Derek Frome

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Vice President Marketing, Ouster
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Video: Adventures in Messaging S02E05: With Derek Frome, Head of Marketing at Ouster
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
I'm going to take a somewhat contrarian view on this and say that in order to really break through in a crowded market, it takes more than clever messaging (though that never hurts). You have to position your product correctly and you have to prove that you are better. Now would be the time to invest in a really solid customer marketing program to tell their stories of success with your product. All the better if they moved to your product from a competitor. Include that question in every win interview you do, and produce "grey label" case studies for your sales team. Those look like "A maj...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
Painted door tests are your friend here (google it). You could create two or three landing pages with different message variants, each of which leads to a "request access" form. Depending on what your campaign is for, your message testing could be as simple as running it by product managers or account managers. Or you could grab a few web visitors through a Qualaroo survey and interview them. You could grab people and buy them a coffee at a conference. Basically, there's no big trick to this - you just have to do it. If you're getting feedback on your messaging from your target audience or ...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
I'll take a more extreme position on this question. You're setting yourself up for failure by asking us how to "defend" your messaging. Instead, I'd ask you to listen to those people who you are used to "defending" your messaging from. It's not your messaging - give up that pride of ownership in order to listen and learn from sales, product, and your executives if they choose to care about your exact phrasing. That doesn't mean that they get to write the exact words - but all of those constituencies have an important point of view, and it's your job to triangulate among them, decide where t...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
To me, a solution is a prescriptive collection of products and features that solve a well-defined problem for your customer. A product is anything you could conceivably sell on its own, but a product can also be a collection of other products. A feature is a component piece of a product that adds to its value but cannot be sold on its own.    Products, features, and solutions tend to get different levels of attention from PMMs. Products will naturally get the most, solutions are really just collections of products and are therefore more an exercise in packaging and pricing. Features get a...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
In my opinion, this is the wrong question to be asking. A much better objective would be to aim for a promotion, not a pay raise. Of course, promotions carry pay raises, but the point is that a promotion is more easily understood and communicated. It's easier to ask your boss "what do you think I need to demonstrate to earn a promotion to [title]" than to ask your boss "what do I need to do to get a 15k raise".    The above answer assumes that you are being paid roughly market rates. If you are junior and inexperienced, don't expect to pull the median salary. By definition, half of people...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
Mike's answer is spot on. Since you've been laid off 5 times in 10 years though, I'll add one other thought. It's possible that you're focusing on outputs, not outcomes. PMM done right is much more focused on outcomes - well defined, measurable (as much as possible). It's the PMM lead's job to secure buy-in from execs, product leadership, and sales leadership on those outcomes. Then it's your job to hit them. It's easy to churn out 2 white papers per quarter and think you're doing something. It's a lot harder to sign up for a web conversion metric or something similarly relevant for your bu...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioSeptember 5
At a previous company, we started by maintaining a wiki page for competitive intel that was the "single point of truth" for the sales team. Mike is correct when he says that at an early stage, CI is everyone's job and the PMM's job to QB the effort. I would suggest that a solid level of competitive intel is necessary in order to truly understand your differentiation and sell effectively. Think about structuring your CI program in terms of structured and unstructured data. Side by side feature comparisons, competitive takeout stories and quotes, and so on need to be codified and hosted somew...
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.ioJuly 18
Honestly, pay them more. You can also look at getting them MBA interns for the summer, etc. Also, depending on how big your marketing team is, you can give them expanded scope outside of PMM, if that interests them. e.g. have them manage a couple copywriters who are contractors.
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Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Knows About Product Marketing Career Path, Platform and Solutions Product Marketing, Messaging, I...more