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“We're all people, and we respond to real humans"
Date Published:
Ryan McMillan from Atlas Digital
Ryan McMillan

#002 Jo Blundell: Building Brand Loyalty

One of the first product marketers at Xero during its hyper growth phase in 2015, Jo Blundell then became the Head of Product and Marketing at Timely off the back of its $7m capital raise from Movac in 2017. Under her leadership, Timely eventually exited at $100m+. Jo is a director of climate-tech venture CarbonCrop. She recently launched ArcStudio, an agency developing brand and go-to-market strategies for scale-up-stage companies.

Date Published:
Ryan McMillan from Atlas Digital
Ryan McMillan

Watch the highlights:

Here are some of our favourite snippets from our interview with Jo

We spoke with Jo Blundell about how Timely served their customers during COVID's tough times. When things were hard, Jo credits her success to leaning on her team's values and culture.

Jo’s experience reminds us to connect with the people behind the data. Within a SaaS company, people have all sorts of job titles and key results they need to achieve. By leaning into the humanity of your organisation and adopting the culture of your industry, you’ll move from being a transactional product, into something that makes people’s lives better. In our current economic climate, a human-oriented strategy could deliver more value by meeting people where they are. 


In this week’s longform article, Jo shares her top five lessons for serving customers in tough times:

  1. Customers are our Sun - “At Timely, we had a great culture, and it was very much like, here's a big goal, this is what we're going after. It's all about the customer, and making sure that we're delivering a great experience. They were the centre of everything.”
  2. The power of knowing what your customers stand for - Jo identified their customers at Timely were “people-people,” where trust, peer recommendations and industry reputation mattered.
  3. The humans behind the brand count - “We're all people, and we respond to real humans. And I think we've got a lot more empathy for another person sitting in front of us, than an anonymous brand. And I think that's when our brand really felt like it fit is when we stopped trying to be a perfect brand voice.”
  4. Dedicating energy to your team is key to international expansion - For founders launching overseas, Jo recommends spending as much time as possible on the ground with your team. “One of the lessons that I learned was, building a team requires a lot more in person nurturing. If I could have a do over, I would have spent more time in the UK market, working with the team that was there and making sure that everyone felt supported.”
  5. Adapt to the nuance of the United Kingdom - “We needed to recognise that UK Timely had its own culture that was of the UK because it was built by people from the UK. And we needed to embrace that as much as our own way of doing things here in New Zealand.”


Immerse yourself in Jo Blundell’s SaaS wisdom by watching the full interview💡


The trends we're noticing at Atlas Digital:

  • Temu is taking over. With an increase of 5,000% of searches per month, the discount marketplace is disrupting e-commerce with its blanket coverage of seeminghly all products. We think this will lead the market away from online drop shipping and into established 'superstores' that cut out the middle-people.
  • 2024 a bumper year for VC investment? With 2023 being one of the quietest since 2018, there are many VCs with dry powder and increasing expectations to deploy capital. While many companies may fail this year, the winners may just capture the lion's share of that investment.

SaaS Spotlight: Meet Noted

"Data saves lives” is how one health authority described Noted, a SaaS business providing a client management system for community-based health and social care providers.

In this recent article, published by eHealthNews, the CEO of one of New Zealand's largest Māori health providers explains how Noted supports their organisation to meet its goals. Kia kaha!

*Got a success story? Let us know if you want to feature on The Raise!

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