How do you market a marketplace, a platform where you have both buyers and sellers? To find out, we spoke with Paul Ghio. Paul is the Vice President of Product at Creative Market, an online design marketplace. He formerly served as the VP of Marketing & Growth.
In addition to marketplace marketing, Paul discussed how design, analytics, and how he went from marketing to product management. Enjoy.
Paul's Role and Background - (2:05)
- Stumbled into marketing because it was the fastest way to graduation.
- “I actually felt like copywriting was a skill that I'm really glad I developed early on just because when you're writing you have to keep the end user in mind. You have to understand their psychology, you have to understand their motivations, and really appeal to them and so it's kind of a foundational layer of marketing.”
- Description of Creative Market and Paul’s role there.
- Why did Paul take his current role? “The team had founded a few other companies in the past had a lot of success and so I wanted to be around that pedigree.”
Product Management - (8:15)
“I think distribution is something that is only recently being really understood as being an important lever. It’s really the prerequisite because a lot of folks can build a great product but without distribution it really doesn't matter. And so I almost think that you need to start distribution first and then kind of backwards engineer the product in some capacity.”
- “At the end of the day, marketing is a team sport.”
- Creative Market is currently hiring a VP of Marketing. Interested? Email email@example.com.
Marketing a Marketplace - (12:35)
- The first thing you have to figure out with a marketplace is whether you are constrained on the demand side or the supply side.
- With Creative Market and with many marketplaces, there is a demand constraints in aggregate but there are pockets of supply constraint.
- Nailing search algorithms is crucial to a functioning marketplace.
- It’s also important to empower sellers with good information and best practices.
Design Lessons for Marketers - (21:10)
- “Design is increasingly a commodity. I think people's expectation for good design whether it's hardware design, an ad, or a user experience is increasingly leveling up. And so as a result of that you have to have really good design just to kind of be par with the course.”
- “Marketers need to connect with their audience in an authentic way. Design is kind of two components: One, is it's a way to communicate and two, it's a way to experience a product.”
Analytical Mindset - (25:40)
- It’s important to identify which characteristics matter: Whether that is demographic, geographic, or behavioral. For Creative Market, geographic differences were very important.
- “You need to have a clear, consistent message.”
- Having said that, it’s not always best to reach a broad audience. Paul says that Creative Market has found the most success by creating very specific messaging and targeting them to smaller groups.
- Views and clicks does not always lead to conversion. It’s important to pick the right analytics to optimize for.
- “With earlier stage startups I advise, they'll often jump into a channel, try it out for maybe a month or two, and say ‘You know what? This is not working.’ You actually need a lot of time to invest in a channel to prove if it will work and scale.”
- Lightning Round
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