Chapter 2

Why marketing teams need to embrace no-code

There’s a lot of talk about the impact no-code makes for individual designers and creators, but what about the impact on the world of marketing?

Barrett Johnson
Barrett Johnson
? Reading time
Here are some excerpts from a conversation Webflow had with Scott Brinker: VP of Platform Ecosystem at Hubspot and editor of chiefmartech.com.

An interview with Scott Brinker (VP of Platform Ecosystem, Hubspot) has been condensed and edited. 

How do you summarize the no-code movement from your perspective?

I summarize the no-code movement by saying it's essentially giving the power. That you used to have to rely on experts — specialists in a particular discipline — to do things for you: web development or app development or integration, or a whole bunch of things that now as a general business user, you can do many of these things yourself.

The label I’ve applied to the no-code movement is ‘citizen creator.’ I lean on the phrase citizen creator because we should think about it as anyone can do this. A citizen in the broadest sense of the word, Creator because that's really what it's about. It's about eliminating all these barriers that existed between having an idea and delivering something out to the world. 

What’s your history with the no-code movement and how have you seen it change over time?

I was preparing the keynote for the 2018 MarTech conference and I was seeing enough examples of how people were using tools like Zapier to connect different tools to their MarTech stack. So I brought together this panel: the CEOs of Zapier and If This Then That, and the CMO of Tableau, and we just started to chat about no-code. At the time, most people, even if they were using some of these tools, didn't actually see the connective tissue that was greater than the sum of its parts. That was when I really started getting interested in no-code.

But now, in these past few years, no-code has been a rocket ship in pretty much every dimension. The number of solutions that we could put under this banner that are in the market; the growth of the most popular solutions such as Webflow; the adoption rates. We're really seeing people take advantage of these tools and it feels like the start of a golden age.

What are the most common misperceptions of no-code in the marketing world?

I think probably the biggest misconception is still about the “no-code” label. If people are unfamiliar with this space, they tend to hone in on the code piece and they're like, “Well, I wasn't coding things in the first place, so why would I need to use ‘no coding’ tools?”

But this misses the point. For all those things you wanted to do that you couldn't get done or you had to file a ticket for, or had to spend $10,000 on an outside agency, those are all tasks that, all of a sudden, there's just an entire swath of tools to help.

Now, you can just create. If you can draw an idea on a whiteboard, you're not that many steps away from actually turning it into something real that you can share with the world. Anyone can take advantage of no-code.

Another misconception is that when people think of no-code they think it can only apply to a relatively narrow universe of things — some sort of programming — but I do think the scope of what's possible in the space is much larger.

I sometimes use the analogy with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which has been another popular topic in marketing because of the big impact it’s having. At this point, every major marketing product out there in the universe has some sort of machine learning capabilities built into it. And it's making life easier for marketers without them even consciously realizing that they're using machine learning power and tools to get their job done.

What areas of marketing tech dramatically need the most reshaping or help via no-code?

Let’s pick three challenges marketing has had: Producing interactive digital content out in the world quickly, integrating multiple technologies that might exist within my MarTech stack, and then data analysis and really being able to self-serve insights about what’s working.

What types of team members do you see doing the no-code development work? 

Digital marketing in particular exploded the number of use cases and the number of things that companies needed to do to engage with customers online. You had this whole emergence of the MarTech industry, which has grown to thousands of products.

Marketers then ended up taking on these tools, partly because they needed to get the work done and also because these tools were a lot easier to adopt. In the early days this was called shadow IT. This digital transformation journey has gone hand in hand with the democratization of technology.

And while it’s great that everyone now has this power, we do need some governance. You have to pay really close attention to how you’re managing data. There are real, legal implications, especially from a compliance perspective.

What’s the first step for a company interested in no-code development?

There's the first step that most take, which is somebody has a project and a credit card. And they just do it themselves with a particular tool. They do a project and share it and people find it kind of cool. Then someone else has another project and asks to learn the tool, and it starts to spread organically. Once it starts to get recognition by executives it's because there's actually quite a few success stories.

And when you have the discussion at the executive level, eventually there’s a feeling you should standardize on a couple of these tools so there can be common training, more reuse, and more sharing. Once executives see individual people use these tools to create something of value the value of them is no longer theoretical. It’s already working for you today. So then you wonder how you scale it up? And that's just a much better conversation to have. You can look at a lot of platforms and see this pattern of empowerment.

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Chapter 1

How the no-code movement helps enterprises scale their businesses

Why enterprises should build web experiences at scale in a visual environment.

Mischa Vaughn
Mischa Vaughn
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You don’t do bookkeeping in literal books anymore — you use spreadsheets. You don’t have data centers anymore — you’re storing data in the cloud. It’s time to stop coding your enterprise's websites by hand, too.

You should embrace no-code web design and web development for your enterprise’s websites because it opens up opportunities that traditional hand-coding doesn’t: the ability to iterate and launch best-in-class websites, beautifully built by team members with and without developer backgrounds alike.

Outdated, bloated web development processes don’t scale

Modern enterprises need their web presence to do a lot: Showcase products, interact with leads, protect their brand image, and achieve business goals. Oh, right — they have to keep customers happy, too.

Ever since the world’s first website was published in 1991, enterprises have relied on coding practices that require highly skilled web developers to produce these high-functioning websites and web apps their customers demand. Billions of websites later, though much has changed since then, we’re still using HTTP, HTML, and CSS just like we were 30 years ago.

Traditional web design and development as a practice is a blend of science and art. Stakeholders provide direction and content, and visual designers mockup ideas and then hand them off to web developers to code. This means that every time a change is made by a stakeholder or visual designer, it has to go through more coding, too. Often, developers are the only ones with edit access to websites and apps, so request and approval processes get in the way of moving quickly. And if you want these edits to be responsive, meaning adaptable to both desktop and mobile browsers? It can take even more time.

Designers and marketers have laundry lists of improvements they want to make to their websites, but there’s simply too much meticulous coding work standing in the way of those small improvements and holding you back. You can only innovate at the speed with which you’re able to validate ideas. Relying on developers or freelancers to manually translate design files to code in time is inefficient and expensive.

Traditional coding slows down innovation — and comes at a price

When it comes to iterating and producing top-tier websites, enterprises have told Webflow it used to take anywhere between four to five hours (billed by an expensive freelancer, of course) to months to push a simple change live. That’s just time faster competitors can use to experiment quickly and get ahead. Consumer trust and interest are fickle, too: You only have 50 milliseconds to make a good impression on your website. The clock on your website is constantly ticking.

Antiquated web-design processes hinder marketers from responding to consumer responses as they happen. In an age when a single poorly done tweet from a global brand can explode into six o’clock news headlines, enterprises can’t afford anything but real-time marketing across all of their web presences. 

Less than 1% of people are developers, but almost 100% of your customer base will visit one of your websites. How are you empowering your whole team, and not just your developers, to make that user experience great? Web-based businesses can solve more problems faster with platforms that teams like marketing and customer success can add to, experiment with, and launch autonomously without a line of code.

Enterprises have been using no-code visual abstraction since the ’60s — think spreadsheets, not lines of code, for sorting information — but their web development process hasn’t caught up with the times yet. Learning to code takes a lot of up-front investment, and everyone who needs access to your websites can’t learn to code fast enough to keep up with demand from consumers. No-code development is done on graphical interfaces that sit on top of code and don’t require technical knowledge to use.

Launch faster with no-code — without compromising on cost or security

Traditional coding’s shortcomings have led to a boom in software-enabled no-code solutions, where, with a little training and a password, nontechnical staff can begin iterating on a website.

Laela Sturdy from investment firm CapitalG (an investor in Webflow) shared in an interview that traditional tech platforms can’t keep up with digital transformation demands, especially with so few technical workers at enterprises’ disposal. The solution? No-code development platforms that more nontechnical team members can use:

“Low-code/no-code tools have stepped in to fill this void by enabling knowledge workers — who are 10x more populous than technical workers — to configure software without having to code. This has the potential to save significant time and money and to enable end-to-end digital experiences inside of enterprises faster.”

No-code and low code help people create and update websites visually instead of through code. These tools help enterprise teams solve some problems without needing a developer’s help, said Sheryl Koenigsberg, head of global product marketing for Mendix, in ZDNet, “while ensuring that anything they build goes through a centralized process for quality and security.”

This boom of no-code solutions should excite you for a lot of reasons, including:

  • No-code platforms have the potential to massively multiply and bring forth more people with the ability to build for the web who couldn’t code before.
  • These will be people in your company you wouldn’t have thought of as “coders” in a traditional sense, who will be able to step up and own new initiatives.
  • These will be new hires from diverse backgrounds bringing a fresh perspective to your work, making your user experience better.
  • These will be people with exciting, interesting, revenue-generating ideas for your websites.

No-code enterprise solutions reduce your information technology total cost of ownership (TCO) as well — defined by Gartner as “hardware and software acquisition, management and support, communications, end-user expenses and the opportunity cost of downtime, training and other productivity losses.” Iteration and editing takes time. So does launching new websites, an almost constant project for any large enterprise. The TCO of enterprise websites skyrockets with the exponential cost of hands-on updating from specialists.

When you can build rich, professional experiences without code, you waste less of your developers’ time and save on contractor bills. However, no-code doesn’t mean developers go away. Quite the contrary. No-code just means their jobs become less repetitive and menial. Reduce pressure on your development and IT teams, who, instead of being constantly available for bug fixes and edits, will be freed up to work on complex problems and create your next industry-defining product.

Companies thriving with no-code

In Webflow Enterprise, everything from designing functionality to pushing updates to production can be done by designers and other team members with no-code, instead of relying on inaccessible tools and services gated by coders and other teams. This ability frees up your development team to focus on more innovative and impactful projects and helps you launch websites and experiment with your marketing message faster.

Businesses moving off hand-coding and onto no-code are experiencing significant benefits, like quicker time to launch and lowered development costs. Plus, their teams are happier.

Empowered, happy teams work faster and deliver higher revenue from your websites.

Rakuten SL doesn’t worry about WordPress issues or outages anymore

Rakuten’s Super Logistics team finally had enough of their many security and outage issues with WordPress. Their website required patches and fixes by out-of-house WordPress freelancers who didn’t come cheap. Redesigning on Webflow with an agency partner, after a period of serious due diligence, turned out to be “one of the best decisions we have made,” said Sarah Smith, marketing operations manager, adding, “Now my team can make changes in 20 minutes that would have taken an expensive programmer 4-5 hours.”

Plus, with better security, Rakuten’s on-site metrics began improving, including a 27.9% decrease in bounce rate, attracting the right website visitors, and increasing those new visitors by 9.5%.

Marketers at MURAL are making updates without relying on external teams

Visual collaboration tool MURAL had a custom-developed site sitting on top of different technologies. The engineer who managed the site wasn’t even dedicated full-time to the task, which meant they were often too busy with product work to make updates requested by the marketing team. “Simple copy changes that should take minutes to implement took days, and bigger projects took weeks — if not months — to get live,” said David Chin, design strategist.

Their marketing team needed to capitalize on new business opportunities but couldn’t make changes fast enough to win those conversions. With help from the Webflow Enterprise team and a dedicated account representative, MURAL was able to migrate to Webflow easily through their procurement process. After regaining autonomy over their site, the MURAL marketing team made the updates they wanted faster and saw free trial conversions double on their website on Webflow as a result.

With enterprise-grade support, both Rakuten SL and MURAL were able to ditch antiquated processes and get their websites in shape quicker than they thought possible.

Build and launch your next site on Webflow Enterprise

Get your next product or idea live faster with Webflow. Scale away without worry with 99.9% uptime guaranteed and security measures that’ll pass any audit — all while your marketing and design teams launch innovative projects and your developers get to work on more interesting problems than updating commas on the home page.

  • Save yourself a lot of trouble. In 2020, we helped visual developers avoid writing 3 billion lines of code, helping enterprises advance their business objectives without code. That’s quite a lot of time spent on more important things.
  • Make your procurement team happy. We can check every box: Single sign-on, security audit compliance, SOC2 Type I certified (Type II in progress), and advanced DDoS protection. You can confidently move from a different platform or from custom code to Webflow without any fidelity lost. Leading companies like Dropbox and Zendesk trust us with their web hosting. Our server fleet infinitely expands to manage even your biggest traffic spike. And unlike WordPress, Webflow offers constant threat monitoring and a free SSL that won’t be compromised.
  • Don’t get abandoned after onboarding. Yes, you’ll have dedicated support, but not just in month one. We’ll help with optimizing your site once you’re launched and then provide regular touch points for training on new features for your whole team.
  • Get by with a little help from our friends. Access a rich, supportive community of Webflow Experts and full-service Enterprise Partners whenever you need.

Free up your development team to do the work they were meant to do, unlock opportunities for autonomy and excellence throughout your enterprise, and publish your best work now — not a month from now.

Chapter 2

Why marketing teams need to embrace no-code

There’s a lot of talk about the impact no-code makes for individual designers and creators, but what about the impact on the world of marketing?

Barrett Johnson
Barrett Johnson
? Reading time
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An interview with Scott Brinker (VP of Platform Ecosystem, Hubspot) has been condensed and edited. 

How do you summarize the no-code movement from your perspective?

I summarize the no-code movement by saying it's essentially giving the power. That you used to have to rely on experts — specialists in a particular discipline — to do things for you: web development or app development or integration, or a whole bunch of things that now as a general business user, you can do many of these things yourself.

The label I’ve applied to the no-code movement is ‘citizen creator.’ I lean on the phrase citizen creator because we should think about it as anyone can do this. A citizen in the broadest sense of the word, Creator because that's really what it's about. It's about eliminating all these barriers that existed between having an idea and delivering something out to the world. 

What’s your history with the no-code movement and how have you seen it change over time?

I was preparing the keynote for the 2018 MarTech conference and I was seeing enough examples of how people were using tools like Zapier to connect different tools to their MarTech stack. So I brought together this panel: the CEOs of Zapier and If This Then That, and the CMO of Tableau, and we just started to chat about no-code. At the time, most people, even if they were using some of these tools, didn't actually see the connective tissue that was greater than the sum of its parts. That was when I really started getting interested in no-code.

But now, in these past few years, no-code has been a rocket ship in pretty much every dimension. The number of solutions that we could put under this banner that are in the market; the growth of the most popular solutions such as Webflow; the adoption rates. We're really seeing people take advantage of these tools and it feels like the start of a golden age.

What are the most common misperceptions of no-code in the marketing world?

I think probably the biggest misconception is still about the “no-code” label. If people are unfamiliar with this space, they tend to hone in on the code piece and they're like, “Well, I wasn't coding things in the first place, so why would I need to use ‘no coding’ tools?”

But this misses the point. For all those things you wanted to do that you couldn't get done or you had to file a ticket for, or had to spend $10,000 on an outside agency, those are all tasks that, all of a sudden, there's just an entire swath of tools to help.

Now, you can just create. If you can draw an idea on a whiteboard, you're not that many steps away from actually turning it into something real that you can share with the world. Anyone can take advantage of no-code.

Another misconception is that when people think of no-code they think it can only apply to a relatively narrow universe of things — some sort of programming — but I do think the scope of what's possible in the space is much larger.

I sometimes use the analogy with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which has been another popular topic in marketing because of the big impact it’s having. At this point, every major marketing product out there in the universe has some sort of machine learning capabilities built into it. And it's making life easier for marketers without them even consciously realizing that they're using machine learning power and tools to get their job done.

What areas of marketing tech dramatically need the most reshaping or help via no-code?

Let’s pick three challenges marketing has had: Producing interactive digital content out in the world quickly, integrating multiple technologies that might exist within my MarTech stack, and then data analysis and really being able to self-serve insights about what’s working.

What types of team members do you see doing the no-code development work? 

Digital marketing in particular exploded the number of use cases and the number of things that companies needed to do to engage with customers online. You had this whole emergence of the MarTech industry, which has grown to thousands of products.

Marketers then ended up taking on these tools, partly because they needed to get the work done and also because these tools were a lot easier to adopt. In the early days this was called shadow IT. This digital transformation journey has gone hand in hand with the democratization of technology.

And while it’s great that everyone now has this power, we do need some governance. You have to pay really close attention to how you’re managing data. There are real, legal implications, especially from a compliance perspective.

What’s the first step for a company interested in no-code development?

There's the first step that most take, which is somebody has a project and a credit card. And they just do it themselves with a particular tool. They do a project and share it and people find it kind of cool. Then someone else has another project and asks to learn the tool, and it starts to spread organically. Once it starts to get recognition by executives it's because there's actually quite a few success stories.

And when you have the discussion at the executive level, eventually there’s a feeling you should standardize on a couple of these tools so there can be common training, more reuse, and more sharing. Once executives see individual people use these tools to create something of value the value of them is no longer theoretical. It’s already working for you today. So then you wonder how you scale it up? And that's just a much better conversation to have. You can look at a lot of platforms and see this pattern of empowerment.

Chapter 3

How real time marketing fosters a growth mentality

Discover what real time marketing is, the important role it plays within marketing teams, and how it fosters an environment for growth.

Read chapter

The goal of marketing is to strengthen your company’s bond with your customers — both existing clients and new consumers within your target audience.

But marketing initiatives have historically been one-sided. You put your billboard, poster, or other ad out into the world based on what you think will resonate with your audience, and you wait and hope those efforts turn into sales or conversions.

The era of waiting and hoping is coming to an end. You don’t have to yell into a void and hope anymore. Instead, you can use real time marketing to turn marketing initiatives into two-way conversations.

Modern technology has made it possible for brands to monitor consumer responses to marketing initiatives and then adapt campaigns and assets based on those responses. And the best part? This process of sharing, observing, and adapting translates to significant growth for marketing teams and businesses as a whole.

What exactly is real time marketing?

Real time marketing is the process of monitoring consumer responses to marketing messaging and materials (such as blogs, web pages, and social ads) and then adapting in real time. Real time marketing means being able to make changes on the fly based on how your clients or users are engaging with your marketing campaigns.

Why most businesses haven't adopted real time marketing yet

Although real time marketing has been around since at least the ’90s, many businesses have yet to adopt this strategy. There are three main reasons why:

  1. Pivoting marketing strategies quickly is challenging because marketing decisions often require approval from multiple stakeholders; even the adoption of real time marketing as an overall process requires stakeholder approval.
  2. Businesses don’t have the tools to view real time analytics, or they lack the tools required to actually make changes in real time.
  3. The idea of real time marketing makes people uncomfortable — largely due to a misunderstanding about how real time marketing works.

Real time has become the go-to mode of operating when it comes to everything but marketing. We use real time traffic data nearly every time we get in a car. Real time video chats are standard meeting venues for business partners from different cities and time zones.

But a study conducted by the CMO Council revealed that just 7% of marketers are able to “deliver real-time, data-driven engagements across physical and digital [marketing] touchpoints, and only 5 percent say they are able to determine the bottom-line impact of these engagements.” Fewer than 1 in 10 marketers are leveraging real time marketing. And it’s time that changed.

How real time marketing fosters growth

Real time marketing fosters an adaptive environment where your team’s capabilities and tech abilities can flourish. 

Growth is a result. It’s not something you do; it’s something you achieve. Real time marketing breaks large scale growth into manageable parts, so that you can master each one independently. And when they come together they make a beautifully composed symphony.

Enables incremental optimizations

When you conduct real time marketing, you make small changes, updates, and optimizations regularly. You continually nurture and tinker with your assets instead of setting them and forgetting them.

When many people think of marketing activities, they think of complete website overhauls or massive campaigns that take a lot of time. And when these same people picture “real time marketing,” they believe it means packing all of the work required for complete overhauls into a fraction of the time. This misconception understandably causes many marketers to be afraid of, or feel overwhelmed by, the idea of real time marketing.

But real time marketing isn’t about packing six months’ worth of work into one day; it’s about supplementing your major campaign initiatives with small steps you can easily take each day. Real time marketing helps teams think about growth from multiple angles. Instead of just completely redoing image layouts or adding whole pages, teams learn to look for smaller changes, like shifting a call-to-action box or tweaking language.

“Real time marketing helps teams think about growth from multiple angles. Instead of just completely redoing image layouts or adding whole pages, teams learn to look for smaller changes, like shifting a call-to-action box or tweaking language.”

Take your website, for example. When you start a business, your website is one of the first things you build. And it’s so important to you — it’s how you present yourself to the world. But once that site is launched, many people just forget about it, or, at the very least, they don’t nurture it continually. Updates become daunting once-a-year projects.

With real time marketing, teams can approach growth in a more holistic way. An incremental adjustment that we recently tested out here at Webflow involved overlay opacity. We hypothesized that the background behind one of our CTA boxes was too distracting, thus reducing conversions. 

For a small sample of viewers, we eliminated the background noise and then monitored responses to this small adjustment for several days. This small shift produced statistically significant results — and actionable insights on small visual changes we could make to create a clearer user experience.

webflow sign up cta
The two styles of sign up modals tested differences in overlay opacity.

Improves agility

Massive companies may not be able to move quite as quickly as a startup can, but real time marketing makes it easier for companies of all sizes to improve their agility.

Smaller businesses and startups can use real time marketing analytics to make changes and perform A/B testing daily. Say you own an ecommerce clothing company, and you’re trying to gauge the value and effectiveness of product videos across your website and social platforms. Using a real time marketing strategy, you could display four different video edits, each to a quarter of your visitors, and monitor responses in real time to quickly see which format is most effective.

Midsize companies may want to test out ideas in more controlled groupings. At Webflow, we typically trial marketing initiatives with just 10% of our user base at a time. And we use timeboxing to control the duration of our trials. Controlling launches this way empowers your team to pitch more creative ideas and makes it easier to get stakeholder approval.

Large corporations with multiple stakeholders can use the same control methods (percentage of rollout and timeboxing) as midsize companies to reduce their risk when trying out marketing initiatives. And marketing teams at companies with multiple stakeholders that simply can’t move as quickly could use corporate microsites or lower-traffic URLs to test out initiatives.

Real time marketing empowers businesses to respond quickly to current events or unexpected challenges — in addition to empowering teams to pivot faster and try out more creative ideas. It lets you put things out into the world that might be half-baked because you can continue refining them after they’re published.

For example, when COVID hit, the team here at Webflow knew we could serve a lot of businesses that might be struggling with digital representation. So, we offered Webflow for free for three months. We built a campaign around this and launched it in a matter of days—because we knew we had the flexibility to make changes as needed. The campaign was ‘good enough’ to start with, but not perfect and we knew this.Once we launched the site, we determined what elements were missing based on user interactions. We added a connection to our Webflow Experts program, which helped business owners with less technical expertise link up with Webflow pros to get assistance. When you’re faced with a pandemic — or any number of real-life situations where you want and need to be there for your customers — that agility and flexibility to learn and adapt on the fly is vital.

webflow SMB covid landing page

Get started with real time marketing

To get started with real time marketing, you need real time analytics and a process that enables you to adapt based on those analytics.

Monitor analytics in real time

These two analytics tools will help you understand exactly what’s happening in your customer’s journey, from their first interaction all the way through to retaining. You’ll be able to monitor responses to your marketing initiatives in real time using these software solutions.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you a foundational understanding of how users are interacting with your website: where traffic is coming from, which pages are driving in the most views, and much more. Think of this as your jumping-off point for real time marketing. And since Google Analytics is free, businesses of all sizes can use it to monitor engagement.

If you’ve built a website using Webflow, connect Google Analytics to your project by going to your project settings and clicking on “Integrations.” There, you’ll find a direct link and step-by-step directions to link your Webflow project to Google Analytics.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful keyword and backlink monitoring tool. If your marketing initiatives involve search engine optimization (SEO), Ahrefs will help you identify keyword opportunities, gauge your domain authority, and understand what your competitors are doing. If you’ve never used Ahrefs before, this information guide is a great place to get started.

There are numerous other tools we’ve found useful to monitor and inform how we adjust our marketing approaches on the fly. These include Amplitude, Tableau, Pendo, and others, but what’s key is finding tools that give you real-time behavioral insights on a micro-level. In other words, get yourself a set of tools that not only tell you how much traffic you’re getting but also tell you specifically what people are doing on your website (or in your product) so you can assess their actions and adjust that experience accordingly.

Adjust marketing based on your findings

Once you’re set up with software such as Google Analytics, Amplitude, or Ahrefs, you can begin testing out small changes and tracking user response to those initiatives. Here’s the process real time marketers follow to adjust marketing initiatives:

Understand your baseline. Make sure you have a foundational understanding of your metrics. If you’re running an SEO campaign, for instance, you should get a sense of your blog’s pageviews, organic traffic, and conversions. Find out which of your blogs are bringing in the most organic traffic and which aren’t performing that well.

Make a hypothesis. Based on your findings from step 1, form a hypothesis about why certain assets are performing better than others. Using the same SEO campaign example, let’s say you notice that your top-converting blogs have CTA buttons that are a brighter color, which makes them more visible than lower-converting blogs. You might hypothesize that CTA boxes that stand out visually would drive more conversions across all of your content.

Test out your hypothesis. Based on the hypothesis above, a real time SEO marketing team would pick one to three underperforming blogs and adjust their CTA box to be brighter and more easily visible upon scrolling.

Draw an informed conclusion. Look at your analytics in real time and see if your hypothesis was correct. If these new CTA boxes have a positive effect on conversions, you can conclude that your hypothesis was right. If not, you can restart the process from the beginning and try out a new hypothesis.

The beauty of real time marketing is that if something doesn’t work, you can always go back to what you had before or simply stop your testing. So, don’t be afraid to fail. Try new things. Be curious.

Always be optimizing

Real time marketing empowers teams to be more creative, push boundaries, and achieve growth in new ways. And not all of this growth comes from A/B testing. You can also use real time insights to further your impact when a particular asset is performing really well.

Say you have a blog post that really takes off, and you reach the number one position in search results for a high-volume keyword. You see that this post, which closes with a link to another article on a related topic, is bringing in a lot of organic traffic. You could choose to link to a trial page or add a demo signup instead to capitalize on the organic traffic you now have coming in.

Real time marketing empowers businesses to always be optimizing. And it’s a no-brainer for businesses that believe it’s more disappointing not to have tried than to try and fail.

Chapter 4

MURAL moved to Webflow to bring their website back under control

MURAL migrated to Webflow to empower their design and marketing team to update their site without relying on engineers.

Mischa Vaughn
Mischa Vaughn
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“Ultimately, we wanted to control our own destiny when it came to the website, and Webflow gives us the freedom to make the changes we need without relying on other teams.”

— David Chin, Design Strategist at MURAL

Life before Webflow

Before the MURAL team moved to Webflow, their site was a custom-developed combination of multiple tools and technologies, managed part time by one engineer whose time was more often than not dedicated to product work — not marketing site updates.

“Simple copy changes that should take minutes to implement took days, and bigger projects took weeks — if not months — to get live.”

— David Chin

Without an easy, accessible way to update and maintain the site, the design and marketing team faced a number of ongoing issues: 

No unified, consistent design system. The site had grown from a lot of one-off pages that lacked visual consistency, and nobody maintained a central design system that dictated how new pages and sections should be built.

Extremely slow changes. Marketing and design needed to file tickets to make simple changes on the site, which, as MURAL’s Design Strategist David Chin describes, meant that “simple copy changes that should take minutes to implement took days, and bigger projects took weeks — if not months.”

Lack of autonomy. Without true control of the site, the marketing and design team had a limited capacity to respond to requests and ideas from other teams and stakeholders since they had such difficulty getting their own projects and ideas live.

After looking into Webflow, MURAL’s design and marketing team decided to make the switch so they could “control their own destiny” and truly own their company website.

Making the switch

Once the team decided to migrate their website to Webflow, Webflow’s Enterprise team worked through MURAL’s procurement process requirements by providing security details, putting in place a Master Services Agreement, and including a 99.99% website hosting service-level agreement to ensure the MURAL site stayed up and running. Webflow also helped the MURAL team onboard with a dedicated account representative who provided training, technical support, and answered ongoing questions from all departments.

At the same time, MURAL’s Design Strategist David Chin worked closely with a Webflow Expert to create and implement their new design system and build out the website pages. All in, from the moment they decided to make the switch to the day they went live, “the process of migrating took about three months.” As they migrated, their Webflow account representative was also there to provide guidance on performance optimization, CMS usage and best practices, and any other questions that came up.

A better, faster process

Now when we publish new content we can get feedback and make adjustments all in the same week, without relying on any external teams.

— David Chin

With Webflow powering their website, MURAL’s design and marketing team now has the autonomy to make changes on their website much more quickly. Getting new pages live is now simpler thanks to the unified design system that dictates how new pages can be assembled, and the design team is able to implement changes directly without going through rounds of feedback and iteration with engineering.

On a day-to-day basis, Webflow helps the team react much faster to feedback. As David describes it, “when we publish new content we can get feedback and make adjustments all in the same week without relying on any external teams.” This independence allows the team to support initiatives of other teams better, and “made the backlog of website projects much more fluid.”

Measurable improvements

Aside from the autonomy and speed Webflow’s given the MURAL team, they’ve seen a measurable improvement in their website’s performance since making the switch:

  • 37% increase in revenue share from self-serve visitors
  • More than 2x conversion rate increase from visitor to free trial signup

All in, Webflow’s empowered MURAL’s design and marketing team move faster by taking back control of their website and making changes on their own. By removing their reliance on engineering, the team at MURAL is now truly enabled to "control their own destiny".

Chapter 5

How Webflow gives marketing teams a competitive advantage

Learn how Webflow revolutionized Lattice’s marketing department.

Alex Kracov
Alex Kracov
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Website development is a common blocker for marketing teams. But it doesn’t have to be.

Marketers dream about awesome campaigns, but when it comes to actually bringing those campaigns to life they are typically brought back down to reality. The engineering team is too focused on building the core product and external agencies are too expensive. 

It’s a familiar story at companies around the world that marketers struggle to get engineering resources. Unfortunately, marketers get too accustomed with this reality. Instead of thinking big and building campaigns that they know are amazing, marketers limit their ideas based on their access to engineering resources. 

Webflow changes the game for marketers, eliminates the common engineering challenge, and turns dreams into reality.

The Webflow workflow

Over the past two years, we’ve used Webflow at Lattice and it’s elevated our marketing program.

Prior to Webflow, we worked with a freelance developer to get our marketing website built. The process was typical of most development processes — wires/design in Sketch or Figma and then code the site (Github, DatoCMS, etc.). It was an okay process, but we would frequently miss launch deadlines and have to wait days for small changes on the website.

Now, we don’t have any developers working on the marketing team. We just have our internal design team (two full-time employees) designing and building our website. In this new world, we go straight from Figma to Webflow. We limit any miscommunication because the same person who designs gets to build, so we’re able to move at a much faster pace. 

Importantly, the marketers on the team also have access to Webflow which empowers the team to create and make changes as needed. We have two marketers who are actually able to build pages and work in the Designer. But then we also have 12 other marketers who use the Editor to update CMS items and make small changes across the site. 

No longer do we need to wait for a developer to add a field to a CMS, fix a typo or redesign a landing page. We’re able to make changes in the moment, and this allows us to not get bogged down with endless ticket requests and keep our marketing process fairly decentralized. We’re also saving a bunch of money by not having a full-time developer on staff or using an agency to update our website.

Webflow turns dreams into reality

While building Lattice, we’ve had a bunch of ideas around how to improve everything from our marketing program to our customer experience. With Webflow, we’re able to make these ideas come alive.

Here are a few examples featuring what we’ve been able to do with Webflow: 

Build a media site

A core philosophy behind our marketing program is that we operate like a media company. We create tons of content ranging from articles to videos to podcasts and create opportunities for our customers to network online and offline. The team is constantly creating content, so we needed a robust CMS and website experience to showcase the team’s work.

With Webflow, we were able to easily revamp our Library and created a community space in a couple weeks of focused work. This was all done through the work of our internal teams.

Lattice libary

Teach customers how to use the product

The customer success team came to the marketing team with a challenge around how to scale customer education. We didn’t have enough CX members on staff to support every single implementation and question, so we needed a way to create for customers to self serve and find valuable information.

The end result of this project is Lattice University, which features 167 video lessons across three different personas. 

Lattice University

Help customers with implementation

Over the years, Lattice has moved up-market and has started to serve bigger customers. As you start to serve more enterprise customers, change management becomes a bigger challenge. We needed to find a way to empower our admins to teach the rest of the company about Lattice.

We came up with this idea to create a Change Management Hub that would provide a series of custom decks, intro emails and custom collateral that would help with the Lattice implementation.

With a couple weeks of work, a marketer (who doesn’t know how to code) was able to bring this Change Management Hub to life. 

lattice change management hub

Support account executives with complex sales deals

As part of our move up-market, we’ve thought critically about how to better support our enterprise sales team navigate complex deal cycles. One crazy idea we had was to create a partner portal. A single place where a prospect can view information about the product they are interested in buying.

With Webflow, we were able to turn this dream into reality. We created a dynamic experience using Tabs+CMS inputs and developed a way for our sales team to share custom content related to their deal cycle. You’ll see in the screenshots below that we can now share everything from conversation notes, to pitch decks to pricing all through this partner portal. We even have a “sign in” page that notifies a sales rep when someone looks at the portal.

lattice partnership page

Webflow gives marketers super powers

In the end, Webflow is an incredible platform that has really leveled up Lattice’s marketing. Here’s a summarized view of how Webflow helps marketing programs: 

  • Save money
  • Move faster and run more campaigns/programs
  • Empower marketers to be creative 
  • Turn dreams into reality
  • Support our customers across the customer lifecycle
  • Provide tools to internal teams
  • Differentiate from the competition 

We use Webflow across each stage of the customer lifecycle, and our customer experience has drastically improved whether it’s your first time hearing about Lattice or if you’re a long time customer. 

Lattice Webflow across lifecycles
Of course, everything featured in this post is only made possible by the talented Lattice team who work with Webflow everyday. Shout out to Luc, Damien, and Derek.
Chapter 6

Spend your cash on customer experience, not servers

The great thing about no-code solutions today is that they empower you to focus on providing a more personalized customer experience.

Jeff Cardello
Jeff Cardello
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No-code means putting your budget on building memorable customer experiences, rather than focusing heavily on infrastructure.

Bryant Chou, CTO and cofounder of Webflow, loves to talk about how this liberation from managing the backend will change how brands connect with their audience.

In 2009, Chou was a junior engineer working at Intuit. His job effectively came to a standstill as the company went into a state of reorganizational limbo.  During this idle time, he set out to create an app based on cutting-edge technology for the time — Android 1.5.

Inspired by his childhood love of chatting with his friend on walkie-talkies, he decided to create an app based on this immediate two-way communication. After diving in and learning the ins and outs of building an app on Android 1.5, Chou finished it and aptly titled it Hoot. With a simple interface of one red button, you could record and zap out a message to anyone on your contact list.

Chou put out this app for free and gained quite a bit of traction, cracking the top ten of trending free apps in the Google Play Store — reaching 10,000 downloads in a month. Naturally, he was excited about creating a viral hit app — that is, until he received a bill from Amazon Web Services. His feelings of elation over the app taking off were crushed when he learned he owed $300 for the infrastructure that made it possible.

“I could either spend a lot of time on this app making it better because it was so raw and had a ton of bugs, or I had to scale this server to make it more performant. And essentially I had a tough call to actually shut it down.” 

Bryant Chou

He made the hard decision and pulled the plug on Hoot.

Infrastructure used to be complicated

Just 10 years ago, you had to know how to scale databases if you wanted to run a popular website or app. And if you didn't, you had to hire someone who did. Keeping things updated and running smoothly required continuous effort, taking up a lot of time.

Today, you don’t have to concern yourself with what happens in the backend. Webflow takes care of security, maintenance, and scalability to keep things running so you can focus on what’s important — the customer experience.

Webflow means protection

There are so many bad actors out there ruining the internet. Webflow keeps you protected from a wide array of threats that WordPress is especially susceptible to, including:

  • Brute force attacks
  • SQL injection
  • Malware
  • Cross-site scripting
  • DDoS attacks
  • Vulnerabilities from outdated versions of WordPress or PHP versions

Webflow also does regular penetration testing, which is a controlled way to execute a fake cyberattack to see how security measures are holding up. Being liberated from dealing with these things on the backend gives you more time to put effort into other areas.

“Makers can build the best possible products and work on things that actually matter like marketing, growth, leveraging the data that you’re collecting, as well as automation.”

Bryant Chou

Webflow makes scalability automatic

Webflow’s network of websites receive billions of views a month. Let that sink in. That's a lot of page views. Some web hosting providers would get bogged down with this colossal amount of traffic — or worse, go offline. But because Webflow’s hosting speeds are like a bullet train, loading times are extremely fast and they can easily scale up to accommodate surges of traffic.

Webflow uses modern technologies for absolute scalability, including:

  • Amazon Web Services and their DDoS protection layer shield
  • NLB Global Accelerator for load balancing
  • Kubernetes to manage the server side
  • Amazon S3 for data storage
  • The database service DynamoDB
  • A specialized version of NGINX that powers 10% of the internet
“It doesn’t make sense running your own marketing site, company blog, or ecommerce store anymore when the intricacies are taken care of by Webflow.”

Bryant Chou

How does Webflow do it? Webflow spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a month managing, maintaining, and updating its infrastructure, and has a team of engineers and experts staying on top of things. And it works. With 99.999% uptime and an average page load time of 400 ms, it’s stable and quick.

The no-code movement lifts the weight of having to deal with software, servers, and other technical aspects of running a website. It lets you focus on putting effort into marketing and other avenues of growing your brand.

No-code frees you to market better

"As a late millennial myself, we’re not necessarily a generation who responds to sales well.”

Bryant Chou

The marketing landscape has changed, and to reach this younger generation brands need to build more than a digital platform of bland self-promotion. They need to put something on the web that has depth. To connect with this younger demographic, and to provide a better experience for everyone, the focus needs to be on the customer. When you don't have to worry about code or what's running the backend, you can give customers an optimal customer experience.

Customer experience supercharges traditional marketing and brings momentum with greater sales and growth of repeatable product lead growth. Products, along with data and automation, are the fuel that drives stellar customer experience.

How customer experience will transform the future

“A renewed focus on customer experience that involves growth, product, and marketing can really empower modern-day sales and marketing motions so that we can actually build companies through product lead growth.”

Bryant Chou

Customer experience marketers' expertise encompasses product, content, and growth marketing. They know their audience and work with marketing teams to develop a content strategy and deliver content that their audience will find valuable. They collaborate with visual developers — another important role in customer experience — to craft this content.

The customer experience stack

The customer experience stack makes it possible to offer an individualized and consistent experience for each person navigating through a brand’s digital space. Data shapes what they see, and how they interact. Each layer of the customer experience stack comes together in fostering more personal connections with a brand’s audience.

customer experience stack

Personalization and AI

This evolution of marketing requires a new approach to the customer experience stack. Personalization and AI occupy the top tier of this reimagined customer experience stack. User attributes and data are gathered and integrated into different applications, like Clearbit or MonkeyLearn, so each person using a website has a personalized experience.

Experience and commerce

Experience and commerce occupies the next level down the customer experience stack. This is where a brand gets the chance to make a good impression and where an audience can interact and buy things from them.

Life cycle

The type of messaging, when it’s delivered, and the channels that deliver it matter in making sure that customers get the right information when they need it. Tools like Zendesk for customer service, Iterable for engaging across different platforms, and ActiveCampaign for marketing automation can help facilitate this communication.

Data

This level of the customer experience stack involves data — both where it’s kept and how it can be accessed. Tools like Segment, which catches data and transports it to other software, or Snowflake, which compresses down and structures data, are helpful in managing data.

Automation

This level of the stack mechanizes all of the personalized data and transmits it to tools like Parabola, Retool, and Zapier, where data can be analyzed and utilized.

Customer experience is multifaceted

“That’s what, in my opinion, is the exciting thing about customer experience in the future: where you’re really thinking about customer experience from a holistic standpoint and using the best-in-class tools to provide it.”

Bryant Chou

A website is the focal point in a brand’s circle of marketing. The information and data a customer shares gets shuttled off to connected platforms like Zapier, HubSpot, and Salesforce, further enhancing the customer experience and helping a brand better serve their customers.

customer experience wheel

No-code ushers in a new decade of customer experience

No-code isn’t meant to sleight those who have the expertise and passion for all that is data, servers, and infrastructure. Webflow depends on these noble tech geeks to keep things running for the thousands of websites that it hosts.

Why worry about these things when you don’t have to? Keep things simple so you can jump on the swelling wave that is customer experience and build a better brand.

Chapter 7

Take your website back: Why enterprises need no-code

The time for a fundamental change to how websites are built — especially at larger companies — couldn’t be more urgent.

Barrett Johnson
Barrett Johnson
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For most large companies, marketing and design teams have no shortage of ideas for how they want to improve their site, but making those improvements actually happen is all too often a technological and organizational nightmare.

With outdated and bloated frameworks, overly complex tech stacks, and developer-driven workflows under the hood of corporate websites, creating new web pages and making changes to existing websites is frequently more hassle than it’s worth.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Webflow Enterprise offers all the power and speed of Webflow’s visual development platform, backed by the scalability, security, and support enterprises demand.

This means gone are the days of static, boring websites, gone are the endless and expensive web resources, and gone is the frustration of wasted time and creativity. It means updating, experimenting and innovating on your website in real-time, visually, without sacrificing customization or security.

It’s time to take your website back and build smarter with Webflow Enterprise.

No matter what stage you’re at, we can help: you can start with a single page (even on your core domain), a microsite, or chat with us about moving all your sites over.

What’s included in Webflow Enterprise

Performance and reliability

  • Uptime SLA. We’ll guarantee both Webflow and your hosted sites stay up and running with an uptime SLA.
  • Custom hosting limits. Work with our team to set custom monthly pageview, bandwidth, and API rate limits for hosted websites.
  • Traffic burst support. We’ll ensure your site is ready for any surges in traffic that come our way.
  • Advanced DDoS protection. Built-in protection from domain denial of service (DDoS) attacks powered by AWS Shield Advanced.
  • Global uptime monitoring. Regular monitoring of your site from global endpoints, along with priority support for any incidents that may occur.

Security and compliance

  • Single sign on (SSO). Secure logins across your organization SSO support (available now for select customers).
  • Custom security header configuration. Set up custom security headers to prevent activities like cross-site scripting attacks, iframe embedding, and other domain level security issues. 
  • Robust security reviews. We’ll provide a full rundown on our risk and cybersecurity frameworks as well as industry-specific controls that are applicable specifically to our product.
  • Master services agreement. We’ll work with your team to set custom terms and conditions that meet your organization’s legal requirements and procurement needs.
  • Payment via purchase order. We’ll send you invoices and let your accounting team pay by ACH.

Dedicated support

  • Onboarding and customer success. We’ll tailor an onboarding program for your team, including training, design system setup, and best practices advice.
  • Integration consultation and services. Our solutions team will help work through technical questions and create proof of concepts for critical integrations.
  • Quarterly reviews. Dedicated Technical Customer Success Specialist will meet quarterly to review your website and provide guidance for optimization and best practices to ensure a modern presence.
  • Multi-domain integration. Only using Webflow for part of a website? Work with our team to configure a reverse proxy and serve pages from your Webflow projects on your root domain.

What’s on our roadmap

Here’s a look at some of the projects we’re already working on for enterprise customers:

  • Improved roles and permissions. As part of our larger efforts to improve collaboration workflows for all Webflow customers, we’re tackling some of the top enterprise-requested permissions around content publishing workflows, safeguarding project access, and more.
  • SOC-2 compliance. We’re actively working with external auditors to ensure our product and hosting stack meets SOC-2 standards, and are expecting this certification in 2021.

How our team can help

We’re happy to field questions and advise you on what it might take to use Webflow for your next project. Some topics we can help with:

  • WordPress migration strategies. We’ll walk you through what a typical WordPress migration looks like, answer technical questions, and advise on best approaches.
  • Integrating Webflow projects on your domain. Want to start small with a single page project? We’ll advise your engineering team on how to connect Webflow-powered pages to your core domain via reverse proxy.
  • Design system migration and setup. We’ll help you understand the options and approach your team can take when setting up your design system in Webflow.
  • Webflow Expert referrals. We’ll connect you directly with one of our enterprise-certified Enterprise Partners based on the needs and requirements of your team.

To get the conversation started, get in touch with our team today.