“Content marketing is the funnel through which agile marketing succeeds.” – Melanie Achard.
Melanie Achard is the Director of Product Marketing at SolarWinds, a company based in Houston, Texas. Melanie is a senior product management and marketing professional with extensive experience in the system administration, health care and security industries. Skilled in Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), Entrepreneurship, Risk Management, and Business Development. Demonstrated success in large international corporations as well as startups. Background includes MBA focused in Finance / Marketing from University of Florida.
Here are the key takeaways from the webinar –
- User first messaging – talk about what the product does – which problem the product solves and build all marketing content around honest, reliable and trustworthy information. Valuable and shareable messages build the best brand story.
- Use your product to sell itself. She highlighted the network effect – the concept states that the more people share about the quality of the product/s or the services connected, the more valuable the product becomes.
- Build in features that market and sell the product. She encourages the use of features like automation links to email, push and social pages. Also, she states that in – app messages work. Building a platform like Slack for networking and connecting to other features is also helpful. Make the product idea easy to share and refer.
- Use free plans and free trials to build customer base. The free plans and trials should offer immediate value, have viral content , should be easy to install and use and have an explicit value proposition. This will feed into the sales process but it is crucial to ensure it doesn’t compete with paid products.
- Leverage users as advocates – ask for customer reviews, internal and external referrals, quotes, testimonials, ratings and case studies. Word of mouth marketing works best to increase the reach of a product.
- Build a feedback loop – test a marketing idea, gather data to drive decisions, change idea or discard and move on to new idea. This drives innovation and faster results.
- Measure the end to end metrics – What matters are the numbers of leads, visitors, signups and the rate of conversions, engagement, expansion and churn. She states that looking at the churn numbers helps realign a product marketing strategy effectively.
In conclusion, Melanie highlighted the agile approach to product marketing as the most productive. It’s perfect for SAAS products as it builds a feedback loop from deeply engaged users and enables continuous optimizations.