Episode 128: High Tech Marketing Simplified, with Ted Marena

High Tech Marketing Simplified, Ted Marena

This is the last episode we’re covering in our series around product marketing books. The books in the three previous shows gave foundational advice that would benefit any product manager or  product marketing manager in their career. But there’s a single vertical that has idiosyncrasies setting it apart from other industries, and you should know about them if you’re going to market these kind of products. 

The industry that does things differently is High tech – and today’s book not only explains how to market these products, it boils it down into simple steps that you can apply on the job.  

Ted Marena has been in the tech sector for  over 25 years, working his way from engineering to sales and onto marketing roles.

Marena came out with the book “High-Tech Marketing Simplified” in 2022. It builds upon his initial book “Marketing Simplified.” He earned a BSEE from the University of Connecticut and a MBA from Bentley University. I caught up with him in the High Tech mecca of Silicon Valley where he lives with his wife & sons. 

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Ted’s email: ted.marena@gmail.com

Get EducaTed by Ted – YouTube channel

Moore’s Law” coined by Gordon Moore of Intel

Raspberry Pi

Avoid the problem of marketing “Trombone Oil” or a product with too small a niche audience (illustration used with permission).

Episode 127: The Launch with Yasmeen Turayhi

The Launch with Yasmeen Turayhi

Product Marketing Managers go through trying times, but possibly the moments where these stresses are most concentrated are when their function is initially being formed, and of course when a new product is being launched. Key decisions are made at these times, and they are extra stressful when you have to make those decisions in a vacuum, without a formulated strategy to guide its development.  

Our guest’s book takes you through a dry run of this whole process. It gives you questions that begin at the genesis of a product, following through topics that you ought to readily answer at that particular stage. 

By testing how well you’re able to answer those questions, you can catch any gaps before they turn into stress-inducing all-night work marathons.

Yasmeen Turayhi is an authority on  product management. She’s taught Bootcamps and workshops for Global companies and universities such as Harvard and MIT, and been a mentor at Founders Institute.

In addition to her three books on this subject,  she has also written dramatic screenplays, one of which was feted at International Film Festivals in Beirut and Hollywood. She is the host of “Gateways to Awakening” a podcast dealing with wellness, personal development, and higher consciousness.

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Yasmeen’s twitter profile

Yasmeen’s LinkedIn profile

Yasmeen’s Instagram profile

Yasmeen’s Medium profile

Yasmeen’s book “The Launch”

Yasmeen’s Latest book, “Breaking into Product Marketing”

Jobs To Be Done framework

Ed Catmull’s book Creativity, Inc.

Evelyn Watts

Episode 126: Lean B2B, with Etienne Garbugli

Lean B2B Etienne Garbugli

Unicorn, Incubator, Angel, Seed round, Pitch deck, CAC & CLV. These are all buzzwords used by startups. 

There is one word that’s used in startup culture which, unlike the buzzwords, is grounded in reality. Its methodology nudges them to design products that fit the dire needs of the early adopters, and then ride a wave of growth as the wider mainstream market adopts it. 

We call this methodology Lean and from Eric Ries on down, there have been some great founders who have taken time  out and written down how they have implemented lean.  Today’s guest is one of those people. He thought there ought to be a book explaining the differences in the lean approach when you’re in B2B. 

The resulting book,  “Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want”, guides those of us in these kinds of startup companies just as well as direct to consumer folks are helped by the best lean books out there that revolve around B2C. I know that B2B product Marketers, especially those trying to  generate demand for new products, will be keen to hear the methods in this book.

Etienne Garbugli is a five-time entrepreneur and in three of those, he was a Founder. Feeling he should help  other entrepreneurs and innovators build products for this market, he released Lean B2B initially in 2014 and the second edition in 2022. He is also the author of the books: Find Your Market, The SaaS Email Marketing Playbook, and Solving Product.

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Etienne’s Twitter profile

Etienne’s LinkedIn page

Etienne’s Medium page

Lean B2B Book website

LeanB2B podcast

Dixon & Adamson’s ‘The Challenger Sale’

Sean Ellis PMF survey

John Cutler, creator of ‘Your Customer’s World’ Venn diagram:

Episode 125: Loved, with Martina Lauchengco

Loved, with Martina Lauchengco

This episode is the first in a series on product marketing. In my opinion, this is one of the toughest roles someone can have in a company. As its two-word name suggests, it sits in no-mans land between other well entrenched corporate functions. Yet, to get external clients to fall in love with what you make, you’ve got to have good product marketing. 

As squishy as the concept of Love is, it’s what today’s guest chose as the theme for her book on Product Marketing, which came out in 2022.   

Martina Lauchengco is the product marketing partner at SVPG (Silicon Valley Product Group) and a partner at Costanoa Ventures, a boutique early-stage venture capital firm. Those positions combined have her advising Fortune 500 companies and early-stage startups on product marketing.  Her writing has been featured in TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Prior to this Martina worked at Microsoft and Netscape after receiving her BA and MA from Stanford.

She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two kids, and lectures at nearby Berkeley in their engineering graduate program.  

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Pocket vs Instapaper

Questions Product Marketing Managers should ask about users:

  • What are they trying to do?
  • Do they recognize and prioritize this problem?
  • What is motivating them to solve the problem?
  • What compels them to take action?
  • What in this product delivers the most value?
  • Who is most likely to value and buy this product?
  • What starts the journey toward acquiring the product?
  • How might a product get discovered and become more desired over the entire journey?
  • How might we reduce friction in acquiring the product?

Malcolm Gladwell

HEART metrics: 

  • Happiness 
  • Engagement 
  • Acquisition 
  • Retention 
  • Task Success 

The book’s Amazon page: “Loved: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products”

Martina on LinkedIn

Episode 119: Digital Marketing Analytics, with Kevin Hartman

As Google’s Chief Analytics Evangelist, Kevin Hartman is responsible for leading the design, implementation, and evolution of programs and approaches that help businesses around the world realize the opportunities presented by data. 

Kevin has a proven track record of building large, global, high-functioning analytics organizations from scratch and deep experience in leading large profit & loss centers and cross-functional teams, identifying business opportunities, and creating effective marketing programs. He has also written “Digital Marketing Analytics: In Theory And In Practice” which is now in its second edition.

Kevin’s decades of work in the digital analytics space, with most of that time spent leading large analytics teams at a major global advertising agency and Google. He has taught analytics for nearly 10 years at Universities near to his home, such as The University of Chicago, The University of Notre Dame, and The University of Illinois.

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Episode Reboot:

look into Kevin’s course on ELVTR

Episode 118: Converted, with Neil Hoyne

Converted, Neil Hoyne

In digital marketing, we’re all striving to do what works. Yet whether we’re in-house or at an agency, we’re basing our definition of what works on a small sample size. Honestly, none of us can zoom out far enough to the general traits of successful marketing. That is, unless you’re someone who’s tasked with measuring marketing data at the organization with the single-largest quantity of it on the planet. 

My guest has gained a lot of insight on successful sellers in his role as Google’s Chief Measurement Strategist, where he has led over 2,500 engagements with the world’s biggest advertisers. He is a Senior Fellow at Wharton and holds degrees from Purdue University and UCLA. And in his book “Converted: The Data-Driven Way to Win Customers’ Hearts” the difference (I’m simplifying here) is that the  best ones humanize their funnels for their buyers. 

“Wait,” you say, “we already know  how to treat people nicely, we’ve known how to do that since humans have been around. You’re right, yet it’s surprising how we lose the human element is when we move commercial interactions online. My guest wants us to learn – or more correctly, relearn how to make our marketing more human. 

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Episode Reboot

Episode 117: Marketing Artificial Intelligence, with Paul Roetzer

Marketing Artificial Intelligence

Paul Roetzer graduated with a journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School at Ohio University and a few years afterwards he founded Ready North (formerly PR 20/20). In 2016 he founded the Marketing AI Institute. The idea for such an organization came from what Paul saw when AI began impacting his agency. He thought the only way marketers like him could work alongside AI would be by better understanding its capabilities. 

Part of their vision of educating marketers is through an annual event, and in 2019 they held their inaugural Marketing AI Conference. MAICON was on pause during lockdowns, but it came back in 2022.

In 2022, He and co-author Mike Kaput published the book we’re talking about, Marketing Artificial Intelligence. The book draws on years of research and dozens of interviews with AI marketers, executives, engineers, and entrepreneurs. He has also authored The Marketing Performance Blueprint (2014) and The Marketing Agency Blueprint (2012). Through his podcast and as a conference speaker, Paul makes AI approachable and actionable for marketers. 

He and his family live in Cleveland, Ohio. 

People, Products and Concepts in the Show:

Episode 111: Obviously Awesome, with April Dunford

There is a lot at stake when Companies develop some technological or physical product. But they face an equally high risk in getting the product positioning right. Weak positioning can mean the difference between success or failure.

When we don’t have our positioning nailed, it’s as if we’re talking to someone who doesn’t speak our language. And when they don’t acknowledge us, we repeat the same message even louder, as if that will get our point across. For those who remember John Cusack 80s films, you might be familiar with the movie Better Off Dead’s scene with a French foreign exchange student having dinner with her American host family.

Shouting doesn’t work when you’re using the wrong language, and it doesn’t work with the wrong positioning either. Luckily, someone has come up with the process for finding the best positioning for our product, saving our market from being subjected to random jargon. 

April Dunford was a startup executive, running sales, marketing and product at seven B2B technology startups over the course of 25 years. She is now a consultant who has had the privilege of bringing her positioning expertise to more than 100 companies. She codified her process in the 2019 book “Obviously Awesome,” which makes these ideas about positioning accessible to any company 

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Episode 110: Making Numbers Count, with Karla Starr

We humans are good at dealing with small numbers. So good, scientists have coined the word “Subitizing” to describe how we know small numbers as well as the back of our hand. The opposite is also true. We can’t differentiate big numbers. We know that 10 to the power of 10 is bigger than 10 to the power of 9, but how much bigger? Even on hearing that they differ by a factor of billions, we stumble to gauge that kind of scale. 

This puts those of us who present numbers in a pickle. Historical greats like Florence Nightingale had a terrible time presenting her data to government leaders. She broke with convention, framing everything in terms of soldiers not statistics, to argue how to prevent needless deaths in military hospitals.  The book in today’s show explains methods used by her & others to convey numbers that the brain has a hard time grasping.

Knowing tactics that worked for Florence,  should at the very least help us convince management to approve our marketing initiatives. 

Since graduating with a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from NYU, Karla Starr has written columns for Medium  and appeared on NPR and CBS Sunday Morning. She has also written for many magazines and won an award for the Best Science/Health story from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Her first book was Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others. We’re talking today about the second book  Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers, with Chip Heath 

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Episode 109: The Smart Marketing Book, with Dan White

Dan White Smart Marketing

William of Ockham – 1287 – 1347  was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and catholic theologian, born in a small village in Surrey England. He had a way of reducing explanations down to their essential core, frequently and effectively showing that the simplest explanation of a phenomenon was usually the right one. Ockham used this so much, his name has become associated with this principle – which we know today as Occam’s razor.  

Dan White graduated from Cambridge University with a Masters of Arts. He has worked in marketing, market research and brand consultancy for 30 years. He is equally passionate about using imaginative visuals to bring marketing concepts to life. If people understand and remember an idea thanks to a clever framework or visual metaphor they will be able to use it in their day-to-day work. You can consider his book Smart Marketing to help you apply Occam’s Razor to today’s marketing problems. 

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