Bring It to Market is a bi-weekly series at Hype where we share marketing advice from top Chief Marketing Officers.
Sangram Vajre, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at B2B Account-Based Marketing startup Terminus, wants to switch the conversation from your product to what problem it’s solving. After leading the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition, he joined Terminus to lead the MarTech conversation by creating #FlipMyFunnel, a new perspective on the lead-based traditional sales and marketing funnel that uses the practice of Account-Based Marketing.
“We’ve learned very early on that having a great product is not the most important thing in the very early stages. Knowing the problem that we are solving and bringing people together that believe in that problem is way more important.”
But how do you flip that funnel to change the conversation from your product to the problem? How does this change in conversation attract investors? Vajre shares the following CMO insights.
Shift your thinking away from traditional leads
“People are creating more content, trying to get more leads. People are creating Game of Thrones, and you get thousands of leads downloading it — well, they are a Game of Thrones fan. They’re not a fan of your product, so they are not translating into customers. I think that’s the problem we are trying to solve. Creating great content doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get the right customers. And that’s where the shift needs to happen, is to go after the right people that care.”
Only share content that matters
“We make sure that we are super agile in everything that we do. We are trying to figure out what are the most important things to do. Right now there are a lot of things that everybody is saying — we should be doing paper collect, or we should be doing tons more content.
Anything and everything that we do has to be awesome. It’s not about putting too many things out there, it’s about the things that actually matter. So we are really going after the right people with the right content.
Build a community
“Building a category is extremely hard. Something that I think people need to get over very early on is that nobody cares about your product. And it’s hard to say that, hard to feel that, hard to even consider that people would think it. Because, as founders, your product is your life. That is what you’re betting on.
But nobody really cares about your product. What people care about is the problem you are solving. To change that narrative, I think the first couple of years are about building that tribe, that community, that believes in that problem. If you really want to go big, you have to find if there is a community that thinks this problem is as real as you think.”
Understand your problem
“Nobody really cares about your product until you make sure that you understand what people really care about. Do you know the problem that you are solving? If people start talking about the problem as opposed to the product, I think they would get so many more of the right conversations going, and very few people do that. I think that’s where people can really start seeing success and you can break through the noise.”
Attract investors with your problem
“Investors, especially in an early, new category, want to understand and hear the passion, because there is nothing before that, right? They don’t know if there’s movement of some sort. They understand that this is a new category, and they see it, but you don’t have thousands of customers. It wasn’t about how many customers we had; it was, do you really believe in the problem that you’re solving? In this whole process we didn’t talk about the product because the product is just a part of the puzzle. We are very crystal clear on the problem we are solving and we never take our eyes off that ball.”