Dee Dee Wolverton

Dee Dee WolvertonShare

Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, Udemy
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Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 15

We think about this as a layered approach, of which time is an important consideration. Here are some ways to think about the differences:

  • Jobs To Be Done (JTBD): Essentially, what is the 'job' someone is 'hiring' your product to do? What is the outcome they're looking for? This is extreme helpful when you need something actionable, fast. In fact, it's good to consider this as a preliminary research step so that you have a clearer picture of your audience when developing a Segmentation RFP
  • Personas: Allow you to paint a picture of who your audiences are - great for internal education among a broad range of internal stakeholders. Personas leverage quantitative data but also heavily uses qualitative data to support narrative empathy-building with customers. I've found Personas to be especially helpful in a b2b context - you can leverage LinkedIn to cultivate keyword trends and definitions across job types, which can be further useful for account-based marketing and sales training / enablement.
  • Segmentation: JTBD and Persona work can be layered into (broad) segmentation analysis, which can go even deeper. In fact, the inputs we receive from the JTBD are critical so that we have confidence in some of the underlying assumptions. Segments should be constructed with the key differentiating inputs and contextual information already in hand, so they can be powerful and easily relatable across for teams to execute on. 
Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

Ideally, in everything :)

Product Marketers should aim to approach our work from the perspective of the consumer, and frequently bring that view into internal conversations. This is why we closely evaluate their options (via competitive tracking), their experience (product and userflow), and their motivations (quant / qual surveys).

At the most tactical level, we leverage those insights to inform positioning, messaging, and GTM execution. On a broader level, consumer insights fuel broader strategic discussions such as feature development, roadmap discussions, prioritization, and initiative planning.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 15

Great question. 

PMM and UXR are equal partners. Typically PMM is responsible for drafting the project brief which provides context and the learning objective. UXR recommends the research approach, the tools, and designs the execution brief. PMM will review the questions to ensure it aligns with our goals. UXR will run the studies, synthesize the data, and present the findings, most often to the extended team. 

With that - I want to share credit with Kris Tyler. In addition to refining my responses in this AMA, Kris has been my co-lead on all other projects this year: be it Market Analysis, sentiment tracking, surveys, conjoint - you name it. She's a Star among Stars.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

A market analysis is complex: there are many (many) different things that make up a market, and it can easily become a sociological discussion - especially as you see similar trends across multiple markets, driven by divergent factors.

Ultimately, you are seeking to understand a) headwinds b) tailwinds c) market accelerants and d) what your competitors may be doing to influence this. 

At a very basic level, the tools that will help you evaluate that are:

  • Offsite trends: search tools like SimilarWeb, Google Trends, AppAnnie, 
  • Competitive: similar to the above, augmented by media spending, earnings reports, and press releases
  • Onsite trends: this would be your own internal performance metrics
  • User research: interviews survey tools, and site intercept tools
  • 3rd party reports: recongnized, reputable (well sourced) outlets. If possible, try to leverage any existing licenses your company has access to mitigate costs

The key to a market analysis is to try and piece together different data points and view it as a whole to start to see the story. Like a puzzle. 

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

Always assume best intent. Start there. Often times people want to help, but there are other things going on; there may be nuances you have not yet considered which your stakeholder is weighing carefully. It's important to dig in to see where the resistance may be coming from and get your stakeholders support against the goal itself - even if the means to achieve that goal may change.

Listen carefully to your stakeholder and treat them as a subject matter expert when it comes to their clients. Try to deeply understand their concerns. Share your purpose, how it supports company objectives, and ask for their recommendation on the approach. Invite them to help you find a solution. Usually, worst case scenario is that they'll redirect you; best case scenario is that they'll help you design + execute communications. 

If you can work through it then, in addition to getting the project off the ground, you may have also found a great new partner to work with in the future.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

Tactically, you can apply the learnings in pretty much any way - from sourcing to targeting. However, in many case, you'll want to make sure other teams are aware of this information so that they can use it even if you personally aren't involved. With that in mind, think about how you can socialize important information that you collect broadly. Some tactical ideas:

  • Make the doc easily accessible - keep the doc on 'open' view access to everyone in the company
  • Post it on your internal wiki, if one exists. 
  • Share on relevant team slack channels and invite questions
  • Host internal roadshows and tailor slides for different audiences 
  • Reference it frequently - cross-link to your doc(s) as a source, add it as a source in the comments in other docs. 
  • Create a schedule to update, and continue build

The trick with any material piece of research is to remind people that it exists. In addition to getting more traction, it helps the organization operate more efficiently and avoid redundancy. Oftentimes, people are re-inventing reports simply because they are unaware that someone has already done it.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

Yes! We can and we do - surveys, interviews, localization checks, experimentation, and instructor advisory boards. Some of these are a heavier lift than others, so it’s important to ensure you are really thoughtful to marry the content and desired outcome to the testing approach, to ensure you can glean as much actionable data as possible.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

The language of love at Udemy is Data. As such, we're always looking for more, and consumer insights are a constant.

Research is conducted on an ongoing basis by our incredible User Research group. This includes longitudinal research where we would like to track progress over time such as for upper-funnel brand metrics like recall and awareness, as well as campaign specific research related to things like message testing and feature promotion.

We use a combination of survey tools like SurveyMonkey and Qualaroo, and host in-depth interviews 1x1 with prospective and existing customers via UserTesting. 

We also leverage more complex survey methodologies, such as MaxDiffs and Conjoint Analyses. However, these can be costly in terms of time, resource, and funding, so are reserved for more long-term, strategic initiatives Typically an agency will support these, but for smaller-scale projects, they can be executed internally with Conjointly, a self-serve platform that builds and analyses the data

Insights are distilled and shared with the cross-functional team fairly regularly every month or two, regularly revisited, and built upon.

Dee Dee Wolverton
Dee Dee Wolverton
Product & Instructor Marketing, Director, UdemyDecember 14

It truly does take a team to develop a strong pov on the market - a PMM can drive it, but you'll want other internal subject-matter experts to contribute. 

I'd recommend first aligning w/your leadership team, and ask them to dedicate one person to help even if in a limited capacity (a few hours a week). Cross-functional teammates will provide essential guidence, enrich conversations, and distribute important info to different parts of the company in real time. 

Secondarily, focus on what you're seeking to learn and the timeline. Try to organize sprints of ~2 months, and plan to do a refreshes ~6 months later. This should allow time to conduct experiments to evaluate anything you have learned, and identify new areas to investigate.

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Product & Instructor Marketing, Director at Udemy
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Knows About Competitive Positioning, Messaging, Platform and Solutions Product Marketing, Market ...more