Most of you would want a one-stop shop for a need you have. A dry-cleaning service within a convenience store, or a cross-integration of a platform within a digital application. Brisbane-based company Oncord was born from a simple idea. Replace all the tools, plug-ins and connectors required to run professional websites and online presence with one intuitive platform. We interviewed agency partner manager Alex Cumberland, sharing his story about Oncord's early days and how they found their product fit, which allowed them to trek into 13 different countries.
What is Oncord?
Oncord is a SaaS solution, helping business owners from many industries manage a website, grow a contact database, and send email & SMS marketing campaigns. This gives users full control of their digital presence to create a unique experience for their customers, where they can modify website pages with a visual editor, post blog articles, and send marketing campaigns to their customers. By building a platform for a customer database, there's no need for multiple tabs for separate functions.
What drove Oncord's market fit and growth?
After establishing themselves 8 years ago, Oncord took some steps back and pondered their methods to how their reached their position today. Was there a secret formula or innovation strategy? Most definitely not. Alex says it never happened overnight – tactics were continually revisited and iterated over multiple years.
Finding the best product market fit is imperative because the market is a perpetual jigsaw, and many businesses are continually trying to determine where they comfortably sit to achieve their intended growth and success.
Some valuable steps were to eliminate any barriers between the development team and coders that actually work on the product... but how? By setting up and enabling communication to and from actual customers. Oncord’s development team does not typically work in silos, so the team is constantly in tune with these problems as they happen.
This was instilled effectively into Oncord’s culture through a shared inbox and weekly meetings throughout the years. Rather than separate company emails for each employee, a master inbox is used, and customer enquiries and tickets are sent internally. This creates transparency on all fronts to ensure an amazing experience for all. The adoption of having weekly round-ups allows the team to sync up progress or achievements.
Advice and Recommendations
Develop the professional network: Much like a spider creates its web, Alex benefited off this to attract and retain some invaluable connections and strongly encourages anyone wanting to push their growth and communities forward. Get the foundation down for your business, and build upwards by investing time into building professional networks.
Alex remembers that some of the most valuable partnerships were sparked at the snack table at an industry event. This really helped referrals to Oncord, and making sure their next decisions were the right ones.
You can't please every single customer yourself: What was the last thing you wanted to lecture yourself on how you could have improved the business? For Alex, it was more comfortable with the idea that users may not always have a 'perfect' experience with the product. Coming from a customer service background, Alex says there is no need to bend over backwards. Instead of depending on your own ability to make sure someone is looked after, it is most likely that these efforts are more worthwhile in building the actual product for better scalability and value.
The sustenance of your product is gained from your own time, effort and energy. Commit yourself to understanding and mastering tricks of the trade, and the results will speak for themselves. Take a look at Way We Do's story, who also went down the same path. Getting your product to sustain itself in the market is a considerable feat many often fail with.
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