This bonus episode of Above the Cloud is part of our continuing effort to leverage the amazing content generated at the November Tech Adoption Summit in San Francisco. This podcast was taken from the Q&A segment of Tolithia Kornweibel’s well-received talk at the Summit, where she addresses customer acquisition strategy and Gusto’s mission to empower small business to create great work environments.

Some highlights from the Q&A.

  • Tolithia prevailed in her desire to follow a content marketing strategy over an SEO strategy in part after getting feedback from Hubspot that its approach “took two years to get traction and it was nine years before inbound was a thing.”
  • Word out mouth far outpaces paid referrals as a lead source for Gusto. This is a reflection of Gusto’s gaudy net promoter score. “Our 75 NPS is unprecedented in our category. The next closest is in the 30s.”
  • Getting SMBs to switch providers is challenging. “Payroll is a super sticky product. Even if someone is very unhappy with ADP, switching is a real pain.” However, Gusto has learned how to spot behavioral triggers that suggest a competitor’s customer is open to switching.
  • The sweet spot for Gusto is a small business that “cares strategically or in a family way about creating that great place to work….companies that want to give their employees everything that big businesses can is the right segment for us.”
  • Accountants, a key channel for Gusto, are undergoing massive change. “The boomer to millennial transition is on steroids among accountants.”
  • Sharing customer feedback in real time is part of Gusto’s DNA. “Every day when a salesperson learns something new…a slack goes out just like that. It is just an ethic of our company.”
  • “We talked about Gusto becoming an iconic, remarkable brand….and we actually mean it and think we can do it because of the passionate response we get from our customers.”

You can listen to the full Q&A here, moderated by my Tech Adoption Index colleague Neal Polachek.

Here is the video of the main portion of Tolithia’s talk from the Nov. 7 Tech Adoption Summit.

And as always, we want to thank our Above the Cloud sponsors Boostability, Broadly, DexYP, Google, Mono, and Vendasta.