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AMA: Square Product Marketing Lead - POS, Agustina Sacerdote
on Market Research
March 24 @ 10:00am PST

View AMA Answers

Market Research With Agustina Sacerdote, Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
Top Questions
What tools do you use to drive market research and competition research ?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
You can check out Moat.com to look at display ads for free - if you pay for an account, you can look at all channels. And check out FB Ads Library [https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/?active_status=all&ad_type=all&country=US&impression_search_field=has_impressions_lifetime] to look up ads runni...more
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
I've used a ton, mostly correlated with my budget :) On $0 budget you can always use Google Forms to send to current / former / prospective customers and export answers to a Sheet.  I like the ease of use of Survey Monkey and GetFeedback for quant.  I like Crayon for competitive analysis on...more
What is your rule of thumb for when to rely on industry-specific reports for insights on your market versus conducting your own research in-house?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
Frankly, #1 is cost. Industry reports tend to be expensive and often times too generic. I find that they're only worth it when there's a large organizational (wider than Marketing) need for basic industry or segment knowledge, like when the company as a whole is assessing new markets. Start with ...more
How do you use market research to inform priority verticals to go after in your go to market efforts?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
I don't actually use market research for that, is the short answer. If we believe that our solution is well suited for a particular vertical, we have the budget to invest in GTM to capture business in this vertical, and the vertical is fragmented / doesn't have a real clear winner, we will go for...more
When do you use market research to inform decisions vs when do you use behavioral data?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
I absolutely start with behavioral data first - assuming that by "behavioral" you mean product usage data, regardless of the question I am trying to answer. Behavioral data is unbiased (it is users in their "natural" environment with your product), and it is always much more valuable to observe b...more
When your sales team are already having daily 1on1 conversations with clients, what is the best approach in engaging with these clients for market research without being interruptive?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
I would start with getting information from Sales first. At Square, I rely very strongly on Account Managers to get a sense for the needs and attitudes of larger merchants. I'll talk to them directly first and then will try to partner up with them on specific conversations to close very specific ...more
How do you leverage qualitative insights and data to build out a product messaging?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
1/ always start with what you have. This can include product usage data, user data, customer support calls, sales calls, etc. literally anyone that is customer-facing can provide something of value. 2/ i use research to really undestand that primary motivators and constraints for my audience. t...more
Can you share best practices to do impactful market research on a tight budget?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
Most of the cost associated with research is actually the cost of accessing a sample, so if you can figure out that piece, you should be in a much better spot. A couple of ideas:  1/ Talk to your happiest, unhappiest customers, customers that churned, and "prospects", if possible. Use your budge...more
What is your philosophy when it comes to competitors? What constitutes a competitor, and what is the goal you have in mind when you conduct competitor analysis?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
The competitive set is defined by your audience, not you. And it changes all the time. At Square, we compete against anything that enables anyone to participate in our economy, not just other POS companies. The "Jobs to be Done" framework is helpful here - anything (tool, company, resource) that ...more
Can you outline the best structure and format for user personas that are useful across the org?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
This is a great question. A couple of tips -  The #1 way of making sure that personas will be adopted and used as a resource across functions is to make sure you're including variables that these particular functions care about. So Finance for example, will care about something like Average Re...more
How do you manage internal pushback against data from your market research efforts? Ie other groups that want data to prove a point (product manager or engineer), but then don't trust the data you bring back?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
Involve these functions in the actual development and execution of the research. the worst you can do is give the impression that research is a "black box" out of which slides with percentages come out!  This means make them part of identifying the key questions, reviewing whatever instruments...more
How do you delineate the responsibilities of market research between PMM and User Research? How can these teams best work together?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
This is an awesome question!  I think PMM has a responsibility along several stages of market research development. At a high level, User Research experts know what methodology, stimuli and structure to use for reseach - aka, they should take over once the need for research has been establishe...more
How would you go about conducting market research for potential clients of a new feature? You've already got your core clients, but are launching a new feature and are looking for unbiased feedback from people net new to your platform/service/offering.
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
I'd make sure I have crisp answers to the following -  1/ Re-visit the "why" behind the new feature. Why did you develop it? What is it supposed to solve?  2/ Who has this need, more than any other segments?  3/ Who are these people (from #2) already turning to to solve this need?  4/ How wel...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?
Product Marketing Lead, Square Point of Sale & Directory at Square
To me, it's about creating a customer-centric culture, not just a "market research" culture. "Market research" is a bit of a stigmatized term - most of it is considered not valuable, not actionable, and an expensive "nice-to-have". I'd encourage you to re-orient around building a habit of listeni...more
Ask Agustina About
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Creating Buyer Personas
  • Market Research on a Budget