Product Marketing may be one of the most misunderstood and undervalued functions as evidenced by the fact that so many B2B organizations still don’t have it. If clearer differentiation and greater sales success are on your A-list, dispel these three product marketing myths and you’ll be on your way.
Here’s the funny part. Many organizations think they’re doing product marketing because they have the proverbial one-armed paper hanger in corporate marketing creating brochures and presentations with an assist from product management. Hardly product marketing!
Other organizations give product marketing responsibilities to product managers. This is a really bad idea! Most product managers make terrible product marketers because their comfort zone is HOW products work versus WHY they have value to each market segment.
3 Product Marketing Myths
Here are three common product marketing myths. The reality of what product marketing actually does should easily justify its existence in every B2B organization.
Myth 1: Product Marketing Needs to Know Products as Well as Product Management
There’s absolutely zero benefit in duplicating product management’s depth of product knowledge in product marketing. Too much product knowledge can be an encumbrance for product marketers because of the emphasis on HOW products work.
For product marketers, features are nothing more than proof points necessary to support the WHO, WHAT & WHY value content.
Myth 2: It’s a Tactical Function
The name “product marketing” might be part of the problem. If the scope of the role is confined to individual products, it becomes very tactical because the focus is on features and benefits of individual products instead of strategic business outcomes that may be derived from multiple products that work together seamlessly.
Industry marketing or solutions marketing are more common titles that up-level the role of traditional product marketing so that its focus is on business outcomes specific to vertical market segments like retail and healthcare, or horizontal business functions like finance, IT or HR.
Shifting the focus from user problems and benefits to business outcomes not only communicates greater value, it makes your value story (and differentiation) easier to communicate in the language of the customer.
Here’s the thing. Differentiating individual products is like splitting hairs. Furthermore, it’s impossible for an entire sales force to be proficient at articulating the unique value of each product in a way that’s meaningful to buyers, especially when you have a large portfolio.
Salespeople sell products they’re comfortable with. Product marketing’s job is to make salespeople comfortable selling business value. Relevant products follow accordingly.
Myth 3: Product Marketing Doesn’t Play a Part in Strategy
The foundation of a solid product or portfolio strategy has to include a go-to-market strategy for gaining market share and wallet share. A product marketing roadmap outlines the strategy for fencing the salesforce into your most lucrative markets and supporting them with demand generation bait that hooks the right buyers for the right reasons.
The most valuable product marketing teams see the big picture and understand where the best opportunities exist to grow revenue, market share and wallet share. They create and execute a strategy to make it happen across the portfolio. Sales enablement included!
If you want to elevate your product marketing to a strategic solutions marketing function that drives more revenue from existing products, contact us about a personalized workshop tailored to your markets and your products, or enroll in Product Management University On-Demand and learn at your convenience. Certification included.