Elevating Developer Darling to Business Powerhouse

CHALLENGE

In 2019, Segment is among the world’s most successful privately held enterprise SaaS companies. Segment is valued at over $1.5 billion, serves more than 19,000 customers and has been named to the Forbes Cloud 100 list three years in a row. But in early 2016, when Mission North started working with Segment, the company had raised a modest Series B and was relatively unknown outside of the Y Combinator community. Segment’s founding team tapped Mission North to establish the company beyond its developer base, raise awareness for its products and culture, and educate the market about the need for modern customer data infrastructure.

STRATEGY

Mission North worked with Segment CEO and Co-Founder Peter Reinhardt to establish his communications platform and showcase his expertise on customer data and privacy, position the company as an alternative to legacy marketing clouds, and showcase the company’s massive growth.

Peter is deeply invested in perfecting Segment’s culture, and by revealing his data-driven approach to building workplace culture, the team secured feature stories in the Wall Street Journal (x2) and Inc

As the data privacy conversation caught steam in 2017 and 2018, Mission North doubled down on Segment’s thought leadership program. Peter and his executive team became go-to resources about the issues surrounding privacy by explaining the importance of first-party data and the sometimes irresponsible practices happening in the market. As a result of these efforts, Segment executives were quoted in The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Barron’s and other top technology and business publications.

At the same time, the team positioned Segment as a credible threat to Salesforce and other legacy marketing clouds by attaching Segment’s news, including its Series C funding and expanding product portfolio, to business trends such as the modern customer experience, privacy regulation and the need for data governance. Features on Segment appeared in dozens of publications including TechCrunch, Digiday, Adweek, Fast Company and ZDnet. The headlines, like this one from Business Insider, capture Segment’s positioning: “This former Twitter exec thinks he’s found the next Salesforce — and it just hit $109 million in funding.”

Together, Segment and Mission North shaped stories that reveal the company’s earliest successes as well as the mature company it was growing into. Forbes and Business Insider, for example, wrote about the company’s founding story, early challenges and initial pivot while breaking the news of Segment’s first CFO and signaling the company’s direction and momentum.

IMPACT

Strategic storytelling has helped to transform Segment from a little-known, 30-person startup in Potrero Hill into the business juggernaut it is today. Segment now employs close to 500 people in seven global offices. The company has raised over $280 million and is valued at over $1.5 billion. It is among Y Combinator’s most valuable companies and is consistently recognized by industry leaders and lists, including The New York Times Next Unicorns, Mary Meeker, Forbes’ Cloud 100 and Business Insider.

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