November 6, 2012

Freemium - It's Just Like Flying a Plane

Earlier this week TechCrunch published another article about "freemium".  Written by Jules Matz and Daniel Barney, it addresses that pressing question of: Should Your Startup Go Freemium?

Having spent years running marketing for freemium, SaaS businesses, I love reading and talking about this very topic!  And this article does a great job of walking through the various metrics and levers that need to be thought through before selecting a freemium business model for your business.

I often compare what it takes to manage a freemium, SaaS business to a pilot flying a plane. The pilot needs to watch all of the dials and levers in the cockpit at all times as each provides insight into one key function that is helping to keep the plane in the air.

Similarly, with a freemium business, there are multiple areas  - across product experience as well as up and down the marketing funnel - that need to be actively measured and managed. The business can't over-correct on any one element to the exclusion of the others else "the plane" will fall out of the sky. Of course different areas may need more attention than others at any given time, but in the end, it all needs to work together.

Future Deep Marketing Thoughts posts will cover each of these areas in more detail.