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Marketing
Manifesto
How We Think About Marketing At Drift
Let’s face it: We’ve all been
running the same marketing
playbook for years.
We create content.
We set up landing pages for
capturing leads.
Then we “nurture” those
leads with automated emails.
Until people buy, unsubscribe
— or just do nothing, forever.
But take a second and think
about the way that you buy
and behave as a consumer.
You probably hate filling out
forms.
And you probably ignore
every cold email that you get.
And for the most part,
marketing treats you like a
lead — not like a person.
We got tired of doing things
that way.
Hi, I’m Dave.
I lead marketing
here at Drift.
(Just wanted to show my face
so you knew who was narrating)
After realizing the way we
were doing marketing was
broken, we wanted to update
our approach.
PS. Here’s a link to read the
post where this all started.
We wanted to come up with a
marketing philosophy that
treats people like people
— not leads.
So we put together this
manifesto of sorts.
Basically our guiding
principles for how we think
about marketing at Drift.
This is an internal document
at Drift that is always
changing.
But since we believe that
everything is marketing, we
thought we’d share it publicly,
too.
Here it is.
1. Be Remarkable
In order for us to succeed,
our ideas and product need
to spread.
This won’t happen unless our
marketing is remarkable.
There’s too much noise out
there today.
The only way to compete is
by always asking ourselves
this one question.
“How can we make this 10x
better than anything that’s
out there right now?”
2. Words Come First
Hello
The words we use are
everything. They’re more
important than colors or
graphics.
So focus on the words you
use, and remember: more
isn’t always better.
The more important thing is
that every sentence — every
single one — feels authentic
and handcrafted.
3. Design Is Secondary
We love design. We respect
design. We believe great
design is a competitive
advantage …
But until all of the words on a
page are awesome, don’t
even think about design.
Don’t add menus. Don’t think
about images. Just don’t do it.
It’s better to have a plain-text
page with amazing words than
to have a page with amazing
design but mediocre words.
If we have mediocre words
and mediocre design, we will
go out of business.
4. Write Like You Talk
We are writing and building
for people.
Do not, however, address your readers
as though they were gathered together
in a stadium. When people read your
copy, they...
So if you wouldn’t say
something out loud to a friend,
don’t say it in your copy.
Write to be understood, not
to be an amazing writer.
In modern society, copywriting is a more
critical skill to master than ever before—
both online and offline. Why?
Consumer...
5. No Jargon
To reiterate, we’re writing for
people. So write with simple
words.
Unless 99% of our customers
would know the word, don’t
use it.
When copywriters argue with me about
some esoteric word they want to use, I say
to them, “Get on a bus. Go to Iowa. Stay o...
The very best writing goes unnoticed.
That’s right. You don’t want someone to
read one of your ads and say, “Gosh, that
ad...
6. Be Human
People have learned to tune
out marketing that feels like
marketing.
So all of our marketing should
feel like it's coming from a
friend.
People know to tune out
robotic messages, like the
ones that start with “Hello
[First Name].”
And highly designed,
promotional emails.
Today, the best form of
personalization today is to be
human.
7. Be Specific
We love people. But people
need instructions.
So in your marketing, you
need to be specific.
Tell people exactly where you
want them to go and what
you want them to do.
8. Customer-Driven
(Not Company-Driven)
We value customer-focused
collaboration over silos and
hierarchy.
When making decisions, we
always optimize for the
customer.
In other words: Customer >
Company.
9. Trust Is Everything
We can never break the trust
of our customers and
community.
That means we don't buy
email lists, and we never
spam people that didn't give
us the permission to email
them. Never.
10.
First Principles > Customer-Driven > Data-Driven > Opinion-Driven
We rely on validated learning
over opinions & conventions.
And we value customer
feedback over data.
Data is critical, but it’s a look
from the rearview mirror. We
can’t lead with just data.
And even higher than
customer feedback are first
principles—known truths that
we can’t change.
Our opinions are interesting,
but we should not make
decisions solely on our
beliefs.
11. Lean Development
(Not Agile. Not Waterfall.)
Just like our product team,
we focus on adaptive and
iterative campaigns over big-
bang campaigns.
We prefer running many small
experiments over relying on a
few big bets.
We rely on flexible vs. rigid
planning, which allows us to
react to opportunities that
might come up.
Don’t get so preoccupied with
executing a plan that you fail
to notice new opportunities.
12. Good Marketing
vs. Bad Marketing
Good marketing is showing,
not telling.
Good marketing is delivering
stories and experiences that
hit on emotions.
Good marketing focuses on
solutions to customer problems.
Bad marketing pushes.
Bad marketing spends too
much time worrying about the
competition.
Bad marketing focuses on
features, not benefits.
Bad marketing focuses on
company problems, not customer
problems.
Remember this: people want
holes in the ground, not shovels.
So we sell holes, not shovels.
13. Everything Is Marketing
Marketing doesn't end after a
stranger joins our email list, or
after a lead becomes a customer.
Marketing isn't just the
website, or our words, or our
emails.
Marketing is the experience,
the way the product feels, the
way the design connects to
the customer.
Everything at Drift is marketing.
And everyone at Drift is
responsible for marketing.
It’s part of how we act, and
the products that we build.
Want to learn more about
what we’re up to?
Come say hello at Drift.com.
Drift's Marketing Manifesto
Drift's Marketing Manifesto
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Drift's Marketing Manifesto

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How we think about marketing at Drift. From focusing on words more than design, making it simple, writing like a human, and focusing on our customers above all else.

Published in: Marketing

Drift's Marketing Manifesto

  1. 1. Marketing Manifesto How We Think About Marketing At Drift
  2. 2. Let’s face it: We’ve all been running the same marketing playbook for years.
  3. 3. We create content.
  4. 4. We set up landing pages for capturing leads.
  5. 5. Then we “nurture” those leads with automated emails.
  6. 6. Until people buy, unsubscribe — or just do nothing, forever.
  7. 7. But take a second and think about the way that you buy and behave as a consumer.
  8. 8. You probably hate filling out forms.
  9. 9. And you probably ignore every cold email that you get.
  10. 10. And for the most part, marketing treats you like a lead — not like a person.
  11. 11. We got tired of doing things that way.
  12. 12. Hi, I’m Dave. I lead marketing here at Drift.
  13. 13. (Just wanted to show my face so you knew who was narrating)
  14. 14. After realizing the way we were doing marketing was broken, we wanted to update our approach.
  15. 15. PS. Here’s a link to read the post where this all started.
  16. 16. We wanted to come up with a marketing philosophy that treats people like people — not leads.
  17. 17. So we put together this manifesto of sorts.
  18. 18. Basically our guiding principles for how we think about marketing at Drift.
  19. 19. This is an internal document at Drift that is always changing.
  20. 20. But since we believe that everything is marketing, we thought we’d share it publicly, too.
  21. 21. Here it is.
  22. 22. 1. Be Remarkable
  23. 23. In order for us to succeed, our ideas and product need to spread.
  24. 24. This won’t happen unless our marketing is remarkable.
  25. 25. There’s too much noise out there today.
  26. 26. The only way to compete is by always asking ourselves this one question.
  27. 27. “How can we make this 10x better than anything that’s out there right now?”
  28. 28. 2. Words Come First Hello
  29. 29. The words we use are everything. They’re more important than colors or graphics.
  30. 30. So focus on the words you use, and remember: more isn’t always better.
  31. 31. The more important thing is that every sentence — every single one — feels authentic and handcrafted.
  32. 32. 3. Design Is Secondary
  33. 33. We love design. We respect design. We believe great design is a competitive advantage …
  34. 34. But until all of the words on a page are awesome, don’t even think about design.
  35. 35. Don’t add menus. Don’t think about images. Just don’t do it.
  36. 36. It’s better to have a plain-text page with amazing words than to have a page with amazing design but mediocre words.
  37. 37. If we have mediocre words and mediocre design, we will go out of business.
  38. 38. 4. Write Like You Talk
  39. 39. We are writing and building for people.
  40. 40. Do not, however, address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing each of them a letter on behalf of your client. One human being to another, second person singular. -David Ogilvy “
  41. 41. So if you wouldn’t say something out loud to a friend, don’t say it in your copy.
  42. 42. Write to be understood, not to be an amazing writer.
  43. 43. In modern society, copywriting is a more critical skill to master than ever before— both online and offline. Why? Consumers today are better educated and more skeptical. -Robert Bly “
  44. 44. 5. No Jargon
  45. 45. To reiterate, we’re writing for people. So write with simple words.
  46. 46. Unless 99% of our customers would know the word, don’t use it.
  47. 47. When copywriters argue with me about some esoteric word they want to use, I say to them, “Get on a bus. Go to Iowa. Stay on a farm for a week and talk to the farmer. Come back to New York by train and talk to your fellow passengers in the day-coach. If you still want to use the word, go ahead.” Copy should be written in the language people use in everyday conversation. -David Ogilvy “
  48. 48. The very best writing goes unnoticed. That’s right. You don’t want someone to read one of your ads and say, “Gosh, that advertisement was sure well written!" -Gary Halbert “
  49. 49. 6. Be Human
  50. 50. People have learned to tune out marketing that feels like marketing.
  51. 51. So all of our marketing should feel like it's coming from a friend.
  52. 52. People know to tune out robotic messages, like the ones that start with “Hello [First Name].”
  53. 53. And highly designed, promotional emails.
  54. 54. Today, the best form of personalization today is to be human.
  55. 55. 7. Be Specific
  56. 56. We love people. But people need instructions.
  57. 57. So in your marketing, you need to be specific.
  58. 58. Tell people exactly where you want them to go and what you want them to do.
  59. 59. 8. Customer-Driven (Not Company-Driven)
  60. 60. We value customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy.
  61. 61. When making decisions, we always optimize for the customer.
  62. 62. In other words: Customer > Company.
  63. 63. 9. Trust Is Everything
  64. 64. We can never break the trust of our customers and community.
  65. 65. That means we don't buy email lists, and we never spam people that didn't give us the permission to email them. Never.
  66. 66. 10. First Principles > Customer-Driven > Data-Driven > Opinion-Driven
  67. 67. We rely on validated learning over opinions & conventions. And we value customer feedback over data.
  68. 68. Data is critical, but it’s a look from the rearview mirror. We can’t lead with just data.
  69. 69. And even higher than customer feedback are first principles—known truths that we can’t change.
  70. 70. Our opinions are interesting, but we should not make decisions solely on our beliefs.
  71. 71. 11. Lean Development (Not Agile. Not Waterfall.)
  72. 72. Just like our product team, we focus on adaptive and iterative campaigns over big- bang campaigns.
  73. 73. We prefer running many small experiments over relying on a few big bets.
  74. 74. We rely on flexible vs. rigid planning, which allows us to react to opportunities that might come up.
  75. 75. Don’t get so preoccupied with executing a plan that you fail to notice new opportunities.
  76. 76. 12. Good Marketing vs. Bad Marketing
  77. 77. Good marketing is showing, not telling.
  78. 78. Good marketing is delivering stories and experiences that hit on emotions.
  79. 79. Good marketing focuses on solutions to customer problems.
  80. 80. Bad marketing pushes.
  81. 81. Bad marketing spends too much time worrying about the competition.
  82. 82. Bad marketing focuses on features, not benefits.
  83. 83. Bad marketing focuses on company problems, not customer problems.
  84. 84. Remember this: people want holes in the ground, not shovels.
  85. 85. So we sell holes, not shovels.
  86. 86. 13. Everything Is Marketing
  87. 87. Marketing doesn't end after a stranger joins our email list, or after a lead becomes a customer.
  88. 88. Marketing isn't just the website, or our words, or our emails.
  89. 89. Marketing is the experience, the way the product feels, the way the design connects to the customer.
  90. 90. Everything at Drift is marketing.
  91. 91. And everyone at Drift is responsible for marketing.
  92. 92. It’s part of how we act, and the products that we build.
  93. 93. Want to learn more about what we’re up to? Come say hello at Drift.com.

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