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The Secret to Gong’s Customer Cult

April 17, 2024

tl;dr: Gong’s Head of Customer Marketing, Jane Menyo, explains how Gong makes their customer marketing POP. Gong’s nailed this; they create raving fans out of customers and are ready to share the playbook. 

Jane lays out:

  • Hacks & tricks for elevating your customer advocacy game
  • The metrics you should actually pay attention to
  • How to best navigate sales partnerships


Angela, Laudable: What are the core tenets of creating a customer advocacy program, considering Gong's reputation in the B2B market?

Jane, Gong: At Gong, creating raving fans is one of our core operating principles. We rally the entire company around this idea, and my role as the head of customer marketing is to activate these raving fans across various teams, leveraging their excitement and momentum in different programs and initiatives.

Angela, Laudable: Which teams do you find yourself working with the most in your role?

Jane, Gong: Customer marketing serves as a pivotal force across the organizational spectrum. Our content impacts every stage of the customer journey and sales pipeline, from lead generation to post-sale engagement. Aligning efforts with this journey, we empower various teams. For customer success, it's about leveraging advocacy to cultivate raving fans. Field teams benefit from stories that drive pipeline growth. Even our product team taps into the fan base for feedback, ensuring continual product improvement. Structuring efforts around the customer journey enhances support for diverse team objectives, fostering a holistic customer experience.

Angela, Laudable: How do you measure success internally, and what metrics are most important to your team?

Jane, Gong: We gauge success through three tiers of metrics. Firstly, we analyze board-level KPIs, though not directly owned, to guide our focus and influence core metrics like net dollar retention and customer happiness. Next, we assess program-level metrics, aligning with our areas of accountability such as retention, upsell, cross-sell, and advocacy. Lastly, we delve into tactical-level metrics for internal learning and optimization. This comprehensive approach provides insights into our team's impact on broader business objectives and highlights areas for improvement and collaboration.

Angela, Laudable: For companies not yet operationalizing customer advocacy, where should they start?

Jane, Gong: Navigating advocacy programs can be a real challenge, especially in larger or emerging companies. To kick things off, it's crucial to align with our business goals. We start by defining advocate personas based on roles, titles, and segments. Then, we rank advocates to tailor engagement opportunities accordingly. Matching activities with persona profiles ensures we're making the most of our resources. This strategic approach not only optimizes advocate pool health but also guides our resource allocation. Ultimately, it's about freeing up more time for those meaningful customer interactions that truly energize us in customer marketing.

Angela, Laudable: Gong is #goals for lots of B2B brands, so who or what inspires you in your ongoing journey at Gong?

Jane, Gong: In my career journey, inspiration comes from diverse sources. I admire seasoned professionals for their wisdom and experience, while I'm equally fascinated by innovators reshaping modern marketing. Recently, I've found myself drawn to personal influences rather than just brand strategies. Magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair captivate me with their authentic storytelling and polished presentations, reminiscent of flipping through my mom's magazines as a teenager. Vanity Fair's "73 questions" series particularly resonates for its natural feel. It's refreshing to find inspiration beyond the typical B2B or B2C spheres, even traditional marketers seek fresh perspectives.

Angela, Laudable: How can sales effectively using customer proof content?

Jane, Gong: As marketers, we tend to lean towards polished content, but there's real power in authenticity. Our field teams appreciate a mix of materials, from organic reviews to formal testimonials, tailored to their engagement styles. Segment-specific needs are key; enterprise sellers have different content preferences than emerging markets. We design campaigns around the customer journey, coordinating with product marketing and campaigns teams for relevance. It's all about understanding what content works best at each stage and how it impacts performance down the line.

Angela, Laudable: Can you share an example of content heavily influenced by sales preferences?

Jane, Gong: At a previous company, we leveraged user-generated content, like unique use case stories shared in webinars and conferences, to create impactful playbooks. These resources weren't just customer stories; they were practical guides for others. They not only boosted adoption but also served as powerful sales tools, showcasing our platform's unique capabilities. Harnessing community insights is key; every customer marketing team should actively engage with communities to ensure success and gather valuable learnings. Collaborating closely with these communities enriches strategies and fosters mutual growth.

Angela, Laudable: If you had to eliminate one type of customer proof—customer video, G2 reviews, or case studies—which would it be and why?

Jane, Gong: Each aspect plays a vital role, making it tough to pick one to discard. If I had to choose, it might be traditional customer case studies. I'm keen on reshaping how we tell these stories, aligning them with modern content preferences like video offers flexibility for authenticity. At Gong, we aim to ensure customer stories resonate by focusing on outcomes and values rather than just challenges and solutions. It's about evolving to match audience preferences while maintaining authenticity and impact.

April 17, 2024

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