👋 Hi, I’m Robin. I joined Drift just over a month ago as SVP of Marketing. And after nearly 13 years at AmEx, where I spent time on both small business and consumer marketing, I’ve very quickly come to appreciate Drift’s unique approach to brand building. The team has taken the best of consumer and B2B marketing and combined them into an approach that is uniquely Drift.
Why did this catch my attention? And more importantly, why should you care?
Because in today’s world, winners and losers are separated by the brands they build (or don’t build). Everyone has a blog. Everyone has a podcast. We all send emails and shoot videos and host webinars and invest in events. So how do you stand out when buyers are more inundated with marketing than ever?
AmEx made its mark by investing in brand. After all, what’s more of a commodity than money? But through customer-first products and experiences, they’ve managed to build a brand that customers love. One that has a loyal following. A brand that provides a sense of security to its customers – to their lives and businesses. It’s palpable.
And so far, Drift has been able to put its mark on the world through marketing and branding that feels personable, human and above all else, speaks to the true pain points of its customers. It connects with the customer’s emotions. It’s without vanity, without presumption. And puts the customer first.
☝ This is what attracted me to Drift.
But what got me really excited about joining and what ultimately makes the marketing team successful is the entire company’s willingness to support us in our brand building efforts.
If you know anything about marketing at Drift, you know that we believe marketing is everyone’s job. A principle laid out in our book, This Won’t Scale, and one firmly displayed by the more than 200 LinkedIn videos Drifters put together to promote the launch of our newest book, Conversational Marketing.
But this doesn’t happen by itself. A lot goes into getting everyone across the company excited about the initiatives marketing is working on. Which is exactly why we’ve written and shared our Marketing Manifesto broadly across the company.
Something else that struck me about Drift? The company’s emphasis on learning. Learn as much and as quickly as possible from as many sources as possible. While I’m fully embracing that principle, I also want to flip it on its head. Share the knowledge you acquire. So that’s exactly what I’m doing today – sharing the Drift Marketing Manifesto with all of you in the hopes we can all create friendlier, more human marketing. Because that’s a win-win for us all.
The Drift Marketing Manifesto
1. Be remarkable.
We need people to tell other people about us to succeed. Our ideas and product need to spread. That won’t happen unless our marketing is remarkable.
2. Words are everything.
The words we use are everything. They are the most important thing on the page – 10 times more important than the colors or the graphics. Focus on the words. More is not better. Every sentence should feel handcrafted. Don’t move on to add more words to the page if the last sentence you wrote isn’t awesome.
Every single sentence is the only one that matters. We give it all of our attention. We want to make it excellent. Every single piece, we have to feel like “this is going to be the one.”
3. The design is secondary.
We love design. We respect design. We believe design is a competitive advantage. Until all the words are AWESOME, do not even think about design. Read that last sentence 3 times. Seriously. Don’t add menus, don’t think about images, don’t do it. Better to have a page with nothing but words on it, if those words are awesome, than to have mediocre words and great design. If we have mediocre words and mediocre design, we will go out of business (seriously).
4. Make it simple.
We need to write at a 13-year-old level. A 13-year-old (all of them) knows what “chat messages” are, none of them know what “engagement”, “engage” or a “messaging platform” are. Don’t use those words. Remove them. Read this 3 times. If a 13-year-old doesn’t get it, delete it. We are writing for humans, not analysts.
5. Customer-driven, not company driven.
Customer focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy. When making decisions, always optimize for the Customer, in other words: Customer > Company.
6. Trust is everything.
We can never break the trust of our users and community. That means we don’t buy email lists. We never spam people who didn’t give us the permission to email them. Never. Only bad things come from spamming people. Never, ever buy lists or blast email people who haven’t given you permission.
7. First principles > customer-driven > data-driven > opinion-driven.
Validated learning over opinions and conventions. We value customer feedback over data; data is critical, but it’s the rear view mirror, you cannot lead with just data. Even higher than Customer feedback are First Principles, known truths that we cannot change. Your opinions are interesting, but we should not make decisions solely on your beliefs.
8. Test and learn mindset.
Adaptive and iterative campaigns over Big-Bang campaigns. Many small experiments over a few large bets. Flexible vs. Rigid planning. Responding to change over following a plan. Don’t get so preoccupied with executing a plan that you fail to notice opportunities.
9. Good marketing. Bad marketing.
Good Marketing is showing, not telling. Good marketing is delivering stories and experiences that incite emotions. Good marketing focuses on solutions to your problems. Bad marketing pushes. Bad Marketing compares oneself to the competition. Bad marketing focuses on features.
10. Everything is marketing.
Marketing doesn’t end after a stranger becomes a user or after a user becomes a customer. Marketing isn’t just the website, or the words or the emails. Marketing is the experience, the way the product feels, the way the design connects to the customer, it is the way we touch the customer’s emotions in every way they interact with us.
Make Marketing Everyone’s Job
These principles have and will serve as the guiding light for the marketing team at Drift. And since we believe in turning everyone into a marketer, they also heavily influence the actions of the entire team.
Need a quick refresher on our Marketing Manifesto? Here’s a recap:
What principles are guiding your marketing team. How are you focused on brand building to create a company that stands out and stands the test of time?