I am in regular discussion with various teams – Sales, Marketing and Product Development to get our new products out in the market and to get it right. Our discussions revolve around segmentation, positioning, targeting the right market, marketing plans, sales strategy, competitor analysis, audience analysis, pricing, product improvements, product tiers and most importantly getting the right product messaging and content artifacts for sales and marketing team.
A well-defined marketing plan is critical to the product/technology success. Technology, marketing, and strategy are all interweaved. Marketing of technology, product and services requires technical depth, business understanding, and audience understanding. A poor marketing plan can just directly impact company's product sale.
Today I am going to highlight some of the product marketing challenges faced by technology companies. If you are facing any of the following challenges then it needs your attention to make it more efficient and get it right.
Every team wishes to own product messaging
The first step for product marketing is getting the message right and have every team come to an agreement for same. It gets difficult when everyone from sales manager to CEO wants to own the product messaging and have it done from their point of view.
Lack of target market segmentation
Sales and Marketing team focus so much on generating revenue that they avoid segmenting the target market and do not concentrate on getting the key customer/prospect segment identified. Thus, the company end up not serving any market segments effectively and get caught up with market competition.
Lack of competitive analysis
Product marketers get so much involved in their products activities such as sales support, datasheet, etc. that they leave out the most important aspect and that is competitor analysis and analyzing the current market trends. Rather they remain passive and depend on internal experts for outside market knowledge which leads in not providing appropriate input and improvements to product team about market competition and not being a strategic thought leader.
Thus, the new product developed does not get differentiated well from other products in the market in terms of value, features and price.
Lack of alignment between teams
It is the real need of all the cross-functional teams such as sales, marketing and product team to get along from the inception of a new product idea. Many a times, product marketing team may bring the sales team into product messaging and discuss only at the end of the process, which is a bad.
Lack of continual value addition in content marketing
To get your word out to target audience, content marketing is an ideal option. The main challenge here is to regularly get fresh and relevant content updates such as blogs which consumes a significant amount of time. Also, content delivered should be based on context and medium such as videos on social media and YouTube and other resources like downloadable analyst reports and whitepapers on website.
Not using right digital marketing channel
Digital trends harbinger significant changes in the market and the product, and at the same time necessitate the change in how a product is marketed.
In today's digital era every company has some website and analytics in place. But they lack consistent methodology for the team to track and review the analytics and take decisions to act on them.
Audience centricity remains the number one focus area in product marketing other than social media and use of data and analytics. Hence rather than talking about customer needs, marketers should talk about the customer pains and how the product solves their day to day problems.
Just being on a popular social site does not suffice. Marketers need to identify the sites and right marketing channel based on where customers spend most of their time online. Still, the other digital marketing areas such as search marketing, email and content marketing cannot be ignored.