>You should track “dozens of metrics” without fail.
>You should A/B test every variable.
The unconvential advice is exactly what you see on YC. Talk to customers.
>All of the not-so-sexy tasks I was focusing on — actually engaging customers, implementing feedback and building a library of educational content — were building momentum.
Legit thought I was gonna read something about how they never talked to customers, attended conferences and founder meet ups, made a shit product and struck it big.
A/B test where that degree of tuning would make sense, given the initiative.
If you are a massive blog, and 'word choice' will make or break your company, you might want to A/B links.
But for SaaS marketing? Maybe just write decent copy. There's rarely a large enough audience anyhow.
Summary of Article:
"A good product is usually better than good marketing"
You also didn't mention the other examples from the article which definitely do come up in conventional advice: things like tracking churn, ARPU & LTV, and making it easy for customers to try the product.
I can't tell, are you saying that attending conferences and founders meetups are conventional advice, or that the conventional advice is that they shouldn't be attended?
That said, conferences can be productive. There was a good talk during Startup School this year about going to a conference with a 100% booked meeting lineup and walked away with a bunch of deals. As well, peer groups can be very beneficial (that is very much what Startup School is). They might have been poor choices as proxies for "playing founder".
I've seen people spend thousands to go to conferences and just end up hanging out with their competitors. Fun maybe, but useless.
I frequently revisit the idea that you are a sum of what you do. For companies that are products, you should be product-centric with your time and resources. For service businesses, probably more focused on process and the people behind it since they are your product. It's stressful dealing with the influx of pressure to be growth-hacky and growth-focused every day. It's a pretty gross environment in digital marketing right now, especially in SaaS and eCommerce, and it's no surprise that innovative or high quality companies discover the growth secrets: because they have great products!
Aside: I used to do more SEO and have used ahrefs a few times, more often using their competitors, but I still follow quite a few SEO's on Twitter and via email: they all _love_ ahrefs. Stellar product and about within the last 7 days I saw a huge Twitter thread about how helpful their latest feature release is. I would say they're living it.
With Ahrefs, I know that they have a very good index and that's the key value proposition
Respectfully, I feel like you buried the lead on this one.
Please allow me to highlight the conventional wisdom you ARE following.
1)Nothing buries a bad product faster than good marketing (ahrefs is a great product)
2)Do one thing very well instead of chasing trends (great content marketing)
3)Create genuine value for your audience and they will generate value for you.
Great article, I just disagree with the premise.
I don't get this one, what do you mean exactly?
Additionally, the downside isn’t “customers won’t use us bf they were burned”. It just creates a bump for the sales process to overcome. It’s an impediment to a sale, not a blocker.
Finally, before p/m fit, you need to be optimizing for learning over all else. More customers, even if they have a bad experience, brings more feedback. Also, you will have an asset - email list - of people who have signed up because you’re solving a problem they have curiousity / interest in.
Look at mongo. They’re now pretty successful by most evaluations, and they did this exact thing. Outside of Hn, very few remember how they over promised and under delivered.
Put another way, good marketing doesn't fix a bad product.(ahrefs is a very good product)
I think the proper place for these sort of brain storming is via a feature request task entry in your project management tool. This helps to properly focus and not lose track of it. I think too much of slack chatter is detrimental to productivity.
That's why this post is on Medium and not on our own blog ¯\_(ツ)_/¯