MarTech Interview with Teodora Curelciuc, Product and Brand Marketing Manager, for GetApp at Gartner

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Teodora Curelciuc, Product and Brand Marketing Manager for GetApp at Gartner talks about a few top marketing challenges that new marketplaces and SaaS startup teams commonly face in this chat:

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Tell us a little about yourself Teodora…we’d love to hear about your role, a typical day at work and we’d love to also hear about GetApp?

I am the brand marketing manager for GetApp, a software discovery marketplace for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our mission is to help businesses grow through tech by helping them find the right software solutions. GetApp was launched in 2010 and now offers more than one million software reviews for 14,000+ software product listings spanning across 800 categories.

I’m in a truly cross-functional role and thrive on successful collaboration with content, marketing channels, and product teams. I create and implement go-to-market strategies for GetApp and collaborate with our teams to align and drive marketing activities throughout the customer journey to ensure we have a customer-centric and holistic approach to all marketing activities.

A typical day involves touchpoints with writers, creatives, project managers, marketing, product managers, UX researchers, and leadership. At any point, I may be writing a creative brief for a new marketing program, tracking content campaign performance, providing feedback to brand creatives, researching content ideas, or creating a strategy deck. And lots of virtual meetings!

I’ve held different marketing roles in the travel industry, eCommerce, and now tech and SaaS. Content and inbound marketing have always been central to my career, and this is the way in which I’ve become familiar with small business needs and pain points. I’m extremely passionate about user research and strive to be a user advocate, above all else.

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Take us through your biggest learnings so far when it comes to building a strategic go-to market plan for a new marketplace or product, what are some of the top challenges and mistakes that you’d like to talk about?

The most challenging part about creating messaging for a new marketplace is communicating high potential categories while still building awareness for the overall search experience. Users are hyper focused either on the problem they want to solve or the products they’re researching and comparing. So your product needs to get out of their way, in a sense, and help them find what they need.

Any marketplace needs to solve a specific user problem. The first goal is to get a clear understanding of the problem, and make sure that is a common problem to your user base. With that understanding comes knowing who your customers are, where they hang out online, how they search, how they find your product, and the bigger context in which they operate.

And just as important is communicating solutions to their pain point in a way that resonates with them and speaks their language.

I’d say that a common mistake within the SaaS space is a marketing team using jargon and technical terms, instead of using the language that small businesses use to refer to and search for solutions.

There’s a difference between how software vendors market and position their solutions, and a more natural way in which business owners articulate their needs.

Tell us about some of the marketing technologies that help you drive your initiatives? 

As my role is very central within the organization, I use collaboration tools on a daily basis. We’re a geographically distributed team, and since we moved to a remote work model, these tools have proven indispensable for our day to day. From sharing documents, exchanging feedback and carrying out full scope projects, cloud collaboration tools are where most teamwork happens.

Web analytics and dashboard tools are key for data drilling and being able to generate business insights. Knowing what content and campaigns resonate with our audience is key and not that different from how other organizations leverage data. Where we take a different stance is generating insights, based on the aggregated data of our reviews database, and then translate that into compelling business advice.

Given there are so many tech solutions to choose from, we’re producing data insights to provide tailored recommendations and make it easier for our users to select the right tool for their business.

What are some of the top marketing lessons from the pandemic that you’d like to talk about?

The main lesson for me was embracing change. At the end of Q1 2020, we were rolling with what felt the perfect yearly marketing plan. I’m sure the same happened to many businesses out there who were just about to launch a great new product or feature. The ability to put the perfect plan or product on hold and react quickly to the situation at hand is what makes or breaks a business during uncertain times.

In our case, in March of 2020, we noticed demand was shifting quickly and heavily toward remote work and cloud infrastructure solutions. And our product, content, and marketing teams had to switch gears right away. We worked relentlessly to ensure we were providing fresh info about the products users now needed the most, but also worked hard to create educational resources to support businesses who needed to digitize fast.

We also rolled out user research to gauge the most pressing issues small businesses were facing and the pivots they were making to survive. This enabled us to speak to what our audience was going through and offer the advice they needed at that time.

Take us through GetApp’s story so far…?

GetApp’s story is that of a high-growth startup with a successful exit. Founded by two French entrepreneurs based in Barcelona, rumors have it that the business idea originated over dinner. The two co-founders took a sailing trip early on to test out whether or not they’d work well together. This startup culture of experimentation is what defines the company culture to date and what makes it an exciting place to work for.

If we fast forward to this day, the current chapter has a poignant focus on technology. Powered by AI, the marketplace is now developing into a robust recommendation tool that surfaces the most relevant options based on specific user criteria, such as company size or industry. As always, our intention is to get out of the way and make the software selection process painless and seamless.

What are the top things you, as a marketing leader, that you are keeping in mind as you plan for the rest of the year?

There is still uncertainty over what business-as-usual will look like for small businesses. One thing we see for sure is that digital acceleration is an imperative. We’ll continue to provide guidance as businesses figure out how to digitize their operations, implement a hybrid work model, or test new marketing strategies. As we see it, technology is a tool to move forward, and we are there to support businesses taking the leap.

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GetApp is the recommendation engine small businesses need to make the right software choice. GetApp is a Gartner company.

Teodora Curelciuc is a Product and Brand Marketing Manager, for GetApp at Gartner

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