In the search for my next career move, I’ve had to sort through countless job titles and descriptions. The quality of and variations in the content are staggering, but the exercise really helped me to see the one thing that tied them all together:
All Marketing is Product Marketing
After all, why be in business if you don’t have a product of some sort to promote? Whether you want to sell a widget, offer a service, or promote an organization, we all want to know the same things:
Who is my customer and what do they want?
What’s the best way to sell my product?
Is what I’m doing actually working?
I’ve organized the steps I think are needed to successfully market a product and answer those questions into four key areas I call P.E.M.A.
Let’s break it down:
YOU CANNOT SKIP THIS STEP! I estimate that preparation should take at least 50% of your time, if not more. This is what tells you if people will want your product, if someone else is doing it better, and then equips you for success. Preparation includes research and tools.
Developing Buyer Personas (detailed depictions of your customer and their behavior)
Benchmarking (identifying your top competitors and their strengths/weaknesses)
S.W.O.T. Analysis (your product’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
Tools could include:
Positioning Document (product statements based on the results of the research)
Goals/Targets/Objectives (what you want to achieve, and how results will be measured)
Business Plan / Go To Market Plan (how you are going to achieve it)
Sales Tools (the specific elements needed to succeed)
If you have done proper preparation in the step above, execution is a matter of managing the planned activities according to a schedule and budget. If you have not, you will be stuck in execution mode indefinitely.
Like preparation, measuring results is essential to success. It’s the only way to tell if what you’re doing is working. Unfortunately, this step is often skipped in favor of more execution. Taking the time for measurement is a discipline. Nurture it.
Another pitfall is selective results, showing only what makes a promotion look successful. Be honest. Don’t just make a chart because the boss wants a chart...make sure the results tell a story that enables action and progress.
Once you have consistent reporting that tells a meaningful story, listen to it! Let it challenge your assumptions. Let it lead to changes in tactics (and perhaps budget). Results mean nothing if you don’t do anything with them.
I hope you can see how your “product” can benefit from P.E.M.A.