MarTech360 Interview With Audrey Agahan, Director of Marketing at Y Soft

“With the advent of ChatGPT and the focus on SEO, content is becoming more and more generic. Quality content can be the secret sauce for a competitive edge.”

Audrey, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Y Soft.

I have over 15 years of global marketing experience working with B2B SaaS and tech companies in the U.S. and Europe

At Y Soft, I lead the Growth Marketing and Brand team. Our team’s mission is to leverage digital marketing and our brand to fuel growth. We’re focused on building our brand, generating awareness, developing quality content that resonates with our partners & customers, and lead gen.

When it comes to leading the team, my role is to remove roadblocks, create opportunities for personal development, and set my team up for success so they can do their best work.

I’m personally focused on developing and iterating an overall marketing strategy that helps us move faster, scale, and grow. ​That includes things like:

  •  Building the long-term vision for our customer experience/journey
  •  Implementing and fully leveraging the right sales and marketing tech stack
  •  Adopting agile WoW to experiment, fail fast, and go all-in on the stuff that works
  •  Investing in the team’s personal development

What does Y Soft do, and how does it differentiate itself from other companies in the same space?

Y Soft is a global organization that develops intelligent digital transformation office solutions for enterprises and SMBs. Whether it’s through print management, automated device testing, or employee learning, we’re here to make life easier for your business and people.

Our focus area is print management, and our key solution is SAFEQ Cloud, which is a cloud printing SaaS platform. Compared to our competitors in this space, our key differentiators are:

  • Cloud infrastructure flexibility: You can choose from the public cloud, on-premises private cloud, or a combination of both (hybrid).
  • Broadest range of authentication: We support all major IAM platforms.
  • Full-featured single-driver: Manage multiple print devices, domains, and networks, with one full-featured single driver. It doesn’t matter if you have a mixed fleet of printers. SAFEQ Cloud seamlessly integrates with any brand and environment.
  • Highly secure: Designed for Zero Trust requirements. ISO 27001 certified.
  • Enterprise-ready: can easily scale and fit into complex architectures.
  • Cloud high availability: Hosted on AWS in 5 different locations with 3 availability zones per location.
  • In-house manufacturing: While most of Y Soft’s offerings are software solutions, many customers need optional companion hardware such as edge devices, card readers, and external terminals. While competitors require customers to source these components from other suppliers, Y Soft designs, tests, and manufactures its hardware in-house.

As the leader of the Growth Marketing and Brand team, can you share with us some of the strategies you’ve implemented to generate brand awareness and lead generation?

At a high level, here’s how I approach our brand awareness and demand gen:

  • Define our Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): so we know where to focus, who to target, and how to speak to them. Then go meet some of our ICPs and get to really know them!
  • Build a brand story that resonates with our ICP and start brand awareness efforts.
  • Capture demand: Only after getting closer to our customers and partners and building our trust in the space, then can we start demand generation and demand capture activities.

These are some of the tools and levers to pull to get there:

  • Customer research: partner and customer interviews
  • Increase organic search visibility: keyword research, SEO, quality content marketing
  • Paid acquisition: Google Ads + social media advertising
  • Partner enablement: incentive programs, training and education, campaign in a box

How important is storytelling in modern marketing strategy, and what are some effective ways to incorporate storytelling into your marketing messages?

In my opinion, good storytelling is really important in modern marketing. With the advent of ChatGPT and the focus on SEO, content is becoming more and more generic. Quality content can be the secret sauce for a competitive edge.

The way I like to incorporate storytelling in our marketing messaging is by stealing quotes from our partners and customers (with permission of course). Instead of saying we’re “the best, greatest, biggest” or any other egotistical adjective to describe our solution, I like to use direct words from our partners and customers about how we’re helping them solve their biggest problems.

I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to truly know your customers and the language they use.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the marketing industry, and incorporate them into Y Soft’s strategy?

Personal development has always been a priority for me, and I’ve tried to bring that to Y Soft as well. I started a program in our marketing team where each member gets an “allowance” each year that they can use towards personal development. It can be used for courses, events, books, etc.

I say this because the requirement to use the development allowance is that it needs to apply to our marketing team and the learnings need to be shared, so one way I stay up to date is learning from my team members in their specialty area.

Another way is I work with a B2B digital marketing agency who is often hosting webinars about the latest trends and developments in B2B marketing. I also follow a few marketing blogs, influencers, and communities.

Can you share some success stories or case studies of customers who have benefited from using Y Soft’s products and solutions?

Yes you can check out our case studies here:

What advice do you have for other marketing leaders who are looking to drive growth for their brand?

My #1 advice is to get closer to your customers. Talk to them and learn about their biggest pain-points, goals, and the jobs they need to get done.

What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

Since Y Soft does not sell direct, our biggest problem is getting our strategic partners fully enabled, knowledgeable, and excited about SAFEQ Cloud. 

Is there anything that you’re currently reading, or any favorite books, that you’d Recommend?

Here are some of my favorite books:

  • The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, & Courage by Brene Brown
  • Obviously Awesome by April Dunford
  • Product Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself by Wes Bush
  • Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
  • The Making of a Manager: What to do when everyone looks to you by Julie Zhuo

Thanks, Audrey!

I’m a problem solver and storyteller who gets done. And I’m always hungry… for sushi, tacos, and adventures.

When I’m not eating, dancing, or annoying my Frenchie , I’m hatching up B2B marketing strategies for SaaS and tech companies. I’ve been in the game for over 15 years, and my superpowers are content strategy, growth marketing, building brands, marketing technology, and leading teams.

I’ve worked for startups, scale-ups, corporations, and marketing agencies. My experience working both on the in-house and agency sides has allowed me to dive into various industries and almost every facet of the marketing spectrum. My vast experience gives me a holistic understanding of how marketing can be a primary driver of growth.

Y Soft is a globally operating company that enables businesses to run smarter with intelligent enterprise office solutions. Today, our integrated software and hardware solutions – the YSoft SafeQ platform – provide organizations the opportunity to become highly competitive through the use of efficient 2D and 3D print solutions, document capture capabilities, and streamlined, automated workflows.

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