Sydney Lawson: Marketing Mastery and Nomadic Adventures

October 17, 2023
Content Marketing | Direct | Marketing Strategy

Episode Summary

In this episode of Direct with Corrina and Taylor, Sydney Lawson, a product marketing manager at Rally, shares her insights on the importance of data-driven marketing. She discusses how Athennian uses interactive demos to capture user data, identifying where users spend their time, where they lose interest, and what features they’re most interested in. This data is then used to inform sales strategies and improve the user experience.

Sydney also talks about the importance of analytics in marketing, highlighting how Athennian uses a dashboard in HubSpot to track metrics for product marketing initiatives. She emphasizes that these aren’t vanity metrics but data points that can be directly tied to business outcomes and sales velocity. Sydney shares how these insights have helped Athennian identify more buyers and move them through the sales cycle more efficiently.

Toward the end of the conversation, Sydney, Taylor, and Corrina discuss the challenges of defining the role of product marketing due to its wide scope. She also shares her excitement about an upcoming product marketing conference, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and growth in the field. The episode concludes with Sydney’s inspiring message about never-ending growth and the importance of staying grounded while aiming for the stars.

Featured Guest

Name: Sydney Lawson
What she does: Product Marketing Manager
Company: Rally UXR
Noteworthy: Sydney Lawson

Key Insights

Harnessing Interactive Demos for Data-Driven Marketing

Sydney Lawson discusses the power of interactive demos in capturing user data. She explains how Athennian uses these demos to identify where users spend their time, where they lose interest, and what features they’re most interested in. This data is then used to inform sales strategies and improve the user experience. The insights gained from these demos have helped Athennian not only identify more buyers but also move them through the sales cycle more efficiently.

Product Tours: A Gateway to High-Quality Leads

Sydney shares how Athennian initially left their product tours ungated, allowing anyone to access them. This strategy aimed to let the product speak for itself and remove any friction for potential users. However, after noticing thousands of monthly users on these tours, they decided to gate them to capture these high-quality leads for their marketing nurture sequences.

Analytics: The Backbone of Product Marketing Initiatives 

Sydney emphasizes the importance of analytics in product marketing. Athennian uses a dashboard in HubSpot to track metrics for product marketing initiatives. These aren’t vanity metrics but data points that can be directly tied to business outcomes and sales velocity. This approach has helped Athennian identify more buyers and move them through the sales cycle more efficiently.

Episode Highlights

Building a Solid Foundation for Growth

Sydney Lawson discusses the importance of hiring for foundational roles first before a team starts to grow. She emphasizes that having a solid foundation for tracking and measuring data is crucial.

“We have a solid foundation for tracking and measuring all of the data that comes through our marketing and product marketing and sales and customer success channels.”

Interactive Demos: A Tool for Data Capture and Sales Strategy

Sydney talks about the use of interactive demos as a tool for capturing user data and informing sales strategies. She explains how Athennian uses these demos to identify where users spend their time, where they lose interest, and what features they’re most interested in. 

“We’re not only showing people this is Athennian and look how great it is. But we’re also capturing the data of: where are they spending their time, what features are they looking at?”

Gating Product Tours: A Strategy for Capturing High-Quality Leads

Sydney discusses the strategy behind gating product tours. She explains that while initially, the tours were ungated to let the product speak for itself, they decided to gate them after noticing thousands of monthly users. 

“We were getting thousands of monthly users on those product tours, and so we were missing a huge opportunity for our nurture sequences on the marketing side. And so we decided to ultimately gate our product tours even if we do have a few drop-offs. The goal is through the product tours to get high-quality, product-qualified leads.”

Sydney Lawson: A Journey Towards Continuous Learning

Sydney shares her excitement about her upcoming master’s degree in Digital Product Management. She explains that the program is unique as it combines aspects of product management, software development, and marketing. 

“It’s a completely virtual, remote program and it’s designed for people who are working full-time. And so, I’m really excited for that.”

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