MarTech Interview With Emmanuel Cohen, Head of Marketing at Walnut

Hi Emmanuel, please tell us a little about your role at Walnut and how you arrived here.

I’m Head of Marketing at Walnut. Formerly, I was Head of Social Media and Blogs at Wix, where I had the fantastic opportunity to manage the social side of 5 Super Bowl campaigns, among other things. My background is very oriented toward building powerful brands. That’s why my team invests a lot of effort in creating memorable (and I hope, lovable) content. Our brand is the heart of Walnut’s marketing.

What is Walnut, and how does it fit into a modern CMO’s Marketing Technology stack? What does your ideal customer profile look like?

Walnut enables marketing professionals to use interactive and personalized product demos as an integral part of their sales and marketing assets. They can embed demos on their landing page, send links to their demos in their newsletters, or even create product tutorials to encourage new feature adoption. We use Walnut for all these purposes but also simply for fun – you can find some Easter eggs created with Walnut on our About Page.

If you create gated demos (meaning, you require an email from visitors to see your demos), Walnut turns out to be a very useful tool for lead capturing.

Most importantly, Walnut allows you to collect insights to optimize your marketing. You can use this data for lead scoring, product optimization, and more.

Furthermore, marketers are only one vertical of the many Walnut use cases. In our main use cases, sales departments can use Walnut to personalize each demo for their prospects, customer success to create onboarding and training materials, presales to build templates for the sales team, etc.

We discover on a daily basis new use cases from our customers, and we’re always blown away with what they do with Walnut. The possibilities are just endless.

Could you please tell us about your Martech stack and which tools and solutions do you use to stay on top of your marketing goals?

We use all the common tools as part of our stack. HubSpot is our main tool both for automation and for newsletters, Intercom goes for our chatbot, Google Analytics of course, and more. Our strength also relies on the high quality of our creatives and on the brand work we achieve in parallel to our direct acquisition and optimization effort.

Product demos are now part of the B2B selling process. Could you please tell us how Walnut makes it easier for product teams to create an engaging sales pitch using a product demo?

Think about the SaaS sales process as it is today: A prospect enters a website, doesn’t see the product – only screenshots, then they book a demo and get on a call with an SDR who asks him a bunch of questions. Still didn’t see the product.

Then they hop on a call with an Account Executive who shows them a PowerPoint presentation, and if they’re lucky, the prospect might eventually see the product in action – in an old-school demo environment. And you know Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, goes wrong. Even in the post-sales phase, the customer needs to go read very long tutorials. It’s a nightmare.

With Walnut, the prospect can try the product first-thing and let it tell the story. The sales rep can send a personalized demo to the prospect with their data, personalized info, headshot, name, and logo before the qualification call, and the account executive can tailor the product story to the prospects’ needs and focus on value.

And throughout this process, the sales team can collect insights, organize the best performing demos by categories and use-cases, and create standardization in the whole demo process to make it the most efficient for the customers. The whole SaaS buying and selling process is just made brighter for all sides.

How important is UI UX in product demo personalization? Could you share some case-studies that reveal how you succeeded with personalization in your product experience management?

UI and UX are of course significant in demo personalization, because the demo is the first impression of your product. The most crucial part, however; is not “what” you present; it’s “how” you present it.

Telling a strong and engaging product story is critical for creating winning demos. By adding the right annotations (or guides) in the right places, making them fun to read by adding media or GIFs to the text, showing only the screens that bring value to the prospect, making the whole demo story perfectly to the point—this is how you really move the needle.

Marketing and advertising budgets continue to swell despite fears of economic recession and geo-political events. Could you please tell us how marketing leaders should prepare in uncertain times such as these?

I believe that a recession is a fantastic opportunity to explore “out of the box” and cost-effective ideas. For example, we have two video series (Nuts About Sales/PreSales) where we sit on a Zoom call with Sales and PreSales leaders and ask them for their best tips. This is a kind of win-win situation: We generate original and free content and the sales pros receive great visibility.

Product launches are also a very strong way to attract leads and get media recognition without having to spend a considerable budget. Of course, online events, gated content (like e-books, infographics etc.), and webinars, are all classic assets to collect valuable leads and increase visibility at a relatively low cost.

What major steps are you taking to enhance marketing and branding efforts?

We are constantly evolving. We just fully redesigned our website in-house and rewrote all the content. Each of our product launches or announcements creates impactful waves in the industry.

That being said, I believe that focusing on providing consistent original content is what keeps the community engaged. We always try to be funny, to play with the lines of the B2B genre, to surprise our community, and this is how we create an emotional connection with the potential buyers.

Many times our sales team jumps on calls and the prospects go: “We saw your ad, and we felt like we wanted to talk to you.”

Delighting prospects and seeing them smile when they talk to us is one of our most significant achievements.

Advice to every marketing professional looking to join a SaaS company in 2022-23;

Three pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t be afraid to think creatively and offer new perspectives in the interviews and assignments. It’s very easy to come up with the same standard speech as everyone – but it doesn’t necessarily help to stand out.
  2. Despite the crisis, look for products you love. At the end of the day, to do good marketing you need to connect with the product. Keep that in mind as your number one priority when looking for the next opportunity. It might require a bit of patience and extra work, but going to work with a smile and a feeling of contribution and self-accomplishment is really priceless.
  3. Be assertive, but not too much. Healthy companies receive a lot of CVs because of the unfortunate times. Don’t hesitate to reach out to contacts who you know in the company you apply for, to add one (or two) relevant decision makers on LinkedIn and approach them. Just be careful to not start multithreading to too many people either like a sales shark. You want to look interested and motivated but not all over the place.

An event or conference you would like to attend this year and why?

We are partnering with Sales Assembly and PreSales Collective which allows us to talk and sponsor various events. But we are also going to host our own major event – and it’s going to be nuts.

Thanks for answering all our questions!   

Walnut is the world’s first Sales Experience Platform. With Walnut, B2B sales teams can create interactive and customized product demos without coding.

The goal of the platform is to make the sales process more customer-centric while improving the sales team’s productivity.

With Walnut, sellers can scale their demo personalization, share interactive and guided demos with prospects, and collect insights to optimize their sales cycle.

Buyers can discover the seller’s product early on in the process and enjoy tailor-made demos that focus on value.

Emmanuel leads the marketing at Walnut.io. He worked for 7 years at Wix, where he managed the social presence and blogs. He managed the social media of the company during major campaigns (Super Bowl, Marvel, NY Yankees, and other significant partnerships).

He has also spoken about social media content at many marketing events, including Social Media Week. Most recently, Manu created an employer branding video for Walnut that went viral in Israel (and did it in less than a week).