Meet Christian. He knows everything there is to know about marketing. He will tell you how to become a successful marketer and how to get started on the newest and smartest marketing strategy. Get all the tips and trick right here.
What’s your role at Planday?
I am responsible for developing and executing our marketing strategy to expand Planday and build our brand. Also, I’m ensuring ongoing press coverage and managing our marketing team.
How is your marketing approach different from other companies’?
Most digital aware companies are on top of their basic digital marketing strategy, including search advertising (SEO / SEM), social media advertising, retargeting, A/B split tests, analytics etc. We are also on top of those things. However, to us, that’s not a scalable strategy. The more clicks we need to buy, the more our advertising budget expands. The higher our competitors bid on keywords in Adwords, the higher our price per acquisition becomes. It’s a game that eventually will scoop out your profit margin, unless you know the exact value of a customer, and is able to adjust your click prices according to that, so that you in the end will know the exact marketing cost per customer. So, unless you have that knowledge – and probably a great amount of money – then it is not the most obvious way to create a scalable, global growth strategy.
So, what is your secret to an inbound marketing engine that is scalable and successful?
A part of our growth hacking strategy is content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is basically a strategy to create content matching your potential customers’ needs and solving their everyday problems.
To get started, we had to identify which industries we wanted to target first. The Planday system fits all industries, but we had to start somewhere. We chose our first target industry from a volume/profit analysis based on our existing customers. Then, we conducted qualitative interviews with our customers to identify their everyday challenges and ultimate goals. When we had that information, we started creating our buyer persona which is the whole foundation of our content.
With our buyer persona profile, our content marketing team started to produce the first few blog posts. And that’s how it all began.
What have you learned from that process?
Since we published our first blog post, we have learned a lot about what type of content works, what creates leads and what doesn’t work at all.
The learning curve is quite steep as content marketing is about creating and giving value away – for free! It’s actually the complete opposite of the classic marketing strategy which is to target your group of people with maximum exposure across every media channel with the purpose of them eventually surrendering and buying your product. Luckily, that form of marketing is dying out, however, it’s still the one we are taught. So, to refer to the introduction, stating that I know everything about marketing, then it is not completely true. We thought we knew a lot, but we have learned so much in the last year, and we will keep learning new stuff every single day.
When you have the right resources, the right knowledge and the right team to execute a content marketing strategy, it’s an extremely positive and profitable strategy.
What would your advice be to others who want to start working with content marketing?
I have three pieces of advice:
1. Quality content rather than quantity. Forget about the freelancer or the intern. Get a journalist or a professional communicator onboard from the beginning.
2. Distribution of content is extremely important. If you expect to get most of your traffic from organic searches (like we did), then you’re in for a big disappointment. More than 80% of our traffic comes from other channels. We now know where our buyer persona is and how he wants to interact with our content. So, be where your buyer persona is. Not where you think he will be.
3. Don’t push your own product too much, too fast. If a potential customer gets the impression that you are only making content to sell your product, you will definitely lose his trust right away. Instead of focusing on your own product and how great it is, focus on making content that will actually bring them some value. Talk to their interests and needs.
So, where is Planday Marketing headed in the future?
We are not happy with a 30-50% growth per year. Our ambitions are much higher than that.
We want to revolutionize workforce management. Every day, managers are wasting hours on shift scheduling, including putting the schedule together, sending it out to every employee, editing it, considering sickness and shift swaps, updating the schedule, sending it out again and again and again… And on top of this, they have to be on top of payroll, HR and communication too.
80% of companies worldwide use blackboards, whiteboard or Excel sheets to handle their workforce management. Those are extremely inefficient ways of solving problems, but many accept that “that’s the way we do it here.” These work processes are screaming for an automated and mobile solution like Planday. We want to scale Planday radically, giving business owners the opportunity to focus on running their company and make a profit instead of drowning in administrative problems. That is what’s motivating and driving our growth strategy.
How is Planday different from its competitors?
Planday has existed for 10 years. Most of our competitors are only a few years old. We have a mature system which is being tested and validated on a daily basis by more than 40,000 users. The system is being improved with the users. When I look at our competitors… Well, to be honest, I don’t see them as true competitors. They have developed systems that don’t understand or solve real-life business processes. And that’s why so many end up with an Excel sheet instead of a true workforce management system which actually solves business challenges and radically improves processes.