How To Create a Tech Product Story Everyone Wants To Tell

We all know poor messaging will torpedo the potential success of even the greatest product. It doesn’t matter if your business has existed for five years or five months, getting your messaging right will be critical to its success and ability to scale. 

And yes, you can trust a great marketing strategist to get the ball rolling by creating a sound messaging hierarchy that articulates the company’s value proposition, its value proof and the ever so important “why now” claims that derive from its GTM strategy. 

But good product stories, the kind that move human beings to take action, require us to take it some steps further. Creating a product story should be crafted with the intent to align your entire ecosystem – employees, stakeholders, investors and your potential customers – around one shared narrative that sticks.

Here’s the basic flow we try to follow when approaching a new storytelling project:

#1 We start with, well…of course, the product

So it might seem cliché to start this off by talking about why any marketer attempting to create a product story, should start by really, really (really!) getting to know the product. 

But clichés become so, for a reason. They’re just true. So let’s go at it anyway and be really quick: As a successful product storyteller you have to achieve at least third place in the “who knows best to speak about the product” category (coming close behind the CEO and CTO). 

The  best creative ideas can only blossom when we’ve listened to the sales, product and business development teams, to the CEO, to investors, to our competition – and understand what is that thing that’s broken in their world, that we are trying to fix.

#2 We start early  

Startups, and more so the ones here in Israel, tend to believe that you can build a product, release it to the WORLD (GTM, anyone?) and only hire a marketer when you need to scale. Well, if you had to take away just one thing from this, it would be: please don’t do that. 

Your product story is this core element that provides the essential infrastructure for marketing, pretty much from day one. In this aspect, we tend to follow way behind the US, in our sense, with no good reason. 

But in terms of how early you start, don’t be mistaken: a good product story has to reflect a thought-out positioning process and GTM strategy, or it has no chance of sticking. A compelling story must be accurate about the pain our product solves, and who we target to be the firsts we can solve it for

It should also go beyond where the product is now, giving founders the freedom to move forward with their vision of the product, regardless of its current stage of development or performance.

#3 Does it mean a big branding process? Not necessarily!

CEO’s, you can stop sweating… 

While delivering a new story, of any kind, always entails developing new brand assets: visuals, video, web etc – any existing brand can very well carry a good new story, if we remember the storyteller’s role to look at the big picture. 

In many cases, for many startups we work with, the only way to get anything new out there is to build on whatever brand assets they already have. They simply do not have the attention span, the budget and resources for a completely new brand to support the story. So we treat it like building blocks: using what ever we can and adding layers that can be lingual, visual, moving – and together make up one comprehensive concept.

#4 We understand this story is meant to be told by everyone  

The best stories offer a clear narrative that aligns your entire team and ecosystem around a shared vision, but leaves room for personalization. And that becomes clearer when we set out to avoid colliding at the marketing-sales-misalignment junction

Sales put on a one-man show, and it’s our job to make sure they have everything they need to passionately sell (with some space to wing it!). If it’s not easy and natural for them, it’s not going to work. And all that hard work put into building that storytelling narrative by marketing is put to waste. 

That will be the case with every team we collaborate with, and for each one we need to find new creative ways to get them on board and make it work for them.

#5 We sell it in 

Once a story has been created, if you don’t feel excited by it, you are simply not there yet. When you do arrive at a story that excites you, that’s great. As the one leading this storytelling process – you need to sell it:

  1. Understand there really is no template: we have to be creative in every aspect of not just the story itself, but in how we get to stick with all stakeholders involved. 
    Be dazzlingly prepared, making sure every element of the story is fully thought out and reflected as a specific asset you plan to develop to support it
  2. Go over all these story elements and brand assets and mark which ones you’ll fight for, and the ones you can let go. Because people get emotional about stories, brands and products, and it will be your job, eventually, to make them all buy into it.


Food for thought: how we turn claims into stories 

Now this is the fun part. As tech product storytellers we aspire to be just the right amount of business strategist, marketer, content writer, designer, videographer and creative director (anything else you can throw in the mix will probably also come in handy). 

When all of these traits are put into work, and we surround ourselves with the right people to execute each element and create each asset – the really great stories are born.


Learn more on how we do product marketing on our blog, or contact us to become our next storytelling obsession.

How We Use ABM to Target Competitors’ Customers [2 – Tech and Tools]

This is a series about a recent ABM challenge and campaign we had with a client. If you just landed here, I recommend you start with Part 1 where I explain the challenge, the ABM Framework and the process plan.

Building The ABM Target Account List and Tech Stack

Building the target account list is one of the most important foundations of a successful ABM campaign. There are different ways to achieve this. Using your CRM or popular data providers are the most common. In our project, since we were targeting customers of competing solutions, this was not enough. Our client’s CRM could not be the main source of target accounts as, while they may have accounts that overlap, it would not provide a comprehensive source of the customers of competitors. 

We also found that the most common data providers rarely had what we needed: In-depth technographics data. Technographics data is the analysis of the technology stack a company uses, and in our case, we were looking for Threat Identification and Access Management solutions. We had to check various data providers before we found one that had the data we were looking for. One last comment regarding using intent data to build account lists — yes, intent data is super important and there are some very good data providers for intent data (Bambora, to name one), but in our case this was not necessary since we were dealing with accounts that had a competing solution, and that was more than enough to establish intent.

Pro Tip: For targeting competing solutions, first identify a list of 5-6 competitors, and then start testing different technographics data providers. You should aim to have at least 800 accounts to target, with at least 2-3 roles in each account.

ABM Setup: How we Chose Our Tech Stack, Platforms and Tools

Each pillar requires different tools and services. Pillar 1 requires technographic and intent data tools for list building and accounts prioritization, paid media, and content syndication platforms (for target accounts outreach). Pillar 2 and 3 require data providers for leads enrichment, marketing automation, and SDR service (which, in some cases, have their own tools).

There are some highly advanced tools that will handle an ABM campaign end-to-end. Demandbase is one such solution, but after looking into it, we felt it is geared towards long-term campaigns and, hence, requires a high level of commitment and the need to rely on their paid media capabilities. So, it’s not right for every ABM campaign. In our case, as it was this company’s first ABM campaign, we decided it was too early to commit to.

We put lots of effort into finding the right technographic tools. Some solutions are able to provide insights only for major products and technologies of known brands like Salesforce, Microsoft and others. They fail when it comes to less common technologies — which are the majority. You should check and test each tool you’re considering, if the products and technologies you’re looking for are actually covered.

In our search to build the right tech stack, we found that some ABM platforms have a minimum ad-budget spend, which was too high for us and not needed in this campaign. Instead, we invested our budget in content syndication, where we believed we would get more and quicker exposure.

Pro Tip: In a campaign targeting competitors, make sure you check where your competitors spend their marketing budget — there are many tools that provide this kind of data. You should consider a similar approach to their channels to attract the same customers.


Interested in learning how we manage, qualify and monitor accounts? Stay tuned for Part 3

The Six Content Sins Startups Constantly Make

While not everyone is born a great writer, we can all become better ones by avoiding these common mistakes

Content is an excellent and cost-effective way to build brand awareness and generate leads, while showcasing a startup’s unique attributes and expertise. Startups, however, tend to underestimate the unique requirements involved in developing content that resonates. The result is often that it detracts from, rather than enhances, their product story. By simply avoiding these six sins, content producers can radically improve the impact of their work. 

Sin 1: Not telling a story people want to hear

Developing an idea to become a MVP is an all-encompassing challenge for hi-tech startups. It takes time, commitment and focus. But when going to market that focus needs to switch from internal to external. Too many startups produce content that takes a deep dive into the technology, rather than focusing on its benefits. End-users are not particularly interested in what’s under the hood, as many solutions will make indistinguishable claims about their tech prowess. What they are interested in, however, is how this solution will make their business better — whether that is more efficient, more cost-effective, more competitive, more scalable, and so on. While the technology may have wowed the founders and investors, when going to market it is the benefits that will wow potential customers.

So, stop producing unnecessarily complex whitepapers or blogs on your technology and tell a story that lets customers understand the problems your solution solves. Tell them a story they want to hear, a story that explains to them what your solution will do to benefit their business. 

Sin 2: Jumping in without a plan

Sometimes the biggest barrier to creating successful content is having founders (or employees) that can write. It sounds counter-intuitive, but having the gift to be able to open a laptop and start pounding keys to produce coherent content often means the temptation to dive in without a plan is overwhelming. Startups are intense and a drain on everyone’s time, so producing content without a publishing plan usually ends up with people not sticking with the process. Blogs suddenly stop, email marketing becomes hap-hazard and social media posts infrequent — this is especially when immediate results are not seen and the content producer(s) become quickly demotivated and frustrated. Such lack of consistency reflects badly on the commitment of a startup when prospective customers, investors or journalists visit its website. So, avoid the temptation to post without a plan regarding the types of posts and their frequency. This will keep you focused, ensure your audience knows when to expect content and builds a solid foundation of regular content that can be built upon as you scale.

Sin 3: Not thinking like a journalist 

As a former journalist for Ireland’s biggest-selling broadsheet newspaper, of course I would say that! But there is a process that every (good) journalist brings to the table before they start writing — the 5 Ws (and a H). This stands for the Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How). It provides a structured way of thinking about an idea and developing it into a structured piece of content. The result should be a piece that communicates all the various elements that are of interest to readers. If more blog writers followed this simple formula, pointless, meandering blog posts lacking focus and information could finally become a thing of the past (but don’t hold your breath).

Sin 4: Writing five words when two will do

Brevity is a blessing in writing. Just like people hate a gas bag (a person who talks far too much about unimportant things) in real life, they also cannot stand reading bloated prose that takes an age before getting to the point. Take note from George Orwell and you won’t go too far wrong: “If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.” So, always focus on cutting out unnecessary words.  

Sin 5: Being your own editor

The ability to write something and self publish online in seconds is the biggest enemy of good content. Writers simply cannot satisfactorily review their own content. Forget about egos and bias, even the best writers, when reviewing their own work, will be too fixated on the overall flow, style and structure to focus on catching every small typo or formatting mistake. Having another set of eyeballs review your content is good, having several sets is best.

Sin 6: Thinking amplification is only for electric guitars

You’ve heard the phrase, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same can be said of content that is published but not promoted. Creating content for your audience is pointless if they are not around to read it. So, you need to increase the chances relevant people can find your content. Content amplification uses online platforms or channels to promote your content to boost ROI and brand awareness. This can easily be done for free using social media, email newsletters and working with partners. If you fail to amplify your content, why bother writing it in the first place?


Lessons to be learned

Writing a blog or other marketing content is not rocket science. It does, however, take preplanning, a structured approach and a focus on resonating with your audience. There are lots of resources online that can help but a good starting point for guidance on how to write perfect prose is George Orwell’s Six Rules

Writing is a skill that can be perfected over time, so use feedback and experience to constantly reevaluate and improve the content you produce. The simple rule that trumps all others is to remember to persevere and write. And if you are procrastinating just think of the words of American novelist Jodi Picoult — “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”


If your content marketing is failing to make an impact or needs a kickstart, click here to let Forabilis make it happen for you.

How We Use ABM to Target Competitors’ Customers [1 – intro]

Approaching the ABM Challenge

We received an intriguing challenge from one of our clients, a leading Threat Identification company — generate sales-qualified leads targeting the customers of our competitors. This was a dream project for us. We’ve done ABM campaigns in the past, but this one allowed us to hone our skills even further.

Since ABM is a term widely used, here’s how Forabilis defines it: ABM is account-based targeting for sales, focusing purely on accounts — not on individuals. To achieve this marketing and sales have to work closely together. Using ABM, we zone in on the quality of the accounts we target, instead of the traditional marketing approach which focuses on the number of leads. Essentially, what we try to do is to focus on accounts that have displayed interest in the solution category (in this case, through usage of competing solutions) rather than simply delivering MQLs.

Now, here’s what’s cool about targeting competitors’ accounts: These accounts have the budget, they know what they’re looking for in a solution, and what’s not working for them in the solution they are already using. So, they are well past the awareness phase. Because they are unique in that sense, we knew we had to rethink our channels, our messaging, and the content we serve them.

How We Look at the ABM Framework and Why

We look at ABM holistically, as a 3-Pillar process. It starts with marketing as the sole owner, then transitions to marketing playing the leading role while working with sales, and, finally, with marketing moving to support sales in their efforts to generate opportunities. Each phase is aimed at driving the accounts down the funnel. Each phase has its own goals, targets, tactics, and KPIs.

Sample ABM 3-Pillar Framework

Pro Tip: Shortcuts don’t work. While there is lots of pressure from management and from sales to deliver the accounts faster, and skip, for example, Pillar 2, your role as a marketing leader is to push back. Remember, you should deliver quality, not quantity. 

What an ABM Process Plan Looks Like

An ABM campaign takes a while to plan. We started with a short discovery process to be able to better define our target personas and target accounts, as well as understand the competition. We were looking for “hooks” that would enable us to create specific messaging, based on unique value compared to the competition. Together with the planning phase, we’re looking at 4-6 weeks.

Setting up Pillar 1 would take 4-6 weeks, and that would include finding the right tech stack for the project, building the account lists, defining the content and creating it. You need to run the awareness campaign, which is Pillar 1, for at least 12 weeks to get the results you need to move to Pillar 2. And while it’s running, in parallel, you can prepare for Pillar 2. The same goes for Pillar 3 — you prepare it while running Pillar 2. At some point, all three pillars run in parallel, with continuous optimization. Pending budget, of course.

General ABM Process Plan

#1 Discovery: Target audience, definition of target accounts, personas, messaging, marketing and sales content audit (2-3 weeks)

#2 Planning: Funnel, KPIs, channels, martech stack, tools, timeline and budget (2-3 weeks)

#3 Execution Pillar 1: Setup, execution and optimization (12 weeks)

#4 Execution Pillar 2: Setup, execution and optimization (*12 weeks)

#5 Execution Pillar 3: Setup, execution and optimization (*12 weeks)

#6 Campaign summary: Evaluation, post mortem

*Partially in parallel with previous phase

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to toss aside existing marketing and sales content for fresher, more appropriate content for each pillar. Remember, you have a highly targeted account list that has a competing solution already implemented. Tailor the content per the competition’s weak points. Tell them a new story, based on what they are lacking in their current solution.

Interested in learning how we built the target account list and the tech stack for an ABM campaign? Read on Part 2 

How We Built a GTM Strategy to Reposition a Global Aesthetics Brand

Developing a sharp focus on a specific market segment and clearly differentiating its innovative device from the competition helped boost the sales and marketing efforts of the company, which ultimately led to its acquisition.

While focusing on growth is a natural development phase for startups, it can be difficult for more established companies to inject the fresh strategic approach often required to better position themselves for growth. 

A long-time player in the EBD (Energy-Based Devices) aesthetic market approached Forabilis because it was struggling to build an effective go-to-market strategy to scale. 

Product Differentiation is Key to Proper Positioning  

The Israel-based company, active globally, including the US, EMEA and APAC, had developed a unique device using proprietary Kinetic technology. Initially, its technology had gained interest from physicians, partners and media. However, it was finding it difficult to commercialize this interest.

The device was not well differentiated and was being marketed for multiple applications, including the reduction in the appearance of aged and dry skin, neck lines, acne and atrophic scars, stretch marks and more. With the energy-based aesthetic devices market forecast to grow from $2,661.6 million in 2021 to reach $6,326.2 million in 2030, this EBD manufacturer wanted to refresh its strategic approach to ensure it was well positioned to win market share. 

Identifying Strategic Challenges

As a first step, we dove deeply to understand the current status of the company, product and technology. Very quickly we identified multiple challenges which posed as gaps in the ability of the company to scale. Among these challenges were the following:

  • GTM strategy – misalignment between sales, marketing and clinical activities leaving initiation to distributors and KOLs
  • Market-fit – lack of clear and differentiation-based positioning: solution sold for various indications without a strong claim
  • Clinical – insufficient and unfocused clinical evidence and clinical protocols
  • Regulatory – insufficient and inconsistent regulatory clearances in key markets
  • IP loopholes in the IP registration in key markets
  • Operations ongoing unaddressed technical issues and sourcing challenges
  • Business – lack of business model optimization leading to high cost of ownership

Focusing on Strengths and Differentiators 

We interviewed key stakeholders, including KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), investors, partners and employees, to get an even deeper understanding of the product’s strengths and its underlying unique technology and its current marketing and sales efforts.

The next step was to understand the market and how the product could differentiate itself from other available solutions. Aside from analyzing the competitors, we were looking to understand the drivers and limiters of the company and its growth potential in a specific market. We also conducted research to understand the market opportunities and identify potential unmet market needs for which the company’s technology could act as a beneficial solution.

Our overall findings showed the company was currently relying on unsustainable sales with no ability to scale following initial penetration. The sales were ad-hoc with no overarching strategy. There was also no control over the sales process and the product’s positioning with no clear commercialization plan and tools.

Identifying a Profitable Market Where Differentiators/Strengths Have Impact 

Following intensive research, we provided clear recommendations based on a new approach that addressed the challenges we identified. Key to this was the identification of a strong market opportunity for the company and its stakeholders to pursue. This would allow the company to leverage specific assets of the company and its technology to focus on a unique market need with a strong business potential.

This enabled the company to claim stakes on the market segment where they would have a clear competitive advantage. In addition, we helped identify a strategy and territory, which had a huge market potential, where the company’s regulatory clearances already existed and was an untampered market.

Our approach spoke of a complete repositioning of the company and its offerings:

Building a GTM to Successfully Reposition

Following our conclusions, we developed an initial validation plan, including timeline and budget. This was to ensure a clear alignment between market needs and company’s capabilities to fulfill this need.

Next, we identified the new positioning and marketing messages, and developed a holistic tactical marketing plan which also included timelines and budget. This had a significant impact on the company as it focused its product and its benefits directly towards a specific niche in the market. 

The company’s product had suffered from a lack of differentiation as it targeted a whole set of market categories and needs. Now its focus, for the first time, was clearly defined. The result was that conversations with partners and potential customers progressed far quicker and deeper as the benefits and market niche of the product were clear. 

The fact that the company’s product and technology was proving to be a superior solution in this well defined market segment meant that within 18 months of our start date, the company was acquired by a leading player in the Aesthetic world. 

The lesson here is that positioning matters. Products cannot be all things to all people. The better a company defines its product, targets a specific market and effectively communicates its solution, the more successful attempts at scaling will be. 


Are you having difficulties scaling? We are here to help.