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Tim Rath 41 min

#40 Thought Leader: B2B/B2C-Connections in the SAAS World (Andrew Davies – Paddle)


We're thrilled to bring you our latest podcast episode with special guest Andrew Davies, CMO @Paddle! Join Tim and Andrew as they explore the intricacies of B2B and B2C connections in the SaaS world. Tune in now and be the first to listen! 🎙️🚀



0:00

Wie sieht das Konnektion der B2C und B2B? Und was kann wir lernen? Wir haben

0:04

eine

0:04

kreative, kreative, beliebte Erfahrungen. Und in B2B, ich glaube, wir haben

0:09

wirklich

0:09

sehr leid. Ich glaube, das Approach ist superinteressant. Wie kann man

0:13

mit Media-Astern, wie bei den Abituten zu erreichen? Ja. Warum nicht?

0:18

Sie tun es gut. Instead der Gegner auf einer E-Book, warum kann man sich in

0:22

einem

0:22

kreative, kreative Weise sagen? Wir haben eine Story. Willkommen zu der Revenue

0:29

-Marketing Real Talk Podcast.

0:31

Heute ist das Episode ein Special-Gest, ein Teil der unserer neuen Seer-Gerä

0:35

ten, die mit der

0:36

Special-Format um uns zu bringen, die Industrie-Experienz-Exekutungen, die

0:41

haben sehr viele,

0:43

viele Experienz, keine Präscher hier, Andrew. Aber ja, ich bin die Willkommen

0:49

Andrew von

0:50

Pettel. Ihr habt schon Pettel im letzten 2022. Pettel-Sray ist ca. 300

0:56

Millionen in der Benzer-Captain-Money.

1:00

Ihr habt dann ein Quart-Profit-Wall für 200 Millionen. Und das ist eigentlich,

1:04

wie ich sie entdeckt.

1:06

Ich denke, es war heute hier in den Saster in Barcelona, in 2022, wo ihr die H

1:14

usten der

1:14

Sider-Wend und es war eine sehr kleine Dokumentin der Beine von Pettel-Profit-W

1:20

all. Und ich war, "Wow,

1:22

das ist so cool. Ich habe nie gesehen, dass es eigentlich nicht so, wenn man

1:25

sich das auch mit den

1:26

Jungen ist, die Menschen nicht zu sagen oder die Show oder zu sagen, dass es

1:31

wirklich zu sagen ist." Ich glaube, das war

1:34

wirklich spätisch. Und ich denke, du hast die Driving-Force behindert, die CMO

1:42

-Pettel, die alle

1:43

sehen, alle globalen Marketing-Efforts. Was macht du das in der ersten Stelle?

1:49

So ein paar vier Jahre, ich

1:53

habe meine Business in einem Insight-Venture-Back-Roll-Up. Wir waren im Sell-S

1:58

ide in ein Deal und dann

1:59

wir hatten eine Borte, vier oder fünf Businesses des nächsten 18-Jahres. Ich

2:03

habe es schon ein

2:04

hoher Bunche von M&A. Und dann, wenn ich Jungen pädelt, ich habe es noch ein

2:08

paar Abilitierungen, die wir in

2:10

einem Teil des Partys zu bewerben haben. Und die Profit-Wall-Akquisition war

2:16

sehr sehr sehr, sehr sehr, sehr weh. Und ich habe

2:21

vorher schon wieder viele andere Transactions über den letzten paar Jahren

2:25

gemacht, ich habe es schon um ein bisschen mehr

2:28

Experienz zu tun in der Prozess. All good marketing starts with a bit of

2:33

customer insight. Und

2:36

the insight here is that paddelskustomers are global software founders who are

2:40

desperately trying to

2:41

grow their businesses. Und all of them have got one or two aspirations, either

2:45

they want to sell their

2:45

business or they want to get big enough to buy other businesses. And so the

2:49

insight behind the

2:50

documentary was, we were going to be in this acquisition process. So why wouldn

2:55

't we tell the story

2:56

inside the deal room for our customers and our prospects who want to be

3:00

involved in acquisitions in

3:01

the future. So it was something that was not very covered, not very discussed.

3:05

And we had an

3:05

opportunity a moment in time to do that. Yeah, so we grabbed the opportunity

3:10

and had to go at filming it.

3:11

And where there are no fears behind doing this, maybe of the founders even know

3:16

we can't do that.

3:17

That's like what will the VCs think? All the future investors, like, you know,

3:22

like, was there any

3:23

emotional kind of fear behind that too? I had a very simple conversation with

3:28

our general counsel,

3:29

Mariam, and I said, "We'll record everything. You'll have it under lock and key

3:33

in a drop box.

3:34

And if everything goes well, we'll tell the story and you can improve it. And

3:39

if things don't go

3:40

well, we'll have not really spent much money on just recording it. And we won't

3:44

need to go

3:44

anywhere with it from then on. And from the founders perspective, Christian was

3:48

very up for it,

3:49

founder of Paddle, and Patrick PC, founder of ProfitWell is very media savvy.

3:54

And so I think they were

3:54

already doing some behind the scenes work there side too. I'm not sure what

3:59

that story would have

4:00

been if we didn't end up acquiring them. But yeah, together we were able to

4:04

tell that story.

4:04

I feel like position looks like exactly. Yeah, well, I would have been good too

4:07

. It's still good

4:08

content. It's still good content. Yeah, actually, you know what, when I think

4:12

of pedal,

4:13

always this kind of media company first thinking approach always comes to mind.

4:18

And I think that's also

4:20

what pedal really stands for. Doing this very innovative kind of marketing,

4:24

thinking, hey,

4:26

we need to become a media company, just educating our customers at scale, but

4:31

not with only

4:32

education, kind of theoretical hard content to consume, but also with this

4:36

entertainment part.

4:38

So what I'm always wondering is this mindset of becoming a Netflix, you know,

4:44

for your own company,

4:45

would you say every B2B SaaS company should have this approach? Where is it

4:50

relevant and where is

4:51

it not? So I think sometimes when we discuss media companies or becoming a

4:56

media company, we get lost.

4:58

So let's go back to the first principles. I think we should all be building

5:04

content that's engaging,

5:05

inspiring, educational, entertaining, four-hour target customer. That's a great

5:10

way of differentiating

5:11

in a very busy competitive landscape. Number two, we should all be doing

5:15

content, building content

5:17

that has a red thread from the topics we're talking about down to the product

5:22

value proposition

5:22

we're selling. And thirdly, I think there's something really interesting about

5:26

episodic content.

5:27

You know, you've got a podcast here. You're speaking regularly to a growing

5:31

audience. And so people

5:33

know you for revenue marketing. And if you are able to commit to regular

5:39

content on a similar theme

5:41

or similar format, your audience starts being engaged with and then subscribing

5:45

to whether

5:46

technically or not, being engaged with an ongoing series. And I think that's

5:50

super interesting,

5:51

because much of what B2B marketing, you know, SaaS B2B marketing is about is

5:55

these one drops.

5:56

You know, and I think building episodic formats where you're taking a topic and

6:01

diving deep

6:01

and diving deep time and again means you build an audience around that topic

6:05

cluster that's super

6:06

important for how you can build your business in the future. So should every B2

6:10

B SaaS company do

6:12

it or would you say there's a time and place for it? So if we reduce it to

6:17

those three first

6:18

principles, I think every B2B SaaS company should be doing those. But does it

6:23

mean video?

6:24

Maybe, maybe not. It could be as simple as an iPhone. It could be text updates

6:28

on LinkedIn.

6:29

It could be something else. So I don't think I don't think it has to

6:32

necessarily be a video format,

6:34

although I'm a big believer in the video format. And also it depends on your go

6:38

-to-market.

6:39

So Paddle serves thousands of software entrepreneurs globally. And so we're

6:44

able to speak at scale

6:46

and build a brand to demand engine where we're building this community,

6:50

building this brand,

6:51

building this awareness about us and it filters through to our demand engine.

6:55

If you haven't built

6:55

that or if you've got an extremely enterprise whale hunting focused target

7:01

market, then perhaps

7:02

there's a different approach you should be taking. But yeah, those first

7:05

principles, I think

7:06

everybody can adopt. But even Salesforce, I mean they created Salesforce Plus

7:11

now, which is also

7:12

this kind of Netflix mentality and they serve enterprises. Yeah, 100%. And in

7:17

my first SaaS

7:18

business, it was a personalization business. It was small. And we were going

7:23

after these whales,

7:24

Salesforce was a customer who would in contact personalization for them. And

7:28

our belief was that

7:30

in our podcast and we were quite early in the podcast game, our belief was it

7:33

wasn't about the

7:34

audience. It was about the people in front of us. And so we used to get target

7:38

customers to come

7:39

and speak with us and then use that cut those clips up and use them in our

7:42

marketing efforts.

7:44

And so I think you also have to think creatively about why you're doing this.

7:47

Is it for the

7:47

relationships? Is it for the audience? Is it for the product proposition? The

7:51

positioning? And

7:52

being clear about the why behind it is fun. Yeah. What I find very fascinating

7:57

and what I've

7:57

been reflecting also now coming back from Golden Hour, where a lot is about

8:01

this media company building,

8:02

like entertainment stuff. If we compare B2C and B2B mostly in B2C, there's a

8:10

lot of,

8:11

sometimes it's actually influencers that have a lot of audience that already

8:16

are very deep into

8:17

this content game and you have episodes. I mean the biggest influencer world,

8:23

Kim Kardashian,

8:23

she's got this huge audience and from that audience she's then started building

8:28

businesses.

8:29

And she's worth over a billion dollars now, which is crazy. And in B2B, I feel

8:35

like it's going

8:36

a little bit the other way around. You have a business first, you have a

8:39

product, and then you

8:40

feel like well, but we kind of also need the community to actually help scale

8:45

even further.

8:46

So then at some point they look at okay why is B2C so successful and then they

8:50

started investing

8:51

heavily into community. How do you see this whole connection of B2C and B2B and

8:57

what can we learn?

8:57

So firstly the audience of the product that has to be some connection. I've

9:01

seen it come on stock

9:02

both ways where people have built an audience but then don't have product in

9:06

order to sell to,

9:08

monetize the audience and the opposite way around where people have a really

9:12

compelling product,

9:14

but they actually don't have anyone to sell it to. And I think that's the

9:17

interesting merge here is

9:18

that media, media companies are extremely good at building attention. And SaaS

9:23

businesses are

9:24

extremely good at monetizing. And so combining those two together, you've got a

9:29

really interesting

9:30

powerhouse. So if we go to your question of what can we learn from B2C, I think

9:35

there's a whole

9:35

bunch of things we can learn from B2C. There's always a few years ahead of us.

9:39

And I've been thinking

9:40

lots recently about the concept of B2B lifestyle brands. So if we take consumer

9:44

lifestyle brands,

9:46

Nike, Lulu Lemon, Red Bull as three easy examples, they are all about marketing

9:54

the lifestyle

9:55

aspiration rather than their products. Their products are actually a non-comp

10:01

ulsory entry point

10:02

into their community. You don't have to wear Nike's in order to go and play

10:06

basketball down at

10:06

the local gym, but there's a badge of identity. I was in common garden a few

10:11

weeks ago with my kids

10:13

in London. And we walked past the Lulu Lemon shop. And as we walked past, there

10:17

were maybe 20

10:18

guys and girls all limbering up, ready to go on a run with the store manager.

10:22

That's a fantastic

10:24

example of a lifestyle brand execution into real world. Now we're all of them

10:28

wearing Lulu Lemon

10:29

kit, no, but this was something that was an emotional experience, a together

10:34

experience, a community

10:35

experience that was very clearly linked to their brand proposition. But

10:39

actually the shop next door

10:40

where they were meeting was not central to the experience they had together.

10:44

And we can use

10:45

examples from Red Bull, you know, an energy drink that sponsors and creates

10:49

amazing content

10:50

around extreme sports. We can use all these examples. So I do think this

10:54

concept of a lifestyle

10:56

brand gives us a few learnings. We can dive into those if you're interested.

10:59

I find it fascinating because something I've also been observing recently is

11:04

that these big

11:05

influencers, they stand for a specific lifestyle, like Logan Paul, one of the

11:11

biggest US influences,

11:13

also YouTubers. I mean, he's done a lot of adventure stuff, extreme sports and

11:19

stuff like that.

11:20

And then he's brought out this drink, right? And it's also already turned into

11:25

a huge success

11:26

into a B2C product and company lifestyle. But people don't buy it because the

11:30

product is

11:31

exceptional. They buy it because of the lifestyle. It kind of portrays. And

11:35

then also there's Jim

11:36

Shark. I think one of the greatest successes is because of the community they

11:40

've built, right? I mean,

11:42

they've even created runners, clubs and their own gym and all that stuff. And

11:47

also then Eman

11:48

Gazi, not sure if you know him. He's also created the drink around his

11:51

lifestyle. And we can see more

11:53

and more. And those products, they like, they crush all numbers because people

11:58

identify so much

12:00

with the lifestyle. And I think it's very interesting to observe and there's

12:03

clearly a trend in B2C.

12:05

But what I'm kind of, what I haven't understood yet and maybe you can help me

12:11

is how can we transition

12:12

that into B2B? So I think there are a few learnings that we can dive into there

12:18

. The first one is this

12:20

understanding of an aspirational future. I think businesses that really

12:24

understand the future that

12:26

their customers desire and those customers are businesses, but also the

12:29

individuals in those

12:30

businesses, they really grab hold of something. So if we take some examples,

12:35

take Salesforce as an

12:36

example, right? Just that example a few times here. Once you're in the

12:41

Salesforce community,

12:42

trailblazers is this educational journey you go on through certifications where

12:48

your career

12:49

improves as you go through those steps. You've got this meeting ground at Dream

12:53

force or the

12:54

different world tours they do where you can meet with your community and there

12:58

's this idea of

12:59

progressing towards this, you know, this ideal outcome, this growth outcome. So

13:03

I think firstly,

13:04

there's a case of understanding, identifying and communicating this aspir

13:08

ational future for

13:09

your customers. The second thing I think is interesting, you've touched on it

13:13

is the people,

13:14

the community side. So I think we can learn that we have to join dots between

13:19

our community members

13:20

rather than just marketing to all of them. There is that genuine sense of

13:23

shared community,

13:24

but also to your point that yourselves and key people within your tent speaking

13:28

outwards are

13:29

influences, thought leaders about the topics where you want to own the topics

13:33

you want to have as

13:35

the topics you want to have as as ideal futures for your target customers. So

13:43

the community piece,

13:44

I think, is really interesting. And then thirdly, you've got to create

13:48

memorable experiences.

13:50

And in B2B, I think we've been really bad at that. And so you used the

13:55

documentary example,

13:56

that was memorable to you. It was in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It was a

14:00

shared event,

14:01

right? It was in person. Until today, I used this example actually in so many

14:05

conversations.

14:05

Yeah, or it could be, it's free advertising. Or it could be swag, or it could

14:11

be, you know,

14:11

it could be online, it could be video, whatever it might be, but those are

14:15

memories that people

14:16

make together. And so if we think about that, so we've got a sense of an aspir

14:19

ational future,

14:20

we've got a community that we go there with where there's an identity, and we

14:24

've got these kind of

14:25

these memorable experiences on the journey. We point back to all of those, I

14:29

think, are ideas

14:30

that B2B can learn from. And it's not just, you know, the snazzy sales forces,

14:35

I think of GitHub,

14:37

all my developer friends. There was that phase where everyone was moving to

14:40

GitHub. And that just

14:41

became almost the lifestyle add-on for any developer. It made their lives

14:46

easier. It made their

14:47

team's lives easier, their transparency. The credibility it gave you, the sense

14:51

of progress it gave

14:52

you. So I think you can do this in most sectors where you've got a large enough

14:55

target market.

14:56

Yeah. And how do you do that, pedal? No. So firstly, it all comes back to, do

15:01

we really understand

15:02

our customers? And we serve entrepreneurs who have a self-serve software

15:06

product. Most of them are

15:08

from non-US, non-UK markets. We have loads of US and UK audiences, but there

15:16

are so many vendors

15:17

trying to serve those VC-backed businesses, whereas we love serving globally

15:21

distributed software

15:22

businesses. Do we really understand the problems they face? Do we really

15:26

understand the challenges

15:27

in front of them as they go from zero to IPO? So a paddle, we want to

15:31

understand them more and more.

15:33

Today, I'm meeting with 60 or so software founders in Hamburg. I love traveling

15:38

around.

15:38

I'm meeting people face to face to understand their challenges and their

15:41

problems.

15:41

And then once we understand where they are, we understand what we do to help

15:45

them. We understand

15:47

how that fits into an overall journey. We talk about these invisible barriers

15:51

to growth

15:51

that these software founders face. I remember experiencing those as a software

15:54

founder myself.

15:55

I wanted to focus on the product and the customer. And suddenly there were

15:59

legal issues and

15:59

hiring issues. And how do we deal with this tax and how do we price our product

16:03

? Those are

16:04

invisible barriers to growth that we can go and solve. So we understand our

16:07

audience. We

16:07

understand our product. And now it's about how do we be incredibly creative

16:11

about communicating that?

16:12

How do we break through? Because I think mediocrity is really, really

16:16

competitive.

16:17

Chuking up another e-book, extremely competitive. Doing another MeToo post,

16:23

extremely competitive.

16:24

But what's not competitive is filming a documentary about an acquisition we did

16:28

, or sending a

16:29

device into space to process a payment, or doing some documentary storytelling

16:34

about some of our

16:34

customers and how they've started in villages and then ended up selling around

16:39

the world.

16:40

I think there's some really interesting space in those areas.

16:43

Yeah. So what's the next kind of... What's the next development phase of where

16:52

will this

16:53

kind of go into when we now see more businesses creating their own Netflix kind

16:58

of platform?

17:00

And if we look at B2C, I mean, there's brands that use big celebrities as their

17:05

face of the brand,

17:06

like Rocha Federer, Sidi and Murphy, and people like that. Do you think this

17:11

will also be a case

17:12

where there's this big, I don't know, Dreamforce event, for example. And we

17:16

will see, I don't know,

17:17

Rocha Federer become the face of the conference. And... Would you say that

17:23

could be an opportunity

17:24

hard as for a developer, or would you say maybe not a B2B? I do think celebrity

17:30

endorsements in B2B

17:32

is super interesting. If you can find an alignment between somebody who is well

17:37

-known and lines

17:40

up perfectly with your values, I think that's super compelling. It can be

17:44

extremely expensive,

17:45

but if you've got a mass market appeal, even if it's a B2C product, that's a

17:49

super interesting

17:50

way to go. I also just think that in a market, which is becoming increasingly

17:56

competitive,

17:57

businesses that work out their fundamentals and just execute on them. We carft

18:03

a week, month,

18:03

after month, year after year, end up building that competitive advantage, that

18:08

moat. And often that

18:09

moat is in brand awareness. We're not, I don't believe we're in a world of just

18:13

winner takes all.

18:14

At the same time, businesses who have spent the time and spent the resource and

18:19

spent the

18:19

thinking to build that audience awareness and affinity. Every study shows when

18:24

you've done that in

18:25

your target segment, your demand conversions go up. It's really simple. And so

18:29

I think doing that ahead

18:31

of time is competitive advantage. And then I down market, if it's hard to

18:35

acquire new customers,

18:36

this is something you can do reasonably cost effectively and make a pool to

18:41

fish out of in the

18:42

future. So we'll be seeing Tiger Woods on Pettles Studio soon. Not sure we

18:46

could afford Tiger Woods.

18:49

And you mentioned Netflix and Pettles Studio as a bunch. I think it's really

18:52

interesting that

18:53

video is one of the encapsulations of this trend that we are seeing. But I don

18:57

't think it's the only

18:59

one. I think video is super compelling and how it communicates personality, in

19:04

how it can

19:04

communicate that rich experience. But just putting video as the format choice,

19:11

I think undermines

19:12

what we're trying to do here, which is understand their context and deliver

19:15

value into that context.

19:17

And so many businesses, they don't do this because they don't feel they've got

19:21

a nice studio,

19:22

or they don't feel they've got the right kit or the editing ability. And I just

19:26

think that those

19:27

are false obstacles we place in front of us. I mean just look at TikTok, what

19:31

kind of stuff works

19:32

there. Almost no one has a professional studio. And they do it kind of dance in

19:36

front of them.

19:37

You're right. You've obviously done it. But if we think about where this goes,

19:43

I draw parallels with

19:44

the category creation trend that happened three or four five years ago when

19:48

everyone wrote the

19:49

books and everyone tried to create their own category. Now I believe in the

19:52

fundamentals of that

19:53

approach. But if everybody creates their own category, you have categories of

19:59

one. And a category

19:59

of one is not a category part of the definition, a characteristic of a category

20:04

. So you look behind

20:04

your around you and there are followers and there are other people leaders and

20:07

there are people

20:08

ahead of you. And so you have to be careful with this when it comes to Netflix

20:12

and Billy and

20:12

Media Company. Are you going to build this media company on your own domain

20:17

with an audience of

20:18

one or two or ten or twenty? Maybe that is worth it. But I do think there are

20:22

some really

20:22

interesting partnership opportunities here too. And you talked about celebrity

20:26

partnerships,

20:27

but it could be partnerships with people who have an audience. You're

20:29

interested in it could be

20:30

partnerships with other trade bodies or other competitors. And I think that

20:34

approach is super

20:35

interesting on how you can combine media assets, how you can combine audiences

20:39

to achieve your

20:39

potential goals. We are already very deep into long-term brand plays, demand

20:45

creation,

20:46

kind of stuff. And coming from a time where the economy was kind of going down

20:53

a little bit,

20:53

we had to focus a lot as marketers on really hitting those pipeline targets. We

20:59

can

20:59

generate short-term revenue. How did you manage to still invest into that long-

21:07

term play

21:08

on pedal studios, for example, while you had such a big pressure on hitting

21:13

short-term goals.

21:13

And what was your justification? The job of every CMO is to manage two time

21:18

frames. This caught

21:19

as pipeline and some time in the future when we want a brand position and an

21:24

audience.

21:24

That second one is very ethereal and difficult to measure. But I do believe we

21:30

've got to constantly

21:31

operate on those two timeframes. And if we only operate on the first time frame

21:35

, then we lose out

21:36

on our preferred future. Because if you don't invest in brand, you pay the

21:39

price in customer

21:40

acquisition cost to every single quarter that goes on. And so for us, there was

21:44

a few things.

21:45

Firstly, our leadership team found a Christian, CEO, Jimmy, they get it. They

21:52

understand that

21:53

it lowers customer acquisition costs, enables us to reach the world and it will

21:57

be part of our

21:58

exit valuation whenever we choose to exit. And so that leadership belief is

22:01

really important.

22:02

The second thing is that I think many marketers divide up their brand and their

22:07

demand, spend,

22:08

or their programs. And I think that's a crying shame. Because if you do that,

22:12

it's so easy to cut

22:13

the brand stuff. If we think about what those two words mean for me, in every

22:19

interaction you want

22:20

to generate resonance so that you earn attention. And you want to do that for

22:25

two reasons, to change

22:26

people's mind, brand, how they perceive you, and to get people to act, demand.

22:31

And if you combine

22:32

those into the same programs, then you're able to fund them out of your

22:36

existing budget. So the

22:38

documentary, now you remember that, you said you've retold that story lots of

22:42

times. It feels like

22:43

it could be just a little brandy play. But the documentary showed up in our g

22:47

ong recordings,

22:49

I think 50 or 60 times in the next couple of months with with prospects. People

22:54

remembered it.

22:54

And it was something that was interesting, inspirational. It was a reason for

22:58

them to go and

22:59

find out who we were. So we saw that very clearly. Even to this day, I had

23:02

people watch out me or

23:03

people getting contact and say, that was something that we did. That was

23:06

something that we saw. And

23:07

we're doing what we do now as a result of it. The space campaign is another

23:10

example. Yeah, it was a nice,

23:12

three minute video of sending a rocket to space and processes in transaction.

23:16

Again, very clearly

23:17

linked to our consumer, customer insight about people wanting to go globally.

23:21

But behind it was

23:23

an ABM program that generated demand. And so I do think we have to think about

23:27

things holistically and not

23:28

separate our budgets and teams into camps where you can really easily suffer

23:33

reductions in one of them.

23:34

I also believe that a lot of the parts that brand covers are also being covered

23:41

by really

23:42

creating demand. But also there's more to it when you actually focus on the

23:47

demand play. It's also

23:48

not only, hey, we got a big brand. And this is what you should perceive about

23:52

it and stuff like that.

23:53

But also when this brand will become relevant for you to get to know the

23:59

product better and really

24:02

kind of know the timing for it. Why should, for example, at what kind of time

24:09

you look into

24:10

pedal, for example, as a product, which brand doesn't really take care of? It's

24:13

more like the more

24:15

people we reach the better kind of stuff. But demand is more focused on the

24:19

impact that one touchpoint

24:20

has with a person. And I think connecting the two obviously will be the most

24:25

powerful but also

24:27

the hardest and most complex. And we've just got to do better. So I talked to

24:31

there about brand campaigns that have a demand impact. I completely agree it's

24:34

traditional demand

24:35

campaigns that have a brand impact. So if you're doing a podcast, why not do it

24:38

well? If you do

24:39

a customer story, why not actually do it well instead of using that budget on

24:43

another ebook,

24:44

why don't you find a more creative way of telling the story? Your SDR call

24:47

scripts, your SDR

24:49

outbound outreaches. Are they building brand or are they actually undermining

24:54

it? Every one of those

24:55

interactions has an opportunity to move both hearts and minds as well as

24:58

actions. And I mean,

24:59

with every outreach also, you can decide if you want to kind of get more people

25:06

to act, which is

25:07

also the short term play, but then also there's a possibility of doing it in a

25:10

long-term way of

25:12

just adopting the mindset of how can I actually provide most value with that

25:16

email and actually

25:17

create demand so that people in future will then come to me. And I think that's

25:23

also what

25:24

just differentiates the ones that have short term success versus the ones that

25:30

really thrive in

25:30

a long-term sustainable business then. What you've just said around as a market

25:36

er, and I think

25:37

that really does differentiate good from great marketers. Great marketers

25:42

always have the two-time

25:43

zones in mind. How hard was it for you when you had this pressure coming from

25:48

everywhere? We see

25:49

your CEO, maybe your team, also customers, partners to still invest into the

25:56

long-term play.

25:58

Partly, it's because I never wanted signed up for Aspire to be a CMO. I was a

26:06

software founder,

26:07

then ended up taking that part of the business and when we exited it, that was

26:10

the seat I got.

26:12

And then it was a natural next step when I started working with paddlers and

26:15

advisor and they had

26:16

an open CMO role to step in and help them in this way. But I'm seeing it from

26:19

the business perspective,

26:20

not the marketing perspective. So I think that's really important and I think

26:24

that's one way marketers

26:25

can always aspire to grow is by seeing the business engine, the value creation

26:30

that's happening

26:31

across every touch point in the business rather than just their piece of it.

26:33

And then secondly,

26:36

it's about having a thesis. I think so many marketers get bogged down into

26:39

being data-driven. And of

26:41

course, we all want to be data-driven. But there's no point optimizing around

26:45

the data points you can see

26:46

if you don't have a thesis about why people are acting, why people are

26:49

responding, what is the problems

26:51

in their business, how they decide to buy. So building a thesis around those

26:55

things that you can

26:56

then test and prove with your data, I feel is much more compelling than just

27:00

saying this campaign's

27:01

working or not working and therefore we're going to turn this off or that off

27:04

in a specific time

27:05

frame. So in what we were doing, we had a very clear three-part thesis on our

27:09

marketing.

27:10

And this has been true since the day I joined to now two and a bit of years

27:14

later. Number one,

27:16

we want to make downmarket frictionless. What that means is we want to

27:20

increasingly invest in

27:21

our self-serve so that people can come in even if they're the tiniest business

27:25

around the world

27:26

and they can go live if they want to without ever talking to us. And so we want

27:30

that brand to

27:31

demand an engine to work and it really does work. 27% of our revenue right now

27:35

is self-serve. So we

27:36

want to make downmarket frictionless. Number two, we want to be surgical in

27:41

finding new markets.

27:42

So we just don't want to go up the revenue curve and say we can serve bigger

27:45

customers that

27:46

look like those we're serving today because that might not be true. We want to

27:49

find pockets of new

27:50

GMV pockets of new revenue and businesses that we can serve really, really well

27:55

with our existing

27:56

product and proposition. So we want to be surgical at market. And then the

27:59

third one is we dubbed it as

28:01

we want to create a two-horse race. When you're a software founder, you've got

28:05

a choice. Either you

28:06

build up your payments infrastructure in a piecemeal way. You buy a PSP and

28:11

then you buy a tax tool

28:12

and you buy a reconciliation tool and you get your high-sum engineers to stitch

28:17

it together and

28:18

you hire a payments team eventually to build out more customizations yourself.

28:21

You buy a finance

28:22

team to work it all or that's piecemeal or a platform. You choose someone like

28:27

Paddle to take

28:28

care of all of that for you. And so that was a positioning goal. So we want to

28:32

be frictionless

28:33

down market, surgical up market and we want to create this two-horse race

28:36

because if every single

28:37

software founder or software leader knows that there are two choices rather

28:41

than just one, the default

28:42

piecemeal, then we'll end up winning. And so those three were really important

28:47

to us. And then the

28:48

final thing that underpins everything we do is we want to be the most helpful

28:51

brand in SaaS.

28:52

We want to access more and more data, analyze data, show people what the market

28:57

's saying,

28:57

show people what's working, what's not working. And if we can do those three

29:00

things while being

29:01

the most helpful brand in SaaS, we win. So that's sat behind all of those

29:04

decisions we made.

29:05

I love that. I think that's also how we approach marketing. We want to be the

29:11

most

29:11

helpful agency for B2B SaaS companies when it comes to modern marketing and

29:15

revenue marketing.

29:17

And it's played out so well. I mean, it's always a long-term play. But you see

29:22

results coming in

29:23

from the work you've done a year ago now, right? And I think what you've told

29:27

me also in our

29:27

conversation before this podcast that you've achieved something like 150% of

29:31

your marketing targets

29:32

in Q1, which is insane. I think not many people or companies can say that now.

29:38

But it's probably

29:39

most likely because of the work you've done during the hard times of last year

29:44

and maybe the year

29:44

before. Let's let you now to hitting those goals. It's been really interesting

29:49

how we've started

29:50

this year. And I think there are a few things that are underpinning that. I do

29:53

believe there's

29:54

signs of a bit of a comeback in growth rates in the markets we serve. Tell us

29:59

more about that.

30:00

What can we see in the market? Andrew, you're sitting on so much data. What's

30:05

important for

30:06

people now? Yeah, we see about 36 billion of ARR of software and subscription

30:11

revenue.

30:12

So we're seeing a few things. On consumer software, we've seen a real kick over

30:18

the last

30:18

couple of months. It's been great to see that come back in B2B. We've had three

30:22

consecutive months

30:23

of growth, which is the first time we've seen that since a year and a half ago.

30:27

And is that

30:28

across all regions globally or is it mostly in the US, for example? No, so we

30:33

're actually seeing

30:34

some of the emerging regions grow faster, much faster than the US and the UK.

30:40

So companies that internationalize are doing very well right now. So what's

30:44

emerging regions

30:45

for users like India or? Yeah, depends for each company and the products they

30:49

sell. But in that

30:50

in America, in India, yes. I think in Southern Europe as well, Eastern Europe.

30:56

So we're seeing

30:56

some really interesting opportunities there. And the main learning there is,

31:00

you don't just

31:01

believe one market is your goal because actually that makes you at huge risk of

31:07

the macroeconomics

31:08

in that industry. So I think we have started to see that. I think secondly, you

31:14

mentioned just the

31:15

hard yards over the last year or two. Last year was hard for everybody, right?

31:18

A paddle. We went

31:19

through a CEO transition as our CEO Jimmy stepped up to be the CEO. We rebuilt

31:24

all of our core

31:25

platform and launched that. We went through big market downturn with Silicon

31:30

Valley Bank and all

31:31

kinds of other nonsense going on. And in the midst of all of that, we still

31:35

grew, but it was hard.

31:37

And so I think as we've entered 2024, yes, we're seeing some market resurgence.

31:41

But also we're

31:42

seeing the value of alignment across our company. And I think as someone who's

31:46

mostly been involved

31:48

with quite early stage businesses, it's hard to, it's hard to overestimate the

31:54

value of an aligned

31:55

organization. And I know you've spent a lot of time at Yoriyaa building that

31:58

alignment across

31:59

all of your teams. But a paddle, we've got multiple product lines. We're

32:03

serving all of these

32:03

different ICPs, all these different ideal customer profiles with different

32:08

types of product,

32:09

all with different margins. It's quite complex. But over the last year, we've

32:14

taken care to line

32:15

up behind a consistent strategy and then start executing on it. And it's been

32:19

really, really good

32:20

to see the results of that bare fruit over the course of the last couple of

32:23

quarters. And then

32:24

the final thing is, as we're chasing for new bits of GMV, new pockets of

32:30

revenue, we're finding

32:32

ways of being much more specific, customized, personalized about it. I know one

32:36

of your propositions

32:37

is helping businesses enter the German market because you can add this local

32:41

ization as a

32:42

dominant player within the German market. You can add this localization lens

32:46

onto American and

32:47

UK and other businesses coming and marketing here. And that's been a real

32:50

learning for us too.

32:51

We now have regional focuses and segment focuses in our marketing, which is

32:56

much more customized

32:57

than we have in prior years. So interesting. I want to, for the last part of

33:04

this podcast,

33:05

I have a little bit into more of you as a person instead of all your work

33:09

topics.

33:10

I've been known you for a bit now. We've spent a few days together and you're

33:15

also in our advisory

33:15

board. I've learned a ton of from you and we had many conversations. And for me

33:19

, you're always the

33:20

person who's super relaxed and you're always happy, you're always so positive.

33:27

And I mean,

33:28

you've achieved so much in your career. I think it's outstanding what you've

33:32

done. Even now,

33:33

I mean, being a CM of pedal, I can imagine there's a lot of like obviously

33:38

responsibility that you

33:40

have a lot of pressure, high targets. I mean, just also looking at your growth

33:46

rates. It probably

33:47

is not always easy. I could imagine. But at the same time, I feel like you're

33:53

so content with

33:55

everything in your life. Like what you do, but also your big family guy. I know

34:00

that. So,

34:02

how do you stay so relaxed all the time? But you have so much responsibility at

34:08

home as a dad,

34:09

but also as an executive. How do you do that? What's your secret sauce?

34:14

There's definitely no secrets. I think a few things. Firstly, I love the wisdom

34:21

Churchill quote, success is stumbling from one failure to the next with no loss

34:26

of enthusiasm.

34:28

And that sums up my journey. Loads of failures, but lots of enthusiasm to get

34:31

back up and keep going.

34:33

I think some people just get beaten up by their own failures. And people who

34:37

keep walking through

34:37

is not they didn't have the failures as they put on a smile, got up and had

34:40

another go. That's

34:41

really important to me. I do believe that optimism is a free catalyst. If you

34:46

walk into a room with

34:47

an optimistic mindset, you can gather people around you and you can start

34:50

walking towards that

34:51

preferred future. And yet so many people leave it at the side. So I really

34:57

believe that. And

34:59

fundamentally, I love what I do. I'm very privileged to do the job I do. I'm

35:03

very privileged to

35:04

work with the people I work with. But even if everything fails at paddle for a

35:10

quarter, as you said,

35:11

I've got a fantastic family, my wife and kids. I've got great friends around me

35:16

. And I think

35:17

putting things in that longer term perspective is really important for us

35:21

because so many founders,

35:23

so many leaders in businesses get caught up and their identity becomes intertw

35:28

ined with their

35:29

career. And we have to remember that we're human beings, we're not human doings

35:34

. And separating

35:35

those two identities, I think, is absolutely essential to being able to balance

35:39

stuff that's going

35:40

wrong at work, with making sure you bring your whole self into the dinner table

35:44

with your kids

35:45

at the evening. So when I talk to peers that are my age also very successful,

35:52

if they look at you,

35:54

for example, you have everything they wish they had, right? I mean, you had an

36:00

exit. You've probably

36:01

made a lot of money already. You're not doing too bad now in terms of your

36:05

career. You have a family

36:07

already. You have a nice house somewhere around London. All that stuff, right?

36:11

Like why do you still

36:12

have put so much pressure on yourself every day of doing the CMR job if you

36:17

didn't really have to?

36:18

What is it that motivates you still? I don't find turning up to work at PIDAL

36:26

as me putting loads

36:27

of pressure on myself. Genuinely, I'm doing this job, I'm doing this role

36:33

because there's a fantastic

36:34

team around me. And I really enjoy that. I've done advisory work and I could

36:38

just be a portfolio

36:40

advisor doing a few bits here and there. But I love being part of a team. I

36:43

really do. I love being

36:44

part of a team whether you're a backstab against the wall or whether you're

36:47

going out on the attack.

36:48

I love being part of a team. So that's really important to me. Secondly, there

36:52

's a really

36:53

interesting blend of the go-to-market experience I've had and the

36:56

entrepreneurial experience I've

36:58

had because we're serving founders and we're in a business which is in its

37:02

scale-up journey where

37:03

there's still enough broken about everything we're doing that we've got to use

37:07

that entrepreneurial

37:08

mindset to fix things on the fly as we scale. And I'm not sure I'd have

37:13

anywhere near the same

37:14

interest or motivation at a much larger business. And so both of those things

37:18

get me up. I love

37:19

traveling. I love meeting people face to face. That's a key part of my role as

37:22

well. And so no,

37:24

I'm really content. And another thing that I've spoken about with a few people

37:28

who are my age with

37:29

kids our age is that this time in my life, I love the fact that I'm able to

37:34

have weekends with

37:35

my children. And I'm able to have dinner with my children when I'm not

37:38

traveling and I'm able to

37:40

be there in a way that those early days when we were building IDO, it was all

37:45

day every day.

37:46

I can't really know. And I'm very grateful now that of course I work long hours

37:51

, I work hard.

37:52

But there's a balance in my life that's sustainable that wasn't when I was

37:56

starting

37:57

founding a business. How do you manage that? How do you keep that balance all

38:00

the time?

38:01

So I don't have kids and I struggle sometimes even. My version of balance is

38:07

you think about a

38:07

pendulum. My version of balance is swinging from one to the other and maybe

38:11

waving at the point

38:12

of balance as you zoom past it. So right now I'm away from home and I'm

38:16

completely focused on the

38:17

meetings I've got all this afternoon, all this evening. Here is podcast. But

38:22

tomorrow afternoon I'll

38:23

be home and I'll be completely focused hopefully on picking up my kid from

38:27

school. And so for me

38:29

balance isn't a steady state. Balance is being comfortable with swinging from

38:33

one to the next.

38:34

And I also think that it's important to have people around you who are willing

38:38

to speak truth.

38:39

I love my wife is able to bring real insight into when she thinks I'm pushing

38:44

it too hard,

38:44

when I don't have enough margin and she'll tell me. Other friends around me who

38:47

are willing to

38:48

tell me that as well. And I think that's important because in the work context

38:52

it's rare that people

38:53

will tell you that. So having people outside of work who are able to speak that

38:56

is important.

38:57

Nice. One last question. What are you most bullish about in the next coming of

39:02

months in the B2B

39:03

SaaS marketing world? Wow. In the B2B SaaS marketing world. That's

39:08

disconcertingly specific. In the B2B SaaS marketing world I'm bullish about a

39:13

bias towards quality

39:15

and creativity. I think it's really cool that we were in the event in Golden

39:20

Hour in Brooklyn

39:21

and seeing all of these people around us, creators around us who are putting

39:24

their heart and soul

39:25

into what they're doing. I love that. And I think that is going to be buoyed by

39:29

some market

39:30

resurgence where we're going to start seeing some customer growth and net new

39:35

customer growth.

39:36

I'm excited by that because I believe people who take a long-term perspective

39:40

and understand

39:42

the fundamentals of their business, who their customer is, what the market is

39:45

they serve, how they

39:45

can reach them, how they can measure that, and then just execute on that every

39:49

day with creativity

39:50

and with quality are going to separate themselves from the rest. So yeah, that

39:55

's exciting.

39:55

Especially with the rise of AI where it is just so much quantities of content

40:01

everywhere.

40:01

Only differentiate with quality, right? 100% AI will do away with the mediocre

40:06

marketer.

40:07

You can't do that anymore because it already does a mediocre marketer's job

40:11

well enough.

40:12

So that's a massive challenge. So what's the biggest tip you can give to our CM

40:16

OS?

40:16

CMOS are there listening today. So one thing that's important to me and

40:22

everyone says it,

40:22

but not many people do it, is customer proximity. How many customers can I be

40:28

with every single week?

40:29

And how can I give the gift of customer proximity to our teams? How can I take

40:34

that insight to them?

40:34

How can I make sure they are going and speaking to customers? I think it's so

40:39

important, particularly

40:39

with our creative teams that we give them two things. We give them customer

40:43

proximity,

40:43

and we give them time. And now in the rigmarole of building our businesses so

40:48

often,

40:48

we forget those two things and then ask why there's no creativity and quality.

40:52

You have to give those two inputs in order to demand those two outputs.

40:55

Cool. Love that. Thank you so much for everything you've said today. I think

41:00

was super valuable inside for content. If anybody out there has a question to

41:05

Andrew,

41:06

I'm sure people can reach out to you on LinkedIn. Yeah, Grammy on LinkedIn.

41:09

He's a very approachable guy, so pitch yourself. No jokes aside. But if you

41:14

have a question

41:15

about anything we've talked today, feel free to add in the comments or text

41:18

Andrew or me on LinkedIn.

41:20

Yeah, thanks for listening and I guess see you next week. Cheers.

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