Humanize products and marketing from the inside out by Kathy Klotz-Guest


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Humanizing your products isn’t simply a matter of “messaging.” While important, messaging that focuses on technical features and benefits isn’t enough. Product managers and marketers need to create stories of how their products fit into their customers’ lives. Stories influence product development and marketing – before and after the product is designed. Stories create empathy for customers during the design process. And, without compelling stories that speak to customers’ real human challenges, products won’t sell after they are created. This presentation (from the May 18th workshop given to the Silicon Valley Product Management Association) covers how to:

• Develop stories of customers and their human needs
• Use stories (not use-case scenarios or features) to shape product design
• Create compelling stories for marketing that cut through the noise

Want more info? Visit and follow Kathy Klotz-Guest on Twitter: @kathyklotzguest

About Kathy
Kathy Klotz-Guest is founder of San Jose-based marketing strategy and communications firm, Keeping it Human. With a deep background in product strategy and marketing communications, Kathy helps companies design better products and boldly tell compelling, human stories (marketing communications) to the world. She is passionate about helping companies communicate in human-speak, a language that customers trust. She loves shaking up the status quo and is on a mission to wipe out jargon-monoxide poisoning! Kathy is a Founding Fellow and current board member for the Society for New Communications Research. She has Masters degrees from Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and is a regular improvisational performer. Her favorite audience is still her 4-yr-old.

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Humanize products and marketing from the inside out by Kathy Klotz-Guest

  1. 1. K athy K lot z -Gues t@kathyklot z g ues tkathy@keepingithuman.comwww.keep ing ithuman.c om1All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-GuestMaking Products and Marketing More
  2. 2. Humanize Products From the Inside OutSilicon Valley Product Management AssociationWorkshop May 18, 2013All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 2
  3. 3. About Kathy Klotz-GuestStoryteller and Marketer Values play, simplicity, and human-speak in business 20 years high-tech marketing / communications strategy and comedy Founding Sr. Fellow, new media think tank ( MA Stanford University, MBA UC BerkeleyAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 3Psst…I’m the oneOn the right;-)
  4. 4. Welcome!Stories during design and after productcreation should be consistent(align product and marketing)Features andUse-case ScenariosAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 4
  5. 5. All Great Products…Have a solid ‘Why’ and great storiesAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 5
  6. 6. Without a Great Why…All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 6
  7. 7. Human-Focus of ‘Why’• Solve a challenge• Create new opportunity• Make life betterServe a human need that is *not* about buying your stuff!All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 7
  8. 8. Always a Human NeedAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 8People don’t needtechnology. They haveneeds for belonging,community, connection,safety, security, control.
  9. 9. Human Focus Starts with Empathy(both b2b and b2c – same process)• What is the impact of my product on customer?• How does it fit into customers’ lives?• What’s their ‘story?’ (hopes, needs, etc)Remember: technology changes, humans don’t!All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 9
  10. 10. Exercise (pairs)Interview partner about their last trip-bookingexperience. What worked / what didn’t? Why?Part 2: Dig Deeper! Get to emotions, motivationsIf you think you hit on something – go deeper.Things you found interesting – ask about those.All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 10
  11. 11. Exercise (Pairs) 8 Min.• What were the big a-has that would affect design?• What is the human need of your customer?• Use these to write a problem statement (short and specific)• Come up with 5 ways to meet user’s needs (not features)All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 11
  12. 12. Marketing with StoriesAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 12Stories in the designprocess help align thestory marketing tells
  13. 13. Stories Cut Through ClutterEvery 2 days, we create as much information asexisted from all of human history up to 2003– Eric Schmidt, former CEO, GoogleAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 13
  14. 14. Stories ScaleStories are remembered up to 22X morethan facts alone. - Stanford University GSBHuman are storytelling animalsAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 14
  15. 15. Buyer’s Journey Has ChangedAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 15Buyers are 67% to 90% through their journey by the time they contactthe vendor - Forrester, Oct 2012Last MileAdvocacyOr notAdvocates anddetractors tell theirown stories…Image Source:
  16. 16. All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 16Stories, Not “Messaging!’image source:
  17. 17. The Key to a Great Story…Change!– How are customers better off because of the product?– Facts are content; story is needed emotional context– Paint a vision of what could beAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 17
  18. 18. Storytelling Model(b2b and b2c)• Once upon a time, <name: ex, customer Bob - hero/protagonist> was…..• And every day, Bob did ‘X’…<or didn’t do X because he didn’t have yourproduct – this is the conflict or problem the customer faces>• Until one day, Bob discovered <your product / service is solution /climax>• And because of this, Bob can <can be a fact – resolution/benefit X>…• And because of this, Bob received <can be fact – resolution/benefit Y>…• And ever since that day, Bob uses <your product / service> because itallows him (big human need/change: freedom, access, more time, savedmoney leads to internal enhanced reputation, control, security, etc.)All rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest18
  19. 19. The Model…A Starting PointEvery story (b2b and b2c) needs– Character, conflict, climax, resolution, and change– Your language: ‘Once upon a time’ is merely a framing devicemoving through ‘what happens next?’ towards resolutionAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 19
  20. 20. Conclusion• Develop a story of customer before design– Empathy and story drive design• Aligns product and marketing– You know marketing ‘story of change’ you need to tellAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest 20Humanize!
  21. 21. Thank You for‘Keeping it Human’with me!kathy@keepingithuman.comSign up for my newsletter to the “Human” KindAll rights reserved 2013. Klotz-Guest