Wow. It’s already March which means Q1 will be coming to a close soon. Have you spent the months of  January and February obsessed with AI or looking at retention strategies? You aren’t alone. Our inboxes and social feeds have been flooded with Chat GPT and terms like customer-centric, product-led growth, and personalization. And while those terms are very tiring, they aren’t going away. 

This month we take a look at India, the power of the brief and future of content marketing while keeping an eye on the latest trends.

Finance Stuff  

Are VCs the new gods of Start-Ups? With valuations coming down and statements like “growth at all costs” now a common refrain in the SaaS community, how and when can founders expect to receive the next infusion of cash? Some tips from our friends at Pitchbook.

  1. Look internal – i.e. look at current investors for a smaller round as they are more likely to have a deeper understanding of your business  and a clear vested interest in its success
  2. Make your cash last – many VCs are waiting until Q4 because they expect valuations to drop
  3. Be clear with how you communicate your path to profitability and showcase milestones accordingly
  4. Don’t wait – while there might not be as much access to funds and investment amounts will drop – remember that firms want to maintain their reputations as being “founder friendly” so start the dialogue early

The Street Five 

  1. Is a TikTok ban in the works? It’s happening – read how it could be enforced and fought
  2. The Saga known as Twitter – 4,000 characters, $100 for a “basic tier”, removing 3rd party APIs, and an algorithm that forces users to see Elon Musk’s tweets and that’s just a few in the latest episode of Twitternovela
  3. Facebook and Instagram started testing paid verification in New Zealand and Australia. What does this mean? An additional  $2B-$3B in revenue. For more visibility and prioritized customer support users will be asked to pay  $12/mo. for desktop or $15/mo. for mobile.
  4. Rumor has it that Snap plans to unveil its AR-for-enterprise product at its annual developer summit in April or possibly sooner. This would mean a new source of revenue for Snap, which desperately needs to find a new revenue stream to retain investors.
  5. VC Funding in the US drops by 65% in Q4 of 2022. This is the lowest for that quarter since 2013. According to PYMNTS tech start-ups are seeking alternative funding options as VCs’ “corrective actions”.

The Rise of India 

You could say that India as an economic force to be reckoned with has been in play for decades – but with a shift to ensure that China doesn’t own the global supply chain, India seems poised to take over.

Case in point – Apple.

India is on track to make 25% of all iPhones by 2025 – that is nearly a 7% increase from right now.

Currently, Apple has just 5% of India’s smartphone market so there’s also a vested interest in producing the phones and launching them in a country with the world’s largest population.

Why now, you ask?

Profits. Producing iPhones in India will reduce the cost to purchase one in the country and most likely will help increase Apple’s market share there. According to TechCrunch an iPhone 14 costs roughly $980 USD compared to $799 in the US.

And it’s not just Apple, the tech industry as a whole now perceives China as a vulnerable supply chain with geopolitical risks.

India knows it has an opportunity – in fact Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal has been talking to industry leaders all over the world about India’s reforms, young-driven population, and economy. Sounds like a Bollywood movie waiting to be written.

The Fall of The Creative Brief As We Know It

Yes, the Creative Brief as we know it is dead. Enter the prompting brief designed for AI output. There are all different levels of content and use cases, so you need to think of this as streamlining your workflows for better results.

Marketing teams and BDRs can take the first step and train themselves on how and what they need their brief to achieve. Remember ChatGPT is 2021 technology. The way forward is leveraging your behavioral data and pulling it into your brief to create a more personalized approach.

A great use case for this is a new persona or ICP. In this example, a well-trained BDR can brief your AI platform to create a truly personalized email cadence template based on that persona and their vertical.

In 2023 you will see a new position emerge the Prompt Engineer or Content Strategist and while the technology will advance to the point of the AI knowing what you need. Yes, it will figure out how to give you a great brief. You will still need people to edit, personalize and ensure the content retains its credibility. Make no mistake, ethical AI will need to be part of your team’s DNA as AI progresses.

At the end of the day, teams need to evolve and understand that AI is a mirror of humanity (not to get too deep), so as we move to generative AI,  first about the brief – we need to keep watch – because, in the next 12 months, everything will change as this will impact any type of media your want to produce.

What you Need to Know to Scale:

Last month we went over some PLG tips – one of which was the importance of onboarding. If you think you’ve got your onboarding covered, think again. 74% of customers will abandon your product if they feel the onboarding process is too complicated. This is so logical it hurts. Customers are expecting your product to make their lives easier, so your onboarding should reflect that immediately.

When you think of your onboarding you need to do so from the customer success point of view and dive into the different types of user onboarding below:

  1. Benefit-focused
  2. Function-focused
  3. Doing-focused 
  4. Account-focused
  5. All of the above

Dive a little deeper into onboarding best practices with this great article,  5 Ways to Use Onboarding Flow and User Experience to Boost Customer Success

Must Hear

The Human Duct Tape show is hosted by Customer Success expert and author Jeanne Bliss. Besides a great podcast name, Bliss talks with fellow Chief Customer Officers about what works and doesn’t work and how the CCO is often acting as you guessed it, human duct tape – trying to get everyone on the same page to create customer-driven growth.

Must Read 

Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be by Steven Pressfield. The title sums up the premise, but in case it isn’t clear – this is a book for those of us who procrastinate or have imposter syndrome. Pressfield wrote for 27 years before he published the Legend of Bagger Vance which became a successful Hollywood movie. This is a great book if you live in the world of “what ifs” and can’t seem to get out of your own way. 

Take this nugget from Pressfield, “Magic happens when we put our identity on the line and declare, even if only to ourselves, ‘This is where I stand, this is what I aspire to, this is who I am and will become’.”

Yup. It’s a good read.