Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Product, Solution and Industry Marketing. . . the Next Evolution

Product marketing needs to undergo a significant evolution in the technology industry. It must no longer be marginalized as a content creation role or simply included as part of product management. Companies have an opportunity to lead this evolution by leveraging product, solution, and industry marketers to drive innovation in the organization and better meet the needs of their customers. Here are some key insights and guidance for tech marketers:
  • Companies should conduct a comprehensive audit of their product, solution, and industry marketing practices and apply a consistent definition of roles and responsibilities across the organization. This should include rules of engagement for these teams to interact within marketing, with other functions (e.g., product management and sales), and across business units where applicable. (contact me to receive a free copy of our 2007 Technology Marketing and Sales Taxonomy doc which includes definitions of these roles - mgerard@idc.com)
  • Innovation will be mandatory for next-generation tech leaders, from a product and solution perspective as well as a marketing and sales execution perspective — and product, solution, and industry marketers are in the best position to drive innovation across these areas. These teams must better incorporate the voice of the customer into the fabric of the organization, within product management for product and solution development and within sales and marketing for the customer creation process.
  • A key theme for the next 12-18 months is to get "ahead of the curve" on sales and marketing alignment and integration. In a recent study conducted by IDC, tech sales executives gave marketing a grade of 62 out of 100 for meeting sales' support needs. Product, solution, and industry marketers are in the ideal position to leverage their technology and vertical knowledge, coupled with marketing skill sets to improve sales efficiency and effectiveness.

Source: CMO Advisory Best Practices Series: Product, Solution and Industry Marketing, IDC #206551, April 2007.

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