Brutally Honest Reviews
Name: Ati Aziz
Position: Growth Marketer
Size of Marketing Team: 3 people
Business Type: B2B SaaS
I think it’s been very valuable. The first two parts of the program was very valuable in terms of setting the foundation for us as a team to analyze the top customers, and then translate that into the ideal customer profile.
I think before I did this program we had basic five personas of our users. Going through your program and doing our own analysis we came up with that ideal customer profile that I shared with you. That has become like our holy grail for the next content that we’re going to produce.
I think understanding our customers is the main one. Like we have some inkling of who they are like – they’re from the U.S, they’re engineers and Architects – but we didn’t have further like analysis than that. So having your program and framework on how to do that analysis and expand on that is great.
The templates for sure because it allows me to immediately apply what I’m learning in the program. I think right now where we are at as a company, that documentation is crucial. So doing the documentation and learning at the same time saved me enough time from having to do that at the end of the week or at the end of the month.
It meant I didn’t have to start from scratch.
Yeah I think in terms of career progression
I am leading that content space within the company so having this framework allows me to lead as a manager.
I am now able to point out this is what we need to do, this is the strategy, this is the process, and this is how we can scale the process in the team
It’s timely because we started with building one content type at the beginning of this year. Now that we’ve got recent funding and we want to scale that up further, being able to start off with the right foundation I think really sets us up for success.
Having a template process for different content types would be one expected outcome for us… something that we can sort of replicate and scale for the next 12 months.
And then probably in three to six months being able to measure the impact of the content that we’re going to produce or going to work on in terms of like: are there more qualified trials, are there more conversions or more activations.
I think in terms of content consumption it’s quite well paced. The implementation I do find like with my like my own situation and company situation I think probably we are at that half-way point in the program – like we are now at that ideal customer profile stage and now ready to build up the content process.
But what’s good is that I’m able to finish the program and I know everything – like the framework behind it. Now it’s just a matter of like making sure that we use the framework and start to implement it.
I really like the part about connecting your Dream 100 and the groups of customers to your paid ads strategy which is what we have started to do now as well.
We are just understanding where they live, what community do they spend their time on, and tying that back to our Google ads or social media ads for example. I really like that and looking forward to applying more of that learning to support our paid acquisition strategy.
We haven’t done and a lot around account based marketing, so that’s something I’m quite keen to explore with our sales and customer success team.
I liked it. I think with the fortnightly sessions it forced me to get through the content. Otherwise I’m just left to my own devices to finish it wherever.
So it was a motivation to get it done, and was quite useful that way.
I think it’s more for a first time marketing manager. Not so much a marketer in an earlier period like a graduate, as the program does require some kind of autonomy or independence of participating and applying what you’re learning.
If you’re experienced but you don’t have a big marketing team. And if you just need to get things done quickly.
I didn’t find any issues when we were looking at joining this program.
I’ve done growth marketing programs and others in general.
I think this one is more focused on content which is for me personally is great because that’s an area where I want to lead the company.
We started with webinar production beginning of this year, I set up the process for it that I shared with you. We have templates so it can be replicated every month so we have that.
But then to scale that up to other types of content or repurpose that content or distribute it to other channels – that I’m still building that process and having your program helps build that further.
I think the two first sections were a good place to start because you definitely start with the right kind of Frameworks.
I think it was essential for sure to go through that process. As I said, I definitely didn’t do all of the all of the activities but I could relate it back to things that we’ve done or things that we were doing and draw comparisons to the process that we’ve been doing.
For context, I was the second marketing person and like the first person was more doing you know the demand capture – like just just getting everything running. And then I was on the demand generation and creation side. I think like I did go through a pretty similar process of you know finding the dream customers, working out where they are – so a lot of it was like “oh yeah I’ve done this” – just like different different format – not as detailed [as the program].
I think as a marketing team now you know every three months or six months we’re like oh let’s go back and you know do this again or some things you do annually right. So having those Frameworks in the Be Ready and Be Helpful sessions is really useful to have.
I’m not moving jobs anytime soon – I’m really happy [in my current job] – but that like this is the kind of stuff that I can have in my back pocket.
If theoretically my next job was like to be the first marketer at a startup – I’d go – here’s the framework I’m going to follow, and this is the formula.
I think having a bit more structure.
Like I think a lot of my marketing education you know is – sure I studied marketing it at University – I did some marketing subjects, but like it’s so different to um Marketing in the real world.
Especially in startups.
And I think having some structure and Frameworks now was the most super helpful thing.
For example – I keep coming back to it – but the five types the five stages of awareness… sure I’ve seen a funnel before, but that was like “oh this is actually super useful for a B2B marketing and niche marketing”.
A lot of it is like taking these Big Marketing Concepts and and making it more friendlier for the kind of marketing that we do.
One that comes to mind straight away is The 5 Stages of Awareness.
We’re doing a lot at the moment working with our sales teams on you know um once we give them leads, working with them to prioritize um the leads and the different lead sources.
And so now with the 5 Stages of Awareness and the explanation of them, and then we’ve mapped them to content…
… we’ve gone “these leads here, which are coming through like a paid LinkedIn ad a VERY different in the funnel to our leads at the bottom of a funnel that are creating a free trial.”
And then having that kind of framework to go – “look these ones are problem aware, let’s instead of jumping straight away trying to sell them the product or trying to give them the free trial – let’s have those conversations around the problems that they’re having, and get them slowly solution aware.”
I screenshotted one of the slides [from the program] and sent it to an AE, and went through it with him. Like an hour later he goes “I just had the best conversation. A meeting isn’t scheduled yet which like it shouldn’t be you know it’s these are like top of funnel leads”…
… but you know he’s like” “I get it now that was so helpful.”
And I’ve shared that slide with the whole marketing team.
Having the ABM content and spreadsheet couldn’t have come at a better time.
We’re doing our planning for next year, and then at the same time going – look – we’ve started building this community, we’ve just ran an event and awards ceremony – hey some of our like ideal customers were in the room….
…. what’s the next stage, what’s the next step?
So yeah I’m really looking forward to applying that more and going through the spreadsheet [template] properly.
Working with sales and thinking about how marketing doesn’t just end the marketing. It goes all the way down and you have to work with sales.
I think having some work and more things to share with them definitely helps.
This is more within the marketing team but we’ve been calling our newsletter, master classes and awards a ‘community’.
But now having watched the video on community [in the program], I brought the challenge to our Head of Marketing being like – “hey we call it a community but like it’s actually one way”.
We’re just kind of giving people this content and they’re they’re engaging – but we haven’t created that kind of two-way feedback, or let our members really engage with each other.
Maybe the ceremony the other night was probably the first stage of that – but probably just being conscious that if we’re going to grow this community it needs to be a community where members engage with each other.
It’s not just us shoving out content.
I think it’s pretty broad…
I’d say probably more intermediate – so like I guess what I’d consider I am myself.
You don’t want someone really junior doing. And I don’t think that someone who has a lot of experience will probably do the work.
I probably felt I was doing it in once every two weeks – I’d spend like double the time doing the content.
I think the pace was a little fast if you’re doing the work at the same time.
The [pace of the] content though was probably fine but I just like should have been better at at keeping up.
A few times I ended up reading um I know that you sent the long PDF instead of instead of watching a video because I like to read.
Yeah for sure.
I think people who have been thrown in the deep end, and they don’t know where to start, or just going through that process in the early stages…
I definitely would.
Name: Ben Grossberg
Position: Senior Marketing Manager
Size of Marketing Team: 5 people
Business Type: B2B SaaS
Name: Shahed Abotouk
Position: Marketing Manager
Size of Marketing Team: 1 person
Business Type: B2B SaaS
Absolutely. So when I joined the business they definitely had a good idea of who their dream customers were. And they knew that the, like our businesses product solve problems for different. Industries or niches, but it was really hard to put it all together.
The business had tried marketing strategies that were fragmented and as it’s common for every like business that usually will just try out like ads and then will have a social media strategy and things like that.
Like it’s very common for every business to do this, but it’s really not so common to Kind of intentional all these strategies and make them intentional. I also came from like an entertainment heavy marketing background. And like I had experience working with brands and [00:01:00] like brand activation, but not really B2B and SaaS and most specifically like transportation, demand management.
So I started like personally seeking out for support in my B2B marketing journey to help me support the business mission and goals in marketing. So I was looking at LinkedIn. I went LinkedIn typed in B2B marketing just to see what’s going on. What are people talking about right now in real time?
Who are the leaders that are popping up and getting all the comments and likes and what are their thoughts on marketing right now? So I was like, Getting information, seeking out like key words. That’s where found out about like lead generation, demand generation. So all these like B2B marketing words were starting to Pop up in my sphere and I was like, okay, this is the kind of stuff I need to learn.
I found you speaking on B2B marketing on LinkedIn. So I was like, okay, George is saying things that are really aligned with, so I’m gonna follow him. So I followed [00:02:00] you and I had your as a resource in LinkedIn. And then I went, there were like a couple other like B2B marketing resources outside of LinkedIn.
I looked at. But yeah, so when I, when I saw that you were also posting about The B2B Incubator in your posts that was cool to see that like you had a thing to support marketers. I checked out the incubator. It was super aligned to what I wanted to learn. And I saw like the the five Bs and how, there was like an intentional strategy from start to finish and I thought that, A super helpful way for me to structure what me and my business wanted to do for 2023. That’s why I signed up for The B2B Incubator
I felt like it was more. now. I trusted it more like I felt like your information was current. And then it was so personable. Like it was you, what you, the thing that you were offering, [00:03:00] the product that you were offering was more personable. I felt like I could learn easier from you than if it was one of these courses that felt maybe more alienated. If I had questions like like I really love the one-on-ones because I was able to ask you questions in real time and get feedback in real time and that was super helpful. And then when I was stuck with a challenge, I had that in my mind that I was like, oh, I’m gonna talk to George about this.
So I really like that personal personality. And then also I just felt like the information was more current and just like it was now. It’s like what people are doing now, what marketers are doing now.
I think the structure, I’m someone who like needs structure. So I think you breaking down marketing in that way, like even for someone who’s been doing it for so long or has been doing it like not that long like I’ve been doing marketing [00:04:00] for so long, but I haven’t been doing B2B for so long, like it was I loved like restarting okay, forget everything, and here’s the structure that you need to follow.
I love that so much. So start from finish structure and then the templates were super, again, it’s also with the organization, having someone to provide me, like this structure. What, and then I can plug and play from like information I have and information I can act on. Was super helpful.
Absolutely. I think I think so because I definitely came into the role super confident. And then when things wouldn’t work and then we paused them I think there would be like a kind of like a snowball effect of okay I haven’t seen personal [00:05:00] results in so long in my role so I must be doing something wrong.
So I think um, like to kind of restate, reset and do a forget everything you know and do the structure is Good for people for people who are struggling, but they have the information, they just need like a structure. And then also the tools like you in the templates, you you would give examples of tools to use.
So you would say okay, here are like channels that you can do. And then you would put examples of the channels and why. And then for the podcast, for example, you would say for the B2B incubator for the B2B podcast that we do. Here are the tools we use and here’s why. And you had that graphic of Riverside and Descript and and so that was for me, helpful to note down oh, I can use Descript.
So that also was like really good, like supportive.
Streamlining [00:06:00] our marketing efforts, I would say, and like making it clear what marketing is doing. For everybody on the team. And I think when I started the program, I had, we had a team meeting. We have weekly team meetings or every other week we have a team meeting with everybody, developers, and everyone says they’re part.
And I, I said that for 2023, we’re breaking it down. We’re breaking marketing in three parts for, we’re spending quarter one. breaking down 2020 three’s efforts. And this is gonna, it’s gonna be in three parts. And I said we have to be ready, be helpful, be seen. And then I of did this like chart of what, how we like our logline like unifies logline from like when we first started to.
Last year and next year’s and saying oh, like we’re honing in on our why and like our messaging and we’re gonna do all these like customer feedback interviews and we’re going to just like really figure out where to put our content. Like I was summarizing the [00:07:00] cohort.
Which is good visibility for them to see like what marketing’s going to be doing in q1. And then also, Like I was telling you, George, every week, every time we met, that my boss would ask me a question and I would be going through it at, in the incubator, so I would be answering his question, like in a really nice, structured, detailed way.
So I think I was also like the incubator was like answering the questions at the right time. Yes, they would ask me about okay, what’s. okay, we have her content now. Where are we gonna place it? And I would be like so we have two ways to be seen and there’s like ABM and there is a paid media.
I would say it really impacted my marketing strategy. Like I’ve, I’m really taking everything that I’ve learned and applying it to my marketing strategies because it just makes sense to me now. Like it just makes sense to me to structure. It the way I [00:08:00] learned the way I, what I learned from the program. So yeah, I would say it’s really it really impacted it and to a way that like, it’s not just me trying to sell it to my team, like even my bosses and my supervisor and then like other people from like product customer developer, like they’re all impressed.
They all like the structure that I’m coming in with.
I think all kinds of, all levels because it’s I find it like a, it really reminds me of like when I went to university and I was a freshman, And the first class I went to for my program, it was like a math class, so it was every like student in first year. And it was for like television.
I went to radio and television arts. And so we were all like, obviously media like fans and thought we knew our stuff, our professor really told us like, whatever, you forget it. I think it’s [00:09:00] that’s how I felt with the program. I felt like a freshman. And but in, but also in that regard of like imposter syndrome, clean slate.
So that’s, and I was telling you like, oh, I’ve been doing marketing for a while and then I’m also new to b2b. So I feel like both sides benefited, like the one that’s done marketing for a while and the one that’s like new to b2b. Yeah, so I would say like even if I was an expert, like I would say I’m a professional and not a freshman, it was also beneficial for me. Okay.
I would say it goes back to the personal aspect of it that would be missing. And maybe there would also I feel like maybe there would be more information than I need to go through. So I feel like your program was structured in a way where it just gave you the information you needed. And sometimes like you’ll get a [00:10:00] course or like you’ll buy a product and there’s just way more things to sift through.
Or like you’ll get a lot of good valuable stuff, but not a good walkthrough. So I think you did a good job at walking through the program.
Our live sessions were really fun they were great because I got to, you were asking me about like how it’s been and I would catch you up. So it was nice to every time that we caught up, it was like there was progress. And then it was nice to go through. The exercises together and then expand on the exercises, like you would, we would go through on a page and then we would expand on one part of it and you would give me more.
Like we would just get talk about it more. And that I think is like more valuable than doing like a textbook exercise, like an exercise on piece of paper because like you were looking at it and then [00:11:00] we were having a bigger conversation about like one thing that’s on that one page from like the canvas template.
And then I was also like editing what with you and that was super helpful. Yeah, the one-on-ones were super helpful actually. That was like the one that I wanted to do.
Yeah, absolutely. I love the Canva template. I love like watching the exercise on the The B2B Incubator. And then Seeing you go through the exercise and I’m like, okay, now I like, now I have, now I went through that session and I’m like, I’m amped to fill out my own, like my own paid media channels or like social media channels.
And then I like that you made it customizable for the marketer. Like you’re made it so that it’s like a report to give [00:12:00] to the team. So yeah, they’re super useful. Linking the sheets to the template is also super helpful.
Especially also with if I was doing a report to my team, I’ll be like, and then this is expanding here’s the content scheduler and then go to the sheets from the template.
Those templates were super helpful and they were like a crowd pleaser with the whole team. Like from the feedback interview questions. Man, they gave me like gold stars for months, like people were. So impressed because it really juiced out valuable information from customers that like, again, we like guessed in our heads or had ideas or felt or had intuition of like how things were going with their customers, but didn’t really know and didn’t even record their thoughts anywhere.
And so no one really knew what to expect from these customer [00:13:00] interviews. But when we were like asking these questions and they were just like, So many like valuable things and like product feedback. The product feedback was where I was like, oh, this is gonna be a crowd pleaser. Cuz I went back to my my C T O and the developers, the product team, and I like told them like, Hey, the existing customers love our product so much.
And by the way, here are like the things that they like, want want improved on and they’d be like, oh, this is like an easy thing to improve. Like word, we got it and like our customer would be happy. And so they were happy to have that synchronicity. And the other templates, like also with the ABM and the social media.
The, just all the templates and then even the independent one that you gave me with, that you provided with like more marketing things that can support the B2B program strategy. That was super helpful. Like also a crowd pleaser with me in the. And my supervisor. And then also because they do synchronize the team, like they do [00:14:00] synchronize the product team and the CRM and the sales and then provide visibility to my c e o.
He’s such a numbers guy, so he loves that. One of the paid ad templates, the one that has all the revenue and ROI and things like that. So it’s great visibility for him to see what marketing’s doing. And yeah, so the templates are golden. They’re super valuable.
yeah, absolutely. 100% I feel like I’ve walked out with knowledge that I was, that was absorbed. So fun and casually that it’s like water cooler talk. Like I sound so cool talking to my friends now, like I’ll just be like, my friend was talking about wanting to do a podcast and then I was like, oh yeah, so your podcast is your pillar content and then you can do your blog to [00:15:00] Repurpose, I swear.
And they’re like, oh my God, I need to write this down. And yeah, and I would be like, oh, you should use Riverside. You know, Things like Um, so yeah, it’s been like it’s made me sound so, so smart.
There’s a bunch of best parts, like the templates for sure. They really helped organize, information and thoughts and structure. The videos, the walkthroughs of the cohort was a really good way to absorb the knowledge, the information the uh, exercise templates and like visually too.
Made it also fun, made it want, made me want to take part of the exercise because if it was like a boring one, I’m sure I would’ve been, like subconsciously unmotivated to wanna do it or something. But I think I made that comment once or twice to you too. I was like, oh I really like this template or something..