Build Trust & Create Relationships: Interview with Katarina Andrejević

Build Trust & Create Relationships: Interview with Katarina Andrejević

Welcome to Marketer Interview, where we feature conversations with marketers making a difference in their field.

This edition has Katarina Andrejević, a Customer Advocate at Userlist. She is a customer marketer who believes in being helpful first and building trustworthy relationships with her audience.

Katarina has worked as a freelance writer with a passion for smooth user experience and neat microcopy. She is now part of a remote team that delivers quality content and product marketing.

She is also a strong advocate of remote work and constantly explores the tools that make remote work more convenient.

In this interview, we’ll discuss Katarina’s career journey, her expertise in customer marketing, and the tools she uses to succeed in her field.

Can you tell us about your marketing journey?

I ended up in marketing by convenience and stayed because I liked what I found.

As an English language and literature student, I initially started looking for gigs related to literary translation, but those were few and hard to find.

So I found myself in freelance content writing initially, which I’ve done for a few years before joining my first startup as part of community operations (it was a marketing tool, and I went from a super user to an employee, still one of my favorite experiences).

Since then, I’ve always found myself on the bridge between product and people, which is to some extent true even now with Userlist.

As a customer advocate, I answer customer needs and represent the customer’s voice within my team.

What do you think sets customer marketing apart from other marketing approaches?

I don’t think any other approach amplifies the voice of the customer as much. So, yes, we often say we listen to our customers, and our customers come first.

To some extent, that is true, but with customer marketing, that is taken one big step further.

Your customer is no longer just a passive product or service user. He is the amplifier of what you do. Do you know how every brand dreams of their primary source of leads being word of mouth? Customer marketing is the way to go.

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What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?

If I had to single one out, I’d say it was the transition from freelancing (relying on freelance platforms) to becoming employed in-house.

I come from a small town in the middle of Serbia, which didn’t make networking easy. And being an introvert, it took some time for me to get out of my shell online.

It happened that I was a power user of a product I liked. So I reached out to offer my skills and time and got a position that turned into a 2-year adventure.

During that time, I gathered more knowledge about marketing than I did in all my time freelancing, and I gathered more networking opportunities than I could count.

It helped me feel like I was a part of the industry and made all future career switches that much easier.

Can you describe your approach to creating content that resonates with your audience?

One thing I loved during my interviewing with Userlist was that our approach to content matched. Just like me, they also prefer creating content for the sake of sharing knowledge first.

It means that I’d always opt for quality rather than quantity. It will always rely more on long tail keywords, problems they frequently face, and questions they reach out with on socials and communities than anything else.

How do you measure the success of your customer marketing campaigns, and what metrics do you typically track?

Right now, we don’t have specific metrics that we can say were affected by customer marketing solely.

However, good indicators and what we’re currently tracking is traffic, direct and from referrals, as well as the number of leads and demos.

What are some of the most critical skills for a marketer?

In my case, and probably because I am always on that bridge between people and the product, the two main ones are empathy and the ability to zoom out and look at the situation from a bird-eye view.

Understanding the bigger picture and then figuring out how your work fits in with the rest of your company is essential, especially when you’re out there as a vocal representative of your brand.

I can condense everything else into the willingness to learn continuously and good project management skills. 🙂

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Can you share tips for building a remote work culture that fosters collaboration and productivity?

  1. Communicate often and transparently: This goes for both management and everyone else. There is nothing wrong with communicating both successes and mistakes. It helps us relate more to one another.
  2. Respect boundaries: Let your team have quiet time. Avoid sending alerts or bothering with questions in the evenings and on weekends. Employees who can disconnect and relax are likelier to return to work more energetic and motivated.
  3. Fewer meetings: It means a lot. And if you’ve done an excellent job hiring, are good at asynchronous communication, and are sure your team has all the necessary information to do their job, let them have fewer meetings. It helps tremendously with reducing the context switch and gives them much more time to be productive.

What are your favorite tools and software for customer marketing?

I’m afraid I don’t have much to share in that regard.

I spend an awful lot of time in different Slack communities, but I don’t use any tool to monitor the conversations relevant to me. So, over time, I just better understood what communities and channels are more relevant to my target group.

We recently started using Mention to discover exciting conversations outside of Slack. Other than that, we use HelpScout for support, which is more or less it.

Can you share a particularly successful customer marketing campaign you’ve worked on?

Interestingly enough, we haven’t done a public campaign like that with Userlist yet. But we are working on something now.

Overall, we strive to be helpful across communities and social media, and sometimes those “acts of advocacy” happen. This is an incredible feeling, and we can frequently use them as our testimonials across our landing pages and socials.

What advice would you give to someone just starting in customer marketing?

Regarding relevant content, there is an excellent podcast called Beating the Drum and a newsletter called CMA Soulmate.

I am also actively involved in the CMA community, and they often share decent articles and start good discussions (both beginner friendly and not).

Other than that, I recommend being involved in the communities where your customers/leads are and listening in on demos and customer interviews. It will really help you understand who your customers are, their pain points, how they are using your product or service, and how you can help make their experience with you that much better.

For someone just starting, this marketing area may feel more abstract compared to paid ads, social media, or product marketing. But it’s a very rewarding area that can reflect your brand significantly.

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