As customers become more resistant to marketing, companies need a bulletproof messaging strategy. For DigitalOcean, happiness is their marketing hack. Carly Brantz, CMO of DigitalOcean, outlines how to grow your business by creating a culture of happiness.

“Cultivating growth through happiness starts by delighting your customers.”

A culture where happiness thrives is a culture where creativity and innovation will be high. Happiness allows developers to grow. And when your customers grow, so too does your company. Brantz introduces four key building blocks to ensuring customer happiness:

  1. Provide value to your community.
  2. Prioritize simplicity.
  3. Stay agile on the journey.
  4. Center customer growth. 

Provide value to your community 

Companies must prove they can offer something of value before they make demands. You cannot expect your customers to invest in you before you invest in them. 

“Marketing has the power to influence growth and revenue. Ensure it’s balanced with providing value and investing in your community.”

How do you deliver a valuable product to your customers? 

  • Meet your community where they are. 
  • Stay on top of the latest developments. 
  • Iterate to ensure your product grows with your audience.

Showcase your product’s value to your customers, but be gentle as you market it. Developers are unlikely to invest in a product that makes flashy demands with display advertisements. Instead, focus on providing useful content that answers the questions customers have before they even ask them. 

Prioritize Simplicity 

Developers enter product experiences with a technical mindset. In other words, they like to navigate a product with ease and independence. Throughout her career, Carly has zeroed in on methods to grow revenue through a self-serve customer experience. This allows customers to independently go through the entire product experience without interacting with a single person.

“Developers want to figure out the product by themselves. Losing that human touchpoint might make marketers nervous, but the customer thrives on simplicity.”

Companies can achieve simplicity throughout targeted customer conversion journeys by breaking down the process into three steps.

  1. Awareness
    • Establish credibility.
    • Provide useful content.
    • Provide technical support to streamline the process.
    • Make sure you have plenty of educational resources available.
  2. Consideration
    • Make information accessible.
    • Target advertising based on the content that specific customers consumed.
    • Provide information that sets you apart from your competitors. 
  3. Conversion
    • Congratulations on a new customer!

Stay agile on the journey

SaaS companies must be flexible to stay relevant to their audience. How can you stay attuned to customer growth?

  • Determine your audience. Developers, for example, tend to be hobbyists, full-time developers, or entrepreneurs.
  • Stay attuned to customer needs.
  • Provide content that meets customers at each step of their journey.

“You have to meet your customers where they are at every step of their journey to stay relevant and meaningful to your core audience.”

As customers grow, they expect your company to grow alongside them. This is why you must have an iterative design process. Try new things and keep experimenting until you discover the next best solution for your customers. Once you have it, don’t let your product stagnate. Continue to tweak it according to the evolving needs of your customers. Mutual evolution allows companies to keep customers happy and, ultimately, retain them. 

Center customer growth

Though last, centering customer growth is the heart of creating a culture of happiness. While many companies measure growth via conversion metrics or other result-driven data, DigitalOcean measures growth through customer growth. DigitalOcean’s user research team conducted a 2020 study that asked their SaaS customers what they considered their most desired outcome. 96.3% of the answers involved the desire to build a more successful product or business. When you’re successful, so are your customers. 

What can you do to help your customers grow? 

Happiness is DigitalOcean’s differentiator, and it can be yours, too. Any good product should make customers happy. It’s a self-evident principle of product development and marketing. A unique value proposition should be a promise your product fulfills. 

Ask yourself these questions to nail down your product’s unique value proposition:

  1. What does your company already do well?
  2. What resonates with your customers?
  3. What are you already doing to delight your customers?
  4. What do you offer that your competitors do not?

Key Takeaways

Happiness promotes growth. Cultivating a culture of happiness must center your customers. From your informational content to your onboarding process, your customer experience should be at the forefront of your mind. If you answer yes to the following questions, you’re doing something right:

  1. Are you providing something of value prior to customer conversions?
  2. Is your product easy to navigate and use?
  3. Are you evolving alongside your customers?
  4. Does your messaging resonate with your customers?

When your customers thrive, so do you. 

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