Analysis: How Lavender Changed SaaS Marketing with LavenderLand

Analysis: How Lavender Changed SaaS Marketing with LavenderLand


You may not be a Lavender customer yet, but there’s no doubt you’ve heard of them.

The three year old company helps sales teams write better emails, faster. But you may better recognize the name from LinkedIn as the company with offset profile photos, a viral short video series titled 3 Minute Sales School, and a historic marketing effort led by the self-described “worst marketer in the world”.

Also, they’ve somehow made an emoji their own. 💜

It turns out that the worst marketer in the world may in fact be one of the most innovative marketers our industry has ever seen.

When asked, Todd Clouser would identify more as a creator than marketer. That’s why he was brought onboard to Lavender — to build a GTM for the young SaaS company using owned media at the heart of the playbook.

Last week, Todd and the Lavender team achieved a major milestone with the launch of LavenderLand, a new streaming service exclusively for B2B sellers. The network debuts with five original video series as well as written email frameworks — all with the intention to educate and entertain their audience of sales professionals.

But behind the clever puppet videos and ESPN-esque breakdown shows is a case study in the making for audience building, engagement and monetization that is giving the rest of the SaaS industry a window into the future of marketing.


Leading with Owned Media

I have strong conviction that owned media will quickly become the primary GTM motion for SaaS marketing in the next few quarters — replacing the inbound marketing motions that have dominated our industry for the last two decades.

The headwinds are just too great:

  • The Internet has become increasingly noisy with emerging content formats, and creating SEO-focused articles as a primary charter for content marketing certainly won’t help brands breakthrough.

  • Paid distribution is expensive and increasingly inefficient as a marketing channel — two attributes that CFOs and FP&A leaders won’t have tolerance for in 2023.

  • Rented distribution through social media and content networks have proven to be unreliable — with algorithms we don’t control actively suppressing our organic reach, while other platforms are at risk of total collapse.

  • Changing data privacy laws — particularly around third-party cookies — will make content distribution even more challenging.

Many companies are starting this transition by making calculated bets (which is great). However what I’ve observed in working with the Lavender team is shared conviction on what the future of marketing will look like, and with that, an opportunity to be a first-mover in going all in on owned media.

LavenderLand as a primary GTM motion for Lavender creates an effective approach to carve through the aforementioned headwinds:

  • Prioritizing episodic video over performance content creates a higher propensity for Lavender’s audience to actually watch and share their content. It’s not to say they aren’t investing in SEO (they are), but rather, they will likely PUSH their audience towards their editorial content while the SEO work will PULL their search traffic towards LavenderLand — a powerful and important interplay of strategy.

  • While you may see paid campaigns amplify content in rented channels — especially LinkedIn and YouTube — the company will benefit from direct distribution to their audience of subscribers for a net cost of $0. The role of paid media evolves from acquiring leads to acquiring subscribers — a much more efficient use of precious marketing dollars.

  • Before launching LavenderLand, the team at Lavender had already been executing a masterful LinkedIn strategy by building their audience of followers across company and employee accounts. They’ll now benefit from that investment when distributing LavenderLand content into their captive audience of followers on rented platforms.

  • By driving direct subscribers to LavenderLand (the most subscribers in week one of AudiencePlus’s young history) the company is building a critically important first-party dataset to better understand, and ultimately monetize, their audience.

Beyond the “why” of leading with owned media was expert execution on the “how.” I’ve journaled below three observations of the LavenderLand launch and what other marketers can learn when launching their own properties.


3 Observations on Launching LavenderLand

Content quality is only as good as an audience’s ability to see it. Said another way, without an intentional distribution strategy, even the best ideas can go unnoticed.

Here are three things I learned from Lavender as they launched LavenderLand:

  • Create a “teaser” video to build hype. Teasing out content can build anticipation within your audience around your launch date. Lavender produced a highly-effective super cut video with scenes from each of their five shows that was leveraged in pre-launch campaigns - promoting the launch of LavenderLand and creating buzz within their audience.

  • Activate a social campaign ahead of launch. About one week prior to launch, Lavender leveraged their teaser video expertly on LinkedIn in order to game the algorithm and optimize distribution. They activated employees, as well as key influencers, to promote the upcoming launch — amplifying their news into other audiences while adding credibility to their own.

  • Drive traffic to an interest list. The intention of the launch campaign went beyond buzz building, but was a masterclass in de-platforming. The Lavender team built a list of subscribers to LavenderLand before launching their first show, giving their most loyal fans the opportunity to be first to know about the platform.

Todd and team will be the first to tell you that this is just the beginning for LavenderLand.

Marketers across the entire SaaS industry are paying attention. With the launch of LavenderLand, we have seen the first living case study of a company going “all-in” on owned media — and the early returns are promising.

Imagine the early days of inbound marketing and the value realized by first-mover brands producing written content for SEO. That’s the moment we’re living in today, and companies who follow Lavender’s lead will have an advantage over their competitors.

Perhaps we should all aspire to become the worst marketers in our own worlds.



Anthony Kennada | About the Author

Founder and CEO, AudiencePlus

Prior to founding AudiencePlus, Anthony served as the CMO of incredible companies like Hopin and Front. He was the founding CMO of Gainsight where he and his team are credited with creating the Customer Success category -- a novel business imperative, profession and software category that helps subscription companies grow sustainably by becoming customer obsessed. By focusing on human first community building, content marketing, live events and creative activations, they developed a new playbook for B2B marketing that built the Gainsight brand and fueled the company’s growth from $0 to $100M+ ARR, and eventual acquisition by Vista Equity at a $1.1B valuation. You can follow him here.


Analysis: How Lavender Changed SaaS Marketing with LavenderLand

Marketers across the entire SaaS industry are paying attention. With the launch of LavenderLand, we have seen the first living case study of a company going “all-in” on owned media – and the early returns are promising.

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