The #mockstock movement

#mockstock

How novel techniques, like #mockstock can improve sales enablement programs and enhance go to market execution.

It has been a few months but I am sure all those in marketing circles would have noticed people like Guy Kawasaki and Vince Vaughn and team use mock stock (#mockstock) as a means of playful promotion. You know, when they pose in those cheesy settings that look just like marketing stock photos.

Sure, it looks funny. But I say…. POSERS! Late to the game posers! I am the originator of this movement and it is called #mockstock. Before these glory hounds jumped on the #mockstock bandwagon I was forging new ground. Defining a new phenomenon – the #mockstock movement.

#mockstock posers

Before these glory hounds jumped on the #mockstock bandwagon I was forging new ground. Defining a new phenomenon – the #mockstock movement.

The Challenge

The year was 2009. I, with my killer squad product marketers and product managers were mulling over how to get our sales enablement resources to be more effective. We had the value propositions; the competitive reviews; the webinars; the case studies; the testimonials; the regular updates. All of this on an Intranet – back when Intranets were cool. But, getting adoption from the sales team was a struggle.

All of this on an Intranet – back when Intranets were cool.

Those that bothered to look up the product home on the Intranet said they found some of the content dry. For others, well it was just easier to ask a product marketer for help any time they needed it; that was the path of least resistance. For the rest….. well I am convinced there were sales brochures from before I was born in those leather-bounds.

We needed an idea to greatly improve adoption of the sales enablement resources. Sales enablement, part of the ‘build buy-in’ process is a responsibility of product marketers and go to market professionals. It is one of the three tenets of product marketing: Build Business, Build Brand, Build Buy-in.

Three tenets of product marketing: Build Business, Build Brand, Build Buy-in.

three tenets of product marketing

The Three Tenets of Product Marketing

As an APAC operation we had people scattered across the region. I had product marketers in different countries and product managers in different states. Providing support to an equally scattered sales organisation was a challenge, especially when many of the team had never met the people they were supporting.

1:1 sales support was chewing up valuable hours in the team. This was not a sustainable model across several time zones. We had to ensure the whole team was getting the latest enablement resources – to help improve opportunity-to-sale conversion rates. We had to find a way to cut through – to make the content more palatable, to get more of the sales team enthused and to convince other sales people to get on board.

The Solution

Product marketer Sam – being a bit of an English smart-mouth, jokingly suggested we create our own stock image library to convey our value propositions and market messages. He suggested that there is no meaning in having some constipated-looking, suit-clad model associated to our value propositions. Why not mix it up. Let it be us whom are the subjects in the picture and have a bit of fun with it.

The boy was a genius! Over the next 15 minutes we had formulated the shoot location and locked in the schedule for the first shoot.

I know – on the surface this looks like little more than a distraction: a few product marketers fart-arsing around and losing focus. However, this could potentially solve a number of the challenges we had in a novel way. I will come back to novelty in a moment.

Getting broad adoption of the product home on the Intranet was paramount. Everything the team needs is in one spot and that would be the only spot to get enablement resources. We had a large portfolio of products to cover, from different lines of business, from around the world. It was critical we drove all enablement activities through the one home page; to avoid content splintering.

This #mockstock idea was potentially a unique way to create a vibe around the product home. I was pretty sure it would go viral internally. It was time to channel our inner Vogue….. with a side of cheese. I have provided some of the teams fine work here, but without branding and propositions.

#mockstock showcase

 

#mockstock: channel your inner vogue, with a side of cheese.

The results were great. The product home totally ‘owned’ the Intranet: it was by far the most visited part of the Intranet within days and ongoing. Everyone was talking about how cool (read dorky) the team looked. The key being, they were talking about it. The team in Sydney got to know a little more about the guys in Singapore and Beijing. And, you know what? The product team felt chuffed. This was great profile for them and they had a blast.

#mockstock stacks up

By using #mockstock as a way of communicating market messages and value propositions we were able to resolve some challenges with our sales enablement program. Content got noticed, shared around, used and was driving traffic to the product home.

What this was really about was tapping into the novelty factor. We decided to mix things up to improve our sales enablement program. That is the real lesson we took away. Product Marketers should be prepared to look for fresh ideas to build business, build brand and build buy-in. As soon as you settle on a ‘formula’ you will go stale. Try new things: iterate what works and trash what doesn’t. Be creative and have some fun.

Try new things: iterate what works and trash what doesn’t. Be creative and have some fun.

#mockstock is no silver bullet for break-through product marketing, but it might be just what you need to mix things up and keep it fresh. If you try it out make sure you share your portfolio around, #mockstock.

When not posing for high-cheese #mockstock photography Sean is espousing the virtues of great go to market practice through the Brainmates Ready, Set Go to Market training course in Australia.

This post was originally published on Medium.