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Episode 1: Dooly

Episode 1: Dooly

In today's episode, we chat with Mark P. Jung, Head of Marketing at Dooly, a startup based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dooly is the fastest way to update Salesforce, take sales notes, and easily manage all your deals so nothing slips through the cracks.

In this episode, Mark and I explore topics such as:

βœ… How to build a B2B marketing program on a shoestring budget
βœ… Why it's critical to build products for the end user
βœ… Building a marketing and sales function that works in a global pandemic

...and much more.

If you enjoyed it, please subscribe to The BC Startup Show and leave us a review.

Our Guest and Resources We Mentioned
Learn more about Dooly: https://dooly.ai
Find Mark P. Jung on LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/markpjung
Watch Fire Talks: https://fire.dooly.ai/
Learn more about Reforge: https://www.reforge.com/

Connect with The BC Startup Show
Web: https://bcstartupshow.com
LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcstartupshow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bcstartupshow


A Transcript of this Episode

Erik MacKinnon:
All right. Thanks very much Mark, for taking the time to join me on The BC Startup Show today. We've got Mark Jung, who's the head of marketing at Dooly, a startup based in Vancouver, which has been going for about five years now, if I'm correct?

Mark Jung:
Yes.

Erik MacKinnon:
I remember seeing it back in 2015 or so with a different name. I think it was Dooly Noted?

Mark Jung:
Yes, that was courtesy of our CEO right now. He's a pun master.

Erik MacKinnon:
So just a tiny brand name change. But wow, five years in the SaaS startup space is an eternity to have survived. It sounds like now you folks have that traction underneath your wheels, and you're starting to get a grip on the road and push forward.

As I mentioned in our pre-show, it's my goal to inspire British Columbians to take the entrepreneurial leap. So thanks again for sharing some time with us today. To help our listeners get to know you a little bit better, I'd love to break the ice with a couple of BC questions to get our conversation started. And so you're based in Vancouver?

Mark Jung:
Yes.

Erik MacKinnon:
But you're not from Vancouver.

Mark Jung:
No.

Erik MacKinnon:
What's your BC origin story?

Mark Jung:
Yeah. So my wife and I, we actually met in Toronto and we were both living in Toronto at the time. And my wife had done her masters here at UBC and fell in love with Vancouver. And at the time we were in Toronto, we were looking to make a move. Somewhere warmer, more walkable, with a healthier balanced life. And she had been pitching me on Vancouver for a long time, and we had just bought a condo maybe six months ago. And we came up to Vancouver for a three-week trip to just like a work trip here. I was at the Westin, which is two blocks from where I'm at now.

And as soon as we touched down at the airport and I took that first breath of mountain air, I realized what I had been missing in Toronto. And while we were at the hotel, we listed our condo, sold it, packed everything up in 12 boxes and then moved to Vancouver and the rest is history now.

Erik MacKinnon:
Oh, that's a great story, and one that I can relate with as I'm originally from Ontario as well. We found our way out here a little bit differently than you did, but I agree you get off the plane and look around and it's like, "Wow, the ocean, the mountains, the air, like... holy smokes." It's easy to fall in love with British Columbia the second you land here. Speaking of love, that's a nice segue into my next question. You've been here a while now. You're a British Columbian at heart. What do you love most about BC?

Mark Jung:
So two things. When I first arrived in BC, I was working at Spaces, and then wework when I had my office set up. And when I was meeting sort of new friends, coworkers at the time, they said, "You're not from here. Are you?" I kept getting this recurring theme and I was trying to piece it together.

And then finally, I asked someone, I said, "How could you tell?" And they said, "The way that you walk, when the lights are counting down five, four, three, two, one, I see you with purpose, you're crossing the street, you're getting to what you're doing." And apparently I was bringing too much of that because we used to go to New York a lot. New York, Toronto energy, and BC has made me slow down in a sense and really appreciate. You know what I mean? I'm fortunate enough now that we found an amazing condo on the 47th floor, we have a sunset ocean, Stanley Park view. And it's like waking up to this every morning and watching the sunset at night, it's just something that has really humbled me.

And I mean, it's something that I wouldn't trade for the world. Earnest Ice Cream really is the second one. It's my favorite ice cream ever had anywhere in the world. So those are the top things in BC.

Erik MacKinnon:
That's great. And for those listeners who don't know Earnest Ice Cream is absolutely a Vancouver staple. If you're ever in Vancouver, 2nd Avenue at Quebec is the Earnest Ice Cream to visit. I myself used to live in Olympic Village and probably put an extra pound or two on my body, just due to my proximity to that particular location. Excellent ice cream.

Anyway, glad to have you here in BC, Mark and driving marketing at Dooly. Before we start chatting about Dooly, I'd like to get to know you personally a little better. It looks to me like your entire career has been in marketing and that we share a similar background in that you started your own agency.

Mark Jung:
Yes.

Erik MacKinnon:
And so I'd love for you to tell me the story of how you started your first freelance campaigning through to where we are today, reaching head of marketing at Dooly and driving your startup forward.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, I'm going to flash back to when I was a lot younger and I was fortunate enough to actually have my father was a VP of Marketing at a big telecom called Nortel. Because he spoke German and French, he would get moved around basically every year or two. And since I was very young, I've always been involved in the marketing side to him. I mean, he's run consulting agencies from SEO to you name, it demand generation for CPG in the pet space. And I've always just been fascinated by storytelling.

Mark Jung:
So even when I was a kid, early on and playing video games, doing all the things kids do, I thought, "How can I turn this into something that I can do full time?" So I created essentially marketing engines to sell services when I was playing video games. And would sell my services so that I could make money as a teenager and going into university. And it just became something that I've been doing now on the consulting side throughout my entire life. It's just come full circle to a point where in my professional career, I had typically been in more of a professional services space, not necessarily SaaS and selling to enterprise.

So one of my longer roles, I was at a leadership development and coaching firm that works with a lot of the Fortune 500 here in Canada, all the big banks, Purolator. I mean, we had 24 to 36 months sales cycles with CHROs and it was very more formal marketing. It was a pretty serious industry. And my wife had been in SaaS now for 10 plus years. She's currently the VP of Strategic Growth at Unbounce here in Vancouver. And watching her at FreshBooks and all these different companies, she said to me one day, "Hey, you would love SaaS. Ditch the suit and tie, get some running shoes, come into the culture."

Mark Jung:
So when we decided to make that move from Toronto to Vancouver about two years ago, I left, started my own agency as that growth transition again, to make the move from here to there. And then just brought on all the clients that I had worked with over the past years, and then eventually transitioned into SaaS when I fell in love with the story at Dooly, and the rest is essentially history.

Erik MacKinnon:
That's awesome. And best of luck getting out now that you're in. Speaking from experience, it's really tough to get away once you've been drawn into the software as a service world for sure. And yeah, it sounds like your significant other is putting some serious time into big SaaS players as well. FreshBooks in Toronto, is a really awesome success story.

For those listeners who aren't aware, they make a small business bookkeeping software, which I used for a long time, running my agency. And so then you moved out here, she's now at Unbounce, which is a software that helps marketers create landing pages and like FreshBooks is a great success. So thanks for sharing your background, Mark. Really appreciate it. There was one point you mentioned, I wanted to revisit again, as it's similar to my personal experience. Like many of us marketing folks out there, you have a degree that suggest a slightly different trajectory than you're on now.

Mark Jung:
Yes.

Erik MacKinnon:
So I'm curious, your studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, how have you either taken it and adopted what you've learned and used it to further yourself as a marketer or an entrepreneur? Or maybe you found, "Hey, you know what, this isn't right for me. I'm going to turn the corner here and do something else." I guess in a nutshell, tell me how your degree studies affected your career.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, because I've had such an early exposure to marketing my entire life through my family and sort of all the freelance initiatives I had done throughout my life, I had actually thought about pursuing an academic career when I was going into university. And my plan was to study philosophy and psychology because at that point I was in love with the combination between storytelling and analytics and diving into these deep ontological problems. And I just felt like it was something that just clicked with me in high school.

I had the family pressure to say, "Hey, you can still turn that into your MBA or your JD and go into law." And that was a path that I was looking at, the JD MBA do mergers and acquisitions. And I said, "Okay, it's not off the table." But for me, really being able to dive in and understand psychology throughout university taught me so much that I feel like helps differentiate as a marketer. At the end of the day, we could understand the underlying, emotional social behind someone's jobs to be done and get past the functional. I think that's when you can really connect with people.

Being able to study philosophy and psychology, I think just primes you in a way that makes you think differently. I find that a lot of SaaS companies run the same B2B SaaS playbooks. Everything tends to look the same. The "sea of Saas" is what I call it. And I think when you have a different education and a different perspective in the same way that when you travel the world, you come back with new ideas, new perspectives, and you bring that and infuse it into what you do every day. So fundamentally I would always encourage marketers to study psychology. Granted, there is a technical components, you need to be technically savvy. And there's a lot of tech stack, especially if you want to go in the marketing side, but really great marketing is storytelling, you do not need technical to be a great storyteller. You can come from English, philosophy, whatever background you want, just hone your craft, and that would be my lessons at least.

Erik MacKinnon:
Oh, that's great. For our listeners who are thinking about taking the entrepreneurial leap, you're listening to two entrepreneurs, one who went to university for philosophy and started a marketing agency, and another who went to school for pharmaceutical sciences and started a marketing agency. And so to Mark's point, I really wouldn't look at your degree and say, "Oh, you know what? I've invested so much in this education. I can't be an entrepreneur now. I've got to go and be an academic." Or, "I've got to go and be a doctor because I got an MD." Just use your education to further whatever it is you're trying to do. The sky's the limit when you're starting your own business.

And certainly whatever you find your passion in or your motivation in, if that's what excites you, that's what's going to keep you driving forward. All right, Mark. So let's talk about Dooly. From your website, the fastest way to update Salesforce, take sales notes, and easily manage all your deals. As someone who uses Salesforce daily, I understand the product. But why don't you share with our listeners, some of who may never heard of Salesforce before, what's Dooly all about.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, for sure. So, I mean, at the most basic level, Dooly helps you eliminate all of the double work that you hate to do with Salesforce. All the grunt work. So what I mean by that is, typically when sales reps, account executives or customer success, we're taking notes on a call like this, they're going to have Evernote, a Google doc, notepad, whatever works for them. They're then going to be forced to go into Salesforce, copy and paste all those notes, update 30 fields, flag that, open a hundred tabs.

Dooly was designed to make it so that again, you can focus on selling, not the data entry that slows you down. So instead of having to open up 100 Chrome tabs to update your pipeline or your accounts, you do it all from one easy place that's fast, beautiful UI. It was really the story that Chris, our CEO, who founded the company sold me on. And he was telling me about a time when he was at Vision Critical, another company here, when they were scaling to from zero to 100 million and he would close major deal, major league baseball, the NHL. And no one would stop him in the hallway and say, "Hey, you didn't update Salesforce!" They would just say, "Hey, congratulations on this X deal. Killing it."

There's this fundamental issue when you ask a sales rep to go from $150 an hour selling activity to this $2 an hour admin function. And he realized that the system was not designed for the user. So he's built Dooly with this amazing product-led motion to essentially defeat the status quo and have sales reps rebel and say, "Hey, look, enough is enough. There's an easier way to do this. I don't have to be spending eight hours a week on admin work."

And I mean, that's why our customers love us. They've been with us for so many years. Asana, Intercom, Lessonly, Airtable, all these amazing high-growth SaaS companies, because their AEs are saving like five, six hours a week. They're getting to their weekend, faster, spending time with their families. They're not doing the stuff that they hated.

They're getting to focus on their customers. And to me, that was just a really powerful story. And when I read our testimonials, I was like, "This is a company I want to work for. And this is a mission that I can stand behind."

Erik MacKinnon:
This is fantastic. And there's a ton for our listeners to take away from what you just shared. Chris and the other founders went out and said, "Okay, what's a problem that we can solve?" If you have access to a salesperson who is using Salesforce, go and ask them how much they love updating their opportunities or making notes, or figuring out different stages or obeying the sales operations and revenue operations team and all of the miscellaneous check boxes that they have to tick to get their deal over the line.

And you'll probably find very few sales reps that care much about any of that. Because it's irritating, it's not selling. They're a sales rep. And like you just said, Mark, you're taking $150 an hour salesperson and forcing them into a two, three, five, $15 an hour job. I would challenge that you're probably not going to ask LeBron James to go out and wipe down all the basketballs before he gets on the court.

That's just not the case. And that's where an opportunity lies. If you can find these irritations in someone's day that are holding them back from more productive activities, that's a great spot to found a business and start solving that problem. And so with that in mind, I would really appreciate you sharing how Chris and the other founders discovered that this was an issue. You mentioned they experienced this a bit at Vision Critical, but was there any market research they did to further their understanding or did they just have that gut instinct that said, "Hey, you know what, we know this is a problem, and now we're going to go fix it."

Mark Jung:
Yes. I mean, blend of both. And I mean, again, because I wasn't there, I don't have full context. I have it sort of anecdotally from what I've dug into, but at the time, another great Vancouver company, Mobify. Justin, our CTO was there at Mobify at the time. And Chris was consulting at Mobify. And this was something that he had seen as a pervasive issue at basically every company he had been at.

For him having essentially worked at many companies and had a large network in sales who were having the same challenge, he thought that there was something here. And this was the vision that he had been crafting for a while, and anytime I meet someone who has known Chris and Justin a long time, they say, "Yeah, I've heard the Dooly origin story from years ago when Chris was at Mobify and he was working it through."

So a lot of research went into it, but when you speak with someone and you walk them through the idea and they just say like, "Sign me up right now, take my money!" You know that you have something. And the pain of Salesforce went so deep that I think that was just an easy catalyst for them to get going and know that they have early traction.

Erik MacKinnon:
Awesome. Just to tie off the thread here, if you're thinking about starting a venture, talk to a bunch of people and ask, "What's the thing you hate most about your workday?" If you can get a consistent answer on that, you've got a business idea you can explore.

Mark, let's pivot a bit here. Without getting into specific competitors, as I want to focus on you and Dooly, there are other Salesforce notation or data insights, or "Ease of use" companies out there. Where have you and your team looked at this landscape and seen the areas where you can innovate and make a better solution than what already exists today?

Mark Jung:
Yeah, for sure. And I mean, this comes back down to Salesforce itself. When you look at Salesforce, massive company, huge cult following, but in the same way that most enterprise tech is built is not built for the end user. It tends to be built for management. And in the same way that a lot of our competitors sell top-down targeting a VP of sales, Chief Revenue Officer, what we did instead at Dooly was we built the product that end users would love, and we go bottom up.

We try to make such an amazing product, that account executives, customer success, now sales managers, solutions engineers, they start using it. And then within one hour they've invited 5 teammates. Two weeks later, we have 45 people at the company. Two months later we have 300 people in the global revenue team.

And I mean, Chris and Justin are also visionaries in the sense that when we first launched Dooly, they were one of the first, if not the first people in the world to actually do real-time call enablement and transcription. So one of the first unique superpowers that do we brought to the table was, there would be more than notes. Inside a call, we would have a bot that would listen to like what you and I are saying right now, transcribing that in real time, and then depending on what gets said, surfacing insights for that conversation to help that sales rep answer questions that they may not know or handle that customer objection in a way that someone else would have lost that deal. So we're always pushing the boundaries in terms of innovation.

We're creating a new category here at Dooly. This is a brand new space that really no one's been in that we're creating momentum behind. And I still see that same fire and drive for innovation every day with what we have coming up in 2021. And we have some big things in the works. I can't say too much about it now, but stay tuned for January when you'll see us all over, especially on the Vancouver side.

Erik MacKinnon:
That's awesome. And if you don't mind, I'd love to just revisit and double click on this quickly as it's a great lesson, regardless of the stage of business that our listeners might be at. One of the key things any entrepreneur needs to focus on is how you're going to go out and acquire customers. In startup terms, that means acquiring your first customers.

In my experience in speaking to startup entrepreneurs and running my own businesses, there can sometimes be a bit of hesitation like, "How am I going to get a CEO on the phone?" Or, "How am I going to talk to 50 Chief Revenue Officers this month?" But one of the things that you folks at Dooly did, you said, "Forget all that. Let's just figure out the people we can help and build a solution that helps them." And it sounds like you're confident that they'll tell everyone in the company about how great it is and when it's time, you can go out and start the sales motion with the decision makers. I feel like Slack is a great example of this. Do you use Slack at Dooly?

Mark Jung:
We do.

Erik MacKinnon:
Yeah. We use it as well. And it only takes one person on one team to think, "Hey, this chat app we use, it sucks. Let's go try out Slack." And then another coworker's added, another and so on. And then a sales rep at Slack can eventually reach out to your CEO and say, "Hello, you have 47 people in your organization using the limited free version of our software, let's take this to the next level." So build something end users love, get it in their hands, and if it's awesome, they will share it and it will make selling that much easier. Great stuff.

Having said that you folks do a great piece of marketing that I, and many other people love called Fire Talks. And I'll include links in the show notes for our listeners to check that out. But I'd like you to talk me through how you envisioned this and how it all got started.

Mark Jung:
Yeah. So I mean, in the same way that we touched on this early, originally, we were a small team at Dooly, and I was tasked with finding creative and unique ways for us to build a brand reputation, reach our audience and drive this product motion. And one of the first strategies to identify within the first 30 days of joining Dooly, was that again, like we talked about, I can't compete with Sales Hacker. I can't compete with these enterprise players who have million dollar budgets, creating really amazing long form content. I'm a team of one on the marketing side. I need to be creative here.

So the first thing that I did is I hopped on customer calls and I watched 30 recordings and I mapped out trends and I called my friends and did research, and I found out that sales humor was a really unique niche, that sales reps, they're going through their day, they need to decompress, they want to blow off steam, where are they going when they're not reading content or doing their job?

Well, they're on Instagram, they're on LinkedIn, they're on Facebook. And there's a massive sales humor community that I saw no one was really tapping into in the B2B space. So I thought, "Hey, this could be a real unique angle for us to build something that again, is going to cut through what our competitors are doing." We're going to stand out. We can reinforce our challenger brand that we're trying to create with this rebellion that we stands for. And this became the foundational strategy for what's led to the growth of Fire Talks and everything we've done. Chris, our CEO he's an amazing visionary and when we were chatting about ideas of what we could do we've tested a number.

We've had things like vikings record product videos, and we've done all kinds of interesting tests, but this was an idea that he had been wanting to do for years. And I remember we had a conversation, it was just one sentence and it was like, "Hot sauce for sales." And I took my $60 budget and I said, "Okay, I know no one in sales. I love the idea. Let's make this happen. Let's see if we can turn this into something." Fast forward to where we are now, we have had 12 episodes that have been live. We've had people like the Chief Marketing Officer at Lessonly, Kyle Lacy. Lessonly, we love you. They're our customer and going into next year, we have like the CMO at Gong. We have the co-founder at Terminus.

Mark Jung:
We have the C-suite at Sendoso. So I have six months of content lined up from the best in the business, joining this live hot sauce sales show and then sharing with us because it's fun, it's different. And again, it's just something that I think speaks to brand as a key differentiator. Apple just launched AirPods charging $650 for them. Why? Because brand. Brand becomes the moat and the unique differentiator that someone can not replicate.

Anyone can copy your positioning, anyone can copy what you do in terms of visual language and assets, but people can not copy how you've made them feel. At the end of the day, if we make people laugh, feel some joy, that is what they're going to remember Dooly by, and that's why it's been so successful.

Erik MacKinnon:
I truly hope our listeners have their pens out and are taking notes because there's just so much gold here. Two things I'll quickly reinforce. The first is identifying your audience and how you can break through the noise to capture their attention.

So you could have said, "Okay, you know what? We want to sell the salespeople. They're at Sales Hacker, so we're going to go sponsor Sales Hacker's email newsletter, and we're going to run a virtual event with Sales Hacker." Okay, great. Maybe you could buy your way into their audience and do what everyone else is doing to try and spend their budgets. Or you can take 60 bucks, buy a handful of bottles of hot sauce, ship them around to some sales leaders and say, "Hey, we're going to do something really fun. Let's just try it out and see if we can create something our audience enjoys." That's great stuff.

The second is understanding what your audience wants to see and hear. Perhaps what salespeople don't want to see and hear from your brand is, "Hey, here's how to sell better." Or, "Here's how great our product is." So instead, you folks at Dooly are building a brand by entertaining salespeople, without trying to sell them anything. And as a marketer and an entrepreneur, I truly appreciate what you've done with Fire Talks and your approach.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, absolutely. We'd love to have you on. And I mean, season two is going to be big. We've got Kevin Dorsey coming up, the VP of sales at WalkMe, CRO of VanillaSoft, we have an all-star lineup queued up for season two. And I mean, we've got some big things in the works as well. I can't speak too much about it until it comes out, but I assure you Fire Talks season two is going to be bigger than ever.

Erik MacKinnon:
Excellent. I'm excited already. Pivoting our conversation again, I'm going to ask you a question you may lack context for. However, as you folks are venture funded, I'd like our audience to learn a bit more about how you decide to spend your marketing dollars today. As you've run your own business, you've had to spend out of your own pocket to promote it. Right? How has that, and the fact that you are operating on investment money, shaped your approach at Dooly.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean one point that really comes to mind for me is that when you're bootstrapped, you are forced to be creative. And I find sometimes that is the best mindset you can be in because great marketing doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Giving an example in the sales humor space that we talked about, just last night, we had a meme that we posted on Instagram for sales humor. And it's a scene from Indiana Jones. Person typing at a computer, just going to update Salesforce real quick! Second frame is him as the flaming skeleton sitting there and it's finished.

And within 13 hours, we've had more than 5,000 likes, we've had over 2200 shares. And like this didn't take me a $5,000 budget, a graphic designer and a team of content writers to produce. This was a quick image that I mocked up in Photoshop in one minute, built the right partnerships, and that has driven demos, sign-ups, tons of web traffic, brand awareness. That is what creative marketing can do. And when you're bootstrapped or when you're in a position where you need to be creative, I think fundamentally that forcing function makes you stand out especially from that "sea of SaaS".

On the VC side specifically, I have been really privileged to have joined communities like the Revenue Collective, RevGenius and you have access to some of the best mentors and advisors through our VCs. And again we're coming up on a really critical inflection point and we're going to be massively growing into 2021. So lots of exciting news that anyone here in Vancouver is listening, we're going to be hiring a ton of roles. So check us out soon.

But working with VCs is essentially like having experts in your corner with all the types of access to network resources, being able to make introductions. And I mean, I've been fortunate now to speak with some of the best product-led CMOs in the business who've helped advise our go-to-market strategy. We've had introductions to Cloud 100 customers that are now in trial and on track for massive deals. So I mean, working with VC's really opens up doors that are unique.

But one thing that I would caution is: if you're handed a $50 million round, don't let that change you. Don't focus on running back the same SiriusDecisions playbook that everyone else who's series B or D has run. Use that same bootstrap spirit because that creativity and those ideas, when you're on that $60 budget, that's where you can really find that 80/20 to double down. Oftentimes 20% of what you do is going to drive 80% of your results. And I find sometimes early stage startups in my experience can focus on doing too many things. Know your customer. I would say, build something product led, because then when you're improving the product, you're adding more value for your users, your customer, it creates a virtuous loop.

And I mean, there's a ton of great resources from Reforge, Brian Balfour. If you haven't had a chance to check out Reforge everyone, I'd highly recommend it. It has been sort of instrumental in my transition to SaaS. But those would be my parting thoughts in the VC space, for sure.

Erik MacKinnon:
That's great. And we'll include links to Reforge and other resources you mentioned in the show notes, so our listeners can check them out. One of the nuggets of wisdom I took away from what you just said is, regardless of where you're getting it, venture capital firms or otherwise, it's really important to get mentorship, guidance and experience sharing from others.

I know I probably use too many sports analogies, but you're going to find very few successful teams that are just a pile of rookies, trying to make it work. It can work, but it's really helpful to go and get that veteran free agent or former coach or somebody you can lean on who has experience in the tough situations that you're going to encounter.

If you're looking to start a venture, there's many structured programs and systems out there. Incubators and accelerators, you can just Google around for those in your local area. If you're at a university here in BC there's programs like Enactus, SFU Venture Labs, entrepreneurship@UBC, et cetera.

No matter what industry you want to start your business in, there's likely to be some existing support network that you can tap into and you absolutely should. Get yourself some good mentorship, good guidance, and it will help your business launch and scale far faster than trying to do it by yourself.

Mark Jung:
Oh yes. If you're 1% off, and you're tracking 1% off for 120 days, think about how far you're going to end off. Having someone who can nudge you back on the right track or provide that perspective, that again comes to experience that you might not have invaluable.

Erik MacKinnon:
Definitely. When you're ready to accelerate, you want to ensure you're pointed in the right direction. Let's turn now to 2020. We're in December, we've had one hell of a year. I'm curious as to how things have affected Dooly? Are you seeing the growth you expected or has it been a bit more challenging than you thought to reach your potential customers, generate that interest, get contracts on the books, and then push your deals through to close?

Mark Jung:
Yeah, I mean, so for us, we've been really fortunate in the sense that again, we have the highest LTV that I've ever seen. We have virtually zero churn. Even the customers that we have that happen to be in the travel space are still using Dooly because it's become such a critical part of their workflow. And I feel like when you build a product that's designed for your end users, you're not selling something top-down, that's the fundamental reason why you get traction than success.

I mean, we're really fortunate to be going towards hypergrowth in 2021. By the time this is live, you'll definitely see a ton of media and PR around what's happening at Dooly, and we'll have a ton of roles up. So, I mean, in that sense, I'd say the biggest thing that's been a blessing in disguise through what's happened this year is that I feel like it's really connected us through virtual communities in a way that may not have happened before.

A big part of what's helped me grow as a marketer is inside RevGenius and Revenue Collective all of these communities like Thursday Night Sales, that I've got a chance to become a part of. I've got to know some of the best sales and marketing leaders, and also just make a ton of friendships that feel like family, even though I've never met these people in a way that's really fundamentally changed the way that I looked at connection.

I'm an extrovert and it's just my wife and I here. And I was going a little stir crazy, and this has become an outlet for me to meet people and grow. And I feel like us pushing the limits in terms of what community can mean and that it doesn't have to be in person has really just challenged my thought process around this. And I think that there's a really amazing trend that could influence how we connect as humans throughout. Hopefully the rest of the time. I hope we don't lose this spirit of connection that can still happen. As we start to be able to go back towards being back and full force in person.

Erik MacKinnon:
Well, I'm curious about your thoughts on this, especially as you mentioned that spirit of connection. This is something that most folks I speak with have a take on, as to whether or not things are going to go back to what we used to call "Normal." Do you think we're going to perhaps evolve into some sort of hybrid model where we're toeing the line between working from home and remotely? We're doing some live events, some virtual events, field sales becomes more selective rather than some salespeople being road warriors or racking up air miles. Or do you predict we're all just going to say, "Yay. We're back in the office. Forget about all this work from home stuff."

Mark Jung:
I think it's naΓ―ve for me to speculate because, who knows what could happen. But I mean, from my perspective, I think that the new normal again is going to be in new normal. We're never going to go back to the way things were because obviously there's historical context that's shifted.

What I do see being incredibly valuable is the deep community roots that have been built now through these virtual communities and ecosystems, those people that, again, already feel like family you haven't met, I see having a really great drive to meet some of those people, at a cadence where you could get together in person in a few years to come. And I think that's going to really help build out this hybrid model because I feel like typically in the past at these events, haven't really known anyone. I see this sort of hybrid model making it so that when I go somewhere, there's 150 people that I'm already excited to meet and get to know. And I think fundamentally we're going to see the Slack community fatigue pave a way for a whole new tech landscape to create a new category here.

Now that everyone has their own community, they're going to their own Slack. I have 50 Slacks already. I'm trying to leave five Slacks a week to keep this clear. There is an opportunity for someone to build an amazing virtual model for community that's going to get past some of those again, diminishing returns and fatigue that people talk about. And I think it's going to pave a very unique space where someone can create a category and build something entirely new, like what Slack did when they first came out. So I'm excited for the future holds here, for sure.

Erik MacKinnon:
Again, if you're thinking about starting a business, consider what Mark just said. There's an ocean of opportunity in figuring out a way to continue this new engagement that we've cobbled together over the past few months, via video calls or Zoom calls or whatever. It can be as easy as talking to some folks and saying, "Hey, how did you get together during COVID?" Or, "What did you do to sell? What was your sales motion during COVID?"

There's a lot of folks out there who had to make a serious pivot who were used to putting on suits and heading to dozens of conferences each year who saw that get shut down and starting in February or March. They were forced into an immediate evolution of their work.

For example, I've certainly spoken with entrepreneurs and others who are challenged by the whole be a video host at home, dealing with lighting backgrounds, webcams. You folks at Dooly work with salespeople. How have you seen them get over the, "Alright, I'm on camera full-time now. I'm selling from home now," hurdle and become almost like a TV host in their living room?

Mark Jung:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest thing that I've learned is just lean into the authenticity. Call it the elephant in the room. Everyone's been there. I've been on the call with a parent in her playpen, holding a kid in one arm, a dog in the other, and seeing a toddler running back in the background throwing papers.

And I mean, I think you can deeply empathize with the fact that everyone is going through something similar and just lean into it. I think that becomes a powerful stabilizer in the conversation. In the past in this sort of more formal in-person sales motions, I think that there's been a little bit less of a bonding experience.

One of my favorite things that I've taken away is anytime I hop on a Zoom, my camera's always on. If you're selling, come in camera on, because I've had people sell to me camera off, never seen their face. Enterprise sales cycle. So, I'm trying to buy, I have no rapport with them. What are the biggest things that I do is I'll look at what's in your background. I can say you've got art here. I can see the wainscoting. I can see the beautiful color contrast of your walls, I'll pick things out that are in your room, and I'll see if I can tie that to something personally to speak about.

I've pulled up posters from people I've seen restaurant menus, I've seen a similar piece of furniture from a lamp that I have from West Elm. And these icebreakers have really led to just fantastic personal bonds that have helped deepen the relationship and accelerate that sales cycle in a way where it feels like you're talking to a friend. So, I mean, we miss the authenticity except the fact make a joke about it.

One of my favorite anecdotes was we're up in 47 here in Vancouver. And we had some forest fires before, and at this point few months back, we had just gray smoke. And normally I can see out miles and miles away, I could see nothing. At this time in Vancouver, we also have what we called the "mothgeddon." Which was this event that happens once every two to five years where millions and millions of moths are just scattered across Vancouver. And I would wake up in the morning and it would look like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. We'd have gray smoke and just thousands of moths on my balcony. And I would start my calls saying, "Hey, let me show you this." And I would tell a joke, and I would build rapport. And this became like one of my favorite ways to open a call. And I would have people replying saying, "Hey, I had such a laugh today. This was a great way to kick off my Monday. I so appreciate that." And that's what you have to, we need to.

Erik MacKinnon:
Yeah, absolutely. It sounds like there's one thing that we agree on and that's that there's a fellow human on the other end of anything we're doing.

Mark Jung:
Yes.

Erik MacKinnon:
Whether you're trying to start your business, sell your product for the first time, market something, send an email, make a phone call, whatever, consider the person, the human being who's on the receiving end.

Mark, let's talk about the future. You mentioned earlier that there's a lot of great things coming for Dooly in 2021. I know you have some things you can talk about and some things that you can't. But from your perspective, what are you most excited about as we kick off the new year?

Mark Jung:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, our philosophy here is to build product that users love, where the pain that they feel in Salesforce fades away. But that's just the beginning. There are so many systems right now where the analogy Chris, our CEO always gives is right now, there are knowledge workers that are constantly being forced to go to different filing cabinets and get different files.

Might that be an ERP system or a CS system or in this case, a CRM system. If you can create a workflow that takes people from 15 tabs into one where the right file comes to them at the right time, that's ended up itself is magic. And that's what we're working towards here at Dooly, is to make it so that the broccoli that you hate eating, we eat it for you. And we make it so that you can spend more time doing what you love, and putting that data entry that grunt work away. So we've got some really big things coming up, and the goal is eventually to get past beyond what we currently do with revenue teams in Salesforce.

But right now revenue teams are the future for us. That is where we're focused. That's what's driving all the innovation. But we're thinking bigger towards what this could look like in 2021 and beyond.

Erik MacKinnon:
There you have it listeners, if you're ready to start your business, be the one that eats the broccoli on your customer's behalf and provides them with all the nutritional benefits. Let's wrap things up. Dooly.ai is the website D-O-O-L-Y.ai. Mark, where can folks find you personally?

Mark Jung:
LinkedIn is the best place. Mark P. Jung on LinkedIn. There's another really famous Mark Jung so got to get the middle initial there so I don't get trounced by the search results. But yes, please connect with me on LinkedIn, More than happy to meet you. And if you're in any of the same Slack communities, Revenue Collective, RevGenius, Modern Sales Pros, any of those, feel free to send me a note, we'd love to have a virtual coffee and connect.

Erik MacKinnon:
By all means, the trajectory you're on right now, I think the other Mark Jung will be adding their middle initial pretty soon. You'll be able to take yours out because you'll be on top at least on LinkedIn.

Thanks again, Mark, for being my guest today on The BC Startup Show. I really do appreciate you taking the time. I had a lot of fun and good luck with everything that's going on with yourself and Dooly this year and the years to come.

Mark Jung:
Yeah, you as well. This was a blast. I'm looking forward to getting to know you more as well on a personal level.