Last month, we began sharing our high-level journey launching Cobomba using a Product-Led Growth (PLG) go-to-market strategy. One of the key benefits to PLG is increased customer acquisition at a decreased cost - it’s a beautiful thing. By providing potential customers an easy, frictionless way to evaluate your product, you enable them to quickly decide if your product is like Goldilocks and feels just right.
More traditional Sales-driven companies have a sales staff that exert great effort/time/money to entertain all requests for product demos and evaluate all leads, rather than qualified ones. PLG companies rely on their product to do the heavy lifting of showing its value to potential buyers autonomously. This clears the deck for sales staff to increase their focus/effort/money on product-qualified leads (aka: non-looky lou’s)!
The book, “Product-Led Growth" from author, Wes Bush, provides evidence that today’s software buyers would rather self-educate while they discover a product rather than go through a lengthy sales-driven process. With this in mind, proactively helping buyers find valuable information about your product throughout their unique journey is a key ingredient to your company’s growth.
As a new MarTech company launching in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been Cobomba’s early-stage mission to control our customer acquisition costs (CAC) while effectively saying HELLO WORLD. This post will share a portion of our product and company growth strategy which led us to launching Cobomba with:
- A frictionless free-trial experience
- Event-driven/automated user communication capability
- Invaluable tools we’ve used along the way
The Magical World of Low-Code/No-Code SaaS Platforms
Low-code/No-code is a visual approach to software development. According to Mendix, Low-code/No-code abstracts and automates every step of the application lifecycle to enable rapid delivery of software solutions. Think of content management systems like WordPress or more recently, WebFlow, which make building a powerful website a cake-walk for non-technical resources with their simple drag n’ drop capabilities.
Low-code/No-code development platforms empower both technical and non-technical resources to build and/or enhance production-level solutions. 20 years ago, enterprise systems were implemented by 100s of consultants and experts at a multi-million dollar cost, points out Simon Chan, Founder and CEO, DigiVue Consulting. Now with Low-code/No-code, the same systems can be implemented by smaller players at a fraction of the price and in a fraction of the time. Internet, Cloud and social media, has leveled the playing field.
While the technical underpinnings of Cobomba are comprised of highly customized code, we have selected a handful of Low-code / No-code SaaS tools to quickly enhance our platform capabilities. The enhanced functionality provided by these solutions allow us to increase our customer acquisition while keeping costs down.
Appcues helps Cobomba provide a rich onboarding experience that presents targeted content to users as they interact with the platform. We have instrumented Cobomba to trigger in-app tips, tricks, and bite-sized help videos that are presented at optimized intervals. As a user performs specific activities (events), Appcues is triggered in real-time and instantly presents a predefined flow of information. The info delivered comes in the form of pop--ups, modals, and slide-outs. We can present highly formatted content, videos, surveys, and checklists. The combination of options offered by Appcues provides us a wonderful toolbox of content to best orient and engage our new users.
Zapier offers an online automation platform that connects Cobomba to other cloud-based services (ex. HubSpot). Micro-integrations, known as Zaps, are capable of pushing and pulling data from one platform to another. Zapier empowers Cobomba to digitally weave disparate apps together with several of our favorite tools that extend our functionality. Zapier can be triggered in real-time by predefined events or on a smart timer. Automation workflows can be built in a couple of minutes as compared to using a traditional systems integration approach with talented engineers that can take weeks to months to implement.
Klipfolio offers a powerful dashboarding and analytics solution. It contains over 300 predefined SaaS integrations including galleries of canned metrics and completed dashboards which not only inspire you but get you up and running in minutes. Klipfolio is also able to query enterprise-level databases and make REST API calls which indefinitely expands its flexibility to ingest data. Cobomba has configured Klipfolio to ingest many of our favorite SaaS tool ‘digital fumes’ and transform them into critical KPIs.
The above Low-code / No-code solutions are rather affordable when comparing what it would cost to engage talented software engineers to create similar integrations and automation through custom code development. These low-cost solutions have added great value to the overall Cobomba platform.
Autonomously Providing our Buyer a Product Self-Education
We know most consumers and business buyers start their search for new solutions online. Effective marketing content is key to helping our target audience navigate their way from learning about their problem to trying out our solution. But, having someone arrive on our free trial sign up page is not the end of the story. To continue to support prospective customers that are curious about our platform, it's important that we deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Our model orients, proactively informs, and supports the new user before they even have to ask. We do this through our adoption of Event-Driven Architecture (EDA).
EDA is a software development methodology for building applications that asynchronously communicate and/or integrate with other applications via events. We currently leverage EDA to promote event-driven user communication. PLG has taught us how essential it is to provide new trialers with effective, proactive (and reactive) communication throughout their product discovery journey. Otherwise, the product will have a tougher challenge selling its value to potential customers while we’re sleeping soundly at 3am!
Providing white-glove service to our new trial subscribers is critical to our growth. Doing so through intelligent automation is scalable. Let’s explain: User behaviors on Cobomba are processed as events that trigger external apps (e.g. Appcues, Zapier, and HubSpot) to facilitate real-time, targeted, and personalized communication with our users. With Appcues, we deliver a rich new user onboarding experience that quickly orients the user through our free trial and shepherds them through Cobomba’s most valuable activities.
Combining Appcues + Zapier has increased our event-based communication capability. Events that are triggered by the user are instantly shipped to Appcues which trigger a variety of Zaps (Zapier). These zaps securely push and pull key user data to/from external systems which dramatically enhance the level of personalized and timely communications with our users.
The following is a powerful example that illuminates how Cobomba, through EDA and our use of external low-code / no-code solutions, is able to autonomously deliver the right information to the right people at the right time:
When Cobomba detects that a user performs ‘X’ and ‘Y’, but not ‘Z’ within a predefined time frame:
- A Zapier automation is triggered
- The Zap dives into our operational database and grabs relevant info for the user
- The Zap triggers HubSpot to send a series of personalized communications to that specific user.
These automated communications provide a peek at the valuable data waiting for the potential buyer and serve as a motivator to continue to explore Cobomba. We have defined a number of use cases that leverage this type of event-driven communication. These automations run 24x7 providing the necessary information to buyers that are looking to be self-educated on our product.
User Behavior Analytics
PLG places significant emphasis on measurement in order to identify real moments of truth that lead to company growth. EDA and Low-code / No-code solutions have been helpful in enabling Cobomba to collect real-time user behavior analytics on our platform. Each key interaction is processed as an event and consumed by the tools mentioned above. The data is aggregated and presented in a variety of delightful Klipfolio-powered dashboards aligned to both leadership and support needs. The events that our tools capture and report on empower us to make data-driven product decisions and ultimately optimize our outreach to the market.
Since EDA enables a platform to deliver data in real-time, we are able to capture highly accurate user behavior statistics. We’ve constructed our own time-to-value tool which summarizes exactly how long it takes each user to interact with our most valuable features. Having visibility into this level of user behavior provides us decision support to decrease time-to-value and increase customer conversions.
We’ve enjoyed detailing portions of our product and company growth strategy. Product-Led Growth has helped shape our approach to growing our newly launched company. Utilizing an Event-Driven architecture has enabled us to digitally marry select Low-code/No-code SaaS tools with our main platform to extend our capabilities with minimal effort and cost. The Cobomba team is able to do more with less in its mission to empower content marketers to plan high-quality content with the power of AI.
Interested in giving our platform a whirl? You can sign up for a free trial here.
Till next time...