Customer Growth

#ProdMgmtTalk Live Broadcast: Ed Brill, IBM Exec, on Becoming The Social Product Manager

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Social business tools can help product and brand managers to become more engaged, transparent, and agile, leading to better business outcomes. IBM executive Ed Brill discusses IBMs social business journey with host, Cindy F.

StartUP Product‘s insight:

“Product managers have an incredible opportunity to leverage social business tools, beyond the typical sales and marketing uses in place today. I am looking forward to being on the Global Product Management Talk to expand the understanding of this opportunity to product managers across industries worldwide!” says Ed Brill, Author of “Opting In.”

Listen! http://bit.ly/19anIx2

Call in to talk on the show (323) 927-2957 and participate on Twitter by following @ProdMgmtTalk and tweeting using the hashtag #ProdMgmtTalk

About Ed Brill

Ed Brill is Director, Social Business and Collaboration Solutions, IBM.  Brill is responsible for the product and market strategy for IBM’s messaging, collaboration, communications, and productivity products, including Lotus Notes and Domino, IBM SmartCloud Notes, IBM Sametime, Lotus Symphony, IBM Docs, and other related social business solutions. Brill’s focus is on extending and growing the success of these solutions through customer engagement, partner ecosystem development, and harnessing the breadth and depth of the IBM organization. Ed is the author of the IBM Press book, “Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager”, published in January, 2013.
Twitter @EdBrill
Linkedin http://linkedin.com/in/edbrill

About Opting In
Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager
In Opting In, you will learn how to be successful in social business, based on the strategy and lessons learned as IBM adopted a culture of transformation and engagement. Brill candidly shares the best practices, challenges, and results of IBM’s social business transformation. Opting In outlines the process of becoming a social business, through organizational commitment, cultural change, the right tools, and a strategy for engagement. Brill helps readers develop individual strategies and a roadmap for using social business tools, from time and place considerations, volume and amplification, offense and defense considerations, through building an army of advocates.
http://www.amazon.com/Opting-In-Lessons-Business-Fortune/…

See on www.blogtalkradio.com

Growth Hacking: The first 1000 customers w/James Kennedy (at Marketo, San Mateo)

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Startup Product Talks, San Mateo Wednesday, April 17, 2013 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/StartupProductTalks/events/109359322/

Featured Speaker: James Kennedy, Founder and “growth hacker” at Piehole.tv

It might be easy to scale from 1000 to 5000 customers after you’ve at least established a user base – but how do you get your first 1000 customers – beyond family and friends – who will actually provide valuable feedback, use your product and maybe even pay…

James will share his story as well as the specific steps and unique methods that enabled him and his partner to grow from a small town on the west coast of Europe to a business that now has thousands of customers spread over 9 timezones.

About James Kennedy 

James is Founder and “growth hacker” at Piehole.tv  James has founded a number of bootstrapped, profitable businesses specializing in creating online marketplaces.

He left his native Ireland four years ago and has since been living the life of an ‘international vagabond’ across three continents (Latin America, South Africa and Europe), all while building his business.

He has developed a wealth of experience in the online marketing and customer development space. James has a computer science degree from the University of Dublin.

Twitter: @jameskennedy 
www.jameskennedy.ie 
www.piehole.tv

CallerCRM http://bit.ly/XC7pGF 

Listen to James and Priscilla on the Global Product Management Talk podcast: http://bit.ly/YD8Rrg 

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Thanks to Marketo, our San Mateo location host and food sponsor!

Marketo is hiring! http://marketo.jobs/

Check out open positions http://marketo.jobs/careers.php 

#ProdMgmtTalk on Customer Growth with James Kennedy, Founder, Piehole.tv

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James Kennedy, Founder, Piehole.tv 04/01 by ProdMgmtTalk | Blog Talk Radio.

James Kennedy, Founder, Piehole.tv 04/01 by ProdMgmtTalk | Blog Talk Radio

No April Fools! There is really no reason for startups not to use the phone.  Typical conversion rates on an online squeeze page is 0.5 to 1%.  Sales developed over the phone are 10 to twenty times more effective.
“You think salespeople have to be super extroverted, but I find that not to be true,” says James. “As long as you can pick up the phone, that’s all that matters.”
James Kennedy, Founder and “growth hacker” at Piehole.tv talks with host, Cindy F. Solomon about how he and his partner managed to grow from a small town on the west coast of Europe to a business that now has thousands of customers spread over 9 timezones.

Background resources: http://bit.ly/YD8Rrg

Key Takeaways from the Marketing and Getting Traction Panel at Startup Product Summit SF

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By Michelle Sun

Here are the notes for the Marketing and Getting Traction Section at Startup Product Summit SF. Omissions and errors are mine (please let me know if you find any, thank you!), credit for the wisdom is entirely the speakers’.

Eric Kim
Eric Kim

“Your Product is your Marketing, and You are Your Product” – Eric Kim, Co-Founder & CEO, Twylah

Essential foundations of a personal brand:

    • Thought leadership by expressing yourself around themes you want to be recognized for.
    • Story-telling: Personal brand comes from not just conveying facts but weaving a story.
    • Content-marketing: Convey something of value to your audience. Your content should be educating, inspiring or calling to action.  Identify a segment of audience and project content that’s valuable to that segment.
  • How to cultivate personal brand:
    • Engagement.  Have a conversation around the topics you are interested in.
    • Community.  Allow and encourage interaction and discussion amongst your audience.
    • Custserv: Show the love by being responsive to customer / audience feedback.  Quoted Buffer as a good example of incorporating customer happiness as a core of the product.
  • How to leverage the brand to help or make a business
    • Ask: call to action.
    • Upsell: selling premium content or related services.
    • Downsell: lower barrier by decreasing the length of commitment.
  • Building a brand is about developing relationship. By consistently laying the foundations, it enables the individual to deliver authority, credibility and familiarity
  • How to get content to right people when first starting out.
    • Content/audience fit.  Publish content and people have something to respond to
    • #hashtag on Twitter is a great way to reach out to audience, outside of the followers count
    • Brainstorm by asking questions. What are the three things that define you, that you’re passionate about, that you can create or curate
  • Trustworthiness springs from familiarity and human touch.  An individual’s brand identity is something that builds up and follows him over the course of his life and career.

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Mariya Yao
Mariya Yao

“Make Your Numbers Go Up: How to Optimize for Conversion & Retention on Mobile” – Mariya Yao, Founder & Product Strategist, Xanadu Mobile

  • When thinking about optimizing metrics in a product, there is a dichotomy of:
    • Local maxima: am I building the product right?  What should we A/B test?  What platform? How to improve retention?
    • Global maxima: am I building the right product?  Am I in right market?
  • Two strategies in evaluating a global maxima:
    • Benchmarking.  Top down approach that starts with the overall industry landscape.
      • How do mobile users spend their time? What are the fastest growing app categories? What apps have most loyal users? Why do certain apps retain well and how do I use that into my app? What are the most profitable apps segment? Where in the world are smartphones adopted the fastest?
      • What are the trends/opportunities?
      • Where are the danger zones? Why have companies failed there?
      • What can people do on mobile they weren’t able to do before?
      • Why are people loyal to these apps?
    • Behavior. Bottom up approach.
      • Apps are either creating or replacing behavior: A case study on Foursquare and Instagram.
      • Foursquare was creating a new behavior (check-in) that has no prior parallel, which explains the pivot from check-in in 2009 to explore in 2012. When creating a behavior, focus on delivering value or providing strong incentives such as saved money, time or exclusive/perks.
      • In pre-Instagram era, 76% of people were using their phones to take photos. Mariya examined a detailed flow of taking a photo and sharing on facebook, and contrasted it with how Instagram made the process significantly shorter and easier.
  • Are you solving a problem or a nuisance?  A common pitfall in startups is that they are building a company that is solving a nuisance instead of a problem.  When solving a nuisance, in order for such product to succeed, the product needs to be better than the existing solution by magnitudes (eg, everyone complains about Craigslist but in the end tolerates it). A good way to distinguish between problem and nuisance is: Have they [the users] paid for a solution before, or spent a lot of time finding a solution or making a solution themselves]?

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Guillaume Decugis
Guillaume Decugis

“Reach Escape Velocity through Lean Content Marketing” – Guillaume Decugis, Co-Founder & CEO, Scoop.it

  • ”Content marketing is practice of creating content relevant to your brand to gain greater visibility in search results and in social channels” – JD Lasica, Social Meida Biz
  • 4 strategies that lean content has worked for Scoop.it
    • Leverage SlideShare’s natural distribution to share your vision: Despite having a relatively small followers count, Scoop.it’s content on SlideShare has gathered significant views.
    • Guest post to get distribution for your idea. Identify blogs in your niche and segment which are interesting.
    • Answer Quora questions that related to your field.  Answering on Quora is like blogging for a known, existing and savvy audience, who already have questions.
    • Content curation.  Starting point, leverage what you already do (read), express your expertise & develop it, helps you identify original topics for content creation.  If you don’t know what content to create, start with curation.

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Leo Wilder
Leo Wilder

“Monetization: How Buffer went from Idea to Revenue in 7 weeks & 50K users in 8 months” 

  • Leo shared three key stories/lessons from building Buffer so far.
    • Validate first, code later.  The story of Joel, cofounder of Buffer, validated his idea of Buffer before writing a line of backend code, by putting up a landing page and testing clicks on sign up and pricing.
    • Working with percentages.  When doing business development and getting press, Leo suggests anchoring expectations with percentages (out of 10 emails, expect ~20-40% response rate), to avoid frustration and improve resilience in mindset.  He talked about the mindset helped him write 350 guest posts in the first 9 months of running Buffer, and getting press every 3 weeks.
    • Experiment with pricing.  He encourages the audience to test frequently pricing plans and points what works for the product, while always be great to existing users.

    buffer

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Jameson Detweiler

Jameson Detweiler

“Launching and Getting Users” – Jameson Detweiler, Co-Founder & CEO, LaunchRock

  • Jameson told his journey of first 42 days of running LaunchRock, from StartupWeekend to launching on Day 5, getting on TechCrunch on Day 7 and campaign at SXSW on Day 42.
  • How to effectively launch and get users:
    • Be sexy [ beautifully designed product ], flirtatious [ LaunchRock’s traction is in part thanks to the wait between users’ signing up and the product is ready ], exotic [ build something new and unique ].
    • Be targeted and specific in the value proposition; that makes it easy for people to talk about your brand.
    • Be nice to press: do the related research, and make it easy for the press to write about you.
    • Launch and listen to customer feedback.
    • Be authentic when telling your story.

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Notes on other panels:

About The Author

Michelle Sun is a product enthusiast and python developer.  She worked at Bump Technologies as a Product Data Analyst and graduated from the inaugural class of Hackbright Academy. Prior to Hackbright, she founded a mobile loyalty startup. She began her career as an investment research analyst. When she is not busy coding away these days, she enjoys blogging, practicing vinyasa yoga and reading about behavioral psychology. Follow her on Twitter at @michellelsun and her blog.