Experience matters—and end users have all the power. If I took anything away from the Appcues Experience 2022, it’s that people want value fast—Taco Bell drive-thru kinda fast.
Last week we held our second annual Appcues Experience, where we gathered some of the greatest minds of the product-led growth community and had them weigh in on what they’re seeing in the industry. Thanks to Hopin’s clever platform, we streamed simultaneous sessions with ease! But unless you’ve mastered time travel (be careful with our timeline, please), you probably missed a session. Don’t fret, mere mortals! We’ve got you covered with a full set of session recordings and 10 highlights plucked straight from our speakers’ mouths.
Now let’s go back in time and relive The Appcues Experience 2022 the old-school way, with a good ol’ fashioned roundup!
Top 10 highlights of the Appcues Experience 2022
- Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Chief Product Officer, suggests that product organizations should dedicate 50% of their time to the first mile—aka the first 15 minutes, hour, or day of a new user's experience. If that % has you shook, you’re in good company (ours!). It’s natural to scale your product and add more bells and whistles over time—and that’s usually the right thing to do. But regularly Marie Kondo’ing your product to ensure it makes sense for your new cohort of users is essential for continuous product-led growth.
- Appcues is launching a new feature: Pins! Our Senior Product Manager Justin Kerins showed off how our latest pattern gives subtle, non-invasive guidance and tips. With this persistent experience, there's yet another way to reach people using your product, where and when it matters the most. (Get a sneak peak by signing up for our Pins beta experience.)
- Jeff Hardison of Calendly believes that even the greatest product-led companies will have to build a sales team at some point. Not all sales are created equal—and things like deal complexity, multiple stakeholders, and complicated integrations are no match for a well-oiled sales team. But beyond fringe sales cases, it’s usually a lack of purchasing authority that stops deals in their tracks. That’s why layering a sales process on top of a product-led business is so effective in navigating different stakeholders.
- Teresa Torres of Product Talk believes the best way to start a continuous discovery process is to automate the scheduling of user research sessions. (Brilliant! And if any of our speakers can time-travel, my bet’s on Teresa!). Automating your research scheduling lets you finish your day, come back to work, and bam! You’ve got (e)mail (invites). Teresa suggests jump-starting your research backlog by:
(1) Showing in-app messaging offering $50 amazon gift certificates for users who schedule immediately
(2) Working with your CX team to determine the set of situations and triggers for when it would be appropriate to interview with your product team — aligned with a backlog of topics the team wants to get insights on, of course!
- Eugenia Brown of Pandadoc is a GIF advocate (same, Eugenia, same)—and she’s proved their worth in salt. By adding animated visuals to product announcements that show off your products in action, she’s seen major gains in feature adoption. This reinforces the idea that we’re visual learners (think: no big blocks of text, no problem!).
- Adam Jarczyn, former head of product at Shopify, thinks “all of our teams are a tool—and those tools should be used to build a better experience”. As a tool enthusiast, I love this analogy. Tools are designed to make tasks easier; they connect you to your things, and give you more context for how something works. By thinking about your team as a tool, you can build even greater connections with your customers to deliver a better experience.
- Marcel Sandoval, who leads product management for Xandr, notes that “product adoption is a company wide-effort”. We heard a strikingly similar message from one of SEDNA's Customer Experience Specialists, “product adoption is the responsibility of the whole business”. You know it has to be true when folks from different departments at different companies are both saying it!
- Scott Belsky also notes that it’s a good practice to run product demos from the initial sign up. That’s because when you’re demo’ing a new feature you’ve built internally, you already have the context for how the product will be used. When you demo a feature tracing it back to the initial sign up, it shows it in context of the end user experience. This way, you’ll have a true understanding of the workflow to get to this feature. It’s also handy for identifying gaps to smooth out the user experience.
- Not only does Teresa Torres have suggestions for automating your user research, but she’s got some tips on how to get better feedback, too. She avoids asking direct questions and instead collects stories from users. Here’s how this looks IRL:
⛔ What’s your favorite show on Netflix? What device do you watch Netflix on?
✅ Tell me about the last time you watched Netflix
- And last, but certainly not least, we announced that we’re launching a native mobile experience in Q3 of 2022. Take the building, targeting, and analyzing capabilities that you've come to love for your web app and imagine it for mobile.—all from a single platform. (Pro tip: Make sure you request early access: https://www.appcues.com/mobile)
But wait, there’s more! We believe that the product-led community is better off when we collectively share our successes, failures, and lessons learned. Putting on a digital event is the perfect stage for global knowledge-sharing, so we wanted to equip you with a few logistical lessons we learned from our event, too:
- If you’re using Hopin (who happens to be an Appcues customer 😊), don’t stop the broadcast until at least a minute after the speaker is done. We cut off our CEO too early during a session because we didn’t account for the stream-delay. Sorry, Jax!
- Get your hype team in place before you go live. It doesn’t matter how many times you practice, nerves happen! And having your work-besty (or in Appcues’ case the entire company) cheer you on in real time can do wonders for your confidence.
- We were lucky to have such an engaged audience asking questions, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes you need to get the chat started by prepping questions ahead of time. Even if you don’t use them, it’s better to be prepared!
- If you plan on live-tweeting your event, have someone support your social media manager by grabbing stills and quotes from each session. I personally live-tweeted the event and severely underestimated how long it took to snap a photo of a speaker with their eyes open. (Also you should probably follow us on Twitter so my live-tweets were not in vain.)
All said and done, we were tickled blurple by how the event went. Our average attendee hung out with us for about 2.5 hours. Our mid-event NPS score was a 9.1! And we hosted attendees from nearly 500 companies in 76 unique countries. But there’s always room for improvement, and we’ll be taking these lessons to heart to improve next year’s event.
Can’t wait to see you there!