Behind the Category

Looking to build your own B2B market category? Learn directly from founders on the front lines working to create their own market categories. Brought to you by

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Friday Apr 05, 2024

Welcome to another episode of Behind the Category, where we explore the stories of founders who have successfully created and dominated new market categories. In today's episode, we're joined by Guy Tytunovich, CEO and Co-Founder of CHEQ, a go-to-market security platform that has raised an impressive $183 million in funding.
From Military Intelligence to Tech Entrepreneurship: Guy shares his unique journey from serving in Israeli defense intelligence to founding CHEQ, highlighting how his military experience has influenced his approach to business and category creation.
The Birth of Go-to-Market Security: Discover the strategic vision behind CHEQ and how Guy and his team identified the need for a new niche in cybersecurity, focusing on safeguarding businesses' go-to-market operations.
Evangelizing and Educating the Market: Gain insights into CHEQ's efforts to educate the market, overcome initial skepticism, and achieve widespread acceptance through strategic communication and thought leadership.
Timing is Everything: Guy reflects on the serendipitous timing of CHEQ's launch, aligning with emerging market needs and trends, and emphasizes the crucial role of timing in achieving category success.
Convincing Customers to Invest in a New Category: Learn about the strategies CHEQ employs to persuade customers of the need for go-to-market security and overcome the challenge of establishing budget allocations for a new category.
The Importance of Sales Enablement and Operational Excellence: Understand how CHEQ's focus on sales enablement and operational excellence has been pivotal in scaling the business and solidifying the go-to-market security category.

Tuesday Mar 05, 2024

Bryan Law is the Chief Marketing Officer at ZoomInfo, the go-to-market platform that has transformed the way businesses approach market engagement and strategy. Before his tenure at ZoomInfo, Bryan's career spanned a variety of roles where he focused on merging strategic planning with actionable data insights to drive growth. His extensive background in consulting emphasized go-to-market strategies, analytics, and the integration of marketing processes to maximize organizational efficiency. This experience paved the way for his success at ZoomInfo, where he plays a pivotal role in steering the company's marketing direction.
In our conversation, we discuss:
The evolution of ZoomInfo from a B2B contact database to a leading sales intelligence platform, emphasizing B2B data, including contact databases, company information, intent data, and technographics.
The decision-making process behind formally transitioning ZoomInfo's category to a go-to-market platform, informed by extensive market research and feedback from sales and marketing leaders.
The crucial role of thought leadership in category creation efforts, leveraging insights from ZoomInfo Labs and partnering with major customers to refine and share innovative go-to-market strategies.
The significance of founder-led growth, highlighting ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck's active engagement in promoting the company and its new category through authentic interactions and thought leadership.
Future directions for ZoomInfo and the go-to-market category, focusing on the integration of sales, marketing, and customer experience around a unified data strategy and the potential of generative AI to enhance go-to-market efforts.

Friday Dec 15, 2023

In today's episode of Behind the Category, we speak with Daniel Barber, CEO and Co-Founder of DataGrail, a data privacy management company that's raised more than $84 Million in funding.
Topics Discussed:
Daniel’s international background, and why he chooses to live in San Francisco
How DataGrail aims to give control back to businesses, so they can provide the data transparency and control their customers want
Challenges: creating a new product category, educating one’s market, and aligning the company around the same narrative
Whether analyst firms have an important role in the creation of a new category
The future of data privacy

Wednesday Nov 15, 2023

In today's episode of Category Visionaries, we speak with Ben Sesser, CEO & Co-Founder of BrightHire, an interview intelligence platform that's raised $36 Million in funding.
Topics Discussed:
Ben’s career background in HR, and what it taught him about the central importance of the people who make up a business
Challenges and shortcomings in the current hiring strategies most businesses use, and how it inspired BrightHire’s founding
The typical BrightHire client profile - talent-forward organizations that treat hiring itself as a discipline
Why creating a category might mean more than just being a disruptor, and when working within an established space might actually work
How data becomes a key tool to educate a potential market, training customers to understand the value a business brings
Favorite book: 
The Lean Startup  

Sunday Oct 15, 2023

In today's episode of Category Visionaries, we speak with Uri Marchand, CEO and Co-Founder of Overwolf, an in-game creation platform that has raised over $150 Million in funding.
Topics Discussed:
Uri’s childhood as a gamer and the lessons learned from his time in the Israeli Air Force
What category Overwolf is in and why it’s not what people think at first
The figures of Overwolf’s success, and how Uri defines and measures success
How category creation can be challenging, and useful strategies to go about it
Uri’s vision for Overwolf in the next 10 years

Friday Sep 15, 2023

In today’s episode of Behind the Category, we speak with Ryan Austin, CEO and Founder of Cognota, a learning ops platform that’s raised over $7 Million in funding, about why knowledge and capacity building will always be the key to making business better, and the impact insights can have on tangible outcomes. With a functional solution targeting almost every aspect of your daily business needs, and an ROI calculator to report impacts in real time, Cognota is a decision-maker’s new best friend.
We also speak about Ryan’s first company, founded in his dorm room at university, eventually transitioning from service-orientated to venture-backed tech startup, the power of learning and development to drive innovation, and where Cognota sees itself in the forefront of the industry in years to come.
Topics Discussed:
How Ryan ended up founding his first business on the floor of his university dorm room
Why the learning and development industry remains critically underserved by tools that empower its potential impact
Insights into the challenges of transitioning from a services-oriented business to a venture-backed technology company
Cognota’s vision for the next three to five years, expanding the platform, developing more workflows, global expansion, and certification
Becoming a leading player in the learning field, driving innovation and positive change

Tuesday Aug 15, 2023

In today's episode of Behind the Category, we speak with Gil Allouche, CEO of Metadata, pioneers of the marketingOS category.
Topics Discussed:
- Lessons Gil learned from hosting 20+ episodes of B2B Category Creators
- Introduction to the MarketingOS category
- Behind the scenes look at the work done to define the category
- Lessons learned from the MarketingOS category launch
- The role B2B influencers play in category creation
- Why Metadata didn't explore category creation until after their Series A
- The role analyst firms play in category creation
- How Metadata slowly introduced category messaging into the website
- Gil's #1 piece of advice for aspiring category creators 

Saturday Jul 15, 2023

In today's episode of Behind the Category, we speak with Kris Rudeegraap, CEO and Co-Founder of Sendoso, the leading sending management platform that's raised over $150 Million in funding, about why it’s time for a better way of corporate gifting, and what ROI on each ‘send’ could mean for your company. With curated, customizable gifts for every occasion, comprehensive customer support and global logistical support, Sendoso makes every gift really count, more than just the thought.
We also speak about Kris’ background for over a decade in software sales and his personal experience with the pain point of email oversaturation, the trials and challenges of building a new market category to differentiate yourself from the competition, the role of AI in delivering the perfect gift, and why keeping in contact with customers will keep your strategy flexible regardless of how circumstances change.
Topics Discussed:
Kris’ background working for over a decade in the software sales space, and the strategies the industry relies on to get their message out
Personal experience with the pain point of email oversaturation, and the need to build a better way of engaging with potential customers
Sendoso’s category creation strategy, and the stumbling blocks along the way which brought them to where they are today
Why plucking a brand new term out of nowhere might not be the best way to make a mark on your marketplace
Staying flexible and never being afraid to pivot as circumstances change, including in terms of your market category
The role of AI in gift fulfillment for the new digital economy

Thursday Jun 15, 2023

In today's episode of Category Visionaries, we speak with serial category creator Mark Organ. Mark first revolutionized B2B marketing as the founding CEO of Eloqua (ELOQ), the world leader in marketing automation software, which was acquired for $871M. Then he founded Influitive, the creator of the the advocate marketing and community category. Today, Mark runs Categorynauts where he helps B2B SaaS leaders discover, develop, and dominate their software category. 
Topics Discussed:
The story behind the marketing automation category 
The role competition plays in creating new categories 
Strategies and tactics for category creation
What critics get wrong about category creation
What founders commonly get wrong about category design
Mark's #1 piece of advice for aspiring category creators 

Monday May 15, 2023

In today's episode of Behind the Category, we speak with Sangram Vajre, CEO and Co-Founder of GTM Partners and Co-Founder of Terminus, pioneers of the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) category.
Topics Discussed:
Sangram’s career background as the CEO and Co-Founder of GTM partners, and what led him to found Terminus
The origins of ABM
The role events play in creating a new category
The power of podcasting to support category creation efforts
Why Terminus partnered with competitors to create demand for the ABM category
The most common challenges of category creation
Sangram’s advice for founders getting ready to embark on their own category creation journeys


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