SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Sarah Ann Cantu

demio saas breakthrough featuring sarah ann cantuAbout Sarah Ann Cantu:
Sarah Ann Cantu has held various marketing roles in the B2B SaaS venture equity fund, Scaleworks, since 2017.
Currently, she is the Marketing Director at Qualaroo, a lightweight user research tool built to empower UX and product designers.
Specializing in content and marketing automation, Sarah is an alum of the Venture for America fellowship and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.


Show Notes:
03:10
The Go-to Lightweight User Research Solution For UX Designers
06:00
Joining The Team To Help Figure Out The Next Iteration
10:30
Leveraging Personal Networks And UX-Focused meet-ups For Target Audience Research
13:00
The Singularly Most Valuable Question
14:20
Changing With The New Position Statement
19:20
The Content Marketing Process In a Nutshell
24:10
Regular Content Audits And Workflows
26:20
Longer Form Pieces Of Content And SEO
28:30
Cultivating A Unique Voice Is Always Going To Be A Moving Target
31:10
Best Piece Of Advice For Using LinkedIn As An Acquisition Channel
35:00
Lessons Learned From Failures In LinkedIn
38:00
Exciting Big News: Nudge For Prototypes
41:00
Lightning Questions
Transcript:

Hey, Sarah. Thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. I'm really excited to have you here. How you doing today?
Sarah [03:06]:
Hey, David. I'm doing well. Thanks for having me.
David [03:10]:
Yeah. It's our pleasure, it's my pleasure to host you. I'm excited to talk about Qualaroo and really everything you guys are doing over there. I know we're going to talk about some product market fit stuff, changing audiences, and lots of good stuff but before we dive into the fun marketing related convo, will you give us a bit of a background on Qualaroo? When it was founded, who the customers are and what you're trying to do uniquely in the marketplace.
Sarah [03:36]:
Yeah, absolutely. So, Qualaroo itself was founded in 2012 by Sean Ellis and in its original iteration was really pitched as a tool for CRO and targeting a marketing audience or customer in particular. And however, we were acquired by a venture equity fund called Scaleworks in 2017 and since then, we've been headquartered in San Antonio and made some strategic shifts that we'll talk about I think a little bit later in the episode. But as far as our customers, we really work with a number of industries.
I'd say the largest portion of companies, a concentration of our base is SaaS companies. Additionally, we also work with a lot of agencies and historically, a number of ecom companies as well. I'd say that's increasingly less so but certainly is a part of our base still. And what we're trying to accomplish in the marketplace is we're really focused on being sort of the go-to lightweight user research solution for UX designers. Designers tend to be sort of inundated with a lot of tools.
However, our focus is really on servicing those designers who either don't have a user researcher on their team or don't have time to conduct user research themselves so that they can sort of quickly collect user insights to make the best design and product decisions possible.
David [05:23]:
That's amazing. That's a fantastic product in solving a big pain point there. When did you actually join the team?
Sarah [05:30]:
So, actually I just celebrated my one-year anniversary with the team.
David [05:35]:
Congratulations.
Sarah [05:37]:
Yeah. So, I joined last September and when I started originally, I was just overseeing the content program and my role has grown a little bit since then.
David [05:50]:
Gosh it. That was after the acquisition, right?
Sarah [05:53]:
Right. So, we were acquired in 2017 and I joined the team in 2018.
David [05:59]:
Got you. Perfect. That was fantastic and sounds like you've definitely grown in your role there. So, that's fantastic but when you joined, it was a ready post acquisition. What did product market fit look like then when you came in?
Sarah [06:16]:
Yeah. Great question. So, I'd say we were and in many ways still are trying to figure it out. Of course as a company that has a history and has been around for seven years now, we were obviously doing some things right. However, as we were really founded in the sort of CRO space and that is a very crowded marketplace and I think targeting marketers in particular can be tough. As a marketer myself, I can attest that I certainly am constantly getting sold on different tools and there's just so many options.
So, we were really trying to figure out what the next iteration of Qualaroo would look like in the sense of what is the corner of the market that we could really own. So, we were trying to figure that out when I joined.
David [07:10]:
Got it. Then those conversations, are they mostly coming from maybe the leadership coming in and saying “Listen! We have a problem with churn or we have a problem with just user adoption or getting people to actively utilize the tool on a daily basis”. Are these all stemming from that specific type of problem within the business that then goes into the marketing departments like “Hey, we need to figure out where else we can pivot too”?
Sarah [07:35]:
Yeah. That's a good question. I'd say it certainly does come from leadership in the sense that we like any company, experience churn and I think with the place or the space that we were trying to play in specifically, it seemed like there were options that were much cheaper than what we then are pricing but there were also options that were much more expensive and much more.
I guess you could say expensive than what our product offered so we were having sort of a hard time finding who is our target prospector, who would be the most compelled to purchase Qualaroo and so really kind of a leadership and I think sales driven decision.
David [08:20]:
Yeah, Makes sense. Maybe just harder to figure out like on those sales calls like what's your differentiation? Why you guys all of a sudden like you can't have that disconnect. I only ask because I know we've gone through similar kind of situations figuring out like “Who is that target audience that's perfect for us?” So, going into that especially as you're kind of coming in, I know you're doing content at this time but you're coming in, you guys are trying to figure out who that audience is.
What do you do to go out there and try to find that perfect audience? Are you just going out and starting the interview customers that you have? Are you going into the marketplace so you're looking at segments? What does that look like?
Sarah [08:58]:
Yeah. Great question. So, I'd say we definitely as I mentioned, we're now sort of focusing on UX designers and product designers and that decision had a lot to do with things that we had already seen in our own base. So, we had a few customers that were already using us in the way that we are sort of positioning ourselves now, right?
So, I'd say that was the first sort of inkling of who are our target audience should be and kind of moving forward from that, the way that we started to make that change was, like you mentioned, to have a lot of interviews. So, we had some of some folks in our base that made sense but we were also just trying to interview UX designers and user researchers across a number of industries who had maybe never heard of Qualaroo much less used it and tried to understand their pain points and goals.
We do move pretty quickly so we didn't necessarily wait to get all of the insights perfectly accurate before coming up with a new positioning statement so we did a lot of testing of what the right way to phrase what we were doing was with our target audience in that interview process and through that process we were able to solidify who our new persona was and so those were kind of the initial steps I'd say that we took to implement the change of target audience.
David [10:33]:
A couple of specific questions for you. When you were doing the reach outs into kind of the UX designer industry and kind of reaching out, were you finding companies and just like cold email out reaching to them and were you utilizing incentives to get them on calls? Or how did you get like actually on the phone with people that didn't know Qualaroo?
Sarah [10:53]:
Yeah. Good question. So, I'd say locally one of the first things that we did to sort of learn more about our target audience was to join a meet-up that's UX focused and so thankfully, even though a lot of the people in that meet-up don't necessarily use Qualaroo, we were able to sort of plug in organically to a group of folks that were exactly our target audience. So, I think because there was some familiarity we didn't necessarily have to offer incentive in that case and honestly, there was a lot of too.
The leadership team specifically kind of posting on their LinkedIn profiles or messaging folks in their network who made sense for our target audience for example I'm in a couple of select channels of groups and fellowships they've been a part of it and dropped it in there to see if anybody was willing to talk. So, when it was kind of more of a when we were sort of just putting it out there we would offer an incentive but we also definitely leveraged our own personal networks.
David [13:02]:
Yeah. I know that's a great answer and super helpful. I think for people they're looking to do that, that's a hard one kind of going out there organically and just talking to people that don't know you, I mean it's one thing to interview your customers that know your brand there sometimes willing to give you that time so that's very helpful. The other question I was going to ask about that process was kind of that interview process itself.
When you're asking these questions were there any questions in particular that you saw stood out that were maybe the most helpful during the interview process or maybe just any lessons that you learned during that interview process that would be valuable for if you guys had to do that again.
Sarah [12:36]:
Yeah. Great question. I mean I think probably what was the maybe the singularly most valuable question was honestly, just getting direct feedback on the positioning statement that we'd come up with. You can ask a lot of questions about what's hard about your job or what are your goals and things like that? But I think just asking people without leading them, when you hear the phrase “which at the time was automated user research”, what do you think of and you get or we got a lot of different answers.
So, I think that was really helpful as it helped us sort of iterate or realize that we needed to iterate on the phrasing as it seemed to evoke so many different responses. That one was really helpful and then, I think what was also really helpful was asking questions about specifically when purchasing tools who are other people that tend to be in the conversation.
For example, is there what departments need to sign off on your software purchases or things like that and that was helpful because it made us realize that even though designers tend to have a lot of tools they may not always be the person that makes the final decision on what tools they have access to or what's their budget so we realized through there that we also need it or through our interviews that we really needed to also have a strategy to address key stakeholders. So, those were two of the most enlightening questions I would say.
David [14:19]:
Yeah. I love that. That's fantastic. Find out the gatekeepers, find out their kind of pain points and maybe what the sales team needs to know to get those pass throughs. That's fantastic. What about what happens afterwards? You have your new positioning, you kind of move quickly and you're like “Okay, we know who this is. We're going after UX designers. These all looks really good, kind of tested some of this some of these copy statements out”. What do you do next? How do you then start shifting the rest of the company to catch up?
Is that then sitting down with the product team and in aligning what the products going to do over the next six months? Is that really just looking at the website and how we're going to market this thing or is it kind of a combination of everything?
Sarah [15:03]:
Yeah. I'd say it's kind of a combination of everything and I feel like in a lot of ways that happen sort of gradually than all at once if you will. The first thing to change was our content. I think in some ways that's the easiest and the hardest thing to change but it was something that we knew we could do very quickly, right.
So, the first thing was to rewrite our website especially our homepage and our product pages and totally shift our content calendar as well and then of course, we also wanted to get new illustrations as we were trying to tell a different story. Our advertising channels stayed pretty much the same but our targeting of course changed on them and our keywords too for PPC campaigns had to follow suit and our landing pages includes.
It's really kind of a domino effect but as you alluded to as well, I mean we're really beginning to zero in on the smaller target market. So, we also needed to make sure that our product grew in a way that m Ade sense and Added more value to that target audience.
So, our code of roadmap did change as well and one of the things that I think we did that was a good choice for where we were at too was to exhibit or be a sponsor at a conference that was semi local called Design Thinking USA and it was essentially a group of our target audience and we were able to really sort of validate our messaging in person and get it in front of people who you would want to be using it.
So, I think those were some of the big things that we did and of course we're still I think pulling different levers as we move forward but yeah, essentially everything had to change.
David [16:59]:
That's actually a brilliant piece of advice there which was going to that event and talking in person to your target audience, kind of this cold audience but exactly who you want to talk to you, testing those different pitches. I think maybe one other company has caught on here had said that same thing.
I think that's such a smart thing to do because seeing the reactions of people and getting that like personal response and like that look of confusion or just like awe when kind of everything clicks from the right messaging is such an important part of understanding, what's clicking. That's fantastic. As far as the product, one question that I have just when we've gone through these is just the question I've always had. Do you mark it and you just are trying to get in front of the target market before your product adapts to that market?
Is that kind of the goal you want to bring in the leads and then your product will catch up to them or do you ever feel like “Man, we got to get the product there first and then we can market correctly to them because we'll have the features and functions specifically for them’ or do you kind of just have to do both at the same time?
Sarah [18:00]:
I'd say we've done both at the same time. So, essentially we changed our website and their content and everything and before we were able to really make any major product updates understandably because it takes longer to develop and test and release a product feature than it does to change the way that you talk about your product.
I think in our case that was something that we were able to do because again, we had some people in our base that we're already using it the way that we are now trying to pitch it and to our core functionality is essentially the same. It's just there are ways to refine that and make it even more effective for our new target audience but that being said, there are initiatives that we really want to jump on but that I would say have kind of put on the back burner until we have a few product releases under our belt.
So, it depends on what you're trying to do but I think getting those leads in the door has been kind of our priority but for some tactics, we think it makes sense to wait.
David [19:18]:
Yeah. I know it was definitely that balance and man, I'll tell you I have a full understanding of what that's like to be “We want to get this message, figure this initiative out but we can't and it's pushed back by like six different releases”. So, it can be frustrating for sure especially in the marketing department but that's really helpful. I'm excited for you guys so you're on a really great track and you'd mentioned before that content was kind of one of the first things that you guys started to change, some of that languaging.
And you were in content marketing. I know it's a big part of your marketing approach as a whole so we'd love to dive into what is working in content for you guys. What do you typically look at when you put an initiative down like this? So, let's say you guys have switch gears to UX designers and you build out a content marketing plan, how do you lay it out?
Sarah [20:07]:
Yeah, great question. So, we definitely focus on content I think for a lot of reasons and not sort of feeds into our process. One of them being that content is very self-qualifying in a way. If your messaging is right, you're going to attract the right people.
So, of course I think in our content process, what we've had to do is first start off with the right ideas and brainstorming and what that can look like is depending on the type of content that we're producing as we have a blog that we try to update have a new post a few times a month but we also do sort of major content projects in terms of guides and think white paper type of things. So, towards depending on the type of content and the ideas usually spawned from different places.
A lot of our content ideas for our blog for example come from conversations with prospects and insights that we get from the sales team. So, a lot of times the pieces that you'll see on our blog are objection handling whether it's thinly veiled or not but we also try to balance that with like quarterly initiatives to produce these longer form types of guides. And on the other side, they're typically rooted in SEO opportunity.
So, we worked with an SEO consultant earlier this year who helped us identify some keywords that would make sense not only for who we're targeting and what we think they might be looking for that overlaps with our product but also where are the opportunities to create content that is as good as if not better than some of what's ranking at the top right now.
So, a lot of our content ideas have come from that and we've seen a strong difference in the organic traffic that those content pieces have attracted versus when we've kind of built something just based on what we think would be a good idea, right.
And then, kind of moving forward from that I think getting the idea right is very key but in terms of development too, we do most of that in-house. What that typically looks like is interviews with subject matter experts whether that's internally and externally working through the outline and then flushing it out. And of course, I'd say editing probably takes the most amount of time as we get a number of team members to chime in on the content end work collaborating with somebody external on getting their input as well.
And then, we promote on different channels. We do use sort of those longer form guides as we gen opportunities and so a lot of that looks like lead capture or gated content using LinkedIn and newsletter sponsorships. We've tried a number of different channels really for that depending on the project and once we've captured those leads, we put them through a nurturing cycle using hum spa and then, of course I think too recycling is so important.
So, really trying to from the outset creating evergreen content and making sure that we're continuing to leverage it, right. So, we'll look to our sort of longer form pieces of content to become new blog posts, to be promoted in nurture campaigns for social content, things like that. So, that's in a nutshell our content process.
David [24:09]:
Well, that is a very thorough answer. Sarah, that was fantastic. I actually had a ton of questions that kept popping up as you're going through that but It’s just a lot to go through so I might break it up into different questions here for you. But you first mentioned that you maybe did some content pieces that came from the sales teams that became objection handling. Now, that becomes content on the blog or maybe on the website.
Are you then putting that, is that basically written for the sales team to then send off to like basically leap leads in the pipeline to send them those sales objections? Is that kind of an email sequence for warming up leads or is it just kind of content you put out there when you're just looking for ideas?
Sarah [24:52]:
Yeah. That's a great question. So honestly, the answer is all of the above. Well one, we do a regular content audit where we have “This is the stage of the buying process kind of using like HubSpot methodology to categorize our pieces of content and where they fit in so we make sure that sales knows all of the pieces that they have or that we have on deck, that are great to send to prospects. So, when it makes sense, they know where to pull pieces of content to share with leads that may have objections.
But we also have workflows that are set up and you no longer drift campaigns where we're continually promoting that. So, we have something called like a selling between event sequence, that's when a deal kind of goes cold and isn't really responding. Though that’s a few automated emails from our sales team that have a few different points and they're usually quick. They're intended to sound very like they're live or personal emails and we do promote those in there as well as they're being sent to active deals.
David [26:18]:
Got it. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense and kind of switching gears, you said you had the longer form pieces. Are those the same ones that you typically do the heavy SEO keyword research on with your consultant or are those kind of two different types?
Sarah [26:32]:
Yeah. Good question. So, yes. Those are the types that we are typically the longer form pieces of content, a lot of the ideas from that have stemmed from keyword recommendations from our SEO consultant.
David [26:47]:
Got it. And when you're doing that, like you mentioned before that the HubSpot methodology, are you looking at like levels of awareness of those keywords because where I made the mistake before is found really great SEO keyword opportunities ranked well but then, I recognized those levels of awareness are very low probably not buyer intent keywords or even someone that's problem aware at that point.
So, does that kind of go through like a list of “It has to meet these requirements” or are you just looking for pure traffic opportunities from those SEO keywords?
Sarah [27:21]:
Yeah, good question. And so, I'd say yes. We also struggle with that. As far as we've produced I think some great pieces of content that may not necessarily be something that somebody who is looking to buy Qualaroo or something like Qualaroo would be searching for. However, we definitely try to keep our content as balanced as possible. We always want to have some sources of leads that are even if they are very top of funnel. So, really we knew that we were doing that and if that made sense.
But because of where we're at and trying to just attract leaves that sort of match our new target audience. We felt that it was a good move to build our audience and sort of change the makeup of all the leaves that we're generating. So, to answer your question, yes and no. We recognize that sometimes there not very top of funnel but we think for our purposes, it makes sense.
David [28:30]:
No, it makes a ton of sense because you're also kind of at this point where you're doing a little bit of branding, name recognition, you're trying to just get into that market place more so just having those eyeballs of people that are in that right target demographic even if they're not again a buyer intent or like probably aware customer, that's totally fine for you guys. That makes a lot of sense.
I like to hear how different people are working through their content options and on those posts specifically, I know another place where people typically struggle is those are SEO keyword posts. So, a lot of times they come out as like holistic whole and they're very like formulaic. How are you guys also creating your own unique voice built into that? Do you guys create like voice docents? Are you trying to build like a brand unique identity with your content? How does that work?
Sarah [29:18]:
Yeah. That's a great question and so I'd say for us, our voice and I think cultivating a unique voice is always going to be a moving target. One of the things that we make sure to do that I think helps with that process is being listeners and consumers of content in our inner space.
For example; we have an internal book club where we read a bunch of UX books probably one a month or so, to make sure that we're talking the talk and understand the conversation that's going on. I think that's really key to being able to stand out as a content creator, as a voice in the industry. If you don't know what the conversation is, you can't quite get out in it. So, that's one thing that I think has certainly helped us.
We also specifically on the question about guides, we're in the process of creating a tone of voice guide to sort of solidify that process and make it more systematic especially as our team grows. So, that's something where we're on we're in the process of. Right now, our persona doc is kind of our Holy Grail if you will, our source of truth but we are in the process of translating that into more of an actual guide for how to write quality of content.
And I think another thing that's worked really well for us is that we have a number of team members that contribute to the editing process with an eye for making sure that we're not only well researched but also sound like a real person. So, that's been the ways that we have worked to create a unique voice.
David [31:10]:
Yeah. I love that. So many great strategies especially that book club having multiple voices and eyeballs on those different articles, I love that. Such great advice. And besides content, are there any other acquisition channels that have been working well for you guys as you kind of approach this new target market?
Sarah [31:28]:
Yeah, good question. Honestly, we’re advertising pretty heavily with LinkedIn right now. So, we have been using LinkedIn for a while, their Advertising platform. However, earlier we were kind of just using it as a platform to promote content but we have been working to capture more bottom of the funnel leads or SQL's and that's actually been working fairly well for us. Of course, the cost per lead if you're trying to get a demo versus a content lead is pretty different.
However, it's been a great channel for us because of where we're at right now where we really need to be able to target effectively to make sure we're getting leads that are in our new target audience. So, that's been successful thus far and I will say a lot of the pushback that I've heard from other marketers about that is LinkedIn is really expensive and I think in a sense that can be true.
However, for us, we've decided that it just makes more sense to invest upfront in getting a quality lead that we know is in our target audience than to get a hundred leads that are lower quality from other channels where we can't be quite as specific with our targeting.
David [32:59]:
That's it. And I'm going to ask if you have any specific like strategies or tactics that you learned from LinkedIn Advertising because we have not done it yet but that sounds great. And I say that's it because we just did a round of testing on Kaptara where we got a bunch of leads and we got the trials and we got some conversions but we had no control over the type of customer or the industry if it was our ideal customer profile at all. We were just generating leads that were interested in a webinar platform but not again, our specific ICP.
So, we kind of lost that control right for the sake of cheaper leads and so that sounds really interesting. So, anything that you learned from just kind of testing through LinkedIn Ads or something?
Sarah [33:40]:
Yeah. So, my piece of advice would definitely be to talk to your LinkedIn account rep. We had a few like targeting missteps, I guess because we've been using it for content only so far and we hadn't been spending quite as much as we have recently on the platform. There were just a few enhancements that I didn't know going into it, honestly.
So, talking to our account rep was super helpful and a lot of what she helped us with for example, was I had on something called audience expansion which is the opposite of what we wanted and is a tiny checkbox. It's very easy to miss. So, she helped us with that and then just kind of figuring out what bid strategy that made the most sense. I anyways just done automated bids but she recommended that we do the enhanced CPC bid.
So, those are some strategies where honestly as soon as we implemented those changes, I think we got like twice the amount of leads that we have been getting before.
David [34:53]:
Awesome.
Sarah [34:54]:
Yeah. So, just making sure your targeting is right and you're LinkedIn Ad rep can help with that.
David [34:59]:
No, that's fantastic. And sometimes the smallest things make the biggest differences there. That's fantastic. Any other lessons you’ve learnt from maybe mistakes made or things that just didn't work out as expected?
Sarah [35:09]:
Yeah. That's a good question. So, still on the subject of LinkedIn. Honestly, we were in a few different campaigns this past month using their Advertising platform and there was one campaign that we really just thought was going to be a home run and it was a campaign targeting companies that we knew were using a software that we integrate very well with and the reason why we thought it would be a home run is because we've not only gotten deals open from our partnership with that software but we've closed deals because of that.
However, I set up an Ad targeting those companies and trying to targeting the company and then targeting our target persona right so the UX designer who were sort of trying to speak to and try to get demos out of it and it just did not work. I think the lesson there was that we weren't quite capturing people where they were at, if that makes sense. We knew that our integration has proved valuable but these weren't necessarily people that had buyer intent, I think was the issue that we ran into.
So, that campaign honestly just flopped but with the advertising platform, it was pretty easy so we were able to cut the campaign short and just redirect the spend but I think as much as you can try to meet people who are actually advertised or who are actually looking for your software makes the most sense and just didn't quite work out with that campaign.
David [36:54]:
Yeah, that's an interesting point. So, you kind of looked and you saw “Hey, there's an integration that we work with. People are buying because of this integration in and also in lieu this integration so what if we targeted them?” but that wasn't the key thing that was attracting them, it was the pain that they were having that you were solving their problem and it also just happened that there was an additional benefit of having an integration.
Sarah [37:18]:
Yeah. From what we can tell, it seems that that's the case. I think another potential reason why that is that specific integration is something that a developer would typically have more insight on as opposed to the UX designer. So, we were targeting companies that we knew use this tool for developers that but we were targeting the UX designer, if that makes sense.
So, I think there was a little bit of mismatch and it seems like the reason why we do get those leads sometimes is because people are working within constraints of what integrations they have but yeah, I think there was just a mismatch on that targeting versus who actually would be looking at.
David [38:01]:
That makes a ton of sense. That's fantastic. Well, listen we're coming up to the final quarter of and saying to think about anything on the horizon that's incredibly exciting? Maybe new opportunities, new product options, things you're looking to market and you're excited about finally getting out.
Sarah [38:19]:
Yeah, definitely. So, really kind of the big news that we've had recently as earlier, well I was going to say this month but it's September now. In August, we launched Nudge prototypes which is a new feature that we've been working on for quite some time.
David [38:37]:
Congratulations.
Sarah [38:39]:
Yeah. Thank you. We're pretty excited about it and Nudge prototypes is essentially the first product development that we've made specifically for UX designers because it essentially lets you use Qualaroo with your prototypes. So, using major prototyping software's like Envision, Adobe XD Figma, Axure and even custom URLs. Previously, you wouldn't necessarily have been able to use Qualaroo to conduct user research on those prototyping sites but now, you can.
And it's also a no code implementation so even if you don't have time to wait around for a developer, you can start conducting user research on those prototypes. So, we had fun in August, we're very excited about it and sort of to the question that you asked earlier about “Do you wait to until your product is lined up?” One of the things that we really wanted to do is start sharing Qualaroo with influencers and sort of big voices in the UX space.
And now that we have the specific feature that's built for them, we're very excited to kind of go all in on partner marketing and influencer marketing and specifically with Nudge Prototypes.
David [40:06]:
That's amazing. How's their response been to it so far?
Sarah [40:08]:
It's been great. So, we launched on product time. The day that we were launched I think, we didn't quite make it in the top five but we were number seven of the day and we're pretty proud of that. And we've gotten some trials through there so we've been pretty excited to see their response.
And there's a few folks that were working with too, specifically who are like actually beta testing they're their own products like people that are in start-up mode so we have some folks that are definitely actively using it. And now that we have a case study for in the near future, so very excited.
David [40:48]:
That's great. Yeah, that's going to be fantastic and I love the idea of going after the influencers with it and that's exactly what we talked about before. It's like sometimes you just need those like functions or features that you can either market or rally around and the hard part about that with that product Roadmap and that product features is you may need to clear out a bunch of core level things before you can even get to it.
So, it does take time and a lot of the patients that goes in there but it sounds like you've done a good job of like laying the long term marketing game, getting the right leads in learning the language, learning the objections and now, you're ready to really take off with it. So, I'm really excited for you guys. That's fantastic and you're really excited to see how things go. But what I want to do now for time sake is just move over to our lightning round questions. Five quick questions that you can answer with the first best thought that comes to mind.
You want to get started?
Sarah [41:35]:
Yeah, sounds good.
David [41:37]:
All right, you got this. What advice do you have for early-stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?
Sarah [41:46]:
Understand your sales team or if you don't have a team, your sales process. I think every marketing decision especially for early-stage companies needs to be rooted in revenue and getting sales across the line.
David [42:01]:
Yeah, I love that. That's fantastic. What skill do you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?
Sarah [42:08]:
I'm pretty biased but I'd have to say content and voice. I think good content will draw in the right people and really establish your company spot in the market in a big way especially because I think people can be sales averse so if they know that you're trying to solve them, they might avoid you. But I think with content, you tend to draw on the right people without sort of that mental block.
David [42:35]:
Totally. And you gave a bunch of great tips today already around content, how you guys are doing that, lots and lots of good information there. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing growth, may be specifically content.
Sarah [42:47]:
Yeah, specifically content. I'd have to say the Animalz's blog, their content and see, I feel continuously posting great insights and I know they recently released a tool to identify decane content which is pretty cool but in general, that content is their whole thing. I'd really recommend checking out their blog.
David [43:20]:
Love it. I'll have to do that after this. That's amazing. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?
Sarah [43:26]:
It might sound kind of basic but HubSpot. It is so holistic and it's where not only our marketing team lives but our sales team. So, it's pretty crucial I think for marketing sales alignment and they've just really mastered the art of like creating great content as they should so yeah, I can't get enough of them.
David [43:50]:
Yeah. They're fantastic brand. Which leads me to my last question, what about a brand business or a team that you admire today.
Sarah [43:55]:
Yeah. I'd say Drift comes to mind. I mean there's so many but I'm always keeping tabs on what they're doing because I think there's such a great example of category design and kind of staking your claim to a piece of the market. Like when I hear conversational marketing, I know that that is associated with drift so definitely always keeping tabs on them.
David [44:20]:
Yeah, that's a fantastic brand. And if you’re a listener and you haven't listened to our episode with Drift, it was fantastic. They literally are launching a product feature every month which is fantastic and they do it with such great brands. So, I'm also a huge fan of theirs but that's a great answer. And Sarah, I just want to say thank you so much for coming on here, being so transparent, you shared so much great knowledge. Really, I learned a ton and just thanks for coming on and taking the time with us.
Sarah [44:46]:
Awesome. Thank you, David. Glad to have been on the show.
David [44:51]:
It was a real pleasure and thanks again, Sarah. We'll talk to you soon.
Sarah [44:52]:
Okay, thanks.
David [44:55]:
How amazing was that episode, Qualaroo is very impressive and Sarah did an incredible job of coming on and giving us a little bit of information on what is happening over there. How they kind of pivoted over the past year to try to figure out that new product market fit, the positioning they want there and they kind of line up those marketing and product objectives along the way. So, fantastic work over there. Really excited to see what's next for them and if you enjoyed this episode, please head over to iTunes. (...)

Resources:
Learn More About Qualaroo:
https://qualaroo.com/
Connect With Sarah:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cantusarah/
Follow along on Our Journey to $100k MRR
A shaky start? No doubt. Yet, three years later, we've got our eyes set on $100k MRR. We'll be sharing everything along the way.