The gap between choosing a product and staying with a product.

Michael Eckstein
2 min readJun 2, 2018

This was originally a thread I shared on Twitter.

Recently I’ve been thinking about product and marketing alignment.

I’m starting to believe the reason someone signs up for a product and the reason they continue to use it are often quite different. Is this a case of marketing and product misalignment?

In some cases, maybe. In others, it’s just a symptom of people not knowing what they want.

For example, a lot of people sign up to use Buffer for specific features. But the reason they stick around is because the product is intuitive and when it’s not, we have an exceptional customer service team to the rescue.

I ran a website survey asking people why they are on our marketing site. Typical responses included:

You have Instagram and Pinterest integrations

I need to manage lots of accounts in one place

Looking for better analytics.

There was one clear exception — people who were looking to switch after a poor experience with another product. These people tend to come via word of mouth and are often already sold on trying Buffer for its intuitiveness.

Aside from those respondents, no one said “Looking for a more intuitive social media tool” or “Need really great customer service”.

The temptation is to make “simplicity” or “intuitiveness” the core of our marketing messaging because this is why customers love the product. But people are irrational, and they often don’t know that they want simplicity and intuitiveness. (Unless they are those folks who are switching.)

Another consideration; “intuitiveness” is hard for people to sell internally to a decision maker. It needs to be felt to understand the benefit.

Learning about what prospects think they want vs what customers actually want is one of the reasons why research is so important for product marketers. Research can open up whole new perspectives and ideas for marketing content and positioning.

I’m trying to bake more research into how I do product marketing at Buffer. Would love to hear any advice or thoughts!

Thanks to

for inspiring the title of this post. Photo by Cam Morin on Unsplash.

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Michael Eckstein

Thoughts and reflections on work and life. I'm a product marketer at Buffer, and work remotely from Sydney.