100 episodes

Digital products don’t just live online. They are made up of people, experiences, and awe-inspiring innovation. This show shares the stories of industry-leading companies whose products have a soul, a mission, and a vision.

Through engaging conversations with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and innovators, hosts Christian and Meghan explore the notion of what it takes to build better products. Better Product weaves a narrative story about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ideating and activating the digital products that have launched businesses and changed the world.

Listen weekly to understand how digital products are created, how design influences adoption and ultimately, why product means everything.

Better Product Better Product Network

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 52 Ratings

Digital products don’t just live online. They are made up of people, experiences, and awe-inspiring innovation. This show shares the stories of industry-leading companies whose products have a soul, a mission, and a vision.

Through engaging conversations with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and innovators, hosts Christian and Meghan explore the notion of what it takes to build better products. Better Product weaves a narrative story about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ideating and activating the digital products that have launched businesses and changed the world.

Listen weekly to understand how digital products are created, how design influences adoption and ultimately, why product means everything.

    How Product Marketers Lead As Company Quarterbacks with Kimberly Biddings, BIO-key International

    How Product Marketers Lead As Company Quarterbacks with Kimberly Biddings, BIO-key International

    Product marketing is at the intersection of many teams in a product company. The work of a product marketer supports the wider product team, sales, marketing, executive stakeholders, and most of all, buyers. It’s for this reason product marketers tend to play a quarterback role, says Kimberly Biddings, VP of Product at BIO-key International. As Kim knows from experience, they’re responsible for not just knowing a product in and out—they have to translate its selling points for others to use. Join Kim and Tina to hear more about the opportunities product marketers can bring to your growing organization.

    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community.
     
    Takeaways:  
    Product marketing starts from the second there’s a business idea.  Growing a business without product marketing is like driving a car without direction: aimless and unpredictable.  There’s more than one way to be a product marketer.   
    Things To Listen For: 
    [0:30] Icebreaker: Who is on your dream interview list (aside from the amazing guests we talked to for Unlock Product Marketing)? 
    [2:00] Why did we create this series?
    [4:00] Introducing today's guest, Kimberly Biddings of BIO-key International
    [6:00] Takeaway: there are different kinds of product marketers, not just one
    [7:00] Intro to Kimberly Biddings and her cybersecurity product marketing career
    [8:30] How Tina and Kim met with product marketing and brand work through Innovatemap
    [10:00] In the beginning, many people did product marketing in marketing roles
    [10:30] What is a regional product manager? And why teams still need PMM advocates.
    [12:00] What are the jobs to be done by product marketing?
    [14:00] Product marketers are like company quarterbacks
    [15:00] If you need product marketing from day one, why is it typically one of the last roles to be hired?
    [16:00] The seven stages of product marketing as a company scales
    [18:30] You have to market yourself as a product marketer so people understand it
    [21:00] Find bite-sized ways to inject product marketing strategy into your interactions
    [27:30] Product marketing’s first question: does anyone actually care about this?
    [29:00] Don’t start with the what, start with the why
    [31:00] Always consider “who are you talking to?” and “what are you saying?”
    [38:00] Be your product manager’s best friend

    • 42 min
    Why Your Positioning Should ‘Pick a Fight and Take a Stand’ with Catherine Spence, Microblink

    Why Your Positioning Should ‘Pick a Fight and Take a Stand’ with Catherine Spence, Microblink

    One of the fundamental strategies product marketers must lead is positioning. It’s what determines how you’ll talk about your product, your company, and your brand as you scale. So why do so many people get it wrong? Catherine Spence, VP of Global Marketing at Microblink, joins Leanna to share her best lessons on brand and product positioning, from leading marketing at an international company to her own startup, Pomello. If you’re looking to stay in your comfort zone, this isn’t the episode for you. Catherine shows us why we need to use our positioning to pick a fight and take a stand, especially in B2B SaaS. 
     
    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community. 
     
    Takeaways: 
    Positioning gives you focus. You can’t be everything to everyone.  Product positioning should make you think.  Brand positioning should make you feel.  Don’t prioritize brand positioning until you have product-market fit.   
    Things To Listen For: 
    [2:00] Icebreaker: If you had to write an autobiography and name it after one of your guilty pleasures, what would you call it?  [3:00] What’s the difference between brand positioning and product positioning? How do marketers and PMMs work together to define it?  [7:00] Introducing Catherine Spence and her role at Microblink  [9:00] PMM is the intersection of product, marketing, and sales [11:00] The ask of product marketing is simple. But it’s difficult to do well.  [12:00] How Microblink thinks about brand positioning vs. product positioning when marketing AI when the world isn’t familiar with it yet [13:00] The deceiving similarities between product positioning and brand positioning, and what unites them at the core  [14:00] Brand positioning should be internal and external  [15:00] How do brand positioning and product positioning work together? [16:00] All positioning should reflect your vision and who you want to be in the world. When are you willing to walk away?  [19:00] Why B2B product marketers and marketers need to position products that “pick a fight and take a stand” for their products [22:30] Clear positioning doesn’t just make sense. It makes dollars.  [23:00] When is the best time to focus on brand positioning? [26:00] Use your vision statement to anchor your brand positioning  [28:00] The role of employer brand in positioning  [36:00] The future of PMM: how do we find great product marketers?

    • 38 min
    Product Marketing’s Essential Purpose with Martina Lauchengco, Author of LOVED

    Product Marketing’s Essential Purpose with Martina Lauchengco, Author of LOVED

    In today’s world, building a great product isn’t enough. You have to master your go-to-market strategy by telling a story that will leave a lasting impression on your audience. Product marketing gets you there, according to long-time product marketer and Costanoa Ventures partner Martina Lauchengco. 
     
    Martina is the author of the latest book from the esteemed Silicon Valley Product Group, LOVED: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products. Alongside Tina and Leanna, she explores how her career start as a product manager equipped her with the product curiosity and technical competence needed to thrive when marketing digital products. She shows us today how to think about product marketing as the discipline it is and how companies should be leveraging it if they want their product to be recognized and adopted. 

    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community.
     
    Takeaways Product marketing tells the world why your product matters and why it’s distinct from something similar.  Product marketers must be genuinely interested in what products do and why the product exists to make it meaningful for the market. Things To Listen For [0:30] Introducing our guest hosts, Innovatemap’s Tina Hafer and Leanna Adeola [2:00] Why did we create the Unlock Product Marketing series? [3:00] Icebreaker: If you had the time to write a book, what would it be about? [4:00] Previewing our conversation with Martina Lauchengco [10:30] An introduction to Martina Lauchengco, starting her career in product management at Microsoft, and the evolution of product marketing [15:00] Why Martina wrote LOVED: companies need a template for PMM [15:30] Product marketing’s evolution: it’s now a discipline central to organizations [16:30] Introducing Martina’s four fundamental roles of product marketing: Ambassador — product marketers connect customer and market insights  Strategist — product marketers direct a product’s go-to-market  Storyteller — product marketers shape perceptions of product Evangelist — product marketers empower others in your company to represent and share the product  [17:30] “You do not need the title ‘product marketer’ to be driving forward the most important product marketing” [18:30] In early-stage companies, founders tend to lead product marketing [19:00] Growth requires using product marketing to shape markets [20:00] The importance of product curiosity and technical competence [25:30] Why good product marketers share many qualities with good product managers [29:00] Data is essential to finding your product marketing focus, especially as you enter your growth stage as a company [30:00] There’s never just one obstacle to growth, and PMMs give us the high-level perspective we need to see where problems intersect  

    • 37 min
    Trailer: Unlock Product Marketing

    Trailer: Unlock Product Marketing

    Product marketing is the foundation for better product. It should play a strategic role in your business from day one. It's a product discipline to master and respect—not just a list of jobs to be done. 
    But product marketers continue to struggle with recognition. Because the discipline is still new, the way product leaders think about product marketing is continuously evolving. 
    That’s why Innovatemap’s Tina Hafer and Leanna Adeola are taking over the Better Product podcast for a special series on the power of product marketing. Alongside fellow industry experts, they’ll explore why digital products need product marketing to accelerate growth, how company leaders can best equip product marketers, and the potential product marketers have as the translation point between product, sales, marketing, executives, and most of all, your audience. 
    We're exploring product marketing's past, present, and future with: 
    Martina Lauchengco, author of LOVED: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products, and partner at Costonoa Ventures Catherine Spence, VP of Global Marketing at Microblink Kim Biddings Johnson, VP of Product at BIO-key International
    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community.

    • 1 min
    The Power of Your Positioning

    The Power of Your Positioning

    How you position your product can help you connect with the people who most need it, unlocking rapid growth for your company. But first, you need a solid foundation. Today, Christian and Meghan discuss what product leaders get right vs. wrong when positioning their products. Led by Meghan’s insights in product marketing, we’ll also walk through a process any team can use to find a position that will give you a cutting edge while letting you stay true to who you are. 
     
    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community. 
     
    Takeaways: 
    To create a positioning strategy, you need:  A foundational statement that is the truth of your product  Benefit pillars that focus on your differentiators  A description of your product features as proof  Positioning work is internal, but it should inform the external.  Test your positioning’s effectiveness by asking if it’s simple, meaningful, repeatable, and relevant. 


    Things To Listen For: 
    [1:30] Friday recordings, turning 40, and why smart people have worse memories 
    [2:30] Icebreaker: if you could debate anyone, real or not, who would it be? 
    [3:00] Meghan’s hot take: “90% of cars are so much uglier than they have to be”
    [4:00] Christian’s defense of minivan designs and the 2014 Toyota Sienna 
    [9:30] Today’s topic: how we shape perceptions of our product with positioning 
    [10:00] Positioning says who you are and why you matter
    [11:00] “Positioning at its core is your north star; it should set the course” 
    [12:00] How appreciation for positioning in product has evolved over time 
    [12:30] Increasingly, product marketers and product designers are working together to bring positioning to life (see our episode on Pinterest)
    [13:30] Can you tell if a product is positioned well from an outside perspective? 
    [14:30] Your positioning works if it’s simple, meaningful, repeatable, and relevant 
    [15:00] Positioning statements must be factual and true to who you are 
    [16:30] Positioning explains why your designers are designing, and for whom 
    [18:00] How to start applying your positioning to a product roadmap 
    [20:00] What to do about positioning when you’re an in-house product marketer
    [24:00] Why to revisit positioning as your company grows and hires new leaders
    [25:30] Consider changing your positioning when something foundational shifts
    [28:00] Previewing our upcoming series, Unlock Product Marketing
     

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    • 30 min
    Elon Musk, Twitter, and Ego in Product

    Elon Musk, Twitter, and Ego in Product

    For better and for worse, ego follows us all into our work lives. But leaders must pay special attention to what role ego plays in building a product. Sometimes, ego can be the charisma an early-stage founder needs to get attention for what they’re creating. Other times, ego is a roadblock that can lead to ignoring critical perspectives from users and the product team. Using Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase as a case study, today’s show explores what role ego plays in product, when to use it to your advantage, and when to empower others to take charge. 
     
    Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see the latest in Better Product, a show part of the Better Product Community powered by Innovatemap. The community is the connection point for product leaders & practitioners to learn and share what it takes to design, build, market, and sell better products. Learn more at betterproduct.community. 
     
    Takeaways: 
    Ego can help people believe in your product, but it can’t guide everything.  Strive to create a “cabinet of rivals” to balance your product perspective.  How you position your product should be true AND feel true. 


    Things To Listen For: 
    [1:00] A new room for Erica’s new role: “product therapist”
    [4:00] Our icebreaker: what company would you buy if you had the money? 
    [10:00] Twitter’s new features and overall progress in the digital product space 
    [14:00] Ego can have an outsized influence in spaces that are driven by people, including social networks like Twitter
    [16:00] “You can’t scale human behavior the way that you scale battery factories” - and social platforms scale “the best and the worst” of humanity 
    [20:00] How to think about ego in your own product career
    [23:30] Strive to have a “cabinet of rivals” to keep your ego in check 
    [24:00] You need ego in the early stage to rally people around your product vision
    [25:30] You need a little bit of ego to sell a new or unusual idea—because if you don’t believe in it, no one else will 
    [26:00] How to think about ego when creating your positioning statement
    [28:00] Positioning statements about your product can be like “Tinker Bell”
    [29:30] Don’t be a dictator; trust your product team to create to the vision

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

Arlie K ,

Actionable + Empowering!

What better way to keep up with the latest in the world of product management than to hear directly from leaders and innovators shaping the industry? Better Product has quicky become a favorite in my feed - I learn so much every time I listen! Highly recommend.

ASobering ,

Such a wealth of knowledge! 🧠

This is one of the most insightful podcasts that I have ever come across! Christian and Meghan do such a great job of sharing their wisdom and I love how they lead meaningful conversations with guests who bring so much experience to the table. Highly recommend checking this show out - you won’t be disappointed!

JoshCrist ,

Must-listen! 🔥

If you lead a product team, work in product management or have any dreams of someday building a product that makes a mark on the world - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Anna and Christian do an incredible job bringing guests on the show that cover a huge breadth of topics related to building great, beautiful products - and pulling back the veil on what it actually takes to bring products to the world that make your customers’ lives better!

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