January 02, 2009

Ground Zero marketing

Based on the date (022706), I created this entry when I was starting the Product Marketing group at Dash. Previous experience starting at companies taught me I needed a place to start an assessment of a company's marketing capabilities. Ground Zero, so to speak.

I've been adding to this list ever since, but here is the first iteration of my Ground Zero document. I use a refined version of this document whenever I deeply evaluate a startup for an advisory or investment role. It's not that a startup has to have all of these, but you'd better have a plan and the qualified people to get to most of them quickly.

Yes, this is Marketing 101. Amazing how many companies, big and small, don't have a grip on all of the fundamentals...

Product Marketing material

  • MRD - Marketing Requirements Document
  • Customer Segmentation (demographic, psychographic, affinity brands) - also known as the personas
  • Market sizing and research
  • Go To Market (G2M) - Messaging kernels for customers, channel, partners, Branding, distribution strategy, pricing models
  • Detailed business model for three years
  • Competitive Research

Product Management material

  • MRD
  • PRD - Product Requirements Document, aka the feature list, in/out/deferred
  • Schedule
  • User experience fundamentals - tone, look and feel, what is their capability to intuitively speak to the personas/customers?
  • Out of Box experience - don't fixate on the word Box, focus on UE, packaging, documentation, product, etc.
  • Roadmap, see feature list, competitive research, market dynamics, etc.
  • Customer Service and Support plan - how do you support customers and make them evangelists. Think offense, not defense
  • Logistics for physical product
  • User Experience testing plan
  • Accessories - think what is the upgrade path for the product. What can the customer buy/add to the product if they like it
  • Weighted Use case scenarios for the product, should be in the PRD, but...
  • Competitive Feature set grid for all major products in segment

Product Marketing checklist 022706

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