Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Debunking PLG Misconceptions

What do Slack, Zoom, and Calendly all have in common (other than the fact they are all staples in your tech stack)? They’re all product-led growth (PLG) companies.

PLG has become quite the topic of conversation in the last several years among SaaS companies and took off even faster after March of 2020. 

It was already less than ideal to be forced into attending a demo of a product you were interested in. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer a hands-on approach when trying out new software. 👩‍💻

Turns out I’m not the only one. According to a 2015 Forrester report, 75 percent of buyers prefer to buy directly from a website or app. 

Because PLG is still relatively new to a lot of companies, there are some misconceptions out there. Good news: we’re here to debunk them today. Martin “Gonto” Gontovnikas, Co-Founder and General Partner at HyperGrowth Partners, joined Stephanie Cox on Real Marketers to reveal the truths about PLG during his episode.  

The Buyer Is Not the Same as the User

Gonto started the episode debunking one of the most common misconceptions about PLG. The buyer is not the same as the user. 

Here’s where your marketing strategy can get a little complicated. You need to optimize your “Free Account” landing pages for the user, but you can’t forget about the buyer. You still need to create a brand awareness campaign so the buyer learns about your product and determines it’s a must-have for the organization.

The best way to do this? Test, test, test. Your Google Optimize account is going to have its world cut out for it. Try a different copy on the landing page. Switch the colors on your “Free Account” button. Minimize the number of form fields required to create an account. The list goes on. You should always be testing something when in a PLG strategy. 

There Is No Silver Bullet to PLG

We already know there’s no viral button. But did you know there’s no silver bullet to PLG? I know this might be tough to hear when you look at the Slack’s or Canva’s of the world. But what you don’t hear about with these huge success stories is the years of grit and hard work these organizations put in before their product “went viral”. 🚀

So how can you get there faster? Interviews. Talk to your target audience. Hear first-hand what their behavior is rather than guessing. And spoiler alert – you should probably be doing this for both the user and the buyer.

During the episode, Gonto dropped some of his favorite questions to ask his ideal customer profile when he was at Auth0.

  • When do you want to learn about topic
  • What do you want to learn about? 
  • Who are the people that you follow? 
  • How do you learn about new products in topic
  • Do you go to meetups? 
  • Do you go to conferences? 
  • Do you read Reddit? 
  • Do you Google them? 
  • What apps do you use on your computer and mobile phone?
  • Do you use more mobile or computer, and why?

You Might Find a Channel Isn’t Performing as Well as You Thought

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or a channel for that matter. If you want to know how your campaigns are truly doing, you’ll need to look at more than just Google Analytics. 🔍

Sure you might have a ton of traffic coming from Google Display, but dig a little deeper. How many of these users have actually used your product? How many of them are returning users? And are any converting from a free account to a paid plan? 

There’s a TON more to learn about PLG. Be sure to listen to the entire Real Marketers episode with Gonto to hear what PLG tools you should add to your tech stack, how to get users to the “aha” moment faster, and where the growth team should sit in the organization.