In this special edition of Show Me the Nuggets, we’ll be shining the spotlight on GreyMetrics, a super intuitive white label marketing reports and dashboard solution founded by Abhishek Ekbote.
After spending a couple of years managing operations for a multi-national insurance company in India, Abhishek saw the opportunity to leverage the considerable amount of tech talent in his homeland and get into startups. Since 2016, Abhishek has been building startups left and right. It wasn’t always easy, but once he understood what it took to be successful, he’s been on a winning streak ever since.
Abhishek walks us through the many cutting edge features and integrations of GreyMetrics, and details how this groundbreaking tool is changing the game for marketers and digital agencies everywhere.
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Joe Troyer 0:16
Hey everybody, it's Joe Troyer, and welcome to another episode of Show Me the Nuggets, today's gonna be a little different. I have a SAAS founder on today's call that's built a marketing SAAS. And I'm really excited to bend his ear and talk about what's worked and what hasn't worked in his aha moments, building this company, and it got rooted, it got started as a digital marketing agency. So he's got a background, just like so many people, here that watched today's show, or watches this show. And I'm really excited to chat with him because his software, his company called Grey Metrics, I believe, has a potential to be a disruptor in the industry. They run white label reporting and dashboards and reporting for Facebook and Google and all the major traffic platforms out there and analytics and Google Search Console, and all those right. And that industry, I think, has been waiting for a disruption for quite some time. And what I mean by that is everything's just kind of old, the user interfaces suck, but our clients count on them, right? They take forever to load, right. But we got to be able to be able to see results be able to see KPIs for our clients, but also for us to make sure that we're on target. And these platforms, they they just aren't very good. And they cost a boatload of money. In fact, that invisible PPC, you know, pick one of those logos. At Invisible PPC, we spend upwards of $100,000 a year just on reporting technology for our clients and their end customers. That's ridiculous. And it's ridiculous to not be satisfied. So I'm really excited to bring on Grey Metrics today and to pick their brains because we're looking at moving everything that we can to Grey Metrics, as they continue to do more and more integrations that they got a boatload right now, I think we need like literally one or two more features. And we're looking at moving all of our customers over to Grey Metrics. So if you're unhappy with your reporting platform, you're paying way too much and you know it, or you're just like, yeah, I really need a reporting dashboard, check out Great Metrics. And no, today's episode is going to be a little different. It's going to be really pointed really, to the point, I'm going to ask a bunch of direct questions, but there's going to be takeaways for you no matter what type of business you're in. So I hope you guys like this different type of episode. leave me some comments, leave me some feedback. What do you think of this? Should we do some more of this? I hope you guys enjoy it. Let's get to it. So guys, I'm super, super excited for today's episode. Because it's a little bit of a change up, it's a little bit of a breath of fresh air. I'm really excited. Today's guest is Abhishek Ekbote, and I'm really excited to really talk with Abhishek about one of his projects, but although he's got a couple of really, really interesting projects going on. So Abhishek , welcome, officially, Abhishek Welcome officially to the show, really excited to have you here.
Hey, great to be here, Joe.
Joe Troyer 3:22
So um, Abhishek, my team did some research, obviously, you're the founder of Grey Metrics, one of the big white label reporting dashboard kind of softwares out there. We're going to talk about that a lot. But you also founded Video Form. And I know that you have a background in in being a kind of a full service or full scale digital agency. Before we dive too deep can you give us a little background on how you ended up in this digital marketing world.
So hey, thanks, everyone for tuning in. So I was in insurance operations. So I managed multi national health insurance companies, insurance operations back in India. So I was managing about a team of 65. I was doing it for about five years. And then some day, it hit me that I had to actually get into startups. So one fine day, I kind of decided that I just quit my job and I get into startups. So we kind of like, once I did that. I made that jump, I kind of assumed that, you know, what you do at corporate level is so much similar to what you do in startups. And that's where I learned the big lesson that we failed super miserably. And we burned a lot of money on the first startup right there. And that effectively became a learning ground for us. During that startup, we kind of spent a lot of money on ads. We did a lot of marketing, online, organic, offline and a lot of things.
Joe Troyer 4:42
Awesome. So then fast forward to today. And it seems like man, you've got quite the impressive track record as a founder, it seems like since about 2016, it seems like you guys have been building businesses and software businesses. Right, left.
Yeah, that's it's kind of easy to do, because you're based in India, and you can hire the talent, and we have a decent amount of tech talent out here. And now that we've actually got into marketing, we were able to discover a lot of problems that marketers face on a day to day basis. So effectively, that's how we got started with Grey Metrics. We kind of spoke with a lot of marketers, and we understood that reporting was one of those biggest pain points that they were facing. And eventually, That, combined with the pandemic, kind of led us to this new product called Video Form, that marketers specifically told us that conversion was their biggest headache right now. And we had to do it with more personal touch. And that's how we got to be found right now.
Joe Troyer 5;38
Okay, that makes perfect sense. So let's talk about Video Form. Let's dive in. What do you mean, by that personal touch? Explain a little bit what Video Form does?
right? So Video Form basically, what it does, you can have, think of it in two ways, right? One is, you can think of it as a chat bot, but with your face on it. And so in a chat bot, you kind of get those answers and all that automated way. But here, you're actually showing your face to a customer on your website. And it does the exact job that a bot does. But every time that it actually does that it actually interacts with the customer on a personal level, you can actually record videos, and that bot does the exact same thing. On top of it, the second way that you can actually look at it as most sales folks typically tend to send cold emails, their whole game lies around emailing and keeping in touch with their prospects. And All right, so here's what we did is we built in a plugin which directly sits inside of Gmail, and they can actually record a video inside Gmail and send it across. So that's that's, that's what Video Form is all about. It's about personalizing your interactions, either on your website or on your emails. So what is trying to say here is add a human touch to your marketing and sales.
Joe Troyer 6:53
I love it, man. So it's such a simple concept, but so powerful. Obviously, everything's about personalization and scaling personalization these days, I think, I think that's where we're headed. I think in terms of sales, and customer service, I think it's it's huge. So super excited for us to be playing with video form.
I want to talk about Grey Metrics. And that's what I really want to focus on today, though. And the reason is, is because like you I think that there's a huge opportunity in the marketplace, I think that a huge need from agency owners is reporting. So I'm really curious from your point of view, what what was the problem and the point of view that you were trying to solve? When you came out with Grey Metrics? Obviously, it wasn't just reporting, because there's a ton of reporting platforms out there, right. And I'm sure you didn't want to be just like that, what was kind of the unique positioning for great metrics,
Alright. So most of our positioning actually came in from the discussions that we had with our initial customers. So the key point that we understood with many of the reporting platforms that you typically, marketers use, it has a bit of a learning curve. So you'll have to, you have to basically undergo a little bit of training, get used to how it works and all that. So that kind of felt like the most troubling problem for us. And we kind of doubled down on that. We have to basically not be like any other platform and just make it like super intuitive that everyone is actually used to all these days. So we kind of focused on the user experience part where it, where I mean, anybody can just log in, and you don't need any help article whatsoever in order to generate a report and modify it to the way that you want. So that that's how we kind of differentiate from, like, majority of the dashboard solutions out in the market.
Joe Troyer 10:30
I love that. I have a coffee cup that says user interface or like a joke, if you have to explain it, it isn't any good. That's so hard. Right? That's so great. That's so great. Yeah, you know, you got a good product when somebody can onboard successfully, excuse me without, you know, as you said, articles from the help desk to walk them through. So that's fantastic. So the gap in the market, you thought was reporting? What do you think are the major use cases? Like what do you think that marketers are reporting the most these days with Gray Metrics? What are the platforms? Or what are the KPIs? What are the things that they really care about the most
the most popular platform seems to be Facebook for now. I think there's a lot of, I think the biases, that majority of the users that use Grey Metrics are social media marketers, we have to keep that in mind. So the typical KPIs that most people are still tracking are the ROI numbers. These are the boring numbers that everybody sees everybody still tracks the, what's the revenue? What's the number of clicks? And how many? How many visitors? Are you getting? And what's the trend looking like? Are you getting more conversions by the day?
Joe Troyer 11:40
I was taking a look. It seems like you guys also, you guys integrate with Facebook, you guys integrate with Google Analytics? It seems like quite a few other integrations as well. Can you talk a little bit about kind of some of the main integrations that you guys have, or the types of integrations that you have as well.
So Grey Metric basically, today integrates with about 22, different platforms. It has a bunch of integrations with Facebook, like everything that Facebook does Facebook ads, Facebook page, Instagram, Instagram ads, and all of that, and a lot of Google properties too, like Google Search Console, Ads, analytics, YouTube, I mean most of the Google properties, per se two, and a bunch of email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Sendgrid, and Moosend and some of these platforms. And we've got a couple of platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, for the e commerce marketers specifically. So on top of it, the most used, I would say, I mean, apart from the social media channels, is Google Sheets, people want to push their own data into dashboards and reports. So that's one of the most used integration. So you can put a data on Google Sheet, if you just visualize it super beautifully, using Grey Metrics.
Joe Troyer 12:47
Awesome. I gotta say you said super beautifully. That's not an understatement. I think you guys have done a great job with the user interface. I know not not picking on Ninja Cat, but we use Ninja Cat. And I think their user interface was probably built in 1995. And probably probably hasn't been updated since. So I think your user interface has been really refreshing for us as we start to play with it and see what it would take to to roll that out customer wide for all of our white label PPC customers at Invisible PPC. So great job on that. I'm curious, talking about the marketing side, a little bit of Grey Metrics, when you look at what's worked so far for you guys. What what's worked, maybe what hasn't worked, as well as you thought
we wanted the content marketing to do much better, much earlier. So I think the kind of still relatively impatient is what I believe our blog gets a little bit of traffic. But what's more interesting for me is we used because we have tech talent, we kind of use engineering as marketing. We built like smaller tools, like SERP simulator, like, you know, how does my search results look on Google. And if you type in SERP simulator, like Grey Metrics is the result is in the top three or four. So this kind of brings us a lot of traffic. And people typically get to understand that there is this reporting tool. And that brings in a lot of signups into the funnel for us today.
Joe Troyer 14:12
Yeah, I love that you guys leaned on obviously your tech talent to be able to do that where a lot of other companies would probably look at and be like, yeah, you know, that's kind of a distraction, or that might cost too much money are we gonna have to go find a different team do this. So I love that you guys played to play to your strengths. I did do some research and I saw that quite a while ago, you guys did a lifetime offer. I'm curious, as a founder. What do you think about lifetime offers? Would you recommend that people try them? Or don't try them? What was your experience with that?
I think it largely depends on the goals that you have. So our goal, typically was to get a lot of audience to try out the app in a very short time. So we wanted to get like about 500,000 people trying out the app so that we could just iron out all the bugs and you know, make it super stable in a very short period. So in order for us to actually do that, in a normal circumstance, would have taken us about six months to eight months, or maybe a year, to get to that stage. To do it faster, we went to with a lifetime deal. Effectively, we've got about 1000 signups during that period. And that effectively, we've sold about like 500 bucks in the system, effectively making your system super stable during your three month period. So again, if you are in it for cash, I wouldn't recommend it. If you're trying to make a quick buck out of a lifetime deal. Absolutely don't do it. It sounds counterintuitive. But that's the reality. Right?
Joe Troyer 15:39
Yeah, I think it makes sense. So you're saying if you're doing it for cash, you're probably going about it incorrectly. Right? But if you're doing it to really make sure that you have product market fit, right, and to figure out bugs and to iron out the issues that that could potentially be worth your time.
Right. And also, I could say this, right? I mean, the most important thing that happened to us with that lifetime deal was we actually got talking to about 100, 150, marketers in a span of 30 days. And that insight, the insights that these marketers have been very accomplished marketers across the globe, that these guys give us in that. That is invaluable. Like, I would measure that, like far greater. Are there any kind of money that a lifetime they would give
Joe Troyer 16:36
Perfect That's awesome. Yeah,that's a that's really important and great feedback from somebody that's offered a lifetime. So great feedback there. I definitely agree with with, with your takeaways as well. What's working today in terms of marketing, when you look at new users signing up? Where are those users coming from? what's working, what's not
majority of our users come from organic sources, because, like, like I said, when we built some engineering as marketing tools, and we focus a little bit on the content. So both of these working in tandem for us right now. And there's a little bit of referrals that still go on word of mouth that spreads from our existing customers. So these three are the biggest channels for us right now. So we haven't dabbled with paid ads yet. But I think that's something that we have planned to do in the next couple of months.
Joe Troyer 17:09
I gotcha. It seems like you guys were doing pretty well with with G2 crowd as well. You guys were ranked pretty well, there. How, how does that work? Or maybe not work as a potential referral source?
Right? Yeah, do you do does help. But I think having that social proof on, like, on our site, per se, also is important. And we get a ton of traffic from G2 too. Because if you look at marketing analytics category, and then, we rank about 25, or 30. At this, and again, marketing analytics doesn't necessarily mean only reporting per se. The number one is HubSpot out there. And there's a bunch of tools out there. So we've consistently ranked twice now in summer and in fall as high performer on G2. So I think a bunch of users think that we're great, and the kind of show, so show some love on G2. And
Joe Troyer 18:02
that's awesome. So do you think that you're getting lots of signups from G2? Or do you think you're getting more social proof from G2? Would you say it's more of a conversion mechanism for you guys, like just getting more traffic that comes to you that social proof to actually then convert into a paying customer? Or do you think it's more a lead gen source for you guys are a mix of the two? How would you classify that activity?
I wouldn't say it was leadgen for today. I think it's more of an awareness kind of a platform. Today's people do compare us with multiple other tools. I mean, it's quite a few though. But I'd say that, you know, I'd rather lean on the piece of social proof for more than the lead gen piece for today. But I see as we go forward, G2 will become a major source of leads for us as we go forward. I mean, right now, it is not. But I see that in the future, it will become one of the channels.
Joe Troyer 18:54
Gotcha. Any tips on how you guys got ranked? Obviously 35 in such a big category. If you were to do that, again, kind of how would you re engineer that? Or what were your takeaways from, from doing so well
so I think are purely of the kind of emailing that we typically do. We kind of send emails to customers who have picked a few success factors are in our app. So if they've completed like four or five reports, if the generated about five reports, we know for sure that they've done really well, and they kind of like the tool by then. So we kind of pick those emails and we kind of send them, especially after they finish their fifth or sixth report, we kind of use to send this on Tuesdays at 9am or 10am. When they are kind of a little bit of free, so that, you know, they take 5 or 10 minutes out to write us a review on G2. So that's, that's been the strategy where we kind of first focused on getting them to few success metrics in the app, and then get the timing right awareness and email.
Joe Troyer 19:58
I love it. So simple, right, but so effective, I'm sure like, your conversion rate on leaving a review has to be so high, because you're only going after people that have hit those success metrics. So I love that. So Abhishek, we're gonna have lots of marketers that listen to this podcast. There's obviously like we talked about there's there's lots of different reporting tools out there for those people listening thinking, hey, Grey Metrics might be right for me. Who would you say? Yeah, go check out great metrics. And who would you say maybe, you know, it's not the best tool for you? Right? It's not certainly a one size fits all. So what advice would you give somebody listening?
If you're a social media marketer, I think I would like blindly say that, go ahead and pick up Grey Metrics. I think you wouldn't, you shouldn't even think twice. Like I mean, just go try it out. There's a free trial. And you would understand what I'm saying. And like about 15 minutes or so., just go and try out the tool. I think, if it's not super easy, then it's not for you. And 99 out of hundred times, you'll find it super,easy.
Joe Troyer 21:01
I love that. I love that. If it's not super easy for you, then it's not for you. Yes. So that that's that's great, man. So, so, so intuitive have an app for sure. I definitely know. I mean, within minutes, I know that I had created my first dashboard. And so that's fantastic, man, I'm so parting shot. With all of your success and all of your failures so far. If somebody was to follow in your footsteps, or you were to tell your earlier self right, dating back to 2015, or 2016, what advice would you give them?
I'd say, that I should have read Lean Startup in 2015. Like, I shouldn't have waited till 2018 or 19, to read Lean Startup OKRS and all of these stuff. I got it much later. And I wish I was wiser enough earlier in the game. So and like, even I wish I had worked a couple of years in a startup before actually starting out on my own.
Joe Troyer 21:47
That's awesome. And you might have just answered my last question, too. So at the end of every podcast episode, I asked somebody to take a look or to think about their business. And I asked them, what's the one book that's made the biggest impact on the way that you do business and why
I'd actually say that of late. I've been following Naval Ravikant, the founder of angel list for a while, I think I kind of like his philosophy and stuff. But I think I've recently found this book called The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, it's got a bunch of his tweets and all of his thoughts and collections out there. I think this kind of has become my religious book, I kind of open a couple of pages, and then they kind of read it and then now get get myself a little straighter. And then, you know, go back to my work on the day.
Joe Troyer 22:40
Perfect, I'll definitely have to check that out. We'll add that to the reading list. We'll put that in the show notes as well. Man Abishek, I just want to say thank you, this has been awesome. I know that so many of my customers, so many of the customers at invisible PPC, to be honest, are overpaying for their white label reporting platforms. I know we're spending literally thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars a month for ourselves internally. And I know so many of our customers are paying that as well. And so I'm super excited about where you're going with Grey Metrics and the opportunity. I think it's a huge refresh to what, you know, what's what's available out there right now. And I'm super excited to save some money, have a better looking platform that that is more intuitive and that my customers like even better. So I'm really excited to be working with you a little closer and see if we can port over and move over all of our existing dashboards over to you guys. So man, I'm really looking forward to working together,
looking forward. I'm happy to help you with any problems that you have in that.
Joe Troyer 23:41
Alright guys, I can't recommend that you check out Grey Metrics any more. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode of Show Me the Nuggets, Joe Troyer signing out.