Here’s Pranav, Co-founder of guch, speaking to Eric.
Pranav Chimulkar: Hey guys, welcome to the MOV podcast by guch. This is Episode 20. Just last episode we had Ernie centrally, the multimedia content manager at Active Campaign. And we had made the announcement that we also have another person from Active Campaign today. And that is Eric Dreshfield. Before I get him on board, I just want to just set the context for the episode. So we’re going to be talking a lot about partner marketing today- What is partner marketing? What are the benefits? What are things that you should look at finding the right partner when you collaborate on your marketing efforts? What are the advantages that you can get when you do a partnership, in your marketing efforts, of course? We’ll also be looking at a few videos in the partnership marketing efforts at Active Campaign? But not just that, we also have a few interesting case studies that we will talk about, of brands outside of the company that Eric belongs to. Because these are brands that everybody loves, right? So that’s the conversation. And without much ado, I will add to the conversation, Eric. Hi, Eric. Welcome. Welcome to the podcast.
Eric Dreshfield: Hey, Pranav, How are you? Thanks for having me on.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m very well, thank you so much for taking time out and joining us, It’s what. It’s closer to the holiday season in America. This weekend, India celebrates a festival called Diwali- the festival of light. So again, everybody’s in a festive mood. And we’re still working so we can see the hustle. And I’m glad that you could take out and join us once.
Eric Dreshfield: It’s my pleasure.
Pranav Chimulkar: Awesome. So, Eric, I would like to start off by, understanding a little bit about you, about your background, where you come from, and your current role at Active Campaign, what sort of roles and responsibilities are they?
Eric Dreshfield: Sure, absolutely. So we’ll start with the current Active Campaign, I am their strategic partner marketing manager. And essentially, I am responsible for the company’s relationship with Salesforce, both from a partner perspective, as well as the relationship with the Salesforce community and all of the members of the Salesforce community. So what that really means is, my focus is figuring out ways that Salesforce and Active Campaign can co-market and drive messages and customers together, but also to better engage with the Salesforce community, all of the people within that community and get them interested in what Active Campaign can do for their companies.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I think before we go on, and deep dive into the topic of partner marketing, the first thing that as a person who is leading cobranded efforts with a particular brand, the first thing that you need to do is be passionate about that product, right? And that is something that I want to ask you- Why do you like Salesforce, first of all, and why are you so passionate about this? So much so that you have been named and nominated as the MVP of Alexius for a bunch of years consecutively?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, actually, since 2013 through this year, and then they put me into the Hall of Fame, which is essentially MVP for life. So I got involved with Salesforce a little over 10 years ago to start and stumbled into a job that went from being a call center agent to helping this particular company launched Salesforce. I knew nothing about Salesforce at the time. And when I lucked into the role the hiring manager was over the call center that I was currently working in. And she basically said, ‘I’ve looked at your performance in the call center, I’ve looked at your previous work history, which included working at corporate offices of major retailers and airlines, a couple of hospitals, and a few other places’. And she said, ‘we want to launch this new platform to run the call center. And I think you’re the person for the job’. And she said, ‘so I want you to help us roll out Salesforce’. And my reaction to her was, well, what’s Salesforce? I’ve never heard of it in. But at that point in time, I had barely heard of CRM. I mean, I was using one on the job, because we logged our calls in a CRM system, but it wasn’t Salesforce. And the first thing that she said, when I got on the job in that role was to go- sorry, Eric, we can’t really afford to send you to training. So you need to connect with local people who are already using Salesforce, find a user group near you, and get connected to the people that are already using it, and just learn what you can organically. And so I started looking around for user groups in the area, and the closest one was two and a half to three hours away. So then, over the next, probably six months or so, I’d spend a day or two a month driving six hours round trip, or even as far as Chicago, which was a 12 hour round trip. So I spent the night in Chicago for that one. Just going to user group meetings and meeting people who were using Salesforce. And the very first thing that happened to me, when I walked into that very first user group meeting was, I was greeted like they already knew me, and they wanted to help me understand what it was I needed to do, what my challenges were, and how to solve them. It felt like I was part of a family. Just from that very first meeting, I felt like I belonged there. And everybody really genuinely wanted to know, what were my struggles? And how could they help me solve them?
And that feeling hasn’t changed over the last 10 years, it’s just gotten more intense. And as the Salesforce community has grown, I’ve gotten more involved in it. I launched a local community group here in my city, after about a year. And then about a year after that, I started a community-led Salesforce conference, that unfortunately, has been hit by COVID. Like a lot of things this year, and it’s not taking place. But that event has been in Chicago for six years or so, with anywhere between 500 and 900 people attending. We’re hoping things settle down for 2021. And we can host it again in Minneapolis this year, or next year, I mean, but we’ll see how that goes.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, I think it’s such a brilliant community that Salesforce has built. And I have got to see the responses of the people who are a part of that community. And we have a video that we could replay for the audience as well, that shows the love that they have been able to the brand, love that they have been able to cultivate. And yeah, before we get into that, I’ll quickly play the video.
Yeah, that was a glimpse of it and so we caught on to your interview there as well.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, absolutely. And probably for the last three or four years because of the number of people I know within the ecosystem, how easily accessible I am and how I can connect people to others who might actually have the answers are looking for, people have kind of nicknamed me the Kevin Bacon of the Salesforce ecosystem. Because if they need to know who knows anything about a specific piece of the platform, if they can’t figure it out on their own, they come to me and I usually know somebody that is the right person, or I know someone that knows someone who’s the right person.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, you really have to be a people person, don’t you like it when it comes to being involved in the community trying to like make these connections?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, absolutely.
Pranav Chimulkar: You’re like a walking Yellowpages book.
Eric Dreshfield: Haha. You know that thinking back a little bit. When I first got into the Salesforce community, I kind of considered myself an introvert. I was usually the quiet person who would sit in the back of the room, just observe and try not to get into conversations with people. And something about this community just kind of cracked the shell and brought me out of it. And now I mean, I’ve presented at dreamforce many years in a row, several different sessions on a couple of times. I mean, I do podcasts and things like this quite often now. And just really enjoy meeting people, talking to them, and finding out what their story is and how I can help them.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. But I think this conversation is interesting, I don’t move on to the next point before getting to know what was the transition. A lot of people have that fear of possibly approaching a new person and marketers typically cannot afford to be that right? You have to have conversations. And marketers and sales professionals need to have conversations for earning their bread. So you, how do you go from a person behind the phone? And who’s comfortable behind a screen to also connecting with someone face to face and having conversations and not just being a guy who’s open to just approaching someone now you’re making connections, and you’re making more people meet each other? So what has that transition been like? What is the process that has gone behind your transformation?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, you know, I think in a way, that was almost accidental. I mean, when I launched the community-led event, midwest, dreaming, I did it. I jokingly say I did it for purely selfish reasons. Because I missed dreamforce, the first year I was in the Salesforce platform. So I decided I wanted to bring dreamforce to me. By creating this event, finding sponsors and getting people to show up for it, and then running the event by myself, I quickly learned that was really the wrong way to do it. Because I was too busy focused on the event and making sure it ran properly, to actually get out and enjoy the people that were there. So when the second or third year rolled around with Midwest dreaming, I had a team helping me. And it made it a lot easier. There were people I met through the community, they were also community group leaders or MVPs, in the Midwestern part of the US as well. And as a team, we’ve built this event into the thing it is today. But you know, back to your question about how do you get out there and meet people? And how do you get over that fear, if you will?
You almost have to force yourself to do it the first time. But once you make that very first connection, your mind is going to realize that wasn’t so scary. The very first time I presented dreamforce, I was standing on the stage with the CO presenters waiting for the time to start. The audience was filling up in room- 150 or so people in the room. And I was sweating bullets and my stomach was doing somersaults. And I was terribly nervous. But as soon as I started talking, and saw people in the audience connecting to me with their eyes and shaking their head, as I was making points, I quickly realized they came to hear what I needed to say. And they wanted to be here because of what I wanted to say. And so all of a sudden, all those fears, and all those nerves just ended. And it was amazing. I mean, just even though it was on stage, and I didn’t know their names, personally, at least some of them just realizing they were engaged with me. And listening to what I wanted to say was very empowering to me, to calm those fears and, make it so I wanted to do that more.
Pranav Chimulkar: I mean, very beautiful report, because I love the point that you made about it’s being in your head, right? You’re thinking that, okay, whatever I’m going to say, is it going to be good enough for people, etc. I mean, you might be undermining yourself there. But then there are people out there who want to listen to you, want to possibly learn from your mistakes, from your insight. So, I mean, the only way to do is to go and go out there and show up. Right? And yeah, unless you do that, it’s not gonna work.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, I think I think it was Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player who once said, ‘The only shot you’ll miss is the ones you never take’.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. That’s one of my favorite quotes. In fact, thank you for bringing that up. Going to the point of the reason why I asked this question was this podcast and the love that we have at Mad Over videos is about the video. And then a video is something that also sends chills down someone’s spine, right? When it comes to being on camera. How do you like to get in front of the camera, to put yourself out there? It’s so much so that even before I started this podcast, I had to spend about a month or two convincing myself whether I should do this or not. But today we are at Episode 20 which is proof that once you start doing it, you start enjoying the process. But I want to know, because being in the community, being in the partner marketing field, you have to use a lot of videos. I want to know why is Eric mad over videos? Why do you love videos?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, you know, it’s a different experience than just a podcast, where it’s audio-only or where you’re just reading a blog post. And the biggest thing about videos is you can see the people, you can see their facial expressions, you can watch them get excited about the things they’re talking about. And you can’t get that any other way. I mean, sure, a podcast, you can probably hear it a little bit in their voice, but you missed the eyebrows going up, you missed the hands going all over the place. And you miss the smiles. To some extent, although, you know, some people say you can hear a smile. So when you’re talking to someone, make sure you smile, but the physical view of what you’re doing, and the facial expressions really says a lot more than just the inflection in your voice. And you can’t get that anywhere other than videos or live and in person.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. So I have been following the Active Campaign channels and the marketing efforts. When it comes to a video specifically, I like picked a few videos that we will dive into that gets done at Active Campaign and break them down, as well. But before that, we’d like to talk a little bit about the topic of partner marketing.
First of all, you, as a company, as Active Campaign have a bunch of integrations, and you partner with a bunch of brands. But it is not always possible to have a co-marketing effort with every single brand, because you need to understand and come together on the same page, have your frequencies and your goals matched. So I want to know, I want to throw this question to you. How do you find the right partner to have your co-market?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, that’s a great question. And certainly, as you said, not every partner is going to be a good fit, for various reasons. But you know, that I think the way we at Active Campaign try to view this more as what’s right for our customers. And we try to figure out how we can then build partnerships around the things that are going to help our customers the best. So for example, Shopify, you know, that’s a big e-commerce platform. A lot of our customers are small to medium-sized businesses, and they use Shopify. So for us to partner with Shopify is very important for them, because then our customers can use both Shopify technology and the Active Campaign technology to both grow their business and improve their performance as a company.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. Talking about Shopify, I have the video in front of me, I’d like to play that before we dive into, like the partnership between the two brands.
Eric Dreshfield: Yep, I think I was gonna say, that the one point that he made, that really hits home is you can get people’s attention before they finalize their purchase, or while they’ve paused on their purchase. And they’re deciding about things by saying, ‘hey, you left this stuff in your shopping cart’, and you can pull them back into the transaction. And you can get them excited about why they looked at it in the first place. And we’ve had customers who have told us, once we implemented some of the automation, and the technology that Active Campaign has to offer, we’ve seen our abandoned cart rate drops significantly, like 30% to 70% drops in abandoned carts, which you know that all equates to more revenue for that company, more business, and helping to build a loyal customer for those companies.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, it is a no brainer, right? Like the integration helps. It helps the customers of both the brands, and there are incremental sales, because of the integration, right? That’s it, it’s when it’s so simple. You just have to tell the right story in the right manner. This is why this integration really makes your life easier. Then having two disjoint experiences, combined experience.
Eric Dreshfield: And that’s a part of what you and Ernie talked about yesterday on your episode with him where we help you, have the right conversation with the right people at the right time.
Pranav Chimulkar: Correct. So That said I’d also like to jump into the next integration that really, caught my eye. That is with Zapier. For those who might not know, Zapier is again a task automation tool and I like to play the video before we jump into the conversation about that.
Eric Dreshfield: Yes. Okay, I was gonna say Zapier is a really amazing partner. Because they integrate with so many different things. And that helps our customers have the ability to do that, and the flexibility to pick, choose how they want to proceed with their business and what things they want to want to automate and improve on.
Pranav Chimulkar: Correct, I think we’ve seen the two different sort of partnerships here, and co-branded efforts here, one of which has somebody from Active Campaign, whereas in the other video, we have someone from outside of Active Campaign. And this is the point that I wanted to also bring out one of the beauties of partnerships like these is that you can engage and leverage subject matter experts from both events when it comes to both the brands.
Eric Dreshfield: Absolutely, right, that’s so true. And that third party validation, if you want to call it that, is what really helps drive your customers to see the value in what you do. I mean, we can talk about our own product all day long but if they hear it from somebody who’s using our product, rather than straight from us, they’re gonna realize- Oh, yeah this is a guy who’s in a business very similar to me or something like that. And they see the value in what this product does. And that’s going to create more interest, and make them really want to see what Active Campaign can do for our partners can do for their business. And they’ll want to dive in deeper, start playing with the tool and see and see how things go.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, it really goes back into how humans behave in general, right? I mean, you cannot go about talking highly about yourself and ensure that everybody out there will believe me, right? When other people talk good about you, is when the word spreads. How much I will try to shove it down people’s throats? People won’t take your word for it. They have to hear this human we have, right?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, no, nobody wants a sales pitch. I mean, even if you’re out there looking for a product, you don’t really want to sit through a sales pitch. You’d rather hear about it, experiences that other people have had with that particular product or that particular brand. Think about brands you and I use every day, in our personal lives. The things we eat and drink, the types of vehicles we drive, where we stay when we go to a hotel, I mean, all of those things are driven by the experiences that our friends and our family have had, and other people that we know that do travel and things of that nature, that help guide us in the right directions to experience those brands.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think you’ve hit home with that statement. Because even when it comes to b2b, it’s a person on the other side that you’re having the conversation with, it’s not a machine. So right. It’s a common notion that when somebody wears a blazer or a suit, he might behave differently, but deep down inside, he also has the same sort of behavior that a regular person has, and, is going to also behave in similar ways. So we as marketers have to also understand that they have their own set of emotions, they have their own set of cultural beliefs and interaction patterns. And that is why you need to adapt your messaging and your ways to get their attention, right.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one of the things I think the Active Campaign platform helps businesses do really well. To personalize those interactions, so that you don’t get the emails where the integration didn’t work and it says- dear first name. You read these emails you get and it feels like it’s actually a person behind the scenes who’s reading it to you. It was written for you and exclusively for you. And Active Campaign technology really does that because it has the ability to view all the data, to track where the customers have been looking at, what they’ve been seeing, and put together a story that will make sense for them. And your story, and what you do is going to be totally different than mine. And so, Active Campaign’s technology allows for that, and, and accommodates for the personalization of those things.
Pranav Chimulkar: So I want to talk about a few fundamentals when it comes to partner marketing. The first thing that comes to my mind is establishing mutual goals, when you select a partner, you need to have the goal setting done when involving both the parties equally in setting the goals for the campaign, whether it be lead generation, whether it be revenue streams that are shared, you have to come onto the same page. And put these out, like transparently so that there is no gray space after the campaign ends. How do you do that? How do you sort of ensure that there is complete transparency and outright before you start?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, and that’s a fantastic point because neither party in this partnership is going to be surprised by anything that happens, except perhaps success. I mean, they’d love to get more success, and they were anticipating. But I think the way that you can get to that collaboration where everybody starts on the same page, it’s a matter of communication, it’s a matter of building a relationship with those people. As you said, everybody within a business is an individual first. So you’ve got to meet with those people individually, get to know what they’re all about, what they’re passionate about, in addition to what their company is all about, of course, and how that to marry together. And then jointly, both sides of that conversation, need to have the strength of conversation and motivation to figure out. Here’s what I know, you’re after. And here’s what we’re after. And you got to figure out a way to make them marry together. And ultimately, I think in reality, most organizations that are b2b, want their end customers to succeed. So we all kind of have that same goal. And that same focus on what’s our end customer going to do, because when they succeed, we all succeed.
Pranav Chimulkar: True, very true, but this is just one part of it, right? I mean, there has to be also transparency and reporting back the data after the campaign, like, what are the common things? I mean, let’s talk about your co-branded efforts with say, Salesforce, for that matter. Whatever campaigns that you’ve gone ahead, how will you ensure that the right data or the metrics that you had decided at the onset of the partnership are reported back efficiently? And so that, as you said, there are no more surprises?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah. So the partnership with Salesforce is probably a little bit unique compared to other companies because Salesforce has been out there for so long and generally does things really well. I mean, they’re a really large organization. They’re well run, they’ve got a great marketing team. Their app exchange program, for example, is where a lot of companies get their start in the Salesforce ecosystem from a partnership perspective. And Salesforce has made it pretty easy for partners like us to figure out what we want to do with them. They create various programs that they offer to partners, so you know exactly what’s going to happen from the Salesforce side. They have metrics built into it, that we can access just by logging into their partner portal, we can see how our own app exchange listing is performing, how many clicks we’re getting, how many new leads we get, who’s hovering over a specific logo or something within the app exchange listing. And we can track all of that data. And that can help us figure out what’s working from that perspective and what’s not, so we can tweak things and modify them. The way we have our listing in SEO is a big deal not only on Google searches, but it also plays a role in what Salesforce has built around with their app exchange as well. And those are things that because of the data they share with us around the performance, we can help optimize.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, I think like you said Salesforce is such a mature brand. Their partnership with you is going to be different than most SME partnerships that you might have, right? That said, it’s very important that before you start on with the partnership view, understand the segment of your goals and, also the allocations of efforts and resources to those efforts, when it comes to early players, again, I might be wrong here. But then I don’t think it’s such a safe thing to do by agreeing to have revenue sharing of the top, but you could go for something a little safer, which is possibly lead sharing. What are your thoughts? How should small enterprises look at partner marketing versus large enterprises?
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, there’s definitely a difference in the mindset. You have to have between a smaller organization and a larger one. Just because generally speaking, smaller companies may not be as well funded, or they may be bootstrapped. So they really have to be careful with the money that they’re spending. So, the smaller organizations need a better understanding and a much clearer vision, I think of who their ideal customer is, what they’re looking for, and then how to drive that message to them. And from a partnership perspective, I think what that translates into is exactly where you are going, will drive new leads that are going to benefit us and our partners, so we’ll share that information with them. Maybe as we get a little mature, more mature as a company as we grow, as we improve our finances or whatever, maybe we can start a revenue sharing program further down the line, and work into that. But I think from a very small organization, I mean, some of the companies, we help our two-person companies. It’s a husband and a wife running a small business together. And that’s their entire livelihood, and their entire family rests on how that business performs. So it’s really important for us to make sure they succeed. So we do everything we can to help those organizations, figure out who their customers really are, and grow that business.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m really happy that you look at it that way, Eric because it’s eventually the outcomes that you generate for your customers is what your success depends on, right? I mean, especially when it comes to these couples like you just mentioned, it just takes me back to, a few of the episodes that you see on Shark Tank because they put their entire livelihoods behind that business and they could hit bankruptcy if that feels right. So it’s a lot to really handle, it’s a big risk that you guys also have at your end to ensure that they’re succeeding at the end of it.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, and but the benefits of doing that are if you provide what your customers really need, and they see benefit from it, your customers are going to talk about it, they’re going to become your advocates, and that’s going to help you grow. And then, of course, some of the things we do and you played one of the videos where it had a customer of ours and their customers are going to talk about us, which is going to help us grow as well, not only help their customer but also help that particular client of ours grow, it’s going to help our business grow because it’s someone else talking about us. And that’s part of the marketing cycle almost, that you want to do with your customers. You want to take them from a lead to an opportunity to purchase. Then you want to get them really ingrained into your product, utilizing it fully and bake seeing the benefit. And then the next step after that is turning them into an advocate where they’re out there saying I did this because of Active Campaign. I’ve succeeded because of what they’ve helped me do. And hopefully, then they’ll say and you can do that to one of their friends who’s running a small business or whatever.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, yeah, As you said, evangelism is the best form of advertising. That’s what I feel. Because it’s a free press, right? Yeah, I have to spend $1, to get that. It’s just the heart and soul that you pour in much before, to lead to their success. And once that happens, they are going to be an epicenter of marketing for your own brand, right? So that is something which I also really love. And thank you for bringing that out in that answer. But I’d also like to take you back to another point that you made. You’re talking about, say cobranded efforts, you’re also talking about investing money into these efforts, right? It is very important that the leadership believes in these efforts and sees the value. Unlike, when you partner with a large organization like Salesforce, where they have deeper pockets, it’s easier to sort of allocating funds to such activities, whether it is a video that you’re producing, whether it is an offline activity that you are organizing. Most of the times, it’s very important that you as a person who’s running that campaign is able to convince your manager or your boss. And in this case, I like to know Maria has been a person that really started the CMO of Active Campaign before we started with these interviews. And she happened to mention about Ernie. And you. So how is that relationship been how difficult or easy it is to go and convince the Head of Marketing to allocate funds when it comes to you know the campaigns.
Eric Dreshfield: I first met Maria back in 2014, when she was working for Marchetto. And, and I was running the Midwest dreamin conference back then. And she was one of the speakers at Midwest dreamin, and she’s been a marketer. I mean, probably, as far as I know, all her life. And even when she was a teenager, she was probably involved in marketing somehow. But I got to know her through that process and kind of see who she is as a person, and the way she thinks. And then, at dreamforce, 2014, I saw a demo of some products of a company called Aptus, where Maria then was actually the CFO, the Senior Vice President of Marketing. And I fell in love with what I saw at dreamforce, around Aptus, and started conversations with the company about wanting to go work for them. So then, after a year or so of those conversations, I ended up on the marketing team at Aptus. Working with Maria, in a role very similar to the one I have right now with her again, here at Active Campaign. But it was an interesting conversation, I remember Maria and I had. I guess technically it was during part of the job interview process, that to me, it felt like a conversation. Maria said, Eric, we’re the marketing department, you know, what marketing is all about? It’s all about getting messages to your customers, and getting customers to talk about you and gaining new customers, making sales and things like that. And Maria said, So tell me about your marketing experience. And I kind of got this flush look on my face. And I imagine I turned three different shades of red when she asked me that. And I said I don’t have any. I said I’ve been a business analyst or a systems analyst or an accountant or, a financial analyst, but I’ve never done marketing. And Maria looked at me and she said, No, Eric, you’re totally wrong. This is what do you mean? And she said, How long’s Midwest dreamin been going on? When did it start? who started it? How many people now attend? And it wasn’t until Maria pointed out to me that that I marketed that event. And that’s why it’s grown into what it has today. Then I suddenly realized, Oh, yeah, I am a marketer, that she still hired me for a marketing role. Even though I told her I didn’t have marketing experience, but she saw it in me. So when my transition over to Active Campaign came around, it was another one of those coincidences, I think, although maybe some people don’t think there are coincidences, I was out looking for a new job at that point in time, because the company I was at was really hit hard by COVID. And sales were really slow, and we had to make some cuts. And in that particular company, I was not a direct billable resource to the clients. So I was the easiest one to cut because it didn’t impact the customers. And I was part of that decision. I was part of the leadership team there. So I knew what had to be done. So I basically told that company, okay, I’m going to walk away, but I’m going to help empower you all to keep doing the things that I’ve been doing. So they’re still doing what they need to and they’re growing a little bit more now. Unfortunately, they’re seeing a little recovery. But when I was in my job search process, I didn’t think about the Active Campaign. I didn’t think about talking to Maria. I don’t even think I knew she was at Active Campaign until she sent me a message on LinkedIn. And it was a pretty short message, it just simply said, Eric, here’s where I’m at today, here’s what Active Campaign is all about. I’m looking for somebody similar to you to take a role like the one you had at Aptus. When I first hired you there, Do you know anybody who might be interested? So Maria was trying to leverage me as a connector again, as a lot of people use me as a connector to help them solve problems. And my response back to Maria was, Hi, I’m interested, that sounds fantastic. And the thing that really drew me in probably even before I did enough research to realize what Active Campaign was about was that it was a Maria. She’s got a great track record, almost every single company She has worked with that since I’ve been aware of her has done really well, they performed well, they’ve done IPOs perhaps, and done some really big things. So when Maria came to me and said, I’ve got this job that I really think I need your help to fill.
My mind said I’m the guy to fill this job. And so of course, we’ve had some conversations, I met with the marketing team. And the rest is history. That, you know, in that process of interviewing for the role, and talking to everybody, I learned all about Active Campaign and figured out what the company is all about and what their software is all about. And in a little bit earlier stage of my life, my wife was a small business owner. And we didn’t have a tool like that. And it was a struggle for us to find new customers. And so everything about Active Campaign, and how they relate to their customers really resonated with me personally, as the Co-owner of a small business that unfortunately, didn’t do very well, that we ended up shutting it down after a couple of years of trying to make it work. And then I think, if we knew about Active Campaign back then that business would probably still be up and running, because of the value we would see from that and the things that it would have done for our customer base. So the combination of knowing Maria, and then learning all about Active Campaign is what really drew me in, got me excited.
Pranav Chimulkar: Thank you for sharing the story. I think this just reinforces my belief in having good interpersonal relationships, whether it is with your co-workers, whether it is with your partners, whether it is with your customers. I think these relationships go a long way and you could possibly not even have expected the outcome, like you said it can be anything at the end of the day. These do come to your rescue. So it’s very important to have good relationships.
Eric Dreshfield: You know, I don’t think I actually answered your question, though. I think your question was, what’s it like to go to senior management and ask them for money to do something marketing related?
Pranav Chimulkar: My very first, I mean, I’d like to because the video is such a latent demand for a video that, it’s just been the last few years where you see the adoption go up a little specifically in the b2b space because it was always about white papers, or on long-form articles. And because you’re looking at the digitization of businesses that is happening in every field, and then the video is something that is now so easy to consume. And I don’t think so there is a second thought to the video being in your marketing mix anymore.
Eric Dreshfield: Right! That’s true. I mean, we all have a phone, Video Studio, in our hands or in our pockets now. So it’s very easy for anybody to do it. Even if they’re not necessarily associated with a brand or working for a company that produces a product. You know, the really recent viral video that went out there with a guy on the skateboard drinking cranberry juice. I mean, that’s a story unto itself. Right there. He was just having fun.
Pranav Chimulkar: And on the previous episode, Ernie also took this same example.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, yeah. So yeah, It’s definitely the way to go. I think today to deliver a message really well.
Pranav Chimulkar: So you were answering and I did interrupt you, in your answer towards getting the allocations done. And I wanted to specifically ask for videos, like campaign video, lead campaigns, what has been your experience, whether it is going to pitch a campaign to your senior management?
Eric Dreshfield: You know, I think the key thing about videos, campaigns, or really any campaign for that matter, around how you can pitch it to management and get them to allocate some funds for is to have a clear understanding of the process. You want to go through what you want to do. button, but more than that, what you anticipate that it’s going to accomplish. If it’s going to be something that delivers a very specific message for a certain time period. Like right now, you know, you’ve probably seen a lot of active campaigns messaging around Black Friday, and the holiday season shopping. That’s a big deal for our customers. So obviously, it’s really important for us. So we’re pushing the videos you shared yesterday with Ernie, around the all in ones. That was kind of a unique thing, I think because we timed that with a conference that one of our competitors was holding. And when we as an organization and all the individuals in the company who shared all that stuff, as well, on social, we hijacked the hashtag from that conference, from our competitor, to share our message, to help broaden it and let other people see it. And I specifically recall a couple of the tweets that I put out, the people who are running that conference, like to tweet that I did, even though we were essentially stealing their audience. So you know, I don’t know if it’s partnering with your competitor. If that’s a way to think about doing something like that. But it was really creative. And that was part of our partner, our video team here, who created those videos. That was one of the things that they said, you know, let’s hijack the hashtag, we’ll be able to get a lot more views, we’ll get a lot more engagements and things like that. So back to the approval process on this stuff. If you can articulate the value in what you’re you’re anticipating, and show some creativity in how to do it, it’s going to be a lot easier sell to your senior managers to get some funds allocated to a video, to blog to whatever it is you’re trying to do, really.
Pranav Chimulkar: I want to like, also divert this conversation from the b2b conversation that we’ve been having to even consumer-focused map and translate when you’re selling to consumers is not too different. As I said, you can sell it to businesses as well. And I want to pick a couple of case studies that have brands that we will love and have heard of. The first one is, again, a co-branded partnership between two brands that have such an overlap in their audiences and audiences that are adventure lovers. That is GoPro and Red Bull. So I think we’ve seen a bunch of efforts or assets that have come out of these two brands, whether it is in form of video, whether it is in form of events, or offline activations, or products, if you see such a powerful way to sort of cross-promote the branch to each other’s audience.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, absolutely. And when people think of those two brands in particular, and the first name they think of is somebody in a race car, or somebody skydiving or doing something extreme. And Redbull is that extreme kick, if you will, from a beverage. It gets you fueled up to be able to go try some of these things. Maybe it gives you the courage to jump out of an airplane when maybe you wouldn’t have thought about doing it before. And GoPro as a brand. It’s like they cornered the market on a personal studio if you will, and everybody can have this camera, you can put it on your body, you can put it on your motorcycle, you can do whatever you want with it. And it takes great videos, and it gives them the ability to tell a story, to share an experience with other people. I’m probably not the kind of person who’s going to jump out of an airplane. That just I don’t mind flying in them, but I’d rather just step out of it and walk onto the ground. Although there’s a little bit of a thought that it might be exciting just to experience at once that freefall feeling and realizing I’m gonna be okay when I land. But you know, for a lot of people, that’s what gets them going every day. They want that rush of excitement. And if it’s going down a mountain on a bicycle, or going 200 miles an hour around a racetrack or whatever, both GoPro and Redbull seem to have harnessed that market really well. And feel the excitement that people have around those things.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. Another beautiful partnership that came out and it’s not just about co-sponsoring an event or producing a video together, but this is what goes like to the level of having sold products together. And this partnership that I’m talking of is between a furniture brand and a mattress pad. Everybody’s heard of Casper mattress, and I think they’re selling a lot of those factories over the years. But this case study talks about when they launched a 100 day trial period and they still did not see expected adoption rates, where people still wanted to possibly roll into a mattress before they made a purchase. That was the time when they were able to partner with Westend, which is a furniture brand. And I think Westend went ahead and put these mattresses on their furniture and let customers experience them before making a purchase, while they were able to sort of advertise for their own bedroom furniture and have them rise in the sales figures. So it worked beautifully for both people.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, I think about that as a really brilliant partnership and a brilliant marketing strategy. Because what they really did was commoditized sleep, I mean, it’s something we all need that we all do every day, but the way they marketed it, and the way they put everything together. It’s almost like people crave it. Now they want their sleep because they know they’re going to be very comfortable. When they’re laying in their bed at night, or sitting on their bed watching a movie on their TV in their bedroom or whatever, they’ve built it around the mattress and the furniture in such a way that people want to do it. It’s something that they really desire. It’s not just a must-have anymore, it’s a want to do. It’s more of a luxury, although, you know, everybody needs sleep, but you can sleep anywhere if you think about it, but why not do it comfortably right?
Pranav Chimulkar: True. Talking about brands that we love, the marketing efforts that we’ve seen and appreciated, also want to ask you this question about the kind of marketers that you admire, when it comes to people or brands that are doing well? Or are the kind of people that you follow on LinkedIn, etc. for the work that they do? This is the right time to give a few shoutouts.
Eric Dreshfield: Yeah, absolutely. And there are probably three people maybe that come to mind pretty quickly. One is a guy named James Buckley, and he always uses the hashtag #saywhatsales. I’ve known James for probably seven or eight years now, watched his career grow through several different companies. And very recently, probably within the last year or so he started working for John Barrows training company. So James is out there. He’s helping other organizations learn how to do sales the right way. But what I really appreciate about the way James does things is he’s out there every day, posting a video on LinkedIn and on Twitter. And it may be a 30 second, one-minute video of just him holding his phone up walking through his yard. But he’s delivering a great message that really resonates well with people where they can understand what it takes to become a salesperson, what it means to be a good salesperson, and how to build relationships with your customers. And he does that every single day. And, he’s really casual about it. He’s very genuine about it. And you can tell that it comes from the heart with him that he’s super passionate about it.
The second brand or person that comes to mind is the company Spekit. They’re relatively new to the Salesforce ecosystem. I met their founder Melanie Fellay, probably two and a half, three years ago, just as she was getting ready to launch the product. And we had some great conversations at a conference, we both just happened to be around on what she was trying to do? What value she thought it would bring to Salesforce administrators and end-users. And the conversations that she and I had were all around, how can she help spread her message? How can she get it more widely known in the Salesforce ecosystem? And of course, me being the guy that I was then I said, you ought to come to Midwest dreamin and sponsor the event and participate in our demo jam because that’ll give you time right in front of everybody there just to demo your app, they’ll see what you’re talking about. They’ll understand it, they’ll get to experience it firsthand. And she did it and you know we do the demo jam just like Salesforce does where the audience votes on a winner. Well, Spekit didn’t win because she had some awesome competition with some other companies. But they were really close but it really helped I think the launch launched the company to a new level where they got a lot more engagement from Salesforce customers and helped them grow. And then the third person that I wanted to give a quick shout out to is a friend of mine named Nicole Paradise. She works for ADP and customer experience. But she has been her own brand and been out there marketing the things that she loves to talk about which are all-around customer experience and branding and marketing. She’s been doing that for years as an individual. And I actually met her through Melanie through Spekit because Nicole was one of the early investors in it. So she just helped guide them on their journey. But just getting into conversations with her, even if it’s around, how’s your day today? Or what’s the view out your window look like today, or watching Nicole and her family moved from San Francisco to New York City about a year ago. And understanding why they chose to do that gave me some insight into the way she thinks like a marketer. And she shares that through some of the talks she gives and things like that as well. So I think the common thread among all these people, is that they’re really passionate about their specific product and their specific motivators. But they’re also really passionate about sharing it with others and helping people see the good, what they have and what their own businesses can do.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think the same qualities that I see in you as well because I have heard stories of you now. And I hope, this relationship that has started because of this podcast, also, we are able to continue this time to come right.
Thank you so much, Eric, for taking time out and joining us on the episode. I’m sure it’s a busy time right now because you’re working towards marketing for the holidays. And this is a time that I’m sure everybody on the team will be packed with a lot of stuff on their plate. But I really appreciate that you were able to sort of spare this time to come on the podcast and not just that also having these conversations about what we plan to talk about and also record these promos and things like that. So again, we are all about videos, we love videos and whether it is the promo, whether it is the post content that’s going to come out of this podcast, those mini clips and the quotations, etc. or the shoutouts that you have made, we will ensure that these videos reach the people that we’ve mentioned on the video. So I hope my team will be working on this and we are able to get these messages and the sentiment across to the people that you just gave a shout out to as well.
Eric Dreshfield: So that’s fantastic. I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity. It’s been a fantastic conversation.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m glad you feel that way and I appreciate it more than I could say, so thank you so much Eric once again and for the rest people who’ve been watching us on this conversation we will be out for this weekend because it’s the probably Diwali in India. So, I like to use this opportunity to wish everybody a very happy Diwali from the entire team of guch. And the same goes for people, specifically people who are not in India and are still celebrating wherever they are, whichever part of the world they are in. I’d like to give the wishes to them as well.
Thank you so much. Thank you for joining us. I’ll be back with another episode on Mad Over Videos podcast very soon.