Becoming a Beloved Brand: Lessons from JetBlue’s VP of Marketing

Airlines are notorious for pissing people off. And unfortunately for the industry, much of what drives customer experience – the weather – is beyond anyone’s control. But some airlines, like JetBlue, inspire heartfelt customer advocacy in an industry not known for rave reviews. So how do they do it? To learn more, we invited Jamie Perry, former VP of Marketing at JetBlue, to share how the airline leverages customer feedback to thrive and evolve – an important lesson for anyone running a business. First Jamie shares a brief video in which a JetBlue customer named Paul Brown tells the story of his relationship with the airline in a way that reads more like a bonafide love story than a customer review. Paul actually refers to JetBlue as the “love of my life, the person that puts the wind beneath my wings.” He then goes on to describe how he and
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Pitch Stakes, Not Pain: Transcending the “Doctor-Patient” Approach to Sales and Marketing

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Medium here. A few weeks ago, a Fortune 100 enterprise engaged me to talk to 20 of its senior leaders about crafting a strategic narrative—the high-level story that powers sales, marketing, product development, everything. During the talk, I asserted that every great company story starts by naming what’s at stake for customers. Later, during a Q&A, one of the company’s executives asked for clarification:
I’m always hearing that we’re supposed to talk about customers’ pain. Is that what you mean by stakes?

The Enterprise’s Most Unhelpful Metaphor: Doctor-Patient

Behind the executive’s question is a metaphor that informs how many executives and entrepreneurs see their relationship to customers. The company (represented on the front lines by its sales and marketing folks) is a doctor, diagnosing prospects’ pain and offering products and services to relieve it. Unfortunately, the metaphor breaks down in a crucial
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The Making of a Great Strategic Narrative: How Uberflip Boosted Revenue by Rethinking its Strategic Story

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Medium here. Three months ago, Mike Latty, a sales executive at Uberflip, messaged me through Linkedin:
Hey Andy – thank you for publishing “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen.” It has transformed the way we identify pain for prospects and lead them to the Promised Land. The results, measured in second meetings and new business, have been incredible.
Mike later told me that, in the two quarters since introducing a sales narrative based on that post, Uberflip has met or exceeded revenue targets, which was not happening before. I asked Mike if I could see “before” and “after” versions of Uberflip’s sales deck, and I’m happy to report that, after consulting with his team, he sent them over. Uberflip also gave me permission to share the decks – as well as my analysis of how the narrative improved. (I have
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An Essential Guide to Building Out Your Marketing Tech Stack

When Scott Brinker started compiling his Marketing Technology Landscape graphic in 2011, it featured a modest collection of approximately 120 brands. Fast forward to this year’s graphic, which Brinker unveiled at the MarTech conference in San Francisco, and you’ll find a massively expanded graphic that includes 5,381 different solutions. That’s a lot of options. For companies trying to build the perfect marketing tech stack, it can be overwhelming. Part of what’s driving this phenomenal growth (there are 39% more solutions on the graphic since last year) is a trend toward companies tackling specific problems rather than trying to be the next Salesforce or Marketo. Brinker’s list is full of point solutions that are focused on solving very specific problems such as finding a better way to analyze data, providing a tool to apply a particular kind of predictive model, or helping to aggregate content in a user-friendly way. Today, when
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7 Questions Startups Should Ask Before Hiring a PR Firm

Your startup is prepared and ready to hire a PR agency to help you (insert big audacious company goal here). Now the challenge is to find an agency that can deliver results and fit your budget and working style. Instead of sending out a request for proposal to potential candidates, tap your network and ask for a handful of recommendations based on your criteria. There isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to successful communications, so to help you select the best partner for your startup, ask and discuss these seven questions before you sign on the dotted line.

1. Will the agency’s experience help you meet your business goals?

Whether your plan is to go after your next round of funding, get acquired or go public, ensure the agency you are considering has deep experience in supporting companies with similar strategic goals. It’s important to ask for specific case
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Peek Inside Slack’s Multi-Million Dollar SaaS Growth Strategy

They have 1.25+ million paid users. Their trial to paid conversion rate is sitting at 30%. There’s just no better way to put it: Slack is absolutely kickin’ ass in the SaaS world. But they don’t need me to tell the world how well they’re doing. Just look at their stats:
  • They are the fastest growing SaaS company. Of all time.
  • They have gone from being valued at $0 to $4 BILLION. In just 4 years.
  • They are adding $1 million in new contracts. Every. 11. Days.
  • They have 77% of the Fortune 100 using their software.
  • They have 4 million active daily users.
Growth chart for Slack’s active daily users [Source] Oh, and did I mention they did ALL of this without a million-dollar marketing technique, a fancy email strategy, or a pushy outbound sales team? Actually, it wasn’t until recently that Slack even bothered hiring
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