Leading the Evolution of a $189 Billion Market
When ThoughtSpot approached Mission North in the fall of 2017, the company had an enviable pedigree but under-the-radar visibility beyond a niche group of data professionals. It was started by the co-founders of Nutanix (NTNX: NASDAQ), a former Mission North client and Silicon Valley success story with the biggest technology IPO of 2016. ThoughtSpot was growing fast, carving out its own path in the new category of search and AI-driven analytics, but media mindshare was often eclipsed by data visualization stalwarts like Tableau and mid-market upstarts like Looker.
ThoughtSpot’s AI-driven analytics platform and Google search bar-like interface makes it easy for the average business person to search and get insights from their company’s data in seconds. Unlike competing platforms, ThoughtSpot users don’t need to learn a new query language or spend hours of training on complicated, non-intuitive user interfaces. Anyone who knows how to use Google knows how to use ThoughtSpot. That’s why customers like Walmart, BT, Daimler, Hulu, Nationwide, and Miami Children’s Health System have turned to ThoughtSpot to transform their decision-making cultures.
ThoughtSpot needed a strategy that would catapult its unique vision for the evolution of business intelligence to the forefront of media, analyst and industry conversations.
We kicked off the communications strategy by leaning into the executive team’s pedigree and the company’s rapid growth to gain the attention of top tier business and technical media. The Mission North team also saw an opportunity to pursue company culture stories — such as innovative leadership approaches — to highlight ThoughtSpot’s unique egalitarian values. These values are infused both within the company and the product, and are reflective of the evolution ThoughtSpot champions for the BI industry overall.
With ThoughtSpot’s $145M Series D announcement in May 2018, the Mission North team worked hand in hand with ThoughtSpot’s Director of Content and Communications, Ryan Mattison, to capitalize on an opportunity to solidify the company’s emerging position as the new leader in the data analytics space. We prioritized a range of business, tech and trade press to reposition the ThoughtSpot brand in light of its recently attained unicorn status. At the same time, the team doubled down on executive bylines and Q&As that, through everything, highlighted the executives’ vision for data literacy and access, furthering their message to the market changing the BI status quo beyond data scientists and engineers. All the while, a steady cadence of customer, partnership and company expansion announcements were being curated and issued by the Mission North team to keep ThoughtSpot on the media’s radar in between major news moments.
In November 2018, the team launched ThoughtSpot 5 — which included a new array of capabilities making analytics as easy to use as a consumer app — cementing perceptions of ThoughtSpot as the market innovator bringing cutting-edge AI to BI. The PR strategy was helping ThoughtSpot shift the market’s perception to align with its own: that data visualization was running its course, and search-based interfaces and AI-driven analytics were the new requirements for BI success.
When competitors Tableau and Looker were acquired in June 2019 by Salesforce.com and Google, respectively, the Mission North team sprang into action and pitched ThoughtSpot executives for insider commentary about the changing dynamics of business intelligence, how these acquisitions would impact innovation and how ThoughtSpot is best positioned to be the leading independent player in the space. The company was soon at the center of a massive industry trend story and all eyes were on one of the remaining pre-IPO innovator in the hot data analytics space.
ThoughtSpot was named a Leader in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms — the fastest company to move from the Visionary to Leader Quadrant in its history, taking just one year. Former Gartner analyst and VP Cindi Howson then joined ThoughtSpot in early 2019 as Chief Data Strategy Officer, fueling more momentum. Following their recognition as the breakout star of augmented analytics, ThoughtSpot closed a $248M Series E round in August 2019 — bringing their valuation to $2B. The various campaign results ranged from 50+ pieces of coverage from Series D, including Fortune, Barron’s, Reuters, CNBC and Axios; 60+ pieces of coverage from Series E, including Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business Insider, TechCrunch and CheddarTV; industry commentary in MarketWatch, CIO Journal, Fox Business and CheddarTV; coverage of SearchIQ in Gartner, Forbes, and eWeek; and proactive company features with Forbes, Inc. and Silicon Valley Business Journal. In just 18 months since kicking off the partnership with Bateman Group, ThoughtSpot has become widely regarded as the new de facto leader in BI and analytics.