GrowthFit Interview series
Episode #16

The process of carving one's own niche in product marketing

The process of carving one's own niche in product marketing

Emilia Korczynska is the head of marketing at User Pilot. She is an alumna of Cambridge university who started off her journey as a finance journalist before her forte in writing paved the way for a flourishing career in marketing. Her area of expertise is product marketing, pre-sign-up and post sign-up strategies. She loves to talk about improving acquisition, activation and retention strategies.

Highlights of the talk:

  • Great organic content is the foundation of a good marketing strategy
  • Analytical thinking and research are essential skills for marketers
  • Why one should have a T-shaped marketing career

Gathering experience from across the world

Emilia: It was a long and interesting journey for me as I transitioned from journalistic writing to writing for marketing and gradually becoming an expert at product growth. I always wanted to be a writer, later I changed the course of my career to starting my own agency providing content to businesses. This led me to gather experience from several companies across the world including Poland and China. Further, working in different cultures has enriched my experience. UserPilot has a varied and inclusive work culture with employees from almost all parts of the world.

What are the problems that User Pilot solves for its customers?

Emilia: We solve several problems for the product teams and software as a service industry. We help companies with product adoption, user onboarding, product marketing, customer retention, account expansion, and many other crucial areas of work for the SaaS industry. We solve problems regarding user engagement and upselling among others. Our platform allows product marketers and managers to build enough experiences without coding, independently of the developers. Our platform is a ready-made widget that eliminates effort and time for the companies

Understanding customers

What strategy do you follow to understand your website visitor/customers?

Emilia: Basically, it’s about knowing your audience well and listening to their problems. I try to get on at least one call per week with our users to understand them, their pain points, where they are in the user journey and where they are getting stuck in the journey. Apart from this, we use session recording tools to analyse how they are interacting with our tools. There is more direct and qualitative data from product intelligence tools.

What techniques do you use to draw the attention of your customers?

Emilia: Our main strategy relies on organic content. We position ourselves as a media company, we try to pose as the problem solvers for our users. Apart from that, we do paid ads, we have event marketing, product drive and our main focus is on content creation. 80% organic content, google ads and event marketing. Repurposing the content and marketing it well works for us.

What’s your take on website personalization?

Emilia: We focus on displaying appropriate content for various segments of the visitors. We have used chatbots in the past to add to personalized visitor experiences.

What do you think about the evolving nature of SaaS marketing?

Emilia: The industry has become very product-led. I think in the previous decades, software wasn’t known to be user-friendly, now we have cloud based solutions. Earlier the decision makers would sign up for long contracts, whereas in the present, they need not purchase even for an annual plan. The industry is growing rapidly and so there are a variety of solutions available for you to choose the best option. One can find the right fit after a free trial. The importance of user attention has increased and also become the prime factor in decision making.

Companies are looking for solutions that save their time as so many of their competitors might already be doing it. So how can you convert a free trial user to a paid subscriber? We help our customers to answer that. I think this user-centric approach has been the biggest shift in the SaaS marketer over the last 15 years.

Research and analytical thinking useful for Marketing

How did the experience as a news correspondent and learnings at Cambridge University help you in marketing?

Emilia: I learnt research, analytical and critical thinking skills during my time as a student at Cambridge University. I think these are transferable skills that helped me in content marketing and writing for products. Going to a good university challenges you in a lot of ways. It helped me express my message powerfully and effectively.

What is your secret formula for designing a paid campaign?

Emilia: I am mostly into organic content creation, however, I think the biggest advantage can be good keyword research, search volumes, CPC, the overlap with your competitors’ campaigns to name a few. Apart from this, you need to consider the requirements like the landing page, a great clickable copy while also keeping in mind the budget and creating experiments that are statistically significant.

Organic content is extremely important

What do you think is the most effective way to improve your brand presence?

Emilia: Organic content is crucial and let me explain why. We have tried different methods and nothing has been so effective. Moreover, the amount you spend is high and you don't get as many leads. The only way that you can meet the needs of these customers and reach them is through SEO. That is where they are looking to educate themselves. Reach your target audience through the content, understand how they communicate and that’s the best way to create brand awareness.

Advice to budding marketers

What is the advice you would give to entry level marketers?

Emilia: Pick something that aligns with your skills or talents. If you are good at visuals, then designing is the thing for you and if you are good at analytics, then you can work in data analytics. Pick up a specialization.

                   “Become a “T” shaped marketer. Acquire overall knowledge and also have deep knowledge about one specific area.”

Who is your mentor in marketing?

Emilia: I look up to our former Vp and project manager. Besides, I follow John Bonini, director of marketing at Databox. These are people whom I look upto for insights on marketing.