Product Storytelling – Don’t Forget the Context

When launching a new product, it is important that customers understand what problems your product is solving. You don’t have time to tell a long story so you need to make sure your message is effective in creating a desire to learn more. This is where context can help. If you are trying to tell a story about your product, context is the background information that helps the scene make sense. Without this context, you leave it up to the customer to figure it out on their own. I recently wrote an article highlighting Box.com as an example for setting good background context on their … Continue reading Product Storytelling – Don’t Forget the Context

Setting the Context of your Product

I have been thinking a lot about new product development and the process of building a story that goes with it. The obvious challenge being that when you have a new product, you often have a lot of explaining to do. There is no shortage of information out there about how hard it is to get noticed and how short attention spans are these days. Within seconds of contact with a potential customer, you need to start telling your story. However, with limited time you need to make sure you are putting your message into a context that makes sense … Continue reading Setting the Context of your Product

product is the center of marketing - seth godin

The Circles of Marketing and Making 1+1 = 3

I am behind with my weekly blog post this summer but wanted to share some amazing thoughts on product marketing and telling your story. Seth Godin recently put together a post that should be required reading for marketers. In the post, the circles of marketing, Seth writes, And the innermost circle is the product or service itself. When the thing you sell has communication built in, when it is remarkable and worth talking about, when it changes the game–marketing seems a lot easier. Of course, that’s because you did the marketing when you invented the thing, saving you the expense … Continue reading The Circles of Marketing and Making 1+1 = 3

We are working on a new product. Can you name it?

There is something to say about SolarWinds. First, let me set the record straight. I have joined SolarWinds in January as Sr. Director of Business Strategy and I am probably still drinking the Kool-Aid. Having said that, one of the reasons I choose SolarWinds over an executive position at an early stage start-up was that I was very intrigued by their business model. SolarWinds sells IT Management software to companies of all sizes without any sales rep in the field. They don’t even have a professional services organization. They market their products on the web and they close each transaction … Continue reading We are working on a new product. Can you name it?

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A Product Launch Disaster in Front of Millions

Everyone wants the rewards that come with a big product launch – tech blogs, news coverage, and a ton of word of mouth leading up to a massive amount of sales. Who doesn’t want everyone talking about your product at launch? So, where to start? If you look at a few of the tech leaders out there at generating launch buzz, it almost seems easy. First you need to keep things super secret – can’t have any details leaking out too soon. Then you need to slowly give out a few hints and clues here and there that something big is … Continue reading A Product Launch Disaster in Front of Millions

You are a Startup Marketing Failure so Now What?

Chris Dixon wrote a post last week titled, The default state of a startup is failure, that I think is a must read for startup marketers. Chris shares the following ideas around building something new, On the flip side, first-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround … Continue reading You are a Startup Marketing Failure so Now What?

art drying

How to Create an Awesome Product Introduction Video

A few years ago, I gave a talk at Product Camp titled Start with the Story. One of my talking points was on the importance of a good product introduction.  When someone first encounters your product, there needs to be a quick way for them to understand what it is all about – essentially your product elevator pitch. During the presentation I picked on a startup called PlanCast which was a schedule planning app that a lot of people were starting to use. Their home page made it impossible to tell what their application was supposed to do and why you should give it … Continue reading How to Create an Awesome Product Introduction Video

The Most Important Thing You Can Do At A Trade Show

If you are planning on setting up a booth at a trade show there a lot of practices out there to make the effort a success. Booth design, location, staffing, and prizes can all make the difference between meeting your lead goals and coming up short (see Hub Spot’s post on trade show marketing). That being said, here is the most important thing you have to do when exhibiting at a trade show, Clearly explain what it is that you do on your trade show booth.  Yes, I know you are mandated to show your awesome marketing tag line like, “We … Continue reading The Most Important Thing You Can Do At A Trade Show

Own your Story or Someone Else Will

Bad marketing is easy to spot. We point it out, share it, rant at it, and swear that it will never happen to us. Good marketing is east to spot. We point it out, share it, savor it, and try to emulate it. So, what is the secret of good marketing? Simon Sinek offers this as an explanation, Good marketing offers us a view of the world. Bad marketing offers us a product to buy….. Good marketing uses the products to help tell a story. Bad marketing tells stories about products. This probably isn’t the first time you have heard that telling a story is … Continue reading Own your Story or Someone Else Will

The Rise of the Product Marketer

Last week we had a guest post from Dave Wolpert that resulted in a thoughtful discussion on the role of Product Marketing and whether or not it was on the decline. In this follow-up, I am going to give my thoughts on the role. In most businesses there is a gap between marketing and product that must be filled. Without an audience, a great product has nowhere to go. Likewise, a great marketing strategy can’t save you from a woeful product. I believe that business success can be found when you match a great product with a great marketing plan and … Continue reading The Rise of the Product Marketer