Five on Friday: Onboarding, Business Models and Subscription Jobs
Featuring Forbes, Engadget, Variety and LinkedIn
In this week’s Five on Friday, we’ve got tips for successful SaaS onboarding from Forbes, an update from Engadget on Volvo’s mobile bet to push its car subscription service, insight from Marketing Week on how Dollar Shave Club is adjusting its business model due to slowing growth of subscriptions, Sony-owned Funimation’s separation from Crunchyroll and VRV, and everyone’s favorite feature – top subscription jobs from LinkedIn.
Stellar SaaS Onboarding and Implementation Are Key to Customer Retention
We all know that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep one, so customer retention is critical to the success of any SaaS company. One way to improve your retention rate is through stellar onboarding and implementation. In Forbe’s “How to Win Your Customers Over with Impeccable SaaS Implementation,” Ryan van Biljon, vice president of sales and services at Samanage, recommends that those who help customers implement SaaS identify customized strategies that will be most helpful, based on a business’s needs.
van Biljon offers the following recommendation:
“When working closely with prospects to help drive additional business, we have experienced a lot of success when we offer upgrades to implementations for either low or now cost. We also make use of other modern SaaS applications to communicate with customers in real time throughout the implementation process,” writes van Biljon.
One example that works for his team is engaging customers directly on projects and timelines using Trello, a flexible collaboration app and productivity platform. He also suggests identifying whether your new client prefers end-to-end implementation or to handle it in-house, using you as more of a resource. Either approach can work, but you need to know your customers’ needs to identify the best option for your client. Read more of van Biljon’s advice on Forbes.
Volvo Is Seeing Success with Its Car Subscription Service Because of Mobile Push
When Volvo announced its new Care by Volvo car subscription service in September 2017, it promised the service would make “having a car as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a phone.” Subscribers would order their cars online, pay a flat monthly subscription fee and drive away with a new XC40 model. It is essentially one-stop, hassle-free shopping for a car.
According to Engadget, it is making good on that promise. According to an October 19 article, half of Care by Volvo customers are acquiring their XC40s using their mobile phones! As a result, Volvo is opening up the car subscription service to its S60 sports sedan, and Mobile Syrup said Volvo will offer other models and options, including the V60 luxury estate wagon. The vehicles will include in-car satellite navigation, CarPlay, Android Auto, in-care LTE with WiFi hotspot and more.
Anders Gustafsson, CEO and president of Volvo Cars USA, told Engadget that customers appreciate the simplicity of the program. In particular, customers like being able to order a luxury car using their phone. Interestingly, Engadget says that 95 percent of Care by Volvo customers are new Volvo customers.
“We are going to invest heavily into mobile,” said Gustafsson. “I’m quite convinced it’s because it’s very easy to calculate the monthly cost and you can relax.”
Mobile Syrup reports that after 12 months, customers can upgrade to a new vehicle. Of course, there are limitations (you can’t cancel the subscription after 12 months; you’re hooked for 24 months). The program doesn’t include car insurance, but it does include a 24/7 virtual concierge service that subscribers can access via phone, text or email. Vehicles will be available in January 2019, but Volvo is accepting pre-orders now. Are you ready to order yours?
Dollar Shave Club Shakes Things Up with a New Marketing and a New Business Model
Founded in 2011 as a bootstrapped operation, Dollar Shave Club has grown to nearly 3.9 million subscribers, reports Marketing Week, and it continues to grow at a pace of 10 percent a year. But the company is no longer the only game in town. The company now has competitors like Harry’s, Gillette Shave Club and Birchbox Man to contend with.
How is a company like Dollar Shave Club, now owned by Unilever, going to continue to grow at a sustainable, financially viable pace? By changing things up a bit, including rethinking its business model and its marketing. This isn’t your grandfather’s razor. Check out this YouTube video published in July.
The video, which is not for the faint of heart, features a variety of men and women doing a range of creative things with their razors and grooming habits. The tag line: “However you get ready, welcome to the club.”
Among the changes the company has made is to add products beyond just razors. The company now offers grooming products, including shaving products, cleansers and body washes, as well as oral care products like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Subscribers can customize their subscription boxes with different products, and they can change their frequency of delivery from monthly to twice a year. The more a customer buys, the bigger a discount they receive. The customer is in control.
The key message here is that you can’t keep growing by continuing to do things as you’ve always done them. You need to take some risks, consider new audiences, and try new things to see what works. With Unilever’s backing, Dollar Shave Club has the freedom to experiment.
Top Subscription Jobs
Business Development Director
The Business Development Director will join a talented team of marketing strategists, analytics and research professionals, marketing experts and strategic business development executives focused on driving our client’s business in a multicultural economy. The ideal candidate will have 5+ years of experience successfully growing revenue via client facing strategic sales, an understanding of and appreciation for the consumer insights or marketing industry, the ability to thrive in a fast paced entrepreneurial environment, and stellar interpersonal skills. The Director will be responsible for developing incremental revenue and achieving revenue goals by selling Collage’s syndicated platform, custom research and consulting services, and new subscription products to be launched in early 2019. Read more.
Senior Manager, Subscription Operations and Technology
New York City, New York
Birchbox is looking for a Senior Manager, Subscription Operations and Technology for our US businesses to ensure that all subscribers receive a personalized, on-time, monthly delivery. We are looking for a cross-functional problem solver who is a self-starter, obsessed with the details, reasonably technical, and committed to creating an exceptional customer experience. This person will use, and help to build and iterate on, our sophisticated proprietary systems to ensure that boxes are shipped on time every month and are filled with personalized samples for each customer. They will also maintain and implement various subscription initiatives across multiple teams. Read more.
Software Development Engineeer - AWS, Subscription Services
Are you excited about building services that directly impact AWS business? The AWS Subscriptions team (part of AWS Commerce Platform) is in the process of re-architecting existing systems to support the scale of AWS now and into the future. We are looking for talented software engineers to help us to design and build new microservices architecture and data plane that can operate at AWS scale. Subscription systems sit at the center of AWS Commerce Platform. Our systems support purchase workflows and sign up, and control access to AWS products. Read more.
Subscriber Acquisition Manager
The Walt Disney Company
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
The Subscriber Acquisition Manager will be a key member of the Disney SVOD direct-to-consumer team based in Amsterdam and will be instrumental in driving subscriber acquisition efforts for Disney’s streaming service in the market. This performance marketing role has significant opportunity for bottom-line impact and growth. The individual will be working with Director to drive bought subscriber targets and deliver valuable prospects to the base. The successful candidate will collaborate closely with the customer management and retention local lead as well as the wider company marketing teams. He or she will be the local expert and lead in providing market intel and looking at best opportunities and execution of campaigns as well as ensuring best possible messaging and delivery of localised assets. Read more.
Senior Email Marketing Manager
San Francisco, California
We are seeking a Sr. Marketing Manager to lead our email acquisition marketing program. In this role, you’ll develop and execute our email funnel strategy, develop appropriate messaging in partnership with our creative team and drive Gwynnie Bee members through the acquisition funnel to subscribe. This is an outstanding opportunity for a smart, passionate, and data-driven marketer. Read more.
Sony’s Funimation Is No Longer Playing with Crunchyroll or VRV
After playing nicely together for two years, Sony-owned Funimation has decided not to renew its licensing deal with Crunchyroll, who is now owned by AT&T. The agreement will terminate on November 9, reports Variety. Funimation has also ended its agreement with VRV, so the Funimation anime channel will no longer be available on that digital-subscription platform.
Funimation fans can still get their fill of their favorite anime shows including Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, One Piece, Cowboy Bebop and Attack on Titan via an ad-free Funimation Now subscription, priced at $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year, following a free trial. The subscription is available for streaming on Apple TV, iOS and Android devices, AndroidTV, Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Windows, Roku, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Chromecast and Samsung.
Crunchyroll shared the news with its users in an October post:
“For our Crunchyroll community, this means that you’ll still be able to access the biggest anime library in the world, with the exception of select catalog titles that had been provided by Funimation under certain circumstances. That list is currently being determined, and we will share impacted titles here as soon as possible. Titles licensed together through the partnership will continue to be available on Crunchyroll, and no changes to simulcasts are anticipated for the fall season,” wrote Brett.
Read more about the changes in “Sony’s Funimation Ends Anime Licensing Pact with Crunchyroll” by Todd Spangler for Variety.