Here you’ll find a talk with CEO of data dashboard startup BoomBoard, Nick Merry about how they are using customer feedback and user data to iterate the product and grow MRR.
G: Congratulations on the new branding. How important has it been in establishing an identity for BoomBoard?
N: We recently went through a rebrand as we move away from the MVP stage in order to help establish ourselves, and appeal to startups, scale-ups, and early stage businesses. Our parent brand, Data Cubed, is a consultancy, while the new brand, BoomBoard, is a completely different model, it’s a SaaS platform that provides instant dashboards and is super easy to use.
The market for this type of service is relatively new and not heavily competitive. The opportunity comes as the sheer volume of untouched data available to businesses grows exponentially. From speaking with customers, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the scale of data and people often don’t know where to start when analysing it.
BoomBoard aims to make it easier for businesses to access and make use of data by pulling all their key metrics into one simple place, accessible on any device. If it’s readily available it removes barriers to utilising it and helps a business get on top of their key metrics. We created the platform to help businesses make the most of every opportunity to grow, to never miss a beat in their business.
G: During development, you shifted your proposition from marketers to business owners, can you tell us more about that?
N: BoomBoard was initially intended for marketers, but we soon realised that it is the business leaders that benefit the most from quick access to their metrics. As a company grows, it's important for the founder or managing director to have a clear understanding of every aspect of the business. This is especially important when the founder becomes more separated from the day-to-day operations and may not be directly plugged into the source data. As a business expands, growing pains occur, this is completely normal. One growing pain can be around establishing solid internal communication, I know as I’ve moved away from the ‘coal face’ I’ve found it harder to keep on top of change as it happens.
Having access to key performance indicators (KPIs) can help leaders stay informed and make quick and informed decisions about what to focus on. BoomBoard aims to provide founders and CEOs with the data and information they need to effectively manage and grow their business.
Every leader is under pressure to ‘know their numbers’ and in a fast-growth company, the growing pains that come with such growth can be comforted through information and knowledge so they know exactly what’s happening within the business.
G: You’ve made a couple of changes to your pricing model, how important are perceptions when it comes to pricing a SaaS product?
N: As a SaaS platform, it’s very important to experiment with trials, propositions and pricing until you’ve found the right fit.
Previously, we offered two free connections, such as with Google Analytics and Linked n and our first paid subscription option was a monthly fee for up to 10 users. However, we found that this did not enable new customers to fully test BoomBoard and fully realise its benefits. So we changed it. Looking at our own data and the journey from website visitor to paid user, we found that users who connected 3-4 data sources were getting the most value out of BoomBoard.
We then decided to switch to a free trial model, which allows customers to fully experience the product before committing to a subscription. By removing barriers for customers in getting the most out of BoomBoard, we’ve seen a significant increase in paid recurring users.
G: Your parent company is a data consultancy, how different have you found marketing a product instead of a bespoke service?
N: Our parent company Data Cubed is a consultancy that resolves client data conundrums and builds custom data solutions. Data Cubed utilises one to one relationships with the customer and delivers projects from relatively small to well into the six figures. The sales process for Data Cubed is longer and involves multiple stakeholders, as well as the use of account-based marketing and PR efforts through its sales teams.
BoomBoard on the other hand is a low cost / high volume model, engaging users through automated onboarding experiences. We are spending on targeted Google and LinkedIn ads to reach audiences that might not have heard of us. We also form partnerships with business incubators in order to gain traction among startup founders.
G: How important has customer feedback been in developing BoomBoard’s proposition?
N: We use tools like Full-Story to see how users interact with our product and identify any issues they may encounter. We have found that people who use the product more frequently tend to find more value in it. Through talking to users and collecting feedback, we have learned that certain features are particularly resonant and valuable to them.
In order to continue improving the product and making it more useful to our users, we prioritise the development of new features that we believe will be most impactful. We find this out through customer engagement loops and, of course, our data. As an example, our customers wanted to see how far along their journey they are, so we are implementing a feature that will allow users to track their progress towards specific targets. To make the most efficient use of our resources, we will focus on the features that are most likely to provide the greatest value to the majority of our users, following the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule).
G: What’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt when launching a new SaaS product?
N: It is important to stay in touch with your customers and really listen to their needs and feedback. This can help you understand what is important to them and allow you to improve your products or services to meet their needs.
It is also vital to recognise that just because you build something does not mean that customers will automatically come and use it.
Data is not a new subject but its sheer and overwhelming growth rate is exceptional. Used in the right way, data can help you uncover revenue opportunities, insights and help you make decisions to gain competitive advantage over your peers.
G: Thanks Nick, Boomboard has demonstrated that as a SaaS, you must not be afraid to experiment with pricing, proposition or even target audience until you’ve found the right fit.
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