Tableau Conference – Interview with Ellie Fields: Part 2


I’m at the Tableau Conference with Ellie Fields, Vice President of Product Marketing. We’re going to have a conversation about marketing and a little bit about the keynote that she spoke at this morning.

Part 2

Lee Feinberg: So along the same lines of marketing, when Tableau went public last year, and that’s really accelerated the growth of the company, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve had to do in terms of how you’ve been marketing compared to maybe what you’ve done in the past?

Ellie Fields: The only real change that the IPO has imposed is that we have to be very careful about anything that’s financially related, product numbers and so on.

Another change that hasn’t really been imposed by being in a public company, but it has been a result, is that we have much greater awareness now. A few years a go we were definitely fighting the battle of, “Who is Tableau? Why should I care? What is visual analytics? What is self service Business Intelligence? Why are they important?” I think we’ve turned a corner in the market and our IPO was part of that. There’ve been a lot of things that have happened where self-service analytics is known to be useful. Tableau is a more known name, we have more enterprise customers, so that awareness has changed to some extent how we market and we are able to go a little bit deeper now and talk to a broader of range of people as well. But over all, we haven’t changed that much about our brand and our fundamental messages from the IPO.

Lee Feinberg: I definitely can tell you about the awareness side of it because my gauge that I joke with people about, is the number of communications I get through things like LinkedIn, where people are just looking for something to do with Tableau and they’re finding our company and just sending us messages. That has picked up significantly over the last year.

So it’s probably a combination of Tableau’s awareness in the market place and just in the general desire for people to know more about how they’re going to use their data over all.

Here’s another question about marketing, and this is a little bit around some of the things that I’m involved with in being a Tableau partner. With the companies that are in the Tableau ecosystem, and there’s more than just partners,there’s a lot of companies that are building applications and other services around Tableau. From your experiences in marketing over the years, what advice do you have for these companies about how they should think about marketing their services and products? I know we already talked about kind of the human voice, is there anything else that you could talk about for them?

Ellie Fields: Yeah! I think you know the Tableau community is definitely looking for authenticity, a human voice, a good brand. I think show not tell works great for partners and consultants and in the ecosystem as well.

The last thing I would say is you know we’re always adding features. So for partners in the ecosystem to be successful, we need to be adding something that isn’t the next Tableau feature, and that a lot of times is some amount of human IQ, some amount of industry knowledge.

Lee Feinberg: Yes, just the expectation I think of any customer would always be that a partner or anybody working in the space would be keeping up with the basic feature set, and so what’s the value that particular company brings outside of knowing how to use the software and the basics is really important. People are always looking to see that someone understands more about the business and what they’re trying to achieve! More than “Yes, we know how to click and how to push the right buttons for you.”

Part 3 in a few days…