What execs really want from marketing & how to position your product | Ashley Wilson @ Momentum

January 20, 2023

Episode Description

In the newest episode of Demand Gen Chat, I spoke with Ashley Wilson, co-founder and COO at Momentum. Ashley’s career started in marketing and she has since co-founded Momentum, a sales automation platform for revenue teams. If you’re a marketer looking for guidance on the best way to update your leadership team on how marketing is going, you won’t want to miss this episode. We also chat about how Ashley approached making her first marketing hire, how marketers should spend their first 30 days in a role to have the biggest impact, and how getting your messaging right can help position your product as a must-have vs nice to have when budgets are tight.

Show Notes

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Follow Ashley: https://www.linkedin.com/in/awilson820/

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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue. If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to another episode of Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host, [Tara Robertson 00:00:04], and today I'm joined by a special guest. I usually speak with marketers on the show, but today I'm joined by Ashley Wilson. Ashley is the co-founder and COO at Momentum, a sales automation platform for revenue teams. Ashley, welcome to the podcast.

Hi, thanks so much for having me.

Thanks so much for joining. We're really look- looking forward to this conversation. I think I mentioned this right before we started recording, but I usually speak with marketers, and obviously you have a ton of experience in marketing, prior to founding Momentum, so really curious to hear a little bit about your transition from marketer to co-founder, and how did you go about that transition? Was there anything that really surprised you, making that jump?

Yeah, um, so before I started Momentum, I, um, had founded a product marketing agency called, "Olivine," in 2016. Um, that's still running, and, uh, was going very well, and actually my husband, who's one of my co-founders, uh, started Momentum with Moiz, our third co-founder, and, uh, yeah, was helping out on the marketing side along with my- my partner Raechel at Momentum, I mean, sorry at Olivine, and we were sort of acting as a third co-founder, helping with the earlier stage of positioning and messaging and thinking about-

Mm.

... "What the website would look like," and, uh, didn't really have plans to necessarily join Momentum full-time, but after about six months realized that I was kind of itching to get back into start-up land, and, uh, it just made sense-

Mm-hmm.

... for me to jump into Momentum, um, more full-time, and Rae to kind of run Olivine, um, and- and do the agency thing, so that was how- how I found myself back, uh, now as a founder, and back in start-ups.

That's really interesting to me, that you kind of jumped a bit, back and forth between... obviously being on the consulting side, you're working with start-ups a lot of the time, but I could see that itch to wanna go back and do it yourself, and kinda get back, [laughs], in the weeds of things. How did you end up in the COO role, how did that happen?

Yeah, when I joined, um, kind of Momentum, and really thinking about the role that I wanted to play, I obviously had the strong marketing background, but from starting Olivine and running that agency, I had gotten my feet wet with operations, and, um, kind of been the-

Mm-hmm.

... for a while the- the one-person band around finance and, um, all the admin-

[laughs].

... and- and operations stuff that goes with- with building a business, and I found, um, that it was just a very interesting and challenging space, and thinking about going into Momentum, as much as I love the marketing stuff, I was more interested in kind of staying... maybe even higher level, and to just be more strategic-

Hmm.

... around, um, how we do, uh, customer success, and how we do marketing, and our strategy, and I- I loved project management, and I- I ended up doing a lot of project management, um, of course at Olivine, and- and wanted to bring that into the company, so I felt like if I was CMO, I might be a little bit boxed into, um, just the marketing role, and of course as a marketer, I know that that role is gigantic, so it's not, um-

[laughs].

... there would be plenty to do-

Just role.

... in that role, I just-

[laughs].

... yeah, exactly, [laughs], it's not a, "Just,"-

Yeah.

... CMO, um, more of, uh-

[laughs].

... really wanting... because it's my own company, uh, getting t- the opportunity to wear many hats, sounded really interesting to me, so I wanted to- to kind of stretch and- and- and take that on as a challenge.

Mm-hmm, and how do you find you're splitting your time between... you mention obviously CMO could be more than a full-time role itself... do you have a dedicated day a week that you're focused on marketing, or do you have a different way of organizing your schedule?

Well, I was lucky enough to bring on a, um, a marketing lead, a head of marketing a couple of months ago, so that's really freed me up to, um, focus on other things. Before marketing really took up probably 60 to 70 percent of my time, just naturally-

Mm.

... that was kind of where I, um, there's of course a lot to do, in terms of just building content, and the website, and the brand, and events, and- and all of the stuff that goes into- to kind of establishing yourself in a space. Now that, uh, Clayton is- is onboard, I've- I've taken on customer success, so I manage our customer success, um, we have one cu- one CSM right now, and, um, pretty- pretty robust, I would say, kind of, uh, CSM motion, of just, once a customer comes in, really kinda helping grow the account, so that- that takes up time where we're building out kind of the the onboarding process, and the, kind of the full CSM process. And then-

Mm-hmm.

... also doing a lot around overseeing, you know, finance, and operations, and planning for the future, planning for fundraising, um, I- I oversee kind of our OKR initiatives each quarter, so, trying to, um, kinda help the team align towards some of our- our North Stars and our goals, and making sure that there's accountability there, so, I think, now, I'd say I probably spend, er, my- my marketing time, my customer success time, operations is pretty dependent on maybe when I'm meeting with the team, so the days that I have one-on-one's, and kind of doing reviews-

Mm-hmm.

... and then otherwise I try to just kind of sp- spend equal amounts of time on those other areas of the business.

Right, and how did you go about finding that head of marketing, because obviously you were kind of doing a lot of that work yourself, so looking to find someone that you could delegate to, but also could run with it, um, so how did you go about that, and what qualities were you looking for?

Yeah, I got lucky with- with- with hiring Clayton, I would say. Um, definitely did a little bit of a outreach of course, and- and posted it on LinkedIn-

[laughs].

... and through my network, and then, um, we're part of a, uh, kind of a founder, entrepreneur- entrepreneur community called, "South Fork Comments," here in San Francisco, now it's kind of more global... with the pandemic, it's gone pretty virtual, but, uh, somebody actually... around the same time that I posted our job req, posted, "Hey, I have a friend." Um, he had already worked kind of in a similar, um, uh, a- a different company, but kind of in our space, so he had familiarity, and I- I had said, uh, man, "I think my unicorn marketer would have a growth and a product marketing background," and I felt like that was probably too much to ask, but I was like, "I'll just throw it out there-

[laughs].

... to the universe and see," and, um, but yeah, he- he really, uh, he fit the bill, so got pretty lucky with just kind of having it come through a referral and feeling like, "Hey, this is a-

Yeah.

... really good fit for just the stage that we're at," and it is definitely challenging to decide what type of marketer to hire for your first, your second, your third... do you bring in somebody very senior, or do you bring in somebody junior. Do you bring in somebody to just do content, do you wanna specialist, do you wanna generalist, and I think it's so dependent on the business, and the needs, it's, there's not a one-size-fits-all, um-

Mm-hmm.

... but I definitely was- was going into it, uh, with- with an idea in mind, and just saying like, "Okay, let's see if this- this works out," and- and knowing that, "Because I have the marketing background, I will, I will end up filling in some of the gaps," and kind of continue to- to fill some IC role as needed.

Yeah, that makes sense, and is it just him today on the marketing team or are you outsourcing anything to an agency or anything?

Yeah, we, it's just him in-house, and then we've been working, um, we- we have a, kind of a design/branding agency that we work with. Uh, we do... up until recently we were doing a- we were working with a content marketer, um, he unfortunately went in-house, uh, before we could snag him, but, uh, we're-

[laughs].

... you know, probably go back to doing kind of freelance content, and then, uh, that's primarily it right now.

Mm-hmm. Cool, yeah, that's good background, and a lot of people listening to this are that kinda solo marketer, that one marketer that's kind of doing it all, juggling multiple hats, so I'm curious, from now the exec perspective that you're sitting in, what do you look for from your marketing lead, is it, of, you've mentioned that you're doing a- OKRs, so I'd love to hear a little bit about that on the marketing team, um, but are there any other KPIs that are really the main focus month-over-month?

Yeah, I think, yeah, I- I did that role in my first start-up, um, back in 2010 at a company's called, "Sauce Labs," that was the first kinda, the only really non-technical person, kind of the-

Mm-hmm.

... hired to do events, and anything, and then it turned into-

[laughs].

... all, I end- ended up ru- running marketing-

We've all been there, I think, [laughs].

... "We've all been there," exactly, so you- you get your- your feet wet saying like, "Wow, there is so much to do, not enough time, and- and very little direction," because at a start-up-

Mm-hmm.

... there's just... whoever you're reporting to has a billion other things on their plate, so it's interesting for me... at the exec side of really, I mean, what I, what I said to Clayton when I hired him is, "You're gonna have a lot of leeway and freedom," [laughs], and so, [laughs], I think that's a blessing and a curse, because I think our- our roles, and- and my role, particularly with the OKRs is to kinda set a high-level direction and strategy, but I want him or- or whomever we hire to- to basically take that, and- and turn that into tactics that they believe in, and tactics that they feel like they can execute, and- and we all come from different experiences, we all have, you know, different point of view, so I don't wanna do too much mandating on how we get it down?

Um, but in terms of the OKRs, I think it's helpful... what we do is kinda setting a quarterly strategy and making sure that there's some big boulders that each of the departments are moving, so we just launched, um, Momentum for basically post-sales, so it's a- a way for post-sales teams and customer success teams to- to manage their- their accounts easier in Slack, and for us that was just a great forcing function for engineering customer success, marketing to come together, and do a launch... there's nothing better than a launch, as every marketer knows, and so for- for the team, we really said, "Hey, this launch is happening, make it happen in the quarter," and then it was on them to, you know, pick the date-

Mm-hmm.

... do all the launch activities and- and really be there to support, so, I think, going back to your initial question around what I look for? I look for a lot of initiative, I look for, um, pretty organized, able to kind of project manage him or herself, um, and I look for creativity, so basically, "Can you, can you take a mandate to do a launch, and then turn it into something that- that makes everyone feel great," and feel like, "Hey, we did that."

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think you're right, a launch is kind of the dream of every team coming together, especially at a small start-up, it's marketing's kind of once chance to work with product, work with sales, CS, so outside of the launch, is there anything maybe that he did, or that other marketers you've worked with have done early on to kind of prove, "Hey, I hired the right person, and they're, I have the right person in this role, they're really carrying it, and I can kinda take a step back, and I don't have to, maybe worry so much about it?"

Yeah, I think, marketers who are in their first kind of 30, 60, 90 days, really first 30 days, let's say, um, because there's gonna just that natural-

Mm, [laughs].

... onboarding time, where you're just like gonna get thrown so much, and you have to... but any of those quick wins, like something that, some things that, um, that Clayton did that I- I really appreciated, and that other- other folks in the- the team commented to me on, and to him, you know, kind of really, quickly came in and say- said, "Hey, what- what are we doing on this SEO front? Hey, what are we doing on the optimizing, you know, our- our Google, our ads? Hey, what's going on with this intercom messaging? Like, Hey, have we, have we looked at how the leads are interacting with us, are we really," and there were just a lot of things that had kind of fallen through the cracks. I think we have set those things up-

Mm-hmm.

... uh, on day one to sort of cover the bases, but then I really had not been getting too into the weeds on- on those things and, um, just to have somebody whose able to- to kind of roll up their sleeves, and also to point out areas of improvement really quickly. I really appreciate it, it's like, "I'm empowering you to come in and- and make us better," so I think, somebody, um, I would give advice of, "You don't wanna get too stuck in strategy, and in planning, I think that you have to kind of balance-

Mm-hmm.

... alright, put a plan together," and we- we certainly did that, of like, "Okay, what's the marketing goals for the first month, two months, and- and knowing, I mean, ultimate KPI right now it really just leads, so driving kind of inbound leads, but finding even those small quick wins to just show that you are able to- to kinda learn the business, and- and- and not be afraid to speak up, I think, is really- really key.

Yeah, I think, for a lot of people, especially new to marketing, it can be tough to speak up without a solution necessarily, just to say, "Hey, what are we doing for SEO," but if you don't have the a- all the answers, people might be hesitant to speak up, so I think that's really good advice to just say, "Hey, put the question out there, see what, if you can own it," um, going back to... you mentioned, "Leads," so I'm gonna jump on that, [laughs], um-

Mm-hmm.

... I'm curious what other metrics through the funnel marketing is tracking, if there's anything on your radar... obviously you have a big, um, purview looking at CS, and everything across-the-board on the COO front, but just marketing specifically, if there's any other metrics that you're trying to move the needle on, week-over-week, or month-over-month?

Yeah, leads of course is a big one, um, for us, "First meeting booked," is kind of our- our sort of, uh, golden KPI, I would say right now. You know, leads are- are of course important for just filling the top of the funnel, but we wanna get them on that first call, and doing a demo, so- so that's the one that's really-

Mm-hmm.

... we are deciding if, um, you know, when we were doing ads, and kinda optimizing our ads, it's not just, "Are we bringing leads in from ads," but, "Are they actually getting in a call with us?" And right now, for ads we're just doing, um, like LinkedIn, "Request a Demo," so making sure-

Mm-hmm.

... that they're actually going through the funnel and doing kind of the metric that we deem as successful, to know if we should keep spending money on that. Then we're also, we are looking at things like our LinkedIn followers, and some of that brand stuff, that just is a more, er, longer-term focus for us, that I think you have to keep investing in, um, so kind of doing some of those requests for follows and- and just seeing if those counts are going up? Obviously sales people are spending all of their time on LinkedIn, so that's- that's kind of the main-

Mm-hmm.

... I would say, "Social channel these days." We of course on Twitter and stuff, but- but LinkedIn is where most of the engagement is so, uh, organic- organic followers through a LinkedIn page is another one that we're kinda tracking to just say, "Hey are we, are we having good reach, is our reach expanding, are people engaging with our content?"

That's a good point to bring up, because I feel like, especially at a fast-growing start-up people focus down funnel, which is natural to do, you need to bring in leads for the sales team, but if you're not growing the top of funnel, you can run into a problem later on where you've just exhausted those, "Book a Demo," a- ads that you're running and no one's clicking, and you can run into kind of a negative, [laughs], situation there where people aren't clicking through anymore, so-

Absolutely.

... that's good to have that focus on growing, yeah, on growing top of funnel. Um, I'm curious just with... this is very, a hot topic right now obviously on LinkedIn, but kind of everywhere, but with the economy being kind of just a big question mark right now, lots of talk of lay-offs, people pausing hiring, has there been anything that you've been able to do to standout, it sounds like you're growing your Momentum on the LinkedIn organic side, um, but any other kind of campaigns, maybe it's just messaging that's been working to help your product standout as really a must-have, and not a nice to have in this type of... kind of rocky economy, [laughs], that we're seeing right now?

Yeah, I- I think that's a great question, uh, to ask right now. We... that was actually a big focus of the launch that we just did on product hunt and-

See.

... and our blog, and stuff around the Momentum for post-sales. Well, we called it, "Momentum for Renewals and Upsells," so we decided to do that, um, in early May, so it was kind of before things really took a nosedive, but as we were coming up with the messaging, we realized, "Well, this one's actually very fitting from a, 'Get more out of your customers.'" We certainly are focused on that internally of, "How can we keep growing our customers, renewals, expansions, and really focus on-

Mm-hmm.

... the customer success motion," and feeling like, "Wow, okay, well, here is a tool that can help people do that easier," so that was something that we did to kind of, I think, we really sort of at the, at the last minute realized like, "Oh lets- let's dig, let's lean into this further with this messaging." I think our initial kind of headline was, "Momentum for Post-sales," and we're like, "Yeah, post-sales, like, that might've been okay a couple of months ago, like its kind of more of like a softer sale," it's like, "No, renewals, retention, Net Dollar Retention-

Mm-hmm.

... upsells,"-

[laughs].

... a lot more of, "Hey, times are tough, what can you do to just make sure that you're giving your customers a really great experience," and that they kind of at minimum renew, and at best are really expanding, even in these uncertain times, so I'd say that- that was something that we... and we're still kinda focusing on, I think, we're- we're incorporating that now more into our kind of first demo experience and sales pitch, knowing that that part of the, um, maybe the RevOps initiative is gonna really be around renewals going forward.

Mm-hmm, so focusing on the outcome that people can achieve using the product, not so much just, "Hey, we're calling it, 'Post-sales,' because that's the team that it's for?" That makes a ton of sense.

Yep.

And was selling to the sales and RevOps audience new to you, or was that an audience that you've had experience in pre- in previous roles?

Yeah, that's a new- new audience, um, for me, because I, m- my first... yeah, the first company that I worked for in tech, um, sold to developers, so that was kind of where I got my-

Mm.

... my- my foray into- into marketing, and, uh, and then Olivine really was focused, initially on selling to... or helping developer-focused companies, but then as expanded really just to be-

Yeah.

... Enterprise kind of SaaS companies. I would say our split in terms of, "Who hires us," so who I would kind of pitch Olivine to would be probably founders, CROs, or head of marketing, so certainly always had kind of a bit of a, uh, a sales angle, and if, uh, a big part of what Olivine does is sales-

Mm.

... enablement, so I've always stayed pretty close to that side of marketing, supporting a sales team, but definitely selling into, I think, RevOps, in particular, is just this emerging, um, trend... more than a trend, I mean, it's a department, it's a field, but it's really, um, we're kinda getting into this new- new area, and focus of the company, of a team of people who are managing, you know, people, processes and tooling, and I think more and more of that is like-

Mm.

... the customer success, the post-sales side is gonna fall under RevOps, and you'll just have that layer of- of a team that has to manage, um, basically making, optimizing the revenue process... so it's definitely been a new, uh, a new thing to sell to, but I think it's a very timely, uh, a timely space to be in, and that makes it very interesting and fun.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I feel like this trend around making the most of what you have, kind of filling the gaps in your funnel, a lot of times teams just turn to their RevOps... maybe it's one person, maybe, [laughs], it's a team, but the RevOps manager, and say, "Hey, what can we do with our database, what- how can we bring in leads this month, what can we push through on, at the end of the quarter," so I feel like it's... as much as the economy topic keeps coming up, selling to that audience, I feel like this whole efficiency kind of angle comes up a lot, because they're often just brought into those conversations when things are starting to kind of take a nosedive internally, that's when, [laughs], they're often, [laughs], looked to as the expert.

Um, and how do you go about learning about this new audience? So, it sounds like you had a little bit of experience on the s- selling to sales, but RevOps is brand-new... is there anywhere you would recommend marketers start when they're selling into a brand-new audience?

Yeah, I would say that we- we really benefited from the first couple of months, um, at Momentum, just, uh, getting a bunch of advisors. We have a couple of really great advisors-

Mm.

... in the RevOps space who, um, who helped kind of open up our- our eyes to what could be possible with our product, and I think then-

Mm.

... from getting more customers on the RevOps side, and kind of those initial design partners of the product... like, you know, customers to help us build the product, and them saying like, "Hey, I have this pain point around, you know, stale leads. I have this pain point around approvals. I have to," and realizing like, "Wow, there is a whole world here," um, and we continue to meet with some of those advisors, you know, biweekly, so it's been really helpful to... that's how we kinda know, I mean, months ago, hearing about like, "Oh man, there's gonna be a big push around renewals this next year," and that was before the market downturn.

So- so kinda having-

Yeah.

... an ear to the ground has been really helpful, um, also on a couple of, um, the RevOps Co-op group on Slack is very good. There's like a couple of 1,000 RevOps folks in there, um-

Hmm.

... who were an initial kind of community partner, so, got to get involved early. There's the Deal Desk Association, oh, on LinkedIn. There's... so there's a couple of kinda specialty groups within the RevOps function that- that have a lot of great just like tactical knowledge sharing. Um, there's RevGenius-

Mm-hmm.

... which of course is like a very broad, um, group on Slack, but they have like a RevOps focus, so those have been, those have been really good for just getting, um, I- I love, I mean, probably daily, I just check and see like, what questions people are asking, what jobs people are posting, um, what tooling people are recommending, just to know kind of what... you can get a lot of nuggets of information and even product ideas out of that when you start to see a lot of the same questions over and over, and of course it's a great way to learn about other tools in our space, or competition, but, um, yeah the-

Mm-hmm.

... RevOps Co-op group in particular has been, has been great.

Hmm, so really just getting in those communities, participating, keeping an ear to the ground on what people are saying, great? And what about that advisory board you mentioned, is that, was that a customer advisory board at the beginning, or did it start as just some advisors of friends, prospects, that you wanted to kind pick their brain on what they were seeing in this space?

Yeah. I would say, "It was kind of a combination," like it was, um-

Mm-hmm.

... I don't... we never did a formal customer advisory board. We still don't really have that. Um, but that's also because we- we engage with most of our customers just directly on Slack, and we, like I said, "We meet with them every two weeks."

Oh.

So, we have, I mean, our who- a lot of our product is in Slack, and we run every- we run Momentum on Slack, we- we dog food our [inaudible 00:23:43], so we- we just do a lot on Slack, which I think ends up-

[laughs].

... giving you a bit of a more personalized interaction with your customers, or your advisors, so we haven't really had to do like a formal, "Hey, let's meet quarterly," we- we're all so small, we're a seed-stage company. Um, but it's been really helpful to-

Mm.

... just be able to kind of have those- those calls on the calendar, and also just to have folks on Slack to be able to ping as needed when questions come up, and- and, um, yeah, and to have those customer channels of just, request for the product, and to have them right there, it's just a quicker feedback loop that's been really helpful.

Mm-hmm, yeah, that's great. I mean, if they're responsive, er, on Slack, and they're meeting you biweekly, that doesn't really, [laughs], get much better than that, even it was a normal-

Yeah.

... program, that's pretty great.

Yeah, no, we've been really-

Something to [inaudible 00:24:29].

... we've been really lucky with-

[laughs].

... yeah, some of the earliest advocates for Momentum have just been, um, we really couldn't- couldn't be in this spot without them.

I'd love to here, just obviously, you're trying to take this little bit of a step back from marketing, having the head of marketing join, but are there any parts of marketing that you're kind of having a hard time letting go of, that just, you're super passionate about personally, and you k- kind of, if you had the time, you would hang onto those forever?

Yeah, that's a great question. I love positioning and messaging and kind of figuring out the story, so, we just redid our website. I still led that effort, um, because it was half, it's- it kicked off before- before I brought in our head of marketing, and- and I love just, you know, figuring out the design, figuring out the pages, figuring out the- the- the messaging. I love writing, I love the copy part of it, so that- that's something that I would- would love to keep my hands in, um, going forward, and I also love just figuring out the- the brand story, and kind of the brand messaging-

Mm-hmm.

... so, you know, kinda higher level than just the website, "What's our, what's our positioning as we're going forward, and as we're building out our platform," and, um, I also really like supporting sales, so just putting together kind of a new sales deck. I like, um, I feel like those... you kinda get into a nice flow state when you're doing some of that creative work-

[laughs].

... and- and you're having to come together and think about, "Okay, what have learned about our customers, about our story," and to try to translate that into, you know, a 10 slide deck, I feel like is a really good, uh, mind exercise, and challenge, so I- I enjoy doing those things.

Mm-hmm. I feel like your team is very lucky to have an exec that cares a lot about those things, because often those are kind of, "Oh, it's someone else's problem to, [laughs], figure out," but the home page messaging, or the sales deck, so that's really great, I think they're in a solid position, with, [laughs], you, on the exec team.

Thank you, yeah. I feel like, uh, if you can bring on a marketer, either as a founder or just super early on, and it gives you such a leg up. It really helps you-

Mm-hmm.

... just to, just to have to- to, um, translate that story, and to keep coming back... because it's very iterative, and like I feel like each year that we do Momentum, we're only in our second year, but each year it's like, "We have to come up with,"-

[laughs], mm-hmm.

... it's changing so much, and I know from, you know, the previous companies that I've worked at, even in like year five, you're still coming back to the drawing board sometimes and saying like, "Okay, well now we're in this stage, now we're going after the Enterprise now." So it's such an iterative constantly-

Mm.

... moving process that it does really help to have that voice and that advocacy for- for marketing, you know, kind of at the foundational level of the company.

Mm-hmm, and do you have any advice for marketers who maybe aren't in that position, who their exec team... marketing maybe isn't their priority, or not their passion, but they're still trying to... obviously they wanna do a great job on the marketing team, but they might be a team of one, so they're stretched thin, and how can they prove that, not just the ROI, but just prove that they should be growing... the marketing team in general?

I think sitting down and asking either your boss or, you know, your CEO, which are reporting into the founding team, "What they wanna see," because usually-

Mm.

... there's one or two things that somebody wants to see, and you could be doing 10 other things, and if you're not doing the one or two-

[laughs].

... things, they don't think you're doing a good job, and that's kind of the sad reality of- of- of company building, I think, because there's just not enough hours in the day, and also not enough visibility to see all that somebody's working on. I think being remote too just adds to that-

Mm-hmm.

... that you're only seeing what people are posting in Slack, or maybe you're only seeing what's public, or how many signups there are, so knowing what those metrics are, because I think, particularly for an exec team that doesn't come from marketing, they may have a very different idea of what you should be focused on than what you think coming into- from marketing, so at least knowing what those-

Mm-hmm.

... what those, uh, drivers are, so that you can show progress on those things, while you're also working on the things that you know are valuable, or the things that you really feel like you can specialize in or- or that will move the needle maybe in the longer run, but having those conversations-

Mm-hmm.

... early, and to keep checking in too, and saying, "Has that changed," um, "Am I on track, are you seeing what you need to see," I think goes a long way?

Yeah, I like your point on doing that early on, just trying to get alignment, because if you're totally off-base with what they were expecting, at least you know, and you can try to get some quick wins that will please them, and maybe you'll have them on your side really quickly, or it could go the total opposite direction if you don't have that conversation, so, that's good advice.

Yeah, exactly.

Great, so I just have a couple of quick questions to round out our chat today. So the first is, "Is there a marketer that you follow that we should go checkout or listen and should go follow them," it could be in B2B or otherwise?"

Yeah, I- I wanted to do a little bit of a shameless plug here, only because I'm not involved in Olivine, uh, day-to-day anymore, [laughs], but I do feel like they're-

Mm-hmm.

... putting out some- some great, um, great content. So they just launched a newsletter, um, "Inside Olivine," from the team, and I'm- I'm really enjoying... they launched it in January, so there's been about seven newsletters, and it's a great roundup of like product marketing, um, things across the internet, tips, and- and stories to follow, so I would say, uh, yeah, the "Inside Olivine," newsletter, uh, I- I am biased, but I've actually legitimately been-

[laughs].

... uh, just impressed with the content, and recommending it, and I think other marketers will get a lot of value out of it.

Great, I'll get the link for that. Our audience is mostly on the Demand Gen side, so product marketing could be a great resource for us to checkout. And is there an under the radar channel or tactic that your team is lov- loving right now? I know you mentioned, "LinkedIn is doing really well for you guys," is there anything else that you've been seeing?

Yeah, we've been using a tool called, "Cabal," uh, we've been talking about it a lot actually to, uh, different folks in our network. We- we use it to get intros from our advisors, and customers, and just folks in our network. It- it basically lets us see who in their network, uh, via LinkedIn we could ask for intros to, and it really helps streamline the process, then you can make the request-

Mm.

... right there. Before we were having to kind of email our advisors and, "Hey, is there anyone that you think would like to tryout Momentum, and it's- it's just, it doesn't really ask for action," it's more of like-

Mm-hmm.

... "Yeah, sure, let me think about it, let me get back to you," it's very different to, "Get them on a quick screen share," go through the network, have them list the people, and then we follow-up and say, "Hey, can you forward this email to so-and-so, we wanna meet them?" That's been incredibly effective for driving, um, some top of funnel, outside of the SDR, we have, we have a team of SDRs, outside of our outbound, outside of our marketing, just been adding to our top of funnel in a really meaningful way, especially because a lot of these are warm connections to folks who are higher up in the organization, so that's been kind of our secret weapon, I would say, "In the last few months, that," and I would highly recommend people checkout that tool. We can, I can send you the link-

Wow.

... so you can share it.

That's brilliant. Yeah.

Yeah.

I'll- I'm interested myself, [laughs], so I'll definitely share that.

Yeah, it's great, [laughs].

Yeah, and are you giving your sales team access to that directly, or are you keeping those intros within your exec team for now?

Yeah, the way we've been doing it is Santi, our CEO, is generally the one leading those sessions. I- I do it with some folks-

Mm.

... on our network too, and then, we actually have our SDRs helping with, uh, post session sort of, "Hey," like draft up the email, make sure that our- our head of sales makes sure that those are the people that we wanna go and target, and then once they make the connection, then our head of sales is brought in. So, that's what's been working so far, but I think, we'll probably start to expand it, now that we've kinda proven out the- the methodology, so that other folks in our, in the-

Mm.

... in the team can do it themselves.

Great, yeah, I love that. That's a great way to get the SDRs involved in the new tool too. Ours are always curious to checkout the new tech, so, it's fun. Yeah, and last question, where can we go to follow you on your updates?

Yeah, I would say, uh, "LinkedIn is probably where I'm doing most of my, um, work-related updates." I'm of course on Instagram and Twitter too, but more on the personal side, uh, but yeah, I would say, "LinkedIn is- is where you could connect with me," and, uh, yeah, "Follow me there."

Perfect, great, well, we'll put those links in the show notes for everyone to checkout. Thank you again Ashley so much for your time. Really nice speaking with you.

Yeah, thank you so much for having me, really enjoyed it.

Great, and thanks everyone for listening. We'll be back in about two weeks with our new episode of Demand Gen Chat.

About DGC
Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!
About Mastersaas live
MasterSaaS Live is the interview series that takes you from Bad SaaS to badass, with host Alina Vandenberghe, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Chili Piper. Tune in to learn about music for marketing, B2B on TikTok, why different is better than good, and so much more. Alina chats with CEOs, Founders, CMOs, and CROs to dig deep into hot-bucket sales and marketing topics that will leave you begging for more.
HOST
Tara Robertson
GUESTS
Ashley Wilson
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