Catalyst Marketing Strategy, February 2019

Unpacking a Series B Marketing Strategy with Catalytic

Another day, another round of fundraising.

Today I’d like to dive into the marketing strategy of a company called Catalytic. They just raised a $30m Series B round and are well-positioned for growth.

From a quick pass through their website and LinkedIn page, they’ve been around since 2015. And generally look like a sort of enterprise-grade Zapier with machine learning. I’m sure there are more nuances to their software, but that’s the high level.

First impressions on their website:

  • Their website is clean, well-designed, and has good branding
  • They have a playful brand voice in their copy and it’s done well
  • They have the right marketing tech stack. I see HubSpot, Heap, Segment, Adroll, and Zendesk tags, all built on WordPress. They also have Front installed as a chat option. That’s solid.
  • Their Solutions tab shows a big, easily sort-able table of all their integrations. I love this. It’s an excellent page on their site
  • Their blog is active with a regular posting schedule recently. This is solid. They don’t have a lot of website traffic right now but if they keep up their content marketing, they will soon.

What their website is missing:

  • It doesn’t speak very well to specific personas. Wondering if this is because they don’t have true product/market fit dialed yet. I’d like to see this on the home page in particular.
  • Each of the solutions pages that dives into an integration has no call to action. It would be easy to add a button below the description with a simple offer or ask. ex. to get a case study on that integration, or get started with setting one up for yourself. Or, scheduling a call with sales to talk about that integration and how it could work for you.
  • Their contact form is pretty basic and isn’t linked in that many places. I’d like a free trial, or at least have more context about what I’m getting when I sign up.
  • Lastly, the big one — Case Studies! I don’t see any social proof on the home page. Logos, quotes, etc. would go a long way. They look like they’re still pretty early in their logo collection efforts. But at the very least, they could put a strip of partner/integration logos. Social proof is incredibly important.

Moving on, let’s dive into some growth channels.

They’re B2B which narrows their channel field a little bit.

Further, their product has a big list of problems they can theoretically solve. So that gives us a lot of options to connect with potential customers.

Any tedious, boring, or pain-in-the-ass process that has search volume around keywords. Or is well-known to a particular job function, is a perfect target for marketing.

So here are the obvious growth channels I see here. I’d consider these a must.

  • LinkedIn Ads – provided they have their persona dialed in
  • Google Ads – specifically around automation software/tools, machine learning automation, and “tool + tool integration” (ex. Salesforce Stripe automation, or Salesforce stripe integration)
  • Content marketing – informative content around building out automation that improves business processes. Also, customer stories can be amplified via social media to others in those industries.
  • Outbound email – scraped from LinkedIn or using lead gen tools + VAs
  • Conferences/events – not only is this a pretty obvious channel, their branding is awesome, and would stand out at conferences with old-school industries.

Some other misc. ideas:

  • Joint promotion with integration partners, the “Zapier Strategy” – I know one strategy Zapier used to grow was running a joint PR and promotion campaign with new integration partners. They would put out press releases together. Then, they would set up a landing page and each email their lists with news of the integration. This leveraged integration partners’ customer bases as lead channels. The landing page would also rank over time for integration keywords related to that partner.
  • Get a free trial, or set up some kind of more specific offer for potential leads to get on the site. A generic sign-up is not cutting it for me.
  • Add a bot to chat on the website. It’s great that they have chat, but a blank window isn’t as low friction as it could be. A bot could increase conversions in the chat window by a lot.
  • Drive sales inquiries to book a meeting using HubSpot’s calendar tool. You can pre-qualify a little using forms, then redirect to a calendar booking. It’s very low friction.

Overall, these guys have solid marketing. It’s driven by a strong product team. I’m a big fan of their design too. It creates a good brand experience on their site.

Their marketing is pretty much right where I’d expect at a Series B raise. It’s positioned well for growth.

What I’d like to see them do next:

  1. Figure out buyer personas. This is critical. This will drive website updates and all marketing campaigns.
  2. Start collecting and posting quotes, logos, case studies.
  3. Figure out a better call-to-action/offer on the website. Scheduling a demo might work. It’s just OK as an offer, but easy to implement.
  4. Run joint promotion with integration partners. I think this is their highest-leverage (and low cost) lead channel.
  5. Keep up with the content marketing. It’ll pay off by the end of the year.
  6. Test ad campaigns on LinkedIn and Google Ads relentlessly. I’m 99% confident there are good funnels there.