As we head into H2 of 2022 (crazy, right?) we are seeing some controversial trends and topics arise. In this month’s article, we’re sharing the latest info on shifts in analytics and metrics, increasing conversions, and the reaction to the economic downturn – all we think you need to know in order to scale this month. As well as reading material, podcast recommendations, and trending industry buzzwords.
Specifically these topics:
- The Rise of Product Marketing
- The Fall of Google Analytics
- Customer Journeys
- Downturn Economy & Funding
- ICP: The Buzz Word of the Month
- This month’s recommendations
The Rise of Product Marketing
Let’s face facts, marketing is marketing. You can put a name on it, but at the end of the day – it’s all about revenue. The big shift in jargon is from inbound to product marketing. To be clear, these are tactics within your overall marketing strategy – brand, inbound, product, digital or social – all tactics folks. Really, really important ones too.
Whilst companies have been so focused on the ‘inbound’ acquisition and closing sales, there are negative impacts of this strategy – especially where your product is concerned. In fact, according to research, 44% of marketers dedicate resources to acquisition and just 18% to retention. This means companies are not taking the time to analyze how their users act within their platforms, nor are they necessarily focusing on the right metrics that indicate true Product Success. Most importantly, whilst the general consensus will agree that lead generation in itself can be scalable, this overall acquisition/retention ratio is not scalable for a long-term growth strategy. Yup, we said it.
Product is a focal point because business models have shifted to just that – the product itself. This is a good thing because it means not only are businesses hyper-focused on delivering their solution, but also delivering it to the right people with the right message (see GA4 below for how to get those metrics right!).
Here is how things are changing in Marketing, Sales & Product:
Increasing focus on the bottom of the conversion funnel
We’re talking automation across onboarding, engagement, support, and remarketing – all time-saving strategies, and proactive sales and marketing materials
Key performance metrics are product adoption and customer retention
This is not to say that CPA (Cost per Acquisition) and Number of Opportunities aren’t important metrics, but there’s little value in bringing X amount of opportunities if none of them stay to use your product.
A Product-led growth strategy (PLG) is a must-have
As companies move away from SLG (Sales-led Growth) to PLG, so will Marketing Specialists transition from Digital marketing (SEO, PPC, Social, etc) to Product Marketing
As a startup without heavy sales and budget resources, you need to be product-led and have product marketing to allow the users to onboard themselves. The question here is do you have the tools and are they scalable (unless you like switching vendors every six months)?
Interdepartmental Communication & Crossovers
No more silos. Less Zoom, but more cross-functional teams and communications means your product and marketing teams are focused on features and benefits. And if you incorporate your sales – well this is where the ICP magic happens.
The other benefit – the client’s perspective is truly part of every conversation resulting in better upsell opportunities and of course, a product roadmap that is based on real needs not because Ryan read a post in Reddit about a cool feature that is great, but for real estate.
Wondering to yourself, that sounds great, but how do you bridge the proverbial communication gap internally and externally? Ask us. We have on average 0.2% churn month over month. Yup. Nearly 2 years running. Why? We use our product every day with our own clients. You’ve read that somewhere before – probably here on our blog.
The fall of Google Analytics (as we know it)
The countdown to GA4 is ticking – are you ready? For two years, Google has been telling us to get ready for GA4 and now it is crunch time. This means you should set up your GA4 now so you don’t miss out on historic data (i.e. get a full year of data folks – now – like right now).
Don’t worry GA4 can co-exist with your current data analytics – so get started on that tagging today!!
Data methodologies are changing
The rise of machine learning and privacy concerns means that GA4 is all about predictive analytics. Two specific tracks that are, in fact, key to SaaS business models – purchase probability and churn probability:
- Purchase probability is just what it sounds like – it predicts the likelihood that a visitor will purchase your product
- Churn probability is how unlikely it is that an active user will return to your site
In essence, predictive metrics will help you hone in and reach the right people, with the right message and through the right channel.
Data & Analytics Tools that do it all
Well, umm….we might be biased here. FROGED combines your demographic information AND tracks your user behavior data in one place simplifying not only strategy implementation but also creating a great user experience because it touches every aspect of your customer lifecycle.
BOOK A DEMO to learn more!
Which are the metrics to measure and focus on – which traditional ‘vanity’ metrics are we saying goodbye to?
The biggest shift is that we are saying goodbye to goals, but saying hello to events. Events are great, but like goals, you need to set them up! So, what is an event? Clicks, page loads, file downloads, session starts. Basically, any activity that a visitor can take on your site can be considered an event in GA4.
Because of the shift to events, you will lose the hierarchy that is in Universal Analytics – i.e. it’s all about behavior. The best way to think of this is that you need to set up a new event in GA4 that describes the behavior. This means you’ll want to click events and the details that happen prior to and after that event. The best example is to think of a traditional shopping cart and all of the events that lead up to placing the item into the cart and afterward.
Events are going to depend on your business model and your tech stack. To better prepare, list the behaviors that you want and need to measure. Set them up one at a time in GA4 starting with pageviews – because well, it’s the easiest.
TIP: Use Google Data Studio to build report dashboards. It’s not the easiest, but it’s also not the hardest Google tool out there. Let’s face facts, Google is a black hole when it comes to learning the nuances of some of its products.
What is the customer journey – why is it so important?
The customer journey is critical to improving your overall customer experience. By mapping out the journey of the customer it allows you to address the wins and pain points for the customer. This means it impacts customer outcomes. Kind of important, right?
What does this look like for Saas (User flows, onboarding, engagement & support – ALL omnichannel)
For SaaS or subscription-based business models, this is critical to the health of your product as you need to map out the entire lifecycle. At FROGED we track 3 different journeys based on where the customer is in our lifecycle. This means we look at it almost like you look at planning an event:
Before – Building the guest list (see ICP) getting people to attend, confirmation, etc.
During – They attend the event so what is the experience like for them – is there enough food, are drinks easy to get (see where we are going here)
After – How do you keep them engaged to come back, to talk about their amazing experience, influence their friends, and create a little FOMO, etc.
If you use that analogy and translate it into a subscription-based model, think of it as implementation, retention, and optimization.
Downturn Economy & Funding
What VCs are saying to start-ups
In 2021 capital was king with seed and financing deals hitting $13.1 Billion. Things have changed a bit in 2022 when experts like Pitchbook are changing their tunes a bit. With valuations in sectors like Fintech adjusting downward, VCs are ringing the alarm bells that the global market is going to reset – which means start-ups are going to face a challenge
Capital Efficiency vs. Unicorns
What does all of this mean for a start-up? The days of the unicorn are behind us (yes, unicorns still exist, but WeWorks is now the NorthStar of what not to do). Start-ups need to adjust their valuations based on reality to actually get funding to deliver on their products.
This means that VCs are going to look closer at Capital Efficiency – the CEOs who run a tight ship and understand that the product and deliverables come first. Less Kombucha on tap, folks.
Extending your runway
This also means that VC tickets will be smaller, so CEOs need to understand how they can extend their runway beyond the next round. Since European start-ups are accustomed to austerity measures, VCs might be looking abroad for best practices in those instances. If you want to learn more about how your company can achieve this, visit TechCrunch Disrupt and stay tuned for our upcoming roundtable with FROGED CEO, Emily.
The buzzword of the month: ICP
Target Market, Buyer persona… move over! It’s ICP. But what are the differences between previous buzzwords and ICP?
Honestly, we are a bit apocalyptic about acronyms (AAA) and are over the concept of how a BP is now an ICP with a focus on CSM which is now DCSM when all you want is your MRR and ARPU to improve and reduce your CPA and thereby your CAC. Insert meme here.
But in a nutshell, ICP is the combination of behavioral, environmental, and firmographic attributes. Combining these prior targeting concepts into one holistic profile.
This month’s recommendations
How I Built This – Yes, it is popular, but we never get tired of hearing about how entrepreneurs and innovators create these companies that wind up changing our lives.
The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share