Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 63 · 3 months ago

How Gated Helps People Take Control of Their Attention with Melissa Moody

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week, Growth Marketing Camp welcomes Melissa Moody, Co-Founder & CMO at Gated and co-host of their podcast, Finding Focus.

In this episode, Melissa shares the origin story of Gated and paints a picture of a new world she envisioned where people could take back control of their inboxes. She also shares how to get people aligned in an early-stage startup, the importance (& value) of building an audience even before you have a product, and the benefits of having a technical and marketing founder combo.

As a bonus, we chat about what led Melissa to leap into the startup space after spending over a decade at Google, plus what’s critical for her enjoyment of work and what inspired her to start a Slack community for marketers called 2 pizza marketers. This episode is a pure delight, so tune in and enjoy.

Welcome to growth marketing camp, podcast, powered by open sense, where we sit down with leaders and founders from diverse backgrounds and marketing, tech and beyond to explore what it takes to build a leading brand that's shaving the world. B Two B let's get into it all right, ladies and gentlemen's Bobby Nurgue. I am co host of growth marketing camp. I am extremely excited to be joined today by Melissa Moody. She is co founder and Chief Marketing Officer at gated. Welcome to the show. Thank you. I'm truly excited to be here. This is a show that I will say I'm absolutely a Fan Girl Oak, so it's quite a pleasure to be sitting here with you. Well, we appreciate that and, Um, you know that adds a little bit of extra pressure to make sure I do a good job today. So so thanks for that. Before we get started, Um, I've got some some questions I'm excited to dive into because I have some familiarity with your business. Um, you're an email company, so are we, and I feel like I see your brand all over the place. But do you mind letting our audience know at a high level what it is that gate it does absolutely. So. We live in a world that's very noisy digitally, with everything that's coming in every day and specifically in your inboxes. I think there's not a single one of us out here that doesn't have, you know, too much irrelevant email pouring into their inbox, and what gate it is designed to do is to reduce the noise in the inbox in a very interesting way. Well, we could challenge unknown senders who you don't know, to donate to a charity of your choice in order to reach you. So it's a really simple solution that's actually a whole new take on how we come our noise. Yeah, I got a bigger vision, but that's that's the essence of what we do. Interesting, Um, are are you open to sharing that bigger vision, or is it something to be revealed at a later day? No, absolutely, I mean, I think if you we actually wrote, my co founder Andy and I wrote a very thoughtful spend a long time writing our manifesto. So we have a very clear vision of a world in when people have control over their head. Um. It's no longer just anyone can hit you with anything at any time, UM, and we're building towards that world, starting an email, but I think there is a lot of other opportunity in email and beyond to help people take back control of their attention, to not be at the whim of everyone who wants to get them at any time. Oh boy. But yeah, big, big vision. But fundamentally, you know, if you think you're holding strong today and dealing with it today, just imagine the world five, ten years from now. The automation and the channels are getting more and more and more noisy, and so if we use humans don't actually take steps to protect our own attention, it's it's going to be rough. So that's what my old boy is mostly just a yeah, preach like I want to. You know, I I've thought about this just even in recent days and weeks, just that detoxing technology, detox connection, detalks, just the amount of anxiety create, aided by the sense of...

...obligation to get back to people, regardless of how relevant, error or important you may deem them. I mean it's a definitely a byproduct and a symptom, I guess you could say, in some ways, of the world that we live in today. And I think what's so fascinating about that like. How could we possibly be prepared to handle it when this is all coming about within the last what is it? Fifteen years? I mean when the IPHONE, like the first iphone, came out, and I want to say it four or five or no, maybe it's closer to wait, whatever it is, but it seems to be that there would definitely be a need for some technological crutch or some way to help mitigate this unfettered like access that people haven't. You know, as a salesperson, you're getting text messages now too. You know like that. And just think about the you know, the broader scope of it to like think about just social media, even if we step out of it. Our human brains are not structured to digest, let's even take it into the things that are having out, all of the bad things happen. We were built to worry about the things that happened in our village, and so that's kind of fundamentally this idea dated, which is it's not that all that stuff isn't important, that in order to be successful and healthy, is humans, you do have to set some boundaries around what comes in doesn't, and that's yeah, boundaries is hard. I mean to say I don't want to see every email. I don't want to. That's a hard thing to do. Yeah, man, there's some really interesting ideas that come to mind. I mean just even the idea that you know, this idea of worrying. The purpose, the biological purpose of worrying is a protection mechanism, right, and like, whereas we will ingest all of the bad things that we see happening via social media, rarely do we ever put any of our our sort of brain or thought into all the good things. Right. It's almost like the bad things always surface to the top because we're kind of conditioned or designed to prioritize those because those are things that, like, biologically speaking, could could harm us. So, UM, so. So, not to get down this rabbit hole because I feel like I could speak with you about that topic for hours and maybe that's a follow up conversation, potentially with beers included. Um, if, if that's ever on the table. But Um, one of the things that I think is really fascinating that you mentioned is this idea of the manifesto. and Um, I had a guest on, Marcus Andrews. He was had a product marketing at Kendo and he spearheads this idea of narrative design, which is basically you you paint a picture of this new world. It's not just sort of a pain point and you offer solution as a marketer, but you sort of tell a story, a narrative of this new world that we live in and and that that you understand it and that that's why your solutions are the ones that are the best ones. And it seems like that's precisely we're Gad it has a massive opportunity right now. Yeah, and it was actually critical to our growth Um. So you know, I can get into kind of what our strategic nature. I...

...totally agree. I think it's critically important. You need to build a vision of what is the future? Who are the winners in the future? What is the battle that we're fighting? You know, the enemy is people often refer to. That's all important, and I can talk about gateds in particular, but just conceptually, it was actually very important for us as a startup because, frankly, we had a scrappy m VP product, like literally the thing my co founder had hacked together with Air Table and Zapp here, like that was what we had for a while when I was here to market it right. So what did I focus on? Well, I focused on essentially getting people on board with gated before there was gated and get people aligned towards an ideal for something bigger, and it did amazing things. Number one, it sets us up to have fans and advocates who maybe aren't even ideal users. Right Um, so there's that. Number two, it allowed us to build momentum before we actually launched a product or can talk about it more depth. Was Critical. And number three, it also helps us find partners, that a line Um, I like to call it, people or other companies who are facing in the same direction, who are looking at the same horizon, and those are some of my best day to day conversations is with other companies who are seeing a similar direction. And really it's the beginning of category design rights. Someone steps up and does I'm doing it. Maybe, if, if we can move faster, I will be the ones who do it. But I see a very clear category of technology designed to protect attention, to protect function, doesn't really exist right now. What what do you have to do? You have to work harder for more things, you have to learn new key strokes, you have to spend an hour every morning time blocking so you can clear your emails. Like, how horrible is that that you just have to work harder to keep up with technology? Bobby? Yeah, totally, totally. And so, you know, building a narrative that gets people aligned, especially, I think, for an early stage startup. If, if you can make it work, it's one of the best weapons in your arsenal because, yeah, you're setting up your overall narrative to move into, but it actually gives you stuff to do before you have the product to market. Yeah, I mean, like, I think what you've described as you've essentially activated an ecosystem of supporters, of potential partners, of maybe even other competitors. But still, I mean competition is a sign of a healthy market. So you know. But but an interesting thought there that comes to mind is um is that something like if you're thinking about it from an early stage founder standpoint or an early stage standpoint, I mean some of the things that you'll read about starting from scratches, that you know you kind of need to wait a certain moment before you sort of make that first marketing higher but in order to sort of create this sort of strategic narrative that sort of raises the tide, so to speak. It sounds to me that like there's some great value put in this circumstance and like having that marketing higher, that marketing co founder who basically sort of creates value in that manner. I mean,...

I don't know that. That's just an interesting like Combo that that I don't hear often, particularly in the earliest of stages, like technical founder, marketing founder, and sort of the value of that Combo. I've heard marketing and sales. That's that's what we did an open sense. It's it's interesting to hear that combination and I think with the context of strategic narrative and all of the value that that can create, it seems to make a ton of sense actually. You know, I think to sort of ex sense, it's what we defaulted into, like based on your founder, like your founder or your potential spoke it. It is the way you build. Now, would we have traded bars of gold to get our amazing current head of engineering on board a year earlier? Yes, okay, we're talking to you know, a CEO who is a go to market executive and then a marketer from heart. So we basically said, well, we're gonna take what we've got and start running fast. But you know, if you're starting with a technical founder and may it may look really different. Absolutely and, and let's be honest, not every product that comes to market is looking to change behaviors or totally about correct yeah, we have a story that's worth telling in that way. Yeah, you know another tool that's maybe jumping into an already competitive system and they're not changing, they're just doing it better. Maybe there's not that big story in absolutely. So, I I do want to I want to get into the business a little bit more, but I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you about you and your career to this point, because I know we're growth marketing focus, but we're also startup and so I'm personally, as a start up founder, like, always interested to hear about some of the folks stuff I'm speaking with and and and what's brought them to where they are today. And when I think it is really fascinating about you is that you you spend it looks like over a decade at Google, which is, if not the largest company on the planet, you know, one of the largest and Um and now now you're you're your co founder of of of a startup. So talk to me a little bit about sort of just what that transition has been like and and maybe a little bit about how maybe your years of experience at Google have either helped you in this transition or or what are some of the key things that you've taken from the earlier part of your career into this opportunity that you have now with gated? Yeah, happy to. I mean, I won't go into the full history because I think I've done that a nauseam for certain things, but I think the two things that defined what I did a Google and what I did now, and I think what I will always do in my career, is I look for really smart people and I look for a pace that fits what I need that pace a lot. When I joined Google it was super scrappy, moving crazy fast. We had an office of thirty five people. So even though it was already a fairly big company in two thousand seven, two and six, it was very fast moving. It felt like a startup. A large part of the reason, just to make the long story sure, a lot of large part of the reason I left just because I no longer had that. It was not scrappy and autonomous and fast. I know that pace is critical to my enjoyment of life,...

...enjoyment of work, and so for me that was a big drying factor and why I shifted. It made a big decision to leave. Without going into too much details. So the point of what I learned, I mean, you know, I learned a time, but one of those foundational things that honestly used to be in the I feel like I was brainwashed at some point because I know it was focused on the user and all else will follow. That was the original kind of thing. I didn't hear that forever in my tenure there, but I still remember it and honestly, that has been the other thread through my whole career, which is I truly believe in working on products that deliver value to the user, really bringing it. And so part of the reason I landed a gated versus somewhere else is just that incredible value that it brings to individuals. Didn't know landscape overall, to nonprofits. Hard to walk away from a company that brings, you know, a focus on the user that benefits three different buckets of people. Yeah, yeah, let's let's put it into that. Let's talk about the user. Experience and to talk about that in the context of the business model, because I think it's an interesting one because, from what I understand, um the way that it works is that if I'm using gated, then somebody who's trying to prospect into me, you're sending me a cool email. They are prompted with an opportunity to essentially donate to a charity of my choosing and and if they do that, then they are then able to contact me and then, from a business model standpoint, gated get some portion of that donation as a part of the revenue creation. Correct, Yep, that's happy to answer any more questions, but one of those right on. Yeah, I just want to understand from you as a marketer, like how do you think about revenue growth? I mean, ultimately, I imagine it's it's user acquisition. The more users that are using it, the more likely are you are to, you know, Gardner more revenue. But what kind of challenges does it, this model present to you? Is it unique in your experience? I'm just curious, like how you think about it, what do your white boards look like and what are some of the obvious and largest challenges you're confronting? On that front. Yeah, I'll come out this one, since we're on the show an entirely marketing perspective for the Center for the sake of today's discussion. Um, I think we have some really cool thoughts around monetization strategy as a business. But from a marketing standpoint, UM, there's a double edged knife to being free for users. So I think the first thing is every marketer wishes they could sell a free product. Right, it sounds damn good. I'm just gonna work on my conversion funnel and, Um, you know, conversion rate optimization and get people in there. That said, Um, you know, there's some really interesting psychological studies around. If something is free, people actually kind of question it right, like well, how are you getting paid? Am I that? You know, the whole free yeah, where they're getting the money? You're the product or yet you know, we believe so, just in general marketing against that right, like making it. It is free and that's exciting. But like, how do we make that trusted and exciting for someone? Yeah, UM, without having to get into the nitty gritty of...

...how we make money. So sure, the way I like to phrase it is when someone donates, that donation is going right to the nonprofit, something they would never have seen otherwise. So it's just off the top benefit and the nonprofits like love that. They're like, this is an incredible rate. Is going to support gated as a service that's free for everyone. You know, by putting it that way, you're basically saying that by using this marginal cost system to transform email, we're actually able to help everyone. Absolutely, we do have a target audience. We're very laser focused on that. But bigger picture, the way we've structured it is that we're going to change all of email, not your email and your email and your not for emails of the CEOS who can afford it. Yeah, yeah, I mean, when you put it that way and you think about the value creation, I mean just think about that. That the person who's actually assessing the value is the person sending the email. Like like, and they're thinking about their conversion funnel. I'M gonna send a hundred of these emails. Maybe I get ten responses today and of those ten maybe I'll close one or two customers. So now you're you're lucky there. We do that statement. So we've found to correct me if I'm wrong. Everybody I've talked to him. The center side deliverability rates are like less than one percent. So you can send a hundred and get one back. If you domain through gated, our average reply rate is around no kidding, you can send ten and get five back and honestly, it's been, I would call it a pleasant surprise. I think we sort of knew that we were building something Austin here, but the response of senders to gated and has blown me away. Top level, you know, str defender type people who are advisors for us now because they believe in what this is going to do. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean. Yeah, I mean even just from like you know, if you're looking to kind of differentiate with an inbox, just being the one who actually does go forward and make the donation to get through like that definitely makes you stand out. But so there's a couple of different things. You talk about sort of, you know, target segments, target audiences, and I was just reading through, Um, one of the white papers that your team put out recently, which basically articulated the email is still a viable channel for marketers, one that they bank on as a major part of their digital strategy, which, as an email company opens us. We'd love to hear Um also. You know, it's also interesting that it's like a, you know, decades old technology and it still drives impact in a meaningful way. But obviously, you know, introducing the strategic narrative at this reality that we live in that it's Um just being bombardo with emails is just overwhelming and kind of sucks. But talk to me a little bit about sort of like why marketers, like, who are they in in your sort of value ecosystem here? How do you think about them as sort of drivers of growth and and why are you targeting them? Yeah, it's a great question. I will say, Um, our target market maybe a little bit bigger than just specifically marketers. And even with marketers, I would refine it to like demanding our marketers in particular, people that we believe or the ads must have. Why would you not have gated...

...type of people are the ones who are getting slammed with the B two B sales pitcheons right they in the white paper. We really set up this landscape of it used to be that you sold a product to the CEO and the CTO and in today's p LG world, everyone of all of these new products is selling to every one of us that is, you know, mid to low level and up in a marketing role, in a rev ops role. REV OPS is getting all of it, all of the marketing finance, all the tools, the REV ups and marketers. Oh boy, are they feeling the pain. And I think the The you know, wink and a nod of this white paper is we are the ones feeling the pain, the ironic pieces that we created the pain. We're the ones sending the spray and prey emails. We, you know, all of us are well intentioned, but my co founder, Andy, who built gated, who had this vision, he will readily admit he has sent his teams have sent billions of emails. I mean, and you thinking about pressing. He's been at three, you know, silicon quarrants. When you think about the amount of email going up, it's seven billion emails a day. That's yeah, when you step back as so you get back to your question. You know our target audiences really revops, demand JE marketers that are getting just sold hammered all the time, CEOS, I mean they're getting pelted with this information. But the reason why white paper spoke to marketers was because of this story, which is we are kind of standing in the middle of what is essentially become a broken system. We have sent more and more automation, more and more tools. We've all seen that in Martek map of like the email automation landscape. It's all great, it's all really good. Email is a wonderful channel. We've created so much noise that people are no longer listening and get what we are the people who are listening because we have, you know, we're being sold to. And so marketers are literally standing in the middle of this this problem space, and that's what the White Paper really speaks to, which is we've created the problem and we are the victims of the problem. And so it's kind of Hay, marketers, what are you gonna do? You know, we tried to end it with really actionable like change how you think work, but that's really where we came at, you know. So, yeah, that's that's really helpful and and I think that paints a Um that definitely fills in the gaps there a little bit. And and then, along those lines, Um, you've also recently started an online I believe it's a slack community. Yeah, specifically targeting targeting marketers of of small marketing teams. Um, it's really interesting that you mentioned that because I've interviewed a number of marketers, growth marketers, and slack community seems to be like a really powerful way to interact, to connect, to create value. I think, Um, you know, there's certain qualities, I think, of really effective ones. But do you mind sharing with the audience a little bit of the thinking around? You know, your artist community was division for it. Who are the right people that...

...can join it? Yeah, and to be very queer, what we're about to talk about now is completely unrelated to date and I um, okay, got. It's not targeting marketers at all. I'm literally understood for my own sanity a really brilliant marketer in Linda Schwobber Cohen at bright higher. Right. We're talking about how, when you're on small marketing teams, you often just get your own bubble Um and you need to paying ideas off with people and you want to share your successes and rant about your failures. But a lot of times we, especially the leaders of small teams, you're in the CMO groups that are, you know, ridiculously high. Conversations don't translate totally, and so Linda and I kind of act. I call it we accidentally created a slack community for marketers on teams of marketing teams less than eight, and you probably, I think you've seen the title. We call it two pizza marketers because Jeff Bezos had a story about you know, if you have more than two pizzas at a team meeting, the team is too big. You can't get stuff done, you can't run past, you can't contribute right. It's very informal. It's not one of the slack groups. We have to show up all buttoned up and present your framework. It's very much show up and be like, Holy Crap, guys, I need referrals and I need you know, I need your candid feedback and it's super casual. But are adding people left and right because it's nice to have a group to lean on. Ye, it's interesting. I bet there's a high scrappiness coefficient for the members of your your group so far, and I think the way that you describe the difference between like, you know, the big company CMO groups and and maybe one that's more startup or SMB oriented. You know, I remember interviewing a gentleman who is a VP of marketing at a multibillion dollar, not even annual quarterly revenue type business, and his challenges were much more oriented around, like people manage ment and and and career growth and and, you know, making sure that people are are, you know, realizing their full potentials and and, and that's a little bit different than, like to say, the leader, you know, to give our own marketing team. You know, we have an existing business, we've got new business opportunities, we've got trade shows, we've got the content, we've got the podcast, and it's just it's a lot of balls that are being juggled at the same time. And, yeah, I can see the value in having, you know, the the ear and the mind share of individuals who are likely going through something very similar. Yeah, and, you know, I think it's also helpful to remember that we are all doing that by choice, you know, every single one of the people of two pizza marketers, especially the ones who are, you know, the CMO or the head of marketing or, whenever, the kind of overseeing a team of that. I mean some of these companies are actually quite large at this point, but they still have a small marketing team. Yeah, yeah, but every single one of us, he's choosing that life. You know, that lifestyle we drive on the Kao, and...

...so it's kind of fun because it's I mean it's like any other good community. It's like minded people and if somebody doesn't participate in the community for months on end, we don't judge them because they're busy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, now that's that's really, really, really awesome and it's and it's really cool to see how we've been able to kind of create that feeling of community and it is strictly sort of like digital or or slack first kind of environment. I don't know if that's a byproduct of the last couple of years with with with the pandemic or or or if it's just sort of the natural progression of things, but certainly it's something I've seen more and more in the last couple of years and I've seen these communities turn into like major organizations like I mean I'm sure you've you've probably come across a couple of yourself. Oh, yeah, absolutely, I mean they go all the way up to, you know, paid companies, and could exactly. You know, I think the other thing about it is, as marketers. We also understand the critical importance of influen it's within those so I've been talking a lot on topics of influence marketing and how to builds the different concentric circles of influence that you have. But I think you know you've hit your stride you are in a community, or maybe not, and a conversation happens about your brand and drops the name right. That that's the sweet thing we're all striving for, and you have to understand in today's world how those communities are working. Um, I'm not a huge fan of gaming the system and communities because I think you can smell it a mile away. We also know who does it well, right. It was a good presence who supports it well and authentically. So yeah, I mean we're all there because they're helpful for us, but we're also understanding them as marketers. We're trying to get a hold on like, what does this mean as the next channel? Yeah, yeah, totally. Um. Yeah, I will say again, having maybe had several dozen interviews and conversations like this one, that that is one of the themes that jumps out as I don't say innovative, but but maybe maybe that is the right word, because it is something that it seems like, when it done right, it can be very beneficial for all parties involved, which I think is, you know, probably a part if it's in the ethos of of of gated's mission to some extent as well. Now, Um, you talk about sort of the concentric circles of influence, which is an idea that I'm gonna have to research after it's a conversation today. But but I want to talk about influence in general because that's one of the reasons I know so much about gated. It's maybe like, I don't know ten percent of my connections on Linkedin. I think that's probably an exaggeration, but I feel like everywhere I turned there's somebody I know that I've I've encountered or worked with or sold to or as a customer. I'm a customer of is talking about gated. That that's I mean, tell tell me about that. Why? What's what's going on there? To tell me a little about that. If that's the strategy or just organic, tell me what's going on there. No, wow, definitely, not just purely or I mean I think, you know,...

...again we're lucky with the product it's a cool product. And I will just say real quickly. Yeah, a the turn. Influence marketing is something we've been throwing I've been throwing around. I have no idea if somebody's already coined that. So this you know who knows what we're I've been talking about it more and more, but I don't know. So somebody has credit for that or wants to take it, please D m made wherever you are. All right, everyone, you heard it. You heard it here first. Make sure you DM list if if you've coined influence marketing. Okay, the disclaimers out there concentric circles of influence. I just said those words just now. Again, if somebody has already coined that, please let us know. It reminds me of something from Silicon Valley. The HBO shows something that would be talking about that. That show is way too real. I know, I know. Oh, yeah, yeah, no, yeah, I mean it really is. Um It is strategic. I think I could talk about a couple of concrete things we've done that might be interesting for your audience. I don't think I would stake a claim on so I think the first thing that is I must do for anyone regardless of your product is. You need to build a testimonial engine. You need to let me see if I can make it as simplonyme as I can. I haven't thought about this, but one it has to be absolutely as easy as possible for people to get a testimonial. I will say number two is you have to ask. You gotta ask, with no harm in asking, and you'd be surprised, I think, right now to share a fund staff. I think we have testimonials from around our incredible because we asked. We make it very easy to give. And then you need to think about are you giving them something back, so it's not from them. One of the things that we do is we actually create a unique landing page for every user and gives a testimonial that says here's why I love gated B also, here's what I'm saving by using it, here's why, here's the cause that I said. So giving them something back that you know a it's just a share able asset, but it's a little bit of value in return. The other thing we do off of that is I know everyone who has supported us with testimonials. So in our social engagement very hard to uplift our fans raises around if they release a new product, if they put out a new Um. You know, one of our great advisors just released a whole social selling course and I'm everybody go check it out. So the testimonial doesn't stop with thanks. We have your testimonial. It becomes look at the cool stuff you're doing. How do we do that? Now building an engine around that. So like for us, honestly, that's in air table and we have it tagged rigorously. I can click and see any testimonial that has to do with nonprofits. I can see them. Testimonial that's from someone who's an investor, I can see that. and making it an engine so that everybody at the company can use it is critical. When we're building a new feature in the product and they need some testimonials, they're right there. When we're, you know, expanding into Tiktok, here's the testimony all of that. So build your testimonial engine. A lot comes out of that. The other thing that we do very on Crete, b a gated...

...as. We have an advisor program that's very different than a lot of people. What we do is we actually bring on a lot of more advisors at smaller equity certain are much more active and they can actually get more. But we have a broad set of advisors so that we can go to not one, you know, sales leader to talk about his perspective, but I can say, Hey, advisors understand emailed sales. I've got six of them that are give perspectives. I've got five that are focused on the nonprofit space. Um, and so you're building. That's kind of like the innermost circle of those. Yeah, yeah, big advisors. Then your testimonials and it all starts radiating out, because at that point when I show up to linked in in the morning, we're usually tanked in ten conversations, like they're not. On my marketing team, my wrketing team was me until three weeks ago. Now one other awesome why? And people think that we have this big team because we're showing up, but what we've done is we'd activate that influence. Absolutely. It's it's it's definitely strategic. It's not truly yeah, well, there's there's two things that jump out to me and and what you just described and and let me see if I can particularly of them properly here. So the first is this idea of what can you give someone who gives you a testimonial, what can you give them in return? And this idea that it can be something beyond just an Amazon Gift Card, okay, which is like sort of like the default, you know whatever, but something that they can then share or like it's it's it's a brand asset that I guess that's just not something that I've heard of before, and so I just wanted to call that out because I think that's really smart and Um and it isn't tangible and we don't do it. I don't use it to incentivize. Yeah, then they give and then I reward. I totally see the purpose of incentivizing testimonials if you need to get more sure sure in something, but for now I'm going to ride the way of giving, you know, give back. I mean, like we just pull the thread on that a little bit just to let my my brain go there. I mean, ultimately, if you give that back to them, that's indexed on the Internet, meaning when somebody googles them, like a year from now, like there will be a result that shows up that's not linked in or Zoom Info. It's it's gated and it's a page with their face on it and a testimonial, and that's kind of cool. I don't know, I mean, if you care about that type of thing, I mean that's kind of actually be a strategic thought that you and I should dive into later. But yeah, but the other thing that that really that resonates with me a lot is that these influenced programs, whatever they end up being, they're so important and there's there's a labor of love component to them, like that air table that you're describing. I'm sure it's taken a lot of work to get it to where it is today. And you know, I think about in our business. You know, we've we were found in nine years ago and you know, we just surpassed it. I want to say like one hundred of our six under customers or so have...

...now reviewed us on g two, and that's and that's up from like, let's say twenty or maybe just, you know, a couple of years ago, or whatever it is. But like it's been a consistent, concerted effort and now all of a sudden you have a you have something with gravitational pull that's out there, that's you know, having those conversations like for you tagging gated in those conversations on Linkedin is is sort of a byproduct that. For us, it's it's this idea that some third party could be the one who says, yeah, you should check out open sense, and so I just think there's just so much value, as you build a brand, particularly in Indeedwo B, to to really putting the effort in on on the customer, like the testimonial, whether it's, you know, your own proprietary testimonial page or g two, whatever it is. Just having your customers tell your story is so valuable. It's so much more valuable, I think, than than you know trying to, you know, put a store together that that resonates in the market. I mean so much more. I don't know if I've necessarily quantified like that, but the point is there's a ton of value to getting others to talk about your brand so much. Well, and then you know all the marketers listening to your call right now, there's like that other marketers get over excited about, which is when you hear them tell the story, then you go yeah, yeah, that's my new copy. You know, you grab those fun story from us. Um have this incredible user. He's a senior engineering manager at caloe started using our product and I sat down. We were actually writing kind of we didn't have an engineering case study, like an engineer who loved it and he's word did it all. Reno recorded a video and I translated it down. He coined what he's now like on our homepage. So he basically said, you know, he gated as like noise canceling head I saw that. I like that everybody immediately. It's a visceral thing. When you see someone with headphones on, you know they're focused and rude. It's that they're trying to you know, trying to focus. And I mean we've used a ton because, in his words, that what felt right and it absolutely resonates for other people. That like testimonials are great to show your product, but it's also from a marketing standpoint, it is just a Goldline, right. I mean that's like one of the more simple ways to kind of communicate not just like a feature but a feeling, and I think that's brilliant. The brilliant part about that. That's really awesome. Absolutely. Um, before we wrap up, I do want to ask you who are you influenced by? Who? Who are you reading? Who Do you follow? Like, basically I'm asking you for for our audience, like who are some folks that they should be checking out, who are bringing some innovative thoughts and strategies, potentially or or or maybe it's outside of marketing, but who do you think it's important for our audience to check out? Oh Um, let me think. Okay, a couple that come to mind. The first is, I think when I look at the startup marketer space, I want to put on my like two pizza marketers hat the people that I look to you that are just so capable of one of the people I looked to she she actually has a different podcast as well. Um and Kathleen booth.

Okay, he has been in that start at market role multiple times. She knows her stuff and I just think she's highly, highly valuable to pay attention to. I will also say, more generally, like if I span out a little bit the marketing world in general, not just start at marketing, that the marketing world has so much going in on it and I do believe one of our biggest challenges prioritization and so, not to get to philosophical, my favorite things to follow is um, the daily Stoic with Ryan holiday. I really hold a very clean line about dealing with what you can control and for the rest, and I think every good marketer worth their salt is always trying to remember deal with what I can and then let go. And that may be as simple as you're struggling over what copy to write. You know, put down your best and put it out there, and just this idea of like do what you can and let go of the rest every single day. I need that. I need to wake up to it, and so that's huge for me. No, I I can see the Great Um, the value in adopting a mindset like that, just from a self preservation and standpoint. So Um, okay, that that those those are two really awesome recommendations. I really loved this conversation. I think it's helped illuminate a brand that obviously I've I've been familiar with us. I've described a couple of times and super appreciate you being so generous with your time and joining us today. It's been an absolute pleasure. I think you and I probably got a lot of follow up calls and a lot of follow up beers. Absolutely, that sounds great. All Right, thanks for coming on than you thanks for listening to growth marketing camp. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd love it if you would give it a quick five star rating or share it with a friend or colleague looking to strengthen their skills with tips and inspiration. I want to learn more about the company behind the show. Head to open sense dot com. That's O P E N S E N S E dot Com. We'll catch you on the next episode. Five.

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