NZ Sales & Marketing Jam – The Highlights #NZSMJ
Last week razzbri attended the Kiwi Landing Pad’s ‘Sales and Marketing Jam’, which is brought together every six months in New Zealand. These events showcase insights and knowledge from industry leaders with real-world experience in the core areas of Sales, Marketing and Product Management. Check out the highlights of the event for a taster!
- Matt Blackshaw – Group Product Manager, Dropbox
- Josh Aberant – CMO, SparkPost
- Menaka Shroff – Global Head of Marketing, Devices and Mobility, Google Cloud
#NZSMJ’s brilliant lineup brought Silicon Valley right to our kiwi backyard for a few hours. FYI, if you’re not familiar with Silicon Valley, it’s a region in San Francisco – home to many of the world’s largest technology companies including Apple, Google, HP, Intel and Oracle! This event was a must for anyone trying to expand to the U.S or working on a start up in the tech space. The biggest learnings were from the panel who offered first hand advice on scaling businesses and teams.
The day was split into three sessions – Sales, Marketing and Product, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the event.
Let’s start with the key point, “nothing survives without sales”. We can spend tons of time on marketing, curating and perfecting a product but ultimately the main aim is to get a return on investment – MAKE A SALE or everything else is redundant. Never lose sight of this.
Another important area the panelists spent a considerable amount of time exploring and pondering was pricing. How do you price your product? Pricing structures? How do you test pricing? This question is a beast on its own! Know your market was the collective answer. You need to know how much your customers will be willing to pay as well as how much your competitors charge. Then work out your costs, consider cost-plus pricing and figure out a value-based price. Josh touched on the area that we “perceive value by price”. This is predominantly evident in the fashion industry where the same t shirt can be sold for $20 or $200. So, how do you test the same product in different markets? Qualitative feedback! Bring in customers and get feedback on your product and pricing. But remember, “sometimes the right people to sell your product too are not the people who want to sit and talk with you about qualitative research”. Also, try not to create pricing structures that a customer has to figure out – keep it simple.
“The best pricing is when you dial it to where it hurts, then dial it back a little bit” – Josh Aberant
“Help your team (and company) ship the right product for your users” – Matt Blackshaw
This is not as simple as it sounds. It is crucial that your product team understands why above all else. They need to feel ownership of the solution to buy into it not follow it blindly. It is the Product Manager’s job to lead this team. Discussions around how to hire the right Product Manager surfaced, especially one that hasn’t been part of the startup process. Above all, hire someone who understands and believes in the product. Their main objectives should be to define what success is, hold themselves against these metrics, get out there to talk to customers and keep learning!
Matt believes this in regards to product: Always listen. Listen to your employees, coworkers and customers. Your job is to make sure the right product ships and that means keeping an ear on the pulse of your team and product.
Usertesting.com – a great way to get user feedback from your products, at a low cost & before you’ve even launched!
This was by far the biggest and most informative area!
What heavily impacted our marketing mindset was when Menaka said “people don’t click links, open emails, or engage in your content if they haven’t heard your name before. “Spend on awareness content”. It’s easy to make the mistake of doing this the other way around by investing in marketing efforts and wondering why you are getting minimal ROI when your content is so great and you’ve also boosted the post. This leads to the next point by Josh, “You need to spend on awareness marketing; at least 10-15% of your budget as this will boost your demand-gen marketing”. The goal of demand generation marketing is to build and nurture key prospect and customer relationships for the long term. To do this effectively, marketers need to do things like respond to customer questions on Twitter, promote blog posts through Facebook, host webinars, and run email marketing campaigns.
Another way of doing this is “coolness by association” – align with influencers in your space to help you join the discussion before becoming a thought leader.
The prevailing theme in this area was moving away from traditional methods of marketing which have been ingrained into us and to try new digital marketing trends such as the following –
- Personalised content – a strategy that exploits visitor data to deliver relevant content based on the target audience’s interests and motivations. This can range from a highly targeted call to action or an industry specific landing page.
- Chatbots – this is that annoying little window that pops up when you’re visiting a website which claims to answer all your questions. But as a marketing tool they can help increase engagement, gain customer insight, qualify your leads and personalise your marketing as merely a starting point
- Live-streaming – obviously this won’t be relevant to all companies but the emerging trend of video marketing has led to live-streaming where it is used for Q&A’s / conversations with your audience, customer support, special announcements, product introductions, interviews, influencer outreach, live events just to name a few.
- AI – artificial intelligence in marketing is used to make human lives easier while also making them better at their jobs as processes are optimised and made faster. This includes content curation, SEO to email marketing. It frees up tons of time for critical thinking, data analysis and long term planning.
- Influencer marketing – this trend focuses on influential people by targeting the individual that has influence over potential buyers and orients marketing activities around those influencers. The rule was be patient, test it for 6 months and see how it goes.
“Creating a community shouldn’t be around your brand alone; create a community around a movement”. – Menaka Shroff
This way, your brand will be a part of something on a much larger scale and therefore more relevant. This way you can bring influential practitioners with diverse people together around a common purpose to share best practice.
Overall, the #NZSMJ was a success in our eyes! It delivered a full day of invaluable knowledge, thought provoking stories and networking. Team razzbri will definitely will be attending again in the future!
And to end the post of with a clever hack –
“put something interesting in your ‘out-of-office’ automated replies” – Sian Simpson
Check out other similar events on this month here.