The Perfect Partnership: Marketing and Product
Three ways B2B marketing and communication teams can help product management and product marketing teams bring their new offerings to market
Business to business (B2B) buying is starting to pick up. Enterprise technology sales processes that were frozen just a few months ago are thawing, and sales are starting to move again. However, the sales process has changed. But that should not stop product marketing and corporate marketing from collaborating to aid their sales teams.
In fact, product innovation during the pandemic has been greatly accelerated. Retooling, reimaging and relaunching products better suited to a touchless environment has pushed forward great innovation in sectors like fintech, supply chain and small business technology.
Now more than ever, it’s critical for B2B marketing and communication (marcomm) teams to help provide the tools and avenues necessary for product management and product marketing teams to bring their new offering to market. Doing so increases the likelihood enterprise buyers have what they need to buy.
Let’s take a look at three ways B2B marcomm teams can partner with product teams to enhance enterprise technology sales:
Remove friction from the buyer’s journey
The right content at the right time helps move tech buyers closer to a sale. In a past issue of Core, we discussed the need to investigate how your buyer’s journey has changed because of the pandemic – but that’s not enough. Today, marcomm teams must work to alleviate as much friction in the buying process as possible.
We need to aid sales teams that are either conducting face-to-face meetings less frequently or not at all during critical phases of the sales process. This means being more intentional in our content creation.
For example, an interactive solution finder can not only help buyers search for a solution to address a pain point but it can also quickly steer them in the right direction. Working with our client Fiserv, we created an interactive tool that lets a large merchant explore the many ways Fiserv can help potential buyers. At the same time, it provides the sales team with critical information to help it know what to discuss when contacting the prospect.
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The event kick-offs at 7:00 a.m. Oct. 15 with virtual networking and breakfast (more on that later). At 7:45 a.m., we launch into mainstage sessions with killer guest speakers and panels. Then we break into roundtable sessions for candid conversations on marketing issues, trends and tactics.Hear from some the smartest tech marketing executives from AdventHealth, COX, Fiserv, Iron Mountain, Lendmark Financial, NCR Corporation, Salesforce.com, Darden School of Business and more.
Clearly visualize your product roadmap
Net new sales are not necessarily the easiest way for enterprise tech companies to attain revenue goals. Product management and marketing teams spend a great deal of time improving, enhancing, and extending current product capabilities, that enables upselling and cross-selling to existing clients.
Marcomm teams that work with product teams to clearly lay out key product roadmaps can stir product excitement and ring up more revenue. A simple visual depiction of your product roadmap is not only useful for existing customers but allows prospects to see you are committed to your offering and working to advance it.
For example, knowing that machine learning is on the roadmap for a product or service offering can keep prospects from axing you from their shortlist if they think it’s a technology they might need to leverage in the future.
Get inside your customers’ heads
Today’s B2B customers want to know sellers understand their ever-changing needs and at the same time are more likely to trust peers than information sellers put on their website. Savvy marcomm teams capitalize on both trends.
Standing up a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) is a great way to collect meaningful and actionable information from your buyers. Beyond product feedback or insights on the customer experience, a CAB can be used to provide guidance on product roadmaps, beta test new offerings and gain market intelligence.
A CAB is a powerful asset a marketer can use to build customer case studies, testimonials, and overall thought leadership content. By making your customers the heroes, sales, product and marketing teams all win.
On a wider scale, marcomm teams can conduct voice-of-customer (VOC) research to discover the wants and needs of customers through quantitative research.
Your customers’ words are powerful. In fact, SurveyMonkey research found 82% of people trust the voice of your customer over brand or product copy. While a case study or two is great, relaying the voice of your customers at scale is tremendously helpful. This is where true VOC research comes into the equation.
Quantitative VOC research enables you to tap into far more customers than a marcomm team can even if it has a robust case study program. VOC surveys done right yield big results – unearthing unexpected proof points, validating return on investment (ROI) claims, and flagging potential weaknesses early.
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Throughout October, check out www.arketi.com/pinkMike to see what Mike is up to and to find out how you can help beat back breast cancer!
Partnerships deliver power
While it’s tempting to stay busy within the trappings of typical marketing and communication tactics, technology companies that excel tend to have a highly collaborative marketing, product and sales organization.
High-performing marketing executives push this collaboration forward. Using your team’s talents to execute marcomm strategies that remove friction from the buyer’s journey, showcase your product’s future, and tap into your customers, positions both your team and your enterprise for success.
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