All related (91)
Christiana Rattazzi
VP, Industry Solutions at Okta

The best competitive research I've seen goes beyond the competitor's website, press releases and YouTube videos. They might include competitor customer interviews and tailored sales demos. I've personally worked with great small businesses and consultants who are experts in doing this analysis and research. If you have a little budget, I'd recommend that path. 

Amey Kanade
Product Marketing at Fire TV (Smart TVs) at Amazon
Here are some tips based on my eperience: 1. Keeping up with competitive product research, especially in tech, is hard: The tech space evolves at a rapid pace and your research can become absolute/stale within few weeks. Provide competitive intelligence back to your CEO/Product teams at an agreed upon cadence.  2. Try to templatize your findings. You will likely find your data on various product pages, press announcements and internet in general. Following a common template where it's easier for your audience to see this data consolidate at once place is very valuable. 3. Include your Po...more
Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing at Momentive
Not sure I completely answer the question. Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they effectively launch a product/feature and properly engage the right cross-functional partners to make that launch a success? Are they outcome-oriented and think about the metrics they're trying to drive with a given launch? Those are just a few things that I would be looking for ...more
Ambika Aggarwal
Director of Product Marketing at Culture Amp
This is definitely tricky since getting in-depth product intel requires intimate knowledge about your competitors products. One technique some companies employ is mystery shopping research where you hire a researcher to pose as a buyer, but your organization may have a stance against this type of research. You can always look through review sites like G2 to see how your products are compared against top competitors products. But what I've found to be most effective is actually spending time talking to your sales, account management, and customer success teams. Prospects and existing custome...more
Hien Phan
Director of Enterprise Product Marketing at Amplitude

Not sure what mark you're missing. But your CEO and product/eng team are probably looking for (1) an overview of the space, where everyone is going (2) highlighting a few players and going deep dive into why they're building it and who they are building for. [I would hire a secret shopper for the second part] 

Brianne Shally
Head of Product Marketing at Nextdoor
Sharing the product roadmap externally is a great way to share the company's vision, investment in innovation, and upcoming features to get prospects and customers excited about the potential. It can be a strong selling tool to get prospects on board and a resource to get current customers to invest more. What's important is that the roadmap isn't standing on it own, but partnered with an overall vision to show how product efforts later up to a great vision. This is where Product Marketing can play a strong role in storytelling and positioning to bring it all together. I've seen this execut...more
Shezana Manji
Director of Product Marketing at Wealthsimple
If your'e missing the mark, take a step back. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the business challenge you're trying to solve (why do we need this research, what decisions will it help drive). I will share a tangable example of how we approached "how does our tech stack up" At a previous company we were evaluating the decsion to build or acquire to fill a gap in our offering. The first step we took was to be clear on who our target audience was (if we invest in this, who will care and does this align to our business goals). We then outlined various jobs to be done partnering clo...more
Grant Shirk
Head of Product Marketing, Cisco Meraki at Cisco | Formerly Tellme Networks, Microsoft, Box, Vera, Scout RFP, and Sisu Data, to name a few.
I think this one just dropped in. Let's do it live! My gut reaction is: If you're being asked to do "extensive competitive research," something is broken. And you should say no, gracefully. It's very difficult, if not impossible to learn how to win in a market by looking at a competitive product from your (biased) POV.  If your CEO/founder/prouct team doesn't understand what problem they're solving for a customer and where they have a unique differentiator, you're not going to get that answer from a teardown.  If you want, hit me up with a DM here or on Linkedin. Would be happy to ...more
Laura Jones
Head of Marketing at Instacart

 

To establish credibility with a new team, the first step is understanding the team's need, laying out a vision for how you can best add value, and aligning around expectations. It is important to know the user, the market, and the product so that you can engage with the cross-functional team in a meaningful way from day one. With a clear set of objectives and foundational understanding of the space, you can quickly begin to make an impact on the team.

 

Leah Brite
Head of Product Marketing, Core Product at Gusto
I’d clarify upfront what they are hoping to achieve with the exercise. Is it for internal knowledge? To publish competitive checklists on your website? What will it mean for them to know how your tech stacks up in the market? Clarifying and getting alignment on how the information will be used and what constitutes success upfront will help you hit the mark. I find it helpful to remind stakeholders that we should be evaluating the product and competitors through the lens of value, not feature checklists. Do you have data on what features your target market cares about most that you can layer...more
Ryan Van Wagoner
Head of Product Marketing at Forethought
My first recommendation would be to make sure you understand exactly what exactly your stakeholders are wanting to know (and why). Are they looking at making product decisions based on this information? Adjusting the pricing? Refining the messaging? Knowing the strategic goals behind the request will help you know what types of information to search for.  Next, frame your search by putting together a template for a product comparison matrix comparing your product with each of your top competitors' products (I recommend doing this in a spreadsheet where you can add additional information an...more
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing at Oyster®
It's all about doing great work that matters to the business, matters to your partner, and fits into the context of the relationship! The playbook below can help get the ball rolling. Sorry for the long answer, but it's a complex question with big implications for your ability to add value as a PMM. 1) It's essential to understand your business — the market you play in, the strengths/weaknesses of the competition, how customers feel about you, etc. — better than just about anyone else in the company. Your level of fluency (or lack thereof!) will be visible in how you show up: the insight...more
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing at Prove

The definition of "Extensive competitive product research" may be different for different people. I suggest asking the CEO and Product / Engineering teams the kind of questions they are looking to answer. Sometimes the high level market research you can get from a 3rd party will not be enough, and you will need to get creative to get the information needed via surveys, primary research or other methods. My best advise here is to define the task in more detail to undertand what people are expecting.

Indy Sen
VP Marketing at PopSQL | Formerly Matterport, WeWork, Google, Mulesoft, Box, Salesforce
There's no silver bullet for this. You want to bake competitive research into everything you do and have your antennae out. The cool thing about product marketing is that done right, you have a unique vantage point. You are the closest members of your team to customer conversastions, product conversations as well as what analysts and influencers think of you. So you have to synthesize those inputs. Take and share notes on an ongoing basis and then summarize findings in battlecards, competitive dashboards, win/loss analysis. Bottom line: Competitive Intelligence is a full time job.  Compe...more
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our customers. No research can compare to the insights you get by actually being in the shoes of our customers - in our case, small businesses * Talk to customer facing teams (Sales, Account Management, Support) and synthesize feedback. They are on the frontline all the time. You will be surpr...more
Lauren Craigie
Director of Product Marketing at dbt Labs
We all miss the mark here. I'm not even sure I would trust a PMM that says they don't struggle with this! You can stack the deck though, to show that you're exploring every possible avenue:  1. Consider a competitive monitoring solution like Crayon. I've used them in the past and even if they can't dig up things like exact product pricing, they will aggregate signals in market like a executive job posting in EMEA that shows they're about to expand internationally, or a change to their pricing page where they've dropped a freemium trial, or removed a feature, or a shift in homepage messagin...more
Pranav Deshpande
Head of Product Marketing at Modern Treasury | Formerly Twilio
To start I'd say thorough competitive research is the foundation of great product marketing, so it's great that your company is investing in it. It's really important for the PMM that owns a product to be an expert on both direct and indirect competitors. Competitive research shouldn't happen in a vaccuum — it needs to be informed by persona research and the long term vision and product strategy. Especially at the early stages of a new product, the competitive landscape can seem vast and intimidating. Knowing what your core personas care about and where your product and engineering team is ...more
Vikas Bhagat
Director, Head of Product Marketing at Webflow
It really depends on the current understanding of that competitive positioning within my sales team. I usually work with Sales Enablement or frontline Sales Managers to create a bill of materials that would help inform the team on competitive positioning.  Usually this includes but it varies on who I'm tryin to enable (Account executives, leadership, customer success, technical sales engineers, etc..) * Competitive battlecards * Why we win/why we lose messaging + customer stories * Product differentiation deep dive (in partnership with a Sales/Solutions Engineer) * A competitive ...more
Marcus Hartwig
Director of Product Marketing at Vectra AI

Sales and customers will be your most vital partners for this task. They will have likely have had multiple run-ins with your competitors. As a result, they will give you an excellent high-level understanding of competitive pitches, pricing, what attracted customers to them, and how the market, in general, perceives them. When you want to go deeper on a technical level, SEs, TMEs, and other PMs will be able to assist you with a feature-to-feature comparison, but keep in mind to approach the problem from multiple angles to get a better picture. 

Mirio E. D. de Rosa
Chief Analytics Officer at MarketingStat - Survey insights. Your value
The industry sector you deal with may lead to different suggestions. In general, however, “product research” may suggest you are working on a new product launch or re-staging. In such cases, begin with the framework, consider the research tools, and then move to the operating part of the research. The framework may be the: - Product Strategy, for products bought for what they do (like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, engineering, and others) and/or the - Copy Strategy, for products characterized by how they look, work, taste, or smell (like most consumer goods, washing products, cosmetics, e...more