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Interviews 2013 - 2016

How Marketers Stay Productive: Patrick Perlmutter of Infinit

February 26, 2015

This week we feature Patrick Perlmutter, Head of User Experience at Infinit. Infinit is a fast and secure file sharing app that lets you easily share files and folders of any size.

In this interview, you can read more about his work at Infinit, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.

Your location: Paris, France.

patrick

Your favorite gadget: Immersion blender.

You start your day with: Stretching and email.

Your favorite time-saving trick: Planning ahead

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I don’t read specific blogs. I use fine-tuned content aggregators

“Marketing is all about communication; give your brand some personality and avoid being bland.”

Describe an average day at Infinit?

I start my day around 7:30. Before doing anything, I hit my emails and look for anything important that might have happened during the night. We’re based in Paris, but so many of our users are outside of Europe that it’s important for us to be prompt despite the time difference.

I get to work around 9:00, but the day doesn’t officially kick off until our morning meeting at 10:00 when we go around a circle and outline our priorities for the day and any problems we’ve encountered during the week. The morning is largely spent on support and user feedback by email.

In the afternoon, I generally have at least one or two Skype calls or Google Hangouts organized with users. We’re also growing an ambassador program where we help promote our users across our social networks through content published on the Infinit blog, so I generally speak with some of those great girls and guys. They’ve all got some amazing stories.

Recently, my afternoons have been spent doing research, organizing consumer insights studies and executing on them so that I can work with our product team on better understanding and improving or removing features.

I also run a group called UX Coop, which organizes UX “speed testing” for startups in Paris. It’s a sort of quick way to get some general feedback on natural interactions with a UX flow for a new feature or a redesign. So a couple times a month, I get between 5 and 10 startups together to collaboratively run these speed tests with each other.

My day is generally between 10 and 12 hours. During that time, I’m incredibly productive, but our founders and the rest of the team believe in taking time for yourself, to rest as well, so we make sure there’s a great work-life balance at Infinit.

As a marketer, what is your favorite productivity hack?

It took a long time to settle on a surefire way to manage my time, but we’ve got a task management system in which we set deadlines for each task. Tasks are part of projects, which are in turn part of iterations. This makes it incredibly easy to have a 2-week and 1-month view of everything I need to do and with whom I need to collaborate.

Because our team is growing, time management is becoming incredibly important. Prioritizing tasks as P1 (to be done today), P2 (to be done this week) and P3 (to be done this iteration) and constantly cycling those through a workflow is invaluable.

I also try to block off my mornings for email, and only do 15–20 minute email sprints in the afternoon to maximize my focus on more intellectually demanding tasks.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3 tools you use?

Our marketing team uses Google Analytics and an in-house metrics system to track traffic and subsequent usage of Infinit. There’s a good amount of overlap here with the product team, but it’s incredibly helpful understanding traffic sources, classifying them and understanding conversion rates on a timescale and benchmarking them with events.

I’m also a huge fan of Intercom. We send metrics to Intercom to facilitate communication with particular cohorts of users based on their configurations and/or usage of the app. Intercom is also the core of our support system, which makes it easy to pull as much information and understanding from support tickets to help product development.

For user feedback, which is an ever increasingly important part of the marketing role, I use a combination of Uservoice for forums and written interaction with users and Usabilityhub for quick tests of mockups or features we’re thinking of developing.

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

Most of my role encompasses communication with users. We make a distinction at Infinit between inbound marketing and community creation. To us, inbound marketing is a lot about branding and acquisition whereas community management and customer insight are all about retention and product development.

Intercom, Mailchimp and live testing are valuable resources for interacting with our community. With Mailchimp, for example, we created 2 new lists for an iOS beta and an Android beta. We relied on our social presence and our newsletter to grow each of these lists to 500 people in the first day or two. They’re now nearing a couple thousand each. What’s even more amazing is that we added an option to see if people were willing to come to our office for a beer and test the app in front of us. 10% of users that signed up have checked that box. Although maybe it’s just for the beer!

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

On the acquisition side, we’ve played a lot with A/B testing. We regularly run tests on the visual aspects of the site, explanation videos and messaging. It’s quite surprising to see how certain things work better than others. These tests don’t always reflect results that are aligned with your intuition.

We do follow certain basic principles that I think have helped quite a bit including prominent calls to action and simple and relevant content. But we also love including humor and making the site feel fun. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about this part. Check our our About page here for instance https://infinit.io/about.

Lastly, over the past year we’ve been cranking out content and pushing it out over social media. We even have a significant presence on Ello, a newer social network for creative-minded people. And that’s fueled a ton of high quality traffic since Infinit is most useful to those types of people.

Content strategies are best couple with retargeting. Over the past 8 months we’ve seen our site traffic grow by a factor of 8x, which is good, but not yet impressive. However, with larger volumes of traffic, we’ve begun to play with retargeting and it looks not only promising in terms of acquisition, but it’s also pretty cost effective.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

It’s difficult to understand what marketing truly encompasses when you’re just starting out. The lines are blurred between product roles, marketing roles, community management roles and support or what’s now known as “user happiness.”

I would say that in our modern professional world, working within this corporate construct takes a lot of practice and a lot of trial and error. I don’t think there’s a recipe.

I would say, however, that the most important things are:

  1. find a consistent methodology to validate your hypotheses with numbers
  2. test product changes with users and make sure that you don’t bias your own tests by taking time to reflect on the questions you ask
  3. fix yourself a schedule to understand what your immediate, mid-term and long-term goals are and make sure you hit those deadlines
  4. choose the tools that work best for you and master them
  5. marketing is all about communication; give your brand some personality and avoid being bland
  6. quality content + retargeting is most likely something you should try

A big thanks to Patrick for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you check out Infinit.

The ‘How Marketers Stay Productive’ series asks marketers their tips & strategies for staying productive. Every month we’ll feature a new guest and the tricks that keep them working smart. Know someone you’d love to see featured? Email Us.

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