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Brand Recognition and Strategic Partnerships: GoLinks' Marketing Landscape

Brandon Most, Head of Marketing at GoLinks

For this episode of Wytpod, Harshit Gupta, Director of Business Alliances at Wytlabs interviewed Brandon Most, Head of Marketing at GoLinks. Delve into the nuances of GoLinks Productivity Suite, a cutting-edge set of generative AI-powered SaaS tools addressing workplace questions. Explore Brandon’s 15-year marketing odyssey, decoding the strategies behind GoLinks’ brand
recognition, digital marketing precision, and successful mid-market to enterprise expansion.

GoLinks is a set of generative AI-powered SaaS tools to help employees find the answers to the most urgent workplace questions.

Brandon Most
Head of Marketing at GoLinks

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Wytpod. My name is Harshit and I’m the Director of Business Alliances at Wytlabs. We are a digital agency specializing in SaaS and E-Commerce SEO and I’ve got Brandon Most with me today.

He’s the Head of Marketing of GoLink’s Productivity Suite. It’s a set of generative AI-powered SaaS tools to help employees find the answers to the most urgent workplace questions. A big welcome to you, Brandon. I’m so happy to have you with me today.

Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

All right.

Now, before we dive into GoLinks can you please let the viewers know a little bit about you and your professional journey so far?

Yeah, so I’ve been in the marketing space for 15 years, and I don’t think my journey is unique by any means, but I started as a data analyst in a large enterprise company running reports and looking at trends when it comes to conversions and what’s working, what’s not, correlations between, what type of events people need to attend to lead to higher levels of conversion and working heavily with sales doing so.

And so it gave me, I think, a unique insight into the kind of the Whales needs to be successful or the correlations of things that the prospects need to do to drive revenue for the organization. That led me into product marketing and solution marketing the kind that fit for quite a while. And then I got the opportunity about three, four years ago to be the first marketing hire at a company called Boost up which is a sales intelligence revenue intelligence platform and You know started as a seed round and built that team up to five or six people From zero four and five million from c to series b in less than 2 years.

And so that experience gave me insights into every aspect of marketing things that I didn’t even know because I had a product marketing solution, marketing business and be a type hat. But that opened my eyes to things that I think the organization needs to do to be truly successful.

And then ultimately when goings came looking for a marketer I felt like it was a good opportunity to continue to build out their team but out there to market strategy along with the sales organization and just overall relook at how they’re doing marketing and hopefully lead to a stronger strategy within the team.

Gotcha. Can you please provide a brief overview of the GoLinks productivity suite and its key features and how exactly it addresses workplace challenges?

Yeah, so GoLinks is, like you said, a productivity suite, right? GoLinks is one of three products that we have in the market today. The second one is GoSearch, which is an AI Workplace enterprise search application and the 3rd is what we call Go Profiles.

It does people data search, but it also does employee recognition as employee maps, the job hierarchy, and all that. So it integrates directly with your system. So how these work to solve your problem is think about in the day of a life, right? So if I’m looking for information, what GoLinks is the easiest way to access that information, go slash keyword.

So if I was to go to a Salesforce report for marketing, I just go slash marketing dashboard, which takes me directly there. No thought process, no searching, no bookmarks, nothing, right? But we all know there are hundreds of applications that are connected to your systems. We probably have hundreds of people in the enterprise who have more than a hundred applications.

So with GoSearch, we connect all that information. We index and now we’re able to search across all the applications in one unified platform. So now if I say, who how do I reset my password? It will not only pull up the relevant content, but also go links, and nonrelated GoLinks. So actually pull out the instructions for me directly.

So 1, 2, 3, do this. So really what it does is power each person. The company’s productivity. We’ve seen studies by McKinsey and others that Estimate, up to seven hours. 20 percent of their time is wasted searching between applications or searching for information. And what our suite does is solve for that and give employees their time back.

Okay.

And who’s your main ICP, your main target audience?

Yeah, so it’s typically, something that purchases company-wide, right? Because anybody is looking for information and needs a quick way to do but we focus really on IT engineering HR departments as our primary and then they typically have the budget.

They are the ones who we work with to sell it into the organization horizontally. And then they’re usually the ones that purchase it. And then we onboard with them to get the rest of the company to leverage the tool. Okay.

And what size of business do you mainly target for these IT companies?

Yeah. It’s been crazy in the last 15, or 18 months. I think, with that market economics and the way things are and we were probably a couple of years back more SMB mid-market with some enterprise focus PLG motion was working, great. The bottom-up approach that we’ve seen now with some of the changes and the market and just the downturn that was in 2023 and partly going in 2024 is the market has shifted for us.

And the companies that are looking for these types of solutions for GoLinks have shifted to mid-market enterprises. GoSearch has been primarily mid mid-market enterprise. So you’re talking, from the low end 200 to, tens of thousands of employees that are looking at these types of solutions because one, they probably have the budget.

There is a big need, lots of tools, lots of resources, lots of people, and they have a problem they need to solve. And that problem is to increase the productivity of the workforce. Makes sense. All right.

Can you highlight key approaches used to build brand recognition, particularly through your, strategic partnerships with the advisors customers, or even industry analysts?

Yeah, so to start with the back end with industry analysts, we don’t have a formal relationship with any today, but we meet with McKinsey. We meet in the forest. We’ve gotten every quarter with different analysts within the products that we serve. We probably engage with 6 to 8 analysts across those 3, every quarter to give them updates on what we’re doing progress, and things like that.

So they can identify opportunities for us to participate and report. That is read by, large enterprise companies as well. So we do have that kind of a strategy in place to just inform and educate and participate. And then from a customer standpoint, we have built a kind of referral motion within the product.

Or they’re able to share out and get reward points for doing so to people within either internally for widening the scope or externally. So we have that motion. And then we do have, standard M. P. S. kind of feedback loop that would generate, reviews and cut testimonials and all those sorts of things.

Even in the last year, we’ve probably generated 450 plus GT reviews through that motion. That’s working extremely well. And then from a brand perspective, there is the traditional kind of PPC, LinkedIn, and retargeting things that have worked well. There is the PR strategy of getting in front of these audiences or searching for that type of content.

But 1 of the unique things that we’re Embarking on right now is we have a brand and brand recognition within the GoldLynx solution or GoldLynx platform. And now we’re working on how to correlate that brand build for further brand awareness for two products we just launched in the last couple of months.

And I indicated with those two earlier, go search and go profile. So three brands all need to have their way, all have some overlap, but all require some brand awareness activities and strategies to get them into the market.

And what specific digital marketing strategies have been significant in helping you expand your customer base and, fueling your revenue specifically for your GoLinks?

Yeah, so we’ve built a lot of new motions in the 15-18 months, I’ve been here. So we have the product qualified lead motion, bottoms up qualify and get people to use the product and then expand across the organization. We have what we call is or previous champion lead. People who have, been in the sales cycle, closed one deal, heavy users of the platform, and as they move on to new companies, we hit them with, personalized messaging, trying to figure out if it’s an opportunity to bring us into their organization.

Those are 2 new ones. We also have a lot of the traditional kind of outreach approaches tied to marketing outbound. We’re marking kind of education forms to build a brand within our, and then the cells marries against that and look to convert those into book meetings for the sales organization.

We were hand in hand with the sales organizations to drive revenue metrics for the company. We don’t see they go to market teams between sales and marketing and silo. They’re one team looking for, one single goal. And that goes to, various levels, but ultimately revenue.

Yeah.

And that’s brilliant to see because sales and marketing building that harmony and sync is pretty tough. And it’s good to see that you’ve been doing well on that front. All right. What role does inbound marketing play in your company’s growth strategy and how do you optimize to make it much more effective for your lead generation and your customer acquisition?

Yeah, so inbound strategy is threefold. So we have a referral motion. So a lot of people who use the product refer people to the product and we have a form that indicates, how they hear us outside of the traditional attribution models. We also have the kind of direct slash organic search, right?

So they’re searching for keywords to come to our site. We work fine in hand with our content market to build an SEO strategy that drives those. And we track very heavily Keywords that do convert, and we focus on and double down on those. So the kind of the threefold from that perspective is, obviously Direct Referral and then organic. Those are the 3 kinds of inbound strategies that work well. What we have done is simplify the inbound conversion process. With a couple of tools with Clear bit, we’re able to just ask a single question, and their email address, pre-populate the rest through Chili Piper, click submit, and book a meeting directly.

Which has increased the kind of inbound to book a meeting to, them showing up pretty dramatically over the first 18 months I’ve been here.

That’s awesome.  And I would love to know because, you’re focusing on three separate sites altogether, right? And how do you ensure a cohesive messaging strategy across these three platforms?

And are these specific cross-promotional strategies like facilitating to encourage the suite usage altogether?

Yeah, it’s, we just launched these 2 products. So I think we’re still learning a lot about how we can position them.

Early on, we were positioned as independent products, trying to figure out which messaging resonated with us through outbound email, all different strategies, direct keywords, and things like that. And we’ve seen a lot of direct conversions from that. What we’ve seen, though, in conversations in the sales motion is a lot of people gravitate to the single problem that they’re trying to solve, which is, they’re trying to be able to solve for information, access information, discovery, knowledge, discovery.

It’s hard to find content internally, so with GoLinks and GoSearch, solving that kind of in 2, 4, 1 motion, we’re able to pitch those as hey, we can solve this problem. And these are the 2 products to do. And that yields some good conversations and solidifies the value of the products as a combined offering solving a very universal problem in most organizations that, I think every company has today.

Makes sense. Okay. What strategies do you employ to engage users and maintain their utilization of GoLinks Productivity Suite and any particular focus area for user retention and how exactly is your Churn Rate?

Yeah, so I think I’ll try to answer all 3 of those if I remember correctly. We do have a lot of kind of not traditional onboarding when they get through emails. We have weekly updates on product enhancements and things like that to keep them involved and up to date on the product. We also built notification announcements in the product as well.

And then we have monthly product update emails to our audience. So this way. They’re constantly hearing about the things that we’re doing, the new updates, what they should be leveraging, not only through email but within the product, and kind of pop-ups and tours and things that we have as we launch those significant products, right?

So that’s 1 way we keep them informed, and engaged. We also obviously solicit feedback through MPS to try to understand where the gaps are in the product and where we can improve. As a way to drive a full-fledged conversation with our customers, those are two ways that we continue to engage inform, and Identify opportunities for our product to improve.

Okay, and what’s you know the lifetime in months you know for a typical customer of GoLinks Suite?

The lifetime value of the customer. What are you trying to not value?

Like just in months, was a typical lifetime of a customer?

Yeah, I think you’re asking about retention.

Yeah, we have a high retention rate. I don’t have the number in front of me. It was nearly 100%, probably 2 years ago. When everything has a budget and has resources and things as companies that are looking to optimize their SaaS. Ben, we have seen some retention, but it’s not necessarily because of usage and adoptions they have to make a hard choice between do I keep.

Productivity tool or do I keep my CRM tool sometimes it’s a little hard to compete with some of those types of tools that are mission critical for running their operations within their business, but we still have an extremely high retention rate today and we have retention strategies with a new role that we have that focuses strictly on retention and expansion.

Makes sense. And what are the key performance indicators that guide you measure your marketing success? And how do you use these metrics to refine your strategies?

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think we all look towards revenue generated as an organization and then break it down by marketing.

What are the conversion channels and what conversion channels are leading to the highest revenue? But, we can’t always just look at revenue for success, especially in a very tough market dynamics that we’re in as well. So we’re looking at a cost per acquisition. We turn on an aspen. Even in our field marketing events, we’re looking at things like cost per opportunity generated.

We’re looking at maybe cost per stage two pipeline because it’s too early to tell if they’re going to convert yet, right? So there are different vectors that we’re looking in like a sub-component or pre-stage to revenue. But it’s tied towards revenue. And we are, like I said earlier, one organization looking to drive that revenue, regardless of if it’s an SDR that books it and marketing hit him seven times in our targeting ads.

Or if it’s a direct conversion on inbound and they book a meeting we look at revenue attainment goals as a company as a primary driver.

Okay. And because you’re targeting mainly mid-market and enterprise clients what’s what’s your typical sales cycle look like? How many days or months it takes?

To close down one, enterprise or a midsize market customer.

Yeah, it was much more transactional a couple of years ago. I would say now with the market shift and more mid-markets, as we talked about enterprise, it can vary dramatically. So some of the mid-market could take 90 days, 6 stakeholders.

To get through the finish line, right? For enterprise companies with tens of thousands of employees, it could take 6 plus months depending on where they are. When they introduced us to their POC type progress, the RPs, do they have RFIs and things like that? It’s becoming a much more complex cell as we move up the market.

But we’re looking at ways in which we could help accelerate those motions, shorten the cell cycle. Those are 2 things we look at that are linked to the cell cycle and look at ways to move from different stages and increase that velocity. And so some of the things marketing is looking to do is continue to build deal acceleration type events, value-added events to help bring those deals and accelerate them into the funnel faster, especially early stages.

Some of the late stages can get hung up in procurement for 60 days, just based on when it is in the sales cycle and when it is in terms of the organization we’re working with and how many other tools are looking to bring on then. I tried to sell it as much as possible. 

What was the typical customer value?

Yeah, it’s changed dramatically. So I’m looking at a CV is what I’m going to answer. Most of them are near 100-plus K deals right now. And some of them are a lot larger than that. It just depends, but we still, like I said, have that free trial motion.

We still can get 50 enterprise licenses, 10 K or less, a little bit up to a couple hundred thousand pretty easily. So it is a wide CP ICP. We are starting to focus more on, like I said, 1000 to 5,000 employees is our kind of sweet spot. A couple of different reasons.

One, they have the budget large enough to have a kind of a project in place for this, but they’re not too large where it takes tons of our resources, but we don’t have a ton across the organization to close one deal. So that’s where we lean into our sweet spot. Okay. All right.

Can you highlight any specific partnership or marketing channel that has had a significant impact on expanding your market reach and visibility?

Yeah, I can’t say it’s just one, right? We do, as we talked about, use a lot of different channels and I think we’re still maturing our marketing organization and testing a lot to see what works, even within specific outbound strategies for marketing, whether it’s email, working with sales, or field marketing.

So we conference last year, we did billboards last year as well as a brand awareness and conversion strategy. We’re still testing a lot to see what works within our because our is engineering, which is a completely different market than some of the ones I kind of marketed to in the past. So we’re still finding what works best right now.

We’re seeing a kind of conferences and events to drive a lot. Of value and kind of cost, property has a relatively low cost. And then I think the other thing is straight outbound engagement. We’re seeing a lot of direct conversion through marketing outbound, which is a good and free, cheap channel to leverage to drive good quality conversations for self-organization.

And because of since you mentioned outbound some of these updates around Gmail and even Yahoo was planning to do it sometime early this year and yeah, Microsoft already did that. So it is becoming tough, to make your message land in the inboxes.

Not that easy, which was like, even eight to nine months back, it was pretty easy. How do you ensure that that’s still in today’s age works for you? 

Yeah, I think they backtracked a little bit from what was scaring everybody. So its company domains are not part of that, whatever that spam rate percentage was.

But, yes, email is getting harder to break through the noise. I think about my email inbox and probably 50 percent of what I hit daily is people looking for me to buy something. Most of the conversations are being had on LinkedIn or Slack or different parts of Discord communities and things like that.

We have in our outreach, especially on the BDR side, where it’s more volume right now, marketing is more tailored and strategic and I think BDR and AEs and the marketing team are going to work towards that like an ABM type strategy in Q1 and focusing on strategic accounts but we’ve shifted a lot of that kind of outreach to calls and LinkedIn.

And social channels to drive most of the conversations and what we see is, emails, we’re reducing from probably 5, let’s say, touches and outbound to 1 or 2 likely to and focusing on LinkedIn and calls and some other tactics to try to eat taxes and texting in some instances to try to drive those conversions.

And the call has probably been our number 1 over the last 6 months in terms of conversion LinkedIn has probably been 2 and email has probably been 3.

Awesome. All right. Brandon, we’re coming to an end and I would love to have a quick rapid-fire with you. Are you ready for that? I hope so. What one word do you want people to associate you with?

Curiosity. Okay. 

Are you a private person or not? 

It’s funny. I’m probably more private and reserved in my family life. I’m probably more outgoing and business for whatever reason. But yeah, that’s how it is.

Any funny nicknames your parents or friends or even your work colleague used to call you.

Yeah, but my name’s Brandon’s nickname was Bud and it was generated by my mom back in the day. So a name tag on my coat. And I think the closest name tag she could find a brand was Bud. Even to this day, it still sticks with me through family and close friends.

And then people hear it and it sticks with them too. So it would be bud. Okay.

What was the last Google search? Yeah.

What was my last Google search? It was probably a specific keyword enterprise search AI to see how well our new product is ranking and showing on first page results. So that’s what I was doing.

All right.

And what’s something you could eat for a week straight?

I am not picky with food. I’m not a foodie. I could probably eat anything for a week straight and it doesn’t bother me. If I had to choose a preference, though it would be, Oh, pizza. I don’t know why it is simple. It doesn’t take much to cook or anything like that. So Pizza, Okay.

I’m coming to my very last question. What is not a big deal to most people, but is torture to you?

In most marketing organizations I’ve been a part of, they look at vanity metrics and my biggest thing is looking at how we as an organization do the things we do to drive revenue for the business.

And one of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody sends me an email and says, I’m going to give you a hundred leads. And to me, I’m like, no, you’re giving me a hundred contacts. Leads to me are people who convert and are in a meeting. That’s a lead to me. So I think that my biggest pet peeve is looking at quality metrics in terms of revenue and how we as a marketing organization are going to hit those top-line values for the organization.

All right, thank you.

It was a fun conversation. I enjoyed my time with you and I appreciate you spending time for the session so much.

Hey, thank you. I appreciate you having me. Good luck.

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