Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

When database provider Redis undertook a marketing rebrand, the first order of business was identifying the brand’s core audience. Because developers were influencing sales decisions with greater frequency, Redis knew that it had to speak to what its audience cared about most. Accordingly, the company adopted a product-first marketing narrative. By focusing its marketing on extolling Redis’ product and features, the company was able to build a robust developer community that can both provide feedback and later go on to evangelize the brand. 

In this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja are joined by Mike Anand, CMO of Redis. They talk about how Mike devised the company’s marketing strategy, and how it has helped drive both growth and demand at the same time. We also hear from Mike about what B2B leaders can learn from consumer brands when it comes to injecting personalization into their marketing. He explains the benefit of working backwards from the customer’s perspective for product marketing, even when employing a product-led storytelling narrative. Mike shares best practices on mentoring hires and leading marketing teams, and how he approaches recruitment and retention at a time when mission and social responsibility matter to employees more than ever. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • How to run an effective rebrand that resonates with your primary audience. Redis recently went through a marketing rebrand to break perceived silos between its open source project and the larger company. Despite the magnitude of the task, Mike’s primary objective was to keep the messaging simple, and maintain focus on the overall goal. It can be tempting to utilize every tool in the toolkit when trying to build buzz around the new message, yet Mike advises holding back: “You really have to think about who the key stakeholders are that you want to make an impact with. This is where your tone and the simplicity of your message matters.” 
  • Using outside-in messaging to become a product-focused storyteller. Developers have become the new power centers when it comes to decision making at information technology companies. That’s why Redis decided to focus on product-focused storytelling, thinking of the end user — a developer — when crafting its story. Since Redis has a number of products early in their life cycle, a product-focused messaging strategy allows them to continually focus on creating awareness with developers, customers, and partners. “You really have to make the messaging all about product and product focus, with an outside-in driving messaging,” says Mike. 
  • Unlocking the benefits of building growth and demand funnels in tandem. Usually marketing departments will focus on either a growth or a demand funnel at one time. Mike and his team decided to build out Redis’ growth and demand funnels in parallel. The growth funnel is focused entirely on getting the Redis product into users hands, even if that funnel doesn’t always convert to enterprise business. By analyzing product usage of the growth funnel, Redis’ marketing team is able to derive insights that influence their demand funnel, says Mike. “If you marry those two together, then I think you can build a very healthy top of the funnel business.” 
  • Leveraging use cases to build strong relationships with analysts. When it comes to building relationships with analysts and the broader community, Mike rarely opts for making the hard pitch to sell them on Redis’ products. Instead, he fosters connection by asking analysts their perspective on the biggest pain points facing customers. No one has their finger on the consumer’s ideal use cases better than analysts, says Mike. “So the first part of connecting and building that journey with the analyst community is not to sell them on what your products do. It’s actually to help you understand from them better, what do your customers need?”  
  • Why making marketing at Redis more agile and data-driven is a “number one priority.” The modern CMO role is about more than brand-building and demand generation, says Mike. Instead, marketing departments should be technology-forward, becoming more agile and data-driven rather than relying on traditional metrics alone. Identifying those leading indicators using a data-driven methodology allows Mike to track how each campaign is performing, and how to course-correct as needed. It also enables Mike to track specific KPI’s. “One of my favorite metrics is sales velocity and knowing how quickly we can convert leads into closed sales,” explains Mike. 
  • The importance of mission and social responsibility in modern recruitment. With increasing competition, recruiting key talent is far from easy. Mike says that marketing leaders need to expand their aperture past simply who you want on your team. Because mission is so key to employees, it’s important to ask yourself how you can connect to what people want on a broader scale than just the job alone. Some questions that Mike asks himself are “How can you connect what people want to a bigger, broader mission?” and “What role does the marketing organization play in taking social responsibility?” 

To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: Product-Focused Storytelling: How Redis Rebranded and Revamped its Marketing to Better Connect with the Developer Community

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