Joanna is the CMO of BigDoor Media, and in this episode she talks to us about the different kinds of loyalty that your users have, and how to respond to each group. We also talk about the future of product teams and what roles the engineers and marketers will have.
→ Her role as CMO of BigDoor Media
→ The different kinds of loyalty that her users have
→ How she responds to each group
→ The future of product teams and what roles the engineers and marketers will have
→ What is her strategies for customer acquisition
→ What is her focus on BigDoor Media
→ Her thoughts on PPC
→ What is retention marketing
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Actor TV, Bronson Taylor. And today I have Joanna Lord with us. Joanna, thanks for coming on the program.
Joanna: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m excited.
Bronson: Yeah, you should be. It’s going to be a great talk.
Bronson: So for the people that maybe don’t know you, even though you have a ton of stuff online, so there’s a million ways to get to know you. But just in case they don’t know you, you were up until very recently the VP of Growth at SEO Mars, and now you’re the CMO of big door media and you’re also a very regular conference speaker. So does that about sum up your roles?
Joanna: Yeah, yeah, pretty much. You know, as most people probably say, I’m here like really startup junkie kind of move from startup to startups. So this is the sixth one and yeah, had a great run out of now Mars right they rebranded plan and we’ll talk more about that but yeah just joined Big Door and helping run and establish some, you know, marketing strategy for them.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. Well, help us understand some of your most recent roles here, Maus, as is now called. I think you’re used to saying that I like to rebrand. I love Malcolm Turnbull. Yeah, it’s a great name. I mean, rebrands are hard, but I think if anybody can pull it off, they can. So we’ll see what happens. Yeah. So tell us what you do at Mars. What was your roles there? What are your focus there? And then tell us a little bit about big door media. What do you want to do there now? Do you have a chance?
Joanna: Yeah. So when I kicked off with a few know at the time I joined and they had just left consulting. So a lot of people remember those days was, was a primary SEO consulting firm work with big brands and they built a lot of tools and how so they decided let’s make those tools available and sell them. And I met with Rand when I moved to Seattle and I was like, I’d love to join this team and kind of really was starting that marketing team and there were only two or three of us at the time. And so I did customer acquisition and really starting to grow that customer base and you know, came on, there’s about 3000 subscribers all you know, paying PayPal and all over and not well optimized funnel but it was we’d get tools that worked and over the last three years that position kind of grew into acquisition and retention, took on brand marketing, took on customer lifecycle marketing, and I helped build that community with the, you know, the team and just really grow the team. So when I left 18 marketers, all different teams. So, you know, finally having budgets and having, you know, just really fun, fun pass strategy and campaigns that we could roll out. And that’s what I did it at a nursing homes and helped them turn it into months so I was there through the launch took a year the last year assumes all the teams were focused on launching us so helps build that site that you’re talking about and helped build that new marketing story and positioned us to really enter the analytics market.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. And then what about Big Door? Are you going to be doing similar things there or are they in a different phase of their company? How is that going to work?
Joanna: So definitely a different phase of the company. We’ve been around since 2009, but we we started in gamification and really quickly established ourselves as the leader there. We took investment from foundry and brand cell. So really trying to grow that brand and as it grew, as the market grew very similar to what Eskimos did with moving and analytics, we really have found ourself in this loyalty engagement industry. So right now we are we’ve already pivoted our platform. It’s beautiful and so are a consumer engagement platform. And what I’m going to be doing here is how do I tell that news story? How do I update the website of that as a storytelling vehicle? How do I position and really put together an inbound marketing strategy so we can enter this new industry really confidently and really have some value upfront?
Bronson: Now, that sounds great. Now, you’ve mentioned.
Joanna: A couple seconds.
Bronson: Yeah, you should be there. You’ve been a few times customer acquisition and we’ll get into other aspects of the lifestyle cycle of a customer. But let’s start with that one. You’ve done so much customer acquisition and CEO Mars and you know the Saabs before that that you mentioned earlier that I want to ask you some really broad questions because I know that they’re making abroad. You’ll end up, you know, telling us what we need to know. So end of the day, what have been your go to strategies for customer acquisition? If you know, if you had to pick one, two or three, they’re just they’re tried and true. You go to them, you understand them, you can make them work. What are those strategies for you?
Joanna: Yeah, that’s a that’s a great question. Like my my rooster acquisition and I it excites me because it’s it’s changed and it’s going to continue to change as we get new platforms and new channels and new tools to help us manage it faster. And now there’s like this whole new generation of people that are trained in online acquisition. For me, like I have a lot of copies or someone’s just like, we have this great product. Where do I start? I think the number one thing I always say to them is What’s your story and how have you told it? So on your website, what are you promising the world? Because I think. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make an opposition and I don’t want to jump too far into this warning, but it’s that they sell just the product and they sell just the features or they sell just their service and they don’t sell what is uniquely awesome and beautiful about what how they’re doing it. And that really comes down to that. Why are you in business and why are you doing it this way? So getting that, I always say, don’t even start on a channel. Don’t even put a dollar toward anything until your website really does effectively tell us something unique about you, something about that is authentic to your story. And that can be done visually. It can be done in content, it can be done in a great about section, but there is no point to even drive one customer back to that website if it’s going to be something they could easily forget. So I usually start there and then I really say, Check out your resources. So internally, do you have someone who likes to write? You’re going to I mean, either way you’re going to want to get a blog out, but get some content going out. Do you someone who likes to be very social and kind of hands on and can jump on the phone, maybe you want to do some outreach or maybe some partner distributions to start because those can be low cost and high value in the beginning. Do you have a numbers person, a numbers junkie? Maybe you do want to start with a little bit of testing and some PPC or some some of the more performance oriented channels so that you can nail that language, so that you can get some people coming in and get some customers to validate your storytelling. There’s a lot it’s really comes down to what resources you have upfront, and that changes from startup to startup.
Bronson: So yeah, now I want to dove into both of those just a little bit because I love both those answers. So the first one you mentioned story, not just products, features benefit, but what’s the story? Why? I mean, help us understand the why there. Connect the dots. Why is a story so important and not just here’s our tool. Here’s what it does.
Joanna: Yeah. So there has been a resurgence around the Y and it’s kind of I’m sure maybe I believe that actually some of your past that, you know, top speakers have talked about this, but Simon Sinek came up with this great TED talk and it has this great theory called the Golden Circle Theory. And it just that. So anyone that’s watching, go check it out. It can say to me. But ultimately the idea is that for a long time you could sell your watch. And that was right. I if I had a product that no one else had, I was winning. And then it became a lot of noise in that industry. A lot more competitors came out, everyone selling a lot of the same things. So they would focus to the how like how are you uniquely selling it? And that could be maybe your price points lower, maybe a great customer service, maybe it’s packaged really beautifully and that worked for a long time. And then again everyone starts to kind of level up and we’re all looking around around the same space. So now it’s down to the Y, which is this core, and it’s this question of why do you get up in the morning? Like, why should someone who has can look around and see five people offering the same thing in five beautiful ways? Why should they go with you? And that really brings it down to the story and often it comes down to your core values. Maybe you really do believe in some sort of good willed mission behind Why are companies in business? Maybe you just will always go for the customer over the margin or something. If you can show something that is really authentic and human, then you’re going to establish your relationship faster and it’s going to be more it’s going to have more strength behind it. So that’s where the Y comes in. And it’s it’s awesome right now because we have all of these mediums more than ever before and platforms that are focused on helping us connect human to human like this right now. Right. So you get to know my y so much better. You can see my face in my hand and I’m all excited than if I just put up a page on a website. I don’t.
Joanna: That’s going to be cool is going to be I’m excited. Yeah.
Bronson: Know absolutely. And then the second thing you talked about really taking an assessment of what resources you have and I love that and start only have a question. That’s when I follow up and talk about it because so often people are looking for the checklist. What’s the first thing? Is it inbound or paper click or content or, you know, just tell me what to do. Is it social? And then after that, what’s the second thing? What’s the third thing? And the answer really is you can skin the cat a million ways. What resources do you have? Because you can find people that are passionate about certain kinds of customer acquisition channels. You’re going to be better at those just because passion can allow them to keep going, learning, getting better at them. So you agree with all that?
Joanna: Absolutely. You know, when you think of a start up day, right, like a day for life of someone that start out and they’re trying to grow their company, rarely during the day do you actually get to do that much. That is about increasing the growth like trajectory and the growth momentum. Right, because you’re just trying to like get through the day like people are calling someone, emailing you. That could be interesting. I’m going to call that person. I need to go read this. I need to understand this. I’m going to go learn this. And then 5 p.m. hits and you’re like, okay, I should probably go grow our business now. And I think that when you think about what your strength is, whether you really do love to write or whether you really do love to reach out to people and connect, or some of the other things I talk about, you really do like to look in the data. You get lost in Excel and it’s a way for you to be in your flow. Those are the things you do after hour, that after hours, that that’s your strength. Like you should play to your strength. And if you can do those more consistently and do them effectively, it’s only going to help all the stuff you do during the day. And you’re right, that checklist philosophy is it’s a hot mess. And startups, I think it’s like one of the biggest perpetuated myths because I’ve never met a startup where I’m like, Here are the five channels to go get started on and it’s going to be great, you know, like it just doesn’t work. So I definitely.
Bronson: Well, so now let’s talk about you in your resource, right? Like, what do you enjoy from looking online? You know, from my point of view, it looks like you really love inbound and pay per click. So is that kind of fair to say?
Joanna: It is. It is. I my like I said, my roots are performance marketing so and PPC particularly I got started. You know, AdWords is open up, it’s an auction. And I was like, What is this? I think it’s going to be really big because Google is doing it right and it was fine because there were a lot of rules and people were really trying very unusual things. Like you think of a lot of the constraints on paperclip marketers today. I mean, just simply even on the copy, we could use simple landing pages that we could drive to and those weren’t really there back then. So I got to test a lot of really strange things and I loved it, but I wasn’t really exposed to inbound as strongly until I hit homes. And when you see how well they can be used together and you see this with new channels emerging like search retargeting and, you know, Facebook exchange and things like that, it’s the perfect marriage because if you have something of value, a piece of content that you would use for an inbound campaign, and then you amplify it through some of these paid platforms. Are these capabilities, you’re spreading something super valuable, wider, which is why marketing at its finest. Right. You know, you’re not you’re not bombarding them with crap and you’re not having something beautiful that doesn’t have the legs to get somewhere. So I really enjoy it. I think I think that we’ll continue to see them only get closer and maybe some new word will emerge. I actually think that’s what growth is about in a lot of ways. So I certainly see them as hand in hand.
Bronson: Yeah, I say we just come up with a new word right now it’s inbound PPC.
Joanna: I like it. I know I want to come out a little bit, but.
Bronson: Yeah, exactly.
Joanna: Well, see where we can take it. Copywriting.
Bronson: So let me ask you just to make sure people watching and listening are really clear. So let’s say I have a great inbound kind of thing. Let’s say it’s an e-book or a white paper or something and I to collect an email address on it. So you’re saying actually go out and put some ad dollars to drive people there if you know you can monetize the people that are giving you their email. Is that kinda the world you’re talking about there?
Joanna: Yeah, absolutely. So when you think of inbound assets, right, and you put some time into it because inbound is not free, we all know that. Let’s all get on the same page. They’re like, you got to pay for that content team. You have to pay that social media manager to be there to establish that relationship and that trust and be responsive. It costs money. So you want it to do something for you? I mean, I don’t I will never you’ll never get me on a stage where I’m like, just put out great content. It will be great, you know? Isn’t that great? Like, I don’t believe in that. I believe in making money. So you put time into something that’s a value to a lead or a customer or community member. Take some of that performance spend, even if it’s just a small amount. I mean, we have seen huge wins just going on to Facebook and putting money into promoted posts because you’re kickstarting what is going to become a much bigger marketing halo and idea of marketing halo. On the momentum of that you can put behind a content piece is all about and it’s all about both getting people to share things, but also putting the money in so that it’s in front of them. So they are willing to share it at the right time, right? Yeah, we’re we’re we’re in banner fatigue central as consumers. We see a lot of things. So sometimes it takes a marketer to put something in front of you a couple times before you really give it the attention it deserves.
Bronson: Yeah. No, it’s it’s so fun to think about the intersection of inbound and paid. I mean, the future is exciting, that’s for sure.
Joanna: It is. It is content. Amplification is a really exciting vehicle for us.
Bronson: You know, I think that’s the phrase we should use content amplification. That’s much better than we’ve down PPC.
Joanna: There is an agency out of Duluth, Minnesota. Have you heard of clear?
Bronson: No, no.
Joanna: I it’s it’s definitely they’re writing about this and they’ve been writing about it for 6 to 8 months. And this agency is doing crazy demographic targeting and personalization, but that’s their idea, is content amplification. How can you use all of your paid dollars to really just wrap up that inbound content and send it far and wide, you know?
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. Now, you recently wrote a terrific blog post. It’s one of my favorites about product marketing magic. I mean, the title alone is great because we all want that. We all want product marketing magic. And you actually kind of.
Joanna: Yeah, well, I ran when that one I ranted like I was a little aggressive in that.
Bronson: And that’s what makes a good blog post when you rant a little bit. But even better than the rant was the visual you gave us. It was four quadrants, right? The four quadrants of what you need to answer to have product marketing magic. And then right in the middle is a big unicorn, because that’s the magic if you can answer all these questions about product marketing. So I want you to walk us through the four quadrants. I’ll say them first and you kind of elaborate a little bit what to build, what to prize, who to build for, how to sell it. So, yeah, what to build? What do you mean there?
Joanna: Yeah. So it’s all funny product marketing. I love it. And I feel like as a marketer, we’ve been tasked with doing a lot of it in the past couple of years and we’ve not been really well educated on a lot of like, you know, we’re just kind of throwing stuff against the wall in a lot of ways. So before things, the product marketing, the idea of what to build really traditionally lives on the product team. But I do believe that as marketers have more and more hats, we are we are starting to be brought into those conversations. I’m sitting in on those meetings excuse me. The product team wants me there. So it really is establishing what’s your core product? Maybe the platform, maybe the service, what’s that whole product? So then again, what are all of your unique differentiators which often come down to our messaging, our story, our customer service, our technology and things outside of your core feature offering and deciding, you know, what are we going to build right now? What what ones are we going to prioritize right now? Which ones are we leaving off? What are we okay saying is not our core offering, it’s outside our core competency and we are okay even though all these people might be asking for it and we’re hearing it in all these different channels. It’s not what we want to deal with right now. That’s not what we’re focused on. So what are we built? And that’s the first step. And I think that traditionally lives in product and more and more the marketer, because we have such a pulse on what that persona or target audience needs or just what people would love to see more of. We have a great voice to have in that conversation. Yeah.
Bronson: And then what about the second what to price it? Is that the same kind of thing where the is being brought in more to that discussion.
Joanna: Yeah. Yeah. Because you know competitive analysis is an interesting thing. I think it really your question is really rooted in that, which is you can do a really great ecosystem, competitive analysis. And again, the product team tends to really own that. They can they just they’re really well versed in that diligent tracking of when things get launched and what our competitors are doing and what well shifting in the industry. But what marketers are now tasked with is, you know, brand reputation management and really watching the story of the industry happen around us. We are we are well versed in when things are launched or what if one of our competitors has pivoted their message and now they’re this instead of that? We’re seeing that really fast, right? We’re bombarded by it and we’re tracking it, whether in our brains or in Excel or in a tool. So that really that is all going to be part of how you price something. And I think that being reactive and pricing or being proactive in pricing is a whole other day conversation, but marketers tend to really know what are people willing to pay and what what are we seeing, like what’s disruptive right now in our space as far as pricing goes? So we’re getting pulled into that. Yeah, I think it comes down to just having a really good lifeline into what people are willing to pay right now and and that kind of the product team is excited to hear marketers talk more about that. Yeah.
Bronson: So the first two questions what to build and what to price it are really product centric traditionally. And your thesis is bring the marketers in because yeah, they’re not engineers per say, but they know the market in a way that engineers can’t even imagine. They know the market, right?
Joanna: Yeah. Yeah. When you think of like the Lean Startup method and you think of that customer discovery phase, I mean, that was product before. They were the ones that were jumping on the phones, doing the five or ten minute customer interviews. They were the ones that were coming up with the hypothesis and then measuring against that. That’s all I do all day. Like I maybe my five minute phone call is, you know, a Twitter DM conversation. But I bet it’s going to involve a lot of facts, a lot of feedback, a lot of really blunt ideas. And I think that as we absorb a lot of that, we should be that should be going straight to product or whatever that team looks like in the future. It should be a real time loop and it shouldn’t have these separated silos.
Bronson: You know, you just made it click for me because I handle a lot of customer support and more dialoging with the public in some of the startups that I’m a part of. And sometimes I’ll go back to our primary engineer and say, Hey, here’s what people are saying. And he’s saying, I’m not hearing it. And I’m like, You’re not listening. You’re not on those channels. So I heard it three times a day. We need to do this. Where to go? He could go another year and never hear that. So it just clicked when you said it. I’m in a different world, in the worlds have to collide. But now the second. Two questions to make Product marketing magic is kind of the reverse. They’re typically what the marketers do. And are you also saying that the product people need to be brought into that when it comes to who to build for and how to sell it?
Joanna: Absolutely. And I think the best part about this is I think product has been dying for this evolution to happen. Right. Know, when I think of I have been so fortunate to work with brilliant product teams and I’ve learned so much from them and once in a while I’ll kind of roll over my desk and I’m like, you know, we’ve been saying this about this core functionality and I get it. But, you know, I really think that when I take it to market. Launch day in three weeks or whatever. With that email message, I want to say this. It feels more intuitive to me. I think it’s going to resonate. What do you think? I they’re like, you know, when we were designing that function and we dropped that or we put in that report, that’s what we thought we were thinking like this. And because they’re building the product, because they’re deciding what features make it in and they’re prioritizing and they’re doing it based off all this customer validation, they have some language that’s really valuable. But as a marketer, it’s really hard because we play on words all day. So we have, you know, I have built models in my head of what adjectives to use or or what to stay away from. And sometimes they say just the right thing because they’re they’re really aware of what went into the product. So again, pulling them in and they’re really excited about that. They want to know who they’re building for. They want to know how it’s going to get launched because it’s so closely tied. So yeah, absolutely. I think it’s I think it’s yeah, I think I think it’s what it’s going to I think it’s we’re going to continue to see this happen more and more in the future.
Bronson: Yeah, well, what do you think the future looks like? I mean, I guess there’s a few different scenarios. One is product takes over everything, another is marketing takes over everything. Another is there’s a group, you know, not yet named that takes over everything, or they kind of live in silos, sort of communicating. I guess those are the four options. Wow. Well, it’s that. Yeah, that’s.
Joanna: The fourth one is really scary to me. I hope it’s not that way. Yeah, I do think so. You’ve seen in the last three years a real focus to let companies be product driven and I’m all for it. Like, I’m a marketer, but I, I am. I understand that if you have a great product and you’ve a really clear sense of what you want to offer and how you want to build it, that that could really scary well. So I think that we are seeing a short term switch to that and embracing that we’re a lot more decision is being made from that product team and marketing is tasked with a lot of important things, but it might kind of wrap around what’s happening from the product team. Mm hmm. I do believe in I think it was dawn number three. I think we’re going to see more hybrid teams. I think startups are particularly likely to see this, whether it’s called the growth team, whether it’s called you know, you see product planning teams are in a lot of ways, you see, I think that customer success is experiencing a lot of recall to what it means or maybe it’s, you know, bad customer feature teams where you are calling people from all sorts of teams and having them solve for a common problem. I think you’re going to see that organizational structure reflect a new need, which is to to see what the customer is feeling and wanting throughout the whole cycle versus everyone doing their expertize and then hopefully having a beautiful lifecycle. I don’t I just don’t think that the tools are lining up to have that be the case for much longer.
Bronson: Yeah, no, I think I agree with door number three because we’ve put product to kind of it’s edge, we’ve pushed marketing to kind of it’s edge and now there needs to be something new emerge. And I think even growth hacking and growth actor TV is it’s something new emerging that’s not yet defined as well as it should be, but there’s something of real value there. So we’re all trying to figure out how the future shakes out. So I totally agree. I think there is something new in the future that’s better in terms of how we deal with actually, you know, marketing products and building products. Now, let me ask you about something that’s related but different retention marketing. So I know you’ve been writing about that a little bit lately. So first, tell us what is retention? Marketing?
Joanna: Yeah. So retention marketing is just using traditional marketing channels or, you know, traditional means of communication to increase loyalty with either a community member, a potential lead or a current customer. So really trying to retain their attention and get them to engage deeper more often with your product, service or brand.
Bronson: Yeah. And they seem to sense a strong trend toward retention because on this program everyone thinks they’re the only one saying it. But when you watch all the interviews, they’re all saying it, they’re all talking about retention. Why is there a trend toward retention when for so long, I mean, a decade we’ve been okay with acquisition as the only goalpost. Why? Why the change, do you think?
Joanna: I mean, yeah, that is a great question. I feel like I like I just had like an explosion of words in my head when you ask that. So first and foremost, foremost, I think that it’s more competitive. So it’s people that are just starting like someone starting an idea right now, they’re going to have more tools, more resources, like what you’re putting together with the series. They’re going to have more available to them to dominate faster and more effectively. So because of that, the market in itself has become more saturated. And when you have you take that. And coupled with the fact that consumers are now I mean, we are like in squirrel, you know, we’re like everything’s so pretty and shiny. And I think when you take those two and put them together, it has now made every company more aware of if someone liked us or did something with us, we need to hold on to that. We need to make it. And root them and get them philosophically aligned with us so that as the squirrel syndrome continues to happen and new people join the race, they’re not distracted so much as that they would stray too far. There will there will be a compounding where consumers will, in fact, have more loyalties. I think that loyalty in itself, I and I’m jumping ahead, but I have this theory about inequality and this idea that I think there will be emerging a new type of loyalty that we’ll see more of. But currently, I think brands are really trying to focus on, okay, we’ve acquired we’ve spent the time we’ve spent the dollars they’re in. Mm hmm. Well, we should probably do some stuff for them. We should probably really focus on from here on out, which traditionally, again, not really the marketer’s job. I think for a long time, startups particularly have said we have a great product, they’re hang out, we’re good and it’s not as you can have a great product and lose their loyalty. So.
Bronson: No, that’s a great answer. And on your blog, you actually talk about the different types of loyalty. And you mentioned you think there’s a new one emerging. I think that’s more of a for here or not. But on the blog, you mentioned four and they will be in for a treat with a fifth. But walk us through the kinds of loyalty there are, but more importantly, that is telling us, you know, by definition what that kind of loyalty means. How do we treat that group? Because that’s really the important, you know, takeaway here. So the first group is they have no loyalty. So I think we know what it means. But go ahead. What does that mean?
Joanna: No loyalty. Yeah. So I will tell you, there are four traditional types of loyalty. I do think there’s a fifth loyalty happening, like a bonus loyalty. But so the know loyalty is exactly what it sounds like. We as marketers and just in general customer success teams, customer loyalty. And we need to understand that there is a group of users that do not attach themselves and then it becomes our job to somehow measure that cohort. What percentage of our customers or our community, you know, whatever your current audience is, what percentage of that do we really, truly believe has no loyalty, basically low loyalty. Right. And you can do that in a variety of ways. I don’t know if you want me to talk measurement, but there are different models you can apply to your audience to really understand. Okay, you know, they come back once in a while. They spend some money once in a while. Yeah, they have a good time. They never really complain, but there’s just no real loyalty there. And that’s a real thing that will never change.
Bronson: Well, tell us about the metrics. I mean, this is that kind of show, you know, I mean, what are the thresholds where, you know, they’re in your world but they’re not in your world? You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah, it is. It is it daily active over monthly active that you’re looking at. Is it price spent per quarter? Like what is it that you’re kind of honing in on there?
Joanna: Yeah. So taking out specific models, which is hard, you know, let’s just put that aside in time. Super primitive. Yeah. You can talk about something as simple as, you know, volume of interaction, whatever interaction is right now, maybe they visit my site, maybe it’s they log in, you know, something super primitive. There’s a great model out there called RFM, which is recency frequency and monetary value of the user.
Bronson: I like that.
Joanna: Yeah, you can timezones together, you can get crazy and add in maybe a four business model specific KPI and maybe you’re on. But either way, however you do it, you will see cohorts emerge and you treat them just like you would any other benchmark. You know, you say to yourself, if our average is this, then we have a spectrum. You know, we have a high access, we will low access and the low frequency, the low recency and they don’t really have a ton of value when they do get in. Those tend to be your no real loyalty people. And it’s not to say that you can’t get them out of that, but I do think and I always say this, though, that’s the bucket I care the least about. You will always have unqualified leads. I don’t want to stop serving the no loyalty people, but I certainly don’t want to take all my teams and invest. I’m trying to increase loyalty there when I could look at some of these other opportunities.
Bronson: Yeah, it’s so cool. The way you talked about was RFM, recency frequency, you know, monetization, because even on the back end of growth, hacker TV, we’re building out our analytics in just yesterday. We start implementing some of those metrics like I don’t know how many videos they watch before they become a paying member. I know how many videos they watch after becoming a paying member. I want to know all the things about their usage so that I put them into cohorts and then treat them appropriately. But I didn’t know I was doing it. It just felt right.
Joanna: Tracking it together. Your own? Yeah.
Bronson: But your model’s going to help me think about it more specifically. I think that’s good.
Joanna: Well, keep me posted.
Bronson: Yeah, we’ll do. Now, the next kind is inertia. Loyalty? So they don’t have no laws. They have inertia. Loyalty. What does that group look like?
Joanna: So inertia. Loyalty usually means they have loyalty to you, to the brand itself. But it’s not it’s it’s more that they they they may well, I guess it’s actually let’s look at it this way. They have frequent purchasing habits, but your brand specifically isn’t what their loyalty is. So they might be loyal to your product, but they’re not necessarily loyal to your brand. So you see this with purchases like, you know, maybe a product that your local store. It’s convenient for you to go pick it up every single week, but you don’t really care which brand it. It’s it’s just the one that that store carries. It might even be something like, you work for a team and they use this project management software. You don’t really get to pick it. You’re in it every day. So yeah, I’m an X, Y or Z product type and a fan, but I’m not really loyal to that brand. I’m not going to go on stage and be like, You use this is the only way. So that’s inertia, right? It’s kind of it’s got its own momentum. And yeah, there’s, there’s certain things you can do to that group to really get them more excited.
Bronson: Yeah. So I mean the thing that come to my mind is like I think in discounts, things like that is that what motivates that group, those kind of things, or am I off there?
Joanna: Yeah, you’re totally right. That inertia tends to come from those sorts of pricing breaks or maybe just making it easy. Like really, you know, when I think of people putting in Facebook are and making it super easy to log into different sites, that was a way to get inertial loyalty to have them rock in any time you lessen or lower a friction point right ways to get them more loyal into that next bucket we’ll talk about in a second would be things like getting their feedback more often and answering their needs quickly. So they really start to see that there’s something beyond that inertia product or about a notebook purchase, and then there’s a brand and a team and a mission behind it and they can be. Yeah, sorry. Right. And getting that in front of that and so that they start to couple it together like I don’t just buy it because it’s always there. I actually really dig these people, you know, and that’s what you do.
Bronson: Inertia and when they start really digging is that the latent loyalty is at the next group.
Joanna: Sort of when they start digging is the.
Bronson: Last one premium. So what is.
Joanna: Lean loyalty means that I have a high loyalty to a brand, but I just don’t purchase often. So you can see this with big ticket items, like maybe a car, like my family. We’re a Toyota family, right? Or a Chevy family. Like you say to yourself, every time I go spend that huge amount of money, I will always go to you and I will tell everyone I know I went to you and I will tell that to the entire story of why I go to you. But I just don’t buy that often. So how do you get them engaged in your other products and services? Becomes a challenge for that marketer, right? So I introduce that through email marketing. Do I engage them in different ways on different platforms so that they also get to know our brand and story on Facebook and see that we don’t just sell cards. We have Customer Appreciation Day and you should come in and that’s three times a year and we can shake hands, you know what I mean? Yeah. So that’s great loyalty.
Bronson: Yeah. And then they move into finally premium loyalty and people know what that means. Like just super excited about you, what you’re doing, how you’re doing it. What do you have for that group? Do you give them perks? Do you congratulate them? Do you talk about it publicly? Is that the kind of relationship you want with that group?
Joanna: You do anything they ask? Yeah.
Bronson: No. Because they become the evangelists, right?
Joanna: Yeah. I mean, you may I look at them as extensions of my marketing team, extensions of my company, like they’re the people that you hope stop in at your office as often as they need a pre desk and they send you emails and you send them emails and you send them gifts out of nowhere and you give them discounts because they’re cool and you remind them that their feedback, you know, we used to have a ton of people that gave us feedback in our community at Mars, just writing them back and being like, I want you to know that that piece of feedback is now being talked about by 12 of our product managers in a room, and it’s helping us steer this company. It’s like they’ve become part of the journey, just keeping that conversational and ongoing. It’s critical.
Bronson: Yeah. So now tell us, what’s the fifth, the new kind of loyalty that you alluded to?
Joanna: I’m a little nervous. I was I jokingly said this email day, I never, like hypothesized, like the sort of stuff that I always get a little nervous. But so I think I think we’re seeing a shift in reciprocal loyalty, which is I think we as brands have always worried about what is the customer’s loyalty to us. And I think that there is a power shift where customers now have the ability and the right to ask how loyal is the brand being to them? So how often in the reciprocal right is in the past? And customers are always like, well, they owe me like a website, they owe me a good way to purchase their products. And as long as they answer that in good products, they did their job. And I think they can raise the bar now and say, no, what are they doing to personalize my experience, to customize it, to deliver great value to me, to show me that they value me. And if they don’t see some of those on site and that’s a lot of the stuff that Big Dawg demonic, if they don’t see that, they’re going to walk away because they don’t think you’re loyal to them. They don’t think the brand is doing enough for them. And I just think that’s a new expectation that hasn’t been there in the past.
Bronson: Yeah, I mean, you know, with all these startups in the game now, everybody’s being pushed to do more, serve more. And like you said earlier, you know, when I asked why retention is so important because there’s so many people vying for their attention and we all have the squirrel syndrome. And what that comes down to is expectations are higher because they know what’s possible. Now, you threw a great product was all that was possible. Now that, you know, you can communicate on a human level, now they know you can reciprocate, you know, those kind of relationship things like you were talking about. So I totally agree. Let me ask you this. When it comes to loyalty, if you really understand the kinds of. Loyalty. And you do things based off that understanding. It seems like the ROI for retention will just be through the roof. I mean, is that what your experience has been?
Joanna: Yeah. Your LTV goes up, your lifetime value of the customer goes up, your your CAC goes down, your costs for that issue per customer. I think that you really see the mechanics for so long, for years, particularly when I was an acquisition and I was very just centered on that, I was focused on trying to manipulate small little tweaks that would really help those margins or help that one KPI. And now when you open up this whole other world, everything we’ve talked about from the middle of that funnel to nailing all that product marketing, to figuring out retention, to increasing all loyalty, using all the platforms beautifully, all the things when you go out that huge changes to those metrics happen like points on the dollar, right? Like margin is not 0.0 something change anymore. It’s one, two, 3% change. And that’s huge when you think about a company trying to stay in business and return a profit.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s that’s great. Well, let’s let’s shift gears a little bit. Let’s talk about big door media. Like you said, you’ve been there, I think, a week now. Yeah.
Bronson: So, you know, you get your legs under, you kind of figure out what you want to do there, I’m sure. But tell us kind of broadly, what is big door media we’ve alluded to a little bit, but haven’t really talked about it.
Joanna: Yeah. So we’ve had a couple I like to think, you know, at most companies we’ve kind of couple lifetimes, right, where like I’m like number three, but I think this is the one that’s going to stick and it’s, it’s going really well. So what we were with the gamification platform, we really helped people understand game mechanics from site, did that for some really big players, kind of moved into maybe a bit more of a fast model where you can kind of come in and plug and play in our platform. And what we’re really seeing, what we’re really focused on, we talked a little bit about it today is this shift in the industry where you have these big publishers, these big retailers, and they are looking for ways to get the traffic and the visitors to their site to really become loyal customers, loyal community members, loyal registered users. So we’re doing that where we’re a consumer engagement platform. You can come to us, we help you with all that upfront design and strategy because we’ve just been in it for so long and we get to tap into it and it’s so easy. We’ve made it super easy to implement. We have a great scalable technology and once you’re up and running on it, it’s ongoing program management. So it’s calls like this talking to those big publishers and saying to them, All right, we’re seeing huge acquisition loss here. We’re seeing longer lifetime value. What more can we do? They want more, you know, and it’s super exciting. It’s very much the reason I’ve come here is because of a lot of the stuff we’ve talked about today.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. Now, from the end users point of view, when they come to a company that’s using big door, what do they see? Is it, hey, take this action on the site and this will happen? Is it that kind of integration or is it something different?
Joanna: Yeah. So we’re a layer that lives on the site. So you wouldn’t even notice that we’re on these sites like we, you know, we’ve just run like we just went live a Starbucks. So they’re they’re Starbucks stars and, you know, reward program. It’s now powered by our technology. So you don’t even notice.
Bronson: So it’s not at your door pop up that comes on the screen.
Joanna: You know, it’s a layer technology that really helps every big publisher retailer choose what they want the actions to be, which I think is really important because when I talk about personalization or customization for loyalty, it really needs to be the triggers that you think. And we can obviously offer guidance there, but that you think will resonate with your customer. This is not like a templated, you know, experience where we’re rolling it out and all sides feel similar. Sometimes it’s a prompt to do something like a quest or a game from gamification. Sometimes it’s, Hey, here’s a leaderboard or Hey, here’s a reward. We have some really great opportunities and offerings around rewards programs, which are getting a totally revamped new experience in today’s economy. What was yesterday’s loyalty program is not today’s loyalty program. So you’re seeing a lot of that. That’s what you would see. Yeah, it is significantly.
Bronson: Yeah. And I think earlier you mentioned that it’s going to be going big doors, going more into analytics, is that right? Because that would make sense if you’re going to be that layer of kind of the interaction with the consumer, they’re logging into big door and really seeing what’s happening across their reward program, loyalty programs, incentives, whatever. Is that kind of what you guys are providing for them?
Joanna: Yeah. So our you know, we’re a big data company. We we really do believe in the power of data. We have a ton of data, which is pretty much at this point, every startup’s double edged sword. Right. Because what do you do with all that data? How do you service it and then tell a really good story with it? And so we really pride ourselves with our clients to be able to be like, we’re going to help you track this. We’re going to help you understand and keep guys that are important because this is new to a lot of people. But for those that are a little bit more mature and know what they want to, we’re going to help you track it. And then we’re going to get in a room. We’re going to talk about what we can do to change those levers, increase that performance. So definitely providing really great reporting and helping understand, like you’re saying, where people are engaging, where is there more to do, all of that. So that’s really important to us right now.
Bronson: And you got. Was able to kind of leverage your experience with all the brands to help specific brands. So you’re not going to be giving them each other’s numbers, but you know what’s working because you got all these brands. So do you kind of leverage that into each other.
Joanna: When you think about how many publishers we’ve talked to and worked with? Now we really understand what really works for publishing versus like a, you know, a retail site or something like that. You know, maybe it’s a site that’s heavily for kids or maybe it’s a site that’s for this certain demographic. When you start to work with those clients over and over again, you do see trends and you’re not obviously giving out numbers or helping them compete in any way. But there are best practices by industry. It really goes to that customization we’ve talked about. So I absolutely it’s kind of fun because then I get to also learn it. So I’m getting to market for the but also learn it in the market, but just.
Bronson: Know it’s awesome. Well, Joanna, this has been an incredible interview and have just a couple of final questions here. This is kind of the high level questions. You know, take them in any direction you want. You know, this is what we call the fortune cookie moment. So you can, you know, tell us your fortune cookie advice here. But what are the the biggest mistakes that either you’ve made or you’ve seen startups make in terms of growth? Well, one of the mistakes, we’re like, oh, I need a do over on that one. Or, you know, I wish people didn’t make this mistake so much.
Joanna: Oh, my gosh, I, I joking. I mean, this is the hardest question because I’m like, which big, huge mistake you talk about impact people. Okay. So number one, I spent probably three or four years of my career really focused on like churn and burn acquisition, which I still see sometimes when I meet with people that are like, I love on my marketing, I want to do performance and pay marketing out. And they just they’re like, How can I get so many people to fill out this form or sign up for this email or buy this thing? And they don’t care what happens after that person and they’re not tolerant to that person at all. So churn and burn acquisition marketing is I did a lot of that and not my best marketing. I’m pretty embarrassed about it, actually.
Bronson: Well, I transparency.
Joanna: I’m pretty embarrassed. So I think that was one of them. I think I think it probably comes back to being realistic. Like I think a lot of acquisition marketers and gross marketers promise the world because we see all of these different platforms and all these different tips and tricks that we’ve seen in the past work. And we’re like, Oh, we can just go apply that for this model. We can go apply for that company. And it’s like I go and it’s not the case. So being realistic and setting expectations well from the get go. One of the I’ve just always and I think a lot of people do this now, but I’m really adamant. I’m being conservative, like under promising and over delivering. But I also like to keep in my head a very aggressive goal, a very aggressive roadmap or a very aggressive budget in my head that I’m trying to hit, because I think that that is it’s the discrepancy between those two expectations that we set that helps me focus on how I can change momentum, which keeps me creative. So I think I wish I had done more of that earlier because earlier I would just kind of set something and I would be so held to it. And I think as growth marketers, we need to be thinking outside the box and how can we be more creative? And that doesn’t happen when you’re just trying to hit the goal that’s been set. So I.
Bronson: Gotcha. No, that’s great advice. Our last question here, and you’ve answered this so many ways already, so you may pick something you’ve already said or say something new. But what’s the best advice that you have for anyone that’s trying to grow a startup?
Joanna: Whew. Oh, my gosh. Again, explosion of words. Yeah. Okay. Best advice. Do this. Like whether it’s coffee with someone that wants to talk about what you’re excited about or whether it’s watching these videos or getting on Skype with someone, there is a huge focus in startups to focus on your customer, and I get that. And then there’s that huge focus to grab coffee with possible investors, and I get that. And then there’s that focus to meet with a possible CTO co-founder. And I get that. But don’t ignore the value of sitting down with people that are excited about something totally different, that have nothing to offer you, and just getting stoked and being reminded like you’re excited. I think that we get too caught up in all the tattoos that we forget that like we’re doing this because we want an extraordinary life and like that involves being super passionate all day. And to do that, sometimes you need that pep talk and that spark. So I think that is probably the best advice is do that often early and as much as you can.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s awesome advice to end on. Joanna, again, thank you so much for coming on Growth Hacker TV.
Joanna: Right? Thanks for having me. This has been awesome.
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