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Ray is a forward-thinking senior executive with a massive amount of experience in delivering results for a variety of companies – from start-ups to Fortune 500, software to services, consumer to B2B. Most notable accomplishments including launching the first website to sell PCs directly driving $500MM in business; to launching one of the first installments Microsoft enterprise software as an SaaS platform; building and launching dozens of apps; to re-branding four different organizations ranging in revenues from $100M to $9B – driving hundreds of millions in new revenues.

Based in NYC, his current role is as Head of Marketing at Pollfish - a startup that has created the largest mobile survey network - allowing anyone to create a survey in minutes, and get results in real time by accessing over 200M consumers via their mobile phone. Ray is also an Adjunct Instructor at NYU teaching Mobile Marketing & Digital Marketing.

He has led internal creative agencies that devised and implemented seven-figure high-impact marketing campaigns and branding strategy for leading brands such as Stryker, Oticon, Nike, Nicole Miller, Staples, Home Depot, JCPenney, Macy’s, & L’Oreal – driving revenues and engagement in B2B, B2C, and B2B2C markets.

He credits his career’s success with attracting and recruiting top talent, and empowering employees to achieve their highest potential by aligning their strengths with the organization’s strategic vision and goals. His motto is: “Think Big, start fast, get stuff done, and have fun along the way.

You can follow him on Twitter: @RayBeharry

He will be live on May 12th starting 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible.

  • KS

    kris shkodrani

    over 3 years ago #

    Thank you for doing this AMA.

    Considering the number of startups launching each day it is hard to differentiate, build a brand name, grow and be profitable at the same time. What advice would you give to startups with tiny marketing resources? Thank you again.

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      As a small startup, you have to spend wisely. And for that matter, so do established companies.

      Growth Hacks are great ways to get initial traction, but may not be right for all.

      It's about optimizing your mix of POEM (Paid, Owned, Earned, Media), and using a little creativity to out-market the other guys marketing.

      Make sure you are optimizing the most powerful factor - advocacy. Once you figure out what your first 10-20 customers love about your product, make it easy/rewarding for them to share, and for others to discover.

      There's a good guide here that will help you with the basics:

      https://www.ventureharbour.com/ultimate-startup-marketing-strategy/

  • AH

    Agnes Haryuni

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray! I had a couple of questions for you
    1. How do you think mobile marketing could benefit a startup that cannot giveaway free stuff? I see most mobile marketing only depend on paid advertising or giveaway free signup, free download, etc. But how about a small startup which business model cannot do a free giveaway like that?
    2. How would you promote tacos in mexico?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      First you have to define your personas - where your customers’ eyes are. What interests them, who influences them? There are 5 wisdoms that make people buy.
      Wisdom of Experts
      Celebrities
      Crowds
      Testimonials
      Friends

      Then figure out if or what channels on mobile would be right for you to reach those people. Creativity can cut through clutter, but only if you know how to reach your audience. Simply throwing ads on mobile won’t necessarily work - it’s too big of a market, and people have become ad-blind

      • CK

        Chris Kasonga

        over 3 years ago #

        Very interesting point here, Ray.

        Indeed people are developing blind spots for ads. So I would add one thing for Agnes Haryuni.

        Ad-spending is one thing, but make sure the ad stands out too AND most importantly shows up at the most relevant time + most relevant platform (website, desktop, mobile, app, etc.) + most relevant place (geo) + most relevant timing (know what's going on globally online/offline, what topics are viral right now, Remarketing, etc.)

        Having big budgets means nothing if you don't understand where you place your ads and what's mostly going to happen.

        As Ray said; "figure out if or what channels on mobile would be right for you to reach those people" that's very crucial.

  • OP

    Ojus Patil

    over 3 years ago #

    What's the best way for a someone with a quantitative, direct response background to learn about branding?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      In addition to the 4 factors that influence a business;
      Customers
      Competitors
      Competition
      Creativity

      A brand must define its
      Purpose
      Positioning
      Personality

      http://firstround.com/review/three-moves-every-startup-founder-must-make-to-build-a-brand-that-matters/

      Understanding the basics of what makes companies really great - and why people want to connect with them are contained in there.

      I would also subscribe to branding blogs, follow advertisers' networks, and make sure you understand personally,

      Why do I buy, what I buy?

      Would you advocate for the products that you buy? That's a powerful emotional connection that marketers ultimately try to get to, by delivering powerful, meaningful experiences for customers.

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 3 years ago #

        "Would you advocate for the products that you buy?"
        This is an interesting question. Just because I buy something, doesn't necessarily mean I'm proactively going to be advocating for it, even if I find it useful/it's solving a problem etc.

        So what, if anything, can we do to create the mindset in people who buy from us to be more likely to (want to) spread the word?

      • RB

        Ray Beharry

        over 3 years ago #

        You need to create a product/experience that is so powerful, people can't imagine a world with out it.
        That's how some brands like BMW, Apple, Slack etc create a cult-like following.

  • AA

    Ahfaz Ahmed

    over 3 years ago #

    Hey Ray!

    I have just one question for you:

    1. What are some great methods of promoting product without email marketing. There methods like giving away free stuff to people to get them in your email list. But what to do when you have no social authority, no website readers and no email subscribers.

    It's like promoting a product where no one knows you even exist!

    How would you tackle with this problem?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      Email works - when it's
      Personalized
      Relevant
      Timely
      Compelling

      But you have to get the emails first!

      I would ask the following questions, to understand my audience, and develop a CONTENT STRATEGY: Remember, we have to stop INTERRUPTING what people are interested in, and BECOME what they are interested in. - Craig Davis

      Where does the audience spend their time?
      Who are their influencers?
      What drives their behavior?
      Who else are they considering?
      What do they search for?
      What are they talking about?
      What drives emotional connections?

      Then determine:
      What does your brand stand for?
      Why do customers come to you?
      Will your content support your brands goals?
      Are you helping people along the way?

      You can also try partnership/affiliate marketing. Sites that are complementary that already has the mindshare of your audience - if you can provide value to them and their users, that is a great way to drive customers to your door.

      4 Share
  • PS

    Pravin Singh

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,

    What is the best marketing approach for SDK offering that typically takes less than 30 mins to integrate?

  • AA

    Aldin A

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for being here!

    1) Can you name some resources , outside of growth hackers,that you use to learn and stay up to date with growth hacking and marketing?

    2) what is your strategy for keeping your user base engaged?

    3) what is your strategy for retaining your users?

    4) what marketing tools do you use? Can you you list them and explain your rationale for using each?
    5)Do you have one metric that matters? If so how did you discover what it was?

    Thanks

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      1) This is a long list, so get ready
      PSFK
      AdExchanger
      AdAge
      Digiday
      SearchEngineLand
      ContentMarketingInstitute
      Brandtale
      Business2Community
      MMA Smartbrief
      Momentology
      Digital.nyc
      Medium
      Pocket
      TechDay
      CrunchBase
      FundersClub
      Total Retail Report
      Strictly VC
      eMarketer
      HubSpot
      Charlie O' Donnell (Brooklyn Bridge Ventures)
      SmartBrief
      LinkedIn Pulse
      Harvard Biz Review
      Forbes
      Ted
      Quora

      Of course, there are many more out there, and I don't suggest you subscribe to all. These have just been interesting to me for different reasons.

      2) Create products that solve problems and delight at EVERY TOUCH POINT.

      Constantly ask yourself and customers How can we do this better?
      What would ______ (insert hero/heroine brand) do?

      3) Keep them highly engaged with great content that provides value to them - even if it isn't selling a product.

      One of my favorite emails is from Food52 - it is the BEST email I get all day. I look forward to receiving it. I share it. I tell everyone about it. Yet I rarely buy... But when I need something related, I know where to go.. They own that MINDSHARE, which will turn into SHARE OF WALLET>

      4) Here's a short list of tools;

      Buffer
      Pardot
      Intercom
      AdRoll
      Datanyze
      Crazy Egg
      Mixpanel
      Google Analytics
      Optinmonster

      For a complete list - go to www.growthverse.com

      Search thousands of marketing companies....

      5) yes, the ONE METRIC you should measure: ROMS, Return on Marketing Spend.

      The ONE QUESTION you should ask customers:

      "Are you better off now than you were before - as a result of our interaction with you?"

      https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/one-powerful-question-you-need-build-your-brand-ray-beharry-mba?trk=prof-post

      2 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    over 3 years ago #

    Bonjour Ray,

    Thanks for doing this AMA, exciting!

    A few questions for you:

    1) Is there a way to tie a product-market fit survey on Pollfish to the actual use of the mobile product you'd run the survey for? Have you seen such attempts to do so by early stage mobile entrepreneurs? If so, how? That's 3 questions in 1! :D

    2) Let's say you made a core assumption on your "must have" target segment to validate product-market fit for your mobile solution. What are the three most important things (or less than 3) that your mobile marketing growth plan should include a- before you have validated product-market fit b- after you clearly extracted the product-market fit signal from your early product iterations? That's 2 questions in 1, getting better!

    3) Where do you see the future of mobile marketing?

    Merci beaucoup!

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      1) We have templates on exactly that:
      https://www.pollfish.com/pf/survey-templates/market-research-product-feedback
      We see a lot of early stage entrepreneurs use this - but not enough!!!! And established businesses can learn this lesson as well.

      If you think you have a great idea, you should VALIDATE that with your core audience before you begin building it.

      Otherwise, you may have built the wrong product - all for naught!

      2) A mobile marketing plan should consider the following:
      Understand the mobile landscape, opportunities and challenges – how companies use mobile to reach their customers.
      Identify how current and future mobile trends, applications and technologies and can be leveraged mobile to support overall organizational marketing strategy
      Research, analyze and segment a mobile target audience.
      Explain how consumer journeys in a mobile world differ from traditional marketing.
      Differentiate between strategy and mobile tactics.
      Match mobile technologies & content to best support marketing objectives

      3) I teach a class on this at NYU, but in short:

      Image recognition
      Predictive computing
      Hyper-geo-location
      Wearable devices - like tech tats (tattoos)

  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,

    Amazing to have you on thank you so much for agreeing to do this AMA!

    A couple of questions from me:
    1) It seems like you've been heavily involved in companies that actually turn revenue. What are your feelings and long term views on high growth companies that have been favouring growth over revenue? On that same vein how would you assist a company like Linkedin in trying to better achieve monetisation?

    2) Having participated in a number of different types of companies what is your favourite company culture to work for, for both personal satisfaction and for getting stuff done?

    3) What recruitment mistakes are companies making when undergrowing period of rapid growth and how can a company better prepare itself for scaling and finding the best talent?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      1) I think it depends on the company.
      Growth is important - maybe too important - because you can't put "Growth" in the bank.
      Solving problems delightfully is more important. And doing so profitability will be as important.
      So, it's ok to have a strategy to drive growth, if it's followed by a strategy to drive profitability.
      Otherwise you're burning cash.

      I think LinkedIN can benefit from serving micro-economies, as a next frontier.
      There are so many industries out there, and it's sometimes hard to find who/what you are looking for in the ocean of LinkedIn....
      I think small ecosystems serve their users better - when they can find and help each other.

      2) The best cultures are ones where the employees' values match those of the company / leadership.
      For me, that's
      creativity
      integrity
      learning
      ownership
      collaboration

      What are yours?

      3) Choosing candidates for achievements in the past, versus FIT and ability to deliver in the future. Some of the best hires may have been mediocre in the past, but when they get into an environment where they can shine, and do what they do best everyday - it's a formula for epic success.

      4 Share
  • CM

    Carmelo Mannino

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray, Thanks so much for doing the AMA!

    Can you talk a little bit about apps and more specifically how much mobile marketing is done within the application versus outside of the application itself and what the proper mix is?

    Thanks

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      Great question!
      There are volumes written on this...

      I think it boils down to:

      What the core value proposition?

      With 1.5M+ app in Play and App Store, why would someone choose yours?

      Yes, 90% of our time on mobile is spent in-app - but how are they discovered, shared, installed, used, and become one of those 10% of apps that are used on a regular basis?

      So, there are a variety of to drive attention, acquisition, adoption, activation, and retention - I don't think there is one formula that is right for all.

      Go back to the 5 wisdoms mentioned above:
      Celebrities
      Experts
      Friends
      Testimonials
      Crowds

      And some apps may by-pass those completely.

      Campaigns can be pure mobile, in-app, app discovery, digital via POEM (Paid, Owned, Earned, Media)...
      Tools like Tune, Localytics, App Boy etc - can help you determine what the best channels are, and how to optimize them.

      2 Share
  • YS

    Yakin Shah

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,
    Could I ask this question?
    How a startup (ideation stage) - (lots with out funds), can drive sales. Best practices, social media?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      First, nail down the basics of startup marketing.. I mentioned this guide previously:

      https://www.ventureharbour.com/ultimate-startup-marketing-strategy/

      Social isn't necessarily the answer - that will depend on your customers. Find out
      what they care about,
      where they go for information,
      and how they want to consume information

      It also really depends on what your startup does- is it B2B, B2C, B2B2C?
      Who are the competitors?

      Do you have something uniquely differentiated?
      Is it faster/better/cheaper/easier to use? Enough so that an installed-competitive customer would abandon their current solution to use yours?

      If not, rethink your startup, because if you can't answer YES emphatically to any of those, then you may not have a valuable startup.

      • YS

        Yakin Shah

        over 3 years ago #

        The answers to the questions is YES. But when we read a blog with all lot of ways and methods, It becomes difficult for any startup or its founders at the very beginning of the cycle to judge what to exactly start with out of 20+ tips.

        Hopefully, these founders at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial journey would more appreciate if the answers to their worries in marketing arena is to the point and exactly what they should do. Not obvious tips.

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,

    Welcome to GrowthHackers.

    1) Assume I own a mobile app, and want to get it into people's phone. Is there a comprehensive guide/framework you see that is out there I can follow? For example, depends on the nature/audience of the app, which channels/tactics to focus on, primarily focused on US, but potentially different international strategy?

    2) Is app store still the main way for app discover today? Give the big inefficiency there, do you see it is changing?

  • DC

    David Carter

    over 3 years ago #

    Do you think that marketing on mobiles are currently too aggressive or do you think we'll see much more in the future?

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    over 3 years ago #

    Hi Ray,

    Happen to see this member's question, and wonder you can help him:

    Basically he is planning to launch his mobile app in South America, and asked about whether there are any specific mobile traffic channels other than Facebook and Adwords

    https://growthhackers.com/questions/could-you-help-me-with-researching-best-mobile-traffic-channels-in-south-america

  • TS

    Terence Strong

    over 3 years ago #

    What is the best way for an ecommrce company to differentiate within a crowded market?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      Do something unique.
      Tell a story that is unique, and compelling.
      Take lessons from other industries.
      Learn from your customers. Ask them to "wave the magic wand" and what would they want to see fixed/in a new solution - then deliver it.
      Learn from your competitors (especially mistakes).

      Offer to be extremely helpful at every step of the way.
      Show them!

  • RB

    Ray Beharry

    over 3 years ago #

    Great question.

    We've been saying for a number of years, every year "This is the year of mobile". (Kind of like, this is the year of video" - but when Mobile Internet Usage surpassed desktop last year, we know that Mobile Has Eaten the World.

    Should you be mobile-responsive, mobile-first, mobile-only?

    YES. And IT DEPENDS.

    We need to understand our customers' journey first (CX) - and the experiences they want (UX) in order to decide which path to take.

    The best answer is to be mobile-optimized. Meaning, know each touch point along your customer's journey, and how you can deliver what they want, how they want it - 24/7.

    Customers don't differentiate between screens. Neither should we.

    While they do use smartphones/tablet differently, no one thinks about their device, they think about the utility it brings them... Just as, no one really cares what your app/product/service is called - they care about why you made it, and what's in it for them

    IMO, you should have an UMBRELLA STRATEGY for engaging customers, and mobile should be an integral part of that - B2B, B2C, or B2B2C... chances are, someone will want to connect with you at some point in the journey on mobile. You need to do everything you can to leverage technology so you can deliver on their expectations.

    2 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    Hey Ray - stoked to have you on!

    What are the 1-3 biggest/most fundamental things that most people still do not understand about how marketing works with mobile?
    Who in your opinion is absolutely crushing it in your opinion and why?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      I think people (marketers, advertisers, publishers, media buyers and sellers) believe that they can take the existing desktop model, throw it on a bunch of mobile devices and "Voila!" - instant revenues.

      Doesn't work like that. People are ad-blind.

      They also what they want, when they want, and how they want it. Also realize, there are ENTIRE POPULATIONS or SEGMENTS of the population that are ONLY ON MOBILE. For socio-economic, technical, or even life-style reasons.

      Their needs and expectations are clearly different from everyone else.

      You have to understand your users' experience, and create a way for them to address their needs that is so natural, simple, and unique- they can't afford to be without your product or service.

      Some of best are quite personal to me,
      Amazon. The mobile app experience is just as powerful and convenient as the desktop

      Facebook Instagram and Snapchat. Does anyone even use desktop for these social media outlets?

      Pandora/Spotify/iHeartRadio etc - 6 years ago, would you have dreamed of replacing your own music with someone else's feed? Now, I can't even remember how to access my own songs.

      Google. Cmon - they didn't invent the idea of Zero Moment of Truth - but they sure are ahead of the curve in embracing it. https://www.ventureharbour.com/ultimate-startup-marketing-strategy/

      Who among us doesn't use some Google app on their phone?

      You can get more examples of mobile best practices and people to get jealous over here: http://webbyawards.com/winners/2015/

      From campaigns to web sites to apps to use of cameras.

      3 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    One more (and apologies if it's a badly worded question)
    What's your take on the whole mobile-first thing and mobile only debate(s) that keeps circling around?
    What really determines if you should be mobile first or mobile only or whether it doesn't really matter?

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      Sorry for the late reply!

      Forget mobile-first, or mobile-only... think CUSTOMER-FIRST, in context, and appeal to them as a person - no matter what device they are on.

  • SR

    shahnur rahman

    over 3 years ago #

    Ray,

    Pleasure having you on growth hackers.

    I got one a set of questions for you.

    Being an expert on marketing, what do you think most business failed to achieve in marketing last year? What i mean is from your point of view, what was the one most significant mistake business made in marketing last year? What would be your advice to them for future precautions?

    Thanks,
    Sayed

    • RB

      Ray Beharry

      over 3 years ago #

      Sorry for this late reply; I just noticed I missed your question.

      The big miss, in my mind, is lack of personalization, and providing what users/customers want, in context.

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