Grant Shirk is the Head of Product Marketing for Cisco Meraki. With over two
decades of experience in marketing strategy, positioning, product design, and
leadership, he's truly an enterprise softw...more
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
This is highly requested, so I'll take a shot at it. But first, an
acknowlegement of bias: I don't really like competitive tools that much. I find
they put more emphasis on collection than utilization and understanding. Kind of
like how we all can't remember anyone's phone number any more because...more
The answer here is in the question. My approach to differentiation starts with
understanding why the product or service you're responsible is uniquely suited
to a specific customer. And then focus on what makes you great, not what makes
others less good.
Too many companies (including a few I'v...more
This is the job within the job. You're always balancing two macro audiences:
External (prospects and customers) and Internal (well, all your coworkers).
I'll reiterate what I've said elsewhere today. This is all about repetition,
repetition, repetition. Put your messaging and positioning fram...more
I'll start with the assumption that this isn't a product you can personally go
out and procure on your own. Hands-on is always great.
Review sites are good, and can often generate a list of targets to call for more
qualitative research. My biggest piece of advice here is to always do compete
I feel like every organization struggles with this. Everyone (and every
function) brings their own definitions and biases with them.
Here is my definition of this:
* Positioning: This is the combination of audience definition, problem
statement, product/category definition, and unique di...more
Answer one: Iterate, iterate, iterate.
Answer two: Yes, brand positioning and product positioning are inextricably
A statement that sounds bold but shouldn't be: Product marketing should drive
brand positioning. It's the why of what we do, it stems from the problems we're
solving, and ...more
Your best bet is always "talk to customers." You'll learn more in 10
conversations with prospects and customers than you will with $10K or $20K in
To keep it fresh, participate in weekly customer calls and prospecting. You'll
hear where the threats are coming from immediately...more
Oof, tough situation. It's very hard to navigate these situations, and tougher
to give advice without context into why that group might be protective. Often,
if you take an open mind in and ask, you'll learn that there are good reasons
for this. Then you'll have to adapt what you want to learn.
This requires a few different tactics depending on the size of your sales team.
YMMV based on culture, sales leadership, enablement structure, but it's a good
place to start.
One thing that's constant, though. Establish a one-stop shop for all competitive
materials (Folder in sales portal, in...more