Today, product-led growth is the center of our universe. First up, a packed Twitter thread by Userpilot’s Aazar Ali Shad on product-led growth, an Appcues x Salesforce launch, plus the Product Marketing Alliance dropping its 2019 State of Product Marketing.
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A product-led tweet storm
Userpilot’s Aazar Ali Shad begins his latest Twitter storm with a question for the product peeps out there: how do you run sales in the era of product-led growth?
We know product-led growth (PLG) has been used by some of the most successful SaaS companies for years, but it’s only in recent months that the wider community has taken full notice of it. And Aazar offers the lowdown.
He's sure to weave in how Userpilot does this, so we have a concrete source here. His argument for the importance of PLG right now lies in a few items:
- the growing market
- an increase in customer demand
- customer acquisition cost rising
- improvements in customer lifetime value
And if we look at the product-led vs. sales-led approach, there’s a solid juxtaposition here.
"The sales-led sales approach is mainly focused on cold-emailing, outreach, and cold-calling, while the product-led sales approach is using the product as the main acquisition channel."
In the end, we’re back to English class: He says it’s all about “showing, not telling.”
Thanks to Aazar for bringing it to Twitter, and dropping the knowledge on the regular. You can follow him directly at @aazarshad if you're into this type of content.
Appcues x Salesforce
And we’re officially joining the party, as Appcues tweets info on its new integration with Salesforce, in an aim at creating better customer conversations.
What’s it all about? Appcues Founder Jonathan Kim says:
"The real power of this integration is that it’s bi-directional... Data goes in both directions between the two products."
With the launch, users can target and segment in-product experiences in Appcues based on fields in Salesforce. Think: plan type, lifecycle stage, and MRR amount. And apparently, Jonathan claims there are no technical skills required to map the data...
On the flipside, with the integration you can update a lead in Salesforce when they complete your Appcues onboarding checklist, generate a list of users who’ve completed a goal, or tag contacts in Salesforce with their NPS score.
Here's the full rundown on Product Hunt.
A product marketers' alliance
The Product Marketing Alliance releases its State of Product Marketing report for 2019, a consensus to better understand the product marketer role within an organization—which surveys the product marketing community to delve into its influence, responsibilities, organizational structure, and more.
The report also contains interviews with ten product marketing gurus from companies like HubSpot, Intercom, Typeform, Twitter, Uber, and InVision, to get their recommendations on what the product marketer role should look like today and in the future.
But why create such a report? And, why care?
The report is aiming to mold a consensus and deeper understanding of the role. Since there’s so much variation in what product marketers do across different types of operations and industries, the report points out, it makes it difficult to define the role. But product marketers can’t live up to their true potential if there isn’t a clear vision and definition of responsibility.
But we want to know what one of ProfitWell’s own thinks of this one. Here with me: PW Product Manager Neel Desai.
Neel, you’re the product go-to here; What’s up for the future of this realm of marketing? Is this State of Marketing even something you should care to heed?
"Yeah, I think this report is extremely accurate, just because of how it captures—not only the frustration, but the realities of—how product marketing has evolved in subscription companies today."
The report finds that most product marketers surveyed are responsible for five+ products. Is that just, absurd?
"Yeah, that's really high. When I think through the pillars of product marketing—everything from positioning, packaging, pricing, and beyond—that's a lot to own. To do it well and to do it thoroughly and to be creative in an age where it's only become harder and harder to become noticed, that's very surprising but understandably difficult from this report."
They talk about frustrations of product marketers. Do you agree with any of these?
"I totally agree with it. Number one: there's no consistency in who owns product marketing. It's different at different companies. Some companies it's under product, other companies it's under marketing. And that means there's no ownership and no set way of how to go about influencing the rest of the company. Lack of resources and bandwidth is a constant struggle for product marketing because of course design and engineering and product typically get the lion's share of these resources... But the reality is that distribution is just as important and should be."
And they mention advice for decision-makers, like better defining PM roles and giving these marketers a seat at the leadership table. What’s something you’d personally advise in this realm?
"I think it'd go a long way for decision-makers and leadership to start hiring product marketing earlier. When you bring product marketing in when there's already a system in place for product development, for content marketing, for distribution, for all the other functions of marketing, it seems like it's not a priority or valued. So number one: bring product marketing in earlier to be an integral part of the culture and the process of the team."
This report uncovers all sorts of goods. If you’re tight on time, there's an overall findings page, but if you’re curious for more, you can download the report in full.
ProfitWell Book Club
Being a manager is a lot like being a sports coach—you need to gather information on the situation at hand, put the players where they need to be, and motivate them to push harder than the competition. This comparison is by Andrew Grove, author of High Output Management.
In this episode of ProfitWell Book Club, I break down how Grove said modern managers need to roll with the punches more in our ever-changing world. In my opinion, High Output Management is chock-full of advice and observations you won't want to miss out on.
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