What are the best ways to support a Product Led approach to demand generation - are there certain channels you think we should explore?
This question is very similar to the one titled: Are there specific channels you think are a foundation to a Demand Generation strategy? Short answer is focus on your website and email channel first.
In addition to what I discussed in that section, I would highlight recommend aligning with your product leaders and support/customer service leaders the same way a demand gen leader would if they had a sales leaders they align with.
Your job is to convert users and help them adopt the product. Use data science to drive your marketing activities.
Once you identify where the gaps are in your conversion process you can start to build marketing adoption programs based on the unique challenges your business is facing.
Here's an example of a that was one of our biggest challenge when I led demand gen for our self-service/product led product:
- “Which in-app activities help SMBs convert being a free trial user to paying customers of salesforce”.
What we learned from data science is that the biggest driver of conversion is getting someone to log back into the app on the 2nd day. If they don’t, we lose them. And on the flip side, If we can just increase Day 1 to Day 2 retention by +X% that will get us +XX% more conversions.
So it’s absolutely critical to drive return logins early. And based on that, we have these 3 programs in market to encourage trialist to log in:
- Launched a 90 day email nurture that includes a series of 15 emails to encourage feature adoption.
- Best Practice webinars that will feature customers to talk about how they are using the features in our product to drive business value.
- Our adoption team has an in going hands-on workshop to teach trialist how to do things like adding additional users and editing accounts & contacts - these are all features that these trialists must adopt in order to see the value in our product.
Underneath all this we have a Propensity to Convert (PTC) score designed by our data intelligence/data science team where we graded each cohort's propensity to convert by the end of the 14 day trial period.
This score not only helps you segment and customize your marketing journeys but it can also help you forecast to see how many conversions or revenue amount you will expect at any given month/quarter.
PLG all comes down to a frictionless product experience. Many products out there claim to be PLG but without a human sales engineer to customer your experience, none of your customers will understand the product and convert. PLG comes down to ensuring you have the best tooltip experience inside the product along with analytics to help you understand where the biggest friction points are in your product. Understanding where users spend the MOST amount of time, and the LEAST amount of time in your product is probably a good start. The most amount of time either indicates confusion or a set of features they are really enjoying. The least also could indicate how intuitive it is so you can do more of that, or where they decide to give up -- follow the user's journey and you will get your answers for PLG.
As far as channels go, a free trial of your product will work on every and all channels. PLG simply is language that gets people into your product. Depending on your product and the target audience, things like FB, Reddit, or Quora might be cheap ways to get SMBs and solo users into your product. For enterprises, it's usually targeting the tactical executioners of a department to get into the product. The faster you can help these users understand your product and how to use it, the quicker and more effective they will be in explaining the product to their superiors who will likely be your decision-makers and buyers.
A product-led approach is all about meeting your customers where they are. The goal is to accelerate time-to-value and help customers form valuable habits. When you think about meeting customers where they are, you should ask yourself where your ideal customer profile (ICP) “hangs out”. Is this on Reddit? Google? Do they like consuming newsletters? These are the types of questions I would ask when determining channels. The one channel I would say is a safe bet across all audiences is SEO. SEO is a long-term investment so it’s better to start sooner rather than later.
Some of the other drivers to consider are:
- Email marketing
- Paid search
- In-product messaging
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Referral marketing