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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Chris Golec, CEO & Founder of Channel99, a B2B marketing platform that has raised $5 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Early Career Shifts: Chris transitioned from chemical engineering to tech entrepreneurship, starting with his first company in 1996, Supplybase, focusing on B2B supply chain software.
  • Birth of Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Chris was instrumental in coining and pioneering the ABM category with his company Demandbase, addressing the frustration of B2B marketers lacking targeted marketing technologies.
  • Challenges of ABM: Chris discusses the initial struggles of gaining traction for ABM and how it eventually grew into a significant category in B2B marketing.
  • Founding Channel99: After leaving Demandbase, Chris founded Channel99 to help B2B marketers measure the efficiency of their marketing spend and business outcomes.
  • Remote Work Challenges: Chris expresses concerns about building a strong company culture remotely and the benefits of in-office collaboration for innovation and team bonding.
  • Silicon Valley’s Future: Despite some narratives about the decline of Silicon Valley, Chris believes the region’s ecosystem of innovation and venture capital will remain strong.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Leverage Industry Benchmarks:

Utilize benchmarking data to understand your company's marketing efficiency compared to industry standards. This helps identify areas for improvement and ensures your marketing spend is optimized.

Measure Business Outcomes:

Focus on measuring the impact of marketing efforts on pipeline and business outcomes rather than traditional metrics like MQLs. This aligns marketing goals with business objectives and improves accountability.

Free to Paid Model:

Consider offering a free product to build an initial user base and provide value upfront. Transition these users to paid products by demonstrating the extended benefits and deeper insights they can gain.

Distributed Offices:

For startups, consider a distributed office model to balance cost efficiency and the benefits of in-person collaboration. This can enhance team culture and operational efficiency.

Transparent Communication:

Be transparent with your team about growth phases and potential changes in roles. Recognizing when different skills are needed at various stages of the company can help maintain a strong, adaptable team.

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