DiscoverLenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | CareerLessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner
Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

Update: 2023-01-29
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Zoelle Egner is best known for her time at Airtable (currently valued at $11 billion), where she was the 11th employee and built and led the initial marketing and customer success teams. Currently she’s the Head of Marketing and Growth at Block Party, a company that designs consumer tools for online safety and anti-harassment. In today’s episode, we explore the marketing strategies that helped Airtable punch above its weight and build an established brand. We also dig into how Airtable was able to find its first super-users, how customer success played a key role in getting early traction, and the do’s and don’ts for marketing investments. Zoelle also shares her experience working for VaccinateCA (which ended up playing a massive role in helping get people vaccinated during the pandemic) and several tips for obtaining valuable customer feedback.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-airtables-unconventional-growth-strategy-zoelle-egner/#transcript

Where to find Zoelle Egner:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/zoelle

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zoelleegner/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Referenced:

• Patrick McKenzie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/patio11

The Last of Us on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-last-of-us

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/

• Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/

• Block Party app: https://www.blockpartyapp.com/

• Kathy Sierra’s book Badass: Making Users Awesome: https://www.amazon.com/Badass-Making-Awesome-Kathy-Sierra/dp/1491919019

• Gainsight: https://www.gainsight.com/

• Datadog: https://www.datadoghq.com/

• Notion: https://www.notion.so/

• Zapier: https://zapier.com/

Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation: https://www.amazon.com/Computing-Taste-Algorithms-Makers-Recommendation/dp/0226822974

Ancillary Justice: https://www.amazon.com/Ancillary-Justice-Imperial-Radch-Leckie/dp/031624662X/

The Happiness Lab podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-happiness-lab-with-dr-laurie-santos/id1474245040

Gastropod podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gastropod/id918896288

Everything Everywhere All at Once on Showtime: https://www.sho.com/titles/3493875/everything-everywhere-all-at-once

Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81518991

• Figma: https://www.figma.com/

• Webflow: https://webflow.com/

• Clay: https://www.clay.com/

• MKT1 Newsletter: https://newsletter.mkt1.co/

• Emily Kramer on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-build-a-powerful-marketing-machine-emily-kramer-asana-carta-mkt1/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00 ) How VaccinateCA helped bridge a gap in infrastructure

(05:00 ) Zoelle’s lessons from her time at VaccinateCA

(18:04 ) How Zoelle broke into the tech industry

(19:01 ) Flocking patterns

(24:21 ) What Block Party does

(24:32 ) Zoelle’s storytelling

(29:15 ) Tactics for punching above your weight as a small startup

(31:30 ) The importance of having a highly detail-oriented person on staff

(33:33 ) Why Airtable used billboards

(36:43 ) Growth and marketing strategies at Airtable

(42:29 ) Using data provided by your customers to build features that help future customers

(50:59 ) Why customer success and marketing should be one team

(52:56 ) Things to avoid in marketing

(58:04 ) The power of templates

(1:00:58 ) Why Airtable did not prioritize templates for top-of-funnel revenue 

(1:02:04 ) Why just getting PR to “get PR” is not a good strategy

(1:04:57 ) The importance of getting customer feedback and investing in customer success

(1:05:51 ) Simple strategies for getting customer feedback

(1:07:53 ) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.



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Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

Lenny Rachitsky