Cobomba was founded this past May - yes, in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak! One of the first major decisions we made was to launch the company using a Product-Led Growth (PLG) Go-To-Market strategy. As Cobomba is now coming out of stealth mode to say HELLO WORLD, we’ve decided to share our reasoning behind the PLG decision with an aim to inspire other early-stage startups. Stay tuned for updates on what’s working, what’s not, and data to back it all up.
For those of you new to this concept which was initially developed & popularized by OpenView Partners, Wes Bush, author of the book Product-Led Growth (PLG) offers the following definition: “PLG is a go-to-market strategy that relies on product usage as the primary driver of acquisition, conversion, and expansion”.
In other words, build your SaaS product to deliver value to your users before asking them to become paid subscribers.
In this post, I will share how PLG is empowering Cobomba to:
- Minimize the friction to acquire new, satisfied users...and be on our way to product/market fit
- Reduce customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Improve data & automation
Minimizing Friction on our way to Product / Market Fit
Product / Market Fit
Andy Rachleff, the co-founder of investment firm Wealthfront and Benchmark Capital, first developed the idea of product/market fit, stating that “When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.” Product-market fit means finding a group of customers who are desperate for your product.
At Cobomba, we have a great team and our product serves a great market by solving a critical need to help marketers plan effective content with the power of customer data and AI. We recognize that it’s mission-critical to identify a cohort of users that truly find our solution valuable. Moreover, we are aware that time is limited to make progress towards product/market fit, especially since we launched Cobomba in the middle of the pandemic which yielded a shorter financial runway. PLG has enabled us to minimize friction in offering true value to our users by way of Cobomba “Aha Moments”.
Sales Led Demo vs. 14-day Free Trial
For a traditional non-PLG company, potential buyers discover a company’s offering via search engine or referral, read through their marketing website content, and are directed to contact Sales to schedule and receive a product demo in the future. In the PLG realm, that same buyer who discovered a company’s offering will read through marketing content and have the opportunity to immediately start a full, free trial of the product. The curious buyer will be able to truly experience what the product has to offer and whether it aligns with their needs.
For Cobomba, offering an all-you-can-eat free trial for 14 days is a frictionless option. Since we are confident the product works, we don't have anything to hide. We're super excited when users discover the value while we're sleeping at 3am!
The transparency we provide curious marketers allows the following impactful notion to occur:
Buyer’s perceived value = Buyer’s experienced value
Additionally, we are not relying on sales staff to qualify and chase down once-interested buyers to give a demo and convert them. We are letting our product do the heavy lifting and help curious content marketers 24/7.
Engaging Onboarding Experience
While cliche, nothing is more true when it comes to evaluating SaaS products - you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It has been critical that we not only design an incredibly intuitive user experience throughout our platform, but also design and optimize a platform that enables new users to quickly find our product’s Aha Moments and realize value.
We chose Appcues to help us provide a rich onboarding experience that presents targeted content to users as they interact with the platform. After an initial 5-minute setup analogous to implementing Google Analytics on your site, there is zero dependence on engineering to design and build the experience. Their tools transformed Cobomba into a virtual Sherpa, leading our new users to our most valuable features and ultimately decreasing time-to-value.
Reduce Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
According to a study by ProfitWell, customer acquisition cost (CAC) has been on the rise over the past 5 years. This is largely due to the fact that marketers continue to use the same promotional channels in order to compete for customer attention. Take AdWords for example. There are so many marketers religiously using AdWords and as a result, the cost to stand out keeps getting higher and higher.
One of the primary ways to reduce CAC is to offer a free trial, which is exactly what we decided to do for Cobomba.
According to their study, allowing prospective customers to participate in a free trial allows us to do two things:
- Lower activation energy. By allowing leads to sample your product in a way that helps them see value before paying for it, you lower the hump they need to get across in terms of paying for the product when that time arrives.
- Own the lead. When that time comes and they are in the position to make a buying decision, the lead is already in your product and you don't need to put the same amount of effort into proving value. Moreover, it is extra effort for them to defect to a competitor.
Our thought leadership & reputation in the Content Marketing category is a catalyst for getting discovered. Once a marketer discovers Cobomba, it’s exceptionally easy for them to raise their hand and immediately begin exploring our solution. Acquisition cost to attract and hook our target audience is minimized with all the self-service and automation we have implemented in Cobomba.
Improve Data & Automation
A key component to PLG is to develop an effective self-service model to deliver value to users who are evaluating our solution. Cobomba is very passionate about leveraging real-time user behavior data to:
- Deliver timely and targeted communications to our users through automation
- Inform our future product decisions
Through the robust integration of Appcues and Zapier, Cobomba has fully instrumented our platform to deliver timely and targeted content driven by key user events. Our bite-sized nuggets of communication are presented in-app and via email where appropriate. When presented to the right people at the right time, we increase the probability of keeping our users engaged in a world of digital distraction and short attention spans.
Additionally, by configuring the platform to pay attention to a number of key user events, we are able to make timely, data-driven future product decisions based on how our users are navigating the platform - that is, what’s working and what’s flopping.
Product-led growth strategy is empowering Cobomba to build fast, get discovered, and most importantly receive customer feedback as we march towards product/market fit in the MarTech space. More to come on our progress in the near future!
P.S. if you like our synopsis on PLG, you won’t believe how helpful Cobomba will be in helping you plan out your content strategy.