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 partnercould be a game changer for any be to be company. So what ifyou 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 networkfaster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to thebe tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieveexplosive 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 productmarketing at schedule. Oh, Marie, how you doing today? Right?Thank you so much. Same I am. I'm really excited to chat with youtoday, Marie. We're going to be talking about brand positioning, butbefore we jump into that, I'd love...

...for you to explain to our listenersjust a little about schedule Oh, and what you and your team are upto over there absolutely so. Schedule is an intelligent mobile workforce management and complexscheduling solution. So we have a weather mobile APP that are both native tosales 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, sothat your mobile operation is not only more efficient but is actually delivering the customerexperience 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 aboutamongst B tob marketers more, because it's...

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

...use products, but about how theydecide what they want. And a lot of it comes down to I feltyou understood me. I felt that you guys were going to deliver. Ifelt that you guys understood the challenge, and that all really comes back tobrand 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 offolks making. I do, and before I actually worked in technology, Iwas in the public sector for years. I was a communication structor in theHouse and definitely press secretary in the Senate. So, like, this is nota challenge that is specific to anyone industry or group of people, becausewe make decisions in our own office with our columns, you know, thevast majority of the time, and that means that were hearing things from ourown 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 whoyou're trying to convince it something. And so, especially when things are likeearly, thinking about like startups and early stage businesses, there's almost like thismythology around like, you know, we were in a garage and or youwere, you know, I was talking by friends and we were like goingto be a great idea if and like that's great for like inspiration, butthat is not your brand positioning, because you need external like input and inspirationto 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 andthat is as important as what that core idea is, because if people don'tunderstand you, they're you're never going to be able to sell something much lesslike expand your foot put in the market way. And so that that seguesinto this next point that we're going to...

...be talking about. How do yougo about doing that? How do you go about creating that that brand positioningstatement or the position that your brand is going to take? And you saythat it really comes down to going and talking to the people that you're sellingto. 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 kindof regular day to day. How can marketers go out and engage thosetypes of conversations? I think there are really two ways. Like first,you can, without ever reading your deaths, to start doing research, like startreading what what your competitors are doing. Of course, you know, youdon't want to assume that they know something that you don't, but atthe same time, like it's a if they're doing well, like it isa safest something that they've been talking to their customers. So hopefully they're helpingreflect some things that are going on that are interesting and also, I thinkit'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? Isthere 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 areyou doing like that? You know, there's a couple kind of good likeknowing quantities that are not like mainstream news but are go to resources, soyou can be reading those. But the really the most important thing to dois just like go talk to people, like I'm always like it kind ofalways like restores my faith humanity a little bit, like how much people arewilling 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 takingup people on Linkedin who I did not know. Just be okay, you'redoing something really interesting. When you have a fifteen minute conversation with me andpeople really are like if you people for help, they're really happy to giveit, because people really like feeling like their point of view matters. Andthen the other thing that is so important about this too, is unless you'reout talking to people, you're not going to understand the language that they thatthey use, like and like, word...

...choice is so important, like Ilove foreign language and so, like I tend to think of things as atranslation like that, such a framework that works for my mind, because Ilike thinking of out the way language like influences the way we communicate. AndI have found like time again, like when you use the same words thatpeople 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 themagic happens, that's where the click is and their understanding that you understand them. So nothing, while nothing, consubstitute for those conversations. Like you cancompare 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 opinionmatters. Yeah, I totally agree. In kind of transitioning to to anotherthing that you guys talked about, that...

...you were talking about earlier offline,Marie, you said people make choices between options. Expand on that a littlebit. Yeah, so every like every single thing we do is it's justa fundamental part of human decision making. To not get like two superhilosophical aboutit, but like every single thing we do is involves a choice, andeven if that choice is to do nothing, that's still a choice that people aremaking. So, from a more like kind of academic perspective, that'sone of the reasons why a conjoint analysis is like the ideal testing method forlike 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, youwould want to go to the marketplace and say, do you want your smartphoneto be blue or red, and like that's going to be the only thingthat you're grips. You would like test a bunch of like do you wantblue red? Okay, if you like blue better, would you rather haveblue or orange? They still like you...

...better. Would you rather have blueor green? And so, because everything is always a choice. Nobody beingdecisions like in a vacuum. And so I try to think, like Itry to remember, like, okay, like what's my kind of mini conjointanalysis 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 thatcase, everything's always a choice. So you have to remember that, likeand 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'sgoing 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 likea beautifully worded statements that were so excited about because it's exactly what we're tryingto say, but that doesn't mean that it's like what people are going tohear. It's just one of the things it's so interesting to me about likethe brand positioning and overall is there's such...

...a huge gap between how frequently thesepeople 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 productand someone else's and my offering and my brand and someone else's. It's goingto help you like better determine what is that thing I'm to say to makesure that I am being understood to the person who I care about. Gottaone thing that you know, because we're in the process right, no memoryof trying to reposition. You know what we sell and who we sell itto. And the thing that I'm that I'm struggling with is there's the brandpositioning statement that explains of what we do, and then there's I've I've found itdifficult to explain, you know, what we do and the pain thatit solves or like maybe maybe explaining what we do in a way that itreally presses into the pain that someone experiences. What are your thoughts on incorporating thebuyers pain into that positioning statement?...

Oh, it's vital. I mean, the whole point is that you're solving a pain, right, because ifyou're not solving a problem, you're not offering. Now, and even ifthat, you know, let's say you're talking about an entertainment product, thenthe pain that you're solving is being bored or being insufficiently entertained. So evenfor like luxury products, that's, you know, things that aren't, don'tfall under like a strong need, but still involve a pain. You've gotto 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 theoptions, option of not purchasing anything, and that's always the path of leastresistance. So you've got to you got to call that out and make surepain 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 boldand and and being different in your positioning. Talk to us about what this islooked like in your experience, even...

...in roping, in schedule, ohhere, like, what have you guys done to be bold in the waythat 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 misunderstandingwhat mobile workforce management is and what fields are mismanagement is. Our point ofview 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 Difa mobile worker and a remote worker. But because field service management has beenis a more established category. I guess you could say there's people thinkof that as like the bigger thing. It's actually a very specific use caseand 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 weneed to install it, maintenance it or otherwise service it. But that's actuallynot the use case for the vast majority...

...of mobile work. But because fieldservice is pursued as being bigger, and then like people say, oh somobile workforce is like a type of field service, then actually it's really theother way around. And so, even though you know, we're talking abouta lot of the same things, like I want to go back to thenotion of like language and using your buyers language. Our buyers talk about theirfield employees, even though, if you know, I'm going to get academicabout it, like I wouldn't call them field service technicians, but that's whatthey call them because that's the establish language. So of course we're going to talkto 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, whatthey're doing is not field service and that's not the use case that you're talkingabout. But I'm going to do it in your language and I'm going tobring in this bigger idea of as your business grows and and your use caseis change, because your primary business model is around mobile work, you're goingto need something that does more than the...

...the use case, that connects youto your arp and helps you manage the asset you need to manage your humanresources and it's hr it's your mobile workforce. So that's kind of how we approachit, and that is really boldly different than than what else is goingon 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 aretalking about this backwards, like field services. A use case of mobilework cannot the other way around. I love it. I love it.Thanks for sharing that example, Marie. This has been fantastic. If there'ssomebody listening, they want to stay connected with you or they want to learnmore about schedule. Oh what's the best way for them to go about doingboth of those things? You're welcome to email me it and Francis at Schedulecomand you check our website at schedule ocom. That's Skaeed Uello, and always happyto tell you more about the great work we're doing here. I feellike I kind of stumbled across a prize...

...here, like we have such alike this is like a great company, which is like interviewing a bunch ofour customers last week, like, what's your favorite thing about schedule? Ohand almost university? That are like the people you are fantastic, the productworks and the people are amazing, and I was like, I kind ofscripted 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. Iappreciate you having me. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to featureyou 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. Weuse the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popularwebsites. 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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