Your startup can be obsessed with a lot of different things. You can be competitor obsessed, culture obsessed, investor obsessed, and even ping-pong obsessed.
At Proof, we want to be customer obsessed. It’s one of our core values, and it’s key to every decision we make at the business.
Our office entryway is unique. It’s my favorite part of the entire place.
When our team walks in every morning, the first thing they see is what I call “The Post.”
Great football dynasties like Clemson and Notre Dame each have an item each player touches before they go onto the field. It’s to focus and align them before starting their job on the field.
Even though we’re not a football team playing on a literal gridiron every week, we share a lot of similarities with a sports team. We’re constantly training our minds by reading new books, helping our teammates on projects, and giving it our all against our competition.
When I made the connection, I thought “why don’t we do create something to align our team?”
Thus, “The Post” was born. We built it to ask our team to commit to building for our customers every day when they walk through the doors of our office. As of this writing, we’ve committed to our customers 1189 times (as you can see in the photo below).
But I can’t wait for the day we hit 1 million. I shiver at thinking about the delightful products we’ll have built by then to solve our customers deepest pains.
Over the last 2 years, Proof has largely created and dominated the “Social Proof Marketing” space. But as I dig deeper on where I want the company to head over the next few years and decades, I’ve realized “Social Proof Marketing” is too narrow of a term to describe the real problem we’re trying to solve.
So, what’s next for Proof?
Introducing Customer Powered Marketing
Most marketing platforms start with the question: “What tools can we build that will get prospects to take a set of desired actions?”
The answer to this question has given the marketing world some great marketing tools, but also a flurry of experiences consumers hate.
- Exit Intent popups
- Gimmicky Sales Pages
- Fake scarcity
- Cold emails
Most of these marketing techniques work, and some of them work really well., But it leaves you asking the question, “Is it the right thing to do?”
Less philosophically, “Do they work well in the long term?”
I believe the answer is no. Hacky tricks like Exit Intent and Scarcity might help you squeeze a few extra conversions out today, but you lose the trust of your customers tomorrow.
And that’s no good. That’s not the backbone that you build a 100-year company upon.
At Proof, we’re building a new kind of marketing platform from the ground up. I like to think of it as “Customer Powered Marketing” software.
Instead of starting with the question: “What’s good for us?,” we ask “What’s truly good for our customers?”
We then are able to work backward to find the solutions that our customers actually want us to build, and that help us help them build long-term relationships with their customers.
Our first social proof product, Proof Notifications, allows companies to build trust with their customers through greater transparency. Past customers do the marketing for you, thus, your marketing is Customer Powered.
But this obsession over the customer has brought us to another problem we’re working to solve.
Why do all of our visitors have the same experience when they sign up for Proof?
In many cases, we know exactly who they are. And we can take a fairly accurate guess as to exactly what they want.
Yet, we treat them the same.
We send them the same messages, give them the same sales follow-up, and they experience the product in the same way.
That doesn’t seem very customer obsessed or customer powered to me, and it creates an unpleasant experience for the real humans viewing our site.
The Future Of Proof
So in addition to a suite of Social Proof tools, our Customer Powered Marketing platform will soon give SaaS companies more tools to delight their visitors, thus increasing the conversion rate on their own sign-up flows and demo funnels.
When the customer is happy, the company is happy.
“Here’s to creating marketing tools that achieve that end. Here’s to the new era of Customer Powered Marketing. Here’s to the new Proof.”DAVE & THE PROOF TEAM