«Return to Blog List A Tribute to the PPD

I have to admit I’m impressed. A client provided a detailed PPD – Product Positioning Document – for a project. I rarely see such organized documentation.

The PPD doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it deserves. It answers all the questions I would typically ask my client about a product in order to start success stories or case studies:

  • A description of the product
  • The market situation
  • Audience – types of industries and types of individuals
  • Value proposition
  • Pain points
  • Differentiators
  • Benefits
  • Competitive overview

Such rich information! This way, I don’t have to track down my busy contacts on the phone before getting started on customer stories. Plus, when everyone works off the same doc, there’s consistency all around.

When I’m ready to interview a customer, I know what type of information I’m after to ensure the story matches up with my client’s goals.

Once created, the PPD saves time for all. If you’re an organization, try to provide this information to your case study writer. If you’re a writer, try to get these details out of your contacts.

5 Responses to A Tribute to the PPD

  1. Hi Casey,
    Wow, I’ve heard of such things but didn’t know they existed in the wild…! lol
    For some clients, I send them a list of questions about their business that they fill in to give me a bit of a backgrounder. Sometimes it helps them organize their ideas just as much as it helps me! I’ll have to add some of these points to the list.

  2. Casey says:

    Hey Graham,
    Good idea to give them a questionnaire. Do you ever have trouble getting them to fill it out?
    I think clients really appreciate structured processes like this from their contractors. They can feel so scattered with so many tasks that that helps them focus, even if it might take a bit more of their time.
    Taking it a step further, if it’s a document that covers everything about a product, you can then say that it’s now theirs to share among their teams as well, for consistency. Then you add even more value as a contractor. Just a thought.

  3. Abdul says:

    Hi Casey,
    What exactly do you mean by “Pain Points”?

  4. Casey says:

    Oh sure. “Pain points” refers to the issues or problems that customers might be experiencing without the product or service. By knowing what challenges customers typically face, you can ask related questions in case study interviews. I hope that helps.

  5. Hi Casey,
    It’s a select few I give it to, usually people who are starting or expanding their personal business. I probably wouldn’t give it to an exec of a corporation — they wouldn’t have time. They’d likely get exasperated with the whole thing anyway. But I can usually draw out the details I need about their business from talking with them. Just as with your writing, you have to know your audience…
    But yes, for those I give it to, it works quite well for them. I haven’t specifically suggested they keep it for their own use — great tip! — but I’m sure the process in itself helps.