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6 min read

Product marketing questions week #35

Trending Questions | Customer & Market Research | Product Marketing

So, some of the highlights from this week’s round-up are:

  • Win-loss invite templates,
  • Launch tier frameworks,
  • Influencer program tactics, and
  • Pitch deck best practices.

For a deep-dive into all the above and more, don’t stop scrollin’ till you get to the end. 👀

We say it every week and we’ll say it again, join 8,400+ product marketers in our Slack community for lots of Q&As like this. Every. Single. Day.

Q: How do you research your competitors’ pricing if they don’t state it on their website?

A: Quite a few tips came in for this one, so here they are:

  • Ask prospects or clients you’re on especially good terms with if they have any intel they can share - this can be particularly fruitful if they’re in the negotiation stage.

  • Sometimes you can glean some information from public forums like Reddit, review sites like G2, and industry discussion groups.

  • If a competitor’s a public company, you might be able to back out a rough number from their financial reports.

  • Use a third-party research firm.

  • If you recently recruited someone from a competitor, they might be able to shed some light on their pricing.

  • Make the most of your win-loss interviews by asking a question like ‘How did our pricing compare with the others you evaluated?’.

Q: Does anyone running a win/loss interview program have an email template for win interviews and loss interviews invitation they'd be willing to share?

A: Yep! We shared some on the blog not long ago. Here’s a template for people you’ve won:

Hi [insert name],

Thanks for picking Product X and welcome to the team!

We’re always working on ways to make what we’ve got even better for our customers and to help us do that, we’d love to talk to you about why you chose us over others.

The call will only take X minutes and we’ll just be asking you a few questions about how we’ve done so far.

If you’re in, you can book a time and date that suits you here.

Speak soon, hopefully!


[insert name]

And with a few tweaks, here’s a template for prospects you’ve lost:

Hi [insert name],

Thanks for looking into Product X and I’m sorry to hear you went elsewhere.

To help us learn and grow, we’d love to hear about your journey with us and how you felt we did - there’ll be zero sales pressure, promise!

The call will only take X minutes and you can book a time and date that suits you here.

Speak soon, hopefully!


[insert name]

For tons more tips, head over to our blog on ‘How to conduct win-loss interviews’.

Q: I'd love to source your best ideas/tips for a remote all-hands for 50 people. We'll be on Zoom and primarily want to focus on empathy, support, and joy for the team but also have some important topics to update the team on. We'll likely have 4-5 presenters. I’d love to know the things that have worked for your teams (especially the happy/fun/empathetic things!).

A: Here’s what’s been working for some other product marketers in the community:

“One thing we're going to add is having a few folks talk about what their day-to-day looks like right now: who are their quarantine buddies, what does their work setup look like, what new habits have you developed. I'm looking forward to some pictures of peoples babies and pets.”

- Janessa Lantz, Head of Marketing at Fishtown Analytics

“We have ours coming up as well and have been asked to submit pictures in advance of our new coworkers (kids, roommates, pets), our makeshift workspace, or something that depicts our new work/life balance.”

- Kelly Masters, Senior Product Marketing Manager at VMware

“We have a companion Slack channel for our all-hands that allows people to ask questions, make comments, etc. during the call.”

- Todd Walker, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Techstars

Q: If one of your product’s benefits is efficiency - e.g. time-savings of consolidated forms, guided workflows, etc.. Is there a better way to communicate that? Efficiency is such an overdone benefit, and in some ways, ALL software should be making things more efficient, so it's not really a stand-out benefit.

A: First things first, get nice and specific about what exactly your product makes more efficient, and how it makes it more efficient. Is there anything unique about the way your product approaches this task, that other products do not?

Also, remember to tell the human story behind your product and how it can help users. This can be a great option when there really isn't too much unique about the product, or when those unique elements might be too in the weeds for an average consumer to care about. For example, Grammarly’s a spelling and grammar tool. Most editing software and email clients have some kind of basic grammar editing included, so users might think "Why should I get Grammarly, specifically, when I have these other tools for free?"

Adverts like this one do a great job of speaking to the human use of the product and creating an emotional investment that subverts the "why Grammarly" question:

And finally, consider using it as an opportunity to personalize the value of efficiency through your personas – i.e. what is your buyer able to do with the extra time your software saves them?

Q: I’m working on a pitch deck for our sales team. Does anyone have any suggestions on the speaker notes format or a template that could help build a nice story?

A: Here are some tried and tested approaches from the community:

“I would write them as if YOU were presenting the presentation to a prospect. Very conversational, engaging and to the point. In addition to speaker notes, I oftentimes include more detail below the speaker notes which provides sales with more detail and they can leverage as needed or to replace/supplement what you have to customize to their audience.”

- Brandon Most, Director & Head of Global Portfolio Marketing at Atonix Digital

“I also write speaker notes exactly the way I would present it, right down to moments of pause. One thing I’ve found tremendously helpful is to write down a single, deliberately non-verbatim, bullet describing the most important point to make on the slide before my speaker notes. Sometimes I go as far as writing: “Here’s my version:” before the notes.”

- Vincent Lo, VP of Product Marketing at Klue

And courtesy of Tom Heys, Head of Growth at FINCURA, here are three things to include in each slide:

1. Bullets with key messages

2. Strong exploratory and qualifying questions, developed with sales advisors

3. A word-for-word script, with encouragement to make it their own in training

Q: Does anyone know of any good frameworks out there for feature prioritization?

A: Yes, yes we do. Enter our own:

Head over to our membership plans for a detailed checklist of which launch activities should be included in each tier, too. 😉

Q: For those of you who’ve run influencer marketing programs, I’m curious how many influencers you engaged? What did the engagement look like, e.g. what did you exchange ($, T&E, swag) and for what? And was there a good ROI?

A: We had a couple of really great, in-depth answers for this one and the first came from Sam Cookney, a Product Marketing Manager at Traackr. Here are his musings:

  • In addition to $ and swag, the engagement on the B2B side can often be exclusive access (beta testing, previews of new launches, tours on-site, etc.), as well as attendance at in-person events and conferences (although this is trickier these days...).

  • B2B influencers are genuine topic/domain experts so anything you can give them that makes them look good and highlights that is always a plus point for them.
  • Getting their input and feedback is also mutually beneficial - bring them in for roundtables, get their thoughts on your roadmap, intro them to their peers, etc.
  • For ROI, look at your big goals (is it more top of funnel awareness or bottom conversion you're looking at?) and work back from there. It could be something as simple as an increase in Twitter followers, to more inbound leads, to downloads on a white paper, etc. There's no shortage of metrics, but working out why you're engaging the influencers is the place to start and then build in a framework after based around that.

And then here’s Rally Stanoeva’s -  a SaaS Marketing & Positioning Consultant - learnings:

“One of the product lines I was working on was SaaS for accountants/bookkeepers. We hired three influencers in that industry on 3-4 month long retainers. Each contract was different but it included things like write X number of blog posts for us, provide a testimonial, host a webinar for your audience about X topic, provide product feedback to our product manager, host an AMA/meet and greet hour at our booth during a tradeshow. Some even included our solution in their talks at tradeshows.
“It worked phenomenally well because the accountant/bookkeeper audience is a very tight-knit community and they are very apprehensive of adopting new tech. They want to hear who else is using it and how. It isn't always obvious how to calculate ROI from this type of influencer work but by tying the retainer model to specific deliverables rather than to conversions, we treated them more like freelancers.
“There was plenty of evidence that it worked though (X more tradeshow leads than the previous year, customers telling us directly how they heard about us, converting webinar attendees, etc.).”

Written by:

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Bryony's the Head of Content here at Product Marketing Alliance and you'll find her behind most things written!

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Product marketing questions week #35