Over the next 24 months, the marketing team at dbt Labs is going to triple. We expect to grow from about 10 marketers and support folks (front-end engineering, design, analytics, ops) to somewhere in the 30s. The marketing team is growing to support dbt Labs as we serve three customer segments (SMB, mid-market, enterprise) across four regions (US, ANZ, UKI, DACH).

With this post, my hope is that I can convince you (yes, you!) that you should seriously consider this company and this marketing team for the next stage of your career. My goal is to show as much as…


dbt Labs is an extremely community-oriented brand, and this means we end up doing marketing in some fundamentally different ways. One of the biggest differences is in how we do new things.

We began planning the first dbt user conference late in 2019. At the time I was still marketer #1 and I had an ambitious plan that I was reviewing with our CEO — “We’ll get 1000 attendees!” — something like that, though I don’t recall the exact number. …


Benedict Evans wrote a great article recently and it’s been bumping around in my brain quite a bit: Solving online events. Nothing in here is particularly brilliant. He’s just saying out loud what most companies ignore as they continue to schedule multi-day “virtual conferences”. Conferences are a “bundle” of networking, sessions, and meetings that happen in a certain location at a certain time. When you remove location from that equation, the bundle aspect becomes meaningless.

He closes the article asking:

But every time we get a new tool, we start by forcing it to fit the old way of working…


My comfort zone is “aggressive editor.” I have no problem just jumping in, making changes, and getting a piece to where it needs to be. This is a useful mode to work in when you have publishing deadlines to hit. It’s not very useful when you’re trying to build a bench of strong writers.

So I’ve been shifting my mode to working as more of a coach, which means I need to explain the “why” behind the changes I’m making. I’ve identified a few stages in the editing process, how I coach people through the work.

Edit #1: The head

After this edit you…


At some point, every marketer gets this request. This request almost always means, “We need to send a press release” and that is almost always a waste of time. I’m going to assume you know why a random press release won’t solve your problem and move on from there.

Let’s talk about how to elevate the conversation from the dreaded press release request to a productive conversation about your communications strategy.

The dynamics of communications

There are three dynamics at work in every communication you put out as a company:

  1. Your audience
  2. How accessible that audience is to you
  3. The message you want an…


We had a big product launch last month that involved pricing changes. And I found myself in a pretty typical situation––we needed to send an email to our current customers letting them know how the changes impacted their monthly payment.

This is not a super special or even particularly interesting marketing problem, but in this instance the work just went really, really well, and I was thinking about why.

Marketers write and send lots of emails for all different teams. These emails always require collaboration, and they are almost annoying. Because it usually goes like this:

  • Co-worker on another team…


Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

We’re in the process of planning our first annual conference for our open source product, dbt. So I’ve been thinking a lot about ticketing strategy — pricing, promotions, etc.

I wanted to share my thoughts on this on the off chance that it would be valuable to someone else, or (even better) there are folks out there who can bring additional nuance to my current thinking 🤗

What are my grounding prices?

The general admission ticket grounds our pricing at the top. The price point here is an expression of what we think the event is worth as well as our product positioning:

  • Venture backed…


Photo by Bogdan Karlenko on Unsplash

One of the most valuable lessons I took away from my time at HubSpot is how to run a good hiring process. I’m at a ~16 person startup now and I no longer have the recruiting support I had at HubSpot, but for my first hire (it’s for an events manager role if you’re interested ❤️) , I tried take some of the things I learned at HubSpot and apply them to the early-stage startup environment.

I wanted to walk through the early stages of that process (the hiring plan) in case it’s valuable for others out there.

Why you need a hiring plan

First, hiring…


Photo by Gavin McGruddy on Unsplash

It seems like every month there is another post from another marketing team about how they hit the all-important 1 million monthly views metric. I get it. It’s super impressive. I wish I could claim being the editor of such a successful blog. One million monthly views is always great for a resume, but that doesn’t mean it’s where your marketing efforts should be focused right now.

At an early-stage company, you can probably afford to make your marketing truly great in one area. That choice should not be based on what other marketers are yammering on about (we are…


I wrapped up my time at HubSpot at the end of March, tomorrow is my first day at Fishtown Analytics. Here’s why I’m looking forward to the work ahead.

I joined RJMetrics in 2013. We were building a business intelligence product primarily for ecommerce companies. We believed that businesses could run more efficiently with data, and anyone — not just analysts — should be able to get their hands on that data as needed.

As we started to expand into markets beyond just ecommerce, it became clear just how hard this was. …

Janessa Lantz

Reader // Writer // Editor

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