5 Minutes With Sean Richards, Product Marketing Coach & Facilitator of “Essentials of Product Marketing”

We recently interviewed Sean Richards, Brainmates’ latest facilitator who will be training the Essentials of Product Marketing course. The training choices for product marketers and go to market professionals were very limited in Australia and since Sean has a wealth of knowledge and experience about product marketing, we decided to create Australia’s only face to face product marketing training course.

Here’s what Sean had to say.

You have held leadership positions across product management, product marketing and field marketing for a number of years now.What advice do you have for product and marketing professionals who want to enhance their go to market effectiveness?

I think a major challenge for any go to market professional is cutting the clutter and establishing clear, measurable objectives. The product marketing function is not well drawn in Australia. Some companies invest in well defined roles with clear responsibility. Often though the ownership of a go to market program is scattered across sales, product management, engineering, marketing or perhaps even a founding leader of a small business.

How would a product marketer cut the clutter?

The best way I find to decide whether tasks are really important is to check whether they fit into the three tenets of product marketing: Build Business, Build Brand, Enabled Organisation. If you are spending your time on activities that are not supporting these tenets then I suggest cutting them.

We have heard from Product Managers and Product Marketers in the past that it can be difficult to get their organisations to rally behind their launch. Got any suggestions?

For me I always make the assumption that everyone in an organisation wants to contribute to success. So, if you are finding people not backing your gig it may be because you have not aligned your objectives to the organisations fundamental objectives. These fundamental objectives are different for each organisation, but they are there. These are the goals the senior leadership team are measured on. Perhaps it is a revenue target, or perhaps a customer engagement score. If you ensure your go to market program has objectives that roll up to support the fundamental objectives then you would be amazed how much more supportive your colleagues can be.

Another point to consider is communication and enablement. If you have not been clear with your plan during formulation or if you have not invested sufficiently in enabling front line stage then that can often cause resistance, apathy or just general ignorance of the plan.

What is the best way to come up with messaging to promote a product launch?

For me, it is all about the buyer. Marketing content that has been built off product feature statements and internal assumptions, frankly, is a waste of scarce marketing resources. Any messaging created to engage a buyer needs to be built from an intimate understanding of the buyer and their business pain. If you can articulate a way to solve a buyer’s pain then you create value. Value propositions, preferably with customer testimonial should be the foundations of any content marketing activity to support a go to market program.

Do you have any final tips to change the world of Product Marketing?

Understand that you are going to make mistakes. Learn from them, repeat the process and improve. Make sure any go to market program has clear objectives that can be measured. Monitoring your actual performance against the planned objectives gives you valuable data to improve on come the next iteration. Product marketing best practice is a continuous journey.

 


Learn more about the Essentials of Product Marketing course by clicking here.