The rule of thumb in gaining a successful marketing campaign is to attract potential customers, who eventually become Product Qualified Leads, and fall in love with the product itself. When one falls head over heels over a product, the person can’t help but rave about it, and massively spread a word until others are potentially fascinated to purchase or avail the product. Sounds like free advertising, isn’t it?
Trimming down sales and marketing costs — without cutting back on the success metrics — is a great strategy to gain more revenues. This is the main reason why most businesses have transitioned to product-led marketing strategies.
Heard of Slack, Dropbox, and MailChimp? They’ve been there, done that.
What is Product-Led Marketing?
Let your product do the talking. Show it; don’t tell. In this marketing strategy, companies use their product as the primary driver of acquisition. In other words, the product delivers the promise that your marketing and sales team commits through paid ads. So if you want to drive more sales and ensure consumer loyalty, the product must be innovative, well-designed, intuitive, and uniquely valuable. More importantly, user experience is at the nucleus of it all.
Talking about user experience, the goal now is to please the consumer who will have a taste of the product for a time-bound make or break moment. It has been said many times that the first 5 seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. In this very short span of time, the consumers must be able to connect and engage with the product until they get an immediate understanding of WHY they actually need it.
First things first, product features must not be shoved directly to the consumer’s face. They must intentionally recognize your product’s worth. Having a well-designed and organized homepage, great copy, and strategically placed call-to-action buttons help in the discernment process of the consumers. Should I avail this product? Why is it worth it? How can this help me? The answers to these things must be simplified and readily available on the homepage.
On top of it all: consumers must be convinced to TRY the product before they buy it. This is where product-led growth via free trial or freemium comes in.
Free trial or Freemium?
In product-led marketing, the consumers have the privilege to try the product and services first until they deemed it necessary to be purchased or availed. It pretty much gives the free will to the consumers without them being lured to false advertisements. They know their money’s worth, and they get to experience the value of the product first-handedly before they actually pay for it.
Maybe, you’re wondering how we can generate profit by employing this marketing strategy? The main goal here is to get free trial users and turn them into paying consumers. The question now is whether you’re choosing the right model for your product. Here’s a basic checklist to gauge if free trial or freemium models will work best for your business:
Use freemium if your product:
- Is relatively simple to use and users can get immediate value from it
- Can be used virtually by any consumer or businesses
- Has fewer features and is a scaled-down version of more “Enterprise-ready” alternatives
- Has a large, mature, saturated, crowded, and over-served market
On the other hand, free trial is relevant and apt to use if you:
- Have prospects that are able to experience an “Aha!” moment during its trial period
- Have an Annual Contract Value (ACV) that is high enough to support a sales team
- Have a medium or small (in a certain niche or vertical, not for use by all consumers or businesses), underserved and uncrowded market
In the freemium model, users enjoy the chance to continue using the product for an indefinite period of time. However, there are certain limitations or restrictions that hinder them from enjoying a “full” user experience, and this somehow persuades them to indulge in a more advanced and complete product features by paying the subscription fee.
When the consumers recognize how powerful or helpful the product is, they are more likely willing to upgrade to premium services! Successful conversion rate? Check!
For instance, let’s take a closer look at Spotify, a music streaming platform. Users who are under the free tier can stream their favorite playlists, search for new music, or listen to curated radio stations. This sounds perfect until ads disrupt the smooth transition from one song to another. Aside from that, there are only four song skips allowed per hour. Sounding quite horrible, you can now imagine a dissatisfied consumer, which certainly looks like a death trap in marketing. Since an unhappy user is potentially damaging to growth, how do you unblock this bottleneck to ensure that you would retain your brand users?
You must understand your end user needs and practically scale up your services and product features based on their needs to satiate their expectations to upgrade. When they perceive your product’s usefulness and convenience, there’s no turning back!
Spotify’s clever move, for instance, perfectly understood their users’ preferences and they made essential features and product updates that fit their consumers’ needs (and even wants). Providing the right set of package rates and subscription fees, Spotify offers enriched access to offline playlists, improved sound quality, individual track selections, and convenient connection to other devices like smart speakers and TV via Spotify Connect. At the nucleus of this is affordability, which means that pricing is precisely proportionate to the value that they get from the product or services.
You now know the drill: Continuously innovate and improve your product, and achieve happy consumers who spread great reviews and recommendations like wildfire!
Bear in mind that this is just a basic guide and not a playbook that must be blindly followed. It still boils down to a data-driven and holistic approach that will determine the success of your product-led marketing strategy.
Let your consumers be anchored on the product’s value so it will be difficult to dislodge them. After all, the best form of advertising and marketing is through word of mouth. Nothing beats a referral from a satisfied consumer!
Now that we know the dynamic and game-changing effect of product-led marketing, it’s now time for us to proceed to the importance of having a great web design and branding in reaping skyrocketing growth and successful digital marketing campaigns.
Next discussion on the blog: The Role of Web Design in Driving More Leads.
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