This week we feature Raj Anand, Founder of Goodman Lantern. Goodman Lantern provides the research and analysis needed to build great products and grow businesses. Their expert team gives you the upper hand to boost your Business Efficiency.
In this interview, you can read more about his work, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.
Your location: London, UK.
Your favorite gadget: Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Smart Headphones.
You start your day with: A coffee.
A picture of your workstation or the view outside your window if that inspires you:
Describe an average day at Goodman Lantern?
An average day at Goodman Lantern is possibly very different from most other B2B companies. We have a distributed team, distributed across US, UK, Europe, India and South Africa across four divisions: Software development, internal product (GoPinLeads) content development and market research.
A typical day starts with our communication team based in South Africa initiating a list of daily tasks issued by our clients via our project management tool. These emails and phone call requests come through not only to the operations team across the EU but also, to our teams in the US and UK. The sales team is responsible for responding to enquiries and ongoing sales. Our sales teams are distributed across 3 continents and are super proficient in managing multiple channels of communications including Skype, Whatsapp, Conference Call and our internal project management system.
Finally, the software team mainly in the UK and India have an early start and runs work in two shifts. The team uses Kanban, an agile methodology, to deliver projects. A major process of our success in regards to communication is using the project management tool and a real time communication tool called Flock, which works in a similar way to Whatsapp.
As a Founder/Marketer what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?
As a founder, one of my mantras has been to find ways to 'automate' my life, by working with the right team and tools. Here some of my main productivity hacks:
Using video for delegation: Any task which is routine and repetitive I assign it to team members. I do this by not typing it but developing a video, generally a screencast. I use a tool called useLoom.com. In general, people understand more from videos, as compared to text or voice notes.
Making WhatsApp groups: I'm a big fan of WhatsApp. In order to keep our distributed teams up to speed. I have made 3 key WhatsApp group with key departments. My colleague who is my PA is in all groups. She is my go-to person to organise anything in my professional life.
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 3-5 tools you use?
We are big on outbound marketing. We use a combination of a few tools:
EmailOcotpus.com and yet-another-mail-merge.com to send out emails.
Canva to prepare beautiful proposals and email headers.
GoPinLeads to find local leads in an area we are targeting. Eg: Coworking spaces where we are about to visit to organise a marketing talk.
Buffer to programme and automate our social media marketing.
Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?
We are big on outbound marketing. We use a combination of tools:
EmailOcotpus.com and yet-another-mail-merge.com to send out emails. These are cheap yet do all the core jobs of MailChimp.
Canva.com to prepare beautiful proposals and email headers.
GoPinLeads to find local leads in an area you are targeting. Eg: Coworking spaces in a city.
Buffer.com to programme and automate our social media marketing.
What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?
Most of our engagement today happens on social media. Facebook is possibly the one biggest contributors to the community we build and grow, earlier it was LinkedIn. But LinkedIn hasn't been able to keep up with the fluidity as well as Facebook's ability to recommend interesting content.
Our principle strategy is not to talk about us but actually to comment about the areas we are passionate about. This tends to be outbound marketing. As GDPR has changed the landscape in a major way, we are now working on outbound tools, which are GDPR compatible.
Is there any advice you'd like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?
My advice is that marketers to spend time building relationships. Spend most of their time thinking about innovative ways to build trust. Don't be scared to experiment, remember in the digital age we are in, people have short-term memories, they happily forgive and forget.
Lure in audiences by showcasing your knowledge and showcasing your business, then offer them a deal to buy from you, once. Show them a good time, and then they will start to trust and recommend you.
A good example are celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver who provide all their recipes online and on their TV shows. But the big day is when customers visit their restaurants, dine and recommend their food to others. That's when the network effect happens and real opportunities are created.
How do teams at Goodman Lantern have fun at work/ make work fun?
Since we are a distributed team spread across 4 continents we don't have the same level of Banta one would have if at the same office. Saying that we have fun using technology, in particular, Whatsapp. We have an engaging WhatsApp group called 'We Are GL' where we send pictures of our views, holidays etc. When teams meet each other, we send videos and photos.
A big thanks to Raj for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Goodman Lantern.
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