Today I’m talking with Devin Reed, the Head of Content Strategy at Gong, one of our favorite brands — and one of our favorite content minds — to work with.
In this special session from our AMPLIFY event, we’ll get into how Gong is using audio - and video - in unique, interesting ways. And how Devin uses and reuses content to reach his audience where they want to be reached. PLUS, among the amazing things he knows how to do, Devin has a great deal of experience in something Casted has just done, and that’s category creation. In fact, Gong launched their own category, revenue intelligence, using… wait for it… amplified marketing. So let’s jump in and hear from Devin himself.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to our new show, The Amplified Marketing Podcast, where we get into the challenges that content marketers face. And, we look at the brands who are already knocking down obstacles and raising the quality of their content with a little something called amplified marketing. Makes sense, right? It's what we preach here at Casted and we have from the very beginning, how to create the most meaningful content and then get the most traction from that content by ringing it out and amplifying it across all channels. These interviews, for our first season, were recorded as part of a very special event, where we officially kick started this new approach to content marketing. And, we dive into the components of amplified marketing, the strategies that work best and we reveal just how much of an impact this new approach can have on your business. But, we also explore all the ways amplified marketing makes life easier and more efficient for the content marketers out there who, like so many of us, are struggling to be creative, and relevant and cut through the noise. This is where the change begins. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted, the first and the only amplified marketing platform for B2B marketers. And this is our new podcast. Today, I'm talking with Devin Reed. He's the head of content strategy at Gong, which is one of our favorite brands, not to pick favorites. And also, one of our favorite content marketing minds to work with. Once upon a time, though, Devin actually worked somewhere else, and it was Gong's blog that actually caught his eye and drew him to the company in the first place. The insights it uncovered were unlike anything anyone else was doing, and it had a unique tone of authority and approachability that really resonated with the audience. And, with Devin. You know, all the things content marketers are striving for today. So since he actually did go and join Gong, and where he is now, Devin actually continued to lean into creating standout content, but not just in written form. In his special session for our Amplified event, we get into how Gong is using audio and video in really unique and interesting ways. And, how Devin uses and reuses content to reach his audience and amplify that content, to be where they want to be reached. Plus, among the very amazing things he knows how to do, Devin has a great deal of experience in something Casted is literally in the midst of doing right now, while you're watching this session. That's category creation. In fact, Gong launched their own category, revenue intelligence, using, wait for it... What do you think I'm going to say? Amplified marketing. So let's jump in, and hear from Devin himself.
Devin Reed: My name is Devin Reed. I'm the head of content strategy at Gong. Really, what that means is I lead the content team that is in charge of brand building and building pipeline, typically top- of- funnel, mid- funnel content. Think sales research, webinars, email marketing, social media and we help with events as well. Fun backstory, I actually started as a sales rep at Gong in 2017, when we were 40- ish employees. Two years in, literally picked up my desk, well not the desk itself but everything on it, walked across the hall and became Gong's sixth marketer, where I started content marketing and we built that out into more of a strategic role, and scaled the team to I think four or five folks today.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Very cool. I kind of wish that part of the story was you moved your actual desk.
Devin Reed: I've you've seen them, they're these really big, standing desks with the motor. As strong as I'd love to think I am, there's no way I would be able to do that.
Lindsay Tjepkema: All the more reason that would make the story even better, Devin.
Devin Reed: Yeah. It's like in the movies, you see people with the box when they get fired or something. They're like, " Oh, here's my stuff." I picked it up and I'm walking across the hall. All the salespeople were shouting positive and negative things, teasing me. And then, I literally go across the hall, I put it down. I can see all the people, it's right there. So it was funny, I didn't get fired but I'm over here now, to the dark side as I call it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Well, there's a lot of marketers watching this right now and we all think you got promoted.
Devin Reed: Yeah. It's all perception. But no, I'm happy I made the jump. I know not too many salespeople move into content marketing, but it's worked out so far.
Lindsay Tjepkema: The man. Okay, we'll have to maybe have you on the podcast and do an entire session on that, because the background as a salesperson going into marketing, obviously it's serving you well now. There's a lot of value there. But, we're not going to talk about that now. We're going to talk about Gong, and you and the Gong brand because Gong is on fire. I'm not just saying that because you're here. It really is. You guys are everywhere, you're doing some really cool stuff, it's a cool looking brand, you're saying great things. Tell me how, specifically, content, that's your jam, how has that played a role in building this amazing, on fire, rocket ship of a brand?
Devin Reed: Yeah. I give credit to our CEO and our CMO, and not just because they might be listening to this at one time. But, just talking to other marketers, a lot of times it's really hard to get executive buy- in for marketing, especially content marketing. It's one of those things where I think a lot of people are on the consumer side and they enjoy content, but not a lot of people, at least yet, are in the executive positions, creating line items and going, " Yeah, let's give content a big budget." Our CEO used to be a CMO, our CMO completely believes in brand, the power of content and so it's been really helpful to have leadership at the top saying, " Yes, this is something we should invest in." A big part of it was to create an audience early on. Our category is revenue intelligence, we can get into that in a little bit. That wasn't always our category. But, we're a vendor in a tech sales space. That's how a lot of companies are viewed right now. As a vendor in this space, maybe you have one of those little squares in that big landscape image we've all seen that was, I don't know, 10,000 marketing or martech vendors. Udi and Amit, our CMO and CEO, really wanted to create an audience and be different. That was a big thing. Udi always says, " Different is better than better." We weren't trying to be another blue logoed company. No offense if you have a blue logo, but there's just so many of them out there. We didn't want to sound like everybody else. When I joined, we already had some pretty good momentum from Chris Orlob, who is our senior director of product marketing but he did a lot of content marketing. What him and Amit decided to do was to build a data backed sales blog. Now, the reason behind that was because, if you looked at the landscape for content in the sales world, it was often times based on just anecdotal experience. " I've been in sales for 20 years, here's what I've seen. I've been in sales for 12 years and financial services, here's what I learned." To be different they said, " Hey, let's look at our database, our product users, people that are... " Really quick background for those who might not know, capturing sales calls, sales emails, sales meetings. " Let's take insights from that and provide actionable insights for sales reps and leaders. That will be how we'll be different." We were blue at first, by the way. We were blue. But then, we moved to purple and pink. We've got a bulldog as our chat bot on Drift. We have a very specific tone, that's authoritative but also approachable, because we have, I think Udi called it" pop science." It's science, but it's very approachable. We're not doing tons of in- depth equations on our customer facing content, it's very digestible. Because of those things, and we can dive into them a little bit more, we very specifically picked a different route than the vendors next to us so that, again, we could really benefit our audience, stand out and then start to build these audiences on different platforms, which helped create the momentum that you mentioned today.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. I think you're getting into it a little but, but tell me about Gong Labs, and what that is and how you use that to create content across multiple channels.
Devin Reed: Yeah. Chris and Amit created this blog, probably four or five years ago now. It was the first true content pillar. So what Gong does, as a technology, is we capture all these different customer facing interactions that sales and customer success people have. Again, sales emails, meetings, et cetera. Because our point of view as a business, the revenue intelligence point of view, is sales leaders should be using data not opinions to drive their business forward. We're thinking, " Okay, how can we extend that point of view to our content?" With the background that I just shared. So it was, I think every two weeks or so, Chris would write this blog that would either confirm things in sales that people have already known, or for the most part, kind of flip things on their head and show things like, " Hey, here's the optimal talk time for a sales rep on a sales call." No one had ever talked about that. Fun, anecdotal fact is that's actually the blog that caught my eye when I was at a different company. I read that blog, thought it was awesome, and ended up applying and joining the team.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. See? That's important to remember. You're not just acquiring new customers, you're acquiring team members, and advisors, and investors all the time.
Devin Reed: Exactly, exactly. They launched that and it had been starting to pick up steam. When I joined about two and a half years ago, the first thing was, " Take over that blog," because it was really successful. And then, the next part was, looking at my skillset... Chris is a great author, he's a really good writer. I like to think I'm good, but I also know that I'm decent on video. I can present really well, I was in sales for six years, I'm used to that. My initial thought was, " How can I think what's already working and continue doing that?" Writing the blogs and doing the research, but also take that same content that I know is really popular with our audience and turn it into video content. And then later, as we'll talk about, turn it into podcasts because my teaching background knows that people learn in different ways. Some people might subscribe to a blog and never listen to a podcast, or vice versa. My thought was, " How can we take what we know works and put it across different channels and medium to make sure that as many people as possible get access to it."
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. You're really toeing the line with amplified marketing, at least how we coin that term and how we define that. It's starting with one thing and ringing it out across multiple channels, and then measuring its impact on the brand. Before we get there, though, what are some of the challenges or downfalls or problems with content marketing as we know it? Because you're approaching things, and did approach things, in a different way. You started here and said, " How can we use this thing across multiple channels? How can we do this to build an audience?" As opposed to, quite often we see things, prioritizing algorithms and how do we increase ranking.
Devin Reed: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: You got creative first. Tell me how you've seen different challenges, and then we'll get into how you think people can overcome them.
Devin Reed: Sure. I think there's two challenges, or maybe two things that prevent content marketing teams, or efforts and individuals from being successful. The first is I guess a little more philosophical on my part, which is everything starts with the reader. You have to prioritize your audience first. It drives me crazy when I see product marketing disguised or cloaked as content marketing. Which is, " Hey, here's 10 ways to boost your productivity. Number one is XYZ. Number two is buy our product." That's not really providing value. You're putting yourself, your company, your product ahead of your audience. I believe that knowing your audience deeply is the superpower for marketing teams. Obviously, having been a sales rep, and then coming over and marketing to salespeople, I totally understand that benefits me in my journey. But, it's one of the main reasons I've been successful, because if I went to GitHub two and a half years ago and started marketing to developers, I wouldn't have been nearly as successful because I don't understand their pains, I don't know how they talk about their problems and so on. I think one of the big things is really understanding your audience deeply, and then prioritizing them, ruthlessly prioritizing them. Providing value over, and over and over again because what it does is it builds credibility. If they see your name or your company name on an email, they're going to open it. If they see that you're hosting an event, they're going to sign up for it because they trust you.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Absolutely.
Devin Reed: I think the other big thing for content is just too high of expectations with too low of resources, honestly. Sometimes, it lacks focus. I think sometimes when you look, " Hey, we're doing webinars, we're doing blogs, we're doing podcasts but it's not really resulting in much," a lot times it's because either one, you're spread too thin and you're not doing any of them really well. Or two, there's no real core content strategy behind the content marketing. Content strategy is the what and the why, the content marketing is the how, putting pen to paper and making it effective. I think if people have a strong content strategy that aligns with some of their strategic goals, launching a category can be one of them, then you can really have more effective content marketing.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Love it, love it. Audience first and approach things strategically.
Devin Reed: Yeah, exactly.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Sounds fair. Okay. Speaking of strategery, tell me about this category that you created. This is pretty meta. So here we are, Casted, we're launching a category, amplified marketing. You launched a category. Well, all of Gong, it wasn't just you.
Devin Reed: Yeah. No way I would even think to take full credit. It truly is a company effort though, we'll get into that. But, it is a big effort for sure.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. What drove that? I say all the time, when people ask me what we're doing, " Well, we're creating a category, not because it's fun." Although, there are elements of it that are definitely fun but it's definitely not a reason to do it. And not because it's easy, because man oh man...
Devin Reed: No, it's not easy.
Lindsay Tjepkema: It is the opposite of easy. What drove Gong to do this thing?
Devin Reed: It came from Amit and Udi, again. I'm very gracious I got to work at Gong at this time. I don't know how to describe it yet, it's like either a layer of marketing or the secret speakeasy of marketing that not many people even know about, which is category creation. I didn't really know what it was until I got to be a part of the planning process, and hearing from it. My cohost on the podcast, Sheena Badani, was hired to be our category designer. If you want to do a sequel with her, she can give you the full span as the point guard on the initiative. But, you probably heard of it, I don't even know, other categories. You hear in passing, you're reading TechCrunch, you're seeing the funding announcements. You're familiar with the concept, but understanding the real why behind it's interesting. The way that Amit shared was basically, " Look, you can join a category that already exists today and start competing with number one, number two, number three, number four." You're the bottom of the rank, you're the new guy, the new gal and you have to claw your way up to try to get some market share. The other way to do it is to create your own category which is saying, " Hey, I'm going to create my own playing field and I'm going to position myself as number one." Now, that alone, right there, if you just acknowledge that and you come up with a name and you're like, " I'm going to be number one," that's really, really hard. But to say, " Okay, now let's build it," you'll start to get market signals like people using the name amplified marketing, for example, or revenue intelligence. You see folks like, I don't know, partners, they're gravitating towards you, clients are using it. I don't want to water down coining a new term, but it's like slang, how slang catches on. If you're going to make up a word, you have to get other people to use that word otherwise it doesn't really have much meaning. It's one of those things where you can have a huge competitive advantage if people view you as the creator and leader of this new market.
Lindsay Tjepkema: And on top of all that, that's the big why. And then, in order to win you also have to be compelling, and add value and make sense. And, educate the entire world about something that's net new. Because you said something earlier, " Better isn't better, different is better." I might have changed that around. It's not necessarily all about being a better version of something else. Being something that's different and solving a problem in a different way, there's a lot of opportunity there and a lot of value to be delivered to an audience.
Devin Reed: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. There's a cool book called Play Bigger. I think you may have, Lindsay, told me you read it, too.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I did. I think it's behind me.
Devin Reed: I love that book. If anyone wants to read anything on category creation, that's the book I send them to. But, it's phenomenal because there's a lot of data that they do some research to justify. Ironically, their point of view, their category creation is category creation so it gets super meta there. But, they show the financial rewards, too, of building this market and being first. You get, I think, 75% of the market share if you're number one. It's 10 or 12, I might be getting the numbers a little wrong, if you're number two. That's what Amit always said early on, " Don't worry about the competition or what perceived competition is like, stay focused on our point of view, what we're doing, why we're doing it and just be the best version of that." If you just build the team around that, build your product around that, it does take a lot of time. It is fun. It is very hard. But at the end, it's worth it if you can pull it off.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. There's a lot of work, especially for marketers, because you're not only building... You're wearing two hats, you're kind of doing two jobs. You're building this brand around the category, but also building this brand around the brand, and you're growing both and you're educating around both. Yeah, that's huge. That's huge. Tell us about how Gong used revenue intelligence as a category to grow and how amplified marketing played a role in that. I guess, let's back up from there. How did you launch the category? What did that actually looked like? We talked about strategy, and getting strategic in approaching your audience. What did that look like?
Devin Reed: It's funny, because I was so excited for this event to be in- person because one of my all- time favorite experiences was our Lightning Strike event launching revenue intelligence, back in 2019.
Lindsay Tjepkema: We tried!
Devin Reed: Don't get me wrong, this will still be amazing. But, I just know the energy and the vibe, it's really hard to capture. We did a Lightning Strike event and we hosted the first ever revenue intelligence summit, we called it Celebrate: The Revenue Intelligence Summit, back in 2019. The goal was to throw an industry event that launched and evangelized revenue intelligence. So keynote is Amit on stage saying what is this revenue intelligence thing and why did we create it, but really why do you need it, so that was what kicked it off. I was lucky enough to host it, which was super fun. We just got really top level speakers to come and share different angles of what revenue intelligence is. It was very thought leadership focused. I don't think there's anything about the product, if I can remember correctly. There wasn't a product demo or anything, as part of it. It's very market centric. It's why you, the audience, why you even care about this and then providing a ton of value, to condition them early that there's a value based relationship there. So we had folks like Jeffrey Moore... I always forget her name, but she's the chief people officer at Netflix, she's really well known, had her. We had Steve Kerr, the Warriors coach, for any basketball fans. We had this really big lineup and some great panels of different speakers. To launch the content channel, which is where I really came into the picture, was we took three of those folks... It was Mark Roberge, ex- CRO from HubSpot, the woman whose name I'm really upset that I can't remember right now from Netflix. Lindsay, I think you're searching it, which is totally understandable. Oh, sorry. I thought I saw your hands go to the keyboard. And, Ed Calnein, CRO at Seismic. All those folks had an onstage session, or keynote or something. And then, Sheena, afterwards, just pulled them aside for 15 minutes to do a quick interview. We used those three initial interviews to launch Reveal, the revenue intelligence podcast, which was our follow- up in the way that we wanted to build content around revenue intelligence and evangelize that point of view.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah, I couldn't find it fast enough.
Devin Reed: That's okay. I didn't mean to press you. I thought I saw hands go to the keyboard so I was like-
Lindsay Tjepkema: I did.
Devin Reed: I love you for solving it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: It's okay, we'll come back.
Devin Reed: It's okay.
Lindsay Tjepkema: We'll link to it here.
Devin Reed: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: There we go.
Devin Reed: It's all good.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Okay. Before it was amplified marketing, it was let's take something and get as much value out of it as possible. I was there, which is part of why Casted and amplified marketing exists. You were there. A lot of us, over the last few years, have tried to do that. So okay, how can I start with something, how can I go to the subject matter experts, how can I go to the people that my audience is going to be super duper excited to hear from and capture really authentic, interesting, engaging conversation or session. And yes, present that and have that be live, or in- person, or what we're doing right now, and then ring it out and continue to get more value. Because why in the world would you have this huge Lightning Strike event, which if you read Play Bigger you'll hear all about Lightning Strike events, which is exactly what this is. You're trying to make a really big explosion and get everybody excited about what you're doing. Why in the world would you leave it there, when you could continue to get more, and more, and more value as a return on all of that effort that you put into that big Lightning Strike. It's all of the thunder after the lightning.
Devin Reed: That's a really good analogy. Coin that, keep it, send it to Play Bigger.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I'll get Imagine Dragons to play, it'll be great.
Devin Reed: Yeah. What's a good point though, that you brought up, and I think a lot of people in marketing always forget this, is you have to live the category that you're creating. You have to embody it as an executive, either your CEO... I think it has to be the CEO personally, but at least someone in the C-suite has to embody this in the market and the company has to follow suit. Gong, we have to be super users of revenue intelligence, and Gong, and teach the market how we're using it. Same with you all, you have to be amplified marketing, or else other place aren't going to know who to follow, and best practices, what to expect and that sort of thing. To your point, yeah if you go Lightning Strike event, you really want to extend that shelf life of that content for a whole year because you're going to need that drum beat, month over month, to make sure everyone's still hearing that same consistent message.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah. So for you, that was in 2019 you said?
Devin Reed: Yes.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. And then, from there on out, you were able to ring out that content and launch a podcast from it. And then, from that podcast, you're still even ringing that out. So you had Lightning Strike, and then the amplification of all of that content. And then, you have the content that's in the podcast, some of which is amplified from that Lightning Strike. And then onward, you do even more from that. You've got amplification on amplification.
Devin Reed: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Tell me what that's been like for you.
Devin Reed: Yeah. That's why I was really thrilled when you shared what Amplified Marketing was going to be and if I wanted to be a part of it, because same thing I just said, I'm embodying this right now, day- to- day. This isn't some fluffy, cool idea that I'm going to stick to for three months. No, this is how I believe marketing should be done. One was the simple ROI of cost. It costs money to throw an event, host a webinar even if you're not paying for speakers. If you are paying for speakers, it definitely costs something. Udi is just great, CMO, " How are we going to get the most out of these dollars that we're spending?" My other thought is, I don't know, people think it's lazy for some reason, but there's nothing lazy about repurposing content or redistributing it in different ways.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Efficient.
Devin Reed: It's efficient, yeah. I think honestly, Lindsay, it's more fun to come up with new ideas and build new things all the time. The problem is, that doesn't always scale, that doesn't always work. So I learned really early, maybe just from not coming from a marketing background, "If I have gold, I'm going to just keep digging where there's gold. I'm not going to try to build it and they'll come type of mentality." Yeah. To your point, it was like okay, how can we take the Lightning Strike and make it last? That's why we picked a podcast, and I can go into why we picked a podcast now or later if you'd like.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah.
Devin Reed: But, the next part is how can we say... For Reveal, it's specifically content with senior executives and revenue professionals. It's CROs, VP sales, and then we started getting into revenue operations, enablement, a little bit of marketing. We have other channels that I want to feed content to, to this exact persona. We were really good at tactical content, from sales managers and below. I'm like, " Look, I've never been a CRO. No marketer on my team has ever been a VP of sales, or anything even near it." But we have, every week, 45 minutes of unfiltered expertise that you just package a little and it becomes thought leadership. Now, what we're doing is for every episode, how can we not just promote the episode, but amplify the value of that episode while promoting it. And also how can we say, " Okay, of those 45 minutes," to my social media team, " there's got to be three great takeaways. Put it into a quote card, make a social media post out of it," whatever it is and filter our social media strategy. That way, we're not just talking to one persona, but we have content for the executive DMs, the influencers and the end users, which are sales reps.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's beautiful. That's a beautiful thing. Imagine creating all of those things, net new. Trying to...
Devin Reed: Which we've tried.
Lindsay Tjepkema: If you think channel first it's, " How are we going to come up with all this social media content? And, how are we going to come up with all this blog content? And oh yeah, now we also have to do a podcast."
Devin Reed: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's where all of the overwhelm comes from, is that it's channel- by- channel as opposed to start with an expert, or a person or a conversation first, and then ring it out across all those channels. I'm with you.
Devin Reed: For what it's worth, we had not always been this smart. It took time to get to what I just described. We have a social media strategy, we usually post about 15 to 20 times on LinkedIn. Trying to write 15 to 20 great social media posts for different personas, for different messaging, some product marketing, some thought... It can take a long time and it's not that fun. It's much easier and more fun to have a waterfall from the podcast, a waterfall from a webinar. Now, you've got three to five posts you can write. And then you're like, " Okay, I can really have some fun, be creative here and fill the gaps," versus trying to, I don't know, carry water up the cliff to build the waterfall, to go with a mediocre analogy.
Lindsay Tjepkema: I like it because that sounds miserable. You mentioned something really important, you said the word creative. This allows you to be more creative because you're not constantly trying to think of net new, which sounds backwards. Thinking of net new sounds like constantly being creative. But instead, what if you had a nugget that you could just think about different ways, to pull it apart and position it, and reuse it and repurpose it, and get more out of it?
Devin Reed: Well, if you think about it, writing one blog a week is probably fun. It's only one big idea, you get to do some writing, a little editing. It's not stressful.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Right.
Devin Reed: But if I say, " All right, I need five blogs from you this week," it's not that fun because you have the yolk of expectations and responsibilities. That a lot of work. So you might start cutting corners, you might get burned out after week three because now you're like, " What else do I write about?" It's almost like selective creativity, you know what I mean?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.
Devin Reed: Let's be efficient where it makes sense to be efficient, and let's be creative and have fun where those opportunities open up.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned why podcasts. Why did you choose a podcast?
Devin Reed: Yes. Really quick, funny backstory. I pitched Udi a podcast probably two years prior, taking Gong Labs and making it a podcast with Chris and myself. It was shut down. I later learned I should have known my audience better, Udi doesn't listen to podcasts. So I was pitching a podcast to someone who just wasn't in the podcast game. But, we did end up doing a LinkedIn Live show with that content. I always joke, I went from edited audio content to live video content, somehow. Despite being in sales, I didn't negotiate that one very well but it was fun.
Lindsay Tjepkema: inaudible.
Devin Reed: Yeah, I still got a show, it still worked great, it ran a couple seasons. But no, then we were talking about, " Hey, this Lightning Strike's coming up. How are we going to... " Not just the waterfall aspect, but how are we going to evangelize revenue intelligence via content for the next 10 years? We did a little bit of research and we said, " Okay, if our core persona, if we had one type of person consuming this content, it would be a CRO or a head of sales," I'll put those, same thing. We interviewed head of sales and CROs. I went to our head of sales. I'm like, " Brian, I need 10 minutes, I'm going to ask you very pointed questions. I want you to give me knee- jerk, honest responses. What do you hate about content marketing today?" A similar- ish question you started with today. " Okay, Brian, when you do decide to create content, where are you in your life?" He's like, " Well, I'm busy." This was pre- pandemic. He's like, " I'm traveling a lot, so anything I can put my headphones into and listen to, that's really convenient. If I'm on the train, I love to double dip my time," stuff like that. Okay, so ease of use is part of it. The other one was length. He's like, " Make it digestible, so make it something I can get in and get out, that I don't need to commit an hour to." And then the last one was, he had said what I call the lonely at the top, which is he doesn't have access to a lot of other CROs who have the same challenges at a similar type of company. He has his circle of friends, everyone has their executive network. But, to really reach outside of that is really challenging. We thought speaking of headphones, you can just listen to it. We can do an interview style show, getting the best of the best revenue leaders, the folks at Shopify, LinkedIn, Spotify, and really just go deep on one thing that is a strategic initiative or a really great story that would provide value to other CROs. We landed on a podcast. We try to get it to 30- ish minutes, it's still taking us a little time to get it truncated. But, we're around that 40, 45 minute mark. It's okay if they don't consume the whole thing. But, the goal is how can we provide thought leadership that's pure value, and then we slide in a question or two around revenue intelligence. But we don't call it that, because most people don't know what it is. Even our clients who've been with us for two years, we're like, " How do you use revenue intelligence today?" They're like, " I don't know what that is." We would change it to, " Hey, Lindsay, you just told me about a customer marketing campaign," I don't know, not the best example. " How do you measure that today? What are some of the insights that you gleaned? Or, some of the things you thought were true, then you looked at data and realized, actually, something else is happening in my market, in my business, et cetera." It's going a level deeper, ask almost revenue intelligence discovery questions. That way, when we leave, we have two things. One, hopefully the listener is getting value from the thought leadership and also educated on what revenue intelligence is. But two, in the same way, I now have waterfall content for pure thought leadership and I can evangelize what revenue intelligence is because, " Hey, here's the North American VP of sales at Spotify saying, here's essentially how I use revenue intelligence for my business." It's a very thin veil, but it works really well.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, it does. It's very clear, and it's very straight forward and it's engaging. I'm guessing, I'm thinking you probably had some good results. Anything that you've seen come through as a result?
Devin Reed: Yeah. We've had two good things. In the podcast game, the data is hard to come by so ironically, despite being so data focused, the Spotifys and the Apples of the world, they don't give us much. Which is, shameless plug, why we moved over to Casted, or at least part of it, was to try to get some insight here and some help on the distribution. We got to 100, 000 downloads in the first 18 months. We're not Joe Rogan, so I have no clue what benchmark that is, but 100K felt nice when we hit it. The other thing was, and we can dive into the how if we want, but I set up a bit of a test strategy to try to get prospects onto Reveal. Once we were about a year in, we have our bearings, we know how we're distributing, we feel pretty good. I wanted to see how we could help our upmarket revenue efforts, we're trying to move upmarket. How can we get enterprise prospects, who probably won't take a meeting or are really hard to get a response from, maybe we can introduce them to Gong by just getting them on the podcast. We were able to do that with a VP of sales, had a great conversation with her. And, one of those revenue intelligence discovery questions we slipped in there and she basically said, " Hey, the most valuable thing to me is voice of the customer." I said, " Fantastic." We wrap it up, we publish it. A couple weeks later, I upload that interview into Gong so it's transcribed and you can see the whole thing. I tag the SDR, right at that point and I was like, " Here's your ammo to go reach out to them and say why they need Gong." She did so, they got an initial meeting. It took a few months because it was an enterprise deal, but it ended up closing over$100, 000 in revenue, sourced from the podcast. Which was very cool, didn't show up on any dashboard. I just showed some receipts and stuff to leadership, just so they could get an understanding, " Hey, this isn't just a top- of- funnel, brand awareness, category evangelical play, you can get real revenue out of your podcast if you know how to do it."
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, it can be both because you're serving your audience first. I'm sure it was an awesome interview.
Devin Reed: Exactly.
Lindsay Tjepkema: First and foremost. But then it's, "Also, there you go, sales team."
Devin Reed: Yeah. Yeah, it was great. You can also use that to prospect outward, to other VPs of sales. People post about it all the time, or have it in their description, on what they care about. After you've ran 10 to 20 episodes of your podcast, assuming you do the interview style, you're going to have a lot of clips of people saying what you want them to say but it's not forced and it's not overly polished. You can use that and use that for prospecting, outbound messaging, tons of stuff.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's wonderful. That's awesome. Well, great. In conclusion, is there anything that you would share with our audience today, or even me, about category creation and leveraging amplified marketing to make the most of a big launch?
Devin Reed: Yeah. Deep breaths, because I feel like I shared a lot and it's such a dense thing. But I would say, if you're considering launching a category just make sure you have a longterm vision for it. And make sure, like I mentioned earlier, you embody it as a company, you have an executive sponsor for it. For amplified marketing, it's much easier. Start yesterday. I'm not just saying that because the forum we're in today. It's gotten to the point, on my team, where every content marketer on my team has a playbook for their domain. They know, " Hey, if I host a webinar, here's the follow- up things we're doing to get the most out of this." I would say, if you're trying to launch new, maybe you're starting a webinar series for the first time, or if you're starting social media, you want to take a stab at LinkedIn for example, look at what you're already doing today and amplify that for these new channels and new projects, before trying to come up with something net new. It'll save you a lot of time, potentially a lot of heartache and I think you'll have better results because well, candidly, it's worked for us.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for sharing so candidly here, and for being a part of this big launch on our side. And, congrats on yours.
Devin Reed: Thank you for having me, I appreciate it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's our show. Thanks so much for being here. And to learn more about Gong and the insights that Devin shared with us today, make sure to visit gong. io and check out Reveal, the revenue intelligence podcast. To learn more about Casted and how we can help you, visit casted. us and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to find out about all things amplified marketing, B2B podcasting, audio and video content, and so much more.