Jason Perocho

AMA: Amperity Vice President, Product Marketing, Jason Perocho on Platform and Solutions Product Marketing

June 18 @ 10:00AM PST
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Amperity Vice President, Product Marketing, Jason Perocho on Platform and Solutions Product Marketing
Top Questions
How do you handle the tradeoff between addressing many needs for one vertical vs. addressing 1-2 needs for multiple verticals?
We are a B2B company with a horizontal platform considering vertical expansion, and trying to decide which new verticals to enter.
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Verticalization is a strategy that horizontal platforms should postpone as long as possible to keep their TAM as large as possible for their next funding round or exit. I recommend only verticalizing after you've exhausted horizontal (i.e., non-industry-specific) use cases. In my experience, most pain points are universal but described using different language in each vertical. Here are a couple of lessons I've learned helping products verticalize after the decision has been made: 1. Cultivate a Partner Ecosystem - Leveraging partners is the best way of verticalizing. I would ask the product team to open up the platform so that partners can use their vertical expertise to customize your platform for vertical use cases. Just ensure that there is a fast and easy way for partners to copy the IP they create (objects, workflows, integrations, APIs, etc.) from one instance to another so they don't have to burn resources creating the same functionality multiple times. 2. Ensure Veticalization is a Company Strategy - Your business must have an aligned product and go-to-market vertical strategy. When Salesforce first tried to verticalize, they set up a manufacturing sales team in. The problem was that there was no product truth to help them be relevant in manufacturing, and there was little air cover because there was no subject matter expert marketing that could tap to speak the language. 3. FOCUS - I remember when Keith Block became the COO at Salesforce, one of his big initiatives was to verticalize. Our first attempt went poorly because we tried to enter too many verticals at once. The unlock for Salesforce was stepping back and focusing on 1-2 verticals at a time. This allowed us to figure out how to prioritize our roadmap, how to build our sales teams, what our GTM structure should look like, and who we should be partnering with. 4. Prioritize your best product-market fit - Most products tends to skew toward a vertical. Look at the composition of your customers and revenue to determine where you naturally have the best fit. Make sure to do an outside-in analysis as well to ensure your best vertical is one that you should enter.
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
I think of messaging in terms of the marketing funnel. Top of Funnel - "The Brand Promise" is the highest level of your messaging. It is a concise, emotionally driven statement that captures your core experience or value. It encapsulates your differentiation, painting a picture of how your product will change your customer's life. For example, at one point, Salesforce's brand promise was "We Bring Companies and Customers Together". It's short, relatable, and easily understood. Middle of Funnel - "Jobs to Be Done" is your portfolio messaging framework. This framework focuses on identifying the underlying jobs your customer must do in order to solve a specific problem. This framework best describes value across an organization, not value for an individual. At Braze, we talked about the Vertically Integrated Tech Stack, whose core jobs were to "Listen" to the customer, "Understand" what the customer was saying, and "Act" on every signal in every channel. We broke those jobs into core functionality that transcended the product. So Listen was Data Ingestion, Understand included Data Classification, Orchestration, and Personalization, and Act included all our channels. Bottom of Funnel - "Product Messaging" is your base messaging framework. It describes your product's benefits and how it improves an individual's life.
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Messaging should prioritize your product's greatest differentiated value. Start by identifying what parts of your platform customers use the most, then identify how that functionality is differentiated in the marketplace. If it is not differentiated, then push your product team to invest and create a competitive moat around that functionality as it is the primary place where your customers are seeing value.
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Product Marketing: Product Marketing encapsulates your product's core positioning and messaging. It is the most concise definition of the pains, benefits, differentiation, and value that your product provides to your ideal customer profile. Solution Marketing: Solution Marketing takes product marketing messaging and makes it relevant for a horizontal or vertical use case. Solution marketing tends to involve some translation of pains, benefits, differentiation, or value that makes it relevant for a persona or vertical. For example, one of Amperity, a Lakehouse CDP, core Jobs-To-Be-Done is data activation. At its core, Data Activation is sending data from Amperity to another destination. If I was solution marketing this capability, I would use different language and context. For example: * Paid Media Marketer - Automate list uploads directly to ad platforms * Data Engineer - Reverse ETL data from your Lakehouse to any destination without copying data * Retention Marketer - Hydrate your email marketing tools with CLV attributes
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Product Marketing focuses primarily on product-centric benefits and outcomes. Product marketing tends to focus on one part of a wider solution. "The suspension provides the smoothest ride in off-road conditions" Solution Marketing focuses on a specific audience and a job. "The best off-road pick-up truck" Industry Marketing focuses in on a more specific audience and use case. "The best truck for hauling lumber".
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How does your platform and solutions PMMs collaborate with product-focused PMMs?
I'm the first product marketer focused on a specific industry across our entire platform while the majority of the team is focused on specific product(s) and/or sales segment.
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Your messaging hierarchy should guide how product, platform, and solution messaging/PMMs fit together. Platform Messaging: Platform Messaging should serve as a framework in which all product messaging fits. If I have a simple platform, then I encourage PMMs to create a storyline of the uber job-to-be-done, then have messaging pillars, no more than three to four, for each product. If you have more than four products, then group your products together into jobs-to-be-done, then create a messaging pillar for each job-to-be-done. Product Messaging: Product messaging is a double click into a messaging pillar in your platform messaging. Messaging is usually focused on how it makes an individual's life easier. Ensure that you use a lot of the same language in your platform messaging pillar to ensure a connective thread to you product. Platform PMMs should look over product messaging to ensure the connection is made. Solution Messaging: Solution messaging is a derivative of platform messaging. The goal is to make the platform messaging relevant for a specific persona, vertical, or use case. Platform and product PMMs should evaluate the messaging based on what's being emphasized in the messaging doc.
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
Great question! Here is where I would start and build up to: Platform Messaging: Platform should serve as a guide on how all of our products fit together. Messaging should focus on how your technology helps solve your target's jobs-to-be-done better than other solutions. Product Messaging: Product messaging falls into buckets in your platform messaging. It focuses on how it helps individuals solve specific pain points they face. Suite Messaging: Suites are a collection of products (i.e. solution) that are sold as part of a commercialization strategy. Suites tend to be focused in a specific job to be done to make it easier for the customers get to value. Ecosystem Messaging: Ecosystems are all the ancillary products and services outside of your four walls which support your core value proposition. Ecosystems generally include both tech partner like ISVs and solution partners like systems integrators.
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Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Amperity SVP, Head of MarketingJune 19
You should have a full GTM funnel strategy for each of your ICPs. Top of Funnel: What's the industry trend that's forcing your ICP to adapt or change? These trends have to be relevant for the message to resonate. Middle of Funnel: What is the problem, solution, and value each of your ICPs is looking for? You can contextualize each using a jobs-to-be-done framework if there are multiple jobs. Focus on the value for the business. Bottom of Funnel: What are the pains and benefits for a target persona in your ICP? Focus on improvements for the individual. Sales Funnel: What's the playbook that helps bring the ICP through the sales process? Define out the * Discovery Questions * Objection handling * Sales Collateral * Offer (pricing and packaging)
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