If you take a quick tour at Vendasta headquarters, one thing quickly becomes apparent: We’re more than just a software company. The a-ha moment comes when you meet the Marketing Services team––AKA creative geniuses––who work with our products day in and day out, fulfilling marketing needs for our partners. They live and breathe all aspects of the Vendasta platform and products, and that immersion means that they work closely with our Research and Development team (R&D) to make improvements and streamline the user experience for everyone.
What is Marketing Services?
Vendasta partners who use our in-house Marketing Services have their clients’ needs fulfilled under their brand by Vendasta content creators and marketing strategists. We’ve pioneered the Do-it-With-Me™ approach, working alongside a partner’s sales team or directly with its small business clients. It all takes place on a partner’s terms, and the end result is top-notch marketing services that deliver new customers to storefronts. This is where platform meets people!
Vendasta Marketing Strategists do the digital heavy lifting for partners—correcting listings, monitoring reviews and posting to social media––all while keeping partners and their clients involved as much as they need. The strategists not only fulfill a partner’s needs, but they produce strategies and tips for partners and SMBs along the way:
“In Marketing Services we use Vendasta Task Manager heavily, tracking all of our fulfillment work on behalf of our partners. We use our products so in-depth that we encounter things that aren’t functioning the way they should or we find better ways of doing it. If we are struggling with the platform and can direct our development team to build it in a certain way, it’s not only helping our team to do it better but it's also helping our partners do it better too.”
- Riana Back, Operations Manager, Marketing Services
‘DogFooding’ to Improve Vendasta Software
For those who aren’t familiar, fear not––dogfooding at Vendasta isn’t as gross as it sounds. It’s the use of a developed product or service by a company's staff to test its usefulness in a real world setting.
Our CMO, Jeff Tomlin, loves dogfooding because it allows our own people to test, poke holes, validate, and improve the latest software we create for partners. It’s a logical solution when developing new software or refining existing workflows.
Bugs happen, and being able to submit an inquiry to R&D and have the items quickly resolved is a must. The proximity and reporting processes between Marketing Services and R&D help to ensure wrinkles are ironed out. Our R&D team members shadow Marketing Strategists on a regular basis to experience their day-to-day routine and better understand the end-user experience.
- Weston Carlson, Developer, Research and Development
“The relationship between Marketing Services and R&D is really important. We have in-house users who can give us feedback on what we’re thinking of building and what we have built, it is vital to the software development process. Being able to sit down with Marketing Services to shadow their daily routines can be really helpful to figure out where the pain points are and try to eliminate them. We host weekly Product Backlog Refinement meetings and we welcome Marketing Services, as they often have insight on how a feature could be more useful.”
User Testing in Action
Recently, the Marketing Services team collaborated with R&D to optimize the social posting workflow in Task Manager and Social Marketing.
Our Marketing Strategists write more than 5,000 unique social posts per month on behalf of our partners. Previously, the strategists would then produce social posting calendars outlining the content and the date of each post for the month ahead. That’s approximately 600 calendars of social posts! A single partner can have as many as 266 clients, which equates to more than 39 hours of generating social calendars—manually.
When the development gurus caught wind of this, they built a feature into Task Manager that automated each post’s content and organized it by date, spitting out a beautiful, organized, complete, and well-rounded social calendar. R&D was able to give back more than half the time that Marketing Services was losing, allowing our Marketing Strategists to scale their services without draining people resources. Now our Marketing Services team has even more bandwidth to be creative and strategize into the future.
Results That Drive Partner Delight
This anecdote is a great example of how dogfooding can be beneficial, and can lead to better software and more collaboration between the different teams and roles in an organization.
As more Vendasta partners use Marketing Services, we find ways to make our own software faster, easier, and better to use. At Vendasta, Marketing Services isn’t just one of the hardest-working teams in our company—it’s also one of our best sources of feedback on our software. In working on behalf of our partners and their clients every day, our Marketing Strategists help us to perfect what we do best at Vendasta and improve the user experience for our partners.