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.
Richard Weiss, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Influitive
At the end of the day your customers are people. As Product Marketers we have to stop thinking about them as logos and learn to build lasting relationships that are give and take to get to know them on a 1-to-1 level. When you do, you reap the rewards. They become a part of your marketing stack and in indispensable resource.
Big Idea: “Build a relationship with your customer that goes beyond the transaction and you’ll be paid back in dividends.”
Watch Richard’s presentation here
Jeff Lash, Group Director, Go-to-Market
The relationship between Product Marketing and Product Management can sometimes be strained, contentious or non-existent. There is often confusion or conflict about roles and responsibilities and highly-charged opinions about how the functions should work together. However, in high performing organizations, there is close collaboration between Product Marketing and Product Management. The presentation explored the best practices for both functions, including roles and responsibilities, activities to promote interlock and the evolution of each role.
“Just as important as clear responsibilities is the recognition of how the two functions need to interlock throughout the entire innovation, go-to-market and product life cycle process. Even when one role takes the lead on a specific activity or deliverable, they cannot complete it in isolation or just throw things over the wall to each other. High performing product organizations recognize the importance of both roles and structure their processes to ensure alignment.”
We’ve included a link to Jeff’s video presentation.
Jon Gatrell, Instructor
Pragmatic Marketing Inc.
The market is moving too fast for legacy methods and processes in Product Marketing. With buyers, users and markets evolving, the strategic planning and delivery models for marketers need to change. This presentation provides a starting point to start thinking agile and changing the planning process for marketing teams.
“Knowing your market and applying market driving priorities are critical to positioning your business and products for market leadership.”
We’ve included a link to Jon’s video presentation.