It is a well-established fact that the ongoing pandemic has greatly affected the way B2B marketers conduct product marketing. On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches before engaging with a specific brand’s site. As there are already few alternatives to operate through this situation statistics like this show clear signs that marketers should have a top-notch SaaS product marketing strategy for thriving in these times.
Among the list of hurdles that B2B SaaS marketers have to overcome, technology product marketing takes the forefront followed by the lack of an accurate product marketing management technique. Besides this, the absence of brand loyalty, difficulty in understanding user intent, inability to convince customers for a repeat purchase, and availability of too many choices are some major barriers that marketers are unable to find a solution for in the customer journey.
While the product marketing process does not get any easier, questions like, why is product marketing important, who will market my product for me, and how do we fight the battle of product marketing vs product management, continue to exist. With too many if’s and but’s involved, B2B product marketers seemingly have a long way to go before they finally unravel the true potential of product marketing and everything that surrounds this area of business.
In this blog, we will take you through the crux of product marketing and provide insights that would assist you in building a product marketing framework that ensures maximum ROI. Let’s get started!
Role of Product Marketing in B2B Sales
Marketing a new software product simply means conducting activities for increasing brand visibility to generate more customers for that product. However, according to Deck 7’s research, it was found that product marketing plays other roles too in accelerating B2B sales.
Your product needs to be noticed by the right audience for it to bring the desired profit. Product marketing methodology thus enables the correct positioning of your product making it reach your target audience (TA). This activity is equally crucial for educating your audience as well as your sales team for effective communication. This works well when you execute multiple new product marketing ideas. Here's an excerpt from a Media 7 interview of the CEO of the world’s largest trade fair and event organiser that highlights the importance the format you choose to market your product in the present scenario.
Complementary supplementary formats in the virtual form are gaining importance in the marketing mix, especially in times of the corona pandemic.
Wolfgang Marzin, President & Chief Marketing Officer – Messe Frankfurt GmbH
While there are a lot of ways for understanding what your competitors do, product marketing is one way too. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors gives you an edge over them allowing you to market your product in a certain manner that will bring in more sales.
Identifying your buyer personas is not just limited to demographics, it is also about their preferences, past purchasing experiences, and other such factors. Product marketing in this area provides ideas for products to market, what kind of individuals you should aim at, and how much are they ready to pay.
Aligning Buyer’s Journey
Be it an IT product marketing strategy or any other B2B marketing strategy, product marketing plays a vital role. Because when you understand your buyer’s needs and requirements you can place your product better. Product marketing aligns the buyer’s journey and helps them make purchasing decisions that work in your favor.
Defining Product Benefits
Product marketing is a great method for explaining your product’s benefits. B2B SaaS marketers can plan and execute a product marketing strategy highlighting the product strengths to convert potential buyers into pair customers.
Paving Way for Future Releases
Once you have released one product it is a continuous loop of seasonal product marketing. This is because any brand wouldn’t stop at only one product. There will either be a product range or different variations of the same product. In either of the cases, product marketing helps in gathering intent data and customer analytics to help for all upcoming releases.
Product Marketing Framework
You are now aware of how important product marketing is for your business and the different kind of roles it plays. It’s time to understand the product marketing framework. A product marketing framework for software solutions is nothing but a strategy consisting of different ways of marketing a product, mediums to reach the right audience and turn them into customers.
Listed below are elements that you should include in your product marketing framework.
Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
One of the first things to determine in your framework is your ICP. Who you want to target and why you want to target them are the primary things to know even before you start making your product. Having these basics out of the way helps you focus on strategies that help you captivate your potential client’s attention.
Choose the Correct Media Platforms
The internet is full of media tools. Your challenge here is choosing a tool that suits your requirements best. You should invest in alternatives that are easy to use as well as deliver accurate results. Since the world is getting automated, having a tool that automates your business is a bonus.
Look out for Channel Partnerships & Influencers
Product marketing is all about marketing your product through different mediums. One way to do this is by partnering with as many relevant channel partners or brands. Another way is to work with influencers since their reviews are one of the most valued opinions considered on the internet today.
Draft Quality Content
When you get to creating well-written, quality content you always find yourself caught in the product marketing vs content marketing conflict. But you should realize that content marketing and product marketing are both parts of a bigger strategy. That is why marketers should leverage content of the product they are trying to market as it one of the biggest pillars of the strategy. A Media 7 interview excerpt of the CMO of a technology solutions platform explains how content can empower your product marketing framework.
Content truly powers experience channels like an ecommerce platform, a website, a great experience through a mobile device, and the delivery and distribution of content for downstream channels.
Ed Breault, Chief Marketing Officer – Aprimo
Set Realistic Targets
You have a product marketing strategy in place but executing it without any targets is pointless. Before you launch a product, always set realistic goals that are not too overwhelming but still remain challenging. When you are aware of your targets, you get clarity about the tools to use and whom to approach when selling your product.
Plan a Promotion Schedule
Product marketing can be conducted at many levels. Having a promotion schedule is always a smart option to make your marketing activities instrumental. When you maintain a schedule for your product sales, you know what’s done, what’s in the pipeline, what needs to be improved, and which activity is giving you results.
Launch & Monitor
Data-driven product marketing is an important element that should be a part of your product marketing framework. Launching a strategy won’t suffice, monitoring it and making suitable changes to achieve the desired results should be the end goal.
Must-have Components of a Product Marketing Strategy
You have gathered a bunch of innovative product marketing ideas for your new product. So, now is the time to include those motives in your strategy. While creating a strategy might be simple, its lucrativeness can’t be guaranteed. From Deck 7’s experience, considering the following product marketing synergy initiatives while designing your product marketing strategy will make it a full-fledged plan.
Before you consider anything else about B2B product marketing, having a quality product in place is of utmost importance. You should also pay attention to weather your product resonates with the needs of your potential clients. As a marketer, you need to build a product that fulfils your audience’s requirements and stands apart from your competitors.
Your potential customers are the people who will help you grow your business. Ignoring them is the last mistake you want to make. Considering who your target audience is simplifies the product marketing process flow. This is because all your marketing activities can be directed towards individuals who would pay for your product as it fulfils their requirements.
Knowing what your competition is doing is always a safe tactic in any kind of business. It’s especially true in product marketing. Numerous products are getting launched one after another which have similar characteristics. This puts the buyer in a fix since they have too many options to choose from. When you are aware of your competitor’s strategies you have the chance to increase your brand loyalty by providing a little more than what they do and thus lead your potential buyer to notice you before anyone else.
The internet is full of ads and a whole lot of information about products and services. The possibility of information existing on social media about a product similar to yours is guaranteed. As a result, your content and social ad messages should cover the pain points of your potential buyers and grab their attention.
Having the right tools to make your product launch plan successful equates to great product marketing. Apart from that when you make use of the appropriate tools, your chances of executing your product marketing framework well are much higher. You can also reach your target audience easily with the help of various social and lead gen tools.
Deck 7 experts recommend including analysis to be a part of your product marketing strategy because you can gauge customer success with clarity. With clear statistics, you can judge better and alter your product marketing activities according to the response that you receive. Here's an excerpt from a Media 7 interview of the CMO of a global leader in purchase intent-driven marketing, and he emphasizes the value of keeping data updated.
Even once-accurate data decays amazingly fast. To counter this reality, your data practice should put into place a variety of processes that together comprise a mature “data cleanse and append” approach.
John A. Steinert, Chief Marketing Officer – TechTarget
BDA Strategy for Product Marketing
The BDA strategy is proving to be a universal technique applicable across different kinds of marketing like webinar, product, and service marketing. The best part about this plan of action is that it works for different types of product marketing strategies. When in doubt, use this strategy to introduce a new product in the market and see your product succeed in no time.
Before You Start
Product marketing is a long process. Right from product inception to launching it into the market, there are too many layers involved in the product marketing process flow. Before you finally present your product in the market, make sure you perform the following:
- Regular reminders about your product launch
- Create buzz around the highlights of your product
- Give out interesting facts and benefits of your product
- Find new ways of marketing your product through social media
During the Process
Your product marketing methodology is not going to stay the same across all products. Hence, as product marketing managers you need to be proactive once you have launched your product. Some product marketing responsibilities that you have once the product is set in motion are:
- Keeping your potential customers engaged through different activities
- Conducting polls and surveys to know how your audience is responding
- Giving out personalized messages as much as possible
After the Launch
The product marketing process should continue even after you have launched the product. Once the product is out there in the market there are various ways in which your potential buyers might perceive it. Thus, to ensure your SaaS product marketing strategy is a success and align product marketing and sales enablement, you need to conduct after-launch activities like:
- Retargeting through different mediums
- Repurposing relevant existing content
- Being spontaneous in your responses
KPIs for Measuring the Success of Product Marketing Activities
The product has finally been launched in the market. It’s time to test what has been the effect of your product marketing activities and how it’s going to affect your conversions and ROI.
There are many parameters to judge your product’s success. Here are a few key performance indicators that could indicate the success or failure of a product marketing strategy for SaaS business.
Count of Potential Conversions
Depending on your reach and the kind of product marketing activities you conduct, the count of potential conversions will help you to identify the success of your marketing strategy.
Number of Qualified Leads
Number of product purchases is a definite indication of the success of your product marketing strategy. Qualified leads could be your existing customers or new clients that you have onboarded.
Prevalence of Purchasing Actions
Understanding the frequency of the procurement of your product will also help you to know how your activities are performing and what kind of result will they give.
Product Utilization Metrics
The way your product is utilized gives you an idea of which marketing strategies work for your product and which need improvement for higher conversion.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
The amount of money spent by your customers on your product is directly proportional to the success of your product marketing strategy.
No matter how cliché this sounds, understanding and improving according to your customer’s feedback really helps in making your marketing activities successful.
Product Marketing for 2020 and Beyond
Considering the unprecedented situation, the entire world is facing right now, uncertainty is at its peak. However, businesses are not going stop producing products neither are people going to stop investing in them. The only way to make strides is to tactfully plan and execute product marketing activities that would continue to bring in business.
Mentioned below are some key takeaways that would simplify product marketing management and help promote customer success:
- Make the buyer persona the basis of all your product marketing activities
- Prioritize content as an outreach strategy for promoting your product
- The BDA strategy should have only one goal i.e., sales enablement
- Market your product the way your customers would like rather than how you like it
If you are still confused as to how to go about with your next product marketing strategy, then you should contact a Deck 7 product marketing expert today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of product marketing?
Product marketing plays many roles at ones like, product positioning, understating competitors, determining target audience, aligning buyer journey and defining product benefits. Product marketing not only helps in increasing brand visibility but also guides in reaching the correct audience.
What are the important elements of a product marketing strategy?
Some of the most important components of a product marketing strategy include:
- Target market
What are the KPIs for measuring the success of product marketing?
There are many parameters to judge your product’s success. Here are a few key performance indicators that could indicate the success or failure of a product marketing strategy for SaaS businesses.
- Number of qualified leads
- Count of potential conversions
- Prevalence of purchasing actions
- Product utilization metrics
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Customer feedback
How to create a product marketing framework?
Creating a product marketing framework helps in directing the marketing activities in the correct direction. The framework should typically be based on the following essentials.
- Identify whom to target
- Choose correct media platforms
- Indulge in partnerships
- Draft quality content
- Set targets
- Have a promotional schedule
- Monitor your activities
Why is product marketing important?
Product marketing is crucial as it helps marketers to launch products according to the needs of their target audience. It is a concept that is dependent on the relationship of the product marketers, their audience as well the audience’s needs.