Marketing, Product Management

Know your Product – Pitch it

Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.

Contrary to what most Americans seem to believe, that quote meaning “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.” is actually from Blaise Pascal.

But OK, you might have heard of Mark Twain’s variation: “If I Had More Time I Would Write a Shorter Letter”.

A mentor of mine also told me: “If you can explain it to your mom, then you probably found the best way to tell about your product”.

A Product Pitch is especially tricky as it needs to be very short, simple and clear. I’d say it’s one of the hardest exercises to succeed at. It is also probably the best exercise to go through when you want to streamline your product strategy and marketing. You will have to:

  • make a clear statement of the problem you are trying to solve
  • for who you are trying to solve that problem
  • how your solution materializes
  • how do you position yourself against competitors
  • how you will market your solution
  • what will be the direct benefits of your solution
  • what vision does you product encompasses for the market

Depending on who you’re pitching to, you might have to add more information on the business model, your core team, or even revenues, if you’re that far. You might also decide that some of this information is confidential, and skip it. Worst case you’ll get questions. Or your target for the pitch wasn’t the right one.

During the ubi i/o program, we’ve had several occasions to write, improve, and practice pitching. We’ve done it in front of our peers, but also during events such as the VentureScape 2015, by NVCA, or the Pitch Force event.

For that specific event, we had to fit our pitch within 4 minutes and 8 slides, including cover. I found it a good format, and a good compromise for matching all of the criteria quote above.

An other constraint you’ll want to add, is to keep your visuals simple, with as less text as possible. An know your pitch by heart. 4 minutes is really short, and you might not have any view on presenter’s notes.

Anyways, if you’re struggling with writing your marketing material, or if you’re still hesitating on how to focus and prioritize your product’s features, working out a pitch should greatly help you.

Good luck with it 😉

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