Customer Spotlight: 9Lenses

April 22, 2015


In today's Customer Spotlight we are pleased to introduce you to the amazing team over at 9Lenses! A uniquely positioned customer of X, 9Lenses uses data and intelligence to help their business clients identify and navigate challenges. Confidently.

Q: Hi, 9Lenses! Can you tell us a little about your business and how you got started in online marketing?

A: 9Lenses is a tech startup in the DC Metro area that helps today’s leaders navigate their biggest business challenges by leveraging insights from all their stakeholders. In simpler terms, 9Lenses believes everybody in a company has a voice. Somewhere in that company, someone knows something better than anyone else, and that person has to be asked. Our software helps decision-makers find answers from their own people – a social approach to business optimization.

In terms of our online marketing efforts, we’ve focused on ramping up our inbound marketing capabilities, which has meant a heavy focus on online marketing. We started our online marketing efforts by developing authoritative and data-driven blog posts for our industry. This has grown into ebooks, whitepapers, social media marketing, email campaigns, and much more. Our website is the home to all our joint efforts and the prime asset of our online marketing game plan. It is an extension of our brand and is instrumental in affecting our bottom line through lead generation.

Q: What core values are important for B2B marketers to remember?

A: Our online marketing efforts have a heavy inbound marketing slant. Hence our marketing efforts are always surrounding our target audience, and they sometimes can be hyper-targeted, too.

As B2B marketers, we need the intrinsic ability to constantly learn through the content and online campaigns that we create. We believe that the most successful campaigns can engage the audience and get the audience to interact, and then we can learn from what the audience is saying. Based on the responses from the audience, we can fine-tune our campaigns and grow organically. A core goal for any B2B marketer should be to constantly improve content and marketing campaigns based on what he or she learns from the audience's response (or sometimes lack of response!)

Q: So, does that mean you are a marketing firm?

A: No, we are a technology startup whose CEO and Founder, Edwin Miller, understands the power of marketing. You could say the main service we provide is quantifying qualitative data from a company’s many stakeholders: management, employees, customers, and more.

For example, imagine you are the leader of an organization, and you want to ask five questions that need input from 1,000 people. You could walk around asking people and get some really deep insights, but that would not be scalable. You could quickly send out surveys, but the quality and depth of the data will be questionable. 9Lenses combines the best of both methods and adds Business Intelligence into the mix. Our interview engine can ask an unlimited number of people anything you want in just a few minutes, and you get the both qualitative and quantitative results in our analytics dashboard in far less time than it takes with traditional methods.

X Theme Comments Analysis

Q:Is 9Lenses only for questioning people who belong to a company, or can 9Lenses be used to get customer reviews, too?

Just as with X, there is a plethora of uses for 9Lenses. Our software can be scaled across industries and with various types of respondents. You may want to run a department-specific set of questions, or you could invite your customers to provide feedback. For instance, if Theme Co wanted to know what next feature the X-Theme customer really wants, then ThemeCo could send out our pre-built “Voice of the Customer” interview to every customer/stakeholder to get answers to fit this unique need.

Q: What do you hope people accomplish as a result of visiting your site?

When people visit our website, we want them to understand that we put people data on the map. We hope that businesses understand that their data cycle starts with human or social input and ends with human output.

We also want our website visitors to view our blog posts, which showcase our thought leadership, and stay to understand both the features of and use cases for our software.

Great! How/Why did you end up deciding to purchase X?

Once we had explored a few options, it was easy to see that X-Theme stood out as a theme that was both feature-rich and scalable. 9Lenses needed a flexible website solution that would help us compete with larger enterprises. We also needed a WordPress theme that could allow us to rapidly iterate and keep our momentum going in the ever-changing landscape of a startup.

The WordPress theme that we were originally using wasn’t flexible and only allowed one member of our team to make edits, since it required heavy coding.

With X-Theme, however, most of our team members can build beautiful pages from scratch.

Moreover, X provides a number of modern features that were previously unavailable to us. Not every site needs parallax sections, but it is nice to know the option is available. Same goes with breadcrumb navigation – we don’t currently use it, but we are happy that it can be put into play within minutes if needed.

What are some of your favorite features in X?

It’s hard to pick one feature when we are impressed with so many. Because X-Theme was created for marketers by marketers, it really gives all we need to succeed and then some more. Here are some of the top features of X-Theme that we enjoy using:

  1. Shortcodes: We find ourselves relying heavily on the built-in shortcodes provided by the theme. The shortcodes that come with the “Stack” for business sites (Integrity) get a lot of use from our team. It is simple to include any Integrity shortcode on any page or post.
  2. Responsiveness & Content Choreography: The responsive design is also flawless. Not only does the page respond easily to any screen size, but the use of visibility settings allows us to redefine the content choreography for various screen sizes. For example, if we’ve got a form displaying on the left side of the page, then we’d hide that on mobile so it would appear below the content.
  3. Inclusive Premium Plugins: The number of premium plugins that come as a part of X-Theme continue to hold value. We didn’t need many more than the ones that came with the theme. No theme will ever be able to anticipate and include every plugin, but what is included is well thought out and remains useful.
  4. Customized Page Builder: The customized page builder plugin continues to hold value. Our designer has used other themes with the page builder, but the changes X-Theme has made should seriously be considered as part of the page builder plugin’s core file. The customized version of the page builder plugin really makes all design decisions and iterations fast.
  5. Unique Portfolios: Multiple unique portfolios is one feature that we’re really impressed with, but haven’t yet had the opportunity to use. There are many potential applications. We do have plans in the future for this feature, but right now we are just impressed with the ability to move in that direction as needed.
  6. Excellent Support: Above all other features, perhaps the most impressive feature is the support X-Theme provides. Anytime we get stuck on an esoteric implementation, the knowledge base and support have always provided great and quick responses!

How has X-Theme helped 9Lenses?

Going back to an earlier point, we’re inbound marketing enthusiasts and really thought hard about finding a WordPress theme that would meet as many needs as possible (and boy did we have a lot of them!). X-Theme helped us rapidly get our entire site re-themed, and we anticipate we may not need to re-theme again for a long time. Keeping in mind that most websites re-theme every 18 months or so and that we had a large number of pages to recreate, it was certainly a major undertaking for the small team tasked with the project.

X-Theme provided an easier build and a flexible range of design options that other themes were not mature enough to include.

Not only that, but the coding of X-Theme was far better than that of our old theme, in which every change needed an incredible amount of ‘hacking’ to get even the simplest of changes made. Now, instead of only one person on our team being able to build and maintain the website, many people can help build it. Whether we use the included WP Bakery plugin or X-Theme’s shortcodes, we’re excited to continually find new ways X-Theme can help us in our ever-changing promotional efforts.

Q: You said that your team is metrics-driven. Are there any reports that detail the benefits of 9Lenses’ use of X?

There certainly are.

Because the number of resources this particular theme uses is lower than our old theme, the loading speed of our website has gone down. This is probably due to the clean code, which results in fewer resources and ultimately a faster page load.

X Theme Comparison + Pingdom Tools

Additionally, our team ran a post-mortem set of diagnostics using 9Lenses interviews, and we found that people who have web and marketing as their core competencies ranked this choice high in terms of value and ease of use, and also excellent in terms of choosing X-Theme as part of our B2B design strategy.

Speed Effects of Re-Theme Effort

Also, much of our frustration with the old theme was that only one person could maintain the site. Our 9Lenses interview revealed real joy from our team members:

After rolling out X-theme, the time to update pages has decreased substantially, while the number of people on our team who are capable of building pages and making updates has increased. X-Theme has done a fantastic job of understanding that not all end-users are code-savvy.

Thank-you 9Lenses for the wonderful insights from a B2B customer using X. This is certainly a market that several X customers are targeting, and we greatly appreciate the candor and practicality of your advice. For those looking to keep up with 9Lenses be sure to check out their beautiful site (using the Integrity Stack in X) where you learn more about their organizational intelligence platform for businesses. If you are a customer of our and are interested in participating in a future Customer Spotlight, we'd love to hear from you.