CloudCannon realises strategic focus, direction, and growth with Proxi
Updated: Aug 29, 2021
In 2013, two computer science graduates from the University of Otago in New Zealand formed a business with a single-focus goal; to provide a better way for non-technical teams to edit static sites without involving a developer. Roll forward almost ten years and CloudCannon has 19 staff and their platform has become the industry standard for managing static websites.
Mike Neumegen, co-founder and CEO, is responsible for business direction and growth. His role includes building partnerships, community development, and making strategic decisions.
Business growth wasn’t as fast as the directors wanted and they were unsure of the strategic steps needed to build a high-performing marketing team. CloudCannon needed a marketing strategy for customer acquisition and increased revenue.
From mentoring to marketing…
Taking advice from one of his business mentors, Mike reached out to two marketing organisations.
Mike says: “we needed someone who understood our product and our audience – developers are a unique bunch so you can't just do lots of traditional marketing strategies with them. Second, experience of working with SaaS companies was a must.”
Talking to Proxi, Mike realised that, as SaaS marketing specialists, the team had relevant experience in this space and demonstrated a quick understanding of CloudCannon’s product.
Discovery to establish deliverable value
Proxi ran an in-depth discovery workshop with two of vCMOs to establish that value could be delivered, what that value would look like, and the expected results and benefits. The workshop resulted in the delivery of a strategic programme of activity, focussing on key areas where value could be added to help reach its business goals.
From plan to action to deliver value
Current state and key issues were outlined before assessing the addressable market, current industry status, competitor landscape, market segmentation, etc. The initial plan was to work with CloudCannon for about nine months, working on six key focus areas to accelerate growth.
A number of initiatives were proposed including a new pricing structure, market positioning, rebuilding the website, developing a community programme to drive commercial adoption, and developing partnerships.
“We had to do a fair bit of groundwork to get the foundations in place for steady and sustainable growth,” acknowledges Mike. "Tim Nichols, our Proxi vCMO, started by getting the business structure right which meant we could grow significantly over time." Mike continues: “It provided a lot of focus on where I could add the most value and what I should, and shouldn’t be doing. This rolled down to the teams in terms of what they should be focussed on to reach business objectives and move us forward”.
“Our leadership team worked very closely with our vCMO to form an overarching strategy which we hadn’t had before – everything had previously been on a more tactical level. We workshopped to form the high-level strategies then we pitched them to the entire team to get everyone’s buy-in,” adds Mike.
From strategic to tactical
Further strategies were launched to deliver content marketing, fill the funnel and ensure the continued growth of the developer community, etc.
Mike continues: “the cross-team communication has improved dramatically and we are aligned on growing our MRR (monthly recurring revenue).”
From hands-on to coaching
Once the groundwork was in place and initiatives rolled out, our vCMO stepped into more of a coaching role – coaching the leadership about the right conversations to make the right decisions efficiently and how to maintain structure to support the business, etc. Mike says: “I can see how Proxi delivers value to a business. They helped me laser focus on where I can add the most value for CloudCannon as CEO – delivering on strategy rather than the tactics.”
“I’ve learned a lot from our vCMO. You just don’t know what you don’t know – Proxi showed us what that was and how to turn it into actionable strategies. He didn’t necessarily have all the answers, but would know how to spark the right conversations to make us think and get there,” says Mike.
Mike concludes: “there were so many moving pieces in the project – Proxi helped us navigate through them – and when you are in the stage and state we were in, at some point you just have to bite the bullet and do it. I’ve been impressed with our vCMO’s ability to understand our customers and our product – I haven’t worked with someone outside a business that has been able to do that as well as he did. I’m sure he spent a lot of time outside of work thinking about solutions for our business – he’s invested in us and really is one of the team. We’ve learned about the importance of getting the right structure in place, how to have those challenging conversations and how to lead the company.”
Visit our SaaS marketing services page to find out how Proxi works to build marketing capability and grow SaaS businesses.