campaign and adjust and learn from it. No finger pointing. Just get the team behind and run with it. Be open to an error culture and let people make mistakes. This is what drives an agile marketing department, but you need to have data insights for almost everything you do.
Paschen also shared lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with.
via Michelle Fitzpatrick, Advisor, UC4
In another example of outside-in messaging, Fitzpatrick started the idea of a Product Marketing department and wanted Paschen on board from a sales perspective to give feedback to the product teams and work closely with customers.
via Chris Boorman, Former CMO, Automic
Boorman gave Paschen the tools and ideas for how to run an effective marketing department and get something running fast. He showed Paschen how effective marketing is powered by full data insights.
While working together, they used an approach to their product growth and product lines advocated by Geoffrey A. Moore in the book ‘Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and selling disruptive products to mainstream customers.’
He also gave Paschen the idea of being a CMO in the future.
via Craig Beddis CEO of Hadean
Beddis taught Paschen how to sell a vision and define a strategy for a company. He also made Paschen aware of how important it is to make decisions.
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Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.
Ralf Paschen: You start learning lesson for him was to get out of the situation, to be running out of money, to listen to others how they did not because he was an Austrian guy who was not international. He was not international very well known. So how to deal with it? And he has to learn how to listen to others that potentially can help him to rescue the company.
And that's what he did. He trust put the all to trust and others got induced to help from others to get the company over the fence. At the end, the company got sold to several investors. One was called out, the other one was it contained and sold to CAA. So it was very successful at the end.
Intro: Welcome to How I Made it in marketing from Marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host, the senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa Daniel Burstein, to tell you about today's guest and.
Daniel Burstein: How many times have you read a company's marketing and thought, They're not talking to a customer, they're talking to themselves. This is especially prevalent in B2B. I've seen this on home pages, landing pages, print ads and press releases, and on and on. I started my career as a copywriter and then work in sales enablement. So I get it.
You know, it's tempting to write for the person who's signing your check, but really where the revenue for that check ultimately comes from is the customer. So always write for the customer or as our next guest put it in his podcast guest application. Outside in messaging is the important factor for success. So true. You're just hear the story behind that lesson along with many more lesson filled stories.
Ralf Passion, Chief Marketing Officer of X-Type. Thanks for joining us, Ralph.
Ralf Paschen: I greatly share and be with you. Hi Daniel.
Daniel Burstein: So let's take a just super quick look at your background, long and storied career and just cherry pick a few roles here. Business Director of Enterprise Sales for Novell, Vice President of Product Marketing for CA Technologies, Global head of marketing for Broadcom. And as I mentioned, for the past eight months, you've been the CMO of X-Type. X-Type just recently announced $10.8 million in growth funding.
And at X-Type Ralph uses he mentioned we're talking about team size and he's like, Hey, I'm using AI and I'm using automation these days. Let's talk about that. You mentioned to use about 5 to 10 automation tools every day. So, Ralph, you're you're on the bleeding edge then of artificial intelligence use. I appreciate that. Give us a sense what is your day like as CMO of X-Type?
Ralf Paschen: I'm not sure on daylight of everything, but at least I try to be honest. So what you said to pick a role of a of a marketing person, I stick on what's what's the newest on. So my, my, my typical day day business is because I'm driven by data and data insights. So I want to know exactly what's working, what's working.
And I'm really dealing with that every day. So I want to know what fails, what what need to be learned from the campaign, and not just sitting there for six months, which is typical marketing approach, single for six months. Let's see what happened. Spent 300 K for this company and let's see what but the outcome was. No, you have to make fast decisions on on marketing these days, especially in the start up now.
Daniel Burstein: Great. So you're constantly in there looking real time. How are these campaigns performing? Optimizing real time shifting things around that sound?
Ralf Paschen: Yes, exactly. That's exactly the gameplay. Yes.
Daniel Burstein: Perfect. All right. Well, let's take a look at some lessons we can learn from the things you made in your career. I like to say that's a great thing that we as marketers can do, right? We make things. I've never been anything else like a podiatrist or a statistician or something, but I feel like we get to make things that everyone does.
So let's take a look. Your first lesson you mentioned outside in messaging is the important factor for success. Kind of mentioned this in the opening. How did you learn this lesson?
Ralf Paschen: I'm it's it's it's based on my career philosophy. I was a customer before so I was a customer right now in the data center, running a data center. So I know exactly how many people are trying to sell something to me. And also some features to me, which I'm not interested in. So same sale. So I did the most friendly to sell the value I mentioned.
This is director and the gameplay was all about how to sell to a company in enterprise level a $6 million deal. It's not based on features that is a value based selling, and it's value based selling is exactly what I'm looking for outside in messaging. So when you do messaging to a customer, don't talk about your features, Don't talk about how great this green button on top right on your screen is.
Nobody cares to be honest with you. And don't try to do this as marketing because you fail as well. So for me, it's value based selling its value based messaging, and that's exactly the gameplay for are you talking the customer story? And that's what I give my whole team and everybody who works with me in a clear understanding have an outside in messaging, which means talk the language of the customer.
That's the gameplay I'm looking for. Since almost not 25 years.
Daniel Burstein: Can you give us an example of how you're able to do that in one instance or for example, of doing customer first marketing, for example, like customer first marketing is something that we talk about a lot because a lot of times companies there do that not only because they don't know the right words of the customer, but sometimes they don't.
They kind of don't care enough. They're focused on their company's agenda. Right? And when I heard about this, they use an example of fiduciary duty, fiduciary responsibility. There was a big debate in the U.S. I don't know if that's international, but there is a big debate in the U.S. of whether financial advisors and consultants had to have a fiduciary duty to their customers, which essentially meant legally that they put their customers interest first.
And it just blew my mind as a marketer. Right? You're saying we're a financial advisor, Give us your money. And oh, by the way, we're publicly lobbying not to put your interests first, right? So the marketer blew my mind. So do you have an example in your career or have you had to work on customer first marketing to do that outside in messaging to put that customer first?
Ralf Paschen: Yeah. And if sales again, starting, if the sales approach to getting into getting to a higher level, let's say if you want to go everybody to sales wants to go to sea level costs, they know the money sits there to see if or to see how they pick and choose to see most estates because you have marketing tools accessible, we are the kind of buyer for almost everyone.
What attracts me, it doesn't trick me a total feature. What attracts me is how do you help me to get to my pipeline? More deals, more leads, more stuff, more running, more running deal stuff. That's the gameplay I care about. So if you talked with me, a language by tools feature something like that, maybe I'm not interested in that game.
So there was there was a game player in the lead and in Diniz it started not talking about features anymore. Just just get to value based selling. What's the value of the persona and the gameplay is about find the iconic iconic buyer. Find a technical buyer and potentially a technical influencer. And it's called the Peace Feed A Problem Solution Benefit Statements.
Which problem? I am very well known for my you it's not a it's not an old department existing since many many years. This is in 1012 years existing departments you can ask broad market is this is your job what's the competition? What's relevant for this for this person I so the whole company needs to need to understand. That's the persona to be targeting.
That's the kind of buyer, that's a technical buyer. Best case you have taken an influencer like an architect, IPR tech, something like that. But you need to know what attracts them. You need to have the right content for the right people at the right time. So this means in which stage the content is which said you use it.
What else is on a market is if you speak the language about any content buyer, you have also the sales people talk the language that only marketing. It's a go to market approach. So the product people, the marketing people, the salespeople have to work in one language. So it is a kind of buyer to the second buyer and it's the game, but it's a full approach for companies trust marketing.
That's not enough. All of it has to run the same messaging. One voice of the customer sounds easy. It's not because a company is. It's quite hard to get everybody aligned to game and in start ups. I can tell you, most people in startups and most progressing to startups were trying to go to the enterprise. They're doing it wrong because they're not stating clearly who's the buyer, What's the buyer persona for me?
Who is the buyer? Who gets the budget? Who is the owner who runs the process? Nobody tells you that right now. So this the gameplay. First find out with who's the buyer For my product. Product market, it was the buyer for my product. And what's the problem? Step in their PSP, which gives you a clear value prop value proposition because all three works together as a value proposition.
If you have a clear defined with all teams together, free day session, all the workshop outcome, we have a piece B, we know the buyers, you know, developer problem now run on your cost after six months, but you run it and then let's see how this sticks. That's the gameplay. You get into that. To do that, you need to understand outside in, you need to speak to language and potentially an electronic consultants to help you with that.
If you're in the financial industry, maybe you should ask for some financial people to help. You have the language to figure it out on your own. Could be quite hard, to be honest with you.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, And so that's one of your other lessons. Trust and Learn from others. And you were mentioning sometimes is others are external consultants, freelancers, these type of folks. So how did you learn this lesson?
Ralf Paschen: It's a story which is longer, a long ago, but I'm very happy with that. So we had a CEO and I started in my my, my first first company after Novell else and sales to CEO. What's I think that the company was size 8090 100 people you always run into risk got shut down because run out of money it made he made money which way but it got to grow fast.
Too fast and potential too much hires. You run twice in the same problem, potential running out of money. And we didn't know that. He told me that in two years later and in a moment when he talked with me on a you know, in a bar talking with me about this whole thing, he said the learning lesson for him was to get out of the situation of be running out of money, listen to others how they did that, because he was an Austrian guy who was not international.
He was not international, very well known. So how to deal with it. And he has to learn how to listen to others that potentially they can help him to rescue the company. And that's what he did he trust, put the all to trust in others. Got and to help from orders to get the company over the fence. At the end, the company got sold to several investors.
One was called, the other one was it contained and sold to S.A. So it was very successful at the end. But the reason was he trusted and listen to others. And that's for some of my my lessons I learned from that. Something is very important. A very valuable lesson taught us, if you don't know this, if you don't know this area, for example, financial, if you don't know this area of marketing, maybe ask others.
You learn from it. You trust this works, and then your letter from it and you give the trust back to your team. They learn from it as well, and that's the gameplay. Trust. To learn from others is a big it's a big approach and management on my own team and also learn from others is a big approach to learn from others.
External consultants always tell people outside of CMOs and in the business.
Daniel Burstein: Okay, so I mean, I agree at a high level, like in hindsight it's a good thing to say too. But when you're talking about external consultants, how do you find and pick and partner with the right external consultants that you really can trust? Because let me tell you, I mean, anyone who has been in a pitch from consultants or anyone has even been earlier in the sales funnel when you know, they're just reaching out to you on LinkedIn.
So whatever they're doing, I mean, they will promise you the moon. And, you know, I'm sure everyone's also had an experience where they trusted a consultant and got burned or just, you know, the consultant gave them information, but there's nothing they can really execute on. It was nothing that really had an impact on the business. Right. All sounded good in theory.
But in practice, where the rubber meets the road, it didn't really work out. Right. So. So how is there anything you do when you're selecting an external consultant or vendor in general to know, okay, how do you find that right person, that trust or that right group? That right team?
Ralf Paschen: Yes, I do. They are. I agree. If you they're not only promising to me, no matter promises to the universe if needed. So it's all good. But my point is a different one. So first of all, you can test consultants. So if I have an experience which I use a lot now to use others to give me references of consultants, let me show their work.
Okay, So I ask typically excellent consulting, show me to work at it and let me talk to somebody else. It's like a like an interview. Be honest with you, because it's an it's like an interview being hired. It's like an external consulting. If he references I can talk with about my project Predictor, and this gives you already a kind of 56% chance that there's a good chance that you can hit the wall and just make that happen.
This project. So this the first thing I asked him for references or asked somebody in your network, because this is a big important part of CMOs in my mind to build a network you can ask for and ask others, What do you think? Do you have an idea how we can use? So this the way we also found our HubSpot consulting company, which is awesome because I ask somebody else for a reference, Can you give me a reference who integrated with you with this thing and did it?
And we tested it because it gives a little project to leave it more. Sure, you get more days, you would pay less. It's fine, but we test that. I'm not putting my whole money on one consulting company for 12 months and just have a problem to find another one because you could not deliver that. You start with small project, you'll see how they deliver.
Project mentioned project delivery in time. All this, all this you know, this fancy things you can can monitor and watch. That's what we do. So don't trust 100%. Don't deliver me the universe. Just leave me the little country. Okay? First, before we told me they couldn't deliver me the whole universe. So you have to be careful. But that's how you build trust.
If this is not working to the next one, enough on there. But if I go with one I trust, put him as his teaching partner in my game cause I'm not going away. So I'm a very I'm sitting with a partner for a long time and I tell them, if you're doing a good job, I'm sitting with Sure.
For a long term approach, not for a short term. Just get into it as to it is three or four or five days or half year and then out I'm sitting there for a long term. That's what I told him. So don't promise me, don't ever promise me anything. Tell me what you can do. And this gives already a clear understanding where I can go with them.
And this gives me a clear understanding They understand it or not. That's the way you can get. The rubber is hard to hit the rubber on the road. That's the way it is. Test them, test them. Good references. Talk with someone who did projects with them. The best insights you can get.
Daniel Burstein: Great. And I think that that idea too, of doing like kind of a proof of concept of them at trial ties into your next lesson. You say fail fast, fix fast, learn fast. So have you done this in your career?
Ralf Paschen: Okay, so this first of all, I'm coming from a deaf space. So I did tenure stuff ups, especially in Saybrook on the topic. What is if Gardner Forrester and one of two H on mythologies in development is fail fast fix fast run fast on a thought about if just works in software development, why doesn't work in marketing? Why?
Why we're all scared about failing. Okay, so I'm not scared about failing. I love to fail, Castle. I know that don't overspend money on too much to something. Too much on something. And exactly what I'm doing. The series I've said from the beginning, I look in the data costs. Data tells me quickly I'm successful if it are not already a little bit more running costs.
We see peaks and error running perfectly fine, but not the way we want it to be. So let's see, we kind of just leave it more on this game, maybe spend a little bit more on it. So fail fast means got an error culture in the team. Get our culture to you can make errors just cost correct and learn from it.
So that's the game plan problem. Ultimate is if you're doing if you're doing something wrong, you create the buck in your software, You fail fast, but you're supposed to fix it wherever you are. If you be in a Caribbean island, it's a devolver It's still your responsibility to make it up and then learn from it. Don't do it a second time.
For me, this is a big topic in marketing because marketing is all about we creating projects, running it for six months after six month. We are reviewing what's was it a great approach? Invite this divide my mind. Elsa Sales Marketing Totally because self sees the outside in messaging marketing something for six months. They were so happy with all this glancy you know, fliers and all that shots and they don't nobody, nobody reads it.
Nobody watches it. Nobody get tons of downloads. And the spending on it, they get tons of downloads. It wasn't for paper. Doesn't say anything to me. It's a download for paper. Did somebody read up to page six or page seven at all? Do you know what? I know we don't, but we get downloads. That's a fail for me already.
So, guys, how do you get out of this? How do you how do you why you don't know what people are doing with it, Why you don't know are reading people people reading this by the end. But if who is that? Who's reading that? We have a leak. Get in place. We need to leak. Okay. Can we figure it out?
Different way of getting people in and understanding that. So for me to fail fast, fix a fix fast and learn first approach is totally marketing team I set up since the beginning. I want them to fail fast and learn from it because if you create new e-book, you don't know if this works. Seemed like you create content, you know that you don't know if works.
It's it looks Clancy and fancy and all the stuff and it's the best commercial. Nobody watches it. Tons of people downloading it. Nobody reads it. You say it yourself writing a success six months later on the sales kickoff and sales tells you this is not that great. Just telling you that now, six months later. So they spent maybe a million, maybe six on account of campaign and you don't know anything about it.
That's the gameplay of marketing seen sometimes as a T-shirt department or this kind of fancy swag and t shirt and event department instead of being a part of the sale. So learn from that. That's my game plan. Fail fast means listen to sales as well. Okay, all of it.
Daniel Burstein: Can you share any specific examples of where this happened in your career and you talk about agile development? Oh, yeah. You know, Waterfall was the previous development, right? The challenge was it was less iterative. Agile was that idea. Like you said, you're, you're learning. So I'll give you a quick example, I think. And I interviewed Julian Rio, the assistant vice president, international marketing for RingCentral on how I made it marketing.
One of his lessons was take risk, fail early, learn Fast, kind of a similar lesson. And he talked about the key thing for him as a leader is how he plans his budget. Right? One of the key things and he takes the Perito principle, 80% goes his bread and butter, 20% goes to, like you said, those things where I'm going to I'm going to experiment.
Like if I'm never failing, I've never really pushed the envelope, I'm going to experiment. So for you, I mean, how do you manage in an agile way, a marketing department, or have any specific examples how this came up in the past?
Ralf Paschen: Yeah, I could tell it from my product budgeting experience because I started in a part of my career, so I moved in from sales into marketing because of the arts and in messaging was required by the advisor, let's say by the investor that time to ask me to do that. And the fun part that, you know, we wanted to be a funny conversation.
So I ask the first question, why should I leave sales and not be successful in self? Why should it be a marketing? And she said something very good advice at that time. She said something very interesting. I still have to see my mind's almost ten years ago. She said, You want to use the other side of the brain as well?
Yes. So you should go marketing. And so I get you crazy part of the game. It's all running that only the money number and the money crunching side of the of the brain. So that was funny. So she set that for you. And that attracted me, by the way. So we used the whole brain, not just one part of it and the gameplay.
For me, I can tell you that when I got in front of marketing, I got a task for running a campaign stop and I was very specific. So success of Oracle is called Oracle Financial Automation. We did this very well. We did. We had a solution place and he said to me, build a campaign as a financial organization.
So it's a PDR vendor, counterpart of irregular time is that we have a product for that. Yeah, I know, but let's run the campaign on I my biggest mistake, my biggest mistake at the time was to say, no, we're not doing it. Doesn't make any sense to me to run that. So we train sales, we train the marketing team.
We trained everybody and say as a pure financial automation to get everything running. And we could also customer interested but could not deliver. So at that time I should say, shut it down, okay, I didn't I didn't do that. It was a big mistake because I had to deal with that for two years in a row instead of running this time in three or four months.
Guys, you cannot deliver against the wishes from the customer. We have risk potential damage of the company by doing that. Okay. We we will build something when this is coming up. Knowing that building something quickly. We knew this is running out because of marketing campaign is successful. So the fun part is the campaign was successful, but it was still a fail because we could not deliver as a company.
So for me there was a clear fail in all directions, not only marketing else and sales and the product side of our efforts to go to market. And to be honest with you, that wasn't one of my biggest mistakes. I did not take that lesson to it from my heart. Fail fast, fix fast, learn fast, fix fast. What In this case, shut it down, Shut it down, Learn from it.
Don't do it again. Okay. And that was something which hit me very, very hard that I did not do that. And I can tell you this. My if my knowledge today, if I did this fix fast and try and learn and fix fast, fail, fast, fail five six has left us now. We got it. If this approach if this approach I would never ever start to complain that that's a big learning for me.
So yes, there is always something behind a story. Why you think enough things? Because you learn it a different way and you learn it hard because you know how it's like a kid. Don't touch, don't touch it. It's hot. We touch it because it's hot. As a kid, it's like the same like you experience something, you touch it.
But I'll let my people or the teams or the teams, I'll report to me, I'll let them touch that. Is that it's hot. Try that. If you get around this, fine, then. If not, fix it and then learn from it. Don't do it again. So I let them to our culture to learn from it. Cause I. I did not say no to my team all the time.
And I should say no from the beginning. There was a fail for me. That's the game. So it's kind of learning behind a story. They're more adult, more than one story, and I'm happy about every every, every fail I'm happy with because this gives me a clear understanding. We understand our job.
Daniel Burstein: And then and then we all get to learn from it, too. So thank you for sharing it. That brings up a fascinating question. So in a fast moving companies, in startups, in technology companies, there is often a push to try to market and sell things that aren't necessarily fully baked yet. Maybe we'll sell it and we'll get services to come in and, you know, finish developing the other 50% of it once we sell it or, you know, you're just moving quick as a company, you're trying to add an AI and automation, whatever it is.
So is there something you do as a marketer to kind of vet out how ready you think, how big you think something is, and when it is ready to go to market, like as you're working with the rest of the company because as you mentioned, you know, there's all these different touch points you were mentioning before that we have that the customer has with the company.
So, yes, everyone has to be on the same page and communicating the right thing. But at the end of the day, we're responsible for the brand. We're responsible for how the company is perceiving the marketplace. The product has to deliver, right? It has to deliver whatever value proposition we state. So have you learned anything in your career? You have a more technical background, maybe some other marketers of how to kind of vet out This is this is ready for ready to go to market.
Ralf Paschen: Yeah. So what I'm what I'm doing okay one of my approaches the series I'm not I'm not a CMO for early early early pre pre precede startups because the question the MVP minimum viable product first what are what are we delivering potentially MVP goes away you remember MVP is just a test the market not a PMF products not a product market product.
So it's not really solving a problem. It's just finding the way off. We know we have a potential, but let's do a MVP and let's see if you can. You can go from there. It's just an experiment thing. I'm not typical that kind of level because I start with a PSP. What's the problem? What's the solution for the benefit then?
BP is good enough for that. Typically out of that, that's just an experimenting and maybe go left right and taught that you can't do marketing with DOT is just put your features idea because marketing means you stick on a message. You're on the message for at least six months and you cannot change it. Every dollar doesn't work. It just doesn't work because it Oh, do we doing this?
It's just kind of the I explained live the squirrel on the tree squirrels. Now they are still this up there. I'll just put it on. You can do marketing this way. It doesn't work. It just doesn't work that do feature marketing to appeal to a product product like growth, putting on something else, that's okay. I'm not worried about it, but what I'm going is, is value based selling enterprise.
So this is my approach. And as a CMO, I'm running enterprise, so I'm running enterprise business, which means higher, higher deal sales. I got a clear fire pass on a clear problem. There could be an MVP. I'm not I'm the question. That was a problem. I said MVP could be there, but less than an MVP, that's a problem because then it's a feature thing and then you're talking about the free K deal, two K deal, one K deal.
And my question is, why do you need marketing for that? Right? Then just do somebody can do something. Could be that dead owner or some help from external consulting or agency can do that. Look the website the set of features coming from, but you don't need a clear marketing strategy behind the store. You don't because marketing means for me, you run a full problem solution benefit, which gives you a value prop with clear buyer personas and in your brand marketing for six months, not changing every time the messaging costs.
Now the whole company is on the left tree under top, tree under right tree on the below and the bush on the side. It doesn't work. It's clear to find messaging, and that's what you get as a branding out there, because how do you get branding out there with absolutely no clear messaging? What does the brand stand for?
We don't know where ever the scroll goes, right? Doesn't make any sense to me. So people are people have tend to add marketing into the game. Wait, really? Like this is not marketing at that level. They're doing this way too early and if you're ready, you're in between MVP dog. You know potentially exactly what the problem not 100% what the problem is because you need to figure out in a start getting product marketing people in place, which is for me to first hire for doing a product metrics, providing what's a competition, get your client incentive to competition, what's the market clear?
What's going to see that it's funny. The point is the point is for me, get to understand, get the understanding what's possible in the market, what's the competition? What are they doing? Do we want to do Marketing can help us deal messaging. I don't have to worry about that. If somebody else is great in marketing or not competition, it's not that you should only be better than competition if you come to a to product level.
So you to go to goal of marketing is not to be only number one. There's nobody else. The at least one of the top three. That's your gameplay and being part of that P.O.S. the customer side. So that's what you're striving for. And then be better in this, be better pre-sales, be a product, not a consulting gig for the next 12 months.
That's the gameplay for, for the whole thing. And that's what I look into when I go into marketing and watch startups. That's their main problem. Most investor, most most startup CEOs don't know their PMS, don't know the product or their product, the PCV, their penis, their product market. They don't know and else they're not there. Know their piece.
BE And do they need help with that? Absolutely. But sometimes it's too early because they don't know where they're going with the product. So for example, odds are odds are easy. Daniel Yes. You need a pimp for an MVP to actually solve a problem, something which is their right.
Daniel Burstein: Right. And just real quick to build what you're saying with the squirrel problem, I assume you're talking about that because there's only so many opportunities You have to break through the noise to get through the customer. And if you keep telling a different message each time, you're not really going to sit in the customer's mind. Is that kind of one of the reasons with the scroll problem of like kind of just shooting all over the place about what's changing, what the value proposition?
Ralf Paschen: Yeah, you can see this is self as well. I was taught in sales, you're throwing stones, hopefully hit the right buyers and hopefully you get the right message to the buyer. That doesn't work. Potentially the market that's up. This is something I think of was force management, which it's a big company in sales training. So I would think like you have a wall in front of you and you being the sales guy somewhere behind a wall is the buyer, you know, to first you throw the first, don't trust messaging, you don't hit him second, second stone fruits don't attention.
The buyer is gone because it doesn't listening to you behind the wall anymore because it's got he doesn't care about you anymore because you change messaging all the time. So what are you solving? What are you solving from sales, Right? You have this problem. Guess hot marketing which don't know to buyer how marketing has this problem. Because if they're changing all the time what are what I what does your brand stand for.
That's a huge problem in the market if you're not changing all the all the directions all the time is this I know it's more a picture of this girl, but you know, I screw runs around the trees. The same thing in marketing if it's the sales already has supplanted they've got three different messaging the same buyer out and you don't know what you stand for post marketing.
Doing that without knowing the customer, which is anonymous member is unknown. Minus sign up for something. I get them more like a PDF, like whatever is anonymous. If you change message to the same person all the time again, maybe it makes no sense to do marketing. Exactly.
Daniel Burstein: Well, think so. Ralph. The shared some lessons that he learned from the things he made in marketing in just a moment. Going to ask him about some of the lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with. That's a great thing we get to do as marketers, not just make things. We make them with other people. But first, I should mention that the how I made it in Marketing podcast is underwritten by McLeod's Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa.
You can get 10,000 marketing experiments working for you with a free trial of the Mech Labs I guild at Mech Labs dot com slash I that's MSE lab, ask.com slash AEI. All right. So let's as a mentor, let's talk about some lessons you learned from people you collaborate with. You said nothing counts more than the language of the customer.
You learned this from Michelle Fitzpatrick, an advisor for U.S. for this is something we've been talking about. I think this is how you first broke from sales to marketing, right? Was was part of this lesson for Michelle.
Ralf Paschen: That she's the lady who brought up that thinking about U.S. Auto side of the brain. She was that lady. And I'm very happy about that, that she did that with me. She was very the advisor. I think she was an SVP of Oracle at that time or before that time. So she got all dot insights off sales, how to sell, how to talk with the customer.
I did as well, and I didn't understand what she wants from beginning because I was successful. SALES So why should I move? And then she explained it to me, I need you to train and teach people inside of the company how to talk this language because they don't know. They're talking about the future. They're talking about a feature presentation.
That's what's affected the gameplay. What I got as enterprise sales was a feature presentation. And how do you sell a feature for a half million? A million to a to a to a customer doesn't work. Nobody is again, in the leadership level Who cares about features? Nobody does. It's still not, by the way, it didn't change over the years, so they don't care about it.
So what she clearly identified as a is a huge gap in the company was I need somebody or at least three people it was free people starting with me this role one out of three sales, one out of consulting and one out of sales, which was myself, one in four yourself and one in consulting. Just put all our all together is a department called Product Marketing, which is kind of new at that time.
It's not you at this stage anymore. But she asked before, okay, I need somebody who watched the competition, gets the message in place, gets the autonomous messaging and train to sales and how to sell that. So that's what she wanted from a technical level consulting level and from my from my sales level. And that's what she did to me.
So she made that move in my head as far from a sales rolled into a marketing role, start product marketing, it's not a bad start. We understand better than the competitive play and the messaging play what you can do as a single.
Daniel Burstein: So you've mentioned product marketing fit a lot. You've mentioned about getting that message right a lot. So I wonder what has worked for you. Have any tips of what has worked for you to actually identify that product market fit, to identify that problem solution messaging that that is the gold you talk about, you know, teaching this to sales, training, sales.
This I used to work in sales enablement. I know a big challenge when you're training sales is kind of you mentioned with the two sides of the brain, they're very quota focused, right? They're very focused on hitting their number as they should be. They're very focused on their relationship with the customer. So it is very difficult to catch their attention and tell them, hey, this is the right thing unless they have a firm understanding and belief in you, that trust element that this is actually going to work, right.
So what have you done to kind of build that credibility, to get that understanding, to identify and dig and find that product market fit and find that right messaging?
Ralf Paschen: Yeah, the fun part of that game and I tell her they've bought it it because the solution is still existing. I built a solution other than bringing together a consultant internally to people we get to do. And we created a solution which fit into every customer. And nobody trusted us, nobody internally. Customer Not a problem. First webinar was followed by 400 people.
It was easy to it was a real problem. We just did one webinar in Germany and she got 400 people. Almost every SFE customer was in our webinar and sells. What are we selling here? What's the solution here? I don't understand that. So we did this for five sales, just tested it out. Okay, then if you get a customer after webinar reached out to them and said, Hey, what's the cost of that?
We didn't talk about it, by the way. We had no solution. We tested messaging, okay? We just tested and the gameplay was so every sales want me on this call If the customer cost the reason is our sales. I learned the language. I know what they're thinking about. I know what their quote, our thinking. I know their I need to get this this this gear.
I get the pressure of forecast. I committed something. I upsides to all this just you know it is what is in sales right come with an upside And I said you can make that code our trust in alone if two solution if you're doing this right and I said okay let's get for one meeting and this one meeting helped them not to cover that full O.T. and all that stuff, but it helped them to achieve that.
And if you helped them to achieve their goal, their quota, you get the trust level you would not expect cost. That's the gameplay. That's the only gameplay you can get if you just trade another flier. Hate to sell that for me. That doesn't work. You need to be with them on the road. As you said, hit the rubber under.
All right, so we beef them with the customer side, get the blame, get everything back and just stay and work on that solution. Work better, do it better, learn from it, do a better presentation, and do everything to make happen. We did it for the whole product suite we had in place so we would learn from every customer.
We also created another solution which called the Release Automation. That's for deaf ops. We re being really bad in the beginning. Really bad. We didn't know the other players in the market and we listen up. You listen to our customer, what do you want? What do you want? Except what do you want? What do you want? That trust future.
So what do you want to achieve in the game? So we got hiring to change them back at hiring the level. And then we talk with these people like a partner, a They accepted me anyway. I had product marketing standing on my or director part of my team sending on my, my business card. They accepted me as a partner, not you, the salespeople, as a customer.
So that's because, oh, he speaks my language. And that's a big difference if you being just there as a CMO because you're a product marketing year, they will tell you are just not a marketing guy. The other one, just another sales guy, you know, who is most trusted in, in the sell situation, the pre sales guys, because they're technical, they're not, they're not trying to sell me something, which is the biggest slide every presales is on.
But you know pre sales is most trusted person in that area but only a few technical people here so if you want to be trusted the sells in sells them, has to speak the language that I do, but not in the deep detail I do. So what was the case is that you speak the language, you help sales to sell actively in their deal, not sitting there and just waiting for what's happening.
That's not working, that it's not working. If you want to get something out, you want to get a PDF idea, you need to listen what people are doing with it and what people want to achieve. It's not only the product people that only the salespeople or the sales people else in the market. You'll have to listen in actively in the customer situations.
That's that's a big differentiator.
Daniel Burstein: And you mentioned the webinar you filled with 400 people because you found the right problem. Is that how you found that problem from your time in sales? Actually actively talking to customers.
Ralf Paschen: At this was this was in product marketing we find is actively because it was talking I can't tell you the name of the customer. I was a German customer relations for very well known big business and I talk with them and they told me we have distance problem. Why can you not solve that? What you are talking about and what's really cut off of your coffee cooking session finger.
Right. And it started he started this $50 million business. We started with that question, Can you help me to do that? Okay, So not not that bad for a coffee cooking session. Not that. But coffee cookies. So for me, just a it talking to a customer, a partner doing some coffee cookie session, you know, a relationship piece is customer relations.
Then move out know sell it's trust relationship. Okay so I call this CAC appointments, which is fine. They are sometimes needed. And this one started it because he said, Can we do something? So I took this idea back to a consultant in a consulting space. What do you think? Yeah, but we need some help. And so let's let me figure out how to do that and then use the customer for the first webinar.
Talking about our solution, which never existed, that the customer talked for us at that webinar, what he, what he tries to achieve. And everybody was just, yes, that's exactly what we want. So we get a proof that's a real problem by doing this webinar. Salesforce nothing most but a gameplay. That's it's a, it's a unique thing and I think that's this is most needed that you listen to your customer what could potentially be the problem.
And I think that what we're doing right now is the same thing they listen to over the last three years. What's the problem then? Find a problem actually not sell Dodd-Frank, I don't know. Highly valuable level. So be everything comes in play and that's the game play for everyone. So We want to listen to that. You need to listen to the customer.
If you listen to the customer, you can help sales all of them that self doesn't care about.
Daniel Burstein: You know, that's that's true. But so it sounds like face time with the customer. Sounds like that's what you're saying. I mean, sales is more known for having that face time with the customer, the marketing. But it sounds like. Or is that something you try to actively do in your career and you manage your team as a marketer, have that face time, that direct interaction with the customer to to find that product market fit to find you from?
Ralf Paschen: Yes, I can tell you. Yes, it is. So my first job on my first job on marketing and Excite was go to a big event. I think it was a big first first big event for for Freaks Out, which is knowledge. Knowledge is the biggest event for it is there's no customers. I wanted to be there. I had to talk with my wife.
She will listen to the podcast as well. I didn't talk to my wife because it was a planned holiday in that timeframe. I said, I want to be there, I want to talk with customer, I want to tell I want to understand the problem because this is in my DNA. I want to understand. I want to listen to them that only internal inside out, right?
I want to listen to them. And that knowledge, this free days just tuned up the whole thing, to be honest with you. And that's the game player. I'm looking all the time. So are you trying to achieve that? Are you trying to do this? I we had a chance of talking with our 50,000 people are talking with 800 people to just fix the problem and figure out, is this the right problem?
It's just the right problem. Solution benefit. Is this beneficial for you with me doing this, they telling you straight into your in your face? Yes, it is or I don't care. Oh, it's low level. It's okay. It tells you that because you ask the question. It did tell you that especially us, the US market to tell you if you doing the same, which I'm working, I can tell you they don't tell you that to tell you that potentially afterwards or they'll never tell you but they talk about you in the back.
Okay. That's a that's a different thing in Germany. But I know how to hit them to get them on board. So it's a different thing to us to tell you. And it's the good news on the U.S. market did tell you exactly what a problem. But you need to ask the question, don't be don't be ashamed to ask.
Just do it. Just ask, what are you doing? What's the value of seeing you? Is this of value in you? Question yourself on software, a question on itself. Is this a value if no, guys, you're not hitting the nail. All of you. All of you, the company, you're not hitting the nail. Nobody cares about. You ask this bad question because then you know that you fail right now before you figure it out in one year.
Okay, ask the question now. So for me, this was most important to get to this event and learn from that group, from customers and also customer facing by remote. More so in all that, I would love to do more, but I had to create a marketing department here. This was more or less my my gameplay. Right now I get more and more back.
We are going on, on forums, on events, teams are we learn again? We are. We are adjusting all the time. Messaging and not changing. We not doing the Skrill thing. We just sure that we are doing adjusting it a little bit left a little bit right, but not go over all over the place and just hopefully something sticks.
That's, that's since we did this an event in May. This is over We fixed it it trust it a little bit every six months, but not more. And we want to run it for a while. This gives you a brand name. This gives you clear messaging. Eclipse your clear website, it lets you clear it gives you a clear problem.
Solution benefit eclipse your what gives you alts. Well, who's the buyer for that? So yes, I'm talking with customers as much as I would like, I would do more, more and more and more. Absolutely.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. I love you. I love you. You said too that sometimes it is a problem they have. It is a solution, but it's low level. It's not that important. That's another thing to hear and to understand from the customer, right, Because that that makes things very difficult when it comes to actually selling a marketing.
Ralf Paschen: That's another one which I want to tell you. Also, the order, if you want to go into the feature discussions and think there's something else, people are don't don't understand. It's happened since the Mercury Times for a long time now. So did memory loss acquired by a few years ago. What it did very well is they define what is the top number one feature.
If I show something in APAC, what a piece of steam or something. What's the top number one? What's the top two? What's top three? Top 45. Off the top five. Stop it. I know we can talk about another 40 features you left off features. It's all great. Don't care about them. That's the order of the future. How you present, what is important, what is the value of each feature based on the values delivered back to the iconic buyer?
So you're talking we're talking about an influencer. That's the order, how you present it at any time. There's no choice for presales. That's how you present it all the time, because it's the order of is this is is a low level value or is it a high level value? If you're doing this wrong, you lose the customer, the PC, or you just the customer in that demo.
That's a bad thing. That also direct product marketing or marketing these gets to control and that this is like key message in APAC. It's not going away. So this is also what we care about.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So I love your examples of actual face to face getting out there talking to people, but you also mentioned use data to make informative decisions. Obviously, as you said, we've got all this data coming into our websites from people and in other places. You learned this from Chris Boardman, the former CEO of Atomic. How did you learn this from Chris?
Ralf Paschen: Chris was the CMO at Atomic and he did. He wants to see my sales force. It was a simulated from my article, which are big companies, and it's a sales force. It was a sales force. It looked tons of analytics and I don't know how much dashboards he created to get an overview of what's going. One of the company and I lost that.
That's for you to be honest with you, because he did so much analytics on that game. What he taught me was very interesting that he wants to get. He also wants to go exercise. That's a piece of natural automation, which I said should say no at the time. He accepted it, by the way, after the owner said, Yeah, right, what's wrong?
Okay, Are each data set that is not so great. I learned a lot from him, especially on getting understanding how your department works in virtual spend the marketing budget to get the most out of it. And that's what he did. You looked at the data inside and said, okay, this campaign doesn't work. Let's go to the next company.
So we did free product lines, okay, Which works was the growth area and the product line. So we had across product growth, product growth, a line for product line for line of kind of growth and the big line for future growth, which is approaching crossing the chasm, crossing customer's cousin one chasm to a chasm free some trophy more.
I would everybody recommend reading this book when you want to get the startup in place and want to get sell high into enterprise level, but this is the game play, so need to understand what's up called real.
Daniel Burstein: Quick.
Ralf Paschen: Crossing the Chasm from Sophomore. Okay, I think that's already 50 years on the market, but it helps you to get into start up in the startup business. What's the passion? Chasm one Get to land Land 2 to 1520 logos, then go to scale mode. How do you get 250 logos and then again to just upsell into the same game?
There's the custom one customer for custom approach, and we had this kind of definitions in our products. We had one, we saw custom features, upsell, upsell, upsell, upsell. Okay. The second part was the second product was accustomed to, which is it's good, it's okay, move on. Let's make it bigger. Not only upsell, lots of new logos and custom.
One was okay, potential growth in the future and all this free spent money on marketing budgets the way you want to see the biggest growth in the company with you see the biggest strategic approach and do you make a decision on where to put the money on? And if doesn't work, if something doesn't work, you need to figure out quickly.
So where to move to money, where to get the most out of this sort of company. And that's what he did. And I think that he was the only one at that time would get full data insights which leads velocity of a lead when it's in kill. How many cycles, I may ask you off and you also was able to align with the sell sell seasonal odyssey so Chief Health officer very closely I never seen a CMO doing this.
This like this will because he showed he was very transferred before state to the season and back and forth. This guys worked very closely together on pipeline No discussion, no having discussions, no finger pointing, which is most cases and self marketing happened these days. There was no finger pointing. So I learned from a big amount that this is one team anyway, you call them marketing sales.
This is one team in a pipeline. I go much harder. I'm not looking for him calls. I'm. I'm listening. I'm listening. What he started four years doesn't mean I'm doing it. Everything he said. So this doesn't mean I can't impart velocity of subscriber, lead and employee all to whatever pick and choose. Yeah, all the KPI is out there and CAC and what, how many, how many impressions, what's the website, blah blah.
I can tell you I don't care about the statistics only see something's dropping, something's going up. This works. This doesn't work. This I care about. Call whatever you like to keep your eyes. AT&T needs to be a deal in the pipeline. That's what I can't. What's the timeline from here? From from the beginning to the end being a deal in the pipeline, which you can progress from their insulin start from a marketing perspective.
It also gets cells up and running with to deal does it care about Grace gave me that understanding and it also gets understanding, Hey, you could be a CMO in the future. I know I did trust that by the way, he would laugh about it. If he hears the podcast, I know he listens to MarketingSherpa.cross
I'm not telling that upfront. You look eager, told by someone. He will listen to that. I will tell him, You're right, Chris. I'm a team owner. So he said to me, You could become a symbol if you're doing this right and understanding marketing for detail in the pipeline, decide you become the CMO. And I said, There's no way I can go off the letter and look what look what happened over the last years.
It is possible.
Daniel Burstein: There you go. He was right. So we talk about using data to make an informed decision. You mentioned a lot of the metrics you don't care about understand, but can you give me a specific example of how you do use data to inform its decision? Because a lot of those metrics, I know you're talking about forming a deal, but those metrics could be helpful earlier because they can give a trend of where things are going earlier in the funnel, early in the pipeline to get things in the right direction.
And just while you're thinking, I'd give you one quick example, I love of a data driven marketing decision. You talked a lot about, which I also agree with. Let's not be a squirrel. It's like all over the place. But sometimes we do have to pivot as organizations. One of the biggest time I can think of is COVID cause a lot of companies to pivot.
I wrote a case study with a company that made tents for concerts, right? So, oh my gosh, during COVID, their all of their business went away. So they looked into data, they uncovered some data, and they found hospital administrators, actually, and then they started selling to hospital administrators the same trends that you're using for concerts. And they sold them to hospital administrators for COVID testing sites and vaccination sites.
Right. So, again, they had a very clear plan on where they were going. Things in the macroeconomic environment changed. They had to use data to pivot and shift to something else. So do you have an example? You mentioned using data and make informed decisions. What example in your career where it was like, well, so impactful. I use the data.
It helped lead to this decision that then, you know, had an impact ultimately on closing a deal for many.
Ralf Paschen: Yeah, I can I can tell you many examples. Not so data insights, for example I can do it as an actual for the actual company as well. So let's let's make that I build up customer journey. Your customer tries to really how do you would deal with a customer from subscriber or subscribe for something to the form submission or upload the data, you know, the kind of acquired lists in a market which we didn't do.
I'm not a fan of that, but get the data in place and now you send emails, marketing are you could people engage 50 and all that stuff. So this is the engagement score. Sometimes the score how engaged you are, become a subscriber, become a lead, become an kill and on the fourth and anyhow, I don't measure that from a from a perspective, how many subscribers do we have following the lead?
So we have a cost over specific score now they called leads, not if it's good score they call themselves I handed over to is making the sales qualified. This is a marketing speech right? What I care about is how engaged are there. And that's come before score. Because if you're more engaged, you get a high score. By the way, it's the same what you defined in a subscriber because subscribers covers a ten or lead is a pretty or you get five scores, five points for being on a website.
You go there. This is kind of marketing thing. I'm interested in engagement of customers and that's data I'm looking for. Are engaged philosophy mill, are engaged with my video set up etc. to engage with my demo tour. I set up my instant demo. They got to get there. I didn't engage with it. How long are they? How long they're watching it?
How long they're how much they're reading my and I'm not using PDFs. I'm maybe I'm unusual not normal for that piece but I'm not have any PDFs in the company not one cause I it's a site. Forcing downloads doesn't mean the video is value available, but I use confirmation tools so I know exactly. I mean, I create that e-book.
I can watch people get to the last page and 100 people started in there in the beginning and 80 people are left in the ad, yet it's a very successful one. So I know exactly what they read, how long, how many minutes, everything. I know exactly what they did. So I'm very data driven off. Is this e-book relevant?
Are we updating this e-book? Are we using still of using this more? I'll be doing campaigns around this e-book. Are we adding more more pieces to it? Does it kind of play I'm getting I'll be adding Elite Gate because I'm a big fan of open open content. The reason is quite easy because of people not not attempting to sign up anymore because they go to Instagram.
We'll take it to YouTube reels, ticket to take cocktails. It's all free content. So why should I sign up on on, on the sidebar or whatever company you mentioned, you're not willing to sign up anymore, so you have to give free content. To give free content, you need to know what they're interested in and if they are more interested, then you do the sign up.
So make it ready for signing up and then the engagement score goes quickly high. So what I trust, if I put an e-book out liftgate in the front, maybe the delete gate in page four, our trade page free page six so I can move to leak it. I want to see if the interest is still there. If you're signing up successful.
If not, maybe open it up. If I stick with 200 people still under on the e-book, it's successful, but not good enough for moving on with me not subscribing, doing no hard who they are. Yes I do because I send email marketing. I, I know exactly from the tracking perspective who they are and what what's watching my my content.
So that's the gameplay. It's marketing so much big butter these days. It is so and that's the gameplay. How to get people convert it into a deal. That's the data and watching how many people, how many people watch very specific content, what's the lead scoring? So they added an engagement score called engagement score in this case called HubSpot.
In this case, but engagement score. What's engagement score? How long did they do the demo tours to have an inductive tour on, on this, on the website I can tell you exactly what they did anyway. They never signed up for it. Okay. Because I sent an email that this email integrates. Definitely this is a normal tactic, integrates DNA, Bernstein's email, and if then it goes to my product or I know exactly you did this, you did this, you got to the Internet to potentially get an engagement score.
Hey, you look, my whole product to you was interesting. The whole product. You stick with that for 10 minutes, potentially. One of my staff reaching out. Okay, that's the gameplay.
Daniel Burstein: What I love where you so I think this is a very customer first practice where you talk about putting the ask of the customer's information later into the customer journey, which I think is great. I think sometimes we're so company focused that it's like, boom, we just want to hit him right away. We want to get that information which they are paying, they're paying with their information.
Then we call that a lead. Then it's like, look at all these leads we got, right? Versus I mean, I love that approach you're talking about. It's, you know, a content marketing approach or any marketing approach is where in the customer journey do they have to make a payment? Of course, a payment with cash or sign a contract or ever, but also payment with their information.
And it should be to your point, after they've received enough value that they want to write. I mean, why would we hit them with that right away before they even know?
Ralf Paschen: And most people do it because if you want to, I can tell you from marketing, it's about some marketing text tech tools. In the marketing tech stock, I could hit immediately. I mean, I got to a robot, Hey, you want to go? Do you want to go to the appointment? No, guys, just pick it up. I want a demo.
Daniel Burstein: Come on.
Ralf Paschen: So clear. Sign up here. So now, before I move away, guys, this is not how it works. This days just doesn't. Okay, We do it as as well. But we are. We are adjusting it based on the needs from what we see from a data perspective.
Daniel Burstein: Let me also ask you, it sounded like in the beginning you were saying that you don't buy lists. Is that right? Or that I hear you roll.
Ralf Paschen: Okay.
Daniel Burstein: So yeah, So let me ask you, because I have this conversation with mortgages all the time. I feel like the buy lists because, oh, they need to hit a number of this quarter of what else are they going to do? So they're just buying list the sending out.
Ralf Paschen: I heard that as well.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. So so in your situation so it sounds I mean you have obviously a long term engagement play and you're not taking a short term approach, but like, do you have any advice for them when for lack of a better word, you know, you're just up against it and you need something that quarter and you need to push things out.
And you know obviously buyer seems so tantalizing finalist okay.
Ralf Paschen: Let's let's to find out a little bit more of buying a list means you're buying from a stranger Rhonda world and seems to be file potentially good or not good you don't know until you get it anyway the samples could be great. You're not getting it. So enough tools out there. It gives you a context based on technologies you're looking for.
So it's not technology, especially as excite. So we had the same problem organic growth of a contact can take could take you a while. Speculative team of people getting not signing up buying the list. It's not a solution because buying a list could also include that's the reason I'm not believing in that. It's a compliance issue as well because you can have honeypot addresses in there, which just some lawyers filled out added somehow.
Are you doing a mistake and so sending it to them outside of us, especially European area or Canada or somebody which is opt in country you don't have consent of the customer. If you send a marketing email out to that and you being a you have a honeypot email address following there, maybe get sued for that thing. So it's it's not worth it's not worth doing that.
So but there are other ways doing that and there are enough tools in the market gives you that context based on filters, based on the level of technology, space and title tastes and countries. And we've said we want to be in the U.S. and U.S. in our country. This means I can send emails to anyone in the U.S. they can opt out.
So I have procedures in place for Spam Act and for the CCP, a compliance perspective, everything so altitude if our compliance this was the first thing I put in place. Uploading a list doesn't solve the problem. You do get a compliance process in place and somebody can unsubscribe. It's unsubscribe from all systems. There is there's a discussion on that.
So this is also why, by the way, I listen to Extoll people listen to people I know from the past. We did that in my my company. So I worked before. So I often say, how do you do soft out in the US? Very soft and kind of that you soft on. It was a six weeks project before we put any contact in the database.
Are there tools out there? I'm not mentioning them here, which gives you that a direct import into HubSpot, which you can you can sign up a contract, you pay for this. It's an ongoing annual subscription is a software business, not x cc file business, which is my, my mind. Strange, but you can utilize. And also if somebody opt out by you to opt out by them as well.
So it's a very secure way of doing that. And there's a most marketeers know what I'm talking about because this this contact database existence a while now and it's the best way to hold compliance back because this is the biggest hit that any marketing automation to if is Marketo, Eloqua or HubSpot is shutting you down. If you have too much bounces, if you have too much unsubscribe, they're shutting you down potentially for a while.
All your domain is kept blocked by email providers on the customer sides and all that stuff. So to be very careful what you're doing, especially if conduct lets you don't know where to come from. So I'm not buying list, but at the same time not allowing any one of the team's sites of some Bradman's import export list side of HubSpot or any kind of map tool like automation.
And so that's the game play. So being there restrict this data. But we said clearly we cannot do this for chronic growth. We will be killed. Start people are not signing up anymore. You kind of get a big list out quickly. Most companies I know, they built organic lists and they adhered to by talking about photo free on a context having to do every time a marketing email.
We got it from almost 500 up to several, almost hundred thousand contacts. And in time that's the gameplay in between two months. But for that you need to get compliance in place. That's that's the first thing you need to do this. My only advice I can give people don't give up their enough a couple of the release in the market but you need to do your homework 100% first before you add anything to your help.
So they because that can kill you if you're doing wrong, it can kill you. That's the point. It can kill you by bounces. Helps with shutting it on. It can kill you. Wrong lawyer address honeypot address it could be anything could shut down. We don't run it as risk anymore. You just get to the risk. We just added that and now we are fine.
Okay. That gets you also to try to target marketing because I can define. Hey, that's the qualifier. That's a technical buyer. I figured it out on my contact database. That's my top to forcing a constraint on is a companies to give me all the content by taking a buyer on potentially of 20 qualifiers and 2000 ticket buyers. I do a very targeted messaging for the content buyer, which is a different content to detect a buyer at the beginning if it's later in the stage, maybe adding different content, attacking on different content, conning by a fact that I need to do the piece, be the messaging and the value first to know, understand what is for
each, what is in for each of them, which means it's a messaging altering messaging for both. That's the gameplay.
Daniel Burstein: Daniel Well, let's talk about the game play for the entire company itself. You say you learned about selling a division by defining strategy for the company. You learned this from. Craig Better to see a CEO of on. So how did you learn how to sell a vision? By defining the strategy for the company from Craig.
Ralf Paschen: And I can tell you who I would love to have in his that I launched him before, but Craig is a first of all, he's a great salesperson, is a sells for SVP. Finally, he's a CEO of the company. He's a salesperson. And additionally, it's a vision there so he can build visionary stories to sell to customers, to investors, to anyone, into company and the culture everywhere.
And it's something I think is very cool because I'm a typical chairman. I'd say, let's say that I'm a process guy, but in such gut I have kind of vision, but it's very controlled and I get to talk about pretty much voter, get bigger, get good, think really crazy and get things started. So that vision, okay, that's still not my term and just killed my term road still.
But this is the one I learned from a big amount of how to define a strategy behind a vision. And that's why we should. I want to go to company for this strategy now. Get everybody aligned ducks in a row. Ron Okay. Can I do that? Potentially, yes. Do I try Dodge? Potentially, No. So can I can I try that over the next one or two years, potentially, I will try it.
Okay. I'm on the same level. I would never ever say that. But it gets out years how to do it better and executing a better strategy and a vision. So I have a wish for the company. We build a vision for the company here. It's called a veto mom veto mommy strategy. It's called vision values. Mission Values methods, sorry, methods, opportunity, obstacles and measurement.
And that's the strategy of the company. You need to get what's the mission of the company? What's the value of the company direct to the market? What's the obstacles you're running into? So yeah, we ask optimal then the methods you want to go into, the methods and obstacles, and at the end you How do you want to measure success over the next four years and then some?
It's very tough to build something like that. I can tell you it was the most thoughtful discussion I ever had with to team what I was trying to achieve for years and it's not just only to start up a startup investor or the CEO or the the founders in the game is the whole management team guys, where do we want to be in four years?
And it's a big thing. And he was very good in building that. We took one and that's exactly what I'm what I mean with it. So where could this company be in four years? It's a forged thinking, visionary thinking, and strive to hold company against this goal. That's what I learned really from him and how important is to make decisions.
Also, hard decisions and tough decisions as he it. And nobody likes decisions, hard decision. Nobody likes them. Nobody. Oh, I'm here for a hard decision. I'm just working off our decisions now. But it's still not likes them. But sometimes you have to do it, especially going higher. The the merchant chain, the harder decisions are. They are harder. Definitely.
Especially know your people and you have to fire people. And the good news is I never had to do that once or twice. But this was a was a difficult, compelling event. But the good news for me, I never had to fire people because it's the most the most, most hardest, hardest decision you can make as major. Who's the one who needs to get fired.
That's that's a that's a hard decision for any manager and independent of marketing. And that's it's tough, but it's good for the business. It's good for the business. That's what we care about. You see level it is what it is. You have to deal with it. But I learned a lot from Greg, but it's about building division and make tough decisions.
Daniel Burstein: Well, let's talk about the flip side about that. You know, firing obviously is unfortunate, but what is the upside? What are the key qualities of an effective marketer? What are you looking to be as a marketer? What are you looking for when you're hiring? We talk about all different things in your stories about like, you know, the different things about data and but what are the key qualities of an effective marketer?
Ralf Paschen: I could tell you one thing which I especially interview, so we can we could talk about it because I think my interview approach surprises everybody would be they're sitting with me in an interview and ask of them, as I said, off the small team here, and I run very slim by utilizing a lot of automation. I just explained that before we get into the intersections, I do this because I believe in the marketing ratio of one, two, three, one marketing against three salespeople, which is a very healthy approach, especially in Series A, Series B, So investors and never question about why do we have so many marketing people.
It is the case, it's the market. It's exactly what happened. It's not going to work well. You run the risk that replaces marketing person for sales first, that typical approach of the investor. So I'm not giving them the chance. So I don't have so many interviews with marketing, but I have to do this of salespeople that are all about us as well because I'm part of that.
But my question to marketing mean I hire marketing people is quite easy. Asking why you're measuring yourself on being a successful. It's the first question What do you think is a successful metric for you? And I can tell you all the answers are if I create more jobs, if I get PDF downloads, if I get this skills, and I said when I just stopped and I said, okay, I don't want to I want to disrupt you by, I have to because I don't care, okay?
I do that if a smile on my face not feeling it, don't tell him I don't want to get your weaknesses and your strengths. It just don't don't take this as a classic, you know I'm not doing it. Ask you what's what is marketing here for an after coming back with a very good answer, which is a typical good answer, is cost me here to help the company to sell.
That's the right answer and nothing else. That's the gameplay. Marketing is here to help sell Progressive deal influence to deal, write the deal. But if we call it right. But it's the point. Marketing is here to sell. It's not here for being fancy. This white department t shirt department. It's not happening. Forget that. It's not just it's to fight this.
We have to understand the fight between marketing sales guys like it's not here, just random yards you have to help sell. That's the gameplay. So it's like it's not here to deliver you swag the opposite way. Okay, so it's our fans department. Just give me something for the event or organize a ticket for my customer or kind of stuff.
Right? So this is happening sometimes for me. The important part of it from very effective marketers. How what are you doing to help sales to sell? Well, thank you. Go ahead. Sorry going I said for me to see this is the measurement of successful marketer. How do you help sales to sell. That's the only get.
Daniel Burstein: Well I wanna say thank you for sharing all the stories and lessons from your career about how you been able to do this. It's great to listen to.
Ralf Paschen: Because of what sells of a set of like a gel. I never got a lead. Never got a lead from you. Was the friends department at that time that. Yeah. Nice T-shirt. Thank you. Good ticket. I was exactly the opposite side. I said, Whatever you do, it doesn't impact anything in my deal size until a deal pipeline or helps me to close the deal or doing anything or UPDF as just not not a value because they all feature based.
I sold differently and it was sort of helpful. So also one of the compelling events why I wanted be okay, so you're talking about how you can help sales, maybe you should be asked to help sell. So I caught myself on, okay, how can I help sell that? That's the gameplay and that's what we're doing here as well.
So my point is how to help sell. It's not just how to make marketing strategy create big empire. Tons of people. I'm not talking in that part. I'm interested in how to help sales. That's good at the end. Not sells the company to get to the revenue.
Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. Well, thank you for your time, Ralph, and thanks for sharing your story with us.
Ralf Paschen: Thank you for being here. We Daniel, thank you. Appreciate it.
Daniel Burstein: Thanks to everyone for listening.
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