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Episode 13 – The Role of Marketing in Startups with Jon Miller

Marketing can play a different role for different kinds of companies but for startups, there are basic principles that apply. Typically, marketing is responsible for creating awareness and ensuring preference in buyers. Compared to the previous years, the buyer or customer can now be individually reached with the help of data and analytics. As such, it is important to hire the CMO who can work on answering the marketing need that is specific to your company and then build the team which will complement his skill set. The same head of marketing though has to be hired at a time when product-market fit has already been established at a certain level to ensure focus and success. In this episode, learn more about product market fit, demand generation, content creation, partner marketing, and so much more. 
Jon Miller is a co-founder and CEO at Engagio, an account-centric platform which orchestrates and measures account-based Marketing and Sales Development efforts. Before that, Jon was also co-founder at Marketo, a marketing automation leader, and ran its marketing. He is known as a thought leader and pioneer of modern digital marketing. Although he had an undergraduate degree in Physics, most of his career has been in marketing technology. He worked for a leading marketing platform called Xchange and a leading marketing technology called Epiphany. After that, Epiphany was sold and together with his co-founder Phillip Fernandez, Jon started Marketo. 

In this Episode:

  • How Jon studied Physics as an undergraduate and his career in marketing technology
  • The essence of marketing and how it has changed over time
  • How marketing tactics have changed with data and analytical capabilities, allowing individual customer reach
  • The three kinds of marketing executives based on their strengths: demand gen, product, and corporate marketing
  • How CMOs tend to have only one main strength and how to hire the one to complement your needs and marketing team
  • When and how to hire a CMO as startup especially at the early stages
  • How product and product-market fit are critical aspects of marketing support
  • How to do content and partner marketing to jumpstart demand generation
  • How to write content that stands out and establish your company as a thought leader
  • The role of marketing in getting to product-market fit
  • The right time to do positioning and messaging
  • The mistake of scaling revenue teams before perfecting product-market fit
  • How companies can encounter the dilemma on who’s going to be responsible for some customer concerns

Connect with Jon Miller!

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Episode 52 – Enhancing Marketing Competency with Kate Bradley Chernis

Not all marketers are superheroes. As a founder, you need to equip your marketing team with the right tools that can help them become more organized and highly competent. Find out how tools can help you eliminate redundancy, wastage, and disorganization especially using Lately as a platform. 

Kate Bradley Chernis is the co-Founder and CEO of Lately, a marketing software company. Realizing that a marketer’s function can be pulled together in an all-in-one Marketing Dashboard, Lately is now the only platform that organizes and produces content, implements project management, and does analytics in one place. Kate is happy to help marketers and companies of all sizes organize and automate towards business success.

In this Episode:

  • How founders, like Kate herself, often have to deal with a lot of challenges and how they overcome them
  • How Lately as a platform helps marketers do their job better and faster with more organization and assistance
  • How to use Lately to get your messaging right and consistent for SEO and ultimately, for your customers
  • How your company persona can reflect your own personality to make it more human
  • How to develop a natural pitch for marketing


Connect with Kate Bradley Chernis!


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Episode 37 – Looking at the Perspective of a Business Strategist with Christine Crandell

“The intersection of customer experience is sustainability. It may sound like it’s not relevant to a lot of people but it is. It is the hidden tsunami that is going to knock people right out apart. It’s the next age of customer experience,” these are the words of Christine Crandell a business strategist who will tell us in this episode how businesses can survive in this age of stiff competition and increasing market volatility. 

Christine Crandell is the principal of New Business Strategies, a company which has been in business for 30 years, working with over a hundred companies in 3 continents. She has also written for Forbes, Huffington Post and CMSWire. 

In this episode:

  • Strategic planning: What it is 
  • The four methods of strategic planning
  • The importance of scenario planning
  • Transparency, Accountability, and Customer-Driven


Connect with Christine Crandell!

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Episode 11 – Leading Your Company through an Exit with Nikhil Raj

Why should a company like yours choose an exit? Wouldn’t you want to grow your company especially when you’re starting to gain momentum and success is just at the horizon? Apparently, as a Founder, you could get confronted with forks on the road as your company goes through the different stages. In particular, you could be facing a decision whether to continue and bring it to a Series A, monetize your current traction, or simply let it go through an exit. The decision is not as simple though. Find out the best way to do it and the steps you can undertake when leading your company towards a successful exit in this podcast episode. 
Nikhil Raj is the co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Paysa, Inc., a consumer and enterprise service startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through Paysa, Nikhil is making waves of changes in the human capital management space by using large scale data and artificial intelligence to help employers find talent and for employees’ career enhancement. Before founding his company along with 4 co-founders, Nikhil gained decades of experience leading various companies and large teams to success. He was at Walmart Labs, Walmart’s tech and product segment, and at Kosmix as Director. Wherever he went, he always made an impact through product and marketing leadership.

In this Episode:

  • How Nikhil and his co-founders decided to go through an exit for their company
  • Factors to consider in choosing an exit instead of other paths
  • What to do when another company is interested in buying out your business
  • How being a part of Walmart Labs helped Nikhil prepare for and make him capable for his current exit strategy
  • How the relationships he developed throughout his previous jobs became a foundational network for Paysa
  • How being on the buy side can give you the right perspective on how to be attractive to buyers
  • How companies get bought without you trying to sell them
  • How to create products and solutions that people actually want to buy
  • How to make the customer as the center for all the major decisions for the company
  • How to listen to consumer customers and determine what they want using objective metrics
  • How to gauge enterprise customers’ willingness to buy products or pay for your services
  • How to stay ahead of the competition by better offers and by being different
  • How Paysa helps employees get the salary they deserve
  • How Paysa works for enterprise customers in terms of hiring or benchmarking and salary
  • The importance of having the right co-founders and the number of co-founders to achieve success as a startup
  • How to pick the right investors for your company

Connect with Nikhil Raj!


Episode 22.5 – Toddcast #3- Founder’s Fear with Todd Wilms

Fear is a basic emotion that haunts many individuals and cause them to stop on their tracks, and a founder like yourself is no exemption. Your journey as a founder can be beset by fear and it is important to know what forms they take and at which particular stages so that you become aware of them and know exactly how to deal with them. You can feel that fear before you even start on your journey and you can certainly get confronted by it again in the middle as you decide on which directions to take. The fear that you feel at the end is also worth exploring as without you knowing it, you could be sabotaging yourself just to avoid that ending. In this special edition of Toddcast, it is time you face those fears and realize that it isn’t that bad after all when you allow people around you to lend you a helping hand. 

In this Episode:

  • How fear can haunt founders in the beginning, middle, and end
  • How fear of failure versus compulsion can gnaw at you at the beginning
  • How taking the first step to becoming a founder is made amazing with the support of mentors, advisers, etc. who are on the same journey
  • How fear of change confronts the founder in the middle of the journey
  • The two forms of fear of change: the fear to change at all and the fear that causes you irrationally to change too quickly
  • How the fear to change at all is more of an emotional decision rather than a logical business decision
  • How founders tend to pivot too quickly as a response to slow growth instead of implementing healthy changes based on research, insights, and data.
  • How fear and panic is a recipe for disaster in any space
  • The fear at the end: fear of success, fear of the exit
  • How fear of success mimics Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
  • The fear of the exit and going through the process of starting again
  • How founders are motivated more by what they create than the money or the success that they get in the end
  • How openness and interest in other people helping you can get you through these fears and challenges

Connect with Todd Wilms here!

Episode 38 – A Walkthrough in a C-level Executive’s Mind with Blaine Mathieu

Working as a C-level executive is unimaginably difficult and brings a lot of pressure to the table. And every executive on a C-level (CEO, CMO, CFO, name it) has different perceptions in running the business and doing their responsibilities. Learn more from Blaine as he speaks about many different aspects of becoming a CEO and a CMO and how these two differ from each other. 

Blaine Mathieu is the Chief Marketing and Product Officer of VANTIQ – a company that accelerates the digital transformation of enterprises in this information-driven world. He has been in this industry for over 25 years and has a vast array of meaningful experiences in growing startup companies (between 50 and 500 employees) including Gartner, Adobe, Corel, and many more.

In this Episode: 

  • A walkthrough in a CEO’s and CMO’s perspective
  • Product Marketing
  • Accepted wisdom when companies go through their different stages
  • Bridging perception gaps
  • CMOs and CEOs: how do they work together?

Connect with Blaine Mathieu!


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