The Three Tenets of Product Marketing – Build Business : Build Brand : Build Buy-in
As Product Marketers and go-to-market professionals there are so many things we could be doing today. Sometimes it is difficult to know which activities are the most meaningful and which should be prioritised. With a few points of consideration though, we can ensure we keep our eye on the prize and use our time and resources wisely.
Every organisation has fundamental objectives. Perhaps it is revenue growth targets, customer engagement targets, profitability, or perhaps a service level agreement. A basic rule that helps ensure product marketing activities are grounded in what is most important is to ensure product launch objectives are aligned to an organisations fundamental objectives. This not only ensures that your go to market objectives support the organisations overall objectives, it is critical when you need to secure essential collaboration from other departments. Seems basic, but if a product marketer does not ensure organisational alignment of go to market objectives then securing interdepartmental cooperation is going to be very difficult.
The tenets I use to ensure go to market tasks are supporting the execution of a strong product launch are: Build Business, Build Brand, Build Buy-in. If an activity does not fit well into one of these tenets then perhaps it shouldn’t be done.
Building business is essentially generating revenue, increasing market share or perhaps upselling into existing customer sites. Product marketing success metrics should always be covering this kind of activity.
Building business involves the creation of value propositions, content that celebrates these value propositions, customer testimonials and calls to action to pique the interest of the target audience. If the buyer’s pain is not well understood then the product marketer must determine it. If the target market is not well defined then the product marketer must define it. The more importance that is placed on understanding the addressable market and what the buyers in that market need the more chance a product marketer has of defining realistic objectives for a campaign and achieving them.
Side note on value propositions: The concept of creating value was explored in this blog post. What we didn’t explore much was differentiated customer value. There are many different references to this – essentially though the idea is that to sell at a price premium (capture value) you need to create meaningful value for your buyer that is different to your competitors. More than that, you need to strive to achieve the following:
- Be Valuable
- Be Rare
- Be difficult to Imitate
- Be Organisationally ready to execute
All of these criteria together create sustained competitive advantage. This permits the capturing of value through a price premium. Without all of these criteria listed, in theory you will only achieve competitive parity. This is a mugs game because it usually creates a race to the bottom with the cheapest provider winning. Well, that is if you can call that winning. You can learn more about VRIO here.
Marketing is typically responsible for an organisations brand. But, a product marketer needs to plan around the overall brand strategy of the organisation when going to market. Without incorporating overall brand strategy in a product launch an organisations brand can actually be eroded.
Think about it – what brands are to be enhanced in the launch of a product – the product brand or the company brand? Perhaps it is desirable to enhance the product portfolio brand. Typically though it doesn’t pay to try and invest in all of these brands at once. This can cloud your key messages that need to resonate. An example of stuffing too many brands in a launch could be this.
Announcing the all amazing Retro Rocket 2014, August edition with Sonic Booster module from Acme Rockets, a division of Acme International. Please direct all Australian enquiries to Acme Asia-Pac.
There are a lot of brands for a buyer to digest here. Are they all necessary to establish a relationship between supplier and buyer? It is important for a product marketer to think about the bigger picture, and not just their little baby when it comes to introducing brands and forging a relationship between the organisation and the buyer.
Simply put, the best product launch program is worth very little if the organisation is not prepared to rally behind it. Go to market programs are a team effort and everyone needs to be in the loop and empowered to play their part. Most importantly sales, channel representatives and support need to understand the messaging, the value propositions, the calls to action and the lead qualification process. A lot of time goes into getting all of this content on key. Make sure your front line staff are informed and empowered to make your go to market program a success.
Whatever skill levels your organisation has around product marketing the best thing you can do is to seek continuous improvement. Set targets, measure against them and then plan to improve over future iterations. To speed up your journey to best practice you can call on experienced product marketing practitioners for help. Brainmates is a training and consultancy firm that specialises in Product Management and Product Marketing training. They have the only dedicated face-to-face product marketing training course in Australia. You can find out more about this course at – Essentials of Product Marketing.
This blog was originally posted on medium.com here.