A little bit about me in the thread below 👇
I grew up in Battle Creek, MI (aka Cereal City, USA). Both Kellogg AND Post Cereals are HQ'd there. It's safe to say that most people are in the cereal business in Battle Creek 😀
I began my career at Kellogg in an analyst role and VERY quickly craved a startup environment...
I transitioned to a <20 employee startup and got my first taste of B2B sales.
WOW — sellers have it tough... I didn't realize that until I experienced it firsthand.
After a few years, I began looking for new opportunities in marketing. Enter @ZoomInfo (then DiscoverOrg)...
As the second PMM at DiscoverOrg, I had a hand in...
Positioning & messaging
This week, I'll walk you through my best practices in each of these subjects.
PS... this will be ESPECIALLY fun if you respond with your takeaways and experiences, as well 😉
Share what's worked well for you, ask questions, send your fav PMM memes... let's crush this week! pic.twitter.com/Fop5aAyAUJ
Let's talk competitive intel. Depending on your budget, there's a TON of different tools you can use. For my SMB friends with little budget, here are a few I'd recommend and why 👇
FIRST THING'S FIRST: what are you looking for?
Tip from the top:
Go to a competitor's profile on G2 or TrustRadius and scroll to the reviews. You can filter by segment, keywords, role, and more.
Get as granular as possible. The customer is king / queen, so naturally their feedback is pretty important 😜
SECOND THING'S SECOND: how complete is your competitor's offering?
To answer this question, we're going to do some good ol' fashioned sleuthing 😎
I know, I know... "look at their website" isn't exactly a groundbreaking strategy. But you'd be surprised how much you can find...
Here's a quick map of where you can find what:
"Solutions" tab = their product offering
Headlines = keywords that speak to specific personas
Knowledge center = in-depth product info / walkthroughs / screenshots
Careers = where they're investing / adding headcount
THIRD THING'S THIRD: staying up to date.
Google Alerts are tried and true when it comes to free, high-level competitive insights.
- Press Releases
- Funding Rounds
Will you get some redundant alerts? Yes. But not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
LAST THING'S LAST: community is everything 🙌
You won't get more candid feedback on competing vendors than in an online community.
Quora spaces, Reddit subreddits, Slack communities, Facebook groups, Discord channels... this is where people REALLY talk.
Figure out where your buyers are hanging out and join the party.
A parting piece of advice here is to NOT say that you joined the community for competitive intel purposes ;-)
LET'S REVIEW. If you have limited budget, use the following resources for your competitive intel:
Now, for my friends with budget... 🤑
Let's walk through a few investments that will help take your competitive workflow to the next level...👇
AUTOMATE COMPETITIVE INSIGHTS: @Crayon
Crayon tracks changes that occur under your competitors' domain. They'll surface changes to...
- pricing pages
- web page copy
- knowledge center articles
- social statuses
...and more. Almost like Google Alerts on steroids 😜
SEM & SEO PERFORMANCE: @semrush
If you're curious about how well a competitor's site is performing, Semrush can help.
You can also use it to evaluate new markets and build media buying strategies.
i.e. it can help you find gaps where your competitors aren't 😎
VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER: @chorus_ai
The most important competitive insights come directly from prospects and customers. Therefore, Conversation Intelligence tools are a no-brainer for PMMs.
Tip from the top on how to report on Conversation Intel findings:
- Create trackers for each of your competitors
- Tie them to CUSTOMER and PROSPECT mentions only
- Report on changes each month
Voila! You can now see how your audience is responding to competitors over time.
☀️ Gooooood morning / afternoon to my east coast friends.
Let's continue the conversation around competitive intel. There's SO much PMMs can do in this space to stand out and accel in their career.
Here's a thread to help you add value for different teams 👇
Most of us know that battlecards are must-have competitive assets for sellers.
...but MOST Product Marketers don't format them correctly, which leads to low adoption from sellers 😬
This is my tried-and-true battlecard format that's gotten praise from sellers and leaders alike:
When sellers get put on the spot, they need quick points to dismiss competitors. Nobody wants to read from a script.
Long-form content is necessary, but shouldn't be the first thing your sellers see. Put those beneath bulleted talking points for follow-up emails.
The rest is up to you. Feature comparison? SWOT analysis? Case studies? Love them all.
But remember the reason sellers are visiting the battlecard — because a prospect mentioned a competitor. Address THAT first and foremost. pic.twitter.com/ucShFQZjgK
Sales aren't the ONLY folks that rely on competitive intel, though.
Let's dive into how you can help PRODUCT teams in the thread below 👇
Product teams need competitive intel to build strategic roadmaps.
Instead of battlecards, send newsletters. Here are a few categories you should include:
Work with your Product team to determine what cadence works best for them. Some might prefer quarterly newsletters, others might prefer monthly.
Don't be afraid to be opinionated about the insights that you find.
i.e. pull together your own forecasts based on findings.
Here are some forecast prompts that you can use to get started:
Is this insight expected or unexpected from the competitor? Why?
Is this insight tied to a larger market trend?
How does your product / company relate to this new insight?
Let's close out the night with our last audience for competitive intel... the C-SUITE.
In this thread, we'll review the three biggest keys to making sure they're informed about the competitive landscape 👇
Good news if you're competing against public companies! Google "company name" AND "10k," and you'll find revenue, employee growth, new products, and more.
They're not exactly "light reading" (they're actually pretty dense), but nothing that a Ctrl-F can't fix.
COMPANY GROWTH cont.
If you're competing against private companies, things will be tougher to uncover...
One tried and true method of mine is getting a LinkedIn Premium subscription and referring to the Insights tab of a company's profile... 🧐
COMPANY GROWTH cont.
The Insights tab will show you the company's employee growth over the past year or so. Employee growth is a pretty good proxy for overall company growth.
If a company is doing well, they usually hire more. If they're not, their headcount tends to stagnate. pic.twitter.com/2db2lzPIoW
Another key stat that executives are keen to understand is how often competitors are being mentioned by prospects and customers.
Again, tools like @chorus_ai can help you track the rate that different competitors are mentioned over time.
CALL MENTIONS cont.
Take calls where competitors are mentioned in one period of time then divide them by OVERALL calls that took place.
Report on that metric each month to see which competitors are gaining traction or losing steam 🤓 your CRO + CEO will thank you!
I know it's cheesy, but consistency really is the key here. Most of these stats are only valuable if you're timely.
Ask your C-suite what cadence they'd like competitive reporting to be delivered and offer the above (growth + call mentions) as places to start. pic.twitter.com/a6BjhJucbZ
That's all for Tuesday! Hope you've enjoyed reading these competitive intel threads as much as I've enjoyed writing them :-)
Shameless plug: follow my personal account
@AMcBick for more content like this!
See you bright and early tomorrow 😇 pic.twitter.com/RwdezFTIPs
Let's talk about one of the most important feedback channels that PMMs own: WIN / LOSS
How to start + best practices in the thread below 👇
First, start a doc and write down all of the questions you want answers to.
Share that doc with your director / VP (whoever you'll be sharing the end result with) and ask what they think.
Misalignment is the #1 cause of failure for win/loss programs.
Next, build lists of these three groups...
- Existing customers
- Closed-lost prospects
- Churned customers
Each are equally important because they have unique perspectives / experiences of your business.
Time to determine your outreach cadence.
A good rule of thumb is to reach out within FOUR WEEKS of a deal closing. This way, the experience is still fresh for your customer / prospect.
Schedule multi-touch sequences using email automation tools (huge time saver).
It will be difficult to get calls scheduled with closed lost prospects or churned customers unless you offer an incentive of some kind.
Try starting with a $10 gift card in exchange for 20 minutes of their time. Reachdesk is a great tool to help you manage this.
Last two pieces of advice...
Record your calls. You'll find your conversations are much more fluid if you're not having to constantly stop and take notes.
Keep questions consistent. It will make things easier when it comes time to report on responses.
Every PMM worth their salt* knows that a good win/loss program consists of QUALITATIVE and QUANTITATIVE data.
Calls = qualitative
To get substantial quantitative data, most turn to surveys. Here are some best practices 👇
*does anyone know where this phrase comes from??
First, you'll need to pick out your survey-building tool.
If you want to build out a layered survey with multiple "if/then" routes that survey participants could take, then I'd recommend GetFeedback.
If you have a straightforward 5-question survey, Google Forms should be just fine 👍
For longer surveys (e.g. 10+ questions), survey abandonment can be a real problem.
That's when participants leave the survey because it's taking too long, they get distracted, etc.
For that reason, try to keep your survey under 20 questions max.
If you're in that sweet spot of 10 - 20 questions, you can get a lot of info from participants... but you're still potentially risking survey abandonment.
To make it as straightforward as possible, list questions in a similar format to one another.
Here's what I mean...
Example survey format for closed lost prospects:
To get REALLY in-depth responses, create rules so that if a participant says "yes" to one of the above questions, they're prompted with "what were your specific concerns?"
Again, depending on who you're sending surveys to, you might want to offer an incentive.
You can probably get by offering a $10 gift card and get a solid response rate, whereas with calls you might want to up it to $20.
QUALITATIVE VS. QUANTITATIVE
Which ones better?
They're both great with their own unique advantages. If you have both, you'll have a strong Win / Loss program :-) pic.twitter.com/UokpYRJvJc
You hear PMMs talking about "personas" all the time...
But to launch a product successfully, there are MULTIPLE roles you need to consider.
Here's a breakdown... 👇
This is the person that shows initial interest in our product or service and starts the buying journey.
pretty self-explanatory... this is the person who will USE your product :-)
Influencers are your advocates. They're the people that convince the other folks on the buying committee that they need your product.
They give the final approval of the purchase of your product. They're typically very senior within the company.
Buyers are in charge of the team/company's budgets.
Approvers push adoption of your product on a larger scale and have final say - this is usually someone in the C-suite.
Someone who gets in the way of your product being bought.
Keeps these roles in mind the next time you launch a product. And yes, it IS possible for one person to hold multiple roles depending on the size of the organization. pic.twitter.com/XOqXDOsjHS
Time to share with the class 😇
How did YOU develop your persona?
Inspiration is everywhere. Find something you're interested in and flip it into the perspective of a PMM.
How would I launch that?
Who would I message to?
Who do they compete with?
I do this with competitive intel all the time. Here are a few examples...
Here's how I'd advise Slayer to promote one of their albums vs. Metallica (a much larger / well-known band) pic.twitter.com/Etym0X4wCg
I started seeing these one-gallon Giotto bottles everywhere. I wasn't sure what led to the explosion in popularity so I dug into it... pic.twitter.com/dx9uarL1SI
The bottle has eight markers to pace your drinking, each paired with a motivational phrase.
You're doing awesome
Don't give up
This aligned them to a big audience. Most struggle to consume the right amount of water every day. Giotto solves that pain point.
Bitcoin has been making waves lately and I didn't really understand why. Making a battlecard for them vs. fiat money helped me "get it" pic.twitter.com/AnBrinDkCy
How would you stand out if you were in a death metal band playing at a festival?*
*question I ask myself frequently ;-)
Can you guess which non-headlining band at this festival got the most attention? pic.twitter.com/iKu6D2cpje
@pmmunderhood Oh personas! I remember my first persona project, I spoke to people (ahem, sales) who knew my target audience. Now I do interviews with my audience.
PMM functions tied to successful traits in real life:
Creating personas = reading the room
Strategic Narrative = storytelling + goal-setting
Competitive Intel = differentiation
Enablement = teaching + collaborating
Copywriting = communicating
The best job in the world ❤️