An interview with Jerome Choo, Director of Growth Marketing at Diffbot
We sit down with Jerome Choo, Director of Growth Marketing at Diffbot. Diffbot is a world-class group of AI engineers building a universal database of structured information to provide knowledge as a service to all intelligent applications.
How did you end up at Diffbot and what problem does Diffbot solve for its clients?
I started with the go-to-market team at Diffbot, a fact-finding AI company. At the time, we had a vague idea of the kind of companies we should be going after. That vague idea cost us months on accounts that never converted. On a whim, we gathered all our closed wons in the last year, enriched them with our AI, and generated a crystal clear ICP that we've successfully used to close our biggest clients to date. Diffbot was born from that prototype. Not only does it generate your ICP from closed wons, it also follows new closed wons to update your ICP and suggests new accounts that match this ICP.
As the Director of Growth Marketing, what are your main responsibilities at Diffbot?
My job is to create demand and build pipeline. We run a lean marketing shop here, so you'll find me writing content, building free tools, crafting moonshot campaigns, and even running my own outbound.
Are Marketing and Sales at LeadGraph closely integrated or operate more as two stand alone business units? For example, at what stage does Marketing hand over a Lead to Sales?
Marketing and sales is very tightly integrated. I mentioned our go-to-market team before - which is really the marketing and sales team together with ad-hoc contributions from the rest of the company. We don't have SDRs, so marketing tends to handoff to sales for the first meeting. With LeadGraph, we qualify accounts with an ICP score to be sure that the first meeting will be productive.
At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' growth strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition channel while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you describe the Growth strategy of to drive growth despite growing economic headwinds?
LeadGraph is still fairly young, but we've built a strong business from cold outbound and are just starting to kindle demand gen and partnership efforts. The core team has a long history of product led growth. Because of this, our referral pipeline is also incredibly strong. We feel the tech slump. Deals are taking a little longer to close. But thankfully sales tools are the easiest to prove ROI on so we're pushing forward even in a down market.
What is an effective growth-generating technique that you've implemented at or at previous companies that you believe is still underutilized by most Growth teams today, and why do you think that is?
Growth teams today are way too focused on optimizing against 1% conversion rates on paid spend advertising commodity headlines. My growth loop is simple, but it's not easy. 1. Take meetings. 2. Listen for magic. 3. Tell everyone about that magic. You can take your own meetings, or join customer meetings with sales. When you're in, listen for the magic words. It'll sound something like "Wait, what? You can do X?" or "Hold on, can you go back to X again?". Whatever X is, that's your magic of the day. Start coming up with 10 different ways to tell everyone about it. Positioning is underrated.
If you had to pick one stage of the entire marketing-sales funnel at LeadGraph (from awareness to closing) which stage is your main bottleneck for accelerating growth at the moment and how do you plan to tackle it?
Awareness is our biggest bottleneck. With such a young product, we needed to first perfect the conversion from meeting to close. We are now able to close 20% of the meetings we take, which is plenty to start opening up top of funnel. We recently sponsored a conference with a talk on leveraging your closed won insights to find account targets (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-HSjG3bvTs). This was an immensely successful campaign and we plan to do more. We also plan to introduce free tools for go-to-market teams to use.