The Marketing & Content team exist to drive organic, word-of-mouth growth by:
- Producing world-class top-of-funnel content for our ICP
- Ensuring the information users need is easy to find and maintained to a high standard
Marketing is the newsroom of PostHog. This means:
A small, talented team of in-house content creators with strong editorial capability – our default is to keep writing in-house, not farm it out to a network of freelancers.
Building a reputation for high-quality, trustworthy content that is a go-to resource for our users and wider reading audience.
Extreme responsiveness to opportunities, both internal and external (e.g. cool Hackathon projects, GDPR rulings).
Proactively reporting and amplifying company and product news, rather than artificially creating news or buzz by telling people what to build.
The latest goals for marketing can be found on the Marketing Small Team page.
Marketing & content vision
PostHog's vision is to IPO in 2026 with $100m ARR. This is what we think marketing & content at PostHog will look like at that point.
Things we want to be brilliant at
Acting as the newsroom of PostHog: We actively engage with engineering teams (like a journalist would engage with subjects), find out what they’re working on and partner with them to amplify what they are doing.
Word of mouth mindset: By IPO, we want to have built a hugely successful company driven primarily by word of mouth, rather than paid ads or PR.
Speed: We want to be highly reactive, low process, and reliant on other teams as little as possible to ship things. We want to get stuff wrong quickly, then iterate.
Content for our ideal customer: We deliver genuinely useful insights about things those customers care about (can be purely product-related, but also general advice). We're pitching our content at ‘self-servers’. Ahrefs and HubSpot are examples of companies who do this brilliantly for their audience.
Documentation We work with Website & Docs, and product teams, to maintain docs to a high standard, and ensure users can easily find answers to their questions
Things we want to be good at
Social media: Specifically Twitter, where we've seen good traction posting on James' personal account and the PostHog brand account. We do a minimal amount of posting on PostHog's LinkedIn account to keep it active, but it's not an important channel for us. We don't use any other social media channels.
Paid ads: An agency should keep handling this for us, but we shouldn’t get better at it internally. This includes out of home, should we ever decide to do this. We see paid ads as a hygiene factor.
Things we might want to be good at but haven't tested yet
Developer influencers: A small but growing trend in the industry, most of these are very expensive and overwhelmingly focused on teaching people how to code (i.e. not our target audience). We tried this with an agency and didn't get traction, but have seen some early promising signs going to developers directly.
Highly visible at industry events: We could become known for giving good talks at events, because this enhances word of mouth and is a natural extension of being good at creating good content.
Being cool and interesting people in online communities: We could do a lot more of this in relevant communities in Slack/Discord/Stack Overflow etc., and it's more engaging than one-way social media. We also increase awareness in relevant communities by sponsoring them. Overall, we want to be a net contributor to those communities.
Things we don't want to spend time on
Big, highly coordinated marketing campaigns: We can do them, but our reactive, short turnaround campaigns have been far more successful.
PR: If we do word of mouth well, our community will be far more valuable/credible than an appearance in TechCrunch.
Incentivised campaigns - e.g. GitHub stars campaign. It's not clear how these can be repeatable sources of successful word of mouth growth for us, but they will occasionally be useful.
How marketing works
These are our main values:
- Be opinionated
- Pull, don’t push
- No sneaky shit
1. Be opinionated
PostHog was created because we believed that product analytics was broken, and we had a vision of how it could be much better.
We need to reflect this vision in our marketing and content, and not dilute it with boring corporate-speak. When we write content, we take a firm stance on what we believe is right. We would rather have 50% of people love us and 50% hate us than 80% mildly agree with us.
We communicate clearly, directly, and honestly.
It's ok to have a sense of humor. We are more likely to die because we are forgettable, not because we made a lame joke once. We have a very distinctive and weird company culture, and we should share that with customers instead of putting on a fake corporate persona when we talk to them.
(Sometimes we use terminology like 'value propositions' because that is the standard marketing term for a well-understood concept. That's allowed.)
2. Pull, don't push
We focus on word of mouth by default. We believe customers will judge us first and foremost on our product (ie. our app, our website, and our docs). We won’t set ourselves up for long-term success if we push customers into using us.
If a customer doesn't choose PostHog, that means either:
- The product isn't good enough
- The product isn't the right solution for them
- We didn't communicate the benefits of the product well enough
We don't believe companies will be long-term customers of a competitor because they did a better job of spamming them with generic content. We know this because we frequently have customers switching from a competitor to us – they are not afraid to do this.
Tackling (1) is the responsibility of everyone at PostHog. The marketing team's specific job is to avoid spending time advertising to people in group (2), and making sure we do a great job avoiding (3).
- Making sure our comms are extremely high quality
- Sharing our messages in the right places, where relevant users can see them
- Spending enough time and/or money in those places so that our messages get through
3. No sneaky shit
Our target users are technical and acutely aware of the tedious clickbaity marketing tactics that software companies use to try and entice them. Stop. It's patronizing to them and the marketing people creating the content.
For these reasons, we:
Don't use any analytics except PostHog. No Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel etc. Customer trust is more important than making our marketing team's lives easier.
Don't make claims about our product that are not 100% genuine and verifiable. And we don't make promises for future functionality either beyond what's already in GitHub.
Don't do cold email marketing to acquire new customers. When was the last time you read the 8th email a company sent you and thought 'ok yes, I now want to use this product'?
Don't unfairly criticize or make false claims about our competitors. We will however compare ourselves to them to help customers make a decision, and occasionally they will be a better solution for what a customer needs. And it's ok to have a sense of humor about this.
Don't bombard customers with 'deals', pop-ups, and other dark patterns. These devalue our product in the long term.
Don't pretend our customers are different from us – i.e. more gullible, more susceptible to marketing. We are an engineering-led team building products for other engineers. If you wouldn't like it, assume our customers wouldn't either.
Marketing channels and tactics today
The Marketing team's main focus is acquisition of customers in our ideal customer profile (ICP).
We have established that word of mouth is the most effective way to do this – virtually all of our high quality signups have come organically.
Our channels are listed in the sidebar, including those currently on hiatus. By far, our most important channel is Content & SEO.
Sometimes we summarise our findings into internal reports to help us stay informed and understand how other products are developing. Our collection of summaries isn't exhaustive and cannot be shared publicly as it often includes details of the experiences of individual user experiences whose privacy we don't want to sacrifice. However, PostHog team members can find our competitor summaries in the relevant folder of the Marketing shared drive.
Who the marketing team are
The Marketing Small Team page is maintained here. By 2026, we still want to be a very small but highly effective and responsive team (15-20 people), rather than a very large marketing team with all the traditional functions and hierarchy. In addition to people who share PostHog's culture, we also value:
- Strong opinions
- People who like to choose their own objectives
- T-shaped people (wide breadth with a spike), rather than specialists
- Hands-on people not motivated by managing a team
- We're agnostic as to experience