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All related (74)
Alexandra Gutow
Director of Product Marketing at Snowflake November 5

2 pieces of advice here:

1) Take a look at the messaging from other companies (even outside of your market or industry). Who is really nailing it and what do you like about it? And who are the players that you still can't figure out what they do? See if you can start to incorporate some of the aspects you like into your message, or prune out some of what you didn't like. One thing I love doing here is seeing if there are ways to be more colloquial in your messaging. Especially if you work in B2B, see if you can incorporate some of the fun, down to earth messaging that B2C tends to do more of.

2) Don't be afraid to have your work torn apart. It can be hard getting feedback, especially for something you've spent a lot of time and energy on. But try not to get defensive or tune out what you don't agreement with. Go get feedback from the hardest critics. And don't be afraid to ask them follow up questions (ie "Do you agree with this point directionally or you don't think it's a main value at all?" "Do you have suggestions for alternative wordings?" etc)

Julia Szatar
Director of Product Marketing & Lifecycle Marketing at Loom December 3

This is mostly just practice, start writing, and keep writing. However, some specific things you could do include:

  • Actively consume other marketing content. For example subscribe to your favorite brand's emails, competitor emais. Read the content and think about why it is effective/not effective. 
  • Before you start writing anything work with product to really understand why you are building a product or feature. Understand the audience and the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Get involved in user research. This is the most powerful shortcut to good messaging. Sometimes it feels like cheating, but your customers often use words in user interviews, that you can take and put into your messaging. 
  • Build strong relationships with frontline teams: support, sales, CSMs. They speak with your users the most and often have the best insights. 
Jenna Crane
Head of Product Marketing at Klaviyo | Formerly Drift, Dropbox, UpworkJuly 16

Practice, practice, practice! Get as many reps in as you can, and have a marketer you admire give you very candid feedback. Bonus points if you can do a working session with someone who’s skilled in messaging — build a messaging framework together, live, so you can get a front-row seat to watch how they think and how they approach it in a real-life situation.

Eric Chang
Director, Product Marketing at 1Password January 19

I'd recommend making sure to spend enough time on the planning and information gathering phase that is necessary prior to creating messaging. The most common issue I've seen with messaging is PMMs jumping straight into creating a framework before they truly take the time to understand their target audience's pain points, and how the product solves those pain points. As a result, the messaging turns into that individual's view of why they think the product is great. In an ideal world you would be able to find lots of customer research/insights, create a persona, a clear set of problems, establish positioning, understand the product, and then dive into messaging. The reality is you often don't have the time/resources to do all this. In these situations, I recommend you create a simple brief that lays out very clearly your audience pain points, positioning, and key product info. If you have those 3 items the messaging exercise is much more straight forward and they serve as a good reminder of the foundation you're using to build your messaging.

Next, make sure to get feedback (ideally from your target audience, but teammates are great as well). Repetitions and practice are important, but getting feedback will help you better understand if messaging is resonating before you push it live. The feedback will help you course correct and deliver more effective in-market messaging, plus it will help you identify how you can improve.

From a structured learning perspective, a public speaking or writing class could also be helpful. Effective public speaking requires you to understand an idea and communicate it clearly, which are both helpful and complementary to improving messaging skills. I myself haven't taken a writing class before, but I have known many PMMs (especially those in more content heavy roles) who have and would recommend it.

Frances Liu
Head of Marketing at Instawork September 1

As others have mentioned, practice. It's hard to find the extra time, so here are some ideas:

  • Try different frameworks to refresh on basics
  • Find reasons to tag-team a refresh. I've used it as part of onboarding new marketing folks
  • Compare with PMMs at other companies. I'm grateful to have coworkers and friends to talk shop (plus kudos to Sharebird!)
  • Read fiction. Sounds corny, but it non-work related way to tap that empathy muscle
Robert McGrath
Vice President Global Marketing at CalypsoAI May 10

Research, and come with a growth mindset! Look and listen to what competitors in your market are doing. How does their messaging make you feel, how does it relate to your own organisation's. Why do customer go with them versus you? 

Also, and something that often goes overlooked; we're all consumers. So, what brand do you admire, what messaging makes you stop and think about the product/solution/service.

Messaging can only resonate when you have the right alignment of the customer, knowing their challenge/need and the best product/solution/service to solve for that. Answering these is key to effective messaging, especially if you're operating in smaller regions and/or markets with different cultures and languages. 

Sarah Lambert
Head of Product Marketing at Symphony Talent October 20

I would suggest practicing by creating your own messaging frameworks for some of your favorite products or companies be they B2C or B2B. This should help you to start to think through the different proof points and differentiators because you’ll already be aware of the competitive landscape and how they’re message. 

Another approach is to try to reverse engineer the messaging for a company you’re already following. Take their current messaging and put it into your messaging framework to see 1) if you think it works well and 2) if they’re missing any key components. This can always be used in conversations during interviews as well 😉

April Rassa
Product Marketing at Cohere | Formerly Adobe, Box, GoogleSeptember 29

Messaging is the ability to communicate pains and solutions for a specific persona using the written word. PMM writing is unique because it’s all about distilling a message down to it’s essence and packaging words in a way that will be accepted by a specific group of people. A PMM should write with very little fat.

Practice writing. Test your messages with your sales team, SDRs, A/B test marketing campaigns. Listen to how your sales team pitches. Listen to how your customers talk. 

Valerie Angelkos
VP of Product Marketing at Howl | Formerly GoogleMay 24

Messaging for me is both an art and a science. I've seen very good narrative building frameworks and courses around that can you help you nail basic concepts (e.g how to structure a well written value prop) but it needs constant practice and iteration.

As an immigrant whose first language is not English, I have also found general writing courses and workshops very helpful.