Thanks to targeted product marketing, Webflow was able to prevail over competitors such as Wix and Squarespace in the market for no-code websites and reach 4 million monthly users. Brands like Webflow, Drift and Close prove that it is possible to grow and succeed even in a completely saturated market.
With everyone else trying to outdo the competition, you need to find a way to do it differently and better. Product marketers take companies where they need to play to win. In this article, we’ll share five examples of product marketing from brands that focus on your target audience and communicate value to differentiate themselves from the competition. You’ll learn why they work and get key ideas for your marketing efforts.
To grab the attention and interest of potential customers, show them at first glance what benefits you offer. Use this to tell visitors why your product is right for them.
Basecamp’s email startup HEY does it well. It targets the problems people have using email and positions the company as their savior. The brand also taps into the very corporate feel of other email providers and makes a sharp turn in the other direction to give users a breath of fresh air. HEY demonstrates its positioning in the messaging on its website. The homepage is a master class in persuasive copy, starting with the headline.
David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising, considered the headline the most important part of the text. Many users will only read your headline. Use it to clearly communicate your value. HEY’s headline sets the tone. But it’s more than a clever play on words (“Email is the New Flourish”). It’s a bold statement that reflects their beliefs: “Email sucked for years. Not anymore – we’ve improved it.
It also does what any compelling headline should do: it’s credible. Many share the opinion of Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp, when he says that email is no longer exciting.
In three sentences, HEY addresses problems and positions itself as the solution. The last sentence of the introduction is designed to make the reader want to know more. “HEY’s new approach turns email into something you want to use, not something you’re forced to deal with. It follows the classic PAL formula for ad copy (problem, excitement, solution):
Problem: “You were getting things you didn’t want from people you didn’t know. You lost control of who could reach you.”
Excitement: “Now email feels like a chore instead of a pleasure. Something you fall behind on. Something to be disposed of instead of appreciated.”
Solution: “Email deserves a dusting. A renovation. Modernized for the way we email today. With HEY, we’ve done just that.It’s a redo, a rethink, a simplified, powerful reintroduction of email.”
HEY focuses on these problems and translates them into persuasive texts.
According to a survey by Twilio, nine out of ten consumers want a messaging contact option. And nearly two-thirds of customers who make contact via a chat platform are more likely to return to a website and purchase again.
HubSpot’s product marketing is a good example of reducing friction in the buying process. The HubBot chatbot helps marketers customize their website so users can find information without having to talk to sales.
HubSpot’s chatbot is located in the corner of the homepage. It is only there to support users who need help. Unlike live chat or phone support, it is always active, so HubSpot can help its customers 24/7. When users click on the message icon, they are asked a question and shown several possible answers.
The selection ensures that they get the most relevant content they need. This reduces the risk of users getting lost or navigating away from the site. It also reduces friction and prevents consumers from having to jump through hoops (such as filling out forms) to find what they need. This helps shorten the sales cycle and move leads through the funnel.
By implementing a chatbot, HubSpot has transformed the B2B buying process into a more authentic experience – one that aligns with how customers communicate every day via messaging apps. The company got to the heart of what creative product marketing is all about: finding unique ways to identify and solve customer problems.
E-commerce wallet brand Bellroy is an example of how to overcome the problem of customers not being able to get their hands on a new product before buying it online. The company uses close-up videos to show every aspect of its wallets from different angles. This includes high-resolution images that highlight product features and show how many cards, coins and bills fit in the wallet.
Bellroy also knows one important point that pains customers: putting a full wallet in a regular pocket. Bellroy’s target group is primarily men, who usually carry wallets in their pockets. The bulkier a wallet gets, the harder it is to put it in the pocket and pull it out again. In addition, the pants become more uncomfortable.
To differentiate his product from others, Bellroy uses a clever comparison tool.
Bellroy’s product marketing does three things well:
1. it shows its value proposition. Bellroy doesn’t rely on its “slim your wallet” slogan to differentiate itself. It demonstrates its value proposition with an interactive experience.
2. personalizes the experience. The comparison tool and product recommendations ensure that customers get the best product for their needs.
3. answers customers’ questions before they ask them. From how the wallets are made to their features and storage, Bellroy gives customers everything they need to make an informed decision.
4. donation desk
Some 63% of customers surveyed by Wyzowl said they consider onboarding programs when making purchasing decisions. Yet this is an area where many companies are failing.
An onboarding program that shows new customers how to get the most out of the product is critical for SaaS products, as a significant number of trial users are never activated. Spend management platform Spendesk addresses this issue with a seven-step onboarding tour developed with the Chameleon product engagement tool.
From the beginning, Spendesk encourages its users to complete the tour by clearly describing what they can accomplish. Knowing they can skip the tour and start over also reduces user hesitation because they don’t know how much time it will take. The initial features of the tour help guide users. By focusing on completing a task mentioned at the beginning, Spendesk immediately delivers on a promised benefit.
By clearly demonstrating each task and conveying the simplicity of the product, users are led to the “aha” moment when they realize the value of the product. The tour ends with a clear call to action that helps users take the next step and instructions on what to do if they need help.
In seven onboarding steps, Spendesk sells the benefits of its product. It educates and activates users, encourages enrollment, and reduces churn. Use onboarding to sell the long-term value of your product by showing how it can make life easier.
Drift entered the live chat market in 2015, long after the tool had been established by other players. Instead of trying to compete with competitors’ chat features, the platform did something different: it invented a new category. “Conversational marketing” is a new take on website chat widgets, whether live or via a chatbot. With this new marketing philosophy, Drift worked its way out of the crowded “customer communications” market and into a niche where Drift was first to market. Early on, Drift noticed that all the other companies were targeting customer support teams with a similar tool. So the company used its unique positioning and messaging to target a new audience: Sales and marketing teams.
It was a relatively new concept for sales and marketing – so new that no one knew how to talk about it. Ultimately, Drift used the customer survey to come up with a name for its new niche (“Conversational Marketing”). Communicating about your product the way the customer communicates about it is the shortest path to understanding. Take notes and keep a file of things people say about your product. Use them as inspiration for your copy, naming new products, etc.
Our final thoughts
These examples show impressively that a crowded market does not always have to be a barrier to one’s own product or service. As the saying goes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it is enough to shed new light on something or to become highly specialized in order to become the market leader in a certain niche.
Creativity and individualism are key factors to successfully market a product. At Hello Performance, we’re loaded with creative minds just waiting to shine a whole new light on your business.