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AMA: Unbabel VP of Product Marketing, Sarah Din
on Competitive Positioning
August 12 @ 10:00am PST

View AMA Answers

Market Research With Sarah Din, VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
Top Questions
How do you stay on top of competitors when it's a crowded market and things are changing every day?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
Here are some ways I've tackled this with my teams: 1. It is important to establish a cadence for your competitive research. How often is actually achievable based on your resources/bandwidth? Do you have a dedicated CI person on the team or is your team smaller where this is part o...more
What is the difference between messaging and positioning? How do you describe that to stakeholders to get their buy-in?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
Most people talk about positioning and messaging under the same breath and interchangeably, but in fact, these are two very different things that have inter-dependencies. Positioning is contextual. It’s simply about your ownable market position. The goal is to answer “how are you unique?” And “h...more
How do you create competitive intel that is really beneficial to sales (i.e. they actually read and use it)?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
As with any other sales content, find out how your specific sales team likes to consume content. This will give you an idea of the format, as well as the channels in which to share this information. This will also depend on your company culture. In my personal experience it's important to do the...more
What's your approach to competitive differentiation?
How does this inform your core messaging, how do you enable sales to understand what makes you different/better, how do you know if it's working with your target buyers?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
I believe competitive research should always be part of the process when you develop your core messaging, but it’s important to not get too hung up on your competitors, you can easily lose sight of what your own customers care about. (Also, who is to say that their messaging is better than others...more
How do you view positioning and messaging for the overall product as different from positioning and messaging for a launch? And how do you approach one vs. the other?
This for companies with multiple feature-rich products that are being managed by a very small (i.e. 1-3) PMMs.
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
That is a great question! I like to have both. The core messaging should be for your overall company and product - this is the foundational messaging for how to talk about your product (and perhaps even different parts of your product depending on product complexity) Then as you develop and lau...more
How does one create a "positioning document?"
Our organization is focusing on a new customer segment and channel. My CMO has asked me to create a "positioning document" that we can share with senior leadership that articulates how we're going to market to this segment. Does anyone have a template or (and NDA-compliant) example document I could use as a model? Just trying to understand what type of information to include and how best to organize it. Thanks!
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
I like to keep these simple, and just use a single value proposition slide. Especially when it’s for an executive team. Here are the basic things to include: * Who is our audience? (customer segment) * What challenges do they face? (what is the need and the cost of not meeting that need?) ...more
What messaging and persona framework do you use? And how much of competitive positioning do you cover in Messaging?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
I honestly customize the framework for each company I work for, but over the year’s I've built my own since I never found anything existing that I really loved. If you want an example, message me and I can share an example. Competitive positioning is always part of the initial messaging developm...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?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
Depends on how competitive your market is. You can create a list of competitors and create segments based on different variables that are important for your product or business. For instance direct competitors vs indirect competitors, Or competitors by vertical, or competitors by use case, etc. ...more
What metric, goal or KPI can you put on providing competitive intelligence to the company or product teams?
I work in a company that measures the impact of all projects, but admittedly this is a difficult area to track. Would love to any suggestions/thoughts.
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
This really depends on the actual goal of a CI program, but here are a few ideas: For the sales team: * Competitive win rates (pre and post intel) * Sales confidence on competitive pitching (This is something you can measure using surveys at a regular cadence like quarterly) For the produ...more
How do you get to creative, consistent and differentiated messaging? Do you believe in brand positioning/purpose as a north star for messaging?
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
I did an AMA a while ago that went into detail on how to build differentiated messaging - this talks about a 7-step process that I have created and adapted for use over time with different companies I have worked for.  You can read more about it here:
The product marketers job typically revolves around positioning a product. Sometimes, it can be difficult to align sales, marketing, and product teams around your positioning. What do you use or do to get people to buy into your positioning plans and consistently using them? Thanks!
VP of Product Marketing at Unbabel
1. Get your executive team aligned and bought in first - because you need them to champion this to the rest of the org, and to set the precedence by using your messaging regularly as they talk about the company. 2. When you create new messaging - make sure you do internal activation in ...more
Ask Sarah About
  • Building competitive intelligence from scratch
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  • Finding channels for competitive research
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