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Ethena x Right Side Up

Ethena is a software company that provides modern, engaging compliance training to culture-forward organizations like Pinterest, Zendesk, and Figma. The company was founded in 2019, and in 2022, they had raised a series B and were eager to supercharge their growth.

The Challenge

After closing their series B round, Ethena was looking to take their demand generation strategy to the next level. They wanted to bring in a fractional senior marketer with deep demand generation expertise who could partner with their leadership team to help set the broader strategy, support tactical execution as needed, and ultimately help them validate the need for a full-time hire and take the function in house.

[.c-comment-study-wrapper][.cc-mb-20]“To continue scaling our demand generation strategy, we knew we needed to move into new marketing channels like paid search. We didn’t have that expertise in-house at the time, and so we were looking for a marketing partner who could help us build a strong foundation, test into new channels, and uncover data to help us analyze and interpret performance more easily.”[.cc-mb-20]Hannelore McElheny, VP of Design, Ethena[.c-comment-study-wrapper]

The Solution

After speaking with Ethena to get a deeper understanding of their business and the challenges they were facing, we recommended they work with Michael Shearer, a proven B2B marketing leader on our talent platform. 

Michael’s specialty is building and growing demand generation programs from the ground up. His well-rounded background spans all demand generation functions, and his particular bent towards marketing operations and the instrumentation of technology in support of effective and scalable demand generation programs made him the perfect fit for Ethena.

Michael came in and helped them hit the ground running by: 

  • Developing a demand generation strategy that included a prioritized list of channels to test
  • Managing channel tests across paid search, paid social, and email marketing
  • Overseeing Ethena’s paid ads agency—Right Percent, a Right Side Up venture focused exclusively on scaling paid ads for B2B companies—and gathering feedback from other parts of the organization to help them make more informed decisions about their advertising efforts
  • Collaborating cross-functionally to streamline marketing operations and campaign management within HubSpot
  • Serving as a sounding board for leadership and the rest of Ethena’s marketing organization

[.c-comment-study-wrapper][.cc-mb-20]"Ethena was in high growth mode and needed to test channels fast to see where good opportunities might exist. We executed a lot in a short time to help the company understand more about their audience and key marketing channels."[.cc-mb-20]Michael Shearer, Fractional Growth Marketing Leader[.c-comment-study-wrapper]

The Impact

Within six months, we provided the Ethena team with lots of statistically significant data to help them make more informed decisions about their marketing efforts—which courses to hone in on, as well as which channels and tactics were working and which ones weren’t worth continued investment.

Ethena has a sizeable catalog of courses to choose from. We looked at full funnel conversion data and campaign conversion metrics down to closed won business, and in doing so, we were able to identify and justify which courses to focus our marketing and advertising efforts towards.

We helped Ethena optimize their demand generation campaigns with really strong top of funnel results, particularly on the paid search side, where we scaled lead volume while bringing down the cost per lead and improving site conversion rates. They now have a much bigger lead database that they can continue to nurture.

We also helped Ethena validate the need for a full-time, in-house demand generation marketer, and subsequently helped them transition the function to their new team member.

[.c-comment-study-wrapper][.cc-mb-20]“Right Side Up helped us build the foundation of a demand generation program we could scale. When we were ready to hire a full-time, in-house demand generation marketer, we were well equipped with a solid data set, a list of the tests we had run as well as the outcomes for each, and a clear understanding of which efforts to prioritize moving forward. Our new hire was able to hit the ground running and deliver great results in her first quarter.”[.cc-mb-20]Hannelore McElheny, VP of Design, Ethena[.c-comment-study-wrapper]


Right Side Up partnered with Ethena to help them uplevel their demand generation function in preparation for scaling. From helping develop the strategy to quickly identifying the tests and tactics that worked best for their unique business, we were able to help Ethena make great strides toward their growth goals as well as justify hiring a full-time employee to continue leading their demand generation efforts.