All related (66)
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 9

I have used several different messaging frameworks, but one that we are leveraging quite a lot these days is the Jobs to be done framework, accompanied by durable, evergreen messages that are centered around our key customer personas and their pain points. In this framework you start by: 

  1. First, Understanding your ‘who’ (aka your key buyer personas) - who they are, what are their goals, their challenges, what keeps them up at night and what pain points they are most struggling with. We get super detailed here, with understanding how our buyers make software purchase decisions, where they go for information, what their key influence points are (e.g. website, review sites, analyst relations, buyer enablement content etc.)
  2. Second, Develop your ‘why’ - Our next step is then to articulate how we help our key personas solve for their jobs to be done and what makes us unique in doing so. These take the shape of ‘durable messages’ or ‘messaging pillars’ that explain the distinct value of your product or service and why a customer should consider your solution to address their JTBD. Top tip to get to this is by listening to prospect calls (Use Gong if your company records them, you’ll start to see patterns emerge)
  3. Third, Develop your ‘how’ - This is where you go into details to explain with 2-3 simple examples of how a customer can use your product/service to help them solve their jobs to be done. Top tip here: If you focus on a specific industry, vertical - use the opportunity to explain how you have brought value to customers here. Always include output data points (e.g. time saved, efficiency gained, ROI, Revenue) where possible to measure impact
  4. Put it all together - Using the insights and info you have collected, put together
    1. Elevator pitch - 1-2 sentences that explains the job your product/service does, who it is for, and how it is differentiated
    2. Messaging pillars - 3 pillars that explain the value you bring to your target customer
    3. Used cases - real life examples of how you deliver value with outcomes
    4. Reason to Believe/Proof - Include customer testimonials, reviews & ratings, analyst relations
Andy Yen
Senior Manager, Global Partner Marketing, ServiceNowJanuary 17

The frameworks that I use for positioning and messaging have changed over time, as I've advanced in my marketing career in enterprise tech. Earlier in my career (when I was in product marketing), we would approach positioning and messaging for a major product launch. There were a few frameworks that worked well for me here:

  • Elevator Pitch - tell me what your product does in (25 words, 50 words, 100 words)
  • 9-box messaging framework - call out three benefits that your customers experience from your product/solution and provide proofpoints for how your product supports those benefits. I've found that this internal document is best socialized for buy-in across larger marketing and product teams. 
  • Draft press release - forces you to take a more outside-in approach when you're coming up with new positioning and messaging.

While each of these items/assets will help you build stronger positioning and messaging; what's most important is to align and set expectations with your cross-functional stakeholders and broader marketing team. 

As I've advanced in my career in marketing, I've had the privilege to partner with third party agencies and brand teams to refine the core positioning assets above. You'll be amazed at how much perspective these teams will provide you in overall positioning and messaging. I'd highly recommend early-in-career product marketers who are handling a major launch to proactively take this approach. 

The other major component of positioning and messaging is around internal comms. It's up to you to show your work to cross-functional stakeholders, and inform people that good marketing doesn't just come out of thin air. Once you're done with all of your net deliverables I'd make sure to inform a broad cross-functional team of what you've brought to the table. You will get more visiblity and feedback from this; which will ultimately make you a better marketer. 

Pranav Deshpande
Product Marketing Leader, | Formerly TwilioMay 7

I've written about this in detail on my blog here, so I'll summarize my thoughts below! Messaging and positioning work is never complete, so always treat your positioning doc as a living document that will evolve with your business.

The framework I like to use involves starting with jobs to be done:

Step 1: Start with the ‘jobs to be done’

What: Define the ‘jobs’ your product can be ‘hired’ to perform

Why: As Peter Drucker once said, customers don’t buy products or features, they buy benefits. Jobs-to-be-done helps you look at your product from your customers perspective, making it easier to separate the benefits from the features. 

Step 2 Segment your TAM

What: Segment customers in your TAM using obvious and visible characteristics.

Why: For segmentation to be effective, it needs to be based on obvious and visible characteristics to accurately validate your messaging.

Step 3 Map jobs to be done to benefits

What: Map the ‘jobs’ each segment cares about to the benefits delivered by your product or feature.

Why: Each customer segment does not care about all the benefits you have to offer. Mapping helps you identify which products or features, and therefore benefits you highlight when positioning your product to a particular customer segment. 

Step 4 Analyze competitive alternatives

What: Analyze alternatives available to each customer segment for these jobs

Why: You can’t identify and articulate benefits in a vacuum.

Step 5 Articulate your value

What: Articulate the value your product provides relative to the alternatives in a way most likely to resonate with each segment.  

Why: This is where you bring your positioning home. Having identified the jobs to be done, benefits, customer segments and competitive alternatives, it’s much easier to articulate the value of your offering.  

Julie Brown
Product Marketing & Event Leader, Strategist, & Consultant, | Formerly STANLEY Security, Conga, SAP, Aprimo, SalesforceJanuary 13

Great question! I am a HUGE fan of templates and frameworks. I create templates and then modify them for each company so it better suits the needs of the business. I've written a couple of articles on this topic (see below):

Part 1: https://medium.com/projectproduct/the-power-of-a-message-house-for-product-marketers-8b9bfe01e5a4

Part 2: https://medium.com/projectproduct/the-power-of-a-message-house-for-product-marketers-part-2-bca8f3ea9ad7

I have found holding a cross-functional workshop to be very helpful when developing and finishing the "message house." You might need to hold a few different workshops depending on the depth/breadth of your document and the number of colleagues you need to involve.