All Posts By

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Photo Friday

Photo Friday: 3/24/17

Taking Instagram photos is my hobby. In this series, I post a few photos on Friday that I recently took.




Follow me on Instagram for more of my work.

Data Science, Startups

Engagement: The Key to a Data Driven Culture ft. @UseNotion

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

A “Data-driven culture” is what so many businesses aspire to be. They think that if they have the data, organize the data, and use the data to make decisions, that they will automatically infuse it into the very fibers of their corporate culture.

If only it were that easy.

Yes, obtaining data and organizing it may be the first necessary steps towards creating a “data driven culture,” but unless you can get your team excited about using that data – it’s close to worthless.

Having a data-driven culture means that everyone – not just analysts, product managers and marketers – understands the data you’re collecting, can find the data you’ve collected, and knows how to use that data to improve and optimize their work. And, of course, it’s not about your team just knowing how to use the data, but feeling empowered, encouraged, and even excited to make data an integral part of their work.

For that to happen, employees need reasons why adding data to their lives will make their work easier and get them better results.

But, engendering enthusiasm can be an uphill battle, especially if your mountains of numbers tend to scare people away.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Pricing CRO Style: Matching Price to Audience ft. @ObjeqtEcomm, @taliagw, @CopyHackers

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Pricing has so many roles to play in e-commerce. It has to cover product costs, personnel costs, and marketing costs to keep the business running (and profitable!), and it can act as a marketing tool, differentiating you from higher priced competitors. It’s a fine line to walk if you try to do it all – and most companies think they have to do it all.

But when it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO), the lowest possible price isn’t always the right price – in fact price doesn’t necessarily depend on what the other guys are doing. The price you can charge for optimal conversions is based on a whole other criterion: Your audience.

Playing The Price is Right

Let’s play a game: True or False

If you lower your prices, your conversions will improve.

Well?

False – it depends on your audience and your unique value proposition (why they’re buying from you, rather than anyone else).

It’s counter-intuitive, but people don’t buy based on lowest price. They buy based on:

  • Trust
  • Brand (which is tied to trust)
  • Ease of purchasing
  • How well you communicate your value proposition
  • Proof your product will deliver the buyer’s desired outcome (also tied to trust)
  • Reduction or removal of risk (read: Trust)
  • Immediate action incentives

Basically, your sale depends on building trust, delivering desired outcomes, and tipping the scales of decision by gently prodding your buyer to act. When you have that combo in place, you’re no longer a price-based decision, you’re a value-based decision.

But – if your value proposition is, in fact, that you guarantee the cheapest price around, and that’s working well for you, then you’re already appealing to your target audience of bargain hunters. You don’t necessarily need to attract those who seek value to run a profitable business. Just look at Wal-Mart. You do still have to understand your audience and gain their trust though, because cheap prices won’t overcome those deficiencies. So read on.

Read More on Objeqt


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

E-Commerce

Defining Your Ideal Customer in e-Commerce ft. @ObjeqtEcomm, @Shanelle_Mullin, @bellastone

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

There is a lot of information on defining your ideal customer, but most of it isn’t written for you. It’s written for software-as-a-service companies, or startups, or both. And while e-commerce can benefit from many of the same best-practices, some of the information written in those articles just doesn’t apply.

This article is written just for you, and it’s all about how to define, find, and attract your ideal e-commerce customer.

First, my definition of an ideal customer:

An ideal customer is someone who has a problem you are uniquely equipped to solve, who is willing, able and happy to pay for that solution, and who is delighted to have found you.

And they shouldn’t drive you nuts (nobody says this, but it’s important – ideal customers are not the ones who take up all of your customer service agents’ time, return more products than they buy, and complain about you on social media). Nobody needs that.

This is why I included the “delighted” clause; people who are delighted to find you genuinely appreciate what you have to offer. They’ll be more inclined to become loyal customers, make repeat purchases, and recommend you to their friends, which are vital elements to any growth strategy.

How do you find these ideal clients?

Read More on Objeqt


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Customer Success, Product Management

Product Managers: Why You Should Include Customer Success Milestones In Your User Flows ft. @Wootric & @16v

As a Product Manager, you develop user flows to chart how customers move from signup to successfully using your SaaS product. Your colleagues in Customer Success are doing the same thing — mapping a flow of customer milestones to success.

But “success” can mean different things to PMs and CSMs. And, while both teams employ user flows (or customer journeys), what they put on them are very different, reflecting their very different goals.

You are responsible for making the product functionally work, with enough awesome UX so it’s relatively intuitive for the customer to use. For your team, “success” often means that the product works. It does what it says it will do, and does it well.

Customer Success is responsible for helping customers use the product to achieve their desired outcome. Most of the time, that desired outcome isn’t in the product – it’s outside of it. For example, if I purchase a budgeting app, my desired outcome is to save enough money to sun myself on a Caribbean beach, with a good-looking server to bring me fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. The Customer Success manager’s job is to get me there.

You might say it’s a conflict between focusing on the world inside the product and the wide, wide world outside of it.

And that conflict can bring about a deep divide between Product and Customer Success.

Yet, we’re all working towards the same goal: Creating a product people love, need and want more of.

What if you were to bring both user flows together, so the functionality inside the product meets the desired outcomes outside of the product?

Read More on Wootric


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Metrics

Why we focus on the Little Data ft. @UseNotion

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Modern technology is a wonder, isn’t it? Once you learn what tracking metrics can do for your business – customer metrics, internal team metrics – you want to apply tracking to anything and everything, simply because you can. The promise of Big Data tells us that if we can just crunch more numbers or analyze bigger data sets, we’ll somehow discover new pearls of wisdom, breakthrough aha moments, and the secret to that coveted unicorn status.

So when you’re crafting your strategy of determining what to track, should you just track it all?

Yes and no.

Yes, you should track all of the metrics that matter to your team and to your company.

And no, you shouldn’t track them all at the same time.

We refer to those team metrics that matter most at any given point as your Little Data. And focusing on the little data is what drives success.

Technology allows you to theoretically track ALL THE THINGS, but human capacity requires prioritization. People and teams perform better when they’re focused, so we recommend starting small, centering your attention on the Little Data that matters most to your team, and evolving that focus as your strategy and tactics evolve.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization

3 Tried and Tested Emotional Triggers that Increase Conversion Rates ft. @TaliaGw

I don’t know about you, but every “fun” purchase I make is an emotional roller coaster. There’s the thrill of hunting for just the right thing. The greater thrill of finding it. And then – if it’s on sale – Game on. I have to have it. NOW! Before someone else gets it! Last one? Oh no! Typing in my credit card number as fast as my fingers can fly. Phew! Okay, it’s being shipped. **Breathe**

And all of that happens before the object of desire even arrives. I don’t even know if it will fit, but my desires are fueled with dreams of mass admiration and glory.

Hey, your buyer’s journey may be different (you might not be as vain), but it’s probably not that different. Why? Because we’re all human here, we’re all impacted by emotion. Would impulse purchases happen on planet Vulcan?

Nope. Here on Earth? Oh yes.

Emotion is inextricably tied to decision-making, and therefore conversion. It’s been scientifically proven a number of times.

Time number one:

When neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people who had sustained brain damage to areas of the brain that generate emotions, they were unable to make even the smallest of decisions. They still had logic and reasoning, but if they were asked to choose between pasta and risotto for dinner, they couldn’t do it.

Time number two:

Researchers at UCLA and George Washington University created two types of ads, one with facts and figures, which they called “logical persuasion” or “LP״, and one with fun, vague, or sexy scenes which they termed “non-rational influence” or “NI.”

They found that the brain regions involved in decision-making and emotional processing had significantly higher activity when participants looked at the logical persuasion ads. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately for CROs, these are the same brain regions responsible for inhibiting responses, like impulse purchases.

The non-rational influence ads, on the other hand, didn’t cause any major activity in those brain regions, suggesting that they lead to less behavioral inhibition – and less restraint when there’s a “Buy” button involved.

Time number three:

A study out of Missouri University of Science and Technology said that “atmospheric cues” – the web interface and the “look and feel” of design features of e-commerce stores – affect buyer behavior. In fact, the researchers posited that “consumers’ emotional responses” were predictive of whether they would buy. This study might seem a little obvious – a richer, more interactive environment produces more positive emotions which produces higher intentions to purchase. In plain English, we buy from stores we enjoy. Since emotion is clearly super-glued to the decision-making process, there are two questions that I’m burning to ask:

  1. Why has it taken us this long to try and measure it?
  2. Why are we only now finding ways to use it?!

The only answer I have is that it’s only been recently that technology and psychological awareness have come together to make measuring and manipulating emotion more possible now than it has ever been.

We’re swimming in the swell of a wave that hasn’t even crested yet because our understanding of human emotion is in its infancy. Paddle fast my friends – you don’t want this wave to pass you by.

Read More on @TaliaGw’s GetUplift.co


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Customer Success, Metrics

7 Essential Customer Success Metrics ft. @UseNotion

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Excellent Customer Success leaders know that the practice is both art and science. Being exceptional in the role means being good with both numbers and people. In a way, it is the perfect marriage of using data and and building relationships. Data helps you build better, stronger, happier, and longer relationships with your customer, because it’s the data that can help you deliver a more responsive, customized and pleasant experience for your customers.

Tracking the right metrics also comes with another benefit: They’re the raw materials you can use to secure more funding for your Customer Success department, argue for changes in processes that impact your team, and back up any feedback you deliver to Product. These are the metrics that prove your worth, help you grow, and enable you to deliver success to your customers too.

Disclaimer: Many of the metrics listed below aren’t solely customer success metrics. In fact, many will be from data sources that aren’t necessarily controlled, managed, or regularly accessed by the customer success department. This can make tracking this data challenging.

We recommend a 5 step process to getting the information you need to deliver a better experience to your customers.

  1. Make a spreadsheet with each of these KPIs listed. Include additional metrics that matter to your team. Fill in any of the data that you have.
  2. Determine who owns the information you need to fill in the rest of your spreadsheet. Once you figure that out, send a personal appeal requesting regular updates for that data.
  3.  Set multiple event alerts to remind you to pester them for their numbers each week or month.
  4. Summarize the pertinent numbers weekly or monthly, so your boss is up-to-date on how you’re team’s doing. Also discuss with your team, so you can track progress to team goals, discuss areas where you can improve and celebrate wins as a team.
  5. Every quarter, re-evaluate team goals and the associated metrics used to track their progress and adjust your spreadhseet accordingly.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Startups

The Lean Startup Way to Fail ft. @AshMaurya

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

The road of progress is paved with failures – that’s not a quote; in fact, I made it up – but when you’re talking about Lean Startup methodology, it’s nevertheless true. If we don’t fail, we can’t grow, which makes failure actually very exciting, and something we encourage. Failures force us to question our convictions, and possibly discard them to make way for new ones that work more effectively.

When you think of failure that way, it’s not so bad. But, it also opens the door to the possibility that:

You’re doing failure wrong

In Scaling Lean: Mastering The Key Metrics for Startup Growth, author Ash Maurya (also author of Running Lean and creator of Lean Canvas) talks about the right way to deal with failure so you can reap the most benefits from what appears, at first, to be a significant setback.

“Can you find the common theme across these discoveries: penicillin, microwave, X-ray, gunpowder, and vulcanized rubber? . . . In each of these cases, the inventors were seeking a specific outcome and instead got a different outcome. But instead of throwing away their ‘failed’ experiments, they did something very different from most people: they asked why.”

As Maurya points out, Lean entrepreneurs today don’t fail, they pivot – but if pivoting means rushing to correct course, instead of examining the cause of the failure, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, pivoting  might not be the best response at all. Only through careful, collaborative analysis can you determine whether to persevere with your hypothesis, pivot your strategy to reach your goal by different route, or chuck the idea altogether.

Whichever route you choose, you’ve been given an opportunity. When a hypothesis doesn’t hold true, you have the ability to learn things about your customers that you never would have otherwise – by asking “why?” (a lot).

“Why?” lets you dig deep into the reasons far below surface assumptions. The “5 Whys” exercise developed by Toyota Motor Corporation can be a useful tool after just about any failure, crisis, setback, or experiment.

Read More on Notion


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization, E-Commerce

E-commerce Differentiation: Stand out, sell more ft. @ObjeqtEcomm

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Differentiation is, literally, what separates you from your competition. It’s why your customers will only buy from you, no matter what the other guys are offering. When you hit just the right differentiator for your target audience, you’ll convince them that they can only get their desired outcome from you.

What is differentiation?

Differentiation is what makes your product unique and valuable for your target audience. It’s what sets you apart. Grabs attention. Says to the world “I’m the only place you’ll find THIS!”

It can take many forms. Price can be a differentiator (“best value!”, “Cheapest rates!”). Quality can be a differentiator. Brand names and social cachet (aka. “perceived value”) can be differentiators. The fact that your product is on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list is a differentiator. Features can be differentiators, but features can also be easily copied by competitors (which means if people love a feature, it won’t be a differentiator for long). Longevity, even, can be a differentiator (“Dine at London’s oldest restaurant”). It can be your company ethics, your founder, your driving philosophy, even your personality.

Most importantly, the differentiator you choose to highlight in your value proposition and marketing should be something no one can take away from you.

Read More on Objeqt


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.