How a struggling SaaS realized they were marketing at the wrong people?

Case Study
"We should have done this a year ago" – CEO of Flow XO

That’s how this project ended.

The Client

Flow XO is a chatbot platform that allows you to create… well, chatbots. It is a low code solution that is ideal for marketers wanting to improve their customer experiences. Or is it?

The Problem

Before reaching out, the SaaS startup had attempted to expand their revenue several times. They attempted to create several marketing strategies but quickly realized they lacked market information. So they conducted a survey and talked to their customers, but they did not know how to make the data actionable. Due to lack of expertise, they found their efforts wasted.

That’s where they decided to hand this to the experts.

The question they wanted answered was why is my marketing ROI so low even though we don't stop investing?

Step 0: Customer Audit

During our customer audit call, we realized they had a healthy amount of paying users, and a low free-to-paid conversion rate. Then, we found out Flow XO had a very vague idea on who their customer was. Things they lacked included:

• How do their best customers find them?

• What’s the customer journey like?

• What are their users using the platform for? (it was assumed it was for a chatbot creation)

• What needs to be improved

We won’t bore you with the rest, but any savvy marketer knows answering these questions is crucial if you were to win at marketing.

We agreed the number one priority is to define who are the best customers of the company and what do they use the chatbot platform for.

Step 1: Defining the Customer

At the time, the client had a substantial user base (number in the 000s), we began by segmenting their users into different groups using the dashboard tools. The goal here was to identify who the users that pay are. So, we narrowed down to people who had a lot of account activity and have been paying for at least 5 months.

The first milestone of the project was to identify the initial user profile of these customers. So, we launched a survey at them that featured a lottery mechanism for an incentive. The survey was advertised directly to their email inboxes via a 5-step email sequence.

The survey revealed there were 3 main types of people that used the SaaS, along with 3 distinct business sizes, working in 3 industry segments. Coincidence? Both the client and us were curios to find out.  

Step 2: Persona Development

Naturally, we wanted to speak to representatives of each group. We created an interview guide designed to convert users into people. Across the span of a week, we interviewed 9 people and found they were using the SaaS in 2 ways:

1. The way the client meant for his product to be used

2. An unusual way of which the client wasn't aware of (which was also the biggest source of revenue)

The usual way (1) was what our client assumed people were using his product for- to handle customer inquiries.

However, people following the unusual way (2) used the tool to automate business processes. People in this segment were doing so well, that they had used Flow XO as a platform to build a business upon. One of these businesses turned out to be a venture-funded SaaS. That revelation was insane!

Step 3: Answering the Question

This was the point we found out that our client was not only marketing at the wrong people, but was also introducing additional friction due to their approach.

The problem was most of Flow XO’s revenue came from people that automate business processes. But Flow XO positioned itself as a customer inquiry chatbot.

Therefore, if a business owner was looking to automate business processes, they would have to figure out Flow XO could be used for that. In the meantime, whenever you search for “automate business process” you would find Zapier and Integromat, but Flow XO would not be in the list.

It just so happened that there were entrepreneurs who had tried to create a customer inquiry chatbot and while doing so, they realized the tool could be used for so much more.

What was more interesting was the users who used the tool to automate their processes had 2 parts to their business structure: Front and Back-end.

For the front-end, they would create a chatbot character that you could chat with. But, in the back-end, they would use the tool to connect to various APIs and distribute the right content based on qualifiers that were collected from the front-end. Some people even created apps based on Flow XO.  

Step 4: Influencing Conversion Rates

At that point, we realized Flow XO needed to showcase ways their product could be used. So, we took the interviews from their customers and created 3 case studies that showcased all the ways the chatbot platform could be used. We also included videos of their own customers and the passion they have for Flow XO. You can check out one of the case studies here!

Picture from one of the case studies

Flow XO realized they were targeting the wrong people all this time. But they now have a clear grasp on who exactly buys from them, how these people shop for solutions, and what happens before they even begin shopping for solutions.

At the end of the project, the CEO (Nathan) finally received an answer to why the ROI on his marketing spent is so low. People were buying bananas, while he was trying to sell them carrots.  

At the end of our presentation, he finished with the words

"We should have done this a year ago”

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So, if you are looking to support your marketing decisions and use your customers as a base to market to them, then let’s begin by reviewing your customer knowledge. Book a call in the calendar below!

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