We’re making our first marketing hire at Troops, and I gotta say I am pumpedddd.
I guess there’s a lot of reasons I’m excited.
Now is a really unique moment in time, for both how marketing is done, as well as how technology is used and introduced in the workplace.
…Oh god, is this where he’s going to talk about bots?
Image Credit: Trello
But I think it’s important to call out some trends around how software is bought and sold. These observations align to our beliefs at Troops and strategy for how we build our business.
Software trends software people should probably think about.
Successful customers will increasingly be your number one channel.
More and more people want to discover and use services because they heard that they’re awesome from someone they already know and trust.
Would you rather try a new app because your friend told you about it or because someone bombed your inbox with annoying emails?
We think investing in components that create great customer experiences like product, support and good communication is the way to go and increasingly will be how the best companies fuel growth.
This also means that focusing on things like retention and engagement are more important than ever in the enterprise. This is why we’ve prioritized customer marketing. More on that here.
Self-serve, low time to value products will continue to emerge in the enterprise.
Expectations for the quality of user experience from software in the workplace continues to increase.
Snapchat at home and something that looks like lotus notes at work just isn’t cutting it. Consumers expect a well designed product that delivers some core value before committing to a purchasing decision.
Companies that understand this will prioritize use cases and onboarding experiences that limit friction to a user experiencing core value very early in their journey.
In this world, the way people sell will evolve. Depending on a products’ maturity and market, many salespeople will be much more like data-driven account managers that act like “helpers” to ensure people get the most value out of your product.
The consolidation of software interfaces is going to happen. It already is.
People don’t want to go 27 places that all look different to do their job. They just want all of their services to work where they are already spending time, especially for the high-frequency, mundane tasks. This means that prioritizing these “integrated experiences” will become increasing important for companies.
If 80% of your app’s usage occurs in a Chrome widget or Slack, a 3rd-party integration shouldn’t be an afterthought.
At Troops, we personally believe that messaging interfaces like Slack are the new enterprise web browsers (tweet this).
Instead of 10 tabs, I might have 10 bots or integrations. The difference between bots and tabs, is that bots can proactively help you do your job instead of requiring you to remember to log in somewhere to take actions.
People will start using messaging platforms to communicate externally…I’m looking at you email.
I talk to people selling stuff all day long. What’s interesting is that I get to understand how people communicate with their existing and potential customers.
One trend that I am starting to see is how some companies are using Slack to communicate with their customers.
It makes a ton of sense depending upon who your target persona is and where they fall on the messaging adoption curve. Communication channels like Slack are way more intimate and real-time than email.
When a world exists where companies can seamlessly connect to people via a double opt-in from Slack team to Slack team, it’s very clear to me that this will radically change the modern sales and customer success process.
Imagine being in a proof of concept pilot with a customer, where you have a Slack channel that feeds real-time analytics on the success of the pilot automatically into the channel. That level of transparency and collaboration is good for business and will happen.
So what does this mean for marketing?
I know a lot of the ideas proposed above probably conflict with how people are building their business or what makes sense to them today.
This is just our opinion of where the world is going based on what we see.
If these trends hold true, there are some really interesting implications for anyone interested in marketing & growing their business.
Enterprise apps will have a k-factor.
Usually when someone brings up “viral growth” we’re talking about a product that’s being downloaded by teenagers or on college campuses.
What’s exciting about companies like Troops, where a user’s first experience is within the messaging interface, is the potential to go from one to many within an organization very quickly.
One user can install your app, use it in a public setting and have it spread like wildfire.
That’s never really been possible before with old-school, legacy software applications. And it’s one reason why Slack has been referred to as a “virus in the enterprise.”
New notification & retention channels.
What happens in marketing (and anything really) is once someone starts doing something that works, a bunch of people copy-cat it, and eventually it stops working. We called this tactic fatigue.
Right now there are multiple new channel windows within messaging platforms you can use strategically to communicate with users to drive retention and growth.
Check out this referral mechanism from Guru as an example.
There’s hundreds of examples of cool growth hacks like this that we’ve seen, and probably hundreds more we haven’t.
Maybe you have some ideas of your own? (More on that in a second.)
We’ve prioritized building internal tools to take advantage of this dynamic which is exciting.
On that note, one exciting thing about the messaging interface is how iterative your product experience can be. Instead of performing a heavy UI overhaul to run an experiment against our funnel, you can just change copy or other elements like buttons. This is a marketer’s dream.
New growth loops
If you believe that messaging interfaces will evolve to increasingly be used to communicate externally, than you better believe there is an opportunity to get your product in front of more people.
We’ve already seen this happen with one of our customers. We’ll call them Big Consulting Firm Co. and they do outsourced sales for other companies.
Big Consulting Firm Co. has all of their customers on Slack channels for easy and seamless communication. To supercharge their collaboration, they set up a Troops pipeline alert to show those customers real-time movement on the deals they are working. As a result, this new company now knows about and uses Troops.
I’m sure this is just one of many instances where casual contact loops with products in public or external Slack groups is driving acquisition.
You can see there’s a lot of uncharted territory here that is just starting to happen with these evolutions in the enterprise. We’re excited to have a front row seat and awesome people around the table to help us figure this out.
So back to this new position…
We’re making our first ever marketing hire at Troops!
We’re calling it customer marketing because we believe retention and customer success is the most important growth channel in this new world. These are leading indicators to revenue and improving your top the funnel, and if you get this right, all those acquisition efforts are more impactful : )
Do you know anyone awesome who wants to help us figure this stuff out? Email them this article or tell them to apply to come help us build our business!
BTW here’s a few more reasons we think doing marketing at Troops is a pretty exciting gig:
- There is a huge opportunity to educate a captive market
- There’s a new app store to conquer
- We have a chance to build a lovable brand/voice in a stark space
- 700+ companies are now using the product through organic signups
Lastly, a lot of this has never been done before.
If you’re a good fit for this position, knowing this will get you very excited.