What can you expect from your Product Marketing Team ?

As a “Pragmatic Marketing” Certification Graduate, I often refer to this definition of Product Marketing in large organizations, especially software vendors:

“Product Management looks at the needs of the entire business and the entire market. Recognizing that existing and future products need different levels of attention, some companies split the product management job into smaller bits: one group is responsible for next year’s products while another group provides sales and marketing support for existing products. These companies often add a product marketing component to the marketing communications effort, supporting them with market information and product content.”

 

Let’s go into more details and see which specific activities are managed by a professional Product Marketing team.

 

Business support

Daily business support is a key part of Product Marketing. Goal is simple, this is about encouraging and helping sales reps make the most business with your product. The more responsive and committed to business success you are, the more sales teams will be willing to sell your product.

business_support

Action list:

  • Supporting sales reps for customer meetings and workshops
  • Working closely with sales specialists
  • Continuously improving the RFP answering process
  • Providing access to the right experts when needed
  • Gathering and analyzing feedback from the field
  • Understanding customer maturity and success criteria per region

 

Events

Planning events with the field marketing teams and participating to them as a specialist is an important part of the job as well. If you cannot speak well of your product, who could ?

professionnal_event

Action list:

  • Selecting the most appropriate events with the field marketing teams
  • Speaking at events
  • Creating new business relationships at events

 

Go-To-Market Strategy

A Go-To-Market strategy (GTM strategy) is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach customers and achieve competitive advantage.

go_to_market

Action list:

  • Defining target audience and related horizontal and/or vertical value proposition
  • Prioritizing marketing investments (from Corporate & Customer Marketing to Demand generation)
  • Identifying market opportunities
  • Working with Product Management on focus & priorities
  • Setting up lead generation campaigns
  • Measuring outcomes

 

Sales enablement

Sales enablement can mean different things to different companies. I would refer to the definition given by Brainshark:

“A systematic approach to increasing sales productivity, by supporting reps with the content, training and analytics they need to have more successful sales conversations.”

I also like the definition from IDC:
“Getting the right information into the hands of the right sellers at the right time and place, and in the right format, to move a sales opportunity forward.”

Action list:

  • Building great internal assets supporting the corporate sales methodology
  • Building external assets with high impact (see “Technical writing” below)
  • Federating information on a dedicated sales portal
  • Aligning every support team on sales objectives and helping them define how they can contribute
  • Training sales and presales teams on best practices and available assets

 

Web marketing

Web Marketing generates awareness and develops awareness for your product. This is a vital activity to provide your sales teams with a continuous flow of qualified leads.

 

web_marketing

Action list:

Writing content for your Product Web site

  • Working on SEO with SEO experts
  • Working on SEM campaigns with SEM experts
  • Working on DRIP campaigns
  • Engaging conversation with influencers

 

Technical writing

In a technology company, your job as product marketer is to make your technology the most simple to understand to your target audience. Goal is to provide every target user with the right level of information and show that you have strong market recognition.

technical-writing

Action list:

  • Writing datasheets, white papers and infographics with the corporate marketing team
  • Preparing webinars with the field marketing team
  • Working with the customer advocacy team to get targeted customer case studies
  • Helping with press release content

 

Product expertise

When it comes to product expertise, people should turn to your team. You are the main point of contact with access to the top product experts in the company. You work closely with most critical resources of the company and know who to call when sales teams on the field face particular challenges.

product_expertise

Action list:

  • Animating internal workshops to foster team work
  • Hosting a “product academy” to increase internal knowledge
  • Feeding teams with “Product and market” news
  • Developing customer intimacy and know-how on delivered projects

 

Market research

Keeping ahead of the market is a daily activity that requires a lot of reading and discussions. Working as a team is essential for having different people with different types of market expertise. We live in a world of specialist and this is important to go into details when analyzing the market and check your understanding with real-life customers. “One mouth, two ears”: Let people talk, listen carefully and try to synthesize the messages. Your idea doesn’t count, your customer needs do.

market-research

Action list:

  • Following Web alerts
  • Exchanging with a community of peers
  • Keeping tight relationship with analyst firms
  • Curating relevant content
  • Listening to your customer needs
  • Informing internally and help the Executive board take the right decisions

 

Evangelism

Influence of technology evangelists have grown over the past years. Companies have realized that their target audience are more interested in reading articles and opinions of thought leaders than software vendor assets. Technology evangelists are technology or business matter experts who have strong communication skills (both written and oral). As Product Marketer, identify the rare persons in your company that can help you with this activity.

technology_evangelist

Action list:

  • Developing thought leadership through tribunes and blogging
  • Participating to keynote sessions and round tables at major events
  • Help your people grow internally

Leave a Reply