Massimo Arrigoni, CEO of the brand experience agency BEE discusses changing martech and marketing experience trends in this quick weekend Q&A:
Welcome to this chat from the MarTech Massimo series, tell us about BEE and their journey so far, we would love to hear more about your role as well!
BEE is a global SaaS company that has developed a visual builder for emails and landing pages, used online at beefree.io and integrated into hundreds of software applications (marketing platforms, CRM, event management tools, fundraising platforms,… you name it!). Collectively, there were over 4.4 million sessions from our drag-and-drop editors in over 600 apps last month. Note that – although BEE is a new name for most people – this is one of those great stories that certainly didn’t happen overnight. We’ve been around since 2014, and what you see today is the result of years of customer feedback. We started with a simple idea for a drag and drop editor that would allow people to design emails quickly, easily, and without friction. I’ve been here from the start and now lead a remote and geographically dispersed team of around 50 people, mostly located in the US and Italy. BEE is a business unit of Italy Grows up, a marketing technology group, and there are three sister companies in the group that are heavy users of the product, so we have great internal feedback from them.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech interview with Bosko Milekic, CTO and co-founder at Optable
Tell us about some of BEE’s most recent product enhancements and a few upcoming innovations that users can expect?
Many of us consume digital content on mobile devices. The need for a mobile-centric approach to content design is increasing. One of the features we delivered earlier this year allows users to do just that – they can design emails and landing pages right in the “mobile view” (as opposed to having to stop, click on a preview, see what it looks like on one and go back to make changes). We call it the mobile design mode, and it’s really a game changer for anyone who needs to create mobile content first – it saves you a ton of time.
A new type of content is coming: you will be able to use BEE to design not only emails and landing pages, but popups as well. A pop-up window often attracts attention and is an integral part of many digital marketing campaigns. So people will be able to use BEE to create all the content they need: for example, take an event registration campaign. They can design the popup that will pitch the event (on the company’s home page for example); the landing page to which they will be redirected to register for the event; and the follow-up emails that will be sent afterwards.
What do you think are the main challenges for B2B marketing leaders when working with their teams to create and distribute digital content?
We are focusing on one in particular: the fact that there are more people, in more roles (not just in the marketing team, but HR, sales, etc.) who need to create more digital content, more often, for all kinds of reasons. They need it now and they have to create it themselves: they cannot wait for an agency (external or internal to the organization) to give them what they need. It takes way too long. We focus on this fundamental frustration. We call it the democratization of design: giving more people the tools they need to do the job of “creating digital content”. And in the world of digital content, for now, we’ve focused on emails and landing pages.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech interview with Brendan King, CEO of Vendasta
What are some best practices from tech leaders (those with great digital content experiences) that you think marketers need to learn from?
Be helpful and genuine. In technology, I was an Intercom fan. For example, they produced a combination of blog posts, podcasts, and lengthy content such as Intercom on product management, which are really fantastic. I’m also an avid outdoorsman, so let me mention a few non-tech examples: I love the digital campaigns that brands like Patagonia and REI have, to name just two brands that set it apart, in my opinion. Useful and authentic content resonates, builds relationships and builds trust. I can’t click, I can’t read, I can’t buy, however, I saw it and it made me feel aligned with the brand. I will commit at some point. the #OptOutside campaign what REI does for Black Friday, for example, is perfect that way, in my opinion (and still gorgeous from a digital design perspective).
As the martech ecosystem evolves, what are the basic technical and analytical skills that marketers and advertisers of today and the near future need to refine to gauge the success of their content and improve the user experience? ?
With the digital exposure overload we all know and with stricter privacy regulations rightly becoming the norm, reaching new customers is getting harder and harder. There is research that shows that acquiring a new customer is 5-25 times more expensive than to keep an existing one. Developing real, lasting relationships with the customers you acquire becomes really critical. This means investing heavily in all skills and metrics relating to customer retention. In fact, marketers increasingly need to be retention experts rather than acquisition gurus. When you apply this to digital content, it leads to a greater focus on content that is driven by a key question: How can I really help my existing customers to better use my product?
Some thoughts on the global martech market and the top innovators you think are changing the game?
I really like the product-led approach: when you minimize the distance between the value you’ve created, and the value you’ve created it for, good things happen. If you do it right, the user experience is smooth, and you create trust, a positive feedback loop, and a foundation you can build on. There are great success stories like Canva and Calendly that have built billion dollar businesses based on this concept. At BEE, we use the same approach: to this day, when you come to beefree.io, you can click “Start Design” and you’re in our design tool with literally 2 clicks, no questions asked, no registrations, nothing. This customer relationship that we were talking about is the key to long term success and helps ensure that things start on the right foot.
A few things to remember for marketing managers and CEOs / CMOs until 2021?
I think when people go through really tough times – whether it’s due to COVID-19 or social injustice – their tolerance for companies that promise too much and fail to deliver dwindles further. No one wants to hear about a business that puts the customer first when most of the time the reality is far from it. Coming back to something I mentioned earlier: it’s time to try to be as useful and as authentic as possible. No one is perfect and no business is perfect, but there are always things we can do to grow in this direction. For example, our email designer tool can be useful when designing fundraising emails. We offer it free to help nonprofits reach their fundraising goals. There are hundreds of them using it. It’s a drop in the bucket, sure, but it’s part of that idea of trying to be really helpful.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech interview with Anu Shukla, co-founder and executive president of Botco.ai