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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Patrick Woods, CEO and co-founder of Orbit, a community growth platform that has raised over $22 million in funding.

  • Patrick’s blend of experience in marketing, brand strategy, and customer success leadership shaped his community-focused approach to business.
  • Before founding Orbit, Patrick launched a services-for-equity program at an ad agency, coupling top creative talent with startups, laying the foundation for his eventual move into the startup world.
  • Orbit is designed to help companies understand the “humans in their orbit,” bridging the gap between interpersonal relationships and business needs.
  • The platform enables businesses to unify the customer journey across diverse touchpoints, offering insights into individual interactions with the brand.
  • Orbit introduces efficient data management and actionable tools, like building a Champions program with just a few clicks, integrating seamlessly with sales and marketing CRMs for comprehensive insights.
  • Patrick observes a shift towards bottom-up adoption in software, with community playing a critical role in this go-to-market approach.
  • He advocates for a nuanced understanding of community beyond large forums, highlighting the importance of strategic, small-group interactions that benefit both companies and participants.
  • Misconceptions about community-led growth include the notion that it requires a large team or budget, whereas Patrick emphasizes starting with the desire to build better relationships with people connected to your company.
  • Orbit’s success is evident in its support of thousands of companies managing around 48 million community members, demonstrating a significant impact on brand awareness, user engagement, and revenue growth.
  • Looking ahead, Patrick envisions a future where companies engage more humanely with their customers, reducing reliance on outdated, impersonal marketing tactics in favor of fostering genuine community connections.

Actionable
Takeaways

Start Small with Community Initiatives:

You don't need a large team or budget to begin leveraging community for your business. Patrick's journey underscores the power of starting with small, focused efforts to engage your audience. Consider hosting targeted events or discussions that bring together people with common interests or challenges. This can be a low-barrier entry point to community-led growth.

Leverage Your Unique Background:

Patrick's diverse experience in marketing, brand strategy, and customer success leadership shaped his approach to building Orbit. Use your unique background and skills to identify unmet needs in your industry that could be addressed through community-building or innovative services.

Adopt a Human-Centric Approach to Technology:

Orbit's success in unifying the customer journey across multiple touchpoints highlights the importance of understanding your community members as individuals, not just users or leads. Implement tools and processes that allow you to personalize interactions and understand the nuances of your community's engagement with your brand.

Utilize Data to Inform Community Strategy:

The ability to track and measure engagement across various platforms is crucial. Use data analytics to understand where and how your community interacts with your brand. This information can guide strategic decisions, from product development to marketing campaigns, ensuring they're aligned with your community's interests and needs.

Embrace Flexibility in Your Business Model:

Patrick's experience at an ad agency, pivoting to a services-for-equity model, demonstrates the value of adaptability. Be open to evolving your business model to meet emerging market demands or leverage new opportunities, especially those that can benefit from or contribute to your community's growth.

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