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Go Beyond Features: Keys for Strategic Product Marketing

Go Beyond Features: Keys for Strategic Product Marketing

In the world of technology, consistent and differentiating innovation is the fuel that keeps organizations front and center with customers, sellers, and partners, while presenting opportunities for entire new solutions and market opportunities.  

As growth takes place—some of which will occur organically based on your existing solutions and customers—it’s imperative that your audience has clarity around what this new capability is and how it’s going to help your customers solve one or more problems and grow their business.  

Enter product marketing.  

What is Product Marketing?

If you’re not familiar with product marketing, think of it as the function of identifying the core value of a product or service and putting that into language that creates awareness and demand among customers, sellers, and partners. 

It may be clear to a seller or partner what a particular product feature does and how it can help solve an immediate problem, yet it’s much harder to get to the heart of the unique value the feature delivers to customers. A good product marketing professional considers many aspects and viewpoints to create meaningful and persuasive arguments.

To clarify your product messaging, consider:

  • Does it simply solve a problem, or does it solve the problem and result in greater organizational alignment and efficiencies and drive down costs?  
  • Competing solutions likely suggest similar outcomes, so how do your solutions do it better?  
  • Beyond the feature or product itself, do you have related capabilities or useful integrations that may drive even greater customer value when considered collectively?

Questions of this sort help product marketing managers and teams clarify their strategy, resulting in messaging that resonates with customers because it goes beyond the easy path of simply relaying on “We are better.  Just trust us”.  

Questions to Help You Evaluate Your Product Marketing Maturity 

Here are a few questions to help determine if your marketing bill of materials (BoM) is generating the maximum value of awareness among sellers, partners, and customers.

  1. Does your sales team understand the top three core values your solution offers? When speaking with customers, can they clearly articulate this value? 
    Effective product marketing managers recognize that sales enablement is as important as external activity. After all, your sellers are your first customers. Without carefully constructed fluency from product marketing, your customers and prospects may hear disconnected storytelling of limited value.  
  2. Is it easy for your customers to know exactly how your solution shines versus alternatives? 
    In many industries, there can be dozens of competing solutions. Unless your solution is so unique you have no direct competitors, getting to the heart of your differentiated story is imperative. For those circumstances when your innovations don’t have direct competitors, it’s product marketing’s responsibility to develop a compelling narrative explaining why the absence of your product is not in the customer’s best interest.  
  3. Do sellers, partners, and customers understand where your solution fits within the larger ecosystem and the overall value your organization delivers? 
    In many larger enterprises, your product may be a part of a larger picture. Having a story that combines product value + platform/ecosystem value + company value creates a much more compelling story.
  4. Does the market (analysts, researchers, publications) view your solution positively and talk about your solution in the way you want them to? 
    If you have visibility into key market analysts and researchers or you are presenting in front of an industry audience, you want to artfully educate them so they can effectively advocate on your behalf.  

READ MORE: Innovation in Case Studies: Tips to Empower Tech and Cloud Enterprises with Customer Evidence


The Role of a Product Marketing Manager 

You can also think of the product marketing manager as an advocate whose purpose is to ensure that your sellers and partners have the resources they need. For every audience and channel, they will clearly articulate solution value and ensure that your marketing campaigns are supported by assets that give prospects good reason to move further down the sales funnel. 

The cost of inadequate product marketing 

Sometimes organizations may not employ formal product marketing expertise due to budget constraints, competing priorities, or a scarcity of talent in the market. Without this specialization, opportunities for significant growth can be lost.

Beyond the value of short-term lead generation, insufficient investment in foundational product marketing eliminates long-term access to the wealth of customer data and insights that would otherwise help shape and focus future messaging. In a recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), 58% stated that their organizations simply lack the capabilities required to deliver on their marketing strategies. Product marketing sits at the center of this disconnect. 


Deliver Deeper Value with Your Product Marketing Initiatives 

With tightening budgets and growing operational and security headaches, IT and line-of-business leaders need to get to solutions as fast as possible. They may also consider how a potential new solution can help prevent future problems, make their business safer, save money, and position them as a hero.  

Product marketing creates the story that communicates the core value of a solution and how it relates to your other offerings—and specifically tailored to each of your priority audiences.  

If done correctly, this creates greater demand, and that means growth.  


How Bridge Partners Can Help Up-level Your Product Marketing 

Effective product marketing is as important a component of business success as product development or sales. At Bridge Partners, we help organizations every day by identifying and articulating core solution value.

Organizations typically work with us for a few key reasons:

  • One, we provide boots-on-the-ground product marketing expertise that allows us to come in and start adding value from day one. Combined with a creative and collaborative mindset, we ask hard questions that help shape a compelling story.
  • Two, regardless of the need, we can typically help. Whether you need someone to come in and help create and build out your product marketing strategy and portfolio, or you simply need someone to fill the gaps when you are short-staffed.
  • And three, we bring the entire Bridge Partners experience to your team. With our Content Studio of writers and designers, we have the experts you need at every stage of your engagement. 

To learn more about up-leveling your product marketing, contact us to see how we can help your team. 


About the author

John Powell

John Powell

John is a focused and enthusiastic technology marketer who brings over twenty-five years of experience in helping organizations create successful product and go-to-market strategies, having led dozens of successful product launches. As an Engagement Manager at Bridge Partners, John works with organizations to create go-to-market messaging and impactful content to help drive solution clarity, awareness, and adoption.

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About the Author

John Powell