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Fix this

When it comes to driving revenue we obsess over tactics.

When so often the root cause is actually positioning, which is a company problem not just a marketing problem.

When sales and marketing efforts are stuck or slowing down, it's rarely because you need to unlock a new channel, or because you are not using the latest martech tool.

It is most often a positioning problem. But it is much easier to toss the blame on sales + marketing efforts and ask those teams to do more - because positioning is a whole company issue.

Changing the product roadmap, ideal customer profile, pricing/packaging, and how you talk about what you do -- well shoot that is a ton of work, and there's a lot of feelings and opinions, and there's this team who we already committed to doing X for, and investing Y in this, and it goes on for ever.

But it's most often positioning that needs to be changed because the context for your market/customers has changed.

And the solution is not buying intent data from a new vendor, doing new field events, or hammering on outbound. Those things wont work without the right company story + positioning.

With the reality of budget cuts, less headcount, and mounting pressure to hit targets right now there is no better time to take a hard look at positioning.

Strong positioning is knowing the value you deliver that no other product on the market can for your ideal customer.

Best of all, you can make these improvements without additional budget or new hires (there's something that will make the CFO happy).


Some resources I've used over the years to get smarter on positioning:

  • Obviously Awesome - book by April Dunford
  • Story Brand - book by Donald Miller
  • Positioning - book by Al Reis & Jack Trout
  • 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - book by those same guys
  • Google Andy Raskin "Drift greatest sales deck ever"
  • Keep it simple to start if you need and focus on answering:
    • Who is our product for?
    • What does our product do?
    • Why is it better than the alternatives?

But most importantly don't obsess over one framework. Make it your own. Take some nuggets from each of those books. Spend $40 to get some books, read them in a week (they short business books and easy to read even for slow readers like myself). Then take some lessons and begin to apply them to your business. When I was at Privy and we did a re-positioning exercise, we read both Obviously Awesome and Story Brand and used both together to make our own way of doing positioning. Make it yours. But go and flip through. some of these resources and 10 days from now you can be that much smarter about positioning I promise you that.


And remember that positioning is a COMPANY problem - marketing can be the one to identify and lead the team that is going to tackle this, but if you don't have product, sales, CS, and the executives bought in, all you're really going to end up with is new website messaging...


- Dave 

Podcast: Salesloft CMO Lauren Vaccarello

My guest this week is Lauren Vaccarello who's now the CMO at Salesloft. We talk about the first six months in her new role, what to look for when evaluating marketing leadership roles, the relationship between sales and marketing, and lessons from her experiences from public company CMO to startup marketing exec to head of digital at Salesforce in the early 2010's -- and more. Including how she spent $7M on a two year takeover of the Wall Street Journal homepage and why Salesforce did it, which is a fun little story if you're into brand + measuring brand + how to think about a brand strategy.


Search "Exit Five Podcast" wherever you listen to yours and you'll see it.


Listen on Spotify


Listen on Apple Podcasts

Past episodes include: 

- 16 lessons to know going from marketing manager to CMO in four years
- What is means to be a media company, building an audience, and community

- Building your 2023 marketing plan

- How to make smart marketing bets and scale marketing programs before you need them

- What to do when there's no urgency to buy

- 6Sense CMO Latane Conant on growing 100% YoY the last four years

- Why + how to do win/loss analysis 

- And many more - we put out a new podcast episode on B2B marketing every week and I know you'll get something out of it if you're subscribed here to my newsletter.


Shoutout to my friends at Demandwell for sponsoring the podcast. Demandwell is the best SEO solution for B2B SaaS marketers. They’ve helped customers like Lessonly drive 40% of their revenue from organic search. And they helped Terminus’s make organic search their number one source of demos. Check them out. Tell them you heard about them from Exit Five.


33 Open Jobs Right Now - Exit Five Job Board

The Exit Five job board reaches ~4,000 B2B marketing candidates each month and it's a great place to get more eyeballs on your open roles (or to browse if you're reading this and looking for something new).


This week there's a great open role at Spot.AI - they are looking for a Director of Product Marketing, $160k - $220k - Remote from anywhere.

Plus 32 other open roles worth looking at :)


Learn more at jobs.exitfive.com.

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There are 10-12 posts/day asking everything from anonymous career questions to vendor/agency recommendations to just "can you gut check this for me."


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See you in there.


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