Driving ROI and Predictability with Revenue Marketing: Yaagneshwaran Ganesh

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Every company wants its marketing to drive leads, sales, and ROI.

But marketing can be an up and down situation. Sometimes, marketing works. Sometimes, it doesn't.

On this episode of the podcast, Yaag Ganesh talks about why revenue marketing is an approach that ROI and predictability. 

It's about focusing on marketing that works and then developing structures and workflows to "shampoo, rinse, and repeat."

Yaag and I also talked about:

- The rise of Clubhouse and why he's been spending a lot of time on the audio-only platform

- Building a personal brand as an international marketer.

You're listening to marketing spark, the podcast that delivers insight, tools and tips from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenches in twenty five minutes or less. It's funny how you meet people. Yagg popped up on Linkedin last year when I noticed his post and I checked at his profile. With starts with the top one hundred marketing technologist. Now that's good marketing. Along the way we connected and commented on each other's posts and then we both jumped on clubhouse. Fair to say, we've been certaining each other for months. Hey, I'm super excited, Mark. Thank you for having me here. One of the places where I wanted to start is the concept of revenue marketing. This is something that you mentioned when we were preparing for the podcast and be honest with you, I haven't really heard of revenue marketing. Obviously we hear a lot about ABM, social selling, content marketing, social media. So maybe you can explain what revenue marketing is and why it matters for bdb brands. You know, if you look at it fundamentally, the CEO, the CFO, the CEO and the crow, they kind of speak the same language, right. So, in the sense like everybody's talking about revenue, they're talking about profitability, they're talking about you know, pretty much what happens at the business level. But the issue is, you know, not many of the when it comes to the marketers, the language is totally different. You know, you're talking about managine, we are talking about branding, we are talking about a lot of intangible things that directly don't contribute to the bottom line of the company. You know, with that in context, it doesn't really matter, you know, how sophisticated your marte stack is, or how many people are there are your marketing team, or how big your budget is, unless you really know what is working for you and what is not, and what is contributing to the revenue, what is contributing to the profitably e set. So you know, a lot of companies tend to spend big budgets that don't really contribute to any tangible results. Now, talking of Tangibility, you know I'm not necessarily saying that everything needs to be tangible. This podcast that we are recording right now. You know, it need not be tangible. It care, for example, you cannot measure the results right away, but you know a few months down the line somebody might connect with you and say that, Hey, mark, you know, the other day you and Yak were having a conversation about revenue marketing and I found that part interesting. That's how that's how I'm connecting with you right now, and I when I went back to your profile, I saw that you are a fractional CMO and you are into this business. Marketing Spark is into this business, so I thought I'll connect with you, and today we're having this conversation. That attribution can happen, but it is going to be intuitive. But at the core of revenue marketing, you know, the idea is to move from outputs to outcomes, you know, to be able to build that set of repeatable processes and programs that not on the drive customer acquisition, but also more Inter terms of say, recording revenue the the idea basically is to make sure that you know you are reducing...

...the ratio between CAC, that is, your customer acquisition cost, and the customer lifetime value, that is CLV, and I came up with a framework around this called the game model, which is game stands for gather, agree, map and execute, and I've also written a book around this, which is called the Revenue Marketing Book. For the listeners of this podcast, you know, if you're interested, you can hop onto Amazon and check out this book and if you have a kindle, it's the ebook version. Is completely free. So this is a broad overview of revenue marketing. Mark One of the things that I read about revenue marketing is the idea of predictable Ury, and that fascinates me because marking in in many respects in an experiment. You try different things, you leverage different channels and ideally you get to predict bury. You know what's going to work and what's not. Can you talk to that concept and how you how you can build it into a revenue marketing effort? Right? So, when, when it comes to predictability, it's all about running smaller experiments and trying to see what comes out of it. Like say, for example, you know, instead of betting on ten different channels, you look at which channel is working the best for you. Like say, for example, in terms of social media, I might have run ads on Linkedin, I might have run ads on facebook. I'm made of tried Google ads, but if my Max Roy is coming from Linkedin, then I'm going to double down on that channel. So basically trying to see which one works the best and multiplying on that so predictabically. is also in terms of you know, once you've identified what is working for you, you go back and map down your strategy according to that and you can say that hey, through this channel I'm going to drive so much contribution to revenue and then this is going to channel down further into A, B and c. So it's all about in running experiments and finally narrow it down to what is going to work for you. So if somebody were to decide that revenue marketing was something that they wanted to embrace, how do you get started? Is it a completely different way of thinking? Do you have to use different tools? Do you have to use different KP eyes and Matrix? The fundamental is that you have to stay away from all possible vanity metrics. You don't have to invest in a lot of tools, but you probably have to. So one of the key things that I talk about in the Revenue Marketing Book is also that you need to go back and audit the set of tools that you already have, in the sense, like you know, you might have been you might have invested in a lot of tools that you're not even using right now. So go back and check that and say, for example, if you've invested in a lot of events. I mean I'm talking pre Covid, if you've invested in a lot of events, you need to actually go back and understand that people who come into the commit to these trade shows not necessarily come to visit your boot. They come there to network and they come come there to listen to, you know, the people that the thought leaders that are there in that particular industry. From there, the point of view is that you know you you don't invest on separates it off tools, but you you kind...

...of streamline what of you already have and try to map it to what's working. Tried to map it to as much tangible outcomes as possible. That's great and if anybody's interested in learning more about revenue marketing, I would highly recommend that you go to Amazon and get hold of Yagg's book for free. So let's turn our sites to podcasting. You and I both have podcasts. I jumped on the podcast bandwagon last June and one of the things that I kick myself or is that I should have done it a lot earlier. The benefits of podcasting in terms of meeting people in prospects, the ability to generate new and evergreen content and just have fun in terms of learning new skills has made podcasting probably the best marketing channel that I've embraced in a long time. One of the questions that I wanted to ask you is just your take on how enthusiastically BEDB companies are embracing podcast you and I obviously have a biased view of the world because we think that podcasts are great. are BBB companies in fact leveraging podcast if they're not, what's the pitched for them to actually start doing a podcast? Two weeks back, when I'm was doing a podcast recording with my good friend Christopher orkhead, you know, he said a very strong thing. He said like if you are a BADB company and if you don't have a podcast, you're insane. You know, you cannot get more clearer than that. But if I have to break you the context from my viewpoint, see there are right now about six hundred and fiftyzero active podcasts. I'm talking active podcast not just the millions of podcasts out there. You know what is happening in the podcasting world right now is it is going through the exact stage that blogging went through in and around two thousand and nine, two thousand and ten, when help spot was coming into the scene. So the way I look at it is you need to have a clear sense of purpose as to where podcast contributes to your marketing fly wheel, whether it's going to be your top of the funnel and demand generation, or are you using it for brand building, or is it going to be something that contributes to your abm, that is, account based marketing, where the idea is to, you know, build relationship with the people in your target account like say, for example, if you always wanted to build a relationship with one of the decision makers in those target accounts, invite them as a guest on your podcast. Build relationships because you know the focus is on them and you're talking to them in a non sales he atmosphere. So that makes a lot of sense. So the fundamental point of view is you need to have a sense of purpose as to why you're doing your podcast. Otherwise, you know it because ms yet a little channel, your very up present and you're going to be one among the millions of podcasts out there and it's not going to contribute to your bottom line or even your brand or anything in any way. I totally agree with you and in fact James Carbari, who runs sweet fish media, suggested on...

...a linkedin post a couple weeks ago that all BEDB companies are going to have a podcast at some point in time, just like all BEDB companies have blogs right now, and I totally agree with that view. It's a complete no brainer for lots of different reasons, many of them that you've talked about. But the other thing about podcasts for bedb companies is the ability you take a podcast and repurpose it into lots and lots of different types of content, whether it's blog posts, ebooks, social media snippets, social media updates, and the list goes on and on. Given the growing emphasis on content marketing, you got to look at podcasts as being the engine for a lot of content, and that's why I think most companies will find it impossible to resist having a podcast at some point in time. You know, the the opportunity, as you said, to leverage the PODCAST is way more in the sense like today, right now we we have too many transcript software. Is One of my personal favorites is descript which allows you to, you know, break down your podcast in into a proper blog or a proper transcript, and it also helps you in editing the podcast as well. So it's a multipurple there and right away you can cut it out into smaller chunks. You can use apps like headliner and you know you can put out audiograms like there are multiple ways and if you're shooting it as a video podcast, then you know you can also put put out video, you know, video snippets. So the idea is you need to think about again, as I said earlier, you need to think about where you're going to use this, how it's going to contribute to your overall marketing plan. which part of the flywheel is it going to contribute to? And you start from the viewpoint of how you're going to distribute and then come down to the topic, because what you need to know who your audiences are. You need to know where they are present and what format of repurposing makes sense in that channel and then if you can map that to the set of questions at the set of topics that you prepare and the kind of gets that you get into your podcast. I think it all works backwards. That's great insight. So let's talk about clubhouse. You know, we've got to talk about clubhouse. I've been on for about ten days and spend some time, not a lot, experimenting, Dabbling, hosting rooms, just trying to get a feel for the value of clothhouse. There's a lot of people right now that are totally into it. They spend hours and hours listening and hosting rooms. I don't know where they at the time. Personally, I'm present with work and and and what I do. Try to get on. Sometimes after work my wife says to me, what are you doing? Why are you spending more time on the Internet? I'm a bit em big a US about clubhouse right now because I'm not sure had to fit it into my professional world. To be honest with you, I've gotten so much value from linkedin over the last last nine months I'm really reluctant to start to dilute my digital marketing efforts and curious about your experience with clubhouse and what you're getting from it so far. Right. So, I've been into clubhouse for, I would say now, about ten or twelve days. I guess I very...

...recently lost my party hat, which means I've completed a week or a little more than that. And for me what happened was, you know, something that I really love about the way clubhouse was promoted was it was all around the FORMO, the fear of missing out, and I had one of my friends from Romania reach out to me and say that, yeah, you need to be on clubhouse. The Best of the best people are here. You get access to these people, you know you can connect with them and it's very authentic and blah, blah blah. And I came in and I was like, this is totally different. You know, I can I could not even go and d m anyone or being anyone. It was always so what I like about clubhouse is that you know, you cannot come in prepared. Right now, if somebody is into a specific room and they are discussing a specific topic, then if whether you're going to ask a question or you're going to answer something, it's going to be on the fly. So it's not going to be used. It's always you know, it's going to be authentic. That is something that I really love. And the second part is I see it as an extension to the relationships that I've built on Linkedin, in the sense it was a no brainer for me to connect with the people here on clubhouse with whom I had already, you know, built relationships on Linkedin, so that that helped and through them I also got introduced to many other people. But the best part is with certain people whom I've seen on Linkedin for a long time, like say yourself. You know, you and I have been interacting on each other's posts for a long time, but when we came out to clubhouse, we could hear each other's voice and, you know, really put a voice to that opinion and the conversation and the relationships got much deeper. So this is one thing that I see as a straightforward advantage because as a person, I'm all about building trust and relationships. But the other way around, what I see is missing in clubhouse right now is, you know, they have prioritized instagram and twitter, but I would love direct integration to our connectivity to Linkedin, because that's where I see the maximum connect I mean, what's your experience? What is that you think you're missing out there? Well, I agree with you that clubhouse is a great way to drive new connections and then to extend your relationships with people that you already know. So there's a lot of people have migrated or our experimenting with Clubhouse who I've connected with on Linkedin, and that in itself takes it to another dimension. When you can actually hear somebody's voice, that's pretty awesome. The problem I have with clubhouse right now is it seems somewhat random. There's no TV guide to tell you that, for example, that a certain speakers will be hosting a room on Thursday at six o'clock, so that you can actually set your schedule, because part of the problem is that it I tend to dip in and dip out of there's something interesting, I listen. If not, then I don't know what's going on. So I think I'm missing out on a lot of conversations. Like I don't know where clupose is going to go, I don't know where they're going to make money, I don't know where the what the secret sauce is going to be. But one of the theories...

...that I have, and I wrote about it earlier this week on Linkedin, is that clubhouse could emerge as the next great podcasting platform. Right now, podcasting is essentially me talking to you or a single person talking, and it's a very sort of one dimensional medium. We produce this podcast, we broadcast it, there's no interactivity, there's no QA, there's no participation by the audience. What I see could happen is that clubhouse could evolve into a podcasting platform where you and I could talk and then somebody from the audience could raise their hand and ask a question and you could create this really dynamic conversation. clubhouse would like you to do two things. One is that you could download, record and download the the conversation and then edited and produce it and publish a podcast. Or clubhouse could do that all by themselves, and I think that would be probably a lot of work and it probably can scale that kind of thing. So I think the ladder. The former is going to happen. People let you record and download a podcast for a fee, of course. That's how I see clubhouse really catching fire, aside from the conversations. What are your thoughts about that? Right, I totally agree, and you know, the second part here is that when it's a pre scheduled meeting as well, in the sense you know, that does not work for me the same way it would for a zoom call, for instance. The way I approach clubhouse is that, say, for example, I treat it as I'm walking into a trade show and the when I look at the hall way, there are different topics, different rooms, you know, where they're discussing different topics, and I look at it and I feel okay, if this is a topic of my interest, I jump into that room and the two things that happen either the topic has to be eleven to me, or the set of people in that room, you know, need to be a set of people that I already know are people that I think are relevant to my business. So I get in and then look at the conversation. Yeah, from there on it goes the way it goes. But but one thing for sure is that once you get into a room, it's like you never know how much time you're losing. You know, I plan for about like fifteen, twenty minutes and suddenly I realize that we've lost about, like, say, almost an hour, an hour and a half. That's great, I'm in the same bout. One of the things, yeah, that I wanted to ask you is about personal brandy. I want to talk a little bit about that. As far as your own personal brand on Linkedin, to be perfectly honest, I don't come across a lot of Indian marketers. There are obviously some amazing Indian software companies, but not so many Indian marketers with your profile. So maybe you can talk a little bit about your own personal branding experience and why we don't see more Indian marketers with a high profile on Linkedin, and then your general thoughts on on personal branding. Right, so you so write and sense. Like you know, when I was when I was getting started in the world of marketing in and around two thousand eight, two thousand nine, I saw that a lot of people look at Indians as tech savvy...

...people, like you know the the CEO of an adobe or the CEO of Microsoft, or see you of Google or all Indians. We've never noticed somebody who's a star from the marketing side in India. So that that was always there the back of my head and that's why I started spending more time on social media or trying out a lot of things that were in my area of interest in a sense, like I was never interested in a proper it management or technic side of things, but I was always interested in marketing. So marketing and tech kind of married together. That's how Martt came into my my landscape. But honestly, I never tried to brand myself into something. In fact, the Linkedin, sorry, the market top on red came in as as an effect of what I was doing and say writing books or be the speaking around the world, like all of those things happened naturally. So, you know, I would say what started as me being a natural person doing the things that I do. It worked out positively. But when it comes to personal branding, I do have a very strong opinions in the sense like how people need to approach it, in a sense, you know, most of the people who are there on Linkedin, what they do, for example, is their posts are more like a news board of what their company does. For instance, they will be talking about things like, Hey, you know what, my company acquired this company or this product or we are launching this new product, and you just become that bulletin board your you don't come across as a human you don't come across as a person that people want to connect to. And that said, there is also the totally opposite spectrum. You know, you see this template where everybody goes on to this racks riches story, you know, which goes on something like I was a shit and you know, I did X and suddenly became a hit. And you can also try this if you see a fit, blah, blah blah. So that that template is kind of boring people to death because almost everyone started to use that and that, in my view, is not how person branding needs to be done. You know, you need to go about developing expertise on a very specific domain that excites you to the extend that you can have opinions about. You know, be known for a specific domain, be known for a specific niche. You start owning the niche and then what happens is, if you are a founder, then it helps you in attracting the right kind of audience or, you know, probably even the right kind of BESEAS, because they go by the invest on the people than just on the product or the concept. And similarly, if you are a job seeker, again it's not about the company, but if you establish a nicheow if you have a niche for yourself, you can start looking at companies that fit your worldview and set up products that you would represent into for instance, I can I can never see myself, you know, working with an insurance company, you're working with an it management firm or anything other than Martek, because this is what I relate to, this is what I can have my strong opinions about,...

...this is where I am. I'm feeling that this is my home. So I think that's that's what is fundamentally more important when you go about establishing a personal brant. To be honest with you, when it comes to personal branding, and I really a lot about the value personal branding and how to do it, I don't really think about it. I just do what I do. So when it comes to Linkedin, for example, I post, try to post insightful, useful content on a regular basis. I'm not trying to sell my my services, I'm not trying to promote my successes that I'm had. I'm not there to sell. What I'm there to do is establish a presence, to build trust, to create eight new relationships with people and that build my personal brand. That allows me to be more authentic, to be more real and for people to connect with me, and I think that's the key personal branding is. I think people try too hard. They think that there's a method to the madness, when in fact I think it's just a matter of being yourself and trying to offer value to other people. Absolutely, you know, to give you a quick story around this, you know, way back in two thousand and twelve, I was writing a book called is your marketing in sync or sinking? And every time I write a book I always strongly believe that it's not just my opinions that matter, but I go about interviewing a lot of people around the world who have been there and done that and cost those stories or lean into their experiences and put it into the book. And it so happened that I connected with a guy called Chris in Netherlands who was a Cemo of a marketing agency there, and he gave me a twenty minute appointment, which went on to become a to our conversation. And fast forward six months, you know, he hosted me at his home, like we became such good friends. He took me to the Chamber of Commerce, like you know, we started working together on a lot of projects together and, you know, to this year, I visit him at least once a year and spend about ten days there. You know, except except the twenty twenty season. So yeah, I really believe that. As you said, you know, it's all about being yourself and building those honest relationships and don't really look for a transaction while you start. If something happens where you work, end up working together on something, well and good, but at the end of the day it's all about building that relationship and that trust. Yeah, that's great insight. So where can people learn more about you and what you do? You know, after my house, I give the most time I spend on is Linkedin, so people can just my name is little unique, so the MON people type in Yaag it's it. I'm hot to miss. And apart from that, you know, people can also hop onto the ABM conversations podcast. We had a one year old podcast, but you know, we managed to quickly become among the top one person be the marketing podcast in the world. So if you're interested in this domain, catch up with us there as well. Thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe B itunes or your favorite podcast APP for show. Notes of today's conversation and information about Yagg visit marketing spark dotcom blog. If you'd like to suggest a guests or...

...learn more about how I help BBB and SASS companies as a fractional CMO, insulted and Advisor. Send an email to mark at marketing sparkcom. I'll talk to you next time.

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