How Communities Propelled Notion to a $2 Billion Valuation

Jul 21, 2020 5:11:27 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Camille Ricketts, the head of marketing at Notion.

Notion's last raise was $68 million, and they've quickly become the go-to collaboration tool for many companies.

Camille talks about what it's like to be leading the marketing team in such a fast-growing company. We talk about what Camille and her team are most focused on right now, including the hires she plans to make. We discuss the importance of community, and how marketing can help build it, and how can you build beach head personas for your product.

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Time Stamped Notes:

[2:14] - The marketing team at Notion is currently seven people that spans across design, content, community, and performance marketing. Their primary focus at present is expanding the top of the funnel and breaking into new communities.

[4:00] - Tech & Media are the most significant industries for Notion at present, aside from those, there isn't any other industry that sticks out above the rest.

[5:00] - Getting traction within a large company starts with focusing on the product champion, who is the first person to adopt it and introduce it to other teams. Two of the most common use cases for Notion is a wiki and knowledge base.

[6:35] - Notion didn't purposely build a product-led go-to-market e.g., bottoms up. They focused on building a product for teams.

[8:25] - Inside large companies, there is a lot of tool saturation. Notion can help consolidate those tools onto one, and centralize information.

[10:30] - The marketing team at Notion is very focused on growing the self-serve funnel. Camille's advice to B2B companies with a self-serve model is to invest in customer success earlier, and figure out where they fit within the go-to-market motion.

[12:55] - Notion is a horizontal product, where it's value spans across many industries and roles. As a marketer, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts. Camille's advice is to create a matrix of the primary personas for your product, and their most common use cases. 

[14:30] - The first place Camille and her team used those insights were in customer stories. 

[15:50] - Notions plan to expand growth by building a template library, investing in customer stories, building a destination for how-to content, and doing more videos on Youtube.

[17:30] - Two examples of companies that have horizontal products and do fantastic marketing around that are Airbnb and Figma.

[19:00] - Notion has only had a marketing team for 18 months

[20:35] - Camille wants to build out the team in two areas - she wants to hire more creatives onto the team, writers, designers. And, she wants to hire someone to optimize their user messaging experience. 

[22:30] - Camille discussed Notion's plans to build out a content publishing strategy.

[22:40] - Camille hired Notion's community lead because he had built a fan site that was getting 80k visits a month. Camille discusses how an organic community has sprung up around Notion in many ways.

[27:00] - There is an advantage in having a vibrant community for your product that the company doesn't take an active role in.

[28:35] - One of the things that surprised Camille when joining Notion is how much time you need to recruit and build out your team.

[30:00] - When joining an early-stage company, there are no ready-made playbooks for the work you need to do, a lot of it is learning on the job. 

[31:30] - Camille recommends capturing the functional needs of your users when signing up - are they using it for HR, engineering, product, etc. Doing so will help you create beach head personas and understand who your product champions are.

– Camille on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium

Topics: Growth, Podcast, Leader

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