March 4, 2024

The Ultimate Customer Onboarder – Nasdaq

by Drew Neisser

I recently witnessed the stock BitFuFu going public on Nasdaq. It was quite a show offering multiple lessons for B2B marketers.

A show that Nasdaq reproduces about 500 times a year. And boy are they good at it. From the invitation to the parting pictures in Times Square, every moment is carefully orchestrated for maximum impact. And of course, all the while, I was thinking about the lessons for B2B marketers. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Set expectations early

I went to this event to support a friend from the Duke NY board. She had sold her company to BitFuFu and would now be a shareholder. I found out about it through an email from other alums which included a link to register. Here’s where things got interesting, instead of just registering with an email, you had to provide your photo ID which ultimately generated the equivalent of a building boarding pass I added to Apple Wallet. My impression – this would be a very efficient affair and we all would be treated like VIPs. 

If you are hosting an event, big or small, think about what you can do to elevate expectations. Does your registration process scream efficiency? Do your reminders generate excitement? Are you promising a unique experience? Is there an element of whimsy in the design or language of your pre-event communications? Ultimately, in-person events offer human-to-human interactions that aren’t replicable online. Make sure your pre-event comms set the stage.

  1. Create an onboarding experience

BitFuFu’s going public ceremony lasted about two hours, complete with a fancy breakfast with an omelet station, a brief welcome address, and a pep talk from the producer. Yes, they have a producer, with the requisite headset, who has blocked out every moment and every movement. And when it’s time for the big on-camera moment, the crowd dutifully erupts in cheers.

While you probably can’t stage such an elaborate onboarding experience for your customers, certainly you can do more than send a welcome email to celebrate the milestone. Considering that the sales process could have been 12 months or longer and that some buyers might be remorseful, take a page from Nasdaq’s book and do something to commemorate the moment. Perhaps you can send them a package of goodies that represents the experience they will have working with your product/service or a personalized gift that shows you were listening throughout the purchase journey. 

  1. Make it memorable

While heading from the breakfast to the main studio, the producer happened to be in our group. She noted that they do opening and closing bell ceremonies every day the market is open, roughly 500 times per year. While there are a lot of little moments, the climax happens with the entire supporting “cast” (including yours truly) on stage behind the CEO, cheering like Cameron Crazies, as confetti drops and the whole scene appears live on successive business channels. 

Audience members, even folks like me who had no business connection to BitFuFu, now feel a special connection to the brand. We were there at a seminal moment; one I won’t soon forget. This was a staged event, carefully orchestrated from start to finish. Are you thinking about your events with a plot line including a climax? If not, it’s a worthy exercise.  

  1. Make it newsworthy

Going public is a big deal. But ringing the opening bell or closing bell wouldn’t necessarily be newsworthy. That’s why Nasdaq creates a made-for-TV event out of it every business day. The stage is dynamic with video screens that replicate the ticker tapes of old. When you’re on the stage, you feel like you’re on TV even when the cameras aren’t rolling. So it’s little wonder that business channels like Fox News, CNBC, and CNN cover these events. 

The lessons for B2B marketers are obvious. If you have a big announcement, make sure you do it on a “stage” that is telegenic. Have the “bright shining objects” that look good on screen. If possible, when doing events, have some news ready to go that you can announce in front of employees, customers, friends, and the media. 

  1. Make it sharable

Throughout the two hours at Nasdaq, photographers were circulating, taking pictures that were then projected onto their Times Square video tower (see photo). To encourage social sharing, they also posted a QR code that linked to a folder with all the pictures. The kicker? When you link to the folder, the first pictures you see are the ones with you in them. Still trying to figure out how they did that but it was pretty darn cool.  

Every event is a sharing opportunity. You just need to make it easy whether it’s providing eye candy to spice up the pic, an event hashtag, or a shared folder with all of the images.  

Final note: If you’ve been to a great event, share what you learned.