520: Joining a Startup and Thinking Globally w/ Dan Frohnen

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Dan Frohnen, VP of Marketing at Skedulo.

Looking for a guaranteed way to create content that resonates with your audience. Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be to be growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carbury. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the be to be growth show. Today we are joined by Dan Frowning. Dan Is the VP of marketing at schedule. Oh, Dan, welcome to the show. Thanks so much, Jonathan, happy to be here. Well, it's a pleasure to have you on the show. I'm excited to sort of a share your wisdom with our listeners today and we're actually be talking about this idea of joining a start up but with a global focus. So you know, I think there are definitely going to be listeners get that get a lot out of today's episode, because this feels like a very unique topic to me and I'm excited to get into it. But before we do, maybe you can tell our listeners a little about what you and the schedul o team are up to these days. Yeah, no, we're up to all kinds of fun stuff. So, I mean, I think like a lot of be to be mark it or is in in a startup. It's not a matter of trying to find stuff to do, it's a matter of trying to prioritize all the things that need to be done. So we're really focused on on building kind of a solid foundation for all of our marketing programs and trying to be as strategic as possible. So that's a lot of building our text St Act, building our database in a smart way, getting target accounts lined up and then really focusing a lot on our kind of brand, what our value proposition is and kind of our SEO and how we look in the digital space. Uh Huh, yeah, Yep, that's perfect.

And Dan, I mean you obviously have you have some at least some familiarity with with the startup life and the startup world and you know, I think they're it's it's a very attractive sort of avenue for people that have an idea, have a drive, have a passion, maybe haven't found a fit in in the corporate world. So Dan, just I mean just before we kind of get into today's topic, I mean tell us a little about then, your experience with the startup world. Yes, so, I mean to your point, startups really do allow you to have an immediate impact on a business. Usually at a startup there's too many things to do and not enough people to do them. So it really takes a person who wants to be strategic, who who wants to focus on something and wants to drive something home with with little to no direction. So I think, you know, for people that are early in their career it's a great place to learn what specialty you might want. And for someone that's later in their career, I think they're myself included, might kind of be startup junkies that enjoy going into a business and really having that early impact and being very close to leadership and investors and really just doing it from the ground up. Yeah, it feels like it can really run the gamut. I mean, where you are agewise, where you are professionally, you know if it's if it's a good fit, it's a good fit. So absolutely. So I think there's I think there is going to be a lot of listeners that get value out of today's topic. Again joining a start up, but with it and I towards this sort of global focus. So, Dan, want to you sort of take it away. What are we going to be talking about today? So I mean today, I mean, and this is very unique, to schedule, but I think that some of your listeners might have this as well as that schedule. I was born out of an Australian company. So it was founded in Brisbane back in two thousand and thirteen and that was the first addressable market and then...

...they expanded to the US. So I haven't naturally built in thirty some odd percent of my revenue coming out of that region. So when I when I came in, it wasn't a matter of if we I was going to be thinking globally, it was a matter of I absolutely have to. So really what I what I did from the get Goo was really not look at all of our data and all of our marketing programs from the highest level. I had to break it out by region as well as by channel and and all that fun stuff. And really, when you dig into the data, the differences between the two markets are so drastically different that I'm actually running two very distinctly different marketing programs as a result. Yeah, and and so I know that one of the sort of one of the points that we were going to make today is this idea that not all regions are created equally. You want to learn what's working what isn't. I mean, can you break that down a little bit for me? Yeah, so, I mean, to me it started with just purely where the leads coming from? Where's the pipeline coming from? Where is the revenue coming from? And the thing that I immediately saw, for for our particular business, is that our Apack business was very much driven by partners and a couple really key go to market things, while our US business was much, much more diverse and a mixture of partner as well as a lot of marketing channels. So how I invest my time and effort in each region, region is drastically different. I mean, for the US I won't I won't necessarily be trying to get a PR agency right away because I have some more fundamental demand things to do in in Apac where we have kind of a really succinct go to market strategy. I'm actually going to hire a PA PR agency and get more involved in that conversation and whip the fast horse. So it was really it was interesting for me as a marketer to come in here and think that I was going to do one thing in then, by looking at that data, to realize that I was actually going to be doing something that I didn't think I was going to be doing. Yeah, yeah, and so would you say that was kind of the most...

...important factor for you in terms of making those decisions? You kind of indicated you go in with with certain expectations. So would you say that the one of the more important factors in making those decisions learning what's working at what isn't? Planning accordingly, is is like keeping an eye on the data, is is not being so married to the idea that you have to do it this way because it worked in a certain region. I mean, how did you sort of make those distinctions? But I think there's definitely, you know, for for the data driven marketers out there, it's it's definitely the data, but then it's also talking to the leadership within the business as well and really understanding from sales leadership in each region what they're doing, how it's working, what their take is on the market, and then, obviously, the customers to and learning how those customers found you in the first place and then how you can communicate to them and find more of them. Yeah, perfect, so all right. So that's point number one. Not all regions are created equally. Point number two, when you are sort of joining a start up with this global focus, lay the foundation first. What do you what do you mean by that, Dan so, I think a lot of times, you know, when you step into a new role, whether it's internally, moving around or started in a new business, I think it's almost time for a marketers to want to instantly prove themselves, and I think the opposite needs to happen. You actually need to sit back, you need to listen a lot, not talk as much, and then really focus on on lane that foundation, and that foundation to me is really your hypothesis about the business and some key test that you're going to do within that business to prove out whether what you've been hearing and what you hypothesized as a result of those learnings is actually something that's going to work and drive your go to market strategy. And, you know, in addition to that, I think really be to be marketing in particular, when you're so heavily rely on on a database and a...

...marketing technology stack. It's it's it's smart to take that time where you are listening and hypothesizing and make sure that your tech is working in your database is going to be working too, so that when you do scale everything, that it's just ready to fire on all cylinders. MMM, and point number three, I mean after you've laid the foundation, you're saying, okay, now is the time to start out strategically. What do we mean by that? So I mean I you know, I could go to a whiteboard right now and draw ten things that I want to do, and even this morning there was ten things on my to do list, but I knew that there was the one or two things that I absolutely had to get done before noon today or I would not be winning my day. So I think that the same thing has to has to be said for your entire marketing strategy. There's the nice to have in the must have. So you have slowly, have to start out with that high level strategic vision. It's okay to compile all the things that you want, but at the end of the day, you you really have to have the mind frame, particularly in a startup and one where you might be servicing multiple region is where it's not about the volume necessarily as it is about the results in the strategy behind it. And do you have any advice for our listeners? I mean as there as they're trying to okay, like you said, there's there's always a million things to do. There's not enough time, there's enough hours in the day. You know, you're looking at you know, conceptually, high conceptually, what are we trying to accomplish? Are the things that we're doing mapping to that result? Do you have any advice on then, on how to prioritize the stuff that is the want to do versus the must do? Yeah, to me, I think it's a matter of really aligning with the rest of leadership in the business and making sure that you know if you're if your head of sales has a priority, that you clearly understand that and that it does aligned to the higher business goals, that Eve aligned to your board of directors if they have priorities as well as your CEO and and really it's a mixture of you know, if the CEO wants something and they've said it more than once, then typically I'm...

...going to cater to that. If I truly believe that it's something that doesn't need to happen, then I'll continue to have a conversation. But at the end of the day it's got to be a mixture of kind of core things that that a marketer knows the business needs from a data standpoint from their learnings, but then also making sure that you've gotten your leadership by in and that they've had a voice in that they buy and everything as well. Well. And it definitely stound sounds like a cornerstone of that is this is just kind of this idea of communication that you know, you're communicating what you need with the other teams to make sure you're there. They're aligned, they're communicating with you, everyone is sort of communicating with the higher ups. I mean you just have to have that open line of communication exactly. I think a lot of times, you know, marketers in particular are not only seen as you know, people who are propelling a brand, but there they're they have a seat at the revenue table as well. So I think that being said, it's just more and more incumbent upon ahead of marketing to to really open the lines of communication. If there is any kind of confusion on what the strategy is or why something's happening, to fully explain that and have an agreement early as possible so that there's no misconception on what the priorities are. HMM, perfect, perfect, all right. So you know, you've laid the foundation, you're starting out strategically. Point number for spend time getting to know your customers. I mean part of this, part of this feels, you know, very intuitive, but you know, obviously the fact that we're here talking about it means that not everyone is doing it or not everyone is doing it well. So what would you say? Is You know this, this idea of spending spending time getting know your customers, and what's the most important away? Yeah, I think the big thing is just to you know, as as be to be. Marketing is evolving and I think the majority of us would now say that if you can find an advocate that will tell your story, that's a customer that wins nine times out of ten. Just writing a...

...value prop on a piece of paper and saying believe us. So to me. In order to become the best that you can for your brand, it's about knowing those customers, it's about knowing those customers stories. It's about being able to pick up the phone and have twenty thirty customers in the field that just love your your brand and what it does for their business beyond measure, that you can constantly bounce ideas off of and really stay as close to the front line as possible so they can kind of continue to do what's best for them and evolve your messaging and your product. And I think, you know, spending the early days doing that will just make your marketing all the all the much better. Yeah, yeah, well, I mean, and obviously those are the those are the people that you're ultimately serving and if and if they're not happy, I mean you're not you're not doing your job right. And if you're, you know, we've had guests on the show that talk about if if your customers aren't your biggest advocates, you your you're leaving money on the table. So I like this idea of connecting with your customers, getting to know them, to consistently improve your product and or service. How about on the other side, Dan is there? What would you say? Is there any advice in terms of teaking the customers that are your biggest advocates and how to get that message in front of people that you would like to turn into customers? Yeah, I mean so to me, one of the things that I've been trying to do, and doing somewhat well at schedule over early on, is aligning with our customer success team and as they are out talking to customers and creating a really nice kind of customer first program is injecting some of some of the things that are marketing organization would need into those conversations, which is, you know, do you want to contribute in thought Leadership Vaur blog? Do you want to be a part of a Webinar that talks about your success is? Do you want to do a case study? Do you want to reference US and speak to other customers? Would you like to...

...participate in field events where we host dinners and be a thought leader? So just really getting them involved in the business and giving them an opportunity to get their name out there and kind of as a thought leader should in the space that we're in. Yep, perfect. All right. So point number five, let's talk about higher, fast, higher smart. What does that mean? Yeah, so to me, I think, and I can speak from experiences, it's very easy to kind of come in and get inclosed by the four walls and start trying to execute on everything. If you if you are in a startup and you do have budget and and head count, spend the early days hiring the best people that you can and realize that if you don't do one or two projects that aren't on the top of here to do list, that it's not going to be the end of the world because if you do have the best people with you and there to help build the team with you, you're going to be better off and in the long run. Yeah, you know, certainly for a maybe this, maybe this is more applicable to sort of a bootstrap start up. I mean, you know, because there are definitely start ups that have the money and the resources to hire fast, higher smart. They don't have to do it all themselves. I mean, would you say that the the benefits still outweigh the drawback of Hey, you know, we're barely make an ends me, but we still need to bring someone on. Do we just sort of roll the dice and say, well, you know what we're going to we're going to suck up the cost because we need this person and they're worth the the extra money. Or, you know, should we do we need to keep doing this ourselves until we're in a more financially stable place. Are we ever going to get into that financially stable place to even have the money later on if we don't do it? I mean, what would your thoughts be on that? Yeah, I mean that's that's a good question. I think with every position you hire there should be an Roy discussion involved to make sure that you are getting some sort of return on investment, whether it's tied to pipeline, whether it's tied to customer satisfaction, whether it's tied to close one business. And I would also...

...encourage everyone that's listening to also think about contractors as well. So for us, you know, I don't I don't need to hire someone to run my marketing operations right now. I can have a consultant do that. That cuts down on our overhead. I don't need someone to run our website full time. I can have a contractor doing that. So it's really thinking about what you truly need and that's going to drive the most our live versus where you can contract and save the business on overhead. Yep, absolutely damn. This has been some fantastic content. I think that our listeners are going to get a tremendous amount of value out of it. If any, if anyone listening, actually wants to, you know, sort of follow up with you and learn more about today's topic. They want to learn more about schedule Oh. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? So a few different ways. You could either email me at d thrown in far oh any end at schedule OCOM. You could fund me on Linkedin at Daniel Fron in or twitter at Daniel Frown and, and I'm happy to respond to any of those. Excellent. Dan, thanks again so much for your time. As a pleasure having you on the show today. Well, thank you so much. If you've been getting valued from this podcast, you can help us reach more people by reviewing the show on itunes. Here's how you can leave a review in less than a minute. Open your podcast APP and tap the search icon in the bottom right corner. Type in fee to be growth, then select our show. Once you're there, tap the reviews tab and tell us what you think of the show. These reviews help us out of time. Thank you so much for listening, until next time.

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