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AMA: Segment Former Head of Product Marketing, Diana Smith on Messaging
July 16 @ 10:00am PST

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Messaging With Diana Smith, Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
Top Questions
What types of messaging documents or frameworks are typically shared with stakeholders from different teams (i.e. product, marketing, execs, etc.)?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
We find it helpful to have a single messaging document that everyone in the company can access. It goes through our mission/vision/description all of the way down to messaging segmented product, customer type, and industry vertical. A shared document enables all of the teams to be on the same pag...more
How do you develop messaging that actually grabs attention in a crowded market?
We're in the sales development space and it's hyper competitive. It's hard to create messaging that cuts through the noise of all of our other competitors.
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
The key thing is to do what you just mentioned -- grab attention. Do something different. Either tell a bolder story, take a different angle, focus on a differentiator, or show how other players in the market have it all wrong. This is a never-ending battle because your competitors will likely co...more
Do you need to be good at writing to create good product messaging?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
I think you can have two flavors of product marketers. The first are very analytical and business-minded. They identify the key top customer problems and benefits for the product. Then, they might need to collaborate with someone in brand, content, or copywriting to make those messaging points sp...more
How do you create brand messaging that appeals to three highly distinct segments?
My company’s product (we’re a marketplace) serves three distinct segments with very different motivations. I’m struggling to create brand messaging that speaks to all three. Any advice on how to approach? Or is this a matter of needing to choose one segment to focus on?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
Messaging that speaks to everyone rarely speaks to anyone well. I’d prioritize your top segment to focus on, make sure your brand messaging resonates with them, and ensure your other customer segments can find messaging for them via pathing on your site or other targeted campaigns. I've seen m...more
What are good messaging framework resources that you use?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
At Segment, we think of messaging in three tiers and have different frameworks for each. Product marketing usually collaborates with PR and brand for Level 0 and Level 1, while we own Level 2. Level 0 Messaging: Highest-level company messaging, found in press releases, first sales decks slides, ...more
When your platform does many things, how do you prioritize your messaging hierarchy?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
You nailed why platform products are difficult to message. This is also why I think they are more fun than working on “point solutions.” (Please forgive me for using that heinous jargon.) In the best-case scenario, you can identify an overarching value proposition for using the platform that r...more
How do you get to creative, consistent and differentiated messaging? Do you believe in brand positioning/purpose as a north star for messaging?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
You asked exactly the right question as the best messaging is all three (consistent, creative, and differentiated). Getting there isn’t easy. I try to break it down step by step. I start with differentiated. What’s different about us that’s valuable to our customer? Then creative: how do we expr...more
How do you communicate product marketing updates and activities to the rest of the company?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
We match internal promotion based on the level of the product announcement. Small updates are little features that mostly existing customers are excited about. Medium updates are larger changes that potentially open up a small new audience or unlock new revenue potential. Large updates are major ...more
Would you recommend a SaaS startup's first marketing hire to be a PMM? What value does bringing on a product minded marketer early make?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
I agree that a product marketing-minded person is very helpful in the early days of a startup. PMMs tend to be good generalists because we own messaging and go to market planning. We also need to deeply understand the market, product, and customer base. In the early days as the first marketer,...more
How do you differentiate "value proposition", "messaging", "pitch", and "story"? Do you see these as separate, complementary, the same thing, or else?
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, at Twilio
These are all interrelated. Messaging: Includes value propositions, your story, and pitch. Also includes things like naming, alternatives, and taglines. Value Proposition: These are the top benefits you want to focus on for your product based on customer and competitive unput Pitch & Story: Th...more