Episode 118 | May 20, 2024

How to leverage customer feedback for improved marketing engagement

In this week’s Insights Unlocked episode, Katie talks about the global brand’s experiences using customer feedback to fine tune their marketing messaging.

How to leverage customer feedback for improved marketing engagement

Workiva’s marketing organization is customer-centric in how it approaches new ideas and initiatives—leaning on both qualitative and quantitative data to make informed decisions. 

That commitment pays off when they hear the following from a prospective customer, “This hits pain points. We’re at a place where we don’t have software solutions like this, we have various manual work streams but I think my role and my team are the perfect fit for this product.”

They heard that after updating the messaging on the company’s website and then testing it with their ideal customers. 

“The ability to test and optimize our message prior to launch removes the guesswork, providing peace of mind internally and ultimately creating improved brand clarity, more qualified leads, and an increase in ROI on all marketing activities,” said Katie Karr, Senior User Experience Designer at Workiva.

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Embracing customer-centric marketing

Increasingly, brands are recognizing that customer feedback, traditionally important in UX design, is also crucial to shaping their marketing strategies.

“We generally think about UX as a product role, but it’s really such a critical function for marketing now, too.” Katie said. “It doesn’t matter how great our product offering is, if we aren’t communicating the right message to get users to see the value upfront.”

In this week’s Insights Unlocked episode, Katie talks about the global brand’s experiences using customer feedback to fine tune their marketing messaging.

It's crucial to ensure that the voice of the customer is integrated into your marketing mix, enabling users to access the information they need when evaluating your offerings. Studies indicate that as much as 80% of buyers conduct research before engaging with sales representatives.

This integration is particularly critical at Workiva, where the platform brings together teams across Accounting and Finance, Audit and Risk, and Environmental Social Governance, to work collaboratively on their complex business reporting needs—all in one platform.

The brand has more than 6,000 customers and over 240,000 platform users globally, and is celebrating its 10th year as a public company. Moreover, the global brand's website is also translated into more than 20 regional websites and languages, with new additions each year.

“This product offering is so unique to the market, so to tell that platform story correctly, we knew we needed user feedback to help guide us,” Katie said.

Leveraging user feedback for marketing messaging

Setting the scene, Katie said, they realized the messaging they had been using wasn’t really resonating with their audience. Product marketing and content teams had developed updated messaging to roll out, and “we knew this would be a perfect opportunity to conduct user research,” Katie said

Testing before the rollout was important, too, Katie said, “So we could pivot if we needed to and reduce the amount of rework before going to market.”

They began by tweaking pre-built templates within UserTesting with prompts for each of their key personas. They then built out a hyper-specific audience for each of those personas and launched unmoderated surveys, asking users to follow a series of tasks on Workiva’s homepage, as well as on persona-specific landing pages.

Users were asked to evaluate messaging comprehension and affinity, and to discover what else they needed in order to move forward.

They employed mixed methods for the feedback, collecting written and verbal input, multiple choice and ratings scales so that they had hard data in addition to the qualitative feedback.

Feedback implementation and results

“Once we got results, pulling key highlights, quotes, and data to share with stakeholders was a breeze,” Katie said. “We even were able to capture some decision-makers in our user set, and that provided a deeper level of understanding and validation to the insights we found.”

The results showed that the updated messaging was resonating with Workiva’s target audience. “Because of the human insights pulled in here, we were able to quantify a nearly 30% increase in clarity of our messaging,” Katie said, “Indicating out updating approach now accurately represents the voice of the buyer and their specific pain points.

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”This allowed us to tell our platform story in a more concise and helpful way, speaking directly to the consumer in their language,” Katie said. 

They also discovered users wanted to see the product in order to make a decision to move forward. As a result, Katie said, they’ve added 4X the amount of product screenshots, callouts, and in-product imagery. “We’ve been able to push to more video demos on the website,” she said.

The new layout and added visuals produced a 20% increase in value-add affinity. And their CSAT score on the Platform page increased 44% by making the product-led imagery changes.

Continuous improvement and future plans

Katie said they’ve established baseline metrics per persona, per category, and they continue measuring and repeating the study on a regular cadence, as well as when the market or product changes.

“We’re listening to our customers, and delivering insights that drive change internally.

She said they are sharing those and other insights throughout marketing and across the organization, including her UX research team counterparts on the R&D side. 

“We’re more confident in our findings, and we can now run repeatable, effective tests, thanks to the human insights we pull in."

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