The voice of the customer in discovering markets, developing products
Kay - The Experience, dialogue, and experience dialogue. We pick a Hot Topic that doesn't have a straightforward answer. They bring in speakers. Will be there to see that but approached it in very different ways. This is a space for healthy. Disagreements and discussions. But in a very respectful way, just by the nature of how we have conceived this, you'll see the passionate voice of opinions and between Martina and me, that would never be an issue. Friends having a dialogue. I'm looking forward to this conversation and thereby interrupting each other and finishing each other's at sentences the end of the dialogue. We want our audience to leave valuable, insights and approaches that you can take to the workplace. And we do want to continue the discoverers in our social media channels, introduction to the topic, we are going to be talking about wise in the customer and how Impacts into product growth and developing markets with that. I would love to introduce my Martina she is the famous opera of loved and how to rethink the marketing of tech products. He has also helped hundreds of companies navigate through product marketing and go to market strategy. And I've had some amazing discussions with her. When we started that often do also she's a partner lecturer advisor and a board member I am interested in going through, not just Martinez's background, but also looking at what she brings in Seminole products. His experience bringing out some inner products into the market, including her background from Microsoft, and Netscape, but also house Founders and can enable customer centricity in terms of growth. Martina welcome.
Martina - Thank you so much for this.
Kay - It's a pleasure. I enjoyed the book and loved I know you. It was primarily written for product management, but as the founder is that, you know, you end up doing a lot of product and you're listening to customers all the time and you start with this whole thing about is their customer curiosity and it makes me wonder that. He comes in from multiple angles and rights in the beginning. Is there a market afterward? Is their customer curious about resolving problems? Is their customer curiosity in asking for more features, is a customer curiosity and buying new modules, all of that. So could you talk a little bit about customer curiosity?
Martina - Yes. Well, I think customer curiosity and helping people understand how you translate that into One of the biggest challenges for any founder, as well as for anyone that's in the product. And we talked about this a lot in the product world. You can't ask your customer to tell you what to do. You must infer from the sharing of their experience, or the observation of the experience, how your product might be able to better solve their problem and where you can add value, that is disproportionate to the work you're asking them to do and using your product. So I think it's really important for people to not be looking at customers, to tell them what they want and need. But you infer how they can better solve problems on behalf of customers because anyone that's a Founder on the product side knows. Oh, I know what's possible with technology. Let me solve this for you. I think I can find a better way and not just look to the customer to tell you what to do.
Kay - Yeah. So you're bringing up the standard to be like stool which is you hear from the customer what they want. And you have the vision that you have for the product. And the third thing is what everybody in the team wants to build, which is because it's so cool, right? So, trying to find a balance across all three. If you could address customer curiosity, I have to say the product is in a state where, you know, the feature is out, people love it. People are using it, and then you're kind of debating, is it? Now is this company. Being the go-to-market is product LED growth customer glad growth. What is this, how would you differentiate the different growth cycles, and how does customer curiosity fit in those?
Martina - So I am a huge advocate of using the customer Discovery process as you're building to uncover what are the potential channels for going to market. And I think for early stage Founders I think it's very different at different stages. I think in the early stages you don't know the answer and you have to run a lot of go-to-market experience. It's to understand the difference between how the market will act and behave versus what people will say. I often refer to this, as they say, do Gap and you kind of, you can only try things because and I've seen this in multiple companies that try to start with product LED growth because, of course, that's a very efficient way to grow, but they have to resort to standard top-down Enterprise practices to commercialize. So they'll find a user base but they won't be translating it. To actual paying customers. And so certainly in the SAAS B2B space, we're seeing much more of this trend toward plug, which is more of sales assist, as opposed to the primary vehicle for converting people into customers. So you have the product lead user side and then people look at that data to infer where should our high Target sales accounts be based on the usage behavior and that's used in the product. As a tool to figure out what our sales strategy might be. And so that's something that we're seeing much more on the rise on the B2B SAS side especially also for more mature. Companies that might have a more established model where they might have an established sales team or they might have started the other way being purely page. That hybrid model is something that we're seeing a lot of people, consider and move toward
Kay - I know in your podcast you did give some examples of those and we've had to talk when we were talking to you, you had a few examples. I would love to hear one of the examples now.
Martina - So my day job is I'm a partner at Costa, Noah Ventures. And we work with a lot of early-stage startups and one of our startups as an example is a startup called the past base and so they have something that people can immediately use and based on that the sales team, then does calls and follow up saying, hey, Hey, we noticed that you were getting some use out of this. Are there any questions that we can answer so it's a He'll sales process but they can land anyone that they reach out to typically very quickly within a week or two and there is another company that I just talked to you about yesterday? Not in our portfolio. They have a product Allegro strategy where they get 200 new logos. And essentially, they have that product out there. They have a sales force, just follow up via phone or email and they're usually typically able to close inside of a week. So, these are examples of how that shows up in various models in different types of companies. One is a web three company, and another is a data company. So the models exist in all different categories,
Kay - Yeah. So when you look at the product data in itself, you know, from a customer's support customer success standpoint. We look at it as the wise of the customer, right? So that voice of the customer comes in in multiple forms in a product, LED Growth Company. And what are the Avenues that have worked best from your experience for looking at that? Customer data. I mean, talking about install base data, not just Market data alone, right both.
Martina - Yeah. And I think that I'm a big Advocate and, you know, I talked about this earlier about the fact that we have quantitative data, which the world has given us, unbelievable amounts of, but the qualitative data matters just as much to and one story that I think I might have shared with. You were one of the workers, their customer's success team kept hearing in there. Conversation. So this is not something that was being captured in product data because the future didn't exist neatly. These SEC Financial professionals who are sitting in front of spreadsheets that they were getting from all across the company, have to compare and contrast data. So, for them being able to use these products across multiple screens, Mattered a lot and their day-to-day productivity. This is not something that would have shown up inside of product data, but their customer success team was heard in their conversations. You know, it would be helpful if we could have multi screen support and so, the customer success team was going to the product team saying, hey, you know, what we keep hearing is that customers need multiscreen support and the product team looking at the product data and doing all of their customers. Recovery work felt that other priorities were much more important. Hey, we have all these jobs to be done and these really important Integrations that need to be done. And so for them, it felt less urgent or important than other things they have prioritized. But to the customer success teams, great credit they said, no, we have to represent that voice of the customer. This is the number one thing we hear. We need to do this. So, the product team said, okay, we'll put in the next major release and, of course. And that next major Release the number one most talked about thing was the multiscreen support. So, that's a great example of everybody's doing their job, but it's important when the product team makes decisions to think about the different ways in which you're receiving that customer insight and to not only rely on the quantitative or just with the product, the team itself has discovered. But to listen to the front lines, customer success, team sales teams where they have to live with the customer every day and hear what they're saying and factor that into how they make decisions on prioritizing.
Kay - Yeah, I'm putting some even in the Ascendo, do we enable agents and, and customers to resolve the issue faster, so they'll be called individual trees? But then, what we did is we ended up saying, why do we have to resolve one issue at a time? Why can't we do it in bulk and aggregated in arts and automatically categorize the issues so you can see them here? I wanted to solve these kinds of issues and resolve them in bulk. Interestingly customer triaging agents and people loved it from one angle but we didn't anticipate that support leader. Looking at this going like, oh my gosh, that's my product feedback. So that's exactly it. So now I can go to the product teams and say, this is why I need this, and here are all the interactions of people who are asking for it. So that's something we didn't anticipate. It came up just with the data and that inside. So thank you for that story. I think qualitative and quantitative both are very important to read. And it's so funny.
Martina - You mention the bulk feature this happens in another company that I work with where they were looking at one particular. Persona, that, that needed to do bulk edit of all these things, I need to be able to take all these ad campaigns and run and basically, do one huge amount of things that one thing Huge amount of campaign. So hundreds of things and bulk edit for them. For that particular Persona was important and so it was a critically important problem to solve and they decided to prioritize it. And what they didn't know. And I think this is the thing that we all as product teams need to be open to sometimes by solving a problem. That's critically important for one audience, you open up a vector where all these other audiences can find Value. And that's what they found. They thought they were solving a problem for this one persona. But actually by having that feature available, suddenly made it more useful daily to all these other personas inside the company. So it's the same scenario that you were describing that will sometimes solve a problem that will accidentally be much more valuable to many other people that we can't anticipate either, because we, you can't, and there's just a certain amount of serendipity. Or that's just kind of nature. The nature of opportunity that gets opened up. So I think we always have to have big Clean ears on and constantly be paying joint attention to the overt signals as well as things that might be less obvious.
Kay - Yeah, it's a good time to introduce a question from Ben who's asking, you know, they give you're bringing up the exact point where a lot of CFOs CEOs and so they are focused on the short term and they don't get the discovery from the Focus mindset or not paying attention to it, or not getting tune to it, right? So how to work with such people?
Martina - I think the really important thing is to connect your processes and your data to the business objectives because everyone in the suite is being held accountable for their business results. How are you growing the business? And what does that look like? And how does anything you're investing in translate into the business? All of us are expecting this company to build. Toward. So I think that's the most important thing to show a connection to, as it relates to customer Discovery, that's where you need to show it to us, creating more value and coming up with better products. Here's what we're able to discover or do differently as a result of us having these customer Discovery processes. So you want to draw that direct correlation. For example, you might have put 20 different solutions out and Discovery and narrowed it down to two that are far more useful. Awful, you want to talk about all the things you threw away, and not just the two you pursued, because people won't understand. Oh wow, we considered a whole lot of other stuff and these two were the best by far for these reasons in service of this business objective, that makes a whole lot of sense. So you, not everybody in the suite, understands all of the things that product teams are doing and so drawing that connection and helping them, understand how that work translates into `` Is what's important?
Kay - Yeah. You're bringing up a point where that listening has to be some sort that requests back from the customer-facing teams back to. The board has to substantiate that with data and insights. So these are the types of customers. And the other thing that I heard you say and I would love to elaborate you to elaborate on it, which is a lot of times that ends up being Either the squeaky customers. You know. Loud ones are the most Revenue generating ones that are being listened to. But what you are saying makes a lot of sense when it is for the entire larger install base, looking at the larger install base, everything from trials to the highest revenue, and then looking at that insight as a whole is that correct? Martina.
Martina - Yeah. And I think you want to look again at that from the business perspective which is not just where we are today. A, but where do we need to go? Where do we need to grow? What is strategically important for us to capture and that helps you make decisions. So I was working with a company just last week, where we were doing, we looked at the company through the lens of the competition, and the competitive market situation. And what you prioritize, when you look at the companies through that lens, versus if you just look at it Bottoms Up from here, our biggest customers. Here's what they're asking for, you'll do different things and because of there, those are different battlefronts and some of them are defensive like the existing install base and you Kristin customers, that's defensive, looking at it from the market vantage point is offensive, where do we need to go? What do we need to make sure we're growing toward, and that will be less obvious stuff? But when you are considering everything you need to look at it through that lens, let's make sure we're investing in both and not one at the expense of the other. I have told you. An example, when I was at Netscape where we were putting products out fast and furious and quality wasn't what it should be for Enterprises. And so the number one complaint across the board everywhere was like, you guys need work on quality, like, stop making features to fix everything because two watches are janky and so we listened to everything that they were saying and this major release became Fix everything that's broken for customers and we were going fix everything. And so took a lot longer than everyone's expecting because things that need to be Rewritten platform, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff to probably six months longer than it needed to. And there was no innovation and in that period, our number one competitor was innovating. So we solve all of our customer's problems but we didn't innovate and that, absolutely, but us in the market, and it was the beginning of us not being seen as So that was a huge lesson learned where you can't just tend to the squeaky Wheels, the problems that you have today. You also simultaneously have to be looking toward where we need to drive the market. And what's important? So make decisions using both those as a lens.
Kay - Yeah, what you're bringing up is, do we not doing something and losing the growth? I have an example of doing something wrong and losing growth. So, we were actually at son, we were building a product very similar to news and that particular product. We wanted to get it out to the market. As soon as possible. We were told, no, we have to get this many million users, you know, we have to get the performance scalability to and the that, because that's some culture, right? So we think big in the, but we haven't gotten the partic to the market. There hasn't been a single user, but we were working and we ended up having to spend six months before which I had to put. You know, go back and say, hey, the last six months, now be better Go to the market, we will face this problem as it comes, right? When we get that millions of users will come, but we don't have tens of users yet. So it's one of those things they're not doing that has to be in tune with the market, which is what you're saying. I think this is a great thing in your book. Love that there are four different ways in which you are connecting the insights. So what you talked about connecting the market and the customer Insight seems very close to the Ambassador. You're talking about the Ambassador, the strategist, the Storyteller, and the Evangelist. I'm trying to figure out if I should go. One by one, we should compare and contrast all of them. What would be the best for you?
Martina - Well, maybe we give it over to you but your point. Okay, so I talked about the four fundamentals of product marketing, and I think at it, A meta level. It's important to understand that product marketing, whether it's your title or not, is simply connecting. How does your product get to Market through a series of strategic marketing activities that move toward your business goals? So, it's not just a title, or a person doing the job. It's a function that must be done by a company. So, it doesn't really matter where it lives or who owns it. The work must be done and so I try to reduce them., just the four fundamentals. So, people understood this is the work that must be done and
The fundamental one to your point was the Ambassador, which is connecting customer Market insights, and that's everything that you. And I was just talking about and that can come from anywhere. If you hold the title of product marketer, it is your job to make sure that all of that market Frontline Market signal gets reflected by the product team as well as that market Insight of okay, what was our competition doing? And what does that mean? to do or respond to some of it might be purely a marketing response. Some might be product responses, but that's a slip. Someone who sits in the role would adjudicate, but all that work is going to be done as a collective effort.
Number two is the strategist which is directing the products, and going to market. And that's looking at it through that more strategic lens, that we are discussing, which is okay. How much of our effort needs to be around tending to our existing Market or growing into new ones? And what does that mean? What channels should we Be more plug product leg growth focused versus top down? Or is this a place where our existing channels work, just fine, or do we need new Partnerships? So that's thinking about that from that more strategic vantage point and then all the different helping to guide, all the people on the marketing. Team
Number three is the Storyteller, and that's shaping the perception of the product in the market. So it's not just storytelling and that's all the messaging and positioning work. And then
Number four is the Evangelist and The key here is that you're enabling others to evangelize about your product. It's not just that you are the one that's doing the talking about your product. And I think that's a big leap and distinction between what I'd say, more modern approaches are versus when you and I were first coming up in the market which is like hey you have a product, you get to talk about it. Now there are five and a half million apps. There are tens of thousands of Solutions across three or four categories. So we're all bombarded. You don't just get to talk about yourself. Is it? Everybody on the team and I. Everybody is confused. No one is cross-pollinating us. Yeah, it's so confusing. So people won't listen to people. They trust, which is not us. Yeah, it's a colleague, it's something on social media. It's something in the Reddit forum and so, how do you enable others to be your evangelist?
Kay - Yeah. Let's put this to the fullest, which is the Cinder and the strategist separately because doctors looking for signals from inside the company back into the product. Then the other two, which are to some extent. The story does Storyteller and the Angeles, which is what goes from inside to the external. People are getting the external people involved. So, on the first two, which is what we are talking about, we have been talking about the Ambassador and the strategist there is There is a question from social media in your experience. When you start creating feedback mechanisms to capture and communicate the knowledge of the customer-facing teams back to the product teams, does that have a positive motivational effect on everyone? So, I mean, in a way you answer this by saying the product marketing has to be tuned to all of this. But here, maybe it's a situation where it's sometimes frustrating. Frustrated. If the engineering folks have dull side effects, then what should we do?
Martina - Well, I always look at customer Market insight as a positive thing. Not a negative, it should never be like, oh my gosh, this is distracting from the work that we need to do. This is the work that needs to be done. If your product is not in service of the customers and Market that you are in then who are you doing this for? It's never about technology for Technology's sake. Sometimes things are broken and need to be fixed, but products exist to solve problems for customers. And to be in particular markets that are trying to do things, so it's kind of the game that we're all in. So we have to play. So I would say any customer Market Insight should be positive for teams that are trying to make decisions not that it is not a distraction.
Kay - If someone is providing a customer-facing team is providing back feedback back into that engineering. Think somebody is not listening. Please go ahead and share this particular life with the engineering team and say, hey, Martinez is that you have to listen. So, I am giving you installed base feedback. So that should help for this question, the, you know, listening to the customer getting the market insights as great. This is also another question that has come up when the customer talks about problems in the prob product. Usually, they're correct. But when they, Talk about solutions, they are usually incorrect. How much truth is there to the scene?
Martina - 100% I should say that the vast majority of cases are two. You will always find that exceptional customer that has this Pitch, Perfect insight, and then you're like, wow, you're amazing, and always try and keep working with that person wherever they are because they have amazing product Insight. That person is rare most of the time just because they don't have As much visibility into the full realm of possibilities on the solution side, they're going to look at it very narrowly. They're going to look at it through the lens of their experience base. And so 100% listen to the problems infer, how might I see this in a way that will achieve what they want and there is some signal in the solutions that they are telling you most of the time that signal, my experience of that signal is Don't over solve or overthink this. I'm telling you a very simple way that I know how to solve the problem, and sometimes it might seem overly simplistic to TiVo. We can do this another way, but there might be some signal. They're saying, don't make this hard, don't add a whole new area. Don't, don't make this a big thing. Can you solve this in a very simple way? So there is some signal, Not necessarily the solution, but the intent behind how they want to feel. Accomplishing the task. I know that seems very subtle but it can be profound in terms of how complex we solve things and how we complexify our Solutions I should say.
Kay - Yeah, it's you know a lot of times that I also say this to our teams, right? So in this iterative model that we are in, we can have the luxury of solving it simply and seeing how we are in 10th place to be able to go. Ahead and improve on it. So, there is no reason to come up with something very complex, because gone are the days where we, you know, we are not shipping CDs anymore.
Martina - So, so true. And I'm so glad that you said that, like we have the, we live in this fabulous era where we get to iterate quickly. We don't have to ship it. And wait, another year before we can put out another release, we can put something out there. This is again the MVP. How do we test our thesis on whether or not this is Solving the problem of whether or not it has value to the customer week and whether or not it's usable? Let's make sure that we are doing all of that work as we build.
Kay - Yeah. Me and my cofounder always talk about the know what? They know, how do they know why you write? So they know what they know, why do they know how? So how come we resolve it? The problem comes last. It's if you focus on the right intern and understand the intent very, very, very well, the solution can be very simple. Whoa, to solve that particular problem. I agree. Again. Yeah, so in terms of how an Ambassador understands, just, how are they different in a product LED Growth Company versus a customer learns? Let's take a step back. Tell us what in your words, how you would differentiate a product lid and a customer liquid company.
Martina - I would say. Product LED company is one where they are looking very much at product signals to figure out where to grow and how to do things. And the product is where they manifest how they want to move the market. Whereas a customer lead might be we're listening, we're listening more to than not watching their behaviors in the product. We're listening more to the customer's voice overly, not necessarily Through their product actions. And based on that we're making adaptations that might not just be in the product. So a lot of customers LED places, might adjust the sales process, and customer success process brand. There are many other ways to be in service of customers and build a customer relationship product. Like companies tend to put all of that in the product experience, whereas I'll say customer LED ones are, well, they're all these other ways that we can serve. Connect and provide value to the customer and it's not necessarily just through the product. But product lead companies, they're like, well, if it doesn't live in the product and that value can't be experienced then we're not doing our jobs. Well enough,
Kay - Have you seen a combination of the two Martina you have seen a lot of startups and I am yet to see, you know, models are also evolving as we talk, right? So because things are becoming a lot more overlapping Have you seen a combination of the two that has worked? Well for any of the companies?
Martina - Well, I would not say that Netflix is a classically a product, wouldn't let in the way that we're talking about now, but I would say they were at as an organization. They are tremendous in leveraging and empowering product teams to do both of these things within their Realms. So, the team that was All the product team that was in charge of the home page, which is just one aspect of the product, which is how do we convert people that come here into trial users and then make sure that we retain them after trial. They had to make decisions on when they signaled. We're about to charge your credit card and one decision led to a huge amount of customer support calls. They wouldn't notify them proactively and it's like, okay, there's 10 million dollars worth of Alls. I'm making that number up, but a huge number of calls would come in where people like, oh, I forgot to not have my credit card charged. Can you just take it off? And so, they solve that problem by proactively notifying people in the product, as part of the product experience, was to proactively notify them that we're about to charge your credit card. So people remembered and that wound up. Costing them 50 million in Revenue. So it was a much more expensive decision but it was the right brand choice to do. Right by the customer, and be honest about what was happening. So they made a choice that wasn't the right the best quote, unquote, Revenue Choice, or business choice, but it was the right customer choice and they discovered all this through, the product forward process, they made the right brand decision and of course, this is many, many years ago, they said it's more important for us to be a trusted brand because of what we're building long term. And of course, Netflix is what it is today. And I think, as an organization, they're spectacular at Mining product signals with customer signals.
Kay - Yeah, and interesting. You say that. And, you know, I'm, I'm also seeing this with, in my experience that is to say, with companies of all sizes, I recently talked to a company that's only 15 people but they have 115 thousand users using their product. And what I'm noticing is some very large companies that have, you know, Cloud companies and collaboration companies. I've also talked to where they have traditionally been product LED growth, but at some point evolved into customer LED growth for cross-selling, upselling, training product feedback, you know, the voice of the customer input. So even products like growth companies, respect the size as they get The number of users and the number of customers. And I see them moving towards this customer delayed growth for growing within the same accounts or even identifying markets. And I think that's pretty much what you are alluding to with the onion Netflix example. Correct.
Kay - Yeah, that's where, you know, and the more accompanied is tuned to that, the better, they build the trust, which is the underlying thing with the customers and that potential prospects. So because then the foundational value is really, you know that flywheel thing where you have the customer in the middle and literally every other department is operating for the customer and everybody is just tuned in to this customer's insight. And, interestingly, you did bring in legal but it is true. It is true every and it's not just marketing, it's not just customer support, not science, success alone, but it is, you know, and not engineering alone. It's every Department.
Martina - Yeah, yeah. And I think that what often happens is in any company of any size, everyone's doing their Silo, and we're building a product, and I'm mitigating risk with this, these privacy policies, or with this compliance. Internal rules are all that matters. But from the customer's perspective, like I don't care what's going on inside your company and I want to be, I want to be treated as a human being and that my business to you has value, even if it's small but everyone wants to feel that way.
Kay - Yeah, I recently had a call with a customer support person. It was a very, it was not a good situation and I wasn't unhappy as a customer and I did mention it to the support person. I'm not upset with you, but I'm upset with the company that you're not as a whole or a person thing, you know, the entire company. But just saying, this is my department. This is another department, this department. How many times are you going to transfer me back and forth and back and forth? And say, this is not your problem, it should be every one of your problems, right? So, it's frustrating as a customer to be in that position when people you are talking to From present their entire company and just represent a small portion of it.
Martina - Yeah, I think that's if you think about all of your favorite companies that are brands that you go back to, I would bet most of them have you've had these positive customer experiences with where they didn't frustrate you, they didn't kind of three like, oh, that's not my thing. That's someone else that thinks about Airlines. No, no one has a favorite Airline because I was like, well that's not my problem. That's somebody else's. Problem or let me go talk to the manager and it's just so frustrating, and that's not what anybody wants.
Kay - Yeah, exactly. So when we talk about an ambassador as a strategist, what kind of data is an ambassador qualitatively pulling in to get those quantitative metrics? And what kind of data is a strategist pulling in for quantitative qualitative and metrics, you can answer them one by one. It says, what? Two questions in one?
Martina - Yes. So the Ambassador, so I in my Book. I talk about this woman named Allah who now runs all of the marketing across the entire do be Creative Suite. And when she came to Silicon Valley, she made it her business to know the business better than anyone. And so she went to the product teams and she represented. Well, here's what our market share is relative to others, and here's what I'm seeing in the marketplace, she made sure she brought business data, the market data, the competitive data, and customer data and that she brought it to every conversation. That the product team was having and they didn't realize that they were missing. This very important aspect of how they were making decisions until she came. And she was regularly representing those key important aspects. So that's the kind of data as the Ambassador that someone needs to bring and then they're inverse of that you're the Ambassador out, to the go to market teams of the product information. To make sure that the right product information is making it out to the goto market teams. Marketing teams, sales teams, are we talking about legal teams? Hey, we're about to add these new things that change, anything and when their privacy policies, so that's the Ambassador connecting both ends, not just one way in, and it's both in and out in and out. So, that's the Ambassador aspect of the strategist. That is, okay, now that we know and understand all these things about the product, the market, and the customer, how does that translate into the best possible? Go to the market for the product. And that is primarily Crafting a strategy that directs the goto market aspect out. So that's not bidirectional, it's bidirectional in the sense that you take input from sales and marketing teams but it's providing that guidance. So that they are for all the marketing and sales effort that it's maximally effective and strategic and position in the company.
Kay - Yeah. And for that strategist, it's, you know, these days sales or I should say, you know, sales kind of is becoming synonymous to customer success. So I just wanted to call that out. So for teens that do that when Martina talks about sales and marketing, in this case, it applies to the customer success teams, who are looking into, Shifting the gear a little bit, A storyteller shaping how the world's think about the product, and evangelist helps other people to tell stories, I can see that what is, how can a founder can utilize both them?
Martina - So shaping how the world thinks about product positioning is positioning your product in the market and how you do that. The Anchor Point to that is how your message and talk about it. But many other things ultimately build to the product positioning. So I do want to make that distinction that positioning isn't a one-time event where you, let's here's the sentence. We are now positioned. It's all of the Distant behaviors, that build toward that market position. So that's a really important thing for Founders to understand as it relates to messaging. I think this is also very different than what most people understand. There is messaging that fundamentally positions you as your land here. This is what we do and it's clear to the maximum number of audiences and then there's campaign based messaging, which is what am I saying, in this particular campaign to capture this audience, and you need to have those things separated so that they are not conflated with one another. And what is very effective for this campaign to data Engineers is separate from this campaign to the suite that are the decision makers you have to message different things and so that's how I you have a messaging hierarchy that lets you have appropriate messages for those different audiences. But the primary message, which most people will call a positioning statement is, how do you most simply Articulate what you do and its value, and the big thing there, I'll say is people think that it's a formula or think that it's coming up with a catchy tagline. But the most important thing is, can you articulate it? So others can understand the value that should be extracted from your product and why it might be either important or different. You can't apply a formulaic approach to get there. You have to discover your way to what is Meaningful to the market. Not just how you want to be talking about it. That's what most Founders. Don't know their actual here. The different ways which I think I won't say which is the one that that is pinging or working. It's discovering your way into like oh I'm understanding how the markets talking about it and I'm intersecting between, but I want to say and we have what they are capable of hearing.
Kay - Yeah. Our audience is a lot of customer-facing teams and for the customer-facing teams, the messaging comes in from the product marketing. You also know the messaging. After all, you are so much in tune with the customers because you're talking to the customers on a basis, what is the kind of messaging that you would suggest as a Storyteller or as an evangelist That customer-facing teams can utilize to build better trust. And with relationships,
Martina - I think it is super crucial for customer-facing teams and customer success sales. Anyone that deals daily with the customer to bring in what they are hearing to those that are crafting the mothership positioning or messaging. Like there's no product marketer that should feel they could do their job. Well, Without consulting those teens and it's not just you're looking very specifically for what words they use when they're talking about it because we have this tendency to talk using our jargon and in a way that presumes understanding and knowledge on behalf of our customers by listening to it, they say in real situations, either back to a sales rep or back to customer success. Rep, kind of like that work, you've example where it's like, hey, We're looking for multiscreen support. No one's asking us for this but this is how we talk about it and this is what's important to us. You're looking for that type of Market signal to Message that's resonant that lands with and is clear to those customers. And so everyone that works in that function, takes these very specific words that you hear again and again, back to the marketing teams because that's what they need to know. And that will help lift them from the habit of trying to be cute or I'll say jargony or coming up with a value statement that anybody could say. And find things that are explicitly meant to you, your company and your product, and people's experience with you.
Kay - Yeah, it's funny. We at Ascendo our messaging, you know, we are a support experience platform, but then our customers relate to us saying, oh my gosh, you are an expert in every one of my agent's back pockets. Whoo, you know, that's the level of messaging that when they say hit it feeds back into the messaging itself. And it's awesome. It's like Physicians carrying his little book in their pockets, right?
Martina - So, and I, that is a beautiful example of how you guys articulate. Like, were customer experience platform by the way platform. My least favorite word. And like, everyone was like, oh, for not a platform, we're not talking about what we do. Like 4:30 means nothing to anyone, anyone, anyone, it's meaningless. And if you're relying on it to communicate anything, you do not have Strong messaging of what you said. Your customer said, do you like does brilliantly? Because that was clear, it was, it was clear, a clearly articulated to him to them, the value that you were providing, and why it might be different as opposed to declaring of category or declaring the platform you are and which is what everyone's habits around.
Kay - Yeah. And I would love to see your next book be for everybody else around them and seeding or the customer-facing team. Around the messaging. Not just the product Market. Here's Tina. Loud is fantastic. um, I think the other look is also going to be fascinating and would be very interesting. So I enjoyed it.
Martina - Thank you. And I did write it with the intention of anyone who isn't a product marketer, would get as much value. So, the feedback that I've been getting that stood most validating is I had someone who is ahead of school read, Loved, and say like, oh, this is making me rethink some of the things that we say about our school. I had a controller in the finest Department, read it and she said, I had no idea what our marketing team was doing. And now, I have strong points of view on how these are just numbers on a spreadsheet. Now, I have a point of view on whether or not we're doing the right stuff and I think we're saying the wrong things. So it's just been delightful to hear people outside of the domains of marketing realize. Oh, I can participate in this because Sometimes because you are not in it, you might see things a little bit more clearly. So it gives people foundational tools. So that anyone even outside of the product marketing practice can learn the tools of the trade.
Kay - I'm sure when you rotate, you are thinking about the technology sector and there you are listening to the market and the customer insights, even for the book and you're like, oh my gosh, people who run the school are looking at it, even though you wrote it, it comes in that feedback comes in from very many places, it's amazing. It's there is a fantastic example of customer-facing teams, listening to that market inside. So thank you. You know, one of the things we talk about is looking at the sentiment of every interaction and saying, okay, this person is very happy with the product. Is there a way we can engage them into, you know, a marketing activity? Maybe, you know, coming up with a case study. Anything else right or speaking or whatever it is? So there, is that part of engaging with the others is being an evangelist that you talk about in the book. So how are the customer-facing teams get those insides on who can be a good evangelist and what are the best ways that customer-facing teams can approach and can make that viable? um, What is the right word? How do you translate that into something? Leave. It's Mark, that creates Market momentum where it's something that you can use sweets my good woman time. Yes.
Martina - So, one of my favorite examples of this was a company that would listen to customers that were like, that is who this customer is engaged? They would have someone systematically at everyone on the marketing team. This is everyone's job, at least one or two interviews, a week that they would talk to customers that were like, That and do interviews and say, hey I'd love to do a 15minute interview. I've heard that you are an engaged or Innovative customer and we love to hear your stories. So again, it's not like I want to do a case study. I want to hear your story and that they're tiny little ways of phrasing. This just makes it something people want to do as opposed to this extraction that feels like it's a burden and says, like, okay, so tell me what life was like before you were using our product. So then you're capturing a Standing more deeply, the problem surface, as well, as what, what they were trying to do better, what was the straw that broke the camel's back that made you decide to do something about this? So there is your understanding, of what is the activation force and that provides incredible. Insight to all the goto market teams going, oh, oh, this is the thing that finally makes them do it and then they start a search, or the what made them take action because that's what you're always looking to find. And thenI's heard that you're doing particularly Innovative things with our product, what are you now able to do that? You weren't able to do 24 before this helps you articulate and find those areas of difference. And then you spend these up as stories, not as case studies that everyone that is customer-facing can use in their conversations. So you have bullet points of? so the next customer success conversation, I'm having where some say, oh yeah, I've experienced this problem. I know because I read a story where someone articulated that problem by saying, oh, you know what, we have another customer experience, that same problem, and here's how they're using the product. I didn't send you a case study that sounds very structured. And inauthentic I'm sharing a story of someone that feels like they're like you. And so that's what and then people if it's shared it as a story, it's much easier for others to share. I can now share that story with one of my colleagues saying oh, you know it I was just talking, I just Had a conversation this morning and someone who experienced this problem. They solved it this way. Using this product, this very thing happened to me. I was in a product Huddle House where we brought together all of our product leaders. And someone was talking about how they were trying to measure and get the telemetrics inside of their product. And one of the customers said art with one of the customers, and one of our product leaders said we just implemented pain, and it could not have been easier. We just Implement this API, and we get me to see all the data, and we transition away from this. Somebody else in that Forum said, oh yeah, well I'm a big fan of amplitude. I'm you I've been using it for years. We to do all this setup and she's like exactly. We used to do that too, but we didn't have to do any of that customization. It was so much easier he's like yeah well I haven't used pain, do because it didn't do X Y and Z. She's like yeah, we didn't think it did that either but it does. So no one from Pain do was there, but someone was sharing their story. Someone wasn't sharing their experience and there was this can-force dialogue so that every single person that was in that call went away saying, I guess I should be looking at Penn do even if I'm a fan of these other things because somebody else had said we had this great success it was unexpected and it was this very organic dialogue. After all, they had made it super easy for them to have a direct experience with PLG that took away all of the barriers of Entry because they understood what made it hard to have an experience with I know and they solve those problems. So that's an example of it being applied.
Kay - Thank you for the Insight. That is two aspects of it, right? One aspect of it is the storytelling part where the actual storytelling can be resonated. Second thing is, you know, connecting and customers and doing best practices. We tend to do it even across Industries and we have found that customers love talking to people, even outside of the industry to see how they solve their problems. And you are giving an example of product-like growth. So that's awesome.Martina I think, you know, this, this is wonderful. We had a very, very, very good discussion concerning quantitative qualitative data products. LED customers like Growth Company and we talked about the four anchors in which anybody who Messaging. Can utilize, do you, would you like to add anything else before we fully wrap up?
Martina - All of us, that no matter what city seat, you sit in at an organization, all of us can help our companies are more customer and Market forward and the more companies that That the better it is for every customer and also for the market writ large. So, I would just encourage everyone to get a little more customer Savvy a little more Market Savvy and let's all do a better job of Translating that into how we act and behave towards customers so that they can make better decisions more easily and get more value from our products.
Kay - Thank you very much. This is going to be very useful for all our customer-facing teams to understand articulate and respond to customer requests. Thank you very much for your time, Martine. I enjoyed this conversation with Tom professing.
Martina - Great, thank you for having me. And for, for driving the conversation and having these stories, hopefully, be told with it to others. Absolutely. Thanks.