Q&A Session: Regina Grogan
Regina Grogan Q&A Session is happening on October 28th 2020 at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)
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Regina Grogan – Transcript
AMA with Regina Grogan @ Adobe
October 28th, 2020
Hey all, I’m Regina and I’m based in New York City. I have 8 years of experience in marketing, demand generation, and marketing automation. I currently work at Adobe on developing the Cross-Sell and Upsell motion for Marketo platform products, mostly Bizible. Previously, I worked at Google Cloud on the Global Partner Marketing team. I’m also ex-Salesforce and was the first marketer at a company that went through YCombinator (team of 5 including me). Before I was in marketing, I was an impact investor. I was in Silicon Valley for most of my career and moved to NYC in July.
I love hip hop, comedy, and am a proud owner of a corn plant that freshens the air in my bedroom.
I love talking about marketing automation and demand gen, so let’s chat. AMA!
What made you make the jump from investing to marketing?
I’ve always been a very analytical person, but I found myself being drawn to the creative and right-brained side. I wanted something that was both an art and a science, which marketing is both.
Hey Regina. How do you do customer research? What do you find is the most effective way to get a customer or potential customer to open up to you and answer questions?
I don’t personally do customer research at this time, but when I was fresh out of college, I worked at a design research firm called AnswerLab in San Francisco. We did a ton of user research. Including interface research, user interviews, and storyboards. It was huge to have that background!
I am intrigued by your designation title. Could you tell me more about your role? Do you think it is useful to think about demand generation for smaller organizations too?
Demand generation is crucial, but what I do is something like upselling and cross-selling to current customers. We know that it’s cheaper to upsell to a current customer than it is to use ads to get a fully new customer.
What’s the biggest trend in automation that you think marketers should be aware of right now?
MARKETING ATTRIBUTION! Lots of marketers have data and don’t know what to do with it, so the measurement part is critical
What was the most impactful marketing tactic you have used with little to no budget? Also more importantly, how do you stop your corn plant from getting browning leaves? Mine just won’t let up
Little to no budget? Referrals. Word of mouth. Also, publicity is pretty cheap. If you can pitch a story that’s newsworthy and gets press, you can gain a lot of traction without hardly any budget. It’s something you can do yourself. Make sure you’re not watering the plant too much!
Hi Regina! Welcome! What are your favorite content distribution channels for (a) awareness and then those for (b) demand gen?
Awareness: Social Media, especially influencers. Think about how much it is to pay an influencer, when I was working at AdeptPR, I was the head of influencer strategy, and some of these influencers are not asking for too much, only free product, to tell their followers about your brand. You can get a huge bump from that.
Demand gen: It depends on your product. PM me separately and we can talk more but it really depends on your audience for the product.
Hi Regina, what are some interesting reads out there that you would recommend to nail our incipient demand gen strategy?
grow.co has a newsletter that is a must read.
What is your most impactful marketing tool that costs less than $50/mth?
Your most impactful marketing tool is your customer experience, and if you build a great one, that is free. Some of the most successful companies I have worked at have a pristine experience that makes you say “WOW” so I would focus on building a great experience first, which is totally free.
How do you nail down the exact right audience to target your marketing?
You never know who the right audience is until you’ve had several rapid iterations of different tests. Facebook ad manager lets you do this quickly and you can also use lookalike audiences. Keep testing, always. Any channel doesn’t matter, email web, seo, etc. Keep testing! Always be scientific!
What’s been your fave demand gen campaign you’ve worked on – what was your strategy, spend, outcome?
There are so many it’s honestly hard to choose!
Where can we find the best content/education for marketing automation?
https://blog.marketo.com/ Just. sorry. had to self promote here!
Hey Regina, thanks for doing this! I was wondering if you could tell me more about how to make the jump from B2C demand gen to B2B. I’ve always had a strong inbound channel, but I’m finding it hard to hit the right ICP of my product on this channel. So, how can inbound generate opportunities for B2B?
Something new that we’ve recently tried with our company is Drift. We love the product. It’s a chatbot that you can use to capture more leads that come to your website. It’s like chatting to a real person. You can make playbooks and watch and measure how they play out. And send meetings directly to your sales team.
Who is your favorite comedian? (I have lots of questions so please answer some of the others and come back to me so everyone can ask something).
Probably… Chris Rock.
How would you go about generating demand in a small company if you started in a new company today if you were 100% solo?
I think content is king. The first thing you have to do is create great content for your blog or website, something that fills your customers’ needs directly and hits their pain points. Totally cost-effective too. So then you write your content, and you build using a chatbot like Drift, or an email form to capture leads that you’ve driven to your content (they will find it organically and through search). Then you have an email list from those leads and you can start email marketing. Email marketing is a key way to talk to your potential customers. Once you have their email, you can gather more information about them. You can have them fill out a different form with every piece of content you give them. Thus, you’re starting to learn about your customers and their profile. You can then use that profile and list to run ads. Or create a lookalike audience, or just do some general demographic research, so you know how to target. You can start rapidly testing so that you can find out what content your audience likes and does not like. AND lead generation isn’t anything without retention, so once you have your marketing automation tool set up, set up a retention strategy too.
Thank you for doing this! So…when it comes to SaaS products, what’s that factor you find the most important in order for a brand to create a group of dedicated users?
By dedicated users, do you mean “Advocates” who will tell others about the product, or just people who are onboarded and using the product on a daily basis?
I would say to really closely examine your customer experience and communications that go with that customer experience. Give them the white-glove onboarding they deserve so that they “get” the product, give them prompt and helpful customer support experiences, build a great product, and then lastly, lastly, ask them to tell other people about the product. Do extensive research.
What is more challenging in your job today: increasing # of products used per existing client or up sale more products for new subscribers?
You know, I actually don’t deal with new subscribers at all, but the challenge here is in the upsell to existing customers.
Thanks for doing this – seen you around on the channels as well. My question is how do you track what top-funnel creatives are working to drive bottom-funnel signups? (Keep in mind cross-channel might not come into the picture at all for orgs that respond to direct outreach).
This is where marketing attribution through bizible really comes in handy. You want to make sure your tracking is set up in a consistent way and you can see clearly which creatives are driving the most marketing qualified leads, opportunities, and closed-won further down the funnel. This is why we use marketing attribution tools to give credit to the different touchpoints we have with our customers. (use Bizible!)
Here is a blog about it: https://blog.marketo.com/2020/10/marketing-attribution-2020-marketo-champion-of-the-year-roi.html?
What’s the biggest challenge for your business right now?
Right now we’re building out a new motion and it’s totally new territory for us, so we don’t have any historical data.
Do you still consider display advertising as a good channel for demand gen?
It depends on what you’re running demand gen for. We’re super B2B, so I think the tactic and strategies that work for you are going to be dependent on what you’re selling and where your audience is according to your research and personas.
What would you recommend for a b2b demand gen marketer with a 0 budget? Any particular valuable tools or tactics?
CONTENT! Blogging, content marketing, PR.
Put your voice out there, it helps with SEO, it can get picked up by the media, put interesting infographics out there. Put images out there. Your content is a key part of your strategy, and I think it’s your first step. People will start to organically find you if you put content out there that resonates with a pain point. PR is nominal. You don’t need an agency or a publicist to get publicity. Send in your own pitch. There are templates online, it’s free and it doesn’t take up much time. PR is also really credible.
What role have you seen COVID play in terms of customer marketing? For some context, I was part of a webinar back in April that Morning Consult did that showed what some things people want to see from brands in their messaging, during this pandemic, are.
I’d have to think about this one and get back to you. There’s so much to discuss.
Super curious – how do you feel about programmatic?
You know, I don’t know much about it.
I saw your comment on Marketing Attribution being a big trend; have you found good tactics/resources to help business partners/clients understand the complexity of this topic; I find it so hard to keep people from oversimplifying attribution concepts expecting a definitive answer in a world that is way more complex.
I’m writing a 6 part series on marketing attribution where I’ve interviewed people from top agencies. Marketing attribution is one of the most misunderstood topics. Marketers know they have data, but they don’t know what to do with it or know if they can get insights out of it. I’m working with my team at Adobe to make this stuff simple to understand. It’s really a content gap. Keep a lookout on my LinkedIn and on the Adobe blog for the series, because we’re going to be addressing your challenges and questions all throughout the year.
Thanks for doing this Regina! I have a question regarding the following 5 marketing metrics with respect to an early-stage tech startup.
– acquisition channels
– first activation within a product/service
– top referrals
I know YC cohorts are told to do things that don’t scale, but do you have any insight on which of these 5 KPI’s are most difficult to track for startups just getting started? I hope that’s not too broad of a question, but any insight would be appreciated.
So first off, startups don’t have the bandwidth and resources to put into place a complex marketing attribution system. They’re very resource-constrained. The resource constraints are why it’s hard. Thus, when I was working at Underground Cellar, we hacked together super super simple solutions using things like coupon codes to track our online purchases. Now the problem with that is, it can be completely inaccurate because, well, people post coupon codes online. So I learned from that experience in my next challenge and went on to realize that we had to auto-generate a custom 1-time use coupon code. That works, but it’s not extremely scalable.
First activation: so with this one, the thing is, there are different definitions of what a first activation is. Certain mobile attribution tools consider it an install, or an install and an open, or an install or an open or signup. I learned the hard way because when I was looking at app downloads in the app store, they didn’t match the number of downloads in our attribution tool.
Retention in a newly formed startup is mostly about coming up with an LTV model, something else I learned the hard way. At YC, my boss told me we needed an LTV projection. Well, how do you do that with no past customer data? It’s almost like an educated guess. With lots of customer data, it’s easier.
How is photoshop competing with new-age tools like Figma?
I can’t comment on this because I don’t work on those products.
Wait you can grow a corn plant indoors? That’s what I’m interested in hearing more about!
It’s not “Corn” in the way you’d think about it, it’s a plant that just happens to look like corn. There’s no actual corn. I know it’s confusing.
How are you guys utilizing Tik-Tok to grow the brand considering organic reach on platforms such as IG/FB has dropped?
I’m a huge Tik Tok user in my personal life, but in my business life, I don’t run ads on it. It’s just not where our audience is.
Any thoughts or data on the ideal length of mobile landing pages with an email sign up goal? If you can get deeper, specifically for B2C products that will be crowdfunded.
It’s mobile so it has to be super simple. If you can stomach it, have them fill out as few fields as you can be ok with. Because remember, they’re on the subway. They’re busy, that’s why they’re on their phone. You can always use the email to send content that gets you more info about their profile later.
If someone is trying to pivot into marketing from financial services following an MBA program (spoiler alert: it’s me), what advice or tips would you give them?
I think it was different for me because I was coming from a venture investor background. So I already knew people in silicon valley who were other investors. So I’m afraid I don’t have any advice on this one.
What has been your best growth tactic with regard to social media and blog content? What are the best distribution channels for blog content to gain traction?
Well, I would say you need to optimize your blog and your blog content for SEO so that you can get found organically. SEO is super powerful and will drive people to your blog.
And just a quick follow up if you have time: how did you drive traction to your blog when it was super new?
The lucky thing is, if you have the right keywords and content, people will find your blog. You have to make sure you’re filling a customer pain point.
What’s a big tactical lesson or trick in demand gen you’ve learned along the way that you like to pass along?
You have to have consistent ways of tracking everything so you can prove your methods and your budget. This is where marketing attribution comes in. Tactically, it means having a solid naming convention, following it all the time, and making sure every touchpoint is tracked.
Hi Regina, what was the biggest shift in mindset you made this year – personal and marketing-wise?
This work from home thing is crazy!
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