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Mad Over Videos Podcast- Episode 21 with Utkarsh Awasthi of Freshworks

Pranav Chimulkar: Hey guys, welcome to the mad over videos podcast by guch, today is Episode 21. And as of today’s guest, we have Utkarsh Awasthi from Freshworks. He is the head of customer enterprise marketing. And he defines himself as someone who is at the intersection of customer success and marketing. Again, he thrives on a customer-first approach, he thrives on data and metrics and always has fun in what he does. He’s also worked with a bunch of other brands, I think some of the most innovative organizations in the world, whether the Walt Disney, Microsoft, Pepsi, AWS, Amazon, Panasonic, HP, a bunch of them, I think he’s the right person to give the all-rounded perspective when it comes to marketing to consumers and especially to b2b consumers. So without much ado, I will add to the screen Utkarsh, please welcome Utkarsh to the MOV podcast.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Thank you so much, Pranav. Hi. Good morning, and good evening to everyone who’s listening across time zones, and happen to be seeing the big smile on your face yet again.

Pranav Chimulkar: Awesome, thank you, first of all, for taking time out. Like you’re also based in India. So it is 10:30 at night. So, yeah, appreciate the hustle. And before we move on, I like to know a little bit more about your background and your role currently at Freshworks.

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Utkarsh Awasthi: Well Absolutely. And thanks for setting it up for me. So as you mentioned, like I was a mechanical engineer, started with emphasis then worked for Goldman Sachs, then work for a couple of startups in Bangalore, I’m sure most of us would have heard of the place or would have been there. Sometimes an amazing place to be. So they’re able to unbox and uninstalled both, you know, startups, like 50 employees, hundred employees of sorts, and help them scale customer support, Customer Success teams, and was also doing pre-sales and project management. They’re taking customers’ life, etc. So fun, exciting stuff. And in between, I had my own restaurant in HSR, in Bangalore, and I had my own startup for a year before. No, I got lucky and got to be a part of this rocket ship- Freshworks. And as you said, like, Freshworks has been amazing. Like, they’ve given me a chance to work with all the marquee brands like Walt Disney and Pepsi, and HP of sorts. And it was a fantastic experience. The refresh work we’re in, I started with customer success for ITIL ITSM practices, and then move to CX, CRM, and now I am heading customer marketing for enterprise business globally. So that has been the journey so far.

Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, but interesting that you also brought out that you had your own restaurant. Great. I like to know if you don’t mind, what it is to run the restaurant and what kind of learnings that experience gives you that makes you a better marketer?

Utkarsh Awasthi: I think a lot because you are putting in your own money, you are responsible for seven, eight, or 10 staff, at least what we had at that time. And we’re also doing a new offering a health startup called drop calories, wherein we are bringing in chefs from the Vivanta, Indian Dietetic Association sector secretaries, head of r&d for MSM. It’s like a whole team we are bringing together back in 2015 to set up this whole Health thing in Bangalore. But so it was good. Whether it is marketing, whether it is not running the show on your own, and people are looking up to you for their salaries or to getting the numbers in. So I think it was an experience, the biggest takeaway is if you ever want to do something, please do it full time and put all go all in as opposed to having your eggs in multiple baskets. So I would say in one line, that was the biggest learning.

Pranav Chimulkar: Yes, I think that’s such honest feedback because I’ve seen a bunch of people who have tried their hands at doing startups and worked it because it’s not a whole and sole effort that they put into this. And typically a half-baked effort will never lead to writing. Great, I think that sets up the foundation for why you should be invited to my movie podcast party. The other half of it lies in my next question. That is, Why is Utkarsh mad over videos?

Utkarsh Awasthi: I think I’m personally very bullish on trends on creatives. And even at Freshworks, I’ve got a great team who have different backgrounds, like one of my key teammates, and if I’d like to call him out because a lot of that you will discuss is also his effort, right? So someone called Rogers, himself a co-founder and successful, he took a successful exit from his startup in the CMO there as well. So he is a part of a team, there are like, people from different SaaS companies, we all come together and no one has a degree, most of us don’t have a degree in marketing or like core marketers with a decade of experience. So I think we come with a clean slate, and which is why we have nothing to lose, you can put it like that. So we are very bullish on new trends, we experiment, and thanks to our leadership at Freshworks, they bet on us and they are willing to spend the dollars. So that is why video is one thing that came out, you know, pretty staggeringly for us, because even if you see, as a consumer, I think if you read reports as a marketer, right? But for videos, the consumption has increased so much. And unfortunately, because of COVID, all your readers, know what you say, the old school mechanisms of a 10-minute blog post, etc. No one at a time people are getting emails, they’re working from home, it’s so taxing. So like, how about a quick 15, 22, or 30-second video, whether it’s for a value proposition, whether it’s for adoption, whether it’s retention related, but something which also brings a smile on your face, you can see something and understand and probably remember it as well. So I think this is why I am bullish about it, and I look forward to investing more in it as a team and as a company going forward.

Pranav Chimulkar: That’s what, my understanding of this is again, standing over the last few episodes when we had other people from Freshworks on the podcast as well. And I want to dig into this, that Freshworks is ramping up their spins in the video, for the last few years. I think they were very good at SEO, they were good at written content, etc. And being a SaaS company that is one of the most important things because you have to rank on search engines. But when it comes to videos, I mean, general trend, as you said has been the last few years the video consumption has gone up probably spent VC arising expense, but in India especially you see, the mobile penetration has increased and the data penetration has increased in the last few years. Dubray technologies that have come up and companies that have invested heavily in that, but I would like to understand a little bit more about the leadership at Freshworks, why do they support wholeheartedly your efforts in video?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right, I would say, as you said, I think it all started with us seeing this unprecedented change, not just because of code. I think that was an accelerator. But in general, also we were saying Oh because seeing open rates to our emails going down, webinar participation going down over the years. And not just because we weren’t delivering but more so because every other person who’s also doing that. And I think it’s very important to understand in SaaS space because every segment has so many players, and like a particular business runner will have 25 to 30 tools that they use day in and day out for you, and your company will be using several tools for your operations. So where does let’s say Freshworks stand in that offering right or in the order of importance to the order of revenue that they’re paying us right? I think that translates a lot to whether they open our emails or not or whether they’ll come and speak for us or not. So those kinds of problems we were seeing where in a while we have amazing customer experience, we are leading in that one of the leaders in the industry, but we still saw the sheer volume, right? We thought okay, email is going down, the webinar is going down, and then now open rates and click rates are also going down. So what are the other channels we can bet on it? So we started experimenting with in-app. And it gave us amazing results right in half meaning for the broader audience, like within the product, you are showing either video ads or pop-ups or messages, right, we use red chat, our own tool to do that as well. So that came up and kind of revolutionized it for us slightly. And then the next bit, of course, was using the if sent videos right when this conversation comes into the picture, right? How can we use 15 to 20-second videos when it comes to you know, putting a point across was a let’s have a two-minute video to think to upsell a feature to a certain audience or at least letting them know about it, which also kind of translates into retention rate. So those kinds of things became inevitable, right. And the management as I said, was so supportive because in these unprecedented times there is no right channel or right medium. The intent is to deliver crisp communication and the audience should hear it. So going by that default methodology, we started experimenting, and those so far have been excellent, as you would know, from other podcasts as well. So yeah.

Pranav Chimulkar: Yes. Like you said, as b2b marketers, our primary job is to understand how our customers do their business and help them do so, right? It’s not that we can shove down something from our end and they are going to consume it. It is you cannot shove it down their throats, right, you have to ensure that you communicate things that can help their businesses big and run their businesses better. That is something that you need to talk about. Secondly, it’s very important to know, as a marketer, that customers don’t buy products, customers don’t actually buy what you build. They buy outcomes for them. Right?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right. Right.

Pranav Chimulkar: And that is what you can do really well when it comes to talking about outcomes and talking about how you can make their life easy over shoving down features?

Utkarsh Awasthi: No, absolutely. I think, bang on! I think it’s actually what you said. I’ll also add one more pillar to it, which is personalization. Now, let’s say if you have 10,000 customers, maybe you can personalize on a little by logo level, but at least you can break it down into various segments, for example, you can break it down by employee size, right? How many employees that company has, it’s a 500, or thousand, or more than a thousand. Similarly, what the easiest is, of course, industry, and you can categorize into, the way you do it in terms of the MRR. They are paying you the era that they have, then the relationships that you have built-in geography. Like we are a global company, and in that, I have a global role. So audience in the Middle East works differently than the audience in India versus audience in the US, for example, setting up groups of all of these you can personalize to a certain degree, and coupled with not trying to sell but genuinely trying to help your customers to be successful in their roles. I think it’s also a very important lesson in customer success. So I think you’ve nailed that, as well.

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. Like you said, and traditionally, people did not look at it in this way, because you would always think that one company would have one video that represents the brand or the product. And that would be today, people have personalized videos for different geographies, for different segments, right different sub messaging, and for different verticals, not just for marketing your product, because they’re looking like sales videos, customer success video, so everybody’s using videos. And I think, another side, you can look at people who have video practitioners have also been like, like trying to come up with newer formats, which can engage consumers at different levels. So it’s, it’s for the marketers, or sales or the leadership at companies who commissioned videos as well as other people who think creatively and come up with these formats for both of them and have been putting enough efforts in coming up with new ways to engage audiences,

Utkarsh Awasthi: A hundred percent.

Pranav Chimulkar: So in that sense, I mean, I have seen some of the things that you shared with me are really innovative in terms of how Freshworks uses videos and other channels, like, which are videos somewhere involved in those communications as well. So I’d like to, start breaking down these campaigns one by one, and trying to see how you benefited. What went into making something like this. And what are the results that came out of that?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Yeah, absolutely.

Pranav Chimulkar: So let’s start with the first one. And the first one that comes to my mind, because you already mentioned something like this, is the email campaign right? You spoke about having a GIF inside, typically, you’ve seen pouring outreach messages, long-form text, or sometimes you put some images and add links, which look spam and etc. What does it take to make an email communication that not just is pleasing to the eyes but communicates the right proposition to the consumers and I’d like to show one of the emails that you shared with me and then take it down a little bit about how you can talk me through.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Sure, sure. So as you can see, these are three points bullet points on what the GIF also says it’s a compliment that with a use case. And just asking, you know, because these are existing customers from a particular region, right from a particular segment, let’s say, which is ITSM. You know, we were more direct, and we said, okay, schedule a demo if you’re interested. So again, it is like for us, because most of them are existing customers, it’s a totally different ballgame altogether. For us, it’s not top-of-the-funnel content or thought leadership, but at least middle of the content, middle of the funnel, or what is the bottom of the funnel, because someone is already paying you, they’re already using it. So all the more you need to be careful in how you’re communicating and what you are communicating, how short because they know a lot of stuff already right? In many forms. So yeah.

Pranav Chimulkar: I want you to talk a little bit more about how you’ve given us more ease into the video that you will be directing them to also right here. With the GIF, you can actually see some of the things that are being called out about the features, or the flow of information from one point to the other to another. I want to understand what went into making something

Utkarsh Awasthi: Fantastic. Yeah, so I think there were two things, right. As I said, these are existing customers, they know about Freshworks in general. And they’re also using the same product in some form or fashion, there’s something or some department is using it. So we wanted to keep it really crisp, which is why as you said, like, instead of putting a banner and just putting a lot of content, we thought- Why shouldn’t we convey the top five things that you want to convey from the GIF itself, right. So that is what the GIF does. If you see the GIF is talking about the top five differentiators, or let’s say top five features of that product that one can benefit from, and then the content is very specific to let’s say, your HR team can use it or let’s say your financing, they can use it. So it’s also drawing a parallel to where the user also is according to us. And then we are asking the key- Click here to know more or schedule a demo depending on the geography and, and the segment type. Also, now to your point, if someone now is interested to directly like click and learn more, you know, there is a landing page, which also has a video. In fact, even if you click on that GIF we go to that landing page, and we can play that video.

Pranav Chimulkar: I will show the landing page that you’re talking about.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right? Right. So it’s because you’re clicking, either you click on the GIF or if you are taking one click here to know more, for example, why we are capturing the interest and chanting it or thanking them for that. But also we are adding another 20 to 25 seconds of information in that video wherein people can also actually talk with the sales rep. You know, you can watch this for 30 seconds, not a lot of time investment on the fly, but you will still get the essence of what we want to talk about or what the sales rep is going to go into with you. Right. So like on your Trailer teaser of sorts before you actually demo also.

Pranav Chimulkar: Correct. so I mean, as I said, I’d like to go back to the landing page. Again, I want to break it down. So you have the video, and you’ve already captured the interest, right? Like you said, the copy that was there in the mail. Once you click that, it means that the customer is interested. So you have captured the intent of the consumer, the copy that is there on the page. And the first fold is you’ve taken the first step. And let us show you how you can leverage SSL sessions. Right. So it’s all tying together. So it’s not just the video piece, but it is also the copy that goes with it and the experience like how, how you’re ensuring that the consumer sees the information and consumes it. Right?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right. And we are breaking it into touchpoints right. So for example, for someone who’s content with the email, it’s fine. Someone who wants to also look at the gap if he can stay there and someone who wants to also spend 30 more seconds and look at the video and know more about it, you can do that. Right. So it’s like a breakdown of touchpoints and journeys and trying to capture interest at various intervals, right, as you say.

Pranav Chimulkar: And Like how you also defined the journey of that consumer, right? Right from the time when he sees the email to reach and takes action to click. That is he’s expressing his or her intent to actually opt-in for the product or even learn more about doing it basically. And what is very important that so much thought goes behind. So coming up with this video, which we’re going to play after we discuss this is that this video cannot be used at the top of the funnel, and dislike video for someone who has already shown some interest in the product, etc. Understanding that all marketers need to have when it comes to video is the whole idea of one size fits all doesn’t work when it comes to content, especially video content. So you need to know, because you have the power of using videos, and it’s not just one video that you can use everywhere. Typically, this happens, I think Ben and I have dealt with a lot of brands that want a video to be made, they come to us and they’re like, okay, we need a video that can also bring us leads. It can sort of position the brand, it can also do 10 other things. And that is something that they get wrong, right. Because if you aim for everything in one particular communication piece, it’s not going to work,

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right, hundred percent. And just to add to a point, before you play the video, I think I will tell you, this video, also by file, is very specific to a certain product user and telling them to also translate the message into other departments for purchasing addressed me that this worked very well in North America or the even Middle East, for example. But they did not go down very well with India, for example, in India, the whole ITSM game is not there. But in the UK, and, the US and even parts of countries, it’s right up there. So I think it’s true. I mean, every relevance or personalization, or segmentation that you can add, will give you more results. I think this specific one was also held by someone called Chandni, who’s in my team, and she has worked in Dubai for six, seven years, right? So for example, I think different people come together sharing experiences and be trying out something new, or something different, for that matter.

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. So let’s play the video. And then you can tell me what went in making the content piece.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Yeah. So this is as we were talking about before. This touches on if you look at the whole journey, and now this storytelling, coupled with the audience it was targeted to. I think it might make more sense for the audience is meant to tie all the knots together and why we did what we did basically, right. And product team who actually going to deliver this video for us, I think they did a fantastic job of again, trying to match like tying the whole story with the number of customers we have and the experience that we have given and that we are a global company, all of that together. So yeah.

Pranav Chimulkar: So I think you brought up a very interesting point there. Your product team also got involved in making that video, right? Yeah, it’s often that most people across the company, especially in large organizations, this is the case where people from other teams may not take an interest, or just say that- hey, this is the marketing team’s job to create content, video, okay, that’s not my job. I’m not being paid to do that. I’m being paid to write code or I’m being paid to go out and sell or things like that. But in the US, you see the importance of having them, right? I think they are the right people to come in and communicate the actual product offering what goes behind that. So that input is important. You also need people that talk to customers that understand their language that understand their needs very well, in order to understand the language that they speak, and then possibly even use the same word insight. A lot of times the best copy that you’ll see, or the best messaging, you’ll see is often derived from customer reviews or slang that their consumers use.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right, right. Now a hundred percent. I think, right, from our CEO to say our most latest recruit, I think we have a very strong collaboration culture. And at least in my case, right now, because we are customer marketing, right? So basically, we usually use a lot of content created by our PMM teams, or product teams, or segment and field marketing teams and repurpose it or tailor it for our existing customers. Because they’re a different breed altogether when it comes to consuming content from a particular company. So who they’re already using and working with. So yeah, I think it’s a strong collaboration culture that we have and that is how you can be successful because I think you made a very valid point wherein people come to you for videos or let’s say, coming up with a strategy for videos, but they want everything in one piece, and It has to be the right up. Opposite of it. In today’s time when there is a lot of content already generate content. So yeah.

Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah. The other thing that I want to now talk about is talking about not just talking about your product, but also talking about your product in action. Right, very important that you show how it works and and and a glimpse before I even sign up for it or actually go and purchase it, that I get a feel of what it’s going to be like, right? And then how is it going to help my business? What I’m coming to is showing integrations right. We’ve seen, and I think I’ve got this stat from Scindia when she was on the podcast that he has over 1000 plus integrations in place. And as the partner marketing team, they did. Their whole sole job is to talk about these integrations, and, and put out real stories of how outcomes are driven. Because of those integrations. I have one video that I’d like the place where we talk about the integration of Freshchat and WhatsApp. And you can tell me a little bit more about that.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Sure.

Pranav Chimulkar: Before you go on to explain, I think I want to call out a couple of things here. One of the things that were done so beautifully, is the integration of the double tick and what it does. In the end, that is such a native thing that we all have seen. And we see it on a daily basis. So that’s something that will immediately click with somebody who watches it. The second thing that was done really beautifully with the copy and the animation was when you wrote that we reimagined how you connect with your customers and customers exchange positions, and it becomes how customers connect with you. I think understanding how customers engage with your business is very important. And like we said, what this integration also would be doing is ensuring that you’re able to have conversations where your customers already decided not to pull them into your product, but then they consume more information or they converse on WhatsApp, and your product lets you can engage them.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right, I think that was intense again, I remember when you talk about what like, so we have three different versions of it. Right. So because I think we won’t be able to show the whole thing right now. But this, again, was a campaign that we did when we had the the famous rich chat video, which I think you played with Scindia, I believe, right? It has a million people who already love by and large. And so we also have this ABC integration for North America that we did separately with the handbook, of course, the product and the product marketing the segment teams. And similarly we did this for our India and these audience primarily because this WhatsApp is a market a huge market. right for us. So we had to do two videos, ABC chat and what’s happened both what I hate WhatsApp has been more received because it’s a fan presence now. And again, as I said, there were two options for us either you write, same three different emails, for example, with three different blogs and a lot of content explaining the integration with GIF and a lot of images or just this. We chose the video and for obvious reasons, it now has now 1 million views. So it speaks for itself. So yeah

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I think I don’t know if you are in a position to give me the exact numbers but then tell me how what kind of difference do you anticipate when you make a choice like this, say long-form text versus video? What kind of percentages that you see? How big are the numbers are apart from each other?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right! I think there is a significant difference that sees the debt to ratio. Look at it, for example, we did not send this campaign immediately. So, I was doing an event in Joburg just before the lockdown in February. And there we played this video and we had this whole session about WhatsApp. And people just loved this video right? And they asked us you know, they can send this over, they want to share it within their PR, it’s really cool. Not just the video, but the whole WhatsApp integration piece they want to know more than that excitement because we were launching, we had just launched it back then. So it gave us the first test litmus test, okay, people are liking this, you know, what if we use it in our emails also, or, in our different parts of content will be there, LinkedIn, etc. So there is where we, it all started. And when it comes to open rates, like I will tell you an average open rate in an existing customer scenario in COVID, would be around 15%. Right. But if you put a video in the subject line, or even, let’s say even open it is the first step, even if they go inside the CTA, writer, were a CT as a video, we have seen like 10 to 12% jumps, in clicks. For example, on a 1000 email base, if people were clicking on the landing page, let’s say 15 times, or 18 times or 20 times, it would be seen at 90, 100 clicks, or like from going to the landing page to YouTube channel. So those kinds of stats, thanks to freshmarketer, you know, we are able to gauge a lot of this stuff and we’ve seen significant improvement, which is why we are really bullish on doing this more and more. Right? And forget that we are having a conversation, just tell me this if someone gives you five different solution articles to read about how the integration works, or even, let’s say a couple of blog posts into- okay, this is what we do, as opposed to that we do I think you might need to do your research. I’m not saying that you will all the purpose for it. But that initial excitement and conveying everything with graphics and visuals, and I was still grooving to that audio. I’m not sure if my music was very compelling as well. So I think all of this actual experience, right. And from that experience, the engagement journey begins is what we know.

Pranav Chimulkar: Undoubtedly, I think as humans, we are suckers for storytelling, right? When somebody who’s written an informative piece, I think we prefer watching a video or reading an informative piece out see, an infographic is still somewhat better than a long-form article, but then nothing can beat colorful, animated graphics that are coming in front of you and possibly the right music. And I think coming together, I think it creates an engaging experience. Sometimes it’s just that you want to watch again, because of often music it could be.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Yeah, Yeah.

Pranav Chimulkar: That’s true, it is true. That’s how it works.

Utkarsh Awasthi: One more point, I would like to add that seats in our business, as I said, is so much noise in SaaS now, especially if you’re using a lot of products, you’re a tech-savvy company, it is very important that recall value is very important, right? So for me, among thousands, thousands of content, whether it’s a snap, or an Indian, or a YouTuber, this video for that matter, has to stay with me. Right? That is very important. I think that also is if like six months later, you know you are looking at a tax solution, you should if you remember, because of the music or the video or the aesthetics or just by that ad which impresses you, about the core values are also very important for us. So that also adds on with a groovy, nice video conveying the right things in a short time.

Pranav Chimulkar: Correct. And there is no hate deciding what clickbaity headlines try to do for articles, right? If they ensure that you sort of click right to get the job done, it is important that the content piece does the job for you. It doesn’t matter how it does, right? A lot of times its cringe. It could be like we’ve seen a lot of ads that you like- Okay, why did they do this, but then that’s enough for like having a conversation and it solved the purpose for you. It is important that your content piece makes a hedge turn. And that is very, even if you create a video, get the best of the best product producers-directors to come and shoot an ad for you. But if it doesn’t spark a conversation, and whatever millions that you’ve spent in making and promoting that ad is of no use, unless and until there are conversations around it. So the simplest example that comes to my mind is the promo that you put out for this episode. We saw a comment that said that this looks dated, right? For the simplicity of it, this looks dated. And the thing is, I was so happy that it got that guy to come and comment on your post. Right? That is what we want, right? I mean, when you put out an announcement, you want people to take notice and purposes make?

Utkarsh Awasthi: Absolutely. And I think this is the world that we live in for the good or the bad. So, and there is all kinds of feedback, all kinds of suggestions, which is very important. You said this also is engagement, everything is engagement.

Pranav Chimulkar: So, yeah, absolutely. No doubt. You also mentioned having video, embeds in email, and you just spoke about how it bumps the engagement rates, I want to show another email that Facebook sent out. And I think this is an email about, Freshworks, what product is this?

Utkarsh Awasthi: This is again, more related to adoption, and then kind of falling into the retention bucket as well, where we are trying to kind of educate our customers on the freddy, amazing Freddy, AI ML solution that we offer. Right, and we are going we are talking about how other marquee brands have also kind of stalled their use cases using freddy. And how one can do it easily as well. So this is both like an upsell and cross-sell. For us, we are into pretty much all categories. We have 12 plus products so pretty much everything passes upsell and cross-sell, if it’s done right to the right segment, in the right audience. So in fact, if you look at it, this is the first-ever time, which is why I wanted to share it with all of you, wherein we have used, click here to know more is not a landing page. But it is actually our YouTube page directly. Right. And we just want to do an experiment on how this translate know how other open rates, click rates, and conversions from this campaign when we are directly now using YouTube as a landing page in the video for adoption, which is like educating the customer directly and seeing some traction from there. So if you have the video, I would love for you to also share that to spell out you should get this goes eventually.

Pranav Chimulkar: Before playing that video. I think the first thing that I also want to point out is that there are two clickable links in this email. One which takes you to a landing page that is a case study about how phone pay automated 1500 queries, right as a big bot rain, there is a video embedded on that page as well. Right? Not sure if you can show that to the customer, to the viewers right now. But the other link that you just said, which is the primary CTA the box which is highlighted in blue, right again, takes you to a YouTube video. And I’ll play that first before we talk about it.

So I think I think we had to cut the video short because this was a three to four-minute video. But I think I like to take everybody back to the email and just see how you connected these pieces together. So the copy on the seat, the call to action on the button is Click here to know more. And the beauty of it is when you go to the video, you actually have a voice explaining to you how it works, right? It’s not random text coming with some music or whatever you’ve shown how the product works in action. You have a voice that guides you to the process and tells you exactly how it works. So that is I mean, it’s very important for people to take notice how just the video is not enough. But like planning the entire journey of how the consumer will engage with that piece is very important.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right? I think yeah, I think for us. And the reason I can also share this freely, however, is because I think all of this information is there on landing pages or YouTube or LinkedIn. You can go and watch it for yourself after this. And the reason why we used it like that, as you said right because we were sending it to someone who’s already using a product for which this is an upsell opportunity. Then we are also sending this to a consumer which is using a totally different product. But this can be a cross-sell for us because bots can be utilized across for us they can in most scenarios. So now we have to consider that, then we also have to be very careful on not blowing our own trumpet, but also having a genuine customer of ours who’s really come out there and shared how they were successful, both in text and in the interview form, which as you highlighted, is there. The link is their phone pay, right? And then eventually, if I am happy reading those three bullet points and or knowing from that customer, I’ve got that, you know, that shows also, no more than when I click on that CTA, I actually have a three-minute solid clip which if you see the clip, it actually shows you how that bot is built from scratch, and then how will it look on your website. So this checks the new business or growth or any new tick box, this also checks the adoption tick box for people who already have this, in the product offering but might not be using it the way or might not be envisioning it in the way we have old or in the way, let’s say our customer testimonial or the case study they are sharing their experience, right? It kind of checks everything for us. So all in once a package, which is delivering revenue opportunities, as well as the adoption opportunities. And which of course translates into better retention from those users who are already using it, per se.

Pranav Chimulkar: True. True. I think I don’t have to further dive into this. You’ve explained it beautifully Utkarsh, thank you so much for doing that. Uh, the next thing I really want to talk about, as a medium, that Freshworks is exploring right now and seen success at is LinkedIn. Again you’re not just using, LinkedIn to do promoted ads, but you’re also sort of diverting.

That audience, whoever is impacting with those ads to a landing page or the registration page. And then you’re showing them certain videos that help them convert. So I like to show the ad first and then we’ll go to the registration page and then show the ad has been. So this is the ad that, FreshWorks promoted on LinkedIn.

https://www.freshworks.com/campaigns/freshcaller-linkedin/

Can you sort of walk me through this a little bit?

Utkarsh Awasthi: So sure. So I think again, I’d like to, give a quick shout out through your medium, that I mean, we have an amazing team. So for this particular act, like there is someone called Pritika who heads Europe for us. She, and again, Raj had already mentioned both of them, as they work very hard on our LinkedIn campaigns. And as a team, we keep meeting and kind of understanding it was what. For us, it’s the first time you’re spending on LinkedIn for the existing customer base, like in a belief that you’re very different from a traditional, you know, top of the funnel prospect marketing, because people are already aware and knowing the same thing. Right. So I don’t want to like, be like a broken record, but I can come to the point this ad again particularly defines. Also keeping the COVID situation in mind on how cloud telephony and the modern phone-based system is changing the game when it comes to a forward and it comes to work from home and when it comes to, having access to everything easily without the kind of breaking your head. So we wanted to convey that feeling. And again, this link is not that we woke up and kind of, we imagined this, we spoke with a lot of account managers, customer success managers, and, they kind of told us that, this is what they’re experimenting and then there’s a lot of donors. I mean there’s a lockdown again happening in Europe is what they told us, I think last month and, things are still tight there. And similarly, this Diwali coming in India, there is Thanksgiving even coming in the US so we thought, why don’t we come up with something and play it on the panel and use it then as a challenge.

So this is all, this is how this act came up and when you go to the landing page, you will see if I’m interested to know more, or if I really like, the LinkedIn ads, the landing page, actually. I mean, this is kind of our style where we’ll put three to four bullet points, nothing more than that.

And then if you probably, you know, scroll below, or if you change screens, you will see that here. Also, we have put, product adoption videos because these are the same customers. They may or may not be used, some other telephony, or for example, our offering. So it covers both that. And you also have customer success stories.

So again, different test points, different experiences and tying the whole story together. Is that how we how we have given a shortage?

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. As you mentioned, you’d not just would each I’d explain that produce there, on that page. I’m sorry. I’m not able to show the entire page or the next couple of folds on that page. Um, but as you mentioned, you also put in a bunch of product feature expanders and also customer stories. It’s pretty important. I’ll go back to the point that I made earlier towards the start of the conversation. That people don’t just buy products that you will, but they buy outcomes and they see that those outcomes have occurred with a brand that, or another person that they can see and trust, and the chances of them adopting it goes far and beyond. Right? I mean, it’s made easy for someone to take that up, after they see that. So it’s very important that you not only. Like you said, blow your own trumpet, but you also show customer stories where they have driven business outcomes because of your part. And that’s, that’s very, important how you do that. And, I think it just, as you say, build social proof for anybody to just say that, okay, let me give this a shot.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right. No, absolutely. The thing is, as I said, like when we also are doing any, any of these kinds of ads, right? We see our needs. So as I said, Diwali was happening in India before we, of course, did this ad and then Thanksgiving was coming, Europe would have been going another lockdown. So we thought there is a genuine problem, right? Again, you know, things are getting worse and, wild trade warnings will increase because of holidays. So what, this is a genuine problem that we’d like to solve and it’s, our products can solve it, by the medium is our product, but eventually, we will quit trying to stay is that there is a problem you will have to kind of solve if you want to console for it using this. So it’s again about making our customers successful and customers and making our customers happy. Eventually, that’ll come back to us, but, also like when people talk of brand building, I think this is also because we have so many products that I said you know, a dozen products.

It’s very important for us to also be ensuring that all our logos know about all, our products at some point in time. Right. So it helps us in both ways.

Pranav Chimulkar: Correct. Absolutely. It’s very important that we speak about customers, and, and you can see it clearly in the way FreshWorks does it. They have a customer spotlight section, and I like to throw that on the screen right now. And it’s so beautifully made, right? I mean, it’s almost like how you shop on e-commerce right. You get filters by industry. So if I come from a particular industry, let’s say FMCG, or I come from a finance background, I want to talk, I want to listen to customers who are from that particular domain. I can just add a single click. And filter only those videos and then watch a bunch of them. Because if I come from a certain background, it becomes much easier if I see people from a similar background talk more about it. First of all, kudos to FreshWorks, to have, combined a section like this, primarily because, it takes a lot, right? I mean, it’s not one or two videos. It is hundreds of videos that go in the back end because. I can see about 15 to 20 categories. It says there, each category has at least five to six videos, or more, some of them have even more videos in each category, and it’s a lot to actually produce these videos. I think, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of commitment rate and, and do it with all the owners.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Right. And in fact, I think most of these are from a refresh, events, or some of them, in fact, you won’t see the face of course, but, I was the customer success guy. Who’s recording this in Vegas and New York. And it was a humbling experience. Trust me, as you said, there is no other recognition, for a company or for an individual customer, really appreciates you and understands the value that you’re providing. It’s, as you said, it’s not about the product it’s about the value and how the changing lives at the end of the day positively. So I think this is, really humbling. And again, as I said before, right? Like I think some 30, 40% marketers who believe in videos or some kind of ROI’s or in general on unconventional, basis marketing, from 2015 now it’s close to 90% in a recent report I was reading. And similarly, as you said, in India, as well as abroad 4g and 5g spectrum also starting, I mean it just said that. You know, the CAGR for this would be 20% wherein people will spend more time on the lane, etc. Four to five hours a day going forward. So I think all of this combined is absolutely essential for us and for most other brands too, to object and do it in their own way, of course, do their own research. Or if it fits the bill, they should give it a shot.

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I like to play one of the videos from the customer spotlight section.

https://www.freshworks.com/resources/videos/customer-spotlight/bettzeit-gmbh/

So I think we had to cut that short because of time constraints, but I think also the whole experience of recording is, what do they interesting is that you all played it really smart. There was an event where there were multiple customers in one single. You ensured You had the right kind of setup and, ensured that you have convinced the customers to come and speak on camera. The people who already failed greatly about the product, I think. People who are ready to come on camera and see, you ensured that there was a proper setup, with camera lights, audio equipment, ready for them to just come in login and just see that because it’s very difficult when, when you ask them for additional time from their work when they are in their office or at their homes to come and take time out and record a video and send it. Or even entertain a production crew in their office a lot of times. But I mean, some people do, but in today’s world, everybody’s ensuring the best of their time for themselves. I think when they’re already in the room and, you did a fantastic job of taking these clips out in the same refresher event. Uh, and, and you possibly had hundreds of videos ready just because y’all had production up.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Yes. And, from then it became a norm. Right? So for example, we did a couple of small events in San Francisco and Dubai, last year, the second half, and both only had 50, 60 customers attending was a small event. But then we ensured that we keep a small desk and we had a cameraman and we were recording and people were happy. And I think all the time too, they’ve made a fantastic ecosystem and I think people love it by default. It makes our job easier. Yep. And to speak their mind out and heart out. But yeah, it’s humbling and it’s rewarding.

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. It’s and, if you look at it, technically also the video doesn’t look like it is produced, even because you get a good scale of them speaking, and then you have a lot of rolls and cutaways that you can shoot later on and plug them into the edit on the timeline later, based on what you’re speaking. So you actually have a full-fledged video. I think hundreds of them just because you acted smart and then put the camera there and set up a booth. Right? Absolutely. So I think we’ve spoken a lot about videos that FreshWorks has done. I now want to know, as a marketer, the kind of people whose work you admire possibly outside of Freshworks. So you can talk, to me about, people that you follow on LinkedIn brands that you got inspired by this is possibly the right time to shout out for those guys and ensure that they know that there are people who appreciate what they do.

Utkarsh Awasthi: No, absolutely. I mean it keeps changing, basis what I’m doing, for example, I mean, when we are pursuing different projects, one would go research, look at other brands, competitors, et cetera. So, I think it is a big list, but, oh, I just say, recent examples, which I’ve come across in every light. I was trying to use Canva for, some personal project. And you’re trying to edit something on your own. It was really last minute. And I loved the whole onboarding experience. I think also a classroom for that matter, their marketing is amazing the way they, you know, work with their onboarding team and put that journey across is generally what mentioning, um, right. In terms of, I would say at work, see if you look at  Cvent, I think they have a Cvent Celebrity page which is something that I loved. And I was like, wow. I mean, they put in some parts. So depending on what project we are doing that save, it’s an engagement we keep looking out for. And these were the most recent names that came to my mind. Um, like one specific example. I think I was in San Francisco when, uh, Gainsight offered us. I think that two weeks back, you know, to be what, their marketing team reached out and, you know, from different countries, we went together and then, it was, it doesn’t mean they give us any different marketing event. We are not talking with the product, but we are genuinely wanting to give an experience to, you know, your prospects and then slightly mentioning the product angle. So that was interesting, for me. Frankly, I keep reading or watching videos. But I think one person that I’ve been seeing operate is Chandar Pattabhiram, he’s the CMO of Coupa. And I think Coupa is a company that also has a great job of how they protect their customers. So we, as a team is working on that, I think that is something that, we came across. I think you should use hit up, Chander’s YouTube videos and his storytelling is something that is very compelling. I personally liked it. Even within Freshworks, I think we have a lot of champions, I think Arvind has also come on your podcast. He’s now the CEO of SuperOps and, I think his knack for doing physical events, these refreshes I think is amazing. And I’ve learned a lot from him. And then, of course, Arun who is our Chief Growth Officer, I think, was Moby’s CMO and his execution, his marketing vision. Like how do you scale in or, you know, how do you put the growth mindset into marketing? And ROI to marketing. I think that sets him apart from the rest. And there’s so much to learn if you watch his videos or wherever he has spoken, I think you will get a little bit of, a lot of sense from how do you kind of get away from even branding efforts? So how do you grow and scale? So I think some of the names from ex- Freshworks, current Freshworks, and other companies if that answers, but that’s the latest, uh, that, that I’m looking into.

Pranav Chimulkar: No, absolutely. I think I love how you, mentioned the people that you’ve been inspired. And again, one of the other things this will spark, Mad Over videos is the community feeling or feeling of getting connected with like-minded people who want to explore the medium of videos and use that to say further their day-to-day routines when it comes to marketing or sales or Product, etcetera. I think this is something that we want to also cultivate, in the pivot. I think, first of all, it’s been great to have you on the podcast. Now. I want to ensure that, you also have that kind of a feeling where you feel connected with the rest of the speakers. So I think another initiative that is possibly coming out from our side very soon is, the E-magazine or MOV buzz, where we will be featuring, speakers and throwing spot lights on people who have also been on podcasts and possibly at potential people who will join us in our journey, to come and try and create opportunities for people who have been in touch with us and try to give back to connect with each other.

Utkarsh Awasthi: No, I think it’s an absolute pleasure Pranav, I was telling you offline, or saying also that our next bet is podcast and YouTube as a channel. Again, trying to kind of evangelize something for our existing customers. And I think this also gives me a lot of good opportunities to learn how other marketers are taking a shot at it and what their thoughts are, each to its own. But it’s always a pleasure and to learn something new and get to something more from our campaigns, people will see it might just give some feedback good or bad. I don’t mind, but as far as people pretending that it’s helping or, you know, this is how we can improve, I’d be more than happy to be a part of it.

Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure hosting you on this episode. I hope we get to stay in touch and collaborate more often in the future. Not just at mad over videos, but also, sometimes, to create videos for Freshworks in times to come. And with that, I think we can bring this podcast episode to an end, To everybody else watching, we’ll be back with the next episode very soon with more interesting guests, that I don’t want to announce right now. But, please stay for the promotions that will come out very soon. And until then see you guys.

Utkarsh Awasthi: Thanks everyone.Take care.