ProductCamp Austin August 2010

Thanks for attending our presentation and for voting us Best ProductCamp Session!!

Here is the deck and notes from our session (Josh Duncan & Bertrand Hazard):

How to be a Product Marketing Genius, Ninja, Guru, Rock Star, Wizard, [Insert Buzz Word Here]

[Abstract]

There has never been a more rewarding, yet challenging time for Product Marketers to engage with customers. The social media world has opened a new land of opportunities to tell your story. The question however is where one should focus its efforts given limited time/resources to be the most effective? Led by two Product Marketing practitioners, this Town Hall discussion, will focus on the what’s working today and what to look for in the future. The presenters will give examples from the industry and their experience while highly encouraging audience participation.

Session notes gratefully captured by Nathaniel Robinson:

1. Forget your product

  • Don’t start from a product perspective…start with an end‐user perspective
  • Its really about the audience that you are targeting, both your customers and your salespeople
    • Customer: What value‐based messaging resonates with them?
    • Customer: What’s the go‐to‐market strategy? Where can you find your target audience?
    • Salespeople: Remember you’re typically competing against other products for the salesperson’s mindshare. Common mistake is to ignore the sales team’s product  feedback early in the process

2. Lead with your story

  • Product manager challenge is to take how your clients are using/valuing/etc your product and creating a message
    • Jeff Bezos (Amazon) interview with Charlie Rose: “Product is the New Marketing”.
    • Put an over‐arching story around your product and making sure it is relevant/ valuable ti your clients
    • Salesforce.com: big over‐arching message was the word Software crossed out, which was a tough sell when they launched. When Salesforce.com had a big outage, their competitors made a big deal about it since it spoke directly to their messaging. Salesforce.com countered by being the first in the industry to publish their stats (which were best in class), allowing them not only to defend but also further advance their message
  • Find ways to wrap your story around emotion AND facts/data

3. Be Social

  • Before product managers did market research primarily through focus groups and by talking to their salespeople
  • With social media you can now engage with broad audiences in an unprecedented way, and also in a very targeted manner
    • e.g. It is often hard to get customers to provide feedback/ case studies since there is often an internal approval process. It’s a lot easier to have reference customers post their comments/ review/ case studies on private sites (i.e. www.Drupal.org)
  • Use social to start conversations, do not end it there!
  • Shift your thinking from “product” management to “community” management. Today you need customers to help sell your products – they are often your best marketers

4. Be Relevant

  • You can experiment, but you need to build for the long‐term – you can’t build a community and then decide a year from now to shut it down or, perhaps even worse, disengage and turn it into a “ghost ship”.
  • Creating content is the equivalent of creating a landing strip – once you land the customer you need to have something relevant for them – fact sheets, case studies, other collateral materials
    • Cree.com, maker of LED Lighting, is a good example of creating materials (video, blog,etc.) that is both engaging and relevant to customers
1. Forget your product
 Don’t start from a product perspective…start with an end‐user perspective
 Its really about the audience that you are targeting, both your customers and your salespeople
o Customer: What value‐based messaging resonates with them?
o Customer: What’s the go‐to‐market strategy? Where can you find your target audience?
o Salespeople: Remember you’re typically competing against other products for the
salesperson’s mindshare. Common mistake is to ignore the sales team’s product
feedback early in the process
2. Lead with your story
 Product manager challenge is to take how your clients are using/valuing/etc your product and
creating a message
o Jeff Bezos (Amazon) interview with Charlie Rose: “Product is the New Marketing”. Put
an over‐arching story around your product and making sure it is relevant/ valuable to
your clients
o Salesforce.com: big over‐arching message was the word Software crossed out, which
was a tough sell when they launched. When Salesforce.com had a big outage, their
competitors made a big deal about it since it spoke directly to their messaging.
Salesforce.com countered by being the first in the industry to publish their stats (which
were best in class), allowing them not only to defend but also further advance their
message
 Find ways to wrap your story around emotion AND facts/data
3. Be Social
 Before product managers did market research primarily through focus groups and by talking to
their salespeople
 With social media you can now engage with broad audiences in an unprecedented way, and also
in a very targeted manner
o e.g. It is often hard to get customers to provide feedback/ case studies since there is
often an internal approval process. It’s a lot easier to have reference customers post
their comments/ review/ case studies on private sites (i.e. www.Drupal.org)
 Use social to start conversations, do not end it there!
 Shift your thinking from “product” management to “community” management. Today you need
customers to help sell your products – they are often your best marketers
4. Be Relevant
 You can experiment, but you need to build for the long‐term – you can’t build a community and
then decide a year from now to shut it down or, perhaps even worse, disengage and turn it into
a “ghost ship”. Creating content is the equivalent of creating a landing strip – once you land the
customer you need to have something relevant for them – fact sheets, case studies, other
collateral materials
o Cree.com, maker of LED Lighting, is a good example of creating materials (video, blog,
etc.) that is both engaging and relevant to customers