I get questions about moving from content marketing to product marketing and what it was like. I sometimes feel guilty about my answer. Like I should have more to say. But, to be honest, it wasn’t all that different.

At least it wasn’t nearly as different as I imagine jumping into a demand gen or events role might be. The foundations of a great content marketer — writing and storytelling — are also the foundations of a great product marketer. Same bow, different arrow. I really believe anyone who’s great at one is capable of being great at the other.

This is the 2nd in a series on self serve go-to-market models. Part 1 covers what self serve is and why it’s so compelling.

“In short, we acquire developers like consumers and enable them to spend like enterprises.” — Twilio S-1

So who’s doing self serve well?

In B2B software, three public companies seem get mentioned the most: Atlassian, Dropbox, and Twilio.

A good measure for self serve is a company’s go-to-market efficiency. Median SaaS companies typically spend 50%-100% of revenue on sales and marketing (source).

Here is that percentage for those three companies the year they went public:

  • Atlassian…

Do customers discover, evaluate, and buy your product entirely on their own, never personally interacting with a sales rep or anyone else from the company?

That’s the question at the heart of self serve go-to-market models — the growth framework fueling some of the world’s most powerful, high-growth products.

What is self serve?

“A great self-serve product experience carefully examines every customer touchpoint and puts deep thought into how to simplify, streamline, and edit the various customer flows to help them accomplish what they need to, quickly and efficiently.” — Gokul Rajaram

Self serve means the entire customer journey can happen without any 1–1…

Most marketers need to know a lot more about the industry and customers they’re marketing to.

The more technical your product and market, the bigger the knowledge gap between marketer and audience. But most marketers don’t work hard enough to close that gap, and the ones who do take way too long.

They take too long because they take an academic approach, trying to start with the 101-level material and building their way up. It’s basically the same way a college would teach students who are studying in that field. It’s admirable, and valuable work. But doing it well takes…

I remember the day I first heard about Google. And I remember the day I first heard about Facebook. Both were through direct, word of mouth referrals. In one case, a friend literally sat down and guided me through a product demo of the new website everyone in college was talking about.

Word of mouth growth. I’m not surprised two of the world’s fastest-growing, most ubiquitous products came into my life this way. Word of mouth has always been the holy grail of acquisition.

Founders salivate over word of mouth. It’s why many see it as some kind of failure…

Blake Thorne

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store