This is for all the forward thinking CMOs who accelerate revenue growth: Product marketing is dead.

B2B customers care little about your product.

 

What customers care about isn’t you, your company, or the product content you produce.

 

In the age where customer experience is paramount, an “outward-in” approach is imperative to developing compelling content that fuels revenue growth – and your product marketing content does not and will not do that.

 

Download our Solutions Marketing Maturity Evaluation Tool to leverage 10 questions to evaluate Market Maturity, rate your company performance based on these questions, and find your company’s weak areas in Market Maturity.

 

Antiquated product-centric marketing departments create ineffective silos and prevent revenue growth. In contrast, modern solutions-centric marketing departments eliminate silos and provide seamless integration with product and sales teams. The Solution Marketing department drives clarity with the customer problems your organization solves, which comprehensively spans your company’s offerings.

 

If you are still not convinced a change to Solutions Marketing is required, evaluate the challenges you’ve been attempting to solve, for example:

 

  • Your customers are more focused on cost than value

     

  • Your competitors are increasing in market share

     

  • You continue to lose prospects and customers to specific competition

     

  • Your average sale price (ASP) is not growing at the rate of your industry

     

  • Your deal volume is stagnant or declining

     

As a simple example, think about the taxi industry. Lyft, Uber, etc. developed a solution to get from point A to point B efficiently and cost effectively. In the taxi days one had to have cash on hand and didn’t know pricing until the ride was complete. Solving a problem for the customer (Lyft, Uber), over offering a product (Taxi), will consistently create wins for your organization.

 

Once you’ve committed to fueling revenue growth through Solutions Marketing, it is time to get started.

 

There are 4 key steps to building your world class solutions marketing capability:

 

  1. Assess the maturity of your Product/Solutions Marketing function

     

  2. Identify how the offering set solves the prospect and customer challenges

     

  3. Define the target personas and their roles in solving the challenges

     

  4. Develop the content that consistently converts prospects into customers

     

Today’s blog covers the first step in deploying the Solution Marketing function. 

 

Determining your Organization’s Solution Marketing Maturity

 

Use the Solutions Marketing Maturity Model to gauge where your Solutions Marketing team is starting from. You can use the Solutions Marketing Maturity Evaluation Tool to help with this exercise.

 

Solution Marketing Maturity Model

 

 

The good news? Most organizations (~51%) haven’t evolved past Level 1. The bad news? Every day your competition is making strides towards Solution Marketing. Innovation is occurring in micro-conversations between your competition’s sales and your lost customers. Your prospects expect supporting content throughout all modes and engagement stages, and they don’t expect to read between the lines. It is time to make it easy for them.

 

If you are Level 1 you have expertise that is focused on a specific domain, product and/or service. Your Product Marketing team focuses on features, function and competitive differences.  Value propositions are understood at the product level, but rarely applied to a customer’s individual drive for acquiring the solution.

 

If you made it to Level 2, you’ve figured out on a macro-level and a micro-level how to represent the Solution to the customer’s problem, but haven’t connected the dots to drive strategic value. You’ve also only done so conceptually, and are yet to execute.

 

Your Level 3 organization has implemented the Solution Marketing strategy in tight alignment with the corporate vision for customer solutions. However, you’ve still not made your influence felt outside the Marketing walls and into the Product and Sales functions.

 

In Level 4 you’ve gone above and beyond by driving seamless interlock with solutions across product and sales teams. There is now a path to innovation because customer feedback permeates the organization and continuously improves solutions. This emerging best practice optimizes customer value and makes your organization the industry leader.

 

Now that you’ve assessed your organization’s Solutions Marketing maturity, it is time to do something about it. Please subscribe to SBIs blogs today and look out for more content on this and other topics.

 

Related content:

 

Download our Solutions Marketing Maturity Evaluation Tool to leverage 10 questions to evaluate Market Maturity, rate your company performance based on these questions, and find your company’s weak areas in Market Maturity.

 


 

Additional Resources

 

Looking for a unique, facility for your next executive off-site? If so, book a 1-2 day meeting at The Studio, located in Dallas, TX. Our facility offers state-of-the-art meeting rooms, lounge, full-service bar, and a studio used to tape our TV shows. SBI provides the location and facilitators, all at a compelling price point.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sid Nakappan

Helping clients achieve rapid sustainable revenue growth through extraordinary customer focus.

Sid leads complex multi-functional consulting engagements by putting his client and their customers first. Sid’s focus on customer experience and success unifies marketing, sales, and product teams. Taking a cross-functional lens, Sid fuels and empowers his clients to activate value levers to make their number.

 

With over 16 years in consulting, operations, and sales roles, Sid brings a methodical approach that advances ideation towards strategy, and strategy towards execution. Sid complements his strategy, sales, and marketing knowledge with program and change management to position his clients and their business partners for success.

 

Prior to joining SBI, Sid held a variety of leadership positions where he served mid size and Fortune 500 clients. Past successes include growing and scaling an industry leading SaaS organization from $24.6M to $52.8M over a 3 year period (leading to acquisition), developing product offerings from the ground up, and establishing a product benchmarking capability for a $164B company.

 

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