What is product marketing?
We’ve got the most game-changing new product that’s going to blow all of our competitor’s products out of the water, it’s going to completely disrupt the industry. We just need to make sure everyone else knows how great it is.
And so we ready ourselves for launch day. Everything goes live and a grin spans our faces as we start picturing the colourways of the first Ferrari we’re going to buy.
But the money doesn’t come in. Why? Did we forget to mention that our product was the dog’s boll*cks? Nope, we’ve said it 116 times in the last 2 blog posts. SO WHAT DID WE DO WRONG?!
Well, luckily enough for us Ben Rees is on hand in our latest podcast highlighting common misconceptions around product marketing, and the things we should consider when taking a product to the market.
To those of you that simply don’t have time to listen to a complete podcast, don’t worry. We’ve summarised Ben’s main points below.
Product marketing is positioning
“If I was asked how I would beat Garry Kasparov (chess grandmaster), my response would be that I would play him at any game other than chess.”
Ben uses this quote from Warren Buffett to describe what he means by positioning. His point here is that we need to position ourselves in a market that we know we can win in. We are able to choose our competitors, so it is important to know if we can beat them. He also mentions that we shouldn’t just consider whether the market is specific enough for us to dominate, but whether it is broad enough for future growth as well.
Make no illusions though, this information doesn’t come easy. Ben uses an example from Redgate whereby he shows us how they present what their company does. He explains that Redgate doesn’t offer a product, they offer what they call “customer conversations”.
They think about how they take their products to market based on the different conversations they have with their customers. Every part of the conversation is based upon years of research, every word is attached to a database of information.
“Positioning is choosing the market that we’re going after.”
Sizing up our market
Once we’re in a market we need to know where we stand so we can better understand our position there. Our position dictates how we should address our marketing strategy.
An example Ben uses is… Say we’re first in a market and winning, we should refrain from talking about competitors as if we’re already on the top spot.
Researching our competitors
“For every competitor you have, you should know why people buy from that competitor instead of you”.
We pour our hearts and souls into our products, which can make it harder for us to see why people would buy from our competitors. The truth is that there are very good reasons why people buy from our competitors instead of us, it’s up to us to find out what those reasons are and build a strategy to combat it.
We need to be in a position where if our competitor comes up, we can say “I know why people are buying that thing, I’m not afraid of the reason why they’re buying that thing, I’m even going to talk about that competitor.”
If we know what we’re up against, then we can build a strategy around it.
Align our narrative to the buyer’s persona(s)
Our narrative is the story we weave around ourselves and our products. It’s what makes our products stand out from our competition. We often go wrong by focusing too much on telling people how great our products are. Instead, we should be thinking about the problems our buyers are facing and how our products can help overcome them.
A tip from Ben is to look at our buying persona’s job title. This will allow us to do some research into what it is they do on a daily basis. From there we can identify potential issues they might run into. How does our product rid them of those issues?
Once we have a better understanding of these emotive attributes, it becomes a lot easier to sell to our target audience.