Key Growth Takeaways from WebSummit 2017 and the Lisbon❤️ Experience

Lisbon is the most charming conference place I have ever visited. Cute one-cart trams climbing up cosy streets and countless little cafes and bars where you can have a divine Pasteis de Nata or Vin du Verde make WebSummit Lisbon a real retreat. My main focus on WebSummit was growth techniques and inspirations. See my main takeaways and some general thoughts about the conference below.

Lisbon makes the WebSummit experience so much better

This event is HUGE. With 60,000+ people from all over the world and a countless number of talks, panels, and side events, one can only dream of a good night sleep when back at home. However, Lisbon adds a special kind of cosiness to the WebSummit experience. This city will chill you out after a long day of talks, taking notes, and networking. Why have I never been to this city before? I have no idea but I know I will come back.

How to stay on track among the crowds

Long lines and crowds surrounding you everywhere is something one needs to get used to during the event with 60,000+ people. However, like with everything else, there are ways around it. For example, you could come an hour before the first morning talk to avoid the lines. Creating a „bubble” around you also helps. What’s the bubble? It’s an invisible coat that you put on when you’re getting close to the venue. It helps you keep focused on the talks and networking meetings. Plus, you get to the talks you planned to attend. Focus is very important during WebSummit. If you lose it you can miss some great talks and opportunities. You should also do your homework before coming to WebSummit. Knowing the people you want to talk to or reading the speakers’ bios beforehand helps to get the most out of this event.

 

Key Growth takeaways from WebSummit 2017

 

1. Customer Care is the new marketing

A cool marketing campaign won’t help your branding if your product or customer relations sucks. While it might be difficult to change the product immediately, companies should focus on the customer success. Providing relevant information in the time when users need it is very important.

Ragy Thomas from Sprinklr showed some interesting numbers to back up this theory. The world spent $563 billion on advertising in 2017. By contrast, we spent $9 billion on customer care. Another fact is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your existing customers. When you compare these numbers, the fact that companies spend only 2% of the budget on improving relations with existing customers and 98% on acquiring new ones seems unsound.

“Marketing walking hand in hand with customer care is the key to growth.”

 

For all those interested in marketing and branding (including SEO), PandaConf will be a great conference to attend. Not only it featured some of the most interesting predictions for 2018 but it was also very well organized (i.e. no major delays in talks, many seats available).

2. Be contextual

Consumer is mobile. Millennials check their phones 150 times per day. They expect fast answers and entertainment. Being present on social media is not enough. It’s about collecting feedback and serving a relevant information in real time. A brand needs to know exactly where and when their consumers are.

Hilton’s mobile app is using data about the customer to provide personalized experience. Thanks to that Hilton’s customers can get their favourite cup of coffee without even asking for it. According to Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s CMO brands should focus on omnichannel and gather data from different channels to better understand a customer.

3. Get feedback and respond

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s CMO explained how the low cost airline went from a very poor digital experience to one of the best in the market in just 2-3 years. Kenny Jacobs says this wouldn’t be possible without listening to the customer. Ryanair is asking customers about their feedback via their mobile app, among many other research initiatives. One of the research techniques he mentioned was mystery “flying”, a mystery shopping for airlines. He would fly with top airlines to check their service and see if there is anything that Ryanair could adapt because he says there’s nothing wrong in copying solutions that already work.

4. Google is still the king of search

Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-Founder of MOZ gave one of the most actionable and data-driven talks during WebSummit 2017.
Google rules in search (62%). Facebook (5.9%) and Yahoo.com (5.0%) follow but search on these two channels went down slightly since last year.
Mobile still has lower CTR: 2% from paid and 40% in organic vs desktop: 2.6% paid and 62% on organic. There may be more traffic opportunity from desktop still due to higher CTR. 2017 is trending 10-15% higher than 2016 in United States.

In 2017 we are observing the move from Google ranking to Google features. In 2017 there is more feature opportunity than ever before. One of the case studies I found on the Internet was 20-30% increase in traffic while using featured snippet with revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%.
See full presentation here: https://www.slideshare.net/randfish/the-seo-world-in-2018

 

WebSummit is the place to be if you’re looking for inspiration and new ideas for almost every aspect of your company. I found many actionable insights for branding and growth. Lisbon is the place to be for… everyone! This place works its magic and makes you want to come back.

8 Traps Threatening Product Managers and How to Avoid Them

When you go on a journey, you are excited and curious. There are several traps that you could fall into but you don’t really think about it until something happens. When a Product Manager embarks on the pursuit of building a new product, s/he doesn’t think about the traps either. Enthusiasm and eagerness give you the kick to start but can be misleading later on. After reading this article you will know how to avoid the traps threatening Product Managers.

Trap #1 – Too many cooks spoil the broth

This common proverb applies to pretty much all situations in our lives and is particularly accurate when it comes to product development and project management. A product team should consist of specialists in different fields with different opinions in order to get a holistic overview of the project. However, having too many opinions could take you to a blind alley.

Ideally, a Product Manager should be able to pick the people s/he wants to work with and think of the value they bring to the team. Product Manager needs to have a vision and clearly communicate it to the whole team. Very often PM also needs to take the role of a moderator who listens to people but takes his/her own decisions. Therefore, PM’s mind needs to be clear in order to make unbiased decisions.

Trap #2 – Are you an Eager Beaver?

We all recall situations in our lives when we got too involved in something. Eagerness is great in the beginning or right before embarking on a new project. It helps motivate team members and successfully kick off the project. However, those who get too high on a project, might miss some important elements or end up doing everything on their own. Controlled trust allows to move things faster and focus on the product vision.

Writing down team’s responsibilities helps in getting the full picture of the project. Product Manager can do a lot by himself but the point of having a team is to allow them to take care of different tasks. PM’s role is to define the product vision, execute on the parts of the project, and make sure they are high-end in order to achieve the goals of the project.

Trap #3 – Being a Good Cop

Some people have this urge to make people think that they are nice either because they’re really good-hearted and are afraid of hurting people or because they want to achieve something. Regardless of the reason for being nice, one shouldn’t allow this to affect his judgement or decisions. Product Managers should consider many factors including what people think but this should never be a priority. Otherwise, they will end up backing up ideas of people who they’re afraid to stand up to and these ideas might harm the product. Think about product, not people. At the end of the day, everyone will judge the effectiveness and the ability to make smart decisions and not how many times one said „no”.

Trap #4 – Getting pissed at small failures

The reverse of being too nice is getting pissed at small failures or even worse, at people. Shit happens but the failures are there to help us grow and build our self-awareness. It’s a part of gaining experience. If someone in the team fails at something, it’s better not to take it personally but rather think about what could be done better in the future. Getting pissed at someone will not move the project further. It will only discourage other team members and may result in getting some more grey hair or even worse – wrinkles (Nooo!)

Trap #5 – Loosing track of time

Being an Eager Beaver makes it easy to loose track of time. Deadlines are there not only to sound scary (suffocated by a dead line). They’re there to help execute things and finish particular parts on time. The team should be reminded  about the timeline of the project. Believing that everyone will respect deadlines without a (kind) reminder might backfire in the least expected moment.

Trap #6 – Pushing team to the limit

Being a bad cap has its pros in moving the project forward but it can also discourage the team. Usually product / tech team members are smart and they know that shit needs to be done. It’s the way one motivates them and cooperates throughout the project that makes them want to do a good job for the product.

If someone is underdelivering, it’s better to ask questions about the status of the project and the blockers that stop it from being done instead of asking the passive aggressive “Why this is not done yet?“. Smart people will not want to seem like they underperfom in front of the team. If nothing changes, a 1-on-1 might be a good idea.

Trap #7 – Taking a wrong way on a crossroad

Product Manager doesn’t have to know everything! It’s better to take a step back and admit that you don’t know something than to follow the uncertain path. Sometimes a rapid change in the way of thinking can result in a 180 degree turn in the product that can exceed stakeholders’ expectations.

Trap #8 – Mister Always Right

Assertiveness and following your gut are the two crucial qualities of a good Product Manager. However, not listening to stakeholders and team members can seriously impede the project. One of the reasons of having specialists in different areas is to avoid mistakes. However, listening to everyone might take ages (no one has that long). Meetings should be moderates so they’re effective and succinct. Stop, look, listen, and always think of the goals of the project.

 

Every journey brings memories. Make the good ones on a journey with your product by avoiding falling into these common traps. For those with a stubborn personality who value experience over a peace of mind (I know this type) – It’s best to follow your gut and never bend under pressure. You’ve got the power!

How a Month-long Holiday Can Change Your Career

I don’t usually write on the ‘soft’ topics like productivity but this time I wanted to share my experience of having a month-long holiday. I’m not going to tell you the story about finding myself in India during Holi Festival of Color or some other mysterious ceremony. Although, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to attend one. I’m talking about having time just for yourself no matter where it is, when the only thing you have to worry about is where to go for a lunch or which beach to visit.

10 Stages of Launching a New SaaS Product

You or your bosses came up with a new software as a service product. That’s great. Now you’re supposed to create an effective marketing campaign. Perfect. Make sure you start with the right steps and don’t miss any of the milestones. In this blog post I share the steps of launching new SaaS product based on my experience as Product Marketing Manager that has proved effective.

Conversion Conference: CRO Hacks, Landing Pages, And Las Vegas

Conversions are the Holy Grail of online marketing. We try to make it higher and higher and present stunning results to outshine the competition. Last week was a big week for Conversion Rate Optimization geeks who came from all across the world to Las Vegas for Conversion Conference.