Hear how successful B2B SaaS companies and agencies compete - and win - in highly saturated categories. No fluff. No filler. Just strategies and tactics from founders, executives, and marketers. Learn about building moats, growing audiences, scaling businesses, and differentiating from the competition. New guests every week. Hosted by Peep Laja, founder at Wynter, Speero, CXL.
Announcement: Summer Break 2023
With summer around the corner, How to Win will be taking a brief hiatus. During this time, the team will be working behind the scenes to bring you more exciting insights from today’s top B2B SaaS entrepreneurs and CEOs when we return in Fall 2023 with a brand new season. In the meantime, catch up on past episodes of How to Win, and stay connected with me on LinkedIn and Twitter (links below).
Thank you for tuning in and supporting the podcast—I look forward to seeing you back here very soon.
Cross-company collaboration with Pluralsight's Lindsay Bayuk
This week on How to Win: Lindsay Bayuk, CMO at Pluralsight, an online technology learning platform designed to help teams upskill. Pluralsight was founded in 2004 and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2021.
In this episode, Lindsay breaks down some of the strategies that have helped her as a CMO. We discuss communicating the importance of marketing to a CEO, how to align your company metrics, and why you should be wary of 'yes-men'. I weigh in on cross-company collaboration, the correct way to use customer research, and why a day not gathering customer intelligence is a day wasted.
Lindsay discusses what it's like being a CMO with a product marketing background (01:10)
Is life too short to work with a CEO who doesn't understand marketing? (03:10)
I dive into communicating the importance of marketing with a CEO with a quote from former Privy CMO Dave Gerhardt and Drift's David Cancel (03:51)
How does Lindsay communicate important marketing metrics cross-company? (05:38)
I talk about getting buy-in from across the company with a quote from Hubspot's Kipp Bodnar (09:31)
Lindsay lays out Pluralsight's successful messaging and positioning play (11:24)
I weigh in on how you should approach your positioning and messaging (13:34)
How does Lindsay use customer interviews to inform Pluralsight's positioning? (14:26)
I discuss how to use customer research in the right way (16:02)
How are Lindsay's teams structured and how does she juggle them all? (17:14)
I explain why you should surround yourself with people who challenge you with a quote from former astronaut Garrett Reisman (19:11)
Why does Lindsay think that "go-to-market is a team sport?" (20:54)
What are some of the mistakes Lindsay has made in her career? (22:24)
Lindsay Bayuk Website
Lindsay Bayuk LinkedIn
Dave Gerhardt LinkedIn
David Cancel LinkedIn
Kipp Bodnar LinkedIn
Garrett Reisman LinkedIn
Cultivating a growth practice with Mural's Lauren Schuman
This week on How to Win: Lauren Schuman, VP of Product Growth at Mural. Founded in 2011, Mural was valued at $2B after their Series C funding round in 2021. Before joining Mural, Lauren served as Senior Director of Product Insights and Growth at Mailchimp.
In this episode, Lauren breaks down how she has steered Mural and Mailchimp toward cultivating a growth practice. We discuss finding the right problem to solve, the importance of experimentation, and why she hires curious people. I weigh in on the benefits of gathering qualitative data, why marketing is a game of attention, and the diverse potential of growth teams.
Why is nailing your ICP the most important part of building growth? (01:24)
How does Lauren find the 'right problem to solve'? (02:43)
How did Lauren use quantitative data models to make strategic decisions? (04:17)
I weigh in on the benefits of qualitative data gathering with a quote from Attentive's Brian Long (07:11)
Lauren talks about how Mural differentiates itself from the competition (09:22)
How has Lauren been using copy testing to improve Mural's website messaging? (12:36)
I discuss why marketing is a game of attention (13:35)
Lauren reflects on the importance of onboarding in a product-led tool (16:41)
I explain why motivation is more powerful than friction (19:49)
Lauren breaks down how Mural uses onboarding to increase customer understanding and motivation (20:26)
What is a painted door test? With a quote from Carta's Shubhi Nigam (22:46)
What did Lauren learn about building a growth team at Mailchimp? (23:45)
I weigh in on creating a growth team that excels with a quote from RockBoost's former founder and managing director Chris Out (26:34)
Why does Lauren look for curious people at the hiring stage? (27:52)
Lauren Schuman LinkedIn
Getting more accurate customer feedback with Attentive's Brian Long
Shubhi Nigam LinkedIn
Chris Out LinkedIn
Laying the foundation for long-term company alignment with Salsify's Rob Gonzalez
This week on How To Win: Rob Gonzalez, co-founder and CMO of Salsify, a commerce experience management platform that helps its clients win on the 'digital shelf.' Salsify defines the digital shelf as: "The collection of diverse and rapidly evolving digital touch points used by shoppers to engage with brands and discover, research, and purchase products.”
Rob co-founded Salsify in 2012 and has grown the company to over 740 employees serving a roster of high-profile clients. Salsify concluded their Series F funding in 2022, securing $200M in funding which brought their valuation to over $1B.
In this episode, Rob breaks down some of the strategies that have helped Salsify win, and some of the mistakes they've made along the way. We discuss diversifying customer acquisition channels, promoting employee autonomy, and why you might be under-charging your customers.
I weigh in on the increasing costs of customer acquisition, transitioning to a multi-product team, and employee surveys.
Rob discusses the customer acquisition channels that worked in the early days of Salsify (01:21)
When is it the right time to change your customer acquisition tactics? (04:58)
I reflect on the rising cost of customer acquisition (06:04)
Rob discusses what he calls 'market engagement rate' (07:37)
What has Rob learned about being a multi-product company after Salsify's recent acquisitions? (09:29)
My thoughts on running a multi-product company with a quote from Okta's Chief Product Officer Diya Jolly (11:55)
What practical advice does Rob have for founders trying to create a positive work culture? (14:01)
I talk about surveying your employees with a quote from employee management expert Don Phin (16:48)
How do you reinforce a positive culture consistently? (18:24)
I discuss the benefits of increasing employee autonomy (24:13)
Rob reflects on Salsify's pricing strategy with a quote from the Tim Ferriss Show, featuring Andreessen Horowitz's Marc Andreessen (25:13)
Why does Rob believe the next ten years of marketing will be defined by community and not content? (30:14)
Rob Gonzalez LinkedIn
The Digital Shelf Institute Website
The Digital Shelf Institute LinkedIn
Diya Jolly LinkedIn
Don Phin LinkedIn
The Tim Ferriss Show
Fostering a learning mindset in your company culture with Quantive's Casey Carey
Summary:This week on How To Win: Casey Carey, CMO at Quantive and expert in B2B, e-commerce, and growth marketing. From heading up scaled marketing departments at giants like Google to helping build teams from the ground up at scrappy startups, Casey's expansive career has given him a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on as a marketing executive.
In this episode, Casey shares some of that knowledge with us as we discuss creating a culture that prioritizes learning from failure, the importance of timing, and why he believes brand investment is more important now than ever. I weigh in on hiring for cognitive ability, cultivating a learning mindset, and getting inside a buyer's consideration set.
Why do some companies win and others don't? (01:22)
How does Casey recruit the best talent? (02:59)
I talk about Google's people analytics with a quote from the former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock (04:59)
How does Casey facilitate a highly collaborative, cross-functional culture? (06:48)
I explore creating a learning mindset with a quote from Diaspora Ventures' Marvin Lao (09:58)
Casey discusses how he cultivates a learning mindset in his teams (12:55)
How do you balance the acceptance of failure with the need for quality? (15:24)
I weigh in on the "fail fast, fail often" mindset with a quote from Photobox's Jody Ford (16:00)
What does Casey attribute Quantive's success to? (18:32)
I discuss the importance of timing and luck with a quote from Drift's David Cancel (22:48)
Casey stresses the importance of finding your niche (25:40)
Why does Carey think that, in B2B, branding is more important than ever? (27:10)
I reflect on how to get inside a buyer's consideration set with a quote from author Byron Sharp (29:09)
How do you win the brand preference war? (30:37)
Casey Carey LinkedIn
Laszlo Bock LinkedIn
Marvin Lao Twitter
Jody Ford LinkedIn
Geoffrey Moore Website
Category creation and product-led differentiation with Drift's David Cancel
Byron Sharp Website
Creating a high-quality customer experience with vFairs' Muhammad Younas
This week on How To Win: Muhammad Younas, CEO of vFairs, an all-in-one events platform that allows users to conduct virtual, in-person, and hybrid events. Founded in 2016, vFairs experienced accelerated growth during the pandemic and ballooned to over 250 employees with offices located around the world. In this episode, Muhammad breaks down some of the strategies that have helped vFairs win. We discuss hiring for hyper-growth, the power of word of mouth, and why delivering high-quality customer support is essential. I weigh in on hiring for talent and training for skill, why providing an exceptional customer experience is good for business, and the importance of conducting regular customer interviews.
Great insights from fascinating businesses
I love this podcast! Peep finds really interesting growth stories and ask great question to find the insights that can explain why these companies won and if this can be replicated.
Differentiation wins. Thanks Pe:p.
This podcast is one of the best podcasts I’ve discovered this year. Every episode is a bar of gold (almost every episode). Pe:p doesn’t do fluff. He doesn’t do filler. He doesn’t do emojis. Instead, every episode is a discovery/study of winner guests in digital space. Pe:p will find the answer on how much is strategy? How much is luck? How do they win?