Media-Led Growth (MLG) is a term first introduced here on the Metrics that Measure Up podcast and the central theme of this episode.
Who better to discuss this topic than Patrick Campbell, Founder, and CEO of ProfitWell, recently purchased by Paddle for an unofficial $180M+
Patrick was a pioneer in building brand media assets inside a B2B SaaS company at ProfitWell - what led to the decision to invest in media properties?
ProfitWell was facing a common challenge that most B2B SaaS companies face, how to sustain growth and generate "outsized" gains in a very competitive landscape. Eight (8) years ago the macro-level environment was different. Early on, email open rates were much higher, Google ads were much lower, and social media channels were just beginning to gain relevance. Over the last 3 - 5 years, those digital channels become noisy and much less effective.
Resultantly, Patrick was looking for a more innovative, and more efficient marketing channels. ProfitWell was bootstrapped, which made efficient growth an even higher imperative. Early on, Patrick started posting information on churn rates, retention rates, and pricing which was a less saturated topic.
Quickly, Patrick found the content was resonating, and based upon research discovered that traditional inbound marketing strategy (blogs/ebooks/whitepapers) averaged 1.6 touches per week from a qualified lead and traditional media companies average 5+ touches per week. With Customer Acquisition Cost increasing, Patrick had a hypothesis that media might be a "marketing secret weapon" within ProfitWell.
On an economic basis, Patrick discovered they could produce a media asset like a podcast or video series with 13 episodes for the same or even less money than a traditional content marketing asset. As such - ProfitWell created multiple media assets - a media company inside a B2B SaaS company. Moreover, this "pool" of media properties provided an opportunity to engage potential buyers and influencers weekly. Additionally, Patrick didn't stop at a single media asset, at one point in time ProfitWell had 9 different media properties that engaged different buyers with different subjects.
Patrick framed the value like this "imagine having 500 people attend a webinar you sponsor every week!" Having "shows based on the "problem and/or role" that ProfitWell was trying to reach as potential buyers of their SaaS product was the primary focus. This resulted in a "grid" of content and buyer personas that informed the decision to create multiple media properties. Patrick also highlighted the importance to measure performance early and continuously to end any properties that are not producing positive returns as measured listeners, downloads, and engagement.
I asked Patrick "is audio or video the best place to start?" Patrick highlighted that audio is an easier and cheaper way to start, but introducing a video asset is a natural evolution.
Finally, we pivoted to ProfitWell's use of "benchmarks" as another asset. Patrick started with his belief that benchmarks are not used properly. Benchmarks provide a "focus" on which metrics to review and where to prioritize focus. Those areas where your internal metrics are far off the benchmarks are a great place to start.
If you are a B2B SaaS founder/CEO, Chief Marketing Officer, or other Go-to-Market executive looking for innovative and differentiated ways to reach your target audience and increase the frequency of engagement, this podcast is a GREAT listen that is chalked full of thought-provoking ideas from an expert!!!