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Radical Transparency with Jonathan Elist of Penuma

This week, Kevin welcomes Jonathan Elist, CEO of Penuma, an amazing solution for men that is not your traditional product. Jonathan discusses what Penuma is, and how radical transparency and trust are at the top of Penuma’s core values. He talks about some of the challenges in building the community, and how they balance both in-house marketing with agency outreach. He and Kevin also discuss Google Ads, Reddit, and word of mouth as a way to grow brand awareness and attract a network of happy customers and top-notch physicians.


[2:38] Jonathan talks about building patient awareness around Penuma, and the two phases within the approach — FDA clearance and an actual patient awareness campaign.

[5:22] Penuma’s first approach was to build out a Google Ads campaign that complemented the SEO strategies and brought in organic traffic. The quality of leads wasn’t that great, and that is something Jonathan and his team have always had to contend with and continue to find ways to improve.

[8:43] They had to also establish legitimacy that they were not just another brand selling a crazy product or snake oil. This is where radical transparency came in and building long-term rapport with their customers. They also worked on not only building trust with consumers but with Google Ads and Facebook as well.

[12:47] There’s not a lot of negativity about Penuma, which is not always the case for similar products. Jonathan shares how they got men to step up and share their success stories and passion around the brand.

[16:48] The quality of the leads brought in by Google Ads has not been as good as social or organic.

[18:08] Kevin calls for an end to lead generation via LinkedIn. Stop the madness! Or at the very least — stop reaching out to him!

[19:09] Three things that account for Penuma’s success in marketing: establishing themselves correctly, distinguishing their brand from the nonsense, and catching people at the right time to make their decision.

[20:35] Jonathan shares how he got on the phone with Google, and how it’s a two-way conversation with Facebook and LinkedIn rather than a one-sided favor.

[23:29] As of the time of recording, Penuma may be on the search for a Marketing Director. Think you are a good fit? Reach out!

[25:37] Reddit can be the root of evil, or it can prop up companies. Penuma has a great Reddit Communitywhere men can communicate with each other and share their experiences.

[31:55] Jonathan gets beautiful handwritten notes and testimonials from men that they can use to show in their marketing geared not only towards prospective patients, but also a network of physicians.

[38:41] Penuma wants to try to position themselves as a leader in a space providing a way for men to gain more confidence and to feel their best. For years, the aesthetic space has been dominated by products geared towards women, but they are happy to be part of the forward change.


  • “We’ve been extremely transparent around what we can and cannot offer.” — Jonathan
  • “If you are on LinkedIn trying to sell me leads… please stop.” — Kevin

Mentioned in This Episode:


Joe Rogan