Crommunity Podcast, Episode 2: Warren Pamukoff (Magnet Forensics)
“You can’t change the product, but you can change what you’re focusing on.”
Hey there marketing fans, what time is it? That’s right, it’s Crommunity podcast time!
Joining us this time around is Warren Pamukoff, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Magnet Forensics in Waterloo. Warren was Magnet’s first product marketing hire, so he really got to build the ‘program’ from the ground up – and he had lots to share about that experience.
(for those who want to queue it up for future listening, here’s the mp3)
Maybe the most amazing thing about this episode is that Warren and I spoke for 40 minutes and not once did the conversation go to how much we each love Crafty Ramen (seriously, it’s worth the drive to Guelph – and I write that without knowing where you live!).
Instead, we talked about many things marketing, including…
- [0:33] His first areas of focus upon joining Magnet: creating a clear message and value proposition, and making sure everyone understood Magnet’s buyers
- [1:23] His unusual path into marketing, and the benefits of having a diverse background: “I’ve had a pretty wild ride, of jobs…I actually started out in HR.”
- [3:14] The importance of tweaking your story based on your audience: “You can’t change the product, but you can change what you’re focusing on.”
- [4:31] His close personal friendship with The Incredible Hulk, Mr. Edward Norton: “He is exactly how you would imagine him in real life.”
- [5:09] About Magnet Forensics, and why they’ve had such great success with a unique market offering
- [6:03] How consumer experiences are impacting B2B expectations: “We’ve actually seen a bit of a trend with our customers, because the younger examiners just expect that…”
“When we started, it was almost pure law enforcement, and our user was our buyer…”
- [8:48] Marketing strategies and product marketing activities for selling to a range of audiences (e.g., users, buyers, champions etc.): “When we started, it was almost pure law enforcement, and our user was our buyer…”
- [12:00] Enabling your champions and overcoming buying barriers: “Champions said, ‘If I want to take this to my Lieutenant or Captain…he wants to know can I find the chats.'”
- [12:37] Messaging: “It’s really all about being very clear and concise, and being able to explain exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, in as clear language as you can.”
- [15:47] The challenges of reaching a market when your customers won’t give you their names, and the importance of webinars, self-service content, positive word-of-mouth, and references: “Some of our customers won’t actually give us their names if they’re in some of the three-letter agencies…they’ll say things like, ‘You can call me John, that’s what we’ll go with.'”
“Some of our customers won’t actually give us their names if they’re in some of the three-letter agencies…they’ll say things like, ‘You can call me John, that’s what we’ll go with.'”
- [20:06] Staying organized for product launches and other activities in a fast-paced environment, and how entering new markets impacts your go-to-market strategy: “Being in touch with the product team, and knowing what’s coming and when…”
- [23:24] Relying on the sales team for customer insights and feedback: “A lot of that you can learn from your sales team, because they’re gonna be your eyes and ears on the ground…you can’t get out and talk to every customer all the time. You really do need to probe that team and say, ‘when you go out and talk to the customer about this…what are they saying? What resonates when you do your pitch?'”
- [24:56] Magnet’s recent acquisitions, and Warren’s behind-the-scenes role in incorporating new solutions into the Magnet portfolio
- [29:44] Warren’s approach to building a product marketing team: “Definitely, I want someone who has that market problems-based approach to marketing, because I really do believe in that… Something else, I want someone who has complementary skillsets to my own.”
- [32:16] Some of the most significant and common challenges facing local B2B tech companies, and the importance of understanding your organization’s product marketing needs: “There’s a definite shortage of product marketing talent in the region, because it’s kind’ve a unique skillset.”
- [35:50] What B2B tech companies should be doing more of: “All companies need to do more of…really going out to their customers and understanding what their problems are. I think there are far too many inside-out products being built, whether it’s B2B or B2C…People just think that technology itself will sell it, and technology on its own isn’t a real product.”
“I think there are far too many inside-out products being built, whether it’s B2B or B2C…People just think that technology itself will sell it, and technology on its own isn’t a real product.”
- [36:43] Using a customer’s own problem language (including localization) when you talk about your solution: “Understanding that your audience might not understand the terminology you use…everyone has different terminology.”
- [39:46] Career and life lessons gained from the tough world of competitive water polo: “You’re going to have to go through some downs, and you’re going to have to experience some failures in your career to know and learn what works, what doesn’t work, what are the best things that you need to do…you really just need to persevere.”
…and of course, lots about real-world digital forensics (not that CSI crap). Fun related fact: I once worked at a company whose product was briefly featured in the original 24 TV series.