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Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had marketing campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb.

Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentored two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft.  He also hosts The Prospecting Podcast. 

  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    14 days ago #

    Hi Ryan- Thanks for doing this AMA.

    Where do you see the future of growth in B2B lead generation and lead qualification?

    Merci!

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      Love this question. The future of B2B lead generation and lead qualification is going to be all about experience. How can you give a prospect the best experience. Let me give you an example.

      I see so many marketers bust their ass to make webinars, and then BDRs and SDRs will ask qualification questions to figure out BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline).

      The marketer spends days working on the content for the webinar, getting guests, promoting it, etc.

      These things are important, and very cool..and we still do them. You know what we do that's different now though?

      We produce things that are like webinars...but for ONE TARGET account.

      Good example for us. We have a customer, TripActions (awesome company by the way..highly recommend their service). One of their managers wanted to get their SDR team energized and sending better cold emails.

      Instead of sending them to a monthly webinar we're doing on this topic, I actually flew out there, and did a customized webinar for their team.

      I asked them before we flew out there if we could do this in exchange for showing their our product, and they got a meeting with every decision maker at the company.

      Going there, putting them through a good experience helped make it an open book. The sales cycle was shorter, and we made friends for life with them.

      The best way to qualify someone is to get to know them really well. Then it's an open book.

      Think of ways you can be a resource for your prospects and customers, and do that marketing tactic for that one target account. Then ask the hard hitting qualification questions, you'll be surprised how much of an open book they become.

      3 Share
  • JB

    James Buckley

    13 days ago #

    In your experience; what are the top things a marketer can do to better align with sales initiatives?

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      The biggest thing is REVENUE is REVENUE. I get into this a little lower down on here on the AMA with any question that Bjorn asked.

      The easiest way for you to get sales and marketing aligned is make sales reps the face of your company. Put them in content. Get them talking with their customers and prospect. Have marketing up their presentation skills with good camera equipment, copy editing, etc. Marketing is the flair. Reps are the voice.

      Then you can wrap your marketing around sales. See how hard it is to get buy in from the sales team if they are ones that are becoming famous because of marketing.

      That's what its all about. If you think a sales rep isn't a good face for your company, don't hire them. It's that simple.

  • DS

    Douglas Schneider

    11 days ago #

    Hi Ryan!
    Thanks for doing this ;)

    Connect to Prospects and Clients on a human level will always be important and end up making a big difference to your business.

    Could you tell us how to approach when prospecting to have that human touch and what should we avoid when doing it?

    thanks!

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      What a question!!! SWOON!!!

      I love this. So the best way to make a prospect feel human and special is to focus on them as an individual. A prospect is not their company. We all care about our jobs here which is why we are part of the GH community, but the truth is...the average person you are prospect is going to have a different job in 18 months.

      That's proof that you need to focus your efforts on their individual interests over the company's. Relate to them as a human. The other aspect is to show off your personality too. You are a special person with things that make other smile, laugh, and feel good.

      If you hide that, then it's hard to feel like you are being prospected by a human.

      The easiest way is don't write a cold email or make a cold call trying to prove to the prospect that you are a good service or product for their company.

      Write a cold email or make a cold call that is proving to the prospect why they are special for you. We have a ton of this stuff in our blog and videos if you want to check it out: https://leadiq.com/video

      2 Share
  • AA

    A.J. Alonzo

    14 days ago #

    Can you pinpoint a moment in your career (either at Dyn or LeadIQ or wherever else you might have worked) where you knew that the "Jester" brand would work for you? For those of us trying to create a brand and online identity, what advice would you have (other than read your branding workshop)?

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      Thanks for plugging this AJ. For people that don't know, I did a whole month of content for sales and marketing folks in August about brand archetypes, and why you should use them hack your brand into people's hearts.

      At LeadIQ, I don't want us to be another GE (no disrespect to GE). I want us to be like Disney. Which brand do you think has more people that hold them close and dear to their hearts.

      LeadIQ is a jester brand archetype, which means we try to produce and make all of our marketing more entertaining and funny.

      I think the big thing for me that's helped us is when I was high school and college, I wanted to do stuff in comedy, but was too much of a practical guy (translation...I was a coward) to try and make a go of that.

      B2B growth marketing ended up being a good canvas for me to do that.

      At Dyn, they were already kind of a "friend" brand archetype...so I decided to brand myself as a jester when I was over there...and that's carried over at each place I've worked.

      If people don't know what I'm talking about...this blog post kind of is an intro to it: https://leadiq.com/blog/an-introduction-to-brand-archetyping-for-social-selling

      If you are trying to build a brand online...a brand needs a personality. It should feel like someone you can touch and get to know.

      So many companies think brand marketing is a waste of time, and it definitely isn't. I'm not talking about logos and colors. I'm talking about how a brand presents itself.

      Think of the Star Wars prequels. No one likes them because all the characters in them are boring and bland. The original Star Wars, you had a hero brand... Luke Skywalker... you had a rebel brand (Han Solo)... you had a sage brand (Obi Wan) ... you had a jester brand (Princess Leia).

      There is a reason people hold the originals so close and dear to their hearts. You want your brand to be more like Luke, Han, and Leia, and less like Qui-Gon Jinn.

      So if you are trying to develop a brand...read that link I posted then think of adjectives you want people to feel and see when you do something with your company.

      At that point it just turns into execution.

      3 Share
    • AA

      A.J. Alonzo

      11 days ago #

      Wanted to ask one more question because it's been bugging me for a while - what do you do to your hair to give it that little "muppet flip?" How much time do you spend on your hair to get it to look like that?

      Thanks for doing an AMA by the way - I think this is an awesome platform :)

  • BW

    Björn Wietstock

    13 days ago #

    Hi Ryan, thanks for the AMA.
    I have a lot of questions as we are currently starting with Growth.

    1. Any examples on how to formulate Hypothesis and Experiments?
    2. What kind of meetings would you say are needed for Growth?
    3. How do you best start building a Growth team? Who has to be in there?
    4. Have two teams (e.g. Growth team and core value) or does a whole unit have to be focused on growth?
    5. Any framework recommendations? Scrum looks be too slow w/ 2 week sprints - what are your experiences?
    6. Would you say a data analyst is mandatory or who should interpret the numbers?
    7. Prioritizing: e.g. using ICE score: Hypothesis and experiments? hypo only? experiment only?
    8. Regarding North Star metric: only one north star vs. a few vs. there can be a lot of? e.g. focussing on device / OS / teams in the unit?

    Thank you :)

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 1. Any examples on how to formulate Hypothesis and Experiments? 

      So I think one thing I can offer that’s a different experience than a lot of other growth people out there is having experience in prospecting and marketing. When I got out of school, I wanted to be a marketer so badly, but could only get a BDR job at the time being NH.

      As a result, I kind of treated my prospecting job more like a marketing job than a sales job. I think the best way for marketers to conduct experiments is for them to try things with prospecting first.

      Think of it like this…if you have a cool marketing idea that may or may not work, and you want to get it out to the masses… you have to build a webpage then drag traffic to it (either through paid, social, influencer marketing or SEO…which can take months) then measure the results. When you are first starting, this can especially bad since you don’t have any money

      In my opinion the best way to know if something works is with a cold prospecting.

      Here’s an example for me.

      At LeadIQ, when I first joined, I thought that people were going to buy LeadIQ because they wanted to get prospect’s contact info for selling. Most of the people out there, you likely as well, have a contact provider already right? So if I got say, “find anyone’s contact data” like we used to…you likely were thinking..

      “Meh..that’s cool…but there’s like a million of these bastards out there….”

      I started doing some prospecting here while the website just sort of ran on cruise control. I was using MixMax at the time to measure opens and replies.

      Long story short, my value prop of “find any prospect’s contact info” was weak sauce.

      It was way better when I focused the value of saving reps time doing data entry…and making the data part a bonus. Reply rates for the personalized emails I sent shot up from like 20% - mid 30% when I did this. Then I switched all our copy over to focus that.

      Just like that, we found a value prop to test Product Market Fit. The rest was history.

      I was very careful to time out my sending to a/b test reply rates with it.

      If you want to conduct a marketing experiment..I recommend you follow answering these questions for your prospects in your cold email copy:

      A. Why are you emailing me? —> What’s the goal of the email…what made you think of them? This could be where you are testing some of your experiment, depending on the tactic.

      B. How am I special to you? —> This is where personalization comes in. Make this something about the person you are targeting, instead of your product or service. Make it something that you think was interesting about this prospect. Maybe it’s something they posted on LinkedIn… a conference they spoke at…a tweet or blog post, etc. Find something that’s cool about them. Remember that your potential customers change jobs once every 18 months which means that unless they are a CEO or co-founder somewhere, they care more about themselves than their company in many cases.

      C. Who are you? —> This is where you test messaging with a value prop. 1 sentence max! Otherwise your experiment is going to fail.

      D. What do you want me to do with this email. —> Are you asking for a meeting? Asking them to try something? Asking for feedback. You can only ask for 1 thing.

      Do these things and measure positive reply rates to determine if the experiment is successful or not. If it is, roll it out on the site. If it worked for outbound, it’ll likely convert even better for inbound.

      1 Share
    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 2 What kind of meetings would you say are needed for Growth? 

      I’m going to say something that’s controversial probably. I wanna say it though so I’ll be honest. Internal meetings are best used for strategy, and brainstorming. How often do you really need to do these things though right? Outside of that, everything else in your day should be external.

      I see so many growth hackers and marketers spend hours on a video calls hiding in spreadsheets. I have yet to find another company that became a household name because someone spent 3-4hrs a day looking at a CSV or database. I bet some of you reading this likely were like me doing this when I first joined LeadIQ.

      My playbook at companies is pretty simple. I’ll tell a story real quick and then equate to growth.

      I remember years ago, if people don’t remember this, Conan O’Brian was the host the Tonight Show for only 10 months. He ended up leaving his post because of conflicts with NBC, and as part of the settlement, Conan couldn’t be on TV for 9 months.

      As he escaped from the spotlight, Conan decided to make a Twitter account and build that out in the 9 month ban from TV. Within 24 hours, he was the fastest person ever to 3 million followers. The lesson here is that Conan had old media support his brand, so when moved to new media, it was very easy for the narrative that was his old soapbox to promote that he joined Twitter.

      He tweeted at celebrities he’d interviewed, made jokes with them, posted new content online. All online using their audience.

      Today Conan’s brand online is bigger than his viewership on his TBS show. His TV show is on hiatus right now while they reformat it to fit more with the show’s healthy digital brand, because that’s where they make more of their revenue. As all these late night talk shows see dwindling ratings (including Conan’s TV show), he’s winning the digital war on video views/comments/engagements. This is because he built it up with influencers.

      The reason I’m bring up the story is if you are launching a startup, and you want to get your name out there, you have to use existing audiences from companies in your space. My first two years here, I was grinding out content with people/companies who sold in our space. I’d do gritty Zoom interviews with people, and then share it, feature them, etc.

      When I would post the content online, I’d tag the person and company I did it with, and they’d share it since it was free content for them. Within months, we were able to double and quadruple our traffic, and build our own audience.

      So if you are taking meetings as growth or marketing person, most of those meetings should be with someone that you can record and post online that your target audience wants to see.

      For me, I wanted us to get in front of sales reps. So I had bangers like Zach Barney, Jack Kosakowski, Tyler Lessard, John Barrows, Mark Hunter, etc. do interviews with me. I’d also find companies that targeted reps. Companies like Outreach, CirrusInsight, SalesLoft, LinkedIn, etc…these companies want free good content too.

      I’d post them online, cut the content into little snippets, and feed both LeadIQ and those influencers audiences content for months. These weren’t webinars with customers on it. They were just pieces of valuable content and access to these people a person would never have time to talk to.

      I’d say if you are just starting out, you should have at least one meeting with an influencer a day that you can record and post online. Or, user generated content.

      Use the tips I gave you in the cold email experiment stuff above to get these meetings booked. When your company is too small, you don’t have time to hide in spreadsheets. You have to get yourself out there before you run out money, and fail.

      Hope this helps.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 3 How do you best start building a Growth team? Who has to be in there? 

      Start with yourself, but add people in areas you suck at as you grow. Only add people if it will produce net ROI from them joining. You won’t know this always.

      There are too many Silicon Valley influenced companies out there that get funding, and burn it because there is an expectation that they are going to be 100x that size in 5 years. Your time is best served being careful with your funding, learning from customers, and having little wins every day. LITTLE WINS! If there are 250 business days in a year, and you can have one win a day, you’ll get 250 wins a year. That’s a bigger win to me than putting all the chips on the table for one tactic you hope will scale and be a home run.

      My background prior to LeadIQ was heavily on the promotions, prospecting, brand marketing, copywriting, and content side. When it comes to doing things like measuring, analytics, and understanding what’s working and not working…I was losing a lot of time everyday trying to do that analysis. We did it early on, but it takes me longer to run things. So what did I do? I started shifting my focus to be more on doing things everyday that people could see.

      So I’d recommend having your team start out with just you, and figure out what you are good at. Where you are not great at, get someone to come in and do better in the areas you are weak in.

      As your company’s customer list grows, and you fear you could get some churn, it’s time to bring someone in who can get deeper, and be more thoughtful about things like onboarding, and conversion. Thoughtfulness is the most important aspect of everything we do as growth and marketing people.

      Today I have a great Demand Generation person who helps us with a lot of our analytics and retention stuff. She’s focused on improving our process, getting the product positioned to convert more users that come in, and then measuring it.

      I could try to do this, but to be thoughtful, and produce the same result, she’s a good complimentary piece of our team.

      So what should you look for in a hire?

      I recommend getting someone that can fill the opposite spots that you can. I recommend hiring someone that can be a face of your brand. Early on, when you are under 50 employees, your company needs every person that works there to be a face of the company. It’s the best way to get the word out about us, and expand our reach.

      Now with the success we’ve had with video, I’m actually looking to bring in a producer to help us crank out more of this year, and help us get upmarket more. I’ll also be hiring out someone to do product marketing. This hire will help us a ton with organizing things, coordinate with the product team on new releases.

      Organization, and process are things that compliment me well. That’s what’s important for everyone here. Find what you suck at, and if you can afford it, get someone to do those things better than you can.

      1 Share
    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: # 4. Have two teams (e.g. Growth team and core value) or does a whole unit have to be focused on growth? 

      Learned this big from Kyle York at Dyn (acquired by Oracle for like $600+ million).

      I am a big believe in one REVENUE team. This means everyone is aligned to revenue. Sales, marketing, support, demand generation, etc. I see so many teams that don’t align because they create too many splits. Brand and demand gen are together for us right now, and will likely stay that way. Sales and marketing support each other like crazy.

      If one of our reps is prospecting someone, and can’t get them to respond…I’ll ask the prospect to be on a podcast. They usually say yes, and I’ll coordinate it with the sales rep trying to get in. Once we record the podcast, it’s like we made a new friend of the company.

      On the content end, I’m constantly asking my reps to give me an hour a week to make content with them. Usually video is the best for this since they can talk. Then when they target prospects, I use LeadIQ, export the CSV of their target prospects and accounts, and run custom audience sets on social with those contacts on FB, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google.

      Guess what content the target prospect sees? Our sales rep that’s been reaching out to them in something we did.

      Prospects want to respond to people they know. If they see your rep on a video, and they get another email from the rep, they are way more likely to respond. I call this the Tom Brady effect.

      If Tom Brady wrote an email to me…you sure as hell sure I’d respond.

      Our prospecting team here gets usually around a 20-30% response rate on cold outreach now doing stuff like this. The reps always have a call to action to a marketing activity we are doing, and it works great to align everyone.

      Make your sales reps faces of your company, and you’ll naturally support each other. If a rep can talk to a camera or be in front of customers, why bother hiring them?

      Long story short: Revenue is revenue. Put things together and you can achieve great things having one goal.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 5. Any framework recommendations? Scrum looks be too slow w/ 2 week sprints - what are your experiences? 

      Scrum is more for dev isn’t it? We did this at my last two startups.

      Sprints and stuff for marketing/growth projects can definitely be done, but we don’t do this here yet except on the product end. I don't touch product really except for features and roadmap stuff (coming up with ideas since I do some of the stuff our target customers do).

      We tried it but too much chaos would happen throughout the week, and basically made it too hard to be flexible planning things out 1 week, or 2 weeks at a time.

      Good example..this AMA. It's a great opportunity for us to share what we know, and what we've learned. I didn't know I was doing this until about a week or two ago. If I had a sprint to finish something else, this would definitely eat into that getting done. I'd rather do something right and with a lot thought, than put something out just to get it complete by a deadline.

      The best thing to do instead is to setup deadlines when you first start out. If you don’t make deadlines, it’s very easy to get stuck and not finish things.

      Urgency has to be on your side for this. Best way to make a tangible deadline is to do something outward facing with customers and prospects. Announce a date of something coming out. Work with outside people.

      I started doing some work with the Creation Agency to help me with setting up operations on the marketing automation...and working with them has helped me a ton with having external deadlines. If I don't get them something, we're wasting our money working with them.

      We do have some general rules here for getting things done:

      -Always have 3 pieces of new content a week. This gives us enough ways to give value to people all the time.

      -Always have employees share their own content at least once a week. If you a sales rep or just getting started and a connection added you on LinkedIn, you’ll get pulled out of their feed if you don’t post something every 6 days.

      -Do some sort of lead generation marketing activity with a few influencers at least once a month once you have your own audience.
      We do this publicly with a deadline to make sure it gets done. If we for some reason didn’t have a date, it’d get done when it can..and that’s not good. We like doing longer content for people at least once a month. Longer content allows us to apply what I call Media Friend Theory.

      There was a study done that showed that people who watch people in entertainment are more likely to feel like they are friends with those people being exposed to them for a longe period of time. That’s the real value of doing longer content. It isn’t lead gen. It’s making friends with prospects through giving value.

      Without a sprint, I can tell you we put out over 200+ new links last year of content. That's podcast, videos, blog posts, tutorials, landing pages, web pages, etc. Think of that for a second. That's a ton of great stuff to help people.

      In the upcoming year, we’ll be taking this to a whole new level with quality. More on this later.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 6. Would you say a data analyst is mandatory or who should interpret the numbers? 

      Not at all. You need a big set of data first before getting a full time data analyst. If you don’t traction, having a data person is a waste of time in my opinion. What people get caught up on all the time is things like reply rates, visitors, conversions, etc. The biggest number you need to look at is REVENUE, and the cost of acquiring that customer. Did it actually turn into money? You can easily get software to do this..or just check your company’s bank account haha.

      At Dyn, once we had big set of data to look at and understand..then it’s time for a full time hire for this position. We had this guy named Raj Vysetty who went through our data and helped us understand opportunities to make money. He’s the man. We had millions of data points at that points, and he was able to find sneaky ways that we could make more money with our existing business unit.

      At that point though, we had hundreds of thousands of customers, tons of MQLs who had come in..and even some customers who churned that we could figure out how to bring back. That was were the data turned into money for us. If you think you have a ton of unstructured data that needs someone snooping around, then it’s time to hire a data analyst.

      Other wise, hold off until you have enough data.

      With LeadIQ since we have prospect contact data, and have to structured a bunch of it, we’ll like need someone like this for our business this year. It won’t be from the marketing front though. It’ll mainly be for product stuff.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: # 7. Prioritizing: e.g. using ICE score: Hypothesis and experiments? hypo only? experiment only? 

      So we don’t really do ICE stuff. Our product is heavily driven though by customers who ask for features, and how easy they are to use.

      We don’t use the ICE score stuff to make decisions yet. Some elements of it do help us, but from an equation stand point, we aren’t scoring on this system.

      I say the best thing is to talk to customers that pay you actual money. Find out what problems they are really dealing with, then work backwards.

      If you have an idea, talk to more customers and look for “Groundhog Day” as my pal Jon Dwyer says. If you have ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day”…it’s about a character living the same day over and over again. If you hear the same problem coming up over and over again, there is a pretty good chance that you can come up with a solution, especially if it fits with what problems you are solving already.

      We have channel in Slack where employees screenshot and share feature requests. When we do a quarterly product roadmap review, everyone gathers around and we just look at that channel. It’s really fun, and usually we talk about what could do to solve these problems.

      Make some pop corn, look at that channel, and get talk through it.

      Love me some good pop corn!

  • TO

    Tiago Otani

    11 days ago #

    Hi Ryan, thanks for sharing your time and knowledge with us!

    1- What is the ICP (ideal customer profile) at LeadIQ?

    2- How does LeadIQ stand out from the competition?

    3- What was the impact of the GDPR for your business?

    Thank you!

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      Hey man! Thanks for helping put this together.

      1. Our ICP is mainly VP of Sales of B2B companies, with sales teams that prospect ranging from 5-500.

      We help a ton of SDRs, AEs, and BDRs with cutting steps in their prospecting, so it's even better if they use tools like Saleforce, Outreach, SalesLoft, and LinkedIn Sales Nav for us.

      That's typically what we are working with at the moment.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      2. Biggest thing we do from a marketing/growth perspective is focus on workflow. Other traditional database companies sell you data thats in their database. We find the data in real time, which puts us at an advantage because it's easier for us to live outside your CRM. Name, Title, and Company aren't enough to prospect someone anymore. You need to be reading about them online somewhere. You need to out there consuming what they are saying and where they hanging.

      Research first prospecting is what's working now. The days of sending templates are gone. It's now time to personalize, and if you want to do that, you need something in your stack that makes that flow work best. That's we come in.

      From a brand stand point, we are jester brand archetype. That means we try to entertain people while we give them value. Try to find ways to make them smile and laugh, while educating them. If we go look at our competitors out there (there are many), you probably couldn't come up with more than 3-4 words to describe them...and I don't mean product features or reviews.

      That's intentional. We want people to stop and look at us because understand them. We have empathy for our customers and prospects. We know the drudge it is to reach out to a ton of prospects and hear "no" more than you hear yes. If we can get rid of the annoying parts for them, while being fun and relatable, we're going to win.

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      RE: 3. GDPR is actually kind of a cool challenge for us. It's so far been more of an opportunity vs. a threat.

      Since we aren't a traditional database (meaning we find most of our data in real time) we haven't had to make super big changes to our product. The big thing we had to do was build out a place for our customers to put in the people that they don't have permission to reach out to.

      So any customer in Europe that wants to know what people don't want to be reached out to can list people who have opted out from GDPR and see it before they even capture a prospect.

      For example, if Mike Smith from Germany says to one of customers, "Hey I don't want to be reached out to. Please respect my rights with GDPR." That customer can tell us inside the product, and we'll warn other users if they find Mike before they try to capture him into their CRM.

      That's pretty cool. We potentially could have the largest directory of people who don't want to get reached out to as we grow and get more companies in Europe sharing that information.

      We get most of our info from public data that's available on the web. Some of it will occasionally come from our community dataset that users feed to us who choose to.

      This helps us a lot since GDPR is designed to prevent people from using personal data. We could potentially help companies with compliance with this as they build out their prospecting teams. This is something we are thinking about since we have the advantage of being a real time prospect data finder and importer.

  • OW

    Ollie Whitfield✌️

    11 days ago #

    Can you tell us one example of when you ran a campaign or made marketing material that you thought was awesome, but the results were not very good. Can you explain what you learned, why this happened :) Love the content you guys do

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      Yes! Thanks man.

      Ollie...when I was at Dyn, a good friend of mine, Tom Denniston and I made a song called "The Legend of Dyn."

      It was video where Tom and I wrote the story of how Dyn was formed. Here's the video:

      https://youtu.be/gcURd2_uxQk

      We thought the song was awesome, and thought if we sent it to prospects and ran ads against it, it'd kill and do super well.

      Guess what happened. NOTHING. The only cool thing was our CRO Kyle loved it and shared it across the company, and threw it up on the "ABOUT" page.

      So what was the lesson?

      Well the lesson was...the content was selfish. The prospects we sent it to were getting a video that was about us, not them. It wasn't about their feelings, it was about our feelings.

      When we ran ads of it on other places (display...YouTube) it was about us. The gritty video wasn't the problem. The problem was we made it about ourselves.

      6 months later, Tom and I went back to the drawing board and came up with an idea to make songs for prospects that was about them.

      With the approval of our marketing team, a budget, we ended up putting together a whole prospecting and marketing effort around 7 target accounts. We made music videos for them with customized songs about THEM.

      This was the end result:

      Dyn Loves Hulu
      Dyn Loves Career Builder
      Dyn Loves Career Builder

      Etc. Customizing the songs to be about the prospects was huge for us. We ended up yielding a meeting with 83% of them switching the tactic to be about them vs. us.

      We didn't try the other idea, we may have never got that point, and had great success.

      We even got published about it:
      TheNextWeb

      So..that's the lesson. Make things about your target audience, and not yourself. YOU FIRST... I SECOND.

  • BI

    Benjelloun Ibrahim

    11 days ago #

    Hi Ryan,
    What is the best books thats help a lot during your marketing journey?
    Thanks in advance

    • RO

      Ryan O'Hara

      11 days ago #

      Well I never learned how to read so... =(.... .

      I was talking to my good pal Kevin the other day and we were geeking out about "Contagious" by Jonah Berger.

      Berger goes deep into what makes things go viral...and has lots of stories to prove it out. When I read it, it sort of changed my perspective on how to think of what makes people hit the SHARE button.

  • RO

    Ryan O'Hara

    11 days ago #

    Thanks for the questions everyone. Feel free to keep em coming if you want.

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