Growing Your Customer Base by Telling the Right Story

How can you be sure you’re crafting the right message for your digital product? Maybe you have a complex product, or maybe it solves a very specific problem that you can’t draw on personal experiences to relate to. Either way, it can sometimes feel like you’re shooting blindly when you craft the message.

This was a concern of Nick Tippmann, VP of Marketing at Greenlight Guru. Greenlight Guru is a Quality Management Software designed specifically for the medical device industry, and because it solves such a specific problem for users, Nick couldn’t draw on his own experience when crafting the product’s message. Instead, Nick had to use some unique tactics to ensure that he was capitalizing on the marketing opportunity for Greenlight Guru’s unique value proposition.

Nick explained a few lessons that learned as he grew the marketing function at Greenlight Guru this week on the Better Product Podcast. Here are a few of those lessons.

When selling to a hyper-focused market, lean on subject matter experts to make sure you’re crafting the right message.

If you’re a marketer building a product for other marketers, then crafting a message should be easier since you can just pull from your own experience and speak how you’d want to be spoken to. But when you’re selling a specific solution to a hyper-focused market, it is difficult to know if your message will resonate. When that is the case, you have to get out and conduct target market research, talking to real people facing the real problems you’re trying to address.

Nick faced this problem at Greenlight Guru, but luckily for him they had actual medical device engineers and experts on staff, so he didn’t have to travel far for feedback. Nick was constantly interviewing them, getting their inputs, tweaking the message, and learning the lingo to ensure that he was telling the right story and telling it in a way that showed the market that he knew what he was talking about.

Use customers as a guide to your product growth.

There is nothing worse than pouring time, money, and resources into product updates that don’t actually provide value for your users. We’ve seen it time and again, where companies will spend their entire budget on a digital solution that their customers never actually wanted in the first place. While you should maintain an overall vision for your product and you should resist the temptation to accommodate outlier feedback, you should be paying attention to overall trends in feedback and, if you continue to hear the similar suggestions from users, that is typically a good sign that this is where you should focus your time and energy.

Greenlight Guru’s founders had always had a vision for their solution to be more than a pre-market quality management software, but it was through conversations with customers that Nick and the rest of the team learned the next gap that their product should fill. This led to the creation of a second product that complemented the value provided through their first product, but to a different persona within their target organization.

This initiated a product messaging refresh to create a cohesive story because as Nick explains, “We have a story and benefit for product one and we have a story and benefit for product two. But what is this new overarching story and this new overarching value that we’re providing medical device companies? What is that message and what is that story?” By listening to customers and using their feedback as a guide for the next phase of product growth, it opened up the flood gates and really took Greenlight Guru to the next level, providing more comprehensive value to the medical device industry.

If you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader, you need to lean in and deliver on that promise.

Many people like to claim that they are a thought leader, but there is a lot of responsibility that accompanies that title. Thought leaders need to be on the cutting edge of innovation in their industry and need to actually lead the industry in their educational resources. And with that title comes a level of responsibility for delivering value to your audience.

Greenlight Guru experiences this responsibility as the first quality management software for the medical device industry. While others have subsequently joined the industry, Nick has stayed strong in their quest to remain a thought leader in the industry. Greenlight Guru has relationships with the regulatory bodies to ensure that they are remaining on the cutting edge of industry changes and new expectations, and they disseminate that information to their customers, personally taking the burden of keeping up with changing regulations.

Greenlight Guru has also leaned into the concept of True Quality over just compliance with regulatory standards, and by doing this they have steered the conversation in the medical device industry towards achieving quality over compliance. As Nick explains, “You go to a restaurant, and just because you have a meal that’s compliant with food regulations and there’s no health code violation, it doesn’t mean that’s a high-quality meal.” They take this same approach with medical devices.

By doing this, Nick knows that they may turn off some potential customers, but something that Nick has recognized and leaned into is the fact that it’s critical to work with customers that understand the importance of true quality, otherwise, they won’t see the value of Greenlight Guru’s solution.

In the beginning Greenlight Guru’s team of five, Nick handled all marketing functions within the organization: Demand generation, product marketing, brand, and more. But as the company scales, you have to understand what the business needs and be reasonable about what you can provide, and fill those gaps accordingly.

Greenlight Guru has experienced significant growth because of the subject-matter-expert marketing, user feedback and guidance, and thought leadership positioning, and this has created the need for more specialized marketing functions. Through the lessons learned and expertise developed, Greenlight Guru is able to message two products to distinct markets, tell a cohesive story, and provide cutting edge quality to their customers.

To hear more about the Greenlight Guru story, tune in to the Better Product Podcast episode with VP of Marketing Nick Tippmann.