The “A-ha!” moment I learned about narrative designs as a product marketer — the lesson I wished I knew 6 months sooner

Zach Roberts
2 min readApr 21, 2022
My “light-bulb” moment

Nobody likes bad decision-makers. So, don’t buy products that don’t solve problems. An “A-ha!” moment I wished I’ve known 6 months sooner about product marketing.

It seems so obvious, but the forlorn gaze of best-in-breed features and products forces many to ignore this important question…

Will I regret this purchase?

Loss aversion is an invisible hand to everyday decision-making. Individuals fear losing $5 more than the joy felt gaining that same amount. Loss aversion plucks emotions during significant buying decisions — a feeling many can’t shake.

This is why I love narrative designs.

It’s the hero’s journey (common storytelling framework) for product marketers. A good narrative helps buyers understand the following questions related to your product launch:

  • What is the core problem?
  • How does this problem impact me today?
  • Why are my current methods not working to fix it?
  • What happens if I do nothing and stick to the status quo?
  • Why your product exists?
  • How it benefits me?
  • What are the expected outcomes?

Features alone can’t speak for product. This is why a narrative design matters to buyers and your organization. It speaks to what others are missing if they don’t buy what you are selling.

Narrative designs (like the one above) gives me a framework on what to research. Above all, the end result delivers a compelling case and gives buyers confidence of why they won’t regret this purchase?

Don’t ignore FOMO (fear of missing out) — it is a loss many of us go to great lengths to avoid.

Zach attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied Finance and took level 3 calculus for fun. However, it was his intro psychology course in his first year that sparked his passion for teaching and Socratic method. He went on to tutor psychology during undergrad, and later work in tech sales for five years after graduation, while teaching professional development courses at Code Tenderloin in San Francisco. Today, he is a product marketing manager at Dropbox, where he supports their sales play program. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter!



Zach Roberts

Demystify product marketing. 2022 Product Marketing Alliance Newcomer of the Year. Living in San Francisco.