The CEO’s Important Role in Category Creation

Reading Time: 21 minutes

Marketers love to talk about category design. And even though that type of positioning is a powerful marketing play, it’s not the type of strategic decision that marketing should pull off alone.

In this episode of the B2B Growth Show, I interviewed Chris Orlob, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Gong has been hard at work building the conversation intelligence category.

And as you’ll find out, this growing software company wouldn’t be where it is today unless its CEO had fully bought in to the process of category design.

Listen now to find out:

  • Why having your CEO buy in to category creation is key
  • What prompted Gong to pursue category creation in the first place
  • How to work with analysts on adding a new category
  • Chris’s top reads for aspiring category creators
Listen below, or find the episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify.

John Rougeux: 00:00 All right everyone. Welcome to the B2B Growth Show and our category creation series. I am your host John Rougeux. And with me today is Chris Orlob, who is the senior director of product marketing at Gong. Chris, thanks for being with me today.

Chris Orlob: 01:32 I am so excited to be on the show again. Thanks for having me.

John Rougeux: 01:36 Yeah, yeah. My pleasure. We’ve been trying to do this episode, uh, for a few weeks now, so it’s good to finally get you, uh, on zoom and hit the record button.

Chris Orlob: 01:44 That’s my story every single time with these podcasts. That’s just a rescheduling nightmare. All my fault every single time. Glad we could make it happen.

John Rougeux: 01:52 Yeah. Yeah. You Bet. So, I know some of our listeners have heard about gong a read some of your stuff myself. I love the, uh, the articles you guys publish about the sales data you get, even though I’m not in sales, it’s just fascinating to me. But, uh, if anyone who’s not heard of that, you are gone, can you just give us a little bit of background about the company and about your own role?

Chris Orlob: 02:10 Yeah, so Gong gives you visibility into your customer facing conversations by capturing and analyzing them. So that includes sales calls, web meetings like we’re doing over zoom and even email and chat conversations like you would find an interest. And so that gives you a value across a few different dimensions. It helps you make your people more successful. It helps you make sure deals across the finish line and it helps you make sure your selling strategies are rooted in reality by you keeping an ear to the ground and hearing the voice of the customer. So my job at Gong, uh, senior director of product marketing second us higher up the company, you know, R&D is based in Israel, which is where the founders are from. Go to markets out here in San Francisco. And my job is all things marketing. You know, my title is product marketing, but I find myself dipping my toes into pretty much every other part of the marketing organization over here. So it’s pretty fun role.

John Rougeux: 03:10 Nice. How many employees do you guys have on the Gong team right now.

Chris Orlob: 03:13 Oh Geez. 170 or so I think. Yeah, I think when I started, I think I was employee 15 or so and you know, we’ve jumped up to 170 so it’s been a fun ride.

John Rougeux: 03:24 Okay. Yeah. So I can imagine there’s been a lot of areas probably within marketing and otherwise that you’ve been involved in as a, as you’ve gone though.

Chris Orlob: 03:31 Yeah. Like I said, the quote unquote product marketing title, totally a formality.

John Rougeux: 03:36 Right. So we got introduced because our mutual friend James who runs sweet fish company that produces this show heard that you guys were going on. That is path of category creation around this idea of conversation intelligence. And I got it right. You told me not to say conversational, wanting to know, wanting to get credit for that, but uh, yeah. Tell me about conversation intelligence, what that means and how it relates to Gong.

Chris Orlob: 04:02 Well, if you think about just what the product does, not even the benefits, nothing like that. Just what does the product do? It captures and analyzes sales conversations for the most part and a lot of people have kind of coined to their own term for our category that have since fallen by the wayside. You’ve heard, you’ve heard US referred to as call recording, you’ve heard a little more advanced terms like call analytics and a lot of people have asked, why didn’t you go with call analytics? Why did you choose conversation intelligence instead of the term call analytics? Because it’s a little more clear, it’s a little more crisp. People understand what it means and I would go back to the vision we have for Gong, which we have made leaps and bounds toward actually fulfilling. We don’t see ourselves as a call intelligence or call analytics play.

Chris Orlob: 04:51 We used the word conversation very specifically because we didn’t want to be limited to just calls. So it was all conversations including written conversations like emails and you know, soon a chat messages like you would see on Drift. And so our goal or our vision as a company or as a platform is to get visibility into all customer facing conversations, sales calls, meetings, customer success meetings, email interactions, all that kind of stuff. So we, we did have, you know, these long conversations back in the early days that you know, easily could have been a smoked filled cigar room. Wasn’t because we’re health conscious here, but it could have been one of those situations. Uh, and we went through a lot of different options and we landed on conversation intelligence because we felt it captured both the current situation at the time as well as the future state we wanted to arrive at better than anything else.

John Rougeux: 05:45 Yeah, I liked that. So you were, you were taking what might’ve been kind of a constraint or a pigeon hole for what you capable of with these terms, like call recording, all analytics and you decided to open the envelope a little bit, both in terms of what you could do then. And really what you wanted to do longterm with, like you said, not just calls but email, chat and outside of sales, but the meetings, customer success, all those good things.

Chris Orlob: 06:09 Yeah. You’ll never hear us or you never will have heard us refer to ourselves as like voice analytics. That was another one that was kind of popular with people who are observing the category. It was always steadfast conversation intelligence because we weren’t just voice and we’re not just voice.

John Rougeux: 06:26 Sure. Is that conversation around that term, was that more along the lines of how do we create a better narrative for Gong or where there’s some broader connotations there with an actual desire to build a category that’s now recognized in G2 Crowd and others?

Chris Orlob: 06:43 No, it’s definitely more than just a gong narrative. It is the, you know, cause we have big ambitions at Gong. We don’t just want to like get acquired for know a few million bucks or whatever the case is. And so our competitors caught onto the same term conversation intelligence and we’re glad that they did and we see our competitors is helpful in a lot of senses. I’m, and I’m sure that goes, you know, mutual ways where we’re all shouting the same megaphone of conversation intelligence. And back then nobody knew what the hell conversation intelligence meant two years ago. Nobody used those words. And now because you’ve had like a group of strong companies in the same category, uh, getting on their megaphone and using the same verbiage of conversation intelligence, now it’s moved up to the second most powerful tool in a VP of sales tech stack, second only to CRM. And really it’s, you know, you have to use CRM because nobody loves CRM, but you have to use it. So we went from being considered like seven or eight in the tech stack, a pecking order a couple of years ago, and now we routinely hear that we’re, and not just we gone, but the category of conversation intelligence is the most powerful tool in a sales organizations tech stack.

John Rougeux: 08:02 Sure. Yeah. So it was just two years ago that you came out with this.

Chris Orlob: 08:06 Yeah, a little over two years. Little over two years.

John Rougeux: 08:10 So it sounds like you guys were one of the first, if not the first ones to use it. And you mentioned some of your competitors started to pick it up as time went on. How did that come about? Did you like, I’m not assuming you just picked up the phone and sort of to talk to some of your competitors and say, Hey, here’s where we’re headed. Here’s where we should be.

Chris Orlob: 08:26 Really nothing like that. Um, you know, I wish I had a great answer for you. I wish I could say, you know, we did this so strategically that we can predict what our competitors, where we’re going to do an advance. Yeah. And we set all of that in motion that way, but really we just, we didn’t even pay attention to our competitors. We are trying to build the category. If they wanted to come along for the ride, great. If wanted to go in a different direction, that’s fine too. We just use words that we felt best captured, you know, Gong our vision and we knew other companies were going to join that vision in a competitive way. Yeah.

John Rougeux: 09:06 Yeah. I think that’s an important point because you didn’t just arbitrarily decide, hey, we’re going to go build this to the category because we think that’s cool he gets cooler. We’ve seen other companies do that. You really felt like it was the appropriate narrative for you because that was so fitting for kind of where the space was headed. Other companies saw that and thought that it made sense for them to adopt similar language even if they are the same language even if they weren’t the ones to come out with the turn themselves.

Chris Orlob: 09:14 Yeah, because they’re, you know, to some extent and it’s a good idea, companies that are second and third and a category, while they make significantly less wealth than the market leader over the long term, it’s still a lot easier for them to catch some of the momentum that the market leader is doing. And I think our competitors have realized that, you know, they, I think everybody knows that Gong is by far the market leader in that space and I think they kind of realized that too.

Chris Orlob: 09:58 And they’re fine with that and they just realize, you know, if we’re going to build a successful company, we probably want to write that way rather than try to create new words for the category that is ultimately the same thing and just, you know, beat our head against the wall and deal with that friction and it end up going ultimately nowhere with that category creation effort.

John Rougeux: 10:19 Sure. Yeah. Once there’s a critical mass of people talking about that category and looking for it and seeing that it’s a solution they need, there’s, there’s less and less value in trying to go against that momentum and create your own waves. So it makes a lot of sense. Yep. So sites like, I know G2 Crowd has a category for conversation intelligence. I haven’t looked at some of the others yet, but um, what was that, what was that process like in terms of getting them to create that?

Chris Orlob: 10:44 Yeah, that actually was an intentional effort. And G2 Crowd is, really the only quote unquote analyst firm that we’ve worked with in our category creation efforts because I think eventually we will come across the path of, you know, more formal analysts. Um, but we haven’t gotten to that point in our category creation journey yet. Uh, the reason we haven’t is, you know, you, you got to start with your audience. Do vps of sales, especially in our current audience refer to Gartner and SiriusDecisions decisions when they’re making purchasing decisions? No, they don’t. At least in our space, they don’t. What do they refer to when making purchasing decisions though? They refer to G2 Crowd. We heard G2 Crowd coming up over and over and over. And so we started the concentrated effort to build a strong presence on G2 Crowd.

Chris Orlob: 11:34 Uh, within months of US recognizing that pattern, you know, lots of reviews, lots of very strong reviews and g two crowd didn’t really know where to lump us. So they lumped us into this category called sales coaching and onboarding software. Well, we don’t see our only value proper, even our strongest value prop is sales coaching. And there’s also a lot of non competitive tools and even categories within the sales coaching and onboarding space that I have nothing to do with conversation intelligence. So is this kind of mess of a quadrant that they put together. So it just took me straight persistence to get them to agree to building a conversation intelligence space. And that’s something our VP of marketing Udi Ledergor led beautifully, it was just meeting after meeting with their research directors and the people who were involved in that of us making the case that look, it’s not just gone. You’ve got several other companies in this space. You have customers ranking as their number one tool. You have the market adopting the language of customer conversation intelligence. Um, if you want to serve your mission at G2 Crowd is helping people make the best purchasing decisions possible. You’ll unpack this from sales coaching and onboarding software because it needs to be unpacked and it took us a long time but they eventually agreed to it and you know, now we’ve got that nice little grid.

John Rougeux: 12:54 Yeah. Yeah. But I like how you mentioned how the market was starting to use that term because that’s, to me that’s where a category becomes real and from others I’ve interviewed in this series that seems to be like, it’s not so much about whether G2 Crowd or Gardner or whoever like puts a space in their, in their platform for the category that is nice. But like what really matters is when people start talking about it and becomes part of their everyday language.

Chris Orlob: 13:18 Yeah. And we really turned the corner on that once we released the Omni channel, features have gotten, like when we went beyond voice and web meetings and we released like email capabilities cause then they, they couldn’t use the terms any war anymore that they used to use. They’re like, Oh stop call recording. It’s not voice analytics. Oh there you go on our website or wherever they found on their like how they call it conversation intelligence, that better captures what Gong does. And that’s really where we turn the corner on the market of adopting that language.

John Rougeux: 13:47 Yeah. Yeah. Well I, I’ve spent some time with our team myself and I think of all the review platforms, they tend to be one of the more progressive and like and willing to kind of reflect most quickly with the market is already talking about. Yup. That’s been my experience as well. Yeah. I want to shift gears a little bit because we talked about, you know, building this category externally. I’ll ask you about it with your customers and a little bit, but I think just an important part of, um, the building a category is getting your own team to understand why you’re going through that, what it means, how it’s going to affect the roles, how it affects the sales pitch. And then with investors too, they’d be considered an internal audience. And of course you want them along for the ride so they can continue to sell that dream. So, um, can you tell me what kinds of things you guys did that world well to bring your team on board with that new positioning?

Chris Orlob: 14:34 Yeah, I don’t think it’s complicated. I think it’s hard. I think it’s all in the execution, but it’s definitely not complicated. We go through why conversation intelligence training when we onboard new people and then honestly like you know, that’s a good hour session with me and we, the logic behind why we chose that and it’s all, it’s almost a crash course on category creation in general like we’re talking about here and why we chose conversation intelligence is ours. And we reiterate the importance of relaying and repeating those words in your conversations with people. And there’s not much more to it than that. We put it in our key communication materials to kind of emphasize internally to our team that that’s what we’re called, you know, it’s plastered on the hero section of our website to the very top of our data sheet. You’ll never hear anybody internally I think.

Chris Orlob: 15:27 Okay. So they’re actually is, I’m coming to my own realizations here as I’m talking out loud. I think a big part of it is having a category creation culture. And so we’ve instilled that throughout the entire organization that we are creating a category and you’re almost frowned upon. I wouldn’t even say almost you are straight up, frowned upon if you refer to Gong is like call recording or voice analytics. Like if somebody said that internally heads would snap in their direction and it would just be like really odd. Um, so, so I think, you know, now that I’m just thinking out loud here, I think a big part of getting your internal team aligned on the right messaging for your category is just having this culture that you are curating a category and that very much comes from the CEO and the repeated, you know, vision for the company at the monthly hands on meetings and that kind of stuff.

John Rougeux: 16:19 Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s really key. How if your CEO is not on board, it’s not something that marketing is going to do is kind of a pet project. It’s in fact, I mean

Chris Orlob: 16:29 Oh man, it would fail miserably. It has to be a CEO job, right?

John Rougeux: 16:34 Cause it’s like, I mean marketing ends up doing a lot of the work around category creation, but it’s really, it’s more of like a business exercise in a marketing exercise. I don’t know

Chris Orlob: 16:44 if you do not have your CEO directly, not indirectly, but directly involved in your category creation efforts, it’s probably going to fail because the role marketing plays in category creation is number one when you’re defining the category you’re advising, so you’re playing a role with your CEO, you’re having those conversations about what your category should be. But the second part of that is now you’re just executing the plan to actually build the category

Chris Orlob: 17:11 If you didn’t have the CEO take ownership of step one, where you are the trusted advisor and how to define the category and probably the more knowledgeable advisor and a lot of cases especially, you know in SaaS or you know, highly technical products, it’ll fall flat, this is the CEO’s job. There’s a lot to the CEO’s job, but this is certainly one of them. If you’re doing a category creation play

John Rougeux: 17:36 Sure. So within, within Gong, did this idea originate from your CEO or did any of them

Chris Orlob: 17:41 Yeah, yeah. We had a, our quote unquote sales kickoff a little over two years ago, and I say quote unquote, because at the time we had like three you salespeople and it was in like our investors offices in Palo Alto at the time. And we spent half of a day, it’s been a while. My memory’s kind of fuzzy, but we spent half of a day just meeting about what our category should be. And that was my CEO who led that. He scheduled the meeting, he set the agenda. He did, he took the leadership position and creating the category.

John Rougeux: 18:14 Okay, nice. Well, good for you guys that you had a CEO who understood one, understood that concept, and then two was so willing to kind of take that charge on and move the company in that direction

Chris Orlob: 18:25 Yeah. He’s uh, he’s played chief marketing officer before in his career, so he’s one of those CEOs who just gets it

John Rougeux: 18:33 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure. So I’ve mentioned a few minutes ago then I was going to ask you about how your customers receive this. So, uh, tell me about that. Cause it, I don’t know how long you guys have been around, but I suppose for, you know, as that period of time they were referring to Gong and understanding Gong is something other than conversational until, sorry, conversation intelligence. Uh, that, sorry, you’re never going to cease from wearing off on me. But yeah. What was like, what did you guys do to get your customers on board with the vision

Chris Orlob: 19:04 I don’t think customers are as concerned with category creation as US marketers are or even buyers are. I think it’s much more so a buyer question customer. I, and I could be wrong on that. I would have to think about it a little bit more. But like we don’t ravenously here, our customers, you know, spouting the words, conversation intelligence all the time. And nor are we concerned about it. Because a big part of why category creation exists, not even category creation, but just naming your category is you can’t name something that you can, are you, you can’t buy something you can’t name. And so it’s much more so a buyer problem than it is a customer problem, at least in my opinion. And so we’ve seen buyers and to some extent customers have those conversations on social media, but like just among our customer base, they more so just referred Twitter’s gone cause at that point they’re just trying to get the value out of the software. They’re not thinking about conversation intelligence like a buyer is who’s in the throes of making a purchasing decision. They’re past that point. They’re trying to, we’ll figure out how they can achieve their goals or alleviate their pinpoints are their pain points by using it.

John Rougeux: 20:17 Sure. Yeah. Chris, you just said one of my favorite quotes, my, one of my new favorite quotes around category creation. You said you can’t buy something you can’t name. I think that just really sums up so much of why this is an exercise that companies go through.

Chris Orlob: 20:32 Yeah, that’s, that’s Geoffrey Moore, by the way. That’s not me. That’s from crossing the chasm.

John Rougeux: 20:37 Okay. I know. I’m surprised me if you want to take credit for it. We can edit this part out. I won’t tell him.

Chris Orlob: 20:42 No, no, no, no, no. Let’s give it to him.

John Rougeux: 20:45 All right. All right, so you’ve been on this journey for two years. What are some things you might’ve done differently if you were to do it over again?

Chris Orlob: 20:52 Oh, good question. That’s a really good question. What would I do differently? You might have to edit out a long pause here.

John Rougeux: 21:02 We’re just giving your answer more weight, the longer you pause. So I’m expecting something super profound.

Chris Orlob: 21:07 I don’t think, you know, I don’t think there is anything we would have done differently except for just run faster. So like I’ll tell you one thing that a lot of company, here’s something heretical beaded. I’ll give you an example. If you look at our content strategy, a lot of marketers scratched their heads at it. They go, why the hell are you publishing your core blog posts as at LinkedIn native article rather than a blog posts on your website you’re missing, you’re missing out on so much longterm search engine traffic. And we actually did that, we published it on linkedin because of our category creation ambitions. Linkedin is where our audience says they spend significantly less time on Google. Even if we, you know, two years ago found the SEO prowess to be able to rank well on Google. And so when we started publishing like these research insights on Linkedin a little over two years ago, I instantly got on the map of everybody and we continued that drum drum beat for you know, even today, we continually do that every two weeks or so.

Chris Orlob: 22:13 That is a big part of how we created our category cause we could just, those blog posts, so got into the awareness of our audience so much faster than they would have done if we primarily publish them like on our own blog. And so the reason I bring that up is I don’t feel like most marketers would do that. I feel like they would have these category creation conversations, but when push came to shove and there, you know, really concerned about like organic traffic or something, they’re gonna build their audience on their own blog and they’re going to, somebody else is going to race right by them who is willing to leave the tactical objective on the table at least for now and instead pursue the strategic objective of pursuing a category. So I know that’s not the answer to the question you asked, but I think it illustrates something we did well and something we did right and something I think we should have done even more aggressively, especially in the first year.

John Rougeux: 23:12 Yeah. Well if I said that the takeaway was if you’re going down and category creation maybe think twice about whether best practices, best practices apply to you. Is there something else that you need to do differently given where you’re trying to head

Chris Orlob: 23:26 Exactly.

John Rougeux: 23:28 Do you publish? I can’t remember. Do you publish them under your profile or is it on Gong?

Chris Orlob: 23:33 Well, you can’t write LinkedIn native profile or articles under like corporate profiles. So it’s under mine. But that’s another reason for us to, you know, that’s another minor tactic within that scheme is I have a pretty big audience with sales leaders on LinkedIn. And so instead of focusing, at least at the time, instead of focusing on our, you know, Gong profile audience, the goal was to get these articles as much exposure to irrelevant audience as we possibly could so that the category is now on people’s mind. And so we’re going to give it to somebody who has that audience already built in and just boom, boom, boom, continue that drumbeat over two years. And eventually you wake up to a completely different life and you’ve got a category created. Yeah. And we’re not done by any means, but uh, we’re certainly out in our world.

John Rougeux: 24:25 Right. Yeah, that totally makes sense because I’m not personally, I wouldn’t be a buyer for Gong, but I had come, like I mentioned earlier in our conversation and I’d come across your articles, I guess we connected at some point or some, somebody who was connected with it was commenting on your articles and that is found the content fascinating. And I’m sure I’ve, you know, commented or liked on a few of them, which doesn’t give you any direct business, but it’s like legitimizing what you’re doing and exposing what you’re doing to a broader audience. And, uh, you haven’t looked at the numbers and I don’t know how many, how much traffic your blog gets, but it sounds like you’ve gotten just so much more traffic through that approach. And I’m just kind of the standard way of putting it on your blog and sending it out to your email lists.

Chris Orlob: 25:04 Well, if you, you know, if you think about positioning, your job is to lodge your positioning into the mind of your pyre. Positioning isn’t about getting organic traffic. It’s not about getting MQL. It is a mental thing that happens to your buyers that you need to take the lead on. And it’s not measurable. You can’t measure how, how much you have, quote unquote infected your audience with your positioning. And so that’s why we did what we did, at least for the first while. Like, you know, measurement was a big headache for us, but we were willing to live with that because we knew the psychological effect we were having on our audience was powerful even though we couldn’t say, hey, log into Google analytics and see our organic search traffic going up 10% month over month.

John Rougeux: 25:50 Yeah, yeah, that’s right. I think that that’s a key point is sometimes you have to be willing to do things, especially when it comes to branding. And did it helping a position in the market that you can’t measure be measured directly or at least very accurately. I remember I’ve talked to a couple of guys on the, um, on the Hubspot team and they were even telling me how when they first started talking about inbound marketing, it was just like yelling into a void and they knew that they did a long enough people will start to use it, but you can’t, you can’t measure that very easily. No, actually early on. Yup. All right, Chris, so, so one last question for you. Um, I know everyone’s got different resources they’d like to refer to when it comes to learning new things. And, uh, I’m curious what, what is kind of equipped you as you’ve gone through category creation, are there other people or their books or companies you follow? What’s, uh, what’s kind of, what do you look to you when it comes to learning about category and category design?

Chris Orlob: 26:44 I think there are a couple categories I would refer to. So the first one is looking at other companies and the playbook save, executed like Gainsight’s a great example Drift as a great example. The second one is definitely books though. So I’ll throw off, you know, kind of a list of books that have been highly influential in how I think about category creation. I’m the first one and these are not in order is from a guy who’s been on your show in this series. Uh, I think it’s called Play Bigger by Christopher Lochhead. Yeah. Play bigger. Um, one that I think the most influential one on me. This one, you know, I will say that with certainty is called marketing high technology. I think it was written in like the eighties by a sales and marketing leader at Intel. And I mean just the first chapter of that book is worth its weight in gold where he says the goal of marketing is to drive your product into a commanding leadership position within a defensible market segment.

Chris Orlob: 27:42 So you think about that against the modern marketer and it makes them seem very tactical. It’s like, Oh, you know, my purpose in life is to drive. Yeah. Again, organic blog traffic and I have nothing against that stuff. I keep shitting on organic blog traffic, but it’s just a good example as the backdrop. Nothing wrong with that. It’s needed. But the purpose of marketing is to drive your product into a commanding leadership position, which is typically minimum 20 to 25% market share within a defensible or discrete market segment. So marketing, high technology, couple other, you know, the Alr Reis and Jack Trout series, positioning, 22 immutable laws of marketing, um, especially the, you know, the latter there. That one’s really powerful for category creation. Crossing the chasm by Geoffrey Moore. That one’s really strong. And then, yeah, I think that’s most, I think that’s like my list of, you know, category creation 101. You read those and you’ll be well equipped to create a category so long as you have, you know, experienced to go with your book smarts. Yeah, yeah. I’ve, I haven’t checked out marketing high technology, but I want to look into, no one has man. It’s, it is my best kept secret. I’ve read it like three or four times and it’s a, it’s an Oldie but goodie. It’s timeless.

John Rougeux: 29:02 Yeah. I’ve got a couple of their books that were written in the eighties or nineties about technology and it’s, I just think it’s fascinating to look at how is this is built, uh, positions like really before digital marketing, um, came about because like you said, there’s, it’s so easy to get kind of overwhelmed with like the tactics and like the latest martech stack, all of which can be tremendously valuable, but sometimes it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees.

Chris Orlob: 29:29 Well, you think about that book and like that premise that I laid out for it, which is the goal of marketing is to try your product and who are commanding market leadership position. Now you unpack the strategies to there and you have, there might be more than this, but there are really two options. You can either segment your market and become the leader within a niche which you know you’ve seen a lot of CRM companies do despite the being gigantic. You see like niche CRMs and that works for them. Or you can go create a category. Either way, you’ve got to own a commanding leadership position in either a broad market or a segmented market. It’s got to be, you know, you’ve got to own leadership and you can either create a category to do it or you can niche down on something

John Rougeux: 30:13 And you just named the second book by Christopher Lochhead in the process, Niche Down. Yup. Yeah. All right, well those are good, a good words to end on. Chris, thanks so much for your advice today. If one of our listeners wants to get in touch with you, I know you’re going to say LinkedIn, but are the other ways to reach out.

Chris Orlob: 30:31 Linkedin’s the big one man email for me as a black hole of these days. Not even a black hole. It’s just like I ruthlessly delete things that are like not from my boss or customers. I mean you know that you have, we were trying to schedule this forever I felt like and it took me a while to like recognize your name and that I’ve talked with you via text message, so LinkedIn’s of the big one. Just Search Chris Orlob o-r-l-o-b as in boy and connect with me and if you write a note that you heard me on this podcast, I’ll accept your connection.

John Rougeux: 31:01 Good stuff, Chris. Well thanks so much for being on the show today. It was a real pleasure.

Chris Orlob: 31:04 Yeah, thank you. It was fun. All right, take care.

John Rougeux: 31:08 Okay, well that’s it for this category creation episode of the B2B growth show. I’m John Rougeux and if you have any thoughts you want to share about category creation, I would love to hear from you. You can find me by just typing in your browser. That’s j o h, and you can find all of my contact info there. You can also find me on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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About the Author

John Rougeux

John Rougeux is a Partner at Category Design Advisors. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Get the newsletter that will help you become a better category designer.

About the Author


John Rougeux is VP Marketing Strategy at BombBomb. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Recent Posts