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Play Magnus: A Grandmaster in User Engagement

Play Magnus: A Grandmaster in User Engagement

The game of chess has long had a reputation for being an esoteric pursuit, one that can be a challenge for outsiders to grasp. Yet the popular chess app Play Magnus, part of the Oslo, Norway-based Play Magnus Group, has managed to successfully engage and retain not only core chess players but a wider range of beginners and fans. As a result, Play Magnus Group has been named to FT’s list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, and was recently acquired by Chess.com. What are its winning moves?
In this episode of CleverTap Engage—our podcast and video interview series spotlighting marketing leaders who are achieving meaningful and memorable customer engagement—our co-hosts, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier, speak with Scott Dodson, who until recently served as CMO of Play Magnus Group, about how pre-segmentation, influencer marketing, and compelling content have all helped Play Magnus outmaneuver the competition.
Prior to joining Play Magnus as CMO, Dodson served as CMO of Hero Gaming; Chief Product Officer and later Chief Growth Officer of Lingvist, an AI-based language learning platform; CPO of Gamesys; and Business Owner and Head of Marketing at Virgin Poker. An avid gamer, he was founder and CEO of a number of gaming startups earlier in his career. Dodson continues to mentor startups on behalf of Techstars and other incubators around the world.

Engaging Newcomers and Beginners as Fans First

Founded by Magnus Carlson, a five-time world chess champion and grandmaster since the age of 13, Play Magnus Group seeks to shape the future of chess by growing the sport, advancing it as a form of entertainment, and helping players at all levels improve their skills. The company saw a wave of new users following the release of the chess-themed hit Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit” in 2020. According to Dodson, the Netflix show “created an opening for legions of [new] brand enthusiasts to step into chess.” 
To help retain these new users, Play Magnus activated the Champions Chess Tour. This rapid-format tournament has riveted newcomers by turning chess into an entertaining spectator sport. The tournament, says Dodson, has made chess “much more engaging and watchable. We brought in commentators and had the computers predicting moves that the players don’t know about; the commentators react to that.” The goal: Users enter as fans first, and eventually begin playing the game themselves.

Offering Content and Networking Opportunities for Influencers

Given that Play Magnus was founded by a chess grandmaster, it’s no surprise that chess influencers play a key role in helping boost app engagement. The company takes a holistic approach to influencer marketing, Dodson explains. The strategy involves “finding people who were already brand enthusiasts, creating content around chess or [Play Magnus] specifically, and elevating them. We worked really hard on a number of YouTube channels that were either owned or in very close collaboration with people like Magnus, people like Simon Williams, other grandmasters that had a good following.”
In many cases, he continues, the approach “wasn’t about paying the influencer a lot of money. It was about providing them a rich source of content and a rich network of other influencers to collaborate with, to create great stuff for their audience and build their audience.”

Identifying Who Your Brand Is For — and Who It’s Not For

Dodson says that it’s important for brands to engage in what he calls pre-segmentation: determining which user groups in your vertical are not likely to become active users. This process “can really define what your brand is and what your brand’s not. There’s always the fantasy about what you think your product is, and then there’s actually who your product’s for.”
As examples, he cites two Play Magnus Group properties. The communications around Chessable, a chess educational platform, make clear that it’s “for a pretty serious chess player; it’s not for a beginner.” The messaging of the Champions Chess Tour, on the other hand, speaks to an entertainment product that’s geared “very much for a beginner. We made sure the announcers wouldn’t use chess notation.” Instead, the commentary is plain-language, such as, “They moved the bishop all the way to the other side of the board, and it’s threatening the king.”
This approach, Dodson continues, has “paid a lot of dividends. We figured out a way to find different user segments that resonated with very different products across the group.”
For more insights from Scott Dodson, including his keys to being a good CMO, listen to the entire episode.
 

Mobile Marketing is Easier with Expert Guidance


 
Transcript follows:
Scott Dodson 
There’s no, like, lone wolf brand champion, right?  Wolverine is not the answer.  You got to be the Avengers and, hopefully, have Tony Stark’s, you know, money backing you, right?  Because brand, you know, it is an investment and it tends to be a long-term investment.  And I think it’s easy for people to just see it as a kind of a top-of-funnel experience, all right, or something that’s going to kind of hit top-of-funnel metrics.  But the reality is, brand really carries all the way through all of the important touch points around conversion, right, they’re going to tie into loyalty metrics, which is retention.
John Koetsier
How many apps are founded by a former world champion?  Actually, a current world champion.  Welcome to CleverTap Engage.  My name is John Koetsier.  Today, we’re chatting with the former CMO of one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in a very unique vertical that was founded by five-time world chess champion and grandmaster since the age of 13, Magnus Carlson.
Peggy Anne Salz 
And my name is Peggy Anne Salz.  Here we are shining a light as always on the retention marketers, the masters in the marketplace.  And today we’re chatting with Scott Dodson, until very recently, CMO at Play Magnus, a company on a mission to define the future of chess.  And before that, he was CMO at Hero Gaming.  And before that, CPO at Lingvist, an Estonian AI-based language-learning platform.  So, a lot of different experiences, and a long track record at gaming companies and more.  But he doesn’t just love working at them, John, he also mentors them, right, for TechStars, other incubators around the world.  In addition to that, he’s an avid gamer, who could guess?
John Koetsier 
Nice.
Peggy Anne Salz 
A live music fan, high intensity individual with a functional fitness enthusiast as well.  Scott, you cover all the bases and we’re happy to have you here today.
Scott Dodson 
It’s a pleasure to be here.  Thanks so much.
John Koetsier 
So pumped to have you.  We have to start with Queen’s Gambit.  I just literally rewatched it last week, binge-watched it in two nights.  I love that show.  It was such an epic Netflix series on such an unlikely topic, right, chess, of course.  What was the impact on your company?
Scott Dodson 
Yeah, huge.  I mean, you know, really hard to measure in some ways, but absolutely huge.  I was not with the company when it came out.  I joined afterwards.  But I think, you know, I did look a lot, dove into the metrics on it.  I mean, if you just took a look at say, you know, search results of chess, they went up about 5 to 10 times as a result of that, and then settled into kind of a new norm, right, that was at least two or three times what they used to be.  And, you know, it did things, I think.  A lot of people go, “Okay, sure it brought a lot of users,” but it did a fundamentally much more powerful thing, which is that it evolved the brand of chess, right?
If you think about what’s the brand of something that’s been around for a long time, you know, if you hear the word fashion or music, right?  And you have one vision of classical music, that implies a whole bunch of things.  You know, if you say, you know, alternative rock or EDM, that’s a whole nother thing.  And so I think Queen’s Gambit evolved the brand of chess in such a way that it created an opening for, really, legions of brand enthusiasts that weren’t brand enthusiasts before to step into chess.  And then, you know, you saw that across a whole bunch of channels, streaming and, you know, eSports, and all that.
John Koetsier 
That makes so much sense because if you think of the brand of chess in the past, I mean, it might be old, you know, or a very tiny niche of hyper-intellectual social misfits who, you know, became grandmasters at 13 or whatever, whatever the case might be, right?  But how do you sustain that initial rush?  I mean, the show’s still out there.  I just rewatched it last week, right?  When you get an initial organic rush like that, how do you sustain that?
Scott Dodson 
You know, we had the advantage, I guess, as a company of having Magnus, and he was, you know, on the less painfully nerdy spectrum, right, of chess grandmasters, right?  There actually are quite a few, you know, very personable and charismatic people, but he was kind of on that.  He had worked with some brands before and, you know, had a little bit of that, you know, albeit kind of a certain Nordic conservative style, but still he was accessible to fans.  And so that helped.  And then at least for Play Magnus, it was a matter of trying to build on that as quickly as we could, and find ways to engage those new brand fans in ways that made chess. . .perhaps it wasn’t the same as Queen’s Gambit, but brought the some of the same values of it being kind of more fast-paced, and exciting, and dramatic, and things like that.
And so, I think the main thrust of the company was to build something called the Champions Chess Tour, where, you know, we really invested heavily in an eSport, and just put a lot of value into the market.  And, you know, the group owns like 10 different brands in the chess space.  And one of the main properties was something called chess24, and that was really a platform that was hungry for content.  So, the initial idea of doing this tour was really, literally, just to provide content for one of the companies in the group, but then it really took on a life of its own.  I mean, it was, you know, a happy accident in the sense that many companies then expressed interest in being a part of that, and that became a big revenue driver, and a big way to, again, accelerate the brand through partnerships with MasterCard and Puma, and, you know, a number of our other corporate sponsors.
John Koetsier 
And a big reminder for marketers not to mail it in on something that looks totally ancillary and maybe unnecessary.  And, “Oh, shoot, I have to do that too,” but it can turn into a big opportunity.  Nice.
Scott Dodson 
Absolutely.  We had to kind of innovate a little bit because chess, in its classical form, is a very long and protracted exercise, you know.  And we tried to kind of move it from classical, let’s say, to more EDM, or rock, or something like that, so that it was rapid format, right?  So, it was much more kind of engaging and watchable.  And we brought in, you know, commentators and had, you know, essentially the computers predicting moves that the players don’t know about, and the commentators can react to that.  And, you know, it can make a bunch of stories within that experience
Peggy Anne Salz 
Great.  Storytelling in marketing.  And it nailed some great brand opportunities as well, some great partnerships I’m hearing.  So, let’s talk a little bit more about marketing something like chess, right?  You’ve got your chess enthusiasts, people who are your core users, that’s your core community, but you also want to bring it out to other people.  You know, people like John and myself who said, “Hey, Queen’s Gambit, pretty cool.  I’m not a chess enthusiast, but it looks like something I would like to do.” How do you go about engaging this audience of not quite enthusiasts, but potentially great users?
Scott Dodson 
Well, I think, for us, it was trying to build an entertainment product, you know, rather than a play experience.  You said you’ve watched Queen’s Gambit twice now, John, but I bet you’ve spent a lot more time watching Queen’s Gambit than you have played chess in the recent past.  Or maybe not, maybe you’re an avid chess player.
John Koetsier 
I would say an infinitely more time.  Yes.
Scott Dodson 
Exactly.  So, we realized that for this audience, you know, maybe eventually some of them might find their way to playing the game.  But again, if we could build a really compelling entertainment or content experience, maybe it’d be a way to, you know, marketers, in general, to relate to this, that people could actually engage in that, and get a lot of value out of that.  And, you know, again, it was somewhat driven by necessity because the two biggest players in the market in the play space, which are chess.com and Lichess, you know, we did have a play experience, but it was dwarfed by those players.  So, it made a lot of sense for us to kind of strike out into this new territory and find some areas, where these new fans weren’t necessarily being served.
John Koetsier 
That makes a ton of sense.  Absolutely love that.  And making an entertainment experience out of it.  I mean, I never would’ve believed, Peggy, probably five years ago, maybe 10 years ago, I’m not sure, that people would be more likely to watch other people play games than to actually play games.  Then I saw my kids starting to watch people play Minecraft or watch people play some other game, and I’m going like, “Why don’t you just play the game yourself?” And, you know, there’s something to watching experts.  And I guess they could turn around and ask the same question, “Why don’t you just, you know, play football yourself, rather than watching NFL or play soccer, or something like that.” Right?  So, makes a ton of sense.
Let’s talk about influencers.  Play Magnus had a very interesting marketing strategy around influencers, not just working with them, but empowering them to share knowledge in a new kind of marketplace.  Can you talk about that, unpack that a little bit for us?
Scott Dodson 
Yeah, I learned a lot actually.  I feel like I’m a practising CMO.  You know, like a doctor has upsets of a practice.  Like, I’m always learning, and always trying to kind of improve myself.  And I’d say that’s really the gift that I got out of Play Magnus, was really looking at influencers in a much more holistic way.  So, I think of it, there’s been this evolution in influencer marketing that started with, you know, paid promotions, right?  You go, “Oh, you’ve got an audience.  It seems like it matches with ours, will you promote this product?” And I think, you know, there was some success out of that.  And then the next evolution, which is I think where really Play Magnus did a very, very good job, and so did the other players in the chess space, was kind of, you know, co-opting, almost like full sponsorships, or takeovers, or even kind of bringing people on board as employees, right?
Scott Dodson 
So, finding people who were already brand enthusiasts, creating content around chess, in general, or your brand specifically, and then kind of elevating them and promoting them and, you know.  So, we worked really hard on a number of YouTube channels that were either owned or in, you know, very close collaborations, with people like, of course, Magnus, but also people like Simon Williams, these other kinds of grandmasters that had like a good following.  And rather, you know, there’s always kind of a mix of incentives for the influencer, but in many cases, you know, it wasn’t about paying the influencer a lot of money, it was about providing them a rich source of content and a rich kind of network of other influencers to collaborate with, to create great stuff for their audience and build their audience.
Now, I think where we started to take it, and where I would take it, even more, is to figure out a way. . .and what I kind of brought with me to, you know, so if I unpack it and I’m going to pack it up and take it with me, is basically grassroots, right?  Is figuring out how to take people who are already engaged with your brand and incentivize that at a very bottoms-up level.  So, rather than kind of going out and finding, you know, the person with 100k, or a million, or whatever followers, figuring out ways to incentivize the grassroots production, and really giving permission with your brand to kind of let people really take the ball and run with it.  And I think, you know, you’re seeing a lot of these kinds of strategies now being very successful with people like Chipotle, and you know, EA, these kinds of creator squads.  And I think some of the newer channels like TikTok, particularly, offer, you know, a lot of opportunity there.
John Koetsier 
It’s really interesting to hear you talk about influencers, and how you’ve been activating them, because we’ve been seeing that percolate back into mass media really.  I mean, as you were talking about providing new opportunities for influencers, and providing content for them.  I had to think about the NFL.  Sorry, I’m bringing it up a second time here.  It’s just after Sunday that we’re recording this, so I watched like three games yesterday.  So, I mean, Eli and Peyton Manning now are commenting on games.  I watched a bit of it, right?  But they’ll watch a game and they’re commenting.  You don’t get the play-by-play.  You don’t get the so and so passed, so and so, so and so hit, you just get Eli and Peyton reacting to it.  And that turned out to be quite popular.  There’s hundreds, there’s potentially millions of people who watch just that, that’s an influencer model, right?  Because they have insider insight and they have expertise, and they have credibility, and they’re bringing their perspective as former NFL quarterbacks to this experience that you’re watching.  Pretty, pretty interesting.
Scott Dodson 
I think it’s spot on.  And if you think about it’s like it’s one extra meta-level, right?  So, we go from, you know, engaging the activity, watching the activity, to watching the watchers of the activity, right?  And it was the same model we used.  I mean, with the Champions Chess Tour, we took grandmasters and people who were known by the fans, or the true. . .the hard-core fans, and could actually have a really rich commentary on the play that was going on, and kind of helped guide that experience for the viewer.
John Koetsier 
Amazing, Peggy, how there’s so many layers to unpack, to potentially how you can use influencers, how you can use influencer marketing, how you can provide stuff for influencers that they want, and that can be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Peggy Anne Salz 
And content at the centre of that.  I mean, I love what he said, you know, give them permission to go with the brand.  That was really key for me there.  Influencers are the influencers, but you’ve got a founder and a co-founder that are influencers as well.  So, you’ve got this great growth loop of influencer marketing and everyone’s influencing and giving permission to go wherever they want with the brand.  I mean, that is rare.  That’s the coolest evolution or the coolest version of a growth loop I’ve heard of.
Scott Dodson 
I was super impressed.  I mean, it’s one of the reasons I joined the company, it really was.  One of the other companies in the group that I didn’t talk about, but was Chessable.  And, you know, Chessable, from a business model looks like Steam.  So, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the video platform Steam.  So, you know, there’s a really nice kind of engagement loop to Steam, which is, at this point, I’ve been a Steam customer for a long time, and I have, you know, my wishlist.  And every now and then I’ll get an email that’s like, “Hey, that game you have on your wishlist, it’s 60% off or whatnot.” And I go, “Wow, that’s a great opportunity, right?  That’s really valuable.  I’m really glad that I was given that piece of CRM.” Right?
So, I go out and I buy that game, and then while I’m there, I’m like, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know about that game that came out, I’m going to put that on my wishlist, and that on my wishlist, and that on my wishlist.” And essentially, I’ve got this now this kind of perpetual buying loop, right?  And, you know, I’m going to have to get out of my soapbox for just a minute because being in, you know, smaller companies, say, up to 250 people is kind of mostly my bailiwick, a couple of bigger companies.  But, you know, often we’re talking about investors and investor relations, and, you know, ARR is something that’s kind of like the holy grail or one of the holy grail metrics.  But, you know, honestly, if you look at something like Steam, there’s really no ARR in that.  I mean, there’s no recurring revenue, very little, right?  There’s a couple subscription products, but basically not, and neither is there with Chessable.
But the LTVs in Chessable were over a thousand bucks a paying user, right?  So, I’m like, this idea that somebody would pay $1,000 on a chess product, right, is kind of, you know, wait a minute, you know, it’s a free game basically, right?  Once you buy the board, that’s it, right?  No, because the content’s so rich.  And then now I’m going to kind of take it to what you were talking about, Peggy, which is, you know, now what’s the content that people are most interested in buying, right?  They’re most interested in buying contents created by, you know, the people that they’re fans of, by Magnus, by these other grandmasters, by, you know, a woman grandmaster, or an Indian grandmaster, or the youngest grandmaster.  Or even not a grandmaster, but just somebody who makes incredibly compelling courses and is really, you know, extremely funny and engaging, right?
And so, here you have exactly this loop that you’re talking about, where essentially, you know, the very players of the game take some time.  And it used to be that they could only, you know, some of them would write a book and they’d make, you know, whatever, if it was really successful, 10 grand, 20 grand, whatever, you know.  Now, all of a sudden, they’re buying houses, right, because basically, we made a conscious decision to really make sure that they were getting a large cut, a much, much bigger cut than they would get from a non-digital platform.  And essentially now, they’re motivated to promote that material.  So, it forms this really, really nice kind of a loop for promoting their own courses, but also for kind of bringing people back to the platform on Chessable.
Nice.
Peggy Anne Salz 
I’m just thinking about those houses, John.  We should have been influencers in a different way.  No, I’m just kidding.  I do want to dive into that just a bit more because what you’re talking about is high LTV.  But high LTV also comes because somehow or other, you’ve created a journey that brings in highly valuable, or potentially valuable players from the start.  You’re focused on something you call pre-segmentation, what is that?
Scott Dodson 
I think that term came from me as a bit of a scrappy marketer.  Where I realised that, essentially, you know, ads that actually tell people they’re not your customer can actually be valuable.  I mean, it can be valuable to your brand, in general, because it can really define what your brand is and what your brand’s not, you know, and it can be valuable to the people then that see that and are your customer and they go, “Ah, this is really for me,” right, and it improves all those kind of downstream dream rates.  But there’s always kind of the fantasy about what you think your product is, and then there’s actually who your product’s for, or sometimes this happens, right?
You know, Chessable is for a pretty serious chess player, right?  It’s not for a beginner, right?  It’s for somebody who, you know, probably came in because they follow some grandmaster’s YouTube channel, and that grandmaster started talking about this really cool Chessable course that they made.  Whereas the Tour of Champions Chess Tour was very much for a beginner.  You didn’t even have to know how to play, right?  You could actually pick it up.  
By the way, we made sure the announcers wouldn’t use chess notation, right?  It would never be like, you know, “Look, they went e6 or whatever.” You know, no, it’d be like, “Look, they moved the bishop all the way to the other side of the board, and it’s threatening the king now,” or whatever, right?  You know, and it was very hard for them to kind of reorient around that.  But again, I think that paid a lot of dividends.
The good news was, is we figured out a way to find very different user segments that essentially resonated with very different products across the group.  Now, the challenge I think is, you know, you have essentially a house of brands now, you don’t have a branded house, right?  You know, what is the Play Magnus Group?  Well, it’s a lot of things.  It’s a core educational, you know, platform for our core users.  It’s an entertainment product over here.  It’s a set of apps for kind of younger players where, you know, you can play against the world champion at various ages.  It’s a bunch of different things, and that presents its own challenges.
John Koetsier 
Let’s talk about. . .I don’t know if I could call it the rising tide of NFTs, because it may be actually kind of a lowering tide right now.  It’s still a big thing in Web 3, it’s still a big thing, and a movement here.  You launched the sports world’s first pure NFT trophy for the Champions Chess Tour finals.  Talk about NFTs, how you feel about them right now, what the opportunity might be, and where you think they’ll go.
Scott Dodson 
We found a good overlap between, crypto, NFT, kind of Web 3 companies, and chess fans.  So, I think there was a really good fit.  And so it was very, I think, mutually beneficial thing for us and for our, you know, NFT and crypto partners.  And it allowed us to do some fun things, like the first NFT trophy, and to really have some fun with it, and make it, you know, a very, very cool visual and kind of animated thing.  And we were able to move on it fairly early, which I think was a huge advantage because, you know, I think, as you’re alluding to, I’m a big fan of the Gartner Hype Cycle, and I think NFTs have kind of come off that that peak, hype peak, and are now in the, you know, the trough of disillusionment.  It may eventually kind of, you know, climb their way back up to the plateau of productivity.
So, for me, I think that, you know, just personally for a quick sec, I think the opportunity in Web 3 is very much around trustful or trusted Web 3.  So, you know, I think there was a lot of interest around crypto because it was this kind of separate system you could verify anonymously and, you know, nobody really had to know what was going on.  Unfortunately, I think the strongest use case for that is kind of crime, right?  It’s essentially, you know, playing around with money.  I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the trusted crypto space and, you know, I’m actually yeah, working with a couple of companies in that space around identity, you know, essentially being able to put people in control of their own information.
Peggy Anne Salz 
I want to talk about being a growth-focused CMO because that’s what you are, and that’s what you’ve been.  You’ve had several CMO roles, including gaming.  Tell me what you think is the key to being a good CMO.
Scott Dodson 
Well, yeah, I dug up this quote recently, or I came across this quote, it was like Google and Deloitte basically surveyed I think 1,000 board members across, you know, fortune 500 or whatever companies.  And basically, their conclusion was like the 21st century CMO is expected to be a marketing miracle worker, you know, an alchemist who combines the classical art of branding, you know, with data and measurement, the latest advances in data and measurement, all the while serving as kind of the connective tissue in the C-suite, and being on top of all the changing landscape of digital technology and cultural trends, you know, and shifting consumer expectations.  I mean, everybody, of course, has their own cross to bear.  And I’m not saying that, you know, it’s like the hardest job or anything like that, but it’s challenging.
Marketing is really high pressure.  It’s really high stakes.  It’s really high responsibility, right?  You’re essentially called on, or trusted, or you earn trust over time, to allocate significant portions of the company’s budget.  And if you’re right, great, you build more trust, and then it’s kind of like, “Okay, now what’s next?” Now, do it again.  And if you’re wrong, then you erode trust, you know, and it’s one of the shortest lifespans of any seat-level hire, right?  
So, I’m not going to, you know, say that I’ve got certainly all the secrets, but I think the first piece is, you know, understand your investment portfolio, understand and basically make a case for your investment portfolio.  Say, “Look, you know, I know you need short-term returns, but if I put a 100% of my efforts on short-term returns, then, you know, it’s going to be really hard to continue to pull a rabbit out of my hat.  So, I need your buy-in that we can invest in some of the more longer-term initiatives that are going to produce the growth in, you know, 3, 4, 6, 8 quarters, not just the current and subsequent quarter.” So, that’s the first part.
And understanding kind of that landscape.  So, you’ve got kind of your short-term, you’re always-on channels, you know, that are kind of delivering for you.  You’ve got kind of your experiments that get kind of a quick feedback loop, and then you’ve got to make some long-term investments, which look like SEO, it looks like content marketing, it looks like brand, you know.  And brand is, unfortunately, not something that you can kind of set and forget.  You have to, I think, keep working, you know, and keep improving that, and keep going out to your customers and making sure that your value is aligning, you know, that what your core value you’re delivering is what you’re communicating in your brand.
And then I’d say that the second piece is just over-communicating.  You know, marketing it fools you because everything you do is so visible, or at least appears visible to many people.  It’s easy to assume that people know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.  And I think that you cannot take that for granted, and you have to over-communicate, really both directions, you know, especially upwards, but also downwards so that, you know, you make sure your team’s aligned.  I mean, ideally, your team’s aligned, you know, but you really got to make sure that you’re communicating with the rest of the C-suite, and they’re on board,
Peggy Anne Salz 
And you have to be a wizard, as you pointed out.
Scott Dodson 
That’s right.
John Koetsier 
And a data scientist.
Scott Dodson 
That’s right.
John Koetsier 
And an alchemist.
Peggy Anne Salz 
An alchemist, a wizard, super successful, always the source of inspiration.  That’s not hard.  That’s not hard.  I want to wrap it up with a final question about what you have found to be insanely successful when it comes to building this brand.
Scott Dodson 
I think the number one secret to success is having buy-in and support.  So, you either get that out of the gate, or you earn that, but that’s absolutely critical.  And then I’d say, you know, kind of corollaries off of that are, there’s no like lone wolf brand champion, right?  Like, Wolverine is not the answer.  You got to be the Avengers and hopefully have Tony Stark’s, you know, money backing you, right?  Because brand, you know, it is an investment and it tends to be a long-term investment, and I think it’s easy for people to just see it as a kind of a top-of-funnel experience, or something that’s going to kind of hit top-of-funnel metrics.  
But the reality is, brand really carries all the way through, all of the important touch points around conversion, right, they’re going to tie to loyalty metrics, which is retention, you know, and brand advertising can be a great way to kind of reengage people, they’re going to tie to advocacy.  They’re going to tie to all of these kinds of growth metrics that are critical, to kind of lead, you know, an organisation, around growth path over the long-term.
John Koetsier 
I love it.  I love it.  You can’t be Wolverine, you’ve got to be the Avengers.  You’ve got to have Tony Stark’s money.  I mean, you can go to the board and say, “Where’s Tony Stark’s money?  I mean, come on.”
Scott Dodson 
That’s right.
John Koetsier 
Scott said I needed that.
Peggy Anne Salz 
That’s the answer to everything, Tony Stark.  Okay.  Absolutely.  Well, Scott, it has been great having you here.  I have to say also a plus one on the influencer growth loop.  That was pretty cool.
John Koetsier 
Thank you so much for your time.  Really do appreciate it.
Scott Dodson 
Thank you.  It’s an absolute pleasure.
John Koetsier 
And for our audience, if you’ve been watching the video, hey, we also publish this in an audio podcast, which is easy to consume on the go, on the train, in the plane, wherever you are.  And if you happen to be on the audio version, you know what, you can see us, which is amazing, incredible for some of you, I guess.  Search for us on YouTube to chill, watch us whenever you want.
Peggy Anne Salz 
This podcast is about finding the world’s best marketers and getting their top tips.  And we focus on major brands, with big stories to tell.  So, if you fit the bill, DM John, or me, on Twitter or LinkedIn, and we’ll set you up with a show of your own.  Until then, this is Peggy Anne Salz.
John Koetsier 
And this is John Koetsier for CleverTap Engage.
 

Posted on December 13, 2022