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Klaviyo, Dropbox and Lightspeed Commerce:
10 Things That Change in Marketing
as You Scale
Kady Srinivasan
Chief Marketing Officer
Lightspeed
2017
Late stage company
2019
Series C company
2020
Late stage company
2018
Went public
2021
Went public
2023
Filed for IPO
2022
~$90Bn GTV SaaS and FIntech
company
NYSE
TSX
Companies evolve.
How does Marketing need to
evolve to add maximum value?
The Challenge
Smart growth,
not growth at all costs
The product maturity curve
determines marketing strategy.
Pro Tip 1.
Late majority
Customers that need to be cultivated for the long term
ICP+
Customers to be educated on platform value
Primary Marketing Focus: Early and Late Adopters
Where should Marketing focus?
Big Idea: Where is the best uncontested market space and what will it take to capture it?
ICP
Customers that understand the value of existing product
Handle complexity like a pro
Pro Tip 2.
Don’t oversimplify complexity
Vectors
of growth
Personas
Go-To
Market
Products
Audiences
Industries
For your ICP, what is the big
insight that drives urgency?
What new category do you want to
dominate, why do customers care?
What are the current growth
levers that can scale?
How do you want to win?
Where do you want to
play vs not play?
KYM: Know your motion.
Pro Tip 3.
SLG Motion
Sales led growth
PLG Motion
Self serve and/or
product led growth
Timing is critical. Balance is everything
PLG + SLG
Hybrid PLG and SLG
motion example Self
Serve Sales Assist
Spectrum of PLG and SLG motions
Sales Touch GTM
● Light sales touch
● Marketing nurture and sales
close
● Inbound SDR support
● Chat support with Product
specialists
Sales Enablement GTM
● ABM
● Persona based positioning
● Field marketing
● Event marketing
● Analyst relations
● Demand Gen
● Customer Marketing
Self Serve GTM
● Web optimization
● Funnel optimization
● Onboarding
● Freemium to Premium
● Bottoms up model
PLG
SLG
Brand Investment
→ Right Time, Right Place
Pro Tip 4.
2 approaches to building the brand
Top down
Bottom up
House of Brands → Branded House
House of Brands
Product branding,
Strong market share,
Brand recognition
Endorsed Brands Sub Brands
Branded House
Credible, consistent,
Well supported,
Well designed
Positioning Statement
Differential Advantage Consistency Ownability
Category
Blueprint Category Vision Flywheel
Vital elements: Leverage ecosystem
Pro Tip 5.
Build an ecosystem
New connections
Enter into new markets
and new use cases.
Fresh stories
Reinforce your message
architecture.
Partnerships
Reach new audiences and
build your value proposition in
a new way.
Market development funds
Develop a range of
initiatives that create win-
win.
Partner Acquisition
Partner Enablement
ABC: Always be Connecting
Pro Tip 6.
Connect. Use Red Threads to align
Product
Customer Success
Finance
Sales
Go on a diet:
Slim down the marketing budget
Pro Tip 7.
Constraints produce creativity
ML/AI to drive
predicted LTV and
optimize bidding
Daily hand off
meetings between
sales and marketing
Constant creative
testing
Position, position, position
Pro Tip 8.
Three types of companies – which are you?
Product Concept
Customer
Create
positioning
My company is an [core type].
We are in [category] providing
[differentiated solution] to [ICP].
We [value proposition with a verb]
by offering [benefits]. Our product
or service exists because [context].
Core
Category
Community
Context Competition
Scaling the Marketing org
Pro Tip 9.
Know when to hire specialists vs generalists
Headcount
(Assessing if the team is right sized)
Unifying Framework
(Does the team have the
right goals, R&R and culture)
Capabilities
(Capabilities tied to business outcomes)
Map Maker vs. Market Creator
Pro Tip 10.
Are you a map maker or a market creator?
Chart a path towards market penetration
based on verticals, products
Create a new category or market space
based on new product or capabilities
Purchase decision process
Ready and
Informed
Ready and
Not Informed
Not Ready
but Informed
Not Ready
Not Informed
Ready
(Aware of Problem and Motivated to Solve It)
Informed
(Aware
of
Product)
Y
N
N
Y
Ready and
Informed
Ready
and Not
Informed
Not Ready
but Informed
Not Ready
Not Informed
(~40%)
XXX customers every year
Ready
(Aware of Problem and Motivated to Solve It)
Informed
(Aware
of
Product)
Y
N
N
Y
Three things to remember
Your location on the product
maturity curve determines
marketing strategy.
1
Know your brand and
make sure it shows up
in all touchpoints.
2
One motion is not enough:
recognize growth expansion
opportunities.
3
1 2 3

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SaaStr Workshop Wednesdays: Dropbox, Klaviyo, Lightspeed Commerce: 10 Things that Change in Marketing as you Scale with Lightspeed Commerce's CMO

  • 1. Klaviyo, Dropbox and Lightspeed Commerce: 10 Things That Change in Marketing as You Scale Kady Srinivasan Chief Marketing Officer Lightspeed
  • 2. 2017 Late stage company 2019 Series C company 2020 Late stage company 2018 Went public 2021 Went public 2023 Filed for IPO
  • 3. 2022 ~$90Bn GTV SaaS and FIntech company NYSE TSX
  • 4. Companies evolve. How does Marketing need to evolve to add maximum value? The Challenge
  • 6. The product maturity curve determines marketing strategy. Pro Tip 1.
  • 7. Late majority Customers that need to be cultivated for the long term ICP+ Customers to be educated on platform value Primary Marketing Focus: Early and Late Adopters Where should Marketing focus? Big Idea: Where is the best uncontested market space and what will it take to capture it? ICP Customers that understand the value of existing product
  • 8. Handle complexity like a pro Pro Tip 2.
  • 9. Don’t oversimplify complexity Vectors of growth Personas Go-To Market Products Audiences Industries For your ICP, what is the big insight that drives urgency? What new category do you want to dominate, why do customers care? What are the current growth levers that can scale? How do you want to win? Where do you want to play vs not play?
  • 10. KYM: Know your motion. Pro Tip 3.
  • 11. SLG Motion Sales led growth PLG Motion Self serve and/or product led growth Timing is critical. Balance is everything PLG + SLG Hybrid PLG and SLG motion example Self Serve Sales Assist
  • 12. Spectrum of PLG and SLG motions Sales Touch GTM ● Light sales touch ● Marketing nurture and sales close ● Inbound SDR support ● Chat support with Product specialists Sales Enablement GTM ● ABM ● Persona based positioning ● Field marketing ● Event marketing ● Analyst relations ● Demand Gen ● Customer Marketing Self Serve GTM ● Web optimization ● Funnel optimization ● Onboarding ● Freemium to Premium ● Bottoms up model PLG SLG
  • 13. Brand Investment → Right Time, Right Place Pro Tip 4.
  • 14. 2 approaches to building the brand Top down Bottom up
  • 15. House of Brands → Branded House House of Brands Product branding, Strong market share, Brand recognition Endorsed Brands Sub Brands Branded House Credible, consistent, Well supported, Well designed Positioning Statement Differential Advantage Consistency Ownability Category Blueprint Category Vision Flywheel
  • 16. Vital elements: Leverage ecosystem Pro Tip 5.
  • 17. Build an ecosystem New connections Enter into new markets and new use cases. Fresh stories Reinforce your message architecture. Partnerships Reach new audiences and build your value proposition in a new way. Market development funds Develop a range of initiatives that create win- win. Partner Acquisition Partner Enablement
  • 18. ABC: Always be Connecting Pro Tip 6.
  • 19. Connect. Use Red Threads to align Product Customer Success Finance Sales
  • 20. Go on a diet: Slim down the marketing budget Pro Tip 7.
  • 21. Constraints produce creativity ML/AI to drive predicted LTV and optimize bidding Daily hand off meetings between sales and marketing Constant creative testing
  • 23. Three types of companies – which are you? Product Concept Customer
  • 24. Create positioning My company is an [core type]. We are in [category] providing [differentiated solution] to [ICP]. We [value proposition with a verb] by offering [benefits]. Our product or service exists because [context]. Core Category Community Context Competition
  • 25. Scaling the Marketing org Pro Tip 9.
  • 26. Know when to hire specialists vs generalists Headcount (Assessing if the team is right sized) Unifying Framework (Does the team have the right goals, R&R and culture) Capabilities (Capabilities tied to business outcomes)
  • 27. Map Maker vs. Market Creator Pro Tip 10.
  • 28. Are you a map maker or a market creator? Chart a path towards market penetration based on verticals, products Create a new category or market space based on new product or capabilities
  • 29. Purchase decision process Ready and Informed Ready and Not Informed Not Ready but Informed Not Ready Not Informed Ready (Aware of Problem and Motivated to Solve It) Informed (Aware of Product) Y N N Y Ready and Informed Ready and Not Informed Not Ready but Informed Not Ready Not Informed (~40%) XXX customers every year Ready (Aware of Problem and Motivated to Solve It) Informed (Aware of Product) Y N N Y
  • 30. Three things to remember Your location on the product maturity curve determines marketing strategy. 1 Know your brand and make sure it shows up in all touchpoints. 2 One motion is not enough: recognize growth expansion opportunities. 3 1 2 3

Editor's Notes

  1. Just a little bit about myself. I have been fortunate to have seen exits of three amazing companies. I joined Dropbox when it was a late stage company yhat then went public. I joined Owlet at Series C which then went public and recently was at Klaviyo which filed for IPO in Aug 2023.
  2. I am now at lightspeed where we are a 750M public saas and fintech company. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to be at every stage - Series A through public and it has given me a unique perspective on growth and lifecycle.
  3. What I have observed is the following: companies go through massive pivots on their journey of growth. What is true 18 months ago is not true today if you are a high growth company. Marketing is in the center of this growth and marketing needs to evolve. How do we adapt, innovate, and make strategic choices that fuel growth? Let's explore.
  4. What is Marketing Strategy? It's about defining our brand identity, understanding our customers, and crafting content that resonates. It's the foundation of our marketing journey.
  5. Initially companies start by focusing on where they have the most product market fit. This is the ICP. at this stage, need to get super clear on what resonates with ICP, what are their need states, how to serve this market, how to differentiate vs competition As the company grows, don't lose focus on ICP. Start to identify ICP+ and what differentiates these customers from the early adopters of your product. Work with product team to really position the benefits to the late adopters As company hits maturity, you are marketing to early majority and laggards, different set of tactics and positioning needed Tldr: you determine marketing strategy and tactics based on where you are in product maturity curve
  6. As companies grow, do you invest in net new customers or existing backbook? How do you split time and attention between pre sale and post sale
  7. Product marketing needs to evolve to define a value proposition for a bigger suite of products and bigger set of benefits. For example at Lightspeed, we are both a SaaS and a Fintech company Product marketing become vital. They help us reach new audiences, enter new markets, and keep our story fresh and engaging. They enable to communicate value prop in a different way KS: because we are now trying to serve multiple audiences, marketing complexity grows. Unit economics of each of these customer segments is different so you need tactics strategies. For instance, when are a series A - early adopter, our main tactic was SEO and inbound marketing. Series B, our main tactic was influencer marketing. Series C - paid at that point you have money. As public company - we diversified our marketing tactics - brand, campaigns, performance, content etc
  8. 2 models in saas - SLG or PLG. companies start with one or the other and typically diversify. As marketing - who are we supporting. Series A - it was PLG series C - PLG, we introduced SLG. public company - we are SLG, but we might move to PLG. All this to say that you need to calibrate where and how revenue comes and marketing needs to support it. Are you a PLG or SLG At lightspeed, we are primarily SLG. However at Klaviyo and Dropbox we relied on PLG motions. There are no right or wrong answers. It depends on where you can unlock the most value from your funnel
  9. How do you support PLG: self serve, growth hacking, content, PMM etc SLG: sales enablement, ABM, PMM, brand etc Takeaway is: one motion is not enough. You always have to have both PLG and SLG, but it depends on what point you bring it to life in the lifecycle
  10. When you are small, your brand is sum total of your brand and your customer experience As you grow, you need to make more inroads to building your brand. Before IPO, invest in getting a large number of people outside of funnel to get to know you. At Dropbox we ran the biggest brand campaign before IPO
  11. Broad based vs targeted brand building - what do you need, where is your audience and what will they likely pay attention to How much time do you have to build a bran How much investment do you have to build the brand At lightspeed, we invest in events both internal and external, we invest in trade journals
  12. A special note on how to build a brand when you are acquiring companies Take into account SEO equity How the product works together GTM motion Branding Employees
  13. Leverage partner ecosystem. Treat partners as another channel - focus on acquisition and enablement You multiply your impact through ecosystem with the right partners MDF is a effective tactic for partnership
  14. CMOs have to connect to sales CMOs have to connect to product Sometimes they need a bridge to make sure it is all adding up to the same story It's not just about numbers; it's about weaving our shared story, like Lightspeed's red threads of Innovation, Serving Complexity, and Servicing Scale.
  15. No matter what stage you are, you are likely having conversations with your CFO on efficiency and budget
  16. At Owlet we decreased spend down to 17% of revenue while doubling growth Over the years, we have reduced our marketing spend by 30% while increasing pipe by 15% Always be slimming
  17. This is like cleaning the kitchen sink - you are never done but this is one of the most important things you can do
  18. There is a wonderful book by Andy Cunningham that i have used over the years
  19. When you think of positioning, you take an inside out and outside in view
  20. Grow too fast - you increase your opex unsustanably. Grow too slow, you miss opportunities
  21. What are the right places to bring in a head of vs doers. When should you have specialists vs generalists. If you are a tech company, you might be tempted to bring in a head of pmm
  22. You have a strong market position, when do you chart a path towards greater market share. You have a categry creating platform/service/product
  23. Trust your gut, create the playbook that works for you