Mike: Hey, Damien. I appreciate you jumping on with me today. If you do not mind, introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and then we can dive into the questions.

Damien Arlabosse: Sounds good. Hey, Mike. My name is Damien Arlabosse, the founder of MartechGuru. I am French. I was born in France, came to the U.S. ports over 20 years ago. I used to be, funny story, I used to be a chef. Then I work my way through starting to [inaudible] HTML and PHP and building websites. I got into affiliate marketing and then ASU and all the different things that help me understand how to be able to assess products, I built a few, some work better than others, but unlike most recent years, I stay to work in marketing technology and I found an opportunity to build the tool for myself that I felt I needed. Since then, the product has evolved into something that will provide access to others which, basically, has become MartechGuru.

Mike: That is awesome. It sounds like you had a need for yourself. You went to solve that need and today, we have MartechGuru in front of us. So, let us dive in. I am definitely excited. So, tell us a little bit about the product itself. What does it do and why does it exist? What was the problem you were trying to solve?

Damien: The problem we are solving is building an inventory of all the marketing technologies that I was using in my current position. While using spreadsheets, some technology to applications will not even use the spreadsheet. It was very cumbersome to just maintain, not only the actual list of all the applications that we had in our inventory but related information, who is the owner, knowing all the cost and renewals and things like that. So, basically, in my experience, I decided that there would be, probably, something better than spreadsheets and a web app could do it. I did not find anything that I liked at the time. So, that is how I started building it, and what MartechGuru has become is an inventory of our platform, management platform for all your marketing technology.

Mike: That is awesome. Can you give us a little peek at how it works?

Damien: Sounds good. So, I will jump in right into, this is called MartechGuru as a platform. You will find over nine thousand tools, I think, as of today. We worked with Scott Brinker[?] who was the Guru of marketing technology. He was super awesome. He provides us with the data that it collects on an annual basis, which helps me refreshing the back end of MartechGuru, but we also collect ourselves any marketing tools that we come across or marketing tools that are submitted by our users or the audience that we have on social media. There is a lot of tools there. They are organized by categories and we try to keep everything straight[?]. We also feature tools on a weekly basis and try to help marketers discover tools they might not know about and might be useful to them. So, now, what I am going to do is dive into the product itself, which is, basically, you are stuck.

All right. So, when you login into MartechGuru, you can create Stacks. Most people have one Stack. I have multiple Stacks. We will talk more about that. The first thing you have to do with MartechGuru is adding applications, which is easy to do because of the search functionality that we have at the top. If you were going to add cells, for instance, you just have to type the search, and then, physically by clicking the button, you can easily just add the application to your inventory. So, it gives you an overview of the size of your inventory and there are different statuses that you can choose based on, are you implementing the technology, or as an application, solution that you have retired? You can see a map of your integrations which you have to build and look at it quickly also. Activity, goals, you know, just some basic information. On the left side, right here, you can dive into the inventory of applications. A simple list, but everything is right there. You can capture who is the owner or you can capture when you started using it.

The cost associated with the application, which is something that is extremely valuable to me. It is something that took me a long time to build but what it does, it gives me the ability to get an idea of upcoming [inaudible]. I do not get caught off guard by upcoming payments or gives me the ability to take the time to research applications that I might be replacing by interviewing the users, who are able to renegotiate aids proactively with vendors, the different contracts that I have. So, that is, pretty much, what this page does. What is interesting is, as soon as you start adding applications — So, we collect a lot of data on the back end. We use Scott Brinker’s data. We also use clear beads, and we also have our own color[?] that basically collects data on the web. But all the different solutions, marketing technology solutions that you have in your Stack.

What we are trying to give you is a sense of what is going on in your Stack. Know the spread across different categories while the top owners, when you get to the spinning, they also give you an idea of what is the annual cost of your Stack. This Stack that we are looking at right now is the MartechGuru Stack. Your monthly cost, how many of your petitions[?] are actually paid, what is the spread based on the type of application that you have? And then, use for a dashboard, that we are still working on, to help you plan financially, from a budget standpoint, how much you are spending on your Stack, at what point in one of those payments are coming out.

Lastly, I want to point out two different things, the renewals page. So, this is something that, also, I had struggled with. In my position at the university where I worked, basically, Finance owns all the procurements and the payments of the large contracts that we had. As we know, vendors do not necessarily approach you proactively, to let you know that the contract is going to be coming to renewal, which is a strategy that makes total sense. So, what I was struggling with was giving myself, my team, the ability and the time to look into each application prior to the renewal and making the best decision we can make for the team based on, the [inaudible] application that I was using, meaning, you know, meaning business goals. Meaning, customer experience satisfaction, criterias that we have, and things like that. So, with this renewal system that I have in place, what it does is, I am able to set up renewal reminders, and they, proactively, contact me whatever period of time that I decide, sixty, ninety days, one hundred eighty days in advance, about a renewal that is coming up and I can start my process to review the application with the users. I can start looking at what is available on the market, what is comparable, and dissects a little bit with the pricing, look at how many numbers of seats we need. So that, by the time I am engaging with the existing vendor, I have enough on my hands to either let them know that will be renewing, in which case, I can start the negotiation to renew the contract, or just let them know that we will be moving to a different application, in which case, I can start onboarding a lot earlier with the other vendor. So, this is something that is a really powerful account. It gives you an overview of what is coming up and you can slice the data and you can look at as long as you want. It can give you a list [inaudible] of all the payments that coming up.

The last important thing that is part of MartechGuru is it helps you get a visualization of your marketing technology. I am sure, Mike, you have been there before. Lots of different tools, lots of different integrations. Very difficult to manage this in spreadsheets. Even more challenging to have [inaudible] or web designers mapping on Illustrator or Photoshop the map of your marketing technology ecosystem. So, with MartechGuru, you can, pretty much, manage everything on your own. As soon as you add the applications, you can start building them up. What this does, it helps you, as a marketing technologist or marketing operation person, to work with IT, to work with Sales, to work with DevOps, to better understand how the technologies that are being used are connected to others helps planning integrations. It helps to understand that if we are removing a specific tool out of the ecosystem, what are the consequences? What data is flowing? What are we going to break if we do not pay attention to the integrations that are in place? And because it is easily manageable by anyone in this interface, anyone can really just keep an updated state of visualization of the marketing technology Stack.

Mike: That is really, really cool. And I, definitely, been in that position, trying to map out connections between products, without a doubt. So, this visualization is super, super neat. And I think, all the other features that you have layered into this are fascinating, in terms of renewals and all those things. So, what would you say are the three key examples of where your product really shines today?

Damien: Well, the first one, [inaudible], definitely, something like the time it is replacing something that does not exist today, to just create an inventory of applications that can be kept up to date. This pledge does not work. Some people do not want to spend the morning after [inaudible] this type of feature. And it is really meant, it was built by marketing technology, so it is really meant to be used by marketing technology. So, it is really the first tool that is providing a wide range of features and solutions that helps marketing operations and marketing technologies really managing marketing technology like they have never done before. So, I think, that is the most important aspect of it.

The second aspect is, I think, the ability to visualize the current state of marketing, of your marketing technology Stack. It is something that is very difficult. Visualization is the only way you can really understand something quickly, but it is very hard to build. And I think, be able to get the visual map, just like you see right there on the dashboard, is something that is very unique and very valuable. I know I have presented the marketing technology Stack to my CMO and she was not impressed by how easy it was to visualize and understand, but she did not realize how many applications we were actually using, you know, Stack which was really interesting to me.

The last one, I think, is what it [inaudible] is the ability to enter the cost of the solution and be able to get those [inaudible] monitors and also use budget planning, Gothic style. Helping you planning, either you do contact renewal, replacements of solutions, discovery of new solutions, maybe figuring out, does it work in the budget or not? I know that in my position, we get towards the end of the year when we find new solutions that we want to test. I have to, I am managing a budget and have limitations so I can easily use MartechGuru to identify how much is left in my budget in a matter of minutes, and I can give the green light to my marketing analyst. For instance, one [inaudible] with the new system if it fits or be able to, maybe, cancel very easily one of the existing subscriptions to be able to allocate budget somewhere else. But that is obvious utilization of budget planning is really helpful, So, I would say, these are the three main areas.

Mike: Yes. I have to agree. Those are awesome. Do you have any integrations today that –? I mean, obviously, your entire platform is about integrations in managing those integrations. But is there anything that plugs into your tool today that is meant for the solution itself?

Damien: Not currently. In terms of data flow[?] that I change from third-party solutions to MartechGuru, the only integrations that we have initially is that the sign-up-sign-in authorization, [inaudible] authorization process where, basically, you can log in using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and GitHub. But we do have some ideas around payments and integrations with vendors to pull[?] financial data into MartechGuru at some point, but nothing [inaudible].

Mike: Cool. Very cool. So, moving on to the fourth question here. What is the average size of your customer today?

Damien: That is really interesting, actually. I would say, most of half of my users are large enterprise level companies, too much applies because it was not really my goal when I built it. So, I think, it is about sixty percent [inaudible] over, I would say, one thousand people working at these organizations.

Mike: Yes. That makes sense. They, probably, have a lot of technology to manage.

Damien: That is correct. Exactly. I think that is the main reason.

Mike: Yes. Cool. What is the average time to complete an implementation, would you say?

Damien: So, I have been working closely with our users. We are still pretty new. It has been seven months since we have launched MartechGuru. In this form, it will only take a few minutes, really. But it depends on the size of your Stack. So, now, I would say that, I had a few users over the past couple days, within an hour, they had thirty or forty applications created, built into their inventory. I think it is sequential. Initially, you have to make sure that you add all your applications and then you jump into adding the cost, and that might require a little bit more research [inaudible] to reach out to finance, my need to reach out to the owner of the application internally to get, you know, because they might be paying with their credit card, so to get an idea of like how much will they pay me for that and [inaudible]. So, I think that the payments take a little bit more time. It is a collaborative effort. With MartechGuru, you can add as many users as you want. So, you can delegate these tasks to the application owners. But I would say, it all depends. If you can spend a whole day on this, that is all it takes for you to get yourself up and running. But as quickly as five minutes and you have something that is already working for you.

Mike: That is awesome. What is your pricing model and are there any setup costs?

Damien: There is no setup cost, whatsoever. I am more than happy, by the way, to help anyone getting the [inaudible] set up. If you have a spreadsheet of applications or Word documents, they can send it to me and I can set up their Stack for them. Currently, MartechGuru is free to use for one Stack. So, you get one Stack, it is unlimited applications, unlimited users, unlimited renewal notification, or all these [inaudible] free. The pricing model that I am working on is working with agencies. We work with clients. So, the pricing model is, right now, just set up for 10 stacks for a fee. But I am still working on the pricing model. So, there will always be a version that is totally free of MartechGuru, that something that I want to do. I think I will figure out the pricing with organizations that need more than one Stack.

Mike: Cool. That is awesome. Which of our internal teams, if we were going to get this setup, would we need in order to get fully implemented? Would you say it is just one person or is it usually, like, multiple departments that are involved in this?

Damien: From my experience, I really want one person. It is going to be somebody from the marketing operations team who will lead the implementation and then, probably, will coordinate with others to gather the data and then provide access to the Stack as need be, but you can be really handled by one person. So far, I think the average Stacks, you know, it has been, like, two people actually signing up because it is easy to share the Stack and input the data. There is really no need to have anybody else working on the implementation.

Mike: Very cool. I think we will go ahead and skip this next question which is all about the need for external agencies or consultants to be successful given that you, sort of, answered that right there, right? It is just one person.

Damien: Yes.

Mike: But the next question here is what support options are available? There are no implementation costs. It is a free tool, currently. But do you have any support options? You know, is it emails, Live chat, and do they cost more?

Damien: Yes. No. There is no fee involved with support. There is chat. There is a Live chat button using the Drift that is on the website when you are logged in. If I am up from six o’clock in the morning until eleven at night, I will be online and answering questions right away. There are also email addresses, and I share my personal email address throughout all the communications that I sent to my users. They are more than happy to connect with me via email. I am also on LinkedIn which I also share my information. Lots of different avenues to connect with me.

Mike: Very good. The last question is what would you say the average time it takes to see some success with the tool? Hearing back from your clients, do they say, “Hey, I implemented this a week ago and I already got a result from my team internally,” or something like that?

Damien: Yes. It is actually funny because somebody reached out to me yesterday. I was just following up on [inaudible] sign up. It was three hours after the sign-up and he mentioned that he already had received a kudos from his Chief Marketing Officer after presenting a map of the text tag that he had built in MartechGuru. So, I guess, it all depends on how comfortable you are with sharing what you build in MartechGuru. It can be as quick as an hour or two to share that first visualization with key stakeholders and getting the “Wow! This is really cool! Yes. We needed that.”

Mike: Yes. Absolutely. That is awesome. What a cool little success story to hear that it takes three hours to show some ROI.

Damien: That is right.

Mike: That is great. I think I am going to end up having to give this a shot and try to build out my own little tech Stack. I have not done it yet. I am embarrassed to say that as long as we have been talking, I have not had a chance to dive into your tool and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Well, Damien, thank you so much for doing NBSD with us. Hopefully, people will find this valuable and if they want to get a hold of you, you have a website, I imagine. How else would they get ahold of you?

Damien: They can email me at[?]. They can find me, Damien Arlabosse on LinkedIn. I am on Twitter, as well.

Mike: Great. Cool. Well, thanks, Damien. I really appreciate you taking the time.

Damien: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate it.

Mike: All right.


Get a rundown on how the Martechguru product can best help you manage your Martech Stack.

  • Company

  • Recorded Date

    July 2020
  • Length

    22 min


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