Developing a product marketing checklist

by Brian Doll on April 26, 2017

Let’s assume that you’ve got your overall messaging and positioning figured out, and you’re looking to develop a product marketing checklist. Maybe you’ve got a product launch coming up, or you’re hitting some new milestone. I’ve found it very useful to think about product marketing from an inside-out and outside-in approach.

Product marketing from the inside-out

This collateral is from the perspective of your product. We take the product we have, in name and in features, and develop materials that communicate that out to our market. To generate your list of collateral, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the name of each of the products I’m marketing?

  • Is this an opportunity to collapse or pull apart products?

  • Do we have a canonical asset (landing page, etc.) that tells the story of each product?

  • Do we have a good level of consistency in how we present our products?

  • Do we tell a decent story about how the products fit together?

  • Is it obvious to prospects what your products are, and what they do?

  • Is it obvious to prospects where to get each of our products?

  • How well are we positioning our products in terms of cost and ROI?

  • Have we successfully crafted the story around the three core benefits of each of our products?

For this inside-out work, think about developing a catalog of all the essential stuff you need to tell the story of your products and services.

Now, if only your target customers could happen upon the right content, at the right time. For that, let’s think about product marketing from the opposite perspective.

Product marketing from the outside-in

Now, instead of thinking first about our product, let’s think first about our customer. We’ll need to have identified our buyer personas fairly deeply. We need to know how we fit into their universe, know how best to reach them, and of course how best to sell them.

  • What products or services do your prospects think are competitive to you? (Note that this may be a different list than what you’d create yourself)

  • How and where do you craft the stories that sell against your competitors?

  • How and where do your products show up in the market?

  • How does your product fit into the workflow of your customers?

  • What stories can you tell that humanize those use cases?

  • How do these use cases and core benefits appear on your website?

  • What collateral do you need to develop to help support the sales team?

  • How does your sales team use your product and use-case collateral in the field? How do they decide what to give to whom? Think about ways you can provide breadth and depth to your collateral to help.

  • What are all the touch points along the customer journey after a prospect has shown interest? (Email drip campaigns, user on boarding, sales follow-up, etc.)

  • How can you continually refresh your understanding of the broader market, such that it may influence these outside-in messages and collateral?

But what about…

This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but I find this way of thinking — inside-out and outside-in — a good way of generating a checklist for a product launch, new milestone, or just a regular health check on your product marketing.

Leave a comment below if you’ve got some good questions that fit in these categories, or have another approach to generating your checklist!