Michael Peach

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Video: Adventures in Messaging: E07 with Michael Peach, Head of Product Marketing at Tray.io
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
Messaging is always hierarchy. You have a top-level story that speaks broadly at the company, brand, or product portfolio level. Then you ladder down from that into more specific messages for specific products, industries, or audiences. They key is to start at the top and work down. That way your story is consistent, and your just adding relevant details for more specific pitches. From a delivery mechanism I think of the sales kit as a way to package this. You have a core organizing principle, say persona, then you build kits for each key persona with a tailored presentation, demo script...
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
Yes, there are two changes from a messaging perspective that I've made this year. Everything this year is unprecedented, but the changes are similar to things I did in 2008 as well. The first thing was to pivot top-line benefits from growth to efficiency. In a recession, you have to be able emphasize how your product will save money. Second is to focus more on current customers. Retention is critical in a down economy, so we've launched some specific messaging and new initiatives focused specifically at our customer base.
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
This will depend a bit on the specific market or product, but I'd suggest the following: * Your customers  * Your product team * Your sales team * Your leadership team * Industry analysts or influencers Customers can be a really valuable source of messaging feedback that often gets overlooked. A customer community or advistory board can be a great panel for message testing, and they generally appreciate having the opportunity to participate. Analysts can be helpful, but you'll need to filter their feedback based on their POV of the market which may or may not align with yours.
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
Never. That's probably not a practical answer, but I'm always tweaking and refining messaging. Obviously we don't contstantly roll out changes to the market, but I think PMMs should have that mindset. I generally think that every launch is an opportunity to update your messaging, and in the absense of launch you should still be refreshing/updated your sales intro decks once a quarter. 
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
It's ultimately up to the PMM team to drive engagement and feedback on messaging. One of the easiest ways I've found to do this, is to link messaging discussions with launch planning. Not everyone on the leadership team is passionate about messaging, but I've found that most people do care, and want to be informed/involved with product launches. Use launch reviews as a vehicle to drive messaging conversations.
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
I actually don't think this matters all that much. Messaging should be anchored in the outcomes your product delivers to your target persona, and the key differentators that make you uniquely suited to deliver those outcomes. That doesn't change based on your market position. Where this could come into play is when you talk about successes you've achieved. As a market leader you can talk to the your breadth of customers, market share, analyst ratings, etc. as proof points. As a challenger, you paint you customers as forward-thinking innovators who are taking a different approach as seein...
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
Yes - I think there are 3 things you need for good messaging: 1. A clear understanding of who you're targeting. The target persona, not the vendor is the "hero" in your story. Product marketers too often make their product or company the main character. 2. A clear understanding of how your product is differentiated. What are the 3 - 5 specific things that you do differently from competitive/existing solutions. 3. A compelling brand/company vision. What is your broad POV on the market? How is it different (note this is different from product differentiation) If you h...
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
I think there are two ways to look at this. One is differentiation. What, specifically, does your product or company do that's different from other/existing solutions. This should always key component of messaging. It's the answer to "why us?". Intro presentations close on key differentiators, it's the points you work into the demo script, etc. Where I'd caution is getting too concerned with specific competitors as you build messaging. That can narrow your focus, and ultimately make you look small. Sellers can be armed to respond to specific competitors, but as a general practice I think...
Michael Peach
Michael Peach
VP of Marketing, Rimsys Regulatory Management SoftwareAugust 4
This is where the loss of conferences/events this year has been painful. One of my favorite ways to test messaging is to attend conferences, work the booth, and see how well different pitches land. Another approach I've used is to test messaging through experienced sellers. When trying out some new messaging, I'll ask a couple senior sales people to try it out with discovery/intro calls. We'll collect their feedback, and listen to call recordings to get a sense of how well it's resonating.
Credentials & Highlights
VP of Marketing at Rimsys Regulatory Management Software
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Milpitas, California
Knows About Competitive Positioning, Market Research, Category Creation, Messaging