SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Kevin White

Demio Discover featuring kevin whiteAbout Kevin White:
Kevin White leads the growth marketing team at Segment. Prior to Segment, Kevin has helped a handful of high-growth SaaS companies scale through team building and demand gen efforts.
Segment makes analytics and data collection easy. Use Segment instrument event tracking once, integrate with 250+ tools with the flip of a switch, and power those tools with consistent customer data.

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Show Notes:
Making Analytics And Customer Data Collection Super Easy
Joining and Doubling the Team Size
The Origin Story of Product Market Fit
Running Jobs To Be Done Framework With "personas"
A Documenting Process Based On a Culture of Empathy Towards Customers
Identifying Compelling Events That Show The Right Time To Connect With Audiences
Creating Audiences Based On User Events And Traits Collected
Finding Audience and Offer Match
What A Winning Campaign Look Like
The Sweet Spot For Content Marketing
Experiments By The Numbers
Content For The Job To Be Done
Handling Different Types of Inbound Leads
In 2019: The Level of Personalization That Creates Big Impact
32:30 Intent And Milestones
Lightning Questions

DA: 02:08
Hey Kevin, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. So excited to have you and Segment here. How are you doing today?

KW: 02:16
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. We're so happy to join the podcast.

DA: 02:20
I know you guys are a company we've had our eye on for a long time. I'm excited to learn from you, learn from what you guys are doing over there at Segment. But for those of our listeners who don't know about you guys or have been living under a rock and haven't used Segment yet, why don't you give us a little explanation about what you guys are doing when the company was founded and what Segment is doing uniquely in the marketplace these days.

KW: 02:43
Yeah, for sure. So, so Segment was founded long before my time here. I believe it was 2011 or 2012 time period and we were part of the YC class from back then. But I can speak a little bit better towards, what we do or what's unique about the marketplace. And that's help companies use their data in better ways. So if you kind of like abstract that and think about like a really great experience you've had with a brand, say like Apple for example where if you were to go into a store, a clerk will meet you and greet you and then pull up your order history on, on their phone or their little like device, and deliver like a really personal experience. Like that, this awesome experience is what we're trying to provide for our customers. So, to do that you need this really solid customer data infrastructure that connects the dots between your website, your mobile app, in store purchases, emails and every interaction point. And that's what we do. So we make analytics and customer data collection super easy. We offer a single API that allows you to implement an event tracking and analytics once with Segment and integrate with 250 plus tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, Optimizely, Facebook, Raise, all these different tools, all with the flip of a switch and ensure that that data across all those different tools is consistent and reliable.

DA: 04:01
I think the interesting part about what you guys are doing is the vision behind it, the personalized experiences and the understanding that to do that it takes a lot of things to work together. Knowing, you know, that you guys have this big vision and you guys can serve a magnitude of businesses. Who do you look as, or who you're looking at as your customer base. Is there a specific segment of the customers you're going after?

KW: 04:26
Yeah. So it's, it's kind of a hard group to define because pretty much all of our customers are just any, anyone who uses data or anyone who's a data practitioner, we've kind of like narrowed it down somewhat around, data analysts, engineering folks, product managers and growth marketers. But like you can imagine that's like a pretty wide group of people. And folks who like, touch the data. So, yeah, it's a bit of a challenge, but we were definitely, blessed in the fact that we have lots of people touching Segment and using Segment. But, defining our core customer audience, has been a bit of a challenge, but I think we can get to that, some of that later on in the episode as well.

DA: 05:08
Yeah, definitely something that I absolutely want to address, which is how you guys are dealing with that because it's something that I think a lot of SaaS companies deal with, especially in marketing. Like how do we make that decision. So I guess we'll, we'll take a step back. When did you actually join the company? You mentioned, segment was founded in maybe in 2011 you said, when did you join? What was the team size like at that time?

KW: 05:29
Yeah, so I joined Segment just a little over a year ago, in January of 2018. So, I'm somewhat of a newbie to the company, although we've grown quite a bit since that time. And, when I was brought on, we had about 200 employees and are probably double that since, I don't have the exact numbers. Yeah, so that's how the company's grown. And I've just kind of been brought on to help with the top of funnel growth marketing function and build out a team there. So, we've, since I've joined we've added quite a few members of the team, a handful of members, and just keep on, keep on at it.

DA: 06:07
I love it. That's awesome. Doubling your employee team size is incredible. It just is a really good representation of company growth and probably what's happening in revenue, stuff like that. So that's fantastic. But I guess, you know, you just joined about a year ago, so you may not have as many details, but maybe just explain some of the story or the struggle that you guys kind of originally went through to find product market fit because I think that story oftentimes, helps us catch up to, to why you're talking to the customers that you are right now. Has that target market kind of evolved from the early days till when you join the last year?

KW: 06:43
Yeah, so, we're definitely adding new products and things are changing all the time. But like the origin story of our product market fit is actually kind of a funny story and I've heard it many times, but I'm not sure I'll do it great justice but, the founders actually started Segment as an education startup. They did not have product market fit whatsoever. So, as they were trying to like move on to the next stage as they're running out of cash and had this idea to launch an analytics javascript wrapper, based on the hypothesis that there's a lot of different tools out there used by product engineering, marketing and data teams. And they all rely on this, this data layer, the same, event data. But all these different tools are instrumented in different ways. It didn't make much sense to them that there was this waste of valuable engineering resources that were paid to essentially like connect the dots between like your data on your website or mobile app to these different tools. So they like built and launch this analytics js and put it up on GitHub and overnight we got tons of stars on GitHub and was, was trending on hacker news. And so that's kind of like the origin stories. Like once they put that out there it was like, oh, we have this product market fit, maybe we should actually make a product out of this. And also like if you want more background on it, there's this awesome product market fit, talk our CEO, Peter gives, on youtube and we can probably link that in the show notes I'm guessing.

DA: 08:07
Let's definitely do that. I would love to have that story. That's fantastic. And what a cool story. So obviously the product has evolved. You know, the product market fit kind of happened accidentally almost. And target market probably gets more evolved as the product is. So you mentioned before that you have like this kind of wide range of different customer segments that you're looking at and we know from tons of our past guests, great marketers, who talk about the data driven approach to creating these customer personas and you guys are kind of approaching it with a unique mentality. You have all of these different customer personas, you have to address them all, but you kind of changed the way you look at it. You changed it to a framework, instead of just a customer persona, you've talked about the jobs to be done framework when we spoke, with how you guys are doing this. So maybe explain how you guys are running Jobs To Be Done framework with your, I guess quote unquote personas, are no longer personas, but you know, the process that you use to go through that, how you set it up and why you guys have actually attacked it this way.

KW: 09:11
Yeah. So just going back to, recapping what we said earlier, it's just like anyone who uses customer data is somewhat, somewhat can be within our target market. Which yeah, makes that focus a bit of a challenge. So we've kind of pivoted to, not pivoted, but one framework we'd like to use is, is Jobs To Be Done. Or for audience targeting and message match. And so our product marketing team has done a ton of interviews and qualitative research to figure out like what jobs each of these different profiles is doing. So, the best example I can speak to is, on the growth marketing side because like I use Segment, I'm kind of like trying to accomplish a job with Segment. So, from the growth will take this role like a growth marketer at a, at a SaaS company like myself and our job to be done is to find the right audience match in, like target this audience across all these different platforms. So like, that's one job that I'm looking to do and one, one job that Segment can help lead me to. So, and, it's different, it's a different job to be done for like an engineering role, which is mostly like, hey, you don't have to be doing all this monotonous work in connecting like data from one thing to another. Instead of, you could use Segment and just, you know, flip a switch and enable other people to do that heavy lifting that you, you don't have to do as an engineer or you shouldn't have to do as an engineer. And yeah, just enable other teams to do like the, the easier worker, the connecting data pipeline stuff for you.

DA: 10:38
I love it. I think one of the problems that I've run into and doing a lot of customer interviews and amazing that you're doing that is that sometimes you can get data all over, like everyone's saying similar things, but kind of all over the place and it's really hard to find like those overlapping areas. So you guys are kind of finding those overlapping areas, putting them together into use cases, creating the JTBD frameworks for that kind of customer outline. How are you guys going through the process of like aggregating that data? How are you grouping it together? Are you just saying, you know, the majority, the majority of people are saying something similar to each other, we're okay, we feel comfortable moving that into like one specific use case.

KW: 11:16
Yeah, totally. And so I'm not the greatest person at Segment to be answering this question, but I am the benefactor of a ton of work that's been done by our product teams and product marketing team and our user experience team. So my general 2 cents on the topic is that you just need to start by listening to your customers and do that by whatever means possible and then also be kind of rigorous around the documentation process so that you can share that within, within the whole entire, within your org. And we really try to build this into the culture at Segment where we're listening in on the sales calls. It's highly encouraged. We survey, we do tons of surveys with our customers, share findings across our entire org, and just, have, many of our customers come into the office and give talks. So it's just kind of like ingrained within our culture that like, we want to be empathetic towards our customers and hear what their problems are. And then we kind of like built this process around like documenting it. But like, I'm just like the benefactor there so I can't like say like do this and do this and do this. But I think that the key point is just like, like build some sort of process to start listening to your customers and hear what their problems are and not all like very clearly yourself. You get these patterns in where it's like, okay, this like after, after talking with like 10 people, we have like two really core use cases and then, that's like the starting point for like building your jobs to be done framework I would say

DA: 12:39
Love it. Absolutely love it. And I would love to see if you guys have any, you know, resources that you use with JTBD, you know, we can link that in the show notes as well. That's fantastic. So you mentioned before that you're kind of the growth marketing use case for Segment yourself, which is pretty awesome. And you're looking for these kind of personalized moments when audiences is maybe in the right moment to, to come over to Segment. How do you guys, or how have you used Segment to find these indicators to connect with audiences at the right moment and are there tools you're using to find those audiences?

KW: 13:13
Yeah, so, thinking back to like the, the research that's been done, we've identified through a lot of qualitative research, that these compelling events occur that puts someone in the market for Segment. And there are changes happening. And one of the things that's like a compelling event that we've identified is changes happening within, someone's tech stack. So when you think about this makes sense, right? Like if we find a company's making changes to their tech stack, it's a good indicator that they're piloting new tools. And if we can get in front of that audience with an offer or message around how we can make it easy to try those new tools by sending data and we're playing their historical data back into those tools with the flip of the switch is pretty easy win. So in terms of like tools we use to like identify that audience and find that audience, I don't want to make this like too much about Segment, but I actually use Segment as a product for this.

KW: 14:05
So we have this product called personas that sits on top of all of our customer data, and it allow you to create audiences based on user events and traits that you collect. And I use this daily and can vouch for it. So when you hook up data to that, data to like an enrichment tool like Clearbit or DataNice and connect that with Segment, you can enrich the, we enrich our accounts with data about their tech stack. So from there you can create an audience and personas, and like look at the number of times their tech stack has changed in the past seven days or 30 days or whatever you want, however you want to define that audience. And there you have an in market audience of accounts within with your ideal customer profile or that ideal like compelling event. And then we can push that data to Facebook or Google or ad platforms, or email platforms like or Iterable or Braise, and target that audience. It's like hyper relevant and in market in specific. So, it's pretty cool use case. and I'm just happy that I can even use it, on a daily basis. So, okay. That Segment pitch is over now.

DA: 15:13
No, no, no, it's fantastic. I mean, it's, it's super helpful because I didn't even know, you know, that you guys could do that. That's such an awesome feature of the software. So when you guys are pushing out like a Facebook audience, what does a campaign then look like? Are you guys doing basically a direct response ad to sign up? Are you pushing them to a trial? Are you pushing them to a lead magnet? You know who those people are. But what does the campaign actually look like?

KW: 15:40
Yeah. So, this is a really big challenge for a lot of marketers I think, which is okay, you have your identified audience. Like you know, that like these, these are the right people to sell to. You maybe have this like compelling event. And the hard part or one of the challenging things I always find is on the, the right, finding the right offer. So, if you go, we'd take our, our compelling of an example of someone's tech sack changing, the offer we have to show up to them, our offer to those people that we're targeting, needs to match like what's happening on their backend. So we need to produce content that's like, Hey, are you looking at these different email marketing tools? Like say, say we saw that like they're, they're connecting multiple email marketing tools within like a certain period. So we can offer up content that's like, here's the best content to pick the right email marketing platform. Or we can just speak directly to them like, Hey, are you, are you looking to update your tech stack? Sign up for like, talk with one of our sales reps or talk with a product expert here or something like that. So, I think finding that like audience and offer match is a huge challenge and it's something that we're always working on and iterating towards, but never like perfectly satisfied with how that's working.

DA: 16:58
So basically a lot of testing is what you're saying, that you'll just have to kind of test those different offers as they come out. Have you seen any like winning campaigns that have been surprising?

KW: 17:08
So it's, we've seen quite a bit of winning campaigns for sure. I think the thing that we look for, or I think one, one thing that might help the audience here is like, what is it, what is a winning campaign look like? And like, what metrics are you looking at? So it's pretty obvious like when you've built out a good amount of these different types of campaigns where your offer is matched to your persona, in the audience that you're targeting. So it'll, you'll, you'll start seeing like conversion rates and click through rates that are just like astronomically higher than like content where there's not that content to audience product fit, product market fit kind of thing. So that's kind of like an early indicator that we look at like, okay, we're talking to this audience, we're showing them this offer, like in within like a certain timeframe we're expecting like a x amount clickthrough rate and then an x amount, you know, conversion rate. So we've seen conversion rates of, when we have a really strong fit of upwards of like 40 to 50%. And when we hit that, it's like, okay, we know that this is like the right offer. Then like, it's kind of like the next step is like, how do we get these people to convert once they opt into our funnel?

DA: 18:16
That's incredible. That's a great answer and that's amazing to hear that you're getting such huge, you know, conversion or click through rates at least, which is incredible. Yeah. If you compare that to just like your cold audiences you would just be like, oh my God.

KW: 18:31
I don't want to like double, not double down on that, but just like kind of like dive into that a little bit more is that like, it's really like finding that like unlocking that is really about experimentation. And like you're going to go through lots of different rounds where you're like, okay, this offer gets like a 10% conversion and this offer, like in which you made this change to the audience, made this change to the offer and then you start to increment and see that that conversion rate go up and up and up. And then like at some point you'll be like find like the right like perfect audience match to offer. And then like, then it's just kind of like off to the races of like, okay, how can we scale this thing out and like expand our, expand our scope or region or whatever to like get more of those people into our funnel. So, yeah, I would say experimentations, a big thing to like, to make those like high conversion rates happen.

DA: 19:21
I love it. That's such a fantastic answer and I really think, you have to be in the mindset that a lot of these may not work out, but when you find one that does, keep going hard on that one, until you can keep working on it, working on it, working on it. And it's kind of speaking to that same note, like knowing that not everything works out and sometimes you run an experiment and it looks good and then you look deeper in it, you know, the conversion rates aren't good. Let's talk about content marketing at Segment. You guys do a ton of great content marketing from, you know, your podcast. That's, that's awesome. I've listened to it. The webinars you're doing, blog content, everything you do is well done. And you guys have this very highly focused Jobs To Be Done framework. You know, how has content marketing been going? Is there, you know, is that another thing, another experiment that's been going well for you guys?

KW: 20:09
Yeah. So you're right, we do have a ton of great, great content and you know, it's, you know, it's great to be, tap all that content like within our, our, arsenal whenever just start to work with. But it is like a, something that every marketer and, growth marketers like myself struggle with. And I, I mean, I don't think we've totally hit our stride quite yet, but things have gotten better. Certainly since I started. But yeah, one thing that we've kind of adjusted in our approaches creating content for, for demand gen purposes, at least that's, it's better to start with content that strikes a balance between a compelling offer to your audience and closeness to your product. I almost feel like there's a blog post in the making where you could like plot, like product relevance, a product relevance curb to like the interest of the offer curve. And like there's some sort of like sweet spot in there where if you hit that sweet spot, then like that's exactly what you're, what you're aiming for in terms of like where you want the kind of content you want to produce. Right. Anyways, I'm kind of digressing. But, the direction we're moving towards is closer to mid funnel content or maybe you'd call it like the consideration phase type of content. And one example, our key learning here, was a piece of content that we were syndicating, which was an HBR article around data strategy. And while it seems like somewhat relevant to our audience, right, it's like, you know, we help out with data strategy. Like if someone's looking to improve their data strategy, like they should be like a clear fit for a Segment. But we found that was like three or four steps removed from like that consideration phase of our funnel.

KW: 21:43
So while we're able to acquire a lot of new new leads at a very low cost per lead, if you zoom out and look at our cost per opportunity for this piece of content, it doesn't perform or didn't perform nearly as well as our more mid funnel content, like a customer data platform buyers guide or something that's like very, very closely coupled with our actual product offering. So like I would encourage you to like take like yeah, you might be getting a low cost per lead, but like if you zoom out and see how that converts is further down the funnel, that's the metric you want to be optimizing for. Right?

DA: 22:15
How much time do you think you need to test and experiment like that? Content is a slow thing to get results from. Like even if you syndicated out to HBR and you have it on there, you may not see, you know, the, the leads convert to sales for x amount a month. Like, how much time are you guys allocating to saying, okay, we need to change this because clearly there's something wrong with our content to awareness level.

KW: 22:39
Yeah. And just to be clear, this was actually a piece of content that we were syndicating on our site. So like the landing page and like user experience all owed on our end. But in terms of like timeline for experimentation, like I don't think there's any like hard and fast rules. But like typically we let let experiments run for, as much time as they need. I know it's kind of like, abstract kind of like answer. But, in terms of like getting a lead acquisition experiment running in and set, I feel like within about two weeks timeframe, we would get enough statistical significance of data to like understand if that experiment is working or not. But you know, really like, you know, at like very out of very early stage or as you like making these different experiments if it's working or not. But then you still want to kind of like sit back and just confirm like, okay, we're not progressing towards our mean like this experiment is actually working. And you know, it's kind of like a balance between like, you know, how much budget and how much traffic you're willing to drive to this to like measure conversion for like an experiment window. So, and that's not like a concrete answer, but like in terms of like, maybe I can share in terms of like numbers, like we'll, we'll let an experiment run until we get like 200 or so leads. And like, usually at that point you'll know that like, okay, this is a higher converting page or this test is higher converting than some other tests and then we can kind of like iterate from there. So hopefully that's somewhat direction helpful.

DA: 24:07
So for the blog posts that you guys syndicate and utilize for these campaigns. Are you doing something like having an optin form on the bottom of the post and like, a popup optin on the page and you're just capturing leads, putting them into an email opt in and then moving them to a trial and you're doing that based on a specific GTPD use case for that, for that post. Is that kind of the general funnel that you guys are doing?

KW: 24:35
Yeah. So, in terms of like positioning of, you know, where are you put a call to action and like all these different things. Like I know that there's a lot of research and stuff that goes into that and like we're definitely not super advanced there where it's like we, we know like this button color and this call to action or whatever was going to perform better. Like what, what I think is like the bigger factor when it comes to conversion and like moving people down the funnel is just making sure that like your offer is, your offer and audience match. Like, kind of going back to what I was saying before is like is super in line, because like in terms of like what your offer is, like someone will, if someone really wants that, they're going to find a means to like download that. So like if you have that offer match, it's really gonna make a huge different in your conversion because like, people will do whatever it takes to get that if they really want it. So I would, I would say like, we focus a little bit more on that and, rather than like trying to optimize for like the little different things within like an exit intent pop up or like, you know, a button color conversion or just like optimizing our pages in that sense. But then, yeah, and then in terms of like, you know, moving people down the funnel, we use lead nurturing pretty heavily for that where we're trying to like group people into like different types of, train tracks where it's like, and as if we can, we'll try and match that to a job to be done framework.

KW: 25:58
So, one example of that could be like if we, if someone that's on the products, a product manager, like, you know, opts into our funnel and maybe it's not like a high intent, opt in like a demo request. We'll feed them content that's relevant to, the job that they're trying to be that they're trying to do, which is usually around looking at analytics for their products so that they can make the product better and the user experience better. So like the, our product manager Job To Be Done is like get analytics into your analytics tools, our event tracking in your analytics tools as fast as possible. So.

DA: 26:32
That's awesome. And that kind of goes back to that personalization idea that you guys have, which is you're really trying to speak to everyone's painpoint, solve everyone's problem the right way, the use case correctly. Whether it's from, you know, the nurturing campaign to the offers that they're seeing. So that's fantastic. And kind of staying on that topic of the website and awareness levels. You guys also get a ton of inbound leads all over the place. Like you just said, in different awareness levels at different stages of the funnel, maybe they're looking at, you know, downloading one of those optins one of those content pieces kike you said, maybe they're chatting with support or they requested a demo or they're signing up for a trial. I know it can get complex with all of those different sequences and all of the different personalization that's happening. But what about like the sales team? How are they handling this type of inbound leads? Is it ever become a problem?

KW: 27:24
Yeah. This is something we kind of learned the hard way. We have the good fortune, just maybe it's because of all the content that we're putting out there, that we just get a ton of inbound interest or a good amount of amount of interest that manifests in many different ways. And when people opt in and a few core ways that you kind of alluded to, from a demo request to live chat, downloading content or signing up for a Segment workspace or trial. And the thing that we found out kind of the hard way is that what action a person takes to opt into our funnel has a massive impact on conversion rate and conversion rate to an opportunity and even customer. And you know, the reason that these actions all have converted different rates is because it makes sense. It's like they all have different levels of intent. So you could probably imagine that someone who signs up for a trial, has different intent and expectations than someone who request a demo or engages in live chat or downloads content. They're all like looking to do different things. So, you know, going into it like, kind of a longer, longer story here, but like a lot of, like a lot of SaaS companies out there, we have good market teams with a sales devs, SDRs who work all these inbound leads. And early, earlier last year, we were making the mistake of just kinda like passing all different tech, all inbound leads with any level of intent to these different teams. And for these teams, I feel really sorry, makes them hard because they can't focus and they really need, they don't understand or it's hard for them to like fit the need and intent level of the person who's opting in to like what that user is looking to do. So to remedy this, we kind of split up the inbound SDR team and now have folks who specialize in followup based on like the different levels of intent and their different entry points into our funnel. And you know, we're seeing really great results. Like we've really been experimenting with this in the last like four or five months. And you know, last quarter we've improved like our conversion rate for trial signups to opportunity by like three x. So it's like really paying off that whole like specialization of things.

DA: 29:27
I love that. No, absolutely. That goes right along with what we were saying before. Kind of that personalized campaign or personalized approach to you know, that use case or that level of intent like you said before. And knowing that you guys have this great vision, going back to what I was saying at the beginning, of this great vision that you guys have for, for the personalization aspect of, I guess data and just a customer flow through a business and listening to the guests in 2018 and knowing that personalization has been one of the key trends for 2019, where do you see some of the challenges or opportunities for Segment and I guess personalization as a whole in 2019?

KW: 30:09
Yeah. Yeah. So personalization is, is a hard thing and it's, I feel like we definitely fully haven't cracked that, or unlocked that whole like personalization at scale. But I think, I think part of the problem there is like knowing and trusting the quality of your data or at least like I run into that problem occasionally where you want to make sure that like what the user input is like a normalized field, like their, their name or their company and stuff like that. And like you don't want to automate, I feel weird automating email with those kind of like, tokens or placeholders or whatever where like, you know, you could send an email, like I've sent an email in the past where, someone was using like admin or test as their first name and like user input it. But it was like, you know, if you put that into an email, you know, it still makes you look bad. Like you don't want to have that brand damage. So I think that the thing that many, especially B2B marketers get wrong about personalization is like actually making it matter where like I feel like name and company like, you know, that kind of stuff like for personalization on emails or even like ads or whatever, it doesn't really like matter to that person. So yeah, we're like, as marketers we're okay like personalizing communications and experiences, but the thing we're really thinking about is like, and where I think a lot of marketers miss the mark on, is like what do we know about someone so that we can put together something, put together an offer that makes them like act on that offer.

KW: 31:36
And, and like, using personalization as a way, personalization and data as a way to like surface up those offers and like do it in a more automated automated and skilled fashion is something that like, we're definitely trying to like get to where instead of like, you know, just swapping out a logo or a company name or first name or whatever, like to the, to the end user, I feel like that's not so impactful. But if like if you can speak to them or it's like we're personalizing an email communication or an offer to them that like, it's something that they're actually trying to do and like has real business objectives that like we're helping them accomplish. Like, if you can add that level of personalization to the user experience in nurturing process, like that's going to really have a big impact. And, it's certainly something that I could do better at and our team could do better at, but it's something we're thinking about and like, that's where we want to, that's the direction we want to move. Rather than just like, you know, the phase one of a personalization, which is like demographic info inserted in like token in email, you know?

DA: 32:33
Totally. So I guess some of this stuff has to be like given to you by the users themselves or leads themselves, like Clearbit we'll give you good information, you know, just having them, you know, putting some of their data is going to help you. But I think the key thing is, some of the things that we've seen is like just having them fill out a survey with very specific questions that help us make better decisions has enabled us to make better segments. I think also, you know, nurturing and lead scoring through the email process and what they're clicking on, what they're not. Are you guys doing stuff like that? Is that something you would suggest to, which is kind of going deeper on how you segment and what type of information you're actually trying to learn from them?

KW: 33:18
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that kind of goes back to, levels of intent, like what users are trying to accomplish. So, this is actually something that, Segment definitely helps out with and that we look at on a, we look at it in, in score leads and, look at what events they're, they're doing on our website or within the Segment app. and they're really good indicators of like what, someone's trying to do. So we have like different, like, milestones or stages within our funnel. And those kind of like indicate like where someone's at within their like customer journey. So when we were using events to demark those different milestones is like, we know that, one of the key, the key milestones for activation is getting data connected from like your website or app and get that data flowing to like one of your tools.

KW: 34:12
So we, we can like put someone in like a different phase of our life cycle and personalized content to them based on what actions are taking within the App on the Segment side of things. So once they hit that, like, like if they opt in, we'll try and get them to the activation stage. But like, you know, providing like relevant content and, onboarding like tutorials and stuff like that to get them from, you know, inbound workspace created to activated. And then once they activate and then there's like another milestone down the road where we're like servicing up content like, Hey, if you, since you have data flowing now to an email tool, you might want to add that data also to your data warehouse so that you can like capture it and let data analysts look at it. And that like leads up to our next milestone, which is, the retention or habit moment we call it. So, so like, yeah, definitely using data and like where users are out within like your website experience. It could be just like, you know, looking at like specific topics of a blog post even in servicing up the right kind of like content and offer based on that interest, or like their activity within the product. I think like once you, if you're able to connect the dots between that user trait and what they're acting on, within your, your user experience, like you can have really powerful personalization, and like put all these rules in place that like really impact your conversion rates further down the line.

DA: 35:31
That's fantastic. And I could see how complex this could all get. While you're saying this, I'm like thinking in my head of of these things that we could do better here and all these different pathways, but I can, I can see how it can also get really complex really fast. So you've got to start simple and smart and then expand from there. But fantastic answer. So what I want to do now is I actually want to flip over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions I have for you. Just answer with the best first thought that comes to mind. You ready to get going?

KW: 35:58
Yeah, I'm ready. Let's do it.

DA: 35:59
Yeah, let's do this thing. Okay. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

KW: 36:07
Cool. So I feel like you kind of just alluded to this, which is kind of general advice, which is don't, don't try and do everything at once and also don't fill a leaky bucket. And what I mean by that is start as deep in the funnel as you can, like at the retention phase probably and really understand your ideal customer profile and use case before moving up the funnel. yeah.

DA: 36:27
Love it. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

KW: 36:33
Yeah, so maybe I can generalize this into marketers in general, if you don't mind. Which is, you know, I feel like the best marketers have two core skills. One is copywriting and the other one is understanding empathy. And if you can kind of combine and master those two things, you'll be like an incredible marketer and be incredibly employable and hireable. So that's what I look at.

DA: 36:57
No, no, no. I think that was perfectly said. I think that's awesome. No, I totally agree with that. And I'm on the same page. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

KW: 37:08
So, I consume a ton of content. I really like anything that Hiten Shah curates, whether that's on his Twitter feed or his newsletter. His newsletter I think is like the Product Habits newsletter. I don't know if he's changed that or whatever, but he really services great content all around. Also Brian Balfour and the folks over at Reforge are putting on some really great like, investigative, qualitative kind of content that's, that's awesome. And finally I say like, searching for conference videos is kind of like a good like life hack that I use a lot. So find a conference that you like, search for it on Youtube or actually go to the conference page. And a lot of times they'll have videos from the previous year, or like even from like whatever the latest conference was. And you can, you can kind of like go to the conference online virtually without having to pay for it. And I love doing that.

DA: 38:00
That's awesome. I'll have to check that out. And definitely good recommendations. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

KW: 38:08
Can I say Segment? No.

DA: 38:12
You can say Segment. I mean it's definitely, it's definitely allowed, but...

KW: 38:18
No, no. Aside from Segment, I mean I use Segment every day. But, we also, I also love Feedly, for content or for curating my own content feed. And then also I'm addicted to Robin Hood Apps. So like, I love those tools.

DA: 38:33
I have to check those out. I don't know, those two. Awesome

KW: 38:37
Feedly is for content syndication. Robin Hood's for stock trading.

DA: 38:41
Oh, nice. I've to check them both out. That's awesome. What about a brand, business or a team that you admire today?

KW: 38:47
Yeah, so I'm actually fascinated by this company Notion and how they're taking on big giants like Google docs and Atlassian and like any workplace productivity. So I'm fascinated by them and also Superhuman and specifically how their onboarding flow. Essentially use scarcity to force the user into, into having a demo with a salesperson before getting access to the tool. So I think it's a very clever use case on their end.

DA: 39:14
Nice. And I'm a huge fan of Notion. Absolutely love it. We've moved our entire system into their, our entire business I should say. they're a fantastic company. I'll have to check out the other one cause that sounds pretty cool too. But Kevin just want to say thank you so much for jumping on, for being so transparent and sharing so much great information with us today.

KW: 39:33
Cool. Yeah, no problem. Pleasure to, pleasure to help contribute.

DA: 39:37
That's awesome. Again Kevin, thank you so much and we'll talk to you soon. Okay.

KW: 39:41
Sounds good. Bye.

DA: 39:43
Oh man, that was an awesome episode and a big shout out and a big thank you to Kevin and the entire growth marketing team over at Segment who are doing some really incredible, incredible things for SaaS marketers across the board. So thank you again to those guys and thank you for listening to today's episode (...)

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