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Customer Corner: How Later Created a Must-Read Competitive Newsletter with a Little Help from the Kardashians

If you’re a CI leader, you’re creating competitive assets left and right to help enable your colleagues and support your company’s overall goals. One of these assets is most likely an internal newsletter. 

If you feel like your competitive newsletter is getting staler than the time I left my toddler's sandwich in the car for 2 weeks, keep reading! Matt Powell, Product Marketing Manager, Competitive and Market Intelligence at Later, recently sat down with me to discuss his Later newsletter journey.

1. First off, can you give the overall newsletter stats. How often do you send it? And who at Later receives it?

The newsletter goes out monthly and it gets sent to everyone at Later. We have a competitive culture here because we’re in such a tremendously busy competitive space. There’s a lot happening daily across our competitive landscape and of course our marketing, product, and executive teams should be in the know but everyone at the company really needs to understand what’s going on.

2. You have a very clever newsletter title “Keeping up with the Kompetition” — what’s the story behind the name?

“Keeping up with the Kompetition” is actually our overall CI program brand name, which includes the newsletter. Giving your CI program a designated brand name can be a really effective way to be memorable. 

For the backstory, I work with lots of young, gen Z employees who are in the know about pop culture and as a company, we’re in the social media industry where pop culture reigns. I personally haven’t watched a single episode of the show, or intend to, but I needed a way to connect with people. Someone in a Slack thread posted the famous Kim crying emoji and it became a bit of a joke among the team and then it dawned on me that “Keeping up with the Kompetition” would be a great CI brand name. The team thought it was hilarious, so it stuck!

3. Can you share any lessons learned for someone who is newer to CI and looking to start their first newsletter?

Don’t boil the ocean. In the beginning, I ended up overdoing it. I was cramming in as much information as possible and the newsletter was starting to become a list of links without enough context related to what’s happening and why it’s important. I also realized I could take advantage of Crayon’s functionality better. For example, with Crayon’s Compete Hub, I can easily bundle important insights from the past week, so Compete Hub is acting as an additional newsletter feed. On top of that, Crayon’s Slack integration means I can quickly share an intel update on the fly.

I’ve refined and evolved the newsletter quite a bit over time to meet the needs of the team here at Later. That’s one of my biggest lessons learned — your content doesn’t have to look a certain way because everyone else does it that way. Be open to learning what works well for your internal stakeholders and then continue to refine and evolve the newsletter.

4. Can you elaborate a bit more on how you’ve evolved Later’s newsletter content? 

Based on the lessons learned, I realized that as a CI team of one, I need to hyper prioritize what’s important and what gets shared. Instead of including individual insights for individual teams, I’ve re-imagined the newsletter to be less “newsletter” and more “state of the union.” This format is more focused on what’s happening in our space and how it impacts the trajectory of our business. I want my colleagues to see the progress we’re making against our competitors. I don’t want this particular communication to be a single snapshot in time but rather to be looked at as the path forward – for everyone to clearly see where we’re going.

5. This is a fantastic example of refining and evolving Later’s newsletter. What’s next on the horizon? What will future versions look like?

I need to start thinking about different content for the newsletter because one of our product lines is now supported by a sales team. This is an entirely new direction for us since we’ve always been a product-led growth company. Now, I need to think about how win-loss insights, for example, can support competitive sales opportunities and if I should be including that information in the newsletter.

I’ve also started thinking about weaving in more reporting related to competitive employee growth and executive changes, deeper dives into product updates, competitor GTM updates such as messaging changes and acquisition changes, and competitive and market news — with perspectives — potentially a few articles from our space that would be worth reading. 

In the not so distant future, I’m looking forward to including Share of Voice reporting into the newsletter. For those who may not be familiar, share of voice tells you how much of the market your company “owns” compared to the competition. I think it’s a really effective metric for everyone on the team to see how we’re currently stacking up and to then see our share of voice increasing over time. 

(To read more about why Share of Voice is important for your CI program, Matt wrote up a helpful article for the Healthy Competition newsletter recently. Here it is.) 

Interested to learn how other Crayon customers are exceeding expectations and creating winning compete programs? Check out these additional Customer Corner success stories!

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Sheila Lahar
Sheila Lahar is the VP of Content Marketing here at Crayon, responsible for making sure that everything we publish is unique, compelling, and valuable. Prior to joining Crayon, she built successful content marketing programs at a number of B2B SaaS companies, including Flatfile, Datto, and Eloqua.