I think it’s critical for founders to remain vigilant. The "that’s-below-my-pay-grade" attitude can set any founder and startup on a wayward path. Getting our hands dirty keeps us grounded, literally and figuratively.
When I talk to struggling content teams, I encourage them to put every ongoing effort on hold and to instead focus their attention toward a single objective that requires them to collaborate more with sales teams. Rather than continue focusing on top of funnel – which frequently isn’t going to be an ROI driver any time soon – I tell content teams to understand and then drive whatever change in beliefs or behaviors prospective buyers need to undergo in order to become customers.
Every product team tries to prioritize features that most significantly drive sales and retention. Few however realize that reporting dashboards present exactly that opportunity and emphasize it accordingly. That’s because product teams are typically focused on end users while sales teams interface with actual buyers and decision makers. This ‘misalignment’ is almost always benign, except when it comes to the critical feature of reporting.
A lot has been written about Snapchat’s design choices and how they led to the company’s explosive growth and eventual IPO. There’s an overall sentiment that, as one writer put it, “it’s not surprising [that Snapchat is] so popular with kiddos, [as it gives] them their own walled garden that their parents can’t reach.” It’s an interesting but rigid argument that I think is missing some critical nuance for product and design leaders seeking actionable takeaways. There aren’t two static groups of outsiders and insiders, but rather a powerful and fluid experience of transcending from one group to the other.
Customers seek outcomes – not tools or services – and it’s the marketing and sales teams’ objective to prove that they can enable prospective buyers to achieve such outcomes. To that end, every company has one obvious and yet rarely-utilized tactic. Leveraging their product usage dataset to identify and underscore best practices for the industry is the easiest win in all of content marketing.