The Balsamiq Marketing Checklist
Hello friends of Balsamiq!
Today we would like to share another one of our Handbook pages with you. This time, it's about Marketing.
We've come a long way since my guerrilla marketing approaches of 2008, and our marketing style has had to adapt.
What Does Marketing Mean at Balsamiq?
Marketing is a word that comes with baggage. It used to have a "push things down people's throats" connotation, but things are changing.
We use the word marketing to define anything customer-facing that we do:
- our websites (main, support, docs, UXapprentice)
- our support interactions (on all channels)
- our blog and social media channels
- our products (including the purchasing experience, the onboarding experience, the error messages...)
- our ads and sponsorships
- our donations (including cash donations and free software)
- our brand
- our SWAG stores.
Other ways to define it could be "customer communication" or even "most of what we do". 🙂
We "Do Marketing" in 4 Ways
- Product and Customer Service. Similarly to Apple, we lead with our product. Our main effort should be about making a product that's "at home" good. After that, we should focus on supporting and educating our customers so well that they become successful. If we do those things, extremely powerful word of mouth will follow.
- Inbound / Content Marketing. We like to generously give back to our community by providing a lot of free valuable content, giving away our software to schools, non-profits and many others, and more.
- Content Discovery / Community Management. We actively participate in the UX and startup communities in order to stay abreast of what's new, discover content to share with our customer and to nurture our market as a whole.
- Advertising. We believe that once the right people find us, they will become more successful. So we also spend a little effort trying to reach people who might need it. We do this via Sponsorships and Ads which guide them first to our website, then to try the product, then help them make something with it.
The Balsamiq Marketing Checklist
We use this checklist anytime we write a new blog post, documentation article, tutorial, FAQ, web page, Facebook post, even a little Tweet!
The list is very much inspired by our mantras, so make sure you internalize those first.
- what's the piece's main goal? Informational, inspirational, or...?
- how does this help rid the world of bad software?
- which of our personas is this useful for?
- how does this make them more awesome?
- can we make them feel smart by reading it?
- does this even need to exist at all, or is it noise?
- is it as short as possible without losing information and tone? (respect people's time)
- Medium and Channel
- what is the right medium for this message? For example, should it be a video instead of a blog post?
- does it have a picture on it, preferably with a face on it? (no stock photo, and don't be shy with our own faces)
- what's the best channel for this content?
- how can we improve its chances to reach the right people?
- Tone: does our personality shine through?
- does it do it in a non-humblebrag, non-condescending and non-contrived way?
- is it honest, authentic, humble, transparent, witty, endearing, cute, delightful?
- does it show the bad with the good? does it show our current challenges?
- Invite Conversation
- does it speak to our community as peers?
- does it mention members for our community, and thank them for their input?
- does it ask for help and invite conversation?
- is it time-sensitive? Does it need to be scheduled?
- is it timeless, or is its impermanence made explicit?
- if it's meant to be timeless, don't use numbers
- if it's not, write it down "this is our current thinking, which might change"
- Take it to 11
- how can we possibly make this less about us and more about them?
- how can we take this to 11? How can we make this "best of the web"?
- how does this fit with the rest of our content? What pages should link to this? How should this be highlighted?
So there you have it. This is our current thinking about marketing. I'm sure it will evolve, but it's been serving us well recently. What do you think? How could we improve the checklist?