Integrated marketing initiatives are becoming more attractive as organizations look to gain mindshare and maximize revenue at minimal marketing cost. The objective is to integrate all marketing messages, campaigns and channels into one compelling voice that resonates with target customers.
A big issue inhibiting current marketing efforts is a lack of integration between product teams, marketing communications and sales. Inconsistent value propositions and fragmented messages extend buying cycles and produce meager sales results. Imagine the most glorious choir in the world performing a concert with each voice simultaneously singing a different song. The harmony is replaced by noise. The same happens to your value proposition and your target buyers never hear your message.
For marketing communications efforts to succeed, there must be harmony with your strategy, products and internal domain experts. Product Management and Product Marketing play several key roles.
- Content Providers –Relevant marketing messages are impossible to create without the input from the domain experts in product management and product marketing since all value propositions begin with addressing the target buyer problem or need and the reason the solution is so critical. Consider the following contributions and team effort in creating and delivering harmonious marketing messages.
- Product Management is the content provider defining the fundamental problem, "why" it’s critical to solve, and how your products represent the solution.
- Product Marketing takes the core value proposition and wraps it in vertical industry speak making it relevant to key trends and business drivers influencing market segments such as retail or telecom.
- MARCOM is the delivery engine, ensuring all value messages support the corporate brand identity and delivers those messages via the mediums most likely to connect with buyers.
- Voice of the Customer - The most successful product managers are aware of their target customer’s current needs and accurately anticipate the evolving requirements of their target buyers. This invaluable insight is gained by investing significant time with buyers and actual users to learn what they need, want and are willing to buy. The best way to avoid product focused messaging is to gain a buyer perspective.
- Educators - Product Management and Product Marketing are vital conduits between markets, customers and internal teams such as engineering/product development and sales. Both should be able to articulate market dynamics and their relationship to real customer business needs before solutions are designed and built. Before, during and after the business needs are met with new products and features, product management and product marketing should be educating all internal teams on the market and business drivers behind new and existing offerings.
- Matrix Managers – Product Managers and Product Marketers coordinate a matrix of activities to bring holistic product solutions to market. They are ultimately responsible for managing the end to end product life cycle from idea inception through development and launch, leveraging a multitude of resources and agendas along the way. Creating alignment of silo-focused groups to operate as a high performing cross functional team is necessary for integrated marketing initiatives to succeed, especially with everyone carrying a heavier workload.
Product Managers and Product Marketers are the “conscience” of product companies because they are the only functions by definition , that get paid to cover everyone else’s agenda when compared to sales, services, support, marketing, etc., that have much narrower agendas.
When these functions are relegated to task-masters, isolated from the outside world, there’s often a huge disconnect between the actual needs of the market, your product, and the subsequent marketing initiatives required to drive sales. Integrating marketing that encompasses product management and product marketing helps clarify your value proposition by speaking the language of your target customers through multiple forms of communication.
If your messaging is fragmented and too product focused to the point where it resembles noise more than harmony, sign up for Product Positioning & Messaging and learn how to use strong value propositions and differentiation as the foundation of your integrated marketing efforts to drive more revenue.