The 3-phase customer-led growth framework | Georgiana Laudi

The 3-phase customer-led growth framework | Georgiana Laudi

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Georgiana Laudi (Forget the Funnel, Unbounce) breaks down the three-phase Customer-Led Growth framework to help you understand customers better than they know themselves.

Leading marketing at a growing startup feels like a chicken running around with its head cut off. That’s exactly what Georgiana (or Gia) Laudi felt like when she was hired as the marketing hire at Unbounce:

"We were doing e-courses in e-books and white papers and strategic partnerships and co-marketing campaigns. It was chaos because of the amount of work we were expected to do in a marketing role at a startup!"

I was in a similar situation when I joined to lead marketing at a startup many years ago. It often felt like throwing spaghetti at the wall—paid ads, social, content, blog posts, and SEO… There ws a LOT!

Luckily Gia and Claire Suellentrope (the co-founders of Forget the Funnel) came up with a solution.

After helping startups like Sprout Social, FullStory, Wistia, Appcues, SparkToro, and many dozens more, they came up with the 3-phase customer-led growth framework, which gives marketing teams a systematic, repeatable method to hit ambitious revenue targets.

In this Marketing Powerups episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How a trip to Airbnbs’ San Francisco office gave Gia the “Aha!” moment to come up with the customer-led growth framework.
  2. The three phases of the customer-led growth framework.
  3. How she helped MeetEdgar’s team increase their free-to-paid conversion rate by 40% using the customer-led growth framework.
  4. The one thing Gia wished she had done more early in her marketing career.

Watch or listen to the full episode now!

⭐️ The customer-led growth framework

Customer-led growth (CLG) is a strategy that leverages customer insights to drive business growth. Developed by Georgiana Laudi and Claire Sullentrope, the framework is designed to help companies—of all sizes and at all stages of growth—hit ambitious revenue goals.

The customer-led growth has three phases:

1. Get inside your best customer's heads: Deeply understanding the struggles, motivations, and desired outcomes of your best customers is the first step to the CLG framework. This includes identifying the characteristics of your best customers, understanding their pain points, and identifying the benefits that they are looking for in your products or services. By understanding your customers in this way, you can create marketing campaigns and improve your messaging that is tailored to their needs and wants, which will increase the likelihood that they will become loyal customers.

2. Map and measure your customer experience: Now that you've gathered insights from the first phase, now it's time to categorize them and map them out on to the three main parts of the customer journey: struggle, evaluation, and growth. The goal is to identify areas where improvements can be made and make changes to improve the customer experience.

Mapping out insights (source:

3. Unlock your biggest growth opportunities: This phase is all about identifying the areas where your company has the greatest potential for growth and taking action to capitalize on those opportunities. By identifying and taking action on the biggest growth opportunities, you can drive significant growth for your business.

Gia and Claire go into more detail about the customer-led growth framework in their book Forget the Funnel. Check it out here. I've also created an editable cheatsheet on it below.

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Subscribe now to instantly unlock a powerup cheatsheet that you can download, fill in, and apply Gia Laudi's Customer-Led Growth Framework.

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    🎉 About Georgiana Laudi

    Georgiana (Gia) Laudi is the co-founder and CEO of a consultancy called Forget The Funnel, where she helps SaaS companies scale and improve conversion rates through customer-led growth. She’s also a marketing and growth advisor to companies like MarketerHire, SparkToro, and Sprout Social. Previously, she was the VP of Marketing at Unbounce and has worked in growth marketing for over 20 years.

    🕰️ Timestamps and transcript

    • 02:32 - Why leading marketing in a startup feels like running around like a chicken with its head cutoff
    • 06:15 - Why do startup marketers feel like they have to throw spaghetti at the wall?
    • 11:12 - How a trip to Airbnb's San Francisco office gave Gia an “Aha!” moment about the customer-led growth framework
    • 16:15 - What does an MQL even mean?
    • 19:45 - The valuable things marketers can gain by getting inside their best customer’s heads
    • 25:35 - How Gia and Claire applied the Customer-Led Growth framework to SparkToro and MeetEdgar
    • 30:05 - A review of the MeetEdgar homepage’s messaging
    • 32:15 - The Forget the Funnel book
    • 33:10 - A career power-up that’s helped accelerate Gia’s marketing career
    • 35:25 - Gia’s one piece of advice to her younger self

    Episode transcript

    [00:00:00] Ramli John: Leading marketing at a fast-growing startup often feels like a chicken running around with its head cut off. That's exactly what Georgiana or Gia Laudi felt like when she was hired to lead marketing at the early days of Unbounce. 

    [00:00:12] Gia Laudi: We were doing e-courses in e-books and white papers and strategic partnerships and co-marketing campaigns and you know, paid and performance type.

    [00:00:21] All the things we were running, all the things, um, basically every month. So it was just a lot. 

    [00:00:29] Ramli John: I totally feel for Gia, I've been in that situation before. It's chaos and often feels like it drunk spaghetti at the wall. And what's worse is there's pressure to do all of that right now. 

    [00:00:40] Gia Laudi: A lot of the time we feel like we need to have something to show.

    [00:00:44] For our work all the time, and so I was running tons of campaigns simultaneously. It was just the, the, the chaos basically because of the amount of things were expected. To do [00:01:00] in a, in a marketing role. 

    [00:01:01] Ramli John: Luckily, Gia and Claire, the co-founders of Forget the Final, came up with a solution . After helping startups like Sprout Social full story with AKIs Spark Door and many dozen startups, they came up with three phase customer-led growth framework, which gives marketing teams a systematic, repeatable method to hit ambitious revenue targets.

    [00:01:24] In this Marketing Powerups episode, you’ll learn: first how a trip to Airbnb, San Francisco. Gave Gia the aha moment to come up with the early stages of the customer led growth framework. Second, the three phases of the customer led growth framework. Third, how she helped MeetEdgar's team increase their free to pay conversion rate by 40% using this framework.

    [00:01:45] And then finally, fourth, one thing, Gia wish she'd done more early in her marketing. For each episode, I create a power ups cheat sheet you can use to download, fill in, and apply the marketing concept to your business right away. You can go to marketing power [00:02:00] to get those right now. Are you ready?

    [00:02:03] Let's go

    [00:02:05] marketing power ups. Ready? Go. Here's your host, Ramli 

    [00:02:15] John. You know, we're gonna be talking a lot about customer led growth. Uh, you know, you, you, you have a new book that's come out already by the time this episode is. Or not as as available presale. Yeah. You know, I love, I really love your intro cause it's so visual.

    [00:02:31] You talk about when you are leading marketing for a SaaS company, you said you felt like. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It is so visual. I mean, what do you mean? What do you mean by, I, I, for, for other people who, who might relate to it, they're like, oh, I get it. But like for other folks who might be earlier in the career, what is, what does that 

    [00:02:51] Gia Laudi: mean?

    [00:02:51] I, you know what I described my style of working even then as running around like a chicken with its head cut off. , [00:03:00] it was just the, the, the chaos basically of, I, I'll say how startups sort of feel sometimes, but, um, especially in marketing because of the amount of things we're expected to do in a, in a marketing role, um, and the amount of things that we we're responsible for and the pressure, uh, that we sometimes feel, especially when we're responsible for marketing inside of a tech company.

    [00:03:28] a lot of the time we feel like we need to have something to show for our work all the time. And so tons of campaigns simultaneously, tons of testing, right? And, and experimentation. I was collaborating with the customer success team a ton. Um, you know, in, in helping support some of the stuff that they were doing.

    [00:03:49] Getting support for marketing, right? Running, you know, social, pretty active social, uh, campaigns, running live. And webinars, running a conference, like an [00:04:00] in-person conference. Um, we were doing e-courses and e-books and white papers and strategic partnerships and co-marketing campaigns. Um, you know, paid and performance type of camp, like all the things.

    [00:04:12] And I was, we were running all of the things, um, basically every month. Um, so it was just, a lot. Um, and I had a bit of a, I'm, um, an underpromise over-deliver type of person. Um, so it's not that I was like, you know, claiming that I could do all these things necessarily to the founders and to the team, but genuinely the.

    [00:04:36] Such an impressive team. Um, I really, really wanted to impress not the, not only the founders, but my team and make everybody proud and everybody was working so hard. So, um, I was following suit and, um, yeah, it just felt like, , uh, trying to do all the things at the same time. And, um, you know, the, the ki the, the analogy of like throwing spaghetti [00:05:00] at the wall mm-hmm.

    [00:05:01] um, it's busy. It's a busy time , 

    [00:05:05] Ramli John: and it sounds very tiring. It's just you describing that, it's like, man, I need to go take a nap. Just because, like all of this stuff. Yeah. Was that your, would you, were you tired at that time or like, oh, I just, 

    [00:05:17] Gia Laudi: yeah, I worked all the time. . Yeah, I was working like, it is not so popular to say nowadays.

    [00:05:23] Um, but I definitely, you know, I was often the last person to leave the office and I was often working on the weekends. Um, and sometimes, uh, you know, we would be, there would be so much sort of pressure to get a campaign out on a short timeline that we would do these sort of, I don't wanna call them like, bender is not the right word for it, but, like very, very long days, multiple days in a row in order to get a campaign out because of a, of a very self-imposed timeline.

    [00:05:52] Like, I don't even wanna say that these were timelines that were passed down to me from, you know, um, the c e o necessarily, cuz that's not true. They [00:06:00] were very self-imposed. But again, it came down to that, you know, I really, really wanted the company succeed to succeed. , um, I felt a lot of responsibility for the company's growth and the last thing I wanted to do was let anybody down.

    [00:06:13] So there was a lot of sort of self-imposed, uh, pressure there for sure. 

    [00:06:16] Ramli John: And part of the pressure is often, you mentioned it like toing spaghetti at the wall, making sure to throw as many spaghetti. Cuz then you never know which one's going to stick. And I feel like nowadays that's, that's the thing people talk about AI writing and TikTok and, uh, you know, YouTube videos and, you know, content and all this stuff.

    [00:06:35] What is, what is the root cost you think behind, behind that? Is it, you mentioned earlier about feeling the pressure to underdeliver and over pro underpromise over deliver? Or is it, or is it something else that you know, that, you know, I feel like a lot of marketers can relate, relate to this. So 

    [00:06:54] Gia Laudi: there's a lot of things happening there.

    [00:06:55] Um, there's the sort of [00:07:00] ever-changing landscape of marketing, but I actually think that that. not the main culprit. Um, because that's always been true. I, I don't know that it's any more, maybe a little bit more chaotic than it used to be, but not that much more. It, it felt the same. it, it felt like everything was new and novel then too.

    [00:07:19] So I think there's a couple things going on. One of them is, um, like fomo. Um, so the fear of missing out on a channel that could be the next big thing for us. So there was a lot of that. I remember. Um, I have a lot of memories of like, Uh, what were they're platforms that don't even exist anymore, which is so sad to say.

    [00:07:41] Um, I wanna s what was it called? The Google 

    [00:07:44] Ramli John: one? It could be vi Oh, um, Google Plus. Yes. Google Plus. 

    [00:07:48] Gia Laudi: Oh my gosh. And you know that. It was, or wa, Google waved. There was a bunch of that. The wave, 

    [00:07:55] Ramli John: right? Wow. Yeah. Yeah. 

    [00:07:57] Gia Laudi: Um, and you're like, wait, if, if our [00:08:00] brand doesn't have representation on these channels, like we have to be there, we have to have, we have to protect our brand.

    [00:08:05] You know, we don't need to, you know, throw out our existing marketing plan necessarily, but at least we have to have some sort of, you know, keeping up. What's going on in the market. But again, I don't actually think that's the primary culprit. I think one of the biggest culprits is that it's marketing and everybody is marketed to, and so everybody thinks they know what marketing should be doing.

    [00:08:27] Um, and also there is a, a lot of pressure and, and eyes on marketing when eyes are on growth. So like the more leads, the more traffic, um, all eyes sort of turn to. The top of the funnel and marketing being responsible. In part, marketing's responsible for more than just top of funnel. But um, you know, being the sort of, uh, the dominant force there means all eyes look to marketing for like, why don't we have more leads and why aren't we [00:09:00] doing more?

    [00:09:00] Um, and there's this sort of, um, assumption that we know what marketing should be doing because we are marketed too, or we are our customers. That's a classic one too, right? That happens sometimes with the founders where they'll start, um, , they'll found a company and, and, and launch a product that addresses a need that they had.

    [00:09:19] Um, but, you know, uh, markets change, products change, customers evolve and, and, um, and so to assume that like you still. are the sort of defacto authority on how your customer should be marketed to it happens, um, and depending on what market you're in. Yeah. There might be a lot of people inside your org that have opinions about how you should be doing marketing.

    [00:09:41] And so you're trying to address not only your stakeholders, uh, needs and expectations, but also. Um, other teams, they may also have expectations about what they think marketing should be doing. Investors, advisors in the companies also generally have ideas about what the company should be doing. Everybody has an opinion about marketing.

    [00:09:59] [00:10:00] And so I think part of the reason why it feels so chaotic is because you're trying to so often, um, address and, and appease so many different parties in addition to your own Right, right. Um, and what you think should be happening. So I think there's just. Oh, and another culprit. Actually, another reason for the spaghetti at the wall, and it's kind of related to that, the fear of missing out is there's a lot of experts in the space that.

    [00:10:27] Talk about what works and what worked for them, um, and whether or not that's a, a marketing expert or a founder, um, influencing maybe your founder, um, or your c e O, right? And what worked for that company. It's assumed that it's gonna work for, for your company and your customers. Um, so experts and other people in the space.

    [00:10:49] Competitors too, right? What are our competitors doing? It's just all these. Of how we should be spending our time and prioritizing. And that is what I think makes it so hard [00:11:00] to, to focus all 

    [00:11:01] Ramli John: that sounds very painful, , because I, I, I totally relate. Like there is that pressure from, uh, other people who are not in marketing telling you how to do marketing.

    [00:11:13] And then there are experts, but the two expert really, and this now leading to. Uh, around customer led growth, the two experts around your business is the one who pays, uh, pays you, pays the business, the customers. Yeah. What was the journey like that you painted this like before? Picture of like the problem of throwing spaghetti and running around with your chicken, uh, uh, your head.

    [00:11:36] Cut off like a chicken and then you, there's this now, uh, shining light, this customer let go. How did that Yeah. Come about? So that, you know, really focusing on growth around delivering, uh, value to the customers 

    [00:11:48] Gia Laudi: now. So a lot of the cause for the chaos, um, is definitely that you're guessing, right? And you're trying to see what is going to work here and what is gonna land.

    [00:11:59] [00:12:00] Um, and I'm. By any means claiming that experimentation is not a good idea and that you shouldn't try new things. Not saying that at all, but you can make a lot more focused decisions and at least eliminate a lot of the options and have a a decent picture of what good looks like if you do learn from your best customers.

    [00:12:21] So the journey that I went through in this was basically that very painful reality. I think we were, how big was the team at the time? I, I don't even remember. Maybe 10 or so. Um, and running all the marketing and, and doing all the things and, um, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Airbnb. Um, Headquarters, the office in San Francisco by Lenny, uh, Roski, who at the time was a product manager there, and I just happened to see their customer journey.

    [00:12:57] Honestly, it was taped to the wall, like pieces of paper taped to the [00:13:00] wall, and it was like, it was illustrated and it was through the lens of, um, a, it was not a host a. It was through the lens of a guest, and it was like a bunch of papers long and it was taped to the wall, but it was in the product teams sort of office area.

    [00:13:17] And so it really stood out to me as like, well, this must be important if they're putting it this sort of front and center and close to where they're doing their day-to-day work. And so I took the time to actually try to internalize it a little bit, and I had this like, you know, light bulb moment where I was like, why are, why am I talking about MQs and SQLs again?

    [00:13:37] like that is the sort of complete opposite way of how they were thinking about their guest experience, their guest, all the way through to being a host. Albeit it was, you know, a different type of customer journey for them than for us. But I, the very real sort of moment for me was like, we're touching on what life is like for.

    [00:13:58] the, you know, the, the sort of [00:14:00] reality of that customer's experience outside of the product and in addition to inside of the product. So it was both, you know, both these sort of direct touchpoints and indirect sort of actions, um, their emotional journey. . So what they were feeling as they were going through each of these milestones, um, and it was completely through the, their lens, not through the lens of Airbnb, but through the lens of the actual like customer.

    [00:14:24] And so I was like, well, this is what we need to do. This is the most helpful way to think about things cuz then we can actually help customers get to a moment of success or like a value moment for them, not for us. And I just, I remember. Thinking MQs and n and SQLs or like, you know, generic sort of traffic numbers or like entered a credit card, um, is not indicative of our customer reaching a moment of value.

    [00:14:50] And I, I sort of knew in my heart of hearts that if we could help our customers be successful, that we could be successful. Um, and so that was, you know, a bit of a moment for me, [00:15:00] head of, uh, customer success at the time. Ryan Engley, he was there with me and I was like, Ryan, come here. Come here, . And we looked at it.

    [00:15:07] He was like, holy shit. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And we both knew, so we went back and we created one for ourselves and, um, it just greased the wheels for a lot more, um, thoughtful strategies. And experiences and measurement and meetings and the way we talked about our customers and the way we prioritized what we, what we did.

    [00:15:32] Um, it just made everything a lot easier. So that was a, a, a critical moment. Um, for me in the sort of the juxtaposition of like pirate metrics, M Q L S, sql L um, even the very high level, you know, like interest consideration, purchase, none of that was as helpful for me as this type of framework which was built around what was valuable to our customers.

    [00:15:57] So, um, yeah, it that. [00:16:00] Sorry, a very long-winded way of 

    [00:16:01] Ramli John: answering. No, no. This is perfect. Okay. I, I, I was totally in that story. I mean, that's a great story around, you know, like really deeply understanding how to help your user succeed and not just like, As a customer, if somebody said, you're an mql, like, I would feel like I'm an mql.

    [00:16:18] I feel like a number, like, you know, when you're, you're in university, like, oh, you're just a number in the system. And that's like, that's what companies marketing's, uh, teams, uh, treat their customers or. Yeah. Uh, it's like, oh, you're an mql, uh, therefore you're not as valuable to us as, let's say. It's like, oh wow, that's, uh, that's quite painful and 

    [00:16:36] Gia Laudi: you're really, well, what does it even mean to be an mql?

    [00:16:39] Right? Right. Like, that's the other problem. Not only are you thinking about your customers as a team, right. Not only are you thinking about your customers as like, you know, hitting this, like this point in time so that now I can market to them or now I can sell to them, but also, , it doesn't mean anything to the majority of [00:17:00] people.

    [00:17:00] Like when you to ask companies, oh, what does it mean to be an mql? Oh, I don't know. Like if you ask somebody in product what defines an mql, often they don't have an answer for that. It's only marketing that has an answer for that. Um, generally, and even marketing is like, oh, we have a definition, but you know, it's not perfect.

    [00:17:18] We're working on it like, is the very typical answer too, where they don't have a perfect definition. They recognize it's an imperfect definition, but yet they continue to have, per their performance, measured against this imperfect definition of, you know, what their job is and, and, and generating more of them.

    [00:17:34] So yeah, it's just not as, uh, it's not as meaningful and obviously for customers, you know, it, it ends up in that experience. But as a, as a member of a team, It also doesn't feel super great either. 

    [00:17:47] Ramli John: And the other thing is that you, you mentioned, hey, you know, product team, maybe customer success, even marketing has a different definition of mql, have, have rallying everybody in the team around helping people succeed.[00:18:00] 

    [00:18:00] It's a very, like, it's very exciting. Like cuz Yes. You know, you, you are, we're we're people and we Yes. Helping other people. Hopefully Yes. Helps motivate us and humans helping humans. It's clear. Yep. Right. Humans helping humans. And I, I feel like that's another reason why customer like growth is so important is now you can see Yeah.

    [00:18:19] Your work, uh, in different places actually. 

    [00:18:23] Gia Laudi: Delivering value. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. It feels, it feels much better. Um, and you also, because especially if you back it up with research, which I know we're, we're definitely gonna talk about, um, we build a collect, not not only an individual, but a collective empathy for the customer.

    [00:18:41] Um, and better understanding of what they need, uh, when they need it. 

    [00:18:45] Ramli John: Before we continue, I wanna thank the sponsor for this episode 42 agency. When you're in scale up mode, you have to hit your KPIs and the pressure is on to deliver demos and signups. It's a lot to handle DemandGen, abm, email sequences, [00:19:00] revenue ops, and more.

    [00:19:01] That's where 42 Agency founded by my good friend, Camille Rexton can help you. They're a strategic partner that's helped B2B SaaS companies like ProfitWell, teamwork, sprout Social and Hubdoc build a predictable revenue. If you're looking for performance experts in creative to solve your hardest marketing problems at a fraction of the cost of in-house, look no further, go to 42 Agency, that's number 42,

    [00:19:28] Talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high efficiency revenue engine. Now find that link in the description or show notes. Well, that's off. Now let's jump back into this episode. Mm-hmm. , let's talk about the three phase of the customer, like growth framework. Yeah. Uh, the very first one is around,

    [00:19:46] I love how you put this, getting inside your customer's head, your best customer's head, not just any customer your best. That's important. Customer's head. I wanna talk a little bit about like the tangible, uh, you know, results of this. , uh, just because getting inside your head, I [00:20:00] have this visual idea of like, you know, opening somebody's head up and then poking around their brain

    [00:20:05] But that, that's just a, definitely a metaphor. But what are some Yeah. Uh, of the valuable things that marketers can get when they get inside of the customer's head? I mean, 

    [00:20:14] Gia Laudi: the, the process is really important, and the word best is important too, because not all customers are created equally. And I, and I want to also recognize here and call out.

    [00:20:26] I know that people have a resistance to research. There's a bunch of reasons why people have a resistance to research, and that's why that best is so important. Um, it's because you may have a vision for the direction that the company should go in. You have a direction, you have a vision for, um, like the product strategy.

    [00:20:46] Know who your best customers are, right? If you can look at all your customers, um, you know, look at a thousand of your, you know, you're paying customers who is happily paying you. Getting continued value, um, gets a [00:21:00] ton of value from your product today, and wasn't a huge burden to acquire as a customer too, right?

    [00:21:06] They in inherently understood the value that you provide to them. Um, and, um, There's a, there's a a lot of criteria and ways to think about it, but essentially when you go to do this research, it's very important that you narrow down and prioritize the voices of your best customers, not just all your customers.

    [00:21:27] So that's really, really helpful in, in, um, well, it's helpful in a, in a lot of regards, but also specifically related to research. It can streamline the process a lot. , um, and make it, uh, a quicker, uh, you know, less painful process. So definitely prioritizing who, like the segmentation, um, on your research is really, really important in terms of what you learn.

    [00:21:52] Um, and what you can, what you can learn from these best customers. We like to use the jobs to be Done framework to guide our research. Um, [00:22:00] when we run surveys, they're all OpenText, uh, responses, uh, interviews, very similar questions, but again, they're very jobs focused. So it's for, for those that aren't familiar with the Jobs to Be Done framework, it's basically based on this theory that.

    [00:22:17] Customers buy a better version of themselves, right? They're not buying your product, they're buying what your product allows them to do. And so we're trying to pull at that and there's some really interesting and amazing questions, um, that we ask when we do types this type of research. And one of them is, you know, what was it that led you to sign up for our product today, if that's not exact wording, but something along those lines We're basically, we are figuring out.

    [00:22:41] What was going on in that person's life that convinced them that the way that they're solving the problem today or in that moment wasn't good enough anymore and they had to, they had to fire their existing solution in order to hire another one. And if you can understand what that moment is for your customers.

    [00:22:59] You can [00:23:00] understand how to market to them. You can understand what you're messaging, um, and even partially what you're positioning could be, right, who you're up against in that market. Right? What solution are you asking them to fire in order to hire your solution that that. Communicates to you, you learn from them on, you know, what are the specific parts about their current solution that are very, that are painful, and how is your solution this sort of antidote to that.

    [00:23:24] So that's really insightful. There's a number of questions. Um, another one of my favorite questions when we run, uh, research like this is what was the moment that you knew, um, that our product was gonna solve this problem for. And the answer to that question can do a ton, obviously, in terms of figuring what your, you know, your differentiators are and what your competitive advantages are.

    [00:23:46] Your messaging, of course, like on your website and potentially in your messaging. But my favorite application of that question is actually how the product onboarding can be influenced by that answer as well. Right? And to figure out what is it, what parts of our [00:24:00] product should we introduce in what order?

    [00:24:01] What do they care about most? Um, so again, it gives you messaging. and, and sort of the hierarchy of messaging, but it also gives you insight into how to introduce the product to begin with once they get into the, once they get into the product. Um, I mean, I've got lots of examples of, uh, companies that we've worked with where we've learned really interesting things.

    [00:24:21] Um, And we're able to influence not only the messaging and positioning on the website, but also product onboarding, even, uh, uncover expansion opportunities, post-acquisition. Um, all because of that style of research, which is very, uh, you know, sort of qualitative and, and digs at the why, uh, customers are choosing you.

    [00:24:41] What leads them to reach out to you and why do they choose you over all the other options? 

    [00:24:45] Ramli John: I, I totally, I totally love this cuz it's, All the stuff you talked about is so foundational to everything else that the, the, the spaghetti on the wall now before Yeah. You throw spaghetti on the wall. It's like, which is your wall?

    [00:24:58] Better than what [00:25:00] the wall that they have right now. Which wall? It's what kind, which wall? , which kind spaghetti. Did they even, what spaghetti do they want? Tor or, or some other pasta. Like you're actually trying to deeply understand the foundation of what. Product and service unique and different in the eyes of your customers.

    [00:25:18] Yeah, which totally leads to, you don't have to be guessing. Yeah, you don't have to. Oh, yeah. Going back to the value of, of, uh, the customer leggo framework again. Yeah, totally love that. I mean, that, that's the foundation. And now you're, you're kind of starting to lead towards the second and third phase of this framework around mapping and measuring out your, your customer experience.

    [00:25:37] And then the third is like unlocking those growth opportunities. You said you work with a kind of different companies. Yeah. Can you share, uh, a little bit of, of this. Three in, in unison now in cycle applied to a company that you've worked with or you helped 

    [00:25:51] Gia Laudi: out with? . Yeah, I'm trying to think of which example would be, um, the most, you know, um, straightforwards.

    [00:25:58] I love the Spark Tour example just [00:26:00] because I love, um, that team. Um, and they do, you know, fantastic work and it's a great product too. Um, I also, another great example and they, they for on in the Spark, on Spark Toro side, we basically through surveys, We were able to do really, really quickly this research.

    [00:26:18] Um, we were able to identify like two dominant groups of customers where, um, we were in a position to be able to prioritize one, like it was clear that spark to was better positioned. , um, in its current state to address one of these groups over the other. Um, and that there was a longer term potential and an expansion potential with one of the groups.

    [00:26:41] And so, um, through the, the parsing process, we identified that. And then what we were able to do is also figure out from them, like, okay, of that prioritized group, what do they say is really important to them and very valuable to them. That question that I mentioned about, you know, what was the moment that you, you know, knew Spark to was gonna solve your problem?

    [00:26:58] Well, the answers to [00:27:00] those questions gave us a ton of insight, not only into, um, again, the messaging and positioning that could be leveraged on the website, but also the early product experience. And so that team. And huge shout out to Amanda for that. Um, she was basically able to leverage that research and that sort of the, the hierarchy of that messaging and how that connected to specific features and highlight that inside of the product.

    [00:27:25] And they doubled their trial to paid conversion rate, um, which was incredible. And they did a really, really quickly too, like it wasn't. It wasn't, I, I don't wanna say it wasn't a, a big lift, cuz obviously I, I can't say that. Um, for sure. But on the research side, that was very straightforward. Um, the messaging was very clear.

    [00:27:45] The opportunity was very clear and they like, you know, they, they, they took advantage of that and, and they were able to leverage that and really, you know, doubled their child to peak conversion rate, which is huge. Another example that I. Is the Meet Edgar example. And the reason that I [00:28:00] love that one is because similarly we identified, um, two dominant groups.

    [00:28:06] One that was, and I, and I use this example in the book actually. Um, I don't remember exactly which chapter at this point, but it, it's a great example because they're, they're the two groups were so different. Um, and they had been addressing both groups the entire. History of the company. So these like newer to social media and those more advanced and um, and those that were looking to sort of automate their process.

    [00:28:30] And what we did was we updated the messaging to address the messaging just on the website to address that more sophisticated. Um, you know, uh, use case and that more sophisticated customer job that was looking more to automate. And we updated three pages on their website, only three, their homepage, their features page, and their pricing page, and increased the sign increased signups by 89%.

    [00:28:54] But my favorite part of the story and why I tell it is because the trial to pay conversion rate also increased 40% [00:29:00] and we didn't. anything off the website, right? So it was only the messaging and positioning because it was, you know, so much better addressed, um, who their ideal customer was. They were getting less, you know, um, unqualified people signing up for the product.

    [00:29:17] That was a drain on customer success, right? Um, and so it was a better product fa customer coming through the front door and there were more of them. Um, so I love those two examples. Um, specifically, One, one because it was on the, the, the experience that was improved and optimized was on the, you know, tri, the post-acquisition right after the trial experience or the freemium rather, and then the other one on the website.

    [00:29:39] So I love 

    [00:29:39] Ramli John: those two examples. Uh, the media go one is super interesting cuz you mentioned it. It doubled their, it increased their free to pay without touching their product, which is a huge lift in how important copy is for people tuning in who are not familiar. Um, spark Toro is, audience research tool while Meet Edgar is, uh, social [00:30:00] media management tool and the home base.

    [00:30:01] Right now, I'm not sure if they're still experimenting with this. Uh, it speaks to what you mentioned, uh, around this automation. It says the unique social media management tool that does the scheduling for you. It's all about the automation. You really have automation. Yeah. The, the, the. to the customer using MeetEdgar versus other are the things with that?

    [00:30:20] Yeah, 

    [00:30:21] Gia Laudi: I mean, messaging is I, I will say the majority of companies that reach out to us. They're looking for one of two things. They're either like, we need more scalable marketing strategies, or we need our messaging. We need to hone our messaging. Um, and even if they come to us saying, oh, we need more scalable marketing, usually what they end up needing.

    [00:30:43] I, I shouldn't even say usually always what they end up right benefiting from is more resonant messaging that better speaks to what matters to their best customers. Um, and if you're not doing customer research, you're just missing a massive, massive opportunity there to, to take [00:31:00] advantage of what your customers already know.

    [00:31:01] Like why would you guess? Um, and then the other big advantage is that once you've done that customer research, not only can you refine your messaging, To be more on point and you're, you're onboarding, which you know we talked about, but also you're gonna get a ton of insight. What are the watering holes that they're hanging out in?

    [00:31:18] Right? Like where are they learning about? Um, actually this is gonna be very inception, you talking about Spark Toro, right? But getting insight into how they articulate the problem that they have, right? What solution that they're using today. Um, where do they go to sort of solve that problem? Um, getting that insight and then taking advantage of a tool that exists like Spark Toro to figure out, okay, these are the channel.

    [00:31:43] These are the spaces and these are the, the influences, um, on our ideal customers. And you can be a lot more targeted, not only in your messaging and positioning, but also in how you do your actual marketing and, and sort of top of funnel, so to speak. Uh, you know, style, awareness, style 

    [00:31:58] Ramli John: marketing. I love all of [00:32:00] this.

    [00:32:00] I feel like. This is something I wish I learned when I was starting in marketing, uh, which me too before I shift to talk about career. Yes. Can you, can you share to the audience where, you know, where they can find out more about customer like growth, uh, and forget the funnel book. Um, 

    [00:32:15] Gia Laudi: so forget the

    [00:32:17] Uh, we, they're, we have, uh, a couple pages about how we work with companies. Uh, Um, but the book is available there. It's right linked in the Top Nav. I mean, I think it's slash book, if I'm not mistaken, 

    [00:32:28] Ramli John: folks, get the book, but don't go yet. Cuz I wanna talk about career, career, marketing, career because it's uh, also a big, uh, you know, part of what I wish I learned when I was starting out in mar career around your, you know, you've been in marketing for 20 years.

    [00:32:45] Uh, and you know, for people tuning in, um, I'm only in this for 12, 12 years. I'm still still about a kid. I'm still about a teenager. marketing teenager. 12 years is still a long time. can, can you share [00:33:00] a, a PowerUp that's helped you with your, your career, uh, that's really like, help accelerated or really help you, uh, in your, in your career as a, as a 

    [00:33:09] Gia Laudi: market.

    [00:33:10] I mean, the really obvious one that I wish I knew sooner to was actually customer research. And it's not that we didn't do customer research. Uh, we did some, but it wasn't. As focused as I now know, research can be. Um, we were doing the very standard nps, uh, you know, annual customer surveys, stuff like that, but it was never as focused as what I now know is possible.

    [00:33:38] And that can be done very, very quickly. Um, really it's about identifying patterns and making sure that the research that you're running is actually actionable. so often doesn't happen. So focused research is definitely the best power up, prioritizing what your best customers say over what your target market says.

    [00:33:58] So I know like [00:34:00] I'm all for market research and I'm all for learning about, you know, target customer, but nothing should trump. The customers who are happily paying you today. Um, and then you can sort of reverse engineer it. And I, I wish I had known that sooner. Um, so that's definitely one. And then another part I would definitely say that I also learned, um, Later was having a, like a, a support network.

    [00:34:23] So, um, I'm very, very lucky to be part of, uh, this group of, uh, we're mostly women. Um, we're not all entrepreneurs. Some of us are execs inside of, uh, you know, companies. Um, but I have this like, ever since I left in-house my. Like what sort of hurt my soul was like, I, oh, no more team. Like I had Claire obviously, but Right.

    [00:34:46] Um, I wanted to sort of get out of the building a little bit and, and, because that was one thing that I felt like I didn't do enough of. And so we have a Slack community that we engage in regularly. We also meet up annually or, [00:35:00] you know, twice annually. In real time in like great, we were, we just, we were in Portugal together.

    [00:35:06] There were 10 of us in Portugal together, which was amazing. Like nothing has, you know, is more valuable than that. So I would definitely say don't just look to your current company and your current team to be that sort of support network for you. You can definitely get outta the building and that'll benefit you after.

    [00:35:23] you know, leave your company 

    [00:35:23] Ramli John: too. Another question I, I love hearing from other folks is if you can give yourself, uh, younger advice, uh, you know, when you were just starting out in marketing, uh, 20 years ago, well, what would, uh, what would your, uh, this, this version of GIA tell the younger version of Gia about, you know, about career, about, um, marketing, uh, about anything else?

    [00:35:48] One 

    [00:35:49] Gia Laudi: thing that I wish I'd done a better job of, you know what? I did a decent job of it very early, and then I went in-house and then I disappeared. So that was one, that's one thing that I [00:36:00] wish I could tell my not 20 year ago. Self cuz I feel like , when I first started in marketing, I knew this a little bit better, and then I went in-house and then I proceeded to just disappear behind that brand.

    [00:36:13] Um, and don't get me wrong, I like, I've already mentioned at the beginning of this, like I felt a ton of. Um, you know, responsibility for, and I was, I was really invested in the success of that company. And so this was part, partially part of the reason. But what I would say is don't just disappear behind the brand you currently are employed by.

    [00:36:33] Um, I, I said no to a. Ton of opportunities that I shouldn't have said no to. Um, because I, at the time I was like, I can't prioritize this. I don't have time for, I don't have time to speak at conferences. Who's got time to speak at conferences? I'm too busy, right? I don't have time to be on this webinar or be on this podcast.

    [00:36:52] I'm too busy. And so I said a no to a lot of opportunities like that. Um, and I really, really shouldn't have. And so that's what I would definitely. [00:37:00] Um, don't just disappear behind the brand that currently pays your paycheck. Um, you know, things change and, um, your careers are longer than you think they are.

    [00:37:09] Ramli John: I hope you're as impressed as I am with this chat about the customer Lego framework. You can order the book now, I forget the You also find GIA on LinkedIn and Twitter. All those links are in the description and show. Thanks to Gia for being on the show. If you enjoy this episode, you'd love the marketing Power UPS newsletter that I sent out.

    [00:37:27] Each week I share the actionable takeaways and break down the frameworks of world-class marketers. From each episode. You go to marketing power to subscribe, and you'll instantly unlock the five best marketing frameworks. The top marketers used to hit their KPIs consistently and wow their colleagues.

    [00:37:45] If you wanna say thank you, please like and follow marketing power UPS on YouTube, apple Podcast, and Spotify. If you're feeling extra generous, kindly leave a review on Apple Podcast and Spotify and leave a comment on YouTube. It goes a long way for others [00:38:00] finding out about marketing power ups. Thank you to Mary.

    [00:38:03] So for FA, the artwork and. Thanks to 42 agency for sponsoring this episode, and of course, thank you for listening and tuning in. Well, that's all for now. This is your host family, John. Until the next episode, have a powered update. Bye 

    [00:38:18] Gia Laudi: marketing power ups. Until the next episode.

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