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by John Mansour | 12.19.2011

Most B2B companies want their sales people calling higher in the organization because direct access to executives can wire deals in their favor and shorten sales cycles.  But why do many companies find it so difficult to get executive access?  It has a lot more to do with your value propositions than you think, and the remedy starts with Product Marketing.

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by John Mansour | 11.17.2011

The strategic value of most product strategies is worth questioning. Do they offer so much measurable benefit to customers that your company’s market position will advance significantly?  If not, your product strategies are probably a “nice-to-have” in today’s business climate.

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by John Mansour | 10.27.2011

Why should I buy from you?  Whether verbalized or not, most buyers want an explicit answer to this question and not just during the sales process.  Most providers answer with product features and service capabilities but never really answer the question. It’s a major disconnect that can cost you in both the short and long term if your competitive strategy rests entirely on your products.

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by John Mansour | 09.28.2011

A strong brand builds credibility that influences and motivates people to buy your products and services. It’s also a measuring stick the market uses to evaluate your performance.  If you don’t define your brand, the market defines it for you and the result can easily become the biggest impediment to your success.

In B2B product and service organizations the same concepts apply to product management and product marketing teams for the same reasons.  Consider colleagues in engineering, marketing communications, sales and the executive team to be the market.

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by John Mansour | 08.18.2011

It boils down to differentiation...not just the marketing and messaging variety but adding product capabilities specific to key vertical markets that deliver exponentially more value than generic one-size-fits-all offerings.

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by John Mansour | 07.22.2011

When it comes to prioritizing key product investments, the root of all evil lies in the fact that everyone has a different view of “the market.”  Each perspective translates into a different agenda and a different set of priorities.  Any rationalization of those priorities is temporary, only to be undermined by the next great opportunity or perceived urgency.  It’s one of the biggest hurdles to growth in every product company.

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by John Mansour | 06.28.2011

Innovating high-value solutions for businesses is far less challenging than innovating the next hot consumer product simply because business customers can’t afford to be as fickle as consumers.  Consumers have no one to answer to but themselves.  Businesses have to answer to boards, investors, employees, partners and the like, not to mention a price tag and risk factor that’s exponentially higher than a typical consumer experience.

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by John Mansour | 05.09.2011

Answer Six Questions and You're There

If nothing sits between your organization's revenue and profitability goals and the strategies of products, marketing and sales, then every strategy is the right one!  It's far more beneficial to rally the organization around a single market strategy that aligns corporate revenue and profitability goals to the market segments most conducive to meeting those goals. The market strategy also serves as the common backdrop that aligns products, marketing and sales to the same agenda with common goals at an execution level. Invaluable!
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Product Management 2.0 The Convergence of Product & Portfolio Management
by John Mansour | 04.05.2011
It’s not that Product Management 1.0 principles are wrong. They’re just not working as well as they used to. Why? The market landscape is significantly different than it was years ago when formalized product management for B2B was much younger. If the product management function is to be influential going forward, the basic principles need to be applied more from a portfolio perspective than an individual product perspective.
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by John Mansour | 03.21.2011
 

White Paper Overview

When every product team marches to its own drummer, execution is difficult at best because there are too many moving parts going in too many different directions.  Market strategy and portfolio planning define a higher order purpose where each product plays a specific role in meeting the goals of a single overarching plan.  One strategy, one set of goals and one #1 priority provide the clarity and purpose necessary for product management and product marketing to execute at a much higher level with exponentially better results.

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