SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Ray Lau

demio saas breathrough featuring ray lau About Ray Lau:
Ray Lau is the Director of Growth Marketing at PowerDMS, a cloud-based solution that helps organizations reduce risk and liability with a comprehensive compliance and content management solution.

Ray has been in B2B marketing for over 10 years and believes marketing’s ultimate goal is to create an advocate for life.

 


Show Notes:
03:00
Streamlining Policy, Training, And Accreditation Lifecycles
06:10
Growing The Product By Continuing To Listen To Customers' Needs
09:30
Customer Advocacy Is A Great Way To Help A Businesses Stand Out
"I think that there's a huge opportunity for up and coming B2B companies to make sure that they're leveraging customer advocacy and customer marketing to grow. And make that a way to stand out."
11:40
Inviting Promoters To Join The Advocacy Program
"At PowerDMS we've been using the net promoter score NPS, as some of you might be familiar with, which is basically a survey where you ask customers, you know, on a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend us and the people that rate you a nine or a 10, those are your promoters. (...) one of the things that we started to do was not only to just collect that information, which is always good to know, you know where you stand with your customers and, their affinity for promoting you, but now inviting those people to our advocacy program, right. They just raised their hand and said, Hey, I'm interested in you know, telling people about PowerDMS. So this makes a lot of sense for us to just invite them and say, well, we have our program, that's kind of built for you where you can learn more about the product connect with other customers, and also help PowerDMS to continue to grow and, you know, with your reviews, references, and referrals."
12:50
Customer Advocacy Driving New Customer Acquisition
"Not only is customer advocacy good for your business, it really does help you to grow. And so, you know, those reviews and things like that start to influence people doing research on the product and really helped to make a big difference in your bottom line."
14:00
Running A Formal Customer Advocacy Program
17:35
Tracking The Opportunities That Come From An Advocacy Program
"It's all about the reviews. And it's all about who has the most reviews and who has the best reviews. And so making sure that, you know, we are really standing out there out of our competitors with the most reviews and the best reviews to really start to show that you know, the power of our advocates and that, you know, that magic number next to that star rating has a pretty, pretty big influence on people when they're doing research on your products."
20:05
Without All The Fluffiness Conversational Marketing Is A Chat Bot
"For us, it's really about giving people the option to connect with us. Right. And so you know, without all the fluffiness in there, conversational marketing, you know, it's basically a chat bot, right. And so, you know, what we're trying to do is, is is make sure that, you know, that thing is just running well and not too complicated. I think one of the hard things, when you so we use Drift too and you know, one of the hard things in the beginning is just, you're setting up your chat bot and it's just, you just have a tendency to want to go really, really complicated with this thing."
23:30
Chat Bot Results: More Personal Connections W/ Prospects And Opportunities
25:50
Growth Marketing Is About The Entire Customer LifeCycle
"Growth marketing, isn't about fixating on one part of your funnel, it's about looking at your entire customer life cycle and using those insights to create compounding returns that drive more engaged customers. So I love that definition because, when we're thinking about, you know, we would typically, when people think about demand gen or think about growth marketing, it usually kind of ends with the top of the funnel or the beginning of that funnel, and really more about just bringing in net new acquisition. What I love about Drift's definition is that it's all about, it's about the entire customer journey, the entire life cycle, so that incorporates a sales process, onboarding, adoption, renew, and advocacy. So really kind of taking a zoomed out approach to, from that kind of awareness side all the way up until advocacy."
28:10
Lead Nurturing Strategy: Taking Them From The Beginning All The Way Up Until Advocacy
32:05
Mapping Out A Longer-Term Nurture Sequence With Resources
36:30
Biggest Challenge Ahead: Doing Real Demand Generation
"I think for us, it's really the same old thing as for everybody else is really just how do we continue to build actual awareness for our solution, right? How do we do real marketing, like do real demand generation? So it's not just about capturing the existing demand, which is a lot, you know, a lot of times what we're doing with you know, our conversion rate optimizations and, all that kind of stuff, but like, how do we actually start to like, even what Drift did with conversational marketing. Like create a category, create like a need for your solution. I think that's, you know, that's always the biggest challenge for marketers and you're really, really, really kind of taking that step into like, okay, this is a challenge for us. And, you know, taking that head on."
38:00
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

DA (02:51):
Hi Ray. Thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. How are you doing today?

RL (02:56):
I'm doing great. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

DA (02:59):
Yeah, I'm super excited to have you and PowerDMS on the show. Lots to talk about today. So let's just jump right in. Why don't you kick it off by explaining a bit about PowerDMS when it was founded, who your customers are and what you guys are doing uniquely in the marketplace?

RL (03:17):
So PowerDMS, we are a B2B SaaS business and we focus primarily on policy management software. We want to make sure that we're able to help organizations make sure their employees are able to do the right thing. Right. And so you think about policies, you know, and you know, you think about like a sexual harassment policy or a, or any of those kinds of policies, like, you know, at the end of the day, what you're trying to do is make sure the people are able to do the right thing. And that's, that's kind of the premise of our software and what we're trying to do. We were founded in 2001 by Josh Brown. He was working as an IT guy in Hernando County in Florida, you know, so not too far from Tampa where you're at.

RL (04:07):
But man, you know, so, so he was just trying to, an IT guy just looking at you know, how they were managing their accreditation with their policies. And it was just rows and rows of filing cabinets and papers. And he just looked at that and said, there has to be a better way to do this. So he came up with a solution and started to find that, you know, not only was his own organization did that help, but it was just something that was a struggle throughout the industry. And so, you know, PowerDMS has grown from law enforcement and now we are in different industries like healthcare, government, you know, basically any kind of organization where it's really important for people to know what the right thing to do is, and, you know, for the organization to be able to train and test or employees on those kinds of information.

DA (05:05):
Are you mostly on the information sector, like taking you through how to make those decisions, or you also in the legal sector where you're also creating and helping to develop those different policies and processes within the company or organization?

RL (05:20):
So we like to pride ourselves in like, Hey, we're, we're on the, we're on the tech side of things. And, you know, you all are the experts on, you know, what is right for your company and, you know, the right kind of policies that make the most sense for you. And so, you know, we'll let you, we'll let the organizations kind of be the subject matter experts on that. And, you know, where we're really good at is, you know, making sure that you have the technology to back that up. Like you can have, you can collaborate on policies before they're sent out, make sure that, you know, everything is working the right way that it should be, and then making sure that employees have access to it. Right. So like you can send it through mobile or you can, you know, they have like a one place where they can go and get the right policy, be trained on it and testes on it.

DA (06:09):
Makes a lot of sense. Yeah. That's super helpful. Great clarification there. When did you actually join the team?

RL (06:15):
Yeah, so I joined back in 2009, which, it's it's been a long time, so it's over 11 years now. And I feel like the grandpa here at PowerDMS.

DA (06:29):
That is a very long time, especially in just like IT, the tech industry to be in a position. That's amazing that you did that. Congratulations. I know you've been over in B2B marketing for over 10 years. Was this your first kind of B2B placement, marketing placement, or were you in IT companies doing marketing beforehand?

RL (06:48):
No. So this was my first B2B company. I've been, I worked at a couple of different places doing some more B2C type of work. But yeah, this, you know, this was, this was the, my first foray into B2B, but, you know, it's been, it's been a great journey for me. Just coming in here and growing so happy to be where I'm at.

DA (07:10):
No, that's amazing. And again, congratulations on all of that. Now you probably had some learning curve as you grew with the company as you guys figure this out and you know, grew and found that product-market fit, and it sounds like some of the initial PMF was found just from your founder being in the industry and building a product that solved a pain point that his company and other companies of that type had, but you mentioned kind of growing in from law enforcement into some others industries. How did you guys evolve that ICP in that product market fit over time? Where did that kind of happen?

RL (07:46):
Yeah, so, yeah, like you said, you know, our founder working in the industry, had you know, had a pretty good ear to the ground on, you know, what the needs were and, you know, as we continue to evolve and you know, this is, this is not rocket science, I guess, but it was just listening to the customer needs. Right. And so just kind of asking customers and prospects, you know, what do you need from our software? And we started to add those features to it. So when we first started off, it was, it was actually more of a, in law enforcement they call them directives you know, basically your policies. And so it was more of a directives kind of management system. And, you know, over the years we started to add training to it because people started to say, Hey, we would like to train our, you know, our employees on, you know, what those policies are.

RL (08:35):
And then we started a test to it, right? Because, Hey, we, we not only want to train them. We want to make sure that they, they totally understand what those policies are. And then we started to add another piece called the accreditation, on the accreditation side of things, where if you, if there's an accreditation organization that has standards that relate to different industries, that we can bring those standards into PowerDMS, and then start to map our policies that are based on those standards and all of that kind of working together. So I think for us, it was just continuing to listen to the needs of our customers and evolving the product as we went along.

DA (09:19):
That makes lot of sense. The best way to do it, kind of figuring out where to grow it and how to do that. But it makes sense that you were kind of finding ways to evolve the product based on that customer feedback, which is the best way to grow any product. Now, flipping over to marketing, you know, last year was obviously a very unique year, a big shift into this kind of new world we live in now in the COVID-19 era, you know, with all the shifts that happened. You know, we saw a big focus on the customer, the real person behind it, the customer stories, customer advocacy really taking the central stage in marketing. You know, we started to hear a lot on this podcast about customer advocacy being a growth lever for a lot of businesses. And I know you've been using that to major success to drive growth in the business. Why don't you walk us through a little bit about your approach, how you guys have done that, the implementation process that you're using, any results you've seen so far.

RL (10:14):
So, you know, like you said, customer advocacy has been such a focus, especially in, especially in 2020 when everyone, you know, when maybe, you know, new acquisition may have slowed down or things like that. And, you know people just were focusing again on the customers, which, which is a little bit, you know, I think hopefully like instead of just having crisis kind of have us focus on the customers, you know, always kind of take the stance of like, let's just be customer focused always. Yeah. Like you're saying customer advocacy, I think customer advocacy is a great way to help your businesses stand out. So according to the 2020 State of Market, State of Customer Marketing, Influitive put this out. 41% of the customers who participated in the survey work for companies with a thousand plus employees.

RL (11:08):
So what that tells me is that, you know, a lot of companies with, you know, a lot of large companies had customer marketing in place, but, you know where does that leave our SMB B2B companies, right? Where does that leave your B2B startups? And, you know, I think that that's a huge opportunity for up and coming B2B companies to make sure that they're leveraging customer advocacy and customer marketing to grow. And make that a way to stand out. So here at PowerDMS we've been using the net promoter score NPS, as some of you might be familiar with, which is basically a survey where you ask customers, you know, on a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend us and the people that rate you a nine or a 10, those are your promoters.

RL (12:01):
And you know, a lot of companies use this. But one of the things that we started to do was not only to just collect that information, which is always good to know, you know where you stand with your customers and, you know, their affinity for promoting you, but now inviting those people to our advocacy program, right. They just raised their hand and said, Hey, I'm interested in you know, telling people about PowerDMS. So, you know, so this makes a lot of sense for us to just invite them and say, well, we have our program. That's kind of built for you where you can learn more about the product connect with other customers, and also help PowerDMS to continue to grow and, you know, with your reviews, references, and referrals. So that's been a really successful program for us.

RL (12:53):
When we started, we had zero reviews across, you know, all the major review websites, Capterra, TrustRadius, G2, Google, and today we have over 500. And that, you know, not only are those reviews helping us to bring awareness to our product, we've won a couple of different awards. We got, we got some awards based on our customer ratings from TrustRadius. We got rated number one document management software for product set and for support. And that's just completely based off our reviews. So just awesome from that. But not only that, but we've been able to source over $200 million in opportunities from our advocates and we've closed over 500,000 in (inaudible) one. So, you know, not only is customer advocacy good for your business, it really does help you to grow. And so, you know, those reviews and things like that start to influence people doing research on the product and really helped to make a big difference in in your bottom line.

DA (14:02):
That is a fantastic way to drive new acquisition. We do something similar with our promoters using MPS, we then automate a message going out to them to leave a review on Capterra or G2, which is like our review sites. Now we do this with an incentive of also possible like swag and stuff from the company that they get. Some cool things that we have through Printful. And we have a few other areas where we're kind of push customer advocacy, but we don't have a full on program. So what are you guys doing in your program to get people to do multiple places for reviews ,on all the different sites that you're looking for? Do you guys offer referral bonuses or anything like that for actually sharing a review? And then how are you tracking as a second question right? How are you tracking this, the results of this campaign? That's the one thing that's hard for us is, yeah, we can see a review is left, but that's really like the end of our tracking ability. We can't really see, like, how did that, that review or that action do for the business.

RL (15:10):
Yeah. Those are great questions. So so we have a pretty formal customer advocacy program that we've run. We actually use Influitive, they do, they're advocate marketing software. And so with them you know, small plug for them, you know, totally unsponsored, but I'm a huge fan of them, but they do, they do a gamified experience that basically like a gamified kind of community where you can, you invite your your customers into it and you start to see like different different, they call them challenges. And so they show up like like little Pinterest cards and you could click on them and you can kind of see like, Hey, this activities, you know, like if I leave a review, I can get this many points and then, you know, they have, that's all gamified and then you can trade points in for rewards. So really kind of a nice, nice little program there that really starts to make the advocacy a little bit easier where it's not not so much of just like, you know, one time asks or, you know, really trying to do that without a kind of a centralized kind of community I think can be difficult. So really like Influitive, you know, for something like that.

DA (16:29):
Are you, do you have benefits in there based for those points, like what do they get for the points?

RL (16:32):
Yeah. So, so there's different rewards that you can you can put in there. So they have some different relationships with like Tango Card or, you know, whatever. And so like, Tango Card starts to unlock. Like you can do, you can put like gift cards, Amazon gift cards and Target, and all kinds of different stores and things like that. And then you can also put in different things like company swag, or, you know, even start to come up with your own kind of cool rewards, like we have one where, you know, and this is maybe when when everyone's gotten their vaccine, but we have a reward for flying. We call it the Rockstar Tour. We'll fly you into Orlando, our Orlando office, you know, we'll give you like a, you know a one night stay in a hotel, you know, you have lunch with the CEO, you hang out with, you know our customer success team and get to hang out with your customer success manager, things like that. So, you know, you can kind of, you can kind of be creative and come up with some fun things you know, to put in there.

DA (17:38):
That's a really good idea. I like that. We're going to, we're going to take a look at Influitive, so a good plug for them. That sounds really great. Now, second question, the follow-up question to that was how are you tracking the opportunities that are coming from this program?

RL (17:50):
Yeah, so that's a great question. You know, sometimes it does get hard to track, you know, the influence that the reviews have on, you know, your new acquisition. One of the cool things that, you know, for us, that serendipitously worked out was on Capterra for us, our main keywords is policy management software. And Capterra has the number one organic ranking for that thing. Right? So, you know, you Google policy management software, you're going to see Capterra and you know, they have policy management software and they, you know, and, and our, you know, our software is listed in there. So the way that we start to track the influence sourced from that is making sure that we have the most reviews out of anybody on, you know, on that listing. And then also they have, they have a paid ads component or pay-per-click component to their listings as well.

RL (18:47):
So it's, it's a little bit of a mixture with like your, you know, when you are paying for the click, then they allow you to link to it, and then you can do all your tracking with like the right landing pages and all that kind of stuff. And then, you know, as you know, with any, with any kind of listing, you know, you go to your Amazon, you go to your Yelp to look at your restaurants. It's all about the reviews. And it's all about who has the most reviews and who has the best reviews. And so making sure that, you know, we are really standing out there out of our competitors with the most reviews and the best reviews to really start to show that you know, the power of our advocates and that, you know, that magic number next to that star rating has a pretty, pretty big influence on people when they're doing research on your products,

DA (19:44):
That's the absolute truth. It's the awareness phase, you know, really kind of looking at your product shopping around, or just making sure that like, is this the right product for me? So it becomes a little bit of that, like trust and certainty through the buying process. So critically essential, and those just become a great social proofing area. So very helpful. I really appreciate that. You know, also talking about another marketing topic on the podcast, we've talked a lot about the importance of creating connection with prospects and customers. We had on Dan Murphy, he was also on the SaaS breakthrough Summit, who led the demand generation team at Drift. It was episode number 30, I think, where we chatted about how they see marketing being done through conversations like customer conversations. Drift actually came back on episode 112, if anyone wants to listen, it's a great company, great, great episode, but, you know, they have their own specific thinking and mindset around conversational marketing. I would love to know how you personally think about the idea of conversational marketing and how you're using it on PowerDMS.

RL (20:48):
Yeah. So yeah, I love what Drift is doing. They, you know, they did awesome job kind of creating that category of conversational marketing. So for us, it's really about giving people the option to connect with us. Right. And so you know, you know, without, without all the, all the fluffiness in there, conversational marketing, you know, it's, it's basically a chat bot, right. And so, you know, what we're trying to do is, is is make sure that, you know, that thing is just running well and not too complicated. I think one of the hard things, you know, when you so we use Drift too and you know, one of the hard things in the beginning is just, you know, you're setting up your chat bot and it's just, you just have a tendency to want to go really, really complicated with this thing.

RL (21:36):
And just, you start looking at like, Oh my gosh, we can ask all these qualifying questions before they hit a sales rep. It would be amazing if we got all this information, you know, before our rep starts talking with them. And very quickly you can, you can kind of get into a deep hole of just like, you know, 50, if then's, and, you know, no prospect is actually gonna make it through that thing. And so I think for us is really the goalie locksmith and really finding the right balance like, just the just right balance between, you know, a live chat, which we actually implemented a live chat before and we just got a lot of complaints from our sales reps, like there's too many support requests on this thing. And there are no customers that are wanting to talk to us.

RL (22:25):
And then on the other end, it's like, you know, having a hundred if then branches that no prospect will ever end up on. Right. And so for us is landing somewhere in the middle, so for us, it's really just like separating support versus sales. Right. So right off the bat, we'll kind of have a branch that does that. And then then we'll have some, some more like, you know, if they're more interested in just kind of learning about about best practices or resources, or if they're really interested in like, learning more about the product. And so, as soon as, you know, they're ready to talk more about the product. Then that's when our sales reps start to jump in there. And that's some of the best practices that we started to implement, you know, try to kill, you know, all the 50 if then branches but really start to just make, make it so that the sales rep can jump in quickly when a prospect is interested in talking about the product and trying to make that deal kind of go faster.

DA (23:32):
What was some of the results for your sales team once you actually figured out that part of the process?

RL (23:38):
Yeah, so it's been pretty great for us. We've had 43 opportunities influenced by our chat. It's about 107k in pipeline and we had 18k closed. So you know, still, so still pretty early in the process with that, but you know, we're happy with the results. We've gotten some pretty good feedback from our sales reps on, you know, just having, being able to talk to our prospects. And it's interesting because you even get some funny stories where like our reps can have some more personal connections with our prospects. Like one of the, one of the conversations I remember reading was a prospect and our sales rep talking about their favorite basketball team. And so you know, these are the kind of cool things that, you know, something like Drift can really kind of let your company have those kinds of personal interactions, which is kinda cool.

DA (24:35):
It's really funny how chat, chat itself can cause people to just be a bit more open and be a little bit more personable than like the initial call with the salesperson, right. Where you're a little bit guarded. You have a little guard up or a little wall up when you're first talking versus the chat, which is like so much more transparent for some reason, but no, those are great numbers. I mean, they're all organic numbers and, you know, last question here on it, how often are you looking at this stuff to optimize that flow? Or, you know, are you going to leave it for X amount of time? Let it run until there's a problem?

RL (25:08):
We want to keep optimizing, we want to keep, you know, trying to increase the number of conversations that get started and things like that. So you know, we're, that's how we kind of landed on, you know, some of the decisions that we made because that first iteration of it was, you know, was, it was maybe a little bit of too, too being too optimistic about people wanting to engage with our brand new shiny toys. Right. And so we think it's so cool, but, you know, at the end of the day it's all about, you know, what the prospect and what the customers think. And so yeah, so, so that's where we were able to jump in there and make some of those changes and, you know, we're always looking to improve on that.

DA (25:53):
That's awesome. Yeah, that's really helpful. In our last episode, we actually learn more about Alyce and how they're building a nurture practice done in a very personalized way. Very unique to them, like totally an Alyce type of thing to do. But you're planning on building out a much larger life cycle type of nurture strategy, very, almost sounding very different than the Alyce strategy. Why don't you walk us through a little bit about this new strategy and why you're choosing to build such a large implementation?

RL (26:24):
Yeah. So, you know, when I'm thinking about lead nurturing and, you know, all that kind of stuff, I like to think about this actually, you know, we're getting Drift a lot props here on this podcast, but they have a really good definition of growth marketing that I, that I really enjoy. So growth marketing, isn't about fixating on one part of your funnel, it's about looking at your entire customer life cycle and using those insights to create compounding returns that drive more engaged customers. So I love that definition because, you know, when we're thinking about, you know, we would typically, when people think about demand gen or think about growth marketing, you know, it usually kind of ends with the top of the funnel or the beginning of that funnel, and really more about just bringing in net new acquisition.

RL (27:16):
What I love about Drift's definition is that it's all about, it's about the entire customer journey, the entire life cycle, you know, so that incorporates a sales process, onboarding, adoption, renew, and advocacy. So really kind of taking a zoomed out approach to, you know, from the, from that kind of awareness side all the way up until advocacy. You know, I think marketing has a pretty pretty big responsibility and, you know, a calling to like, Hey, we're, we're not only about bringing, you know, a close one. We want to bring this thing all the way to advocacy. And when we bring it all the way to advocacy, that's going to influence other, other prospects. So it starts to become like like this cycle and feed itself, and really start to help help you to grow. So, you know, that's really like how I like to think about it.

RL (28:13):
My last couple of years here at PowerDMS I've been focusing more on the customer marketing side and, you know, on, when you think about a post-sale journey, you have very clear steps, right? You have your onboarding, your adoption, your renewal, and then your advocacy. When we're thinking about you know, on the acquisition side, we have, you know, our, you know, your awareness, your interests and, you know, converting, right. And so I think, I think those two can really come together and, you know, when you're really just kind of looking at it from, from that kind of zoomed out perspective, you can start to really think about like, how do I start to build an actual lead nurturing strategy where, you know, we're actually taking them from one from the beginning all the way up until advocacy, and, you know, it is a big challenge and, you know, but I think that's something that you know, we've already been starting to build out and at least for us from the, from the acquisition side, we're also really thinking about moving customers from one stage of the funnel to the next.

RL (29:32):
I think, you know, I've talked a lot to other marketers and how they do lead nurturing. And you know, what I see a lot of is it's maybe you'll get the lead nurturing you know, four emails from, from one ebook let's say, but then, you know, it's stops. And you don't get, you don't get any more nurtures. And then maybe you start to become part of a you know, some one-time send or some monthly sends and things like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some monthly newsletters. And so what, what, I've been, what I've been challenging us here at PowerDMS to think about is, okay. People are coming in for, to our awareness stage. What, you know, they're interested in, you know, certain, certain pieces of information in the awareness stage. Now, what's the next stage.

RL (30:24):
And like, how do we start to like, move them down into that next stage and really start to think about it, you know, take a longer step approach to it. And not just you know, typically what I'll see is, you know, your four emails after your ebook download and, you know, on the third email, you're already requests, you're already asking them for a demo request. Right. So, you know, to me, it's like, okay, let's just, what I'd like to try is just take out that one, two, three, four, where the last step is the demo request, and just say, Hey, you're, you came in for awareness information, or you wanted to be more educated on content. Great. I'm going to give you some more content, and then I'm going to give you another, you know, some more content that's now like, closer to the middle of that funnel.

RL (31:18):
Right. And so I'm gonna, I want to, want to actually do the thing that we all talked about in marketing, where, you know, we want to do is lead nurturing, but you know, and really take, take the perspective of like, let's, let's just go slow and go as slow as you need to go. And, but also, like, if they're interested in, you know, actually learning more about the product to not stop them, obviously, but really think about the nurturing side of things as like, this is actual nurturing, and we are just going to provide education to you until you're ready to, you know, move into like more of a consideration or you know, shopping for our product.

DA (32:06):
I love that idea as far as having like a longer-term nurture sequence, not forcing them into the next stage and really allowing them to mature as they want. My question is really geared towards when you have multiple front-end offers or multiple lead, have multiple eBooks, you have different giveaways and resources. How do you sync them all into this very long nurture sequence so that they all easily kind of funneling in there?

RL (32:35):
Yeah, we did this we just got a big LucidChart document another(inaudible) for another unsponsored plug. So we got a, it's got a big LucidChart thing, and I took our funnel. I took our stages and I started to just map out, okay, where, where are these resources kind of mapped out to our funnel? And then, you know, that started to give me a visual visualization on like, okay, if we have, for us, we have a beginner's guide to policy management, you know, so that, that's pretty top of the funnel for us. And so you know, might start out with that. And then now you know, I want to talk about like, Hey, here, here are a bunch of like, policy management best practices, because you, like, you're interested in the beginner's guide to policy management.

RL (33:22):
So I'm going to give you, you know, a bunch of our blog articles, and a bunch of like other videos that we have that are around that kind of a stage that you've said that you're at. And then, you know, and then now, like I've given you a bunch of like policy management software stuff, and I've talked about best practices and now, and then, you know, in the next campaign, maybe I'll start to talk about like, Hey, what you know, what is your current, you know, solution today for managing policies? And I find that out, then I can start to like, talk about, you know, so now I have a bunch of articles or resources around why that, you know, why that thing that you've said is not is not, is not so great for policy management. And you know, and we've actually built out a survey in our nurturing where, you know, we're going to, we're going to drive this thing out where we, we sent out a survey we're going to say, Hey, fill out this one question survey.

RL (34:25):
And you get a $5 Starbucks gift card. So just one question, tell me what you're using today for your policy management. So, you know, hopefully they'll answer that question. And then now, you know, with that information, you know, now we can map that back to a CRM and start to like give them you know, resources on, Hey, using paper is not the best solution for your policy management. And here's why, and now, you know, we can, we can start to have a nurture around, you know, four or five emails around why paper is not a good thing to use for that. And then we can start to progress them into, like, you really should start to think about software. And then here, here's a bunch of, you know, things to look for when you're thinking about policy management software. Right. And so really start to really start to get into that mindset of like, you know, if I was a buyer, you know, what are, you know, and I've never heard about policy management software before, what would I need to, you know, actually make an educated decision and, you know, not just you know, I think, I think a lot of times in B2B, you know, we're guilty of you know, ask to marry us, you know, pretty, pretty soon after the first date.

RL (35:42):
Right? So like, Hey, download the ebook, you know, are you interested in marrying us? And, you know, that, that, that seems like a weird thing to ask you know, right after your first date. Which a lot of times is that kind of first interaction with this, right. That that ebook download or, you know, whatever it is. And so really trying to take a, take a step back, take a long view of, you know, that customer journey and provide that, in that education to them across the board.

DA (36:15):
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for, thank you for explaining that. And I know I'm guilty of that myself for a lot of our campaigns in the early-days was, here's an e-book and then like right on the thank you page offering a 14 day free trial. So definitely think there's some great wisdom in there, you know, looking forward. I know you, I know you've been growing a lot and scaling to these new areas as far as your ICP, but what are, what are some possible new challenges or great opportunities that are out there on the horizon going into 2021 now that we're in here in January?

RL (36:49):
I think for us, it's really the same old thing as for everybody else is really just how do we continue to build actual awareness for our solution, right? How do we do real marketing, like do real demand generation? So it's not just about capturing the existing demand, which is a lot, you know, a lot of times what we're doing with you know, our conversion rate optimizations and, you know, all that kind of stuff, but like, how do we actually start to like, even what Drift did with conversational marketing. Like create a category, create like a need for your solution. I think that's, you know, that's always the biggest challenge for marketers and you're really, really, really kind of taking that step into like, okay, this is a challenge for us. And, you know, taking that head on.

DA (37:41):
I love that. That's awesome. And that'll be exciting to see how, how we solve that problem. I think all of us are, like you said, facing that, thinking about that challenge. And, you know, I think for us, we're going to be, we're going to be thinking a lot about video this year. How can we leverage that? That's going to be a big piece of our kind of toolkit for that kind of awareness level. But what I want to do now for just sake of time here, on this episode is jump over to our lightning round questions. Just five quick questions that you can answer with the first, best thought that comes to mind. You ready to get started?

DA (38:14):
Yeah, let's do it. All right. You're gonna rock this thing. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

RL (38:24):
I would say don't forget about customer marketing, you know, start it early and let it be a differentiator for you.

DA (38:30):
I love that. So, so true. Something that we did too. So I totally agree with it. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?

RL (38:40):
For me open-mindedness and creativity. I think, especially in B2B. We're so guilty of just, Hey, looking at what is, you know, we've mentioned Drift a hundred times already, but what Drift did? Let me copy them. Right. And so really thinking, how do I be more creative? How do I think differently? Looking at like the tools that you use today and say, Hey, what, what, what else can we do with this thing? And really thinking outside of the box.

DA (39:08):
That really makes me happy. Cause that's something that I constantly say inside Demio is how do we do this our own way? How do we do this in our fashion and not just replicate and reproduce? What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

RL (39:24):
So my current favorite is the State of Demand Generation. Chris Walker has been just crushing it. I think he has brings a lot of insight into the B2B space and is a really fresh voice to hear if you've, if you haven't followed them already,

DA (39:39):
I have not even heard of that. So we'll definitely add that into the show notes and resources and I'll check it out myself. Thank you for that recommendation. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

RL (39:49):
So right now I'm loving HubSpot. We have everything in there right now. It has our website, our automation, all that kind of stuff. So and it's really easy to use. So highly recommend that if if people aren't on something already.

DA (40:07):
I love it. Our our director of marketing, Ashley, who I'm sure will be listening to this, will be jumping for joy because she finally got me to head over to HubSpot at the end of 2020. So we're excited to start our journey there. So it's a great tool. What about a brand, business or team that you admire today?

RL (40:24):
Really like what Gong's doing on LinkedIn. It's very fun and a lot of good helpful tips. And I think they're just crushing it from a B2B LinkedIn company page. You know, they just do a great job.

DA (40:38):
Everyone needs to stop and look at what Gong is doing. I think this is the second or third show in a row where Gong has been the team mentioned here, they're doing something really exciting and really cool. So everyone go check them out. Ray, I want to say thank you so much for your time today. It was a real privilege and pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you for being transparent and so knowledgeable about your, you know, long tenure there at PowerDMS, but congratulations to you guys. And thanks again for coming on.

RL (41:06):
Thanks so much for having me. Yeah, it was a pleasure. And we'd love to connect with anybody who's interested. I'm on LinkedIn search for Ray Lau, happy to connect and chat more with anybody else who wants to talk.

DA (41:19):
Definitely do it, you know, your stuff. And we'll make sure we add your LinkedIn to our show notes and resources as well. So if you're listening head over there and you know, link over to Ray's LinkedIn and say hello. Thank you again, Ray, have a great day. we'll talk to you soon.

RL (41:34):
Awesome. Thank you.
(...)

Resources:
Listen to the State of Demand Gen Podcast:
https://anchor.fm/stateofdemandgen
Learn More About PowerDMS:
https://www.powerdms.com/
Connect With Ray:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrraylau/
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