Amplitude: Product Education goes interactive

Using curiosity tests (and cuddly toys) to connect with B2B audiences.

Product people: What keeps you up at night?

Do you really know your customer? Are you marketing your product value effectively, or are customers getting tired of the same old hat tricks? (As Mbappé learned, they’re not enough to win the game.) Are you keeping people invested, entertained, coming back for more?

Product marketing can often be a very cut-and-dried game. Even the most thrilling digital products on today’s market are easily disassembled into an incoherent ramble of high-strung tech jargon and boring demos—a once clear and obvious value proposition scrambled in bits across page 32 and figure 1.8a and video3_V6_FINAL_FINAL.

Such is the very thing that keeps John Cutler of Amplitude—and hundreds of product people like him—up at all hours and dedicated to his craft. How do you create infinite, regenerative value around your product without force-feeding it down people’s throats?

Or better yet: How could you create a product that markets your product by teaching people about product?

The setup

John Cutler is the product evangelist at Amplitude, a product analytics company focused on helping businesses better understand the performance of their digital products. He’s also a prolific content creator and thought leader in the product management and product thinking spaces—on the daily, he’s speaking at conferences, coaching clients and non-clients, producing content, writing entire books. He is also, to our delight, obsessed with music, having worked as a touring musician in a past life.

Long story long, John’s a busy man with a deep desire to share his wealth of product knowledge—and extremely limited bandwidth to do it with.

In September 2022, John tweeted his community looking for a partner to co-create a new type of learning experience—one which could uniquely package, distribute, and scale this expertise on-demand. We answered the call.

💡 Our starting provocation

How might we support John and Amplitude in producing learning content and experiences that are distinctive, engaging, repeatable, and extendable?

The considerations

Our 8-week mission was to develop a suite of educational ‘Product Bet’ modules that would equip customers (from a senior product leader to an internet hobbyist or upcoming product manager) with structured and actionable curriculum based on John’s expertise. Ideally, it’d replicate all of the best work John had done, but at a highly repeatable level—simulating a 1-1 session with John and capturing all of his gemiest product gems without being reliant on his bandwidth or presence.

Long-term, Amplitude could rely on the program to:

  • Serve as an evergreen lead generation tool
  • Build a network effect around the work, preserving John’s and Amplitude’s lifetime value
  • Create an experience and production pipeline that’s success wasn’t tied to one person
  • Identify the foundational model architecture that could be replicated across the organization

The Co-Development Program

After several rounds of content ideation, topic development, and learning objective iteration, we identified three core module topics as critical priorities. Each module subsequently completed eight phases of development to refine and perfect the content.

From ideation to implementation:

  1. Module topic
  2. Learner Persona
  3. Learning Objectives
  4. Module Structure
  5. Draft Content
  6. Review Content
  7. Build into the client’s CMS
  8. Ship modules

The final reveal

💡 Module 1: Advocating for Amplitude

Making the case for self-service analytics—and ergo Amplitude—as a concept first and foremost. Featuring on-demand video content; ‘The Curiosity Test’ self assessment; and a Miro workspace that allows users to self-identify how much friction their companies face when tracking analytics events.

💡 Module 2: The Curiosity Test

Assessing the productivity, efficiency, precision, and capabilities of your current product analytics stack. Plus, sowing the seeds of what it could be. Featuring a custom-designed quiz assessment; industry insights; and interactive engagement opportunities.

Dying to snag this for your own team’s use? We’ve got a package for that.

💡 Module 3: Avoiding the Analytics Freakout

Preventing the inevitable. Training product teams to resist number-induced breakdowns and find productive ways through. Featuring a fully-produced, 3-character skit for a touch of comedic relief (it was John’s brilliant idea to use puppets, yes we were entirely sober); 30 unique prompts to target and alleviate 30 unique Freakout scenarios.

Freakout 1: Question Quandry

Freakout 2: Endless Events

Freakout 3: Kitchen Sink KPIs

The payoff

John and the Amplitude team are currently deploying this program as we speak so our lips are sealed—but check back soon for an update.

As for WTHQ, here’s what we took away:

  • The best products make the content, not the containers it exists in, indispensable
  • Becoming an educator is a powerful, transferable skill set
  • Hand holding can only get you so far. If you love something set it free!
  • Never underestimate the power of the newsboy cap - or stuffed animals as on-screen talent
  • James Cameron better watch his back. Avatar who?

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Let’s get down to business.

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