Review: Prof G Strategy Sprint

What is Prof G Strategy Sprint?

It is a 2-week intensive course, taught by Professor Scott Galloway, who is a Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern and Bestselling Author of “The Four” and “Algebra of Happiness”.

During the course, Scott explains the 8 winning strategies of the most innovative and valuable firms in the world, focusing mostly FAANG.

There is also a network of nearly 1,000 students across many industries that you can ideate and discuss the strategies with.

It costs $750 and you can see more information about the course here.

What is the T-Algorithm?

The “8 winning strategies” is the T-Algorithm strategy; a set of strategies that define trillion dollar firms today. T stands for Trillion.

The T-Algorithm consists of (with a product of Apple as an example):

  1. Appealing to Human Instinct – how the company’s’ products or services differentiate itself from the competition and add value to consumers in an intangible way of psychology. (iWatch and accessories)
  2. Accelerant – how the company creates a culture to attract the best talent. (Apple being the most valuable brand of the world)
  3. Growth and Margins – how the company’s strategy reflect the focus and balance of margins and growth. (iPhone and app store)
  4. Bundles – how the company creates relevant services bundle to generate value. (Apple Music)
  5. Vertical Integrations – how the company supply chain is vertically integrated (Apple retail stores)
  6. Benjamin Button (aka Network Effects) – how the company product becomes more valuable when more people use it. (Apple Maps)
  7. Visionary Storytelling – how stories are told and the power of that (Apple product release event)
  8. Likability – how the executives of the company are likeable by the public (Steve Jobs and Tim Cook)

During the course, these 8 strategies are released in 4 modules of 4 videos each, detailing each of the strategies with case studies.

Students then discuss the content over Slack in groups.

At the end of the course, each student is required to submit an exercise applying the T-Algorithm to a company of their choice with recommendations.

Upon completion, this qualifies for a digital certification with a Linkedin badge. Mine like this.

Prof G Certification on Linkedin

Worth noting that the strategy is similar to Scott’s book of “The Four”, but the content in the videos are high production and absorbed easily.

What are the pros and cons of the course?

Pros

  1. It’s a bargain for the quality of learning.
    For $750, you have an almost-celebrity lecturer teaching the strategies of modern technology companies with a unique perspective. I did a formal MBA myself – the Harvard case studies were often a decade old and the quality is sub-optimal compared to what Scott is producing.
  2. The strategies are relevant to today’s world.
    When I enrolled in the sprint, I expected the strategies to largely focus on modern technology companies. However, Scott does try hard to make a point that the strategies are and should apply to all other businesses. The T-Algorithm would be a guiding light on how to create differentiators to your company. Many classmates, who run some sort of service/agency businesses, have meaningful discussions on applying the strategies to their environment. (but it’s hard).
  3. Opens your worldview.
    Scott’s strategy sprint definitely brings a unique perspective on how to value different types of businesses. His POV is sharp and inspiring – I often left the session thinking more about Okta and other businesses. All the participants are from different parts of the world, which added colour to the discussion.

Cons

  1. Networking is over-hyped.
    One of the main benefits the sprint is selling is to network with different classmates of different industries from different parts of the world. The course did bring people together, but the networking does not happen naturally, particularly remotely on Slack (compared to any in-person events). I did make an effort to reach out to classmates on Linkedin to share notes, who have something in common, either located in San Francisco or work in tech/marketing.
  2. The discussions are noisy.
    The discussions within your class occur entirely in Slack, and there are three main channels – 1) your entire class of 1,000 people, 2) your cohort of about 150 people, and 3) your discussion group of about 20 people. You can imagine the discussions in #1 and #2 are just mayhem. The discussion in #3 is kind of hit-or-miss depending on the person starting the discussion.
  3. Some material overlaps.
    If you have read Scott’s book “The Four” or listened to his podcast “The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway”, the material or case studies is not very far off from what he discussed in the sprint. His POV on Apple or Peloton does not change much from 2019 to 2020. Well – you may argue the COVID factor makes him/ the market even more bullish.

Conclusion

Overall, I did have a positive experience.

The spring was a great opportunity to challenge myself to learn something meaningful out of my day-to-day job while we are all in shelter-in-place.

If you want to enrol the course, do make a list of what you want to get out of it. That may be helpful in maximizing the value of it.

If you like what you read, send me a message on Linkedin. 👋

Case Study: Digital Marketing Strategy in ABM for Monday.com

This is a case study of my other post: Digital Marketing Strategy in Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

My goal is to use a case study to illustrate the Digital Marketing Strategy in ABM and I will use monday.com as an example

Why monday.com?

Just because I have always seen their ads on Youtube and Instagram, and they are pretty good.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with monday.com any way, below is purely my outside-in reflections.

Business Fundamental

Before going deep into the ABM digital strategy, we should establish some shared understanding of monday.com ‘s business.

This could help answering the why bother doing ABM at all.

Monday.com is a software as a series business (SaaS). Their business model operates on a per-seat basis.

That means the larger the company, the more employees they have, the more potential revenue for monday.com.

The world largest organization are likely multi-national corporations with thousands of thousands of employees.

From an investment standpoint, there are two metrics that could potentially tell the story of how well monday.com is selling to the world’s largest organization.

  1. Number of customers with $100k annualized revenue
  2. The net dollar retention rate, which tells what percent of revenue from current customers you retained from the prior year, after accounting for upgrades, downgrades, and churn.

These two metrics are powerful because they tell a story that your product can be adopted in large corporations and they will pay you more and more every year.

With that, let’s continue with the case study.

ABM for Monday.com – Land and Expand

The lifecycle of a monday.com customer is likely started with individual users of small teams signing up to collaborate with each other.

Then, with product adoption and growth, it influences other teams within the enterprise to use the same platform to drive better alignment and collaboration.

This is a classic a land and expand playbook that many SaaS companies use, including Slack, Zoom, Dropbox…etc

So the ABM for monday.com could be framed as:

  1. How can the business land the Fortune 500 accounts?
  2. After land, how can the business expand within the account?

As an example of potential revenue, one of the brands in the Fortune 500 list is Levi Strauss, that has 15,800 employee.

Assuming 30% of the employees are corporate rather than retail, the potential revenue could be $1M+ for one account. (15k * 30% = 4500 users; 4500 * $20 user/mo* 12mos = $1M+)

There are many other tactics/programs could land and expand within Levi, and the next section will focus on how digital marketing can accelerate that.

Digital Marketing Strategy in ABM for Monday.com

If you have read my blog post, the digital marketing strategy in ABM is primarily around:

  1. What are the programs/campaigns we would deploy for 1:1, 1:few and 1:many in the Fortune 500 accounts.
  2. What are the programs/campaigns we would deploy to reach, drive them to website and convert.

If we put these two points together against a list of tactical ideas, you can put them into a 2×2 graph.

Each dot is a tactic / program, and they should be aligned with the ABM strategy.

2x2 graph for ABM Digital Program

Having said that, advertising is likely the core channel driving acquisition with a large media budget, thanks to the large consumer or SMB appeal.

And that SMB acquisition motion could potentially result in some good Fortune 500 logos.

Next section is going to illustrate some of the tactics applicable to ABM.

LAND

If I was in the marketing team, I would define landing an account to be at least have one paying team.

The rationale behind that is the product purchase flow should be easy enough for small teams to pay with credit card directly without much sales interactions for scalability.

Here are some ideas on 1:1, 1:few and 1:many for land tactics:

  • 1:1 – the most strategic account for monday.com are likely to be the likes of FAANG. Because the workers are technology-savvy and can adopt new tool very quickly.
    • Create 1:1 advertising creatives and landing page specific for that account. For example, “collaborate with your FB colleagues on XYZ”.
  • 1:few – the clusters of large enterprises are likely to be vertical-specific, e.g, large marketing agencies, or travel/hotel vertical.
    • Create vertical-specific advertising creatives and cluster landing page for that set of accounts. For example, “launch your next big marketing campaign.”
  • 1:many – the large clusters of targeted account could be focused on the product features that add most values to large organization.
    • Create air-cover advertising creatives and general landing page. For example, “Bring out the best in your remote teams

Depending on the maturity of the organization, 1:few and 1:many could be combined to streamline effort.

Remember, the objective here is to generate the first paying team.

EXPAND

On expand, there are more data available for the messaging creation.

It is because there are some workers from the first paying team are already using the product.

If permission allows, internal champion proof should be the most compelling case to drive adoption.

  • 1:1
    • The biggest opportunity I see in 1:1 ads is to leverage internal champion use case and get centralized functions (e.g, IT and procurement) buy-in.
    • The creatives here can be “Work with Sarah from Marketing” or “Learn how Mark from Finance uses Monday.com”
    • Note: If there are limited marketing resources, it may be beneficial to prioritize on customer internal events
  • 1:few
    • One idea is customer proof or even co-marketing. The key is to leverage the common characteristic to resonate with those accounts. For example, Booking.com collaborate with monday.com across 7 continents”
  • 1:many
    • Since the advertising campaigns are air-cover, the messaging here is likely to be very similar to overall brand or enterprise marketing.

Although there are several ideas on digital marketing campaigns above on expand.

I believe the most effective lever monday.com can have is an account plan on how revenue teams (Sales, Marketing and Customer Success) could work together to grow the account.

Every account is different on how they look at work collaboration, and has different maturity on cloud adoption/digital transformation/remote work.

It is essential to have a point-of-view (POV) on how to sell and add value to each individual account.

That POV could help forming different digital marketing tactics at each of account lifecycle stages, as shown in the below graph.

Digital Account Lifecycle with different stages
Digital Account Lifecycle with different stages

Summary

  • The objective is of digital marketing in ABM is to engage a specific set of account to generate revenue.
  • ABM technologies are essential to identify people in that company and orchestrate different campaigns, with 1:1, 1:few and 1:many programs in mind.
  • Moving account in different tier could be a manual or automatic effort, depending on the marketing stack.
  • Compared to Sales and Customer Success, Marketing is certainly most effective in spreading the brand at scale to drive adoption, particular on specific product launch and education.