Keynote: Product Marketing to Empowered Customers, CEB

Michael McCune, Senior Executive Advisor, CEB

Many B2B Product Marketers realize 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 shows 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. The CEB model works, but the onus is on Product Marketers to ask hard questions about their roles: Why are customers not responding to our value propositions? Why does voice of the customer suddenly feel so shallow? Why does it seem like customers won’t take action? The answers to the questions reveal new strategies Product Marketers can use to generate high quality sales and deeply engage today’s empowered customer.

Click here to view Michael’s presentation.

KEYNOTE: Rethink Product Marketing. Hint: It’s not Marcom!

Jon Gatrell, Pragmatic Instructor, Pragmatic Marketing Inc

“Forget the product. Start with the go-to-market strategy.” Steve Jobs Too many companies think of marketing as what happens at the end of development. But the idea of “build the right product and it will sell itself” is simply not true. Successful companies have marketing – true Product Marketing – integrated into their processes from the start. Join Pragmatic Marketing Inc to discuss the expanding role of Product Marketing within today’s leading technology companies. Discover how Product Marketing differs from traditional marketing communications. Jon will share real-life case studies to illustrate the importance of involving Product Marketing before the product is built and creating strategic go-to-market plans from the start. Finally, Jon addresses how the integrated role of Product Marketing requires agility, iteration and collaboration to be successful, especially as the pace of change quickens in the markets we serve. Other insights you will receive include: Understanding what Product Marketing is and why it is important Knowing when and how to begin go-to-market planning Implementing specific techniques for creating adaptive go-to-market strategies

Click here to view Jon’s presentation. 

Product Launch

Eric FletcherEric 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

Sales Enablement

Kathleen MartinKathleen 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.

Big Idea:

“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

Buyer Journey Mapping 

David PereiraDavid 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 EvansMark 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.

Key idea:

“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 2April Dunford, CEO,

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