How Buyer Journey Mapping Is Becoming The New Revenue Growth Strategy Platform

Source: https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/how-buyer-journey-mapping-is-becoming-the-new-revenue-growth-strategy-platform

You’re partially correct once you say your website is not working correctly, but it is not because the site was created badly or constructed incorrectly. It’s because the website has the incorrect narrative (or no story). It is because you articles is not answering the ideal question (or some other query ) to your prospects. And it’s because you have no overarching orchestration to all your marketing and sales tactics.
Your marketing is not generating enough leads because you do not have a extensive revenue generation strategy as the basis for all those tactics mentioned previously.

Your Prospect Experience Is Damaged

We hear it every day. Is it your website? Is it your articles? Can it be your own email campaigns, social media or search engine optimization efforts? No. Well no. Yes, those aren’t functioning, but there is a motive.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I Am pleased to announce That I’m Currently represented by Tea & Water Pictures at New York, London and Beijing.

They’re an exciting service that have some fantastic manufacturing experience and a team with really diverse but free wallpapers, so I am excited to see what we can achieve together during the next few decades!

They have also done a little interview with me that, if you’re curious, you can read here 

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5 Tips from Companies that Put Customer Centricity Up Front

Source: https://postfunnel.com/5-tips-from-companies-that-put-customer-centricity-up-front/

Earlier this year, we published a two-part series on the ongoing shift toward customer-centricity and how your organization can follow suit. To begin the process, we’ve researched a few examples of this model in action and the key lessons to take away. Read on for five tips from companies that put customer centricity up front.

More from PostFunnel on Customer-Centricity:
eComm Product Marketing: ‘Failing’ Better by Putting Customers at the Center
Customer Centricity Done Right: Impressions from PostFunnel Forum
How Companies Can Embrace Customer Centricity

1.  McDonald’s Learns from Its Customers

Whether you’re “lovin’ it” or not, you have to hand it to McDonald’s: in recent years, the company made several upgrades to its menu items, services, and overall customer experience. They’ve switched to using only antibiotic-free chicken, made their breakfast menu available 24 hours a day, and introduced digital kiosks where customers can quickly place their orders.

(Source)

McDonald’s didn’t make these changes arbitrarily or to replicate a competitor’s actions. These improvements were based predominantly on customer data and feedback. By listening and paying attention to their customers, McDonald’s was able to discover that they wanted:

Many McDonald’s customers were more than happy to provide feedback with no prompting; the company’s Twitter page received more than 120,000 requests for all-day breakfasts throughout the year leading up to the change. Additionally, the company uncovers customers’ needs, expectations, and experiences by soliciting feedback. McDonald’s continues to engage via social media, questionnaires, surveys to loyal customers, and “on the fly” reviews.

The McDonald’s team readily admits they’d been behind the times in making the changes their customers wanted. By revamping the brand’s overall approach, implementing their customers’ feedback, and adopting a customer-centric strategy, McDonald’s managed to weather economic uncertainty and regain its footing in the fast-food industry.

2.  Southwest Airlines is Open and Honest

Communication between brands and customers should be a two-way street, which is why Southwest Airlines’ #Transfarency campaign made huge waves.

(Source)

To stand out from the competition, Southwest amended their pricing policies by doing away with all hidden fees—and promised to inform customers about any additional charges. Though every consumer would appreciate transparency in any industry (let alone one that flies ‘em through the air at 700 miles per hour), customer centricity begins with open and honest communication. But Southwest knows that to really embody this model, you must reach customers where they are—not where you want them to be.

In their case, this meant taking their Transfarency campaign to social media via Facebook and Twitter:

They also created a standalone website to help communicate the message of #Transfarency in a variety of ways:

(Source 1 / Source 2)

What’s more, their Transfarency policy is communicated in a way that matters to the consumer. Look at the example above—the “Mad Libs” exercise states their message loud and clear:

“We know how frustrating it is to be hit with hidden fees, so we make your flight costs clear from the start.”

It’s simple:

Keep them in the loop, communicate with them where they ‘are,’ and speak to them in a way that they’ll understand your message.

3.  Chick-fil-A Gets All Hands on Deck

If you’ve been a PostFunnel follower for a while, you know we’re huge fans of how Chick-fil-A treats its customers.

For Chick-fil-A, customer support is an “all-hands-on-deck” affair. While individual employees perform their own tasks, it’s not uncommon for team members to step out of their assigned roles to offer assistance to a customer in need.

True story:

Last week, my wife and I went to our local Chick-fil-A and ordered two meals and a milkshake. When our food was brought out, I realized my milkshake was missing and notified the cashier. She was busy with another customer but told me she’d get right on it. In the meantime, another team member who overheard the problem stepped in and poured the treat for me straightaway. Two minutes later, the cashier brought out the milkshake she had just made, and I came out with two milkshakes.

Did Chick-fil-A lose a couple bucks here? Sure. Am I going back to Chick-fil-A after I finish writing this article? Absolutely.

(Source)

There are two things to take away from this anecdote:

First and foremost, it’s clear Chick-fil-A’s team members care about their customers and want them to be happy with the service.

Even more crucial is that Chick-fil-A’s team members are enabled and encouraged to do whatever it takes to ensure customers have a positive dining experience. There are no silos or red tape to inhibit an employee’s ability to provide for their customers.

It’s great to create a customer-centric culture throughout your organization, but that’s not enough. No matter how dedicated your team is to helping your customers, they’ll never be able to do so if their hands are tied.

4.  Crate and Barrel Facilitates an Omnichannel Experience

I’ve mentioned the importance of maintaining lines of communication with customers. But you also want to use these channels to enhance your customers’ overall experience with your brand in a variety of creative and innovative ways.

For a prime example of what I mean, look no further than furniture retailer Crate and Barrel.

A few years back, their team realized something: a sizeable chunk of its customer base uses the company’s physical locations for “showrooming” purposes—but often ends up finalizing their purchase online.

As COO Michael Relich explains: “(Customers) use our stores as a showroom first and can see an extended assortment online. We actually see a lot of transactions start in one channel and finish in another. Brick and mortar is good for us.”

In recognizing this trend, the team decided to focus on streamlining the “physical-to-digital” pipeline by introducing tablets to the customer’s in-store experience.

In store, customers are handed tablets to create a virtual shopping or wish list, scan item barcodes for more information, or search for other items online. They can then have a sales associate collect their desired items and ring them up, submit an order for delivery, or save their list for later. Side note: while customers don’t need to log in to their Crate and Barrel accounts while shopping, those that do are treated to “a little something extra” in the form of personalized recommendations, streamlined checkout processes, and more.

The takeaway here isn’t to introduce newfangled omnichannel experiences just to appear forward-thinking and innovative. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As VP of eCommerce at Crate and Barrel, Joan King, explains:

“We definitely put the customer at the center of everything we do and try to focus our efforts on things that are going to resonate with customers… (we don’t) take technology for technology’s sake but instead make sure that we’re delivering a really inspirational experience that’s seamless and easy for customers.”

The goal of omnichannel is not just to “be where your customers are,” but to make it convenient for them to get what they need from you with ease. As Relich mentioned, it’s not uncommon (in any industry) to see consumers use more than one channel throughout a single path to purchase—so it makes sense to make it easy for them to do so.

5.  Marriott Caters to Individual Needs and Circumstances

I can talk strategy, tactics, and innovation all I want, but the key to true customer-centricity is to forget about the customer/company dynamic. Instead, start seeing—and treating—your customers as individual people with unique needs.

Brian Whetten, president of Core Coaching, says that most companies “pay lip service” to this idea—but fail to put it into practice. When it comes down to it, they don’t actually differentiate between one customer and the next.

In other cases, though, it’s clear when a company’s team members care about the people they’re serving. Consider Whetten’s unforgettable stay at a Marriott with his family:

Whetten’s wife had just given birth, but Whetten had already committed to speaking at an event within the hotel. So he brought his wife, newborn, and young daughter along with him. The staff was as accommodating as possible. Here’s a quick rundown of what they did for the Whetten family:

  • Upgraded their room to an executive suite
  • Provided a gift basket for Whetten’s wife, complete with a handwritten note from the hotel’s manager
  • Opened a private room to the side of the dining area for Whetten’s wife to calm her fussy baby
  • Entertained their toddler while the baby was nursing

You might argue that the last two items were done in the interest of keeping all patrons happy, but the staff could have easily taken a “not my problem” approach to the entire situation—which makes their actions all the more commendable.

In striving toward customer-centricity, the most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what business you’re in, you’re in the business of helping people. Period.

The post 5 Tips from Companies that Put Customer Centricity Up Front appeared first on Post Funnel.

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$500 Landing Page Handbook Is Now Free!

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheWebinarBlog/~3/dAeoShtdSgI/thewebinarblog~Landing-Page-Handbook-Is-Now-Free.html

Nearly twelve years ago I wrote an effusive post urging my readers to immediately go out and spend $500 to order the Landing Page Handbook from MarketingSherpa. For a long time afterwards, I referenced the guide as one of the best resources available on the subject. It featured objective studies and analyses backing up best practices for creating promotional landing pages and online registration forms.

But MarketingSherpa had newer studies to promote, and sales of the handbook may not have had a long tail at that price. Eventually they removed it from their online store. I looked around for newer, better guides but I never found a more comprehensive and credible collection of tips.

So last month I wrote to MECLABS Institute (the research company that acquired MarketingSherpa) and asked if there was any chance of them selling the handbook again. In my email I said I thought it remained the best resource on the topic of landing pages and registration forms that I had ever seen, and that even though the publishing date was old in Internet years, the recommendations were still valid. More people should have access to the information!

I got a reply from Daniel Burstein, the Senior Director of Content and Marketing. He said that there was little to no chance of printing more hardcopy versions and putting them up for sale on the store. But to my surprise, he said he would dig up the PDF version and make it available for free download.

Folks, this is the deal of the century! Whether you market and promote upcoming webinars, on-demand recordings, training courses, products, or physical events, the tips and case studies in this handbook can improve the performance of your web pages and forms.

I see that Daniel wrote a new cover letter for the handbook, with links to newer studies and online articles and guides. That’s great, and you should definitely keep following the latest research. But the venerable old handbook, now completely free, is the best starting point you could want.

Download the handbook today at https://www.marketingsherpa.com/freestuff/marketingsherpa-landing-page-handbook

By the way, I should mention that although Daniel elected to use my request as a pull-quote in their marketing (see the value of real-world testimonials on pages 22, 52, 80, 144), I have no business relationship with MECLAB or MarketingSherpa. I just really like the book!

I’ll end with the same footnote I wrote in 2007… Except for a very few vendor exception cases, built-in registration form and landing form generators in web conferencing products are overwhelmingly inflexible, insufficiently customizable, and violate almost every best practice mentioned in the handbook. Vendors really need to get on the ball and stop acting as barriers to their customers’ success in getting webinar registrations.

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4 Examples of Businesses That Defy Freemium’s Bad Rap

Source: https://postfunnel.com/4-examples-of-businesses-that-defy-freemiums-bad-rap/

Freemium has somewhat of a mixed reputation in the software world. Some view it as a magic growth bullet that can help their company speed to unicorn status, while others are convinced it’s a retention killer that prevents businesses from reaching sustainability and only attracts those who will never become paying customers.

More from PostFunnel on Pricing:

This Just In: It’s Not the Price that Counts
Deal With It!
Pricing Psychology: 7 Clever Tweaks To Make Customers Buy Again

As with most dramatic stances, the truth lies somewhere in between.

And like any other business strategy, the success of freemium pricing models lies in the context and details. For example, if you have a horribly leaky funnel and are trying to fix a retention problem, introducing a freemium plan probably won’t help much and might even make your problems worse. The unit economics are problematic for a lot of companies.

Image source: https://www.profitwell.com/blog/state-of-freemium

But when your product, sales funnel, customer satisfaction and retention are all okay, but you’re struggling to get users in the door, freemium is a whole different story. If you have good reason to believe that you can keep and monetize the new users that your free plan brings in, then offering it as a customer acquisition strategy just might be your next big growth lever.

So how can you tell if a freemium plan will be your success story or your undoing?

To help you decide if it’s the right strategy for your audience, your product and your current goals, compare your situations to those below. These are companies that have made freemium plans work, and you can use their stories to add context to your own.

Dropbox’s Referral Loop

Several parts of Dropbox’s freemium plan have been immortalized in the growth hacking playbook – meaning that the top content resources covering growth hacking love covering them. The company’s freemium plan and referral program helped them grow 3900% in 15 months in its early days.

But that was a long time ago. Any strategic marketer would wonder whether all the word of mouth and free users have made the company much money.

Image source: https://viral-loops.com/blog/dropbox-grew-3900-simple-referral-program/

Here’s your answer. Recent reports show Dropbox having over 11 million paying users and posting over $1 billion in revenue in 2017. It appears monetization and retention are priorities for the company. “Growth in paying users and increased adoption of premium plans helped drive first quarter revenue of $316 million, up 28% year-over-year,” said CEO and co-founder Drew Houston last spring.

Dropbox also combined freemium with other successful strategies at each stage of the buyer’s journey, so that they’re not just acquiring users from whom they receive no payments.

Part of why Dropbox is such a canonical case study is that they do so many things right. For example, they’re in a good market for freemium products according to the first of Dan Martell’s four rules of freemium: it’s a large market with hundreds of millions of possible users. They have also positioned it firmly as an acquisition strategy, introducing it early on.

Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYX9VSCwc7Y

Finally, the fact that Dropbox’s freemium plans have a referral program deeply integrated into the product experience is a huge factor here. Even if users never upgrade, they might refer 10 other customers, and chances are, a few of these people will eventually upgrade.

Mailchimp’s Eight-Year Pivot

While Dropbox’s freemium plan has been thoroughly analyzed, Mailchimp’s is largely misunderstood. Many marketers don’t even realize it began as a paid app. The company started out in 2001, and had 85,000 users already paying them on a monthly basis by the time they introduced freemium plans in 2009.

Image source: https://mailchimp.com/pricing/

Within a year, they grew their total user base five times over and were adding over 4,000 paying users each month. Their freemium plan helped them increase not only the total number of users, but their number of paid users, profits and perhaps most surprisingly, the number of customers with large email lists (people who wouldn’t have qualified for the free plan).

Over the years they’ve continued to evolve and succeed with their freemium plan, citing almost 4 million new users in their most recent annual report. And Mailchimp regularly adds to its free plan by doubling the number of subscribers the free plan allowed in 2010 and adding “automation for all” in 2017.

As more and more email marketing competitors spring up in the market, its free plan is an important differentiator, especially among tools offering email marketing automation.

As stated in their own accounts of the move, Mailchimp did everything backwards regarding freemium. While many companies – perhaps mistakenly – experiment with freemium to find their first users, Mailchimp already had an established brand, a solid reputation and a humming sales funnel to make the most of customers.

Another great factor for them is that their freemium plan isn’t a hugely stripped-down version of the paid service. Even before automation was added, the freemium features were enough to run a great email marketing program for most small businesses. Users paid as they grew their lists and became more invested in the tool.

Webflow Bets on Project Volume

After the first two examples, you might wonder if freemium only works for huge companies that were early to their markets, so let’s look at the responsive website builder Webflow. They’re a smaller startup that launched in 2013, and have since grown to over 275,000 users.

Image source: https://webflow.com/pricing

Out of those, many are on the freemium plan. But with just 5% of their users paying for the tool, they were able to reach $200,000 monthly recurring revenue (MRR) as a relatively new company. The pricing structure is based on how many websites their users, primarily freelancers, build in the tool, and since a paid plan is required for going live, people are all the more likely to upgrade as design projects naturally progress and finish.

For Webflow, everything is centered around publishing and collaboration. You can easily create a website in the app for free but will face limitations when you want to go live or share it with your team or client. This is key to their pricing, since everything is centered around their value metric.

Plus, while they don’t have a formal word-of-mouth referral program, the dynamics of building websites in their target audience has a good deal of that built-in. If one freelancer introduces all the clients and contractors he or she works with to Webflow, this creates both new users and new demand for paid access.

Image source: https://university.webflow.com/article/team-plan

As the freelancer’s business grows, taking on more clients and works with more collaborators, he or she will move up to bigger plans, referring still more new businesses along the way.

It’s a bit exploitative on the one hand, but on the other, this model provides more value for lower fees when people are just getting started designing sites.

Slack Converts With Unicorn-Worthy Fairness

Finally, we have Slack, another newer kid on the block but one that’s already made the history books as the fastest-growing SaaS company of all time. But what’s as impressive as the giphy options is the company’s 30% conversion rate to paid users.

Two years into the company’s life, they’d already grown to 1.7 million daily active users and 470,000 paid seats (even with their fair billing policy). Now they’re doing more than $4 billion in annual revenue and powering gif usage in offices everywhere.

Slack’s success is largely in its ability to create raving fans and lifetime users. Once a company has used its Slack deployment enough to reach the free limit of 10,000 messages or 10 integrations, they’re in for the long haul.

It’s astronomically easier to upgrade than search and migrate to a new tool for something as crucial as team chat.

Additionally, the premium features such as more integrations and screen sharing on group calls are easy things to say yes to for companies that use other tools for those functions and already live their lives in Slack.

Image source: https://slack.com/plans

Businesses on the free plan are likely paying other people for those tools, such as a video chat app or Zapier, so bringing everything into an app you enjoy is an obvious choice.

Contrast that with when Baremetrics experimented with freemium, and the number of their free users became a strain on server resources and not enough customers felt a need to upgrade because of the quotas structure.

Freemium or Bust

Looking at companies that thrive using freemium models can help you determine whether it will be a bang or bust.

Would freemium be a band-aid to bigger problems? If so, skip it. But if you’re looking for acquisition growth like Dropbox’s or have conversion rates like Slack, and have the funnel to back it up, introducing a freemium plan can be the best choice for your business.

The post 4 Examples of Businesses That Defy Freemium’s Bad Rap appeared first on Post Funnel.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I’m Very Happy to announce that I am Currently represented by Tea & Water Pictures at New York, London and Beijing.

They’re an exciting agency that have a some wonderful manufacturing experience and a group with really diverse but complimentary wallpapers, so I’m excited to find out what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They have also done a little meeting with me that, if you’re curious, then you can read here 

Read more

NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I Am pleased to announce That I’m Currently represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing.

They are an exciting agency that have a some fantastic manufacturing experience and a team with very diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to find out what we can achieve together over the next few decades!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, in case you’re curious, you can read here 

Read more