Rick Bennett, Silicon Valley’s advertising and marketing secret weapon, joins us for the last installation of this four-part series on Marketing.
He specializes in guerrilla warfare marketing and has been the secret advertising weapon to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs for over 30 years. Two of his most spectacular successes are Oracle and Salesforce.com, working with both Larry Elison and Marc Benioff, respectively.
“I like to do Marketing that causes emergency board meetings and CEO firings at my competitors.” – Christopher’s favorite expression from Rick Bennett
Sharing Best Practices
Having worked together in Silicon Valley, Lochhead considers Rick as one of his “Masters.” Rick is one of the advertising senseis in the field who has been humbled by the experience but is highly regarded in the industry. To Christopher’s surprise, Rick also shared how he extracts one-liners from one of his bestselling books, Niche Down: How to Be Legendary by Being Different.
Rick Bennett, dubbed as The OG (Original Gangster)—a modern-day technology Adman—has successfully implemented uniquely-crafted marketing campaigns. He stressed the importance of one-of-a-kind advertising.
“Elison’s law states that you are not allowed to say anything that one of your competitors would say—whether in website, email, anywhere—so I insist on enforcing that to my clients too.” – Rick Bennett
Guerilla Marketing: Making Generals Surrender
Rick shared some important insights about guerilla marketing. One of the goals of guerilla warfare is to make the generals of the opposing army make mistakes.
“My ads will attack your competition like a pack of speedy, crazed wolverines” – Rick Bennett
He said, “Demoralize the generals of the opposing army, then they’ll make mistakes. You have your investors to say, ‘Hey we have a winner here’ and you have to make the employees feel that their boss is kicking ass.”
In the end, marketers should aim for a campaign where you make opposing generals psychologically surrender, even before any battle has begun.
To hear more about the interview with Guerilla Marketing Guru Rick Bennett, download and listen to the episode.
Rick Bennett specializes in guerrilla warfare marketing.
He’s been the secret advertising weapon to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs for over 30 years.
Two of his most spectacular successes are Oracle and Salesforce.com.
We hope you enjoyed Rick Bennett on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Gina Bianchini is a pioneering entrepreneur in social networking and the founder of Mighty Networks. Today, she speaks again with her bro Lochhead. They talk about building digital communities and why the future is about creating niche networks.
“The more and more isolated that we all feel in our daily lives, the more valuable each and every one of these niche brands and businesses that can create compelling experiences.” – Gina Bianchini
Mighty Networks from a Year Ago
Mighty Networks has always been a platform for creators with a purpose. They cater to people—brands and businesses—that want to bring people together and build relationships. In turn, community members can learn and access content together while creators get paid what they are due.
All of that while helping other people become the best versions of themselves. Which is pretty cool because this is the job that everybody wants today.
On Building Niche Networks
Gina came to realize that the notion of finding one’s niche has become fundamental in social networking. That is, people are not only hungry for discovering their niches. They seek people who can put up niche networks.
“We’re all desperate for smaller, more specialized ways of building relationships, having amazing experiences and gaining expertise. The people that can put that together for us will win in a way that has just not been possible before.” – Gina Bianchini
Niche brands, businesses and creators with a purpose are creating their own worlds to help people. Gina says that the faster we all get to that world, the better off we all will be.
The Value Created by Mighty Networks
In a previous episode, Joe Pine shared with Lochhead the difference between being a company that people save time with and one that people spend time with. He says that Mighty Networks is very well on its way to becoming the latter. That is, if it isn’t already.
“Who you bring together matters as much or more to their experience with your brand and the kind of time they wanna spend with your brand as any single thing that you can do as that creator, as that brand.” – Gina Bianchini
To hear more about niche networks from Gina, download and listen to the episode.
We hope you enjoyed Gina Bianchini on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode, one of the new modern marketing leaders Sangram Vajre joins Lochhead for a riveting conversation. Sangram shares his takes on consumer and enterprise tech, category design, being an evangelist and so much more.
Boom in Enterprise
About 50 enterprise tech companies have gone public with a median increase of 126% in value since 2016. These numbers eclipse consumer tech companies, which have displayed a median of 15% market value increase. Lochhead and Sangram dish out their own conjectures about this gap between consumer and enterprise tech.
“A theory is that your job depends on it (enterprise tech). Pinterest going up and down doesn’t change, really, my job day-to-day… Zoom is a must thing right now for businesses.” – Sangram Vajre
Lochhead adds that consumer businesses are hit businesses and more vitamin-esque than aspirin-esque. Founders also tend to build consumer businesses on a short period of time due to the pressure of their predecessors’ success stories. In effect, these add to the scrambling and failure to permeate the market better.
From Poison to Accelerator
Pick-and-shovel enterprise tech is a poison that companies can run without back in the day. People knew there were pain points and yet they continued to work around them. But with the dawn of products like Zoom, everything in business has monumentally changed.
“It has gone on from being a poison to an accelerator for our business. I feel like there is something to that—the shovel is now in the house.” – Sangram Vajre
It takes a couple of years to build something that a business can run on, even at a small scale. Rather than the hype, enterprise businesses bank on this usability.
To Become an Evangelist
The Chief Evangelist of Terminus says that building a community takes humility and authenticity. It also requires really caring and having an evangelistic view of the problem.
“I will fight until the ends of the earth to fix this problem and even if it’s not fixed, I will do my contributions to fix it. And that, to me, is the definition of evangelist in a nutshell.” – Sangram Vajre
To hear more about marketing and evangelization from Sangram, download and listen to the episode.
Sangram is the co-founder and Chief Evangelist of Terminus, a leader in account-based marketing that has raised over $20 million in funding.
Prior to co-founding Terminus, Sangram ran marketing at Pardot through the acquisition of ExactTarget. Salesforce then acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion dollars. He wrote the very first book on account-based marketing (ABM), published by Wiley.
Sangram is an international speaker and host of the top 50 business podcast called #FlipMyFunnel, and has been recognized as one of the top 21 B2B Influencers in the world by DMN Network and 40 under 40 by DMNews.
Sangram aims to build the largest and most engaged community of B2B professionals in the world.
We hope you enjoyed Sangram Vajre on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
John Wall hosts the super popular Marketing Over Coffee Podcast. He joins Lochhead today in this first installment of a four-part series on legendary marketing. John shares his love of podcasting, the origins of his new book and all things marketing-related.
The Beauty of Podcasts
John believes that podcast is the easiest way to get in front of an audience who seek specific content. Everyone gets busy but they still want to learn and educate themselves. The thing is, they would rather consume media while exercising, commuting, or even while doing the lawn.
Podcasts are also very intimate, not only in the sense that listening to them means willingly letting someone speak in your ear. More often than not, the audience gets to know the hosts for who they actually are. His audience share the same love of the things that John himself is into, after all.
“Actors would be freaked out because people think that they are a character that they’re not, but with podcasting, it is really you that you’re putting out there so they do know the real you.” – John Wall
Marketing Over Coffee
John’s second book, Marketing Over Coffee Playbook, came from the desire to dig into years’ worth of podcast. He figured there was no easy way to get all the good stuff from that much content unless the audience consume all the show notes.
So he and his team set forth and got his existing content transcribed. Put into bite-sized nuggets, readers could easily go through topics they want to learn about, especially on marketing and tech.
“This book lets you take kind of a super shot of years’ worth of shows in one sitting.” – John Wall on Marketing Over Coffee Playbook
AI and Machine Learning for Marketing
Marketing can hugely benefit from artificial intelligence and machine learning, John says. Take for example machine learning for SEO. A marketer can take any SEO tool and grab a bunch of their competitor’s terms to find out how they score against them.
Machine learning makes SEO tools more powerful, too. It helps sift through and produce data on terms you rank at the top for and competitors find hard to crack into. These data can then guide content production to defend your spot in the game.
“There’s basically five areas where we see artificial intelligence and machine learning providing the most value to marketers.” – John Wall
To learn more about podcasts, marketing, AI and machine learning from John himself, download and listen to the episode.
John speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology.
We hope you enjoyed John Wall on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Why do most startups fail? Today, Bruce Cleveland joins us for a master class in building a massively successful B2B and why market engineering is a skill every executive needs. Listen in to learn how you can build your company and category to scale.
“Venture capital is a fairly interesting term or phrase. Because what I found is that there’s not a lot of venture in venture capital.” – Bruce Cleveland
Basic Patterns to Engineer Success
CEOs demonstrate basic patterns in engineering their success. But a lot of startups are not executing these patterns. Over the course of a decade in his prior firm, Bruce began to see which teams would have an actual chance for success.
He decided to explore these patterns, and he discovered three phases that every startup goes through. Even a new product offering in a large company will have to go through these same phases.
Go-to-Product and Go-to-Scale Phases
The first phase is the go-to-product phase. It begins with an idea, one that is hopefully informed by research. In this phase, you will have a prototype that you put in the market for some customers to get and provide feedback for in order to reach a more polished version called minimum viable product.
Skipping to the third phase, which is the go-to-scale phase, is where you finally get some customers and things are really working. Now, you have converted from being a PowerPoint company to a spreadsheet company. And you can finally show how good your product actually is.
Investors Look for Traction
Beyond reaching profitability, what most firms want to see is this thing called traction. They want to see demonstrable evidence that there’s a market and that people will purchase your product. And most of all, it needs to be enough evidence.
“That go-to-scale phase, there’s a lot of companies that will finance that. And there’s a lot of great brands that are out there that wait until you get to that point before they will invest in you.” – Bruce Cleveland
To learn more about the traction gap from Bruce, download and listen to the episode.
Bruce Cleveland is a Founding Partner at Wildcat where he focuses on investments in artificial intelligence (AI) marketing, EdTech, enterprise software as a service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). He’s also the author of Traversing the Traction Gap.
His specific areas of interest include enterprise automation, education and training, and general business applications. Bruce likes working with early-stage companies that use technology and data to increase revenue and decrease costs.
An avid adventurer and sailor, Bruce enjoys the challenge of creating new companies and navigating new markets.
Bruce began his venture capital career at InterWest Partners, where he was the first investor and a former board member of Marketo, which held an IPO in 2013 and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2016 for $1.8 billion.
We hope you enjoyed Bruce Cleveland on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Are you a company people spend time with or save time with? On today’s episode, business thought leader Joe Pine joins us for a riveting conversation on why experiences remain important in the business sphere.
Progression of Economic Value
Joe and his partner opened their legendary book, The Experience Economy, with an anecdote on coffee beans. Coffee is a commodity that can be grown on the ground and a cup can cost 2 to 3 cents. But when you package coffee beans and sell them in stores, their value increases to 5 or 10 cents.
Even more, when you buy coffee from someone who brewed it for you, the cost increases to half a dollar. Finally, having coffee in an ambient environment like most coffee shops will have you paying up to $4 for a cup. This perfectly exemplifies the progression of economic value.“
When Companies Fail
Apple and Starbucks have succeeded in making experience part of their products through their retail stores. This is something that a lot of companies fall short in. Take for example Toys R Us, which went bankrupt recently.
“When you combine the great products that Apple has with the great experience they have in their stores, that’s when magic can happen.” – Joe Pine
Toys are the most experiential products in the world, even more than smartphones. But Toys R Us failed to see that putting them in a warehouse where kids couldn’t really play with them put their business in jeopardy.
Two Experience Strategies
As a company, you can choose between two strategies to make the customer experience better: the time well-saved strategy or the time well-spent strategy.
For the first one, you can divide the best possible service at the lowest possible price at the greatest possible experience for your customers. Meanwhile, there is also the second strategy where people actually value the time they spend with you.
“You gotta get people to value the time that they spend with you. Give them a reason to come into the store. Give them a reason to interact with you.” – Joe Pine
To hear about the four types of experiences and the value of being authentic from Joe, download and listen to the episode.
Joe Pine is a legitimate business thought leader and among the founders of the experience economy. He and his partner James H. Gilmore wrote The Experience Economy: Work is a Theatre & Every Business a Stage in 1999, which demonstrates how goods and services are no longer enough. What companies must offer are experiences that engage each customer in an inherently personal way.
He helps clients to design strategies to leverage these new economic opportunities and create experiences that drive revenue.
We hope you enjoyed Joe Pine on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you bootstrap your way to success? On this episode, Joe Kudla joins us for a conversation on taking action based on insight. How do you design a new athletic clothing niche for men and be known in a category so large?
“I’ll be totally candid. I had no idea what it took to run a successful apparel business.“ – Joe Kudla
A Very Personal Brand
Athletic apparel has been around pretty much since the creation of the fig leaf. So why did Joe think of building a brand in this particular niche? It started out of a personal need.
Joe was an athlete who would beat himself up playing football his whole life. About ten years ago, he began dealing with a lot of back pain. That was when one of his friends suggested that he do yoga.
Beyond the Mass Produced
He was taking yoga classes daily when he looked around and realized that he never got to know what dudes are supposed to wear to yoga. It was this question, this puzzle, that set him and his associates to this whole path.
Massive brands flood the athletic apparel market. Some have buckled up the channel with better material and construction and more tailored, modern fit. But Joe wanted more than apparel exclusive for the gym.
“We’re the anti-gym guys. We’re going to the gym but we just didn’t connect with that culture around it.” – Joe Kudla
Creating Diverse and Versatile Athleisure
Joe looked at the space and came across the stats of people practicing yoga versus those who go surfing and gained valuable insight.
“When I really looked at the brand that we were gonna create, it was inspired by much more than yoga. It extended to this diverse, versatile active life.” – Joe Kudla
No one can deny the appeal of premium active apparel that performs better. But even better are clothes you can sweat in and wear to the beach or when you meet a friend for some beer. And so he built a brand that is casual and can be carried around throughout the day.
To hear more about the inception of Vuori and the story of finding love in poop from Joe, download and listen to the episode.
Joe is the founder/CEO of Vuori is an active lifestyle apparel brand that draws inspiration from the aspirational coastal California lifestyle, an integration of yoga, surf, sport, art, and a strong visionary spirit.
Vuori makes products that stand the test of time and hopes to inspire others to be healthy, vibrant and live their dreams.
We hope you enjoyed Joe Kudla on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you carve out a counter-intuitive niche and be successful at it? On today’s episode, Vineet Jain joins us for a discussion about how he charted a path different from every other tech person’s. He also shares how it all paid off, ten years later.
Swimming Upstream to Grow
Vineet has built a business that has seen nine consecutive quarters of records. They did this against a landscape of massive competitors who at one time looked like they might really threaten Egnyte. And to achieve this, they had to niche down.
“Indeed, this company of ours has grown in the big shadow being cast by some of the players who had a lot more funding.” – Vineet Jain
Financing Against the Trend
Year over year, Egnyte had a compounded growth rate of 30-35% and wasn’t raising much money. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter of 2016 that their cash flow turned positive. But Vineet knew that this wasn’t enough to keep the company afloat.
In August of 2018, he pitched that they raised financing. This was despite the general trend that tech companies observed. Sure enough, Vineet’s confident promise was met, and Goldman Sacks came into the picture.
Divine Luck and Difference
Egnyte had a size disadvantage against other companies in their category. They had a little over 600 employees, so they had to figure out how to play to this asymmetry. Ultimately, they decided to focus on their product and the economics of customer acquisition.
“You cannot pick a fight with an enemy who has picked your weapon of choice.” – Vineet Jain
Even with how they tried to show how they were different, they didn’t escape being lumped with 100 other vendors. But the confluence of two factors helped them rise: the expansion of the category they belonged to and the adoption curve becoming mainstream. With a product that fit the market at an interesting period, they got higher demand.
To hear more about how Vineet worked to build Egnyte to reach its pre-eminence and raised a $75M-funding round, download and listen to the episode.
Vineet Jain is the CEO and co-founder of Egnyte.
Prior to Egnyte, Vineet founded and successfully built Valdero, a supply chain software solution provider, funded by KPCB, MDV and Trinity Ventures.
He has held a rich variety of senior operational positions at KPMG and Bechtel. He has 20 years of experience in building capital-efficient and nimble organizations. Vineet earned a BS in Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and received an MBA from Santa Clara University.
We hope you enjoyed Vineet Jain on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you know when to quit? Is there still a place for creative minds in the marketing industry? On today’s Q&A with Lochhead, Christopher answers these two questions sent by his listeners.
Category Leaders’ Share
Should you quit a company that’s starting to fail at the category king game? In writing Play Bigger, Christopher and his co-authors conducted a research project where they analyzed every venture-backed company found in Silicon Valley from 2000-2015. They tracked how these companies grew in value.
They looked into the data for an answer to an important question. What percentage of the market cap goes to the category leader? It turned out that the number was a whopping 76%.
Winner Takes All
In businesses today, there exists a winner takes all game. And you would want to be part of that company. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
We learn so much by winning. There is also the halo effect that comes from being part of a legendary team, and these halos last forever. Christopher would know.
“The minute that you think your company can’t win the category king or queen game in your space, that’s when you need to start looking.” – Christopher Lochhead
When considering companies, you must also ask yourself these important questions: Can this company do product, company, and category design right? And can you make a contribution to that?
Creativity in Marketing
How about people who want to live off creative work in marketing? Is creativity still a fundamental asset in this landscape?
In business today, data and technicals are becoming increasingly important. Even so, creativity still comprises half the work in marketing, especially concerning new skills that companies require in new CMOs.
“Category design is now the number one skill that CEOs are looking for when they are recruiting new CMOs.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about the role of creativity in the marketing landscape, download the listen to the episode.
We hope you enjoyed this Q&A with Lochhead