December 18, 2017

Archives for 2015

Webcast – Driving the Marketing and Sales Funnel to Close Deals: What Product Marketers Must Know and Do!

Date:  Dec 11, 1:00 PM CT

The Product Marketer is responsible for ensuring demand for a product in the market, and part of that responsibility is “guiding” marketing programs that will drive that demand.  Without a clear understanding of the Product Marketer’s role in demand generation, demand generation programs too often lack clarity and focus and deliver marginal results.  But what does this really mean for the Product Marketer?  What must the Product Marketer know and be able to do to effectively drive demand?

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • A clear definition of Product Marketing’s role in demand generation
  • How Product Marketing interfaces with the rest of the marketing organization
  • How to define program goals
  • How to determine the best methods of customer acquisition
  • How to define program metrics and monitor the marketing and sales funnel

Webcast – Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something: Enabling Your Sales Channel For Success

Date:  November 19, 12pm CT

Too often, those of us in the product marketing role are not doing enough to help our sales team or sales channel be successful.  Our typical approach to helping is to provide a new salesperson with some marketing collateral and a product presentation and then wish them luck as they look for prospects and try to close deals with anyone that listens.  This approach is sufficient for the star salespeople as they intuitively know how to talk with the right potential buyers about their problems and then show these buyers how to solve these problems with their products or services.  But unfortunately, this only represents about 20% of salespeople.  The other 80% of sales people need more training and coaching to be successful and we as product marketers need to help them be successful.  This is the process of “Sales Enablement”.

What happens when we don’t engage in the sales enablement process?  Sales people pursue opportunities that don’t fit well with your solution, speak with the prospects that aren’t really decision makers, sell solutions that you don’t really have and the list can go on.  But the overall resulting impact is wasted time and effort in pursuing the wrong opportunities, confusion in the market place and poor sales results.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to create a Sales Enablement program that will make your sales channel significantly more productive and close better deals faster for your products.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Why the typical approach to enabling sales doesn’t work.
  • The key goals of a successful Sales Enablement program.
  • The core tools you need to develop to effectively enable your sales channel.
  • Best practices to make sure the Sales Enablement program is effectively implemented.

 

Webcast: How to Create Effective Sales & Marketing Tools That Actually Get Used By Sales and Prospects! – Oct 15, 2015

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), “Up to 90% of collateral created by marketing is never used by sales.”  That is an astounding statistic which should be a wakeup call to those of us in Product Marketing that we need to be doing something different.   Most of the time, sales doesn’t use our tools because the tools are ineffective, and the reasons for this include:

  • Too many companies create a standard checklist of marketing and sales tools based upon what someone used in a past company, without any consideration as to what is really needed in this company.
  • Too much content is about the company and their products with little discussion about the buyers and users and what they need.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • A process for discovering and defining what sales & marketing tools are required for your target markets.
  • How to develop content that resonates with your target audiences.
  • How to use your marketing and sales tools to create alignment with the sales team.

Real Product Managers Don’t Twerk

Twerking was the Runner Up in “Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year” (after Selfie) and is a sexually provocative style of dancing.

So what does Twerking have to do with Product Management and Product Marketing?

I would suggest that the reason most people (especially celebrities) Twerk is to attract attention to themselves.  While this often does create immediate and significant buzz, does it create long term value and long-term fan loyalty for them?   And when Twerking no longer shocks, what is the next shocking thing they have to do to keep attracting attention.

From a Product Management & Product Marketing perspective, Twerking is when we take actions with our products or marketing that might create short-term attention, but don’t create long-term value.  We take tactical actions that don’t necessarily support a solid growth strategy.  We trade-off the long-term reward for a short-term gain.  When we do a product or marketing Twerk, we might gain some temporary attention, and attract some eyeballs , but have we really created long-term sustainable value and customer loyalty?

How do Product Managers/Marketers Twerk?  

We Twerk when we:

  • Add cool features or a new cool user interface to our products without considering the value for our customers;
  • Invest a lot of money in a one time marketing action (e.g., dotcom Super Bowl adds);
  • Do marketing that entertains, but doesn’t inform or persuade the prospect (e.g., dotcom Super Bowl adds);
  • Chase the shiny objects (market opportunities) in the market without regard to our overall strategy and the true viability of the opportunity (can I say dotcom boom again).

All of these might create a short-term win, but rarely do they lead to creating long-term value.

I know your asking, “But Tom, don’t we need to create buzz in the market?”   Yes, of course you need to create buzz in the market, but it should always be done as part of an overall strategy.   Sure, there are examples of companies creating long-term success from short-term buzzes, but those tend to be the exception and not the rule.   You best bet is focus on a clear strategy that delivers long-term value and find ways to create buzz that support that strategy.

The next time you make decisions around product enhancements, new market opportunities, market messages or a marketing campaign, take a moment to consider, are you creating true long-term value based upon a well defined strategy, or are you just Twerking?  Executing solid Product Management and Product Marketing practices is the foundation for successful strategies.

Hmm, now that I think about it, would I consider this blog post a Twerk?

 

BTW – Please share your favorite Product or Marketing Twerks in the comments below!!

Webcast: From Messaging Nightmare to Messaging Delight – How to Create a Powerful Messaging Platform – Sept 17th

If you were to do a survey of executives, sales people, marketing and other market facing personnel within a company and ask them how they would describe a specific product to a potential prospect, I bet in the majority of cases, you would hear almost as many explanations as there were people interviewed.  This really is a messaging nightmare that might be undermining the success of your product(s).  This results in significant marketplace confusion, impacts revenue generation and reflects poorly on your product.  We as Product Managers and Product Marketers like to blame the messenger for this problem, but the likely reality is that we are at fault.  As PMs & PMMS, we must own the message and then enable the organization to take this message to the market.   The starting point for doing this is a Powerful Messaging Platform.

Key Takeaways from participating in this webinar:

    • Understand the key business drivers for developing a messaging platform
    • Discover the most important, but yet often overlooked, starting point for your messaging
    • Learn the five key components of a successful Messaging Platform
    • Understand how the Messaging Platform contributes to more success in the market

Webcast: Profitable Products Sell Value: Why Value-Based Pricing Wins – August 13, 2015

Pricing is the fastest and most effective way for companies to increase profitability.   Studies show that a 1% increase in pricing has a greater positive impact on profitability than does a 1% increase in sales volume or a 1% decrease in costs.  Unfortunately, too many companies think tactically about pricing and do not effectively price for profitability.  In this webinar, we’ll discuss common mistakes that companies make in pricing and identify best pricing practices that will enable them to maximize company profitability.

Key Takeaways from participating in this webinar:

  • Understand key principles for defining pricing
  • Connect your pricing strategy to your Go-to-Market strategy
  • Discover ways to define your price based upon your value proposition

 

Webcast: Great Requirements Form the Foundation for Successful Products – July 16, 2015

Every once in a while, we start using a product that totally enchants us.  We feel like it fits us perfectly and we never want to put it down or quit using it.   It’s just that amazing.

What makes products like this so amazing?   What is the secret ingredient?   Is it the design and user experience (UX)?   Is it a new technology that was used?   Maybe it’s a new and innovative way for doing something?   All of these elements are essential to making products that we love, but rarely do these elements happen without a strong foundation of excellent requirements.

Excellent requirements start with a “deep and intimate understanding” of our buyers and users in our target markets.   Excellent requirements continue when we create a “shared understanding” of our buyers and users with those people who will design and develop the product.

In this webinar, Tom Evans will share ways to develop that deep and intimate understanding of buyers and users and then share techniques to communicate those requirements to enable the designers and developers to create amazing products.

Key Takeaways from participating in this webinar:

  • Understand how bad requirements can lead to bad products.
  • Learn multiple techniques for developing a deep understanding of your buyers and users.
  • Identify multiple techniques for communicating requirements to the solution development team to ensure that they understand the context of your target buyers and users.

 

Define a Powerful Go-to-Market Strategy That Sets Your Product Apart – June 25

Your Go-to-Market Strategy is the foundation that defines how you’re going to compete with your product and win in the market.  But all too often, companies jump right to defining their product or marketing tactics without a solid foundation of strategy.  And even when a Product Manager or Product Marketer makes an attempt to define a Go-to-Market Strategy, too often, it’s created without solid evidence or without the depth necessary to make it compelling.  And because different stakeholders have different ideas and definitions for a Go-to-Market Strategy, they are unlikely going to satisfy the expectations of all stakeholders.

In this webinar, we’ll help you to create a clear understanding of what a Go-to-Market Strategy is and what Product Management and Product Marketing need to do to create a powerful Go-to-Market Strategy that will set their product apart from the competition.

Key Takeaways from participating in this webinar:

    • Develop a common definition for a Go-to-Market Strategy that can be shared with your organization
    • Learn the seven elements that go into a complete Go-to-Market Strategy
    • Understand the essential steps to creating your Go-to-Market Strategy

 

What “Levers of Control” Do Product Managers & Product Marketers Have to Drive Revenue & Product Success

Way too often in the world of Product Management and Product Marketing, we complain that we can’t take responsibility for achieving revenue and success metrics for our products as there are too many factors outside of our control.

  • We can’t make Engineering develop the right product with the right quality!
  • Salespeople will sell what they want to in order to maximize their income!
  • Marketing is so focused on making pretty stuff, they forget about our products!

While we don’t have direct authority over any of these roles, we do have “Levers of Control”, that when effectively used, will better align your key stakeholders to support the success of your product in the market, enabling you to take responsibility for Product Success.

Your “Levers of Control” are directly tied to the Foundations of Marketing.

  • Market Analysis
  • Go-to-Market Strategy
  • 4 P’s  – Product, Price, Place, Promotion

Please join me for my Webinar on Thursday, April 23 – The Strategic Role of Product Management & Product Marketing and learn what these levers of control are and how you can use them to make yourself a more Strategic Product Manager or Product Marketer.

Register for Webinar

In the following months, we’ll address each one of these levers of control in more detail via my Go-to-Market Webinar Series.

 

 

Developing a Deep Understanding of Your Target Markets: The Starting Point for Great Product Management & Marketing – June 11

In my April 23rd Webinar, I presented the importance of becoming more Strategic as Product Managers and Product Marketers.  The starting point for this is to clearly understand our target markets.  Too much activity in Product Management/Marketing is guided by our own assumptions, internal discussions and anecdotal information.  If we are serious about being great Product Managers & Product Marketers, we must develop a deep (or dare I shall say intimate) understanding of our target markets.  In this webinar, we’ll show what you must learn about your target markets and how to do it?

Key Takeaways from participating in this webinar:

  • Learn the 3 key points you must know about your target markets
  • Discover essential frameworks that will allow you to effectively describe your target markets to sales, marketing and executive management.
  • Understand how this understanding leads to great Product Management & Product Marketing