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AMA: Instawork Head of Marketing, Frances Liu
on Messaging
September 01 @ 10:00am PST

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Messaging With Frances Liu, Head of Marketing at Instawork
Top Questions
How do you and at what stages do you test your messaging?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
I find it helpful to test along the way and continue testing once it's released broadly. Unsurprisingly, we work closely with customer-facing teams, advisors, and internal teams as a starting point and work with them to roadtest. I'd love to say there's always a deliberate process, but sometimes...more
How do you get to creative, consistent and differentiated messaging? Do you believe in brand positioning/purpose as a north star for messaging?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
To build consistency, it's critical that everyone in the company believes and uses the brand positioning and mission. For example, at Instawork, our CEO walks through it at every all-hands and uses a recent customer example to highlight how we've delivered (or failed to deliver) on our value prop...more
What messaging and persona framework do you use? And how much of competitive positioning do you cover in Messaging?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
I borrow from the typical ones mentioned on Sharebird (the box one? mind's failing me here) and modify them based on what I'm messaging.  Re: competitive positioning, I break it down by 3 segments at a high level and against key value props how we stack up.  * Who are incumbents * Top direct ...more
What is the best way you've found to coach a new product marketer on creating messaging?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
It depends on the person's prior experience, but the core skills are around: research/insights, building personas, building the messaging framework. And a general coaching rule is: tell, show (via examples from other companies or here), and do (often).  We're at a growth stage where there's so ...more
How would you recommend PMMs improve their messaging skills?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
As others have mentioned, practice. It's hard to find the extra time, so here are some ideas: * Try different frameworks to refresh on basics * Find reasons to tag-team a refresh. I've used it as part of onboarding new marketing folks * Compare with PMMs at other companies. I'm grateful to...more
What are some common Messaging mistakes you see Product Marketers make?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
It can be hard to keep messaging simple and poignant. It takes time, revs, and validation. There's pressure to get it perfect right off the bat. Or people sit and forget. Let it evolve over time.  Something I've learned is how valuable it can be to tap the emotional benefit. It's still important...more
What is messaging?
Head of Marketing at Instawork
Messaging is articulating why and how your product/service matters. It's a unifying tool for teams so we continually show value to our customers. I've learned to appreciate a simple tool like a messaging doc. Without one, it takes longer to onboard new employees, harder to wrangle the cats. Busi...more
Work With Frances
Product Marketing Manager / Sr. Manager
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Miami