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👋 Hi, I’m James. Thanks for checking out Building Momentum: a newsletter to help startup founders and marketers accelerate SaaS growth through product marketing.


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called Okay… but why? with a simple tip.

In it, I wrote that at the top of every document or initiative you’re working on, it’s worthwhile making a quick note on the following:

  • Audience and buying stage
  • What success will look like

This can help you to forge alignment on your product marketing work, and ensure that it’s built to meet the customer wherever they are in the buying journey.

But ‘how’ we do the work is just as important as the why. How do we gain alignment and clarity on ‘how’ work should be done?

Define principles for hot project

If you’ve read Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters (and if you haven’t, buy it now!) then you’ll know that good strategy is built on defining your principles, the values that will guide how you will move forward.

And it’s no different for the product marketing work we do, whether you’re working on strategic direction reports, market research, or customer comms for a product launch.

Principles can help you both:

  • Guide the work you do, by keeping what really matters at the top of your mind
  • Gain alignment by stating your perspective and generating productive, strategic discussions

From there, you can tactically create content and plan initiatives that’s in line with a strategic direction.

Examples of principles that you apply to projects might be related to:

  • Any relevant company values, and an explanation of how they might be applied
  • What the customer experience should feel like
  • Your unique factors of market differentiation
  • Anything else that defines the approach you’ll want to take

Explore Vision to Values

It took about five years of Alicia badgering me to give Vision to Values a try – and I can’t believe I didn’t get to grips with it earlier.

A framework from LinkedIn Exec Chairman Jeff Weiner, it’s a simple structure to help set out strategy and detail the connections between your mission, vision, values, objectives, and priorities.

I’ve used it to help guide GTM strategy, showcasing how decisions have been made in alignment with the company vision.

Principles matter

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?” (said Alexander Hamilton in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton).

But they do matter. We build company cultures, define our brand, and become known for the way our businesses operate.

Bringing in principles in your project-planning work can level up your approach, keep you closer to strategic thinking, and help you achieve better outcomes.


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought – find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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