Directive’s Marketing Saturation Strategy Helps DBT Exceed Growth Goals By Nearly 2X

Setting the Growth Bar Higher

Directive’s Marketing Saturation Strategy Helps DBT Exceed Growth Goals By Nearly 2X

Client Overview

DBT is the leading pioneer in the practice of analytics engineering. They support a community of over 25,000 data practitioners committed to changing how data teams work together. They are young and growing quickly, and are on a mission to help analysts create and disseminate organizational knowledge.



Over Projected Goal Sign-up Volume


Under Projected Goal Cost-per-signup


Over Projected Goal Conversion Rates

“Advertising for DBT's Coalesce conference presented an opportunity to show the value of a full-funnel, cross-channel campaign. Utilizing various platforms, mediums, and audience combinations, we were able to reach the right users with the right offers and drastically exceed performance forecasts.”

- Ben Sottek, Sr. Paid Media Account Strategist @Directive

The Challenge

DBT came to Directive with a wallet and a vision – looking to start scaling on the right foot. Prior to coming to Directive, DBT had never invested in paid media and had relied heavily on word of mouth and referrals to grow their pipeline. Now they wanted to generate demand and conversions from audiences that had yet to hear of the DBT brand.

DBT already leveraged their yearly Coalesce conference very well. By partnering with other larger players in the space they were able to network and generate referral revenue. Directive knew this was a channel that we could optimize and scale by using a proliferated paid media strategy. By driving signups to the conference and prospecting new audiences to widen the reach we could grow DBT’s exposure as well as pipeline.

The Strategy

Generating demand is easier said than done, especially in the SaaS space. Directive had to look beyond simple Google ads to generate enough impressions and engagement to justify DBT’s new foray into paid advertising. In order to do so we expanded beyond the usual mediums and channels to maximize both impression count and  conversions. This expansion included traditional Google ads, plus video, display, as well as LinkedIn and Reddit.

Custom Benchmark Goal Setting

Because DBT had yet to invest in a paid media strategy, there was absolutely no historical data for Directive to use for goal setting. In order to set accurate benchmarks, Directive combined multiple sources of data to ensure the goals they set were both reasonable, and worth chasing.

Directive did a comprehensive client analysis by industry to establish existing performance benchmarks of our work. We then compared these with broad level industry standards. We even used organic conversion rates to help provide more context to how DBT’s traffic engages with their site.This allowed us to set ideal goals for our paid media strategy even though DBT had no historical performance.

Google Cross-Medium Campaign

Having set proper goals and benchmarks to aim towards, we were now able to dive into the deeper issue – our goal conversion. As opposed to more traditionally revenue-tied conversions like leads and meetings booked, Directive’s campaign for DBT focused on event sign-ups, a unique conversion goal.

When coupled with Directive’s strategy of a cross-medium, multi-platform ad campaign, the benchmarks set in the very beginning of the campaign were vital. Relying on said goals, Directive was able to maximize impressions across all Google Ads mediums in order to reach the sweet spot of impression saturation – leading to higher conversion rate.

LinkedIn & Reddit Impression Maximization

Even though Directive specializes in LinkedIn Conversation Ads, because the strategy called for a volume play for impressions over a targeted approach, we decided not to use our bread-and-butter. Instead we leveraged every other type of placement across LinkedIn in order to maximize placements and saturate the entire platform with impressions.

Using a more targeted approach, we did the same thing for specific subReddits in order to capitalize on mental real estate in already qualified audiences like r/bigdata and more. These were audiences we knew were already qualified as quality and we wanted to dominate the market where it mattered most.

The Results

This campaign was not so much about growth as it was starting off on the right foot in order to spark momentum. Because of DBT’s lack of historical data and Directive’s custom goal setting, the below statistics have been contextualized by how far Directive exceeded expected performance.

Directive’s successful market saturation helped DBT successfully launch their paid media strategy with outstanding performance. In terms of setting historical presidents, it goes to show that setting a high bar certainly isn’t a bad thing. When it comes to the psychological game of SaaS demand generation, starting strong and maintaining that momentum is the best way to set your brand up for compounded growth.

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