Posts Tagged ‘product marketing’

Copywriting: What software startup YNAB knows about creating compelling copy for a new product

January 2nd, 2015

New products make it incredibly difficult to write effective copy. Most of the time the customer coming to the page has no idea what the product is or how it works, but more importantly, they also have no idea why it matters for them.

To really help your customers understand why a product or service is relevant to them, your copy has to build a “problem.” Take this video for YNAB product that helps you budget in a new way:


I don’t know if you caught it or not, but they spend a full 43 seconds of their 1:52 second video building to the problem. Out of all the problems built in copywriting, video or otherwise, this one is one of the best.

So what do they do to build their problem?


1. They have a clear objective.

You can’t begin to build a problem without a map to the overall objective. The objective of this video is to introduce the product and get people poking around on the website.

Without an objective, you might just be building a problem that you’ll never be able to help your customers out of.

Read more…

Product Marketing: You already know how to chew gum, right?

December 16th, 2010

Kristin Zhivago, a longtime friend of MarketingSherpa, has over 30 years of experience working toward improving the alignment between Sales and Marketing. Through her company, Zhivago Management Partners, she works as a “revenue coach” for entrepreneurs and CEOs at companies from startups to Fortune 500 firms.

Her current focus is on making the entire sales and marketing process more customer-centric, and a major part of that effort is to conduct research and actually map out the customer’s buying process. This process is unique down to different customer groups (such as an IT buyer versus a C-level buyer) for specific products at specific companies.

Four product and service categories

During a recent conversation about how to create a customer-centric marketing organization at a B2B firm, Kristin also offered an interesting insight that applies to B2C marketers as well. After being part of mapping many customer buying processes for many different products at different companies, she developed the idea that all products and services fall into one of four categories based on the amount of scrutiny the customer applies to the buying process:

  • Light scrutiny products are impulse purchases and relatively inexpensive trinkets. She describes them as, “checkout counter” stuff.
  • Medium scrutiny products include items such as clothing. There are questions, but usually only one buyer, and these products run from the tens, to the hundreds, of dollars.
  • Heavy scrutiny products include items like cars and houses. Zhivago says they involve contracts, salepeople and possibly a demonstration or some other type of try-it-before-you-buy-it. Heavy scrutiny products involve lots of questions and most likely multiple buyers.
  • Intense scrutiny is everything involved with heavy scrutiny, plus, as Zhivago puts it, “you get married.”Intense scrutiny products involve some measure of ongoing services.

Knowing what category the product or service you are selling falls under is key to implementing the correct strategies for marketing to customers.

Marketing to the wrong category

Treating a light scrutiny product as though it was a medium scrutiny product only serves to waste sales and marketing resources. Little stuff like money and time.

And treating a heavy, or even intense, scrutiny product or service like it was merely a medium scrutiny product is a recipe for disaster. The customer has a page full of detailed questions and is looking for a little hand-holding while the company is whistling and tapping its foot with arms crossed, so to speak, and thinking, “Why don’t they just buy the thing already?”

Kristin told me she came up the four product categories after seeing companies making both of the above mistakes over and over again. As she put it, once a company knows what category their product or service falls under, they can stop making stupid mistakes like churning out newsletters teaching people how to chew gum.

I don’t know about you, but I think I have gum chewing pretty nailed down.

Related Resources

Guided by Buyers: Four tactics to create a customer-centric sales and marketing strategy (Open access until 12/25)

Conversion Window: How to find the right time to ask your customer to act

Kristin Zhivago Reveals What Businesses are Doing Right — and What They Are Doing Very, Very Wrong

Marketing Career: How to become an indispensable asset to your company (even in a bad economy)

Photo attribution: KonRuff