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AMA: AdRoll Former Head of Product Marketing, Mary Sheehan
on Market Research
September 13 @ 10:00am PST

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Market Research With Mary (Shirley) Sheehan , Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
Top Questions
How do you create competitive intel that is really beneficial to sales (i.e. they actually read and use it)?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
I’ve had the best success with easy to digest “competitive battlecards” for sales. The simpler, the better. They should give basic company info, pricing, and how to handle objections. For larger sales teams, these are a great reference point for them to use on the phone.   The ultimate goal of ...more
How do you convince your company that it's worth the time to invest in researching and making buyer personas?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
Firstly, know that there are ranges of budgets to create buyer personas depedning on if you go with an agency or do them in-house. I’ve worked for a company where we paid $100K to an agency to make buyer personas, and another one where I had to figure it out on a shoestring budget (< $1000). I ho...more
Can you outline the best structure and format for user personas that are useful across the org?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
  Once you’ve interviewed and/ or surveyed your customers, prospects, and churned customers - it’s time to put the personas into a digestible format. I recommend Google slides (or PPT, if that’s your jam) and hosting them on a central resource so all teams can use them. For example, at last nigh...more
What information sources do you use to create buyer/user personas?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
Great question. When creating buyer personas, you’re ideally using data from current, prospective, and churned customers to create archetypes of your buyers. The goal is to understand more about your customers, design better products, create better marketing programs, and arm your sales team with...more
How do you drive culture change with market research?
I'm hoping to influence Product and Design to talk to users more and build a clear picture of our user. The team will often refer to themselves as "the consumer" when they're not in our target demographic?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
Quick answer: Data. Bring them snippets of real customer conversations or data points that they haven't seen from customer interviews, surveys, CSAT, NPS, customer service feedback - you name it. This will show the value of talking to customers, and will leave them wanting more.   To be even mo...more
Can you share best practices to do impactful market research on a tight budget?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe
Market research on a tight budget, or what I like to call "Scrappy research" - my favorite! First, let me start with a quote - “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Many a research project hasn’t gotten off of the ground for fear it won’t be statistically significant or have thousands of resp...more
How do you create user personas that the whole org can use? (Inc. Product and Design)?
Head of Product Marketing, Advertising Cloud at Adobe

I answered this in a similar post - see it here: https://sharebird.com/can-you-outline-the-best-structure-and-format-for-user-personas-that-are-useful-across-the-org

Ask Mary About
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Creating Buyer Personas
  • Market Research on a Budget