Episode 322: Storytelling for a Global B2B Brand With Aaron Stillman of AB Tasty

Episode Summary

Unlike most SaaS professionals, Aaron Stillman didn’t end up in software because it was a longtime passion. Instead, he wanted to drastically increase his fresh croissant intake. In other words, he saw his first SaaS job as an opportunity to live in Paris while developing his product management — and eventually marketing — abilities.

That first role kept him in the global market, where he now works for international customer experience optimization platform AB Tasty as its “director of storytelling” — or, as some prefer to call it, director of product marketing.

On this episode of Tech Qualified, Aaron discusses the importance of using a multitude of marketing tools to reach customers and why it’s vital to pay attention to which tools are most appropriate for a particular moment in time. Currently, the tool he finds most effective is video.

“Video’s really a first-class citizen for us,” Aaron says. “I want to make sure that our story gets across in a video in a way that will have that human impact when somebody watches it. When people log in to use our platform and … create a personalization campaign, they’ll receive a video helping them understand the key value propositions and the how-tos of using the product.”

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“The most common one is word of mouth. … Because we have an amazing customer success team … we’re so engaged and we have such a hands-on approach to working with our customers, not just from a thought leadership perspective, but from a best practice perspective, which is not something a lot of others in the market are doing. So from a thought leadership perspective, we’re helping our customers understand how to get started and build out a roadmap, experimenting, personalizing and developing software and delivering it to production in a way where you’re not impacting all of your users at once, but you’re progressively rolling that code out to a controlled audience or segment of individuals, and having the flags and the ability to roll the code back.”
“Video’s really kind of a first-class citizen for us. So we do as much video as we can, and that kind of ties back to the word of mouth. So we will develop videos, interviewing our customers where you get to see their face, you get to see them smile. And I think that human element goes a long way. … Using our tools to gather feedback from the people visiting our site, we’ve done that and we’ve realized video is a really key element. So we’re stepping up the amount of videos that we’re producing.”
“On the one hand, you have the most user-friendly, convenient solution in the market. They recommend products for you. They give you notifications and they just make it so easy. That’s the front end kind of user experience, but the other part of it … when you’re developing software, a lot of companies, they start off having to develop whatever it is the customer wants. … Everyone’s got the same solution, but it’s been done several times over and over, custom for each individual customer. And then they get to a point where they realize that’s not going to scale. They have to productize. And so instead of customizing everything, they’d have to start building in configurations that way. When you have to meet the business requirements of your customer, you can configure it one way or another way. And the combination of configurations allow you to scale and be a product-led growth company or a productized company instead of a sales-driven company where you’re just reacting to every deal that you’re trying to get signed.”
“There’s an ebb and flow to all of these things. What is hot and popular right now may not have been so hot and popular five or 10 years ago, and may or may not be so five or 10 years from now. It’s funny seeing the reemergence of email as one of the key channels to go to, but video does the best visual engagement and representation of what you’re trying to get across. … The larger majority of us, we enjoy watching movies. We watch a lot of videos, and there’s a reason for that. It’s very engaging and it allows you to escape and open up your mind to all the possibilities, and for a company like AB Tasty, see what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to open up your mind to the creativity of experimentation and personalization, as well as that product life cycle. … So for us, video is a really effective way of helping people understand ‘I can roll it out and I can roll it back.’”
“Through our customer success teams, we’re very close to our customers throughout their life as a customer. So we set up quarterly business reviews, like most companies, but when we do so, it’s really about strategically talking about how to make the best use of our platform so that they can see the value because we have a lot of case studies showing the value from a lot of our customers. So we know it’s possible, we’ve seen it work, and we know how to make it work. So it’s just a matter of disseminating that thought leadership and best practice.”

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