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Ouster

Video: Adventures in Messaging S02E05: With Derek Frome, Head of Marketing at Ouster
August 25, 2021
MessagingFollow Derek
How do you develop messaging that actually grabs attention in a crowded market?
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
I'm going to take a somewhat contrarian view on this and say that in order to really break through in a crowded market, it takes more than clever messaging (though that never hurts). You have to position your product correctly and you have to prove that you are better. Now would be the time to in...more
MessagingFollow Derek
Does anyone have a methodology for validating messaging with users before a campaign goes live? I'm thinking of marketing campaigns here, not product or UX.
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
Painted door tests are your friend here (google it). You could create two or three landing pages with different message variants, each of which leads to a "request access" form. Depending on what your campaign is for, your message testing could be as simple as running it by product managers or ac...more
MessagingFollow Derek
Everyone in our company has an opinion about messaging. How do you defend the messaging that you’ve created?
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
I'll take a more extreme position on this question. You're setting yourself up for failure by asking us how to "defend" your messaging. Instead, I'd ask you to listen to those people who you are used to "defending" your messaging from. It's not your messaging - give up that pride of ownership in ...more
MessagingFollow Derek
What are your thoughts on how to distinguish between what is a product, feature, and solution?
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
To me, a solution is a prescriptive collection of products and features that solve a well-defined problem for your customer. A product is anything you could conceivably sell on its own, but a product can also be a collection of other products. A feature is a component piece of a product that adds...more
Product MarketingFollow Derek
What metrics do you use to justify a pay raise?
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
In my opinion, this is the wrong question to be asking. A much better objective would be to aim for a promotion, not a pay raise. Of course, promotions carry pay raises, but the point is that a promotion is more easily understood and communicated. It's easier to ask your boss "what do you think I...more
People ManagementProduct MarketingFollow Derek
Why do you think the turnover for product marketing jobs is so high?
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
Mike's answer is spot on. Since you've been laid off 5 times in 10 years though, I'll add one other thought. It's possible that you're focusing on outputs, not outcomes. PMM done right is much more focused on outcomes - well defined, measurable (as much as possible). It's the PMM lead's job to se...more
MessagingFollow Derek
Is there anyone out there that has experience starting a competitive analysis program from scratch and scaling it out or even work with a current or past competitive program that you liked? Any thoughts and best practices would be much appreciated.
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
At a previous company, we started by maintaining a wiki page for competitive intel that was the "single point of truth" for the sales team. Mike is correct when he says that at an early stage, CI is everyone's job and the PMM's job to QB the effort. I would suggest that a solid level of competiti...more
People ManagementProduct MarketingFollow Derek
Hi there, question for directors of PMM out there — how do you motivate your team members with upward movement when there may not be opportunities for people management.
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io

Honestly, pay them more. You can also look at getting them MBA interns for the summer, etc. Also, depending on how big your marketing team is, you can give them expanded scope outside of PMM, if that interests them. e.g. have them manage a couple copywriters who are contractors.