How We Zoomed Past 10 Million Participants
Since Zoom launched in February 2013, we have reached over 10 million participants, attracting over 20,000 businesses and 1,400 educational institutions globally. Zoom’s success has led many to ask: what is the magic formula?
Nick Chong, our Head of Product Marketing, answered this question on a guest blog post for the Dell’s Founders Club. Nick is responsible for growth, product strategy, thought leadership, and global market evangelism at Zoom.
As much as we’d like to just credit Lady Luck for our success and call it a day, our product quality and user growth actually stem from three key lessons we’ve learned over the past couple of years Nick shared with the Founder’s Club:
Lesson 1: Product is king, and experience is queen.
We have a relentless focus on making the best product with the best user experience. This is ultimately what every customer wants. Toward this end, we spend much of our time listening to customers and fine-tuning our software to fit their needs. Nick spends 90% of his time gathering feedback from customers via Zoom video meetings. The face-to-face interaction allows him to pay close attention to what our customers want. Nick acts as our customer advocate and champions new features that dramatically enhance our product experience. We also keep every employee close to our customers by having an open feedback channel through our Feedback Portal and Support Center.
Lesson 2. Hire for passion.
Our initial hires were a team of passionate engineers we had worked with at Cisco. They simply love innovations. Once our beta product was available, we were ready for a Sales team. We searched hard for our first Sales leader and two account executives who were passionate about customer engagement. In the following 12 months, we’ve observed a continuous rapid growth of customer adoption. As a result, we had to grow in other areas like Support, Sales, and Marketing. We stuck to our single search attribute – a passion for customer success!
Lesson 3. Change the paradigm of marketing.
As an emerging vendor, we had to focus on marketing to the curious, adventurous bunch known as early adopters. This allows us to leverage our greatest advantage – user experience – because once an early adopter uses a product they love, they will spread the word. We have relied on the following marketing tactics to reach early adopters:
- “Word-of-experience” marketing: Zoom was the first to provide HD video conferencing with up to 25 video participants. We relied on our participants to spread the word simply by meeting with groups of people who would love the experience and want to share it. It worked! Within months, hundreds of early adopters multiplied into millions.
- Live showcasing: We needed to showcase our HD quality and our user experience. Unlike traditional vendors who spend thousands of dollars on souped-up booths along with pre-recorded marketing videos, we simply did one thing: we rented a basic booth where we showed our solution live on HD screens and invited anyone to experience Zoom by simply joining on-the-fly. We always get the “wow!”
- Social media: Social marketing for business apps tends to focus on branding or getting prospects to learn more at a website. We wanted a more powerful approach by asking them to try the “wow” experience right now for free at zoom.us/signup. It takes less than 10 seconds to sign up and 1 minute to start a meeting!
- Strategic partnering: We partnered with many companies to offer the best experiences for our customers. If customers need single sign-on or a hardware recommendation, we’ve got that covered through our partners. Incidentally, our partners often “fall in love” with us and share the experience with their own customer base. This is the most powerful marketing tool that money can’t buy.
Being a successful small company is largely about maximizing your resources. For Zoom, that meant focusing on what matters most, growing smarter, and foregoing costly marketing practices for new growth. To learn more about Zoom’s smart growth, you can read the complete post, or get some face time with Nick (@nickchong_us) at the following events:
- Campus Technology, July 28-31 in Boston, MA
- TMC ITEXPO, August 11-14, in Las Vegas, NV
- Healthtech Conference, October 14-15 in San Mateo, CA
Or just try Zoom for yourself free to get the experience firsthand at zoom.us/signup!