Vanessa Thompson

Vanessa ThompsonShare

Senior Director, Product Marketing, Twilio
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Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
I have a 5-step approach that i've developed over time. It does change based on the situation, but the main flow typically stays in tact. I presented this at an event, so you can watch the full breakdown here. https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6208820879001 Vanessa’s 5-Step Approach for Successful Positioning, Segmentation, Targeting, and Persona Development. 1. Have an opinion 2. Know your customer 3. Know your use case 4. Persona Development 5. Build your winning position
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
Everyone in your business knows something about your market, and your customers. So its not only important to do the research but to make sure you share it with enough people in your business to validate that you dont have any blindspots or other elements that you’ve missed. You dont need to have all the answers yourself but your work does need to interpret what the research means, so even though there are unknowns, focus on being thorough around the ones your team/business has the most control over and responsibility for. There will always be things you cant control (the pandemic is a goo...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
If your company uses a tool like Gong.io that is the most non-intrusive way to glean insights from sales conversations. It's a great tool that lets you search key topics in an easy way.  If Gong isn't an option to you, then work through your sales team. Be intentional about which customers you’d like to speak to and be clear about why you want to speak to them. Always get permission from your sellers to reach out to their customers. Depending on the stage of the deal cycle the sellers may or may not want you to be involved so it doesnt disrupt the sales cycle. You have to be ok with that, ...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
Based on your question detail, it sounds like you are targeting some specific persona details. If you have the time and capacity to take the approach you described, then it's a good way to do it. The other is to use a third party. I've used a few in the past, SurveyMonkey and Respondent.io. They were both pretty easy to use and got us the insight we needed without the hassle of prospecting.
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
The outcome you are targeting with your competitive research plays a role in the efficacy of your research method. So have the outcome in mind before you start, that way you will already be on the path to success! Competitive positioning - There are plenty of tools around like Klue, that scrape the web and sources data and information about your competitors. But you will need to add color and context based on your specific differentiation. You may also want to do some primary research on your competitors here too, look around their website, documentation, and you may even want to sign up f...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
Competitive Battlecards are the best asset for sales but remember to KISS (keep it stupid simple). Sales are often pressed for time so how can you clearly pick apart your differentiators (vs the competitor), give the rep a compelling reason it matters, and even lay some trap setting questions. Depending on how competitive your market is, you may also want to add some more detailed resources: 1. An objection handling doc. If you have a lot of new reps or a more junior team, you may consider writing out scripts for each of the objection points. 2. Win library. Have a library of wins a...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
Personas are the way you bring segmentation and targeting to life by understanding what ‘motivates’ the buyer. If you don't have a good sense of the motivators, needs, and wants of your buyer, then i’d make a bet that your marketing spend isn't optimized and your deal cycle times are longer than they should be. There is a meme going around on LinkedIn right now that compares the demographic information of Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. They both fit the same demographic category, but they couldn't be more different. This is a good way to argue the point. If you look at the segmentation/...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
When looking to identify target verticals, I always prefer a data driven approach. I'd work up a detailed analysis exercise and build a vertical based TAM. I have a go-to bubble chart that I like to develop which is based on the growth rate of each (CAGR, y axis) vs the revenue opportunity (x axis). It gives you an easy visual that shows where the optimal use cases/verticals will be - up and to the right.  Here are some other questions you can ask to focus your efforts: 1. Do we know how much revenue opportunity is out there in the key verticals? 2. What are the top five verticals based...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
Build a mutual goal and you will be on a great path to a collaborative partnership. The main difference between the two is that PMMs need to think about the broader market which includes the buyer or the person signing the check (to build a strategic GTM model) and the UX team needs to think about the user of the product and their experience (to build a great product). In smaller companies, that can be the same person, in larger enterprise companies, they are different. Typically, PMMs have a unique view across the business so they can see across products, across customers, and across the ...
Vanessa Thompson
Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioDecember 2
You may be looking at a broader trust issue and its likely that the research and the data you are bringing back is likely only a symptom of this. One of the key soft skills as a PMM is to influence without authority. So think about what motivates your product team, and use that to influence them and bring them along with your ideas/perspective. Before you work on your next research project, spend some time working with your product team or engineers and find out what their goals are and what is driving their day to day work. That way you will understand what they are working towards and ho...
Credentials & Highlights
Senior Director, Product Marketing at Twilio
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco
Knows About Analyst Relationships, Customer Research, Product Launches, Market Research, Sales En...more