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Secrets of B2B Marketing Success:

A Conversation with Henrik Petersen (Microsoft, Zendesk)


Speakers Petersen

Henrik Petersen

Fractional CMO at Brand2B

In this episode, Julie interviews Henrik Petersen, a fractional CMO who has over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing for software companies such as Zendesk and Microsoft. In a 3-steps process, Henrik shares his insights and best practices on how to use data and market orientation to create a winning strategy that sets you apart from the competition in the market segment you choose to play in. .

About our guest:

As a Head of Marketing, Henrik is passionate about using an evidence-based approach to help companies build distinctive brands and drive sustainable growth. With more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, he has gained a wealth of expertise working with fast-growing companies like Zendesk, Microsoft, and various tech startups.

He helps companies diagnose performance and develop a winning marketing strategy to acquire customers by giving your brand a broad reach and implementing effective demand-capture programs.

His marketing experience includes :
  • Brand Management
  • Demand Generation (Demand Capture)
  • Digital Marketing
  • Public Relations (Corporate Communication, Analyst Relations and Social Media)
  • Product Marketing
  • Inside Sales (SDR/BDR)
  • Marketing Budgets
  • Customer and Market Research
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Performance Marketing (Search Engine Marketing, PPC)
  • Campaign Planning and Development
  • Field Marketing (Events)

In today’s episode, we discuss :

  • Henrik's background - 20+ years of B2B marketing experience (Microsoft, Zendesk)
  • What is a profit formula and why is it important
  • Step 1 - Have a winning mindset and strategy (How to optimize your profit formula for different markets and segments)
  • Step 2 - Be market oriented and understand your customers
    • How Zendesk leverage events to speak to customers
    • Best practices when doing customer interviews
    • How Zendesk ensure everyone in the company understand how they add value to the customer
    • How Zendesk improve website conversion rate from customer interviews
  • Step 3 - Diagnose your brand and market situation (aka perform checkup for your brand)
  • How to understand your brand DNA, distinct brand code, and brand equity
  • Summary - How to use the 3 steps to create your business profit formula
  • Lighting round - Advice for marketers
  • Lighting round - Recommended book

Where to find Henrik Petersen:

external-link (1) LinkedIn

Where to find Julie Ng:

external-link (1) LinkedIn



welcome to winning with data driven marketing podcasts this podcast is
brought to you by was market research I'm Julie your host in this
podcast and in every single episode we talk to Industry leaders marketers and
growth experts in Asia about how to use data to enhance the ROI in their marketing activities we bring you real
case studies while giving you background on how these leaders build their career
to where they are today joining me today is Henrik Petersen he has over 20 years
of B2B marketing experience working with B2B SaaS software companies
to build distinctive Brands and field Revenue growth Henry welcome
thank you Julie thank you so much and thank you for inviting me it's a yeah really exciting to be on your podcast
today Henrik I know that uh recently you are
Henrik's background - 20+ years of B2B marketing experience (Microsoft, Zendesk)
now a fractional CMO and and when I look at your linking and and you have a
conversations with you you have so much so much experience across different companies can you walk us through in the
audience a short stories about you know your career and where you get to where you are today
yeah sure yeah I mean let me see how I can boil my 20 years down to uh story
but but basically uh I'm originally from Denmark uh so I grew up in Denmark um
but I came to Singapore in 1999 um a bit of a coincidence but basically
I started out my career actually not in marketing but in a small
family-owned Manufacturing Company um where I was looking after our supply
chain planning manufacturing planning um I'll say I quickly discovered an
interest for software when we implemented a a new business I was called an Erp software
um and that quickly took me to a a new job in in the software industry so first
as an Erp consultant but then joining the the software company itself in Copenhagen a company called ambition
software um and in in product marketing
um and then also then later in 99 took me again the opportunity to move to
Singapore and yeah that's where I've been since uh since 99 so since then
I've spent like you said pretty much 20 plus years in I would say technology
marketing uh helping um primarily technology companies software
companies and other technology companies build their business in the Asia Pacific and that includes companies like
Microsoft zendesk and a couple of startups here in Singapore and also starting my own
companies getting my experience as a you know as a startup so I feel like I've
you know been both in very big companies and also small startups
What is a profit formula and why is it important
and is there a common Point as you are in I can see that we are very focused in
B2B marketing and in software right is that like a common question or common theme and pattern that you see across
like the marketing challenges across all these companies yeah I mean I think it's and it's
probably also what we're going to be talking about today right it's growth uh how do B2B companies and let's say I'm
primarily in B2B how do they how do we grow the business um and although I think in terms of just
pure marketing I think it's marketing is not that different whether it's B to C or B2B but then when you look at the
Core Business there are definitely differences in in the way we we do business
um I think actually in B2B there's a lot we can learn from b2c where I think they do a lot better when it comes to market
research and and brand diagnosis which is what we also be talking about today yeah
um but I think the the fundamentals every time I meet a business owner I work with a new startup the question is
always the same how do we grow our business how do we become a big brand and how can we expand our business and
how can marketing help us do that and whenever uh and and I myself always
ask this question with my team as well so uh so as the sdcmo how do you usually
approach this yes I think the when I joined uh in any
company I think the first step for us is is actually to do diagnosis so and is to understand uh what we'll also be talking
about today here is what is the winning strategy of that company um right so um and there's a lot of
involved in that but it's it's really understanding the what we call the profit formula how does this make how
does a company and make make a revenue or how do they grow
um I think very often if you're too focused on products uh right we look at
our product I think we have the best product but actually there's a lot more things in terms of how we
how we you know how we use our resources how we create processes and and how we
we leverage those capabilities in relation to our profit formula and I think it's how you optimize that the
best that determines whether you are successful or not I I love it when you say the profit
formula and it's not just about the product it's the product the process and a lot more things than that
um could you could you walk us through a little bit deeper about this and maybe if you can throw in like a an example of
a case study that would be very great for us to visualize how to build a profit formula
yes a profit formula is um you can say and it a profit formula will change as
the the company also grow um right so you could say when you start up so when I joined for example the
company send desk which is a software company a CRM software company we were
initially very focused on uh smaller or say mid-sized companies and it was
really focused on uh you say a self-service or a product-led growth where it's about getting customers to
come to a website sign up and basically get them started on their own um so you can say the profit formula for
that you can start formula saying that means you know it's all about optimizing that self-service experience and but
also it means that you know you're basically making a choice here right so we're not focusing on on big companies
uh you're focusing focusing on smaller companies which also typically means a lower uh uh you know order size or a
customer lifetime value and that also means that when you look at that profit formula then you need to start thinking
about what does it mean from from a marketing perspective then maybe we cannot we cannot for example use an
Enterprise sales model to support that because it's the two expensive in terms of their cost I'm acquiring the customer
um all right so that's that's you could say one way of looking at is that let's say the profit formula for based on
where we are as a business today is is based on the type of customers we target the market we play in and also
um yeah base it back to the the strategy of the company and then you will probably see that we saw that also at
Center that will it bold over time as we grow as we started to move off market then we became of a lot more focused on
winning bigger deals uh yeah then you can start your profit more formula
starts to change uh so now you can afford to maybe adjust also your go to market model and your marketing uh
um strategies around that so that it aligns both the resources and processes
[Music] sometimes when they are just starting
out right it's often hard to choose whether or not it's top to bottom or Bottoms Up whether or not I should go
with product LED uh you know a lower cap a lower cost of Acquisitions uh versus
should I go with Enterprise sales um how how would you approach this uh in
terms of which strategy to go with or is there like a default mode that you should always try first
no I don't think that's necessarily a default mode and I think that's I think actually sometimes that's the risk when
we you know as marketers or as business owners as we there's a tendency also to
look outwards to look at other companies and see what are they doing and trying to apply their model to our our business
and it doesn't necessarily work right that we might have a very different might have a different strategy we might
have a different profit formula that doesn't fit their model of doing this
um I I but I think it's back to like the question again is what is the winning
strategy uh because it's really back to who are you targeting uh and you know
what is it what are we going to do that's gonna make it our solution a better offer for those customers in this
in the segment we have chosen to Target um so I think that's why it's back to
that strategic uh those strategic decisions that's really important for the success of the company
um so it's again I think maybe also for the audience here is like really go maybe go back to think about what is
your winning strategy and maybe just to uh explain that I think very often
there's a tendency to kind of confuse planning with strategy right so the way
um the way I think to look at is to say planning typically is where you're planning your
um you're working your country the things you control so your resources your people right we can make a plan
about how many people we want to hire we can plan what to do with our inventory we can plan what to do with our
processes uh like these are all things we control
strategy on the other hand is about the market it's about things we don't control
right so and your strategy very often is influenced by the market the customers
the competition right so that's why it can be a bit it can feel a bit uh what do you call
that uh nerve-wracking to to kind of make strategy because you are actually not in control of this
um so um first part I just really understand it would be important to understand the market you are playing in right because
otherwise we can't really make good decisions around it um so I think very important to kind of
differentiate a strategy is not planning planning is about your resources how you use that strategy is about looking out
at the market and decide um like I said first where do we want to play right so marketing we typically talk
about our who's our target audience um right the second step is how you know
playing in that field how are we gonna provide or how we're going to offer a better solution than anybody else in
that market so if I have to bring that back to our to marketing specifically to marketing
right so usually you're going to say it's a marketing strategy really is it's really quite simple it's just who's our target audience
um how are we going to win you go we call that positioning right and the third is what is our objectives
so if we go back to like what is the winning strategy so winning strategy of course is that when we say winning yeah that means I guess it kind of applies
somebody is losing right so although business is not always a zero song game uh right sometimes you can coexist with
competitors but if you want to take increase your Market penetration win
more customers you're basically stealing those or taking those away from somebody else uh so that's the definition we'll
say my definition of winning is that we are winning Market winning customers from the market right
and our strategy is is where are we going to do that and how we're going to do that
so I'm gonna turn the table and ask you so in this case uh now that we know you know not to confuse strategy and
planning and strategies about re-choosing um choosing and understanding whether we
really want to play in terms of target audience positionings and what's our objective right so how do we know
Step 1 - Have a winning mindset and strategy (How to optimize your profit formula for different markets and segments)
which are the right strategy from us for us yes I think the the first step is
actually it's gonna get into terms with having a winning strategy so I think very often and if I look back at the
some of the companies I worked with very often we actually don't have a winning strategy uh we cannot just play to
participate and what I mean by this it's it's uh very often when you look at
companies uh and you you listen to what our goals are they're typically very internally focused right so our goal
might be we want to double our Revenue next year and although that might be like a very challenging or aggressive
goal that not necessary doesn't mean we are winning right we could double our Revenue but compensation might you know
do more than that and still win more Market here than us right so for me having that winning
mindset is the first step in this one here is it's really clear about we're not just trying to
grow and look at things internally but be really trying to say how do we how do we grow our business in the context of
what's happening in in the space we are playing right so winning mindset means looking out the competition and and
seeing like I said is how do we yeah how do we win uh and also how do we
get better at serving customers in that space we choose so I think that's is having that waning
mindset I think is the first step where I find at least in my experience a lot of companies
um don't really have a winning uh strategy they just have a goal to to get better than last year
right so I think if I look back at some of the companies even big companies I've been with it's always just we did this
last year so we're gonna do this next year right where we don't actually look at in the context of competition
and I think that's that's super important and the reason I think especially for small Brands
um we have to look at some of the some of the marketing principles um and more than um which is called the
law of Double Jeopardy uh I know it sounds like maybe like a TV show but it's actually you know an Empirical
research that shows um that small brands has fewer customers
than big brands so that's the first challenge we have right and then the challenge there is if you have more
customers you typically also have more resources you have more more resource to invest in advertising marketing and go
to market um right so that's that's already a challenge as a new business so you're starting out is we have very few
customers so if you're just starting out of course we don't have any customers but right so first of is how do we get more customers
the the double or the second Jeopardy is that small brands have slightly less loyal
customers right and my thing we often talk about brand loyalty and what we can do but reality actually is and that's
what Empirical research has shown is that brand loyalty is primarily a function of the brand size so the more
customers you have the more loyal they are right and it's really back to the
fact that as as consumers but also as customers in B2B we tend to buy Brands
we know more about and we know more about Brands we buy right so um so it's it's so you say
to overcome that as a new smaller brand we really need to grow but it it's
looking at how we grow it's it's important here because it really comes down to increasing our Market
penetration and Market penetration different than market shares and Market
penetration means if there's a hundred customers out there we can win how do we get as many as those 100 customers
right whereas market share typically is made up of dollar value right so when you look at you normally when we talk
about growth um we take a look at things like new customer acquisition but we could also
look at how to grow our existing customers so if I go back to again when I was at uh send desk uh right we were focused
very much on acquiring new customers we also focus a lot on how do we keep expanding the existing customers and get
them to buy more products more users right so you increase that monthly
subscription uh from this customer um but we're also looking at maybe introducing completely new products
right so you can also grow through product development you can also grow
your business through uh what you call that vertical integration uh you could
grow through merges and acquisition which we also did and that's why we would acquire other companies
um but going back to that the double jeopardy rights as a small brand it's
super important for us if we want to grow and become a Big Brand we must have a constant focus on acquiring new
customers doesn't mean we don't want to do existing customers but it's
um and I've in my experience it's very easy sometimes as you grow to suddenly
lose track of acquiring new customers and you'll see sometimes sales getting very busy on just to keep expanding
their existing customers so we had that actually they had send us where we could see the we kind of had a strategy of
what we call land and expand that means when instead of trying to go out and
win a big customer and try and sell them everything in one go we were just trying to get them on board and then we would
borrow the customer right so it's quickly Landing them as a customer and then we will expand over time and what
we saw a lot of these startups that were joining us at that time were very small startups but they were growing very fast
which means they're you know we could um basically in some cases you as an AE
or as a sales rep you could hit your quota by just basically working with your existing clients
but if you don't don't keep acquiring new customers at the same time you're not it's not growing as a brand
I can uh I can see how love Double Jeopardy uh sends some uh like some
other companies who are listening to the to the podcast is like oh no uh but then I'm very glad that you know you give us
the solutions that they are afterwards can you talk us a little bit about um how do we design a
a successful land and expense strategy yeah I mean so that's
um I think it's back to you again your both your profit formula to say where are you focusing right so are you
focusing on just acquiring small businesses are you going after bigger bigger accounts for example a bigger
Brands um but of course A lot of it has to do with uh getting alignment between for
example marketing and sales in terms of who we are targeting uh and second also a lot of it has to do with enablement uh
or especially after the sales team to make sure that we don't because it can
be tempting to try and say like let me just sell them to everything that they won't go right and then you might instead of Landing this account next
week you might spend three months trying to to to get the whole deal but then the risk is that you know sometimes you make
the deal too big and the customer maybe decides ah maybe this is too risky right um so part of that I think the lender
expand is that you make it very easy for the customer to kind of say Let me let me try this let me let me get going at
it and also give them uh some quick wins so they kind of get hungry for let me let me do some more so
I think a lot of it has to do with enabling your your field to the field team so your marketing your sales team
gotcha I also wanted to come back to you you
mentioned uh before we start the call there are actually the three ideas around the questions around what is your
Step 2 - Be market oriented and understand your customers
reading strategy so we have coward idea number one I'm curious if you can walk us through your idea number two
yeah so the second one is uh and that's where as I mentioned earlier I find very often in b2c they they tend to do this
maybe a little bit better sometimes than in B2B but it's really will be what I call Market oriented uh which is and
again it's as my marketing Professor told me it's it's around understanding that you are not the customer right
otherwise we're looking interest and say I'm not the customer so I think very often when we sit in marketing we have a tendency to think
that customers Think Like Us right or we have a lot of biases about
our own brand we think our own brand is fantastic and we we have our own idea about why customers actually buy our
products um right so I think being Market oriented is that you you recognize that we don't
really understand the market we don't understand the customer so we need to have a process uh you need to use our
resources and create some processes and for understanding the market understand
the customer and also understand the competition um
so I think and I think also it was Peter Drucker who said that the the customer
rarely buys what the company thinks they are selling right and I think that's back to like do
we really understand why people buy this this product and I remember like this was very early in my career uh selling
Erp software um we would go to meet with prospects and then we would have a team out there
demonstrating the software and we sometimes we would demonstrate the software for half a day sometimes a
whole day right and it's and if when I think back at this now it kind of tells me that we didn't really have a clue
what the customer wanted or what they were trying to do um so we would just show them everything
hoping that at some point somebody would say that looks great can you please show more there right
um so I think Market oriented being Market oriented really means we we have
a organizational ride effort to to keep gathering information about the
customers the market and the competition right so to to be Market oriented I think it's a three-step process so the
first one is of course we need to gather information and there's a lot of ways you can do that so in in the past I've used
customer interviews and I think that's especially for small for startups and small Brands right we need to be mindful
about the cost and the time of this so if the customer interviews one-on-one meetings uh probably the easiest to get
started with and also it can be very cost effective um and it's actually
uh can be super effective in terms of re-understanding what is it that the customer why do customers buy up these
How Zendesk leverage events to speak to customers
our products our services um but yeah so as a company you depending on your size so if you're a
small startup a small business you can maybe start with just customer interviews if you have more budgets you
can use panel surveys sometimes to validate some of the findings you have
found in your customer interviews um right so and if I look back at how
I've used this in the past so again if I look at centers we we will basically have an episode every time we had
Customer Events we would use that as an opportunity to speak with the customers
ask them questions right and here I think a good place to start when you are
looking at it if you have customers is to ask your most loyal customers and
you're like why do you love our products why do you keep buying all our services
um what else did you look at when you you know you were considering our products why did you choose us and then
just keep going deep on debugging to like to find out and basically What's
called the jobs Theory like what was that what is the job that they are trying to get done right
um and but also understand the motivations and the triggers behind why they decided to to look for a product or
service to do this job and I also didn't understand what's the outcome they're trying to achieve by
doing this so I think customer interviews is definitely and I'll say relatively easy
Best practices when doing customer interviews
place to start I'll say there are still some things you need to be aware of when you do custom interviews we there's a
tendency to introduce a lot of bias so you know when we meet people
um the way we ask the questions can sometimes influence the way people answer the questions and also sometimes
um you have to be mindful that people can sometimes they will answer questions in a way they think you want to hear right
so so these are things you need to be aware of course when you do custom interviews but it's still a super
effective way to get started I think once uh typically I'll say
if you do 15 20 interviews you start seeing a pattern you start seeing the
same kind of feedback coming back and again again so you start get a good view on on like what is it actually you're
trying to do and what is the job to be done and what's the motivation behind that
um you can of course do more but but I think 15 20 usually you use that's usually enough to get a good picture of
this one of the common changes I hear some of the companies
that just don't do this is because um they feel like uh but I have
immediate things that is sitting on my plate that perhaps give me a much more direct Roi than doing all these customer
interviews that that I'm not even sure if the insights will get me anywhere I'm
curious if you would hear challenges like this in your past and how would you approach this
yeah I I think you're right I mean I think it's like I said very often we there is a tendency to think that we we
understand the market we understand the customers maybe even because when we initially Maybe started the business we
were kind of in the customer situation so and there are tendency to think like say I'll come from that industry I know
what they what they need um but I think it still it is risky and especially later when you have to work
on your winning strategy uh you know if you look at don't get this right you
might go down the wrong path right so but like I said it doesn't have to be super complicated you you can kind of
build it into like I said when you have to be a Customer Events and you're meeting the customers anyway it's more
or less kind of like just have questions ready have them all what you call that a more proactive effort around how do you
gather this information right so I think number one is is how do you gather information or actually start Gathering
until the second part of being Market oriented it also makes sure that you actually
disseminate you you you share the information the intelligence you learned with the rest of the organization right
if this is just something that the marketing team gathers and then they don't share with anybody uh yeah then
it's not really helpful for the the organization right and we want this to be a company-wide effort
um right so that in that information needs to be shared kept it in a way that
can be shared with the rest of the organization and then I think thirdly also important part is like that you actually act on it
right so if you just have all that Intel sitting and you're not actually doing anything with it yeah then also not very
helpful um but I think it's super um and actually there's there's studies
uh I'll try if I can find a link we can maybe share it in in the recording but there's actually a study that shows that
companies who are uh Market oriented uh are actually have a better profitability
and are more successful uh so there are studies done on this so
um it's not just a fun idea I've come up with and it's actually really research behind this and I think also if you look
and I said b2c companies I tend to do this and much better I'll say it typically
than B2B so I think that's on the B2B side this is something where we need to step up our game a little bit and really
understand our Market a little bit better and I think the key thing here is like I said is for me it's really it's
How Zendesk ensure everyone in the company understand how they add value to the customer
understanding the jobs that we've done um or the job to be done and I think
um I can if I look back at some of the companies I've been with where
the team in marketing sometimes we actually don't even know what it is we are selling uh and even less we don't
really understand why do customers actually buy our products right and I think again if I go back to send this
one thing we did really well there was to make sure that any new employee who joins the company
um goes through an onboarding where everybody learns how to demonstrate the product uh so you
actually have to go up in front of your you know anybody else to joined that the company in that that month for that quarter and and do a demonstration of
the software and I think that's super powerful because it kind of ensures that
everybody who is in the company doesn't matter if you're in finance in HR and marketing you can actually explain to
People You Meet what it is you're doing and how we add value to the customer right but to do that also again it comes
back to like it's a company you really need to understand you know what is the job that the customer is trying to do
and how is our product you know helping them do that and I think once we have understood that
also it helps us in marketing create better uh better messaging
um right we can explain instead of just listing 20 features we can actually explain exactly what it is how we add
value to the customer it also helps your whether it's your inside sales team your account Executives and also make sure
that when they are talking to customers they really focus on what we know the customer are trying to do so you get a
much better response from from the from the customer is there like a case studies or uh
How Zendesk improve website conversion rate from customer interviews
application in the past that you can help us to visualize um the successful case of uh after doing
customer interviews or or the likes of actually collecting such information and disseminating and actually applied it
and see RI um I'm gonna talk about it also later but I
keep one project I worked on uh was when we were basically building out our
centers business in Japan um right so we and like I said I'll come back to it and
then the last parallel around diagnosis but also it's we really looked at saying like how come the website conversion
rate was a lot lower than what we saw in other markets um right so there we can talking to the
both the resellers or Partners but also over the customers it helps us kind of
uncover what was the what was the friction in that process um right so basically it came back to
that the the messaging on our website was
didn't resonate with with the target audience and they basically didn't understand what we are talking about um
so they would come to the website not really be clear about what we are trying to tell them and then basically leave again right so by doing research you
you've got a better understanding on what is it really they're trying to do and how do we showcase them that this is
actually something we can help them with so we saw a dramatic Improvement in in
basically in people signing up for our free trials right which improved our conversion rate on website but also
improved our Google advertising campaigns uh so they
had a dramatic impact on on inbound leads and the quality of those leads
Step 3 - Diagnose your brand and market situation (aka perform checkup for your brand)
awesome uh in in that in that sense uh I can't wait to actually let's jump into
our the third idea that you would like to share with us today around um around building your winning strategy
yes I think um is what I call the diagnosis right
but it's also said we want to create a winning strategy we really need to understand the field that we are playing
in right so um and I think there's you can say there's kind of two parts of this so if you are a new marketing
manager joining a company or a new brand manager joining a company um I think it's always a good idea to
kind of sit down and really get a good understanding of the brand of the company you work for and before you go
into actually building your plan and also in my work as working with with
other companies in terms of marketing and that's the first step I think in in the moroccole it's kind of a linear
process right is to do diagnosis before we do strategy and we do our strategy before we come up with all our marketing
tactics I think what I see a lot today is there's a tendency to jump straight into marketing tactics and just decide that
we need to have some Tick Tock videos and some Google advertising but actually before we really understand the
Strategic plan and have done real diagnosis um so that's that's the purpose of the first the first step is is diagnosing
the business it's a little bit like sending your brand for a checkup at the doctor
um right so there's um you know there's a lot of things we can look at of course and it depends maybe also on the size of
your business so if you're a small startup you can keep this it's a relatively simple process and as you grow it people probably become a more
complicated uh we'll call that a comprehensive process but I think
How to understand your brand DNA, distinct brand code, and brand equity
there's a couple of key things that maybe we can run through I think that's important to look at um so I think the first step is
um is basically understanding your college your brand DNA
um what is your brand right and again I know maybe if you're just a new startup there isn't a lot of brand stories or
Heritage to work on right but in imagine it as a marketer you're joining a company that's been around for a while I
think it's super important to understand you know the story behind the brand um so it very often here it's a good
idea to speak with the founder to understand like why did they start the company what was the values around the
business what were they really trying to do um right if you don't have the founder around anymore you can do maybe some
some Google search you can talk to colleagues in the company but really understand like what's what's behind the
brain here it doesn't mean you have to have a 20 20 slide PowerPoint around all
kind of brain purpose and brain DNA and all this but it's just a simple understanding of who we are as a brand our core values
um and I think more important also is to um figure out what is the what we call the
distinct brand codes or brain assets that we need to use for the for the in
branding and what I mean by that is um distinct brain coach basically as you
said your visual cubes your it could be your logo it can be your colors it can
be a sound could even be a smell I guess depending on your business right but but what is it that if you don't for example
mention the brand name what is that visually you might tell people Ah that's the brand right so I think I think a
good example that was talked about a little while back was if
you know the the chocolate the Toblerone chocolate that's in this yellow packaging as this triangle shape right
that's a good example of of uh distinct brand assets so when you see that in the shop one oh I in advertising you you
kind of recognize that straight away when you see that shape on that yellow color right um so that's good way of saying these
are distinct brightness that you you need to apply I think it's the same level for
even if you're a new startup it's important to configure like what is your brand distinct brand assets that you
need to apply uh and then I think the other rule is you need to be consistently uh codifying
or using those um on everything you do and again here I see there's a tendency to
especially in my attention because I'll be a little bit tired I'm using that yellow colors a little today make it
blue right but then that's actually the some of the worst you can do because you might get tired of looking at a specific
color or something but the market you know they don't look at your brand every day so just because you are tired of it
doesn't mean the market is tired of it right and it takes a really long time to build the brand so having consistency
and keep applying those distinct brand as it is super critical to building your brand
um so those are some of the things that you could look at around your brain the second part I think it comes back to the what we talked
about really about doing customer interviews is to kind of figure out what the what are the brand attributes or
characteristics of your brand not that what we think about the brain but what the customer thinks about the brand
right so here you should kind of try and figure out like um what are some of the attributes if
you ask customers you know it might be easy to implement or expensive or
whatever it could be right so these should be both positive and also negative attributes
um so they kind of start giving you a picture of who we are as a brand
um so like I said when you interview customers you start seeing like I said once you've done 15 20 interviews you
start seeing that is this there's a few words that keep popping up and those are your typically what will be you you will
kind of convert into your brand attributes that you can then use to figure out like who we are as a brand
because I can see in b2c uh generally a lot of them uh do actually do research
around you know what do people think about the brand but for B2B uh things like brand attributes and what do people
think about the brand are actually really not an often topic that people talk about
no yeah I think you're right I think also I think there's I think in the last decade or something there's been a
tendency especially in B2B to be very focused on Performance Marketing uh it's
a very short-term Roi focused and it's been the same in most of the companies I've been with us and I've tended to
kind of look at saying how do we get the quickest Roi right so we keep optimizing around
um I'll say that the last part of the funnel you know what I'll call the bottom of the funnel and and not really
spend a lot on uh building you know increasing brand awareness I think
that's changing I think a lot of companies are starting to realize that actually it doesn't work uh right so you
you kind of need to have both um right I think it was recently was it Airbnb the the realized when they turned
off all their Performance Marketing actually things were still growing um right and I think that's back to like
you actually want to start building the your brand uh and you reach a bigger audience the rest I mean as long as you
have probably called good physical availability but then you know your brain will continue to grow so I think
there's a lot of power in building that brand but I think historically a lot of B2B companies haven't put a lot of
effort into this I think that's
just to say likes but I think that's definitely a big part of your diagnosis is to understand both who you are as a
brand of what your brand is and I say you don't have to overdo it I think there's a tendency sometimes especially if you bring in an agent brain in this
agency to help you with this that they they will produce a 20 30 40 page
guide around this that's probably overdoing it I think especially for smaller Brands I think here's just
understanding your core attributes and figuring out what your distinct brand assets are and then just consistently
apply that in all your advertising your events anywhere you go right you on your packaging and then all that so that it's
yeah yeah you start building uh slowly start building your brand the second
part of that is to um if you have the budget is to do uh
some um brain tracking to understand the the where you are in terms of brand
awareness um right I know that brand tracking can cost quite a bit of
money uh I've done that before also right I think today it's there's new tools out there that actually makes it a
lot easier and more cost effective I think historicated has been quite expensive
I've done rent or panel surveys where you do brain tracking you basically ask
a series of questions uh which is bringing a real lot of insights around
your brand and where you are but like they did induced to cartilage cost a lot but it's I think price is coming down
which is also another reason why it's it's easier probably to do today so I think those are the first part of
understanding your the business um a few other things that are things good as if you're coming in as a
business owner or a marketing manager I think if you can I know it it can also be a challenge but it's understanding
your um your Market size how big is the market you are going after so trying to
size up your the market I know for some cases it can be tricky
to understand like how many customers do you think they're out there and what's the value of those but it's uh can be
super helpful later on when you want to do what's called excess share voice analysis because it requires you to
understand the total market and how much of that is your Market penetration and your market share how much of that
do you have today um so it's possible try and get an estimate on on how to do Market sizing
um then the other thing is I will jump into is um especially when you talk to startups
they always talk about product Market fit right which is I don't know I think I
feel like that's probably people out there who know more about this but like it can be really difficult to figure out
like when do you have product Market fit right usually if you have customers signing up and they stay with you as a customer that's a good signup you're
offering some value right but I think if you go back to what we did at the on the market orientation
which was to do custom interviews to understand what's the job to be done I think it's super helpful also to kind of
go back and say so once we really understand what is what's the job they're trying to do why do they hire our product to do this job
what's the motivation and what's the outcome they have try and Link that back with the product and just so if you say
instead of product Market fit it's Market product fit to say like do we actually have a really good fit here
right does the product really do what the customers want to do right it doesn't do the job that they are looking
for um but that again requires that you have a good understanding of what the customers
why the customers actually buy your product and then I'll say another I think super
helpful is back to what we talked about earlier is that profit formula um
and also com you know once you understand the product uh sort of the profit formula of your company
um what is especially for marketing is important is to look at how do we apply that to our
marketing approach like I said if you are offering for example a freemium products like we don't charge for the
product it's all about getting to sign up for free maybe we make profit another way but or maybe we hope they will eventually
convert into a pay product it probably also means that you cannot afford to spend a lot on acquiring customers right
so if you have a or like when you had attendance wherever you're offering a free trial
um to smaller businesses and right having an Enterprise sales model where you have expensive marketing activities
like Round Table events expensive ads and you have a PDR I have
to call them and that model just doesn't apply to to your profit profit formula
right so it's also good to kind of think through that to say you know on your life we're targeting Enterprise
customers and our average deal size is a million dollars yeah then of course we can afford to spend more right but I
think sometimes again marketing we have a tendency to jump straight into tactics and forget to analyze these things right
and then the marketing tactics may not align with our profit formula so thinking through that is I think also
it's good exercise that's relatively easy to do and you can kind of on a scale kind of say like on
one end you have to have really maybe even if you can't afford to spend anything on marketing it's all about creating content
viral marketing activities uh and then as we grow up we can start investing more in different channels different
types of of marketing
sounds good that is like a lot of things for us to diagnose here from Brand
tracking Supermarket sizing to pmf to profit formula now before uh this is uh
very interesting to to hear all the ideas you have around how to design a winning strategy before we wrap up
um Henrik is there anything that uh we haven't touched on that that is on your mind around winning strategy
Summary - How to use the 3 steps to create your business profit formula
no I think there's a kind of like summarize right so I think it's like I said it's the reason I brought up these three ideas I think is it's it's first
of all a you say it's a company mindset of having whether you have a winning strategy or you just have a
you know a strategy right so and because the winning mindset also it's not just about winning
it's always about figure out like how do we win actually by serving the customers better and that kind of leads you into
it like that's really your mindset that also leads you into being Market oriented because then you naturally kind
of need to understand what do the customer think what are they trying to do so right it makes you much more
focused on what the customer's doing rather than just internally focused on on our products
um so I think so those things kind of go nicely together right and then I think the diagnosis is really kind of putting
it all together it turned to figure out both um where we are right now like you know
what's the brand Health where we had in terms of you can do things also like funnel analysis of course you look at
your Revenue performance and all this but um but also looking at how do you better
align your profit formula with resources and processes in the company
right so that when you are ready to make those decisions around your strategy
it's based on a a solid foundation with good understanding of the market and
also your competition and then I think maybe the last point I'll just say is
I think when it comes to strategy we have to this is something we have to kind of continually kind of monitoring because like I said we don't actually
control the components of our strategy the customers might change Behavior the competition might do
something else right so you kind of have to keep monitoring this and then adjust your strategy as the market plays out so
um super important to to keep looking at this great thank you for the summary
um so we always have our lightning round of four questions uh before we wrap up
City episode so Henry are you ready for that I'm ready and I think
yes uh question number one what are the key data or metrics that you monitored in marketing or in this case brand
building yeah that's a good question yeah
um I mean of course we have a lot of metrics but I think
um I think definitely I'll say
um I mean in the end of Revenue always comes back as one of the key things to
look at right I think um uh some Revenue performance uh the health of the I'll
say the what are called The Funnel um so I think those are probably um key metrics to look at
um I think also your brand reach so
um you know and if you say you're what you call it a market penetration
right so I'll be reaching are we are we increasing our brand reach and our Market penetration I think those would
Lighting round - Advice for marketers
be the other key metrics second question what advice would you
give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career in marketing
uh well first of all go ahead uh it's a lot of fun it's super interesting but uh
secondly I'll say is get a good marketing education
um I think there's I said in marketing there's a you know the tendency to be we like new
shiny things I think in marketing right so whether that's new software tools new or anything but we also have a tend to
keep renaming things and coming all the new ideas a lot of that I think and even sometimes when you read articles even
from very famous consulting firms and and famous Publishers it's actually not based on
empirical facts right so I think that's why I go back to actually have a good solid foundation that gives you an
understanding of how marketing actually works so evidence-based marketing
um so if you and you it's never too late to do this right so um so get a good marketing education
um it doesn't have to be a you know a full battle again if you've already done that but like just keep yourself up to
date on on what is uh what are the the evidence-based marketing principles that
we operate because there are more and more research coming out around this uh and I think it's
um today a lot of us operate with based on marketing myths and and thinking they're just not based on facts
talking about education um is the third question what is the one marketing book that you would recommend
yeah so I I have an activity right next to me here uh I don't know if you can see on camera here but how Brands grow
Lighting round - Recommended book
um right there's a number of books you can you can get from here you don't have to have to get them as a real books I
like to get real books but um but that's a Superbook again like I said it's from uh Ehrenberg bass
Institute uh who's actually doing a lot of research around evidence base the
marketing and I think that for me has been super helpful resources I keep going back to it uh anyway I said all
the principles also what I mentioned earlier around the double jeopardy but there's a lot more in there you can you
can learn from but also around distinctive brand codes there's a ton of research that I would
recommend to people uh you know you know get familiar with and that's also you
can just go Google there's a ton of things you can also I say recommend also searching for Roger Martin Around
strategy he's a fantastic guy around actually around playing to win and defining what is a marketing strategy or
strategy in general um but yeah how Brands grow or I think the
second one is better brand health is another great book I think every marketer should should
read thank you for giving us even a bonus
education here on booktube weekend resources to look at uh last question what's your favorite AI power tool also
software hmm uh yeah good question yeah so I mean the
one I probably used the most is uh grammarly um but I kind of both like it and also
sometimes I don't like it so much because I feel like it's constantly you want to keep
editing and keep making changes so it's like you never finish but I find that super helpful uh it's just having it
running in a background um I have been playing around with a lot of AI tools lately to figure out what
works I'll say a lot of interesting stuff out there I think there's still a lot of a lot of work to be done they're not always
perfect so I think grammarly is probably the one I kind of use everything when I write
emails so yeah articles whatever it is on that note
um for our listeners who want to follow and connect with you what's the best way to do so uh yeah a lot to uh connect with
listeners who have questions or anything so feel free to go to LinkedIn uh and click other follow are you also welcome
to connect um happy to connect with the people yeah um yeah a lot to get questions I also
learning from other people so yeah please connect on LinkedIn
amazing uh Henry thank you so much again for being here
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