Marketers have a soft spot for well-told stories. I’m very much influenced by the way a product presents itself. I’m a sucker for a good story, and I feel like most things I buy is because I’ve had some affinity not just for the product but for the story behind the product.
Even with products I have no business buying.
I always talk about GE. I was watching a commercial once about connecting concert survivors with the engineers who made the machines, and I’m sitting on my couch very close to tears. I want to call my dad and parents to talk about how amazing science is because of our ability to build things that extend lives. That’s marketing. I talk about it all the time.
When we first started, we were not transparent about how many people were on the team or what we cared about. We thought that the key to being successful was to be professional and to act like a big company. It turns out that it's really obvious when a small company pretends to be big. It doesn't inspire confidence.
We started to notice that when we were genuine about how small we were, what our problems were, and even when we were excited about small things – like a new ping pong table – that our personal stories resonated much more than the overly professional ones.
Attention spans are dwindling, and consumers have more options than ever for how, when, and where they consume content.
The natural reaction of many companies is to sell harder or attempt to rent more attention, but that's not a viable long-term strategy. The best way to win consumer attention is by creating a truly inbound experience that is less interruptive, more relevant, and more helpful than anything they've experienced before.
So instead of adding more friction to your buying process, remove it. Instead of adding more clutter to your customers inbox, send only when you have something meaningful to say. Instead of telling people for hours how you are going to change their lives, show them. Take the time you think you have to explain your value proposition and cut it in half.
Interestingly enough, we don’t talk a lot about our sales funnel. Our universe just doesn’t revolve around it. Most of our new users come from word of mouth or from organic search that usually winds up on our blog.
If you provide this great resource, people find it naturally and trust you. Trust is huge. When I speak at events, I don’t even mention Litmus except to mention it’s where I work. The rest of the time I spend teaching you how to send great emails. This builds trust and is more genuine to me.
Customers are so creative and often come up on their own with solutions to specific problems that they are experiencing. They can easily establish a routine based on a workaround. So we on the Product team have to be very careful in removing all the layers behind a specific flow of work in order to see the true reason why something is done.
For instance, marketers create lists of contacts in HubSpot for various reasons – to see the size of the segment, to perform some marketing actions (like email) with that segment, to share it with a sales team, to draw some more high-level insights about these contacts, etc.
We study which of these use cases are most frequently performed and most useful to our primary customer, and that informs how we prioritize updates or design the hierarchy of information on the screen.
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