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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.


As product marketers, we’re forever asking ‘why’.

  • Why do customers struggle with this problem?
  • Why did we build this feature?
  • Why are we seeing more closed-won deals from a particular country?
  • Why are we not getting traction with performance marketing on a particular channel?

We’re always trying to get to the core nugget of insight that has driven, or can drive, a specific action. (And remember: marketing is meant to drive behavior change).

But when we’re actually doing work ourselves, it’s easy to lose sight of that initial insight. Strategic work quickly becomes part of the everyday mundanity.

A one-pager is never just a one-pager

Whether it’s creating sales enablement one-pagers, updating the pitch deck, or crafting a new product launch rollout plan, it might seem super straightforward.

“Sales asked for this one-pager. We launched some new features, so we should update the pitch deck. This is our standard product rollout plan.”

But we’re never just updating a deck: we’re figuring out how to tell our story in a persuasive way that drives the conversation.

We’re not just creating a rollout plan: we’re looking to drive incremental revenue, better meet customer needs, and showcase our innovation.

And a one-pager is never just a one-pager. It might be intended to actually educate prospects on the problem, or persuade prospects of our differentiation, or support our prospect in championing our solution over others.

The two-bullet brief

Something I learnt (but, I raise my hand, haven’t practiced lately), is to add two bullet points to every document.

These two bulletpoints help me keep in mind what it is we’re actually trying to achieve. They help align work-in-progress reviewers and those giving feedback – and help us have higher value discussions.

At the top of every document or initiative you’re working on, make a quick note on the following:

  • Audience and buying stage
  • What success will look like

The first is obvious. How successful our work is depends on having a good, consistent understanding of the audience, so keeping in mind the specific type of customer – whether that’s a persona, an industry, or even an internal stakeholder – helps.

But we also need to consider where they are in their buyer journey. Are they early in their evaluation journey? Their needs – and your response – will change significantly.

The second bullet, you might call an outcome or the goal – but that can be too restrictive. We’re talking about success! In the best case scenario, what does this activity enable or achieve?

  • Success of a product one-pager might look like an improvement in opportunity progression, with customers excited to learn more.
  • Success of a website update might be prospects having an elevated understanding of our product differentiation with a positive impact on lead generation.

You might want to treat this as a hypothesis and approach it from an experimental perspective, but that can be overkill and confusing for people or organizations that don’t operate that way.

Think bigger

As product marketers, we’re experts in second-order thinking. Our actions have consequences and implications.

Let’s make sure that the work we do always has the right implications and work towards the best outcomes.


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One Reply to “Okay… but why?”

  1. […] couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called Okay… but why? with a simple […]

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