Writing by Peter Hilton

Deliver a 3-5 point product-pitch

How to build initial product marketing from a product definition - 21 January 2020 #product

Two people meeting

unsplash-logoAmy Hirschi

As a product person, you will create an own the product definition, which introduces the product and sets the context for other product communication. Your product role also includes an element product marketing: when you tell people you have a great product, marketing helps you answer questions like, ‘so what, and why do I care?’

Describe capabilities as outcomes for personas

In your product marketing role, you will write a product pitch that gives people reasons to buy your product. Start with the personas you introduced in the product definition, and write for them. The product pitch builds on the product definition by providing examples of product capabilities that those personas need. For example, Zendesk Sell’s product pitch for sales people:

  • Give reps the green light
  • Get a good look at the pipeline
  • Turn conversations into conversions

In this context, product capabilities describe business outcomes, without explaining how the product will enable those outcomes. People who represent your personas care about business outcomes - the answers to the question ‘so what, and why do I care?’ Feature descriptions address questions that come later.

List 3-5 capabilities

In the product pitch, give people more than one reason to buy your product. Adding outcomes strengthens the pitch, and your choices start to communicate your product vision. For example Pipedrive’s pitch suggests a growth path:

  • Manage leads and deals
  • Track communications
  • Automate and grow

Listing more than three items blurs the product focus. For example (Salesforce):

  • Attract more buyers using personalized marketing.
  • Win more customers by getting to know their needs and concerns.
  • Deliver the amazing shopping experiences your customers expect.
  • Respond faster to customer support issues on any channel.
  • Automate time-consuming tasks by building custom apps.

Choosing between three and five items balances product focus and product breadth.

Deliver the pitch and iterate

The above examples represent the minimal versions of the respective product pitches. In practice, you will add detail to each capability in the list, starting with one or two sentences, and developing each one into a longer story. For example Pipedrive adds a sentence to the initial headline:

Manage leads and deals
Get more hot leads fed straight into your sales pipelines around the clock from your custom chatbot and web forms

Content marketing translates these stories into presentations, webinars, white papers and explainer videos, and as a product person you will tell these stories to anyone who will listen. Delivering the product pitch, in all its ultimate forms, will help you iterate and improve. Don’t forget to revisit your product pitch, and adjust it as you better understand customer needs over time.

Meanwhile, writing the product pitch will create input for your next challenge: identifying the product’s value proposition.