S2E4: Branding, Sales & Marketing. Gong.io’s VP Marketing Shares Extraordinary Insights.

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In this week’s episode of Strike Gold, we speak with Udi Ledergor is the VP marketing at Gong.io.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gong, they have raised over 68 million dollars to help sales leaders succeed by understanding their conversation with the customer and get them to revenue success using AI and conversation analytics.

Just so you get how on-it Udi is, on his first day at Gong, he has already created an ebook, created a landing page, got a database, and built a successful email outreach campaign offering the ebook. Like a great steak, Udi is a seasoned marketer with over 15 years of experience and 5 VP positions (and product beforehand).

He wrote the top-selling book for planning and generating leads from conferences and trade shows called “50 secretes of trade show success.”

There were so many takeaways from this episode, it’s almost impossible to summarise them all, but here’s the tip of the iceberg.

Our key takeaways: 

Understand your company’s story early on:

Many B2B companies focus on showcasing their brilliant and complex technology. 

While some C-level executives believe that branding is a waste of money and time, and you should focus solely on driving new leads.

Udi believes that understanding the company’s story and being able to be “on-brand” actually makes everything more cost-effective, because it will increase the impact of all your marketing sales efforts. 

This is why the company also went through an in-depth branding process early on its life-cycle (and funding). 

This was important because by starting to understand and telling your story early on, you can also test which story helps gain attention and traction from your target audience fast. 

Match your marketing strategy to where your company is at

There all kinds of marketing strategies and startup growth best practices out there, the most important thing is not to try and “copy/paste” what you read, but understand what is the right thing to do for your company at the time.

Start with Outbound

Instead of starting with a bunch of long term strategies you don’t even know if they’ll go to work, start with outbound, 

yes, at the beginning is going to be expensive and inefficient for getting leads, but you will quickly learn what’s working for you and what doesn’t and you’ll be able to correct it faster and cheaper than doing inbound tactics. 

Outbound can include calling people or reaching out directly to them, pitching your product, getting shameful “no”s until you improve and iterate your pitch to a version that actually works. 

Now that you understand your marketing story better – you can enhance your outbound sales efforts and than your marketing as well. 

Take time to speak to your target audience.

The best way to market your product is by using your target audience’s words. That’s the best way to captivate the value they see in your offering. 

Udi said that when Chris Orlob joined Gong, he set up calls with 40 users and prospects right away, just so he could learn more about how the product and the problem the company is solving is perceived and described. 

How to win with content marketing.

In order to really win with content marketing, you can’t produce the exact same content everyone else does and expect to have a big impact. People want to get exclusive content and access to information that doesn’t come up with a typical Google search. 

Gong found their content marketing angle by leveraging their propriety data from their product in order to create meaningful insights other sales experts can use. 

Their marketing teams work with the company’s Data Scientists in order to create unique content based on data. The Data science team presents the marketing team with different data points that might be spruce for a good story; then, the content team builds a story around 5-6 data points. 

Make sure you are focused on content marketing and product marketing when crafting your content marketing strategy. Don’t rush to pitch your product. 

Some top Organic LinkedIn tips

Linkedin pages don’t get a lot of reach, and people don’t like to interact with brands or pages, they rather engage with people. 

The way Udi solves this is by balancing his and his team’s personal profiles with the company’s page. Instead of “forcing” your page to be the influencer, which doesn’t work well, leverage the talent you have in your company. 

“But what happens if the employee leaves? 

That’s usually the next question that comes up.” 

First of all, Udi thinks that if you become known for growing rock star employees, it will do well for your company. 

Second of all, they try to incorporate a call to actions asking their personal followers to follow Gong’s assets to get more info and useful content. 

Some additional tips:

Sharing a video from a Linkedin page will kill your organic reach. It’s better to upload the video multiple times through different profiles. Linkedin articles, on the other hand, will work well either way. 

It’s not always ads

While everybody is always defaulting to paid media as best acquisition channels, for Gong, Organic Linkedin, direct outreach, email campaigns, and speaking at conferences do the trick. 

Don’t fixate on ads!

Empowering your employees can go a long way.

Getting good employees is hard, retaining them is just as hard. 

Gong has created an “employee of the year” event that celebrated the company’s top performers. 

It was soon followed by a spanning 25 billboards city-wide campaign celebrating those employees. 

Not only will these employees retain in the company for sure, but their colleagues would step up their game to get the recognition next year. And candidates? There’s not one candidate coming to an interview that doesn’t mention the campaign. 

How to bank on your conference leads 

Udi has literally written the book about conference and trade show success. 

In our conversation, he shared one winning tip: 

“Send a follow-up straight after the event ends (the morning after).” 

How? Set up all the follow-up emails before the conference (templates to send), and before the event’s end, make sure you upload, clean the data, and get it ready to go. 

In your email, focus on the conference itself, not your company – your target met with tens if not hundreds of startups, he won’t remember you right away, but they will 100% remember the conference. 

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A big thank you to Elad Levy for joining me this week. Until next time!

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