Nisha Goklaney

Nisha GoklaneyShare

Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot
Hello! I am a high performing data-driven product & marketing leader with 15+ years of experience taking products to market and driving growth. I have a track record of driving fast paced strategic...more
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Nisha Goklaney
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 8

This is a great question! Given messaging is such a subjective topic - it's super important to quantifiably test and iterate on it to ensure it lands well in the market. Here's a few strategies and tactics you can use to quantifably test it: 

1. During the process of creating the messaging, work with your market research team to test aspects of the messaging with prospects and customers. This can be both qualitative tests where you test specific aspects of your pitch and differentiated value or quantitative tests of words or descriptors you use.

2. Solicit early feedback from Sales and Customer support teams - We’ve recently done this super effectively at Hubspot, by essentially recording a Loom video of our pitch (keep it under 5-7 minutes) and following that up with a Google form with specific questions to solicit sales and customer success feedback on the pitch, differentiated value, use cases, imagery used etc. 

3. Leverage platforms and tools such as Wynter - This has been another effective platform we’ve used to test messaging effectiveness and gain specific feedback on what resonates and doesnt with your prospective buyers. Wynter allows you to crowdsource and get real-time feedback from your target customers. 

4. A/B test on your website, ad copy, social copy, search copy - these are simple and effective ways to test a couple of different messaging options with your prospects in real-time to see what resonates most.

5. Email test your messaging to prospects - This is a tactic you can easily use to test different subject lines, body copy, CTA’s to see what resonates most.

Nisha Goklaney
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 8

Yes, there are plenty resources out there for you to continue to sharpen your toolset and learn from others in the community as well. Here are some of my favorites 

1. Listening to podcasts - Women in Product Marketing by Mary Sheehan is by far my favorite. She brings on a host of Senior PMM's in their field to discuss topics from messaging, positioning, pricing, getting into PMM, GTM strategy etc. 

2. Following thought leaders on Linkedin - Here is a nice list of thought leaders - https://www.productmarketingalliance.com/60-product-marketers-leading-the-way-in-2022/ 

3. Spend time on other websites - Some website I have come to love over time are Airtable, Asana, Snowflake, Zendesk, Gong, Drift, Dropbox, Evernote etc. Here's a good list of good B2B website examples and what makes them great as well

3. Spending time in the field with actual customers - listen to how they talk about their challenges, goals, aspirations and passions. What they like spending time doing and what they don't. Ask specific questions on how your product/service helps them, what they would do otherwise and take notes on the specific words and language they use to describe the value your product brings to them 

4. Listen to Gong calls or shadow your sales/Customer success teams - to hear first hand on how your sellers sell your product/service, the slides and pitch decks they use, and their words and language. Pay attention to what resonates with customers, and what doesnt. Listen also, to how prospects describe their problems. 

Nisha Goklaney
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 8

I have used several different messaging frameworks, but one that we are leveraging quite a lot these days is the Jobs to be done framework, accompanied by durable, evergreen messages that are centered around our key customer personas and their pain points. In this framework you start by: 

  1. First, Understanding your ‘who’ (aka your key buyer personas) - who they are, what are their goals, their challenges, what keeps them up at night and what pain points they are most struggling with. We get super detailed here, with understanding how our buyers make software purchase decisions, where they go for information, what their key influence points are (e.g. website, review sites, analyst relations, buyer enablement content etc.)
  2. Second, Develop your ‘why’ - Our next step is then to articulate how we help our key personas solve for their jobs to be done and what makes us unique in doing so. These take the shape of ‘durable messages’ or ‘messaging pillars’ that explain the distinct value of your product or service and why a customer should consider your solution to address their JTBD. Top tip to get to this is by listening to prospect calls (Use Gong if your company records them, you’ll start to see patterns emerge)
  3. Third, Develop your ‘how’ - This is where you go into details to explain with 2-3 simple examples of how a customer can use your product/service to help them solve their jobs to be done. Top tip here: If you focus on a specific industry, vertical - use the opportunity to explain how you have brought value to customers here. Always include output data points (e.g. time saved, efficiency gained, ROI, Revenue) where possible to measure impact
  4. Put it all together - Using the insights and info you have collected, put together
    1. Elevator pitch - 1-2 sentences that explains the job your product/service does, who it is for, and how it is differentiated
    2. Messaging pillars - 3 pillars that explain the value you bring to your target customer
    3. Used cases - real life examples of how you deliver value with outcomes
    4. Reason to Believe/Proof - Include customer testimonials, reviews & ratings, analyst relations
Nisha Goklaney
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 8

There are a host of good training options out there: 

1. PMM Alliance - They have a comprehensive set of courses, content and how to guides that I have found extremely useful 

2. Sharebird - another great place to start. Here you can get real industry expertise and resources from folks in the field 

3. Podcasts - Women in Product Marketing by Mary Sheehan, Product Marketing Insider are a couple of my favorites. 

4. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It" by April Dunford.

5. Another best practice I like to follow is actually spending time on other brand sites (example B2B sites like- Gong, Airtable, Monday.com, Snowflake, Zendesk, Drift, Quickbooks.com etc.) to understand how they position their products, how they showcase their value prop, jobs to be done etc. 

6. Also, Linkedin is a great resource. There are some incredible marketers and product marketers that focus on covering messaging, positioning, super worthwhile to follow: https://www.productmarketingalliance.com/60-product-marketers-leading-the-way-in-2022/

Nisha Goklaney
Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing, HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 8

Brilliant question. If developed correctly, your messaging pillars should be evergreen (i.e. should not change on a dime) from campaign to campaign. Ultimately, your messaging pillars bring to life the core value your product/service delivers to customers and hence should be foundational. As you release new product features, think about how they ladder up to your core messaging pillars (aka the value you deliver to customers) and map them as such. 

Here are some best practices to ensure you get maximum traction from your messaging and that there is consistency across how channel marketers, PR teams, sales etc. use them. 

1. Develop a 'How to guide' - In a how to guide, your role is to essentially breakdown and provide guidance to your key stakeholders on how they should be using your messaging - are there direct copy points they can leverage for the website, social, ad copy? Can your PR team directly leverage speaking points or use your messaging pillars? Can your sales team directly use your pitch with a talk track? Break it down for them with instructions, so it’s easy for your stakeholders to use and re-use your messaging. Good messaging is used on an ongoing and consistent basis across 360 channels - to promote customer recall. 

2. Roadshow - Showshow your messaging across your sales, customer success, marketing organization - and explain how each team can effectively utilize your messaging. 

3. Centralize where you store your messaging - so its easily findable and referencable by all stakeholders. Encourage folks to bookmark it 

Credentials & Highlights
Director of Product Marketing at HubSpot
Formerly Intuit, American Express, Sage
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Top 10 Product Marketing Contributor
Lives In Houston, Texas