“Product-led journeys or Customer-led journeys? What’s your pick?” with guest Rony Vexelman
Director of Product Marketing, Optimove

GrowthFit - Episode 24

“Product-led journeys or Customer-led journeys? What’s your pick?” with guest Rony Vexelman


Rony Vexelman is an experienced, well-rounded B2B marketer who has led initiatives across messaging, go-to-market strategy, marketing analytics, demand generation, marketing automation, sales enablement, and more.

He has worked in global companies from various industries including cybersecurity, martech, and entertainment. He carries the experience of working with many different audiences, understanding their needs, building business cases, and ideating marketing messages that engage and convert.

Your key takeaways:

  • Planning your day as a product marketer
  • Thinking behind a brand story
  • What is a Hyper-personalized CRM marketing plan?
  • Why customer-led journeys?

A day in the life of a Product Marketer

Rony: A Product marketer works closely with different teams. As a PM, you could be working with the product team, R&D, sales, ideation, and sprint review meetings, to see how would the product that we are trying to build look like in the end. It could be a day full of soul searching trying to communicate what you are trying to communicate. There is no ideal day structure. My personal hack is that I don’t have any notifications on my phone or desktop.

What went behind creating your brand story?

Rony: Optimove is positioned as a multi-channel marketing hub with a strong CDP core. When we were re-branding, the design team came back with this brilliant idea that if we are a company trying to help our customers be data-driven, then why not build something that reminds you of that. Data can be a bit abstract sometimes and it is run by certain rules to be used effectively. So, what is used on our website is an affirmation of an algorithm that uses data and is put into shapes and lines to represent our brand. It is a high-risk move and we get a lot of good feedback around it.

Hyper-personalized CRM marketing plan

Rony: We work with a lot of large B2C brands. We see that they have a lot of customer data. And, they want to use it to talk to their customers in their customers’ language. Both in B2B and B2C, we have product focussed marketing which has got to do with what feature, or software or product needs to be sold. We also have customer-focussed marketing which is focused on selling or giving something that my customer needs and is looking for. For us, hyper-personalized marketing means customer-focused marketing. This means to start your marketing from the customer—explore your customer, understand the insights, and create hyper-granular audience segments. Each segment could just have 10, 20, or 50 customers with a database of tens or hundreds of a thousand customers.

To be able to personalize at that granularity, you need to put in a lot of work. To orchestrate journeys for such hyper-granular audience segments, you can work with a tool like Optimove. And if you want to create and show that as a brand you care for your customer, then you have to take this granular hyper-personalization approach. And this allows you to give a very specific message at the right time and to the right person.

Finding value and tangible performance metrics in customer-led journeys

Rony: Let’s answer ‘why customer-led journeys’ by first answering ‘why not marketer-led journeys’. In marketer-led journeys, you are locking the customer into what you think is ideal for them and not ‘what is ideal for them’. In a customer-led approach you let the customer choose the path and what they want by creating granular moments that meet their needs. AI can create these moments instead of the marketer. All this is considered a broken journey.

But, it is different in cached journeys. In this scenario you could be activating parallel journeys that can crossfire and dilute the customer experience.

Rony: It is the ability to mix different data points. You need to be able to figure out what are the data points that should be used and work. And, data points should be transactional. Also add some predictive data points and metrics which could be risk of churn, probability to convert, or future value of the customer. You need to be able to combine all of them together to be able to create the secret sauce of personalization.

We see how our users are using the product and based on that we trigger campaigns. Look at how the features or capabilities would be used by users or customers at different stages of their own development. The user who came in yesterday would be different from the one who has been with you for one year. This is user lifecycle management. When you repeat it and test it, iterate it and prove it, you end up having a hyper-personalized marketing strategy.

What are the things that are not apparent in creating a personalization campaign?

Rony: It begins with understanding what is the state of mind of the recipient of the message. Once you understand the theory of the user, you become a lot more empathetic to them. You should be using your own platform to be able to create great personalization experiences. And, a lot of it is about having the emotional intelligence and understanding what your customer needs at that moment. Personalization is not about letting the person know that you know about them, but it is to be able to give in what they want. And, that’s where emotional intelligence comes into place. It is about understanding the pain that your customer has and helping them solve it.

Who should use personalization and what is the right timing?

Rony: No silver bullet answer. The right moment has nothing to do with the size of the company. We have a lot of customers and want to use a platform from day-1 and others who are around for many years and want to scale with personalization. It is about the mindset that says, “I want to do better for my customers.” It is about knowing your customers well to be able to create great campaigns. You need to look at whether or not you are doing personalization across channels and if you are doing connected personalization.

  • You need to identify what is your north-star metric.
  • Cut back from there as to what are the behaviors that lead to the north-star metric.
  • What are the pain points that impede those behaviors?
  • Then, start creating content for each one of those behaviors.
  • As you grow, you may have new users who have different paint points.

Five skills necessary for a product marketer

  • Work with different people. If you want to be a part of marketing, then work with different people from sales, customer success, R&D, and product.

  • Work with diverse backgrounds.

  • Get some public speaking classes. It gives you the ability to articulate what you think.

  • Gain the ability to write. Run a "grandma test".

  • Make sure you attend your statistical classes to be able to look at data. Slice and dice data. Learn some excel skills.

  • Take meditation classes.

                               "Hyper-personalized marketing means customer-focused marketing"

Contact Rony Vexelman

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronyvexelman/#/

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