SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Josh Studzinksi

demio-saas breakthrough featuring josh studzinksiAbout Josh Studzinksi:

Josh Studzinski is the VP of Marketing at Caremerge, the fastest-growing SaaS platform in the senior living space.

Caremerge provides EHR and Engagement solutions to Senior Living providers that promote wellness and inspire collaboration between residents, staff and families.

Caremerge was named to 2018 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

Josh spent the last 10 years in B2B technology organizations driving growth through marketing, demand generation, and digital transformation.

meetdemio · How Caremerge Stands Out From The Competition Using Differentiation And B2B Facebook Advertising

Show Notes:
02:50
Providing Technology Solutions To The Senior Living Industry
05:10
Messaging Challenges When Product-market Fit Is On A Case-By-Case Basis
06:40
Using A Spear Fishing Strategy First Then Casting A Wider Net
08:20
Launching Quickly A Tool To Change The Negativity Going Around About Senior Living
11:10
Elevating The Customer's Voice By Position Customers As The Thought Leaders
"We're trying to position our customers as the thought leaders. As saying, Hey, this is what we're doing with technology. (...) those are the types of stories we want to share because senior living communities are going above and beyond for their residents. And we just want to highlight those as much as possible and then let them do the talking for us. You know, we could talk about features. We can talk about benefits all day, but when a client gets on there and says, Hey, they've really stepped up for us. People believe in and want to talk to those types of vendors and type of those technology solutions."
12:20
Building A Culture With A Consistent Message To The Team On Where The Focus Is
14:00
Moving Fast And Putting The Clients First
16:15
Testing Things And Validating Hypothesis in B2B Facebook Advertising
18:40
Move Quickly, Test Things To Validate It Then Automate
"I think that's a big thing is people might stay in the weeds too much and don't bring in that automation sense back into their marketing. So we try to validate and then automate it and then move on to the next thing, totally stay in front of our competition."
20:00
Creating And Testing 30 Different Creatives
21:50
Best Advice For Someone Starting With B2B Facebook Advertising
"Letting the campaign run first and letting the data tell you what's going to happen and what's going to convert or not. And then, you know, as you look at your campaigns and you see what's being successful, then just pivot from there. You know, I think as, another best practice, you're just looking to see what's going to work as well as possible as you go and create those content pieces. Create as many as you can and launch them. Don't wait, just try it, experiment because your competitors are. You know, we've had a lot of competitors enter this space and you have to move as quickly as possible and test these things and enter new channels where they might not be. Because everybody does webinars. Everybody does videos, everybody does social posting. So you always got to think differently on how you get in front of your customers and your prospects and what your competitors are doing."
23:20
Test, Test, Test As Much As You Can To Get Data Points
"Test, test, test as much as you can. And it will definitely be valuable to go to the executive team and say, Hey, I have these data points. I don't have assumptions. I have data points that I could provide that this is why we're going down this path. And this is why I want to invest my budget in this, this and this."
24:35
Real Numbers Will Make You More Successful Than Vanity Metrics
"I think people can get caught up in looking at, you know, clicks and page visits and time spent on website. Like that tells you information, but it doesn't get to the heart of what you're trying to drive home and trying to drive revenue, you know, as a marketing leader, you should always put your revenue hat on. That's what you're trying to really drive home. And that's marketing's ultimate goal."
26:25
Doing Things Differently And Differentiate Yourself
29:10
Moving Offline Rapport Building To Online Communication Platforms
30:25
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

DA (02:39):
Hey Josh, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. Excited to have you here. How you're doing today?

JS (02:46):
Doing good. Doing good. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

DA (02:49):
Yeah, no, I'm very excited for today's episode. I think you guys are in a very unique position, obviously with this COVID-19 era and a lot to talk about from marketing experiments and how you guys have traversed the landscape through these times. But before we jump in, why don't you explain a bit about Caremerge, when it was founded, who your customers are and what you're doing uniquely in the marketplace?

JS (03:11):
Sure. So Caremerge has been around for, I think almost eight years now and we provide technology solutions to the senior living industry. And these are solutions for residents, whether they want to connect better with the community, find out what's going on, see what's on the dining menu, for family members to check in on their loved ones and for staff to manage activities, life enrichment programs, and for executive directors to overall see their performance at the community and enhance the wellness and really just keep that community vibrant and flourishing. So we provide technology solutions for them to do that. We're in over about 450 communities nationwide and have been successful with it. And we've, we've launched an Alexa's solution. We have some AI technology coming out which is just really exciting. So it's, it's great to be able to help residents and help our older adults become more accustomed to technology. And that's what we're doing over at Caremerge.

DA (04:06):
That's awesome. Very unique, very exciting. And when did you actually join the team? You mentioned it's been around for about eight years. When did you join?

JS (04:13):
Yeah, about three years next month I'll be at Caremerge. Started off as the Director of Marketing and then moved into more of a strategic VP of Marketing role about two years ago.

DA (04:25):
When you were first coming in, what was your initial focus?

JS (04:28):
It was more tactical cleanup and the demand gen and our digital presence. We, when I first joined Caremerge, they just finished an implementation between Salesforce HubSpot. So there was a lot of cleanup work to do, in terms of making sure that integration was working correctly, data was seeking back and forth, and then really getting our automation engine going. With HubSpot, it's such a big, robust solution, so making sure that we had all workflows performing correctly, all of our tagging and tracking correctly optimized on our website and just making sure that everything kind of talked together and was stitched together nicely. So, you know, those automations can run in the background while we worked on more strategic things.

DA (05:11):
That's awesome. Yeah. It's always such a big process. It takes a lot of time, but always so worth it. And when you came in, did Caremerge's already have product market fit? I mean, obviously you're, you're a very niche product, so it may have been easier to build the product for the marketplace. Or did you guys kind of have to figure out that ICP along the way? Did you have any process in that?

JS (05:31):
Yeah, so I would say there was some product-market fit when I did join, you know, they were successful at that time and launching to several hundred communities, but adoption for older adults in technology is, you know, it's different community to community. You know, some communities I talked to, you know, they have residents that are pushing for technology and pushing for voice solutions and Alexa's in their community and other communities, you know, are kind of slower behind the adoption curve or maybe are still doing everything by paper and traditional methods. So, you know, product market fit for the senior living industry is a case by case basis, depending on the community that you talk to, not everyone is the same. So it's a little bit of a challenge in an animal that you have to face every time you go through that sales process or even talking to prospects on the marketing side. So it was a bit of a challenge, you know, we try to keep our messaging as relevant as possible to all communities from a broad landscape. But it's definitely difficult to make sure that we're talking to the right ones and talking to our ideal clients that are, you know, those change agents who want to push technology forward. Cause the slow adopters are just, it's gonna create a nightmare for our client success team to go in there and push something that they're not ready for.

DA (06:42):
Yeah. That's really helpful. I was going to ask like, did you guys avoid those that sounded like needed a lot of education and push on the backend, but it sounds like part of that ICP was just having someone that's looking for a technology, a technology change already. Was that from like a technology stack that maybe they had already, or was there really just about building like inbound interest? How did you guys kind of differentiate those different communities?

JS (07:07):
It was really, you know, when I first came in, you know, I took over the SDR team about two years ago and we started to really focus on kind of our outbound prospecting and look at, you know clients on LinkedIn that are posting about technology. Maybe some executives that are looking at different articles, maybe thought leaders that are published. Those are the ones that we started to go after more from kind of a spear fishing perspective, as you would call it from like a predictable revenue. Their book, they always talk about spear fishing and then kind of casting a wider net from an inbound. We've been really focused, I would say in the last, you know, six to 12 months really growing our inbound presence. Content has been a huge part of that. And then our automation workflows and tracking and serving up personalized ads for people that come to our website and also on different social channels. So it was more of an outbound and that kind of got us going because you could light that up pretty quickly and go after the, the clients that we're looking to get. But from an inbound perspective, you know, we're starting to see that inbound start to take over our outbound, which has been good because our costs are a little bit lower on that end and we don't have as many human capital donated to that.

DA (08:19):
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That's super helpful to understand. And and that was the right approach. And I love the idea of the spear fishing. It was almost like an ABM approach in a lot of ways, kind of account based marketing. They're kind of figuring out which accounts are right. Well, you know, I recognize that, you know, the COVID-19 pandemic and this kind of era that we're in right now is also very tough for the marketplace you guys are in, obviously you know, these senior living communities were very heavily impacted over the past few months, still being impacted. There's a lot of, you know, probably financial cuts happening behind the scene in those areas which probably made you guys have to pivot. And, you know, a lot of SaaS companies are already doing that. We've been talking about that on the podcast for the past few months. It's just like, how have, you know, people need to, to change their marketing, change, their approaches. How we, you know, as an industry moved and adopted, but I guess from your perspective, being here on the, on the front lines of this stuff in this industry, in this niche, you know, what have you guys, you know, had to do to, to navigate this conversation, navigate, you know, the marketing time.

JS (09:26):
Yeah, sure. So when this all started to happen, you know, our executive team got together and said, you know, how can we help? You know, like you said, there was a lot of negativity going around about senior living, more specifically towards nursing homes. I think when a lot of people think of senior living, they bucket everything together, which there is independent living. There's assisted living memory care. Nursing homes. They're very different in terms of what they offer to older adults. So there's beautiful communities in sunny, Florida, and there's, you know, other communities that just don't live up to those standards, but they're all being lumped into one conversation. Cause there are some great things and some awesome things happening at nursing homes and senior living facilities. So we got together as an executive team and said, you know, how can we help? We had this solution that was kind of on a shelf, a little bit called broadcast, which is a communication tool for communities to easily send out messages to families, residents, and staff.

JS (10:24):
And we said, you know what we're going to do. We're just going to give it to our clients. They need it now. We had it on the shelf. Let's, let's go back, let's retool, let's put it through QA and let's launch a marketing campaign around that to our clients to get it in front of them as quickly as possible and launch it as quickly as possible. So we did that in about, I think it was two or three days from that conversation point, launched it into communities. I think as of last week, we were at over 300 plus communities that were live. And as of last week, Friday, we have sent out over 1 million messages from our broadcast solution. Which is yeah, which has just been awesome. You know, we provide these platform and these tools for communities to use and we just want to step up and help them as much as we can during that time.

JS (11:12):
So we all kind of huddled together. You know, when people were you know, working from home things kind of accelerated for us. We looked at our product, we looked at our marketing and then, you know, like I said around all that negativity and what you brought up before is how do we elevate the customer's voice? How is it not about Caremerge and just about our customer? So if you look at our marketing on social email, you go to our website, we're trying to position our customers as the thought leaders. As saying, Hey, this is what we're doing with technology. There's a community out by you in Florida called John Knox village that took 400 activities that they were doing on a monthly basis, put it on our platform and made it fully digital for all of their residents to access in their rooms in the care of their home and access all of this information, which is a big undertaking to do. But those are the types of stories we want to share because senior living communities are going above and beyond for their residents. And we just want to highlight those as much as possible and then let them do the talking for us. You know, we could talk about features. We can talk about benefits all day, but when a client gets on there and says, Hey, they've really stepped up for us. People believe in and want to talk to those types of vendors and type of those technology solutions.

DA (12:23):
I love that. And it's definitely about being customer driven and customer focused. And as a marketing leader, I guess, in your department, in the company, how are you articulating this within the company, within your team to stay that way. To not think of things too much as just numbers on paper? Like how do you actually just build that into the culture so that you can make smart decisions like this to stay customer focused, to focus on the real value that you're trying to provide?

JS (12:51):
Yeah, I think it just comes from the top, you know, as long as we could have myself and the rest of the executive team talking the same way, keeping the consistent message to our employees and to our team members on where our focus is. And then keeping that communication consistent. We do town halls on a monthly basis. We try to stay in contact with each other as much as possible. We do Zooms all the time. We just try to keep that message. Keep going back to our employees that, Hey, this is what we need to highlight. So our client success team, whenever they're implementing our solution, are looking for those stories and trying to highlight them. Our product team when they're doing their research and discovery on new solutions that are gonna be coming out, are looking for those stories. Executive team. We have an executive sponsorship program that Mary G and Grassy put together where they align clients to the executive team at Caremerge, which is fantastic because they get to talk to us about any concerns they have on the sales side product side. And then we could also listen for those stories. So everyone in the company is on the same page. We're trying to develop those. And I think it just boils down to our culture and what we try to instill in our employees on a daily basis.

DA (13:57):
Yeah. I love that. I love that. And I also want to circle back real fast. You mentioned the broadcast initiative and how you guys brought that out to be customer driven and focused on the customers, but you know, product items like that oftentimes have underlying cost associations or there may have been engineering costs to build it out. You know, when you're doing something like that, how are you looking at, at this product rollout from a marketing position from maybe KPIs? Is it about, you know, increasing LTV? Like how are you offsetting costs? Are you thinking about eventually charging for it? And then you're kind of building that plan in now, like what happens to that, that marketing roll out, everything kind of shifts when you make these calls quickly?

JS (14:40):
Yeah, sure. So at that time, I think it was move as quickly as possible and help out as fast as possible. I don't think all those things were on the table at the time. And now that we have excellent adoption of it and we've launched, you know, a couple of hundred communities, you know, now we're starting to look at, you know, what's next, how do we enhance it? How do we use it as maybe a revenue generator for us? So all those things are on the table now. But at the time, you know, we were just seeing how we can move as quickly as possible. And things changed. You know, it wasn't even day by day, it was hour by hour, you know, as we went through the QA process, as we were talking to communities you know, late nights working to get them live and make sure they had the correct data from, you know, somebody might just be using our resident technology. So they didn't have their family members in there. So how do we get that list and import it in as quickly as possible. So, you know, we're looking at those costs, we're looking at, you know, does this make financial sense now? You know, that's all on the table, but you know, it boils down to putting the client first and what can we do, you know, moving forward. So we're, we're investigating that right now.

DA (15:43):
Well, that's great though. I mean, I think you guys are putting the right things in priority, right? The customers first.

JS (15:47):
Thanks. I appreciate that. And David, to go back kind of the KPIs, it was really just about, you know, from a marketing standpoint, we're just looking at how many customers can we get over this front as quickly as possible. And then we have just a spreadsheet dashboard that we're looking at in terms of switching that solution on. That was kind of our KPI we were looking at on a daily basis is to say, how many can we switch on as quickly as possible. We didn't really have a set number we were going after, but we're just trying to accelerate that number as quickly as possible.

DA (16:17):
That makes sense. And I think some of those other kind of lagging metrics that you'll get later will be, you know, brand loyalty, customer stickiness, LTV, stuff like that. Obviously you can't see that in real time, but you're also getting great feedback in a time when you have higher usage than normal. So I think that's all just a big win there. And you know, congratulations on that. But I do want to talk about some other marketing channels. We've talked a little bit about, you know, customer driven marketing, you know, just being there and product marketing with your customers. But what about some of those inbound or outbound channels that you've been experimenting with? What has really stood out for you guys?

JS (16:51):
Yeah. You know, we started off with LinkedIn, doing LinkedIn ads. You know, we thought B2B, you know, LinkedIn is the place to be. You know, doing advertising, doing content, which we still do a content. And we still do a little bit of advertising. Facebook has really stepped up for us in terms of B2B. We think of, you know, more Facebook as a consumer side platform, right? Like when I put my marketing leadership hat on, I immediately Facebook consumer side, but you know, we started to experiment, look at groups, look at channels. Look at different pages that had high personas on there that we were trying to get in front of, from a prospecting standpoint. So we started to run some tests. Alyssa Butuso who is my right hand person on the marketing team, she created all these bunch of different creatives.

JS (17:37):
We ran about 30 split campaigns against each other and started to really start to get some traction. We had a low CPC about $1.31. We were getting per click, which was fantastic. And we were getting high conversions of that. We were going about 15% conversions of those ads. And these weren't, these weren't even content driven. These were demo requests landing pages, right? So a lot of people will gate an ebook. I don't really gate too much content. I don't think that really works from a funnel perspective, but we just had, you know, Hey, here's some benefits that you might see out of our solution. Would you like to talk to us? It was very simplistic in terms of the messaging that we had out there. And it created actually one of our largest deals this year. Last month that we closed, came from Facebook. So that was just fantastic to see. So we're starting to iterate on that process. Now do some content driven things and PR driven things through Facebook, but you know, we never considered that to be a viable channel for us, but you know, you gotta go out there and test things and validate those assumptions hypothesis that you put out there because you might be wrong and I was wrong from the beginning and then we tested it. And now it's one of our channels that are driving some of our inbounds.

DA (18:43):
That's great. And I, and I have two questions from this. First off, when you sat down to think about, you know, those different channels and where you wanted to experiment with, obviously in marketing, you have a ton of channels. You can have so many options to go to. You guys could have done direct mail. You guys could have literally pick up the phone and call companies, right? Like how did you organize where you thought the biggest impact would be and what made you decide to do LinkedIn over Facebook, or even get to Facebook, how did you create that system?

JS (19:10):
You know, we just move quick and test things. There wasn't, there wasn't a system in place. We're a pretty nimble team. It's only a couple people on the marketing side, on the inbound and outbound. So we just move as fast as possible. I'm looking at metrics on a weekly basis to see what things are working with. You know, we're a startup, you know, I don't have tens of millions of dollars to funnel into a budget. So I have to be conscious of that. So we try to quickly accelerate things, test validate as quickly as possible. And then move forward with them. We're doing calls on the up on side, we're doing emails and then, you know, things that work, we try to automate so we could test other things. I think that's a big thing is people might stay in the weeds too much and don't bring in that automation sense back into their marketing. So we try to validate and then automate it and then move on to the next thing, totally stay in front of our competition.

DA (20:00):
I like that. Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And you mentioned you did about 30 different creatives, 30 different campaigns. What was that process to sit down and like, thinking about the copy and the tweaks and the tasks and the different designs, like why 30 and how'd you come up with those?

JS (20:15):
I think it was 30 because we exhausted all of the different buzzy and jargon words we could use with it, all of our marketing. Senior living has a bunch of different terminology that they use that is unique to their industry, like every industry. But we just wrote up as many as we possibly could to test it. Different words, we would just interchange and we, but we wouldn't, you know, we wouldn't make assumptions off of that before we launched them, we could have probably cut it down to maybe five or 10 that we were like, wow, I think these are going to really perform well, but we didn't do that. And some of them were surprising that we thought, Hey, this one might not perform as good. And it did. It outperformed some of the other ones. So, you know, we looked at it on a weekly basis, went back and said, okay, these ones aren't performing, cut those out and then kept iterating down, down, down. And I think we have maybe five to seven ads still running that are our high producing ones in terms of our inbound conversion. So we keep those going. And then we move on to the next thing.

DA (21:10):
How long did you guys let that test experiment time go? Was that a couple of months?

JS (21:15):
We pumped a lot of money into it in the beginning. So we started to see fruits of the labor probably maybe 24 hours right after that. And then we looked at it for about two weeks, cut it down two weeks, cut it down. And then just kept going from there. Like I said, we ended up with five about five to seven that we've have kind of still in the funnel right now. And then we just try new ones. You know, we have a great content pieces. We try to drive people to our site and the next thing is retargeting. You know, how do we get into retargeting to drive people back for conversions that we missed? That's kind of our next step in this whole advertising funnel that we're looking to create.

DA (21:49):
Yeah. Retargeting will be a huge piece to that. That's gonna be great. Yeah. I can definitely see that being a big win, especially on Facebook. What about any recommended do's and don'ts, as you kind of watched it over the past few months and got to your five to seven winning campaigns here, anything that you would recommend to people kind of just starting, maybe in the B2B space with Facebook advertising?

JS (22:08):
Yeah. I would say one don't make assumptions before you start to see the data. You know, I think a lot of people, everyone can have an opinion in marketing, right? Like you could come over and say, I don't like that color. I think you should change that to blue and not red, but that doesn't mean you're right. So I think you got to let the data speak for itself. And I think a lot of people don't do that. I think they just kind of make assumptions or try to get feedback from other people than letting the campaign run first and letting the data tell you what's going to happen and what's going to convert or not. And then, you know, as you look at your campaigns and you see what's being successful, then just pivot from there. You know, I think as, another best practice, you're just looking to see what's going to work as well as possible as you go and create those content pieces. Create as many as you can and launch them. Don't wait, just try it, experiment because your competitors are. You know, we've had a lot of competitors enter this space and you have to move as quickly as possible and test these things and enter new channels where they might not be. Because everybody does webinars. Everybody does videos, everybody does social posting. So you always got to think differently on how you get in front of your customers and your prospects and what your competitors are doing.

DA (23:19):
Yeah. That's super valuable advice and very helpful in this kind of ever-growing SaaS landscape, where more and more competitors are always, always entering. We have kind of a language that we do here. Whenever we bring something up in marketing, we say, you know, we might as well just test it. Like every time someone has a new opinion, it's like, you know, I can't really say no to him. Might as well just throw it out there and test it. Cause no one has any idea, you know, if it's going to stick or not until you do it and test it.

JS (23:44):
Exactly. And things you can test nowadays on the cheap, you know, you could throw a couple hundred bucks at a Facebook campaign or a LinkedIn campaign. Validate some messaging, too. Even if you're going through the whole messaging framework or restructure on your your organizational positioning or product positioning, test the messaging too if you want to throw it out there, you know. You're going to get valuable feedback on what's clicking. What's not working. So like you said, test, test, test as much as you can. And it will definitely be valuable to go to the executive team and say, Hey, I have these data points. I don't have assumptions. I have data points that I could provide that this is why we're going down this path. And this is why I want to invest my budget in this, this and this.

DA (24:20):
And speaking about that, like when you're going to your executive team or you're doing these, you know, monthly kind of marketing meetings, what type of KPIs are you guys rallying around from your high level perspective? What does the team need to see that you have to put most focus on?

JS (24:36):
Yeah, so we have what we call our sales and marketing dashboard. So we're looking at, I own our ACV number along with Nancy, who is our CEO and head of sales. I own that with her. We try driving that forward. So the KPIs I'm looking at are, you know, what are we doing in terms of bookings? What are we doing in terms of pipeline? What are we doing in terms of ,demos? How are we booking those inbound and outbound? And then we go back to our conversion numbers and see what channel is having the greatest conversions off of those. So we're going all the way through that funnel from sales and marketing. And we have, you know, I think a lot of companies struggle with sales and marketing alignment. I don't feel like we have that at our organization. We have strong alignment, Nancy and I, and the sales and marketing team on what our objectives are and what we're looking at.

JS (25:22):
We look at that dashboard. I look at it probably a couple of times a day and Nancy and I review it every Monday. Go through what's working, what's not working and how we drive those numbers forward. I think if you don't look at it a couple of times a day or a couple of times even a week, you know, you lose sight of what you're trying to really do. And you could get caught up in the minutia of marketing and some of these little things that might not make a huge difference, opposed to the real numbers that you have to drive forward, especially now where, you know, people are getting furloughed or laid off or cuts are happening, you know, focus on those real numbers and that will make you more successful than some of those vanity metrics.

DA (25:58):
That's it, it's so easy to get caught in the weeds of data. And, you know, we all want to be, you know, focused on that data, but it's easy to get caught up in that as well.

JS (26:06):
I was going to say it is, and I think people can get caught up in looking at, you know, clicks and page visits and time spent on website. Like that tells you information, but it doesn't get to the heart of what you're trying to drive home and trying to drive revenue, you know, as a marketing leader, you should always put your revenue hat on. That's what you're trying to really drive home. And that's marketing's ultimate goal.

DA (26:26):
Yes. Well said exactly. And looking back over, I guess the past year, maybe pre COVID any hard lessons from things that didn't work out? I know kind of during the COVID period, things in marketing are little wonky, but any things that maybe didn't work out from experiments you ran, opportunities you wish you could redo, lessons learned from that?

JS (26:44):
You know what? I don't have anything off the top of my head that, you know, I really wish, you know, maybe moving quicker on some of these things, you know, we had ideas that we could have moved fast on. But other than that, I really can't think of anything. You know, we went to a lot of events, senior living is, is big on events, and now it's really transitioning to virtual. I think it's something that we need to be prepared for and something we need to focus on and how we do that differently. And exhibit cause people are even going to have exhibit halls with virtual events. I don't know exactly how that's going to work. But it's something we need to pivot and change on. But before that, you know, I, I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.

DA (27:26):
When you sit down to do differentiation like that, you're thinking about how are we going to do our events differently? Like, what does that brainstorm session look like? Are you guys trying to just review all the competitive landscapes out there and just try to find and circle areas that you can do differently? Or, or how do you guys look at that kind of challenge?

JS (27:43):
Yeah. So I first, you know, obviously peek at our customers. I mean, not our customers, our competitors, see what they're doing. And then, you know, I just go back and I look at articles from people that I trust and I respect, you know, Insight Ventures is a big VC company that invested in Caremerge. So I go look at their content, see what they're talking about. And, and right now I think a lot of people are going to have issues with really building rapport with prospects and customers, because we're not having that face to face, sit down, we can't go grab a cup of coffee. So I read this article, you know, about building customer intimacy. And how do you start to build that rapport in a virtual world? And there's different things that you could do and there's different ideas and tactics we're going to try from like, you know, maybe it's not about us at Caremerge at these virtual events.

JS (28:32):
Maybe it's a cooking class or something of interest. And we throw our information in there, some how. It's, it's how do we, how do we differentiate ourselves, but still build that rapport and still build relationships with prospects that want to choose us over other competitors. Because when it boils down to it, you know, if they like us more, they're going to choose us hopefully if, if you do a feature-to-feature comparison, so, you know, look at our customers and then go read some articles, see what you want to do, and then go back and test it. We have a couple of small events coming up that we're going to try some different things at and just see if they work and go from there.

DA (29:08):
That's fantastic. Yeah. And I was going to say the next question, you know, looking forward across the landscape of 2020, with everything going on with the industry, changing with, you know, new challenges, what did you see changing in marketing? Is it mostly that, just, how are you going to have to talk about your messaging, how you're going to have to relate to your customers and prospects?

JS (29:27):
Yeah, I think it's that. And then, like I said about events. Those were the big things, you know, there was two big events a year in senior living that at one happened in kind of the spring area. And one happened more in fall winter time, that everyone kind of prepped around. We tried to move our campaigns digitally as much as possible before that, like I said, we were trying to move over the last six to 12 months, move more inbound content driven, which is, I think made us more successful in driving pipeline and close one deals over the last couple months. But it's a big thing that a lot of people are going to have to deal with. And I just keep thinking about how do we take that offline rapport that you were building with prospects that we used to go onsite and do demos for, you know, executives, that we can't do anymore. So how do we create that great experience for prospects and for clients online and then also make it different than what everybody else is doing out there. Cause that's really, what's going to stick in their minds and you know it's going to be difficult obviously in the beginning, but hopefully we find something that lands and keep doing it.

DA (30:27):
Well, I would recommend checking out Demio to do that (inaudible) but cool. What I want to do now is switch over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions that you can answer with the best first thought that comes to mind. You ready to get started?

JS (30:45):
I'm ready. Let's do it.

DA (30:47):
This is going to be good. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

JS (30:54):
Test, test, test, as much as you can. Try a bunch of different channels, see what's work and then put your budget behind it and accelerate it. That's that's my one tip, I would say as quickly as possible.

DA (31:06):
Moving fast, breaking things. I love that. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

JS (31:15):
I call it stitching, stitching your tech stack together. There are still disconnected, disconnected silos that happen. People say Salesforce is your source of truth, but it might not necessarily be if you don't have all of your data funneling into it. So stitching your whole stack together is a vital and essential part of a marketing leader today that needs to know how to take everything and make it all talk together and make sure your data is validated.

DA (31:42):
Yeah, absolutely. We're struggling with some of that right now. With some of our systems and it's, it's very frustrating if you're not stitched together like that. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

JS (31:55):
Woo, go to, like I said earlier about Insight Ventures, you know, go to some of these VC companies that are putting out great content. They have awesome portfolio companies that they invest in. There's also another company called Topo. They do great sales and marketing analytics. They're a big research firm. I would say start there. There's going to be a lot of advice out there, but this goes back to that first question that you had. Test test test. You know, you're going to get a lot of inputs, but go out there and validate things for yourself.

DA (32:22):
Absolutely. Couldn't agree more with that. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

JS (32:29):
SalesLoft, on the outbound side. It is a great sales enablement tool that we've started to utilize. It gives great data points on our outbound side, as well as our inbound side. Cause we use it for the automation engine after somebody fills out a form. So I would say SalesLoft especially has been a great tool for us.

DA (32:49):
That's a great answer. First one, I've heard for that, but I love that. What about a brand business or a team that you admire today?

JS (32:57):
G2. And you know, I see their content, I see their leadership over there. They put out awesome materials. They put out, they just have a great site worth of wealth of information. They seem to run a really tight ship over there in terms of their marketing process. They're local here in Chicago, which I love, they just do awesome work.

DA (33:18):
Yeah. And they've been on the podcast here, the marketing team and shared a ton of great insights, a really fabulous company. And it's been really cool over the past few years to watch it evolve and grow. So that's a really good brand, but awesome. Well, I just want to say Josh, thank you so much for jumping on today with us. We got to talk about a lot of great stuff in marketing, what you guys are doing right now in the industry, in this kind of crazy COVID world. So, you know, thanks so much for coming on and sharing with us.

JS (33:43):
Thanks, David. I appreciate it.

DA (33:45):
Yeah. I really appreciate your time. Have a great day and we'll talk to you soon.

DA (33:47):
Thanks.

DA (33:50):
Thank you so much for listening to this episode with Josh and the Caremerge team, big shout out to them and thank you for coming on and being so transparent, open and sharing so much great SaaS knowledge with us, the SaaS community. (...)

Resources:
Learn More About Caremerge:
https://caremerge.com/
Connect With Josh:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshstudzinski/
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