Brand Positioning, Online Events, and the Dangers of Trends

A Conversation with Santtu Kottila, CMO of Leadoo

In today’s MarTech conversation, we speak with the CMO of Leadoo, Santtu Kottila. Leadoo is a conversion platform that converts more online sales and leads from your website traffic and collects data to optimize your performance continuously. 

Santtu explains how he’s working to position the service with clarity using webinars and online events, and gives other insights from his years as a MarTech leader.

Tell us about Leadoo

Leadoo is a conversion platform that helps companies to turn website traffic into conversions, whether it's leads, online sales, or whatever it is that you are trying to convert. The tool has numerous functionalities to help companies turn passive website visitors into active ones. Once they’re activated, there’s a much higher chance you’ll be able to convert them.

There are essentially two sides to the platform. There’s the data collection side and there are the activation tools. If you visit our website today, for instance, and then you come back after a week, we can connect those dots so we know all of your historical activity on the website. 

On average, we are able to increase the amount of conversion from web traffic from 30% to 70%. So, if you currently get 10 leads per week, for instance, we would be able to increase that number to between 13 to 17. 

We have roughly 80 people working for us in Finland, Sweden, the UK, and Spain, and we are looking to expand to other markets as well. 

In terms of our competitive landscape, I would go as far as to say that there’s no one like us. We often get compared to chatbots and live chat software. But unlike most companies, we are focusing more on conversions, as we have both data and activation tools, so we see ourselves as a conversion platform.

Another thing that really makes us different is that we don’t just sell our product—we also offer support and service. We work to support the customer and make sure they get the most out of our service. 

What do you do in your day-to-day work as CMO?

Leadoo as a company is quite unorthodox when it comes to sales and marketing and technical developments. Many SaaS startups begin with the product and the product team. However, we’ve done it the other way around. We nailed it with the first MVP of the product, which made it easy for us to scale the team from basically just a few of us to 15 people. And out of those 15 people, 80% were either sales, marketing, or account management people. Being a marketer in a company that values the sales and brand awareness side makes it quite different from an average startup. 

Our marketing team has grown quick as well. When we started it was just me and a designer. We were really active on social media, but since then, we’ve scaled the marketing team. We now have technical marketers, content marketers, video and UX people. I would say we’re quite a holistic team now. There are currently seven of us and I’m looking to add three more to the team.

We basically have the same business KPIs that the entire leadership team has. Our two main KPIs are new business, then retention. Then, of course, we have joint marketing goals, and each member of the marketing team has their own goals that support the team goals.

A typical day for me would probably consist of a few internal meetings, maybe one client meeting, then one meeting with either an existing or a potential agency partner. 

For internal communication, we use Slack. We use Google Sheets and Asana for splitting up tasks. We also use our own tool, SEMrush, LinkedIn advertising, and Google Ads. There are easily 15 different tools I use, and my team would probably add another 15, totaling around 30 tools. 

What are some of your goals and challenges at Leadoo?

We are looking to strengthen our position in the existing markets, meaning Finland, Sweden, and the UK, and then also opening up new markets within Europe, most likely. On top of that, we're launching two new inbound products—no-touch self-service products—so that our offering would be accessible to a wider audience of people.

Of course, we have many daily struggles; those are a matter of problem solving. But I would say that a constant struggle for every company should be how to position your product—how to communicate your product as clearly as possible. Another challenge is how to make sure that you continue to be at the forefront of what you do without going too far so that you remain understandable for your audience. So, that's the struggle: You need to trailblaze, but you can't go too far ahead because then people won't understand what you’re actually offering.

What has been most effective and why?

We haven't been able to offer the product as a free trial or a freemium so far on our website, so we haven't been too active in sending people to our website. We only have those demo request conversions to offer, which is kind of a downer for people who are aware of this space, because they want to test out things themselves before being tied into a contract. 

So, we've actually focused on creating online events and webinars. We have a certain model that has been quite successful in driving people to the webinars as attendees, turning that small interest towards a certain topic into a meeting with us, and then continuing through to demos and sales.

We collect signups through a conversation, which is different from using an open form. Say you’re collecting, for instance, webinar signups: Traditionally, when a person lands on a webinar landing page, if they are interested in the event, they’ll sign up. So they will do the heavy lifting, filling out their information, which is annoying, but they know they have to do it. If it's a form, it stops there—you can’t progress on your buyer’s journey. If you have a conversational signup, on the other hand, then after the person has signed up, you can continue the conversation. So, for instance, if we have a webinar on conversion rate optimization, we can follow up with a free consultation with one of our conversion specialists. On average, that turns roughly 10% of all webinar signups into instant meeting requests.

What new trends are you noticing?

I'm not really a big fan of predictions, because I'd say that the biggest obstacle for any marketer is that we tend to jump on trends just because they are trending. Of course, be aware of what's happening around you, but then try to focus on what actually makes a difference.

I would say that there are two big trends that are affecting marketing, however. Both of these are due to privacy and GDPR-related issues. First of all, the price of online advertising has increased. In 10 years, the average price has tripled. So, it’s more and more important that companies think about conversion optimization. Getting those visits on your website costs you a lot more than what it used to, so if only 1–2% of all your traffic is converting, then you have a big hole in the bucket, as they say in the UK. 

The other thing is GDPR, which will make targeting ads way more difficult. And again, that will increase the price of your advertising. 

How does content marketing fit into your strategy?

I would say that content is the core of our marketing strategy. You can't survive and you can't grow without quality content. 

We have noticed that content creation is something that we want to do in-house because we want it to be super quick and on point with what our sales and customer success people expect. Having an outsourced partner create content can slow down the process.

Connect and find out more

You can find Santtu Kottila on LinkedIn and Twitter and get more information about Leadoo on their website.

We hope you enjoyed this industry spotlight. You can learn more about our series of interviews with MarTech leaders on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

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