SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Adrian Maynard

About Adrian Maynard:
Adrian Maynard is the Marketing Director at Refersion, a top affiliate and influencer marketing platform that has been very successful on Shopify.
Adrian has led technology and B2B SaaS marketing teams since the early 1990’s, starting as a product manager for ChipSoft, the TuboTax maker, before being acquired by Intuit.

He spent 8 years as a product, marketing, and product marketing manager working on TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks before moving on to lead marketing for the duration of Jupiterimages existence, helping grow it into the 3rd largest stock photo agency in the world until getting acquired by Getty.

Since then Adrian has started and sold his own B2B SaaS business in NYC, and led marketing for a few others, including RevTrax.


Show Notes:
02:50
An Affiliate and Influencer Platform for Ecommerce Merchants
05:30
Joining To Deal With Early Growth Challenges
07:29
Company DNA: Portability and Accessibility
08:40
Moving Upstream In Targeting
09:35
Tracking Everyhing and New Ideal Customer Profiles
11:13
Three Main ICPs
13:10
Prioritization of Marketing Initiatives
15:00
Building Gated Content
16:15
Deciding What Is Going To Be Gated Content
17:15
Paid Marketing: Test and Learn
19:15
Ad Agency vs In-house
21:10
Integration Partners
22:19
Partnership Marketing Program
23:10
Growing Agency Partnerships
25:12
Growing Pains
26:30
Next: Focusing on The Core Things
28:05
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

DA: 02:23
Hey Adrian, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. Really excited to have you here. Have Refersion here. How are you doing today?

AM: 02:31
Doing good, thanks. Happy to be here.

DA: 02:33
Nice. Where are you joining me from?

AM: 02:34
From New York City.

DA: 02:36
Oh Wow. How cold is up there right now?

AM: 02:37
You know, it's actually warm today. It's in the 70s and it's really hot and muggy.

DA: 02:43
Sounds like Florida. Exactly how it is here. But awesome. Well I guess, you know, let's jump right in. We have a lot to talk about today. A lot of cool topics. Why don't you give us a little rundown of what Refersion is, when it was founded and what you guys are doing uniquely in the marketplace?

AM: 02:59
Thanks David. So, Refersion is basically an affiliate platform and an influencer network platform to allow ecommerce merchants to manage, track and grow their affiliate and influencer network. It was founded in 2014 by Alex Markov. And the way that it was founded was really customer driven. Alex was, you know, has a strong affiliate and digital marketing background history at Rakuten and a couple of other digital companies. And then really from the inside saw some of the challenges that people faced with, you know, at the time growing affiliate networks. CJ was obviously a big player, you know, has been forever and just really recognized issues and challenges, technical challenges, partnership challenges with getting and tracking things all the way through to a sale and that attribution piece. So, you know, all of that was happening around the time ecommerce and influencer marketing were starting to merge and that kind of matrix was happening. Shopify was getting really big around the same time. And so Alex just started building some Shopify apps and just sort of testing things, trying to see what would work, you know, he recognize so if he wanted to connect the influencer people with the people selling their products online until Shopify was obviously a burgeoning platform, wanting to get on there. So he had two or three apps that he was just playing with on his own. Eventually he started promoting this new App called Refersion. It wasn't even built yet. Instantly saw thousands and thousands of people sign up, to preregister and knew he was onto something. So that's really where Shibo got involved in around 2016, to actually launch the company and turn this little Refersion App ID on Shopify into an actual product and a company. They turn those thousands of registrants into kind of a pipeline. And then you were on to something. So they're going to team, and basically just build a very simple, easy to use affiliate and influencer marketing platform, full SaaS platform, completely connected to Shopify so that anyone coming in could, you know, starting a new Shopify website, it was super easy to connect to Refersion and just start growing and building your own influencer and affiliate network.

DA: 05:08
It makes sense. You guys found a specific like kind of need. I like the fact that you tried different, different apps on Shopify until you found one that worked but the affiliate program network, that type of thing is as well known. But you know, sometimes it's just bringing those products to specific industries or specific kind of expanding marketplaces is such a big win. So it sounds like you guys found a unique segment in the market. When did you actually join the team itself and what was the customer size when you joined?

AM: 05:34
Yeah, so I joined around the second half of last year, so seven, eight months ago. The company has been, you know, based on that Shopify experience where we started, the company has been on a pretty good trajectory. You know, around 9,000 ecommerce websites currently use Reversion to manage their, their programs. And there's currently around two and a half million affiliates on our platform. We have a marketplace. And then we've got also, you know, affiliate management platforms and for each one of our merchants. So we've got about two and a half million affiliates on the platform. And then there were probably, you know, we're, we're trying also, one of the things is we're building on a partnership ecosystem. So currently there were around 20 partners of varying degrees of both integration and different relationship status at the time. So new, we're still, you know, on a, on a pretty good growth rate in terms of bringing merchants on board, getting affiliates in.

AM: 06:21
So the initial goals really were, weren't so much around, I mean it was about increasing growth and I will get into that in a couple of minutes, but it was really as much about reducing churn and you know, increasing our retention rates, because we had so much inbound activity coming from Shopify and that was really the majority of where new client signups are coming from. A lot of times those people might not be as qualified, they might not be as educated. There's different challenges they have and barriers to entry that they have. And you know, with that early initial growth, I don't think we were doing as good enough job of recognizing those challenges and addressing them. So you know, high churn rates are part of one of the things we're looking to address as well.

DA: 07:04
Yeah. And it makes sense, a lot of times it's so easy to focus on early stage product, early stage acquisition, product market fit. You know, you sometimes put churn on the backlog because you're still seeing growth. Then at some point you're going to plateau and churn is just a reflection of something, you know, isn't aligned correctly. The value add, stuff like that. So it makes a lot of sense. And it sounds like you initially found that product market fit pretty easily because of the Shopify app marketplace nature and how that all works. But you know, I guess in reflection to, you guys trying to solve churn, are you guys trying to evolve that product market fit, are you guys trying to go outside of Shopify?

AM: 07:38
Definitely. That's absolutely on the roadmap and you know, both both the product roadmap as well as the marketing roadmap. You know, Refersion did start as a really successful Shopify app, you know, completely laser focused on just building that best affiliate tracking platform that anybody could use. That concept in that product and you know that SaaS product and platform, there's, the DNA of the company here is all about portability and accessibility. So the, the system and the platform has been design just kind of be that portable and connectable so we can transfer to any platform, whether it's Shopify or something else. So while the team was laser focused on building that good system, they were also focused on making it portable and usable in other areas. So part of that, just making it on Shopify, we've got a system, it's so easy in a couple of clicks as a result sort of every, you know, if you think about who the Refersion customer is, thinking about every shark tank merchant, those (inaudible) businesses, every popular D2C customer, they're all using Refersion built on their Shopify websites.

AM: 08:39
So again, you know, that's where we're seeing different types of customers come on. And so, you know, our customers are growing on Shopify, but then our product has to evolve at the same time. So that does so, so a long way to answer the question and come back to the original question that kinda did force us to move upstream a little bit in our targeting and who we're talking to, the prospects we're trying to reach. It's not necessarily the stereotypical ecommerce drop shipper who might be on Shopify. You know, we're now talking to more traditional brands, more B2B marketers. They might be using Shopify because Shopify has grown its own ecosystem so big. But we're also seeing more and more that those other more traditional brands. And B2B marketers are using platforms other than Shopify, right? So we're seeing a lot more traction with Magento and Bigcommerce. And then you know, we've also got our own API so we can work with any platform. So that's kind of where we've kind of been evolving both the product and the roadmap and our customer targets just to, to get into that.

DA: 09:36
Yeah, let's talk about that. So you guys have to basically break out of the mold. Do you have to now go out and say, okay, we're going to change our product to fit a new customer, but your specific goals now coming in, balanced churn and part of that is expansion into a new marketplace, how do you come up with these new ICP's, new ideal customer profiles? How are you finding this new people? That's, that's a tough part. That's like now what you're coming in to do. Right?

AM: 09:59
Yeah. You know, and that is the first part, you know, just step one is, you know, before we can just start, you know, advertising and you know, calling people and you know, we first have to have a plan and who we're trying to reach. So part of that, you know, when I first started, so the first couple of months, you know, it's 90-120 days was really about A getting systems in place so we can track everything. And then understanding who our customer was and understanding their challenges. And really our starting point was, because again, our success was based on that Shopify and so much of the, almost an ecommerce flow, we were using Intercom as a CRM. So we needed to get a, you know, as we start trying to target more traditional brands and we're seeing traction from these marketers and brands and B2B marketers, we need to build a more traditional B2B sales flow. So we had to first quickly get a CRM in place. We had to determine, you know, our ICPs and personas. And so that's where, you know, really spent a lot of time understanding the customer, looking at who is signing up, bucketing our existing customers. So it's just really that, that hardcore research around building spreadsheets, categorizing, bucketing, listening to calls and demos as new customers sign up to understand what their challenges are.

AM: 11:13
And ultimately just trying to define our ICPs and buyer personas, you know, and then once we start to get that definition and we landed with, you know, in our ecosystem we are targeting kind of three main ICPs. We've gotten merchants and then we've got affiliates that we're going after as part of that ecosystem. And then we have partners who are providing capabilities to support both the merchants and the affiliates. So really tried to understand what are the different needs and capabilities and expectations the people have from us. And they boil down to us really four main or four main types of partnerships that we're going after. Three main types of merchants, you know, whether it's that Shopify ecommerce merchant or a marketing merchant, you know, or marketing brand manager or a B2B marketer, right? There's a very three different types of people, three different value propositions that Refersion offers, three different reasons that they need to care. And then, you know, three different sets of objections that we have to overcome. So it's really understanding all of those things so that we can build a marketing pipeline and funnel that caters to them and nurtures them in the right way. And then we had a couple of affiliate, you know, there are two main types of affiliates, you know, that we're targeting. So we have two affiliate personas. So there were a total what's that four, seven, nine total personas.

DA: 12:27
That's a lot!

AM: 12:29
That we're trying to, to reach out to. Exactly. Now given all of that, that's if you want to tag everybody. There are three, four that we care about, right?

DA: 12:37
Right.

AM: 12:38
There are two in the merchant world and two in the partner world and have a (inaudible) team on the partner side. So we wanted to make sure we were accurate in tagging everyone and categorizing. But really it's about prioritizing what matters most and where we, where we need to spin the dial up and where we spin the dial down. You know, our priorities may change in the future and we need to be able to go get one of these other different personas and sales goals may change. And so we can now flip the switch pretty quickly and start targeting building lists and you know, just do whatever we need to do to reach out to different people in nurturing them in the right way.

DA: 13:08
It makes sense. You're laying the groundwork, getting the research done, getting the education, every, everyone set up and ready to go. But it's still a lot even even four or even if you have a business, even two, it's still a lot. So you talk about the word priority, when you're coming out of this research phase and you have all these things lined up, what do you do as far as a marketing initiative? What's your first plan of attack to go after one of those two that you guys want? Or one of those four? Or are you trying to attack all of them at one time? How do you prioritize that?

AM: 13:38
Yeah, so you know, it's, it's, we do prioritize definitely, what's our goal is in terms of the business, right? And now it's prioritized the top two and it's our merchants that we're going after, right? So we, we basically in, we're starting back with the content initiatives and the top of our funnel is all about content marketing. And for us that really begins with what we have to have clear intent on everything we're doing. You know, it sounds kind of basic, but what part of the funnel you're trying to impact? What persona are you targeting? What do you want to ultimately do? You know, after they're reading, whatever particular piece of content that we're producing. So it's really, you know, backing into, you know, your marketing campaigns based on that, you know, just grade everything for a purpose and then tracking to make sure it's doing what we expected. You know, we and then I'm sure every marketing team out there has tracking spreadsheets for everything. You know, whether, whether it's our blog channel, blog post, any kind of content shell that we have, whether it's email or whatever, we're tracking everything all the way through to conversion so we know what's working. And again, in terms of how we choose the content is produced and how we target that, it's back to, again, those merchants we're trying to fill the pipeline with the top of the funnel with very specific people for our sales team. Developing content, just, you know, we work backwards. Everything always having a really tangible, clear call to action and just to work back from that.

DA: 14:51
Makes sense. It really does. I mean it's easy. You're breaking it down into very simplistic way. That makes a lot of sense. Obviously it's a lot of work. It's easy to say, Hey, we're just backtracking, but it is a lot of work. But I know from the content side you guys also built out gated content. It's a topic that we really haven't discussed much on here. What do you guys use gated content for and how'd you guys set that up?

AM: 15:09
Yeah. So one of the things that we did notice, you know, when I first got here and started digging into the numbers was that certain pieces of, you know, certain areas of our website, where getting a lot of traffic, but we didn't know how they were converting. We're spending a lot of time developing, you know, a couple of case studies and we thought they were good, valuable content, but we didn't know who was reading them. They were not really serving a purpose in the funnel. They were just kind of out there to be read. So our goal was just to get them to see if we could get better qualified leads. Then just from a general open contact form, right. All of that, we're now starting to track everywhere. So literally it's as simple as just getting the form and seeing what happened. And you know, we're now seeing that the case study send over the most qualified leads on our website. In fact, the very first conversion that we tracked from our new search campaign, if someone's searching for literally the Woocommerce affiliate program and they read our (inaudible) case study. So we're seeing, you know, more qualified leads. It, it's, it makes sense and it seems obvious, but it's just some of those simple things that you need to do that's the low hanging fruit and just can make a pretty quick impact.

DA: 16:13
That's a tough decision. When do you decide that a piece of content is better served as a gated content piece or as just like a pure relationship building or content piece that's maybe primarily for SEO or just to, to build some type of knowledge. How do you guys make that like real decision?

AM: 16:29
Yeah. Some of that's a little bit subjective and part of it is data driven, right? And again, thinking back to what's the purpose for this piece of content. If we're developing something that's really sort of top of funnel intended to generate leads, it really needs to serve a purpose of that and has a strong call to action, you know, so we'll gate those type of content that may be more top of funnel lead generation content. But then as we sort of nurturing people moving in farther down the funnel, that content, obviously we don't want to gate, we want to make sure people are getting it. So it's just there's a strategy, you know, and you know, there's exceptions to both of those roles as well. It's really just understanding what's the purpose, what are you trying to accomplish? And then where do you wanna, what direction do we want to nudge people when they read this.

DA: 17:12
I love that and good discussions to have with the team as far as each piece of content that you come out with, so I love that. What about paid marketing? Do you guys venture into that area or are you mostly just staying in the content side of things?

AM: 17:23
Yeah, so we are just starting to scale our ad spend, you know, we about a little over a month ago, we brought on an agency to help us kind of build out and scale our ads for our goal. It's really, you know, back now that we have that system in place, it's filling the top of the funnel with qualified leads. So, you know, we, we know who our targets are, we know what our goals are, we kind of know who you want to reach. And so, and we've got a system in place to track everything. So now we are just looking to fill the top of the funnel. We are starting with search and retargeting and we're testing a lot of different keywords. Seeing what's available. We're learning right now, we're still kind of in the test and learn phase.

AM: 17:59
We're doing, you know, the branded and non branded searches. We're doing testing searches with partner names. You know, just the typical kind of early stage. I mean we're seeing some early traction and some things that you might expect in a couple of things that we're seeing is, you know, maybe not surprising but good news. You know, for example, the, the, you know, what'd you expect of the non branded searches are higher CPA, but they're also converting at a higher rate. Especially things where we search on our name plus a partner name. So we're finding, you know, obviously it makes sense because it's super high intent. But if we wanna make sure we are buying Refersion plus any partner name out there and just because we're finding that people that search on those things, they're in the high intent, they're clicking through and we're seeing a pretty good click through rate for those guys and conversion rate at least to become leads. Yes. And then, you know, so those are the kinds of things we're testing. Very specific searches or things that are working.

DA: 18:54
Are you crafting custom landing pages for that or are you guys sending them directly to the website?

AM: 18:58
We're starting to test custom landing pages now. So that is definitely one of the things we're doing, especially with some of the partner pages. We currently have destination pages for partners that are just general. But now we're starting to test, you know, doing some specific for our search campaign.

DA: 19:13
I love that. That'd be really good. You probably do some good results. What made you guys choose to do an agency or working with an agency rather than build some of these campaigns in house?

AM: 19:21
Yeah. You know, we started doing some in house and it was, you know, tiny budget resources, right? It was really what was the quickest way we can get to scale. And so for us it was bringing on an agency to help us just because the team is small and at some point, you know, this is now where we're working with the agency to build these capabilities in house and you know, we'll see where we go from there.

DA: 19:40
As like the marketing director when you make those calls to say, hey this is a better serving of our time to go to someone like an agency who does this for everyone versus let's build this out ourselves. Like cause there's, there's a variety of things. You can go content to an agency, you can go advertising to an agency, you can go partnerships to agencies. When do you, like how do you make that decision?

AM: 19:58
You know, I, I think for us, that's a really good question. I think for us the decision was what capabilities did we already have, what systems are already working? And this was the one that was the least evolved within all of our capabilities here in house. And what we were already working on, we already had a pretty good content pipeline, just need to be tweaked. You know, we already had a decent email systems. We revamped that and switch to Klaviyo. I feel like sort of the email stuff is easy to pull in house, you know, where the advertising is more of a specialty. Had we had more traction in house we may have considered it, but really we wanted, we wanted to be able to move pretty quickly and scale pretty quickly.

DA: 20:33
Makes lot of sense. Yeah, that's a great answer.

AM: 20:35
And a big part of it is, you know, doing ad campaigns are not easy to start. They're easy to run. But the starting part is the keyword research and the testing and the testing and all of that. And it takes so much focus in time and we certainly could have, you know, drop everything we're doing and [inaudible] house. But it was just for us easier to bring someone in.

DA: 20:59
Yeah, no, it makes sense. And it was probably the right decision to make. But I think the key takeaway that you basically said is, you know, we've looked at, the assets that we had and we looked at the strengths and weaknesses of our team and what would be best served. So that makes a lot of sense. You also talked about another part of the company and part of the personas that was around, partners. And those are specifically integration partners, I think. Correct?

AM: 21:20
Yes. Yeah. Well, you know, we have multiple types of partners, so we do have integration partners. You know, for example, like the Shopify, we have integrations with all the main platforms in commerce, Bigcommerce, Magento. So, but then we also have sort of different types of partners in the App and App partners that we work with. And those might be some people have been on your show recently, you know, Bold, Chargebee, Klayvio Littledata, Recharge, Upsellit, you know, I know Upsellit was recently added. So we definitely, and we look for those and that's specifically one of their personas that we're targeting. You know that our biz dev team goes after. Right, is, you know, we've got the integrated partners that offer capabilities that we don't extend ourselves to Refersion. But we want to be able to offer a better capability to, to merchants. So we look for other merchants who worked with ecom or partners who work with, you know, commerce capabilities for merchants or B2B capabilities for merchants and just make the whole shopping ecommerce experience better.

DA: 22:19
Got It. Do you guys, when you bring them in, do you have any qualifications, do you try to set up any type of actual strategic partnership materials together, like webinars or anything like that?

AM: 22:28
Yeah, we do have sort of a partnership marketing program that we roll out and it's, you know, we've got as a set of tools that we do for everyone. For example, there's the shared blog posts, PR mentions that we'll do, you know, we have a quarterly PR roll up that will do. For some partners we will do webinars, you know, so we'll schedule a webinar and then some partners we'll even do in person events. For example, Recharge just recently had a multi series event, the Charge X Series. And so you know, Southern California, Atlanta, here in New York. And so we were partnered with them on that, sponsored it, had one of our business people speak at several of those events. And so we'll do things both in person with our partners. Shopify is one of our others partner. We do several events with them. That's just one piece of our partnership.

AM: 23:09
The other piece that we're really focused on now and trying to grow even more is our agency partnerships. When we first started, we had a good starting to build the partnerships out for this App and technology partners. But we were finding that a lot of our customers just need help getting things going and don't know where to start and whether it's logo help or website help or you know, or tracking help or those kinds of, you know, whatever it is or ad agency help. So that's where we're starting to build out our roster of agency partners as well as, so we can again provide our, our merchants with a broader system of services.

DA: 23:45
So we're trying to get into this whole agency partner programs providing services for users, especially here at Demio. How have you found that to work out? Are there specific campaigns or specific customer segments that you lead them to, to services or is it more when they reach out or is it just on your website for self serve?

AM: 24:03
So when the agency department, it's, it's really, it's our biz dev team doing outreach part of it being connected with merchants, you know, we have good relationships with a lot of our current merchants. And so it's really, as we start to understand who they're working with, we're, it's, it's that grass roots, you know, we're reaching out and talking to the agencies they're working with, seeing if they would like to have a relationship with us. And so we're sort of building that agency network in the same way that, you know, we ask, you know, we coach our merchants in building their own affiliate network. Right. Cause you know, we, we sort of consider agencies almost like an affiliate or a reseller channel for us in that, you know, we work with them to, we offer them new capabilities to offer to their clients who happen to be ecommerce clients. And then, you know, we offer to our clients these additional capabilities that they bring to the table. And you know, so that's a, the same sort of mutually beneficial relationship that the influencers have with their merchants. And so it's sort of that same type of relationship. We merchants, you know the merchants, that the number one place to find your new affiliates is looking at your top customers. Right. And so, you know, we're looking at our top customers to find our new affiliates.

DA: 25:10
Love it. No, I love that. What about looking back over like the past eight months since you've been there. We've talked about a lot of the initiatives that you're working on now, things that you've gone through and, and built out. But what about some things that didn't work out as expected? Were there any missed opportunities? I love to learn from the mistakes or quote unquote failures that have happened to find some of my best lessons. Anything that stand out there?

AM: 25:32
Yes. You know, I think, you know, it's just normal growing pains, right? Not having enough people to do everything. Not having all the systems in place, right? There's a great sense of urgency and you know, to get everything started, it's just how do you prioritize? So I think it's because of those things we may have missed opportunities, right? It's the organizational structure and you know, just being able to execute so and not having a plan in place. So, you know, those are the hard lessons, right? Make sure you're ready before you start running. And then be able to execute.

DA: 26:02
It's a very valuable lesson. I think most people want to start running without the map, without the plan. You brought them, everyone in brought them together. We got to get the ICPs. We got to organize our goal. So I think that's really insightful that you're able to figure that out. Obviously, it probably took some, perspective and some time to think through it all. But I'm glad you guys are where you are. It's an exciting time. You're kind of breaking out into his new world. All of these different, you know, marketing initiatives going right now. And I guess looking forward in 2019 now that things are starting to get rolling, are there any challenges or maybe possibly opportunities that you're excited for for this year in marketing?

AM: 26:39
Yeah, so, you know, for us it's super exciting, but the challenges are, to be basic again, but more qualified leads, less unqualified leads. Scaling the onboarding of our new clients, reducing churn, identifying upsale opportunities faster, right? It, it's just as basic, you know, core things. How can we, you know, optimizing all of our current campaigns so that we're doing better at targeting and getting more qualified people coming in. And then once we're able to do that, then those are the needles that we start dialing up and down to scale. You know, doing a better job as we onboard customers. You know, we've got some very specific things that we need to do. You know, at some point we would bring them one, we kind of, we do a good job of getting people integrated onto our platform, but we can do a better job of making them use the platform or helping them understand the benefits. And so they're getting them a little bit more, you know, involved with the platform. So it's, those kinds of things are really where we're going to focus. You know, keeping, you know, keeping our current pipeline, getting customers coming in and keeping that growth happening. And then just retaining as many as we can. I mean, that's the, that's the short term immediate focus.

DA: 27:45
Yeah, that's a, it's a big goal. It's a big audacious goal for this year, but I think you guys are absolutely able to do it. It's just chipping away one time. One, you know, one step at a time, one objective at a time, one initiative at a time, if you look at it from like, Hey, we got to get all of these things done. It feels so overwhelming because it's so much to do. Right. And each one poses its own problems, but you guys will get there. And I think that's a really a good point to make. But, based on time here, what I want to do is I want to flip us over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions that I'll ask you, you can answer with the first best thought that comes to mind. You ready to get going?

AM: 28:20
Let's go.

DA: 28:21
Yeah, let's do this thing. All right. What advice do you have for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

AM: 28:28
Gosh, for companies starting marketing today, maybe concentrate on one thing, right? If, if you can find one way to get customers, go all in on that and then just expand from there, right? Don't, don't try to do everything at once. I think that's part of what made Refersion successful, you know, just focus, just really on that one app and just that experience. So maybe it's one vertical or one platform like Shopify or one channel that you're really good at, whether it's SEO or whatever it is, just focus on what's working in the beginning, right? And just focus on that and scale that up before you get distracted.

DA: 29:03
I love that focus is such a key piece of this whole gam. Focus can make or break you. It's absolutely crucial. I love that idea. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

AM: 29:15
It's the fundamentals of marketing. I'm going to use focus again, focus on the fundamentals. You know, everyone wants to be a growth hacker and it's really cool to have that success and to kind of hit lightening strike but really you got to have a foundation to stand on, focused on the four P's, right? Just really take a step back and build a strong foundation, what really matters and make sure things, and then you can do the growth hacking, but you know, not everybody's going to be NBA, so have the education.

DA: 29:42
Really like that answer. Yeah, very, very true. The foundation has always critically important because like you said, you can always build on it. You can always make it more complex. What about a best educational resource you recommend for learning about marketing and growth?

AM: 29:54
Yeah, that's such a good question... For me, okay, for me, I'm a fan of Hubspot. I, you know, for years use them in my previous life. But just their, their educational content, their blog, their marketing content. It's just really helpful even if you're not a Hubspot user. It gives good insight just into approaching challenges, solving problems. So I'm a big fan of Hubspot.

DA: 30:25
Yeah, no, I am too. And I think they are a great example of content marketing done right. On our last episode we had Ryan Bonnici from G2 Crowd on the podcast and he had worked with Hubspot for a long time and he brought their content model to G2 and they've been fantastic. So they are a good example of content but also have great content and transparency with lots of (inaudible) so great answer. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

AM: 30:50
Maybe, if I look at my phone, it could be maybe Feedly or my podcast app, but like in the real world, a notebook and a pen. That's my tool.

DA: 30:59
No, that's great. I love tools that are like not just specifically technology tools because sometimes it's those key things that just, the basics that bring you back and give you the best.

AM: 31:08
Yes. I've always got a little, you know, my Moleskin book and a pen is my number one tool. And in (inaudible) it's Copper. I don't know if you're familiar. We've, when we were looking to, you know, as I mentioned at the start, we had Intercom as our CRM and so we went with Copper and I could spend a whole episode being a salesperson for Copper at this point.

DA: 31:28
I have not heard of that CRM. I have to check that out.

AM: 31:30
It's the Copper. It's built on G Suite. I think it's Google themselves actually use it. It's so integrated into Gmail, so...

DA: 31:39
That's awesome. I'll check it out. What about a brand business or a team that you admire today?

AM: 31:44
Well, you know, I'm gonna start with Copper. That's, I'm, I'm a big fan, but I think some of the businesses that you're probably more familiar with, both Boxed and Box. Both of those for two different reasons, you know, bBoxed, you know, just the warehouse and (inaudible) warehouse. They taken Costco to the web and that's a really amazing thing. Both their product and their branding is really cool. And then Box right. You know, like they, it's the Dropbox model, but but only better. And you know, they are serving the enterprise. And again, I think that's what I like about Box, they found their niche and their focus and they really didn't get distracted.

DA: 32:25
Yeah. A great example of someone who found that vertical, like you mentioned and stayed on it and went deep on it. And I think that's the best companies do that right. They're content kings, I'm reading this great book Play Bigger. And that's what they really talking about becoming a content king, finding a category king I should say. I'm sorry, a category king, finding that category and going deep on it. So, great brands. Really good answers. And first of all, thank you so much for being on here today and .ou know, being transparent, talking about what you guys have been going through for the past eight months as you've been over there at Refersion and everything you guys have going on. It's exciting. I'm happy for you guys and again, thanks for just jumping on.

AM: 33:00
Oh, thank you. Had a great time.

DA: 33:02
Awesome. Well we'll talk to you soon and have a great rest of your day.

AM: 33:05
Thanks.

DA: 33:06
First off, a major shout out to the Reversion team to Adrian Maynard for coming on the show for being a warrior, being transparent and sharing so much awesome knowledge. It's always hard to come on and talk about what's been going on when you're dealing with so many things at one time. And I've heard all these different ICPs and all of the things they're working on. So they're doing a lot of good stuff. (…)

Resources:
Learn More About Refersion:
https://www.refersion.com/
Connect with Adrian:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianmaynard/
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