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Early-stage companies face numerous challenges, including a need for more resources and tools and uncertainty about the viability of their solution. Even worse, you may be building a product that customers don’t want.
In this episode, Jamie Bell, VP of Marketing at Workshop, shares the company’s journey to find product-market fit and their focus on early growth. Once essentially a company intranet builder, Workshop now focuses on being more than just an internal email solution.
They position themselves as a broad internal marketing solution, actively listening to customer feedback and investing in their product roadmap to provide a comprehensive solution for internal communicators. This feedback loop has been critical to evolving their product.
- Workshop pivoted from building an intranet to focusing on internal email communications, which proved to be a more practical solution for their customers.
- The Happy Monday Club newsletter has been a successful content strategy, providing practical resources and positive narratives for internal communicators.
- Workshop’s marketing strategy includes using free email templates, Google Ads, and targeted campaigns to reach their audience.
- Jamie suggests that attribution software alone is not sufficient. She recommends measuring marketing effectiveness through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Asana is Jamie’s preferred project management tool, allowing her to stay organized and manage project requests effectively.
Tools Mentioned in this Episode
- Workshop: Workshop is a communication tool that allows teams to collaborate effectively. Jamie uses Workshop for internal and external communications, enabling seamless collaboration and efficient information sharing.
- Hubspot: Hubspot is a CRM platform with automation, email marketing, and lead-scoring capabilities. Jamie utilizes Hubspot to manage customer relationships, automate marketing campaigns, and prioritize leads.
- Apollo: Apollo is a data enrichment tool that helps Jamie enhance and enrich customer data. With Apollo, Jamie can access comprehensive data about prospects and customers, enabling personalized and targeted interactions.
- Asana: Asana is a project management platform that assists Jamie in organizing and tracking tasks and projects. Jamie relies on Asana to streamline project workflows, collaborate with team members, and meet project deadlines.
- Typeform: Typeform is a survey and research tool that Jamie uses to collect valuable insights and feedback. Jamie leverages Typeform to create engaging and interactive surveys, enabling efficient data collection and analysis.
- Google Optimize (RIP): Google Optimize was a website optimization and testing tool.
The Quest for Product-Market Fit
Workshop’s decision to pivot towards internal email communications was a strategic move guided by customer feedback and insights. They recognized the increasing demand for a specialized platform to handle internal communication effectively and efficiently. Email, a prevalent communication method in many organizations, became the focus of their product offering.
The platform is now heavily based on email but also offers integrations with other popular communication tools like Slack and SMS. This multi-channel approach has addressed the adoption issue that was initially challenging for Workshop. By meeting employees where they are and accommodating their preferred modes of communication, Workshop has increased its user base and enhanced customer satisfaction.
The Value of Customer Feedback
Workshop highly values customer feedback, which is critical to its growth strategy. Jamie explains that the company maintains a tight feedback loop with its customers to understand their needs, pain points, and preferences.
“We prioritize customer feedback in our product roadmap… it has helped us evolve our product to meet the needs of our users.”
Workshop communicates regularly with its customers through surveys, feedback sessions, and service interactions, ensuring their voices are heard and appreciated. This active customer engagement enables Workshop to improve its product, offering, and service continually.
The transition from being essentially an intranet builder to focusing more on internal email solutions is a testament to Workshop’s agility and responsiveness to customer feedback. The company’s ability to adapt its offering based on customer feedback underscores its commitment to providing a solution that is not only desired by its users but also fills a specific need in the market.
The Power of Free Content
To drive growth, Workshop has invested in content marketing and brand building. They offer free email templates and internal communication planning templates, which have been well-received by their audience.
“Our audience really likes very practical resources… We do our best to deliver those in a variety of formats.”
Workshop’s newsletter, the Happy Monday Club, has been a successful tool for engagement and thought leadership in the internal communications space. This newsletter delivers practical resources and positive narratives directly to the inboxes of internal communicators, thus proving the value and effectiveness of their email-focused product. It also serves as a powerful marketing strategy, offering free content to attract and retain their audience.
Overcoming early-stage challenges, Workshop is now well on its way to achieving its growth goals, doubling its focus on email communications and building its content and education strategy to drive its brand forward.
The Centralized Stack
Jamie heavily relies on specific tools to streamline the workflow and optimize efficiency at Workshop. HubSpot, for instance, forms the bedrock of their marketing and CRM ecosystem. It’s not just about data management; HubSpot’s marketing automation capabilities allow Jamie and her team to manage tasks, assign workflows, and implement lead scoring. This, in turn, helps the Workshop maintain a seamless flow of operations and ensures that no potential lead falls through the cracks.
Apollo is another indispensable tool that Jamie uses for data enrichment. Apollo helps Workshop gather information about their potential leads, empowering the team to make more informed decisions in targeting and engaging these leads.
To gather user feedback, Jamie turned to Typeform. The tool allows Workshop to collect, analyze, and leverage insights directly from their user base. The feedback gathered helps in making evidence-based decisions for product enhancements and improvements.
Jamie is also a devout user of Asana for project management. Asana’s capabilities have simplified task management, team collaboration, and deadline tracking. This has fostered an organized, transparent, and productive work environment at Workshop. These tools form the backbone of the Workshop’s operations, enabling the team to work smarter, not harder.
The Role of Paid Advertising
Workshop has taken a multi-faceted approach to maximizing the impact of its paid advertising strategy. Jamie shared that the company continually refines its strategies based on the insights gathered through their campaigns.
Workshop leverages Google Ads to target bottom-of-the-funnel prospects actively searching for solutions to their internal email problems. This attracts highly qualified leads by focusing on keywords related to internal email software and employee newsletters.
“Anytime we’re having a tools conversation about how you create those employee emails, we can book a meeting like it’s a slam dunk.”
Future Outlook and Thoughts on Attribution Software
Workshop’s journey highlights the importance of finding product market fit, leveraging free content, and maintaining a centralized stack. Their strategies and insights provide valuable lessons for marketers in the early stages of building their startups. As Workshop grows and evolves, its focus on customer retention and product development will be critical to its long-term success in employee communications.
The Limitations of Attribution Software
Additional Video: TK Kader – Finding Product Market Fit for Saas Startups
Join us next time as we journey to the bleeding edge of the modern tech stack. You’ll hear from real experts on how to nail your strategy, build a revenue machine, and take your sales to the next level.