Pukket Blog

Your Guide to Growing Your Series A Startup Organically

Starting a business is among the boldest steps that people make in their lives. Overcoming the fear of being part of the  20% of small enterprises that fail in their first year or 30% second-year small business failures  is quite a big deal. This rate can be considerably higher among tech startups. Congrats if you have a Series A startup. You are now past those early days and are now concerned how you can best grow your business. For that purpose, the Lean Analytics model offers a solid framework in which virality is one of the key pillars of a healthy growing startup.

Your Series A startup is now in a position to invest money into business development and paid acquisition. One of the most important things you need to do is to focus on the organic growth of the business. This requires you to lay a firm foundation on through lean analytics model.

Lean analytics for Series A startups

Through the lean analytics model, you’ll be able to measure how your product/service performs and learn from the performance results. Here are the lean analytics model stages that you should follow to ensure that you gather as much information as possible regarding your market and the performance of your business. If your startup has raised Series A, you should now be past Empathy and Stickiness, and be focusing on virality, revenue and growth.

1. Empathy

This is where you try to put yourself in the shoes of your target consumers and identify a problem that bothers them so much that they won’t mind paying you to get a solution. There might be other products that seem to address the same but leaving gaps that the consumers would want to see filled. It’s now upon you to establish an ideal product for addressing the need. Once you find this, move to the next stage-stickiness. 

2. Stickiness

At this stage, you develop an MVP product considering the analysis information that you gathered in the first step. Then, release the product to the market while focusing on communicating its benefits rather than the features. The benefits are more meaningful to consumers than features. Once they know about the benefits, they can then try to find out the features behind the benefits. 

After some time (depending on your scheduled timeline), you should be able to establish if you have  provided the desired value for the users or not. You now that your product delivers value that’s consistent with the need of the target users if they use it regularly.

Otherwise, even if you made remarkable sales at the beginning and all of a sudden nobody bothers to buy again, you need to recheck your user analysis and adjust your product to offer the value your target customers expect. 

It’ll be extremely difficult, or rather impossible, for your product to achieve the desired traction if it doesn’t offer the intended users what they need. Unfortunately, unless your product has traction, your business has minimal chances of achieving sustained long-term growth.

3. Virality

You have confirmed that your customers are happy with your product and are willing to buy it regularly. It’s now time to scale up their acquisition in a cost-efficient way. One of the most cost-efficient customer acquisition strategies is word of mouth. And the form of marketing not only pocket-friendly but also effective, with 74% of consumers identifying it as their major purchasing decision influencer.

Despite the efficiency it brings, the internet era has seen many brands struggle to win consumer’s trust. The majority of consumers feel that the information given by most brands is meant to overrate their offerings. That’s why, according to HubSpot show, 75% of people don’t trust business ads and branded-content. On the other hand, 90% of them trust suggestions given by their family and friends while 70% find consumer reviews to be trustworthy. 

Therefore, if you want your product or brand to go viral while maintaining your customer acquisition cost at sustainable levels, word-of-mouth advertising is the way to go. There are various ways of encouraging virality and they include:

  • Creating and sharing unique and share-worthy content

You can use social media to trigger conversations about your brand, product or brands. One way of doing that is developing user-need-tailored, unique and share-worthy content. As long as the content is memorable, relates to their needs and is rare to find elsewhere, your target users will find themselves sharing with the people around them regardless of your request for them to do so.

  • Triggering user-generated content

This strategy involves encouraging consumers to create and share content regarding your brand. You can then incorporate the user-generated content in your website or social media channels to build more trust with your target customers. 

  • Employee advocacy

You can motivate your employees to promote your Series A startup through their personal social media channels, among other word-of-mouth avenues. According to recent research by Edelman Trust Barometer, employees are twice more trusted than a company’s CEO. 

4. Expected revenue versus CAC

This stage is about comparing the revenue you expect from a customer and the customer acquisition cost (CAC). Ideally, the expected revenue should be three times the CAC for a healthy and scalable business. If your margins are healthy and have achieved the ideal ratio, you can then focus on growing your business. Organic word-of-mouth is a great way driving down your CAC. Pukket’s fully automated advocacy management platform provides you with the tool to achieve that.

brand ambassador

Key Factors In Running a Successful Brand Ambassador Programme

A well managed brand ambassador programme can be your answer to the following problems: Do you feel like your business is facing overwhelming competition? Are your advertisement costs heading to unsustainable levels? Are you striving to generate more quality leads and gain more loyal customers? If your answer is yes to any, if not all of these questions, know that you aren’t alone. Many business owners and operators have been there but did something that took their business to greater levels. One of the most effective strategies is choosing brand ambassadors help you increase awareness about your business.

Why A Brand Ambassador Programme?

The benefits of a brand ambassador programme include:

  • Business reputation protection

When some people out there decide to tarnish the reputation of your company, your brand ambassadors will be your shield. They can calm the situation by sharing their positive experiences with your staff, product, services or any other factual information.  

  • Resource-efficient

A robust ambassador programme can reduce the workload of your marketing team. Ambassadors can take over tasks such as content creation or distributing them on social media at cost-effective levels.

  • Improved brand-customer communication

Customers trust brand ambassadors more than the brands they represent. As such, they are more likely to tell them how they actually feel about the brands. The ambassadors will then communicate such information to their brands for action.

Which Are The Major Factors In Running A Successful Brand Ambassador Programme?

1. Choosing the right people

Traditionally, companies choose celebrities to become their brand ambassadors. However, with time, marketing departments have come to appreciate the fact that celebrities aren’t the exclusive brand ambassadorship candidates.  Anyone who has some level of following can be a brand ambassador.

In fact, when a person with just a few hundreds of followers posts about your product or service, their audience will find it more authentic as compared to a similar post by an influencer with thousands of followers. As for the latter, people feel like their promotional messages are inspired by the money they receive to post the advertisement.   

As you look into that while recruiting your brand ambassadors, also ensure that the qualified candidates embody your brand’s ideals. Such ambassadors won’t feel pressured to conform to your standards when communicating information relating to your brand.  

2. Agreeing on the rewards from the beginning

Whether you use a reward system or recruit volunteers to take part in your brand ambassador programmer, it’s good to give them something for appreciation. Also, to avoid unnecessary conflicts and overexpectation, you should agree on what they stand to get if they participate in the programme from the very word go.

Besides, you need to settle on the prerequisites of getting the agreed-upon reward. When such things are clearly outlined, the participants will be able to make informed decisions and work objectively.

As you explore your reward options, it’s important to note that free products can be a good choice. In fact, 38% of the 200 companies used in a recent Kite study say that they offer free products to their ambassadors as a way of appreciating them for promoting their brands on social media.

However, as you consider free samples as rewards for the promoters of your brand, you should be a bit cautious. If you operate in the U.S, ensure that your decision is in line with the Federal Trade Commission. For a U.K business, confirm if the reward program conforms with the Competition and Markets Authority regulations. To avoid these issues, on Pukket you would only reward your ambassadors only after they have posted their experience with your product/service on loyalty point basis, avoiding the problem of incentivisation before the post is made. 

3. A realistic and simple plan

Having agreed on the rewards that your ambassadors will get, it’s imperative to create a plan and have them incorporated into it. Make the plan as simple as you can to help future ambassadors understand the components easily. The simplicity of the plan is important for your quick reference or by the current ambassadors.  

4. Trust and transparency

Trust and openess are the key components of an effective brand ambassador programme that stands the test of time. However, trust comes from the point of understanding the potential and personality traits of every ambassador. As such, you should collect as much information as you can regarding the abilities of your brand ambassadors before engaging them. 

Once you confirm that the promoters have the abilities you desire, show them that you trust them with your company’s representation. Also, it’s imperative to make them develop a sense of belonging to your organization. You can achieve that by keeping them updated about the progress of the company. If you have an incoming launch or release, keep them in the loop. This will go a long way to strengthening the relationship between you and the brand evangelists. 

5. Honest and seamless communication 

Use your ambassadors to elicit feedback from your existing and prospective customers. Encourage them to stimulate and communicate outstanding positive and negative consumer comments about your business, products or services. Such information can help you and your marketing department to devise more effective strategies for improving on various areas regarding your business. Also, let your brand ambassadors know that you are fully okay with them conversing about your brand without bias. Don’t forget to respond to them when they give such feedbacks. 

Having put the above factors into consideration, you should have a brand ambassador programme that helps move forward to your organization’s goals. Do you need help in creating or running a successful brand ambassador program? Do you need help identifying and recruiting ambassadors from your community of loyal customers? If you do, let Pukket guide you through that as we have a fully automated ambassador management platform for your needs.  

 
employee advocacy

Your Guide To Employee Advocacy

With the current internet era, there are tons of opportunities that businesses can exploit online. However, any marketer will tell you that beating the online competition isn’t always a walk in the park for organizations. To stay ahead of the competition and maintain reasonable customer acquisition costs, marketers have adopted new trends, including employee advocacy. Consumers have minimal trust with brands. However, when companies use their employees to promote their messages, their chances of winning customers’ hearts increases.

Benefits of Employee Advocacy

 

Wider Reach

Employees have roughly 10 times more connections  compared to brand communication channels and their reach. Besides, your brand messages are likely to be shared 24 times more when they are distributed by your employees.

 

Reduced cost of customer acquisition

The total cost of an employee advocacy program is roughly 10% of paid advertising. Therefore, a robust employee engagement program can see your advertisement costs reduce significantly.

 

Improved trust

Edelman Trust Barometer’s research shows that employees are twice more trusted than CEOs of companies. Because of this, their promotional messages are likely to create more customer trust.

 

Increased sales revenue

Employee social marketing leads are likely to convert seven times more  compared leads generated through direct branded messages.

 

Improved overall company growth

PostBeyond and Golfdale Consulting carried out a survey which emphasized the importance of employee advocacy. According to the survey, companies that embrace employee advocacy perform 202% better  compared to those with unengaged workers. This is due to the improved brand recognition, increased referral traffic, enhanced customer trust and increased new lead generation as a result of the trusted employee voice. 

 

How to Get the Best from Your Employee Advocacy Program

 

There are several things you need to do to see your business benefit greatly from employee advocacy. They include:

 

1. Trusting and motivating your employees

Trust and motivation are the key pillars of a successful employee advocacy program. Your employees have to feel trusted to deliver the right message to the right people. This makes them feel confident and proud to the ambassadors of their employer. Trusted employees are ready to open up for genuine conversations that could accelerate the effectiveness of a company’s marketing approaches.

Although trust triggers internal motivation in employees, a company can do more to encourage them to spread the work on its behalf. It can choose to offer them perks in the form of virtual badges, bonuses, reward points, internal recognition or an exclusive getaway, among other options. However, you need to take your time to understand the best motivational perk for your workforce.

 

2. Give them the freedom to decide

One thing that you need to appreciate about this form of marketing is that your employees might be doing you a favor by going the extra mile to use their online networks to promote your business. Their social media accounts are part of their private life, and you have no influence over them.

As such, when approaching the workers to be your ambassadors, it shouldn’t look like you are coercing them to do so. Just treat them well and make them develop a sense of ownership of your business. Let them see how their extra efforts could bring positive changes at individual and corporate levels. Once you do that, they won’t have any problem sharing your promotional messages out of their own will.

 

3. Set clear guidelines

You need to set clear guideline and best practices regarding the information your employees can share regarding your business. The guideline and best practices should aim at protecting the image of your enterprise. They should also help to prevent legal litigations that might arise from irresponsible content sharing. 

With the guidelines in place, the workers will know the company-related information to or not to share. This helps them more confident to share the right information in a manner that matches their personality and without fear that it might backfire on them. 

 

4. Training

Nowadays nearly everyone is a social media user. However, you should not assume that each of your employees is savvy with social media platforms. From different departmental backgrounds to varying age groups, your employees are diverse. Therefore, their social media skill levels differ and you need to try to harmonize that through relevant training.

In the training, it is important to educate your workers on the best social media platforms for specific content. By posting the right content on the right platform, your messages will reach more of the intended consumers.

 

5. Provide the best tools

You need to support your employees with the right tools to see that they bring the best from their private channels to your business. Among the primary tools you should provide them with is high-quality content. 

Remember the employees are occupied with other major activities and so, they may not have sufficient time to create fresh promotional content for your enterprise. Make their work easier by creating top-notch content that promotes your brand or product for them to share. Or simply let them share their day to day experiences working at your company. The content could be a promotional case study, blog post or a video. Most importantly, ensure that the content is easy to digest and share on social media. 

Also, it’s important to direct your staff to the right social media management tools, such as Pukket, for promotional content sharing. 

If your business has not joined the employee advocacy bandwagon, know that you are missing out on great opportunities. It is high time for you to act and tap into the unexplored marketing potential of your workers. In case you need help in this, feel free to contact Pukket for exceptional professional guidance and ultra-effective services. 

 

Effective marketing strategies

Five Effective Marketing Strategies Marketers Rarely Focus On

With the prevailing information age, winning consumer trust is one of the most challenging tasks for businesses, especially start-ups. Traditional marketing channels are becoming expensive and ineffective as consumers have become quite selective of the marketing information they absorb and act upon. The rise of ad-blockers aggrievates the situation even further as many internet users use them block online ads, which according to them, are just a nuisance. This is a great threat to online advertisements. It’s high time savy marketers think outside the box to find alternative marketing strategies that are more effective and cost-efficient.

As you try to figure out the options, it essential for you to know that you are approaching people who are like your ex; they don’t trust you. They are almost fully fed up with marketers. In fact, only  4% of them trust marketers . Deceit is the first they see in you whenever you advertise your products or services. That’s why they will go to the extent of paying for an ad blocker to stop seeing your ads popping up on their screens. How will you then reach them if they can’t even give you a chance to show them the nice products or services you have in store for them?

A Customer Centric Era

Customers trust other customers for unbiased information about a product or service than they do to marketers. Unlike a marketer who has an agenda of promoting their products or services or generate sales, customers will in most cases talk positively about a product or service when it actually benefits them. So, if you really want to reach more customers, you need to use the existing ones as a bridge. However, you must ensure that your current customers are satisfied with the value that you provide them. Develop the best product or service and provide top-of-the-line customer service

Having done that, it will be very easy for you to turn them into your ambassadors. On that note, let’s have a look at some of the authentic marketing approaches you can use to make your satisfied customers recommend your brand, business, products or services to their friends and family.

1. Customer advocacy programmes

Customer advocacy program refers to a marketing initiative whereby a business offers incentives to its customers to turn them into spokespeople for their brand. In as much as your customers are delighted by your products or services, their busy lives may make them forget to spread the word about your business. Their limited leisure time might be so occupied with other activities that they won’t have time to talk about your business, unless when a specific related need arises.  

However, in the midst of their busy lives, your customers can still afford some time to share their good experiences with your business if they know that you’ll show them some appreciation in the form of simple incentives for their effort.  

There are various incentive options you can choose from, but money isn’t a good idea for the initiative. Giving them money will appear like you are buying their loyalty and this might not end very well with you. In Pukket, we reward Pukket points to customers in our customer advocacy programs. People who get these points as a reward of content sharing can then spend the points on vouchers.

2. Brand ambassador programmes

When you are committed to offering top-notch services or products, you get customers that are so loyal to your brand that they won’t mind showing their support to it even if it’s for free. You can recruit such people to represent and promote the brand or spread the word about your recent/upcoming product/service launch. Although some companies don’t pay their ambassadors, giving yours a token of appreciation in the form of a few bucks, services, products, or resources can enhance the ambassadorship in a great way.  

3. Referral programmes

One of the most effective marketing strategies used nowadays is referrals. In a referral program, you prime and reward your customers for helping put your business, products or services in front of prospective leads. Take time to find out the best reward for motivating your customers to refer your business to their friends and families. You can give them a discount, redeemable points or purchase credit whenever their referrals act on your call to action.

The power of word-of-mouth can see your business experience quality leads and meet its revenue targets without spending a fortune on customer acquisition. Pukket can help you to develop and implement an ultra-effective referral program. Besides, our platform enables you to measure your referral analytics very conveniently.  

4. Encouraging customer reviews and testimonials

Customer feedback, just like referral programs, are seen by other customers as authentic, giving a true picture of your business. Reach out to the customers who’ve used your product or service, seek to find out their views about it and request them to leave a review about the same on your website or social media pages. You can also ask them to incorporate the reviews and testimonials on their websites, social media profiles and/or products to promote the visibility of your business further.

Customer reviews and testimonials do not only prove value to prospects but can also help you understand why you are retaining or losing customers.

5. User-generated content

Encouraging the creation of user-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective marketing strategies a brand can take up in 2020. UGC is the content created and shared by your unpaid fans to promote your business or brand. It could be a picture, a video, a tweet, a blog post, a testimonial or any other form of sharable content originating from a person who is so enthusiastic about your business that they can go that mile to make other people aware of your awesome brand, product or service without expecting any payment for the effort.  

Do you want help in any of the above five marketing strategies? Pukket is your solution to running such programmes and initiatives. We’ll make your customers create content that is ten times more impactful than branded content, consequently helping you to cut down on your promotion costs significantly. Please visit this page and get in touch with us.