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How do product marketers track competitor analysis in Productboard?

  • 5 November 2021
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Thought it would be exciting to learn how others are approaching competitor analysis and feature comparison tracking in Productboard. Having started using Productboard years ago, a lot of new features have come out that we didn’t have before that may be a better way to track competitor / market research / analysis within Productboard. 

Seems we track the market well outside of Productboard but I admit we do a poor job tracking it inside Productboard today. Which I feel would offer a lot of value for us in discussing and planning product initiatives. 

Anyone else relate to this or have some best practices for how you organize market and competitor data in Productboard?

Please AND thank you! :grinning:

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Best answer by scott.baldwin 5 November 2021, 18:40

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Hi @kevinmaccauley,

Great question. I can speak to how I used to do it when I was a product leader and PM using Productboard. My approach was two-pronged:

We had a product called Competitors and within that components for each major competitor. We a Slack channel for competitors and also encourage anyone in the company to share new learnings there. We’d push those into Productboard as notes and turned them into Insights that we attached to each component. Product Marketing would then use those insights to shape a summary battlecard for each competitor. For example, something like this:

Then we’d add those battlecards to the Competitors section in Productboard’s Feature board so they could be used by the product managers when prioritizing. We’d create a competitor for each main one we’d want to track, then add details like URL, key features, SWOT, etc. in a battlecard format within the description. You can even template these using our new Labs feature. For example, something like this:

Then product managers could add select competitors to their boards and follow these steps to evaluate the competitive importance.

Now we also have Salesforce integrations that can bring more information into this, including capturing Opportunities and win/loss details as notes.

Would love to hear how you’d like to see this working in Productboard. What would you want to have access to?

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@scott.baldwin love these suggestions - and makes total sense. I like how it breaks down competitors in a few different ways to make the information useful for more than one use case. 

Gotta check that new labs feature out too!

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Thanks @kevinmaccauley. Would love to hear an answer to my question though -- always interested in learning what problems and needs they have with how Productboard works today in this area and how we can do better. LMK your thoughts :grinning:

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Would love to hear how you’d like to see this working in Productboard. What would you want to have access to?

 

Oh, I would love to have a dedicated space for competitive analysis in Productboard. I do like the workaround that you’ve provided though, @scott.baldwin

Some thoughts/suggestions: 

  • Have a competitive analysis “board” 
  • Use a similar module as the notes used through Productboard
  • Continue usage of tags (for better sorting of competitive types)
  • Means of quantifying or associating reasons why deals were lost to competitors (not just notes)
    • We could probably use tags for this, but I feel that it could easily conflate tagging when there are overlaps of tags, perhaps. 
  • Commenting from sales teams on competitor-only board (maybe a “sales contributor” role - I guess we could just use the existing sharing/permission-based access). 

I know PB isn’t exactly about “that side” of product management, but it would be a really interesting way to expand into that space while being mostly safe on the UI (reusing assets, for the most part). Maybe the whole aspect of attaching documents (which has been brought up for other purposes) could be used here as well (instead of remote links). 

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Speaking from the perspective of how Productboard uses Productboard I’ll +1 what Scott said above.

In addition to maintaining a part of the Features hierarchy that represents our competitors, within each competitor component I’ve also used subcomponents to capture the differentiators that was have over that competitor and another that represents the differentiators they have over Productboard.

For example, some roadmapping solutions offer the ability to create something akin to a PowerPoint presentation based on your roadmap in the tool. Today Productboard doesn’t offer anything like this, but when a user reaches out about that capability and references the competitor in question we can link it to a feature representing that differentiator. (It might also get linked to an actual feature idea we have for this idea.)

It has been interesting to see the emergence of products like Klue that are specifically designed for this use case of collaborating over competitor research by capturing inputs from market-facing colleagues. Even then, Productboard offers some advantages for consolidating/analyzing incoming qualitative feedback. So even though it’s something of a workaround, Productboard is reasonably effective for this use case, even compared to dedicated competitive intel tools.

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This thread has been very useful to me! I found the “competitor” function a bit shortcoming, but with creating an extra product for all competitors, the circle is full. Thanks!

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