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Joe:

00:00

Welcome to the DNA and Experience podcast from Cloud App, where we discuss how and why creating experience is so important in the psychology behind what makes an experience so great. Thanks for joining us. Good morning, everyone. I am so excited to have ah, long time friend Ryan Bonnicci with me the CMO at dot com G2 a great company that I love and go to frequently. Definitely Friends of Cloud App. Well, and I'm excited have Ryan to kind of go through. Ah, lot of the stuff that G2 has been seeing all this. No remote work, craziness and businesses cutting back, um, and understanding where there spend is going. But I want to start off with asking Ryan what has kind of been the craziest, weirdest, most strange thing that's you've kind of experienced over these last three weeks?

Ryan:

01:01

God, it's good to be here in years, but, um, I don't know what's the craziest thing to be honest, and I think kind of it is a few things to me, like it's weird, I think, for us old just going through such like a collective experience around the world, right? Like there's, like, rarely a time where, like everyone that you know, regardless of where they live in the background there anything like is experiencing a similar thing. So that's been kind of really we're heading to may and unique. But then also, um, e I don't know. It's kind of like really brought me closer to friends around the world. And I feel like I've been reaching out more by face time and just on the different, like chat problems, to connect with friends, which normally, I don't know, I had been to a good job prioritizing. So that's been like I get a really nice thing. Maybe one of the weirdest things I saw or I'm seeing was the recording, and you'll be seeing this. And it was, ah, what a workplace doing is, um, Cole. And then one of the colleagues on the Cole didn't realize that video was out of my  call. And it's truly the most amazing from video Emma for like the time's right out. But all the way he's like one of her colleagues is 10 people of Nicole, obviously. Then I downloaded the video  on YouTube in a really weird like, she must be pissed. Just one of the weird things, its seat out of this whole thing. What is that really important? Yeah, yeah. You know, I feel I've first week was super funky, and there was actually earn Earthquake in Utah. You know, if you saw that like, my wife was at the gym and I was like throwing kids under the table like pulling the toddler out of his high chair and like, all right. And I was like, day two of like being home. So it was like, OK, I don't know if I can handle this. Yesterday I got jury duty in the man that and on top of everything, has this been kind of just such a surreal few weeks. But t your exact point like I feel like there is that collective connection which has been cool. Um, that the whole world is, you know, connected in this for good or bad. And I definitely have, like, connected. Like, I have this text ring with my my siblings and my parents that, you know, we're talking almost every day And, like I'm texting old friends from from my childhood. And, um yeah, there's been a cool, like focus on family and friends and kind of like taking a step back from what else was going on.

Joe:

04:05

Yeah, absolutely. So take me through kind of your your background. What brought you to G2, um you know, I You guys air are fantastic at a lot of different pieces of marketing that I love. Um, what's kind of been your collective strategy that you tried to implement there?

Ryan:

04:31

Yeah. So, yeah, around 2.5 years ago? Uh, yeah, when I joined those new MX five. Also folks in the marketing team. And now where A 50 or 60  so pretty, like massive growth, Especially in that first year. But my background is pretty much predominantly baby marketing. So I was at Microsoft Salesforce Exact target on the, most recently home spot for G2. Um, and so, yeah. I mean, in terms of G2 when I joined to letter. Part of your question on the board gave me really 3 10 Of course, things are really driving back home, and that was driving by a traffic to us out. So you know where a marketplace obviously, so we have no wings of buyers coming to the site every week. So millions of businesses around the world sending employees to kind of look for the best software. So their companies. And that's booming right now for us. Given that, you know, Corona is kind of you and I were talking about, but always until it's just kind of accelerated. The digitization was so many businesses around the world that maybe wouldn't have gone here for maybe another 10 years or more, who knows? And now they've been forced to kind of, like, get digitized or become disrupted, and so  that was kind of the first big one. And when I think when I joined well, maybe seeing gosh, I want to say about like half a 1,000,000 organic visitors a month, and now we're seeing all my six million visitors a month, his so six million businesses coming organically. It's kind of wild.  Yeah, that's getting to the point now where it's like almost two million a week. So, yeah, I think we've done a really great time building the bias side of business. The second kind of big thing that the board gave you was to really build out traditional be to be marketing command. Jeff filed for ourselves to get so doing everything from feel marketing events.  You know big deal Support, um, product marketing benefits into that, Obviously. And everything is wrapped digital are mine converse employers and essentially describing marketing source of revenue to the business. That was something that really kind of was not super existent. I think before I joined, for better or worse, really, the team and just going with the organically and naturally, because we're a marketplace that in itself drives a bit of cellar demand for us to weaken. Sellers like yourself are obviously always looking for where they're buyers up. And if you're seeing you know, your  G2 the naturally you guys who most likely reach out. So we have a lot of organic growth in early on. You know, we've really built that up. That was sort of the second big thing that the board asked with me. And then the was really about building a brand that building a brand new businesses around the world. No love and trust and trust is obviously really important value for us and  given. Well, almost all of our competitors very much pay to play in that, you know, event or pays for their position in the rankings based on just TPC and actually willing to bid on that place. And none of the how ratings and reviews are paid. They're all they're all driven by authentic customer voice, right?

Joe:

07:17

Yeah, that's really cool. I think you know, you've you've done a good job with, you know, each of those I always tell, like my content team, you know, which is me in my other person, on my team, Um, like a man. You know, I've got a lot of content envy for G2. They always do some really cool stuff.

Ryan:

07:38

Thanks. Yeah. Works really hard, I think, to get that team really cranking. We've got some rocks. I was on that team, so yeah, it's been evolution. Creating content is like one of those things that, um I mean, there's obviously so many different forms of content. I think we've always bean really great product marketing content for the most part of a sincere product marketing team, because we I had really strong folks. Forget, though. And that's something that product marketing content can immediately enable yourself. Seems with you immediately see impact content being one content in the purpose of driving traffic and buyers, which is, I guess, the way most people think of content and mostly will build back to use around kind of be a top of funnel content in terms of heads. Anyways, um, I I think we underestimated Ally certainly underestimated how long it would take to really feel that function. Not only the schools for the function, but just Google doesn't really change their view of you every night. It really takes a lot of time for Google to start to trust your authority in a space. You know. Gosh, two years ago will be launched out blah, blah and g to dot com. It really took us a long time, no longer than I for I mean to cause trouble year from starting to when we were sitting around a 1,000,000 spires coming to that every month, which I guess is no no, a small number by any means. But I think we, you know, make coming from Hub Spot where I was saying eight million visitors to our website plug every month. I was like, Oh, we could easily get there. I think that was clearly, like, too naive to realize that. You know what? It took us 10 years to that point, you know, And also when we started on the spot, you know, content marketing, Was it really a thing? And so it was super uncompetitive. It was we've ever easy to rank. Yeah, I think the other piece of the puzzle I didn't even contemplate was that, you know, for the hub spot Long, you know, we were. So we're such experts in marketing related content that it was really clear to Google that who would We were kind of the authority on that, because all of the content, for the most part for the majority of years was all around that topic. Whereas with G2, we kind of approach it of like, let's go wide and go across, like, how do we create content? All of these different software categories that were therefore, And, I don't know if I don't know if long term that ultimately the best play necessarily. And we've decided to kind of create more hubs around in Southern domain. I'm different specialties purely just because of the fact that you need to be really crystal clearly Google around. You know what your side is? Is an authority on. So, yeah, it's been a fun journey.

Joe:

10:11

That's really a point. What, You know, there's you bring up a good point about this kind of a world is distraction. There's lots of people jumping in on the content game. How How have you guys been able to stand out? Um, I think your brand is definitely piece of that. Like mentioned as your third thing to kind of build a G2 what are some other ways that you've been all that kind of stand out?

Ryan:

10:34

Um, I mean, I think I personally think the best way to stand out regardless, you know, your business is ultimately about, you know, a remarkable product or service, because I think you look at the end of the day like the core thing that you're selling. If that's not remarkable, if that's not unique, is that doesn't know, you know. It's really strong value proposition in comparison to your competitors Then then it's really difficult, and that's not to say that you can't stand out with really amazing marketing as well. But if your product isn't great, right, like the marketing can only get in 70 people and I'll try a product that they work for their friends. And if you would have us, you know, strong over kind of referral. Look, that may be a business with a really strong product. Also, this has, uh, telling for us. You know, the way we try and stand out is you know, there's two parts where the first is we kind of ultimately a number one customer is the buyer that comes to outside even though the buyer doesn't spend any money with us. So we don't make a new revenue directly from the bar. But I think we know that if we can really give buyers what they want, that more of them will come to outside and more buyers to our saddle men we can sell. Our subscription service is to Sellers. Black companies like cloud app with Zoom or Microsoft. And so, um so yeah, but trying truly like differentiating they're the product that's helped us a lot. So I think you know what we what? We've noticed over the last maybe two years is that we see tap terror. You know, they're one about because if not the biggest predator, you know, if you look at their electoral ranking over the last set of the year, and I was like, it took us a while. But we've now I've ever taken that kept terror. The 10th biggest send arriving for Google AdWords, which is crazy s o. You know, I can't prove this, but I feel like they get organic list and help from Google just because they spend so much money that, um but it's taken us a long time to beat them. And I think ultimately we haven't. We've obviously made improvements on its CEO and content. No doubt they have a swell. And I think ultimately, what hope is that Google can see that when someone comes to our side versus cap terrorists that they spend, you know, significantly longer on their side, they view significantly more pages on outside their time inside. It's so much higher. Um and so every time I think buyers of learn that actually, they what? We hear this, like also kind of from buyers that come to outside. They'll say that, you know, I bought a piece of software, see around more email marketing from Cap Terrors recommendations, and then the product was horrible. Then they realized only after the fact that they bought something that actually wasn't the top rated stuff where they bought something that was just paying to be a couple one spot. So people get burned, I think, really usually in. And they remember, like, who gave him that recommendation. So over time meeting, that's really hurt their reputation. Um, so I'd say That's probably I think by really like dialing, you know, now product and really dialing in on What is it? The buyers, one that's helped us a lot. We've also, I think, you know, a little asked me, has launched a lot of a lot more products with lies as well. So you know, it's part of kind of everything going on with Corona. We we launched a 90 day free trial of tea to track, which is a platform that allows you to analyze all of yourself West Bend Hubble, which uses air using software which uses aren't using software and then it gives your CFO, is what we're see levels like a live your business functions really clear inside. It's okay. Winner all about excess contracts with doing Which ones should we renew? Which one should we can? So which one don't we have? High estimate. Sorry. Hi, employees Usage often ends like let's dial back the number. It's this low cost. There were Americans guzzle it out for you. And so I think that was like, another thing that we were able to, you know, really lean into over the last year to help buy has not only find the best software for their business, but then, once they bought that software, optimize their spend. So right now, right, Like I used to get an example like I get an email once a month with G to track, and it says here I am like yours. Older software that your team is currently spending home here is like your Newell's. These contracts have order. Renewal is in place. So, like if you don't want them, you better like told them in advance. Otherwise you're gonna pay without realizing, given just everything going on right, like there's been a few Software that we have kind of pause now so that we don't have to spend on people money on just to be really conservative, given everything going on. Um, yes, I guess if anyone's listening to this, if you go to G, if you could attract a G tube out calm, you know you can use that product for free. And again, we're not trying to like sell folks on that, like it's completely free product to get them through. Sort of everything I've done right now to help, hopefully optimize costs. And then the trial will just turn off at the end of the 90 days, and hopefully they've extracted the value from it. But I don't know if you're doing things like that. There's another way that we're trying to create really strong experiences that are relevant in time. People given the times. So

Joe:

15:32

yeah, I really like that. You know, there's there's been a definitely a movement of sass, kind of. And you, you know, you guys could fit into that as well. Um, kind of helping or like seeing how their product could try and help and benefit. You know, certainly at cloud app like we've seen enormous growth with the push for remote work And so, no, our thing was was all about like, first of all, like all the last year of like, putting out that content and like creating some authority has brought a lot of traffic into the site. Um, so that's kind of cool to see, but also, um, we pushed, like some product updates that we weren't planning to do until late April. Um, you know, we cranked him out because we knew would make the product faster and more reliable and really tracker, like one more game, knowing that people were gonna rely even more on it. So it's been kind of cool to see lots of companies jumping in on that.

Ryan:

16:34

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's really fascinating. This so many. I mean, we're seeing I think I'm agency before we thought it going live. But we're seeing record numbers is that software buys on outside of the moment because they're just that they really struggling to look at what's up where they need, which is. They know that like they can't do their business in the way that they were doing it face to face now. So categories like remote work, remote learning, remote service's videoconferencing etcetera just blooming right out and makes a lot of sense. And people are really accelerating the biogenic, right? So they're spending instead of spending months and months. They're like spending hours and days deciding what they're going to box would ever be really helpful waiting for us in our own renewal with her own customers. Because, you know, they can see such a surge of buyers on definitely what Order some things you know, on the flipping on its head a little bit with like, business is evaluating, spend looking at tools.

Joe:

17:24

Now, what are some things that G2 is doing now or has kind of always tried to do with your 1 to 1 customer relationships to ensure that, you know, people are happy having a good experience? Um, you know, the track is product is a great example of that. I think, um, that's really cool. Um, knowing that that's what people are doing. What are some other things you guys have tried to do to really try to create a good customer experience?

Ryan:

18:05

Yeah. I mean, I think for us, you know, we've always been really survive, like, kind of like a funnel, right? so, like awareness consideration decision, you know, before enjoying G2 was always really, you know, an expert and decision making content and consideration content. So, you know, we we scored really highly whenever would ask for, you know, you know where they found value and outside. Naturally, they said, like they found a lot of value for helping them Might consider different products as well as, um, you know, actually choose which one to buy. Where we never scored super well on was helping them work out what products they needed in the first place and then helping the work different strategies and ways to actually use those products. That was a bit, I guess, is the genesis of what drove us to build our dog eat dog home was because, you know, we kind of view that really is sort of like a hub for strategic content. So, you know, let's say like, you're a social media marketing manager at a company, you know, you might go to Google, and you might say it's like how to optimize my Facebook for business page or how to write their Twitter twitter tweets that they cover it up. Uh, a little bit like those searches are indicative of the Okay, maybe you don't have the right social media software that you need to put better job at creating social place. So optimizing your account. Um, you know, some of my search had a live stream on linked in live like we're going on, and so we never really had content to kind of help them out in those kinds of sales inquiries. So, you know, we really leaned heavily into creating that content, and that way we can help them with their initial problem, give them a solution, and then also educate them on. Hey, just so you know, there's social media software that you could use toe do all of this more automatic and better learn about the best rate and software providers. And so, you know, I think that was a little bit That's kind of, I guess, a bit more of like an out of final way to attract people, right in the same way that I'm sure cloud up. You obviously no doubt have lots of content around. You know how to record meetings. How do you know? You know,  Efficiencies between colleagues remotely and things that are very quarter your product. And but then I'm sure you guys also have content that's like broader than just about. You know what your product does. But it is indicated that the person has a problem that could be solved by your product. So I think we kind of score it really well about that. And you know those things. Hope build, trust and hope, Bill kind of brand affinity before someone even pies thing. And also, you know, they might not buy something at the company that they're at. But if they want so much of your content over the months or years, when they go to another company where they actually need something that your product, your company, maybe cells, they'll come back into the content and then you'd be more like Medical Way. See that in the sad that a group of companies that I broke down in the past so I think we've really heavily about that. How do we How do we help people before they know they need software? And then I guess you had to kind of what we're talking about with  to track. We thought a lot more about, You know, we're helping them at a decision point in time, but, you know, we were then starting to look a racer. Should we saw that. You know, it was like, billions of dollars. Like I remember. I want to say hundreds of billions of dollars of software is wasted every year by people that by contract for their employees. Then over the course of you know, a year there needs change and then uses Stop using So and so you know, we were getting questions from people about, you know. Hey, I bought this software has been really useful. We're coming up to, like, renewal. What should I do on now is really where we then went into the G to track product and and created that for them to help them, actually, you know, think about Celeste and optimization, because for a little company is right, you know? So they're scaling up from, you know, 52 maybe 205 100 plus cousins. They're most likely spending millions a year on multi millions. Right? Especially when you're getting 2000 plus person company is that you're spending 10 Bill, maybe more on software stack from you know the development side with reporter to the marketing side, a chart, all those different teams so really kind of quickly becomes a really expensive cost. So let's think we've tried to think a little bit more about you, just like the full life cycle in Journey for a  contributor to learn G2 I can say there's definitely some good rigor there to get way. Definitely only one high quality content that Children who runs the program run runs a tight ship.

Joe:

22:43

Definitely love it, Ryan. With the last minute or two we've got I think we could chat all day. Um, but what is kind of what do you see? Is the future of customer experience? No, maybe from learnings. From what we're going through right now, what do you see is kind of things. That business is conducive and business will be Start doing based on, you know, customer experience needs.

Ryan:

23:07

Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think that ultimately, like, cause when I kind of answer that question, I think to myself, You know what? Oh, companies that I personally have amazing customer experiences with, you know, and everything going like the beat of the side, you know, to products that come to mind. One of you know, they're both kind of like free me and products that scale up from  paid or low cost. One of them is what it's called. But I you every hour, every day superhuman to manage my email on . Then I use I use started using this new software tool called Sun Sama recently which kind of hopes you kind of pull in all your asana tasks and then allocate them two hours of the day. So you're a sign of how long the toss taken in aquitted to take a really amazing job asking you every morning, you know? What do you want to focus on today? These are the task you didn't finish yesterday. So it kind of really focuses you on what you need to get done right now, which I sometimes find is like a limitation of tools. Like a son. I went You could just see all the tusks. Your I like what I need to do right now. They credit such an amazing experience, their own boarding in the same way that superhuman didn't I think you know the fact that I didn't have to speak to a sales person to buy those tools. And they had an amazing on boarding experience. I'd say, like as touchless Leah's, you can create chrysalis process, a maturing process, the better on. And I think this is something to be to be is getting better at. But, uh, obviously has a way of being really strong about this. You know, there's like a few different products that I buy online, and, you know, one of them is really recently it's It's like being in plant based organic food delivery that, like males that coming pre proud, that's called spring Lee. I'm opening all over the US We're just in Chicago, but, uh, and they're amazing in terms of you just chat with their stuff, and you can really easily change the number of males that you are on. Wait, you can't just say like him. We were living in a different house right now, while everything's going on. They change your interest super seamlessly like I never need to like Morgan to a bath man. Everything on and it just makes me want to kind of refer that business. Others, because it's such an amazing experience. You know, they're they're really available for me, Uh, wherever I like River. That's Facebook Messenger on their home page of pretext, like really accessible. So I don't know. I think when I think about some experience to try and think about, how do you induces many like friction points as possible to help the person on. But I also kind of think about how do you create experience where they don't feel locked in? And I think this is something that, like beady based software, still struggles with, right? Like a lot of the time. It's about, you know, one year or three year multi year contracts, which can want to be your companies that are established and evolving as quickly as normal. But for smaller companies that every year they look different in terms of the DNA and their goals, multi contracts don't really work well. And then they wasted little money, so I don't know. I think the beat of the space has a ways to go in terms of like creating really great custom.

Joe:

26:14

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense that I think I think the tie, you know, a lot of learnings from B2 see is really for sure. You know, we always look at ways to have sales, assisted type things, but maybe self service kind of the growth factor.

Ryan:

26:28

Yeah. I mean, I think just if you think about all of our own experiences, like when I bought my car like, bought it on mine and then texted to organize a delivery date, and then it just appeared in my house like you really mean? Like that was just I bought the car while I was on a plane coming back from like San Francisco, and she can't go out there like it's me drinks, right? Knight Final act like surprised? Yeah. I had a couple of lines at this point in time, and that was when I bought my first pal, Atanas. Well, with literally also on a plane up Rick of one's. My point is these companies have made it so touchless to buy that like, someone in that kind of state come by, right? And maybe I wouldn't have bought, you know, the car for a few moments for a few more years that, you know, it was so easy that I was able to do it on a plane after Wyatt. So you know, this is this is not many beat of the sets companies in the world that make that east you two black. Unless there's something you know, like a $50 product. And it's totally online. But, uh, yeah, so I kind of just thinking about how do you reduce friction as much as possible? A customer experience is definitely, you know, it's a huge like value proposition. Easy.

Joe:

27:44

Love it Ryan. Great. Talking with you today. Hunker down. Hang in there. We'll get through this and  Thanks, man. Yeah. Thanks for joining the DNA Of an experienced podcast. We hope you learn something that will help improve your collaboration and enhance the experience you create for your Customer. Join the collaboration 2.0 movement today by getting cloud app the instant business communication tool used to create instantly shareable videos, screenshots and GiFs perfect for both internal and external communication. Get started for free at www dot get cloud app dot com. Thank you. Look forward to seeing you next time