I spend a good part of my working day each day looking at charts, tables and graphs. I’m typically searching for ROI, trying to find which of the different marketing tactics for each particular business client we’re working with are driving the best results…and then obsessively optimizing and replicating to drive even better results.
For each of our clients, we use a myriad of different marketing tools and tactics, with the mix varying quite a bit between each client depending on their industry. For some clients, we use a lot more of the traditional methods, and others we use more of the “growth hacker” oriented techniques.
I’m pretty much online all the time (with the exception of sleeping and weekends with my family), so I get pinged by friends all the time with links to different new marketing tools. Most of the time I’ve seen them before, but more and more often I’m seeing things for the first time.
Fortunately for me, this isn’t a case of me just getting older, slower and more out of touch…the truth is that new technologies enter the marketing space almost every single day, and with the marketing toolbox already overflowing, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all (1,876 at last count).
Needless to say, there is almost no shortage of tools at a company’s disposal that can be leveraged to try to reach their ultimate marketing goal of increasing business revenue.
I had two experiences this week that I think are powerful lessons for companies (and marketers) who are overwhelmed with the vast marketing technology landscape.
1. Your Customers Are More Loyal Than You Think
One of my marketing intelligence clients is a startup that has created an online tool for a very niche group of users in the DIY/craft space.
The tool doesn’t advertise itself as “beta”, but if I’m honest, it’s probably straddling the fence between “beta” and “version 1.” Despite some of the shortcomings of the tool, and very much due to the passion of the founder, it’s managed to grow quite well, and recently had it’s 1,000th user sign up for the service.
This is a bootstrapped startup, and the tool is currently being offered for free to users, so there isn’t a ton of money available to spend on developing new features. Rather than try and “crystal ball” what to do next, the founder decided to ask the users for feedback.
In less than 36 hours, she had over 2oo responses to the survey she had sent, and almost 150 free-form comments with suggestions, praise, and encouragement.
Not only were these comments invaluable to helping guide and prioritize the next development projects, but the founder got a much-needed boost of encouragement to move forward.
2 . Consumers Forgive (or Overlook) Shortcomings Easier When You Actively Listen to Them
We use a variety of different email marketing services for our clients. Each clients has different email needs depending on the number of email addresses they have, whether they’re doing e-commerce, if they’re a subscription service (SaaS), how often they plan to email, and other factors.
As such, I’ve tried and tested many of the email marketing & marketing automation tools out there (most recently: HubSpot, Klaviyo, MailChimp, Drip, Customer.io, Vero, Intercom.io, and many others). Earlier this week, I got an invite from Ed Hallen at Klaviyo to jump on a call and discuss my experience with Klaviyo. I’ve gotten invites to chat from “customer happiness” managers before, and I’ve also gotten email requests for feedback from product founders before (usually automated*), but this was one of the first times a product founder reached out directly for a call.
*I work in email automation…I know when I’m getting an automated email.
I’m a fan of Klaviyo’s software (it’s currently being used by many of my clients), but it has a couple small shortcomings that have kept me from being a “raving fan.”
Ed and I spoke for close to an hour, and he not only listened to my feedback, but made me feel like my suggestions were not only useful to hear, but are things that I’ll actually see incorporated into their service soon. Ed treated me more like a partner than a customer, and didn’t hold back at all – in fact, he may have answered more of my questions than I did his.
At the end of our call, nothing has changed about Klaviyo’s service. In fact, given their current rate of growth and their focus on adding employees to continue to support that growth, I probably won’t see any of my suggestions implemented for months.
Nonetheless, I am probably 3 to 10 times more likely to recommend Klaviyo to one of my clients after that call. Hey, I personally know one of the co-founders now! I now have a much more personal stake in their success, and I feel like part of the inner circle.
Customer loyalty will produce more ROI than any tool ever will.
Just look at Apple…