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The message is the message—Part 7 of PMM with Julie Taylor

Welcome to part 7 of a multi-part series all about Product Marketing. Introhive’s Director of Product Marketing, Julie Taylor, will guide you through the ins and outs of creating a product marketing group from scratch. You might want to begin with the introduction to the series if you haven’t already.

In this series, Julie draws upon her own experience and extensive research, letting you in on all (well, almost all) of her trade secrets about essential PMM programs, and passing along all the lessons she’s learned along the way to building a successful team that made the finalists in 2021’s Product Marketing Awards.

Part 7 explores the creation of a whole messaging framework that will change how your entire marketing department positions your product. Hot tip: it’s not about your product.

Just like your go-to music playlist, everyone in product marketing needs a good messaging framework. The good news? There are tons out there to choose from. The bad news? You have to choose one. We here at Introhive love jobs to be done. So what the hell is JTBD?

Plain and simple, to me, jobs to be done is a lens. It’s a way of communicating what we do to customers, and how we can make their future lives better through innovation. The methodology can be boiled down to one line: we don’t buy products, we hire them to do a job. They may buy the nuts and bolts of a skateboard, but what they’re after is that sweet ride—off into the sunset.

It’s not about you

Up until last spring, we would spew off a laundry list of products alongside carefully crafted positioning. We realized that we were putting the responsibility back on our customers shoulders to put all of these puzzle pieces together to decipher if it would help them accomplish what they were set out to do.

Imagine speaking a different language and tossing into a free translator to interpret. Sometimes it worked, but the vast majority of the time, it did not.  

Jobs to be done spoke to us. It comes at it from the customer’s angle to gain a deeper understanding and empathy into their motivations, barriers, alternatives, and desired outcomes. We love it because it puts all of that research to work and let’s us truly represent the voice of the customer.

The burning question that may be on the tip of your tongue is How did we implement it?

So how did we implement it?

Well…nothing lights a fire like a deadline, and we were in the midst of building out a new website—what better time to activate new messaging? And we had a head start. Of course, our customer research was well on it’s way through an established voice of the customer program. This new framework was the outlet we were waiting for!

  1. The first step took around 4 weeks, a cross functional group of us lived in a virtual workshop, brainstorming hundreds of jobs that we’re hired for. Then, of course, came the debating and deconflicting.
  2. From there, we broke them each down, distilled, and bucketed into 4 common themes that kept bubbling up.
  3. The next step was to rebuild and think through each one of these 4. Why are they doing this job? What was keeping them from getting the job done today? What alternatives or competitors are being used or considered? What adjacent, related, functional, and emotional jobs are being carried out? With this full picture in hand, we were able to prioritize the job relating to importance, and then craft one simple job statement for each. These became our 4 core jobs: Automate, Cleanse, Reveal, Guide. 
  4. From there we crafted our external messaging.
  5. It wouldn’t be complete without a road show. Sales enablement was the first of many dominos, quickly catching fire across the organization, which created a beautiful groundswell that we rode right into product management and product design. 

When an exercise becomes a movement

That’s when we realized that what was initially intended to be a messaging exercise, became a movement.

First tip

When you implement new positioning and messaging, enablement is key. And it’s something we’re still working on rolling out—it’ll be a continuous process. You cannot just launch and expect people to change their narrative overnight.

Introhive | The message is the message—Part 7 of PMM with Julie Taylor

Sales enablement should be your best friend. Bribe and incentivize your team, listen to call recordings and provide constructive feedback, instil it into your onboarding program for new reps. Find ways to always keep it top of mind and engrain it into the DNA of your organization. 

Second tip

Always be tweaking. You will get feedback from your team, you will get feedback to those new prospects who are early on in their purchasing process. Listen and adapt. Be agile. The best thing about being in marketing is that we are allowed to flex our creativity and try new things because we will learn and we will react. 

Third tip

Before going live with new messaging, ensure you’ve got your ducks in a row. 1) if you have access to customer advisors (whether a formal board or just a pack of friendlies), throw it past them. See what they think, how they would change. Your champions want to see you succeed. This is your defense if you get the oddball who doesn’t agree with your approach. 2) Ensure Collateral is updated, narratives and sales decks are built. All of these outputs drive confidence and make adoption much more seamless. 

Re-messaging is not for the faint of heart

Is re-messaging a huge effort? Oh ya. 

Is it worth it, you bet, when you do it right. One customer so eloquently put it “I looked at your website, and for the first time ever, I walked away knowing exactly what you do. It was so refreshing.” In my books, that is the highest praise you can give a marketer. 

I’d love to hear your go-to messaging frameworks. What has worked for you? For us, the enablement and implementation will continue, but JTBD has really given us this one consistent voice and approach—bringing together and uniting internal teams along the way so I highly recommend.

Still more to learn

We are nearing the end of our So you wanna be a Product Marketer series, but we’re not done yet. Next up is about messaging, where Julie does a deep dive into how Introhive turned its entire marketing messaging on its head and started focussing on what matters: what the customer needs. You can also check out more from Introhive’s Product Marketing group.

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