Q & A with Tintri: Customer Marketing for Startups

Alana Becker - June 26, 2013

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Dave Frederick, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Tintri, recently sat down with us for a short interview. He discussed how Tintri is leveraging customer content, how he’s seen the role of customer evidence work for startups, and the impact Tintri has seen using TechValidate.

TechValidate: What are the main marketing objectives for Tintri right now?

Dave: Our objective at this point is to drive awareness in the industry, primarily as a storage provider for virtualization that has a truly differentiated offering and what the benefit is. Awareness and education about our product are the primary goals for us as we come out into the market.

TechValidate: What feedback have you gotten from internal and external stakeholders about the TechValidate content you’ve created?

Dave: It’s become this trove of content that we keep going back to and dipping into whenever we need to validate something or make a point. Sometimes we find ourselves without a graphic and we know we can always go to TechValidate and pull out an asset for an effective and powerful graphic to go along with the point that we’re making.

Having the quotes that come from customers in the comment section of the survey has been a tremendous moral boost internally as well. We display the customer quotes around the office and engineering folks or other internal departments now know what they’re doing matters to people in a very real way.

TechValidate: What impact have you seen from leveraging TechValidate content on your homepage and on your website in general?

Dave: We’ve devoted about one fourth of our promotional space on the new website homepage to TechValidate content because it has value and draw. We’ve also leveraged some of the assets and peppered them throughout the site.

When we built the site, the results from TechValidate prompted us to elevate the customer section of the site to something more than just a bunch of case studies in a resource library. We created a major section of the website called “Customers” with TechValidate research and additional stories.

We would not have created the section if we didn’t have the material generated by TechValidate and had also been bolstered by the positive results from that survey. The customer section is a signature component of the new site that we would guess has 50-60% higher traffic & engagement levels than the old site.

Any company that considers itself customer centric and doesn’t have this insight into how customers talk about them, needs to reevaluate their focus. They may not be as customer centric as they think.

TechValidate: How have you used TechValidate content with your sales team? What is the specific impact you’ve seen with sales?

Dave: We took advantage of the integration. The sales guys really like being able to quickly pull up and search for assets based on criteria like vertical market, or use case or industry, or company size. They may be on the phone with somebody or preparing an email to send, and they’ll look at TechValidate content.

The Salesforce integration makes it dynamic, and it’s easy for the sales team so they use it a lot. Many of them get into the habit of finding a TechValidate asset that they can add into an email.

TechValidate: Any wisdom to pass on to marketing teams at other companies in terms of using TechValidate and creating impactful customer content?

Dave: I would say my first bit of wisdom is to not second-guess the TechValidate team’s expertise about what does and doesn’t work in a survey. Marketing departments think they have to do everything differently to do it well. For example, when you make bread there is an exact ratio of flour to salt to water because it works correctly. If you mess with that it doesn’t come out as well.

At least on the first survey, take the advice of the people who have done hundreds of surveys and tailor it to your own space, but don’t deviate just to be different.

Also – keep reminding people inside the company in particular, and partners, and PR about the TechValidate content.

TechValidate: How would you sum up the impact that TechValidate has had on Tintri’s marketing?

Dave: From an internal stand point TechValidate makes us focus more on the customer because we are using customer content to market to new people. A particular quote, for example, makes us think about the person at this company, and how he is saying something we consider pretty dramatic about our machine. Overall TechValidate content helps us generate marketing initiatives that are more customer-focused. The team at TechValidate also helps us generate ideas on how to leverage testimonials.

In this industry, testimonial marketing, especially for startups, is absolutely essential and required. TechValidate is a perfect fit from that standpoint.

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Dave Frederick, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Tintri.


Alana Becker

Alana Becker is a Customer Advocate at TechValidate.

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