Hey Todd, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS Breakthrough podcast. How are you doing today?
Yeah, my pleasure. I'm good as gold. How are you?
I'm doing great. Where are you joining me from?
I am in the Canary Islands.
Wow. That's fantastic. Amazing. How's the weather out there?
Yeah, it's pretty amazing. So obviously I'm originally from the UK, living in Amsterdam, but we came to the Canary islands for a couple of weeks. And that's now been extended to two months because there really wasn't any reason to go back. So the weather, the weather is amazing.
Well, I'm definitely going to come visit you out there. Cause that sounds incredible. And I've heard nothing but good things about the Canary islands. So that's awesome. Let's talk today about UprawMedia, about marketing and a lot of stuff that you have going on at your SaaS marketing agency. So let's jump right in. Why don't you explain a little bit about the company, when you founded it, who your customers are and what you're doing uniquely in the marketplace?
Yeah, sure. So the company was founded in 2016, so we're about four and a half years old. In terms of who we serve, kind of our ICP is B2B SaaS, typically SaaS companies with aggressive growth targets, inherently a good product and a good product team. Good people, smart people to kind of see our relationship as a collaboration and kind of not delegation. And I think really we have kind of two use cases for for ICP. And one is a more mature SaaS company that already has product-market fit. They're already running PPC. And you know, maybe the head of marketing is running it or maybe a junior marketer is running it. They're spread a bit thin and they just kind of want to take it to the next level. I think that's one use case for us.
And then the other is maybe a more early-stage company that doesn't have product-market fit and they're really looking to get there. And I think, you know, to get to product-market fit, first you have to get to message-market fit. You have to be able to learn really, really fast. So we can we can help them with that. And actually what we do, so our core business is we're a PPC agency specifically for SaaS. I think we're very much a technical marketers heart. So, you know, the super nitty gritty of tracking, measuring of things right through the customer journey, making sure we understand the unit economics, helping define success metrics, data analysis, all that nitty gritty stuff. But I think the thing that kind of maybe makes us different is one of the frustrations I had in PPC, having done PPC for almost 12 years is that PPC has a kind of a finite leverage.
You can sit in a PPC account all day and, you know, add negative keywords, try different bidding strategies at different keywords, try remarketing ad copy, like all that stuff. But at the end of the day, if the core things around PPC don't work work well, you're going to have troubles. And I think the fundamental thing is understanding, the why. PPC people are often good at telling you what is happening, where, when, and who, but they can't really tell you why. And I think that's, that's kind of a gap that we bridge. We really help them understand their customers deeply to create better messaging, copy and positioning. And then we help them kind of learn what is happening from their PPC so they can, you know, build experiments, landing pages and, and all that kind of stuff.
Why did you guys go after SaaS? I know a lot of different PPC agencies and there's thousands of industries to work within thousands of companies, millions of companies to work for. You know, why did you choose SaaS as your product-market fit? Has it evolved? You mentioned the two different kind of segments that you go after, what was it like in the early days trying to find those SaaS customers?
Yeah, for sure. And that, the reason why we chose SaaS, I think I always joke that the world doesn't need another ad agency. Like you just said. There's, well, there's so many PPC agencies, there's so many different ad agencies. And when UprawMedia first started, we were just a PPC agency. We were quite generic. You know, we spoke about all the things that many PPC agencies talk about. We can manage search display, remarketing, we had a Google partner (inaudible) and all that stuff. And then when we landed some SaaS clients, we picked up a SaaS client in in Sweden, a company called Netigate and they were spending quite a lot of money and we just ended up working really well with them. And I think that the fundamental thing about SaaS companies that they're technically proficient, you know, if you're niching in PPC for dentists, you know, those guys necessarily aren't technically proficient, they don't rely on digital marketing channels.
So that was one thing. They just made really, really great clients. And because of the unit economics they're highly scalable. So it was good to just kind of scale up their spend. So we kind of serendipitously ended up taking on some SaaS clients. And after a while we thought we really need a differentiation, we need to kind of our own niche. And that made sense. And the SaaS market is, it's really, really booming. So it was just, it was just an evolution and kind of how we got to product-market fit. It was, it was kind of eating your own dog food. You know, we just really, really learned from our clients. In those early days it was like, Hey, let's lean into SaaS, but we, we didn't fully lean into it. And it was actually when although, although that was kind of our niche, it's actually, when COVID hit in March, we were like, we really, really need to differentiate because we got hit hard by, you know, like probably a lot of digital marketing agencies.
And it was at that time, we thought, Hey, let's really double down on this. So, you know, we interviewed our customers, we did market research, you know, we listened to podcasts like this. We really, really tried to understand the market and we kept iterating. We kept changing our messaging. We continuously learn in the company as well, and we try and think of new ways that we can help SaaS companies. And just over time we just refined it and got better and better. And having spoken to, I think probably last quarter, I think I spoke to maybe 50 different SaaS companies just on intro calls. And you really, really do just get to learn, like, what are their pain points. You know, what are they trying to achieve? How does PPC fit into the wider kind of marketing mix? And yeah, you just iterate over time. And, and these days, you know, I'll often speak to SaaS companies and they'll say like, Hey, I read your website and your value proposition, everything you talk about is exactly on point. So I think it's just an evolution of, of learning and iterating.
Fantastic answer. And I think that's exactly what we all have to do as companies, as we evolve and we learn our ICP, but you did a great job of you know, doing what you do with your clients for yourself. So congratulations on finding, you know, that really good product-market fit, market-message fit. And, you know, I totally agree with you. You said earlier that you can do PPC to, to expedite, you know, that market marketing-message fit, I guess you would call it. So let's talk about PPC for SaaS businesses. There's so much to talk about. There's so much to unpack. And I think a lot of times on this podcast, we talk about content marketing. We talk about sales. We talk about, you know, demand gen, all of these different mechanisms. We don't often talk a lot about PPC. We talked about LinkedIn advertising a little bit, but why do you feel like SaaS businesses need to have a solid PPC approach?
Well, I think the first thing is you have to understand whether, you know, PPC is actually right for your business because, you know, certainly if you're starting out, I don't actually think it's the case that you have to do PPC. I think, I think it was Paul Graham said that it's very likely that one track (inaudible) channel is optimal. And if you can just get one of those to work crappy, then you have a great business. And actually for some businesses, PPC doesn't work. I mean it can be really, really expensive. So I think if you're, you know, kind of a me too product in a, in a highly competitive space, then maybe PPC isn't the right channel for you. But if you have an inherently good product, you have good positioning. Maybe it isn't hugely competitive and the kind of the unit economics makes sense, then, then PPC can be a good approach for you.
So I think that's, that's kind of you know, the launching off point is, is actually PPC, right for you given the range of different channels that you have available. And kind of how we think about that is, and this was a mistake I made in the early days is trying to do, trying to do too much. You have to understand the resources that you have in the company, right. And if you have tons of resources and you are a well-funded company, you have all those different things like I just said then yeah PPC is probably right, but maybe it's not. I think maybe a good example of that would be a company. We have, we have our own podcast and we had Supermetrics on our podcast. And actually the title of the podcast episode is how Supermetrics exploded with a single traction channel. And in their case, they have, they gained you know, huge traction and growth by their Google sheets addon. And in that case, PPC wouldn't have been the right channel for them. So that was a really, really long way of saying that, you know, PPC isn't right for every business. And you have to kind of think about it in the, in the mix of different channels that you have available.
I like the idea of thinking holistically about what you have as far as resources, money, time, when you, when you're sitting down, you're actually making your demand gen, your PPC plan. We're doing one right now. Looking at the numbers, the budgets, you're oftentimes estimating, what you think you can get for, you know, for CAC or cost per lead or cost per trial. It's kinda making these guesstimations. What are some of the key things that you need to know or think about when you're planning that campaign? Obviously you maybe even need to be like, okay, I need three months of testing time, is that part of that?
A hundred percent. I think the number one thing, the prerequisite, and you just kind of hit the nail on the head is the unit economics. And in my experience, many company, whether it's in SaaS or it's in any other industry, they start PPC and they say like, Hey, let's run some PPC. We want to get some free trials. And then as a PPC agency, I would tell like, okay, great. Like, what is the maximum we're willing to pay for a conversion? Like, how do you understand the unit economics? And they'll just kind of put the finger in the air and they'll just say, well, I think we should spend, you know, $25 for a signup. I think you have to, you have to create benchmarks in the beginning. So, you know, many people understands already a simple example might be okay, our lifetime value is 3k.
I think it's typical in the SaaS industry that you'll give up one third of your, one third of your lifetime value towards CAC. So in this instance, it would be, you know, a $1,000. Well, then you need to think about, well, how many free signups or how many demos do I need to get? What's the conversion rate there to be able to achieve that 1000 cap. So in the beginning, maybe you don't have those numbers. So you just have to kind of set some benchmarks. And like you said, it's just coming back and over time and testing, and then seeing if that makes sense. So the number one thing is, with (inaudible) is understanding the unit economics.
That makes a lot of sense. And, you know, every campaign, every, you know, experiment you do is going to have different numbers. But like you said, you got to have a benchmark. For early-stage you make the guesstimates and then you kind of make the traction changes as you go. You said one third, one third of your LTV should be your CAC?
Well, I think that's like a SaaS industry standard. It depends how aggressive you want to be. I mean, you might want to give up half if you're trying to be particularly aggressive, or if you're trying to be more profitable, maybe you want a one to 10 ratio. But I think as a good starting point a one to three years is about the right mark.
Do you typically look at gross margins too, when you're looking at that to (inaudible) estimate where your gross margins are in that?
Yeah, it depends. Actually we built a unit economics calculator and it does have a a gross margin column in there. So for example, in your SaaS product, if you want to factor in your, you know, your server costs, for example, or your support costs, you can bake that in. It really, really does depend. But ultimately just making sure you start off with some assumptions in the beginning and you continuously go back and validate those assumptions. That's actually what most, what most companies don't do.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Well, let's talk about a specific vertical, let's talk about Google ads. I know there are different campaign structures that you can use. How do you choose which kind of campaign structure to run with? In the past, I know the only really Google advertising that we've done is competitor-based advertising and having gone after a keyword or a keyword group types of things. But I know there are tons of different structures. What do you recommend for us?
Yeah, so there's definitely not a one size all fits approach here. I think I'll try and give you an answer, which kind of is, is more top level. For me, I think the most advanced advertisers are automating and simplifying. And having done PPC for 12 years, I've seen the evolution of the machine learning and the smart bidding in Google ads. And it has become much, much more powerful. And this is definitely a narrative that you know, Google is pushing and I'm sure a lot of people have also noticed that Google is kind of relinquishing control. They keep consolidating keyword match types and all these sorts of different things which takes away the control for advertisers. But one thing to remember is, you know, what's right for Google is often what's good for their bottom line.
So just because Google says that you should be simplifying, you should be leaning into automation, doesn't necessarily mean that's the case. So yeah, just going back to that, the most advanced advertisers I think are yeah, automating and simplifying. I've seen accounts where it's fully automated and it's worked incredibly well. So they'll literally just have dynamic search ads. So they'll just say to Google, here's my website, here's a bunch of different ad creatives and Google will literally choose the keywords. It will choose the different creatives. And that can work really, really well. I think the prerequisite to that is that you do need a lot of conversion volume. And I think there's all, PPC people in general, they love control. They, you know, that's kind of what that, what they get paid for. And there's been some different structures.
For example, I'm sure many people are familiar with single keyword ad groups or SKAGs. And actually if you, if you make a search for build SKAGs, I actually wrote an article on that and built a kind of a SKAG builder, which is basically means that you have very, very tightly themed keywords to ad copy, and you have a very, very granular structure and you try and have that more manual approach. But I think generally speaking, the best structures are more simplified and they lean into, into automation. Because the problem with manual bidding is that you're basically look, you're looking at what happened yesterday and you're making adjustments for today. And of course that is good, but you know, the advantage of smart bidding, it's predicting in that exact moment, the likelihood of conversion. So I think generaly speaking, if you have a high volume of conversions, you should be leaning more into simplified structures, leaning into automation. So that means having more keywords per ad group and a good rule of thumb is that you should be thinking about ad groups about intent. So instead of thinking like every single keyword variation needs it, so an ad group that it needs it. So on ad copy, you should be bucketing keywords into intent. And as long as the landing page makes sense for all those different keywords, I think in general, that is a better approach long-term and it will give you more scalability as you look to increase budgets.
Is there a conversion number or number of conversions that you recommend before you start scaling up with like manual bidding or predictive bidding?
So, so Google have always preached 30 and in my experience there's a bit of nuance to that. So I would honestly say from a hundred conversions per month is probably a good starting point. And actually one thing I didn't mention as well as the Google is pushing, if you heard of Hagakure? Hagakure I don't know. I don't know why they call it Hagakure. This was a narrative given by Google and I actually Google it before I came on this podcast. And it means in the shade of the leaves. I have not connected the dots and why the hell they called it Hagakure, but basically Hagakure is it's basically saying you should just take a much more wider approach. So you should have much, much wider targeting than perhaps you would like, have much, much less segmentation in terms of the keywords per ad group as I just said, and just basically leaning into the smart bidding. So giving it multiple different ad variations and all this kind of stuff. So Hagakure is something yeah, PPC people should be, should be thinking about.
We'll we'll link to both of those, the Hagakure and the SKAGs, your article on SKAGs as well, to make sure that anyone that's listening can find that in the show notes resources afterwards. Another method that I know is a really good structure for SaaS companies is basing your advertising on the LTV and activation rates of your different geographical areas. Talk to us a little bit about your experience with this type of structure.
So in my experience, and I'm sure, many people running SaaS companies will know, if you have customers all over the world, it's very likely that, you know, different countries, different geos will have different lifetime value and they'll have different activation rates. And when I say activation rate, I mean, someone that's going from a free trial to a paying customer. So I think before you start PPC, you should really understand the LTVs per geo, and you should understand, the activation rates per geo, and instead of, you know, bucketing all of your let's, let's say in Google ads, you're running a campaign for Europe and you're using the same, you know, target CPA. You should probably think about, how can you break those up dependent on you know, the lifetime value and the activation rates, that's generaly how I think about it.
That makes a lot of sense. And it goes back to just your numbers focus. And I think for SaaS companies, it has to be, is different numbers, right? It's just looking at lifetime value. It's looking at ARPA, ARPU, activation rates of the different areas and yeah, us international companies have all kinds of different things to think about. What I want to do now though, is I want to flip over to a case study. I know you brought us a case study today of a SaaS company that you've worked with to scale up PPC. Tell us a little bit about the client, their initial needs, goals, how you got in and how you help them scale this whole project up?
Yeah, sure. So the company is called Landbot, the conversational chat bot. They're based in Barcelona. They're a really cool company. I think they've been a client for about nine months. How they come about, I think they heard me on a podcast and then they reached out and we just jammed and we got on really well. Yeah, indeed. Yeah. Podcasts do work. So yeah, I guess the key takeaway is that we, when they originally came to us, they were spending about 5k in Google ads, very typical use case for us. They were running it in-house, but the person running it didn't have PPC experience and they wanted to scale up right there, there are funded company and they saw PPC as a viable (inaudible) which is why, which is why they came to us.
Kind of how we approached it and the whole process was, yeah, firstly, understanding the unit economics. One of the first things we noticed was that they were kind of going after vanity metrics. So in their account, you could see that the cost per signup was actually was quite low. And I know in particularly they were spending a lot of money in the Latin area, which is, which is a key market for them. But actually when we looked into the data in Mixpanel, you could actually see that the activation rates, you know, actually those free trials they're requiring wheren't converting into paying customers. So the first job was what we just spoke about. It was understanding the LTV per geos, understanding the different activation rates and, overall kind of improving the lead quality, focusing on signups that would actually lead to activating and paying customers.
That's, that's basically job number one. The second job we did was working on the positioning and the messaging. For me and in the PPC context, many companies just, just get this wrong. Positioning and messaging in general just, just gets overlooked. It's more of an afterthought. So what did we do? So we collected as much voice of customer data as we could. So we spoke to the, we spoke to customers, we survey customers, we ran polls, you know, we spoke to the sales team and the goal was to really uncover, you know, what are the motivations and the pain points, the potential anxieties, the belief of their customers and what we, what we kind of uncovered was that most people were using Landbot for lead generation. They have multiple use cases, but when we looked at the data, we found that the highest activation rates were for lead generation, the highest LTVs were in lead generation.
And we were actually looking at competitors in the market that was kind of a niche. There wasn't really anybody owning that lead generation in conversational chatbots. So all of that data then culminated, we built them you know, different landing pages. We doubled their conversion rates. We tested these different messages that we uncovered in all of our voice of customer research. We made different messaging for different stages of the funnel. We measured the (inaudible) of everything. You know, we learned, we iterated and yeah, we, we scaled up their spend from 5k to 50K.
That's a big jump. Are there a lot of common mistakes that you see when people are scaling up that amount of money in that size?
Yeah, a hundred percent. I think the way that I see PPC is you have the kind of the demand capture. So those are the people that actually in the moment specifically looking for a solution like yours. And that's usually a very small portion of the market. And I think that's where people should start. You should start with search ads. If people are proactively searching for a solution like yours, you should be trying to convert them. That that's the best place to start. But then I think the mistake is people use the same tactics and the same initiatives when they look to scale up. So when they're looking to reach people that aren't proactively in the market, so maybe you start LinkedIn targeting on cold audiences. For example, you just use the same messages, you just try and go straight for the jugular.
You've probably seen them yourself, David, you know, you're on LinkedIn. You've never heard of this company before. And they're just like, Hey, sign up for a demo. And actually it doesn't work. You have to understand you know, the pain points of these users, where they are in the funnel, and speak to them with different messaging. So I think the number one mistake is yeah, just poor, poor messaging, trying lower funnel direct response ads on cold audiences. It just doesn't work. I think another mistake is, well, it's just kind of under investing in CRO. So people, SaaS companies will spend an absolute fortune on PPC, 50K, 100K to 200 a month. And then they invest all their energy in optimizing PPC. And they don't think about actually, you know, the why, you know, how can we improve the user experience? How can we improve on messaging? How can we improve the product, try to improve our landing pages? Like all that stuff. And again, another mistake I think is the unit economics for sure. Another one's probably not measuring and tracking everything right through through the customer journey. So I think, yeah, those are the most common mistakes that I see.
You're just getting started. You're about to launch your demand gen program and your PPC program, what would be your best advice? Is it really just getting, focusing to start with just on the positioning and the messaging? Is it just making sure that you have, because we talked about numbers, having kind of your plan pre-set up? Is it, you know, just trying to find those low hanging fruit areas that you talked about?
I think, I think that's the best place to start. Yeah, go after the lower funnel, the main capture stuff, but for me, I think the best advice I could give someone that was kind of starting out in PPC is you kind of have to understand how PPC fits into the broader marketing and growth strategy. Because if you think that you can 10X growth, or you can 10X PPC performance, that's just fouls gold. You'll be sitting in your account, you'll be optimizing and split testing in the PPC and different PPC channels all day, every day. And there's a finite leverage that you have there. So yeah, start with the lower funnel stuff. But then when you're looking to scale up, you need to understand the customer deeply, their pain points, the motivations. You need to create really, really good content that speaks to them. You know, we know the customer journey is really, really complex. So don't think you can just interrupt people's day on LinkedIn and just get them to sign up for a demo because in the real world, that just isn't the case.
So there's a lot of setting realistic expectations and all this, especially if you're a marketer within an organization, making sure you're getting enough time, you're investing enough in positioning, messaging, product and CRO. And I know you mentioned you know, with a couple of your clients that you've been wanting to look at, you know, demos for these larger companies. You've also talked about CRO a little bit here, so let's talk a little bit about how you can optimize your website for higher demo conversion rates as you're sending traffic there. What have you seen as, you know, a best solution there to increase demo conversion?
Yeah, there's, there's, there's a bunch of stuff here. So one observation I've seen is that, especially in enterprise SaaS, people always shoot for a demo. And actually when you ask them, you're like, are you guys actually doing a demo, are you actually giving them a product tour or are you just speaking to them? And in some cases they'll say like, actually, no, we just jump on a call. We ask the pain point. Sometimes we go through the demo. Sometimes we don't. And I think a demo is quite high-friction. I don't know about you, David, but if I see a call-to-action, which is book a demo, I'm like, okay, great. So I'm going to have to speak to someone for 30 minutes, for 60 minutes, they're going, go through a product tour. And all I really want to know is these specific questions. How much is it?
Does it integrate with my existing tech stack? And all of this stuff. So I think overall think about whether a high friction demo is the right call-toaction for you and whether you can, you can maybe lower it. I think one good solution is giving them an option and a really nice tool for this is Typeform. You can use conditional logic. So you could say, you know, book an intro call or schedule a consultation as a CTA, and then you can give them the option. Do you want a 30-minute demo call or do you just want to jump on a 15-minute chat with somebody in sales? So I think that that's quite a nice hack. But another thing I think is just making it more clear. Often what I'll see with demos, it would just say like schedule a demo and then it will just jump to a form. A really, really big form.
Well, I think the goal is you need to make it specifically clear, like what's in it for them. Like, why should I bother? Why should I give my time, be explicitly clear what's in it for them, And kind of what happens. Who do I speak to? How long does it take? What's included? The simple things in my experience often get overlooked. So a good way of thinking is, you know, someone clicks on get a demo, then they get taken instead of being taken straight to a form, take them to a page that sells the demo that has social proof. I think that's a key takeaway. Another one is just making it more human. I think it can be quite, you know, get demo in an enterprise world can be quite generic and quite boring. So I think you can just make it a bit more human.
So I like to, I have good examples I see where people add videos you'll click on, get a demo, and this, you know, a guy or a girl talking, and they'll say like, Hey, you know, jump on a 30-minute demo with me. This is what's in it for you. This is what's, what's going to be covered. I think that's, that's a much better approach to getting someone to fill in a really big form than just kind of, yeah, hitting them with a big form without any context.
Those are all great suggestions, super helpful. It's really, you're also in the mindset of just like, how do we make this the best customer or prospect experience as possible, right. Remove as much friction as possible. It's such a great way to think. And I think you can find a lot of new, innovative solutions by doing that for the same issues, but we're just trying to get, you know, the right lead flow, the right qualified people, because like you said, you mentioned the word vanity metrics before, but I think of like just forcing SQLs in by just having people fill out a demo, but if they're not qualified, then it doesn't really matter because your conversion rate is going to be crap anyways. So you would rather just have lower SQLs that convert higher, are better LTV, get better product value. Like just, it's kind of a, it's kind of a game there with the numbers, but as you look back over the past few years, working in the SaaS industry, working with these great SaaS companies, any hard lessons learned from campaigns that didn't work out the way you thought I'm sure tons or any opportunities that you saw in the advertising industry?
Yeah. So I think I think that the biggest thing for me has been seeing companies spread themselves too thin. So they think, Hey, it's like PPC is like a shiny, shiny object. It's like this thing that they've never been able to crack. So I think one of the biggest mistakes is just kind of thinking that you can delegate PPC to like a PPC agency. And like I said, in the beginning, some of the biggest mistakes is that you don't have very good messaging. You don't have very good positioning, you're not measuring everything, and you're kind of underinvesting in CRO. So just diving into PPC and not really giving it the resources it needs, I think is probably the biggest mistake I see.
That's so true. I mean, that's an organizational thing, right? That's a, that's probably frustrating from an agency level too, when you're coming in there and you just don't have all the right ability to do that. What about challenges or opportunities that you see moving forward here in 2021, anything exciting coming out?
Well I think one of the biggest challenges is just standing out. I mean, the SaaS market is absolutely booming and I think the best SaaS companies will win on brand or they will win on with differentiating. I think if you're, if you're just competing on features and you just another me too SaaS company, I think you're going to really, really, really struggle. So I think the biggest opportunities are being unique, being interesting, being different, you know, building brand, you know, playing the long game. And yeah, kind of circling back to PPC. I think PPC is kind of seen as one of those, one of those low hanging fruit or quick wins, and it definitely can be, but I think, yeah, the best opportunities and the best companies in 2020 ones will build brand and be different and unique.
I was asked recently, what would like an authentic move be in the business? And I didn't know how to answer. And I said, I really want to focus on our brand and have that differentiating brand. And there was kind of this look of like, hmm you know, that wasn't a very good answer. I think that there's like this missnumber of like what brand actually is for SaaS companies and how powerful it can be as a differentiator. So, I mean, first of all, I totally agree with you as far as the next, the next steps there is like, what kind of brands will stand out? How do you stand out when there's, what is the SaaS community now like 8,000 companies or something like that? Something ridiculous.
It's madness. Absolutely madness. The other thing as well is one of the big problems I see is like, everybody wants to measure everything. You know, they want to spend X and they want to get Y so, you know, humans are just wired for those kinds of short-term incentives. And I think that's where people allocate a lot of their resources instead of in the long-term brand. And the example would be, you know, for us you know, we started a podcast with 15 episodes in, and as you know, David having you know, run a successful podcast, there's a lot of work in building a podcast. Right. And certainly in those early days, you're probably not going to see a return and you're probably going to be difficult to measure the success of that. So I think you have to balance kind of those long-term brand building, you know, with the short term, the short games, like you know, PPC.
Absolutely. You have to understand what is long-term what's short-term. And you also, we've talked about this a couple of times, but like set the proper expectations. For the podcast, the expectation isn't that you're going to be landing 10 million viewers in a week. You know, that's a, long-term play. This is episode number 148 I think. It's three years of episodes, you know? So it's, it's something that takes a lot of time. So you really have to find, this is something you said earlier, what are the resources we have? What are the levers we can pull? Where are the areas that we want to focus on? Both long-term and short-term, and these are not easy questions to answer, but I absolutely think PPC lives in there, but that only really works out if you have, you know, the numbers, which we said, if it's going to work out in the equation of your gross margins and you know, your CAC and all that kind of stuff, and that's also depending on where you are in your business, how mature it is, your economics of your business. So, you know, there's a lot of stuff that goes into this stuff. So I appreciate you breaking it down for us. It's been a very great conversation. What I want to do now, though Todd is flip over to our lightning round questions. Five quick questions that you can answer with the first and best thought that comes to mind. You want to get started?
Yeah why not?
You're gonna do great. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?
I think early-stage qualitative data is everything. Like try and uncover the why because you don't have the quantitative data, the numbers to run AB tests. I think there's like a misconception you should be AB testing. So focus on the qualitative data and try and understand the why behind the numbers and focus. Don't spread yourself too thin. Try and run, small scale attraction tests learn as quickly as possible. And then just double down on the things that work and allocate resources effectively. And then I also say parlance the long-term and the short-term initiatives we just said.
Yeah, absolutely. That's all great advice. Focus being such a key one, especially in those early days. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?
It's a bit of a cliche, but I think it's data.I think it's being able to collect both the quantitative and the qualitative data, being able to analyze it to draw insights and then off the back of that, to be able to build experiments and to learn as quickly as possible.
Love that answer. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?
Yeah, I'll give you a few. So I think good ones for frameworks would be Hacking Growth and Traction. I think they're very good, like top level frameworks. And then I'm focusing on books here, but I think also Purple Cow is a really, really a great book definitely (by Seth Godin) Yes, it is indeed. And it's just about being remarkable, being different. And I think really also another great book Shoe Dog, which is the guy that founded Nike and.
I love that book.
What a book, what a great book.
I think I cried at the end.
I think it's one of the only books I got emotional too. It's it's a really, really fantastic book, really funny as well.
Yeah. It was, I highly recommend that book. That was fantastic. Really. Thank you for recommending that. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?
Boomerang for Gmail. Yeah, game-changer. I've used it for about five, six years. I run off a zero inbox. So just having the ability when someone emails me to say boomerang, that back to me in a week, I'm too busy. And also when I send people an email, I can just take and say, if they don't respond boomerangs back to me in five days, I just, it's so simple, but it's just so effective.
I'm the same as you as a zero inbox guy. I get major anxiety when I see people with like thousands of emails. So that's a good tool. What about a brand, business or a team that you admire today?
I really like what the guys are doing at Wynter. So it's a spin of company from CXL Peep Laja and those guys and they really help you understand your messaging, to get feedback on your messaging. And I think that content is incredible. So I'll go with Wynter.
I love that one. Well, thank you again, Todd for jumping on today's episode. I learned a ton today, especially as we're getting into more demand generation PPC here at Demio. So, you know, I really appreciate your time, your transparency and you know, all your wisdom today. Thanks for jumping on.
Yeah, my pleasure. Take it easy.
All right. Thanks Todd. We'll talk to you soon.