I’m excited to share with you how we as product marketers can do more with less. This article is all about the five assets that I believe every product marketer should have and the 15 ways we can repurpose them.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on:

  • Top content creation challenges
  • Five key assets for your bill of materials

Top content creation challenges

From my experiences in product marketing, I've identified our top challenges in creating effective content that aligns with our goals, our target audience, and our channels.

Challenge #1: Budget

Our first content creation challenge, which I'm sure many readers are very familiar with, is budget.

In 2020, 47% of product marketing budgets were in the zero to $250,000 range, and only 6% of product marketing teams had a budget of over $1 million. If we fast forward a year to 2021, 67% of product marketing teams had a budget between zero and $250,000.

That budget, as we know, is not just reserved for content. We need to use that budget for software and internet tools, customer research, competitive research, and even conferences.

Challenge #2: Time

Our next challenge is our time. As I just mentioned, we're not just responsible for creating content all day; we’re also responsible for creating the go-to-market strategy for products, launching products, landing products, enabling sales - the list goes on.

With so many things to do, there just isn't enough time to dedicate to creating content.

Challenge #3: Stakeholder alignment

Our third challenge is stakeholder alignment. Even though product marketing conducts market research and represents the voice of the customer, sometimes our stakeholders think that they know more about what customers want.

I've had many conversations with sales teams and product managers, where they’ve told me that their customers really want a specific asset like a blog or a datasheet, but that’s just not in alignment with the research that I have. That can make it hard for us to create content that our stakeholders view as valuable.

Challenge #4: People’s attention spans

The next challenge is people's attention spans. A study recently conducted by Microsoft indicated that people now start to lose concentration after eight seconds. Attention spans have been falling for years, and they’re at an all-time low.

If we know that people are only paying attention for eight seconds, how do we create effective content that grabs their attention and inspires them to do what we want them to do?

Challenge #5: Noise

Challenge number five is noise. It’s estimated that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook store at least 1200 petabytes between them. With so much information out there, how do we make our content sing out above the noise and reach our target audience?

Challenge #6: Promotion

The last challenge that we face with creating content is promotion. There are so many different channels available to product marketers.

We have social media, we have web pages, we have events, we have press articles, and sometimes we might not even be in charge of those channels.

At Google, for example, we have a dedicated social media team. If we don't own the channel, or if we're not aware of all the channels available to us, how can we make sure our content reaches our target audience?

Key assets for your bill of materials

What if I told you there was a way to build effective content within your budget that’s easy to promote and will excite your stakeholders and engage your target audience?

To help us with all of the content creation challenges that I mentioned, I believe that every product marketer should have these five key assets in their bill of materials:

  1. A customer-facing pitch deck
  2. A datasheet
  3. A customer reference
  4. A high-level product overview video
  5. A webpage

Let's dig into these five assets and the 15 different ways we can repurpose them.

I want to preface this with two things:

1) I'm going to be speaking from my background and my perspective of working in the B2B space.

2) These are not the only ways to repurpose your assets; you could create podcasts, white papers, and product demos, for example, but for the purposes of this article, I'm sticking with these 15 ways.

Key asset #1: The customer-facing pitch deck

Let's get started with the customer-facing pitch deck. The customer-facing pitch deck, as you’re probably aware, generally opens with the challenges that your target audience is facing, which leads nicely to your product and how it can solve that problem.

As you progress in your deck, you start to get into the specifics of your product – features, roadmap, pricing, customer references, upcoming events, you name it.

The goal of the customer-facing pitch deck is not only to tell a compelling story but to reflect our messaging and positioning and our key value props. To make this deck go further and save time and resources, we can repurpose it in three ways.

Repurposed asset: Analyst deck

Let’s start with the analyst deck. As I said, I work primarily in the business-to-business space.

We work with analysts – you can think of them as third-party consulting firms – to write papers, not only about our products but also about other products that play in that space, as a way to help businesses figure out which product is best for their business.

Because that customer-facing pitch deck is rich in information, it will be very easy for you as a PMM to take most of that content and put it into an analyst stack – you just have to make very slight tweaks.

Maybe this particular analyst cares about a specific feature, thought leadership theme, or moment in time. Because you have 80% of the content you need for an analyst deck in this customer-facing pitch deck, it should require very little effort and budget for you to flesh out the remaining 20%.

Repurposed asset: Event deck

You can take a similar approach for an event deck. Events can take many forms – your company might host first-party events, you might attend third-party or industry events, or you might even treat your product launches as events.

Whichever type of event you’re looking at, you can once again take all of that goodness in your customer-facing pitch deck and tailor it to the event’s theme.

For example, since I work in the online fraud space, I have a customer-facing pitch deck about how my products protect against online fraud and abuse.

However, I might be attending an event that is focused on protecting against fraud retailers during the holiday season. I can take the existing material in that deck and reword it to position our solution to that particular theme.

Repurposed asset: Webinar deck

Often, we run webinars when we launch products as a way to spread the word about our product or features.

Maybe for this particular webinar, you're doing a deep dive into a new product bundle and you want to make sure that your customers are kept informed and are going to be successful with that new bundling.

The customer-facing pitch deck already has pricing information, which you can drill deeper into to build that webinar deck.

Key asset #2: The datasheet

Let's move on to the second asset we can repurpose: the datasheet. In case you’re not familiar with the formatting of a datasheet, it’s usually anywhere from one to three pages in length and, much like the customer-facing pitch deck, it starts with customer problems.

This is a great space to throw in big numbers and startling statistics. From there, you move into how your product is a solution for these problems and your differentiation, before closing with a call to action.

Repurposed asset: One-pager

What's great about a datasheet is that it can be way pithier than a deck simply because it’s shorter.

You’ve got to jump straight to the point, explain the value of your product, and continue moving forward. Because this content is already so concise, it's very easy to translate into a one-pager.

Let's say, for example, you have a datasheet as I described, but you want to have a one-pager for an upcoming sales meeting between one of your sales representatives and a bunch of executives.

You can pull all of that goodness from your data sheet, and make it specific to how your product aligns with those executives’ priorities.

Repurposed asset: FAQ

Your FAQ aims to answer questions that your sales teams are likely to get from customers.

The datasheet is a great source for this as, again, it’s super concise. You can just take what is in the datasheet and reformat it into a Q&A.

This is going to save you so much time versus writing an FAQ from scratch.

Repurposed asset: Competitive battlecard

Particularly in the enterprise space, some of the most common questions my sales team gets are, “How are your products different from X?” and “X has this feature – does your product have it too?”

Our datasheets have those key features and differentiators, which are easy to pull out and map to what our competitors are doing and how we rank against that.

Repurposed asset: Newsletter

Finally, the datasheet can also be turned into a newsletter. We know that people have very short attention spans, and I don’t imagine that you or your customers enjoy getting long emails.

What's great is you can take the already concise information from your datasheet and reformat it into a short newsletter or even a series of newsletters, where you just tackle one chunk of the datasheet at a time.

Key asset #3: The customer reference

Our third asset is a customer reference. Like a lot of product marketing managers, this one is my favorite.

The reason I love it so much is that one of the keys to success in our role is storytelling, and that’s so much more powerful when we have a customer telling our story and echoing the value of the product.

Repurposed asset: Blog post

With a customer reference, we have someone to represent the voice of the customer, and the first way that I want us to think about using this customer reference is with a blog post.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel challenged when I have a smaller launch. Maybe it's not for a top-tier feature or product, but I still need to generate awareness.

It's not enough to have a blog post on its own, so one of the things that I’ll do is take an existing customer reference and weave that story into the announcement blog post.

A customer reference is also great for a blog post when you need to continue to drive market awareness of your product’s value prop. Instead of saying the same thing over and over again, you can have a customer be that voice, echoing what you're saying.

Repurposed asset: Quote for a webpage

We can also use a customer reference as a quote for a website. Think about the powerful experience that you're going to create for your customers when they go to your product webpage and see a well-respected brand associated with your product.

It's going to do so many things for them. It's going to give them peace of mind, it's going to give them confidence, and it's going to intrigue them. Maybe they'll fill in the “contact us” form, and you'll get a new lead. Never underestimate the power of your product being associated with a customer.

Repurposed asset: PR article

The next thing that your customer reference can be used for is a press article. We know that when we're getting ready to launch products, we can work with journalists in advance so that they will write a story to amplify our announcement when the product launches.

Just as we product marketers love to tell stories through real customers, our partners in the press love to do the same thing. You can either give them a customer reference to include snippets from in the press release, or you can have them reach out to that customer and interview them for your launch.

Repurposed asset: Email campaign

The next thing is an email campaign. Very similar to slicing and dicing a datasheet for newsletter content, you can do that with a customer reference.

Some customer references are very lengthy, and that can be too much for our short attention spans to stomach in one sitting. An email campaign is a more digestible way to take your reader through the product from the customer’s point of view because you're spreading out that content.

Repurposed asset: Thought leadership article

Maybe your business has a thought leadership budget. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe you own a thought leadership platform.

Maybe you have the opportunity to showcase your thought leadership in Forbes or the Wall Street Journal.

If instead of doing the regular product value prop overview, messaging, and positioning, you can do thought leadership through a customer, it will be all the more powerful. That’s because people care what their competitors are doing.

This article will raise awareness in the market that some of your customers are thought leaders, which means your other customers are also going to be perceived as thought leaders. Your customers’ competitors will take note of that because they can’t afford to ignore the content their customers are reading.

Key asset #4: The high-level product overview video

The fourth asset is a high-level product overview video. You can create high-level product overview videos through in-house tools like iMovie, but if you have the budget for it, I would highly encourage you to invest in this video – you can create the other four key assets in-house.

Once you have that overview video and the copy that goes into it, it’s going to be so easy for you to slice and dice.

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Repurposed asset: Social media promotional video

The first way you could slice and dice it is through a short promotional video on social media. Whenever you put out this kind of engaging content, people are much more likely to engage with what you're promoting. Maybe they won't watch the full one to two-minute overview video, but they’ll tune in for 10 seconds of it.

Repurposed asset: Interactive infographic

You can take that high-level video and reorder it into an interactive infographic. Much like the datasheet, this is an awesome place to share staggering statistics and bold claims.

When you can support those stats and claims with your value prop in an interactive infographic, you create a personalized yet involved way of telling your product’s story.

Key asset #5: The webpage

Our final key asset is a webpage, one of the main assets product marketers create for a product launch. This should reflect your key value proposition, your differentiated features, your messaging, and your positioning.

Repurposed asset: Messaging and positioning framework

A lot of product marketers don't build their messaging and positioning framework until they're preparing for a product launch.

To save time and avoid that last-minute panic, you can kill two birds with one stone by having your messaging and positioning framework be very similar to your webpage. This is a great way to have a fantastic web page and a very strong messaging and positioning framework.

Your homework

My homework for you is to make a list of all of your current assets. Next, I want you to revisit your goals and determine the additional content you need for the remainder of the quarter.

Any additional content that you need, you can repurpose from existing content. I’m not asking you to do anything I haven’t done myself. I promise this can be done, and it’s going to save you so much time and money and make your brand heard above the noise.

My product marketing background and role at Google

To wrap up, a little about me. My name is Kelly and I currently lead product marketing for all Google security products that protect businesses’ customers. Prior to working in the online fraud space, I was working on Google's security management, threat detection, and response products.

Before Google, I was at Microsoft, also working in the cloud, and I marketed a variety of security products and business continuity products. So far, I have over five years of experience in tech product marketing, specifically in cloud security.