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Jen Grant

18 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Nothing Matters Without A Good Brand - A MARKETING CONVERSATION with Jen Grant


For bonus content, sign up here: https://lamphousefilms.com/signup/​ If you want to chat with us about your next campaign, you can reach us here: https://lamphousefilms.com/contact/​ In this episode, Josh and Jen take on some common ideas, like the thought that building a company comes before building a brand, and the belief that if a product is good enough, it will sell itself.


22 Mar 2021

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CMO of Multiple Billion Dollar Startups & CEO of Appify Jen Grant

Innovation and Leadership with Jess Larsen

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22 Mar 2021

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336 No-Code Rapid App Delivery with Jen Grant @ Appify

thinkfuture with kalaboukis

Jen Grant currently leads Appify as CEO, delivering an enterprise-grade no-code platform that supports companies such as TataMD, Johnson & Johnson, and Keysight in quickly delivering apps to their mobile workforces. Prior to Appify, spent the last 15 years taking multiple companies to over a billion-dollar valuation. As CMO, Jen Grant led Looker’s marketing until the 2.6B acquisition by Google in 2019, led the rebrand of Elastic and built the team that took the company public for 2.4B in 2018, and grew Box from a small start-up to an industry-leading enterprise content company with a 1.7B IPO in 2015.  Grant also spent 4 years at Google leading the Google Apps EDU, Gmail, and Book Search marketing teams. She holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Princeton.  Learn more about Jen and Appify's mission at www.appify.com--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thinkfuture/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thinkfuture/support


14 Mar 2021

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Ep.12 - Lead Generation with Customer Success and Content Strategy with Jen Grant CEO, Appify

Paris Talks Marketing

Meet Jen Grant, the CEO of Appify – a leading no-code mobile app development agency with a zeal for perfection and innovation. Hear their approach to lead generation, nurturing, and conversions. You’d learn from their experience with:- Building trust with face-to-face interactions. - Why it’s worth investing in outstanding customer experience. - Growing audiences and brand awareness via LinkedIn and content marketing.- Adding good quality video to their content strategy toolbox.Have you ever considered building an app for a specific business problem you’re facing? Many people are fascinated by the fact that they can build an app on their own, but they don't know exactly what they are going to do with it. Appify helps with identifying the business pain points, and see what app they can build to resolve those issues.


9 Mar 2021

Most Popular

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Episode 46 - From working at Google to start-up CEO with Jen Grant

Million Dollar PIVOT

More about Jen:Jen Grant has spent the last 15 years building companies from the ground-up and taking multiple companies to over a billion-dollar valuation. As CMO, Jen Grant led Looker’s marketing until the 2.6B acquisition by Google in 2019, led the rebrand of Elastic and built the team that took the company public for 2.4B in 2018, and grew Box from a small start-up to an industry-leading enterprise content company with a 1.7B IPO in 2015. Prior to that, Grant spent 4 years at Google leading the Google Apps EDU, Gmail, and Book Search marketing teams. She holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Princeton.Connect with Jen:https://appify.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/jencgrant/https://www.linkedin.com/company/appifyinc/https://twitter.com/turbo_systems?lang=enhttps://www.facebook.com/AppifyInc/ Connect with Jamie:Join her FREE Facebook Group, Influencer Circle:https://www.facebook.com/groups/influencercircle.milliondollarstory


15 Jan 2021

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How Jen Grant Built the Marketing for 3 Billion Dollar SaaS Brands

SaaS Breakthrough

In this episode, you'll hear about the key lessons that Jen learned while driving the marketing for 3 billion dollar SaaS brands: how to create competitive positioning (critical more than ever in this busy SaaS landscape), how to build customer-centric brands and the benefits of following that marketing strategy, and finally, how to think about brand building and when to truly focus and invest in it. Another episode with a wise and knowledgeable guest, enjoy!Notes:- 03:20 Turning The Whole Concept Of Enterprise Software On Its Head- 05:05 Focusing On The Deepest Pain To Find Product-Market Fit- 07:35 Scaling By Squeezing Into The Broader Company And Other Pain Points- 09:45 The Critical Role Of Competitive Positioning- 13:00 Don't Change Your Positioning: Repeat It, Repeat It, Repeat It- 14:10 Use Feedback To Hone In The Positioning- 15:55 Don't Put The Entire Big Vision Into The Positioning or Tagline- 17:20 Test The Positioning: Look For People To Start Nodding Their Head- 18:10 Get Feedback As Fast As Possible- 19:10 Benefits Of Building a Customer-Centric Brand- 24:45 The Right Time To Do Brand Building- 29:05 CMO's Skills and Success Are Perfect Qualifications To Move Into The CEO Seat- 31:20 The Challenge and Opportunity Of Making Emotional Connections Virtually- 34:00 Lightning Questions


6 Nov 2020

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Build your first App! with Jen Grant

Mission Matters Innovation with Adam Torres

Appify is making it accessible for small businesses to build apps. In this episode,  Adam Torres and Jen Grant, CEO at Appify, explore how small businesses can benefit from building their own apps through Appify.Follow Adam on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/askadamtorres/ for up to date information on book releases and tour schedule.Apply to be interviewed by Adam on our podcast:https://missionmatters.lpages.co/podcastguest/Visit our website:https://missionmatters.com/


19 Oct 2020

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523: Jen Grant - "APPIFY"

Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond

Jen Grant is the CEO of Appify.  She has spent the last 15 years building companies from the ground-up and taking multiple companies to over a billion dollar valuation. As CMO, Jen Grant led Looker’s marketing until the 2.6B acquisition by Google in 2019, led the rebrand of Elastic and built the team that took the company public for 2.4B in 2018, and grew Box from a small start-up to an industry-leading enterprise content company with a 1.7B IPO in 2015. Prior to that, Grant spent 4 years at Google leading the Google Apps EDU, Gmail, and Book Search marketing teams. She holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Princeton. Listen in as Jen connects with Lou Diamond on Thrive LOUD.


8 Oct 2020

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Strategic B2B Marketing & Trends Post-COVID-19 [with Jen Grant]

The Marketing Innovation Show

On today’s episode, Andrei and Jen Grant will be discussing how brands, depending on their sizes, can effectively use marketing in order to scale, as well as post-COVID-19 trends that Jen identified in the past year. More than this, Jen will be sharing with us her experience of transitioning from being a CMO to CEO, giving us top tips on how to lead an innovative brand in an emerging market. Jen Grant is the CEO of Appify, a leading technology delivery agency, specialising in providing digital product development. As CMO, Jen Grant led Looker’s marketing until the 2.6B acquisition by Google in 2019, led the rebrand of Elastic and built the team that took the company public for 2.4B in 2018, and grew Box from a small start-up to an industry-leading enterprise content company with a 1.7B IPO in 2015. Prior to that, Grant spent 4 years at Google leading the Google Apps EDU, Gmail and Book Search marketing teams. She holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Princeton. Connect with Jen: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jencgrant/ Appify on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/appifyinc/ Appify: https://appify.com/ Connect with Andrei: Marketiu: https://marketiu.com / https://marketiu.ro  Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreitiu/ Marketiu on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/marketiu Marketiu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marketiuagency Marketiu on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marketiuagency/ Email at hello@marketiu.ro Listen to the episode on your favourite platform: ▶️ Watch the episode on YouTube: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-YouTube ▶️ Apple Podcasts: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show ▶️ Podbean: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-Podbean ▶️ Spotify: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-Spotify ▶️ Deezer: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-Deezer ▶️ Stitcher: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-Stitcher ▶️ Castbox: https://bit.ly/The-Marketing-Innovation-Show-Castbox Episode transcript: Andrei   Hello, everybody, this is Andrei and you're on The Marketing Innovation Podcast Show. Tuning in straight from Silicon Valley, today with us we have Jen Grant. Jen's the CEO of Appify, a very young startup, as well a marketing superhero, I would say. Jen has a wealth of experience working as a CMO, and Product Marketing Manager for smaller sized companies and startups, as well as medium-sized companies and bigger corporate like Google, where she was a product marketing manager for a very long while. And today, on the podcast, we will talk about how brands, depending on their sizes, can use marketing effectively in order to scale, as well as the trends that Jen saw over the last half a year or so since we were in a weird situation globally, as well as her transition from being a CMO to actually becoming a CEO and leading an innovative brand in an emerging market. So Jen, thanks a lot for tuning in. How are you? Jen   I'm doing great. I'm excited to talk about marketing, talk about Appify, talk about becoming a CEO, I think a lot of marketers out there wonder what happens after CMO and I'm happy to share. Andrei   Awesome. So our public is formed, I would say, not equally, we have more marketers and entrepreneurs and CEO, and CEOs, but we have a very good mix of both of them. So I think it's going to be equally interesting for everybody to hear your story as well as your insights. And I think maybe this would be a good place to start. How did you get into marketing and what was your journey on this marketing path? Jen   Yeah, I think that's a great question. Coming out of school, I messed around - many people did lots of different things, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. And what really struck home for me with marketing and the reason that I ended up going into marketing, was that it was a combination of both creativity, coming up with ideas, brainstorming, reaching people communicating. Of course, when I was younger, I was very much into the arts and theatre. It really served that part of who I am and then on the flip side, there's such a lovely data-driven aspect around marketing that it isn't random, it's very much certainly in B2B marketing, you can run everything from a spreadsheet, it's very technology-driven. And that also spoke to the part of me that likes things in spreadsheets and process and how do we pull this and get this to market? So really, that's where it started for me. And I did lots of different things, but my sort of first real learning experience was as a product marketer at Google, way back in 2004. So it was right after Google's IPO if you can imagine how long ago that was, it was a much smaller company then and a very fun company to be a part of. So I learned a tonne there. That was basically where I started.  Andrei   Mm-hmm. Awesome. So well, it's not worthy. So let's go straight into this one with Google because I think that everybody thinks about marketing and innovation and Google, being the example. How it was to be a manager, leading a team with Google when the change was happening? To be completely honest, I don't remember that much in terms of marketing from that time, but I know that that was a time of change. So what was happening when you were there? How was everything going?  Jen   I think the core thing at Google that product marketers, really learned from that time, is positioning. Is taking complex technology, sort of interesting things that engineers had built, and being able to explain why someone would use them, and position them in the marketplace as something interesting. So specifically, the product that I worked on, in the beginning, was Google Book Search. It was an intensely wild ride. Because we announced that we were going to scan all the books in the libraries, and we knew that publishers and authors would end up suing us. So it was this wild marketing challenge of saying - How do you both work with publishers and authors and explain to them the deeply transformational vision of being able to search every book in a library, while at the same time, including them in that vision and saying this is how all books can be found. And it was very, very difficult. And I think the coming out of there, the importance of communicating simply, and really grabbing people at the very clear reason why they should be interested in a particular product, in this case, it was so big, but even in every day marketing, these are critical skills to have to be able to say- How do I reach that person who may not agree with me, or maybe against what I'm saying and how do I reach them with something that makes them go- Oh, Oh, I get it. And in Book Search case it took time, it took about six to nine months before we really consolidated around the clear story and be able to say- If you take 100% of the world books, only about 15-20% of them are in the public domain, which means that anyone can read them, you could search them online, but also only about 10-15% of them are in print and for sale. The whole chunk of the majority of the books in the world's 60-70% of books, you can't buy them in a store and they are not in the public domain. They're in libraries. And so the idea that we would be able to bring books at the same level of webpages so that someone could search across not just the knowledge of the internet, but the knowledge of all books in libraries is intensely amazing. And this isn't something where we're going into Barnes and Nobles and pulling books off shelves, and somehow you're going to do something bad to Authors and Publishers, this is much more about this 70% of books that no one really has access to, unless they're inside a library, walking down the halls and looking for them. And that sort of core positioning was critical in helping people go- Oh, that's what this is about. This isn't about Google is trying to sell books, or Google is trying to take something away from authors and readers. They're trying to help people FIND books. And it was a wild ride, I learned a tonne, I think coming out of there, there was a lot of PR, a lot of positioning, Product Marketing, writing kind of being able to explain what it is that this thing was. And I think I've benefited from that throughout my career, or just that real, great learning experience of how important positioning is. Andrei   I see. What you just said now sounds like that stage when a brand or a startup tries to figure out the story behind the brand in order to be stronger and bigger than just fulfilling the need. Was this part of your learning that you found so interesting that sort of helped you fuel and deliver much better in your next roles as well as the CEO?  Jen   Absolutely. I think, taking that to the next. So after Google, I went to Box, which was wild and fun. This is what every entrepreneur and every marketer should really be thinking of, is we could have at Box just say- We make file sharing easy. But what we focused on is- How do we position ourselves against the competition, against what people already know and so in the end, our positioning was simple, secure sharing that IT End users love and adopt. And the reason it's important is that it put us right in between, so we said- Okay, Dropbox is very easy for users to use, but it is not secure. SharePoint is very difficult for users to use, but it's very secure and it has all that IT wants. And so what box is, is that solution that allows for an easy to use experience just like Dropbox, but is secure and it has all the tools that your IT group needs. And so that positioning was from as soon as we sort of solidified around that, it is still the positioning that is there today. There are different competitors there, there's additional functionality on top of it, there's more that it does. But that very crystal clear, simple, and secure, put us right in between these two competitors. And later, I've met with folks who were in marketing and Dropbox and who come back and say- Man, you guys made it harder for us to launch our business product, because we just kept repeating it in every opportunity we could. Dropbox is not secure, Box is secure. So in the end, they had to really jump over a couple of bumps, to really get back the- Yes, we're also secure, we can be for business, we can be for teams. And it was because of our consistency in that positioning. And definitely, that's from the working on Book Search at Google and then taking that to Box and the positioning there. And of course, every company I go to now is stepping back and saying- Okay, what is the positioning that going to get us to the point where people go? Andrei   Mm-hmm. And were you from the very beginning involved so much in the strategy beat, or did you have times when you were wearing all sorts of hats, also doing Google Ads or copywriting? Jen   No, I think that's definitely right. I think in all the companies I've been at, certainly the strategy and the thinking about the positioning, but I am a writer. There are always moments where my husband even said it to me- I don't know how long it'll be, but pretty soon, you're gonna rewrite the website. And then I'll laugh and say- Well, I shouldn't. Sometimes he's right, I'll say- I'll just rewrite this page, let me just fix this one. But it's because I'm a writer. At Appify, we actually changed the name of the company, from Turbo systems to Appify. So it was really excited about the change the name, much more explains what we do. And we were working on the launch and again, I'm back at the small stage, I wrote the press release. I'm running the company, but I also wrote the press release. Andrei   Nice. So we'll get to this transition in a very short moment, and guys tuning in, just so you know, we haven't planned how the conversation is going to go. So I don't know either what Jen's gonna say and that's why I'm super excited to hear. But just to zoom in a bit on the strategy bit. So we are a marketing agency, and we have these conversations a lot with clients, some of them had the experience of working on a marketing strategy in the past, or maybe more recently, however, others didn't have the chance, either, because they were pretty small, and they didn't have an established marketing team, or they didn't realize that was something that they should prioritize. And we try to push this idea that it's so important to have a strategy so that you know what to do on each channel. What's your process when you think about the strategy? So first of all, we mentioned the position in, which is something that I think you go from, and that's your start is. So then, what's your thought process? Or how do you approach thinking of a marketing strategy?  Jen   I think that's an excellent point. So I've done it many different ways, I'll walk you through what I did just recently, but I will say that in the least two other cases, I did bring on an agency to help through the thought process, I do think often that is very helpful. Certainly, when you're the CMO or the head of marketing, and you need your CEO to be on board, very often an agency can help bring everyone together around the marketing strategy so that you're not constantly having to convince the CEO that your ideas are right. You have this lovely third party that is in there saying- Yes, this is this the right thing to do and we have the gravitas of being an agency to get it across. In the cases where I've done it on my own and Appify being one example of that, is obviously starting from the positioning. So where do we fit in the market? And where do the competitors fit and how do we secure that position in the middle? And then, the second thing I work on or want to have is messaging pillars. So at least three clear benefits that we can both prove with the product and prove with how customers are using it are real and then resonate and are useful. They're interesting to the customer. So in the case of Appify, we came up with immediate, because you can launch an app in days. So you get immediate results. And then we have proof points that are case studies. And then the second is powerful, so powerful as part of our positioning that you can create powerful apps, not just an air table app, which is a form on top of a spreadsheet, which is lovely and useful. But we actually create powerful apps that integrate with SAP or Oracle or something like that. So that was our second pillar. And then our third pillar, we spent a lot of time thinking about because the other two are so obvious. And the third one, we thought- What do we want to have happened in companies after they start using Appify? And so we ended up with inspiring. Is that we want to inspire people to think differently and go- Oh, I could do this, I could do that, I could do this. In the same way, when Wix and Squarespace suddenly made it easy for anyone to make a website, we want to suddenly make it so easy to create an app that anyone in your company would go- Oh, man, we could create an app that would solve this problem, and we would be way more efficient. And so that was our third pillar. And that's typically the foundation. And of course, you've got your buyers. In the case of a small company, you probably have enough customers that you can kind of step back and say- Ah, these customers are business owners, these customers are leading teams, they're sort of the middle manager type and these are the things they care about. And once you have those, then you basically have your kit. So then you say- Okay, now let's start talking about our channels. So we have, digital marketing, content marketing, what are all the different areas that we think will work and use that messaging as the backbone of what you would put out in all those different channels, whether it's long-form content marketing, or short-form, digital ads? Andrei   Mm-hmm. First of all, so you had the positioning, which fuels the three pillars, like the value proposition parts, and from then onwards, you go into the sort of tactics, which would be how you do implement this. And I think, thinking about your third proposition pillar, I think that helps the sales team as well because basically, you are making people feel like they were already using the app and feeling the benefits before they were actually using it. Communicating the vision, very nice. Super. Okay. So now let's talk about your transition from being a successful and recognized CMO to going into the CEO role. How did this happen?  Jen   Yes, so I was at Looker for almost five years and we were acquired by Google. So I had sort of an interesting moment of saying- Oh, I'm going back to the company that I was at before, effectively. So 10 years later, do I go back to Google? And it was a brilliant outcome for Looker. It was absolutely the right deal to do. I think the technologies of the two companies are very, very complimentary. It was correct in being acquired by Google. Me personally, I had to step back and think- Am I going backwards? Is this what I want? And at the time, any recruiter will know when a company gets acquired that it's time to email everybody in that company and see if they're ready to go somewhere else. So I got a tonne of emails and I thought a lot about it. And I thought I have been there, done that on the CMO thing, I feel quite confident that I've done it enough. And what I really want to try next is that CEO position of running the company. And so the switch was just having the courage to answer those emails and say, thank you for thinking of me, but I'm only looking at CEO positions. And then I started meeting with my network and people that I knew and I would start to say it out loud. And it's funny, you think that's such a simple thing, but it is actually a shift in how you're thinking like I'm saying it out loud and it starts to become real and eventually I got it. Introduce to a VC for Appify. So Rajeev, who's the Mayfield VC, who's on our board, met him, had a great conversation, he introduced me to Hari, who's the founder of Appify. We spent the next six months getting to know each other. Do we agree on building culture, do we agree on sort of core values, do we think the same way around go to market strategies and how he's building the product and what this product could mean to people? And at the end of the six months, it was super clear, he is an excellent partner, we work really, really well together. He is the sort of product and engineering genius on his side like he is in love with the fact that he doesn't have to be CEO and focus on product engineering. And on my end, I have the experience on the go to the market side to really build and grow a team. That was sort of the process of how it happened. I think what is interesting for the marketers, that are your listeners, is - there are so many skills that a CEO needs to have, that is a part of what it means to be a great marketer. Someone might say - Yeah, you're just in marketing, marketers are never CEOs, it's always the head of sales, or it's the head of product. I would tend to disagree because the CEO’s job is to get that positioning right and to be the one out in front of the company, sharing the story of how this company exists, why it's important, how it fits in the marketplace. And so that my CMO ability to basically create the mission and the values and the positioning has been critical and helping to make me a strong CEO. I can lean on that and say - Okay, got this. There are certainly other parts of it, that I'm learning over time that I haven't done before. But as an example, one of the key jobs of a CEO is to raise money when you need to raise money. Well, part of raising money, is telling the story of the company, which is absolutely whatever CMO knows how to do. So maybe I don't know the mechanics of- Okay, now you're interested, here's the data room, here's the financing, here's deal terms. These are the things that I'm learning and of course, I have people on my team and people who are the legal team and the finance team and whatnot are helping me, but the critical component is telling a compelling story about why this company is amazing and why this person should invest and that's something we all know how to do. So I encourage every CMO to go down this path. Andrei   Nice. And what are some of the challenges that you found? Because the role is very different. I can say from my personal story, which obviously is not so established as yours, but I also made this shift when opening the agency, and I felt there were a lot of areas that had to learn very fast how to lead so that we become and eventually became successful. So what was the hardest for you? I'm really curious, or what did you find was unexpected, maybe? Jen   One of the unexpected things, which I think everyone will get a little laugh over, is that as I start looking at the budget, it is a completely different way of looking at it. So when you're the head of marketing, you think about how many leads do I need to produce? How do I build and grow this team? Here the goals of the company, I need this many leads, and in order to do that, here are my channels. And you can run the numbers back and then you pitch the CFO and the CEO and say I need more headcount and you more budget, I'm running these programs, we need brand awareness, all of these things. When you're in the CEO seat, all of a sudden, you're looking at the whole pie. So you're looking at, here's the cash on hand, here's the headcount we have, here's how many sales reps we have, here's the quota capacity. Can we even close the deals? Even if we gave marketing money? Do we even have the people to close the deals? And it becomes a much different conversation. And in fact, I've had moments where I've laughed and said- Actually, I don't think I want to put more money into marketing. I need to hire more sales reps, which of course the CMO was always like- No! We want more money on marketing! This is a case where I don't need to put more money into marketing because I need to get more SDRs to really get on the sales floor based on the needs of the business. So that was sort of an unexpected surprise that I didn't realize. So it becomes more balanced, you have to think about the whole picture. As a marker, of course, you know how to build a budget, you know how to do all of those things. This is a budget that also has the bottom line of- here's how much money we have in the bank. It is a much more important exercise because it isn't just convincing people that you deserve the budget. You're literally in charge. So any mistake you make is your mistake. It's not- Oh, we didn't get enough budget so we weren't able to get enough MQLs, it's- we have this much cash, and we are running the business in a reasonable way so that we know we can hire and we can put programs budget together, and we can get enough revenue to get us to the point that we need to be. So I think I've actually quite enjoyed that part of it, to be honest, because I like the data, I like running the spreadsheets and understanding all the letters. Andrei   Did you think you became more sort of operations-oriented in the process? Jen   Definitely. Yeah. For example, we changed the name of the company, we created a new logo. And I think of it like - my little candy moments where I ordered the swag for the team. And it made me happy. Those little moments of creativity, the parts of marketing that I do love, where I get a little moment where I get to do a little bit of that. And then I go back to the more operational aspects of the role, which is watching a pipeline, hiring these sales reps, see if they performing. Are we able to get to the revenue numbers? What's a reasonable revenue number for us to project, talking to the board, making sure they know, everything that's going on so nothing comes at us as a surprise. All of these different components of the business are not things that I've done before. So definitely, more operational. But I do take my little moments where I order a little swag and have a little bit of the marketing candy. Andrei   Nice. And yeah, I have a question, which is not related to the strategy bit, but it's a curiosity. And we sometimes talk about marketing tools, and I was curious now, for revenue tracking - do you use a tool that you find useful, or if you do, what do you like about it? Jen   Yeah, our current tech stack at Appify is fairly new, meaning we're small. In other companies, there have been lots of other products we've put on top of it. But we're really simple. Right now we have Salesforce, we have Marketo, over switching to HubSpot, which I'm looking forward to, I think that's going to be very interesting. And basically, everything is coming out of those two systems. I think long term, one of the things I miss from Looker is Looker is a BI tool, it is a data tool. And so we had an amazing understanding of what was going on in the business through all of the dashboards. So I had the most amazing marketing dashboard of all time, which showed me all my channels, how things were converting, what the team was predicting, from an MQL standpoint, actuals versus reality. It just felt like we were so on top of everything because we could see everything was going on and we knew that it was accurate. I think today, we're small enough at Appify that we're just running off Salesforce, and now will soon be HubSpot. And I don't know if I have such a tight view of what exactly is going on? Because Salesforce does a lot of things well, but it is a 20+-year-old piece of software. They don't quite have the analytics that you need, you can't quite get it to do exactly what you want so I think at some point, we'll put something on top of it so we have a tighter view of what's really going on in the business, but right now that's what we're using.  Andrei   Awesome! And go to market strategies. Thank you for your reply. If you do hear about something interesting that you really like, I'd be super curious to hear your insight from a fellow marketer. Now going to the market penetration and sort of go-to-market strategies, because we lightly touched on it, but I know that you have a lot of experience and insight into this. So what was the case with Appify? Jen   From a go-to-market strategy, right now we're really focused on two things. One is outbound SDR. So what's interesting about that is- if you take the two companies that I came from, Box was the very top of the funnel, it was all about the present brand, the story, the everything we could do to make noise. And then we did have a freemium product. So that was our funnel- was open, it's super wide and gets millions in here and then we'll convert them into business users. In Looker case, they started with SDRs outbound, and really tightly looking at- Okay, in the Valley, tech companies all appreciate data, we're going to go to every VC website, we're going to call every port for the company that they have, and we're going to try to sell to them. That was their first strategy for bringing leads and opportunities in the company, it worked very well. It's not a long term strategy, because eventually, you run out. And you don't want your business to be so much dependent on venture-backed tech, in case venture-backed Tech has a problem and more of these companies go out of business, then, you also have to deal with that fluctuation. So we did, of course, later start to grow. But marketing was brought in a little bit later. So we brought in demand and started doing webinars and email and nurturing and all of that type of marketing. I think the two original SDRs had been there for at least a year and a half, maybe two years. So it was an interesting kind of move into how the go-to market strategy worked. At Appify, we're focusing on a similar strategy, it's starting with SDR outbound, really beginning to have conversations to understand- is our positioning working, are the benefits real? What are the customer, what are the words customers use when they talk about their pain points? And then, layer on top of that, the marketing stack of digital marketing and content marketing, being the main two areas that we're focused on. I would say SDRs is one piece of it, the other piece, which we're still in the middle of executing against is the customer-focused. So being able to customer stories, getting customers to fill out reviews at trust radius. So that kind of virtuous cycle of- you get a bunch of customers deployed, they're happy with your product, you get them to fill out anything you can get them to fill out, you do a use case, you do a video, you get a quote, you have some sales material, and then that all turns around, and then you have content marketing around- Hey, look, we’re rated top customer service or something like that. And then you can use that in your digital marketing because it's such a nice proof point to get people in. So I've seen that we use to very good effect at Looker. And so we're sort of building the capability to do that now at Appify, we're still a little small, you got to have at least 50 sorts of reviews in order to start seeing some momentum from there. But having seen what it can do for the company, it's definitely a big piece that we're focused on.  Andrei   Super. When we started, we said we're gonna try to sort of look at marketing at different points. So for example, for bigger companies, for smaller companies, and maybe medium. So we spoke about Google where even though there was a big company, were they organizing projects so that they seem to be modern businesses? Did you get that feeling? Jen   Yes, yeah. At that time, Google organized around the product. So there was a product marketing person, a product manager, and then usually an engineering team behind it. And then if it was something that had BDD or something that those people would be involved as well, but it was all organized either by a product or product category. So after I worked on Book Search for a while, I did move on to work on consumer apps. So Gmail, Calendar. At the time, there was a blogger, Picasa, there were all sorts of apps that Google was launching and so that group of consumer apps was what my team focused on. So it was like a smaller team within a larger company but again, the focus was much more on positioning Product Marketing, landing pages, Google was never much into the email. They were always against email. Even if customers wanted a newsletter. They didn't want to send one. And then, of course, we would do Google AdWords, we sort of bought into the system as a Google product. And we're able to compete in the keyword buying process, like any other company. So we did a little digital marketing, too.  Andrei   But you guys have had a process that you needed to follow, which was like the standard company culture. And then, later on, when you went into a more sort of medium-sized business, how would that change? What do you feel was different? Jen   Yeah, it's funny, it's hard to compare because Google is such a bizarro company. And you can't email, you can't do all these things, it's all about their press and your positioning and a little bit of AdWords. And when I went to Box, it's everything. Ne needed to create an entire stack of all of the channels. So what I've seen is in that middle stage,  leaning into the channels that work and typically if your positioning is solid if you've spent that time, knowing who your customer is, and knowing what their pain points are, then your top three channels are likely going to be content marketing, creating some sort of educational material that is speaking to the buyer, your digital marketing, which again, is usually taking that content, and getting it out there and really focusing on those key benefits that you're offering. And just getting your website as optimized as possible. So once you bring people in, does your request demo button look shiny, and people click on it, and then they fill out the form? Great, but most of the time, you need to optimize to get it to a point where people are coming to your website, and you can capture their information. So this is the beginning. One of the interesting things I've seen, however, and I'm sure all the marketers on the podcast will agree with us. But if you're not a marketer, I have found that nonmarketers, CEOs, or CFOs, typically say- Just tell me the one channel that's going to convert and then I'll put all the money in that. Like, tell me that one ad that gets someone to sign up, and then we'll put all our money in that. And one of the lovely things about Looker was we had such a good grasp of the data, that finally, I felt like we could prove that there's never one thing that every time I would say- Oh, we had a great week last week, what did we do? She would say- Well, we sent out an email, we did a webinar, there was an event in this city, there was some press, and she'd go- It is all the things and what that speaks to is- activity is critically important. Just doing things. Now there may be things that you end up doing that don't work at all. And that's fine, stop doing that thing. But the majority of the activity that you do, adds on to each other. And so it's not just- oh, well, we only do this one thing. You have to do a lot of things to really continue to get that activity across the internet, across the press, wherever you can get it. Andrei   Mm-hmm. And looking at Appify now and I'm sure that you as well as everybody else felt a bit weird over the last couple of months and things probably have changed a lot. Probably even from your CEO position, is probably a bit concerning as well because maybe companies are more strict with budgets now and they don't maybe want to purchase that easily. So how are you prioritizing your marketing tactics at the moment? Andrei   The alignment between marketing and sales, because it's a B2B product. So, how are you prioritising things today?  Jen   Yeah, I think that's a great question. And I think, every company sort of went through what  I call the March pause, where in March and a little bit of April, everyone just sort of stopped and went- What's going on? What's happening? And in fact, many of our customers said- Don't talk to me for three weeks. So we were in the middle of deployment, they said, hang on, I'm not going to do anything with you right now. And it was a little nerve-racking. And the same thing with our pipeline- hang on, I'll talk to you in a couple weeks. Once we were past the March pause, I think our strategy became really emphasising those things that mattered in this new world. And because we are a lower-cost solution, so we have this nice message. For example, we have some medium-sized, small side businesses that are paying for Salesforce, it is very expensive. And their bottom line is what they're looking at right now is- Can we continue to afford this really heavy piece of CRM software? Are there alternatives? I could build an app on Appify, to cover the majority of functionality that they need, because they're not using all the functionality of Salesforce? It is over featured for that size of the company. And so we did have some customers that we could tell that story to and they would go- Oh, you mean, I don't have to renew this licence at $100 per user per month, for my 40 field technicians who are helping customers in the field? Oh, my goodness, I can just build an app with you guys! And it's half the price. And we're like- Yes, that's the story! Our marketing was more changed in the messaging of really being aware of the circumstances of how people are looking at their businesses. So pushing the idea that we're more cost-effective, and we can help them improve their bottom line by saving them on the software that they buy today, we did find a couple of interesting stories around customers that built PP safety apps. So if they have someone who is going on to a site to maybe create a quote, so they're looking at a construction site. So they go to the site, and they take all the information that they need to say- Okay, this is the quote, we can rent you this crane for this amount of time and this is how much it will be? Well, in order to walk on the site, in the middle of the pandemic, you need to think through- Am I wearing my mask? Do I have gloves on? Sometimes you might need a hardhat, there could be all sorts of safety equipment that they need to wear. And so very quickly, they could create a little app with Appify that says- Okay, just a little checklist. Have I done all the things to protect myself? And in addition, it's somewhat, the customer can use it as an audit to say- Yes! And customer, are people that came on your site are protected, and they went through all of the things you needed them to go through? So that became a really interesting use case that we could start talking about that, of course, we never would have thought of it before, it wasn't on people's minds. So much more of our change was in the messaging than in any of the, channels changing. Andrei   Mm-hmm. So I think maybe an insight from here could be that companies that saw a change in the way that people maybe perceived certain problems or so, would be to be flexible and conscious and aware about who are their potential customers, change their priorities and approach to different problems. And maybe their messaging, so that they are marketing in the moment, communicating in the moment? Right?  Jen   Yeah. What are the concerns and the space that everyone's in and being able to recognise? One of the things I saw was right after the March, April, May, some people switched up their messaging, and some people forgot to turn off their automated campaigns. And so there would be really tone-deaf emails that you would get that just didn't feel right, like- Hey, we'll give away a trip to Hawaii to come get a demo of our product. That's weird. So it's important to not be tone-deaf. And people are scared and if they're figuring out how to save their business, you want to make sure that you're addressing where they're at and not kind of where they were two months ago. Andrei   True, true. Okay, so as we are getting close to the end of the episode, typically what we try to do for the audience, but I think we did an amazing job at this over the conversation, so thank you for that, is to try to sum up some actionable points that people can take away and they can implement straight away into their business. I think we have way more than three. So we have the positioning, which is something that is very important for everybody, and they should always be looking at that. Then everything that comes from there with having the communication speeders and everything, then we have this thing that we just discussed now, which is the communicating at the moment, and ensuring that you, as a marketer, are present, and delivering to the people's needs. What else would you say from the conversation was something that is very actionable and important for you, as a leader? Jen   I would say, focusing on customers. So, really taking advantage of happy customers and feeding that into this sort of virtual cycle of filling out the reviews, getting more leads in, getting more happy customers, more advocacy. That, I think is really critical to think about, even at an early stage, it's worth doing. And I think the other thing would be, when you're getting pressure from your CEO, or if you are the CEO or an entrepreneur, understanding that there is not one thing, there's not one ad, there's not one campaign, it is all of the things. What makes marketing so interesting is that it's not just ads and it's not just email, and it's not just educational content. It's the website, it's optimization, it's PR, did you speak at an event? Are you in a webinar? Are you telling your story consistently? There are so many things in it and all of those things together are what make your marketing successful. Andrei   Mm-hmm. Super, thanks so much. And now looking at Appify, because we spoke about it and I'm sure that amongst our listeners, there are some people that could find it useful. So tell us a bit about who you guys think are the right customers that could use your product most? Jen   Yes, I think that's important. So Appify makes it easy for anyone to build an app, I think I said that. You used to actually have to have a developer to build a website. And then you have Squarespace. So in our case, you used to have a developer to build a mobile app for your business, and now you don't. So it's a platform that makes it very easy to do that. Given who your listeners are some of the customers that we have today, are doing things that are very innovative: One it's a very large company that has created a lead capture app. So every single person in the company has this app on their cell phone, they're out to dinner with their family, if they see an opportunity, they are like: Hey, this company could really use our product, they can immediately enter that lead into their phone, and then it goes into Salesforce. So that's one example. We also have plenty of sales teams that work out in the field, they're not just in the office, they go out in the field, and they need that mobile app to be able to take information about the customer, so they can build a great bid for the customers business. So that's another sort of good use case. And then we have a lot of customers that are just in field service. So they are out in the field, fixing LASIK equipment, or fixing commercial food equipment in grocery stores. And then we even have some that ATM machines that you see in a gas station or in any store- well, someone has to take care of them. So anytime you are out on the road, you need an app. And many, many of these companies, they're still paper-based or they're using Excel, or they're kind of scanning things and then emailing them. And it's very, very inefficient. And so where Appify really shines, is for these ideas that people are out and about in the world, they're distributed, they're not in the office, and they need to perform a business process and they don't want to do it on paper or they would like to get away from paper or they have some sort of janky Excel kind of thing that they're doing that just takes much longer than it needs to, so it's really really about efficiently solving some of these needs when people are on the road. Andrei   Mm-hmm. Super. Awesome. And if people want to get in touch with you to find out more about it, and maybe book a demo, obviously, we put the link of the website in the box below. Guys, make sure to check it out. And also, can they get in touch with you directly on LinkedIn? Or what's the best way that they could maybe get in touch with you?  Jen   Sure. Yeah, LinkedIn is the best place. So Jen Grant on LinkedIn, you should be able to find me pretty quickly right there. Andrei   Super, super. Okay, Jen, it was an amazing pleasure to have you with us today. And very good, fun. I enjoyed it. Thanks a lot for all the insight and for all the input. Keep rocking it because you're doing an amazing job. And keep us posted with everything that you do. And guys tuning in, if you enjoyed today's episode, and you'd like us to maybe try to organise a second session where we could go and zoom into a specific subject that you feel would be valuable for you over the next couple of months, then let us know and we'll try to organise depending on Jeff's availability, as well, so we can answer all your questions. Jen Tang, super happy you're on board. Sweet. So then, Jen, I'll let you crack on because I'm sure that you have a very busy afternoon ahead. Keep rocking it, we will stay tuned with you guys ao we can see what the how the growth is gonna be. I'm sure it's gonna be a very good journey, no doubt about that. Speak soon. Thanks. Okay. Great. Jen   Great to meet you.


1 Oct 2020

Episode artwork

Jen Grant: Ordering Up Another Round (of Funding) in a Pandemic

Sand Hill Road

The CEO of Appify lands an extension to the company's Series A from Mayfield Fund.


29 Sep 2020