Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!
We recently interviewed Nick Thompson for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Nick and here’s what we discussed about –
1. MediaFly’s effective sales enablement strategies for 2022
2. The need for visually appealing, engaging product marketing
3. Rethinking content marketing: how content marketing is different from influencer marketing
4. Choosing the right influencer for your target audience
5. Ensuring constant value addition to your social media
6. Top 3 lessons that Nick learned from being in the tech space
About our host:
Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at Outgrow.co He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by the means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.
About our guest:
A marketing veteran – Nick Thompson is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Mediafly, where he is in charge of product marketing strategy and execution. Nick has spent most of his career in the technology industry, and he is extremely enthusiastic about storytelling, buyer, and sales enablement.
With a Bachelor of Business Administration focused in Media Entertainment from Full Sail University, Nick has assisted numerous brands in reaching their full potential. Listen to the latest edition of Marketer of the Month to see how Mediafly helps clients flourish via excellent communication and strategy.
The Logistics of Sales Enablement and Product Marketing
Table of Contents
Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda. I’m the creative director at Outgrow.co. And for this month, we are going to interview Nick Thompson, who is the VP of product marketing at Mediafly. Thanks for joining us, Nick.
Nick Thompson: Thanks for having me, happy to be here.
Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!
Or you can just listen to it on Spotify
The Rapid Fire Round!
Saksham Sharda: So Nick, we’re going to start with a rapid-fire round just to break the ice. You get three seconds in case you don’t want to answer the question, you can just say pass, but try to keep your answers to one word or one sentence only. Okay?
Nick Thompson: All right.
Saksham Sharda: All right. So let’s start now. At what age do you want to retire?
Nick Thompson: 55
Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
Nick Thompson: 45 minutes.
Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moment of your life.
Nick Thompson: Slipping and falling outside in front of about 200 people on the ice.
Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive on?
Nick Thompson: Three a night, three or four a night.
Saksham Sharda: Okay. Fill in the blank. An upcoming marketing trend is _________.
Nick Thompson: A hundred percent, interactive content.
Saksham Sharda: The city in which the best kiss of your life happened?
Nick Thompson: That would be LA.
Saksham Sharda: Okay. Pick one, Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey?
Nick Thompson: Reluctantly, Dorsey.
Saksham Sharda: The first movie that comes to your mind when I say the word ambition.
Nick Thompson: Halloween.
Saksham Sharda: When did you last cry and why?
Saksham Sharda: I’m gonna pass that.
Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?
Nick Thompson: Going into sales when I really wanted to do marketing
Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?
Nick Thompson: Take walks and listen to podcasts, workout.
Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?
Nick Thompson: It depends on the size of the cup, but it’s a lot.
Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate.
Nick Thompson: Biting my nails.
Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life.
Nick Thompson: Adapt the way you act to what others need.
Saksham Sharda: And the last question is your favorite Netflix show
Nick Thompson: I would have, that’s a tough one.
Saksham Sharda: That’s a pass that you couldn’t answer. Okay. All right. So you scored 8 on 10, and you won a car, just kidding. You do not. There’s nothing to win.
The Big Questions!
Saksham Sharda: We just kind of go onto the long questions now. The first one is, what does your typical day at MediaFly look like? What projects are you currently focused on?
Nick Thompson: So MediaFly days, we’ve been around for 16 years now. But there’s still very much a startup culture and environment. So my days very rarely look the same. Yesterday we just launched our new revenue 360 platform, which was what I’ve been working on primarily from this year on getting all of our product, sellers, enablement, and marketers, all aligned on this new product that we’re launching. So today is the first day that I haven’t had a day full of preparing for a product launch. So it’s back to prepping, speaking with analysts, doing win-loss interviews with customers, really diving into the product, and making sure that we’re finding new ways to use it. , we have a program called MediaFly for Mediafly, where we use our own product to train our sellers, enable them to go to market in the strategic way that we want them to, to make sure all of our content is on-brand. So, finding new and engaging ways for us to utilize the product is probably my north star most days, because then we can use it ourselves, tell that story to our customers and also give our customers new ways to use the product.
Saksham Sharda: So, could you tell us more about the product and what it does?
Nick Thompson: Absolutely. So, our new product that we just launched, revenue 360 is the only suite of solutions that brings buyer and seller activity, sales enablement, and revenue intelligence under one umbrella. And so this product gives you the ability to manage your content, gain analytics on the activity from sellers, the activity from buyers, and then turn all of those analytics into intelligence so that you can see, what’s the confidence to close on specific deals. What’s the energy on that account? Are they still engaging? Are they engaging more? Are they engaging less? So you can really get a holistic or 360 view of what your buyers are doing, what your sellers are doing and how content and activity influence whether or not you’re going to, close your deal and hit your forecast
Saksham Sharda: And how’s product marketing for this product, different from the products you worked on previously. I think you worked at tact, 10 CDW, PC nation. These are some of the places you’ve worked on.
Nick Thompson: Yeah, exactly. So I think the interesting thing is some of the other places I’ve worked were more solution marketing. So, at CDW is working with big brands like IBM and NetApp and they have, especially IBM, basically invented technology. They have hundreds and hundreds of products and hardware and software solutions. So it wasn’t until Tacton that I really focused on one product. So I feel like now that we have four big solution areas at Mediafly, it’s a lot, it’s a lot more than what I’ve done in the past. and really being able to tell those stories of why these different personas need Mediafly. And since we are the first and at the moment, the only solution provider in the market that can combine these elements under one roof, it is a unique time to be in this space and it is a very exciting time to be able to take a, almost a new industry that we’re creating here or, or a take that to market and, and really help our customers and help others, get data-driven, which is ultimately what folks want, right?
Nick Thompson: So that you can start having not just predictable forecasting, but predictable revenue, which is the envy of every business these days.
Saksham Sharda: And how did MediaFly identify its current target audience, from selling to TV and movie studios that sold their shows to airlines and hotel chains.
Nick Thompson: That’s a great question. So that was an organic growth that I wasn’t a part of, but what I can tell you is we listen to our customers and we listen to the market. So whatever’s happening out there, with our customer base and what we’re seeing when we talk to prospects and the challenges that they’re having and the problems that are tying into them hitting or not hitting their, their annual plans. We listen to them and we take our product to that level. And then we go and take that out to other markets where we start seeing similar trends and similar challenges. And we have a breadth of customers across technology and SaaS. We have manufacturers, CPG companies, companies like PepsiCo. We have companies in the media and entertainment industry. And, we’ve really just been able to take a product, and, and make sure it fits in the market. And then, sometimes you have tech that leads, but Tech’s kind of like a new space for us that we’re, we’re going after a lot harder now, but, we just have a product that is so adaptable and so, beneficial to so many different industries that it’s us just figuring out, where we fit in there and how we can help them solve their challenges.
Saksham Sharda: And, could you speak a little bit more about Presentify and how it’s different from PowerPoint?
Nick Thompson: Absolutely. So interactive content is the future. And I know I said that that’s the big trend I see. There’s a lot of reasons and maybe we can get into that later, but what we do with Presentify, which under this new umbrella of products, we’re actually renaming it to just interactive content because that helps people understand it a little bit better when you speak the language that your customers speak. But, what Presentify is, it’s a whole methodology of taking content that’s static and using it to tell a story. So what we find is that a lot of our customers are using static content. They’re using standard PowerPoints or Google slides, or in some cases, even PDFs. And you’re walking into a conversation with a customer or even putting some piece of content, like an ebook on your website, and you’re not giving customers or sellers what they need to navigate a conversation that could go a multitude of ways.
Nick Thompson: So when you have Presentify, it’s actually built in PowerPoint using our storyline methodology so that you can pivot within, through this interactivity, and go wherever the conversation goes. So you’re not giving just that standard pitch anymore. You’re actually telling a story that resonates with what your customers and your buyers are concerned about. So we take PowerPoint as a technology and we wrap our story methodology in our teams’ incredible ability to use animations, to literally make you feel like you’re in a complete piece of, of video content and take that, help you figure out what story you should be telling and then build it in PowerPoint. And then the power of MediaFly in our, which is now called engagement. 360 platform is that we are uniquely capable of supporting these animations, no matter how big the files get embedding video into the PowerPoint, giving you, an unlimited ability to be in sort of an endless loop of content as needed. And we do that all with PowerPoint in our unique methodology to tell stories and help our customers articulate those through content.
Saksham Sharda: So, what kind of industry have you seen the use of Presentify really explode?
Nick Thompson: So we have customers again across tech that are using Presentify. We have customers in manufacturing that are using Presentify. And the really unique thing is that it’s not just a PowerPoint presentation, so anybody can utilize Mediafly and our interactive content capabilities for demand generation on your website. You can actually embed PowerPoints on a website, through microsites. they don’t have to be standard presentations. It can be little, clips of content. We do animated headers for our microsites. We use them on our website to generate leads. And if you think about that, gone are the days of the ebook where you download a, 15-page ebook and you don’t find what you’re looking for real quick, and then you never open it again and never reach back out to that vendor with interactive content, you can go into, a demand gen world and, and give a piece of content that is DIY or self-service for the customer.
Nick Thompson: And then they can go to exactly what they’re looking for and get that piece of information that they need. You can use it in sales presentations. You can use it as I mentioned on microsites, embed interactive content on your website. We are finding new ways to use these capabilities, across the board so that, you’re even giving guided selling approaches in some cases to help sellers buy what they’re looking for. So the use cases are endless, and this is what is super unique about using a tool like PowerPoint, and then our unique methodology and our incredibly skilled designers are able to do all of this and find these new ways to use it. So PowerPoint isn’t just a presentation tool anymore. It’s actually like a masterful graphic design and interactive content creation tool.
Saksham Sharda: And we also saw that you’re passionate about filmmaking, apparently. What are some of your favorite films?
Nick Thompson: So that goes back to my, Halloween answer as the most ambitious film. When I was 13 years old, I was just getting into scary movies and watching them with my dad. My parents were divorced. So on the weekends with my dad, I would get to watch scary movies. And I remember watching Halloween and I was just like, this movie is scary, but also getting, the internet was just coming out. So you would like to read about these movies and like I read books about Halloween and the way that it was so scrappily made for such a reasonable budget, all considering it was just amazing to me to see that this movie looked like it was in Illinois, but it was filmed in California. They would literally sweep up leads, and move them from each angle when they were shooting a new angle because it’s California, there are no leaves on the ground.
Nick Thompson: Like there are in the Midwestern Halloween. So that kind of kickstarted me into wanting to be a filmmaker and then that was something that I really explored. In college, I made a couple of independent feature films. I made quite a number of shorts and participated in film Fest and different contests and stuff like that. So it’s just a passion of mine, the storytelling element, which you’ve probably heard me mention a few times throughout. This is also what draws me to product marketing is just being able to tell those stories in ways that resonate with people.
Saksham Sharda: So can you tell us a little bit more about Scream 2022?
Nick Thompson: Scream, 2022? I just watched it twice. I’m a huge fan of the Scream franchise in general. I kind of grew up on it, which is really cool to see everybody come back. congratulations to that team. I was a big West Craven fan and I didn’t trust anyone else with those movies, but they did an outstanding job. I don’t wanna give away any spoilers, but they really did a great job of keeping the energy, but the self-awareness that each of those movies had and bringing it into the year 2022.
Saksham Sharda: Okay. So is influencer marketing more credible than content marketing? What do you think about that?
Nick Thompson: I think influencer marketing is content marketing and one of the things that I personally feel, and I evangelize within MediaFly and I evangelize to my network is we need to rethink the way that we speak and think about content. For example, one of the things that we hear, like a CRO persona or a sales persona is, content marketing. Well, let me tell you, Mr./ Mrs. CRO content, your team is using whether it’s from an ebook, whether it’s from a presentation, whether it’s a follow-up customer success story, whether it’s, a piece of video that they’re, using to explain a piece of content or send a follow up to a proposal, that’s all content baby. And I can tell you whether you’re going to an event, whether you’re using an influencer marketing strategy, like what are they doing? They’re producing content for you to reach your audience on a new channel. So, I would argue every time you are interacting with someone around a product or a service, you’re basically doing that through content.
Saksham Sharda: So, but how do you go about picking an influencer that resonates with a target audience? Like how do you go about doing that?
Nick Thompson: I think for me, and I haven’t done too much influencer marketing, in kind of like the outside, like the B2B space so it’s gonna definitely be a little bit different, but I think you wanna find someone who has credibility in the market. Obviously, someone who has the social media following of who your persona or your ideal customer profile is, and I think you wanna find someone that matches your brand. And I think that is probably the most important thing. So, we’re a fun culture, we work with a lot of organizations, big and small, so we span across a different bunch of cultures. , but if we were to pick an influencer at MediaFly, I would want to have someone that aligns with us so that it’s similar to our voice that they would see from this influencer and then when they interact with us separately as well. So I think that’s probably what I would say is the most important and someone with credibility, if I didn’t say that in that space
Saksham Sharda: And in B2B, how does one go about with influence marketing?
Nick Thompson: It’s tough. I would say it’s way tougher than if you were in a B2C space, because you have to have someone who knows what they’re talking about. You have to have someone that resonates in your space and then has the credibility that when your customers do interact with them or do listen to them, that it makes sense to them that person knows what they’re talking about. So for me, it’s been very much identifying folks that have, again, big social media followings are speaking the same way we are speaking in the market and then kind of narrowing that down. And then again, it’s like interviewing them to figure out who’s gonna best align with what you want, who has the time, to accomplish what you wanna accomplish. But most importantly probably is to map out a plan of what you’re trying to accomplish with it before you do any of that other stuff too.
Saksham Sharda: And speaking of influences, you have a nice following and engagement on Instagram. So how do you ensure constant value addition to your content on this platform?
Nick Thompson: Do you mean personally or professionally or both?
Saksham Sharda: Both, I guess
Nick Thompson: All right. So I’m not a huge social media person. Like this is all very new to me. I have plenty of friends that are very good at it and, advise me on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. So, I personally am still figuring that out, from my perspective on who I wanna be and, and what I wanna use my platform for and what I don’t, from a professional standpoint, I find it the best way to, do any kind of influencing is to make sure that you have a specific channel and a specific vibe or brand on that channel. So if you’re going to be a business like MediaFly, let’s say we are finding that our audience is primarily on LinkedIn. So for us to go on Instagram and find an influencer is probably not the way for us to go. so, if your audience is, maybe a, millennial audience and you wanna reach them with something a little more casual, then maybe, an Instagram influencer or a, even TikTok, if you get into the gen Z, you, just gotta go where your audience is ultimately and make sure you create a brand there. and that’s kind of what my approach is.
Saksham Sharda: And so what are your top lessons from having worked in the tech space till now?
Nick Thompson: That’s a really good question. So I love tech and I left tech to go to Zorro, for a couple years. And I got back into tech, like as soon as I could. My favorite thing that I’ve learned in tech is you listen to your customers and you talk to your customers, and they are going to tell you how they use your product as a product marketer that is invaluable. And that is more beneficial in tech, I find than other industries, because software is fluid, right? There’s so many ways like we’re discovering new ways to use our software every single day. We’re discovering new ways that our customers are using our software every single day. So listening to them helps you understand the language, they use the problems you’re actually helping them solve. And they’re not always aligned with how you go to market.
Nick Thompson: So there’s so many lessons to be learned there. Another thing that I’ve learned in tech is that you have to be agile, things change so quickly. I think everyone probably knows that, but I think people, it goes back to what I was saying about adapting to your surroundings and adapting to different people. If you can adapt to your surroundings, if you can be agile in tech, or learn to be agile in tech, like you can go very far in your career, and you can learn a lot and you can really have an impact on your business and, and the customers with that business. And I would say the last thing that I learned, so I feel like this is something that just comes with confidence and comes with experience, but takes a strong stand on something.
And for me, that strong stand at MediaFly is that interactive content is the only way that you’re going to give your customers and your sellers the experience that they want. And that’s gonna be from the moment they interact with you the first time on your website, all the way through renewal time, all the way through that entire process. So if you take a strong stand and you really feel passionate about something in that market, you can go far. Like when people ask me, I have friends and, and stuff and product marketing, I have people that reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’m 36 years old. I’m a VP of my second role as a VP. If I didn’t understand the market and take strong stands, I would still be a marketing manager somewhere because you have to, and again, you don’t make it up, you listen to your customers and then you figure out what those challenges are. And you turn ’em into kind of like a big idea and a big trend, and then you just push it through. And, that’s worked out for me very well.
Saksham Sharda: So do you think there’s a stoppage in a lot of companies, because I guess marketing is not looking at the sales data or is not talking to customers and just has a vague idea of what the software does or something.
Nick Thompson: I think especially in tech, there’s a lot of misalignment between marketing sales, success, ops, all of that. And I feel like in the last couple years with the pandemic, it’s forced everyone to get closer aligned because everybody’s working digitally, which means there’s data everywhere and there’s data on every meeting that you have available, there’s data on every piece of content you’ve used, there’s data on what’s said what isn’t said, how many times you’ve said, how many times you’ve misspoke, there’s endless amounts of data out there. And I feel like it’s forcing revenue teams to work closer together. And that’s ultimately a good thing. I do feel that, and we are guilty too, and we’re getting better at it, but we’re guilty too. I feel that, especially in tech companies, they talk about what they want to talk about and not what customers are talking about.
Nick Thompson: So like with MediaFly, as an example, every customer I’ve ever talked to, the number one problem that we solve is their content management. They’re able to get all their content in one place. That is the most basic thing that we do at MediaFly. But we don’t talk about that. We assume that they know. And so I feel like that happens a lot in tech where you wanna be that thought leader, and you can be that thought leader, but a lot of times you don’t talk about your product, the way that your customers are actually using it. And if you don’t get that baseline understanding, you’re never gonna be able to upsell them. You’re never gonna be able to show them that you have all these other capabilities. So I think that’s probably one of the biggest issues, it’s just not going to market the way that your customers are consuming.
Saksham Sharda: And so the last question which we ask everyone is what would you be doing if not this?
Nick Thompson: Oh man, by choice or by dream? Coz they’re like two totally different.
Saksham Sharda: That’s the first time someone’s asked that by choice or by dream! Tell me by choice and by dream.
Nick Thompson: So I love MediaFly. We have the most amazing people that work at this organization. they’re so ambitious. They’re such great vision. I love working here. I absolutely love our product. I think we are the best product in the market. and I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t and if I did, I wouldn’t say it. If I was working somewhere else, I would imagine it would be, in a startup, which I like, that agile constantly changing, keeping you on your toes, maybe for a, another definitely for another software company. That’s just kind of my vibe. ideally, if it wasn’t, I would probably wanna be either a filmmaker or, just host like a daily podcast.
Saksham Sharda: Okay. And so by dream?
Nick Thompson: Yeah. Well, maybe the dream is still the filmmaking thing I would still say yes. I still have that. Like I want to tell a story vibe in me.
Saksham Sharda: Okay. All right. So, well, thanks everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of outgrows market of the month. That was Nick Thompson, who is the VP of product marketing at MediaFly. Thanks for joining us, Nick.
Nick Thompson: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Saksham Sharda: Check out their website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another Marketer of the Month.