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The Acquire Podcast Ep. 4: Niching down with TreviPay’s community playbook

  • TreviPay’s VP of Global Marketing Michelle Faul joins the Acquire podcast to talk about creating and leveraging their community playbook.
  • Segmenting their audience, she says, has made their marketing and sales funnel laser focused.

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The Acquire Podcast Ep. 4: Niching down with TreviPay’s community playbook

Welcome to Acquire, Tearsheet’s Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Rebecca Alma Cohen, Head of Tearsheet Studios.

On today’s episode I’m speaking with Michelle Faul, VP of Global Marketing at TreviPay. TreviPay is a global fintech that offers embedded payments in the digital B2B commerce space. Fun fact: TreviPay won Best New Product – for its B2B mobile payments app – at our Embedded Awards last November at the Big Bank Theory Conference. Check out all the awards we’ll be giving out for brands, campaigns, and products in 2022.

Today, Michelle’s here to give our listeners a little behind the scenes about TreviPay’s community playbook. 

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

The community playbook

TreviPay’s audience is in the manufacturing and retail segment. But those are very, very broad categories. So we asked, ‘How do we narrow down our scope so we can take our product market in a manner in which these companies can truly understand what TreviPay can do for them as part of their payments experience in B2B?’ 

We decided that instead of boiling the ocean, a better way to approach this is break it into the sub industry segments – so that meant looking at the three-digit NIC codes of the industries, and mapping out what each community looks like. 

The communities we mapped include the media communities, the industry associations, the vendor communities that support the segment, the distribution channels, the thought leader peer group, and the industry events that support the segment. 

Who, what, where, how 

When we look at a sub-industry, we map the entire ecosystem; then we develop our messaging, marketing plans, and go-to-market strategy around that sub-industry to ensure our product is the right fit, that we are engaging with the right thought leaders to get input on our product and how it fits in the sub-industry, that we’re participating in those industry’s events so that we can bring visibility and awareness to our product as well as within the media communities; that we ensure people can understand where TreviPay fits in the buyer journey and purchasing experience; then, of course, being inserted into the right industry associations. 

When it comes together and deployed from a marketing product and partnership strategy, this community plan really helps to bring together an entire go-to-market strategy that gives us presence in that market and chance to provide a solution for a challenge that this market has with their B2B purchasing experience.

Breaking it down

Our product spans a wide range of industries in the manufacturing and retail, so we segmented our customer base to help inform which of these communities we were going to go after first. It's not easy, as you can imagine, to really map this ecosystem. It takes about six weeks to identify the entire ecosystem, and then create the subsequent marketing plans. 

To determine what our backlogs of communities to map, we had to look at what segments the majority of the customers are from. We looked at our current client base and found that electronics retailers were the first segment to focus on. As we work through our backlog, we will add more. We focused on the electronics retailers because we know that we can easily onboard and support additional global electronics ones.

Niching on electronics 

The pandemic has really brought out some changes in buying behaviors: supply chain issues, people not being in offices together, and the shift to ecommerce and purchasing has fundamentally changed. And what we've seen is that a lot of retailers within ecommerce, especially in the electronics industry, have an underserved B2B community. They've got B2B buyers who are purchasing on their B2C channels, and they might not even be aware of it.  

And there's opportunity for those retailers, in focusing on serving the B2B buyer. They can add an additional revenue or increase that revenue stream and loyalty from those buyers, if they provide a buying and payment experience that's in line with what B2B buyers prefer, which is purchasing on terms, providing trade credit, offering them specific pricing on products, SKU level pricing or bulk pricing – all of those things are what a B2B buyer expects in their normal course of business. So that opportunity is here for those retailers to level up, and offer a B2B buying experience, and not just take them along the B2C route. 

Serving the B2B buyer

The B2B buyer typically wants to purchase with a PO or with an invoice, they want to have trade credit extended to them so they have 30 days to pay, have specific requirements for how that invoice is going to be submitted to their AP team, and once a relationship is established, they want to have contract pricing so that they get discounts based off of volume or the types of things that they're purchasing. So TreviPay helps them with that purchasing experience and makes it as frictionless and seamless as B2C, but for a B2B buyer.

Businesses big and small

The majority of our experience, over the course of the last couple of decades, has been more at that enterprise level. We do, however, have solutions, and we continue to come out with additional solutions to support SMBs.

The SMB group often has a bit less opportunity to access capital; with COVID, and PPP loans running out, there's probably going to be a stronger, higher need for capital. So we are constantly thinking about how we can serve all of the different markets, and we do have solutions for each. 

Our base product in the market can serve both the upper end of the small business and mid market all the way to the enterprise. You can add additional elements and features to the solution, if it needs to be further customized. Oftentimes, we find that it’s what the enterprise level needs, where the small and lower end of the mid market often don't need all of those bells and whistles, so we do have a solution that is a bit more out of the box that they can leverage as well.

Ecosystems upon ecosystems

We spent a lot of time boiling the ocean. Because we serve so many elements of those different broad categories, being everything to everyone is not always easy. Marketing messages, products should all, from best practices, be personalized to the group that is buying or implementing. 

The next best logical step was to be in the communities – being a thought leader, being present and supportive of that community, and having a solution that fits their challenges and needs. 

It helps us all find focus and be led by one commonality, as opposed to spreading our time, energy, and efforts across multiple different segments; that's everything from marketing, to sales, to product to partnerships. If you're all focused in the same general area, then you can be better supportive of the community that you are in, message specifically for that community, develop a product that’s better fit for that community, and have the right integrations for that community. 

It makes it a much more efficient process if you create this great flywheel. Once you've got all of those community playbooks established, then you create another one, then the next, then the next, and it's kind of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Building onwards

We look at these communities kind of in size and scope. There's a lot of work we do before we even make the decision to go down a community path playbook, and there are lighter versions of that community path playbook. For example, hotels and grocery stores. 

Grocery stores, very similar to retailers, have found themselves being the go-to place for restaurants when they can't get their normal delivery of produce, or ingredients they need to serve their clients. We looked at those opportunities and the total available market for those sub-industries and asked, ‘Do they have a right “twin”?’ Does the total available market support going into this industry?’ Then, even if we don't need to do a community playbook that's completely mapped to the level of detail that I had mentioned earlier, there might be a lighter approach to it. So building out supporting campaigns and brand awareness for those specific industries, where we feel like we have a right to win, we feel like we have a good product market fit, but we're not entirely sure if that market is ready for our solution, then we've got kind of a community playbook light, that we take to market to further test and see if we can make headway.

Word of advice for B2B payment firms 

The one takeaway I would give is having the right marketing technology stack, to identify their intent, and to better serve those personalized messages; then overlay that with a community playbook or marketing strategy, to be able to personalize the messages for them, and make them feel like it is a personalized journey for them – because that's what it should be. If the product market fit is correct, then you're going to earn a lot of trust early in the sales process, even before their sales team is interacting with them. And I believe that if you build up a partnership approach early, even in the marketing, it's going to do a lot for you as you extend the relationship through the sales process and through implementation and through the growth of the program.

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