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#1 Demand generation and personalization with Aamer Hasu - Head of Marketing at Vainu

November 18, 2023 | Jimit Mehta

In this video podcast episode, Aamer Hasu ─ Head of Marketing at Vainu ─ talks about creating demand with bottom of funnel content and capturing that demand from the website and how to start with website personalization to create social proof. 


Generating and capturing demand

[00:00:00] Teemu Raitaluoto: At Vainu, when you're doing podcasting, what are some themes that you focus on?

[00:00:04] Aamer Hasu: We focus on mainly the problems that our customers are currently facing. And obviously because we've been able to solve a lot of those problems for our customers, it's good to share the knowledge and the best practices from those cases. Obviously we don't mention specifics, like details on certain customer X or Y, Z, but in general, we talk about the best practice and how to solve different issues.

[00:00:30] Teemu Raitaluoto: And, why is that? It sounds like it's very bottom of the funnel. How do you think about top of the funnel content?

[00:00:37] Aamer Hasu: I think it's very difficult to distinguish who is where in the funnel. I think that there's only two parts of the funnel. Demand creation is something that Chris Walker would probably call it. And then you capture the person who is interested in buying on your website.

[00:00:55] So I feel that we are basically just creating demand with our content and then capturing it on our website to have a very simplified approach on, on these things. It's really difficult to determine. You have like a thousand companies in your ICP and you have the seven people who want to be part of the conversation when they make a decision about buying your product.

[00:01:22] So that's like tens of thousands of people. So how do you know in which stages are they? And, you know, they might be bottom up funnel today, but they might not understand what they truly want. Then they go back to the top of the funnel. People aren't like robots. Like it's always nice that we marketers always want to put people in funnels.

[00:01:40] Like, yes, now these people are in this stage and you're like, you have to be aware that people aren't robots. So the thing about when I was in university, I remember in one lecture, the lecture had a slide. It said that. People don't buy what they need, people buy what they want. So especially when we talk about maybe selling to a more enterprise audience. I guess, if you're selling at the low ACV SaaS products maybe you can bracket people easier. I don't know, but at least when we talk about the enterprise software, it's pretty clear that the buyers have the power, they make the research and of course your job is to influence that decision and communicate, that hey, you could do things in a different way.

[00:02:28] Teemu Raitaluoto: What kind of strategies do you have in place to capture demand from your website?

[00:02:35] Aamer Hasu: Again, I'm probably stealing Chris Walker's thoughts, but I think it's okay, I give him a lot of credit. So the website has, I think, two main goals. One is to convert the high intent keywords from Google. So when potential customers have some sort of demand created, or they might be looking for alternatives or pricing but we're talking about high intent keywords, like Vainu versus our competitor, or our competitor and our pricing. Or, let's say sales, intelligence software comparison.

[00:03:09] Then the other thing is that we want the website to be as easy to convert as possible. And we're not gonna use any, any gimmicks there. We just provide all the necessary information that a buyer wants to know. And then make sure that the buying experience starts from the website in a very easy way. So, the form at the moment is as short as it can be. And, we also explain what happens clearly in the next steps.

[00:03:36] Currently, you have to fill out the form and then have a meeting with us, and then you start your free trial because we set it up. But obviously there's things to improve in that process. Well, but high intent keywords is one. And the other one is that the website makes buying or requesting a free trial as easy as possible.

[00:03:55] Teemu Raitaluoto: How does a customer recognize that you are a solution to their problems? Because you earlier mentioned that your ICP, it has something like HubSpot and everything. Do you mention those things to the customer on the website directly? Do you say that this is what we qualify based on? And these are some of the customers that we may not want. So indicating or signaling to a customer that we have something for you or clearly stating that we don't have anything for you. So maybe not a best fit for your needs.

[00:04:28] Aamer Hasu: Well, in the content we would like to emphasize the five main things that Vainu helps with. And obviously, we've also been talking about the things we don't help with. For example, contact data. We don't offer contact data because we don't want, you know, salespeople to do massive spam of course. GDPR or privacy concerns we operate currently mainly in the Europe. So it's a bit tricky. So for example, that's one example how we try to set the expectations for the potential customers.

[00:04:59] Then also when you go to a website there's clearly a section for main solutions that we help with. Also, all the delivery method methods of the data are clearly stated there. So you can use an API if you want. And you can use our CRM connectors or if you want data files, that's also possible and we have of course have our database pages where you can actually see what kind of data points we have. We try to provide as much information on the website and in our content so that the buyers understand what we actually do and what we don't do.

How to start implementing website personalization

[00:05:28] Teemu Raitaluoto: What I've actually found is that if you have a product that is very suitable for a very large, very wide audience, which you can piece into multiple customer segments, you usually end up with a kind of very generic messaging when you say that you are the world's leading most innovation platform or something like that, you know. So have you ever given any thought on using website personalization at Vainu, using Vainu data for bringing different experiences to different visitors when they come to your website and, really showing each segment that this is our value proposition for you specifically?

[00:06:04] Aamer Hasu: Yes, so we have our ICP, yes, but of course that ICP has multiple segments within it. And website personalization is something we've been thinking about for a long time, especially since we launched a new website, but to be honest it seems kind of difficult to do.

[00:06:22] And that's. You know, when you have limited time and resources, you start to prioritize things and, and if there's not an easy way to start doing it somehow then you don't do it, but definitely like, it would be nice then when certain companies from certain industries or locations. Teemu you probably have ideas on what kind of other ways other criteria you could use for personalization.

[00:06:45] Teemu Raitaluoto: For sure, I mean industry and even revenue size is one thing you can use. You can use geographic location to change your logos and indicate that, hey, there's social proof in place. That we are already serving customers like you, even if they're very small customers or from a certain geographic region. You can also, based on your pipeline stage, tailor the website content to show that, hey, you have already seen the demo. Here's all the content you need after you have seen the demo to really convert and become a customer and become successful with using the Vainu software. So kind of really highlighting the value at that point. So not only showing the, the lead generation form when a new customer comes in but also showing helpful content in aiding the prospect through the pipeline itself. And when they convert they should see a lot of supportive content that can really help them activate and retain with your product instead of just seeing the new lead generation form. That's a thing that still drives me crazy that every existing customer sees the same website, which is the one for the new customers.

[00:07:50] Aamer Hasu: Definitely. And I think website personalization is seen as sort of difficult thing to do, but obviously like we've been discussing about Markettailor and it definitely is on our roadmap because I have a place to start with.

[00:08:06] Teemu Raitaluoto: What do you think makes website personalization difficult?

[00:08:10] Aamer Hasu: I think, whenever there's something new that you have to plug into your website, even though we have a great partner HubX who does all the technical stuff in our HubSpot CMS. Website personalization sounds like a huge technical implementation and a huge content implementation.

[00:08:28] And that's why we haven't really been prioritizing that. But obviously the value is huge. And but then again, I'm talking to you here, and you've been talking to me that's there's a better and easier way. Yeah. So definitely, but I think the biggest problem has been like, We think about the technical implementation of the content implementation, but you know, if that's easier these days then that's definitely something interesting.

[00:08:56] Teemu Raitaluoto: When you, when you talk about the content implementation, what are some key difficulties that you find that might be related to it? Because if I think about what kind of things we run into constantly is that customers don't know which segments to create. And they don't know how big those segments are, how they're converting, should they even be personalized and what kind of content to create for that specific audience.

[00:09:21] My, my answer to that latter question is that talk to your salespeople. They know what kind of things resonate with that prospect the best. These are some things that usually work with this type of segment, but what are some of your thoughts about the content implement?

[00:09:35] Aamer Hasu: Yes. So previous, I thought that you have to do a lot of like, changes to the content, but again, like we've been discussing previously.

[00:09:46] It doesn't have to be, I mean, changing one or two things might make a difference. I agree totally with the fact that talk to your customers, I think that's one skill that we all forget when we're focused on all these high tech, new things in marketing and, and the gadgets and the tools and the strategies and the plans and the tactics.

[00:10:05] But we always forget would our customers even be interested in this type of content if they're not interested? Why would the prospects be, but yeah. So, talking with your customers, finding out like what resonates with them and then making one or two changes and testing it out.

[00:10:20] Teemu Raitaluoto: Starting with the low hanging fruits and then iterating based on that, that's what we recommend testing out different levels of personalization. So, first you change the hero section of your website and then you go a bit further and change a bit different things. For example, customer references, customer logos, things like that.

How to create social proof with website personalization

[00:10:39] Aamer Hasu: And that really helps with the sort of demand capture a lot bigger. Then you're making the buyer experience a lot smoother so that when a person enters your site. They sort of feel more at home, like ok, this company is talking to me, answering to my problems.

[00:10:58] Teemu Raitaluoto: There's a lot of products that, I visit their website, I look around, I see a huge matrix of "here's all our products and services". And I'm wondering if there's anything for me, specifically as a B2B SaaS company. Is there anything for me or do you only cater to enterprise, mid-market only US-based companies? Is it also European customers? Do you have any Nordic customers? Do you have any case studies from small B2B SaaS companies that I can use as a reference point to understand whether you can bring me value or not? Or is it only that you serve Google and Tesla and Uber as your customers? And I have no kind of personal connection with those companies because they're very different types of companies that than we are so really understanding. Do you serve customers similar to me? That's the most important thing to see.

[00:11:48] Aamer Hasu: Yeah. It's, it's funny to see is mega corporations as the reference logos, like fine, but I think they use 2000 other providers as well globally.

[00:12:00] Teemu Raitaluoto: Do you think the value of a logo such as Uber or Google on your website, does it diminish because it's basically a logo that is on maybe on hundreds of thousands of websites, do you think it does play any role?

[00:12:14] Aamer Hasu: Maybe if I would be working in a billion dollar company and like, I'd be like, can I buy from them? Okay. They have Google, they have Uber. So maybe we can buy from them as well. But there aren't many people working in these billion dollar companies. I think the majority of the buyers are in the mid-market.

[00:12:32] At least we talk about individuals. And, currently for me, Uber or Google as reference logo doesn't resonate at all.

[00:12:40] Teemu Raitaluoto: What are some logos that you would like to see when you're buying some software? Let's say buying podcasting software. What are some logos that you would like to see on a service provider's website?

[00:12:51] Aamer Hasu: Priority would be local logos or local companies. Competitors would be nice to see there as well. And then the third one more generic, which would be industry size.

[00:13:05] Sort of in that bracket, similar industry, similar size. And of course it, I know these companies, the biggest problem is that I'm not aware, like what is this random company as a logo. Probably the biggest, most important is that I recognize all the companies that are in the logo list. That's the probably the most powerful thing.

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