Interviews
GrowthFit
Episode #5

How Marketers Can prepare Better for Weekly Meetings

with
Pulkit zaveri
Product marketer at Intervue.io

How Marketers Can prepare Better for Weekly Meetings

Highlights of the talk-

  • Simplifying marketing reports
  • Justify your experiments
  • What's a good frequency for meetings
  • Team meetings now and then
  • Giving ownership to each team member
  • Structure meetings to save time
  • Tracking various goals for team mates
  • CustomFit tool for marketing data

Speakers:

Pulkit Zaveri
He is the product marketer at intervue.io. He started as a Product Manager at CallHippo, moved to product marketing. He optimized their positioning, messaging and GTM channels to shift the focus from B2C to B2B. He is currently working with Intervue.io, a Kunal Shah and Titan funded startup, as a sole marketer driving their marketing strategy. Also he is into reading classic literature and modern fiction.

Sharan Vallapureddy
He is an experienced SaaS marketer, started his career as a marketer with HCL technologies and now it has been more than 8 years he is working in this industry. He has helped many startups in their growth and currently he is associated with Vegam Solutions as marketing head and also with CustomFit.ai as Growth Consultant. He is co - founder of Itcources.com from where you can get your career spiked up with advanced courses from industry experts.

Ashwin Kumar
Co - Founder and CEO of CustomFit.ai.

What are your thoughts one hour before your weekly review meeting?

Pulkit: The way I approach these meetings have changed a lot over time. There is some preparation required and it can involve some anxiety. However, it’s important that you are prepared for the questions that come your way. Since these are open forums, you can be asked any question.

One hour before I, I just go through everything, all the data points, the key metrics and make sure everything works out with this. But slowly and gradually, I started to come down a bit like at this point I'm pretty chill before these meetings because, as marketers, we look at data every day. You'll know where you are in your strategy, where you are in achieving your goals and you'll know the overall strategy of the meeting.

What I have also learnt is that it is okay to say that you don't know the answer to a particular question. You can check the numbers on your laptop or say that you would get back to the question later. You have that option too.

What is that one thing that made you comfortable during the process?

Pulkit: Being comfortable with the meetings happened over a period of time. Firstly, you should know your stakeholders. For example, the sales team is always interested in knowing the number of leads. The founders are concerned about the revenue generated. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is an important metric that helps you understand the overall performance. So, when you know what the major questions will be, you can be well prepared with your data. So, keeping these data at your fingertips will help you become a better marketer and do well in your meetings.

So what tools do you use to prepare your reports, analytics for the weekly meetings? Do you have any single source where you can login and get all the data at once?

Pulkit: It's very important to have a single source of truth that will help you get all the important metrics. Right now we have a single source for sign-ups and revenue generated but there's no platform that collates everything from CAC to sign-ups, traffic and all other metrics. We use so many tools as marketers so having a single source of truth becomes very important.

Simplifying marketing reports

Any hack or tips that you follow to make your marketing reports look simple and to the point?

One that is already mentioned is HubSpot. Another one is Google Analytics which is a very important tool for marketers. It is made keeping marketers in mind and it’s very helpful. You can even get custom reports. If you create a segment, you get customized reports and receive them in your emails. Every morning I can just peruse through the emails. These are automated everyday. You can set up automation on GA.

HubSpot gives you the same reporting options. It has reports about ads and traffic. These are marketers' best friends.

Data becomes your driver. You can see where the performance is dropping and make changes. You might lose on potential leads, money invested in ads. Let’s say if someone comes and says they want to set up a campaign, you won't have any data to show the previous performance and estimations.

Justify your experiments

When you find that the results are not as expected for the current week, how will you explain or justify that in the meeting?

You will get things wrong. You have to accept that. Most of your work, as a marketer, will be around experimentation which you can explain logically. It’s okay to give logical explanations where you explain your side why you thought the experiment would give you results but it did not. Most of the time, the stakeholders will understand the reasons. You cannot stop experimenting. You will have to take risks.

The whole point of watching your data daily is that you catch things when they go wrong and make changes. At the start of the month or week, you still have a lever to experiment. Our whole goal is to experiment and grow. The point is to have a logical answer and explain why you thought the decision you took was correct.

What’s a good frequency of meetings?

Daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly marketing- which among these do you prefer and why?

Over time, my perception about meetings have changed. As a founder, I wear many hats from Salesman, marketing head to operation head. So there were different stages in our growth where we tracked various goals and our mode of working was also different.

Initially it was important for me to track daily metrics like the performance of various channels like Quora, like what is that one question that is bringing the traffic.The quality of the traffic was a concern. Now we are more concerned about the weekly metrics to see where we can improve on the campaigns, where we need to invest more money, which channels are giving more conversions.

There can be these vanity metrics like the traffic but ultimately conversion is important. However, it’s important to see that the visitors coming to our website are checking out various pages. In the case of B2B, we know buying won't happen at the time of the visit itself. The visitor has to be nurtured across various visits and channels to get him to buy.

Now, I like to see a funnel analysis, how leads are moving from MQL to SQL, how the graph is going. So now these are different metrics that we track now.

Team meetings now and then

What are your observations about differences between online meetings during, from home and in-person meetings?

So today I have meetings with various teams like the dev team and the marketing team. Every team needs a different treatment. I am from a video conferencing background. The pandemic has changed the way we work with these tools. Marketing teams are adaptive to collaboration. There is a struggle with the design team. Still it’s working good. Definitely with the marketing team, it is definitely going great.

Giving ownership to each team mate

Is it better to involve each team member in preparing reports?

It depends on the meeting and the team size. So if you have a 20 people team, then you are not going to take 20 people to a meeting but if you have a small team about general campaign effectiveness or meeting with the sales team about collaboration, sales and marketing enablement, those meetings, to those meetings, you can take your team. Not to a scrum meeting.

But what I have seen is letting team members create their own reports and understanding their own reports is very important. They get matured enough to understand how the data fits right.
They will start slowly, slowly connecting the dots here. They are essentially stakeholders.

If you give someone ownership, they become a bit mature and they think of things that you normally would not. They come up with a lot of AB testing that help them improve the platform. So it helps you as an overall metric, but it helps them as well. It helps in the experimentation also.

You might think that this is not working because of x reason, and they bring up a whole different angle to it, and then you come up with something that works very well.

Structuring meetings to save time

How can we have a really well structured meeting that minimizes time for all the members?

Ashwin: We have started using a structure for our meetings which is helping us a lot. You might have heard about the Employee Operating System (EOS). You can read more about it in the book- What the heck is EOS?

The concept helps us organize meetings and make them more fruitful. Earlier, since there was no structure, we were beating around the bush to come to the main results as we discussed. Now, we share a document called Standup Meeting Document. There are various sections called good news, then task status and then tasks for the day and thereafter issues and ideas. These are bullet points that we share, not much explanation required. In the end, there is a summary. So these five sections, everyone will write, for what are these five things for them that happens before the meeting starts and everyone can see the content.

Earlier, we used to take 90 mins for meetings, now it’s 20 mins.

Tracking different goals for team mates

Everyone has different goals, but the same data. So how to set the goals for each to track easily?

Pulkit: It’s crucial that you have your goals well defined before setting them on any tool. I would like to answer this with respect to the question in the QnA section. I checked CustomFit tool as I got early access to it. It works very well. You can track visitor behavior and traffic on various pages.

If you are looking for something that Google Analytics offers that is also fine but if you want something visual, then CustomFit works well. GA is very clunky. You have, do end up copying that data and putting it in Excel to get something in a visual way.

Ashwin: Here, the goal setting is one thing and how tracking that goal, whether it's achieved or not, that's a big thing. People tend to spend that big amount of the time just to check. Whether it's on the right track or not. It has to be very easy and convenient. It should be very easy to discover the goals, not track the goals and the history of the goals.

For the same set of the data, different people have different goals. In the same data, I may be thinking with respect to them, some other elements. It should be easy to set the goals. And the other thing is track the progress. Whether the goal is met or not it's important to see how your goals are progressing. This will tell you how to tweak it up or how can you even change the source.

CustomFit Tool for Marketing Data

Ashwin: The entire area came when we started talking with various different marketers and thought of their pain points around tracking their performance on a daily basis along with marketing data. People find it very convenient to work with Canva because it has predefined templates and all one needs is to just fill the template and use them. These templates can be highly important and it can be helpful in getting all the data under one roof.

Our platform is innovative, easy to use and get started. It gives you personalized goal setting as well.