An interview with Nic Lyons, Head of Marketing at CourseStorm

We sit down with Nic Lyons, Head of Marketing at CourseStorm. CourseStorm's mission is to streamline access to education by offering impossibly simple online registration for local classes.

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How did you end up at Coursestorm and what problem does CourseStorm solve for its clients?

I'm a lifelong learner, and I've always gravitated toward learning and education based roles. I spent a lot of time in the edtech world, and when I saw the opening at CourseStorm, I thought it would be a great fit and also a big challenge. CourseStorm solves the problem many small or medium sized businesses have of needing a simple way to grow revenue. We offer easy to implement course registration software so places like art centers, community theaters, and workforce training programs can grow their programs and increase revenue without adding overhead costs.

As the Head of Marketing, what are your main responsibilities at CourseStorm?

I lead the marketing function and sit on the leadership team with the head of sales, head of customer success, and the cofounders. Together we drive the strategic growth of the company and report to the board of directors. I specifically focus on attracting the right organizations to CourseStorm, ones that can truly benefit from our software.

To get a bit more technical, which methods work best for making people aware of and interested inCourseStorm , and why do you think they work so well?

Content marketing has been effective for us, as well as some legacy paid advertising efforts. I see the future for us in creating helpful content that increases awareness of our brand and mission. No one wants to be sold to, they want things that will help them. That's why I think this approach works well, especially in B2B SaaS marketing.

At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' Marketing strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the high-level marketing-related strategy of your organization, and what key elements contribute to its success?

We use a focused approach with a small mixture of tried and true, reliable paid advertising; content marketing as our most heavily invested strategy; and sprinkle in an experimental mindset that allows us to iterate quickly on new and sometimes incredibly effective tactics.

What marketing tactic have you employed at CourseStorm or past companies that you feel is often overlooked by marketing teams, and what makes this technique effective in your experience?

Association marketing is sometimes scoffed at as old school, but there's nothing I've found that's more effective than building relationships with your audience's communities, whether through free or paid efforts. I feel it's very customer centric and especially aligns with both B2B SaaS and education space businesses, which are harder to reach than, for example, B2C or e-commerce type audiences.

Has your Marketing team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?

Yes, we've experimented with cold email and cold outbound tactics. These tend to work only when the campaign is planned well and very targeted. Where I've seen it fail is with the use of paid lists of dubious origin. Unfortunately, these are peddled to marketers daily as quick fixes, but they rarely have any measurable effect.

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