Presenting features to customers

What makes storytelling different with customers, and how to find stories that reach both multiple audiences.

Mar 14, 2024

Mar 14, 2024

Why marketing releases fail with customers

Today, we’ll talk about what happens with updates that go directly to customers. Customer positioning is different from general marketing releases because the audience already uses your product. Your mission is to help them navigate a change, so they understand what your product else can now do for them.

Customers have a different starting point than someone evaluating your product for the first time. When you add something into the product, you’re building on your customer’s existing understanding. As your product grows, even engaged customers can fall behind — they are missing out!

In reality, ongoing product updates follow a funnel:

If you’re coming from the marketing team, most of this funnel should feel familiar.

When your product evolves over time, each update goes through the same funnel again. Adding capabilities to your product is step one, and good product updates increase the odds of reaching people who will value it. This is also why feature adoption isn’t as straightforward as it appears — and how you can end up with longtime customers who have stale views of your product’s capabilities.

You can think of it in four phases:

  1. Capabilities. What your product does.

  2. Awareness. What a customer knows your product can do

  3. Adoption. Which features of your product the customer uses (or has tried). Friction starts here, including change management.

  4. Engagement. Which features of your product the customer finds valuable (and continues to use)

Without understanding the influence changes have on your customer’s understanding of the product, it’s hard to go further into the funnel. What does this mean for your strategy communicating product updates?

Storytelling can affect both awareness and adoption. The goal of updates is to connect customers with relevant changes, so they can get the most out of your product over time. Stories which do this effectively: Today you do it this way → after this change, you can do it this way…

[TODO: WRAP UP]

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