🤩 Back when I discovered Notion, it wasn’t as widespread as it is now.
With my buddy lead engineer at Privateaser, we had to convince people internally, one by one.
🚀 But as soon as we started using within the Product Engineering team… the Notion magic happened: it quickly spread company-wide our +120 people.
💸 In just 2 years, Notion has acquired over 1M users and $2 billion valuation — with a group of 50 employees.
✌🏻 Here are my 5 key takeaways from the 50-min webinar of Forget the Funnel with the Head of Marketing at Notion, Camille Ricketts :
- The Product itself
- A strong Product culture
1. The value proposition of the Product itself
2. The right segmentation
🕵️♀️ How they built the segmentation: pure audience observation
They found out that the ones who loved the product immediately were engineers and designers and product managers.
They did a lot of education and reached a high point of traction pretty fast.
🤓 Onboarding is a critical piece of user education
Customized experience depending on use cases is a big part of their success:
- product experience depending on your segment
- templates according to use cases
- email campaigns tailored for each particular segment
👥 Bottom-up growth model
"It was about seeing how people start to use the product as an individual, often bring it to work with them and then people who work around them and with them closely also start to pick it up and adopt it themselves."
3. Messaging and positioning
How to come up with the right message that will resonate to your audience ?
💬 Information gathering : Customer conversations.
Everyone in her team did so many customer conversations:
🗂 Sit down with this data and create concrete themes
Building concrete themes help you understand what it is that people are actually interested in and how they want you to articulate the value that they’re going to get out of the product.
In the end, their segmentation never changed. They go after:
- individuals using it as single players.
- SMBs or teams who are adopting it in a self-serve model
- enterprise teams that are using it for their dept. or even company-wide
4. Community is key
🚀 A head of community as a fuel of early-stage growth
Ben Lang was the first person to join the marketing team. The first.
He is in charge of the growth of the global community of B2C and B2B users in many different countries, helping them run events, create content, build communities of their own in their local geographies.
The creation of their community happened organically. But it requires a proper management, hence the early recruitment of Ben:
🗣 Their commitment to their community as a huge focus
They want to make all of their users understood and feel like they are really part of a large global community.
Programs like the ambassador program have really taken off. Their subreddit right now has about 38,000 people on it, and they have a very light touch that is completely community owned and run.
They got 400 applications to join the ambassador program. Yup 400.
"We had initially stated that we were going to have 20 spots open because we really wanted this to be a manageable size when we first started doing it to figure out what the cadence of communication was going to be in and what people’s interests were going to be. Since then it’s grown to over 60 people, really geographically diverse, and we have them all in a Slack group."
Their community is like a giant customer advisory board. For better… or worse:
"I mean, whenever you have a vibrant, diverse community of passionate people, you’re going to have concerns that bubble up. You’re going to have people who disagree with the direction that you’ve chosen. You’re going to have people who want features, for instance, that aren’t necessarily prioritized. Actually, we’ve now moved away from the, we’ll add your vote for that language just because we want there to be even more transparency."
5. A strong Product culture company-wide
🔥 Everyone in their team is doing Product Management somehow:
- They have Product people — engineers/designers - in the marketing team in order to be autonomous to build something on their own, independently from the Product team 🛠
- People from all teams talk regularly to clients — using a proper Product methodology: they really take the time to understand pain points, decision making process, intentions, and so on. 🙋♀️
- They don’t skip the talk-to-clients part. They truly do it. It requires time allocated for employees to actually do customer discovery. But Notion certainly showcases it’s worth the investment! 💰
- They have mature Product discovery frameworks even in the marketing team: after gathering tons of information about customers, they take the time to do proper analysis 🧬
🔗 Cross-functional connections between Product and Marketing
Everybody in the marketing team has a lot of connections that are completely cross-functional. A concrete example with David, their Product Marketing guy:
Currently building your Product team and culture ? Check out peps.pm