Pete Schott

Pete SchottShare

Senior Director of Product Marketing, Zenput
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Pete Schott
Pete Schott
Senior Director of Product Marketing, ZenputSeptember 6

Perspective: I was a potential buyer recently.

Important factors for the answer to this are: how big is your sales team, and how much content is there to track/organize?

If your sales team is 1-20, using something very basic like Google Drive (or Dropbox etc. etc.) might still be OK. My thought process has been that if you’re still in this phase as a company, a more sophisticated tool would be nice but there are often lots of other projects and ways to spend money that would take priority.

Less than 12 months ago I spent a lot of time looking at solutions for this -- months with various sales vendors etc. We had a sales org of over 100 and we had decided that it was finally time to move off of Google Sites / Google Drive as our way of organizing things. I looked at Showpad, Seismic, Highspot, Docsend, and others. I loved Showpad and probably would have chosen that had I not left the organization for another job. A lot of the capabilities are table stakes across each platform (tracking, analytics, plugins for gmail salesforce etc.). What I loved about Showpad was my product launch use case -- I wanted a single place I could point people to that not only organized my launch content but also allowed me to create a page within the tool: actually type out stuff, add images etc. Other platforms may have had solutions for this but it really stood out to me among other things.

Pete Schott
Pete Schott
Senior Director of Product Marketing, ZenputMarch 23

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) have become a popular way for companies to clearly define goals and measure progress against them, at the employee, team, and company level. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OKR

There's lots written about these that you can reference elsewhere, but it's a really helpful frame work that allows you to measure, quantitatively and qualitatively, how you're tracking against the "key results" that you've defined. The common expectation is that you'll hit about 70% of your OKRs - idea is that you're including stretch goals so missing 20-30% doens't mean you're performing poorly.

I do try to quantify as much as possible in my OKRs but you also need to be careful to not arbitrarily quantify things to the point that it distracts from what will really add the most value to your team or company.

Pete Schott
Pete Schott
Senior Director of Product Marketing, ZenputSeptember 4

Companies create and “defend” categories because they believe, or want you to believe, that they solve existing problems in a new way or are packaging together solutions to a variety of problems in a way that wasn’t done before. It becomes a natural way to deposition other companies who fall into older/existing categories because they do things the “old” way or other reasons. That said, it's also a disservice to yourself (even arrogant) if you disregard the older categories altogether.

Example: At PlanGrid (acquired by Autodesk, I’ve since moved on) I led the launch of a new category we created called “Construction Productivity Software”. “Project Management Software” was an old, existing category well documented on Capterra and elsewhere and we certainly had competitors with lots of competing products and features. While we had features that fell into that Project Management Software category, we also had new features and capabilities that hadn’t traditionally fallen into that category (or existed at all), and wanted to educate the market and focus on the impact we could make on individual worker productivity in addition to larger organizational benefits (as opposed to “project” as the main focus). But you better believe we paid for Google ads against keywords like “construction project management” and related terms.

The best way you can serve the buyer is to 1) make it easy for them to find solutions to their problems and 2) help them realize problems that they didn’t know they had 3) make it easy to understand why yours is (or isn’t) the best to solve them. Categories matter for google searches etc. to make it easy for a potential buyer to discover you. But once you’re talking with someone 1:1 the category doesn’t really matter anymore -- you’re talking to them because you already believe they may have a solution to your problem, the sales person no longer needs to lean on a better known category to get your attention.

Pete Schott
Pete Schott
Senior Director of Product Marketing, ZenputOctober 4

Why do you want to do the research? 

  • For marketing content/reports? Show the CMO and CEO all of the ways that you'll be able to get value out of it e.g. packaging up into a report for demand gen, webinars, event presentations, etc. etc.
  • For insights to influence product roadmap? I'd expect PMs to get pretty excited about having more market data to influence decision making
  • Anything else: it's the why. Why should they care, how can your market research others do their job better and help the whole team/company succeed?
Credentials & Highlights
Senior Director of Product Marketing at Zenput
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Consumer Product Marketing, Category Creation, Solutions and Platform Product Marketi...more