Generating 3x Product-Qualified Signups for Datree
Generated 300% year-over-year growth in active accounts.
Trippled the weekly numbers of product-quliafied signups within a month.
Generated over 10k organic visits per month with programmatic SEO.
Datree is a YC-backed developer tools startup that offers a policy management solution for Kubernetes. DevOps and SREs use it as guardrails to prevent misconfigurations from reaching production. Datree is trusted by enterprises such as Verint, JLL and Merck.
Challenge: Creating Scalable Growth Engines
By late 2021, Datree felt it had finally found its product-market fit.
“After several pivots, we felt that we had finally created a product that users truly loved,” says Shimon Tolts, Datree’s CEO. “We had quite a few active users who were engaging with the product on a daily basis. It was time to step on the gas in terms of customer acquisition.”
At the time, Datree’s growth strategy had three components:
Conferences where they gave talks about Kubernetes misconfigurations.
An open-source project that achieved over 5,000 GitHub stars.
Collaborations with influencers who produced videos about Datree.
The problem, Shimon recounts, was that these strategies weren’t scalable enough. They required significant resources from the team, yet failed to generate lasting results. "It was a bit like a hamster on a treadmill," Shimon explains.
“We tried to create a more scalable strategy with inbound marketing, but it didn’t work very well,” Shimon admits. “We spent a lot on ads, but it never significantly impacted the bottom line. I could have turned those off, and our pipeline would have stayed the same.”
Marketing Tactics Suitable for Developers
Shimon believes part of the problem was the vendors they worked with. They failed to understand the intricate complexities of marketing for a developer-focused company with a product-led growth strategy.
“That's why we immediately felt confident with Itamar,” Shimon says. “What makes him unique, as a marketer, is his experience in PLG, combined with the technical fluency that allows him to understand what Datree actually does.”
Itamar quickly realized that Datree’s existing inbound marketing strategy was not optimized for their target audience. Their strategy relied heavily on in-stream YouTube ads, which appeared on users' screens for 15 seconds during a video. These ads antagonized their audience.
Itamar switched off these ads, along with others that weren’t delivering results. Instead, he focused resources on one type of campaign: YouTube In-feed ads promoting influencer videos about Datree as Recommended Videos.
These ads, which allowed users the choice to watch rather than forcing them, were more suitable for Datree's audience. Their relatively low cost, combined with this, made them an ideal method for distributing influencer content.
“The results were almost immediate,” Shimon recounts. “Within a week or two, the weekly number of product-qualified signups tripled, while our advertising budget stayed the same. It was an incredible success. I never expected to see results so quickly.”
Scalable and Efficient Growth
Itamar has been working with Datree for over a year and a half now, handling everything from paid ads and SEO to influencer marketing and developer evangelism. He has become the focal point for messaging and positioning, recently overhauling the website to accommodate significant product changes.
"Itamar is always on his toes, constantly seeking opportunities to enhance our customer acquisition efficiency," Shimon praises. "A prime example is his success with Helm Chart DB."
Helm Chart DB is a programmatic SEO project that Itamar initiated. It is a database of over 3,000 helm charts that draws organic traffic from Google. Each month it generates over 10,000 visits and dozens of product-qualified signups, helping reduce customer acquisition costs in a period when efficiency is king.
In another instance, Itamar significantly boosted Datree's influencer marketing program performance by reallocating budgets away from underperforming influencers and securing deals for new types of assets with the high-performing ones.
"It's rare to find a marketer with such broad skills," Shimon says of Itamar. "When hiring a marketer, you often face the choice between someone with analytical and technical skills or someone with business acumen and strategic thinking. Itamar combines the best of both worlds, making him a partner I can rely on."
Indeed, Itamar has helped steer Datree towards tremendous success. Datree’s goal for 2022 was to achieve 300% year-over-year growth in active accounts. “At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t sure this was a realistic goal, but we ended up hitting it as early as August,” Shimon says. “Itamar played a huge role in that.”