Digital marketing is not getting any easier these days, we’ll be the first to admit.

With so much marketing content being produced and new trends emerging everyday — how does one keep up with it all?

This is why we decided to enlist help from the ‘crème de la crème’ in marketing and communications.

In a brand new podcast video series, ‘3 Learnings From’, we invite the top MarCom thought leaders from some of the most well known brands to sit down with us. We’re asking them to share their biggest career learnings, as well as marketing and content insights from their current strategies.

And we’re thrilled to kick off the series with Camille Ricketts, Head of Marketing at Notion!

Camille joins PlayPlay’s CEO, Thibaut Machet, to talk about brand audience, community building, and identifying her own limitations.

Setting the wheels in 'Notion'

Based in San Francisco, Camille has always been a writer and storyteller. As a journalist for many years, she wrote about green tech for VentureBeat and covered culture and lifestyle stories for The Wall Street Journal.

Camille then moved into content marketing, working for Tesla, Kiva and First Round, where she pioneered First Round Review — a popular site where experts from major tech companies share untapped industry knowledge.

Now, Camille runs marketing at Notion, the all-in-one workspace with, well, pretty much everything. Notes, databases, docs, calendars... Notion’s platform is helping companies and professionals to streamline their workflows and collaborate with ease. (In fact, our own marketing team would be rendered useless without it.)

Launched in 2018, Notion has already signed up the likes of IBM and Nike, and its solution is tapping into an ever-growing need.

We all know the feeling… one tool for this, one tool for that, twelves tabs open — zero work completed.

Notion promises to solve the notorious ‘scatterbrain’ and usher in “greater productivity, more efficiency, and total transparency” for its users.

Camille was hired as one of Notion’s first storytellers. She has since been instrumental in crafting its status as the number one productivity SaaS brand.

What are the secrets to her success? You won’t have to open a new tab to find out, that’s for sure.

Learning #1: Always start with an intimate understanding of your audience

“This is where all great marketing has to start.” According to Camille:

You have to get to the root of who these people are, what their problems are, how painful those problems are, and what solutions they’re truly searching for. That should form the basis not just of your marketing and sales go-to-market strategy, but also the product decisions you make as well.

Notice which customers are instantly understanding the value of your product. You can learn a lot from them! What is the value of the product to them and how do they articulate that value? You want to use those words not just back to them, but to other users as well. You can understand what adjacent audiences are interested in from those same people.

Set up in-depth interviews with as many best-fit customers as possible, and run surveys where these users can offer their insights from an anonymous perspective.”

Learning #2: Find your opportunity to build community, (no matter what your brand is about)

Camille believes that every brand has the potential to build community, they just have to find it:

“Now, we’re seeing content marketing giving way even further to community marketing. People want to hear less from the company itself, and more from other users and others they can relate to about how the product has worked for them.

Community is the best way to bring together all of these people who are broadcasting opinions about your product. Make them feel close to you and that their feedback is going to be heard and incorporated. Get a sense of what they want to participate in on your behalf, whether that involves creating content, or sharing with other communities that you’re trying to break into.

It’s a powerful tool to get all of these users together, to empower them, to get to know them really well, and to equip them with the tools they need to share about what you’re doing.

Ideally, you’ll have a place to bring all of these people together. At Notion, we use Slack because it gives users the ability to communicate not just with us, but with each other, in order to learn.

But I don’t think you should be controlling about where your audience lives and how it behaves. At Notion, we have large communities that formed without our involvement on Facebook and Reddit, and we just want to fuel them, help them in any way we can, and see them succeed.

Figure out where people are talking about your product... and invest a lot of time and resources in nurturing that group of people!”

Learning #3: Know when to teach yourself how to do something, and when to hire for something.

We’ve all heard of the expression “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Well, this doesn’t always ring true, at least according to Camille:

“Marketing is so broad and requires so much versatility. Because of that, most marketing leaders feel pressure to learn of all of the disciplines under the marketing umbrella, while only concentrating in a few areas.

I come out of content marketing and communications, so there’s no way I’m going to be able to learn all of the very granular specifics of the analytical side of growth marketing. I need to be really honest with myself and do an audit probably every three months of the company’s growth trajectory.

What is realistic for me or someone else in the team to learn? And where do we need to bring in people with proven specialist skills?

So, figuring out exactly when to bring in someone else to run something is incredibly important, probably one of the top three things to ensure future success.”

Thanks Camille!

An interview with Camille Ricketts is just as insightful as the content she crafts. As a marketer who truly understands her audience, it’s no surprise she’s achieving amazing things as Notion’s Head of Marketing.

Which of Camille’s top career learnings resonates with you? Does community marketing fit in with your current strategy? Are you confident about knowing when to hire and when to take the DIY approach?

More insights and reflections are coming your way in the next episode. We’ll be sitting down with Robin Daniels, CMO at Matterport… stay tuned!