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Editorial

Marketing Considerations on Product Discoverability

4 minute read
Sanjay Sarathy avatar
Discovering a product is only the first step. Marketers need to help prospects and customers find new ways to obtain value.

Every startup needs to be discovered. It's the reason for the existence of service providers like Product Hunt and others like it.

Take the world of martech, for example. It's a very broad category and today covers 9,900+ companies in approximately six major buckets and dozens of sub-buckets. If we think about discoverability as the process by which a user uncovers new products or functionality they weren’t previously aware of, then this incredibly crowded market is a testament to how much work both vendors and potential users have to do to resonate with one another. 

But discoverability goes beyond attracting new users. Even after users discover an organization and its product(s), companies need to understand the mechanics of helping them to find new ways to obtain value. If you're a multi-product company, well, then you’ve just added another layer of complexity to this topic. We must also not forget the additional go-to-market nuance that faces multiple SaaS companies today, which revolves around supporting both product-led growth (PLG) and enterprise funnels.

Here are some of the considerations for you, as a SaaS marketer, to consider as you develop and refine your discoverability strategy:

Discoverability Is Rarely One-Size-Fits-All

Discoverability is contingent on several variables, so it will look different for each company. Take the example of building social images, a relatively popular media use case.

Content to help a developer build these in a popular front-end framework like React is fundamentally different from the content to help social media managers automate building these in a modern DAM.

Related Article: 5 Insights Into the 9,932-Marketing Technology Landscape

Divide Your Discoverability Tactics Into Two

Address users who are unfamiliar with your company and those who have engaged before to varying degrees. You can’t expect to get optimal results from these two vastly different audiences with the same messaging.

That may seem like common sense, but it’s a crucial step that often gets overlooked or taken for granted. 

Not Every Capability Can or Should Be Equally Discoverable

From there, every company will face decisions on where and how to draw user attention to capabilities that will drive maximum value. There will be core messages that appeal to both groups and will be central to your brand perception in the market.

Rely on those as a foundation, but quickly look to get more granular about specific features and benefits as they move through the sales cycle or flywheel.

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: 8 Ways to Improve Your Brand's Product Experience

Craft Value From the User's Perspective

This is crucial. Your go-to-market strategy should be centered around user needs, not just your own business goals. Based on the number of newsletters and other unsolicited content pieces I receive daily, there's a vast difference in engagement quality between those that are excellent and those content items that, unfortunately, never asked the question, "Why should Sanjay pay attention?"

Prioritize the main points first and then go into detail about the specific advantages that address the unique obstacles and issues faced by each user type.

Discoverability Spans Both Out-of-Product and In-Product Experiences

Discovering the ideal transition between out-of-product and in-product experiences is another primary consideration as marketers work to make users feel like moving through the funnel is a natural part of their journey.

This might be the toughest part of the entire process — making the perception of support seamless as they move from prospect to user. This is where customer education around specific features plays such a big part, which can be done by working with the product team to make product walkthroughs and tutorials hyper-relevant to each new user, and sharing relevant courses and links to documentation to make it easy to use the product.

This helps them get comfortable with the product and helps them learn about more advanced features to keep them happy, or even help upsell them on more robust packages. 

Discoverability Is Never a Settled Science

The marketer’s job of introducing the brand to new users and making it easy for them to see clear value in the company’s product(s) is never finished. The needs of the user, the features of the platform and the messaging/channels/strategies for making those connections will always evolve. 

But it’s essential to build a go-to-market framework that relies on these key points to succeed. The job is never done, but using these concepts as the guiding principles will help keep you on the right path and continue to attract new users to your brand, platform and complete suite of features.

About the author

Sanjay Sarathy

Sanjay Sarathy is VP developer experience at Cloudinary, a provider of end-to-end digital media management solutions. With more than twenty years experience in leading global marketing programs, his work spans tech startups and established market leaders in SaaS, Big Data, analytics and e-commerce.

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