Eric Fletcher, Vice President Marketing, RICOH
Launch Process is complicated and comes at the end of a tremendous amount of work. Getting it all correct is difficult especially when working in the services area. You will never have enough money, people and time to complete the work in a manner you want. Prioritize your launches based on value to organization. Product features are not enough for a successful launch. Check early losses to see what you can learn for improvement. Then Iterate! Follow a template for launch and prioritize based on time & resources.
Insight: “Product/Service Marketing roles are extremely challenging and tough roles. They impact the Canadian marketplace and many times the global marketplace. These roles are huge levers for an organization and have a multiplying effect well beyond one person.”
Watch Eric’s presentation here
Kathleen Martin, Director, Sales Enablement, Intelex Technologies
Effective sales enablement requires so much more than just alerting the sales team at product launch. Yet, often Sales is an after-thought in this process.
At Intelex Technologies, sales readiness is a team sport. Cross-functional teams are aligned to a best practice model that equips Sales with the insights, competency and confidence needed to be productive and efficient in their selling activities in order to ensure the investment is realized through revenue.
“Learning is not an event; it’s a process. In order to help Sales consume new knowledge and understand how to use insights and tools in the context of customer conversations, sales enablement programs must have clear and measurable objectives, provide opportunity to engage and interact, ensuring that – when the training has been forgotten – Sales knows where and who to go to for ‘in the moment’ support.”
Watch Kathleen’s presentation here
David Pereira, President, GET LIFT Agency
Compelling, engaging content that your buyer cares about simply doesn’t just happen. It is built on a deep understanding of your buyer. By giving them helpful content that educates and answers questions, you earn the right to be on their shortlist.
However the problem is that marketers battle constraints (resources, time, budget) when building out content. A good starting point is to conduct a content audit to understand where you have gaps and where you should invest in content. Another content hack is to repurpose large pieces of content into smaller pieces that can be used over different channels.
Marketers often suffer from Stockholm Syndrome – They take on the worldview of their employer and forget what it’s like to be a regular person. You spend about 2,000 hours a year involved in your product or business. Your buyer isn’t nearly as invested in your business but they are invested in their own needs. Make your content helpful and accessible to your buyers so that they can easily see the connection between their current and future needs and your ability to satisfy them.
Watch David’s presentation here
Mark Evans, Principle, ME Consulting
In a fast-moving, multitasking world, messaging is important because it is how brands clearly and effectively communicate with multiple stakeholders – customers, employees, partners, investors, media, etc. Being able to communicate what you do, who you serve and why it matters can be the difference between attracting customers or watching them go to competitors.
“Invest the time (and money) to create strong messaging. It will produce a long-term ROI and create a foundation for lots of other corporate activities – marketing, sales, social media, customer service, etc.”
Watch Mark’s presentation here
April Dunford, CEO, Sprint.ly
Product framing is the act of providing context to help prospects understand what you are and why they should care. As simple as the concept is, it is rarely done consciously if at all. The talk discussed what framing is, how it can help your products be more successful and how there are 4 styles of framing to consider.
“Prospects need context to help them understand what your product is and the value that it delivers. Providing the wrong context can give your competitors an edge in the market. Marketers should consciously evaluate potential frames for their offerings and choose the one that puts them at an advantage.”
Watch April’s presentation here
Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer, Quarry
Rebuilding the view of the customer for the experiential shift
“Product-focus” is increasingly contrasted (unfavorably) with “customer- focus.” So is this a bad time to be a “Product Marketer?” No, “product marketers” are responsible for targeting insight. And so they can set the stage for differentiating customer experiences through the depth and quality of that insight. But there is a proviso: Segmentation frameworks that were optimized for product-centric marketing are not good vessels for the kind of insight that leads to experiential differentiation.
“Segmentation frameworks are technology. Specifically, they are “conceptual infrastructure.” Like other infrastructure technology, they often operate unnoticed … until something breaks. Like other infrastructure technology, they are subject to occasional obsolescence. And the trend of customer experience to become a major differentiation factor across many industries means there is a wave of such obsolescence underway.”
Watch Glen’s presentation here
Bruce Warren, SVP Product Marketing, VisionCritical
Product Marketing is undervalued in many organizations today, but this is not a fault of management. Rather, it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the value the function brings. It is only by clearly defining and articulating the role and how it can contribute to profitable growth that this can be overcome. The presentation covers the key challenges and opportunities of establishing Product Marketing at B2B technology companies.
“Product Marketers should think about their role in two key areas: 1. “Product” focused work (market requirements, buyer personas, competitive intelligence, pricing & packaging, etc.) and 2. “Marketing” focused work (product/solution positioning, marketing planning, Public Relations and Analyst Relations support, sales tools and collateral, etc.). Getting the balance right for your organization’s needs is key to driving the value of the PMM function at your company both for individual contributors and managers.”
Watch Bruce’s presentation here
Mei Burgin, Cloud Marketing Leader, IBM North America
B2B buying behavior has evolved. To engage and attract clients today, we need a new marketing approach that revolves around the buyer.
We must use data—at every stage of the process—to see, understand, and respond to the needs of our buyers. We must dramatically shift:
- From product-focused to buyer-centric
- From push marketing to inbound, digital engagement
- From imprecise segmentation to buyer cohorts
To this end, IBM has spearheaded the “New Work of Marketing” initiative. Mei Burgin discussed key learnings so far, surrounding “Diamond Teams”, Activation, Culture Change and their 26-Step Operating Model.
Watch Mei’s presentation here
Jonathan Grieb , Practice Leader
The buying environment is changing: customers have more information sources and are more empowered than ever to make decisions about their problems, potential solutions and your offerings. The result is a disturbing trend towards commoditization, where customers are no longer willing to pay for the differences in performance. CEB shares how winning suppliers challenge their customers with new ideas about their business and employ modern marketing strategies that re-frame how customers assign value to those differences.
We’ve included a link to Jonathan’s video presentation.