education + entertainment: hockeystack’s journey to building a media company

Absolutely dope podcast episode this week featuring Emir, co-founder of HockeyStack, a groundbreaking B2B marketing attribution tool.

At just 20 years old, it is amazing what Emir and team have put together.  Their team is an unstoppable force, and I must confess, their accomplishments and creativity in the b2b marketing world have left me with a little bit of envy.

But what sets HockeyStack apart? They have a vision of building a media company that not only educates but entertains their target market. Who said marketing can’t be fun?

What’s even more impressive is their unwavering focus on product marketing. Their product is exceptional. When you combine that with their innovative  marketing strategies, it’s no wonder they are turning heads in the industry.

But here’s the best part: HockeyStack fearlessly tackles the “difficult to measure” channels, including their massive social presence on LinkedIn. They believe in going where others shy away, constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Join us as we dive deep into the measurement of their own marketing strategy. Trust me, it’s an eye-opening discussion that will challenge conventional wisdom.

As Emir said when we kicked off the episode… “It’s gonna be a good one”… so listen in.

 

 

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] From Dragon 360, this is Digital Banter, a podcast focused on modern marketing tactics and driving real business results. And now here are your hosts…

[00:00:14] Andy: what’s up everybody? We are back for another episode of Digital Banter and we are excited to have a guest on today, Emir Atli, the co-founder of HockeyStack. If you’re like me, you probably see HockeyStack literally everywhere these days, putting out video, putting out content. Emir, great to have you on the episode today.

[00:00:36] Emir: Thank you so much for having me. Super excited. It’s going to be really good.

[00:00:42] Andy: I mean, I’m not lying though. You guys are literally everywhere, these days. Between yourself, Dee who is your head of revenue, bringing on your advisors and investors. Talk to us a little bit about what that’s been like, as far as a team buildout, but also just relationship building.

[00:01:01] Emir: Yeah, so I think it’s like 60-70% of our revenue is from LinkedIn social, and our primary channels are LinkedIn social, LinkedIn ads, Google Ads, and then also SEO. So LinkedIn social is huge for us. And then it’s also the first question they ask for the people that I want to hire for, especially revenue facing teams.

My first question is, Are you okay to post really frequently on LinkedIn given we have the resources and the playbooks inside? Fortunately Dale said yes, so they’re with us. So what we are doing is, as you said, we are trying to be everywhere with the best content. So we’re shifting gears right now; we are building a media company that we will talk about it. So we have Obaid. Obaid is awesome. So Obaid is our head of content and he’s doing more entertaining/education on LinkedIn. I’m doing more product marketing and then Ognjen, our growth advisor, is doing both.

And then we are also giving content to our teammates so that they can edit some parts to like fit into their own language and then their own style and then they can post it as well. We are against posting the same stuff over all of our social channels here, so we are finding ways to do different stuff.

And then our goal is essentially how can we make sure everyone knows what we believe in as a company? There’s a feature of this industry. How can we make series that will educate/entertain the market because I try to, like with influencers, with different people, we sponsored podcast if you like, send a video of a use case or for a feature, if they post it, we’ll get 10 likes and then the same person posts something else that’s more genuine and it gets 300 likes.

So we are trying to find out ways that will educate the market but also entertain them.

[00:03:15] Andy: I think we want to dive into that, you know, through the course of our conversation today.But in our planning meeting with you, I think one thing that I’d love to hear more about is what was your background before HockeyStack, but more specifically, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you said you started HockeyStack when you were 17.

[00:03:37] Emir: Yeah, so me and my co-founder Bugra, and CEO. We have been building products since, I don’t know, 2018. We built lots of things. We tried everything. And then the last one was a social media app. We were in Istanbul back then, we were nobody’s. And that app was going really good. We had around 10,000 people on it.

Well, our biggest problem was retention and the analytics tools on the market were too complex, for us. And then, while we were searching for a product analytics tool, we landed on an idea to build a compare to Google Analytics with our $15 in our bank account, so it was like a no-code Google Analytics alternative.

And then we talk with everyone we can in Turkey. Like there are some SaaS tools there too, although the market is not that big as it is in United States, but we talk with them. They said they were sharing their screens, showing us their analytics tech stack, such as we saw the problem there. We built it, launched on, crashed the website for 15 minutes and it is a lifetime build platform.

And then we got a really good revenue there in like three months. And then you were selling to agencies and ecommerce businesses. That didn’t work out. We put more into SaaS and then we started doing user research and what we found out is there’s no way to centralize all older data to understand what drives revenue.

And then we developed certain features like integration, Salesforce integration, custom dashboards, all that stuff. In like three or four months we pivoted. And then this was, I think like 14-15 months ago. And then from that point on, we got our first customer, and then quickly started scaling, and then, we got into YC two months ago as the first company in the batch. We got our pre-seed now YC, and we are planning on raising another round after YC, which is early September.

[00:05:45] James: Do you consider yourselves competitors to Google Analytics?

[00:05:51] Emir: That was the very first product that they built. Now they’re not even close.

[00:05:57] James: Yeah well, it’s interesting, cuz I think that there’s this opportunity in the market right now with the launch of Google Analytics 4 and everybody hating it. And also, I mean obviously you guys are focused on B2B more than anything, you know, Google Analytics doesn’t have the ability to tie things back to revenue in the same way that it can with ecomm or anything like that.

So it’s interesting. I feel there’s a lot of attribution companies right now that are seeing the opportunity there. I was just curious. Obviously I think you’re creating a category in itself, but just curious what your opinion was on how you position yourselves versus Google Analytics versus focusing more so on your core market.

[00:06:45] Emir: Yeah. We are in a different, we are in a really weird market, I would say, because we don’t have a really huge competitor. When you say attribution, what are the first like five companies that comes to your mind and how many of them are above, I don’t know, a hundred million dollars in sales? Yeah, probably none of them.

So I would say, and I say this all the time, our biggest competitors, Google Analytics plus HubSpot plus Salesforce plus spreadsheets. That’s the current tech cycle of companies. And I think we are doing a great job, but I’m launching a couple stuff that will like clear this process to let people know.

So I get questions like, oh, if you hire someone from, I don’t know, like India, and then as a full-time employee and then allow them to create spreadsheets, use Google Data Studio and it will be cheaper than getting HockeyStack for a year, wouldn’t that solve problems? The answer is no. So we are trying to make it more like, how can we let people know the core use cases and why attribution has been traditionally broken and then we can expend expand more into this stuff.

So that everyone knows hiring someone from India and then creating spreadsheets and Google data survey reports is not to do.

[00:08:28] James: So this is good. I want to get into your marketing a bit, but a, a question that I always get which goes back to the what you were just saying, we get a lot of pushback because we’re a paid media agency. Honestly we want attribution tools in place more than anything because there’s nothing worse as an agency than saying, okay, yeah, we did our jobs with lead gen and you go about your day and tell us how it did. And a lot of companies don’t want to. It’s like they almost don’t want to bridge that gap.

It’s a weird thing. And the pushback that we get is, oh, our data’s not ready for attribution. Our HubSpot’s not clean, you know, all this stuff of we’re not ready for it. And then we’re talking, I mean, quite frankly, like billion dollar organizations that feel like they’re not ready for attribution and still want to use Google Analytics as their single source of truth.

So the question I have for you is, how, how do you go about encouraging companies to start getting their feet wet and honestly do the right thing?

[00:09:20] Emir: Yeah, so this, from day one, we believe in customizability. So HockeyStack is a completely customizable platform, which made things really hard for us in the beginning to like develop this like complex product.

When you look at the completion, they’re relying on templates. So if you have a template that relies an MQL, SQL opportunity lifecycle stages, then yeah, if you’re not using those stages, and if you’re using something else, then you won’t be able to use that product, which is probably 80% of the market right now.

But with HockeyStack, if you have, like for example, a customer that’s using SAD opportunity, instead of closed/lost, if you’re using a template like a product that’s relying on templates, then you won’t be able to get that from Salesforce, by with HockeyStack, whatever you have on your Salesforce account, HubSpot account, we can use them because we have a core feature that allows you to customize any report, create your own reports, customize your goals, segments such, so that doesn’t matter. And we also take customer success really, like, it’s super important for us. So when you first become a customer and your first two weeks be like, dive deep into your Salesforce and HubSpot data and website data. We get you on a call and then ask you like, what are your core metrics? How is your pipeline phone look like, etc. So we get everything from you. And then we also have some automated scripts that checks all of your UTM links to understand which ones are duplicates, which ones have errors. And then we also have accuracy checks that checks your HubSpot, Salesforce accounts. And we also have a couple people on our team that checks out your Salesforce account to see if your salespeople are doing a good job at updating your lifecycle stages and other stuff that they should be updating. So we are doing everything on our end. If the company does their thing too during this process, during the first couple weeks, then we don’t really see a problem. We don’t face any problems there.

[00:11:29] James: Interesting. Yeah, I think the problem comes in there of getting the company to do their thing. I mean, cleaning up UTMs is one thing. Having the sales team update Salesforce in a structured, meaningful way is another thing. I feel with the companies that we’ve worked with there’s a certain size where you’ve almost outgrown, I don’t want to say outgrown, the ability to have like a structured process in place where. You get a series A, B, C company, usually that stuff is pretty in place, but once they go public, it seems that stuff almost goes out the window. And that’s been a tough transition for us.

[00:12:16] Emir: But that’s a bigger problem than attribution because then if your salespeople and not updating your Salesforce and you don’t, you cannot have accurate pipeline reviews as well. You cannot have accurate forecasting. You don’t have anything. So that’s a bigger point than attrition.

[00:12:34] James: Yeah for sure.

[00:12:35] Andy: Process is the biggest thing there. Process and then accountability. So let’s talk a little bit about HockeyStack marketing. So I think it was on your own podcast, maybe you’re a guest, but you talked a little bit about your SEO and how it has been a raging success. Very quickly. Talk to us a little bit about your SEO strategy, because I’m interested to hear about it.

[00:13:01] Emir: Yeah, so our SEO strategy was super simple. We basically came up with, we started with bottom-funnel keywords and mid-funnel keywords. And then when I say bottom-funnel it’s basically comparative related keywords, very specific use case keywords, etc. And then mid-funnel is more like connecting our features with what market needs, like content marketing, attribution reports, stuff like that. That’s like speaking to HockeyStack plus what people search for. And then with this, like our strategy was to publish a really high validity, think of 40-50 pages a month, for three months and then optimizing those page after that and then reducing it to 20-25 pages per month for three more months. And then we had an editor and a team of freelancer writers, so, , We had really good briefs and we also have an SEO playbook if you anyone wants to check out. We have example briefs there, outlines, etc.

So with those outlines, we spend a lot of time on outlines, with those outlines, we were able to get like super expert people in attribution to write really good articles and then have an editor that adds it so that we make sure that it’s good to go. And then after some time we were optimizing those pages. Right now we don’t publish anymore, but we are still optimizing our pages. And then one thing there was, as I said, our industry is not really, we don’t have a really good competitor. And then when you see attribution, every single marketer on this sense, a different thing. So when we first started doing it, we like reached in six, seven months, we reached a million impressions per month and then we were getting 8-9K clicks per month. And when we were measuring its success, we were mainly looking at the free trial (we had a free trial back then) we were mainly looking at the free trial signups, and close one value and it seemed like it was failing.

But then when I checked out our conversions, I saw that on HockeyStack, like 80, maybe like 90% of people check out our live demo before contacting sales or like signing up for a future trial. Then I started to measure SEO success based on the people that use the blog post and then checks out our live demo. And that made a huge difference because then we have a focus to get people from our blog posts to live demo. And then from live demo, it’s our money page, and then we can retire people, and then we can also reach out to people because it’s gated. So we focus on that. And then right now, In everything that we do, our biggest goal is to get people to live demo, because we are a 100% sure that if they check out our live demo, they’re going to book contact sales. And if not, we are going to retarget them. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to reach out. So, yeah, that was our whole strategy and yeah that was basically it.

[00:16:06] Andy: So with, hang on, with that amount of volume, how were you measuring quality of traffic? Because I can imagine that it was just a ton of unqualified traffic potentially coming through, given that sheer, you know, hockey stick of volume coming to the site. So how are you optimizing towards quality? Because I think that’s something that, you know, we all struggle with in b2b, but especially when you get into more of the SaaS products, you know, really focusing on that quality over quantity can become a struggle.

[00:16:42] Emir: Yeah, so mainly we were focusing, as I said, bottom-funnel and mid-funnel keywords, so that made sure everyone was genuine and then even though we were seeing zero potential traffic, we were still writing those articles and we saw huge success in that. If I know that people will search for a keyword, but the ahref says zero potential traffic, then we were still writing it. And if you think about it, the articles that we were writing were like content marketing attribution, out to use funnels, stuff like that. So they were really qualified.

And then one other thing that I was doing is I created a retargeting layer on LinkedIn ads with the LinkedIn ads. You can see the like people in that audience. Their roles, their company size, such as, I was also checking out that. And then over time if I see a decrease in like quality, I was checking out the articles that we wrote and then updating them more, deleting them from the site.

[00:17:46] James: Can you let this tidbit out? What was the most common job title you saw across your blog?

[00:17:51] Emir: Yeah, it was mostly head of growth, head of marketing, head of paid… those tiles.

[00:18:01] James: That’s good. Do you guys use Clearbit or any tools like that? Isn’t that part of your tool now too?

[00:18:07] Emir: Yeah. So we are using Clearbit and that works really good, really well too. And we are an official 6sense partner. We will announce this pretty soon. So with Clearbit, yeah, you’re right, we were getting, we had some audiences, created on Clearbit, and then Clearbit was identifying companies that are visiting.

For example, if you write an article, Google Analytics versus mixed panel, for example, we were checking out what are the companies that are checking out this competitors? And then creating sequences for those companies, like email sequences and LinkedIn DMs. And then the other thing was on search, Google Search Console, still to this day, I can see the trends. So how many people are checking out this competitors versus this competitors, and how does that change over time? Plus, as we are ranking for a variety of keywords, I can see trending keywords before anyone else. For example, a couple months ago I saw that dimension attribution has been getting traffic, which was a zero traffic keyword before. So at that point we switched our strategy because like until that point, people were still trying to understand if dimension is the way to go rather than lead gen. But no one was trying to focus on how can we measure our podcast, our LinkedIn?

And then from that point on, it was like two, three months ago, I saw that. I talked with my co-founders and a couple advisors and we started to get into this like, okay, dimension is the way, which doesn’t work, whitepapers doesn’t work. But how can we measure it? And then we start to develop features and then also change our narrative.

So examples, podcast attribution, LinkedIn, that’s impressions and engagement – LinkedIn’s campaign impression. And then I’m doing something for my, our social to understand how LinkedIn social brings revenue. And I can launch that as their report example and then we also changed our narrative based on it as well.

[00:20:17] James: So this is a great transition. Obviously I love talking about SEO, but what you guys are doing now with the the building of the media company and flow, I don’t want to say demand gen 101, cause I think what you guys are doing is like a lot cooler than that. But from my end, I have a little bit of envy with how creative you guys are being. And from our side, you know, I think with our clients, like we struggle to get them to be that creative just because, you know, they’re more coming from a product marketing background, focusing on the product where you guys have a mix of influencers, entertaining and educational content. So tell us a bit about what you’re doing there, and then I really want you to get into what your measurement strategy is on that.

[00:21:13] Emir: Yeah, for sure. So yeah, we are doing, basically think of Netflix, but for B2B, exact same thing. We have series that will feature our team members. But one thing that we are doing, for example, if you think of any media company example, there’s not many, but they’re mainly focusing on their own team members, the people that I have. But when we thought about this with Obaid, we thought that we don’t need strictly influencers.

We need great people that are creating content. Even if they don’t have an audience, we have an audience. So if they create a great content, we promote it on our end, we put it on the flow, and then people will see it. The only thing that matters is great content, and then we write the scripts so we can tie it into our product or narrative.

Not everything should be tied back to the product, but if you want to, we can do it. So, with the flow, we are creating different series. Diverse market in the world is one. Aaron is going to create a world’s first salesman series. We have other people, the people that you know, plus we have Obaid and me, on the flow.

So Obaid is creating a therapy commercial, for example. It’s going to be serious. He’s basically a B2B marketing therapist, doing therapy to other marketers. We have the mind blowing thoughts of a marketer series’s, another one coming out from Obaid. We have Can You Dashboard It, we are getting submissions from people and I’m creating a dashboard and Courtney, our customer success measures, creating a dashboard in 90 seconds.

Stuff like that. So our goal is to create a place where you can basically binge watch anything that you want. So for example, we have been launching lots of stuff on LinkedIn, but if you want to go back in and see what we did three months ago, there’s not a place that you can just, you’ll basically go to my page, scroll, scroll, scroll, and trying to find it. But with the central place, we’ll have a single place/source for everything, plus have more creativity because we don’t have a promotion problem, we just need to find great people that can create content with us. And then on LinkedIn, we are trying to mix our narrative, our product plus entertainment. That’s our primary goal.

And a question that I get, really often is do we have an influencer play and answer is no. We have I think four or five advisors, and I meet with them every single day. We text every day. No, not every day, but like, we text every day. We meet every week.

So it’s not an influencer play. I know, like some of them, for example, Corporate Pro is basically an influencer. And we get some of that value as well. But the core value that I’m focusing on is, for example, Corporate Pro Ross is awesome at scripts and we share all of our scripts with him and he gives us feedback or he’s like, oh, this therapy commercial is good, but maybe we can do something like this. I had this series that I launched a couple years ago, maybe you can take a look at this. Either didn’t work, you can do this series in this way. Stuff like that. Mark Kosoglow, he basically scaled from zero to, I don’t know, 15-20 million dollars in ARR and we meet every two weeks. He’s letting me know this is going to happen at this point, you should avoid this. Or I’m like, hey Mark, I’m looking to hire this person, can you look at his LinkedIn profile and let me know what you think or can you meet with him? Stuff like that.

And then with John Burke, he’s a global paid at Cognism. He’s looking at our ad accounts. He he gives us feedback on our performance marketing side of the product. We get lots of great feature ideas from him. And he’s also user at Cognism, a user of HockeyStack. So he’s in the product every day. So he gives us really good feedback and he’s my friend. And then Jared helps me a lot with sales, community and everything, and then hiring as well.

So it’s not only an influencer play. If you see 15 different advisor positions on a person’s profile, then it’s basically an influencer play. But like my goal is to get people to really have skin in the game. And work with us in the long term. Because if you think of advisors, most companies compensate advisors with stock and then after two years or whatever the lasting period is, after two years, they don’t need to work with you anymore because they have the that stock. So it’s super important to choose people that will work with you for a very long time and know people you trust.

[00:26:27] James: So interesting. I guess a question for you, cause I mean obviously the entertainment factor is paying off. How are you balancing that between that and product marketing? Like when it comes to attribution and how you’re allocating budget and resources?

[00:26:48] Emir: Yeah, so we have a budget for like series and this whole media company, So basically Obaid can do whatever he wants with that budget. Sometimes he’s using it to hire people, sometimes for video, sometimes for diverse marketing. We are working with a professional voice artist so he can spend money on that. He has his own budget. And then on the product marketing side, I’m doing all of the product marketing. So I focus on that. I work with sales, customer success and marketing, to bridge the gap and then understand what people want and then helps both of us with content.

So I think having people own these areas makes a really good difference because they’re like really different areas and then that focus switch between product marketing to entertainment to something else. So the demand gen, etc. would not work for us. So that’s how we focus. And then one core thing that we talked about earlier is how track the influence of LinkedIn social. We have LinkedIn impressions and engagement in HockeyStack, and we were the first ones to launch this 10 months ago. So we had a really long period in which we work on this feature by the time our competitors launched it last month. So in this period, we worked on getting LinkedIn impressions and engagement every single day, rather than getting it monthly or quarterly like others do. So right now, I am doing this weekly. I’m getting all the people that have contacted sales that week, creating a report that shows how many of them have seen a LinkedIn ads before, versus not, compares it with self-reported sources and actual sources. So if someone says, I came from LinkedIn on the self-reported source, I check out if they have seen a LinkedIn ad before, if not, it’s social. And then if they have not seen a LinkedIn before, then it’s social versus if it’s LinkedIn ads, then I basically say like, if you spent thousand dollars, if you have four deals that have been influenced by LinkedIn ads, then it’s like, yeah, it’s worth it.

[00:29:20] Andy: So question for you. So I literally just posted someone about this yesterday about exactly what you’re talking about, ad exposure, holdouts, things like that. If you don’t mind me asking, like what is the incremental lift that you are seeing when your audience is exposed to ads versus not?

[00:29:41] Emir: Yeah, so let me give you the exact numbers. So I don’t know the exact time period. Maybe it’s like in two, three days. This was, I think three weeks ago. I was creating a report to understand. We have been getting lots of requests in like two, three days. I was like looking at numbers to understand what’s going on, like why are we getting so much like deals.

And then there was a period, I think we were just getting started with this influencer play. And then it was like 26 demos in three days. And then seven have seen a LinkedIn ad before, and that’s the the number that we see. That’s the like percentage that we see often. On LinkedIn ads, we’re targeting bigger companies that we might not able to get on social. And then we are also using it for retargeting more. And then, yeah, we are also using it like for example, if you see companies running social ads, social proof ads, you see them running like G2 ads, testimonials, case studies, etc., we are trying to do more.

So we show people that Mark joined us as an advisor, we launched this feature, stuff like that because we are not a cheap product. And if people invest that much into a product for a year, A) They want to see what this company’s doing, B) They want to get product development in that year. A year is too long.

So I want to show people that yes, this person that you trust trusts us too, so you can trust us. And then the other thing is you are launching features. So in that year you will see lots of features coming up. So yeah, we are using it more for building trust rather and selling.

[00:31:59] Andy: When we start to talk about measuring social and then dovetailing that into the dark social realm of marketing, let’s use that as a conversational transition point to start talking about how do you measure the impact of a podcast or of dark social when there’s a group out there that say you can measure it? There’s another group that says, no, you can’t, but it exists and don’t ignore it. You know? How do you go about measuring it in the way in which HockeyStack has found?

[00:32:48] Emir: Yeah, so for a very long time I thought that as well, like podcasts, there’s no way to attribute that to revenue, etc. And the main thing that was limiting my belief was you cannot get podcasts onto account based journeys because you don’t know on which date they listen to the podcast. When I thought about it and when I talk with people outside of our company, they’re doing really good podcasts, and the main thing that they are said to me was, they’re talking with sales to understand how many people set podcasts on sales goals.

And then I thought that when you listen to the podcast, it doesn’t really matter. This is the first thing. And secondly, you don’t just listen to a podcast. For example, most people, this happens sometimes, but like often doesn’t happen. So they will hear me talking about HockeyStack. They’re not going to contact sales immediately, but they will know about HockeyStack after this podcast episode, and that’s what matters.

And then basically podcasts are really maybe the best way to build trust. So they will remember when they contact sales, they will put in the self-reported attribution form. So basically with an integration with Gong, we are now able to get how many people say that they listen to podcasts. And then we are able to compare that with the actual customer journey. So you can see how many people said they listened to podcasts before and then compared with their like actual digital touchpoints. And dark social I think is dark because people think they cannot do anything about it. But there are lots of ways to do.

And then my belief is if you can get people to understand that yes, it’s doable, then more people will do it. And in turn we will see better marketing. In turn, we will see more revenue coming up to companies. So if we let everyone know, yes, LinkedIn social is trackable, and more people will do LinkedIn, social, and your feed will be less screenshots and more like better marketing on your feed.

And then same with communities, same with podcasts, same with everything else. And then they all have one solution to track all of them. So that’s end goal.

[00:35:10] Andy: So what can’t be measured then, in your opinion?

[00:35:29] Emir: So we can get which companies are engaging with LinkedIn ads, but we cannot get which companies engage with LinkedIn social. So we can, for example, right now we, before contacting sales, that’s like before contacting sales. So right now we can create sequences based on companies that have a high engagement on LinkedIn ads or like connect with them. We cannot do that via LinkedIn social, but we might be able to do it. So yeah, working on some stuff. Other than that, I don’t know.

[00:35:57] Andy: Throwing a curve ball there.

[00:36:00] James: The podcast to an extent, like the integration with Gong, is all of these are one step closer. But I mean, the reason we have a podcast is not because we get a million listeners, we make this podcast so that we can cut it up into segments and split it out on social.

And that’s where probably the majority of our impressions actually come from. And I think people care more about organic social and the lack of measurement and organic social. Especially now with, I mean you’re in the startup scene more than anything. Like the personal brand stuff has taken over, you know, the impressions from a company page, like social, that’s almost, I don’t want to say it’s dead, but it’s not, the personal brand stuff I think is really taking over and it’d be interested to see the impact and measurement of that in the future.

[00:36:54] Andy: Yeah, but I think to the same extent, like us three get that we understand the play of a podcast as a content creation process, but there’s so many others that exist out there. I mean, you were talking about our clients and trying to convince them and tell them, you know, you gotta be doing this. And they always want to come back to, okay, well how are we going to measure the ROI of a podcast. You can to an extent, but there’s like the halo effect and it’s gotta be just a process initiator. I think that’s the real challenge there of convincing and showing somebody that it’s not all about the true revenue generation of one effort. It’s creating the process that feeds the beast that exists out there.

[00:37:34] Emir: Exactly, but I’m optimistic so I think more people get it than not. More people start to get it and that’s like some parts of it are messages on LinkedIn, coming out from certain companies that you can only do software attribution if you are using a software that will only show direct traffic, stuff like that, and they’re changing their narratives as well. I see that. So I think more and more people will get it.

And one part of my core strategy, as I said, my 60% of my day goes to product marketing. I’m basically religiously listening to Gong calls, getting transcriptions, trying to understand what exactly they want from us, what are they struggling with, and then turning that into content series. That’s like 60% of my day, six days a week.

So, I think one core thing everyone is trying to understand is, yes, I have to show ROI to my boss and CMO needs to show ROI to CEO, but then they’re also like tests they need to do. They’re also, for example, one big thing that I see from companies is if they want to understand if an ad campaign works, they turn it off for a couple weeks to understand if it works or not.

If there’s a decrease in reporting, it’s like insane. So one, one person is trying to show the ROI and doing tests. The other person is trying to show the ROI to someone else. There’s like this loop, and I’m trying to figure out, what else can we do for this person to get more budget, to test more stuff and then find out the ones that work and then show a greater array so that the CMO can go to see you and show like, yes, we did this is this, we spent this much on this.

So that process is my whole job and I think we are making great progress. And then my goal is to create a blueprint using all of the data that we have to show. This is how we do LinkedIn ads. This is how we optimize LinkedIn, ads. This is how we do Google ads. This is how we optimize Google Ads, and this is the chance that we see across the industry.

This is the benchmarks and then turn this into maybe a consultation, product, whatever that is. And then it’s also one core thing about our product, which is, which might be unique, is our whole ROI depends on the marketer’s ability to interpret data. So we are also making sure it’s easy enough.

[00:40:28] James: The interpretation piece is key cuz the problem that everybody has with attribution is that it’s like assigning credit, right? Because everybody wants credit in a siloed whatever, and it’s like flipping that narrative from assigning credit to telling a story.

In one of our other podcasts, we talked to another attribution company. They’re more on the e-commerce side, but what they talked about was like how attribution needs to be part of it from the beginning instead of after the fact. Which is something that we deal with as an agency all the time, right? We’ll put it in there and they’re like, oh yeah, no, I don’t want that 20K line item.

We just want all of our money to go to media. That’s what they want versus, okay, we want this in from the beginning so we can tell you the story and outline the customer journeys and show how these programs are working together rather than, you know, you looking at, I mean, think about it, if you’re looking at content creation ad spend, all of this stuff as individual items and you’re already starting with what are we going to cut rather than, how are these things going to compound each other and work together to achieve the goal. That’s where the narrative just needs to change away from paid search drove this, paid LinkedIn drove this, LinkedIn organic drove this, cause it’s not one thing in most cases.

[00:41:55] Emir: Mm-hmm. Exactly. With Obaid the first five weeks we created a realm of relevancy, this is a term that Obaid and Todd are using. So basically we created three POVs that we believe in and then a strategic narrative. And then under each POV we have sparks that we can talk about.

So the narrative that we are now using and we will be talking more about is attribution 2.0, which is attribution is not bad. Giving the whole conversion credit into a single touchpoint, which is usually the last one, or giving it to a team. It’s more about understanding customer journey and what can we get from this in data to improve our marketing.

So this will allow companies to understand what’s working, what’s not, improve their marketing, and spend more on great marketing, memorable experiences. So with this attribution 2.0, if you go to our website, it’s our main title, what we mean is not only about the product, but an industry rate change in the way we understand attribution.

So if your sales team has a demo and then closes that $1 million deal, you don’t just give $1 million credit into your sales team because that company has been seeing your ads for a very long time. They have been seeing us, LinkedIn social ads, LinkedIn social posts, LinkedIn ads, Google Ads, everything.

Then it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, like we are all grown ups. We don’t need credit, we just need to get more revenue and understand how people buy from us. And then the other way, the other side of the story is, yes, B2B customer journey is complex, but how can we get a better control of this journey.

How can we lead people from one point all the way to conversions? What is our money page? Ours is live demo. What’s yours. I bet that no one knows this. What’s their money page? No one. No one probably knows that. Or if we don’t have a money page, how can we create one so that we can lead people from the beginning all the way to that money page, and then create some strategies like you’re targeting LinkedIn, DMs, emails, calls, events, everything.

[00:44:24] James: We need a money page. That’s not a contact form.

[00:44:27] Andy: We have a money page. It’s my Calendly.

[00:44:31] Amir: That works too. Yes.

[00:44:33] James: Oh, it’s, I mean, the narrative that I want to move towards for us too is like changing the B2B buying experience. We’ve been talking a little bit about focusing more on B2B e-comm. Everybody talks about the B2B buying process being broken, the fact that you have to talk to, SDR to get qualified before you talk to an AE and all this stuff. Meanwhile, if you just educate somebody with all of the right information, there’s no reason why they can’t buy your product online.

I mean, there’s onboarding and stuff like that, but I mean, your live demo is pretty good example of it. Like you can go in there, you can click around, you could see the product. I don’t even have to fill out a form, right. , yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:45:23] Emir: So one agency KlientBoost, huge agency that’s using HockeyStack, Drew, they’re an amazing partner. He came up with this learning page. I don’t think it’s their money page. I sent it in the chat if you want to check it out. I don’t think this is their money page because they don’t promote it well enough. But if they would do, if they promote it in a better way, I think this would work for an agency because this is like marketing fast and slow, basically talks about what they believe as an agency, how they do marketing, all that stuff. So if you have a different opinion than other agencies, if I wouldn’t say agency, that would be really fun because most agencies suck. So there’s a really big opportunity to get the lead.

[00:46:08] Andy: I don’t even have to say other agencies suck. We, our guests just say it for us, so it’s fine.

[00:46:14] Emir: I have lost a lot of money with agencies, so I know it’s true.

[00:46:21] Andy: We’ve seen a lot of money lost on behalf of our clients with other agencies, so, well that’s like, it’s like

[00:46:26] James: That’s the standard agency. I dunno. Well, how do we get work? We audit somebody else’s account, point out what’s wrong with it. Like that’s kind of the standard thing.

[00:46:39] Andy: So with HockeyStack, I want to start to bring our episode, I think to a close here. Cause I think we talked about a lot. But with HockeyStack, so what does a potential client of yours need in place to really be ready to take advantage of HockeyStack and all that it offers?

[00:46:59] Emir: Yeah, so we are more than targeting 100-1500 people B2B software companies in the United States. Mostly. With a hundred people company they probably have a marketing team of four to five people at least. So that’s a good start because then there’s least someone that can check out their dashboards and then get insights. That’s the first thing.

Other thing is CRM. So I see companies that are actually using Airtable as a CRM. It doesn’t work. You need Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, whatever it is, we have integration with all of them. And then updating your CRM is a is huge, really good start. And then if you have more than one ad platform, plus some organic stuff, like, I don’t know, blog posts, whitepapers, whatever you’re doing, then you would get a lot of value from HockeyStack. If your revenue doesn’t come from one source, like we have companies in their niche industries, for example, mental health, like healthcare in general, their whole marketing team is basically doing events. Then HockeyStack is not going to fit because you’re only getting like revenue from one source. So there’s nothing to improve there. But if you have a couple sources of revenue, if you have a marketing team of four or five people at least, and then if you can update your CRM regularly so that we get accurate data, then that’s it. And we have all the resources to help you with other stuff.

[00:48:58] Andy: I was going to say, like on top of just the platform itself, what levels of support and service and consulting do you add on top of that? Cause I think that’s the other, at least in my experience, that’s always been the other barrier of like, oh, well, you know, our data’s not in the right place. And then conversely, we have nobody internally that owns this today. So what do we have to do? What are we going to do to make this successful?

[00:49:05] Emir: We on day one, we create a slack channel. I’m there, my customer success manager is there, so you have that. We have a kickoff call where we get your feedback. We create four different dashboards based on your needs, your Salesforce account, your website, everything. And you can customize them further if you want. We have a session where we talk to you about how to create reports, how to do x, how to create your goal.

This is ready, the videos are in edit, and then blog posts are in edit, but we are launching a HockeyStack academy, which will be divided into three sections: marketing 101, marking 201, marketing 301. 101 is about how our HockeyStack works, what are the customer success, programs available for customers, stuff like that. 201 is use cases, how we can optimize your ads, content that you’re using, HockeyStack, how to analyze LinkedIn, social influence, etc.. And marking 301, I’m doing that and then Obaid is doing that. Obaid is talking about this realm of relevancy, how to use LinkedIn Social as a company. He has a seven page long LinkedIn social guide, so we are turning that into a Notion playbook, like the ones that are like LinkedIn ads, LinkedIn, sorry, SEO Playbook, we are turning that. he’s also talking about how we divide audience into top, down, middle, and bottom up audiences to enrich everyone in the company. And then we also have a change lock series coming out with flow and HockeyStack academy. So our CTO, my co-founder, is going to talk about recent features that we launched in the last two weeks.

Every two weeks it’s going to be another episode. So this is going to be launching in I think, 10 days. That’s going to be huge. We have documentation, , we have playbooks. They’re like, how, how can you analyze your ad, analyze your LinkedIn ads, stuff like that. And then anytime if you need help, you can just text the Slack message and Courtney would be available to help you with that.

[00:51:22] Andy: So when’s the certification coming?

[00:51:25] Emir: I hate that. If we ever have a certification, then we didn’t do a good job at making this product easy to use because people are getting certified to use HockeyState and then at that point we will be probably a, I dunno, HubSpot, with the terrible UX, terrible UI, but you must use it because then you don’t have a actual company.

[00:51:54] James: I love that

[00:51:54] Andy: Perspective. So if we ever see a certification for HockeyStack, we know that we are messaging you with the question, what went wrong?

[00:52:03] Emir: Yeah. You know that I’m not here anymore and I’m in probably in Bali.

[00:52:16] Andy: So. Nice. That’s awesome. Well, Emir, thank you so much for hopping on today’s episode. How can people learn more about HockeyStack but also connect with you?

[00:52:21] Emir: Yeah, you can search my name on LinkedIn, Emir, and then hockeystack.com. [email protected] if you want to send an email. Awesome. And then one last thing. We are hiring across all functions. If you think you’re a good fit, send me an email with why you’re a good fit, and then we can go from there.

[00:52:48] Andy: It’s awesome. Sweet. All right. Thank you so much for joining us, Emir. So as usual, my closing is like, subscribe, connect with James and I connect with Amir. Learn more about HockeyStack and learn more about Dragon360 at dragon360.com. Catch you all next time.

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