SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Juuso Lyytikka

demio saas breakthrough featuring juuso lyytikkaAbout Juuso Lyytikkä:

Juuso Lyytikkä is the Head of Growth at Funnel, where they help thousands of businesses to be more data-driven and thus delivering higher returns.

He built a highly scalable lead generation engine by melding best in class B2B and B2C methodologies and focusing on empathy.

Juuso believes digital marketing is the new marketing and that companies not fully utilising their data will fall behind.



Show Notes:
02:20
Helping Marketing Be More Data-Driven And Actually Understand How They're Doing
04:00
Becoming The First Marketing Hire Full Time
06:00
Getting Signals From Different Segments To Expand The ICP
08:45
Focusing On Building A Scalable Advertising Lead Generation Engine
"The like philosophy behind our marketing is to make the buying as easy as possible for the prospects. So we want the prospects to come to us when they feel they are ready. So we worked a lot with content on the website to try to give them as much information as they need in order to kind of decide themselves (...) we decided to kind of not do any gated content, no lead magnets. The only thing we want to provide our prospect is that when they actually feel that they are ready, they can come to us and they get to talk to our sales team and see the product."
"We're extremely customer focused. We tried to have a lot of empathy on and put ourselves into the shoes of our prospects. (...) how would we perceive the messaging, the ads, the sign up flow, the entire sales funnel and remove friction as much as possible. So when it comes to advertising, we actually aren't creating that much content in the classic content marketing way of things, but rather trying to promote the value and by that way capture the interest of the audience and get them to our website where they can actually read more about the product. So maybe on the content side we do more case studies. We're really focused on video right now."
12:30
Using A Mixed Bag Of Big Advertising Platforms And Smaller Ones
"For lead generation in the B2B world and even in the B2C world, you can't ignore Facebook, Google ads and LinkedIn and also those platforms. They play different, different types of roles throughout the kind of customer life cycle journey. So Google ads, really transactional, but you can actually cover the entire research space from early kind of creating the interest and then in the end actually converting that person to a new lead or an SQL. So an advise for people using Google ads is to, if you really want to kind of not be feeding your competitors, you should really be focused and make sure that you are covering the entire research base of that person in Google ads."
15:00
How Do You Actually Make Advertising Work
"My number one tip for anyone thinking about advertising. Make sure to secure the budget and the buy in from your managers, from the management team, from your board. It's going to take time. It's going to take much more time than you think and a lot more money as well."
20:34
Attribution In Advertising
22:10
Getting Insights On Your Customers And Audience With LinkedIn Ads
26:05
Testing In Advertising
28:40
The Most Important Thing When Choosing a KPI
"As a piece of advice to people thinking about, especially within marketing advertising, what KPI they should be focusing on and they should mainly think about kind of what is a KPI that your team owns and you have kind of full control of the KPI. So it could be the conversion rate if the marketing team also owns the website. Or it could be a click through rate if you have an advertising team that is not basically working really closely with the web team, which unfortunately is the case for a lot of companies. But I think the most important thing is you kind of isolate the, the KPI where you know, that it's actually me and my team, we can impact this metric. So otherwise it doesn't really make sense for you to kind of gauge your performance on a KPI where you don't have full control of the KPI."
32:10
A Tool To Make The Life Of The Customer Or Prospect Easier
33:50
Hard Lesson: You Should Get Operations Early On
37:20
This Crisis Is Accelerating The Transformation To Digital
"I can see that this crisis will accelerate that transformation for a lot of companies and they need to kind of catch up, a lot of maybe smaller companies, more agile companies who've done digital advertising for a while. But I think the entire digital advertising space will get a super boost from this. Even though the advertising spend in general might decline for a moment when there's a lot of uncertainty in the market. But I'm pretty confident that it will pick up pretty quickly.(...) I think coming out of this crisis, we will see a lot of companies, especially older and bigger companies taking huge, huge leaps becoming more digital thinking, more data driven and potentially, potentially seeing that many of the advertising platforms will see a big bump in, in CPCs etc. So I think it will be really, really interesting to see how the market will look like a year from now."
41:00
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

Hi Juusu. Thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS Breakthrough podcast. Appreciate your time. Appreciate you jumping on with me. We have a lot to talk about around Funnel. How are you doing today?

JL (02:30):
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

DA (02:33):
Yeah, I'm excited. A lot to talk about on content marketing, advertising. You guys are doing a ton of it. Before we jump in to those marketing conversations, why don't you explain a bit about Funnel, when it was founded, who your customers are and what you're doing uniquely in the marketplace?

JL (02:50):
Of course. So the short story would be Funnel originally is a spin off from an advertising agency. So back in around 2012, we started building a product called [inaudible], which was a Facebook ads tool. And then we kind of pivoted to Funnel back in 2014 when we realized that there is a bigger problem we should be focusing on. So we started building Funnel and kind of back in the days it was a marketing reporting tool really focused on SMB ecommerce companies. And now we've kind of, in the past four years, we've evolved in becoming more of a, how to say we're helping marketing and businesses to be more data driven by basically providing them all their marketing and revenue data in a business ready format in pretty much all the tools they have so, they can decide if they want to use the data in their BI tool so data warehouses. So that is pretty much what we do. We help marketing to be more data-driven and actually understand how they are doing.

DA (03:59):
That's amazing. And one of the big responses we constantly get on ways that marketing teams should improve is being more data driven. And I think it's just an incredible resource to have. I know I'm constantly struggling to see all the things I want to see. So it makes a lot of sense. When did you actually join the team and what did you have to initially focus on when you jumped in?

JL (04:20):
Hmm, let's see. So I joined the team full time late 2016. And I used to work actually at the advertising agency that Funnel originated from. So I already knew the team, the founding team, and I worked as a consultant a couple of hours a week helping them to kind of grow [inaudible] and then to Funnel. And then back in 2016 I decided to join full time and I was basically the first marketing hire for the team.

DA (04:49):
Awesome. That makes a lot of sense. When you came in, were you still on that kind of early ICP, that early product market fit journey where you still doing like most of the e-commerce?

JL (04:59):
Yeah. Yeah. So when I joined the, the main focus was e-commerce and back then the platform was more of a end to end reporting platform for SMB ecommerce companies. So I was really focusing on the demand gen and then kind of pretty early on we started seeing signals from other businesses, agencies, retailers, subscription companies that they also struggled with this problem. So they had a really hard time understanding or getting an overview how their marketing is actually performing. So then we started opening up the platform to other types of businesses and then eventually we kind of opened up the platform not being an Intuit solution anymore, but we thought there's a lot of people who already use data warehousing solutions and BI tools that are great for visualization. So we wanted to give them the flexibility to use their data in any tool they are already using.

DA (06:00):
What were the signals that you initially saw from those different segments, those different niches that drove you guys to expand your ICP? I mean, was it just new customer sign ups? Was people just interested in the sales process? How did you know that was the right time to expand the product?

JL (06:17):
So I would say the acquisition model we have is pure inbound. So we're not doing any outbound, so it's really advertising driven. So everybody basically comes to us and signs, ups and books a demo. So we started seeing a lot of different kinds of companies, not purely eCommerce companies coming to us and we had conversations with them and they basically signal that we're actually, we're having the same problem. And a lot of those customers started using the end to end reporting solution. We already we had back then, but we also, saw when bigger companies started coming in that they wanted to have the flexibility to use the data in their BI tools or exported into data warehouse solutions. So then we decided to open up the platform and provide our customers with that flexibility.

DA (07:11):
From the marketing side of things and the sales side of things. Is that just going back now to your product team, having conversations with leadership and product teams to say, Hey listen, you know, the things that we're seeing coming in, the signals that are coming in are really signifying that we need to make this kind of wider pivot. We need to add in new integrations, we need to add new data entrances. Is that kinda how you guys did that and then you just shifted the messaging along the way?

JL (07:34):
Yeah, totally. And we're a product for these company, so our product team has their fingers on the pulse of our customers. So they are gauging the interest and the needs of all our users and customers on a recurring basis. So we kind of saw a, an emerging wave of requests of getting the data into other visualization tools. And we decided back then that there is no idea for us to start basically competing with visualization tools but rather partner with them and give our customers the flexibility to use their data in the tools they are already using. And it also expands the use case because especially if our bigger customers, they might have multiple teams using Funnel. So in all the cases it's not only marketing that is using Funnel, there might be the BI team, there might be the IT team or, or the types of teams that are actually using fFunnel to get the data in the tools they are using.

DA (08:43):
Got it. That makes a ton of sense. Now you mentioned you guys obviously came from the ad agency and a lot of your advertising was a big part of the success you had from those early leads obviously up till now. I would love to talk about what you've done to build that system. How did you actually go about in the early days building this inbound system? Was it, you know, a basic setup of going to, like a lead magnet just coming through to a demo? Like what does the whole system look like from a walkthrough?

JL (09:13):
So I think as you said, our DNA is from an ad agency. So we know advertising and we also built an ad advertising tool for Facebook, [inaudible. So advertising is something we know and what we thought is really great with advertising is that it scales really nicely. So we have been really, really focused on building a scalable kind of advertising lead generation engine. And even in the early days, the like philosophy behind our marketing is to make the buying as easy as possible for the prospects. So we want the prospects to come to us when they feel they are ready. So we worked a lot with content on the website to try to give them as much information as they need in order to kind of decide themselves, would Funnel be something for me. And once they do, they can actually just book a demo automatically in the website, pick a time and date and they'll get to talk to, talk to a sales team and to see a demo. So we kind of really early on, we decided that we don't want to go the old school content marketing route as many other companies are thinking and really successfully. But we decided to kind of not do any gated content, no lead magnets. The only thing we want to provide our prospect is that when they actually feel that they are ready, they can come to us and they get to talk to our sales team and see the product.

DA (10:48):
That makes a lot of sense. From, from an advertising perspective itself, is that constantly promoting a new piece of content that comes out every week? Is that creating unique specialized free content that you're using as like a native ad and you're like putting the demo at the end or is it literally just promoting every new post that comes out and the only call to action on the website is a free trial. So they sign up when they're ready.

JL (11:16):
Yeah. Basically the only call to action we have on the website is book a demo because that is literally the only thing we want people to do. When they feel they are ready, they get to talk to us and they get to try out the product for free. And I think that's something that is really also in our DNA. We're extremely customer focused. We tried to have a lot of empathy on and put ourselves into the shoes of our prospects. So we want to constantly think about what, how would we perceive the messaging, the ads, the sign up flow, the entire sales funnel and remove friction as much as possible. So when it comes to advertising, we actually aren't creating that much content in the classic content marketing way of things, but rather trying to promote the value and by that way capture the interest of the audience and get them to our website where they can actually read more about the product. So maybe on the content side we do more case studies. We're really focused on video right now. So doing a lot of customer use cases where our customers get to tell how they use Funnel and the value they perceive.

DA (12:30):
That makes a lot of sense. And from the ad strategy perspective, what are you doing from like a targeting area? Are there specific platforms that you've seen massive success with? Are you really focusing on Google ads, LinkedIn, Facebook? You know, there's so many different areas in advertising.

JL (12:50):
Yeah, totally. I would say it's a mixed bag, but you can't, in today's world, you can't kind of ignore the big boys Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. And I would say for us, those are some of the bigger channels. Then as iteration has become the new norm. And we tried to experiment really rapidly and kind of get indications if there are new platforms that might work for us. So we have bunch of other platforms as well. But I'd still say that for lead generation in the B2B world and even in the B2C world, you can't ignore Facebook, Google ads and LinkedIn and also those platforms. They play different, different types of roles throughout the kind of customer life cycle journey. So Google ads, really transactional, but you can actually cover the entire research space from early kind of creating the interest and then in the end actually converting that person to a new lead or an SQL. So an advise for people using Google ads is to, if you really want to kind of not be feeding your competitors, you should really be focused and make sure that you are covering the entire research base of that person in Google ads.

DA (14:13):
You mentioned also smaller platforms. Are there new platforms that you're seeing success with that that aren't part of that kind of big, big boy package?

JL (14:23):
There are smaller platforms where it constantly trying out. Well I think one really interesting platform is, for example, Quora which we for the first time tried, I think it's around two years ago when they first came out with a beta, worked great for two weeks, then the performance dropped and we kind of came to the conclusion that it was too early days for Quora and the algorithms were not doing great job. So we've jumped off the platform but then we did a new test around six months ago and now we're actually seeing some success in Qupra as well.

DA (15:02):
I remember that beta program with Quora and we, we did some advertising there and kind of moved away from it, but really amazing search abilities there. I love that idea. For those people, since you guys have so much experience for those people who maybe are just getting started with advertising or want to kind of follow the same process that you guys have done, where you're promoting content pushing to a trial on not the classic content marketing or advertising approach. Are there any you know, major pitfalls you can talk about, are things that people can do to avoid, to save the time and make better decisions in that advertising process?

JL (15:40):
Oh yeah. Yes, there are. This is actually a conversation I've had with a lot of CMOs in the past 12 months. And that's the most common question we usually get is how do you actually make advertising work? And a lot of companies, they've tried advertising and they pretty quickly come to the conclusion that it doesn't work. And the problem with that is that people tend to forget that in order to build a really great lead generation engine that is advertising driven, you need to have patience and you need a lot of money. And people usually, I see the biggest pitfall in, in most of those things that people actually don't have the patience and the buy in from maybe their board or their management team to invest a lot of money to actually make it work. Cause when it comes to advertising, it's all about learning.

JL (16:38):
It's all about finding your audience. And every single time you start using a new platform, you need to do that exercise again and again and again. And at some point you find it, you find the efficiency, you find the optimal cost per acquisition on that specific platform. You find the audience and what's fantastic with that. After that, it scales pretty nicely. You don't need to add a lot of personnel. You can just increase the budget. And if the setup is great, it scales nicely without the CPA actually growing as you scale. So that would be my number one tip for anyone thinking about advertising. Make sure to secure the budget and the buy in from your managers, from the management team, from your board. It's going to take time. It's going to take much more time than you think and a lot more money as well.

DA (17:32):
Let's try to get a little bit more specific on that. Let's say you're going to your, you know, COO or you're going to your founders, you're in a SaaS company, a smaller team, and you want to invest in paid advertising. What is a requirement, you think for initial campaigns as far as time and money. You need $10,000 in three months or, I mean, obviously this is very subjective to the size of your company, but it's like what kind of a good starting off point to, to figure this stuff out?

JL (18:02):
I'd say it's really hard to come up with an exact number. As you say, it will vary so much depending on firstly how quickly you find your audience on that platform. And also secondly, who are you competing with? So depending on the category, the competition might be fierce because you're basically are competing of the same impressions. So I would say for example, for us when we started and the category we are in, it really didn't exist. So we needed to do a lot of educating to the market. So it took even more time and money from us because there wasn't a specific need for these types of solutions. People didn't really know what to call the type of solutions we are because everybody was just using spreadsheets. So for the first, I would say nine to 12 months, a lot of our advertising didn't generate a ton of leads, but we basically were educating our audience.

JL (19:05):
And then after awhile we could see the numbers start picking up and we could see a really nice CPAs from a lot of different platforms. And also one thing that I mentioned earlier is that you need to remember that different platforms play different roles throughout the customer journey. So for example, Twitter is something we've been using quite a lot. And to be fair, we don't see that many lastly conversions from Twitter, but we know that there's a spillover effect and Twitter is more of a platform where we can actually generate the awareness and interest and the people will convert throughout other channels.

DA (19:42):
That's very, very helpful. Yeah, yeah, definitely. In our last episode we had on Threekit and they are kind of in that position where you were, where they are disrupting a marketplace, their major keywords, their major vocabulary isn't really well known. And so what they're doing is content marketing for thought leadership. Kind of bridging that gap, piggybacking on other search terms to build out that thought leadership like you guys had to do with a lot of your early terms. So I think it's interesting that, you know, different platforms can be used like Twitter, you would share more probably thought leadership content, pay for advertising there. Google ads would be more search specific in those early days, are you guys just going in with the impression that advertising, you know, may not be about leads, it's about branding. And if that is, how do you measure that?

JL (20:34):
So is the question, how would you miss the impact when you're not actually generating leads?

DA (20:41):
Correct. If that's not the exact goal of it.

JL (20:45):
That's a really tough one. It, it, it comes down to maybe the biggest question in the advertising industry, which is attribution, which Google said that they solved two years ago when they came out with Google attribution. And then after a while basically put that project in the grave because it's a, it's a really complicated problem and I think the attribution model that people should be using will vary a lot depending on, on your business, on your industry, on the velocity to transaction from impression. So it's a tough one and I think a good kind of piece of advice for many people would be you shouldn't potentially really, really care that much about attribution. I think attribution comes into play when we're talking about high volume advertisers. Say for example, MachineZone the gaming company by Gabe Leydon, they need to think about attribution, but a lot of say smaller B2B companies are better off if they only focus and see, okay, are, is my marketing really generating ROI or revenue or not? So perfect is a lot of times the worst enemy of good.

DA (22:14):
That's definitely true. I love that. One of the other platforms you mentioned was LinkedIn. A couple episodes back, we had a great guest who talked about organic engagement and building great posts on LinkedIn, but we haven't ever talked really too much about LinkedIn advertising. Some people have talked about the fact that it's just, you know, a good place to go for specific targeting. Do you have any examples or ideas and how to get strong results from the LinkedIn targeting and LinkedIn advertising platform or campaign type that works best?

JL (22:43):
Yeah, sure. We've been using LinkedIn for a very long time. I think we were among the first ones, especially in the Nordics, maybe in the Europe to start investing in LinkedIn ads. So we've been learning that platform for a very long time and kind of also working really closely with the LinkedIn ads team to kind of debug the platform. Because back two years ago, the UI wasn't really on par with Google ads or Facebook's, which makes a lot of sense considering that a lot of their revenue was coming from the recruitment platforms they were selling. But I think LinkedIn is great and especially when it comes to, as you say, targeting and the quality of data you have on people is, is fantastic. I don't think there is another platform that you can even compare to LinkedIn. So yeah, we've been using LinkedIn a lot and I think there's a lot of different ways you can use LinkedIn and especially companies in a, I would say kind of early phase, LinkedIn might be a really good place to kind of get some insights on who your customers or who your audience is.

JL (24:02):
And one way would be to kind of do more brand awareness campaigns, more generic brand awareness campaigns on LinkedIn. And you get a lot of insights on the companies and the titles and the seniority's of the people who are actually engaging with your ads or clicking them. So that might help you to then isolate some of those target groups and create more niche and strictly target groups for those specific segments. So I think LinkedIn is underutilized by a lot of lot of companies, which is really surprising. It's, it's great for us. And there's a lot of, a lot of impressions to buy and also it's not as noisy as say, Facebook or, or some of the other platforms yet, but I think as a lot of people start discovering LinkedIn it might be that at some point LinkedIn ads platform will overtake the recruiting tools in, in revenue for LinkedIn.

JL (25:07):
And yeah, yeah, I, I believe in, in link nod. And one thing that is really interesting with LinkedIn, especially being a fairly young platform when it comes to advertising is I think maybe like with all the platforms you should try out all the different formats. One format we've seen a lot of success with is sponsored content, which are basically these ads in your feed with pictures, big pictures. And there is not as much kind of restrictions as on Facebook how much text or, or what colors you should have. So you should just try it out. And especially when you're kind of in a more mature phase, it's even better because then you know who your customers are and you can target people based on their job titles, based on their skills, et cetera. So a big thumbs up to LinkedIn. It's a great platform.

DA (26:06):
So you said a couple of really interesting points there and one of them being kind of testing different formats. Do you guys typically take one specific ad campaign, let's say you know, you create this unique piece of content and you want to promote it through the LinkedIn platform, you know, your audience, but you want to test all these different formats. Do you take that same piece of content and then run maybe seven different ads and the seven different types of content formation but all the same content or just each like ad format needs its own kind of campaign behind it?

JL (26:38):
Yes and no. I think that also varies between different platforms. But for example, on LinkedIn there are a couple of different ad formats you can try. And what we tend to do is to always kind of take the same piece of content, try it on different ad formats and pretty quickly kind of get the data in where we can decide, okay, which of these ad formats work best for us? And now that we've been using LinkedIn for such a long time, we're kind of almost defaulting to some of the, some of the ad formats because we've done the test so many times that we know that some of these ad formats work well, way better than the other ones.

DA (27:20):
Got it. That makes sense. And you also mentioned kind of in that first step, if you're kind of early stage using LinkedIn to help you understand more of your audience. From a specific point of view or a tactical point of view on that campaign, what would that piece of content look like? Or what would that ad campaign look like? And are you just targeting like an entire industry? Like I'm going to target all professional B2B companies with X piece of content and then we're going to see who clicks on it and talks about it. And that's going to be my data.

JL (27:47):
Yeah, you could go that broad. Usually you have a hunch of who your audience should be. So you could basically for that type of advertising campaign you could use like different LinkedIn groups. So say if your, your target audience would be CEOs within a specific industry, there's a lot of different groups with tens of thousand people in those groups. So you could just go use that group as your targeting and then see, okay, what types of companies and personas are actually engaging with your ad? Or then you could go even broader and just say the company size. So it could be companies with 1000 to 500 employees within a specific region. Let's see what we can get from there.

DA (28:40):
Got it, got it. Yeah, that makes sense. Now, moving away from advertising and talking more about data as a data platform, you guys probably see so much data, but when you're looking at, you know, campaigns and channels, are there specific metrics that you guys have found are the key ones for your business? And obviously these change from business to business as far as like the KPIs that matter most, but what are the ones that you guys have found are most important specifically for, for advertising?

JL (29:10):
Well, I think for advertising as you say, there is not a specific, one specific KPI that works for everything. One thing where we've found a lot of success is again, as you said, we're a data company. So that being a data driven company, data driven marketing is kind of in our DNA. So what we've basically done is to tie our advertising data with our CRM data and basically allows us to go deeper down the funnel and see, okay, all signups we get are not equal. So we're mainly interested in which of these channels are actually generating NQS or SQLs or, or pipeline. So I wouldn't say there's one KPI, but once the volume started going up, I can strongly encourage people to go deeper down their funnel and to really understand which of these leads are actual, the valuable ones and then tie back those leads to the actual channels that generated them.

DA (30:18):
So you could honestly say once you get to the sophistication level that you, you have a good pipeline going through some of the vanity metrics might be a cost per action, cost per click, cost per impression. Cause it really doesn't, I guess, matter how much you're spending if you're getting the quality leads, like the key thing, the key indicator is just the quality of leads by channel.

JL (30:41):
Yeah, yeah, totally. And not only the quality, of course, we're interested about the cost per acquisition and then we'd go down to what is the cost per SQL. So the cost or CPAs for the different conversions alongside the sales funnel is something that we're constantly monitoring and also the conversion rates because that's usually is a really good indicator for us if the bucket is leaking somewhere. So I think maybe as, as a piece of advice to people thinking about, especially within marketing advertising, what KPI they should be focusing on and they should mainly think about kind of what is a KPI that your team owns and you have kind of full control of the KPI. So it could be the conversion rate if the marketing team also owns the website. Or it could be a click through rate if you have an advertising team that is not basically working really closely with the web team, which unfortunately is the case for a lot of companies. But I think the most important thing is you kind of isolate the, the KPI where you know, that it's actually me and my team, we can impact this metric. So otherwise it doesn't really make sense for you to kind of gauge your performance on a KPI where you don't have full control of the KPI.

DA (32:12):
Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And I can also see how if you don't get very narrow, you can kind of be all over the place and make you know, decisions that are uninformed or not you know, totally thought out. So that makes a lot of sense. What's your guys' kind of technical stack look like? Have you found platforms and systems that plug in to Funnel that had been really helpful for you?

JL (32:33):
Oh, the text doc it's a, it's a big boy. So we're using HubSpot as our CRM and that plugs into Funnel, which makes it great because that also allows us to map our advertising data with our CRM data. One additional piece or trick that I think is fantastic that I know that a lot of companies within SaaS are using is Clearbit, which is a data enrichment tool. And it basically allows, if we're going back to kind of the philosophy we have having customer acquisition, which is empathy. So we really want to make sure that we're not asking stuff from our prospects or leads that we don't really need to. And Clearbit is a great tool for that. So basically just by our prospects giving their email, we don't need to ask them their job titles, their company industries, their revenues amount of employees. This is data we can actually get from Clearbit. So big recommendation on, on everyone kind of trying to make the life of the customer or the prospect easier, use Clearbit.

DA (33:49):
I love that. That's super helpful. And what about looking back over the past year, any hard lessons learned from campaigns that didn't go the way you thought or learning from data over the past year from, from things you wish you could do again?

JL (34:01):
Hard lessons. I think that's maybe not only for the last year, but I think a lesson that I learned that actually Bill Macaitis is the former CMO of Slack and Zendesk, he said as well is that you should get operations early on. So the earlier you actually get an operations person into your team, the better geared you will be for the future and when you actually start scaling. So we actually did build an operations team, or started building an operations team last year. And we can already see a huge impact of having dedicated persons really focusing on how to build, basically leverage for the entire commercial team, scalable processes. And what's really key about operations is that for a marketing team, the operations will be the ones making sure that we actually capture all the data from all the different things, not only for marketing but for sales, from the customer success teams that we capture all the data that marketing team can use in order to kind of measure how is the company doing, what type of impact does marketing have kind of across the, across the entire customer journey.

DA (35:30):
What key systems has operations brought in outside of maybe a tracking system?

JL (35:37):
Now, I wouldn't say operations has actually brought in any systems yet. So it's, it's more like they are helping the teams to better utilize the systems we already have. So we feel that the tech stack we have is actually really good. But we haven't fully utilized the tech stack. So operations is helping our teams to better utilize the tools we already have. Then potentially at some point we'll identify that one of the tools we have is not, is not the right tool to solving the problem we might have. And then operations will be a great asset there that can actually gauge how that tool is used across the entire company, across all the teams and then go and look for a better tool for that specific purpose.

DA (36:29):
Got it. So it's more about setting frameworks and expectations and kind of helping remove things from, from the team and taking it on themselves.

JL (36:36):
Exactly, exactly. And kind of operations is the glue between all the different commercial teams, which is why we've kind of decided to have operations within the marketing team early on because that gives basically marketing better control throughout the entire customer journey. And we can really identify if the bucket is leaking somewhere and tackle that problem because it doesn't really make any sense to just pour in more leads. If you see that the bucket is leaking somewhere because you're spending a lot of money getting those leads in. So you want to make sure that the bucket isn't leaking anywhere and if it is leaking, we can identify the problem and start working on fixing that.

DA (37:21):
Yes, that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. And looking forward in 2020, it's going to be a crazy year, lots going on in the world you know, or kind in the global economy and changes in SaaS landscape and all this kind of stuff. Is there anything looking forward that you are excited for or new opportunities that you're seeing from this new landscape? Maybe from a marketing point of view?

JL (37:43):
I think especially like looking at the current state of the economy and I think in the end, the crisis that is ongoing right now will force a lot of companies to kind of rethink how they've done things previously. And I would say even a lot of big enterprise companies, they need to start thinking digitally. And from a marketing point of view, we already see that digital marketing is the new marketing. So I think it was this year, no last year, when 50% of the global advertising spend was on digital platforms. So digital marketing is the new marketing and there's still a lot of companies who are, who haven't really started utilizing that, who are kind of new to digital marketing. So I can see that this crisis will accelerate that transformation for a lot of companies and they need to kind of catch up, a lot of maybe smaller companies, more agile companies who've done digital advertising for a while.

JL (38:56):
But I think the entire digital advertising space will get a super boost from this. Even though the advertising spend in general might decline for a moment when there's a lot of uncertainty in the market. But I'm pretty confident that it will pick up pretty quickly. And again, there's a lot of research that says that companies or if we think of the winners and kind of the companies that are taking a really big hit through the crisis, then there's the big ones who are actually benefiting a lot from these and those companies are spending more, which kind of balances the overal spend. So I think coming out of this crisis, we will see a lot of companies, especially older and bigger companies taking huge, huge leaps becoming more digital thinking, more data driven and potentially, potentially seeing that many of the advertising platforms will see a big bump in, in CPCs etc. So I think it will be really, really interesting to see how the market will look like a year from now.

DA (40:19):
Hashtag new world, that's a hashtag I'm trying to make popular here. So I just want to make sure that I understand. You don't think I should invest this year, all my money into newspaper ads and billboards. That's no longer going to be my viable option for marketing leads. Huh?

JL (40:36):
Potentially not. But at the same time, you can take the contrarian view and if those advertising spaces are seeing a big kind of a decline on demand, then potentially that ad space might be really inexpensive and that is exactly where you should spend your money on.

DA (40:57):
That is so true. That was a really well thought out statement. But awesome. What I want to do now is I want to flip over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions that you can answer with first best thought that comes to mind. You want to get started?

JL (41:10):
Let's do it.

DA (41:11):
All right. You got this. All right. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

DA (41:20):
Hire operations as soon as you find a good candidate.

DA (41:24):
Ooh, I like that. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

JL (41:31):
I would say being data driven is a given, but a skill that I think especially companies being really data-driven that they tend to forget is storytelling. So remember storytelling. It's still, we're trying to market to people and people like stories. And when you tell a story about your product it takes way better than just basically boasting with your features of your product.

DA (42:00):
Definitely. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth, or maybe data?

JL (42:08):
There's a lot. Best educational resource. I'd say there's one great marketer, Guillaume Cabane. He's the former head of growth for Drift and Segment nowadays. He's a growth advisor. He's, he's really, really, he's extremely, he's really creative. He's, I think he called himself the mad scientist. Knows a lot about growth, knows a lot about marketing and especially the more technical kind of perspective of marketing and lead generation. So Guillaume Cabane, I think I'm butchering his name. He goes by the name "G" so check him out. Everything basically he shares is golden.

DA (42:57):
Yeah, I follow him on LinkedIn. Lots of great content there. We'll have to link to his his profile there. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

JL (43:07):
Favorite tool? I think our, our entire company runs on Slack, so that's an obvious one. But I'd say one of my favorite tools and a pretty new one would be Gong. Which is a revenue intelligence platform that basically allows, or they basically what they do is they record all the sales conversations we have and they transcribe them. So it's really easy for even marketing teams to go in and listen what the customers or the prospects or the leads throughout the different deal stages or life cycle stages are saying. And that might help us to tweak our messaging. Are we actually sending the right messages or setting the right expectations. So Gong is great not only for marketing, but especially for sales, for sales coaching, for sales managers. Gong is a, it's kind of a surprise that there wasn't anything like Gong before this or like I think we've started using Gong two years ago. But Gong, a big kudos. A great tool.

DA (44:20):
Yeah. Definitely love that tool. Also, Slack just got the new, UI update. It's fantastic looking another good platform. Good tool.

JL (44:28):
Yeah.

DA (44:29):
All right, last question for you. Brand business or team that you admire today?

JL (44:36):
I need to go with Gong. I think the way they do content marketing is, is fantastic. They basically up to content marketing game to the next level. Doing a lot of great content. I love their brand. I love the people behind it. Udit Ledergor their CMO at Gong, really great guy. It's a lot of empathy and kind of you can feel the empathy coming from the brand. And also Chris Orlob their former product marketing manager, nowadays I think he's leading the sales team has produced so much great content for sales people where they're actually using their own data from all the customer calls they recorded and they are basically doing some data science and analysis and providing a lot of really insight, with insights for sales teams on how to sell better.

DA (45:31):
That's awesome. I'll have to take a look at what they're doing from the content marketing perspective because if you are saying that then they must be great.

Speaker 2 (45:37):
I just want to say thank you so much for your time today. It was fantastic to go through this stuff. We got to talk a lot about advertising and content and what you guys are doing so well over there at Funnel. So thank you so much for your time today and being so honest and open.

JL (45:50):
My pleasure.

DA (45:52):
It was a real pleasure and we'll talk to you soon.

JL (45:55):
Ok bye.

DA (45:55):
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's always fantastic to have you here as an audience member, as an listener, this is why we created this podcast. (…)

Resources:
Resource Mentioned - Guillaume Cabane :
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cabane/
Learn More About Funnel:
https://funnel.io/
Connect With Juuso:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/juusolyytikka/
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