Accelerate 2017 – VTS Annual User Conference
There’s so much I can say about this keynote, I’m unsure where to begin. Suffice to say, product keynotes get we product marketers really excited. In fact, when I attend conferences, I get more excited for the product keynote than the opening one.
Product keynotes make or break user conferences. If your customers don’t leave the product keynote with more confidence in your product and a burning desire to use or buy more of it, it means one of two things:
- You whiffed HARD on the keynote (happens 1% of the time)
- Your product strategy and any progress you’ve made against it sucks, and it got a zero confidence vote from your audience (happens 99% of the time)
Product keynotes are a bellwether for product (and company) success. If you’re struggling to find anything awesome or exciting to talk about at your annual user conference, your problems run deeper than the event.
Accelerate 2017 was a unique opportunity for VTS because it was our first user conference both ever (Hightower, the company we acquired, did one in previous years) and since we came together as one company. It was a critical moment for us to show our customers and the market that we had our sh*t together and could be trusted.
I worked harder than I ever had with our Chief Product Officer & the rest of the exec team to make sure we delivered.
We used this keynote to accomplish several things:
Thought leadership on industry trends
One reason why I joined VTS, and why I find our work so exciting, is commercial real estate is looking at the same technology transformation the stock market went through in the late 90’s. Software and technology is something new for CRE. We are the ECN stock trading machine for the CRE industry. Tech is here and now for CRE, and our key message was “if you miss this boat, your business will never catch up.”
A new way of talking about our product
First, we introduced our new product messaging framework. We reframed how we categorized and talked about our product into a ‘revenue funnel’ concept. This framework aligned our product narrative to a concept our customers understood.
Every building in commercial real estate has its own revenue funnel – you have to attract prospective tenants, manage deals, place those tenants into spaces (inventory), retain them through good relations and optimize everything, every step of the way.
Suddenly, our broad platform became more relatable.
Introduced some new product
It wouldn’t be a product keynote without some new product! We used this opportunity to announce:
- Improvements to inventory management and marketing capabilities, on desktop & mobile
- Our new Site Plans & Stacking Plans
- A CRM-esque tenant realtionship management offering that lives inside our platform
- A new Portfolio Analytics dashboard that gives clients insight into performance along each step of their revenue funnel, for their portfolio as a whole or a subsection of their portfolio
We made this section powerful by classifying and attributing new products & enhancements back to our new ‘revenue funnel’ product messaging framework.