The Gated Story Pt. 2: Building the Marketing Foundation

Melissa Moody
December 1, 2022

In the Fall of 2020, with happy early users and interested advisors, it was time to bring Gated to a bigger stage.

Our founder Andy Mowat is extremely skilled at tapping into energetic, interested advisors who can accelerate the growth of the company. With word about Gated spreading quickly, Andy found the support of an advisor who could pull together the foundations of Gated’s marketing strategy: me (Melissa Moody) – a 14-year Googler, digital marketer with a deep background in performance advertising, and… Andy’s sister.

Having heard about Gated since its inception, I had spent many months serving as a sounding board for Andy and mind sharing with him on how to bring the product to market.  Slowly, the two of us discovered that our complementary skills sets and shared enthusiasm could amplify each other, and Gated, in a powerful way.  

I joined Gated officially in December of 2020, as Cofounder and Head of Marketing.  In early 2021, we focused heavily on building the foundation for Gated’s marketing efforts by crafting overall brand positioning and outlining the story of how Gated will reshape a world overloaded with digital noise.  

Sharing what Gated is all about

There’s a clear reason why Andy created Gated. It’s the reason why so many of us feel overwhelmed, burnt out, and overstimulated.  It’s digital overload.   With ~360B emails sent every day, the pain of our noisy inboxes is hard to ignore.

Besides going to digital detox retreats and self-soothing with internet memes, many people feel powerless to control the massive amount of unwanted email cluttering their inboxes.  Sure, there have been tools to sort through the mess, after it lands in your inbox.  But overwhelmed marketers and busy executives don’t have extra time to spend cleaning up the clutter.

And so we spent a lot of hours doing customer interviews and listening to the pain of certain personas who were clearly overwhelmed: Marketers, CEOs, RevOps leaders.  Our small team collected insights, shaped our positioning, and built early marketing assets that would reach our audience for the first time.  In the spring of 2021, it was time to share Gated’s vision of reducing digital noise.  

With the Gated Manifesto, announced at Saastr Annual, we proposed a solution that uses technology and shifts incentives to defend your inbox and your attention.  Within one week, hundreds of people voluntarily signed the manifesto - vocalizing their desire for a more focused, more human-centric future.  We also heard from other companies and individuals who echoed the need for our vision and were excited to see the arrival of Gated’s innovative solution.

Learning from our customers

At the same time we were evangelizing this high-level vision, we were learning more about what our customers need and want from Gated’s solution.

Over a month and a half, we ran brand exercises inspired by the Google Ventures Design Sprint methodology, to refine our brand positioning and hear more from our customers.  Similar to what Peloton did, our team ran a brand wheel exercise and built out Gated’s key personas, tone, and brand voice.

In all of this work, we confirmed what Andy had known when he built Gated initially: marketers are some of the hardest-hit professionals when it comes to email overload.  Sellers are always hunting marketers as target customers because marketers own big budgets.  The competition to be in a marketer’s tech stack is virtually unending.  

Marketing professionals also make amazing customers for Gated because they also see just how broken the current email funnel is today, and recognize the need to re-think it.

Weaving marketing into all we do

From our brand vision, to the way we build our product, to the culture we build for our employees, marketing plays a foundational and connective role at Gated.  Our brand goals are enabled at the highest level and our marketing team feels empowered to explore, test, and go after big goals. 

In 2022, with Andy at the helm and me setting the sails, our focus has shifted to scaling and improving our core product. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Gated story - in which you’ll hear from our Head of Engineering about his arrival and how he’s leading the charge to build a world-class, globally-scaleable platform that will change how we think about email and attention.

Published March 2022

Updated December 2022