Welcome to Volume 65!
Happy New Year 🎊 🎊🎊, and welcome back from the holidays.
We hope you took some time off to refresh, enjoy family time, and catch up on all the new shows you didn’t watch in 2021!
We’re back and ready to roll out more insightful B2B news and useful info each week! And we wish you a productive 52 weeks!
Great things have already started for some brands while a few others have had to count their losses and move on.
Here’s a peek at what’s to come in this piece:
- Apple Blazes A New Trillion-Dollar Trail
- RIP Blackberry, Lost But Not Forgotten
- NFT Marketplace OpenSea Is Now A Decacorn
New Webmaster Tools From Ahrefs
This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the Webmaster Tools from Ahrefs! The Webmaster Tools allow any website owner to use both the Site Audit and Site Explorer tools for free. All you have to do is sign up for Ahrefs and link your Google Search Console with Ahrefs. It’s that simple.
If you’re struggling with monitoring the SEO efforts on your site, the Site Audit tool can help. It will audit 5k pages per month and flag any issues on your site from a list of 100+ common problems. And after running an audit, they will give your site a Health Score, as well as a detailed report with the top issues and how your brand can address them.
Site Explorer is our favorite tool from Ahrefs, and you have likely seen screenshots of it in our many case studies or social media content. There’s so much powerful information that they present to you in an organized dashboard. With everything from Domain Rating to individual Keyword Positions and even Top Pages available at your fingertips.
Google Search Console can tell you a lot, but it’s still lacking some key information. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools fills in those gaps and gives you a wealth of SEO knowledge, for free. Try it out today!
Apple Blazes A New Trillion-Dollar Trail
Apple started 2022 in grand style, hitting a 3 trillion market cap. No other tech company has achieved such a feat in history. Here’s what their market cap growth looks like for the past six years:
The company known for desktop computers in the 70s diversified over the years to include five additional segments: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Services and Wearable, Home and Accessories. Despite the pandemic in 2020, Apple saw a significant increase in revenue, valuation, and sales in all its business segments.
Here’s what Apple’s scorecard looks like:
- $365 billion revenue in 2020
- 194 million iPhones, 71 million iPads and 20 million Mac/MacBooks sold in 2020
- 110 million AirPods and 43 million Apple Watches sold in 2020
- Apple’s home and wearables division grew 25% in 2021
- 72 million Apple Music subscribers
- 40 million Apple TV+ subscribers
As a B2B marketer, I’m usually more curious about the underlying strategies that led to Apple’s mind-blowing success.
One strategy that has stayed consistent is Apple’s laser focus on creating and shipping products users didn’t know they needed.
Take the iPhone, for instance. So many tech experts said that it was going to be a flop, saying that no one would want to use it or pay a small fortune for one.
Since 2008, the iPhone has been Apple’s most valuable product. The product boosted Apple’s revenue from $37.4 billion to $233 billion in 2015, causing a near 10x growth in less than ten years.
Even though Apple diversified its product line to include AirPods, Watch, iPad, and services, the iPhone still generates the majority of Apple’s revenue.
In B2B SaaS, creating a great product is a critical part of an effective marketing strategy. Your product is the solution that is sold to the customer. If it doesn’t meet the customer’s needs, how will they be delighted enough to come back a second time or recommend the product to their network?
The secret to building a great product is to listen to your customers. Steve Jobs relied more on finding out what customers didn’t know they wanted and showing it to them.
One strategy you can adopt this year is interacting and listening to your customers on a more regular basis.
Instead of creating surveys and waiting days for responses, hang out where your customers spend the most time. It could be on Reddit, Quora, Facebook, Slack communities, LinkedIn, Instagram, a local store, fast food, or wherever.
Listen in on their conversations. Identify internal and external pain points and build your value proposition around them. Your product needs to speak to at least one, or even better two of these needs and solve them.
With a good product, you can delight prospects enough to turn them into loyal customers and evangelists who’d recommend the product to their network. The more you delight your customers, the more likely they are to make a recommendation, and the greater your chances are of generating more users and revenue.
- Apple started 2022 in grand style with its rise to a $3 trillion market cap
- The secret to building a great product is to listen to your customers and their many pain points.
- One strategy you can adopt this year is interacting and listening to your customers on a more regular basis.
RIP Blackberry, Lost But Not Forgotten
Blackberry officially laid to rest all devices that aren’t running on Android software this week. Its classic devices running on BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS, and earlier will be unable to access the internet, send/receive text messages, or make calls even to 911.
Even though most people have moved on from Blackberry, it’s still worth recalling the moves Blackberry made that led to a tragic end for the brand.
The one-time king of smartphones once dominated the smartphone business in the US, controlling 50% of the smartphone market, according to Business Insider.
Here’s what the number of Blackberry users at the time looked like:
Blackberry started its downward slide because it ignored a shift in the market.
Even with the iPhone entering the market in 2008, the company still held onto the idea that serious business people wouldn’t use an iPhone or smartphone. As a result, while Apple’s revenue grew substantially from $37.4 billion in 2008 to $233 billion in 2015, Blackberry’s dwindled to as low as $3.335 million dollars the same year.
The lesson here is simple:
Customer preferences change, and it’s important to stay in the loop at all times. Relying on what is known is dangerous because things change rapidly.
Here’s how Tech Ethnographer, Tricia Wang, puts it:
“Nothing you know right now is absolute because something unknown can enter the picture at any minute. There is no greater risk than being blind to the unknown.”
It’s not enough to identify your current target audience. You need to create and update your customer personas regularly. That involves continuous listening and learning about your customers.
Keep researching to learn more about them. Turn your foundational personas into data-backed cheat sheets of who you’re trying to reach and how to actually reach them.
Even after you have reached them, leverage tools to track their behavior so you can use the insights to improve your strategy, satisfy them, and grow your revenue.
- Blackberry officially laid to rest all devices that aren’t running on Android software this week
- A fundamental mistake Blackberry made was ignoring user preferences and their refusal to evolve.
- Customer preferences change, and it’s important to stay in the loop at all times. That involves continuous listening and learning about your customers.
NFT Marketplace OpenSea Is Now A Decacorn
2021 was a wild year for the NFT auction marketplace OpensSea.
The company, founded just four years ago, has joined the decacorn club, hitting a $13.3 billion valuation after its latest funding round.
Did you know that its founders almost gave up in 2020 when OpenSea yielded a monthly revenue of $28k?
Now just a year later, the same company helps process billions of dollars in NFT transactions. OpenSea CEO, Devin Finzer highlighted that the platform’s transaction volume increased “over 600x” in 2021. It’s also named the world’s largest NFT Marketplace.
While the NFT Marketplace‘s growth is impressive, the growth they experienced has been exponential, not consistent. And as we have seen with other companies, you can’t keep that type of growth going forever.
With Coinbase setting its sights on the NFT space, we’d watch to see how they maintain this growth as more competitors come onboard.
- NFT Marketplace OpenSea joins the decacorn club after hitting a $13.3 billion valuation after its latest funding round.
- OpenSea CEO, Devin Finzer highlighted that the platform’s transaction volume increased “over 600x” in 2021.
- While OpenSea’s growth is impressive, the growth they experienced has been exponential, not consistent.
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
🌍 TikTok partners with Atmosphere to expand the video app’s organic reach.
🚀A new generation of social media networks plan to go public in 2022.
💰Companies are budgeting to boost employee salaries more than at any point since 2008
HIRING BRILLIANT B2B MARKETERS:
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
Last year, Gallup uncovered some critical insight: the ascending growth of manager burnout.
According to the report, managers experience more stress, burnout, and work-life imbalance than the people they manage, and it keeps getting worse by the year. The percentage of managers who burned out “very often” or “always” grew in 2021.
Having a stressed manager lead a team or handle critical responsibility is never a good look for any organization. It shows your company has a poor culture—one that undervalues the wellbeing of employees.
Also, your manager holds a critical position in your company. They build a culture that drives high employee engagement, fosters collaboration, and good health overall.
So, if you have a burnt-out manager, how can they perform their duties effectively?
There are multiple factors that contribute to manager burnout: unfair treatment at work, zero breaks, work overload, unreasonable time pressure, poor communication…
Gallup recommends three things the leadership team can do to reduce manager burnout:
📍Provide clear, ongoing communication to make organizational priorities clear and keep them posted as changes occur.
📍Have frequent coaching sessions to ensure managers are clear on what they are expected to do with their employees.
📍 Upskill your managers to have quality conversations, at the right intervals, with employees that capitalize on the employees’ strengths.
Work and life are more blended now than ever. It’s important to pay attention to your manager’s wellbeing as well as their contribution to your company.
I’m not a manager yet, however, I do know the pain of burnout firsthand.
One thing I love about working with Foundation is that the leadership team ensures managers and employees don’t burn out.
For instance, we have flexible working hours. We can take at least 2 weeks off every year. We have regular emotional fitness sessions and all-paid annual gym membership amongst tons of exciting benefits.
I’m not trying to sing our praise but take it from someone who has worked in places where your value stops at your monthly salary. No one cares how heavy the workload is or how burned out you are.
If you’re looking for a team with a growth mindset and a company that values your wellbeing, we are hiring. Visit our career page to check out current openings and apply when you see one that seems like a good fit.
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
IN CASE YOU MISSED SOME OF OUR GREATEST HITS:
- What is the most underrated marketing channel?
- You’re Repurposing Content the Wrong Way
- How Gusto Uses Content To Take On Existing SaaS Giants
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
These round-ups are brought to you by me, Jessica O., every week ✌!
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