572: Brand Positioning: 5 Things You Need to Know w/ Marie Francis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Marie Francis, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Skedulo.

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. We are here today with Marie Francis. She is the senior director of product marketing at schedule. Oh, Marie, how you doing today? Right? Thank you so much. Same I am. I'm really excited to chat with you today, Marie. We're going to be talking about brand positioning, but before we jump into that, I'd love...

...for you to explain to our listeners just a little about schedule Oh, and what you and your team are up to over there absolutely so. Schedule is an intelligent mobile workforce management and complex scheduling solution. So we have a weather mobile APP that are both native to sales force and service now platforms, and we do as help enterprises intelligently schedule, despatch and track jobs in the field with real time visibuilding communication, so that your mobile operation is not only more efficient but is actually delivering the customer experience and customer journey that is so critical to your brandfrom I love it. I love it, and so so Marie is. We are talking offline, we're trying to, you know, sorting through what we wanted to talk about, and brand positioning was something that was very top of mind for you. Why do you think brand positioning is something that that needs to be talked about amongst B tob marketers more, because it's...

...so critical, especially now. You know, we see, I mean I work in technology and the market place is getting increasingly crowded and there are a lot of really good solutions out there and there's a lot more competition in the Bab space, even within our own categories, and so having that brand differentiation. You know, buyers are getting smarter and they know what they're looking for they know what they're looking for really well. So a lot of products have a love overlapping functionality and unless you're making a sale that's on like the niche use case that your technology or your product or whatever it is, does slightly better than your competitors, a lot of what you're competing on is brand and how your mother's understand you. And so whether it comes down to like, their choice, of whether or not they like you and like whether they feel that you understand. That what I've seen so much. I've run when loss for the companies before and I try to spend a lot of time talking to people, not just about how talking to customers, not just about how they...

...use products, but about how they decide what they want. And a lot of it comes down to I felt you understood me. I felt that you guys were going to deliver. I felt that you guys understood the challenge, and that all really comes back to brand and how you are presenting yourself to people. That makes perfect sense. We're talking about some some more specific things that we wanted to touch on here, where you'd mentioned that you are not the audience for your brand positioning. Your target buyer is. Is this a mistake that you see a lot of folks making. I do, and before I actually worked in technology, I was in the public sector for years. I was a communication structor in the House and definitely press secretary in the Senate. So, like, this is not a challenge that is specific to anyone industry or group of people, because we make decisions in our own office with our columns, you know, the vast majority of the time, and that means that were hearing things from our own point of view and were building on...

...our own kind of tiny little piece. But none of those people are who you're trying to sell to or who you're trying to convince it something. And so, especially when things are like early, thinking about like startups and early stage businesses, there's almost like this mythology around like, you know, we were in a garage and or you were, you know, I was talking by friends and we were like going to be a great idea if and like that's great for like inspiration, but that is not your brand positioning, because you need external like input and inspiration to really understand what people are looking for, because your core idea might not change, but the way you screen it to somebody might change. And and that is as important as what that core idea is, because if people don't understand you, they're you're never going to be able to sell something much less like expand your foot put in the market way. And so that that segues into this next point that we're going to...

...be talking about. How do you go about doing that? How do you go about creating that that brand positioning statement or the position that your brand is going to take? And you say that it really comes down to going and talking to the people that you're selling to. You know, if you're not in a sales role in an organization, you're not talking to, you know, prospects as a part of your kind of regular day to day. How can marketers go out and engage those types of conversations? I think there are really two ways. Like first, you can, without ever reading your deaths, to start doing research, like start reading what what your competitors are doing. Of course, you know, you don't want to assume that they know something that you don't, but at the same time, like it's a if they're doing well, like it is a safest something that they've been talking to their customers. So hopefully they're helping reflect some things that are going on that are interesting and also, I think it's always a great idea to you know what is what are my buyers reading, like even just like theoretically, like...

...is there a trade publication? Is there a blog, like if you are selling legal technology, for example, like and if you're not reading the above the Blaw blog, like what are you doing like that? You know, there's a couple kind of good like knowing quantities that are not like mainstream news but are go to resources, so you can be reading those. But the really the most important thing to do is just like go talk to people, like I'm always like it kind of always like restores my faith humanity a little bit, like how much people are willing to help you. Like when I first this is wasn't a busy example, but like when I even first moved to San Francisco, I was taking up people on Linkedin who I did not know. Just be okay, you're doing something really interesting. When you have a fifteen minute conversation with me and people really are like if you people for help, they're really happy to give it, because people really like feeling like their point of view matters. And then the other thing that is so important about this too, is unless you're out talking to people, you're not going to understand the language that they that they use, like and like, word...

...choice is so important, like I love foreign language and so, like I tend to think of things as a translation like that, such a framework that works for my mind, because I like thinking of out the way language like influences the way we communicate. And I have found like time again, like when you use the same words that people are using to describe their problems or describe their lives or describe their business, and they hear that coming out of warmouth, it's like that's where the magic happens, that's where the click is and their understanding that you understand them. So nothing, while nothing, consubstitute for those conversations. Like you can compare yourself better for them by just doing some reading and like taking the time, and then you know, actually ask people, like don't be afraidful, like to blind contact people every people are really happy to think that their opinion matters. Yeah, I totally agree. In kind of transitioning to to another thing that you guys talked about, that...

...you were talking about earlier offline, Marie, you said people make choices between options. Expand on that a little bit. Yeah, so every like every single thing we do is it's just a fundamental part of human decision making. To not get like two superhilosophical about it, but like every single thing we do is involves a choice, and even if that choice is to do nothing, that's still a choice that people are making. So, from a more like kind of academic perspective, that's one of the reasons why a conjoint analysis is like the ideal testing method for like product development. So conjoint and Elsis, if you're not familiar, is where, let's say you're want to develop a new type of smartphone, you would want to go to the marketplace and say, do you want your smartphone to be blue or red, and like that's going to be the only thing that you're grips. You would like test a bunch of like do you want blue red? Okay, if you like blue better, would you rather have blue or orange? They still like you...

...better. Would you rather have blue or green? And so, because everything is always a choice. Nobody being decisions like in a vacuum. And so I try to think, like I try to remember, like, okay, like what's my kind of mini conjoint analysis here. If I describe, if I describe our brand as being, I'll you schedule as example. You know, the intelligent mobile workforce management solution. What am I intrinsically choosing, like not to describe it as in that case, everything's always a choice. So you have to remember that, like and it's it kind of gets back to the lake. It's not about you, it's about your target buyer, because if you're thinking their choices, that's going to help you remember like that it's not about you, because what happens, and what's so easy to do is like we come up with these like a beautifully worded statements that were so excited about because it's exactly what we're trying to say, but that doesn't mean that it's like what people are going to hear. It's just one of the things it's so interesting to me about like the brand positioning and overall is there's such...

...a huge gap between how frequently these people like think that we're being understood and how much we actually are understood. And so if you remember, like someone is making a choice between my product and someone else's and my offering and my brand and someone else's. It's going to help you like better determine what is that thing I'm to say to make sure that I am being understood to the person who I care about. Gotta one thing that you know, because we're in the process right, no memory of trying to reposition. You know what we sell and who we sell it to. And the thing that I'm that I'm struggling with is there's the brand positioning statement that explains of what we do, and then there's I've I've found it difficult to explain, you know, what we do and the pain that it solves or like maybe maybe explaining what we do in a way that it really presses into the pain that someone experiences. What are your thoughts on incorporating the buyers pain into that positioning statement?...

Oh, it's vital. I mean, the whole point is that you're solving a pain, right, because if you're not solving a problem, you're not offering. Now, and even if that, you know, let's say you're talking about an entertainment product, then the pain that you're solving is being bored or being insufficiently entertained. So even for like luxury products, that's, you know, things that aren't, don't fall under like a strong need, but still involve a pain. You've got to incorporate into that, because it's also what you are differentiating against, right, because there's always the option of doing nothing for your buyers, always the options, option of not purchasing anything, and that's always the path of least resistance. So you've got to you got to call that out and make sure pain is so tangible. Yeah, it can hurt. That's that's fantastic. This, this last one we're to talk about is this idea of being bold and and and being different in your positioning. Talk to us about what this is looked like in your experience, even...

...in roping, in schedule, oh here, like, what have you guys done to be bold in the way that you guys positioned yourself? Well, even just recently we have been. We've come out really strong on the point of view that people are fundamentally misunderstanding what mobile workforce management is and what fields are mismanagement is. Our point of view is that mobile work is anything that involves not working at the office, even, you know, a remote office. There's a little bit of a Dif a mobile worker and a remote worker. But because field service management has been is a more established category. I guess you could say there's people think of that as like the bigger thing. It's actually a very specific use case and there's great products out there that work beautifully for the specific use case. Are My company either owns or has sold a large path capital asset and we need to install it, maintenance it or otherwise service it. But that's actually not the use case for the vast majority...

...of mobile work. But because field service is pursued as being bigger, and then like people say, oh so mobile workforce is like a type of field service, then actually it's really the other way around. And so, even though you know, we're talking about a lot of the same things, like I want to go back to the notion of like language and using your buyers language. Our buyers talk about their field employees, even though, if you know, I'm going to get academic about it, like I wouldn't call them field service technicians, but that's what they call them because that's the establish language. So of course we're going to talk to them about their field service technicians and then help them understand why, you know, even though you're calling this person a field service technician, what they're doing is not field service and that's not the use case that you're talking about. But I'm going to do it in your language and I'm going to bring in this bigger idea of as your business grows and and your use case is change, because your primary business model is around mobile work, you're going to need something that does more than the...

...the use case, that connects you to your arp and helps you manage the asset you need to manage your human resources and it's hr it's your mobile workforce. So that's kind of how we approach it, and that is really boldly different than than what else is going on the marketplace. It even is quite contrary to the way analyst frame things, and we've been really explicit about it. Say Hey, like you guys are talking about this backwards, like field services. A use case of mobile work cannot the other way around. I love it. I love it. Thanks for sharing that example, Marie. This has been fantastic. If there's somebody listening, they want to stay connected with you or they want to learn more about schedule. Oh what's the best way for them to go about doing both of those things? You're welcome to email me it and Francis at Schedulecom and you check our website at schedule ocom. That's Skaeed Uello, and always happy to tell you more about the great work we're doing here. I feel like I kind of stumbled across a prize...

...here, like we have such a like this is like a great company, which is like interviewing a bunch of our customers last week, like, what's your favorite thing about schedule? Oh and almost university? That are like the people you are fantastic, the product works and the people are amazing, and I was like, I kind of scripted that by so yeah, always happy to tell you more about awesome. Very well, thank you so much for your time. This has been incredible, so I really appreciate it. Thank you so much, games. I appreciate you having me. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like huffyed and post. Social Media Examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. To head over to sweet fish, MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much. For listening until next time,.

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