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Product Marketing Crash Course

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What it is, when to invest and how to do it.

This session focused on the basics of product marketing and why it matters including positioning, personas, key messaging, product launch cycles and more.

Published in: Marketing
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Product Marketing Crash Course

  1. 1. Product Marketing Crash Course: What It Is, When To Invest and How To Do It Hana Abaza, Head of Marketing, Shopify Plus @hanaabaza
  2. 2. What is it?
  3. 3. “Product marketing is the process of promoting and selling a product to an audience. It includes assessing customer needs, customer type, and geographic area.” - Wikipedia
  4. 4. “7 P’s of marketing: Product, Pricing, People, Place Promotion, Process, Physical environment.” - A Marketing Professor
  5. 5. Huh?
  6. 6. How is Product Marketing different from Marketing-Marketing? You’re not the only one who is confused!
  7. 7. “Product marketing, at its heart, is about understanding what you’re building, why you invested in it, and how it will benefit the user — and then messaging that understanding to your customer.” - Joanna Lord, CMO of Classpass
  8. 8. Okay, but what is it really?
  9. 9. CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  10. 10. lead generation, content marketing, SEO, paid campaigns, email marketing CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  11. 11. conversion optimization, landing pages, marketing automation, lead scoring lead generation, content marketing, SEO, paid campaigns, email marketing CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  12. 12. conversion optimization, landing pages, marketing automation, lead scoring lead generation, content marketing, SEO, paid campaigns, email marketing positioning, personas, messaging, sales enablement, collateral, case studies, customer feedback, market insights CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  13. 13. positioning, personas, messaging, sales enablement, collateral, case studies, customer feedback, market insights CLOSE PRODUCT MARKETING!
  14. 14. conversion optimization, landing pages, marketing automation, lead scoring lead generation, content marketing, SEO, paid campaigns, email marketing positioning, personas, messaging, sales enablement, collateral, case studies, customer feedback, market insights CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  15. 15. Drift Blog: https://blog.drift.com
  16. 16. PRODUCT MARKETING IS CROSS- FUNCTIONAL BY NATURE
  17. 17. Who are we building it for? What are we building? How to we “go- to-market”? How do we talk about it? Product Engineering Sales/Biz Dev Pricing Sales Success Product UX
  18. 18. GREAT PRODUCT MARKETING MEANS UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER
  19. 19. BAD PRODUCT MARKETING CAN KILL YOUR COMPANY
  20. 20. BAD PRODUCT MARKETING CAN KILL YOUR COMPANY 1. people don’t understand what you do
 2. your employees don’t know how to explain it 3. none of the marketing stuff is working
  21. 21. FROM STARTUP TO SCALE HOW AND WHEN TO INVEST IN PRODUCT MARKETING
  22. 22. First Round Capital
  23. 23. Oh Shit! Moments (a.k.a. signs it’s time to hire a product marketer)
  24. 24. When you’re about to launch and you don’t know how much it should cost…
  25. 25. When you’re re-writing the “value prop” in an email that should have been sent…
  26. 26. Your sales team is like “Oh shit…” value prop training demos
  27. 27. Your success team is like “Oh shit…” support docs comms training
  28. 28. THE JOB Ongoing strategic initiatives and tactical execution.
  29. 29. STRATEGIC vs. TACTICAL
  30. 30. ONGOING vs. LAUNCHES
  31. 31. ONGOING PRODUCT MARKETING STUFF Market intelligence Competitive research Positioning Personas Value prop Messaging Customer feedback Win/Loss analysis Market segmentation
  32. 32. PRODUCT/FEATURE LAUNCHES Pre-Launch Launch Post-Launch
  33. 33. PRODUCT/FEATURE LAUNCHES Pre-Launch Launch Post-Launch Spec sheet / brief Product positioning Figure out messaging Market insights Train internal teams Create marketing assets Create sales collateral
  34. 34. PRODUCT/FEATURE LAUNCHES Pre-Launch Launch Post-Launch Campaigns Landing pages Email marketing Channels Website update Content marketing Press release Re-engage lost deals
  35. 35. PRODUCT/FEATURE LAUNCHES Pre-Launch Launch Post-Launch Success metrics Product adoption Product usage Customer feedback Qualitative feedback Quantitative feedback
  36. 36. Product Management Product reaches a certain phase of ideation/completion, triggers marketing.
  37. 37. Brief / Spec Sheet - name - value prop (problem/ solution) - who is it for? - product description - plans/pricing - market insights - customer examples - testimonials - links to resources, content etc. Product Management Product reaches a certain phase of ideation/completion, triggers marketing.
  38. 38. Brief / Spec Sheet - name - value prop (problem/ solution) - who is it for? - product description - plans/pricing - market insights - customer examples - testimonials - links to resources, content etc. Product Management Product reaches a certain phase of ideation/completion, triggers marketing. What kind of launch is this? (go-to-market) Internal Comms - Sales team - Success team - Support team - Marketing (content, email, PR etc.)
  39. 39. Brief / Spec Sheet - name - value prop (problem/ solution) - who is it for? - product description - plans/pricing - market insights - customer examples - testimonials - links to resources, content etc. Product Management Product reaches a certain phase of ideation/completion, triggers marketing. What kind of launch is this? (go-to-market) Tier 1 - Tell the world! Tier 2 - Tell customers/prospects Tier 3 - Support docs Internal Comms - Sales team - Success team - Support team - Marketing (content, email, PR etc.)
  40. 40. Brief / Spec Sheet - name - value prop (problem/ solution) - who is it for? - product description - plans/pricing - market insights - customer examples - testimonials - links to resources, content etc. Product Management Product reaches a certain phase of ideation/completion, triggers marketing. What kind of launch is this? (go-to-market) Tier 1 - Tell the world! Tier 2 - Tell customers/prospects Tier 3 - Support docs Internal Comms - Sales team - Success team - Support team - Marketing (content, email, PR etc.) MARKETERS BEST FRIEND
  41. 41. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to exist. Here’s a template. :)
  42. 42. That’s a lot of process.
  43. 43. That’s a lot of process. Process = Bad
  44. 44. That’s a lot of process. Process = Bad Rhythm
  45. 45. That’s a lot of process. Process = Bad Rhythm Rhythm = Less Stress
  46. 46. a word about process Keep it simple A good process is one that people will follow Break it when necessary
  47. 47. POSITIONING, PERSONAS & MESSAGING ARE THE FOUNDATION Startups, Start Here
  48. 48. POSITIONING
  49. 49. David Packard Co-founder, Hewlett-Packard Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department. “
  50. 50. April Dunford CEO, Sprintly Marketing is about making it easy for people to find, evaluate and buy your products. Positioning is figuring out what your product is in the first place. “
  51. 51. Marketing can polish a turd. Positioning can turn turds into fertilizer. “ April Dunford CEO, Sprintly
  52. 52. HOW DO PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT? Are you a turd or are you fertilizer?
  53. 53. CONTEXT What do you think I searched to find this image?
  54. 54. CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING
  55. 55. WHAT’S THE CONTEXT IN WHICH PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT? Price, customers, competition, brand, channels, message
  56. 56. WHAT LANGUAGE DO PEOPLE USE TO TALK ABOUT ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT? How do your customers explain your product to their colleagues? What do they search on Google?
  57. 57. PERSONAS Personas > Markets > Segments
  58. 58. Brian Halligan CEO, Hubspot By not deciding on one of these personas, we paid a gigantic, invisible ‘optionality’ tax. “ Source: readthink.com
  59. 59. PEOPLE (AND PERSONAS) ARE MULTI-FACETED Personas & Positioning, Content/ Market Fit, Optimization
  60. 60. DEMOGRAPHIC Age Gender Income Marital Status Education Location (this is easy) PERSONAS & SEGMENTS
  61. 61. BEHAVIORALDEMOGRAPHIC Age Gender Income Marital Status Education Location (this is easy) Search Social Website Content Email Product (this is harder) PERSONAS & SEGMENTS
  62. 62. BEHAVIORALDEMOGRAPHIC “OTHER” Age Gender Income Marital Status Education Location (this is easy) Search Social Website Content Email Product (this is harder) Account-based Tech usage Interests Opinions Industry Use Case (this depends) PERSONAS & SEGMENTS
  63. 63. Audience Segment Company profile, industry, tech stack etc. Persona Intent, behaviour, usage PERSONAS & SEGMENTS
  64. 64. HOW DO YOU GET THIS DATA? Basic Stuff - Analytics tools - Form fills - Database (lost reasons etc.) Fancier Stuff - Data enrichment tools (Clearbit, Datanyze etc.) - Predictive analytics
  65. 65. HOW MANY PERSONAS? DECISION MAKER VS. INFLUENCER Personas & Positioning, Content/ Market Fit, Optimization
  66. 66. THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUYER PERSONAS AND USER PERSONAS Your buyer process and business model need to inform person development
  67. 67. WHERE ARE THEY IN THE “INNOVATION CYCLE” Your buyer process and business model need to inform person development
  68. 68. These people self-educate. Historical search terms?
  69. 69. Content, tactics and channels change. Need case studies, proof, validation.
  70. 70. MESSAGING What do you say to people?
  71. 71. This is the “why” — what’s the guiding narrative? Secondary Message Secondary Message Secondary Message Secondary Message Secondary Message Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter?
  72. 72. For example, Netflix might look something like this…
  73. 73. The best entertainment, straight to your device. We know what you’ll love before you do. Great Content Straight to Your Device Recommendations Convenience Low Cost Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter?
  74. 74. The best entertainment, straight to your device. We know what you’ll love before you do. Great Content Straight to Your Device Recommendations Convenience Low Cost Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2
  75. 75. The best entertainment, straight to your device. We know what you’ll love before you do. Great Content Straight to Your Device Recommendations Convenience Low Cost Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2
  76. 76. The best entertainment, straight to your device. We know what you’ll love before you do. Great Content Straight to Your Device Recommendations Convenience Low Cost Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Proof Points: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Product Story: • Point #1 • Point #2 Content • Search • Owned • Contributed Content • Search • Owned • Contributed Content • Search • Owned • Contributed Content • Search • Owned • Contributed Content • Search • Owned • Contributed
  77. 77. For a startup it might look something like this…
  78. 78. The big compelling why. It should be obviously awesome/important/compelling. Why people will care. Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? Proof Point: • give them confidence that it works Product Story: • Explain, specifically, how the product will help (in their terms Content • content marketing and marketing content
  79. 79. THE RIGHT MESSAGE VS THE RIGHT MESSAGE FOR EACH PERSON Personas & Positioning, Content/ Market Fit, Optimization
  80. 80. The big compelling why. It should be obviously awesome/important/compelling. Why people will care. Expand upon key messaging. Why does this matter? What's the value? Proof Point: • give them confidence that it works Product Story: • Explain, specifically, how the product will help (in their terms Content • content marketing and marketing content Create derivatives of your key messaging based on data to fuel/test campaigns, landing pages, email nurture, on
  81. 81. driving growth and insights targeted messaging (email, live chat etc) personalize landing pages with dynamic text targeted onboarding & nurture emails based on data etc. etc. etc. (ideas are plentiful, prioritize by impact:effort ratio)
  82. 82. HOW PRODUCT MARKETING FUELS GROWTH Insights, targeted messaging and feedback loops
  83. 83. INSIGHTS AND LEARNINGS GO BOTH WAYS Insights and feedback loops
  84. 84. conversion optimization, landing pages, marketing automation, lead scoring lead generation, content marketing, SEO, paid campaigns, email marketing positioning, personas, messaging, sales enablement, collateral, case studies, customer feedback, market insights CLOSE CONVERT ATTRACT
  85. 85. 2010
  86. 86. 2017
  87. 87. REMEMBER THESE CORE PRINCIPLES
  88. 88. Cross-functional collaboration Find your rhythm Keep it simple and break when needed Use insights to iterate and fuel growth Build the foundation
  89. 89. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL...
  90. 90. vs. Are you fertilizer or a turd?

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