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How important is platform positioning and messaging early when you have basic product capabilities?

6 Answers
Liza Sperling
Liza Sperling
Upwork Head Of Product MarketingFebruary 16

In general, I don't think you can determine that a platform approach makes sense or begin developing platform positioning and messaging until you know more about your product(s) than just capabilities. First I’d develop positioning and messaging for your product(s), including clearly defining your customer, the problem you are solving in the market, and how your offering compares to alternatives. This exercise will result in many of the inputs required to determine if a platform (or another approach) makes sense. Including clearly understanding the market(s) you are in, if your customers overlap or are related, and if you are solving similar or related problems.

1907 Views
Anna Wiggins
Anna Wiggins
Bluevine Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Content, Customer ResearchMarch 23

I would say this depends on your roadmap and when the platform functionality is scheduled to launch. If you incorporate platform messaging too early, you can actually do more harm than good because your prospects will sign up for your product expecting a platform and instead will get a few basic features.

If platform capabilities are launching soon, you may want to start incorporating this aspect into your messaging to gauge reactions. Alternatively, you may also want to hold this messaging back so you can make a memorable launch moment when you unveil the platform.

556 Views
Natalie Louie
Natalie Louie
ICONIQ Capital Product & Content MarketingApril 13

I wouldn’t prioritize it and instead focus on iterating on your existing product messaging and positioning. Get clarity on how to message and position your existing products while being mindful of your future product roadmap. Messaging and positioning is something you should always be iterating and updating pending what new products are being released, what your competitors do, what your customers' changing challenges are, what your new business strategy is, etc... So, when you have a real platform product and strategy on the horizon, then it will be time to introduce that into your positioning and messaging - during your next iteration.

579 Views
Francisco M. T. Bram
Francisco M. T. Bram
Albertsons Companies Vice President of MarketingMarch 24

That’s a great question. The most successful salespeople build relationships with customers by selling them the promise of a product or platform that will evolve, as their needs evolve. And in today’s digital environment where most transactions happen online, Product Marketing teams are the new Sales team. This means you need an airtight narrative that not only accurately positions today’s capabilities but also sells the vision for the platform. 

That’s the most impactful positioning Product Marketers can create. Think of your favorite TV show, where the entire season has one story arc (one umbrella narrative) that unveils across multiple episodes. The reason you probably decided to give that show a try was the premise of the experience you expect the show will deliver. 

The same is true for a platform in its early stages where each release is a chapter in your platform overarching story or narrative. In addition, building a strong platform positioning and narrative early on, will set the tone and inspire product and tech teams to deliver, creating a great opportunity for Product Marketing to help drive the product roadmap. The key is to ground your platform positioning in a deep understanding of the customer journey so you can build a future-proof narrative.

365 Views
Jack Wei
Jack Wei
Sendbird Head of MarketingJanuary 10

Not very important. Nail the basics (at the product feature/function level)... make sure they map to the corporate and brand messaging. Once the business passes a certain revenue threshold in your space, then uplevel towards platform, solutions, etc.

When you have basic product capabilities, you're likely very early stage with unproven fit and individual user personas who aren't going to think about platform implications for other teams or stakeholders.

Nail it, scale it, then uplevel it.

319 Views
Apurva Davé
Apurva Davé
Aembit CMOMay 25

I would argue that, when your product is early (and basic), your messaging and positioning matter more than when you are established. Why?

  1. You need to speak to a specific buyer and convince them to care. Your positioning must bring a unique insight (or many!) that bring your buyer/user along on your journey. You must paint a vision for why your basic capabilities will turn into something full featured that solves an incredibly important problem. After all, if you can't communicate it, why would you expect someone else to understand it?

  2. Your positioning will guide the creation of everything that you use to communicate the product. Every demo, every web page, every blog must lead back to the few salient points that you've distilled in your messaging. Even a simple feature release should lead back to the 'why' you've laid out in your messaging.

  3. Your positioning will serve as a guide for your future development. As your product grows, as you add products, or even acquire companies, you should be able leverage your positioning as a guiding light to ask if you're continuing to be true to your buyer and true to the vision of your company.

3120 Views
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