We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before.
At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses.
Each week we highlight a member from our community and share their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.
This week we are chatting to Luke Walker from Berlin, Germany.
Hey Luke, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?
So I'm originally from Flint, Michigan, but I’ve lived in Berlin, Germany for many years now.
My background is in digital marketing and I originally got into no-code about 5 years ago by way of some pretty timeless marketing automation hacks - for example, chaining zaps to Mailchimp campaigns, linking Google Forms into funnels, or using Hubspot workflows for just about anything.
These days, my professional life really revolves around no-code, and I manage marketing for a no-code process automation tool as well. At my company, Next Matter we use no-code tools for just about everything: operations, marketing, sales, customer success, product, HR, list goes on and on.
It’s good to see people coming to no-code from a wide variety of backgrounds and use-cases. So can you take us through some of no-code projects have you built in the past and what tools did you use for them?
Back in my pure digital marketing days, I would string together lead generation campaigns with a series of zaps and workflow automations.
For example, if I ran a LinkedIn advertising campaign to capture leads in a B2B sales environment, I could connect that list to my CRM using a zap, and then automatically assign contacts to a given list based on the specific ad campaign parameters. Then in the CRM, I would setup workflow automation to trigger a unique series of emails, tasks, and custom forms and surveys to be sent to new leads for each list, the content of which would be tailored to fit their audience profile. It was really quite a complex workflow.
I would also create a workflow to prepare a profile for each new inbound lead to be sent to the Sales team. This profile included important information on where the lead came from, what content they have viewed and engaged with, plus their survey responses, and any other pre-sales qualification data, like company size, revenue, and so on.
This is all very standard stuff nowadays, but back in 2016, it was mind-blowing – and it wouldn't be possible without no-code workflow automation and integrations.
It’s really interesting to see how far things have come with no-code, in just a few years. Things that seem advanced now will become so much more simplified over the next couple of years. So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?
At exactly this time last year, I took over as the marketing lead at Next Matter. In my early days, we knew that we had a strong, no-code process automation too, but it was still a bit unclear exactly what problem we were solving and for whom. Though, after the first 10 or so customer interviews it became pretty clear – this was an operations problem.
Prior to signing up for Next Matter, our customers managed their multi-step and multi-team operations processes over email, Slack, and meetings, and tracked them all with spreadsheets. So the processes existed, but they had no documentation, tracking, or automation. It was all 100% manual and tedious work.
With Next Matter, they could automate their process workflows end-to-end, including all of the coordination, handovers, and integration steps, where process data needed to be exchanged between systems - for example, populating fields in a CRM, service tickets, or spreadsheets – without having to switch between systems, or copy and paste things. It became automated, but still with a collaborative, human element.
Operations teams can involve as many teams or stakeholders in a process as they like, including external users, like suppliers or customers, who can be invited to participate in singular or multiple process steps with secure access. So it's capable of automating processes for the entire operations ecosystem - not just internal team workflows.
Of course, as with no-code tools, an operations manager can build and integrate Next Matter processes all by themselves in the span of an afternoon – no extra training required. We still do quite a bit of customer success work ourselves to help customers get value out of the product fast. It's something we actually enjoy, and our customers really appreciate it. Currently, every trial user receives a free 1-on-1 onboarding, to help them get started and build their first automated process.
Next Matter is still in the early-growth stage but expanding fast. We've recently expanded into the US and also landed our first, major Fintech customers – it’s really a new, exciting vertical for us, with lots of operational risk that can be mitigated by process automation.
It shows just how powerful no-code can be when whole processes and the underlying functions a business needs can all be fully re-designed and automated, all without coding. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come?
Though it may seem cliché, I would love to see greater democratization of no-code. At Next Matter, we see many, many verticals and departments still stuck in a "hard-coded" worldview, where there's a firm division between "tech people" and "everyone else". Part of that is an education problem, and part of it is a leadership problem. I personally think it is a marketing problem.
One of the ways I'm trying to address it with Next Matter is by showing operations teams (a traditionally "hard-coded" vertical) that there's a much better, no-code automation way of doing their jobs. We invest a lot of energy into our blog content for exactly this purpose.
Of course, this sort of no-code evangelism does take time, but I think it's the right thing to do. Not everyone has to be a "hacker", but everyone would benefit from a baseline understanding of what no-code automation can do for them. Armed with that knowledge, people can choose for themselves how they wish to apply it.
And anyway, it's wise to be on this side of the no-code world right now. In 5-10 years time, it will be a prerequisite for staying competitive, whether you're a business or a software provider.
It’s true that it’s rapidly becoming an important skill to learn. Do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?
Next Matter, obviously! Notion is a close second, though – I use it every day. What I would love to try out is Voiceflow. So many internal and market-facing applications for this!
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Luke. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon!
Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!
No-Code Fundamentals: Getting started with no-code
Build a business, launch a side-project, or finally start that idea you've been sitting on, without writing code.
Join a passionate and skilled group of makers, creators and entrepreneurs in this immersive, cohort-based course. Over 5 weeks, Makerpad's expert instructors, Ben Tossell and Amie Pollack, will give you the foundational skills you need to build and share your idea with the world.