Sharing experience, insights and best practices for building SaaS businesses. Clients rely on us to realize the future visions of their organizations. Posts here are based on real-world outcomes and lessons learned from putting marketing to work – marketing that grows software companies like yours.  Let’s build something bigger, together.

Filter by Category

SaaS Backwards Episode 114 - Beyond “Drift but Cheaper”: Inside Alan Zhao’s Strategic Pivot to Category Creation for Warmly

SaaS Backwards guest Alan Zhao, head of marketing and co-founder of Warmly, dives into his experience with creating a category, and how it took four pivots to get there.


As a startup with shaky product market fit, prospective customers often want to associate you with a mature category so they can determine where it might fit in their tech stack—or not.

But for Warmly, the existing categories represented only a small subset of their capabilities—albeit cheaper than the mature tools.

And they couldn’t just settle for being known as "Drift but cheaper.”

In this episode, Alan Zhao details his transition from CTO to marketing chief, a move that was pivotal in steering Warmly’s narrative away from established market constructs and taking control over the narrative that would differentiate itself from the myriad of sales tools on the market.

Other key takeaways from this episode:

  • The pros and cons of “category creation” to set yourself apart from competitors.
  • The importance of tailoring your message to address specific pain points for each segment.
  • How to better understand the buyer journey of the 95% of those who visit your website but don’t fill out a form.

Other resources to check out:

Interview with Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO of TrustRadius who publishes a yearly report about how B2B buyer behavior is changing.

The Lead Gen Mistake I Guarantee You’re Making – how to create content that better identifies intent from today’s b2b buyer.

And, if you want an outside look at your content with actionable advice, take advantage of our Content Audit. Valued at $20K in free consulting.

Write a Comment

New Call-to-action