Jan: [00:00] All right, Mark, it’s a pleasure to have you here on the show. I mean, you are out there. I think I first recognized you, and I was like these guys are getting funding in a second. I remember, when I was scrolling down, and then you got the A funding. Then a day later – it felt like a day later. You got the second funding. I was like what’s this Mark guy doing? Mark P. Jung, this is a guy I need to follow. After that, you kept growing and growing.

If you follow you on LinkedIn, you’re very active there. If you follow Dooly, I think I have an impression about what you’re passionate about. Now that I have you here, Mark, what are you actually passionate about?

Mark: [00:47] Yeah. Happy to be here, and this is going to be a fun one. I would say I came from a really unique, strange background. Probably strange is the better word in the fact that I didn’t study marketing necessarily in school. I grew up where my father had been a VP in marketing, ex-engineer, had been in the telecom industry for a while, ran a number of consulting agencies, and even since my early days, it was something that I would come home to and get to learn about. I was on a path of actually becoming a professor, so I studied philosophy and was about to…

Jan: [01:24] Wow!

Mark: [01:26] Yeah. I mean, it was either go do my MA-PhD, or I was going to do my JD-MBA and become a lawyer and was thinking about what I wanted to do with my future. I was like, oh, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do, so I’m just going to go and start doing consulting for marketing because that’s something that I’ve been doing my whole life just ever since my experience with my dad. I don’t know. I fell in love with the magic that you can see in B2C and in storytelling and in just creativity to build a brand and do something that’s different than whatever the mainstream industry was doing. I ended up in a weird spot where I was in management consulting for a while and in probably the least sexy industry you could imagine where I was selling leadership training and out-placements when companies would do transitions and layoff employees. The firm that I worked for helped basically all the big banks, so I was selling to CHROs at big banks, suit and tie every day. I found myself just wanting to come back to that agency life so spun up an agency, and then came back in a SaaS.

It’s been a very nonlinear journey to come back to where I am now and what I’m doing but, yeah, just a big believer in that B2B. If I had a billboard to put everywhere, it’s just “B2B doesn’t have to be boring” and that you’re selling to people and that there is just so many uncovered, just missed opportunities I think with brands that feel like they need to maintain these strict guidelines that you can’t color outside the lines. Happy to dive into that, but that’s the 100,000-foot level about me.

Jan: [03:16] Awesome. That’s so interesting. I think your journey is – I love this journey because it’s classic. You do consulting, and then I think I’m on this path. Then you realize that I want to do something different, and you said I discovered the magic. How did that come about? I’m super curious. Was there a moment or a pattern that you saw? Sometimes you have these pivotal moments. I would love to understand this a bit more.

Mark: [03:47] Yeah. I’m trying to think back to the earliest one. There’s definitely a few, but I remember as a kid – I’m not a sports person necessarily.

Jan: [03:59] Really?

Mark: [03:59] My family would always – no, no, not at all. I grew up fencing. Fencing was my sport. Yeah, yeah, exactly, it’s the saber. That’s what I did and terrible at everything else. I was terrible football player, soccer when I was in Europe. Yeah. I remember we used to always get together as a family and watch the Super Bowl. This was just down the street with our neighbors, and again, we had no idea what was going on. None of my family watched American football. We were just there to have fun and get together.

I remember just as a kid seeing some of the great ad placements and the creative and the story. You think about how much work it takes to get a 15 second spot or a 30 second spot, and I remember it was one of the first commercials for – oh, gosh, it was for Doritos at the time. I remember just thinking – I remember I turned to my dad, and I was like that’s what I want to do. I was like I want to be the person that’s coming up with…

Jan: [04:57] Eat more Doritos.

Mark: [04:59] Yeah, that’s coming up with these fun, wild, crazy stories that are going to hook people and get their attention in 15 seconds and start to build more than just, hey, buy the product but build a culture around something and get people excited about it. In this case, it’s literally a corn chip. How do you rally people around something meaningful out of something so simple? I don’t know. Just, as a kid, that was always the fun thing. I learned design. I learned copywriting. I learned all these things as a kid because I wanted to be that advertiser and I guess now coming full circle kind of.

Jan: [05:36] I definitely think it – is this some small goal that you still have, Super Bowl ad for Dooly?

Mark: [05:46] I don’t know. I mean, I was fortunate enough to actually get to be the first person that talked to Udi live when we had him on. We had him on our hot sauce sales show, and this was a few days after the Super Bowl ads. We got to hear a little bit about the impact and the process, their CFO. I don’t know. I mean, from the impact, I’m sold that it can be an effective mechanism, but based on the stage of the business and that bet, I’m still a little – I’m bullish for the future, but I think right now my P&L might take a bit of a hit.

Jan: [06:21] Yeah, we’ll see. Sky is the limit, Mark. You also touched upon something that you see strict guidelines and that you like B2Bs to jump out of them. What guidelines do you like, or what strictness do you see? What boxes do you see, and how can a marketer jump out of that and maybe learn from what this Dorito ad was doing to you at that time, like finding that magic?

Mark: [06:53] Yeah, so a few things that are top of mind. One is I talked to a lot of marketers, and within their organizations, there is still this antiquated leadership practice where they’re told to not build their personal brands and that they can’t be out representing the company talking about what they’re passionate about and what they want to do and having a voice. I still feel that’s such antiquated thinking because people want to follow people, and as much as your company feed can be the news ticker about what’s going on, the way that you win the hearts and the minds and building the emotional connection is by having people within your organization building their personal brands so that you can create an attachment with individuals at an org. That becomes part of a culture of building in public and being transparent, and it establishes this authentic connection in a way that you can never really truly get if you’re just focusing on the face of a brand or the company itself. That’s definitely number one that I’m really passionate about. I see it way too often where really passionate writers and creators are basically brick walled by their exec team and told, if you don’t want to lose your job, you can’t post on Twitter, or you can’t post on LinkedIn. You can’t defame our brand. I think there is an exodus coming. I think that soon organizations will realize that, if you want to truly build a brand that’s going to, like I said, win the hearts and the minds of your audience, you need to build a media company embedded within your organization, and that starts truly full stop, I believe, with the people within it.

Second thing and, again, you’ll see some good examples of this. I just posted about this yesterday because it’s a joke that I like to use every now and then. I see so many sales teams and even beyond sales teams just posting dry, bland, corporate content that’s hard pitching their product where the marketing team is like, hey, we wrote this 34-page e-book which is designed for bottom of the funnel, but they’re like I would love it if you could go and just post this on LinkedIn with this 1200-word section about how amazing our product it is. It’s filled with hyphens and jargon, and it gets one – the stuff that used to fill up my feed. I always just thought why do companies think about not having a hook or not doing something that’s going to get people interested? I don’t know. I mean, I vowed at Dooly – we’re big fans of the G2 and the Capterra community and social trust. I vowed when I joined Dooly that we would never do a launch campaign that wasn’t at least fun or interesting, try to live by the rule and lots more. Those are at least the first two that come to mind that – I feel like at some point I’ll write a – I don’t know, an e-book about this, all the things that are wrong with B2B marketing and, I guess, my take to fix it.

Jan: [09:56] I would read it. I just wonder if a book would be the right format for that. I think you should do a masterclass on Netflix or something, like Bjrake Ingels or something, guide to B2B or something.

Mark: [10:09] Maybe.

Jan: [10:11] I would watch that. I would watch that but probably in the future or – nah, not in the future, really soon, man. I think people would definitely read that. It’s so interesting. I was on this panel talk yesterday in Amsterdam at the conference there, and we were also speaking about unlocking the potential of your employees. I myself, I followed Kyle Coleman, saw what he is doing, and I just started sharing things that have two things in common, experience and expertise. Started from 500 follows, and now it’s 3,500 within a year. It’s like it’s not big but it’s a beginning. How do you unlock this within your company, within your organization, within your employees because this is the way to go, the way you just described, in my opinion?

Mark: [11:08] Yes. I mean, I went through a really similar journey where when I joined Dooly about two years ago really didn’t start getting active on LinkedIn and building the brand until about a year ago, recently. I don’t know, 290 connections. Knew no one in sales. Knew no one in SaaS. The agency that I was running, our audience really weren’t that active on LinkedIn, so I had grown my community in other areas because that had been a relative forum. I was now in charge of building a brand for sales who were typically on LinkedIn, so I was like, all right, this is a new arena for me.

The three things that I learned and would go back and potentially fast track or do differently is – number one is if you’re typically running into the mindset of an org where it’s like, hey, we can’t be building a brand. We can’t be doing this. What you need to do is you need to really gut check yourself and understand does the CEO that you’re working for get marketing? There’s a few different layers of this. If there was just a fundamental disconnect or belief that they don’t get marketing; they’re not going to, there’s very little upward mobility for you as a leader, and it’s possible you might need to reevaluate where you are at the org. Not in all cases. In some, there’s CEOs that may not get marketing but that are receptive to a backup envelope and you pitching them on the ROI. Then there’s others that really get marketing, and they set a very high standard for what they expect of you. I was lucky at Dooly that our CEO got marketing, understood the investment, knew the value of building a brand.

If you’re in the first two scenarios, what I would say is go out and do it and talk about something that’s linked back to a category, a pain, a problem, and use it as fuel for your outbound team, your sales team. Drive a qualified opportunity and say, hey, me going out there and investing two minutes once a day into writing a post and sharing leadership is helping us generate pipeline. What the leadership will care about is sometimes you get the where are my leads question, and in the world of dark social where we live where attribution is hard, there’s a gap where people lose common sense. They think, because we can’t measure it, as in this podcast, do you really know who is going to listen to it? Who’s going to explore the product? No, but common sense dictates that people will. You’re seeing that it’s growing and that there’s engagement, but often times, you get this gap of leadership wanting to see the leads. That’s number one.

Number two is find a way to make them part of it, or find a way to shout out your team and involve them early days. What we did at Dooly was, when I was a one-person team and we were seven at the company, I started building this channel in Slack called Brand Builders. It was all of the learnings and things that I had brought from going from 300 to almost 10,000. Yeah, and I mean, I didn’t know what I was doing. I still don’t really know what I’m doing but was able to bring those learnings forward and cascade them at our leadership level. When the organization said, hey, how do I get onboard with this, here are the learnings. Here are some of those templates. Here are those resources. Then it became something fun that we could gamify where it’s, hey, who can drive the most qualified opportunities through their content this week? Let’s see if we can turn it into a fun internal competition.

I think if you can rally those things together of having business impact, proving a small-scale investment, and then bringing it back to a system or something that you can pitch to the business as in we can roll this out across the org, and imagine if the 80 people at the company were doing this as well. I can walk through and be like I did 1.5 million interactions on my content this quarter. Imagine if we had that times 50 people as we grow to 100, 200, 300, and that becomes a relevant business case. Treat it like a business case. I would walk through those one to three and bring on folks who know better than you. Every week I would bring on a sales lead or someone like Scott Leese, or Dale Dupree, or someone who had built a brand and have them come and coach us, get tips. Yeah, that’s, I guess, the slightly longer version of what I would do there.

Jan: [15:27] Yeah. It’s a fantastic tip and also surround yourself with people that have done it before, explain it, and then also gamify it. That’s a great example. What’s the record? Maybe you can’t share that, but I’m just wondering. How many ops are you driving through that? Way too many.

Mark: [15:52] I mean, I won’t get too specific on numbers here.

Jan: [15:54] Right. No.

Mark: [15:55] What I can do instead is I’ll give you a tactical tip that I wish I had done since Day 1. Like I mentioned, when I came into SaaS, I didn’t know a lot of people in the space, and I needed to accelerate learning. The biggest thing that I was looking for was a community that would help me really level up my executive network and meet other CMOs and marketers the years beyond me that could help coach, same with sales leaders. What I did was, about two years ago, I joined Revenue Collective, what’s now Pavilion. I’m the Vancouver Chapter Head now. I’ve been there for a while.

What I used to do is every Friday I would book 20 minutes in my calendar, and feel free to steal this exact tactical playbook. I got a text expander on my browser. What I would do is, in our Slack channel in Pavilion, there’s an introduction channel, and every day, when someone joins, they would post a little bit about themselves, one of their super powers. Every morning on Friday, like I said, in my block, I would go, and I would see, okay, it looks like San Francisco, London, Florida, Chicago, New York, and Vancouver are the key places. I would write, basically, little macros for different tiers. One was just a general Revenue Collective welcome that I would send a connection on LinkedIn. The other one was if I wanted to meet someone, and it would be Revenue Collective, plus a meeting. I would ask for a virtual coffee.

The third thing I did was I started to build these personalized snippets based on location. It would be like RC meet in New York. It would be just my favorite restaurant or something that I was going to go there soon, and I would take one line out of what they had mentioned as in, hey, my super power is account-based marketing and scaling in EMEA. I would just do, hey, John, my wife and I were supposed to be in New York this week. Travel plans got canceled. Carbone’s my favorite restaurant. I miss it so much. I saw you mention ABM. Would love to grab a virtual coffee and learn about that as I’m trying to build it at Dooly right now. It would just be thanks. Talk soon.

I built these out for all the key cities, and I had maybe a 95% acceptance rate, and it led me to meet CMOs that I could get their phone number to a text. Whenever I had a problem or needed something – and within three months, I had this massive executive network from zero where I could get deep tactical feedback, run programs, buy things, personal brand initiative. The response that I got was less than 1% of people were doing outreach like that. If you’re a marketer, if you’re in sales, if you’re trying to do something like this, take the extra mile, surround yourself by the people who can drive that value for you, and just be a human and send them an interesting message and try to find value. That was one of the tactical things that I would go back and do since Day 0, and I wish I had been doing it for longer. If that’s helpful, more than happy – send me a connect on LinkedIn, and I’m happy to share the templates that I wrote that were…

Jan: [18:54] I took so many notes right now, Mark. That’s golden. Thanks for sharing. It’s so underrated. One of my mentors once said, all the things that we are trying to solve, they’ve already been solved before. We just have to go out and ask the right people so awesome, cool. Time is already up, but maybe you have a bit of time. Let me know when you have a hard stop and so forth.

Mark: [19:37] Yeah. I’m good. I’m good. We can press on.

Jan: [19:39] Yeah, awesome. Thanks, Mark. We spoke a bit – a little bit about product or brand building. I think that’s one of the things that you are super passionate about also, like personal branding you spoke about. Product market fits is something that you at Dooly do hit in at least from an external perspective. You probably want to go to the sky or to a planet in Star Wars, in your language. How was the way towards there, and how did your narrative change? What setbacks did you have there?

Mark: [19:52] Yeah, so two lenses that I like to speak to here. Number one is that it’s always evolving. When I joined Dooly, the company was positioned as an enablement solution for product marketers, marketers, and sales enablement. The reason was we have this what we call playbooks. You and I are having a conversation on Zoom. Based on what gets said – so if you were to mention pricing concern, or security, or something, inside my workspace in Dooly, it would pop up these little battle cards that would help me navigate the conversation. If you’re using a Gong or a Chorus for whatever is recording the call, how do you take those learnings and those insights and roll them out across the org? That was playbook. That was Dooly.

We ended up shifting the positioning in our narrative more towards this idea of a connected workspace. A lot of the Tier 1 and Cloud 100 accounts that became customers of ours, Procore, Intercom, Asana, Airtable, and so forth, all started coming into the product as account executives, customer success, or sales engineers. What they wanted to do was just have a better note-taking, pipeline updating tool. Something that was going to make Salesforce not suck. There was a tension between, yeah, the data that your manager and leaders want versus you as a rep wanting to sell. There’s always been that friction. We focus more on our unofficial motto, which was “Take the F, swear emoji, out of SFDC”. “Stop your Salesforce suffering”, and we tried to lean into this fun social/emotional pain around it. Now where we are is really like a much larger vision. As we’ve really started to grow the business and bring on a ton of funding and move up-market, we’re focusing on where the future of sales is going. In the same way that there is a clear category for conversation intelligence, we’re working on defining exactly what that strategic whitespace is and that narrative for Dooly and how this idea of the connected workspace fits into – essentially, the one tab your sales team need to live in.

Big thing that I would go back and I would say do Day 0 rather than Day 30 is – for those that aren’t following Brian Balfour right now or the team over at Reforge, would highly recommend doing that and would definitely check out Brian Balfour’s Four Fits Model. For those that don’t know, Brian Balfour was one of the early growth marketers at HubSpot and helped them grow really through hypergrowth and now runs Reforge, which is a SaaS training school essentially for the top 1% of marketers in SaaS. I am a huge, huge fan of his – what he calls the Four Fits Model, which extends not only product market fit but looks at key things like model market fit. Essentially, what that means is imagine that you’re like Dooly, we’re a freemium product, it’s $50 per user at our enterprise plan. We need to make sure that you’re – the way you’re distributing your product and your customer acquisition cost falls in a space where you know the growth loops and what you can actually drive that where the unit of economics makes sense as in, if you were spending enterprise dollars on content marketing but your average contract value is only a few hundred bucks, that’s going to put you in a red zone, or it’s not going to be an efficient process you can scale.

Brian’s done a great job unpacking really the four parts of the model and how they work together, and not just product market fit but how you need to think about building $100 million-plus business. Check out the article. Put it in the show notes. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I read it probably once a quarter just to keep myself back on track here, and if you want another tactical piece of advice…

Jan: [23:55] Yes.

Mark: [23:56] Yeah, Joanna Wiebe at Copyhackers, huge fan of hers, she has this great framework where – what is the first thing I did on my Day 1 at Dooly where I came in and I listened to 30 customer calls and I booked 30 customer calls? It’s just a really simple Google Sheet. It just goes you talk to your customers, and you flag what are called documentary moments. Again, when they’re going through the product getting the experience, what do they call it, in what order? You literally just go what do they mention? What do they ask about? You highlight anything that might stand out, and you start to be able to really identify patterns of, hey, adoption seems like a big issue. What about security? How does this roll out?

Then I had this Google Sheet, and I would highly recommend any business that hasn’t done it – you only really need 5 or 10 people in order to see trends, but if you can do 20 or 30 with your core personas, you’ll be able to identify the key patterns that say, hey, these are the questions we need to address proactively. Throw those on your Q&A. Throw those in your marketing. Make that your headline on your homepage if that’s the key thing that people are concerned about. It’s so fast and easy to do, and it gives you the best baseline for writing copy. I would say 80% of our website years ago was written just from customer quotes that we put a little bit of copywriting lens to. In summary; Brian Balfour, Reforge, Four Fits Model; Joanna Wiebe at Copyhackers and her customer interview model, and those are probably my – yeah, my go-to advice for that early product market fit and the best way to lean in.

Jan: [25:36] That’s so good. Often times, it’s the simple Excel sheet. Just got to fill in super narrowly and then execute it. How do you execute on that as well? You sit on all of this information, you have done your research. What’s then? What’s next? How were you able to actually translate it into reality?

Mark: [25:59] Yeah. I mean, at Dooly, when I started, like I said, we were eight people. I was one marketer. I was doing strategy, design, execution, everything, reporting, and I think, in some cases, when I talk to marketers at that stage – I was just talking to a friend of mine who went from a 500-person company to leading a brand-new startup. They’re nine people. It’s just walking them through what I did in the learnings. Number one is find some type of force multiplier that can help get you known, especially if you’re in a red ocean, really saturated market.

For us at Dooly, Kris, our CEO, again, loves marketing, great creative. We had the opportunity to create a hot sauce sales show, and we created something that was focused on the core problems that we had identified as part of that research. We said how can we package this in a way that’s going to help us get attention at a larger scale? Like I said, I just started with outbound from Revenue Collective at that point, with sales leaders, eventually got some folks in the door who are interested, and I had a $50 budget to buy hot sauce on Amazon. I hit up a few just potential partners. Ended up landing The Daily Sales, my now great friend, Daniel Disney, who had very large audience, and he agreed to livestream the show. In a week, we put together this really fun format to dive into sales problems in a way that had really a true viral capacity to get reached at – us, for example, just putting on a webinar might have had seven people. In three months, we were able to get over a million impressions, 200 companies lined up. That’s how we had Udi, the CMO at Gong, and Sangram Vajre, the founder of Terminus.

We ended up going from this fairly smaller unknown company to really building a brand that people were like, hey, what’s this Dooly like? What’s going on there? We took that and started to roll that into more repeatable systems where we would start to incentivize our power users and our champions to post about us on LinkedIn or to write a G2 review or something about those, and we would turn that into a motion ideally where there was a viral loop. The example would be, on our hot sauce show, we would bring on a sales leader, a revenue leader, whoever it was, and then we would ask them for three nominations of people that they wanted to come experience the same thing. This helped us grow that baseline, and it became an initiative that ran itself.

I would say find some meaningful messaging that matters. Translate it into some way that can help you like an ant lift 100 times their weight and really broaden your reach. Really, distribution’s going to be your death now. If you can’t get distribution, it’s not going to matter. Then, three, some way to drive virality and turn that into a consistent loop so that you can take that exposure that you have, and it’s not a flash in the pan. It’s a repeatable system that you can turn into the next project and the next and the next, and that becomes the linear inputs that fuel your growth going forward.

Jan: [29:10] Boom, mic drop, Mark, awesome. A really interesting question I want to ask – and we are well above time already but it’s so interesting, at least for me. I hope for you as well. What’s your brand image right now at Dooly?

Mark: [29:29] We’ve got three core pillars at Dooly for the brand. It’s bold. It’s playful and it’s trusted. Right now, I would say that we definitely nailed the bold and the playful. We’ve done a number of wild things. As we’ve started to see so much success up market, it’s incumbent on us to start leaning into how do we establish Dooly as a trusted authority for sales leadership? We’ve been able to start working on champion programs and bringing on sales leaders to collaborate on content with.

When I look at our engagement on LinkedIn, as an example, on a typical month, we’re driving somewhere between 600 and 800 new followers. I look at businesses that are Series E, Series F that are maybe hitting 3, 400 or companies that are worth 2 billion that still aren’t there. I think a big part of – just to add to your point, when you know you have the momentum, you’re starting to see it in the communities, and we’re starting to get there.

I still think that we have work to do in terms of building out such a high volume of quality content with partners like yourself to make people who are interested in…

Jan: [30:41] Yay!

Mark: [30:42] Yeah, in sales and revenue and show that this is the spot you need to go. We definitely are into the playful and the bold. If you’ve seen music videos, our hot sauce show, our memes, our – you name it. We do some fun things.

Jan: [30:56] Yeah, awesome. Thanks for sharing, Mark. I needed to ask this question. In B2B, are memes for everyone?

Mark: [31:06] No. The way that we came up with the strategy at Dooly – and again, this is one of the early bets that I had made when I was a team of one still is, as part of that research, again, that 30 customer calls, that 30 recordings, probably 70% of the sales leaders we talked to mentioned how stressful a job sales was. When I joined, I didn’t even know the difference really truly between an SDR or a BDR or the process of CS because I came from a really different background in management consultant and how sales work. Then, in the agency model, I didn’t have a sales team. It was all purely marketing driven. This is a new space, but when I realized, I said, okay, sales is stressful. Where do you go and vent? Where do you go to take that away and have a bit of a break?

I discovered that the sales humor channels existed. When I started doing due diligence, I realized that very few of any brands were actually leveraging this as a fun way to take a social or emotional pain point about sales and translating that into something that could become part of a media arm strategy. I would only just take a few cold DMs and, again, how I met my friend Daniel Disney through the hot sauce show that we were doing and sales humor and a bunch of others. I just said, hey, would you be willing to post something for us? Whatever revenue it drives, I will give you 50% of it. I was like here is this one thing. I think it’s pretty funny. I just cold outbound it and eventually got on calls and started building a relationship, and then people were willing to do it. We started getting really strong traction early on. I think the first meme we posted on Instagram did more than 100,000 impressions.

Jan: [32:52] What?

Mark: [32:54] Yeah, and we had 5,000 people bookmark it.

Jan: [32:55] Insane!

Mark: [32:57] Yeah. It was just one of those things where I was getting – our CTO got hit up by folks about – laughing about the Dooly content. I said, okay, there’s something here. We can turn it into an acquisition channel, but that’s a very niche space where there was a predefined distribution channel. The audience were living there. There already was a foundation for expected content and a meme format of something funny that I could say, hey, here’s a great way we can reach our audience right at 9 p.m. when they’re on Instagram on their couch. We’re not trying to book a demo or get them into the product. We’re just having the brand be visible and have them connect to something where, again, we’re building a familiarity.

If you’re selling like I was to CHROs at big banks, I don’t know that they’re following sales humor. Maybe there’s something for CFO humor or whatever it might be. You need to really align your emotions based on your audience, where they’re living. Another tactical tip I’d recommend is, if you’re not using SparkToro, Rand Fishkin’s tool, amazing way to learn about where your audience live and where they spend time, and you can reverse engineer some of your bets based on the communities they live in, the podcast they listen to, the websites they visit. Do your research, and make sure there’s a business case. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but there was a very strong business case built for what we call meme-quisition and what we do at Dooly.

Jan: [34:21] It’s its own category in your Salesforce, I can imagine.

Mark: [34:27] It actually is. Our lead source, we have specific categories about the different types of meme engines that come through, yeah.

Jan: [34:35] That’s pretty awesome, Mark. If you would go back to first day you started at Dooly, what would you tell your younger self?

Mark: [34:45] I would say trust your gut and lean in and still focus on acting like a startup, which is move fast. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Take bigger bets. If you’re just trying to replicate the playbook of what everyone else has done before, it’s unlikely to really drive anything. Again, I try to think like an ant. How can one person lift 100 times their weight and be able to build a brand in record time? That’s comes from taking big bets which require risk, but definitely think about any door that you can’t reopen. If it’s a one-way door, really think about what the risk is there, build a business case, and make sure that your executives and leadership are bought in. You want to make sure that if something really does go wrong that there is buy-in across the organization about what you want to do as a brand.

I would say it really just comes down to be creative and be different. When I look at the sea of SaaS, as I call it right now, l could probably take any headline, any homepage and swap it out across 50 different websites, and it’s going to be the same white background, black sans serif text, shades of blue. It’s all going to be the same, and if you want to stand out and be different, then have an opinion. Don’t be afraid to disagree and create your own lane. Don’t be afraid to just bring the best of B2C into B2B and people relate to it.

Jan: [36:18] Thank you so much, awesome. I have two or three more questions if that’s fine for you, Mark. You have to tell me whether we have time to talk about.

Mark: [36:23] Let’s run it.

Jan: [36:26] I have a lot of – or a lot of people are trying to get in contact with you, and a lot of SDRs and maybe BDRs that you know now exist, of course, are trying to prospect people or persons like you. I’m just very, very curious. What’s the craftiest way you have been prospected?

Mark: [36:46] Two come to mind. One was, after we posted our Series A, I put up just a GIF of a meerkat raising its head. It was a two-line post, and it was like…

Jan: [36:59] We did an event or something.

Mark: [37:01] No. It was like every SDR the moment you announce your Series A. I was like “anyone else feeling this?” Within 24 hours, Adam Neidhardt over at PureB2B – and now they’re a customer, so it actually worked out where we sold them. He sent me a video where he was actually doing this, like a meerkat. He meerkat-ed me, and I posted on LinkedIn. I said, hey, if anyone sends me – if anyone meerkats me, I will take a meeting with them. He was the only person that followed up.

Jan: [37:29] What?

Mark: [37:30] He’s the only person that followed up and did something creative. I took that meeting, and we had that conversation, so shout out to Adam. Adam did a great job, and outside of that…

Jan: [37:41] Then a customer.

Mark: [37:43] Yeah. Outside of that, when we first started the hot sauce sales show, Fire Talks, I had a rep say, “Hey, if you take a demo with me, I will have that hot – final hot sauce in the first two minutes of discovery for empathy”. I actually replied. We never booked a meeting. It never happened, but he got my attention.

If I get an email that’s, Dear Mark, hope you’re safe in troubled times, I’m not reading past the first line. Do something different. Have a hook. Make it short. Those are definitely the two that come to mind that got my attention.

Jan: [38:24] Awesome. When do you actually take the call then?

Mark: [38:31] I took I think a day later. Yeah, I met with him. Yeah, I think it was the next day or the day after. I will always honor – if someone goes out of the way to really have a truly creative form of outreach, I will happily take the meeting. If I can’t, if it’s not a fit for me, I usually will still be like, hey, how can I recommend you to others? Who else do I know? I would say less than 1% of the outbound efforts that I get are really taking that 30 seconds to make it feel like me.

If you look at my profile, we just did a Star Wars post about G2, R2-G2. We’re on a hot sauce show. We run memes. There’s so many fun ways that you can reach me if you’re trying to sell me but very few actually do. I’m just a big believer in rewarding creativity because I’d love to see more of that in the industry.

Jan: [39:26] Awesome. Yeah. That’s so encouraging to hear but, also, pretty frustrating. Only 1% is actually doing proper research. That’s pretty sad, to be honest. What’s the rest doing? Yeah, I don’t know. What’s your take on that?

Mark: [39:48] I don’t know. It depends on the organization and the sales leadership. I think there’s still a lot of – I think there’s a lot of belief that volume is the key. I think that there’s still a mindset of research takes too long, and we can’t do it effectively. I’m just a huge believer in the text expanders and what I used to send in Revenue Collective. I would personalize one line. It would take me less than ten seconds, and I would usually grab it from their copy alone but the structure of how I built my outreach as in, hey, you’re a person from New York in the Revenue Collective that I want to meet. In the ten seconds that it takes me to send that connection request, it probably felt like I wrote that exactly for you, and it took two minutes, and I was thinking of you specifically.

I’m just a big believer that personalization doesn’t mean a lot of work. It doesn’t mean ten minutes on every profile and that you drop velocity. It means finding a creative way to create connections at scale, and that’s why shout out to Becc Holland. She’s great.

Jan: [40:54] Yes, fantastic.

Mark: [40:56] Becc’s got some great frameworks, and, yeah, I would highly recommend giving her a follow if you don’t and steal her playbook. It’s a good one.

Jan: [41:04] Awesome. Thank you so much. Let’s look a bit into the future. What developments are you stoked about in our space right now? What drives you?

Mark: [41:17] Yeah, I mean, I’ll come back to more top-level strategy. I’m happy to talk about the tactic and getting personal, but in terms of top-level strategy, I talked about it a little bit of this at the beginning. I’m a huge believer that the best SaaS companies will have media arms embedded within them or have a sister company that’s building a media arm in your niche. I think a great example is back in – it was February this year. HubSpot bought The Hustle, which was one of my favorite newsletters. Again, it wasn’t SaaS necessarily. They’re not using it to sell HubSpot, but they’re using it to have distribution to millions of people in the SaaS ecosystem.

When I look at companies like ProfitWell, shout out to PC, Patrick Campbell, amazing, they have built such an interesting and unique sense of podcasts and videos and merchandise drops and all these things that you would see a B2C company doing where they’re winning the hearts and minds of their audience. They’re making sure that, if it’s 7 a.m. when they’re in work mode or 9 p.m. on Instagram, they’re showing up in the ways where the brand is present, and they’re adding value. I’m just such a big believer that, if you want to be the brand that is the category leader and 80% of the business goes to the category leader, it starts with building a media arm. When you look at what’s happened through the pandemic, when we shifted towards this virtual motion, virtual events, virtual selling, everyone was running the exact same playbook, Zoom events, webinars, and that created fatigue, which opened up a real massive, massive opportunity for creativity to come to the forefront and find unique and interesting ways to engage with your audience, hence hot sauce sales show. It was born out of creativity through our leadership team here with Kris, our CEO, and an opportunity. I would say I’m really bullish on that, and anything that helps you get the right message to the right buyers at the right time and can help you do that, I am a huge fan of. Company that’s net newer-ish, called Primer, big fan of what they’re…

Jan: [43:38] Yeah. Their CEO is based in Stockholm, I think. I spoke to the founder at the beginning of the year.

Mark: [43:46] Okay, Keith, yeah, I mean, I love what they’re doing. They’ve come up with a great way to make sure that you can target – basically, messaging on LinkedIn but through Facebook. It makes it a much more affordable way to make sure that you can do this at scale, and there’s a number of companies that do it. The technology that’s enabling us to be able to serve the right message – and not saying a demo request for the product. It might just be the podcast you’re producing or something about your category. Treating paid social as distributing the content you want your audience to see, not necessarily a lead generation, I think is going to be the new wave of building a media arm and making sure that your brand is visible to the right people. I think that technology is a key part of how we’re going to see that at scale going forward.

Jan: [44:36] Awesome, Mark. Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything you would like to add, like let the audience know where they can find you?

Mark: [44:46] Yeah. If we’re not connected on LinkedIn, shoot me a connection request, Mark P. Jung. Give Dooly a follow if you want to see some of the fun and interesting content I’m talking about, D-O-O-L-Y. You can check us out at Dooly.ai. Yeah, I mean, I guess if I had one final takeaway, it’s it took me a long time as a marketer to go from building in private to building in public. When you build in public, you’re vulnerable. You’re open to what other people think, and if I could go back and say one thing to my earlier self, it’s build in public because there’s so much good that comes from it. What might be just like a table stake or seem not valuable to you often has a tremendous amount of value for others, and only when you build in public can people benefit from what you’re going through.

Yeah, I wish I had leaned into that years ago but only started doing it about a year ago and will continue to. Yeah, I feel like I’ve learned more this year than I have, for example, in my past three, so take the risk. Be bold. Be brave. Be open to it but build in public. Do it often. Those would be my closing thoughts.

Jan: [46:01] Mark, thank you so much.