Discussion should be civil of course. At the same time civility should not prevent us from calling things by their true names.
Trust me, I derive no personal pleasure in using harsh words on Webflow. I strongly desire Webflow to succeed - for the very least, because there’s hardly any decent alternative out there.
This is exactly why I think Webfow should receive criticism before it’s too late.
The community is supportive and nice and this great. But this is great only to the extent to which we help each other with our daily design work. Beyond that, it goes to the extreme of some sheepish admiration of Webflow, dismissing anything which may hurt the rose-tinted version of reality.
I can see far too many red flags and I raise my voice about them, because I do want Webflow to continue to be great. Great, not just good enough.
No uncivility intended whatsoever, but you are totally lost when it comes to marketing. I am not aiming to insult you by saying this. I am stating what I perceive to be a fact. I might be right about this, I might be wrong - but in all cases I am supporting my statement with specific arguments. If I were not, it’d have been rude and insulting, but that is not the case.
I am not accusing you either - I just wish that you realized some things, which are too evident to an outsider. I have been propagating Webflow all the time to all sorts of tech & design guys. That is not a representative sample of course, but it does hint at some highly probable, common sense conclusions. My observation is that it is mostly the extra smart and open-minded guys who grasp the value of Webflow and appreciate it.
The majority of other people, the huge volume of potential customers - that is, the big money - they sneer just at the mention that an alternative of Wordpress could possibly exist. And you are not addressing them properly.
Your sponsored Facebook posts, your design workshops, your new redesign - that goes unnoticed or ignored by them.
And then we have your pricing. Pricing is one of the pillars of marketing. You’ve been failing on that miserably, on a consistent basis. I think this aspect does not need any detailed explanation and examples…
Don’t get me wrong again, I am not accusing you. Blame is not what I care about. It is not even relevant, as you are designers first of all, not marketers. I just wish you did not live in an illusion world that your marketing is doing well. It needs serious fixes. You seem reluctant to admit that, though.
For instance, you say above: “which we’ve seen validated in our metrics since the new design was released”. But what if your metrics had been deeply flawed, just as your preliminary research on pricing had obviously been? Something of the sort that you had done research about the new pricing and it had been thought out well, and proven to be acceptable, was mentioned on one of your webinars… Given the actual outcome, wasn’t that laughable?
You seem to believe that a sleek site and social media activity would bring you new customers. This is so naive. This is so incompetent. When you released the visual Flex controls, I shared that post to a Facebook group about freelancing. It had something like over a hundred comments full of excitement. This is social media marketing - creating a great feature, worth talking about. All the rest comes free and naturally.
Sponsored Facebook posts telling me about design trends for 2017 or “15 unique website layouts”, are a pleasant read, but they are useless from a customer acquisition point of view. (Even though the so called “digital marketers” would like to lead you to believe otherwise.)
There’s nothing in such articles to make one want to try out Webflow. Simply because they are not about Webflow and what is even more important, they are not about Webflow vs Wordpress.
And all that pompous and bulls*it language in the “Redesigning Webflow.com, part 1” post… Come on guys, let’s get real, “To go along with our efforts to give Webflow more professional, technical spin, we wanted to introduce a new, sleeker visual language that would support that messaging.” is nothing but a piece of pesky commercial crap. Honestly, civility and uncivility aside, would a sentence like this keep you reading?
I don’t know about your metrics, but thinking that your redesign contributes towards making users differentiate Webflow from WYSIWYGs… Guys, you think I am uncivil, but I do respect your talent in building Webflow. And this is why I just cannot figure out, how is it possible for you, given your intellect, to be that naive to think that. If you really do, then, maybe, you are too insulated from the external world, within some stronghold of an over-comfortable comfort zone.
Webflow is a kind of product, which is immensely susceptible to organic word-of-mouth advertising. And this is great news. In order to stir up word-of-mouth the only thing you need to do is to improve the tool. Nothing more.
You do not need those two hires on the marketing team. You do not need the old hires. You do not need any marketing team different from product development and support. Any money spent on those two hires and other hires with similar functions, is money not being spent on improving the product.
That means no topics about great new features to take over social media organically and free, no over-enthusiastic users to evangelize Webflow, no unique selling advantages over Wordpress, no intuitive UI requiring much less support than it currently does and that on turn means no greater user base bringing more profit, which then means desperate attempts to generate cash through disproportionate price increases.