Scaling your customer growth acquisition strategy

Video Transcript



Speaker’s introduction and what is flywheel

– [Host] This is Aaron, he’s–

– Hi guys, morning.

– [Lady] Morning.

– Yeah, so he’s been in SAS industries for over seven years, worked for the likes of Oracle and Mount One, ad he’s basically responsible for HubSpot now in regards to building partnerships. He’s helped his clients scale across the board and is really passionate about just basically telling everyone about what HubSpot does and it how it really fits with your business. He’ll be essentially talking to you about how he addresses those points in the next presentation as well.

– Yeah, all right, cheers Lars. Just waiting for more gentlemen. You wanna sit over here, front row seat for you.

– [Male] Oh good, thanks.

– Yeah, in extension to what Lars has shared about me, myself, my background. I just started my career as an account exec in an agency, so I was doing marketing campaigns, marketing activities, for my clients for a little over two years, and I was like, yeah, probably I need to learn something, ’cause I was using and juggling multiple softwares, and that’s when I hop over to a SAS business, ever since I never look back, for some reason. Never look back, I just do SAS all the way for, now nine year, 10 year. So one last share, I’m a bit of a SAS guy, I’m obsessed with software, even when I’m from HubSpot, I use multiple software, myself, even on my private leisure time. I like to track things, I like to monitor things. Back in Oracle I was doing ERP, HCM Solution, in Meltwater we were doing social media monitoring. So a lot of you guys that I spoke to, you guys are in charge of marketing or interested to understand more about what your marketing staff are doing. I was in the hot seat, I was doing what they are doing for you, for example, right? So I felt that it’s pretty befitting for me to present before you guys what I’ve learned from my agency days, what works, what don’t work, what work from a software perspective. So I’m pretty agnostic when it comes to software, given that I use multiple software, so I’m not particularly biased towards one software or another, I just like my HubSpot T-shirt ’cause I’m wearing it right now in front of you guys, slight bias over there. So, before I kickstart my presentation, anyone has heard of this term called flywheel effect? Or flywheel to put it? Anyone, flywheel, flywheel effect? All right, I’m gonna put you guys on a hot seat. Gentleman over there, what do you understand about flywheel effect?

– [Man] Don’t ask me about flywheel, I know flywheel.

– Sorry flywheel.

– [Man] It’s the point that keeps the momentum of the rotating axis in place, that’s flywheel.

– That sounds about right. Yourself?

– [Man] My knowledge of that was I was reading something about Jeff Bezos, how he runs Amazon is based on this flywheel effect. Like, he’ll break down the company by different components and if you’re able to get the ball rolling on any one of them, that’s help build the momentum, something like that.


Funnel vs. flywheel

– Yep yep yep yep. I think you guys got the gist of it. According to Google, I read the definition of flywheel effect, it’s a continuation of oscillation effect in an oscillator control panel once the control panel is removed. I don’t even know what that means, all right? I don’t even know that that means, but it show on Google, all right? So flywheel effect basically this term it’s I think being trademarked by John Collin, I’m not sure how many of you have read his book, Good to Great.

– [Man] Jim Collins.

– Jim Collins, sorry! Jim Collins, you guys. Keep me accountable, keep me real over there. You guys shaking your head over there, sorry man, I didn’t get my name right. So Good to Great where he believes that any, so regardless of how dramatic the end results is, to build a successful enterprise or a campaign at a marketing level, you can’t rely on one single motion. There’s no one lucky strike. There’s no one winning innovation, so to speak. You rely on spiral effect, where there’s a continuation of momentum during campaigns that you run interlinked with each other it’s not a simple as just workflow, as a lot of you are familiar with that term. You do this, you funnel through your prospects in that, and then they become customer. No, it’s not that, all right? So I’m gonna spend a bit of time on flywheel, I’m gonna continue use this term, flywheel throughout my presentation. Just to give you a good sense of it. The objective of my presentation over here. Obviously all of you business owners or key stakeholders in marketing campaigns. You guys hope that by repeating the same motion you will get a predictable funnel when it comes to your acquisition funnel as well your channel funnel. Everyone hope that if you put one dime into a machine, it will spit out multiple dimes to your face, preferably. But it’s not always that case. Now, being an ex-agency person myself. Ah, skip through. Give me a sec guys. I will be literally Googling, how to start a blog. Ah, shit guys, sorry. This is, okay, just one click. Okay so I will be Googling how to start a blog, how to write a social media content, or should I hire SEO consultant? Should I hire FirstPage? Should I spend more money on Facebook ads? Growth hacking skills? A/B testing on emails, etc. etc. etc. etc. So I spend a lot of time personally when I was servicing one of my biggest clients, it was a government client in Singapore, it’s called Sports SG where I literally was spending hours creating content. By creating content I’ll be researching what is the most popular topic, what are the key words? I used to black hat it, meaning I had the same keyword on one blog content, hoping that I’ll get search and it will show up on my search results in Singapore. But it’s not working. I ended up having a lot of gray hair. I ended up not having the results that I want and I ended up spending a lot of time and show my boss at the end of the day the dashboard that I’d gotten. Yeah, I got a decent traffic, 10,000, a decent conversion rate, but we know that it’s not scalable at all. With the effort I put in, I would expect more out of it. So I feel that a lot of things that we are doing on a day to day basis, we are very stuck in tactics. Just a single different tactics, and then we are just, yeah let’s see how it goes we’ll post something on LinkedIn, yeah, we get a few likes, a few shares, yeah let’s see how it goes. And then we post another one without a true objective behind it. So to scale, think–

– [Man] Flywheels.


Thinking flywheels

– Okay, only my guy say that. Okay, think flywheel. So what I meant by that is it goes beyond just your marketing tactic. Everything else needs to follow through. Sales flywheel, social flywheel, freemium flywheel, content flywheel, PR flywheel, PPC flywheel. Okay, now, you might ask me, god what does that mean, man? What do you mean by flywheel in each of this concept? So I’m gonna elaborate more around that on how to scale. So the key question over here is to pick the right flywheel. So on my previous slide, there’s your sales flywheel, there’s your PPC flywheel, there’s your PR flywheel. In my opinion, pick a top three flywheel that you like to focus on. As marketers, we like to expand our range, we like to cast a net to capture as much audience as we can, right? But that is not the case when you want your audience to respond to you, to resonate to you. You need to pick three flywheel that you are truly interested in and truly you think that you will use. So, I’m gonna use a lot of animal analogy over here. Now, ARPC simply means average revenue per client. So a lot of you are running different businesses over here. Some of you might run businesses where your average revenue per customer is huge, it’s a mammoth elephant, all right? And the numbers of customers that you need really it will coincide. That means you only need one or two customers per year to get to your target. So a mass strategy will not make sense for you guys where probably you need to hire a tribal troupe, where you are being very targeted and you just hand the elephant, you just hand the buffalo down. That’s why we call it the tribal strategy. But first of all, you have to understand what is your KPI? What is target? What is your average revenue per client? And how many customers are you targeting over here? Now the buffalo sort of like, I bring the buffalo forward because there will be medium sized company’s clients that you guys are sort in the middle. You guys are not quite low cost eCommerce, but you guys are you’re educational, you’re logistic where your average sales price might not be as huge, but it’s sizable. So you guys fall under that medium quadrant I would say. Where you guys will need a bit of volume and you guys need quite a significant deal size in some cases as well. So that your rabbit and your rat, that signify that. So then there will be this strategy that we call, you’re gonna cast the net a bit wider to capture this group of people, from your buffalo to your rat. And then your last thing will be your worm, where you plant the seeds. So a lot of you are familiar with a lot of freemium product around. Software, freemium product, where you sign up for free, and then you just use it for free forever. I know JIG, Google Analytics, some extent, some of them are like that, some tools are open for you to do that. So the idea behind this is not to get you to buy immediately, but cast the idea or implant the idea in your brain so that it becomes indispensable and then you’ll later on subscribe to the service or software. That is why we call it you’re planting strategy over here. Now, what I’m trying to carry forward over here in terms of thinking is you need to have a very very good idea on your target audience. And for example, in 2019, you guys should be focusing on for example, your KPI is to get a million dollar worth of revenue. Historically how does this one million of revenue, how do you get to that one million of revenue? Does it consist of five big clients, two small clients, three medium size clients. Or there overwhelming number of small clients in that group? So how many of you actually look back at your historically sales revenue and do a clear dissect on your customer profile? One, two, three, four. Gentleman over here. If you may, share will the group how much of an insights do you gain by doing this dissected exercise every year? Do you get new insights every single year or it’s quite consistent across the year.

– [Man] No, it’s not. But it helps to prioritize.

– Yeah, so this is what we’re seeing over here, prioritizing, right? Each year it’s gonna be different. So the most dangerous thing that I see my clients do when I was in agency is that assumption. Okay, last year or two years ago we see that trend, this year, likely to carry forward. Each year we have to do that dissection and like what this gentlemen has say, we have to prioritize on things that we have to do. There’s not point doing split, like I’m gonna some tribal strategy, I’m gonna do some cast net strategy, half half. I would personally advise to focus on one thing, one thing at a time and do it well. And get your KPI over there. So this what I meant. So when it comes to your tribal strategy, you probably are going to rely on your sales team a bit more. Why? Because, for example, a eCommerce business, you won’t be relying on your sales people to call them up to buy things, right? Because the cost is so low and it just doesn’t worth your sale people’s time. With big deals however, enterprise deals, you’re gonna send your sales people to prioritize on all these leads and try to coax them with a RFP process or RFQ process. And then with your middle strategy which is your cast the net strategy, we’re gonna talk about your content and your PPC. That is where it’s most effective for the medium sized company. In your last stage, which is word of mouth. So, for eCommerce companies, for low value product offering companies, it’s all word of mouth. And do you stimulate word of mouth? This is what we’re gonna talk about. So in this session, we are going to focus on four flywheels over here if we may. Sales flywheel, we sort of have tribal, enterprise, mammoth, big size guy, hunt him down. Second, your content and your PPC, how do you create a flywheel that constantly flow and build momentum that can help you in client acquisition? And lastly, word of mouth. Guys, all good? I intentionally get Lars to add an extra dosage in your coffee so I think you will see the effects soon. Soon, soon. Now, how to scale? Pick the right flywheel, know how the flywheel works, this is what we’re gonna talk about. First one. Flywheel, sales flywheel. A bad flywheel, do you mind reading this part for group?


Sales: good and bad flywheels

– [Man] My sales reps just aren’t closing enough deals. I still need to get involved in every call.

– How many of you actually encounter or say this, or hear, hear other people, not you, hear other people saying this? Right? Fricking all the time. All the time! Like, hey, marketing and sales will be like, marketing will be like, hey, I’m creating a good funnel, sales are just fouling up. And then sales will be like, friggin’ marketing, you guys are not creating enough leads. Are you listening to the call? No, this is not happening. It’s not happening. So a very bad flywheel assumption or statement will begin like that. Now, let me show you an example. Sorry, before I move onto that. So why is this so important is a bad flywheel concept will trickle down to what you do next as a company. So more often than not, you hire sales rep and then you be like, okay now what? No closed modules. Make more money. My business, that’s it. We just hope that we hire the right balance and then we can make more money, as simple as that. And I was that kind of person, all that I think of, yeah, it’s as simple as that. There’s no rocket science to that. Now, a good flywheel. Do you mind reading this off?

– [Woman] Our lead-to-close rate is 5%. We have 20 deals in play this month. We’re starting to get good leads from Indonesia.

– Now, the key difference over here is you have insights, you have metrics over here where you know exactly where you need to work on. So, for example, from marketing to sales, sales are saying that we’re not closing leads from marketing. Okay, probably lead-to-close rate need to improve by how much? Where are we right now? We have 20 deals in play this month, we’re starting to get good leads from Indonesia or Hong Kong. We need to keep each other abreast and we need to have metrics tied to it. Otherwise, everything’s empty saying. Now, a good flywheel will then create this ripple effect where there will be a series of good actions followed by that. So you hire a sales rep, you get reps to close deals, the deals, the money that you get will fund your lead gen campaign and then your lead gen campaign will fund your expansion. And all your themes need to be across this. And they are that cogs, that machine, that drives this whole organization, everyone needs to be across this so that we are in one boat to drive this together. This flywheel then need to trickle down from top to bottom, bottom to top, where this needs to be educated over over over and over again. Gentlemen that says prioritize best practices. Okay, we have to prioritize we can’t just cast a net that wide that we try to capture everything. Second, pipeline x-ray. How many of you at the top of your head know your lead-to-close rate? Know your lead-to-opportunity close rate? Know your call-to-opportunity rate? Yeah, some of you may know. Some of you may not know. I’ll challenge you guys to actually understand your sales pipeline and your marketing pipelines based on that. And most important thing of all, Inbound. This discussion over here, like what I think Matt and crew talk about Google Ads and stuff, great. Fundamental things that you need to do on paid ads, on SEO and SCM, that you have to follow up and follow through on that. But another avenue to get you leads to help you keep to your KPI will be that Inbound funnel, where people hear about your brand, where people are drawn to you. Very important on that. So this is an example over here where you are going to incorporate a chat bot. Now guys, there’s multiple free chat bot tools in the market right now. I highly recommend you to try out a chat bot tool for yourself. Whatever business that you’re running, people are getting traction left, right, top corner, like we have a direction. The landscape has changed so much where people no longer email you or call you. People prefer to just chat it through. So, and it’s not a big investment to do this. There’s a workflow that you can create at the back of your chat bot where responses can be automated, where responses can be customized. So don’t think of this as a rocket science, it’s super simple to set it up. And I would urge you guys to automate your responses. On the deal stages, on the conversion rate, sales and marketing staff or owners, you guys will need to have this in your fingertips. You know this, you know this. Now, again, I’m gonna repeat myself. Bad flywheels, you hire sales reps, try to make money, that’s it. To fix this, help your reps prioritize what are important, lead-to-opportunity conversion or closure rate, which is super important. Use a CRM to understand your pipeline, which is super crucial. Anyone of you still using Excel? Don’t raise your hand. Everyone’s still using Excel? Okay, don’t, I’m over that! Generate leads with Inbound marketing. Very very crucial. Now a good flywheel looks like this, hire sales reps, your reps close deals, deals fund the lead gen, lead gen fuels the expansion. That should be the common goal and the processes that your sales and marketing staff are all aligned with. A lot of sales rep and marketing staff, they’re happy in the company, but they would be like I’m just one small part of the whole puzzle. We need to create a sense of belonging so that they could drive sales with us. Content, we’re gonna talk about contents flywheel. Bad flywheel. Anyone want to? Do you mind reading this out, the girl who’s drinking water? Sorry to cut your break.

– [Woman] Sorry.

– Yeah, no problem.


Content: good and bad flywheels

– [Woman] We publish two blog posts per week but we are not getting any traffic. Does this really work?

– How many actually say this last week? Or yesterday? Right, right? Let me maybe test this, let me create two week and let’s see how it goes, the traffic. All of us frickin’ do this, every goddamn day. Not to criticize you guys, I was doing this as well when I was doing marketing. Now this will trickle down to these following chain reactions. Publish a bunch of blog posts, okay, we wait for results. Yeah, we might get traffic, we might not get traffic. After that, what happens? I don’t know, I really don’t know. And then you look at your everyone go through the same thing, all right? You be like, where is it? It’s not going up, I need to go up, go up, no! Nothing’s gonna happen! Nothing’s happening!

– [Man] Now, a good flywheel. Do you mind?

– [Woman] If we can boost our average rank on this phrase, we can get 5,000 plus visitors per month. Our 3% conversion rate should hold up.

– Now, you are the difference over here is you’re tying this to a target, 5,000. And you’re tying this with your lead conversion, there’s follow up action over here. So sales and marketing are aligned, you’re not just spraying some paint on the wall and just hope that it will stick, no. We have to stick metrics around it. And this is what we call a good flywheel, you’re gonna create momentum and you’re gonna get what you want. A good flywheel looks like this. Strategic content creation, you’re gonna friggin’ promote content, okay now, I’m very confused and baffled for the fact that people just create blog post and they just put it on their website. Why don’t you promote it, man? You share it on LinkedIn, you share it on Facebook, you share it on Twitter, you share it on wherever. Just don’t put it on your website, man. It’s just a button, just share it. Share, all right? Promote the content. Get the traffic. And then lean back to converting your leads. Close some leads, close some dollar from leads, more budget for content. And then you go again, right? A flywheel. My owner, Brad Halligan from HubSpot literally presented this last year in September during our big Inbound event in Boston every year. And he was doing this, flywheel man. Spin, flywheel. This thing will keep spinning. And we need to look at this as a cycle. Flywheel. Now, best practices. Estimate the traffic opportunity. We are not just after eyeballs, we need to go more in depth, one more layer than that. How much of this traffic is going to yield opportunity for me? Some of you have new businesses, I understand that, where you don’t have historical data to back up how much of a conversion rate you can expect. But you have to establish the benchmark at some point in time. Measure your conversion, super important. Now, over here, First Page is again like they are the guru when it comes to this, where they would understand what topic yield what volume and how difficult is to rank that particular keyword. Thinking of, okay, I want to rank myself as the number one logistic provider in Hong Kong. Thinking is one thing, whether this is realistic is another thing. So, very important thing is, once you come up with keyword, we need to understand who are your competitors? Who are before you or ahead of you that have basically trademarked that keyword reading? Then we need to search for alternatives. Get around best logistic provider in Hong Kong island. We need to come up with a rating to help you rank, because that keyword it will take some time for you to get rank. So you need to come up with alternative keywords and a tool like this will help you or a partner like First Page will help you do that. Over here, I think Matt and his friend, they can also showcase some traffic tool. So this just what we use within our ecosystem where we go beyond just sessions and conversion rate of your contacts or some companies call it opportunities, but also customers, customers that you convert. So the Excel sheet will show you this, you can manually plot this. But a tools like this will help you do that. It could be your Oracle, it could be your SAP, it could be your HubSpot, it could be anyone, your Mark It All, anyone that can give you such data. Use this to your advantage, very important. Now, let me repeat myself. Bad flywheel, you just write a bunch of blog posts and then you pray. Okay, now the fix is over here. Choose a topic that you could dominate. Choose a topic and a keyword that you could dominate. Use the SEO tools that help you estimate your traffic opportunity, like what I’ve just shown, sessions, contacts, customers. Promotion, share that. Measure your lead conversion as well. So a good flywheel ideally will then look like this. Don’t worry, Lars is gonna send you this presentation as well at the end of the talk. I’m glad that this is resonating with some of you guys but you guys are taking some snapshots around this, which is great. So now, we have a content. Which is one of my favorite topics over here. Flywheel. Now guys from, do you mind reading this off for the group? Yes.


PPC: good and bad flywheels

– [Man] Yeah, we spend a bunch of money on Facebook ads. I think they’re doing okay, I think they’re doing okay, I’m not really sure.

– I know I just heard someone talking about it, how’s the Facebookgo spend, I think it’s okay, but. All the time, all the time. We speak about these all the time. It’s good, it’s using it’s return but we can’t quite pinpoint where can we improve or what’s the target or yeah. We just have this sweeping statement. We spend dollar on Facebook, we want to get sales. Get sales, all right. And like, okay, get sales, and then there, the disconnection is there, like get sales everyone of us are thinking the same thing. That’s why it’s a bad flywheel. And the only person that is happy is this guy. Yeah, you guys, continue to think that way! I’ll get more, I’ll get more, yeah, deal with it. Now, a good flywheel. Guy with the glasses in the back row, would you mind reading this off?

– [Man] This audience has a 10 CPA dollar, well below our 40 target. CPA held steady even when we increased spend by 50%.

– So, CPA, click per acquisition rate, has $10 , well below our $40 target, CPA held steady, even when we increased spend by 50%. So have some, again, metrics around it, which is super important over here. Even when you don’t have historical data, make one up. Make one that you could follow where everyone can strike towards as a goal. Or just Google that, what are others doing? What is their CPA target? Get a baseline and the work with that, which is super important. Now a good flywheel, on PPC. We’ll look at this, spend on ads, you get leads and sales, identifying winning campaigns based on our PPC campaigns. Update your campaign, optimize your spend again, retargeting is it required? Or should I go to another channel? And then you continue spending on that. So this momentum will then drive a very successful PPC campaign all the time. Not only like one time, two time, but all the time. Now, best practices over here, set target for a CPA. Super important, crucial, no negotiation. Test your audience your A/B testing. Test your audience, man. Spend like your $50, this is what HubSpot used to do. We used to spend like $50, $100 on the new concept that we are running. Like for example, five new concept, see how receptive people are. Few hundred dollars, a small target audience, and see how their response are before we refine our campaign. And then optimize your ads based on that. It’s all the concept is exactly the same as A/B testing when it comes to email marketing. Which I think we don’t do enough of testing on ads. We just bust it out and do ads and hope for the best. Now, over here, again, you need a dashboard that could give you that insights, how many leads have you created from spending beyond your click through, beyond your impressions? How many of them has converted into leads and what is your ROI like? When you have your CPA target on that, then you’ll be able to see ROI or measure ROI. That’s why I say setting your CPA is very important. Now, again, to recap. Bad flywheel, fixes around PPC, set up full funnel reporting. Regardless of tools that you use, obsess over your audiences and response, not the ads. I, when I was in an agency or doing marketing stuff, I used to be like, okay I have superimpose my face onto the ad as an example, I didn’t really do that. Whether it’s right angle or left angle, I was obsessed on that. I was like well maybe left angle will yield more return. Right angle, maybe I should tilt my face a bit. I was obsessed around that. I was like what the heck, why should I do that? I should be obsessed around my audience as opposed to how I superimpose image on an ad. That doesn’t make sense. Good flywheel, spend on ads, get leads and sales, identifying your winning campaign out of those after you experiment it, update your campaigns, and optimize your spending. Otherwise your Mark Zuckerberg will just be like laughing his ass off, just continue spending, you guys. Now, the last one which I think some of you might be super interested due to the product and services that you carry would be word of mouth. The lady in the corner, do you mind reading this off for the group?


Word of mouth: good and bad flywheels

– [Woman] Get more customers? That’s simple, just focus on creating a great product experience.

– What do you guys think about this?

– [Man] Isn’t that part of the four p’s? I thought this was pretty decent, you hear CEO like Jeff Bezos talk about this all the time, right? It’s pretty okay, I think it’s acceptable. But I feel that, like what this gentlemen has said, it’s missing something, it’s not a complete pie. So, a bad flywheel will again trickle down to I have a good product, and then what? Everything will just follow through automatically, naturally? Is that we run our marketing campaigns? Is that how we get sales?

– [Man] No.

– No, right. A good flywheel. Who wants one? Come on guy. One guy.

– [Man] Understand what triggers customers to talk abo