Don't Just Educate your Audience, Entertain Them: Aazar Ali Shad
Growth Marketing Leader, Vitals

GrowthFit - Episode 14

Don't Just Educate your Audience, Entertain them: Aazar Ali Shad

Aazar is a growth and product marketer at Vitals. He has previously worked with companies like Userpilot and Accredible, besides being a podcaster.

Highlights of the talk:

  • Why marketers should invest as much as in branding as in performance
  • Companies are transitioning from content sharing to becoming media empires
  • Online presence is the new CV, especially, for marketers

Aazar’s journey

Aazar: I started with door-to-door sales in Pakistan. In two years, I tried different ways, however, the industry there was not receptive to the new ways of marketing and so I did not see any growth there. Soon, as I settled down in Europe, I got into the startup world and thereafter there was no looking back. I always wanted to focus on great work and impact. I eventually started my own company where I got hands-on experience in marketing. Unfortunately, my venture did not succeed but it paved the way for me to become the head of growth at Userpilot.

I am looking forward to jumping on the TikTok bandwagon and learning to do organic Tiktok.

Tell us about Vitals and what marketing philosophy you follow.

Aazar: Vitals is a Shopify marketing software. It has 40 plus applications. It increases social proof. All the applications have a direct impact on conversions and thereby revenue. We have an up-sell builder app. That’s how our product helps e-commerce stores.

My marketing philosophy is focused on both branding and performance. I think many companies that do marketing really well, start with branding first. Mostly it goes with the idea that if you have a great brand, conversions will happen anyway. So the focus here is brand recall and visibility.I believe that people purchase when they have heard of and know a brand. This happened when I opted for Active Campaign over Hubspot.

What strategy do you follow to understand your website visitors?

Aazar: Since we have more app visitors, we use analytics. However, in Userpilot, I always wanted to use applications like HotJar and check where exactly the user is dropping and fix that.

Content is, undoubtedly, the King

What techniques do you apply to draw the attention of your customers?

Aazar: There are different techniques. We start with the pain points or challenges that they have which may or may be connected to your product. For example, I recently became a customer of Wistia. They convinced me on the video. The next thing is I bought their product. I was attracted to their content.

We have a Youtube series and it is totally based on e-commerce. It is great for branding because we follow someone’s journey from scratch, we give them a prospect to become a part of our journey. That’s for prospective customers.

Besides, there is SEO and answering the search queries. Also, you need to educate the customers both pre and post-purchase. We have tutorials to use our applications. We also have email marketing.

How do you ensure that your app store is personalized with content based on your audience?

Aazar: I think personalization comes in handy when you start with an enterprise tool when you are focused on accounts and not just customers. We have customers who are e-commerce like drop shippers. That’s how we are personalizing. However, at Userpilot, we divided the content based on use cases and on location and so we even displayed the advertisements in the native languages. I know personalization is very effective. However, right now it’s too early for us to do that.

Activation is most crucial

What metrics do you need to measure your post clicks of sign-up?

Aazar: There are many metrics that we measure, however, there is one that I would love to have is activation. It is also my favorite metric in marketing. I have imported reviews and I also look at the value at my store. That’s a metric I really care about.

What is your major source of lead generation?

Aazar: For us, it is Shopify app store. We are really good with branding so people find us. And the other one is a search engine.

Please share some experience from the podcast with Udi, the CMO at Gong.

Aazar: Basically, what I learned was that marketing should share values. I want to quote here- “Different is better than just being a better tool.” My blog came after I was really impressed by the way Gong markets its products. So, I just wanted to share it in writing.
Read the blog here .

The “media empire” trend in marketing

With your long experience in Saas marketing, what is your take on the present scenario in the industry?

Aazar: I think SaaS marketing is getting harder with time. Google ads bidding war is only going to go up. The only way you can make a mark is with your content. Again, Udi's marketing practices have impressed me. Let me share what I learned from experts recently: If you want to succeed in the market, become a media empire. Now it is about giving the content as well as entertaining your audience and while entertaining they will remember you.

                                  “The next big thing is becoming a media empire in your niche.”

What’s your take on the challenges that the present pandemic situation has posed for marketers and businesses?

Aazar: My focus is now on virtual events, on becoming a media empire, and less focus on event marketing like field event marketing. One thing is that one should have more than one channel. In case, one channel dies down, there will be others.

Aazar: Definitely organic!

Every team member is a brand

What has been the most effective way to increase your brand awareness?

Aazar: Generally, all the brands are different. And one way I believe will help your brand a lot is to go viral. That’s my favorite. In fact, every person in the team should become a brand of their own. Just like how Gong did it. When a human being is associated with your product, that’s where you can create a strong persona for your brand.

Build an online portfolio

Aazar: What’s your advice/suggestion for budding marketers?
I think it's important that one figures out one niche that he is interested in and creates an online presence around that which is both his side hustle and his online CV. I believe that gone are the times, when recruiters needed CVs to check the candidate, now it’s your online presence.

Who is your mentor in the marketing world?

Aazar: I don't really have mentors, I have friends in the marketing world. I keep collecting them on Twitter- James Clear and few others. I follow them and write to them to get my queries answered.

Contact Aazar Ali Shad

Twitter: aazarshad

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