Ep. 9 Udi Ledergor - The Proof is in Thinking Outside the Box

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This episode was a real treat. Not only because we got to talk about the real impact of Superbowl ad for a B2B brand, but also because we got the chance to talk to the amazing Udi Ledergor, CMO of Gong, about how doing untraditional plays can help a B2B brand win an unfair share of hearts and minds of prospects and customers.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How a Superbowl ad can actually be relatively cost-effective (hint: regional spots)
  • How to convince your CEO and CFO to do something unconventional (hint: it may include some drinks 😁)
  • How traditional mass-media type marketing can have real pipeline impact
  • How to target a very small/finite audience using mass media
  • How visual continuity in advertising creates better brand equity and helps to better tell the story

Udi’s recommendations:

  1. Work for a CEO who either gets marketing or at least values marketing
  2. As a leader, follow the best advice that everyone knows and few actually take - go hire someone who is better than you at certain things and let them show you how to do it.
  3. Clearly label who you are speaking to (your buyer persona) in your content marketing and advertising.
  4. Do what others aren’t doing to stand out and break through the noise.
  5. Don’t design by committee. Committees never do great things. There needs to be one final decision maker, with a small group whose opinions are requested.
  6. Make sure you allocate a portion of your budget for ad-hoc experimentation
  7. Branding isn’t just visual. Think of the Nokia ringtone or the Windows 95 startup sound.
  8. Everyone should read Influence by Robert Cialdini

You’ll need to listen to the full episode if you want to hear the Lightning Round, but here are a few highlights:

  • Udi’s team at Gong is re-launching a weekly LinkedIn Live show (it’s on Friday’s for anyone who wants to attend)
  • Udi hates “best practices”. They are boring, unexciting, and overused, which drive boring, mediocre results.

Proofpoint’s POV:

Most B2B brands are boring, and most marketers do boring marketing. But it really doesn’t have to be. Udi’s recommendation to take inspiration from B2C brands is a good one and more B2B marketers should take it.

The majority of Proofpointers come from a B2C background and it has definitely permeated into the B2B work we currently do for ourselves and our customers.

Udi mentioned hating “best practices” and we would definitely echo that sentiment. In B2B marketing, and in marketing in general, the trend and drive to 100% attribution and the proliferation of marketing automation has driven marketers to focus on a standard playbook using a standard set of tools and measuring success in a very specific way. This has made just about every B2B company in any particular industry look the same as the competition.

Marketers are afraid to do activities they can’t measure.

Marketers aren’t willing to remove friction and be customer-centric because it’s too expensive and hard to measure.

Marketers don’t spend the time to really understand their customers at a deep enough level to create the experiences necessary to really move the needle and drive extraordinary results.

You heard it first-hand, in this episode. A well-made and well-placed Superbowl ad had real tangible impact on a B2B tech brand’s pipeline. They had their highest number of sales accepted opportunities in any given week, in their history. Yet how many B2B brands have done Superbowl commercials in the past? And if I had to put money on it, even seeing/hearing about these results, most still will never commit to something like that.

Think about how many B2B brands are having success with podcasts? Yet, the vast majority of B2B brands aren’t willing to commit the resources to really do a podcast the right way - to produce the type of quality content that will have an impact on your audience.

Think about how many B2B influencers have huge personal followings and consistent audiences tuning in to their LinkedIn live shows? Yet, the vast majority of B2B brands aren’t willing to commit the resources to create live shows and aren’t supportive enough of their employees’ personal brands to have them do it.

And don’t even get me started on B2B influencer marketing. It’s oversaturated on the B2C side, yet virtually no B2B brands are willing to do it.

A bit more about Udi:

Udi is a 5-time VP of Marketing for leading B2B tech companies, and the current CMO at Gong. He is a champion for diversity and inclusion and loves taking inspiration from B2C brands to make B2B brands more exciting and customer-centric.

Helpful Links & Resources:

Connect with Mike & Gaby at Proofpoint:

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