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Developer Marketing at a startup with Zivit Katz from Zigi Episode 25

Developer Marketing at a startup with Zivit Katz from Zigi

Zivit Katz is the VP of Marketing at Zigi. Zigi is an AI-powered personal assistant for developers. By managing your dev workflow and handling all your mundane, non-programming tasks across multiple apps directly from Slack.

· 19:11


Jack: Hi everyone. You're listening to Scaling DevTools, this show that investigates how dev tools go from zero to one. I'm joined today by Zivit Katz, who is the VP of marketing at Zigi, the developers assistant for non-coding tasks. And as for any of the developers out there, you probably know you wanna spend all your time coding.

So anything that takes away non-coding tasks is very exciting. Zivit, Thank you so much for joining us today.

Zivit: Thank you, Jack. I'm happy to be here. Thank you. How are you?

Jack: I am very good. I'm very excited to learn about Zigi. My first question is actually like, what has it been like heading up marketing at Zigi?

Zivit: So, so thanks for asking. Uh, it's a good question because joining a founding team and a startup at the earlier days, for me is the most exciting, part. And it's also very different than joining a company, an established company, or, or an already established team even. And when building from Zero is the stage where I feel like most comfortable and gets me, uh, excited.

So, When I joined, Zigi is the first, uh, marketing persona, product marketing person. As I see it. I'm in charge of creating the, and crafting the messaging and the story of Zigi creating its, uh, persona, tone of voice, and basically it's visual identity, or you can call it the brand around Zigi. And I think that this is, First, the most critical, uh, stage before you are, uh, thinking about how to bring leads and more developers into your website.

Jack: And could you tell us a little bit about how you've been kind of splitting your time?

Zivit: So when you enter this position, it's critical to take the time you need to really understand your market and your users. It might sound, trivial, but uh, I take it very seriously to, to identify with my users' problems and to get to know the. Zigi is a tool that basically brings a new approach to the way r and d departments works.

And let's say instead of, uh, measuring devs with, uh, dashboards for managers, we're basically, we are creating a new approach where we offer hands on help to devs with their day to day tasks. It took me time to define what we do and to decide on how to position Zigi. So the way for me to do it started with obviously reading a lot, everything I could from social posts to community conversations to articles and marketing materials. But the most, critical part was basically a series of devs interviews I did with something like, let's say 50 developers.

That were not Zigi users. Okay. With developers out there for my, uh, personal network. Um, reached out to developers, to friends, asked them to, refer me to their friends. I don't know if you say it, but I call myself the developer Whisper, um, because, um, That became my main goal to understand developers and to talk to as many devs as I can, and I make sure even today, to, talk with at least one developer every day.

So I, I started by reaching out to developers who were not Zigi users and didn't use Zigi solution. So basically I could learn the words and their pains, and I really wanted to, craft this and to understand, what is their language and how they describe what they're having or, or their experiences as developers.

I interviewed 50 developers and I only ask them three questions. What do you like about being a developer? What you don't like about being a developer. And if I could get an assistant that would sit next to you all day, what kind of burden would you like him to take from you? And those three questions basically help me craft Zigi's messaging.

I learned from example that, the developers see themselves as creators and code as a creative process. I learned that, uh, developers suffers from cognitive overload. So those were their words. They say cognitive overload and contact switching. And those were words that I learned from developers.

When I told them that, if they can have an assistant sit next to them, so they say that they want help with the mundane work. This was actually a word that I didn't knew or their day, day to day tasks. I wanted that when Dev will see our website or any other content that we published, they will nod with their head with agreement.

Jack: That's really interesting. And you mentioned mundane, and I know that's something that you're very passionate about, is learning the language of the users that you speak.

Zivit: It's important to understand the language uh, when you bring, um, the first devs to your website or devs to your solution, or to hear about the things that you will write on social media, et cetera, you want them to not win with agreement and to, understand the problem and to identify with the problem.

Many times when you will hear, uh, marketing advises for dev tools, they will be generalizing and they will say, just this is a very introvertive people that wants you to be very specific. So start with what you do and just say what you do. Right? So I have to say I have a different advice, and maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm not, but here is my advice. Marketing is something that takes time and there is a learning curve, and you need to build your story and understand that it takes time. Not all tools and not all dev tools can just start with here's what we do and how. And it's important to craft a strong story. That, you know, for dev tools, there are so many, tools out there, so many, uh, solutions out there and can be an overload of tools and developers are using. Many tools on the daily, um, um, routine, and you want to make sure that you create a brand that people can remember and you want to create a strong positioning where your product and your company can grow from.

You, you remember, you ask me how it's like to join in an early days to a startup and it's very different. There is no brand yet. There is no solution yet. You are now creating the brand. You are now creating the very steps, the very first baby steps of the brand, and you want to make sure that this brand has first, that it will become a brand.

That people will remember it, that it will be strong enough to pop out from your daily routine. And you will remember, Oh this this tool, Zigi. And it's not just remembering, it's the feeling that this brand creates and, and how it makes you feel and you want to create, A position where your company can grow from with this branding and with this positioning.

Startups pivot and change and develop and you want to leave room for growth also with what you're building now. This is a long term, uh, thinking , it's thinking for, uh, bigger days and for the next day and not just for the now and how I'm bringing more leads I can assure you that we also saw it eventually in the numbers and in the high conversion rate that we have to our website.

But if I will, uh, go back to your question, the first steps that you, you want to take? So in order to understand the first tools, start with talking with your users, with your potential users, even before they are users, and hearing the words and craft the words and understand how they describe the pains that they feel and how they describe the things that they love.

But basically is understanding your product position in the market. Dev tools sounds like a generic thing, but there are many dev tools. What are you, Are you a code collaboration tool? Are you a solution for the ide? Are you a system of record? You need to first understand the tool that you're presenting or building a story for what is this story?

The second question is who exactly your users are? So you can't say oh, they're developers. First, they are humans. And uh, they are people, and there are different developers. Different developers are looking for different tools. They have different ways to find about tools.

The third point is what is the intent of your user? What do I mean by intent? For Zigi, for example, Zigi, as I said, creating a new way to move the needle in the r and d team in the r and d department. So, for Zigi, I thought that there is no intent, users or developers are never heard about the thing like Zigi.

That helps them with their day to day task if they heard, uh, that they're used to tools that are first are for managers and for the team leaders or VPs and, uh, about, uh, dashboard that measure, devs productivity or devs activity and, and using words like velocity. What I thought is that if developers ever heard about something like Zigi is only if they had a very good team leader or a very good team.

This is the only way that they felt something like Zigi. Okay. So, so what is the intent of your. If your product, for example, is a solution for X, that sits the quote collaboration tool. And so then you can understand where are you going to look for your users, how you will define your, uh, wording and your messaging.

So this is the third, uh, point and the fourth one is, how users are going to get your product. This is a very important question. Because, if, uh, in, in your early days of the product, users can't immediately install you and immediately test you. Or for example, they need to add you to their organization system, for example.

So it's very important to, trust and, and this is how it's even more important to define the why to define the problem that you're solving. And if in this case, as I believe, you can't start with just saying, Okay, we are a tool that solved this and this is what we do there is always this, uh, danger of, being out there in the pool of tools that nobody heard about. This is how I feel. So to summarize, It's basically start with understanding the big picture of your market and your product positioning. What are you? And then go and really know the specific about your users.

You know, it was a very revolutionizing for me to understand the developers, see the, see themselves as creators. What they like is solving problems and solving riddles. Everyone knows the developers love to code but when you understand, you need to deeply understand what they love, what they don't love. How do they find the problems? It's easy later or it's easier. There's nothing easy about marketing for developers, but it's easier to create new content to reach out for developers. And I think that the last point that I did not mention, and maybe it's the, the second big thing that you need to do is, is working on the social proof.

If there's one thing that I can, um, generalize about is the developers belie ve other devs. The next thing is to work on your social proof. And in other words, in human words, is your developers love. You want them to love your product, and once they love your product and they love. The problem that you are solving and they identify with your brand and then identify with, with the solution that you also offer.

Even if the product is still very small and it's solving a very specific issue, if they would love it, then they will share and they will help you and they will talk with other devs. And then you will be on the right path for success.

Jack: What I love about everything that you've described there is I think like each of those points related to just doing very deep research into your specific product, your specific audience, your specific go to market. And I think almost the podcast is called Scaling DevTools, but I think what you said so well was all these lessons we're learning, they probably don't apply to someone else's company. Most of the things that we are learning, except for the fact that you have to do that, hard work into really understanding your area. really love that answer.

Zivit: Thanks. You can't apply every device that you see there on your product and your company. And one of the advices that I don't like is okay. Start with the what. It's not about the what. It depends on the product that you have and how users are going to install it.

Um, find about you. What kind of developers are the web developers? Are they freelance developers? Are they backend developers that sit for, for us, for example, we are reaching out to developers who are doing the deep work in, uh, big r and d teams, in growing departments, in teams. So it's very different to reach out with a tool that, creates a new way, to work and communicate and connect with your teammate's work and to install it on your Slack organization and to work with it along like alongside you and during your day.

For Zigi, it's very important to take the time and taking the time. It's a very harsh, uh, sentence where you're in startup. There are always no time, right? But it's important to take the time to craft the message. And to change your website with, uh, the, the evaluation of the growth of your company.

Like as your company grows, uh, your messaging is, uh, changing and becomes better and better, but, But keep talking with the developers and your users, and this is what I do and it helps me a lot. It's easier for me, to reach out to developers and to understand how to engage them and how to, to talk with them.

Jack: And I can say that having known you for a while now, I can see how you know, your messaging and your, your landing page is just getting better and better over time and you're just constantly improving it, refining things. It seems to be doing really well. Yeah, my final question, is there's something that we've spoken a little bit about before was marketing plans.

And I wonder if you could talk about the place for marketing plans at startups.

Zivit: Yeah, I, I think it's, uh, for me, I always, uh, I dunno if you hear about the, the way I speak, it's always with plans and goals and lists. So as I see it, the marketing plan is the first crucial part to start. So I always start with a deck and empty deck presentation. And the presentation is for. And, uh, it's basically, uh, setting up the ground rules for how I'm going to work.

And every few months I create, like I refined the plan or create a new plan for the stage that the company is at. But when I started, uh, and I joined Zigi, I took, uh, a month to create this. And as I said, I started with, creating, uh, meetings , for myself with developers out there that were not users that never saw the, the product, that never heard about the product because I want them to, come like, you know, as an empty page and to just hear what they have to say and created the And the plan has very, like, ground, uh, rules. It's, I, I always start with, um, with who we are, like very short, uh, sentence. what, uh, what's the main values of the product, like the three main benefits? Uh, what is the pain that we are going to solve? And this is something that I do when I did, when I just started.

So I, I also changed it and refined it, it created and made it better. But this is like the first questions that I put on my deck and then are the the, the big bucket segmentation as I call it. Like as the, I said before, what, what is the product in the market? Is it a code collaboration tool? Is it system of record tool?

Is it a bi predictive tool? Um, what else? Is it an integration? Uh, is it a system of engagement tool? So like where your product sits in this bucket, uh, list that I just gave you, Where does the product sits? And then I'm looking at the developer's environment. What tools is already using and where are we going to be, how are we going to fit in this day and et cetera, et cetera.

But then I, I get into the, Once I finalize this plan, I go and do the branding and start with the branding to Zigi, which I really love and you should love because this is the product that you're going to work on on the next, uh, several years hopefully. And, uh, for the branding there, there were like this high definitions that it needs to be Z's.

About Zigi, like, there are three words, uh, that Zigi gets you, understands you get things done and sets you free. And the branding was built around those, um, values, gets me get things done and set me free. And, uh, about the branding, how strong should it be? How memorize, uh, Memorizable should it be? So like, these are the very, uh, steps of, like my recommendations for you if you're the first founding team at First Marketer in your team.

Jack: That's great advice. That's all we've got time for. Thank you so much, Zivit for joining. where can people learn more about Zigi and about yourself?

Zivit: So you can reach out to me. I love to talk to people. As you understand, you can reach out to my via my LinkedIn profile, um, about Zigi just type zigi.ai. Look up for us on our LinkedIn or Twitter, uh, space, or join us Slack community and, ping me whenever you want. I'm there.

Jack: Thanks Zivit, and thanks everyone for listening and we'll see you again next week.

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