I’m running a SAAS startup – Softinn. Softinn provide cloud reservation system and back-office solutions for boutique hotels. Our core business model is B2B2C. Started the journey in Dec 2013, to date, we have moved pass the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage and market validation stage; which mean we are kind of clear on who we wanted to be and who is willing to pay for our products. But that alone is not the holy-grail yet (which I thought it was when I first started), cause having a product that is sell-able does not mean sales (as in $) all together. Or at least, not a consistent stream of business growth. There’s still works need to be done.
NOTE: As the main purpose of this post written is to serve as a guide or starting material to my colleagues, I’m gonna update this as I make progress in this area.
Below is my assumptions or my plan of attack in sequence
1. Online Marketing (focus on leads)
2. Study user-behavior on landing page (CrazyEgg)
3. Online Marketing (focus on conversion)
4. Track conversion.
5. Repeat Step 1 – Step 4 again, but this time focus on improvement points (cost, conversion, self-service signup, marketing message etc)
1. Online Marketing
- Marketing is not sales yet, it’s a step that took place before actual sales happened.
- Every marketing campaign must have their own objective. E.g.
- Newsletter Sign up
- Membership Sign up
- Watch a video introduction
- In Softinn B2B2C business, we have two customers (Hotel, for B2B) and (Travelers, for B2C).
- As many will argue, should we get the hotels first or the trailers first. The well-known Chicken and Egg puzzle.
- My thought is not to have the Chicken nor Egg first because it’s not easy to solve “Chicken and Egg” puzzle (at least for me).
- I’m thinking – if I can’t have Chicken of my own, but that does not stop me from getting Chicken from someone else farm. The idea is that – we have to be so good that Chicken (from the neighboring farms) literally came over once a while (just to chill or what so ever, as long as they visit my farm and love it).
- So, the strategy to do this is by FREE listing of hotel / homestays business on our marketplaces.
- Hence, this set the tone of my first Online Marketing objective – to get Chicken from someone else farm!
- Assuming that I’m going to run a Google Adwords Campaign and it will work. But the questions are “How do I know it works?!”
- Marketing campaign must be done with a measurement metrics, at least a tool that help monitor how well we do.
- This finding is not recoded in Step 1 or Step 2 but I believe it must be done before we really move from Step 1 to Step 2.
- At first, I thought I’m just gonna set a budget and let the advertisement burnt my monies. I quickly realize that was the wrong way to do as Google ask me question like – “How much do you think a converted action worth to your business”. Awesome! that means I have to came out with the number how much a listing will worth for my business.
- My ultimate goal of getting a Chicken over to my farm is to hope that they will stayed in my farm forever. In my case, I only know if the Chicken (Hotel, B2B) will stay if they sign-up the agreement to sell on my website. And which I know every Chicken/Homestay signup means RM 50 / month for us.
- Lets’ take a Chicken life span in my farm for 2 months. That means every Chicken that converted worth RM 100 for us.
- To answer Google “How much each converted action worth to my business” means Advertisement Click > Listing > (Filter: 10% of those listed signup) > Signup (RM 100 worth per signup). In another word, to get 1 signup, I need to get 10 listings. 1 signup worth RM 100, so 10 listing (that will bring 1 signup) also worth RM 100. You know the maths. That means, each listing worth RM 10 for me.
- Google Adword offers “Tracking Page Load” and “Tracking Button Click” as measurement of conversion. For us, page load does not mean conversion until a “Add New Listing” button is click to submit new listing. Please choose thie measurement carefully (get your product developer to assist in the installation).
- During the installation, of button tracking; we found this window.goog_report_conversion(“/Listing/Success”); provided by Google Instructions, please take note that the URL (in our case “/Listing/Success”) is the redirect URL after Google Conversion register the conversion. It took us a while to figure out. We thought we were suppose to put the URL of the conversion took place (which is wrong).
Reading Materials and Actions Taken:
- This video shows “Why Tracking Result Helps Online Marketing Planning” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgNI5Yavdig
- In order for tracking to work, we need to get the product team to install some scripts – https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722054
- To be specific, this is the video that shows the step by step installation on our site – https://youtu.be/a9ALCfdj8fI