Developing a product launch marketing strategy Ft. Naike Romain (Inbound Success, Ep. 153)

What goes into planning a world-class product launch marketing strategy?

HeadshotThis week on the Inbound Success podcast, Foursquare Senior Product Marketing Manager Naike Romain shares the process she has used at companies like Wistia, Localytics, HubSpot, and Foursquare to successfully pull off major new product launches.

Check out the full episode to hear more about Naike's process and learn how you can apply it to the development of your own product launch marketing strategy.

Resources from this episode:

 

Naike Romain and Kathleen Booth
Naike and Kathleen recording this episode

Transcript

Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the inbound success podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Naike Romain, who is the senior product marketing manager at Foursquare. Welcome Naike.

Naike (00:29): Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

Kathleen (00:32): I am really excited to have you here because first of all, you have such an interesting career as a marketer. You've worked at a lot of different companies that are, you know from HubSpot to Foursquare. And you've really kind of dug deep into product management and, or marketing rather, I should say. And we're going to talk about something that I am really interested in at the moment. So selfishly as the host, I get to do these things and steer the topics in a direction that, that helps me with some things I'm working on and that topic is product launches. But before we get into that, can you tell a little bit about yourself and your career and how you wound up where you are now? And then of course, I think most people know Foursquare, but just in case they don't, maybe you could give a quick update on that.

Naike (01:18): Sure. So I'm going to give you the really abbreviated version of how I got here, because it's a long story as my LinkedIn page will tell you. But essentially I started off working in tech support and little by little figured out that my niche or the things that I, what I've liked a lot about working at software companies had to do with understanding how products got developed, but also being able to flex them creative strengths and ability and product marketing seem like they're really a really good fit for those skills or those passions. And so from, I went from tech support to account management and then really decided to make a swing at becoming a product marketer. And so I got my first product marketing role at Wistia where I was the first product marketer they'd ever hired. And it was my first product marketing job. 

Kathleen (02:12): Wow. Yeah, no pressure there.

Naike (02:14): Yeah. it was a steep learning curve on all around, and I'm excited to talk a little bit about that. And then made my way from there to Localytics. And then HubSpot and now Foursquare, and for folks who are unfamiliar or forgot Foursquare, it started out as like they invented the check-in. So if you remember, a couple years ago, like 10 years ago, when everybody was checking in to different locations, lots of restaurants and places it was like sort of a social app where folks would engage with their friends a little bit, know where they were and sort of keep track of their comings and goings and all these really interesting places. I work on the B2B side of the business where we focus on we've focused on business use cases for location data. So for the folks who are interested in supporting their marketing with another layer of context, like they use location information to do so. So that can go into measuring the effective effectiveness of your ads on, on people coming to in store visits, or if you want to develop applications that are, that require location context. So if somebody is calling for an Uber and they type in the name of a venue, that's calling on Foursquare's API to support that.

Kathleen (03:34): Oh, that's so interesting. I will confess, I did not know that that is the space that Foursquare was in these days. Because I was a huge Foursquare user back when it was the check in tool. And I can't remember what they called it, but like I was the, what was it? The King or...

Naike (03:53): The mayor.

Kathleen (03:55): Thank you. I was the mayor of several locations and my house, fun fact, to this day I live on a road called state street and we I have four kids and we also sponsor a midshipman from the U S Naval Academy, which for people who aren't familiar with the service Academy is basically that just means that you sort of like unofficially adopt these kids who are going to school there for the four years, they're there and you give them a place to go and crash when they have free time.

Kathleen (04:20): Cause they don't have a lot of it. And so on any given weekend, we have like eight people laying around our house, watching movies, eating food, playing video games. What have you. So it's totally, and we have two dogs and eight chickens. So it's crazy here. It's very chaotic. And so we live on state street, we have this chaotic situation. And so our, our location on Foursquare was called state of chaos. And to this day, that, to this day, that term like has lived on in, in other ways that, that we use in all started with Foursquare. So fantastic. I love that. That is my, my little four square story. So, so we, you and I talked and, and I know, you know, I was really excited to chat with you because you have been involved in so many different product launches and that's something that I am deeply involved in planning for at the moment. And you know, I, I've always done demand gen marketing, but not necessarily like, like traditional product marketing. And so I would love it if you could just maybe walk me through when you know, you're going to have a new release. How do you think about product launches and how do you kind of mentally organize yourself and plan out a strategy for those things? Big question. I know, start wherever you want.

Naike (05:43): Sure. I mean, I think that one of the early things that I figured out needed to be done with sort of work for myself was organizing launches in terms of expected outcome or impact. So I would be thinking about launches in terms of, is it an awareness launch. Is this a revenue launch? Is this a retention launch? And sometimes it's a combination of all those things and you just need to prioritize them. But I try to at best court categorize is this is this for awareness retention or revenue. From there, I would then try to think about what, what strategies or what tactics we needed to do to support these overarching awareness goals. So, I'd start by just drafting out a list of like, what awareness things do we need or what retention things do we need, or what revenue goals do we need to hit for this launch.

Naike (06:28): And then I would go about identifying what tactics we need to work on to get there. The key to this though before taking, before I say anything else is, is really alignment. And so my best, my best guess at what these goals were means nothing if it's not in line with what the product leadership or executive stakeholders think about the launch, and I've made the mistake of launching ahead with a plan to be told, Hey, I thought we were going to be going much bigger than this, or that's not exactly what I had in mind. And so I think before we even say like, Hey, this is how I was start get, I do start with those buckets and then start to try to come up with goals. But alignment is critical, especially at the very beginning.

Kathleen (07:14): I love that you brought that up. I agree with that. And, and, and I would love it if you could maybe talk me through how you get that alignment and who needs to be involved in those conversations.

Naike (07:27): That's, it's really hard. I think that the more folks you invite in the more likely you are to be making decisions driven by consensus, and that's a hard thing to try to resist, but it's important that you do it. So getting folks to make decisions. I personally think that if it's a big launch, you need all the way up to the CEO. But I'll say that the, if there's an executive sponsor for your launch, like a product leader somebody on the C level, those are the folks that you need to agree that the launch is going to take, you know, it's going to be aligned on budget and aligned on goals. And then typically they'll let you decide on tactics yourself, but making sure that, you know, we, we hope to reach X many people or we expect to see X percent increase in growth in this product or adoption to increase by this much.

Naike (08:21): Like those are the things that you really need to get get executive visibility on. It makes sure that they agree. And then before moving forward, and for me, what that's look like is a series of feedback loops. So essentially I would go so far in a plan and say, okay, let me start with your schools. And then come back and say, are these goals like what you were thinking? Let's talk about this. Okay. Now I'm going to go a little bit farther. And all right, now I don't think I want to do a video shoot. I want to have some blog posts I want to do press, are, are these the tactics that you thought you were thinking, or should we have an, should we go bigger with this and, and go back and get that feedback? And then I can then go rally internally and present the plan to folks and get inputs and start working.

Naike (09:05): But the other, the other thing that I learned is that you shouldn't go all the way to the end of all of that, and then try to get, and then try to get executive or stakeholder feedback one, because it's hard to get their attention for that long. It's easier if you can do it in small bites and say, okay, we've already committed to this. Now I'm just going to take it a step further and get some more input and then work, which feels like it feels like a roundabout way of doing things, but it's really, it's in my opinion, the most effective way. If you can to like, say, I'm going to just go so far, get this feedback and then take it a little further. Because I have done the thing where I've developed an entire plan and sent it out, it's going to ask for feedback and people have been like, sure.

Naike (09:43): Yeah. Okay. And then didn't really fully read the document or weren't fully present in a meeting and didn't really catch on to everything. And so this is another product marketing thing. You can fall victim to the executive swoop and poop easily. This is something that that it's not a knock on executives. Of course, it's just, it's more to say that they have a ton on their plates. Their attention is limited. You really need to be the owner of these outcomes. And so making sure that you're actually getting engagement and you're, they're engaged in what you're telling them and that they understood what you said and are onboard do that. If you can, if doing it in smaller bites is easier than that's the best, just the best way to go.

Kathleen (10:27): Now I have a bunch of questions about this, I guess the first one is let's, let's actually rewind to what I would think of as sort of the beginning, which is some of the strategic decisions that need to be made in order for you to even begin to do things like set goals. And I was having a conversation about this with somebody recently, like how do you, where does ownership for strategic decisions around things like we have this new product? Are we going to keep it under the same brand name? Are we going to totally spin it off? Are we going to keep it on our website or create another microsite? You know, like those strategic decisions, is it going to be, is it going to be freemium or is it, are we going to go out right away and try to sell it? You know, where do those decisions get made?

Naike (11:19): I think it's a little bit of a gray area. A lot of, I think that it usually comes from the top, but with the input of marketing leaders, product marketing and product to help sort out where, how we'll be best positioned in the market. So a product marketer might have some input there for sure. And should feel comfortable. I would hope to make some recommendations in terms of how does this set us up in the market? What are our competitors look like in this space and how can we best position ourselves? Is that as a new brand or does it hurt us to start something fresh? Yeah. so I say that that starts with like operations and execs and with the input of marketing leaders, product leaders product marketing.

Kathleen (12:00): That makes sense. And then you talked about goal setting, so you have your three categories of launches and you identify what bucket it falls into and then you work on setting goals. I imagine that once you've been in a product marketing role for a while at a particular company, that gets easier because you have some historical data, but talk me through how you go about goal setting. If you're either new to a role, or like you talked about at Wistia, you were the first product marketer. So like, what do you do in those cases where you're kind of creating this out of whole cloth?

Naike (12:36): You guess there's not really a science to it, essentially. I would be, I would take whatever data we had about the product and look at the things that we're trying to influence and make a best guess. So if this is a product, if we were looking at a product update that was for retention, for instance, and we know that this is addressing a problem that our customers have had for a little while, the number I would look at is like support tickets and say, okay, we've had, you know, six complaints about this every single month for the last six months. I want to see that there's a market decrease in complaints about this issue once you've released this product and just go from there. So I'm, you know, you, sometimes you have to get unconventional. That's not like customer support. Tickets is not a typical marketing metric, but you have to, you have to measure what you can otherwise.

Naike (13:28): It'll be hard to say what you've actually accomplished. And so making sure it's a, it's a sig-, the support tickets is a signal that folks actually learned about the update that they've leveraged it, it tells it, it tells you a lot. And so you make your best guess and say, okay, I'm going to assume that this is going to lead to a reduction in support tickets, or we, our blog sees X amount of traffic per month. I'm going to make an assumption that we're going to see maybe a 10 to 15% increase and just aim for it. If you don't, if you fall shy, that's okay. Measure it and continue to grow on it for the next one.

Kathleen (14:01): Yeah. And, and do you have any kind of personal rule of thumb for how many different goals you set?

Naike (14:08): I try to, I try to limit them, but I think that they're, I try to, I don't have like a, I don't have a rule of them. I look at the bucket and then I put a couple of metrics under them, maybe, maybe four or five, just things to keep an eye out for at the beginning. It's not a disaster if you don't hit them, it's just a way to keep track of like, okay, this is where we started. Let's see where we can get, let's try to do some benchmarking while we're at it.

Kathleen (14:36): And talk to me about timelines. Like, you know, how much time is enough time to plan a launch. And I'm sure the answer is, it depends, but I would love to know like what it depends on and

Naike (14:47): Sure. Yeah, I you're Def you're right. It totally, I think that being embedded with the product team and working really closely with them helps a lot with that. So if you're sitting, if you're, you don't ever want to be in a position where our product team is sort of tossing a finished product over to you, and then you have to start, ideally you're aligned really closely with them. So you can start to see the formation of the product. You can start to envision and learn a little bit about timelines from being close from, from that point, that's when you should start to develop things like you shouldn't be developing positioning after the thing is built, you should be in the room thinking about it, figuring out how it fits into the market and contributing those perspectives along the way. So as you approach launch, and you need to get consensus on goals and you need to rally the rest of the cross functional marketing team to support by creating content or developing assets, things like that. You need to, then that part in it's honest own, like getting the message out takes a couple of weeks, like a week or so, and then you need to stay on top of it to through completion. So I think, you know, the optimal time is like six weeks, six weeks from, we have consensus on goals. We have we're all on board with the positioning and the narrative, and now we have time to execute and test everything before we release. That would be my ideal if I could always get six weeks.

Kathleen (16:11): Yeah. And and how much time do you generally need for like, what happens before that six weeks that planning that, that, you know, coming up with the goals?

Naike (16:23): Well it takes me probably like a couple of days. It takes the team, probably it probably takes maybe two weeks with all the back and forth. And it, and it also depends on the size of the launch. If it's just like a feature release, you don't need to go through all of this. You're not necessarily repositioning or introducing anything, ground shaking. But for something big two weeks or more to hire it out, all the kinks about what this about how this changes the positioning of the company, or do we need to make sure that we're in alignment with the rest of our brands and the goals for the business for the year?

Kathleen (16:58): Yeah, that makes sense. So you, you go through that planning process, you get your consensus on the goals, and then it's time to really start rolling up your sleeves. Can you talk me through, do you have any kind of a framework, a planning framework or, or taxonomy of like the types of assets that you generally create for product launches? How do you approach that?

Naike (17:21): What I, what I have is sort of like a menu there's just like a list of all different types of things that we could potentially create. And the list gets shorter depending on the tier of the launch. So for a tier one, you have lists of like maybe 50 things and you don't have to do every single one, but there's a lot that goes into that. And so you want to make sure that you have all your bases covered and as a way to make sure that you're not inventing to do you have an easy, easily referenceable list of things. So obviously with a tier one launch they're going to want a webpage. You're going to want maybe swag or you're going to want to do internal comms, a really strong internal comms campaign and make sure the entire company is ready to support it for like a tier three where you're just, you know, you're announcing something to customers. You want to make sure that you have your docs updated. You send an email, you maybe have some messaging, and that could be the extent of it. So I use this list to sort of just as like a, as a, as a reference to say, okay, did we do all that we could to get the word out? Are we supporting this to the best of our ability?

Kathleen (18:34): And then one of the things I I'm always interested in is how do you time things when it really comes down to like, this product is ready to go? What is your thinking around, you know, when do you publicly let people know something's available? Because I feel like there's this tension between wanting to drive anticipation and excitement and interest ahead of the launch, but then also this, you know, the, the fear, especially in the tech or the software world of like, well, we don't want to let the cat out of the bag too soon cause somebody could scoop us. So how do you, how do you approach that?

Naike (19:13): I think that that two things one is that it's really important internally that we separate product readiness from launch readiness. They're not the same thing. They don't need to perfectly match each other. You shouldn't be, you know, holding a bag, waiting for product to say this is ready and then running off to tell the market about it. It's OK to let something be ready. Use the time between that. You can use the gap between product readiness and launch readiness for betas, for feedback. There's a lot that can be done in that time. We don't have to immediately run to let's go tell the market. And the way, the way that I think about it is making sure that we're ready when everybody and ready, everybody internally is ready to support. So if the support team's not ready, then the marketing is not ready. If the sales team's not ready, then the marketing's not ready. We haven't done all the things that we need to do internally to make sure that we're aligned. And you don't want to see the launch fail because you invite hundreds of thousands of people to try something and then you're not ready to support it. And that falls on product marketing's plate as well.

Kathleen (20:22): Yeah. so tell me a little bit about some of the more successful product launches that you've been involved in. I'd love to just hear examples of times when you felt like it really went well.

Naike (20:36): Sure. so one of my all time favorite launches that I got to work on was for a 360 video product at Wistia. So we did, we developed this proprietary way to support hosting 360 videos and measuring where folks interact with the video, if they look left or right, or, or scroll, you can track that. And so this was this really unique thing that I'd never in a one, it's something that I'd never seen before myself, but also the market I'm sure had, was not ready for something like a lot of people were not using 360 video yet. So it was an opportunity to do something really unique. And in thinking about this launch, we were developing this demo so that folks could try it out on the webpage. We did a number of really unique things.

Naike (21:28): So one would be was this demo. So anybody could go to the webpage and test out to play a video, look at it and then watch as the tracking developed alongside your movement. That was really cool. Separately, I in trying to understand the subject better joined, joined a friend at a 360 video and VR a meetup. And so I went to the meetup to see, like, what are people in this space like talking about? Is it, are they thinking about it as video? Like where do we fit into this landscape? And I ended up meeting the organizers and I was like, you know, what, if we hosted an, a meetup, what if that, like, could that be cool? And they were like, huh, well maybe we typically already have our venues, but I convinced them. And so we got to host ahead of the launch.

Naike (22:12): We hosted the VR meetup at our office and we got to bring the community into the space and got to see all the really awesome things people were doing with, I mean, beyond just like the demos of all the cool VR stuff we did, we did some presentations, we presented our product with, to them and got some really cool feedback on to see what folks in the space for doing. And then at launch, it felt like we were really well primed. So we had, we invited, we invited the community in, we had been developing this really interesting demos. So folks who, who wouldn't necessarily be in the loop, got it. When you interact with the demo, you immediately at the sense of like, Oh, I see what they're doing here because it's novel. And then we released the regular launch assets and that was really cool. We also partnered really well with our customers who are doing 360 video. So we had a lot of follow on content about how folks were leveraging it to give folks context. And that was really, that was really awesome and really special.

Kathleen (23:10): Yeah, no, that, that brings me to another question, which is around content. I mean, I think there's a delicate dance of, you know, you, you want to, when you have these launches ready to go, you want to have enough content, all ready, ready, so that not only can you support people who are interested in the product, but you can generate interest like almost this full funnel strategy. But then I would think you also want to kind of tee some content in advance. Maybe that doesn't mention the product, but that talks to the pain points that it's solving that begins to build an audience for it. So can you talk me through how you think about that?

Naike (23:46): Sure. I think that it's part of the planning when I do a big cross-functional meeting and I say, okay, this is the thing that we're releasing. I invite the cross functional teams, the content teams. So the folks who are working on content currently. So talk to me about what they think makes sense. So I try not to lead with, we need six blog posts and we need a webpage and please just like deliver all this stuff. I try to invite conversation about what they think would work best. What's already on their schedule. How can we tailor some of the things that they were thinking about to support the launch? And so we look at the calendar together, we talk about what the dependencies might be for developing content related to this launch. And then I dig in with them. So if they're like, okay, I think we can fit in three posts before launch, and then we can slot in these others.

Naike (24:35): I'm like, great. What do I, how do I help deliver on that? And sort of take a production role I'm like doing, do you need time with an engineer? Do you need time with product, like doing me to like bring in some other domain experts so that you have what you need to create this. And that's typically how it's worked really well. I think that if you, if I were to come in top down and say like, Hey, I, what I see is like over the course of six weeks, we need six blog posts. So deliberate. You're not gonna make any friends and people weren't hugging to be excited about the launch. And that's not what you want. So inviting folks to share their expertise with you and let them and let you know, like, Hey, I've seen other companies do this really cool thing. Do you think we could try it this way? I'm all ears. I want to hear that because I can't pretend to be the, you know, the master of blog content or other types of interactive ways we could, we could get in touch with our prospects and customers.

Kathleen (25:25): Yeah. I feel like that's a lesson for marketers in general and not even just product product marketers is, is the attitude that you go in with. You're so much more well-served if you think about the other parts of the company as your customer as opposed to, you know, them needing to give you things like, I need a blog, I need this, I need that. You know, I, it's more like, how can I help you? How can I make this easier for you? That is such an important little mind shift, a mindset shift that makes a massive difference anywhere in marketing that you work.

Naike (25:59): Totally, totally agree.

Kathleen (26:01): So what are some things that you wish you knew when you started out in product marketing?

Naike (26:07): Woo. Everything, all the things I feel like if there is a product marketing mistake I've made it. But I think really, I wish I wish somebody had told me that the, I think the key of being a good product marketer is being curious about the product. I think I knew that inherently, but when you get busy when you get sales asking for things and you have launches on your plate, it's easy to sort of distance yourself from what's going on and focus on making sure that you're delivering. And because you're a marketer, there are actual tangible assets that people expect from you. But your job is to really remain curious and remain close to the product don't ever get too far away from it. And what are some ways you do that that means like going to standups and asking questions and asking people to explain things to you.

Naike (27:01): I'm fairly new in my role in Foursquare. And after I do the regular, one-on-ones where I meet everybody on the marketing team and I meet sort of execs. I do the same with a CS and engineers. And I'm like, can you explain this to me? Like, how does this, how did these things work together? How does this make us different? What would you change? I want to know those things from the people who interact with the product every day. I want to know why the thing that they're working on, like, why is it important? Not just like what they're doing, but like, why does it matter? And continue to, that's how you build those relationships. That's how you continue to stay close and understand that, you know, it's hard to predict product work. It's really hard to, it's hard to predict when something's going to be ready, but when you have those relationships, you can go in and say, okay, so we thought this would be ready two weeks ago, what's changed.

Naike (27:50): And you, and you don't have to have that conversation from like, I'm coming down on you, places like you're my friend. We, I understand how, what it takes to build this product. I want to understand what we need to do to help you to launch it. So having those relations and trips and remaining curious and remaining close is like critical. And I think that there have been times in my career where I've just been like, I have to get this, this one pager out. I need to develop this specific, this pitch deck, blah, blah, blah. And well, that stuff's important. It's not going to be as good if you don't have those close, you don't have that closeness and that curiosity.

Kathleen (28:07): Yeah, absolutely. Any advice for product marketers out there when it comes to product launches, anythings that you think are really critical for them to do or keep in mind?

Naike (28:35): This is probably more of like a personal thing than like a task thing, but I think keeping a cool head things are going to go wrong. Things are going to slip. That's normal and it should not be taken super personally. It should not be taken really hard. The reality is, like I mentioned before, it's really hard to predict product stuff. And so you may find yourself already on launch day and something happens and you're not able to like, there's a bug that prevents you from going from everything, from being shipping out. Or you have folks waiting for your, you have, you have press, that's waiting to be published and you have to tell everybody to wait, it's worth it to do that. Calmly. It's worth it to not freak out for your own wellbeing, but also for everyone else. It's your job as the person in the middle to clear the fog to make, to make sure that things are being communicated well, but also keep a cool head. I think you'll be better for it. And the, and everybody else around you will be too, cause I've definitely made the mistake of freaking out and setting things off in the wrong setting, off, sending out the wrong tone. And so keep a cool head because are going to go wrong and that's okay. You'll make them better. You'll communicate clearly and you'll get the launch out.

Kathleen (29:47): You just actually raised another question in my head, which is communication cadence. Cause you talked about communication. So do you have a certain cadence that you maintain of like, how often do you give updates? Who do they go to? You know, are those updates by email, by video, do you hold a meeting? What does that look like for you while while preparing for launch?

Naike (30:06): I typically do a biweekly depending on how much lead time there is. So if we are, you know, we're way ahead of lodge, maybe like every two weeks I touched base with the cross functional group, that's working on it to talk to them about where things are and how we're like, if there are contingencies, if you know, design is waiting on copy, what's happening with copy so we can support getting things, you know, through the pipeline. And then as we get closer, we'll do a one week meeting with that same cross functional team, just more of a status update. I know those are the worst kinds of meetings, but they actually really do help as a forcing function to make sure that everybody is getting the things that they need and catch any red flags if things are falling behind.

Naike (30:52): So I'll do a weekly meeting and then day of launch, I like to do an internal only company meeting that says, Hey, these are the things that we're releasing today. This is why they're so important or so excited. And these are all the people who worked on it to give a big kudos to the folks who supported it and have been putting in long hours for the last six weeks or so, trying to get these assets out the door and then obviously including tweet, copy, or social copy for folks internally to support the launch in that email.

Kathleen (31:22): That's a great point. You know, how do you, how do you mobilize the team to do its part in gaining momentum around the launch? I feel like Wistia is like the masters at this because I remember, I can't remember what it was they did, but there were there just their use of video throughout the whole team was unbelievable. But how do you approach that? I mean, you've worked at a couple of different companies, not everybody's Wistia, so

Naike (31:46): Right. I mean, yeah. So I think the easiest thing to do is just make it easy. So in those emails I would send out like copy that folks could remix on their own and images that they could include and people would happily take exactly what I wrote or change it up and they would heed the call it's asked. So it's one important to just ask them to do that. A lot of companies don't and then it just, you don't get that sort of surround sound effect when the company launches and there's like 20 people all talking about it, you get that from your employees being engaged and sharing. So you want to encourage them to do that and you can tell them, Oh, I mean, that suggests nicely. And then beyond that other companies that I've worked at do like internal contests that's for the most social clicks and shares or tools that actually support these types of internal campaigns. So like what tools for example, Oh my goodness. I'm going to forget the name. 

Kathleen (32:40): Sorry. I know I totally put you on the spot there.

Naike (32:42): There is, there are tools that do the sort of internal like, I don't want to call it gamification, but essentially it like contests inside your company. So you, they like share the posts that they've posted. And then in the tool keeps track of the volume of visits or shares or clicks, and then you could reward the person or people who got the most, so it encourages those types. And so if you offer something cool, people will be more likely to engage lots of teams that I've worked on, have a little celebration there's in the office. So the entire company is invited to like celebrate the release of this thing. You get to celebrate your coworkers. And also just again, bringing that awareness. And at that time you can also encourage folks to participate by sharing on social or other places.

Kathleen (33:29): That's great. I love that idea and getting the whole company involved and excited and kind of building momentum for that. Well, all right. We're going to change gears here. And I'm in very interested to know what you're going to say in response to my first of my two questions I ask everybody the first one is, and I'm going to give you a little bit of a twist. So the first question is I always ask people, is there a particular company or individual that's really like setting the standard for what it means to do inbound marketing? Well, right now, and the twist I'm going to give you is you cannot answer with any company that you've ever worked for because it's too easy to say, HubSpot or Wistia or any of these. So you have to pick a company you have not been employed by.

Naike (34:14): Okay. Then my answer is, and I've been thinking about this, is Zendesk. I think they do really great inbound marketing. They have these really beautiful blogs it's you can tell that it's really well cared for, curated, and they almost have like a lifestyle brand for like, for folks who work in support. So it's not just like, these are our products and these are the ongoings of our company, but they also really care about they also really care about the community and they create content specific for that community. And it's really fantastic. So I really love if you go to their blog, it's really multiple blogs. They're fantastic. And they look great. And I can imagine being, if I were to support that this would be the place that I want to hang out for sure.

Kathleen (35:01): Oh, I definitely need to go look at that. We're a Zendesk customer, but I haven't looked really closely at their blog. So I will be looking at it as soon as I get off with you. Question number two is that most marketers I talk to say their biggest pain point is just keeping up with everything that's changing in the world of digital marketing. It's so much. So how do you stay educated? How do you keep up with all the changes?

Naike (35:29): Goodness, I think what I, what I, I really rely on LinkedIn surprisingly have a lot of connections that are super, super active. I'm not super active there, but I do have a lot of connection that are super active and talk a lot about what they're what they're finding interesting and what their resources are. And I follow a lot of that. I also, with regards to product marketing in particular, I like Pragmatic. Pragmatic Marketing is obviously, like the they're, they're really experts in the space. So I look at them. I also follow April Dunford really closely.

Kathleen (35:53): I have to get her on this podcast.

Naike (36:01): Oh my goodness. I would love that. She's fantastic. And I read her book and I think I saw her at a conference in Toronto a couple of years ago and I was just stunned. I was like, this woman just gets it. She knows. She just, she's just on top of it for sure. And really impressive to like hear her speak, but also just like really smart. And I, so I follow her really closely when she has something to say, I like definitely pay attention and listen.

Kathleen (36:35): Yeah. I heard her speak at HubSpot's inbound conference and was blown away and she talked about positioning and it was, it was amazing talk. And then since then I've followed her really closely on Twitter, because like you say, every time she proverbially opens her mouth, like great stuff comes out. So April, if you're listening, come on and be a guest. And I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out right now to Mark Amigone and Nick Salvatoriello, who both suggested Naike as a guest because they had worked with her at HubSpot. And so if you're listening, I always end the podcast by saying, let me know if you know, any other kick ass inbound marketers. And I really mean it because this is how I find guests. So it's a lot of it is word of mouth. So if you, so thank you, Nick and Mark for the recommendation so much. And thank you Naike for coming on.

Naike (37:20): This was great.

Kathleen (37:22): If you are listening and you learn something new, which I mean, I definitely did. Please consider heading to Apple podcasts and leaving the podcast a five star review. I would love it and it would help us get found by other listeners. And as I said, if you know somebody else doing great inbound marketing work, please really do tweet me at @workmommywork, because I really would love to interview them. That's it for this week. Thank you so much, Naike.

Naike (38:04): Thank you. Have a great day.

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