- Demand Generation
- Messaging & Positioning
Getting To Your First 100 Customers And Beyond
In this Heavybit talk, Ursula Ayrout shares her expertise around getting your first 100 customers. Ursula reveals her approaches to building customer profiles, messaging manifestos, and rethinking your demand generation process.
- Getting to Your First 100 Customers & Beyond
- Nail Your Messaging
- Your Ideal Customer Profile
- Key Customer Objectives
- Messaging Manifesto
- Rethink Demand Generation
- Define Your Marketing Funnels
- The Developer Funnel
- The Enterprise Funnel
- Set Your Marketing Investment
- Create Your Marketing-to-Sales Model
- Build a Targeted Campaign
- Developers & Social Media
- Don't Neglect SEO
- Attend Events
- Paid Marketing
- Marketing Operations
- Hire the Right Team
- Multiple Personas & Messaging
- Persona to Use on Website
- Messaging For Early Stage Companies
Hi everyone, thank you. Nice to meet everyone. As Malia mentioned tonight we'll be talking about how to get to your first hundred customers and how to scale beyond that as well. So, a bit about myself, I've been working in high tech companies for about 18 years.
I started out in Australia, so my funny Australian accent is kind of butchered up because I've been here for 13 years. So, the first ten years of my career I actually spent it at a company called Business Objects and five of those were in Australia. And, we're actually a really small company in Australia. There was only about 15, 20 of us back then.
And then, I moved to the US office. We were around $30 million in revenue and then SAP acquired Business Objects at $6.4 billion back in 2008. I also spent some time at HP. They were running a new business unit around business intelligence, so I worked with them to help them. And, I spent three years at Salesforce to really learn more about how to scale marketing and understand how to create awesome campaigns.
And then finally, I really wanted to learn more about the developer experience and learn how to sell to developers and market to developers. And, I actually joined a Heavybit company called Pantheon and I spent two years there. And, I was hired to be the VP of Marketing but I also did two years of sales as well.
And so, that experience was really great because we were able to scale from a few hundred customers to 80,000 customers. It was a Freemium model that went from developer to enterprise. And, I've got a lot of examples in this presentation around that because I feel like that would be the most relevant here as well.
So, marketing is hard. We all know that but I'm hoping my presentation will help demystify and distill marketing into three steps to help you get to your hundred customers and beyond.
Getting to Your First 100 Customers and Beyond
The first one is around how to nail your message. The second one focuses around rethinking your demand gen strategy. And the third is how to hire the right team. I'm going to predominately focus on how to rethink your demand gen. I understand that there's been a lot of presentations around messaging and positioning and then also how to hire the right team.
Nail Your Messaging
So, whenever I work with companies I always start with how to nail your messaging. So, what is your target audience and what is your persona? Who is your ideal customer? And then, I help them create a messaging manifesto. So, the first thing we really look at is who is you audience?
So, at Pantheon what we looked at, we had three key audiences. And Pantheon is a website platform for Drupal and WordPress sites. So, our key audience there was developers, were marketers, and then also IT operations. Then, we looked at what are the value drivers for each of those.
And, it was around building websites, launching websites, and then running websites. And then, we developed key messages per persona. So, for developers it's all around best practices in developing websites. For marketers it's all about how do you launch websites faster and quicker and more efficiently without having to rely on IT resources.
And then, for IT ops it was all about how do you stop wasting engineering resources.
So that messaging architecture and understanding who our audience was, what our value drivers were and what our personas were really set the foundation for building all of our content and all of our marketing messaging.
Your Ideal Customer Profile
The next area that I think is really important and a lot of us really forget about is what is your ideal profile? So, you've built an awesome product. It's fantastic, now you're ready to go out there and start selling it, but do you actually know who you're ideal customer profile is? So, here's a couple of questions that over the years I figured are really helpful in understanding.
So, the first question is, Company X, how would you describe your ideal customer? So, for example, it's companies who have a CRM system who have no more than 20 employees and that work in the United States. Like, you have to be as specific as that to really hone in on who your market is.
Your next question is, what attributes make for an ideal customer profile? Is it like ideal size, employee size, annual revenue, vertical strategy? This, for example, could be retail companies with 500 plus employees over $15 million in revenue and they're all located in the United States. And then, understand what their key objectives are.
Key Customer Objectives
Back in the day, when we would work with really, really large companies we would actually sift through their annual reports to really understand company's key objects and what were the pain points they were struggling with. And then, we would put it back into an account plan to make it really work for the sales team to start selling.
So, the key objectives could be anywhere from a global customer base to they have new data privacy needs or that they need extend into new markets. And then, understand if we're doing a tech sale like we always are is understand what is their tech stack and operating environment.
Are they using Amazon Web Services? Are they using Heroku? Are they using SAP ERP? Like really figure that out. And then, what are their buying triggers? Like, why do they need your product now? Is it a new round of funding? Is it international expansion? Is it new product development? And then, what are the reasons they don't buy from you?
So, when you're jumping on these calls and you're like, Gosh, another sales flee, they're just not buying from us. Understand why not. Is it because it's status quo, they're actually there is no pain and they're just really comfortable without needing to make a decision? And then finally, what's an account that you can't really sell into.
So, a classic example is if you work for a marketing automation solution and somebody bought Marketo 12 months ago. Well, you know they're not going to really displace Marketo to try a new product.
So, how many in this room actually have their ideal customer profile, like really written down? A few people, that's great. So, it's really important because when you're starting to grow your sales team and expand just from the leadership team and the founding team you need to then start telling your sales reps and your sales team that this is through your experience who's successful and who's not.
When those inbound leads start coming in and you're overwhelmed because you've got a lot of leads in the system but you don't know who to go after, seeing whether they fit into your ideal customer profile then really helps
So, that's the second area.
And then, the third area is write a messaging manifesto. A messaging manifesto is a two page document that outlines who you are as a company, what is your elevator pitch, what is your value proposition, why do you exist in the marketplace.
So, I've helped many companies write this two page document and it kind of goes something like this. Everyone gets in the room. Everyone thinks they don't need it. We have five to six different leaders from product, from engineering, from sales, a couple of founders in the room.
Inevitably, an argument happens because everyone has a different opinion on who they think they're selling to, what is their value proposition, what are the key personas they're going after. And then, after a couple of sessions we kind of distill all that information and then we create this two page document that then everyone in the company really understands what the company stands for and who they are.
And, in this two page marketing manifesto document then becomes a blue print for all of your marketing activities. And, it's a really great way if you're hiring a lot of people it's a very fast way to really educate them and say, "This is what we stand for, this is our elevator pitch. This is our value proposition. Here are the key value drivers".
At Pantheon it was build, launch, and run. "Here's our short synopsis, this is what our boilerplate is and this is why we exist." And, it's a great learning tool and it's a great sales enablement tools as well for the rest of the company. And, then marketing can then take it and build out all their marketing initiatives.
To nail your messaging, focus on your target audience, your personas, really understand who your ideal customer is and write it down. Put it together in a one to two page document that succinctly says who you are and then share it with everyone in your company so everyone can start having the same voice.
Rethink Demand Generation
So, the next step I want to talk to you guys about is how to rethink your demand gen. So, we have a great product, fantastic but now you need to start building pipeline and getting customers to start buying from you. So, there are three areas that I want to focus on is how do you define your marketing funnels, how do you set your marketing investment, and then how do you build a targeted marketing campaign?
Define Your Marketing Funnels
So, one of the things we hear about is the concept of a marketing funnel. There's one marketing funnel and all of us marketing managers we're always talking about marketing funnels. There's top of the funnel, there's middle of the funnel, and then there's bottom of the funnel. And, leads come through and then at the end of the funnel you've got some close opportunities, you've got some sales pipeline that you've won.
Most companies only have one funnel. One thing we instituted at Pantheon because we had a developer model and we also wanted to sell to the enterprise market as well is we needed to get a way to get developers to go through, developers to then recommend Pantheon. And then, buy more of an enterprise product.
So, what we did was we created actually two marketing funnels. We created a developer funnel. And then, we created an enterprise funnel. And then, at the bottom of the developer funnel we had this concept of a product qualified lead where if that customer, if that developer showed signs of wanting to buy enterprise we then switched on the lights and moved them into the sales development process. And then, moved them into more of a traditional funnel.
The reason why having multiple funnels is really important is there are different tactics for different audiences.
So essentially, we're building two different audience funnel. So, we know the story that developers absolutely don't like being spoken to or on the phone or anything like that.
The Developer Funnel
So, the first part of top of the funnel it's all about engaging with developers without actually really talking to them. It's all about they do it themselves. So, if you think about top of the funnel it's around Freemium, it's around offering free customer support.
It's around invitation to parrot, and that's sending out an email saying "Hey, are there any questions we can answer for you?" It's about offering free SDKs, FAQs, guides, going to community events, meet ups, being on Product Hunt, Reddit and Quora. So, for developers that's what they care about and so if you've got your enterprise mindset on how to market to them it's really not going to work. And so, you're going to see a lot of drop off.
But, if you create your own developer funnel it really makes a big difference because you know your marketing tactics are very different. And then, in the middle of the funnel that's when you know your developers are getting more engaged. And, they may actually pick up the phone and respond to your emails and respond to your questions.
And, that's where you do more one-on-one emails as well as in product marketing, so Intercom here would be a great tool to use. They look for deeper dives, deeper dive guides, they want to know, understand more about your features, more about your company. Developer evangelism is really important here.
And, they also then look at your pricing page in depth and they want to learn more about customer stories and developer stories. And then, bottom of the funnel that's when they're using your product frequently.
You can tell through your usage metrics actually they've invited a couple colleagues in to different departments to kind of use the product. They want to demo and that's when they start inviting their boss because they want the product.
They've really enjoyed using the product and they want to use it more fully. And, that's when you have a trigger in you CRM or in your product and then you move them into an enterprise marketing funnel.
And, this is where your traditional marketing comes in. So, you've got your developer marketing and now you want to extend it into enterprise. And this is where you've got SEO, paid marketing, your product launches, your website, your PR, social media, your content marketing, white paper downloads, ebook downloads.
I mean, how many times have we heard that ebooks don't work for developers? And, that's absolutely correct. But, they work once you're in that enterprise buying cycle because that's when they've raised their hand and they've said yes. And, you never want to call a developer when they sign up for your free product because they really don't want to talk to you until they're pretty much in the bottom of the funnel.
The Enterprise Funnel
So, you have to go through all these different steps to then move them up into the enterprise funnel. And then, that's when they'll be more engaged. Middle of the funnel, sales development, you've got email tracks, customer stories, sales enablement, product marketing. The traditional sales process here really, really works.
And then, bottom of your funnel you've got your sales processes. You've got events like field marketing, one-on-one executive luncheons, and executive CTO dinners, et cetera. Customer references here become really important. And then, they start kind of reaching out to their network and try and understand who from their network has used this product before.
And, this is where industry validation like Gartner, like Forester Research and things like that become really important to kind of, for them to really understand to buy that, to make that investment.
When you rethink your funnels it really kind of creates separation and simplifies how you actually go to market.
Set Your Marketing Investment
So, the next area is how to set your marketing investment. So, for a lot of people marketing tends to be very creative and tends to be, "Well, I just don't know how to put all the different elements and all the different tactics, and all the different ingredients together. And, I don't know if I invest a million dollars am I going to get $3 million in pipeline? How does it work?"
So, the best way I've come up with is basically putting your numbers on an Excel spreadsheet and then running through a marketing and sales model and then presenting it to your CEO or your co-founders as to why you need more marketing budget.
Create Your Marketing-to-Sales Model
So, now I'm actually going to go into a Google spreadsheet (follow along here) and walk you through this model that I use on how to generate lead to pipeline. So, the spreadsheet has end-of-year recurring revenue goals. So, this company X has a two million dollar number that they want to accomplish by the end of 2017.
And, we can play with all these numbers. The current recurring revenue is 250 grand. They need an additional $1.7 million in ARR and they expect that they need 1.65 million from net new. And they're expecting like a hundred grand from up sale.
So, the average deal size is 15 grand. We can easily make the average deal size $18,000 or whatever it is, but for now let's just stick to $15,000 and with that kind of model they need to win 110 opportunities in the enterprise funnel for them to hit their target of $1.65 million.
In marketing speak there's a concept of how much times pipeline do you need. Industry typically says you need at least three times pipeline. This becomes important based on marketing budget.
So, say you're like, Well, you know what, we really need four times marketing pipeline just to reassure the board, and reassure investors that we're really going to go out there and make our numbers.
Well, if you put in four times pipeline then your marketing budget dramatically goes up. And then, from there you look at well how many sales qualified leads do I need? So, if it's four time pipe, you need 110 new one opportunities but then you need 4x pipeline, so you need 440. And then, cost per sales qualified lead this really ranges.
I've had sales qualified opportunities range from $781, that's a highly efficient company, all the way up to $10,000 a qualified opportunity. That may seem frightening, but their ACV was like $60,000 so it actually really didn't matter.
And then, this is the kind of marketing budget you would then need to figure out is well based on needing to get $1.65 million in ARR we need a marketing budget of 660 grand. But, if we were to play around with it and say, "You know what we have such an awesome product market fit and our sales team is so highly trained and so efficient we're only going to need a two times pipe".
That means we only need our sales team to really follow up on 220 opportunities this year to really get us to the number 1.6 or 1.7 million dollars. Well, let's just say that your cost of opportunity is more that $1,500 dollars. For most companies it's around $5,000. The marketing budget you then need is like $1.1 million.
The good news is if you have a really strong leadership team and founding team this model implies that marketing is going to get you 100% of all of your leads and opportunities.
That's not realistic, so if you were, for example, to say the sales team, or if you don't have a sales team, but the founding team and all your relationships with different boards and incubators et cetera, you want to reduce marketing's investment.
Well, you can reduce marketing's contribution then to either 75%, 20%, and then that number obviously scales accordingly and it moves up and down. And then, we have some assumptions average deal size, the pipeline, and cost per qualified opportunity. So that's great.
So now, we need to find out how to get 220 opportunities to meet our number of $1.65 million. Hey marketing, how do you do that? How do we all do that together as a company? So, the next slide is I want to show you what a reverse marketing waterfall looks like. This is where you can tell by your website visitors if you're actually going to make your sales numbers. It's kind of really cool.
In my previous companies I could tell from our website visitors whether sales was going to make their numbers in two months time because you took 60 days to close a deal and looking at website visitors I was like, Okay, that means we're running behind, because you'll see the trickle down effect. So, I'm going to run you through an Ops waterfall, essentially. So, we know we need to hit 110 opportunities one, based on average deal size of 15k, et cetera, and three times pipe. So, we know we want to do that.
So, SiriusDecisions is a really well known company here that does a lot of metrics and measurement across tech companies. And, they've built this waterfall that helps you take leads all the way from, it's basically a top of the line marketing funnel all the way from web visitors all the way to close one. And, they have some really strong industry averages.
So, for example, for us to hit our 110 close one opportunities we're going to need 330 SQLs. From there we're going to need 409 sale SALs. SALs basically means sales accepted leads. That means that marketing has done a good job qualifying it, the STRs have done a good job qualifying it, and the account manager has said yes. This is a good lead. There's budget, there's opportunity, there's time. We're going to own this one.
And, you've got sales ready leads, which is leads that then hand down to the sales team. MQLs are marketing qualified leads, those are the leads that come through like your marketing website which are downloads, which are requested demo, which are ebooks, et cetera. And then, you have leads. Leads are just people hopping onto your website just meandering, really not doing much but just hanging out.
Then you have website visitors. You have 468,000 people that come to your website for say in 2017. Well, guess what. 23,400 are going to take action on your website. From there only 5% are going to take action on your website according to SiriusDecision and then from there, out of those 5%, 25% will want more information from you. So, that number dramatically already drops to 5850.
When you are thinking about building your content strategy you're going to need a lot of content and a lot of marketing material that gets your web visitors really engaged from websites to leads, to MQLs.
So, when you hear a lot of people speaking well you need content to be successful. That's the purpose of content, it's engagement. And engagement helps you take your leads down from top of the funnel to middle of the funnel and then bottom of the funnel.
And then, the number of SRLs you need from that 5,800 drops down to 819 because they're saying the conversion rate is only 14% from that. And then, SALs it's 50%, you have a solid STR team. And, they're not overly aggressive with converting SRLs into SALs, so that's at 50%. And then to SQLs it's 81%. That's what gets you your 331 opportunities. And then, it's up to the sales team them to close that. And, we're predicting a 33% close rate. Because that's 1/3 of your pipe times three pipe. That becomes 1/3 of your pipeline. So, this is a great tool and you guys can pop in your numbers into this.
And, this is really helpful because I've worked with a couple of companies where we've actually popped in other companies' numbers and some conversion rates are really different. This is an example of a company I was working with a couple weeks ago. And, if you look at their numbers their lead to MQL is actually really high. And then, so is there SRL to SQL, et cetera. But, in the end, it kind of averages the same. And, these are real numbers.
So, one you thing you can look at if your numbers, if your conversion rates are actually lower than the industry conversion rates then you have actually opportunity to improve your metrics.
The most important metrics in marketing are conversion rates. If you can improve that you can improve your cost of sales opportunity. You can improve your cost per lead. You can improve your cost of customer acquisition which is really powerful.
So, if you haven't run through this exercise I really recommend putting in your numbers into this spreadsheet or a spreadsheet similar to this. Build your own spreadsheet or I can show you how to do it. And, put through your metrics here and be really succinct. So, all of a sudden as a marketing person I've had this conversation now with a CEO, together we figured out we need to get 470,000 website visitors in order to generate 110 closed one opportunities. So, how we're going to break it down?
So then, the next step is you can then break it down by quarter by breaking it down by quarter it becomes more meaningful and more manageable. Then you can associate pipeline towards that. So, we've kind of shifted marketing from kind of creative to more focused. And then, from here let's go back into the presentation and what I'd like to do now is to really help you think about well how do you build a marketing campaign that gets you to those 110 opportunities.
And, what does it mean to have an integrated marketing campaign so far. So, good news is we've nailed our messaging. We have this awesome two page document that we've nailed the messaging so nobody's going to really be confused about who we are as a company.
Build a Targeted Campaign
The next step is actually to kind of name your key theme that you want to go to market with.
What is that umbrella message, or umbrella theme that you as a company want to be known for at least a quarter or for six months.
So, Pantheon is a website platform and their objective is to help companies build, launch, and run Drupal and WordPress websites. So, when we were starting out everyone kind of, everyone loved talking about what Pantheon did as hosting.
But, we really weren't in the hosting business. We offered much more. We offered a tool for developers to build websites. We offered the ability for marketers to really launch websites faster. And then, we helped IT Ops really manage that DevOps process. So, if we just called ourselves hosting we would do ourselves a really massive disservice. So, we then became a website platform. And, our key theme was you know what, we decided to say hosting is really dead, or hosting is dead.
So, when we came up with that theme as a team we then were like okay, so what are the channels that make the most sense? Where are all of our customers hanging out? Where are all of our developers hanging out? So, we did an audit of where everyone is hanging out.
Developers & Social Media
We found out a lot of our developers were on social media. They're on Twitter, they were at WordPress, and they were at Drupal meet ups. So, we hired an evangelist team. They really cared about our content. So, we started building a lot guides. So, we identified a long list of different channels. And then, we started prioritizing and testing our marketing messaging.
The best way to test your marketing message and see if it resonates is throw it on Twitter and try a tweet and see if somebody responds to it, or see if you get retweeted.
Or spend $2,000 on paid marketing and see what kind of return rates you get on your Google Ads or on your Facebook ads. And then, start building out your message. And, you need to measure everything, obviously, as you go along.
And then, you want to execute the right mix of tactics and nobody ever knows what the right mix of tactics are, but you can guess when you start getting in the results because you want to be measuring everything. So, for every tactic that you produce what is the outcome you want to achieve. And you want to be very succinct and very clear on that as well. And then finally, you constantly want to be measuring your success because you want to keep reiterating and building out. So, this marketing campaign that we did with Pantheon we focused on all these key areas.
Don't Neglect SEO
We created a new website, new homepage, new landing page. We really cared about our SEO.
I think SEO is the most critical thing a company can do to start getting towards their first hundred customers. It takes a while, but it really reduces the cost per lead and cost per acquisition.
We created a lot of content that really focused on that enterprise buyer. We had a big pool of developers who really were happy with Pantheon, but we needed to move 'em into the enterprise bucket. So, we really focused on content. What if I told you one piece of content could generate a million dollars in pipeline?
This entire marketing campaign I think probably brought us in close four to five million dollars in marketing pipeline. We consistently did it. I remember we went through a brand identity exercise. We actually repackaged it again. We constantly repackaged it because when we launched this we had 10,000 email addresses. By the time a year and a half later we had maybe over 150,000 email addresses in the database. We're like, Gosh, are going to still be using this white paper or ebook?
And, the answer is yes because guess what. The other 90,000 people in your email database have never seen this white paper. And, we knew it was really successful. So, we just kept reusing it and reusing it and reusing it and you know what? I have to say four years on, it's still there. It's still being reused because it was such a good, definitive piece of content that was really important.
And then, we went to a lot of events. We went to, we were really lucky because we knew who our audience was. It was Drupal and WordPress. So, we went to a lot of open source meet ups and a lot of Drupal cons. And, we sponsored a lot of community events as well. We also had a focus around PR and LS relations because we wanted to get those larger customers as well. And, that's kind of what they cared about in that enterprise funnel at the bottom of the funnel is industry validation.
And then, if we were a little company versus a bigger company we needed to show that we were much bigger than what we are. And then finally, one of our key strategies was around paid marketing. We really focused on paid marketing to get developers to sign up as well as to present every arm with more content around who Pantheon was.
And, we also started to going to vertical marketing with higher education and a couple of other verticals which also then, when you narrow in your focus actually drives higher conversion rates as well. None of this could be successful without us being very clear on what our message was, what our funnels looks like, what was marketing's responsibility to generate pipeline, what was sales' responsibility in terms of generating pipeline.
And ultimately, what was even more important was the marketing operations. And the sales and marketing operations that we had that connected leads to close. We would sit there in meetings and analyze, Well, if a lead came in where would it go? If a lead came in from our pricing page what would happen to it and how would we follow up? Customer success, I've never worked in a company before where customer and success in marketing we worked so much together.
I think at one point I was ready to give two of my head count to customer success because it was so important for me for us to offer free customer support to our customers because I knew when they were coming down the funnel it would be ultimately more cost effective for the cost of qualified lead if they actually really loved our product right from the beginning. And customer success actually gave us some incredible content as well. They knew what the customers wanted so we really worked together on building some ebooks, white papers, and a lot of guides on being successful as well.
So, I think the perfect trifecta is sales, marketing, and customer success really working together to get your first hundred customers and then beyond that as well.
And ultimately, there's not one thing that's going to create immediate success to get your hundred customers. You have to do it bit by bit, month by month. You have to keep trying and adding new things as your budget allows you.
And, we never had massive budgets. Our budgets were maybe $30,000 a month, if that sometimes. Sometimes it went up higher depending on when we got our next fund raise. But, starting small and then you slowly expand and you start increasing your inbound leads into the funnel. And then, you just try different things. And, you keep adding to your success by analyzing and by measuring that success. And then, if it's successful you throw more money in if it's not as successful then, it's a good experiment and then you move on.
Hire the Right Team
So, the last part that I want to speak about is how do you hire the right team. So, I get a lot of questions about hiring. Ursula, we've just raised our series A round, or we've got our B. Now, we need to start hiring the right person. So, I kinda feel like
There are three types of heads of marketing that you can hire, folks that build who know how to build, folks that know how to grow companies, and then folks that know how to scale.
I think what I see is a lot of people, a lot of CEOs, and a lot of founders get really stuck when they feel like they have to hire a VP Marketing that can do it all. I don't think there's anyone that really can do it all all at once or has the passion to take a company through seed, series A, all the way through to IPO. I think it's a really rare thing.
So, I'm here to tell you hire for the stage that you're in. And understand that your VP of Marketing or your Director of Marketing will leave in two years time, or is not going to be appropriate anymore for you in two years time, or even 18 months and that's okay.
Hire for what you need right now.
But, be sure that it's stage appropriate and then from there work with them to build out your marketing strategy or marketing plan and how to grow their team.
And, I once supported a recruiting agency with their marketing and they gave us really good advice.
When you're putting together a job description your first three bullets in your job description is the most critical things that you want in a person that you want to hire whether it's marketing, sales, product.
Have those three be non-negotiables. And then, all the other bullet points that you have down the list, like four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 they're really important too, but makes sure those top three is what the entire leadership team, or whoever's hiring really agrees on.
And then, that makes it a lot easier to hire instead of getting constantly stuck on who to hire as well. Now, I really recommend hiring somebody who actually knows how to generate pipeline because that's what you need for a company. It's you've got your product, you need now somebody who really understands how the marketing cycle works with getting customers fast, and how to get customers quickly.
It's exciting times, marketing is really fun. And, I think once you have your product and it's an awesome product market fit it's actually a pleasure to really work in marketing and really help accelerate the company's success. So, thank you.
Multiple Customer Personas & Messaging
I do one messaging manifesto, but within each of that messaging manifesto I have a section for each of my key audiences.
And then, you can also have secondary messages as well. Sometimes it's so hard just to select three or two. I then have like a secondary message for like designers. Say, and this is important for when we want to tackle the design industry. But, that's all in one page, that's the point of it. The only thing changes is that one paragraph and everything else stays the same. I think when we looked at our website visitors what I cared about most was organic versus non-organic and where they were coming from. So, that then helped me reup my investments in certain parts.
So, we knew organic was really growing and 50% of our new leads were coming from organic.
So, I was like, Well, how can we invest more budget into organic? And, that was working with the customer support team to really amplify that. And then, really building out our blogging strategy. At one point we were blogging maybe 16 blog posts a month which is really unheard of, but then we were asking a lot of customers and developers for customer stories.
And, at one point we, in one quarter I think we nearly had 20 to 26 customer stories from developers because they wanted to be seen on our website because it gave them kudos. So ultimately, I think that just helps you measure your success.
Persona to Use on Website
It varies based on what you want to invest in right now. So, the way Twilio does it today is, and I can walk you through what they do, because I think it's a really unique case study in how they do it.
Oh, here we go. So, if you see how Twilio does it their key message focuses on both the developer and the business buyer. So, it's like build apps that communicate with everyone in the world. The word build is a very developer word. And then, everyone in the world in messaging and authentication APIs for every application this is a developer message obviously down here because it talks about getting an API key. Their focus is increasing their user base.
To me, when I look at that website they want to increase usage for developers. They feel like by them working with their developers first enterprise business will then happen. And then, you can kind of start thinking more about that and you can see that here with all the different languages they have. But then, as soon as you go under the fold you start seeing the business messaging. You've got the customer logos. You've got this is a cloud communication's platform. And then, you've the three key value drivers, right?
This is what they do, this is their value drivers, and then you've got more of their products. The other thing they do is if you look under Menus and Products the products section is focused to that technical audience. It's focused to developers and it's focused to that CTO audience. But, the use case section here is focused to that business buyer, that line of business.
And then, if you go to then their pricing page their pricing page, I think, just from memory really talks about more purchase, self-serve purchasing. So you purchase self-serve and then you call a sales rep if you want that solutional product. So ultimately, it's your choice. If your focus for 2017 is developers then I really urge you to focus on developers.
If yours is the enterprise buyer, then focus on enterprise buyer. New Relic had that classic challenge, right? For many years it was all about getting a free t-shirt and sign up for years. Just before they're about to go IPO they shifted their messaging to business analytics. Now their messaging is around digital intelligence. They were anchored by Gartner with that key message and so it really shifts. You just need to decide as a company what you're focusing on and changing a website is super easy.
But, the best way in my opinion is products is for developers and CTOs, solutions and use cases is for line and business, and then you can decide if you want the top section of your homepage to be developer or vise versa enterprise.
It's up to you.
And then, the other thing I think is really important to think about just as a metric if you had one dollar to spend and you're looking across all your different audiences what would you spend it on? Would you spend it 50% on developers 25% on CTOs, 25% on line of business and then another 25% on that? Say it's 50% developers, then everything you do in marketing needs to reflect that. So therefore, your website should be reflected in that 50%, which to me that means it gets top billion on your homepage.
Messaging For Early Stage Companies
Okay since you're a freemium product, so why don't we go into the funnel and you'll see on the top left-hand side what you want to focus on is SDKs. What you want to focus on is guides.
You want to start building your SEO really quickly so you can start posting on Quora, on Reddit. Go to meet ups, start building your brand around it being a developer product. You don't really need to tell anyone that your product's not ready, you have some features that need to come out. And, until then you're really evangelizing your product.
So, I would focus on the top of the funnel and the top left-hand quadrant and really build out your guides, your developer stories, your SDKs.
Anything technical that once you have your product 100% you can just ramp up because the next thing you want to do is move 'em down to the funnel very quickly. Yeah, there's this great company and I'm not sure you know about it, but it's called BuiltWith. BuiltWith, have you guys heard of it? Yeah, it's a great company that really shows you all the different infrastructure and the operating environments of different, what different companies have and are.
So, for example, you would see if they had Amazon Web Services you would see if they had Rackspace. You would see if they were using Omniture. You would see if they were using Optimizely. And, we actually use this quite a bit in the early stages at Pantheon to really understand where our competitors were and what the customers were using. And, it's actually got a great Chrome extension that you can use. And, unknown to me there is also an Australian company. Thanks for having me.