Growth Hacking APIs (Nordic APIs conference 2014)

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    29-Nov-2014

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Growth Hacking APIs: What role do APIs play in your growth strategy. Theres been lots of buzz in the tech startup space about growth hacking what is it? how is it related to development? how is it related to marketing? At its core, growth hacking is about finding a strategy for growth within the parameters of scalability and replicability, driven by product and inspired by data. Growth hackings core is based in marketing but driven by product. Once the definition is clear, the question then becomes: without a UI to lean on, how does one growth hack an API? At last years Nordic API conference, Guillaume Balas from 3Scale presented several typologies of an API, namely API is the product, API projects the product, API promotes the product, and API powers the product. This presentation will elaborate on and reframe those typologies in the context of marketing and growth hacking of an API. We will examine the circumstances where an API is actually a growth hack in of itself, and where it is in need of growth hacking in order to make the business model behind it succeed. The presentation will use core concepts of strategic marketing such as positioning, pricing, targeting, promotion, product and distribution to create a framework for either growth hacking an API or developing an API as a key tactic in a growth strategy.

Transcript

  • 1. Growth Hacking APIs The role of APIs in a growth strategy Vanessa Meyer - Marketing Director, Load Impact
  • 2. 2 The Questions What role do APIs play in your growth strategy? ! What to do when your API needs growth hacking? ! What to do when your API is a growth hack? @LoadImpact @VanessMeyer @NordicAPIs #API
  • 3. 3 Product Marketing (aka Growth Hacking) A growth hacker is someone focused on creating scalable growth by manipulating and measuring each aspect of the customer funnel.
  • 4. Intersection of Marketing and Growth Hacking
  • 5. 5 Purchase Decision Making Process The actual buying process for IT buyers How IT vendors view the IT buying process
  • 6. 6 The Decision Making Unit there are often 6+ people involved the decision to purchase a technology Initiator Users Influencers Decider
  • 7. 7 Typologies of an API 1. API is the product and the strategy 2.API projects the product 3.API powers and promotes the product} API is a growth hack Source: Guillaume Balas, CMO at 3scale
  • 8. 8 Typologies of an API 1. API is the product and the strategy Example: Twilio or Stripe Core value: the infrastructure Growth metric: core service usage growth (calls to API) Use case: API is for partners, enables new business models or adds value to existing applications Marketing: Complex. Create top-down demand among CTOs, CEOs, Product Managers. Then win the evaluation phase by appealing to developer(user). Emphasize both business and technical Unique Selling Points (USPs).
  • 9. 9 Typologies of an API 2. API projects the product Example: Load Impact or Salesforce Core value: the software or application Growth metric: first is increasing customer spend, second is increasing the number of customers for core product Use case: API extends availability of software functionality - programatic access to core service. API also enables mobile app and ecosystem that adds value to core service (i.e. 3rd party integrations) Marketing: focus is on developer and showing them the means of customizing core product to better fir their needs, or how to connect programmatically with the other tools they use. Emphasis is on ease-of-use, DX, reliability and quality of API.
  • 10. 10 Typologies of an API 3. API powers and promotes the product Example: YELP, Facebook or YouTube Core value: the network (marketplace with high-value and/or user generated content, large user base) Growth metric: first is getting more people using core service, second is increasing customer spend Use case: API enables creation of widgets that help market the core service and drive leads from external channels. API enables creation of user generated content which adds value to core service. Marketing: API is enabling marketplace with network effects - API is only as valuable as the number of users in the marketplace and/or the amount of content available for consumption. Marketplace becomes increasingly dominant when 3rd party apps build on top of API (i.e. the app store).
  • 11. When Your API Needs Growth Hacking 1. API is the product and the strategy 11 Product is infrastructure Core service usage (calls to API) Focus on the use cases for your API and the different people involved in the decision making process. Typologies Primary growth metric API marketing strategy
  • 12. 12 When Your API is a Growth Hack 3. API powers and promotes the product Typologies Product is network (marketplace) Product is software or application Primary growth metric Increasing size of marketplace (get more people using core service) API marketing strategy Target Product Managers of apps or websites that would benefit from programatic access to user base or programatic distribution of content. Key is data in/data out. 2. API projects the product Increasing customer spend (Customer Lifetime Value and Avg. Revenue per User) Target developers - users of core service.
  • 13. 13 Primary Growth Goal of API 3. API powers and promotes the product Acquisition 1. API is the product and the strategy 2. API projects the product Activation Retention* Revenue Acquire users and/or content Activate usage of core service Referral* Motivate customers to spend more by typology & customer funnel stage *Retention and referral are always goals. Only those who can retain their customers and generate positive WoM will succeed.
  • 14. 14 What to do When Your API Needs Growth Hacking Typology 1: API is the product and the strategy Product: infrastructure Growth metric: core service usage (calls to API) Step 2: Profile the company and people in the Decision Making Unit for that use case (what do they want & what is holding them back) ! Developers Product Managers Project Managers C-suite Step 3: #Users Deciders Create content that addresses those people and their concerns ! Customer stories (tech & biz) Code examples Technical documentation How tos Testimonials/referrals Step 1: Focus on use cases for your API that you can serve particularly well ! Improve security Facilitate communication Improve customer service Process payments Provision resources Enable integrations & networking Step 4: % Segment and deliver the right content to the right person at the right time ! APIs Landing pages Webhooks Marketing automation Release OS components Developer portal PR + social media Events/hackathons
  • 15. 15 What to do When Your API is a Growth Hack Typology 2: API projects the product Product: software or application Growth metric: customer spend (LTV, ARPU) Consider releasing high-quality OS components Developer built on your API. It showcases your engineering strength and builds brand equity among developers (Github for developer advertising) % Create clean and easy-to-use documentation. Documentation that implicitly addresses developers unique use case (i.e. integrated code examples) Price your service to accommodate for API usage. Be cautious about overages and excess usage fees, this will limit usage of your API. ' Create, distribute and maintain code libraries, SDKs and plugins in the languages and on the platforms that are popular among your users. Build confidence in stability, security, scalability of your API. Be transparent about incidents and how you handled them. Communicate regular maintenance and updates. Commit to SLAs, Terms of Service, failover measures.
  • 16. 16 What to do When Your API is a Growth Hack Typology 3: API powers and promotes the product Product: network (marketplace) Growth metric: size of marketplace (users, content) usage. For this typology, the price is usually - free ( Product Manager & Developer % ' Create and distribute widgets/plugins that are easily implemented by non-developers and that work well for most use cases. Price your service to accommodate for API Create clean and easy-to-use documentation. Documentation that implicitly addresses developers unique use case (i.e. integrated code examples) Consider releasing high-quality OS components built on your API. It showcases your engineering strength and builds brand equity among developers (Github for developer advertising) Build confidence in stability, security, scalability of your API. Be transparent about incidents and how you handled them. Communicate regular maintenance and updates. Commit to SLAs, Terms of Service, failover measures.
  • 17. 17 The Questions What role do APIs play in your growth strategy? ! What to do when your API needs growth hacking? ! What to do when your API is a growth hack? @LoadImpact @VanessMeyer @NordicAPIs #API
  • 18. 18 The Answers What role do APIs play in your growth strategy? Depends on the typology of your API. Its either for ! acquisition, activation or revenue. What to do when your API needs growth hacking? ! What to do when your API is a growth hack? @LoadImpact @VanessMeyer @NordicAPIs #API
  • 19. 19 The Answers What role do APIs play in your growth strategy? Depends on the typology of your API. Its either for ! acquisition, activation or revenue. What to do when your API needs growth hacking? Focus on use cases, profile key people in the decision making process, create content, ! and segment tactics What to do when your API is a growth hack? @LoadImpact @VanessMeyer @NordicAPIs #API
  • 20. 20 The Answers What role do APIs play in your growth strategy? Depends on the typology of your API. Its either for ! acquisition, activation or revenue. What to do when your API needs growth hacking? Focus on use cases, profile key people in the decision making process, create content, ! and segment tactics What to do when your API is a growth hack? Price your service carefully; work with SDKs, widgets, plugins and code examples; clean and easy-to-use documentation; build confidence in your API; release OS components to showcase engineering strength. @LoadImpact @VanessMeyer @NordicAPIs #API
  • 21. @VanessMeyer @LoadImpact Go forth and growth hack! Thank you.