076 - "These are the fun times!" - Jill Rowley Round Two

What is up PartnerUp!?

Boy did we have fun on this one! The Social Selling Queen Jill Rowley joined us again to catch up on everything that’s happened since her first appearance nearly two years ago.

We talk PLG, ecosystems everywhere, why community is so hard to measure, why Tik Tok is where Jill goes to fix her stove, and why “gated companies are dead on arrival.”

We get into lots of good stuff and some awkward jokes too!

Jill will be speaking at the PL[X] Summit in November. The moment partner ecosystems go mainstream is live at plxsummit.com

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Full Transcript:

Jared Fuller  00:11
All right, what is up, partner up? We're back. And I said that the Isaac and me episodes are my favorite episodes. But I have to say, maybe even my more favorite episodes is whenever we bring a friend back on. And this is an OG of Og when it comes to go to market, and Og when it comes to the partnerships moment, so Joe rally is joined us again on partner up, Jill, it's been almost two years since you've been on episode. Gosh, like 1012 13. Somewhere in there.

Jill Rowley  00:38
10. I think it was 10. Yeah, yeah. Your first double digit?

Jared Fuller  00:42
Yeah, first double digit. Alright. So the queen of social selling is back

Jill Rowley  00:46
the former Queen of social selling, right, because social selling is passe. And what is today is the era of ecosystems. And really, you and I, the three of us actually talk a lot about partnerships, and communities and influence and social selling. Yes, was influenced. But I think it's so narrow, and now more widely adopted. And so once everybody starts doing something, and it becomes the playbook. Okay, so everyone's doing it, so it becomes less effective. And what's the, you know, what is the next new thing, and that is what we're here to talk about today.

Isaac Morehouse  01:27
Joe, what I love about what I love about talking with you is that you are, you're not a partnerships person, you're not, you know, you're not like, Hey, I've been head of partnerships here, they're and they're your as your, as you'd like to say sales at the sales, bread marketing raise, or don't have that backwards, but you're a sales and marketing person. But you just get it so well. So much so that like Jared can attest to this, we'll get these messages, sometimes an email or a text where you're reading something, and you're either you're either like, look, they get it, they finally see they're talking about the partnerships angle here, or the opposite. Like, what a missed opportunity here. They could have talked to they could have brought partnership for this. Like, I just love that you coming from sales and marketing. And again, this is what we're so excited about these conversations going outside of just people who already work in partnerships to talk about this. Understanding the way that you've got to change the way you think about sales, marketing, customer success across the entire organization, and bring in this lens because it's bigger, it's bigger than just a department.

Jill Rowley  02:30
Yeah, I mean, what you guys you're you're spot on, I'm not a partnerships, ecosystem, marketplace, community. Person in terms of I've never done the job. What I know really well and where my where my network is in my community is, you know, marketing and sales. And I'm so I'm learning so much from the partner people that I feel obligated to go and educate the people that I educated on the old go to market playbook. Like I feel like it's time to go back to them and say, Hey, wait, this whole lead nurturing and lead scoring, and contact centric approach and direct and more salespeople and more ads, and more automation, like all of those things, that you still have to do those things. But you really need to be thinking more holistically around, really customers and what customers need and what they want and what they're open to. And, and so I feel like I have to go back and say, Look, all of that stuff was true, then, here's what's true now. And even more so where things are going and let's let's like let's start adjusting and adapting.

Jared Fuller  03:45
And that's what's so cool about these newer watering holes that we're seeing emerge and that we're trying to develop is I've said this a couple of times, and I've had a few posts that, you know, they're negative posts, I say partners in the partnerships department, it shouldn't be a department. I think we're stemming from a lot of problems of like trying to silo partnerships into a department. So by the very nature of us saying that, it means that we need to establish watering holes to use I think that was a jay McBain phrase I liked in his writing for every department, that means across product marketing, sales success. Each of those departments requires a different conversation Jill like this from your perspective, like you say phrases like show me you know me, you know, prove you care, which I love. If I if I know you then I know that if I'm a marketer, or I'm a seller or I'm a success leader. There's different things that I care about. There's there's a different conversation to be had. How have you like as you've come from, if we go back to like episode 10 to today, I think you or me would guess that this would be the position that we were in.

Isaac Morehouse  04:54
You were what is that Jared? Like like half a dozen co hosts but the dust in between now and then Right.

Jill Rowley  05:02
And I've listened to all the CO hosts that Jared has had on the podcast. And I'm not just blowing smoke up your butthole, Isaac, but you definitely are my favorite. And the two of you together, it's probably why you're my favorite besides your gorgeous blue eyes if I'm allowed to say that. Yeah, why you're together is that there's just so much chemistry there. And the things that you guys talk about that are related, but not not, you know, from the partner hacker handbook, but are more you know about first principles and just just applying it to what we're talking about. It's just I love every single episode I listen to. I'm like, that was my favorite episode.

Isaac Morehouse  05:49
That is, that's too kind. I didn't mean to hijack Gerrits point.

Jared Fuller  05:56
Know what, by all means, Isaac, I throw plenty of shade at you. So if you get an opportunity, throw it back to me. I've already lost half a dozen coasts between then and now. Jill, in those watering holes, like you're having conversations in market with marketing leaders, I mean, so you went to like lat knees event that empowered CMO?

Jill Rowley  06:15
Yeah, powered CMO, there were 100 amazing women there. And it was a retreat. It wasn't an event. It was a retreat. And it was awesome. Yeah, I went and and, you know, because I have been sharing content on LinkedIn about this movement. I had a number of people come up to me and say, you know, I bought the partner hacker handbook. And I really, really appreciate the content that you're that you're sharing, because it's making me think differently. And some of it was around partnerships. Some of it was that broader ecosystem lens. And then a number of conversations were about community and community like growth. And it's just fun to have, you know, the CMOS really thinking more holistically about what does this mean to the revenue of the business? What does this mean to the metrics that I have to measure the investments that I have to make? And the really, instead of just thinking of go to market as marketing, sales, customer success, thinking about how it all really falls under ecosystem? And then how can you build a partnerships? Strategy? Let you know, really, it's just it's just so exciting to have these conversations of people getting their light bulb moment in marketing. And then you've also

Jared Fuller  07:33
had this is what I want to try to suss out, though. But you've also had these conversations, I'm assuming with, let's say, more sales leaders in the room. Right? You've spoken to audiences where it's primarily sales leaders,

Jill Rowley  07:44
sales leaders, definitely. And even VCs,

Jared Fuller  07:48
and then you went to catalyst partnership leaders event. And that's kind of my point is that the Empowered cmo event? And then when you're talking to sales leaders, or then when you're talking to partner people, I bet you were having three different conversations,

Jill Rowley  07:58
all related to what's what's in it for me, in terms of what's in it for marketing to partner up? What's in it for sales to partner up? Right? What's in it for partnerships, people to learn how to have the conversation with marketing and sales. Right? So it's, it's really it is what's in it for me? Because that's important. And how do I how do I how do I, how do I actually do this? So yeah. And to further that the conversation with Stage Two capital and just pounding stage to capital on the go to market model that we've developed the science of scaling, figuring out how to modify that for Yes, product led growth, which stage two is all over, but also thinking about that partnership lens, and in fact, live, Liz Christo, we had her at partnership leaders and to have you know, VC representation there, who's focused on go to market and to be thinking about how do we advise portfolio companies on this? And then also, what investments should stage two capital be making into the partner tech ecosystem landscape.

Isaac Morehouse  09:05
I love how there's this, there's this thing where like, once you see once you have been partner, pilled, you can't unsee it. So everywhere you look, you see opportunities, and I'm gonna Jill, you sent this email. I love this. Earlier this week, you sent an email to me and Jared, and it was something from Bessemer it was tools for product lead growth is really interesting article by Bessemer Venture Partners. And, and you sent a little screencap and you like wrote over it. Like, you know, paint or something. partner partner today. Platform tomorrow. Yeah, yeah. And it was like this missing opportunity really, like they're talking about something really interesting here the future of product lead growth, but kind of missing this opportunity to understand where partnerships fit in there in a more explicit way. Can you talk a little bit more about that as it relates to product led growth in particular, like what do you see See, what do you see is the part that's missing from most of the plg conversations that you would like to see more explicitly included?

Jill Rowley  10:08
So the what, what struck me with that from Bessemer? Was this, the plg tech stack is is really the focus of that piece. And it talked about the different layers and pieces of the plg tech stack. And what I saw was the semblance of the early days of the mahr tech tech stack. And what wasn't showing was that there's no plg platform. Today. There are lots of pieces of technology that help you execute on different areas of plg. Excuse me, but there's no obvious platform provider. And so today, your the aspiration is always to be the platform, right? That's when you win big you in the market as a platform. But currently, okay, if I have a piece of this plg tech stack, how do I make it work with the other pieces of the tech stack? Right? How do I put more of it together so that I can deliver more value to my customer from a plg tech stack landscape. And so given there's not a an obvious platform provider, these pieces of the plg tech stack, the players should be playing together. And that's really until there's an emerging platform and everybody loves on to the Salesforce or the HubSpot, the Eloqua, the Marketo, then then these pieces of the puzzle really should be partnering up. And ultimately, the better that I think the one who partners the best and has the underlying foundation will ultimately be the winner in the platform side.

Jared Fuller  12:01
I mean, there's such an easy example of this. That's like an in between. So anytime I'm looking at a trend, Gil, just like he spoke to. A lot of people want to find the connection between A and C and it's like look for B. What's b b is Zapier? Like how is that not Zapier, like if you're a product lead growth company, and your first integration is not Zapier so that way users can extend your capabilities just some simple stuff like Slack email, right just notification simple things like that, or push this thing to Salesforce, do this thing here there. You know, Zapier is almost so ubiquitous in so plg. And so everything like you just said that we all forget about it. It's like any what I've done for startups, since I've done drip, left drift. So I've been like working in and helping like hands on, I've set up four different Zapier accounts in six months. Right? Like that's like the first thing that I do. But you do see companies in this low code, no code environment, like bubble web flow, like Isaac, how much did I fall in love with Webflow in the past few weeks, too much.

Isaac Morehouse  13:05
After your first five minutes with it, you were like, Oh, this sucks. I hate it. And then five minutes later, you call me and you're like, oh, my gosh, web flow is incredible. I gotta get it. Now. I can't stop. We've had to pull you out of there. Right?

Jared Fuller  13:18
And because I was so like, pls summit.com. I mean, this is where we get the plug in. We've been talking about watering holes and developing all this is, of course, everything related to if you haven't seen it, the partner led Summit. So five days, Monday is partner led startup, just speaking to what Jill was just talking about VC, right founders bringing them together to think how do I build a company this way, day two, product, day three, marketing, day four sales, day five success. So pls summit.com, there's my mid roll. Plug. But I was actually behind the scenes on the site doing some stuff that I probably shouldn't have been to Isaac's point. And that's what I mean that extensibility that product lead capability to where I didn't have to go to a Dev, I could recreate modules, I could save myself time, I could pull in stuff from figma, I could pull in stuff from Canva. Wow. Like, I never talked to anyone. Where was the go to market team? Where was the marketing influence in that? Where are the advertisements that were telling me what to do? Where were the salespeople that were closing me on this contract?

Isaac Morehouse  14:18
What Jared, why why did we Why did we use Webflow? Why did we use Webflow? Because we contracted with designer. And the designer said, we just set everything up in Webflow. We like it and we said, oh, we don't have web flow. If you tell us we should use it, we'll use it because we trust you.

Jared Fuller  14:34
That's it for that's why I didn't even want to use web flow. But they said we're gonna use web flow. And I was like, Well, you're the designer. So boom, and then now I'm a big amount. I just evangelized it on, you know, out here. So Jill, like that's, this is the world that we're living in. How was it whenever we sign into Slack or teams and start our days go to market professionals that were somehow forgetting that like this is the way that the world works now.

Jill Rowley  14:57
Well, where's the attribution on And you guys using web flow? Where is it, you can't see it. And it doesn't, it doesn't exist. And I was on cmo coffee talk this morning with Lonnie and Matt Heinz as the co host. And there were amazing people in attendance, like CMOS have really, you know, amazing companies. And the conversation was actually about gating and on gating, and about the 27 touch points that a buyer has with your company in their, you know, evaluation purchase purchase process, and it was measuring, like at a, you know, an individual contact level from a lead form, which we all agree lead forms or so yesterday, or looking at it at an account level and looking at intent signals. And I sort of in the middle of it said, if all of these touch points, that if there's 27, that you can see, or some that you can't see, what are the ones even outside of your, of your of your web properties of your assets of your content? Like where, where, where's the influence coming? And then interesting in the chat, qualified, came up as an alternative to registration forms. And why don't you you know, use a chat for an event registration, and then ultimately, you can get more information through that chat without making someone fill out a form initially and qualified was mentioned, I can't tell you how many times and drift never came up in the chat. And so if someone's looking for that conversational intelligence or or alternative to form fills, they're going to be looking at qualified website, do you think qualified is going to know the source? No, they're not going to know the source, they're not going to know that it came from the CMO coffee talk? They're not going to know that.

Isaac Morehouse  16:57
I mean, how would that we see that Jared? So so often in the partnership space, like, you'll just hear people having conversations, and they'll say, Yeah, use crossbeam and reveal that for all I know, there could be other account mapping tools out there. But no, but I don't know. Because that's, that's conversationally, but I just real quick on this web flow thing. I just started thinking a little bit like, what would be the best way to try to work with and harness that, let's say, your web flow, they're obviously doing the product lead stuff, great. If you're like, uh, you know, trying to think about how to tap into what happened with us, why did we start using web flow? Because our designer said they liked it, and we started using it. I'm trying to think like, the attribution, like if I got an email, or even a DM from a human at Webflow, that said, hey, Isaac, I noticed you guys started using Webflow. How did you hear about it? I would answer that, I would say our designers tell us and then if they said, Hey, do you mind if I ask who are your designers who you're working with? There you go, I would give them that information. I'd say this is who it is right here. And if they were like, Hey, cool. Do you mind if we contact them? And say that you mentioned that you're working with them? I would probably say no, go for it. Right? Like, there's something there. That's it's it's more manual right now at least, but file because like, otherwise, it's gonna get lost and these plg companies, that's great. But to your point, there isn't any attribution. So there's, there's no way to like lean in deliberately on the ecosystem component of it. It's not just that we found the product independently and started using it without talking to a salesperson, we found the product through someone in their network in their ecosystem, someone who is kind of an informal partner, but they don't know about it. They're blind to them. Now, maybe they're not maybe they do know, these these designers. But that's kind of what I'm trying to take it to that next level, like, how do you get explicit about that? How do you bake that into the way that you go to market?

Jared Fuller  18:44
Well, Gil, Gil, you've listened to or seen him on LinkedIn, Chris Walker? Oh, yeah. Yeah. So like, his posts are really, really solid right now, from a marketers perspective. I'm working on refine, and trying to get them to talk to talk our talk. So there's a couple of conversations happening there. But what Isaac just said is, it was really close to what Chris Walker talks about, he's like, remove the drop down field for attribution from your site, right? That's like, how did you hear about us, you know, this, this, this, this thing or the other and just make an open text? Right? And like, stop trying to attribute everything with some UTM or some coded parameter and just ask people talk to people. You know, Isaac, what I call that is I call that living in market. Living in market is talking to people. And that's, that's where partnerships professionals, Gil, I think, has have a very big competitive advantage. It over a lot of other personas and why marketers and sellers and success leaders would would do well to work more closely with partner partnerships professionals, because they do things like Isaac just said, right? You get a new account that comes in it's an unknown source. So you have someone reach out and go, Hey, how did you hear about us? Right? Like if it's just direct, why is it actually that Jill? This is her Great question for you, you've been in these circles. Why is it okay that DirectX is an acceptable source. It's like, oh, we can't figure out attribution, but we'll accept 50% Direct, we'll accept the thing. It's like 50% organic. But then we're going to argue over every single frickin thing that comes in that might be related to partner. It's like you just accepted 50% blind, what you said is, I have no idea where this came from, and I'm not interested in it. Why is that unacceptable?

Jill Rowley  20:27
I don't, I don't know why it's an acceptable answer. I think it's just become the norm. And so I think that until we change the thinking, and the the uncomfortableness of not knowing exactly where things are coming from, like the last touch attribution, that we can measure it, this all actually boils up to the boardroom. And there is now a standard waterfall that boards are used to, and they need to understand how your waterfall metrics are performing and against the rest of their portfolio companies from a VC perspective. And moving to I heard you say, you we talked about, you talked about flip the funnel in a podcast and how that's no longer even relevant. You said, Fuck the funnel. And, Jared, that was you. And I agree, I agree that was in 2011. A great way to think about it. Because it was better than putting something at the top and waiting for it to come out the bottom, it was reversing it and thinking customer first. But now, it really is. It's It's squishy here. It's like if you're going to do community like growth, what are the metrics that you have to measure to know if the investment in community is actually having a direct impact on revenue? And when does that impact on revenue occur? I think we're, you know, we, we've, we've gotten obsessed with marketing attribution software. And now we want everything to fit into our marketing attribution software. But the marketing attribution software is already out of date. It doesn't work for today's environment, from a buying perspective.

Jared Fuller  22:30
This is where we're gonna go back to this, maybe I let me let me roll with this one, I was excited to toss it to you. What I'm hearing Jill, and what that made me think about is the difference between, like an open or a closed system, like a machine versus an ecosystem, right? So like, this IO approach to everything in tech input output, right? A for B, one plus one equals two, like this linear way of thinking works really well in machines. But then you apply that to, I don't know, 50 acre farm. All of that stops working all of a sudden, it's just like, not the same. It's if you have a factory where you're rolling out, hey, here are the exact same, you know, life is good water bottles. Yep. Right. Yeah, that is not the same as 50 acres of this multiple types of foliage and plants and animals and everything else. It's just a completely different thing. And it's like, well, how do you measure the health of that? That factory line? Well, it's the number of units produced, right? And we can defect? defects. There's a there's the, I mean, it's one of the best business books of all time. What, gosh, about the factory where God was written in the 50s? Just what I'm talking about Isaac, you ought to come back to it. It's about factories. And it's no, it's about factories. And it's a fictitious story, I'll come back to it, I'll find out which one I'm talking about. But you apply that to this 50 acre plot of land or a giant farm, you you want to think I'm getting somewhere with this, you want to think that the measurement is the same as these physical goods. And it's not. That's just the output, the inputs are entirely different. They're not even the same. And that requires a completely a complete shift in the way that we think about how growth happens.

Isaac Morehouse  24:27
When the end the variables, the variables are so many more and so much harder to control. And you also suffer so much more dramatically from the observer effect. So the observer effect and social sciences like okay, you want to you want to, you know, watch a bunch of people to see how they do something. But as soon as you're watching them as soon as they know they're being observed, it introduces a new variable and they change their behavior changes. This is what it's like. Everyone knows now. They're being tracked the email people are going to Know if you open it or you know, they they know that, you know, you're that everything's automated, they're trying to capture the data that alters our behavior. So you have to keep it that you can't you can't get people to behave like machines, you just can't, you can apply some of those things for sure, you can scale a lot of things with automation, you can track things, I'm not saying those are bad, but you can't treat it like finally, we have turned it all into this widgetized process. It's good to go right, like, it's too complex, it's too changing, and people will alter their behavior, which is why you're always trying to stay in front. This is why in some ways, in some ways, I'm gonna say something kind of crazy. Maybe we're in the golden age for partnerships, because there isn't a whole lot of automation and measurement tech that has been developed yet, which can be bad, right? There's downsides. And those those developments will come. And that will help scale some of these things. But once they're developed, we tend to place too much faith in them, we tend to believe that they solve everything. And then we we live to those systems, instead of remembering. So the fact that we're kind of in the Wild West, we're on the frontier, that the same things that are available to marketing people and salespeople in terms of automation and technological tools of the trade, and playbooks. Those aren't yet available to partnerships people to the same degree, maybe that's kind of a good thing, too. Maybe that's kind of exciting. Maybe that forces you to engage in the more organic human element, and you can't lean on some of those things.

Jill Rowley  26:25
Well, back to what Jared said it's the B, right. It is the it's the I don't know what this is, but there is a B there. And I've got to go figure out what that B is between the A and the C. And I think this is the golden age of partnerships, where it's really around right now. It's category evangelism. It's a new way of thinking. And these are the fun times, right? These are the fun times when really passionate people who see that this is where things are going, we get together, and we try to figure it out together. And you're right, Isaac, eventually, it will get productize. It'll get packaged, it'll get templated. It'll get automated, it'll get tracked, it'll get all of those things. And that's okay. But right now, we're, we're still in their, in their early days of figuring it all out. What does it mean? How do you apply it within the business? How does that actually impact go to market strategy? And then how does it impact how you build your product, right, open or closed? If you're building a closed product today, you're dead on arrival, right? You've got to build something open today. If you're gating everything today, you're dead on arrival, because, you know, I still give my my office line from five years ago, when I lived in California, as opposed to my cell phone number. If I know that I'm going to get marketed to or sold with that phone number. If I'm going to give UPS My phone number so they can update me on tracking and where my packages are, especially Mondays I get, you know, meal kit delivery, I get a meal kit delivery on Mondays with recipes and ingredients. And I want to know am I going to be able to make dinner Monday night with that package. And so I give ups, my phone number, and my my real cell phone number and I get updates. I know I'm gonna get something a value. If I question whether I'm going to get marketed to or sold by giving this piece of information about me. I'm not gonna give it to you period.

Jared Fuller  28:30
Gated companies are dead on arrival. So Doa jail. I've talked about this before on the podcast and lovely. But I think it's actually a great analogy because it's so ubiquitous, and we see it in our regular lives. And this might generate some better conversations, and me and my CRO friends and my co cmo friends and maybe for you to look at what's happening to Netflix right now. And like look at the user experience. So Netflix is getting its butt handed to it. But it is a darling child of the internet. I mean, no rules rules. The Netflix book by Reed Hastings is phenomenal book. If you look at the culture deck that Netflix put together back in early 2010s. It's like the foundation of many Silicon Valley, you know, company cultures are they did a lot for the tech world. But how do I go? Participate in the Netflix ecosystem, Joe Versus YouTube who is who has seen compound like people that people don't understand how YouTube is the best acquisition of all time. There's not even a close second. There's not even a close second. It's exponentially higher than the second one. Because guess what? I can go browse YouTube, I can search YouTube, I can use it anywhere. So I can be a user without ever giving my information. Now I get served ads. I can do YouTube premium. My whole household is YouTube premium, right? But then I can become a creator. I am a creator. I can upload stuff. Hell, there's kid creators. You know my son watches my son watches five year olds jumping monster trucks off of cliffs in These five year olds are creators. So that network effect that compounding quarter over quarter, Netflix just crushes earnings, it crushes its numbers, it's beating everyone. And Netflix stalled the hell out. So if you were to look at these two examples, which one in five years is going to be in a better place? The closed garden of Netflix or the open ecosystem of YouTube? There's no way you could get me to bet on Netflix.

Isaac Morehouse  30:26
That's that's a hilarious like, you just made me realize something that my kids, I have heard them and their friends more than once over the years, say something like, I want to be a YouTuber. I have never heard a kid say I want to be a Netflix kid. Like it thing things that people aspire to build on top of. I've heard I've heard developers say stuff like that, like, oh, yeah, I want to play around and build stuff on top of you know, this or that, right? Like, that's a sign that you're getting it right. But you don't you don't hear you don't hear? Well, I want to grow up to be a Netflix creator.

Jill Rowley  31:00
Yeah, cuz you're right. It's a closed system. I think I think tick tock is actually pretty frickin interesting, right? Where we're going the same behavior. We're going from YouTube, you know, I wanted to repair the a piece in my oven. And I wanted to actually like, do it myself and not call my handyman. And so I went to YouTube and searched a video on one like, where to buy that component, and then to how to install it without blowing up my house, because it's a gas oven. And now I'm hearing people going to tick tock for the exact same information that they would get on YouTube. But on tick tock, it's not a 90 minute tutorial, like it is on YouTube. It's a 92nd tutorial on the format of the content is changed. So

Jared Fuller  31:53
what you just said that ties it all together? Let's the YouTube competitor is an ecosystem. Right? The Netflix competitor is an ecosystem, it's another to rival ecosystem to YouTube. And they both might be able to coexist just fine. Right? They might not. There might be some competition, who knows. But I think the point of what you said is that a closed system, a walled garden is DOA. Tell me how someone that's a closed system is going to beat YouTube at community led content. There is no way that if Tik Tok was like, Hey, you have to have an account. It's only by our curated professionals, we produce the best content better than anyone else. It sounds like Trump kind of we produce the best content better than anyone else. Content is the best content. I walked in here. And I said, we have the best content. You know, like, that's exactly what it sounds like.

Jill Rowley  32:44
This is unclassified. I thought it was classified. And just because I thought it was unclassified. It's on classified.

Jared Fuller  32:50
Yeah. I mean, it's just it's, and that's not even a political statement. It's just the the funny part is there's no way that would work. There's no way so why is it with go to market? You know, it's like, I think these are the conversations start to influence our peers, because like, look at what we use every day, what our kids use every day. You can't say that as a go to market machine. We're building this machine, this assembly line has any chance in hell against the Tick Tock ecosystem against the YouTube ecosystem, the next ecosystem.

Isaac Morehouse  33:20
Let's go further on that. I love Jill's example of the oven. Because let's say okay, so yeah, YouTube and Tiktok are ecosystems. But what about other companies that want to live in market with the community and take that approach? Can they work easily with Netflix versus YouTube or Tik Tok? If you're Lowe's or Home Depot, and you want Jill to immediately think of you to go get this, you know, parts that she needs or whatever, how are you going to do that with Netflix, at best, you can have an ad that's gonna hit everyone very generic. No, there's not even an ad for Home Depot. If if or you can put out you can produce a show, that's a show about fixing houses or whatever, that's great. That's a type of content. But there's no way to specifically reach Jill in that moment. Whereas if you're Lowe's or Home Depot, you can work with you can partner with some content creator out there, and they have an episode that's 30 seconds long, that's literally about how to replace this part on this stove. Okay, you go to home, you go to Lowe's to buy the part, I bought it for nine bucks, and then you put it in and then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they can do that the long tail of that they can partner with all kinds of creators for all kinds of very specific things. There's no way that Netflix is going to be able to reach you know, a someone partnering with Netflix, Lowe's can reach Gil through that through that, you know, format in order to solve this problem. So it's, it's just it's cut off from from multiple directions. Well, I

Jill Rowley  34:42
think you should take the idea to Lowe's Isaac, because I think it's brilliant. If they're not already doing that they really need to do it. And then they need to take the friction out of ordering that part. And then they actually need to do survey feedback on whether I was actually able to get the part without friction whether I was able to install the part without friction and Would I recommend this like to a friend? And do I know of any other creators?

Isaac Morehouse  35:05
Can you imagine? Do you imagine? Do you imagine order right now I've done that with my lawnmower, watch the thing about how to fix it. If there was literally a button that was like, this is the kind of blade I used for this mower, you can click right here to order it like oh my gosh, that's the kind of stuff where it gets next level.

Jared Fuller  35:21
We're talking about partner hacking right here. I mean, that's that's literally like, it sounds like a hack. I mean, people people have given me flak for the name, even though every single company that's had hacker and its name has been successful. So that's why I did it. Sales hacker growth hacker, indie hacker, hacker noon Hacker News. Like, these are all successful companies. Why? Because in the beginning of a massive shift, there is no frickin playbook. Right? If that already existed, it would be done. That's a brilliant example, Isaac, of how partnerships and go to market and how we already operate as consumers should work in this world. Like, if I'm Lowe's, what's my SEO strategy? From Home Depot? What's my SEO strategy? It's like, What a stupid question. Because Jill just told us all the SEO was on video, right in video is not SEO. Well, right now, it kind of is with YouTube. But then if you go to tick tock, you can enter into these other platforms, these other systems. And what that means is, you should have the people that are known as you know, house fixer uppers, home flippers, whatever they are the influencers in that market, you should go through your inventory and go, Okay, I'm Lowe's, and I'm Home Depot, what's the stuff that's selling in the world right now? Right? What do people need answers to where they're going for purchase decision that we're going to interject ourselves into that conversation? Have them that produced the content that show them how brilliant example of how partnerships should work? And if you see the world operating that way, it should apply to your business as well. I mean, that well, what a, someone should document that and just like packaged up like Jill said, and go take that to Lowe's, like someone had corp dev ID or BD at Lowe's. There you go, there's your go to market strategy for 2023. It's true. Jill, do you know the CMO at Lowe's?

Jill Rowley  37:02
Let me go look on LinkedIn, because that's where you find people, right. And then you can do research on that person. And so you can be relevant to that person. So you can build a relationship with that person. That creates an amazing partnership.

Isaac Morehouse  37:15
I think I think one of the challenges is often when, like, Okay, we all talk about living in market, a community, understanding that this is how buyers want to buy is not that hard for people to get we all get that because that's how we are as buyers, right? We want to be sold to we want to, you know, have these trusted communities, making a connection of like, how do you operationalize that as a company? How do you make that a repeatable motion? How do you go from just acknowledging this is how my customers live to connecting those dots. I would love to know in b2b in particular, because it's easier to come up with examples in b2c, and b2b in particular, Jill, do you have any examples of like, how people really effectively did get in mesh themselves in that community in that ecosystem in a way that was like a repeatable thing, not just like, you know, a one off.

Jill Rowley  38:07
One of my favorite examples that I cite all the time is notion. And I'm sure I forwarded you guys content on notions, community led growth strategy, and that there are creators just like we're talking about with YouTube and Tiktok, there are creators of notion templates. And notion just started to, to hear notion mentioned out in on social networks, like there's, there's a high school student who created all these notion templates, and she loaded them onto Tik Tok, she was creating videos, and they started to notice this activity starting to get talked about. And they started to bump into all of these other, you know, notion template creators. And ultimately, what they did Fast Forward is they created a marketplace. And they invested in all the infrastructure to create this marketplace for creators to actually upload these templates into the marketplace. And ultimately, to monetize. So these these templates are getting purchased by notion users are not even notion users yet. And notion isn't taking a single penny from the monetization of those templates for these creators. They're actually creating business income for you know, high school teenagers, anyone who can create these templates and and then the marketplace will you know, how many people downloaded it what's the rating you know, all sorts of you know, marketplace ideas around creating this ecosystem, this bigger than notion economy that's that's a goat go look at you know anything about notion, community like growth product led growth. The Creator economy, just a whole new way of thinking about business.

Jared Fuller  40:04
And look at how those these companies go on and affect, you know, the venture world that tie back to your earlier point, Jill, you know, like stage two like Christina Cordova shout out Christina, she was on, I think episode three of partner up. And she was the head of partnerships at notion at that time. And now is a partner at First Round Capital. Right? Do you think she's going to be influencing how companies think about go to market and building marketplaces in the Creator economy, right, and content and community led growth. These things are happening, we just gave you an example of one of the Darling children in all of tech notion. And the person that was responsible for partnerships and was building all of that stuff. She's now at First Round Capital, one of the most influential early stage VCs and the next generation of companies that are that are competing and coming up against you, they're thinking this way first. That's, that's kind of a scary thing, if you're stuck in the old ways, and there's a new generation of companies up and coming. And let's say for example, you're going against peekaboo to Data Box. Right? Who GL to your point, they have what dozens and dozens and dozens of templates that were created by who experts, marketing agencies on how to measure your performance. And then there's a community and then they send their service stuff back in, and it's just all natural from day one. And guess what, it's highly profitable. And every VC in the valley wants to throw a check at Pete. And he's like, No, thanks. So go compete against Peekapoo I dare you go start a Data Box competitor, you're not gonna have a good time, you're not gonna have a good time going up against it go compete against notion, probably not going to have a good time,

Jill Rowley  41:35
I want to talk about Gmail versus Microsoft, and Canva versus Adobe. And where we're seeing the seeding of those products, Gmail, we saw it, you know, schools using Outlook. Now, every every school uses Gmail, Google Docs, they don't use word, they don't use PowerPoint, it's all in the Gmail suite. Right. Gmail is an open platform more than an outlook platform. Canva like we in Photoshop, Adobe was the, you know, the thing that you learn to use in high school and in college and InDesign, do you think that's going to be the future? No, it's going to be Canva? And if you see it, that earlier, you seen it? And do you think that Gmail and Canva were trying to monetize day one, in those communities in those use cases? No, they weren't, they were trying to get broad adoption, and lifetime value of, hey, I'm not going to use Adobe Photoshop, because it's a lot easier to use Canva. And so that the seeding of this, the long tail, right, you've got to make those investments upfront in your community in your partnerships. And thinking about that long tail that can come from that, rather than a white paper with a form and a MQL that you get to then send to your sales rep for further qualification. Again, we're we've got to move from this funnel to this flywheel from this short term to this long term view. And those are the big shifts that we need to see happen

Isaac Morehouse  43:11
that that that focus on the long term the lifetime value is because like first mover advantage that goes away eventually product advantages, those will get competed away. But what you can't that that the love the loyalty, the community, so with the notion example, that's so cool to me, is that, okay, hey, we see people are doing this, we're gonna put in the work to build this marketplace. And we're not taking a cut. We're not even doing this for revenue. Now, you could think like, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, what a huge opportunity. You're missing? How many? How many? What if you had, you took a cut of the revenue to recognize the value? Like how do you quantify the the love that all these people have for you, because you gave them a way to make money? Like, hey, we're gonna help you make money, we're going to help you get better at this. We don't even care what you create it in long term ROI, I guarantee you is higher than whatever percent you can take off the top. Because if you take a percent now you're competing with everybody, Oh, this one takes less. Oh, this one over here. I'm gonna start designing for them. Because I can tell like, when you just give it away like that, and you build that army of loyal fans, that is the long term thinking.

Jared Fuller  44:20
Well, what are we doing Isaac? That's what we're doing.

Jill Rowley  44:25
Right? That's a partner hikers doing it that what you're also doing is you're shining the spotlight on all the smart people who were actually the early part of this category evangelism. And then the people who are actually in roles doing the hard work, and it's not just the content, the curation of that content, and original content and research and events and stuff like that. But you're really you're really helping the community, right? You're helping them become creators, you're helping them become high profile within their organizations to be able to have no more strategic role like that's, that's the the investment that partner hacker is making is in other people

Jared Fuller  45:08
in the community, right. And the journey to do this the right way, in my opinion is to, in order to become a platform, you should start by being an aggregator, right. So like, we're not a platform for anyone to become famous, or to do X, Y, or Z or to create more value for themselves. Whenever we start, we have the cold start problem, right? We overcome the start cold start problem by giving first and by becoming an aggregator. And then we have platforms that we've developed on top of that aggregation, like the pls Summit, right that, like Mark my words next year, that's one of the biggest platforms and all of b2b. Pos will be one of the biggest platforms and all of b2b, there'll be 10,000 plus 10s of 1000s of people that are aligned to we need to understand partnerships needs department, I know it will be it's going to be a platform. And that's because we're aggregating everything into each of these lanes. So wow, like this, this was this was a hell of a conversation, chill, rally, everybody, Isaac, we got some plugs that we want to make. So I just did PL x, and we could sing the pls praises all day long. Joe rally is gonna be there everybody, like she was for ecosystem week. I'm really excited for Jill to have these conversations with you there. Isaac, what else do we got to plug on partner up this week before we wrap lit building

Isaac Morehouse  46:20
up building up to PLLC we got this incredible pls summit.com event in November. But we've got we've got a couple things along the way as well, to keep these conversations going. We just had a phenomenal Third Thursday, last week event with partner page about what agencies want. And again, it just reminds me how much I love just hanging out with this community. So our next, our next chance to do that we have September 28 School of partnerships with Fernando and that's a half day it's noon to three Eastern, it's a little bit more robust, but it is jam packed. It's phenomenal. It's gonna it's gonna have kind of like frameworks, and then stories illustrating these frameworks from people, we're putting them into practice, and then a workshop in order to test it out for three sections with that format. So it's really highly engaging event. And then on October 7, First Friday is back. Cuz there's no holiday this first Friday, we're doing First Friday with packed with purpose called ROI meets purpose. And it's all about combining, you know, realizing that there doesn't have to be a tension between creating an impact and doing things that have a deeper meaning to you and business outcomes. And we're talking about gifting and particularly their you know, what they're all about is where they source all of their gifts from are really, really interesting. Small businesses, you know, businesses, minority owned businesses, all kinds of really interesting companies. So that's gonna be a really interesting conversation as well. That's October 7 are next First Friday. So we got those babies coming up. And of course, the pls Summit, which Jill will be there for

Jared Fuller  47:47
Jill, you are phenomenal. As always, thank you so much for the insights that you share with us over email or text and there's geeking out out loud with us. As always, you're one of the most curious people in the room, which I think makes you one of the most smartest people in the room not to say that you or I or any of us have the answers, but we care enough to ask why. And that's what makes having you here so much fun. As always, can we tap you on for the third time?

Jill Rowley  48:11
Yeah, I genuinely love you guys. So I'm just so excited to be part of this with you. So love you. Love you love ya.

Jared Fuller  48:20
Back at you, Jill. Isaac, back at you to this. We're ending on a high note here. Partner up. We will see you all at the next thing. Oh, by the way, all the events Isaac just talked about partner hacker.com/events We actually have speaking of aggregator we're aggregating events now so partner hacker.com/events. If you want to find out any of the details, partner up, peace out. We will see you all next time. Cheers.

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