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Product marketing questions week #38

Trending Questions | Product Marketing

This week, the community’s been brimming with all sorts of interesting convos, including product renaming and the effectiveness of marketing animation... to name a few.

While curiosity may have killed the cat, there’s no mention of it harming us PMMs, so let’s catch up on what’s been going on over the past week.

Yet to join the Slack community? No sweat! Join the party here and hang out with 8500+ marketers, whenever you want, wherever you are.

Q: I’ve been tasked with revisiting a product name. 6+ people (internal sales staff and executives) as well as external partners have told us they don’t think it works or explains itself.

I’m thinking of using a two-stage approach to this:

A feedback survey to collate together constructive feedback vs lots of complaints and random opinions via Slack.

Presenting the findings and a renaming brainstorm with reasoning to everyone that took part, but having key stakeholders sign-off on a final decision.

Would anyone take a different approach and advise against using steps 1 or 2?

Any suggestions on how to structure the survey and what questions I should ask would also be much appreciated.

A: Here are the views of some of the product marketers in the community:

“I think Step 1 is great, although I think that this works better in the form of interviews. Before you do Step 2, I recommend building a common document where you can capture functional and subjective requirements you have as a group of stakeholders and confirm this with the group of stakeholders you have. I also recommend defining the process after the brainstorm - this will clarify who gets to make the final decision. Otherwise, people may not feel heard.”

Christos Apartoglou, VP Product & Growth Marketing, Axios

“I'd encourage you to be very specific around what roles different stakeholders play in the process. I've used a RAPID framework for this in the past, but other decision-making frameworks function similarly. In my experience, many people have lots of opinions about naming, so without clearly establishing roles it can be challenging to come to a final decision.”

Hannah Woodburn, SaaS Product Marketing Manager

“We did this in 2018, but the primary driver was SEO for a B2B Enterprise SaaS product. Our product was called something totally different from what the market calls it. So getting alignment included me doing a lot of competitive naming convention research and facilitating discussions around where we should align ourselves with the industry and where it was ok to differentiate.”

Nicola Kinsella, Fluent Commerce

“It’s important to make sure everyone agrees on what you want the name to convey, so you have something to evaluate alternatives against.”

Renee Cameron, Founder, Reframe Strategies

Q: I really need some feedback on what type of video to have produced for our new website.

For the homepage of a text messaging software company, would you rather see:

1. A quick software demo video that shows why businesses texting is important and what our product delivers, i.e. quick capability and product walkthrough, or

2. Or an animated story of why business texting increases engagement and speeds up sales cycles?

A: This question prompted a great reaction within the community. Here's a snippet of the responses:

“I find that prospects ask to see the product more often than not, but it depends on your CTA for the video. If you want them to request a demo or to learn more, then I personally think that option 2 is a better hook in this use case.”

Rene Hardtke, Senior Director, Integrate.Inc

“Personally, I feel that it depends on execution. There are a lot of sites with bad animation that detracts from the brand. Does anyone really enjoy the cartoons? A quick demo that shows what you do and why it matters - and leaves them wanting to see more - can go a long way with real buyers.”

David Verhaag, Founder, Olifano

“Please, not another flat animation video. Personally, I’d say go with the demo. Even if it isn’t as fancy, people want to see what the product does.”

Saad Asad, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Utmost

Q: With new businesses it's often hard to find the balance between driving demand and managing capacity. As a result, you often find yourself in these knee-jerk environments of quickly turning demand on and off as capacity allows. Does anyone have any frameworks for balancing the two? There has to be a better way!

A: Theory of Constraints and value chain mapping might be of help here. If your goal is growth, you need to build both capacity and demand. The key is to identify:

- What is in your control, and what isn't (as of today)

- Want can you do to control this, or make this more predictable

- What is the current bottleneck? What can you do to streamline this?

It might be helpful to see a bird's eye view as if you were looking at someone else's business.

Q: How do you create and then check names for new features? We're building a chatbot now, and there are tons of bot types, so I'm thinking of how I can check if people get the idea of this feature. Do you check SEO? Customer interviews? Polls?


“To confirm user understanding I do much of what you've outlined - user interviews, and also a/b testing. A good resource is also Usertesting.com as that will provide a different perspective from people who are not currently your user but still fit their profile. I also do internal "polls" to make sure others in the organization understand it. If the people who are closest to it don't get it then it's unlikely a user will.
“For a/b testing I'd look at adoption and usage metrics to see if people are leveraging it as you expect/want them to and if one naming convention resonates more. Regarding the user testing questions, you'd probably want to outline the benefit you're hoping the feature will accomplish, and then have them describe what they think each naming option will do, and why. It doesn't really need to be too much more complicated than that.”

Dane Schwartz, Director of Product Marketing, Snagajob

Written by:

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence is our Copywriter here at PMA who loves crafting content to keep readers informed, entertained, and enthralled. He's always open to feedback and would be thrilled to hear from you!

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Product marketing questions week #38