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Episode 253: Marketing Full Stack Error Monitoring with Kirti Dewan of Bugsnag

Episode Summary

During this episode of Tech Qualified, Tristan Pelligrino and Justin Brown talk with Kirti Dewan, the VP of Marketing at Bugsnag. Kirti chats about her role as a consultant prior to joining Bugsnag and then takes us through some of the major marketing initiatives she’s spearheading at the company. Kirti has a wide range of marketing leadership experience with startups and brings a lot to the table with her role at Bugsnag.

Episode Highlights

  • Kirti discusses a bit about her background both as a consultant and as an employee  for various startup tech companies.
  • Kirti talks about Bugsnag and its mission to be an application stability and management platform.
  • Bugsnag helps companies capture errors and then prioritize and fix the errors within their development lifecycle.
  • When Kirti joined the team, it had three employees on the marketing side – now she leads a team of six.
  • When coming on board, Kirti had to focus on a lot of the foundational components to marketing – the marketing function inside a young company tends to need a lot more structure before growing too much.
  • Kirti discusses the responsibilities of a marketing organization now, it’s very difficult to be both tactical and strategic at the same time.
  • Documentation was a big focus for the team as it started to build out various functions, especially for events.
  • Kirti discusses the importance of communicating feature launches with their product, especially for those that are very important to the customer base.
  • Kirti built out a lot of foundational elements for their content marketing – including explainer videos and other long-form materials.
  • During the interview, Kirti talked about how she helped change the structure of the company so that content became a focus and a responsibility for everyone.
  • Kirti described marketing and marketing initiatives as a “laser pointer” and how it’s important not to chase other projects or try to “boil the ocean.”
  • As a startup, you can’t place your bets all over the place – it’s important to focus on a few channels and go deeper with strategy and tactics.
  • Kirti discusses the development of their ABM strategy, which isn’t a “full blown strategy” – but a strategy that has a focus on segmentation.
  • At Bugsnag, the company divides their content into four different “swim lanes” – areas focused on engineering, product features, thought leadership and sales enablement.
  • The team develops a set of content initiatives for the entire quarter and assigns writers to each of the pieces to ensure a consistent cadence.
  • Bugsnag is fortunate to have excellent writers within their development team and these folks contribute greatly to the highly technical content featured on the organization’s website.
  • In many cases, Kirti uses an audio interview with executives to drive content pieces – this allows team members to just “riff” and produce content at the same time.

Key Points

  1. Kirti stated “The responsibilities within a marketing organization are quite immense. So you are down in the weeds. 10 minutes later, you’re really high up at 30,000 feet. You’re trying to be so strategic. So it’s this constant gear switching, context switching that has to happen in the brain…”
  2. Kirti discussed the status of marketing teams at SaaS companies and how many marketing teams struggle to get respect with product-driven companies, “…So depending upon the type of company that you are…marketing can be a different junk drawer, different place of respect. And what happened at Bugsnag is it is very difficult, like other SaaS companies in that it is very, very product driven.”

Resources

Full Transcript

Tristan Pelligrino: [00:00:00]  Well. Hello and welcome to another episode of Tech Qualified. I’m Tristan Pelligrino and I’m here with my business partner at Motion, Justin Brown.

[00:00:35] Justin Brown: [00:00:35] Hello everyone.

[00:00:36] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:00:36] This episode of Tech Qualified is brought to you by Motion, a marketing agency that focuses on the strategy and development of thought leadership programs for B2B technology companies. And today our guest is Kirti Dewan, the VP of marketing at Bugsnag. Kirti. Thanks for joining us today.

[00:00:53] Kirti Dewan: [00:00:53] Thank you for having me. Pleasure.

[00:00:54]Tristan Pelligrino: [00:00:54] All right. Well, to give our audience a little background on yourself, can you walk us through some of your previous work experience and then what you’re up to today about Bugsnag.

[00:01:04] Kirti Dewan: [00:01:04] Sure.  So I’ve been at Bugsnag for close to a year and a half now. When I joined them, I was the Consulting VP of Marketing. I had been consulting for about two years then. So came into a consulting capacity into the company…  and this was back in the summer of 2018. Transitioned to a employee position in December of 2018, which has been really awesome.

[00:01:30] Since then prior to Bugsnag, as I said i had been consulting  with a variety of companies, large ones, startups. And before that I had worked at three startups as well as at some large companies. Uh. VMware Mercury Interactive which was acquired by HP,  Gartner as an Analyst. and way, way back, I was in a Sales Engineer.

[00:01:53] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:01:53] All right, great. And then with your role at Bugsnag, you know, you transitioned, like you said, into that employee role. Tell us a little bit about Bugsnag and,  just to give our audience a better sense of what that does in the types of customers that you typically work with.

[00:02:09]Kirti Dewan: [00:02:09] Sure. So a Bugsnag is a stability application stability  and management platform. The company is, seven years old. We are a startup in San Francisco, about 50 people at the company. What we do is, as the name says, we snag bugs. So we detect errors that happen across Mobile applications, Web applications, as well as server side applications. So we’d like to say we’re your full stack error monitoring.

[00:02:39]We capture errors, we then help you prioritize and fix the errors to the mantra of the company is that not all bugs are worth fixing. You should only fix the bugs that matter. And so people ask us, well, How would I do that? So Bugsnag capabilities, and the tool set provide you with the insights and the mechanisms so that you can go about deciding which bugs are important.

[00:03:05]So we have something called search and segmentation, which is quite valuable to our customers cause you can really then say, I want to segment by for instance, our top VIP customers. And if those bucks come in, then those are the ones that I’m definitely going to fix first before I continue building code. To the different mechanisms like this, by which we help you tackle the bugs that are coming in and addressing them. And we also give you lots of insights and lots of ways by which you can go about fixing these bugs very easily as well. Our client Roster is typically large companies as well as huge enterprises. We see  them coming to box snack a lot for their Mobile applications, especially since Mobile applications are becoming more front and center of everyone’s business now.

[00:03:51] And so Mobile engineering teams that tend to be a lot on the forefront of managing these applications and really owning them, from start to bottom. Are the ones who are very interested in a solution like Bugsnag. We have a diverse pool of companies as well because we see some mid size and small size companies coming in using Bugsnag for their applications too. But then the applications may be smaller in size and not as outwardly facing or not as mission critical to the business as some of these larger companies.

[00:04:23] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:04:23] All right. Perfect. And you had mentioned that, you were serving in a consulting capacity, right? That’s how you got engaged initially and then made the transition in the full time.

[00:04:31] So what, can you talk a little bit about the growth of the company during your time period? And you mentioned it’s a startup. you mentioned 50 people at the company right now.

[00:04:41] Kirti Dewan: [00:04:41] Yep. It’s about 50 people right now. Expecting a lot of growth, this year in terms of people as well as how we scale the business. When I joined the company, we were probably about 35 or so.  and since then we’ve definitely grown. Most of the growth has been on the engineering side. This year we’re definitely going to ramp up our efforts on the Business and the Commercial side.

[00:05:07]On the Marketing team. When I joined there were three full time people. And since then, we’ve grown to about six full time people. We also have a Contractor who works for us part-time, and we’ve also brought on three different agencies. So a lot of growth has happened on the marketing side and but continuing to build that as well. So we’ll probably bring in quite a few more people disruptive.

[00:05:38] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:05:38] All right. Sounds good. And  when you got involved, what did the structure of the marketing team look like? Did you set up a lot of the foundational components? Like, you know, just within the marketing infrastructure itself, or what was the landscape there.

[00:05:53]Kirti Dewan: [00:05:53] When I joined the composition of the team was we had someone on the Demand-gen side. Another person was doing Content Marketing and the third person was a hybrid between Events. So Event Marketing as well as some Developer relations. And, we really had to look at the marketing function as a whole.

[00:06:15] Really see where their gaps are and really try to figure out which things needed to be built out first, to a marketing as a function inside the company is a pretty young function. And so there was a ton that had to be done so. Some things had to be built from scratch and very, very foundational things. And I’ll come to them in a minute. Somethings were running pretty well, so, but they had to be tweaked and refined a little bit more made tighter and  somewhere in the middle. So we had to analyze them and see whether we should move them forward or whether they should just keep humming along at the base that they were.

[00:06:51] So a bunch of instrumentation, a bunch of tooling, a bunch of plumbing, bunch of analysis, had to go into the various parts of the marketing business. And as you can very well imagine nowadays, that marketing is so broad and at the same time, so deep and marketing every day it goes deeper and deeper into the funnel.

[00:07:10] And so. The responsibilities within a marketing organization are quite immense. So you are down in the weeds. 10 minutes later, you’re really high up at 30,000 feet. You’re trying to be so strategic. So it’s this constant gear switching, context switching that has to happen in the brain, but we not only these different functions, but also the altitude at which you need to function because you’re down in the weeds.

[00:07:34] You know, you’re being the player you’re in there with the team and then you go all the way up to 30,000 feet and then you’re like, wait a minute. Now this is telling me what the 360 degree view is, and then you have to be coach and mentor and guide everyone. So the different areas that we had to look at.

[00:07:54] So we started with the Demand generation side first looked at the campaigns that we were running, how we were doing things and decided to become a lot more targeted. And when we set targeted we actually became Hyper targeted. So we rolled out an ABM campaign, which has been pretty successful for us.

[00:08:14] So started there, then went on to look at our Event strategy, when I joined Bugsnag and I asked the question, where are the leads from this conference. Everyone just looked at me. And so they were like, Oh, you know, in our space we, developers don’t like to be scanned. And if they are, then we cannot email them or market back to them.

[00:08:35] And I said, no, you can do that anywhere on the planet. So where where are the leads? And it was like, no, no, we, you know, we don’t do that. We don’t have any leads. So it was really setting up the process from a very foundational aspect. Documenting everything about what happens when you go to an event, and then what you do at the event, and then when you leave the event, what is the followup need to look like and what are those handoffs look like, and what does that communication look like. And we’ve come a super long way since that time when I started with just with constantly improving our, event management process. It’s, quite, it’s come to a pretty impressive point as of now. So that’s been great, to really look at the event strategy, looked at the types of events we were going to, looked at event processes, looked at how we want to present ourselves at events.

[00:09:28]If we did our entire goals and objectives as to why we go to events and made sure people were not getting burned out by going to the events. Because again, there wasn’t really a process on how even boots, shelling and staffing would take place. And, you know, people were just super tired and the productivity loss was quite a bit to look at events. And we then, looked, went back to the campaign side and I looked at, how we have. These very, very valuable folks and great leads sitting in our database and that we can, we’re not communicating with them. So we rolled out our first nurture program at the start of, 2019. We’ve seen some great success come out of that.

[00:10:10]Our product marketer joined in April of last year. So that was very helpful because then we started putting in mechanisms, things in place for sales enablement and the different types of broad marketing content pieces that we had to put together. Started looking at, changing the mindset inside the company as to how we do launches.

[00:10:32]We want to do launches because customers think those launches are important, not based on weather Bugsnag believes whether a feature is going to be important to someone or not. If the market says it’s important to the customer, prospect, if they say that it’s valuable to them, that means that it, that needs to be a lot more communication around it.

[00:10:49] So really became outside in focused as opposed to doing everything inside out. so didn’t want to push ourselves out onto the market, which happens at a lot of companies. So we got ourselves there. And we changed the way we were doing that style of Product communications as well.

[00:11:09]We then went onto bid a lot more, on the Content strategy front. Started developing new assets, launched our first set of Explainer videos last summer, there are bunch of other things on making sure that we got a Cadence on our Content strategy. So that’s been working well to do, We got someone to head up our events team in the fall of last year. We did a lot more work on segmentation on measurement, on data, on insights.

[00:11:39] So just a variety of things that we had to look at across the spectrum. You know, Product marketing, Content marketing started with a PR work as well. And a lot of work on the demand gen front as well. So foundational yes, and then as well as Augmenting some of the areas that we already had, but making them a lot more strategic with a very, very sharp eye on execution.

[00:12:06] Justin Brown: [00:12:06] And what approach do you take when you come into a New role? You know, a lot of our listeners  maybe they’re Heads of Marketing or  Directors of Marketing coming into new jobs. How do you build that. Equity with your staff to buy into what you’re saying. You know, you run into this situation where people are going to events and they say, you know, that’s not something that we’ve ever done before.

[00:12:29] That’s not how we do it. What’s your approach to getting people to buy into your methodologies?

[00:12:35] Kirti Dewan: [00:12:35] Yup. That’s a great question. So, Justin, actually when I joined the company, I used to get a lot of that. This is not how it’s done at Bugsnag. This is not how we’ve done it in the past. No, this is to the extent of,   we’ve not done slides this can go in Google slides. You know, we’ve always, it’s just been a page in confluence. So I even had to get buy in to say, let’s put this into a set of slides. Let’s do a deck. It’s fine. You can always link to the deck from the confluence page. So there were little things like this  where the pushback existed for little things like this, all the way to the bigger things do.

[00:13:08] And exactly for what you were saying, you know, Oh, we haven’t done it like this before. So one of the things, that I had done and it came up as an idea when my CEO and I were having a discussion as to how we can really turn the team around because everyone was very skilled. They were very competent, they know what had to get done, they were capable, but because marketing was still so young, and the company had a few not so good moments with previous marketing folks at the helm. So we said, okay, how do we go about to turning this around because we know that the potential exists.

[00:13:46] So one of the things that I landed up doing was a single slide on characteristics of high performing Marketing teams. And for our listeners out there this is not a slide that would, you can just type take out of my playbook and then say, okay, I’m going to use this in my company as well. You can get the idea, but I had four pillars but at the end of the day, every Company is so different and every Marketing team is so different.

[00:14:12] You would need to adjust to those characteristics or what you believe your team needs and what you want your high performing team to look like because again, the definition of high-performing can be different as well. And anyway, so I came up with what it means to be a High performing marketing team inside Bugsnag and what the team needs to do in order to be successful and gain the respect within the organization as well.

[00:14:40] So that single slide, I had no idea that it would have the impact that it did, but I would then in meetings going forward, I would hear, Oh, you know, I’m going to do it this way because you are slide said this, you had a bullet point about this, so I’m going to try this out. And Oh, you know, you are your slide docs about being open about communication, because even if I’m going to miss my deadline, I should say it in advance.

[00:15:07] So that’s why I thought I should let you know. So people were really receptive to it and they absorbed it and they really digested it and then they made it part of their habits or the way they function as well. So I was lucky that the buy in was so great and they’re really helped turn things around.

[00:15:28]And then when I realized that it was having such a positive impact, I could use it more to, it would be like, remember the slide says this? So they’ll go like, yup, yup. Okay. And you know,  let’s try it so i was surprised as well but that really that did help during things around. Plus, I will say that in many marketing, in many organizations, especially in startups. It’s hard for marketing to find a place of its own. Sometimes it can be hard to even prove the exact value of marketing. Sometimes a company may be in a place where, you know, it’s more about content and product marketing and less about customer acquisition or building that funnel up, becoming a lot more insightful about your funnel.

[00:16:16] So depending upon the type of company that you are at marketing can be at a different junk drawer, different place of respect. And what happened at Bugsnag is it is very difficult, like other SaaS companies in that it is very, very product driven. Our Co-founders are both very technical, but at the same time they had the underlying belief as well that there was so much potential here and that this could be turned around.

[00:16:43] And I think the level of belief that they had, it was my job to turn that into trust and confidence. But what I’m trying to say is that  the first big step had already been taken by them. And so I had to do step two and three. It would have been much harder for me if step one didn’t exist either.

[00:17:01] So, because I had the first step and the first, you know they had already lent out their hand and already put out that hand. So half the handshake was already there. So it just meant that let’s do these different things. Let’s execute well, let’s really be very intelligent and smart about the way we’re doing things, very strategic about how we’re doing things, very mindful and purposeful about how we’re doing things.

[00:17:25] And as ROI comes in, as the success comes, the confidence and the trust will come to, Does that, does that help?

[00:17:32] Justin Brown: [00:17:32] Yeah, absolutely. I love the um  it’s not me who’s saying this. It’s the slide. I can’t help it. The slide said that we need to do this.

[00:17:45] Kirti Dewan: [00:17:45] Right, right. Yeah, if you’ve heard this I know a few people who like  I never said this. I voluntold you.

[00:17:51] Justin Brown: [00:17:51] Yeah, exactly. It’s like the whole purpose of, you know, kind of educational content marketing. I didn’t say you should buy my product,  the eBooks said it just listen to the eBook.

[00:18:04] Kirti Dewan: [00:18:04] Right, right. Yeah, so it was you could just say that it was a Marketer trying to speak to Marketers, and then the marketer took that up to the Executive team and to the CoFounders and managed to do a product marketing spin on that. That’s what happens when you got a product marketer.

[00:18:21] Justin Brown: [00:18:21] That’s great. So you were talking a little bit about being strategic with what you’re working on and we have listeners who range from very, very small teams where you have,  VP of marketing is the title, but they don’t have anyone who reports to them. They are running the show.

[00:18:39] Then we have  folks who have bigger teams and teams in house. Can you talk a little bit. About how you strategize and how you prioritize your time. I mean, you mentioned that you have brought on multiple agencies. You’re working with people in house, you’re working with the Executive teams.

[00:18:56] You know, you can’t tackle everything at once when you come into a new organization and try and implement. When you and I had our preproduction meeting, you talked to me a little bit about your 50, 75, 99 approach over a quarter. Can you just elaborate a little bit I really like yours approaches to prioritizing initiatives, making sure that when you bring something on that you’re going to ramp it up and get it to full speed.

[00:19:22]I’ll kick it to you.  do you mind elaborating a little bit on that. Cause I think it’s pretty interesting.

[00:19:27] Kirti Dewan: [00:19:27] Yeah, sure it’s a fun question. So and it’s very top of mind nowadays as well, not just when I had joined. So two words that everyone hears me say nowadays in the office and that is laser pointer.

[00:19:43] And I walk around and say, I have a laser pointer in my hand and it can only point in one direction. The one thing, and this happens to be the thing right now, and I cannot go on around, I cannot focus it anywhere else and therefore that thing can happen and so, that’s how I’ve laid out the marketing plan as well for the first half of the year.

[00:20:02]Again, it’s on a slide, it says laser focus. And I’ve listed out three areas which are going to be, areas of focus. And if I find that anything else is creeping up, which is distracting me from those areas, I basically can go back and say that, Hey, this is a distraction and should it be done?

[00:20:28] It absolutely should will we do it one day. Yes, we will. We’ll we do it now. I don’t think so. So, it really gives a nice frame the conversation, cause it really helps you again, the starting point. The starting point is already like, you know, 25 miles in, you’re already at the 25th milestone when you have to start that discussion.

[00:20:49] You want to starting at milestone one. So on my marker one. So, that’s super helpful in terms of how are things  when I joined and everything had to be either fixed or built,  it was hard. It’s not the easiest thing to do, as you can imagine and people hear me say this in the office as law a lot as well.

[00:21:10] My approach is that. We’re not about boiling the ocean. There are quite a few people in the office who’ve recently, they’ve just had babies or wife who are pregnant. And I’m saying this to them all the time that this may be a little bit graphic, but visually, but you don’t just give birth to a 14 year old, you give birth to this teeny tiny live human thing.

[00:21:34] And so let’s not think that. Everything from the very outset is going to be this perfect thing or even close to perfect or that it has to work in a very tight way and that all the processes around it would be set and that everything in sales for it should already have been there because then the reporting and a measurement needs to be so great as well. And so my approach to everything is we’re not going to boil the ocean, we’re not gonna birth things that are already 14 years old. Think of things as an MVP. You get that out first and then we will keep building from there. If the MVP is good enough, and this is very hard to do and I’ve learned it the hard way.

[00:22:20] I never used to be like this myself. So I’m speaking as though I’ve always done it like this. I am not I’ve struggled with this myself, but I’ve gotten to the point where now I can say with confidence that let’s get the MVP out. I have a sense of when something is MVP and then it’s easier to build upon that.

[00:22:38]So don’t just take a big, big junk bite out of the pie with this huge, huge, massive slice for ourself. Let’s really do it in little bites in little chunks. So we start small and then we just keep phasing it out, you know? And then it’s like 25 50 75 and then we just go from there. And the thing that I like about that approach is because by the time you’re halfway through, you should know whether something is going well or not.

[00:23:10] And so that’s when you start optimizing. That’s when you go back and you say, what’s working and what isn’t? And how this is being managed, Is this about our audience, is this about the person who’s doing this. Because maybe they don’t like that program. Is it because you know of some other external factor that we haven’t thought about.

[00:23:29] Is it something to do with the onboarding experience. Is it that the messaging was not on point. So at that junction you can really look at so many different questions and come up with how you need to correct you’re always looking for that perfect launch and for that perfect output than you already may be  to invest it, do, then go back and it’s already expensive then to go back and start tweaking these finer things. So bite size approach is the way I like to do it.

[00:24:01] Justin Brown: [00:24:01] Yeah, we’re big believers in that as well. We base everything in our business, not everything in our business, but we leverage the Entrepreneurial operating system, which is based on a book written by Gino Wickman called Traction. Highly recommend if anyone is looking for something to read but basically you break down your initiatives.

[00:24:21] In either short term issues that turn into weekly to do’s or they become quarterly rocks.  We try to not do anything that’s going to be a year long initiative. What you find is if you have something over the course of a year. Well, everybody’s going to wait for the most part until month nine anyway, to get started.

[00:24:42] So you try and segment your year into quarters. Is this something that we should be tackling this quarter. Can we get it done in 90 days. And then you go after it. So that we’re firm believers in that as well. And I really like that approach of does it matter and is it going to push us forward and is it something that we should be tackling right now.

[00:25:03] Kirti Dewan: [00:25:03] Right. And I think that at a startup especially, you always need to be placing that right. And you can’t place your bets on everything you can only place them on a few things, or maybe just even on one thing. And so if that’s the way we need to operate. Then that’s, that’s where the focus, needs to be because there’s no way we can get everything done.

[00:25:26] So that’s why it makes it so much easier in terms of Project management as well. When we break things up into smaller pieces, and I really do like the phased rollout approach. You don’t have to do everything in one quarter. Like just, you were saying, you know, is it the daily list or do you do this. Across over three months. So I do like to break things out in phases.

[00:25:49] Justin Brown: [00:25:49] Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show parks and recreation, but there’s a famous quote from Ron Swanson. “Don’t half ass two things whole ass one thing right.”

[00:26:01] Kirti Dewan: [00:26:01] Right? Yep.

[00:26:03] Justin Brown: [00:26:03] So, let’s pivot a little bit here. I know you mentioned that you you said, December, 2018, so you’ve had one full calendar year of using your ABM strategy, if I was listening correctly which is just a huge Shift that we’re seeing, the entire B2B marketing and sales development world take which is approaching things as an account doing things much more targeted much more, focused on that account, on the prospects at that account. Can you talk a little bit about what your ABM strategy was. How you landed on going that approach and, and kind of some of the results that you’ve seen thus far.

[00:26:47]Kirti Dewan: [00:26:47] So, our ABM strategy was before I had joined i think there were some campaigns running. But, they were not as Data-driven. So the number one thing that we did the ABM strategy, which really makes sure that we’re sitting on a foundation of data and intelligence. It’s a very research heavy ABM approach that we’ve taken. So we really look at different companies, We look at their type of applications, we look at usage things like that. So Based on the research that we do, we then come up with companies that we should be targeting and then our ABM approach in ways is not.

[00:27:28] It’s not a full blown ABM cause in some companies they use ABM for Prospecting. Some companies may be using ABM just so that they can drive people to Webinars and they’ll pick these five or 10 companies and then they will customize everything in the marketing journey for those companies.

[00:27:49]So our ABM approach is a little bit more along the lines of a one to many. It’s not just a 5 or 10 or 20 companies, and customizing their entire journey, and customizing and creating specific content for them. We do have a sense of the different applications or the projects that they may be running.

[00:28:11] And so based on that information in Intel. We message them accordingly. And, We do direct mailers. So again, nothing fancy. It’s a direct mail box. Again not any specific customization, but I think that the messaging is very much on point. It’s very, very short. It’s literally, we speak in bullet points and, we’ve seen some great success come out of that. So that’s been helpful for us. We haven’t used any third party tools, we haven’t use any other platforms, it’s just based on the research that we do.

[00:28:52] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:28:52] Alright. And Kirti, I want to dive into a little bit about the content strategy piece. You mentioned that that was one of the team members, that was in place early on, right. At Bugsnag.  So how has that evolved over time. Like how are you selecting what content to pursue, which pieces to dive a little deeper into versus, you know just a blog post and, and cadence that way. Can you talk about the strategy behind your content now?

[00:29:22] Kirti Dewan: [00:29:22] So, the way we look at content is across four different swim lanes. Engineering blogs, which are blogs that we ask our engineers to write, because they really, truly do enjoy doing that.  And they’re right on various sophisticated and advanced topics. So we’ve done to get a lot of traction from the developer community there.

[00:29:41]Then we do product blogs, which will be about our own product feature set and our product rollouts. Then we have thought leadership content, which is coming from our CEO. And we really try to tie that to market trends as well as how we can influence the market and make it quite a visionary, forward looking on the stage two with what is to come. And then the next content piece is whatever it may be tied to sales enablement or the awareness side of the journey. So somewhere from awareness all the way to their evaluation journey point is where we create that content. So the different content pieces are put into these buckets. We look at the cadence on how many we want to do each quarter.

[00:30:32]We then strive to say okay,  who’s going to be owning or writing each of these pieces. It’s a lot of heavy lifting in terms of writing and  we don’t have an army of writers here, so most of us are doing our own writing. So then we try to assign writers to each of those spaces, and then we come up with a timeline on when they’ll go out.

[00:30:53] Because we don’t want our different content pieces to collide with one another. So we make sure that there’s a really nice skate. And so we have that drumbeat. So that’s how we’ve structured the entire content strategy. Sometimes we have to be a little bit reactive, when as those pieces come in or as those ideas or thoughts may come in or we do need to develop our own thought leadership piece or a byline around something that is very relevant at that point in time, then we try to be very, very agile and nimble and come up with that as well. But otherwise, it’s a pretty tight plan that we put in place. And then again, it’s laser focused execution on making sure that happens.

[00:31:34] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:31:34] Yeah, I love the swim lanes that you described and how the various content fits into those different buckets there. And one of the things that we explore a lot on the podcast is just a discussion around how you get some of that, those folks involved on the content side. I mean, you mentioned you have engineers writing like. you know, taking a deep dive into some topics, right. So how have you been able to enable that cause for a lot of the folks that we work with and have on the podcast, that’s a challenge. Getting involvement from senior leadership to participate in these activities and kind of go beyond their normal day job, right.

[00:32:13] To produce content. So how, how have you been able to balance that and maybe what challenges have you had as well.

[00:32:19]Kirti Dewan: [00:32:19] On the engineering front, we’ve been fortunate that we’ve not had too many challenges there. Our engineers, they’re good writers and they really enjoy writing about very advanced and sophisticated topics.

[00:32:32] So, it’s like a call for papers. We basically tell them, Hey, we’re planning the next quarter and we need so many blogs from the engineering team. Who wants to raise their hand. So tell us about what you would like write about how long it may be and if it’s going to be a series of blogs or it’s just going to be one blog dedicated to that topic.

[00:32:53] So, we always have takers. They always come back and they’re like, Oh, I can write about this until when? As in like, Oh, I think this would be interesting. We have people who say like, Oh, I had written about this, you know, six months ago, so I can write the sequel of the next part to it.

[00:33:08]So that’s how it happens on the engineering team, so that’s pretty awesome given how full their plate is right. Yes. For everything that they need to ship as well. So that’s pretty awesome. They really do enjoy it, that they get this opportunity. Our engineers actually love coming to our conferences as well, and actually staying there Manning the boots, there because they feel that’s how they get an opportunity to speak to those who may become our customers.

[00:33:37]So that’s pretty awesome as well because our events lead is able to go out and again, like a call for paper, she says, call for staffing. And so the, the spreadsheet and the rotations are already put in there and people have to go in and fill in their name. And so, you know, people just jump into the Google sheet and they go on, they fill in their name it’s pretty nice.

[00:33:57] So that happens on both, on the content side as well as on the. Events, staffing side. In terms of how do you get Executive leadership to commit time to doing something like that. Yeah, it’s super, super hard. So, one of the processes I’ve been following, and I’ve learned to do this over three years. This is not how I never came up with this idea right at the start. It’s taken me a while to refine this and see it work at a few places. And I know that now it works is in most cases, I will come up with the topic of what our CEO and Executive should be talking about.

[00:34:34]I’ll have a sense of the main points that we want to hit and why it can be so thought provoking or why it could be interesting. Or you know, why it’s something that we should just repeat cause just no amount of repetition is enough. So how can we say the same thing but in a different way. When I come up with these different topics and different angles of approaching them.

[00:34:57]I do some riffing on it with our CEO or my boss. And we try to see if we can give it some arms and legs.  And usually  we then basically sit down in a room. And we just riff off the topic. So just like we had, when I came up with the idea and we go to the whiteboard and we give it on, we give it arms and legs and we dress it up a little bit.

[00:35:20] We like to say, dress it up in the book snipe beanie in a Book snipe jacket. So we do that and then we just record ourselves reffing. And based on  the recording and everything we’ve said there you just see the, the narrative and we have the recording and we just write from there. Then that’s that. And that’s how we got our thought leadership pieces.

[00:35:45] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:35:45] Oh, I love it. Yeah. So it sounds like you’re generating those authentic conversations, right.  Through just a brainstorming session and getting those thoughts out, and then you turn that into written pieces.

[00:35:56] Kirti Dewan: [00:35:56] Yep, and it’s very helpful because it can become a byline or it becomes a blog. This is how we develop our storylines for events and conferences and other speaking engagements and podcasts that he’s on as well. So, it really lends itself to a variety of other vehicles.

[00:36:15] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:36:15] Yeah, that’s great.

[00:36:15] Yeah, and I was going to ask you, obviously we’re on a podcast here today, so that was good. I see the one that you all have implemented and I was anxious to hear your feedback on how that got started in, how that’s running for you so far.

[00:36:28] Kirti Dewan: [00:36:28] So we don’t have our own Bugsnag podcast. We speak at other podcasts as guest speakers ourselfs. So all the other podcasts that we’ve been on  have been pretty great.

[00:36:38] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:36:38] Gotcha. So those are all guest podcasts. The periods is that you have on the site and,

[00:36:42] Yes, that’s right.

[00:36:44]Kirti Dewan: [00:36:44] Yeah. But it’s nice that we get invited to do more of them. You know, it’s always, it’s fun to do podcasts. Its Great.

[00:36:51] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:36:51] Yeah. And tell me about you mentioned thought leadership is definitely an initiative with especially from that visionary perspective, CEO and so forth. How do you balance that with demand gen and some of those short term objectives, like how do you know, you mentioned earlier as a marketer you’re placing bets, but you can’t place too many. So how do you balance those two things, the longterm and the short term aspects of like demand gen initiative.

[00:37:17] Kirti Dewan: [00:37:17] Yeah. That’s really hard. so, one of the things that, I like to think about is, as you’ve heard me say laser pointer and laser focus, so I know what that looks like. So once that is carved out, that’s fine. But for it no matter what it is in life, whenever you pick that one thing, the one thing always has a supporting ecosystem around it right. At the start when we were making sure that the mic and the headphones and everything had to work, Justin was like, Hey, it takes a village to make sure that everything is set up. What? Right. Cause there were people here who are helping him. So similarly, in the marketing world when we have this one piece of laser focus with one area of laser focus, there’s a village around it that makes sure that area can function well. And, again this may not be applicable to every company and every startup because each company is so different.

[00:38:09] But for us right now, if we say that our area of these are focus is acquisition and conversion , the two villages that have to stand around it or awareness and building more of that customer journey so that they are more educated. So you’re building that awareness, building that education.

[00:38:27] And in order for the area of focus to be standing up doll, I do need the other pieces to be working cause they all go hand in hand. And so the thought leadership goes into the village area. So we need that so that the acquisition and the conversion happens at the base and at the quality that we want.

[00:38:52] So yes, laser-focus is here, but I need this as well. So that’s a secondary focus. So we don’t do it as much and we do it, but it’s not at the same base with a same level of very high in density Data driven approach. So that’s the way I think of it. And so that’s how  it even drips down into how time is allocated and how much time is spent on it.

[00:39:25] Um, so everything again is cut into sections of time because it’s such a scarcity. And so, well, you know, if this is part of the village that we’re not gonna spend more than 45 minutes riffing. And we’re not going to spend more than so many hours writing it. So that’s how we, we look at I translate everything into the number of hours that I have to go into something.

[00:39:50] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:39:50] Yeah. Great analysis there. That was a nice picture that you painted for us. It’s a classic problem, I think, you know, balancing those, those different aspects of marketing. So I can certainly appreciate how you’re doing. It sounds like you’re doing a great job over there. All right, well Kirti to you, we’re coming up on our time here, but I did have a couple of last questions for you. One of those is, is being. Well, we like to ask most of our guests this question, do you have a resource or maybe that’s an online resource or even an offline event that you absolutely have to tune into all the time to keep up with B2B Tech Marketing. What would that be on your side.

[00:40:32] Kirti Dewan: [00:40:32] So I wouldn’t say that I just have this one single resource. It’s, a variety of things, but sometimes I find some really nice nuggets on LinkedIn that someone may have shared. it’s with conversations through a few people in the network who again, they’re very hands on. So they have the player coach mentality as well. And they just don’t do things for the sake of them. So again very for in how they do things. I do like the podcast marketing trends. Sometimes you get some really great episodes on there. So I do enjoy that one quite a bit. I listened to that on my commute.

[00:41:14] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:41:14] Very cool. Yeah. Always like hearing, some tips there from folks. We’ll drop those in the show notes for everyone, so thanks for sharing that. And lastly Keerti where should people go to learn more about yourself and Bugsnag.

[00:41:28]Kirti Dewan: [00:41:28] To learn more about Bugsnag you can go to our website. We have a resource library. There’s a bunch of content and some really good information and assets in there. For those who are more technically inclined, our docs pages are very helpful to do, but of course, that is more at the user level. but those are helpful as well. And we’re posting things constantly on  Twitter and LinkedIn. So you could always look there too. And then on myself my LinkedIn profile is out there and if anyone wants to get in touch with me more than happy to answer any questions that may come my way through my LinkedIn.

[00:42:09] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:42:09] All right. Awesome. Kirti thanks again, really appreciate you spending some time with Justin and I here this afternoon. It was great having you on Tech Qualified.

[00:42:17] Kirti Dewan: [00:42:17] Likewise, this was, this was awesome. The questions were really, really great. So you guys did an amazing job on. Figuring out what those questions should be it sounded like at some point I was like, wow. It seems like they’ve been deep in the trenches themselves that they’d be able to ask such insightful questions.

[00:42:33] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:42:33] Its just like what you do every day. We’re just riffing. Right thats what happening

[00:42:39] Kirti Dewan: [00:42:39] Yeah. Really enjoyed it. Thank you guys.

[00:42:41] Tristan Pelligrino: [00:42:41] Thanks so much.

[00:42:42] Justin Brown: [00:42:42] Thank you.

 

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