Scindia Balasingh is the Head Of Marketing – Global ISV Partnerships at Freshworks. Scindia started at Freshworks just a year ago in 2019, and her team was awarded as the top-performing team in the organization. Prior to Freshworks, she was Head of Marketing at Redington India, where she spent nearly six years playing a key role in scaling up their marketing functionality.
In episode 16 of the MOV Podcast, Scindia talks about partner marketing and how videos can play an effective role in communicating the complex product and integration use cases to the end-users.
In this episode, we pick her brain to learn what companies should keep in mind when setting up partner marketing and learn some useful insights along the way–
• Video marketing techniques in the technology B2B marketing field.
• How strategic partnerships and video marketing combined can greatly help companies reduce their CPL (Cost Per Lead) and organically reach their target personas.
• Choosing the right partners according to the geography, target audience, and other factors
• Few examples of partner marketing activities from Freshworks and other B2B SaaS companies; and a lot more.
Here’s Pranav, Co-founder at guch, speaking to Scindia.
Pranav Chimulkar: Hey guys, I’m Pranav and you’re watching the Mad Over Videos podcast by guch. Today’s the 16th episode of the MOV podcast. And today we have a very special guest, Scindia Balasingh, from Freshworks, who leads partner marketing, at Freshworks. It’s a great pleasure to have someone like that talk about a topic that is so important. And often, like most people end up not paying attention to it. We’d like to learn more today, I think I’m going to be picking a lot of points from Scindia. And I hope you guys also end up gaining some knowledge from this session. I don’t want to waste a lot of time doing this introduction. I’d rather quickly add that to the podcast and let’s get started. Scindia, welcome. Hi. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for joining us on the MOV podcast.
Scindia Balasingh: It’s my pleasure.
Pranav Chimulkar: Awesome. I’d like to get started quickly. So before we get into the actual discussion, I would have liked to introduce you a little better than I have done. I don’t think I’ve done a very good job at it. So I would like you to help me out here. Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your background and what you do right now.
Scindia Balasingh: Yeah, thank you. Once again, thanks for having me here. It’s my absolute pleasure to be here and it’s an amazing topic which we are discussing today which is very relevant in the current situation especially those who don’t know me I’m Scindia Balasingh, I head global partnerships marketing at Freshworks. Prior to this, I was heading marketing at Redington. Both these roles were a very special thing and a special opportunity which I got us. I built the team from scratch not many will get this opportunity right? So in both this function I was the first member and grown the team from zero to somewhere and here in Freshworks still we are trying to do that. Prior to Readington, I was with Bluestar. There only I started my marketing career and I learned all the basics of marketing there. In ATL BTL you call it everything partner marketing, everything started from Bluestar. Qualification- I’m a Btech, IT engineer with an MBA grad in marketing and operations. As a person, I love to interact with people, big chatterbox, I know I can’t sit idle in a place and We’ve been chatting a lot before the podcast leading to this session.
Pranav Chimulkar: Very honestly an absolute pleasure. Not many guests that come on the podcast, are able to spend so much time and I really appreciate the number of efforts that you’ve put in to ensure that we get everything right. That led to this session. So thank you so much. But I’d like to quickly start on from this question, which is, can you explain For the uninitiated, what is partner marketing? And what is its importance in b2b Saas?
Scindia Balasingh: Sure. A simple definition of partner marketing is when you do your co-marketing activities with or through a partner is partner marketing. There are two types of partnerships model broadly. One is channel partnerships. And second is technology partnerships. I head technology partnerships at Freshworks, Redington I was looking after channel partnerships. So when we wanted to have geo reach any brand who wanted to have geo expansion go to tier two tier-three cities have a wider reach, they cannot escape from the Channel partnerships model, they need to adapt to it, too. But tech partnerships are even more special, you know, especially in SaaS b2b organization. Today, the SaaS has no barriers, you will not be able to build a monolithic software or a complete product suite that suits all your customer needs. So you definitely need to identify your product gaps and pick up the right technology partners who will be able to fulfill the product gap and give a solution to the customers. So it is very, important to have technology partnerships in SaaS organizations. So that’s what I’m into. So I go with the right partners, we do co-marketing activities, and we present the solution to our customers, that is the important part. The importance of why it is so important is because in two angles, one there is a step.
If more than one app or the integration has been adopted by any customer, the chances of them getting churned will be reduced by 50%. If more than two as they adapt, then chances of them getting churned out will be reduced by 75%, which is a big problem in the SaaS industry today, right? On one hand, you will be acquiring customers on the other hand back door, you will lose customers, right?
Pranav Chimulkar: They will be slipping out from your fist.
Scindia Balasingh: Yeah, the net customer is always a challenge. So it’s very, important to tightly integrate with the business process of your customers for that they need to know download more apps on integration. So, this is anything customer when you wanted to acquire new customers today’s challenge, as you know, why we are talking about videos and everything, because the CPL is really to hire in digital marketing, right. So it is any marketer will agree with me in the last couple of years, it would have been easily gone up by 40%. So I think tech partnerships will help you to create content, which is solution-oriented. So this will bring organic traffic more, as well as your CPL will go down because the whole campaign cost will be split between you and your partner because you both are going after the same persona and same type of campaigns. So the effort and the cost is split into half, but the leads are double. So that’s the specialty of tech partnerships. That is why it is very important. It is highly emerging. In Freshworks alone, we have thousand plus apps in our marketplace, and more than a hundred partners, we do constant co-marketing activities. So it is very important in that way.
Pranav Chimulkar: That’s such a huge scale for any company to aspire to have. Like I think Freshworks and Girish both have been like, I think that leaders and people that every SaaS on the media especially looks up to, and of course, he’s made us proud globally, as well. Freshworks has been noticed and has done so well over the last few years. That I mean, we all are, super proud. First of all, that’s what I’m really happy that we have someone from Freshworks today on the podcast, thank you so much again. But again, I think you brought up a very important point that like this partner marketing, what it also does is actually splits, reduces your cost of doing particular marketing activity, right. So when you would have done the marketing of your own product, say you would have spent X amount of rupees and or dollars. And you would have, in this case, another partner who’s willing to split that cost with you. I know what that split is going to be. It could be 50-50. And you would tell me more, I want to know how do you, first of all, convince one of your partners to get on board and do something like this, I can see the value I can totally understand. But again, also the idea is to convince the person on the other side as well. That Hey, this is something that we could do together and both the brands can benefit one. The second point being if you end up doing that, you also have access to each other’s audiences. Right? A new set of audience opens up for your product. Can you walk me through that? How do you actually convince someone on the other side to get on board and how do you choose the right partner?
Scindia Balasingh: Right, so how do you choose the right partner answers the previous question which you asked. So first of all, you need to ensure that your target personas and your partner’s target personas are the same. That is very important. Somebody who is going after HR and you are going after the support head will not be right. Right. So first, you need to understand what is your target persona and what is your partner’s target persona. If it is the same, then it makes sense. And second, whether the product gap is really in a need for example, for fresh works, Freshdesk is our flagship product, right? So Freshdesk is our flagship product. So we have to see what is the product gap that we are not able to offer, but my partner is having it well. So I am going to today offer a customer engagement, customer experience to my audience. So then my customer may ask a social, today I have a native integration that with WhatsApp chat I have with no Twitter, everything I have, but if they want the social listening tool to constantly monitor and give me stats and you know, pick up the keywords from there and everything. There is a partner who is good, unfortunately. So when we have an integration together. If we had a customer It is easy to pitch, we can say like, I am a help desk, I have my omnichannel experience through all these channels, and I have a partner called Connect insights. If you deploy this integration along with my product, you will get the complete customer experience. So So this will delight your customer experience. And if I add one more partner called Survey Monkey, who is a CSAC partner, who will take feedback from the customer, right? So from helpdesk social listening to feedback, after resolving to indicate from feedback like a solution, so you have to choose the right partner by defining your product gap is the same target personas. And another thing is geography. For instance, for us Latin America. There, you need to have a local language partner, a partner who’s closer to the customer. That is another thing, you go and approach a partner. For example, in India, we have CTAs, cloud telephony. Many kinds of partners are there to fill that gap for us, though, in the US we have a fresh caller. But in India, we don’t have. In the Middle East we don’t have, so, we have zero kinds of partners coming. So this is how we choose our partners and similarly, partners choose us in this way. So here obviously, when the need is mutual, and we are going to the same person and trying to solve the same pain point of the audience, it automatically they will respond to you.
Pranav Chimulkar: Got it. Got it. Make sense, I think if both the parties see the value in the equation, and what they can do for the customer, I think it just makes total sense to like split the cost and just go behind the scenes.
Scindia Balasingh: They will promote to their customers, they will promote to their customers joint prospects. So it’s absolutely.
Pranav Chimulkar: The amount of depth that is there, that you just mentioned in your answer makes it very clear that Freshworks does marketing really well. But I have a question. I’ve seen Freshworks do videos a lot in marketing, right? Using videos is something that not too many brands are comfortable with. I mean, they are slowly experimenting, but Freshworks has been doing this for a long time. The amount of videos that the brand churns out is huge. I mean, for anybody who has seen the content from Freshworks, who follows Freshworks on YouTube and other channels, or even you’d see like ads coming on your feet. Every now and then. I want to know why does Freshworks believe so much in the video why does Freshworks love to do video?
Scindia Balasingh: I think we in Freshworks we are a video company, right? As you rightly mentioned, we strongly believe in video marketing and content marketing. Precisely we have an in-house team for video creation, designing content creation because we believe in content creation, and today the world is moving in videos right? More than 1 billion hours of content every day is being consumed according to a survey of YouTube. So it is very very important like for a product company for anybody selling app or software especially to create explainer videos for their customers to communicate their use cases. It is very very important otherwise see today if you do one joint one-pager or value prop brochure. It’s very difficult to make somebody read that brochure and understand rather no anybody’s attention span is too low today within that 10 seconds you need to get into their head. So the video is the right thing to do so and we have seen tremendous success through that. We do various kinds of videos in fresh books like testimonial videos because we believe that customers need to come on advocate right more than 90% of your online purchase depends on the reviews. They read the reviews and do so it becomes standard practice. So it is very important to convert your customers as your advocate. So our customer success team and customer marketing team did an amazing job and now you can go to the website or anywhere and see so many customer testimonial videos we would have made done that has actually helped us on what. So whenever we go to your new customers, obviously we will show that testimonial person that helped our conversion more 50% more conversion, obviously, because everybody wants to know like, what is your experience, right? Even today you’re buying something on Amazon, you will see the reviews, it becomes part of us. 90% of us do that it’s a proven fact apart. Apart from that if you see we have explainer videos for everything because as I told if every now and then in a SaaS product or a SaaS industry a new feature will get launched and it is very important to communicate the benefits of the feature to our customer on how to use that feature. And similarly to future customers, when we are going to do, video is the best thing to do. So, again short videos, or 2d animation videos, or screencasting videos will help you to do that. Tons and tons of videos we are having in that way. And obviously, we wanted to establish ourselves as a thought leader in the industry, which we are in. So if you see a lot of thought leadership content we have done, especially in these pandemic times, we have never pitched up products. Rather, we have done a lot of thought leadership videos coming into and creative ad. Creative explainer ads, which really worked for us. If those who don’t know I’m sure everybody knows Freshworks. But if you don’t know for sure we are into customer engagement. So we are into the employee experience. So we are into products like helpdesk, IT helpdesk, customer help, there’s a fresh chat, you know, chatting, chat and AI-based bots we are into. So we are coming up with HR tools, project management tools, so many, many 360-degree customer lifecycles, lifecycle support or software will be there. To give you an example of how it is really important for us. And recent add of fish check if you could play that we can discuss more on that.
Pranav Chimulkar: For sure. For sure. For anybody who is living under a rock, who doesn’t know what Freshworks does, or, for that matter, the product called fresh chat. Here’s the ad.
Scindia Balasingh: See, this is one creative explainer ad right now because today, especially in this situation, obviously online businesses picked up like anything but today, in many ways for a safe purchase anyway, everybody prefers online, but how will you agree to give the same customer experience to them. This ad just explains to you right how your employees can give the same customer experience by our chat. So anybody who wants more easily can understand this.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think they picked the right example of a person who walks into your store and how you will not let them alone and would try and help them out. When somebody is trying to look for something you would try and understand their problem and try to show something that you already have, that suits their needs. I think such a beautiful example that you took and translated into the story. So really well done with the ad.
Scindia Balasingh: We reached 1.5 million views in less than a month. That’s like that, and it’s still counting. That is the power of video, right? You know, organically you can reach so much of your viewers at a very low cost. That’s the power of the video. So why will you not adopt video as a strategy?
Pranav Chimulkar: I think you mentioned a bunch of video types that Freshworks does. I think all these communications are directed towards three different stakeholders is what I feel. Yeah, one is, like potential customers that you want to target. That’s the common conception about marketing like it’s to acquire new customers. It is to also communicate with your existing customers, keep them engaged. Because I think it’s very obvious and it’s easier to get more business from your existing customers, then sign up new customers. So the cost of acquisition is really less or, if you retain them for a longer period, it’s so much better than finding new customers every time as you said. And the third stakeholder which is also very important is your internal sales team or even your other employees, right? You have to also constantly communicate about your values about your processes, and things like that, and also about your own products that often times when there’s a new employee who’s onboarded, or if there’s a new product which is launched and that is yet to be brought to the market and how will you position it in the market? What will you say when you’re going to sell to your customers? These are things that you have to communicate via the internet. So I think I see that you’ve covered a lot of these use cases. But I would like to go a little more into detail to try and understand what are the other Use Cases or what are all the use cases that you’ve seen and what kind of videos have you produced yourself in your role? And I mean, we’ve also seen Freshworks creating a lot of videos in general. But here’s something that I want to know, about your role, which is partner marketing. How do you use video in particular?
Scindia Balasingh: You answered part of my, answer in your question itself, right. Because my stakeholder is the sales team. Because as you rightly said, you know, explain making them understand how to pitch the product use cases. But how to pitch the integration use case, when you have to pitch an integration to your customer, what kind of integration will suit your customer in which situation? Thousands of integrations we are having, so, how will you get to know which kind of integration will fit your customer need. So, educating your internal stakeholders play a key role right because they are the face of your company to your customer. So again, as I said, we have initially started creating a lot of one page. Did so much of things, was conducting quiz and trying to make them read, it never worked that much, but when we tried are doing small use cases we do, for instance. One type of video we did was 90s kids played a lot of Super Mario right, so something in a video gaming format, we tried, like the power of partnerships, how Mario and his brother come together and solve problems similarly, we made all the video games for my 90s pop music and we tried explaining the power of integration, that worked. So we created a lot of such videos and explained how that will help either in terms of animation format, 2d animation format, or screencasting format, and then the same video cannot be used externally because that audience is different. Here you’re teaching how to pitch your customer there you are directly telling them all this integration is going to be used. Again split into three categories how will I communicate to my partner’s customers, how will I communicate to my customers, how we will both communicate to your joint prospects. So the story will vary in all three. So for one use case integration, I have to make four videos, with four different. So in that way we use a lot of videos, for example, Avaya, is our cloud telephony partner, how Freshworks and Avaya works, one video, if you could play I can explain it from there.
Pranav Chimulkar: For sure.
Scindia Balasingh: So this is one example, where we tried explaining to them how your customer can communicate through you via WhatsApp and how they can choose the different mediums of communication. They wanted to communicate with you in case if they wanted to talk to you about, how Avaya will be helping them to immediately pick up that and talk with all the history whichever they have already chatted with you. So this is something very, easy for any prospects to understand, both for Avaya customers, our customers so somebody is owning Avaya, It is easy for them to adapt our integration, somebody who’s already having Freshworks it is easy to adapt our integration for them. And also for joint profits. This is something we use screencasting technique here because it is easy to do the multimedia format, right music, photos, everything can come. So this is one example how we use.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think it’s like you said you use the screen recording format here. What it does is also shows the actual product here. So I’m not any more guessing how it’s gonna look like, what’s the user interface for me? Like, what’s the experience gonna be like? It’s right in front of me. So I don’t have to go. Leave my email address, wait for a rep. Give me a demo and all that. Here’s a quick video, you can have a look. If you like it, then we can talk. Right? It’s that easy? Yeah, super. So I think also, what this kind of format tells us is that storytelling is very important. We always associate videos with large costs, we think those are very expensive to make. But often, I think storytelling, trumps production, right, whether it is a screen recording video, whether it is an Animation Video, whether it’s an ad that you shoot, today, I think the beauty of technology is that you have such a powerful camera in your pocket. You carry your own smartphone, you can shoot amazing videos on that, you just have to know a little bit here. And so it’s also important how you use the technology, that’s true, but then the power is already there in your hands, right? So it’s the accessibility, it’s always important that you focus on telling the right story, and not only worry about large production value. Often, you have to do large budget last production value videos as well. But then you categorize your marketing efforts and your video efforts in particular and see that you are going to allot so much amount of money for videos and then split that according to the different types of videos that you want to do. I think having that clarity is very important, rather than saying that they will produce a big ad or TV commercial and play it everywhere. And it’s all going to work out. So you need to start creating content in silos in a smaller time, right?
Scindia Balasingh: Virat kohli and Anushka coming out there, everytime, haha.
Pranav Chimulkar: I understand why brands do that. And it’s an easier route to take when you put a famous face out there, it’s very difficult to tell good stories and make great videos without putting an influencer or known face. But then if you can track that, I think you can unlock gold, right? If you don’t have a dependency on big cases or so your costs go down tremendously. If you have the right people working on videos, I think you can do really well, too. I think coming to the point, I just mentioned that, always, it’s not always important that you have large budgets. And this is typically the problem that most SMEs, right, you’re working at freshchat, you’re working at fresh works, and I’m sure Freshworks is well funded to invest as much as they would like to introduce. But then if there is a b2b SaaS company that is starting out, or maybe it’s just about to hit scale, and then not get experimented. So the entry barrier for me is not a lot, if you could plan properly if you could choose the right creative partner, right? Whether a lot of people have their own in house teams, they have connections with agencies, they have freelancers, a lot of different models are possible. These are different things. Like coincidentally, this is a position where I can also talk about guch. Again, what we are building is a market network. It’s the best of all these words put together. I think it’s absolutely important that you get hold of the right partner and make use of what you have the resources that you have, and produce the best output. Right? Tell me how can SMEs make good videos? What kind of videos is a must-have for a new b2b SaaS product?
Scindia Balasingh: See, as you rightly said, it’s not always that they need to worry about the production value, right? They need to have a good story. They need to have the right pain points identified first, right. And that doesn’t mean they need to come down from the class also. So the class can be maintained if they have the right person for doing the video for them at a lower cost. So all the SMEs need to do this to communicate the pain points because, in the majority of the b2b marketing, you’re not talking to the consumer directly. Not like somebody wanting chocolate or somebody’s having a temptation of biscuit or somebody wanted toothpaste. It is something like, first, you’re helping them to identify the pain point. Many will not even know that the pain point is existing. So first, you need to communicate the pain point to them, then you need to introduce who you are and how you’re resolving that pain. So that story is important. And you cannot keep that story for 10 minutes. Right? As I mentioned that within five seconds you need to meet make that interaction. So make that kind of video and make your community share those videos. First, you need to have your own organic communities to make that video. And obviously just like word of mouth, right, it will pick up from there. Maybe an example, which I love your company has produced for origami right, which I personally like. If you could play that, whatever I told it later, it will be there in that video.
Pranav Chimulkar: Awesome.
Scindia Balasingh: See, whatever I told in the order, it is already there. Right? First, you spoke about the pain point. First of all, immediately, in 5-10 seconds, I’m able to understand that what pain point you’re talking about, various SaaS tools every company is using that has been conveyed. Another specialty about this video is you never showed the interface. But you have communicated that pictorially, origami means how they are able to bring that customization right, and you use a lot of vibrant colors and shapes and sizes so that you will not feel like coming out of the video you will tend to see. And so the pain point is explained very clearly. And then they are introducing the company and how they are doing right? All happened in less than a minute video with a very vibrant thing. This is what I said, SMEs need to first find the right agency or a freelancer, any anybody which you’re bringing in, right? Who will understand your story both properly and translate it, like a movie only somebody will be good in, you know, narrating the story, but when you see the picture, they will not be presenting it properly. Somebody can tell the story extremely well without a story all set up. So engaging, right. So it should be in such a way need to really get the right person. That is what SMEs need to do and the right story goes down the place. This video example was amazing, kudos to you guys, you rocked it.
Pranav Chimulkar: Thank you so much. I’m really glad that you could see what we were going for here and I hope that we were able to achieve that in this video. Again, it was very interesting. Again, I personally have been a part of the team that put this together. We had a bunch of guch pros who were experts at what they do. They were brought together so that we could optimize this video again, the main problem that origami was facing is that they had a budget constraint. Or typically these explainer videos are expensive in the market, if you look at larger agencies, and they charge anywhere between $5 to $10,000 for making a video, and they had a budget constraint because they were really early stage, and I think guch really came to their rescue. And like the whole idea, like you also identified was to keep somebody engaged through the video. It’s not ideal to show them the entire product throughout the beginning. So the whole idea was to like it was beautifully brought in where origami also means the art of people folding. And we use these visuals and it is just like the proof is in the pudding. I think it’s got a very good response for origami. It’s helped them in their business use case as well. So we had guch really play an important part in their journey. So I mean that coming to now large enterprises, I think we’ve spoken enough about small and medium enterprises now come to large enterprises.
I mean, most of the time these products, have been around for a while, people know about them, etc. So, not all of them have the need to talk about their product, they can actually afford to do other sorts of videos, right? Whether it is thought leadership, whether it is stories on the customer, you can talk about high-level branding, and, and the vision, etc. And I’m talking about the likes of Google, etc. They don’t have to explain their product, they can simply take a high-level position and say that- hey, with a little help of Google, you can do a lot of amazing things. That’s the kind of campaign that they do. Please tell me what you have to say on this, especially the thought leadership part of this video content, and what are the initiatives that say Freshworks as taken in this particular domain.
Scindia Balasingh: See, as I told you already, we do a lot of thought leadership campaigns, right. In one campaign, I will explain a couple of campaigns, especially in the pandemic situation when the pandemic struck, we did a lot of thought leadership content in various formats of videos, explaining the BCP. Because nobody expected that right. So I remember the day when they said work from home for the next two weeks, I thought maximum would you go for three weeks, four weeks? Still, I’m sitting at home, right? Nobody thought that. So it was a shocker. Today I recruited my team completely online or bonded online. And I’m interacting with them every day, not even once I met them personally so far. So everything is new. Nobody is used to this. So everybody was panicked. How will I run my business without interruption? So Freshworks did a lot of thought leadership content for our community on BCP. For instance, Girish Mathrubootham came along with Suresh Sambandam, the CEO of KissFlow, as well as Krish Subramanian, Chargebee’s CEO, and we did a big webinar, talking about how to resume to work and how to not make this misinterpret the customer experience how they seamlessly can do the BCP, without pitching any of the products of new brands, right. This is one only helping them. And another favorite campaign of mine’s which I’m personally involved with, and Adapt series, which you know when you get a time, you can google and check the series and the hugeness of playlist, you can see the industry leaders, especially the tech partnerships, like company like Slack, Microsoft, AWS, SurveyMonkey, kind of big, partners, you know, CEOs and senior directors, we have brought them and they have told how companies are running in BCP. What are the initiatives they have taken to ensure that this pandemic didn’t interrupt their workflows, so that helped industry people to adopt the best practices and move forward? And another important recent campaign which we launched is happy sales culture. Here, we have nothing to do with fear, but completely on the sales team, right? We have picked up our own sales leaders, partner sales leaders, industry sales leaders to come and share how they are keeping the happy sales culture, and especially in these virtual conditions, how to keep the motivation level high, and it will receive a huge success. I’m sure in one of your future episodes, you’re going to talk to Abishek GP, my colleague. Right. So you will be talking more about this campaign, a fantastic initiative. Today, I’m seeing a lot of local campaigns like this in the market from the competition, right. So we have established ourselves as a thought leader in those spaces, amazing content is available for us, you can go through a lot of content.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I have seen some of these videos and I was talking to Abhishek like you just mentioned, we are going to be hosting, obviously, next week on the Mad Over videos podcast, and I hope to bring this up on that chat as well.
Scindia Balasingh: I’m sure you will enjoy it. He is a content guy.
Pranav Chimulkar: I know I’ve already been connected to him. We’ve been exchanging texts on WhatsApp, we found a common love of music. He plays Mridangam and he sings and, I play tabla. And it’s actually bonding on a different level. So I’m really looking forward to that particular episode.
Scindia Balasingh: You both are going to do some music show, is it?
Pranav Chimulkar: I hope I’m not out of practice, I hope not. But then I think offline, we will definitely try and jam whenever I get a chance to meet. But that brings me like we just connected and bonded right now. I think businesses happen with people, right? I mean, it’s emotions drive businesses, right. And I know a lot of brands who don’t pay attention to this, but there are a few brands who do this really well, what is the first name that comes to your mind when it comes to a brand that does emotional videos?
Scindia Balasingh: Nike!
Pranav Chimulkar: Oh Yeah. No doubt. I think if you had not said that, I would have definitely vouched for Nike, I think that’s a brilliant example and the kind of videos that they do, etc. What do you like in particular that has come out of Nike?
Scindia Balasingh: Can we play that video so that I can exactly tell you which I like.
Pranav Chimulkar: You picked up one ad from Nike.
Scindia Balasingh: Yeah.
Pranav Chimulkar: Do you want me to play that right now?
Scindia Balasingh: So that I can tell more about that video what I like.
See, I need not even explain what I like in this video. Everybody knows they have not pitched the product anywhere. Though it’s a sports video anybody can relate to it, right from a person who failed in 10th standard to a CEO who had a heavy loss in the company because of a bad decision, right? All of us will have that down-point something we would have always thought that I could have done that better. ‘Oh my god, I lost it’. So but how we are picking ourselves and running, right? That is something very, important, right. All of us have that one down point. But how we pick ourselves up and how we are coming back so strongly that I am back to something, very powerful, right? So that has been emotionally told. very timidly no mention of being explained in this video. So that kind of connects. So anybody who thinks about Nike will feel that I am using the product by which obviously, you know, I will be a strong person. So it is indirectly communicating the emotional bond it is having with the users of the brand. So that kind of connection you need with your community whom you’re trying to serve. So without talking about it, this is the power of emotional video if you ask me.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely I mean, one of my favorite campaigns that they’ve done is the greatness campaign. About how everybody has greatness hidden within them, it’s just about finding it. You don’t need an odd secret don’t need special powers. You don’t need to be gifted. You just need to, be at it and chase your dreams. And that’s how great I mean, they don’t pick the product they don’t like talking about the brand Nike anyway. Anyways. And that’s the power of branding as well. Right. Just that one. swoosh. And you know that it’s Nike, right?
Scindia Balasingh: 170 million views right across if I’m right, yeah, crazy.
Pranav Chimulkar: Right. I think doing videos like this, needs conviction from somebody out there, I think years back would have taken the decision that, hey, let’s try this out. Let’s not go out and sell shoes in this ad. Let’s try out something like this. And that worked. And then I think a lot of people know that. Okay, now it has worked, so we can try more of it. But yeah, I think it’s very important to do something like that. That also brings me to what’s the importance of the people behind the brand. It also brings me to the fact that when you’re talking about technology products, right? I mean, eventually, it’s a software code that runs in the background and, things happen on the screen. But you know, when I really look at it, somebody’s brain, somebody’s emotion, somebody’s values who have brought that product together for you, right? And oftentimes, you know, that, okay, you’re doing business with a real person on the other side. So you want to connect with that, you want to ensure that you’re buying from people that you can trust, you’re buying from people that you can relate with. So it’s very important to also know the people that are behind the product. And I think, especially company culture videos, actually help to do that. Right. I want to ask you about your culture video initiative. I have the video here I’d like to hear that and there’s a lot about what went behind making it and then we can take it from there.
Scindia Balasingh: I miss going to the office now, badly.
Pranav Chimulkar: Tell me more about this video?
Scindia Balasingh: I’m not exaggerating. This is how we generally will be, not like dancing all the time, but it is very vibrant. You can see the office atmosphere right because Girish really believes happy employees make happy customers. So our culture code is happy to work environment, we sincerely believe that we do. Because there is a famous saying our grandmother will tell right while cooking you need to cook with happiness. When you are not always it happens still in my home. When somebody falls ill, they will ask if who’s cooking. If they are cooking with some grief in their mind, they know you may tend to fall sick. It’s a custom which I think it’s true sometimes. The energy comes out of so who is doing the work the finished product, what people begin that how happy they are, obviously the product will also be happy and the service also will be happy. So it is very important to display your company culture in two ways first to know that they know your customers can be assured and they should feel that I wanted to be part of the organization. They need to clear the screen and come inside and be part of the organization. Right. That’s the like every month we are receiving some 7000 applications from enough people. And every time I interview first thing they will say is- I want to be in Freshworks. I’ll be like why. In everybody, I see that excitement in them. Because we create a culture and we communicate it also. And once again, the power of videos like happiness has been so well shown here. So it is very important for a company to adapt culture videos and have initiatives going on. In fact, in one more video, when you’re free, you can see our former CMO would have danced for a Rajni song in a very, you know, even better than Rajni or so something you’re displaying the happiness we face every time.
Pranav Chimulkar: Correct. So I think we’ve spoken about how important it is to show the people behind the product and talk about them. But it’s even more important that you talk about what your customers use to connect. You showed real people who use your product, you show real stories of the impact that your product has made. And there’s nothing better when a customer talks good about your product like a customer raises your product and somebody who’s actually looking to buy can then connect with Okay, this is a company that something like me, and they have used this particular product and it might really be useful for me. So I think testimonials and case study with us are very important. Just For the uninitiated, I think a lot of people do also confused between these two types of videos. I like to bring out the difference between a testimonial and a case study testimonial typically says and talks about nice things about your product, but a case study actually talks about the entire story. What is the problem? How did you solve it? And then a testimonial is a part of case studies. It’s a subset of a case study video. So that’s for people who might have not known this, but please tell me about, like customer testimony. I think I’ve seen a bunch of them on your website and your YouTube channel, etc. So and we played already a couple of videos from Freshworks already, I like you to tell me about this video that you’ve picked. And why you pick this video again, another brand that produces and believes strongly in video content, and does it really, well is Apple and then you pick this video should have played first and then you want to talk?
Scindia Balasingh: Yes. Play Play.
Amazing ad right so this is something I picked and I may not even explain so because Apple everybody will associate with luxury. Right even when they launched this watch, people will think why I need to know how it right, why I need to know everything. But one video, we need you to think it’s a necessity, right? And also picking up the right customer and the way he explained it would have brought tears in anybody’s eyes right when I saw first it was so moving, you know, and Apple is best in doing this. But it is very nice to know that a product is saving somebody’s life. Right? So that person is so thankful to Apple and he is coming in advocating in that way. So you hear the emotional quotient is there. The product value, how it would help them is there. Any element of that, whichever we spoke till now, everything will be there in this amazing piece of a customer testimonial. If I anytime need to have a benchmark like that, definitely I would be taking that as a benchmark video that you need to come up with.
Pranav Chimulkar: Very interesting. I think this also brings memories of another testimonial video that we shot and it is not just acting as testing, it is actually displaying the culture of this particular workplace. And oftentimes when you see a culture video, it’s going to be all fun. It’s going to be dancing, things like that. And this video that we produced was with this restaurant called Echoes. It’s a chain of restaurants. There’s one in Koramangala, there’s one in Delhi. And the unique concept is that every server in the restaurant is somebody who cannot hear somebody who cannot talk. Right.
Scindia Balasingh: Yeah, I think I’ve seen it.
Pranav Chimulkar: Even today, when I look at it, I feel so proud to have done that. And I remember making so many friends with these people and, even after the video was done and put out, I continue to receive messages from them and it is so beautiful. I think these videos when they touch a certain chord in your heart, can do wonders. You don’t have to let you talk about it. This is the technology behind the product, this is the security features that we have whatever, just talk about a story. And if that connects, that’s enough, right and beautiful. I think coming to the point, we’ve spoken about a lot of types of videos, right. And this is proof that videos are exploding. Brands who haven’t really boarded the video train, they’re missing out, if they think they have to start doing it right now. And also, what it has done is today, it has become a necessity, nobody can look at it as a luxury. It is good to have the thing it’s a must-have for everybody. And as I already mentioned previously, that videos are becoming accessible. Videos earlier used to be a very difficult task to produce a video with, like large cameras and things like that today, you have a smartphone, you can do a video on that. You could put pictures together and make a video, you could just record something that you say and do a video of it. What we’re doing today is actually having a nice conversation. And this is a video right and, and they will cut this out into smaller pieces and ship more videos. So it’s so easy to make. I think brands don’t understand whether you agree with this or not? Or do you have a different idea about this?
Scindia Balasingh: I completely agree See, according to Cisco, by 2022 82% of the consumer traffic will be driven through videos, which is 15 times higher than in 2017 right. And similarly, some 83% of marketers are shifting their reliance on video. And similarly, this is according to the Forrester report. And similarly, according to HubSpot, you know, about 72% of people like to learn about any product use cases through videos. So with all these facts from the major companies, why will I ever disagree with you. And as you rightly said, there are a lot of platforms, right like you guys, Vimeo, in a lot of platforms out there today, the cost of making a video is coming down. And all you need to know, apart from the aesthetic is the powerful story and what you wanted to communicate to your customer and how the story, you need to pick up the right person to put the storyboard and production in place and choose the right kind of video which will suit your type of organization and your type of customer. And you need to do video marketing, you’re forced because see earlier, I started my career with traditional companies, right? They will not listen to video marketing. They will be always thinking- okay, someday if I do a video, how much of revenue you’re promising, you know why should I? Even I put 5000? Will I get 50,000? back? Then I will put my $1. And these kinds of questions today that you cannot ask. So if you have to make your first dollar you have to do your video, we are in that situation. I don’t think as you rightly said, they are not even missing the bus. They are not even in the game, if they are not into video marketing if you ask me.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, yeah. But like you said, you also mentioned the positives of doing it. You brought up a very important point of doing it. Because for most companies, and people out there might be watching, this is the biggest challenge, right, getting the return for every dollar. So it is also important that you spend your dollars correctly before you decide to bring the returns on that dollar that you spent. So you have to be smart about it, you have to understand that you’ve given that responsibility to spend that dollar in the right hands, right? What are the challenges that you’ve faced? At Freshworks? When it comes to making videos, I think you’ve operated in different models. You have your own creative team, I think you were telling me that you have about 30 odd people in your creative team in general, a bunch of them to video a bunch of them to design, etc. You also have worked with freelance creators, you’ve also worked with agencies to create ads, etc. What have been the typical challenges that you face? I think that might help a lot of other people who might be watching or to try and understand what are these intrinsic problems with these three different models, working with freelancers working with agencies working with employees?
Scindia Balasingh: See, in general, okay, instead of going with whom, what challenges I have, I would say it’s not like every time I face this challenge, but sometimes we will come across this challenge. You will have something in them in mind. You are not creative to say that- the first frame, I want this, the second frame I want this, and the third frame. So, you will put your storyboard in the way you are able to communicate right, and how it has been understood by the other person, and how it is coming out as output is always a challenge. Something I have, we will have in our mind, something they will understand and something will come as an output. So, it is common and this challenge everybody will be facing. So you need to have the right video person in place. So, who will come up with creative ideas? So you just need to ask like, what you wanted to communicate Who is your audience and what you’re trying to do and they need to come up with the concept. That is a challenge most of the time when you try to give the complete storyboard and ask them to do only the production Yes, you will not get the output that you wanted it. So according to me, that was the biggest challenge. So getting the right story is different. As I always told sometimes when you hear a story, it is so good, like a novel, translating into a movie right? The novel will be so good. And in the movie, you will be wondering what crap they have taken right? Now, they will say the same story only what you told, you have taken. So the person who’s taking the video makes the difference. Either it’s a freelancer or an agency or in-house team, that is very important.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think this also allows me to do shamelessly, like a plug-in, another of my own, another section, is like the creative partner that we have in touch, I think a creative partner is the true resemblances of the person that you define. He or she has to understand what message has to be portrayed, has to understand the small intricacies of the product, etc. What are the features? How do they affect this particular customer’s journey or the business outcomes, and then put together a storyline and a storyboard that actually, communicates it to a layman as well, because often than not, this problem happens if a project or a creative project is led by a marketer who doesn’t understand creative and things can go wrong, because they are too biased about their products, or they’ll keep on telling about their product, and they don’t understand that maybe the other person on the other side is watching this is possibly not able to get it. Right? It’s very important that you solve the problem and get out of the way. Don’t talk a lot about yourself, don’t talk a lot about your product. Tell them what problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it. That’s enough sense. And I think we’ve understood, what is the importance of that creative partner. And at guch, we have such people who’ve been solving the problems, the same problem for a bunch of our clients, and everybody’s happy with the kind of work that we’ve done. But I want to bring out this question that you spent, I think a decade in marketing, right? Not only have you grown from doing a lot of PTL activities to come into it, about the top of the funnel marketing initiatives, right, and how you evolved as a marketer. So most often than not, marketing is about learning. Marketing is about adapting and implementing new things. Because something that you’ve tried and tested today might not work tomorrow or the day after right? It’s a completely evolving game, especially with video. It’s quite new. So you have to keep learning, what’s working, what’s not working, different platforms, different formats, different types of storytelling, all these things keep changing. So, personally, I like to learn from people around me. People who are doing the same thing, but are doing it better. And there’s so much to learn from their mistakes. It’s so much better to learn from somebody else’s mistakes, than doing them yourself. I mean, of course, you are encouraged to do mistakes and learn. But then it’s also easier when you learn from somebody else’s mistakes. And of course, like from their successes, you can also try and implement similar things which have worked out as we said, we’ve spoken about Nike, etc. where somebody started that format and then once it was all success, everybody else tried doing that. Tell me the names of marketers, if you can. The kind of people that you look up to among your peers.
Scindia Balasingh: Sure. See, SurveyMonkey is one of our strong partners, in fact, Leela Srinivasan, the CMO, I’m so impressed about her because she designed that. Because I worked with the marketing team of SurveyMonkey, the unified team she created. And she brought up the belonging and inclusion template, which will help any company to build their culture. And the way they are structured, have calendar for you know, next three quarters, in a very structured way. So that is something I admire from Leela Srinivasan, a big shout out to her for that, and obviously a women leader. You know, I’m so proud, I don’t think I’m biased because I keep on giving in all women leaders, though, because another new company, Right. Ok, Cupid. It is a dating app, similar to Tinder for those who don’t know the company. So when this pandemic struck. Everything logged, and everything happens, right? It’s a dating app, but they had a goal to come up with a virtual dating idea. They have brought up with the campaign and it stated how it is important to connect, virtually, and the virtual dating concept just so bold move. Melissa did that. So huge shout out to her also, and another important person who I follow is Ann from Adobe. In her recent campaign, if you see, honor heroes, so she told me she was in this campaign. She told her creative community to do artwork, for their personal heroes during the pandemic, which was really impressive. So these are three, I would say, the top three, which I follow and admire.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think if anybody was listening and watching if you’re not following these people, please go find out about their work, find different files, hit them up, tell them about how good or how good work that they are doing. And send them your best wishes. I think we’ve already crossed our podcast by 10 minutes. And I did not realize I think it’s 10 minutes past the actual deadline that we had already said. We had agreed to finish this in one hour. But then I think we both enjoyed it. I personally enjoyed it a lot. Like, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this. I’m really glad you could make it. And there’s so much to learn from this. So much to learn from the work that you’ve done. I have personally seen some of these videos and I can vouch for the kind of work that you’re doing at Freshworks and your team. And I’m happy that more people from Freshworks have also come on the Mad over videos podcast starting with Abhishek. And there’s another person who I don’t want to announce right now. But then there’s another person who already agreed to come as a bunch of people from Freshworks sharing their learnings and insights with us in the upcoming episodes. And we also hope a lot of other people from other companies and other peers, come and join and share our ideas. Let’s go mad over videos together. So I thank you again once again. And we will be back with the next episode very soon.
Scindia Balasingh: Thank you, thank you. Pranav. I really enjoyed the conversation. I hope the audience also enjoyed the conversation. I’m being very glad that I’m the first person from Freshworks to have been hosted and you’re reaching out to all my colleagues and you’re starting that thing from me. I’m so happy and glad that you invited me and I really, really enjoyed it. Thank you. Thank you.
Pranav Chimulkar: I hope to stay in touch and I hope that we get to work together in the future. Thank you.
Scindia Balasingh: Thank you. Thank you