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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 33. Product Marketing Contribution

Jane is supporting the launch of Product X, a new release her company is really excited about. She is on the marketing team. Armed with her launch checklist, she schedules a meeting with John, the product manager. At the meeting, John answers all of her questions, draws a market segmentation on the whiteboard, and talks about the key features and why they are important. Jane takes lots of notes and asks John to review what she sends him.

The first thing John gets is a press release. The features are mixed up. There is no positioning—just announcing it’s “now available!”—and the quote sounds like it came from a Web 2.0 robot. John inserts corrections. There are so many it’s like a rewrite.

Next, John gets the copy from the website. His corrections from the press release aren’t in it. The feature descriptions are wrong in an entirely new way because “the copywriter” took a pass. John is starting to worry that Jane and the rest of the marketing team don’t get his product.

John asks the head of marketing, Bob, “Are we all on the same page about the product launch?” Bob assures John, “We’re in great shape.” Bob says this because when he reviews the launch checklist, everything is on schedule. John assumes Bob meant the marketing of his product is part of some grand strategy connecting it with what the market needs to hear.

Assured, John accepts Jane’s next meeting request to “review product positioning.” “At last,” he thinks, “I’ll ...

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