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Your Awesome Product Won't Sell Itself

Presented at Mind the Product Conference in London, UK (Sep 27, 2013), I knew this was going to be a hard sell. Often marketers and product managers don't "get along". I wanted to present marketing as part of the product as well as a necessity even for great products.

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Your Awesome Product Won't Sell Itself

  1. tara hunt - by tara hunt
  2. tara hunt - about me (formerly horsepigcow) (built product) (current project) (sold in 2010)
  3. tara hunt - about me 1. ran one of the first 100% social media campaigns in 2006 with unprecedented results - in 24 hours after launching, had over 1 million uploads (then and now google product search) 2. was on Twitter before it had vowels (TWTTR) - number 112 to join (1st Canadian!) 3. worked with many early ‘web 2.0’ startups through Citizen Agency - including Slideshare, Tripit, Get Satisfaction, Social Text and Songbird. 4. wrote The Whuffie Factor (2009) - published in 7 languages - promoted it with a cross-country (US) karaoke roadtrip
  4. tara hunt - the big question: what are the elements to a product’s success?
  5. tara hunt - it’s never one thing
  6. tara hunt - product marketing external factors
  7. tara hunt - product some factors: • knowing the market • building for that market • solves what it sets out to solve • emotional design • great user experience • low switching cost • differentiation • ‘public’ presences • enjoyable • functional • engaging • analysis/data/feedback • content
  8. tara hunt - marketing inbound • customer service • content • beta testing • user experience • transparency • storytelling • opt-in updates/newsletters • SEO/SEM • thought leadership • social media • community building • analytics/testing/feedback • influencer earned • word of mouth • landing pages outbound • direct mail (not opt-in) • ad placement (tv, radio, online, etc) • coupons • press releases • influencer paid • sales calls • trade shows • spam • sponsored posts/articles • giveaways • tell a friend incentives • growth hacking • notifications • onboarding/removing barriers NOTE: marketing + product aren’t that distinct.
  9. tara hunt - external factors out of your control • competition • social changes • legal restrictions or policies • technology • taxation issues • political influences • weather • economy • trends • customer tastes • technological changes in your control • financial (sort of in your control) • talent (hiring the right people, firing the toxic ones) • reputation (you can’t control what people say about you, but you CAN act in a way they say good things) • misjudging enthusiasm for potentially paying customers • bad product/market fit
  10. tara hunt - product marketing external factors A B C D A - niche success B - unsustainable C - bad luck D - bingo!
  11. tara hunt - product market the goal is to:
  12. tara hunt - still skeptical?
  13. tara hunt - a few stats
  14. tara hunt - 484,224 new businesses started in the UK in 2012
  15. tara hunt - 1 3in every businesses fail within the first 3 years. (UK)
  16. tara hunt - 400 millionindividuals all around the globe are engaged in entrepreneurship
  17. tara hunt - “Of COURSE everyone in the world will choose your product. It’s special...just like you!” Mom
  18. tara hunt - product market so now...about that
  19. tara hunt - case studyproduct: subscription model
  20. tara hunt - “Subscription services are a fad.” BEFORE “The market isn’t big enough.” “We don’t invest in high costs with low margins.” “Women don’t need this service.”
  21. tara hunt - [insert $6000 video that goes viral] conceived over takeout food by a few friends.
  22. tara hunt - “What a brilliant idea!” AFTER “Best tampon ad in the history of the world.” “What [revenue] took me a month, I now do in an hour.”
  23. tara hunt - “My tiny company that had been limping along released a video. And the video exploded...Suddenly I had a flood of orders and received an outpouring of support in the form of emails from women and girls around the world.” Naama Bloom, CEO HelloFlo
  24. tara hunt - product marketing external factors A B C A - smart/fun idea B - amazing/funny video C - great timing
  25. tara hunt - case studyproduct: kitchen appliance
  26. tara hunt - 100% earned
  27. tara hunt - story overview: • "Even though we had the best blender in the world, people didn’t know who we were. We wanted to demonstrate the power and durability of the Blendtec blender." • first video launched November 2006 • $50 budget: white lab coat, marbles, McDonald’s meal, garden rake, safety glasses • online sales grew by 700% • almost half of those who have viewed the videos have visited 15% of those have made a purchase • made over $50,000 from ad revenue from YouTube • increased SEO because of the hundreds of thousands of inbound links
  28. tara hunt - product marketing external factors A B C A - solid product B - great videos C - early on YouTube/ taking advantage of hot news items (iPad)
  29. tara hunt - study product: spread an idea
  30. tara hunt - story overview: • 23 year old student Elise Andrew • started March 2012 • a ‘boredom’ project • 1,000 page likes in 24 hours • wasn’t intended to be successful, but at 100,000 likes, she thought she should get more serious about it. • “Science communication is just preaching to the choir, speaking to the converted...All those people who were turned off of science at school...we can show them that they should want to learn, not because they have to but because this stuff is fucking cool.” • started as a hobby, but is now a commercial venture. She sells merchandise, is offered book deals, is offered tv deals, etc.
  31. tara hunt - 6.9 millionlikes on her facebook page ‘I Fucking Love Science’
  32. tara hunt - 2.2 million= the number of likes the official NASA page has. NASA!!!!
  33. tara hunt - product marketing external factors A B C A - cool/engaging topic (well curated) B - great branding C - science is hot
  34. tara hunt - the next question: what draws attention to a product?
  35. tara hunt -
  36. social currency How does it make people look to talk about you? Can they feel like insiders? VIPs? triggers What are the stimuli that prompt people to think about you? What are common environmental triggers? emotion How does your content stimulate states of high emotional arousal? public Can people see when others are using or engaging with you? (beyond FB shares) practical value How can we show them your product drastically improves their lives? Is the content incredibly useful? stories What broader narrative can we wrap your story in? People share stories, not information. STEPPS the 6 keys to what people remember and talk about. source: Contagious by Jonah Berger
  37. tara hunt - social currency 1. inner remarkability - unusual, extraordinary or worthy of notice or attention. What is that thing that makes you stand out from the pack? 2. game mechanics - igniting friendly competition. People don’t just care about how they are doing, they care about their performance in relation to others. Feedback encourages more use + social sharing. 3. make people feel like insiders - scarcity and exclusivity help products catch on because they seem more desirable. It creates ‘insider knowledge’.
  38. tara hunt - social currency inner remarkability Panache Chauffeur. in a world of commoditization (so many car services, taxis, drivers, Ubers, etc), Darren’s company is remarkable. It’s the attention to detail, the desire to over-deliver and the understanding his customer’s needs. candy! power points! pre-loaded iPads wifi!
  39. tara hunt - social currency inner remarkability
  40. tara hunt - social currency game mechanics reports. badges. leaderboards.
  41. tara hunt - social currency in-the-know already a member club, but those who have been loyal members got a special card.
  42. tara hunt - triggers 1. opportunistic triggers - what is going on in the world that you can attach yourself to to leverage WOM? (memes, ideas, current events) 2. everyday triggers - what are the triggers - the little environmental reminders - that people do everyday that will keep you top of mind? 3. competitive triggers - making a rival’s message act as a trigger for your own. This is called a ‘poison parasite’ because it renders the competition’s message a trigger to think of you.
  43. tara hunt - opportunistic triggerstriggers yes. serious organizations CAN participate in memes.
  44. tara hunt - everyday triggerstriggers can you see a gnome without thinking of travelocity?
  45. tara hunt - everyday triggerstriggers these make me smile. I’m already thinking of shoes (neg.) + now Zappos steps in (pos.)
  46. tara hunt - competitive triggerstriggers #2? no problem. now the company in the #1 spot has to defend themselves.
  47. tara hunt - emotion 1. high arousal emotions - awe, excitement, humor/amusement, inspiration, joy, love, anger and anxiety are all high arousal emotions that encourage sharing. How can we make the content align to this high arousal state? 2. focus on feelings - rather than harping on features or facts, we need to focus on feelings; the underlying emotions that motivate people to action. How do you make people feel? 3. the three whys - to find the emotional core of an idea, write down why you think people are doing something then ask, “Why is this important?” three times.
  48. tara hunt - emotion high arousal emotions
  49. tara hunt - emotion high arousal emotions
  50. tara hunt - emotion focus on feelings Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ focuses on making women feel beautiful at any size or shape, not their products.
  51. tara hunt - emotion the three (or more) whys 1. people do this thing.... - why is this important? 2. because they want to achieve this... - why is this important? 3. because they are driven by this deep desire... - okay...that’s where the magic is.
  52. tara hunt - public 1. visibility - how do you make the invisible (someone’s personal actions, for example) visible? 2. the psychology of imitation - people imitate because others’ choices provide information + help resolve uncertainty. (“the line up is long, so the food must be good!”) 3. behavioral residue - the physical traces or remnants that most actions or behaviors leave in their wake.
  53. tara hunt - public visibility the white headphones created a public statement of the private act of listening to music on a personal listening device.
  54. tara hunt - public psychology of imitation mimetic desire: “we desire objects because someone else desires that object”
  55. tara hunt - public behavioral residue encouraging people to share publicly their private actions (buying a book, rsvping to an event, etc) creates behavioral residue others can follow.
  56. tara hunt - practical value 1. availability - restricting availability makes things seem more valuable: whether it’s time (act now! for a limited time!) or quantity (one per household!) or limited to certain people. 2. useful information - short lists focused around a key topic are very sharable.
  57. tara hunt - practical value availability when people feel like they got a deal, they’ll let everyone know.
  58. tara hunt - practical value useful information infographics showing useful stats and ideas are very popular.
  59. tara hunt - stories 1. the trojan horse - stories carry things: a lesson, information or messages. What is that story to tell where you are at the center of the message? Make sure the information you want people to remember and transmit is critical to the narrative of this story. 2. creating stories for customers - What are those little touches that are worth talking about?
  60. tara hunt - stories trojan horse Chipotle tells the tale of a future of manufactured food where you can be the scarecrow that saves us all. It’s a follow up from their amazing Back to the Start campaign - focusing on the story of local sustainable farming, not their food.
  61. tara hunt - stories give customers a story to share
  62. social currency How does it make people look to talk about you? triggers What are the stimuli that prompt people to think about you? emotion How does your content stimulate states of high emotional arousal? public Can people see when others are using or engaging with you? practical value How can we show them your product drastically improves their lives? stories What broader narrative can we wrap your story in? STEPPS how can you incorporate these into the core design/marketing of your product? source: Contagious by Jonah Berger
  63. tara hunt - conclusion 1. marketing, product and world events/ideas/technology are not isolated - their functions cross over and work in tandem to make for a successful product 2. there are oodles of businesses making products and services - you need to give people a reason to not only choose you, but want to spread the word that others should choose you 3. the ‘secret’ to sharable, remarkable products, services + content can be codified (but there is no formula) - social science - and science in general - is uncovering core factors that make for sharable, remarkable experiences.
  64. tara hunt - tara hunt @missrogue