A common ground between sales and product marketing can be found at that fork in the road where product marketing decides how to successfully target marketing communications collateral to deliver the most effective return on investment. In our experience we have found it works best for promotional content to be written on sales topics, meaning topics that present popular market requirements for relevant solutions. Of course, the popular market requirements should amount to the demand, meaning the need, for methods of solving precisely the type of problem that products/services/integrated solutions have been designed to address.
Here’s an example:
For heavily regulated businesses it is mandatory to file periodic reports with regulatory agencies. These reports usually provide a comprehensive list of activities, and related documents, including email correspondence.
In terms of pervasive market requirements (commonly referred to as “pain points”), one could argue that the whole requirement of reporting to regulatory agencies constitutes a problem requiring a solution. However, if one’s product happens to be a highly effective method of collecting copies of all email messages, and sorting them by employee and also by activity, regardless of whether messages are sent through public servers like GMail, Yahoo Mail, or private servers including Microsoft Exchange, or Google Apps for Business, then we think that the promotional collateral produced for the product must focus, entirely, on the specific challenge of email messaging for regulated businesses.
In sum, one aspect of successfully targeting marketing collateral for software products/services/integrated solutions is to write copy on topics as close to the specific area of need that one’s product is designed to solve as possible. A second critically important aspect of the same process, is to address the editorial content to the type of reader who promises to exercise the most influence over a purchase decision. In other words, the presumed audience for the content must be the group of decision-makers, including end users, analysts and implementation project managers, and, where possible, management with budget authority to authorize purchases.
From our experience, once the dominant theme has been established, the rest of the promotional collateral effort should include components designed for each member of the decision-making group. The point of having different pieces of editorial content available, is to encourage the development of purchase interest over time.
In fact, for enterprise markets, developing interest over time often amounts to communicating a product message to different members within a decision-making group. At an early stage it may be a user, in other words an IT professional, who will develop interest in a solution. For this user it will likely be useful to produce technical promotional content on the product, how it works, etc. But at a later stage it may be personnel involved with any project to implement a solution like one’s product that will benefit most from promotional content, etc.
In the next post to this blog we will look at why it is important that a consistent theme (at a very high level), one that is clearly organized in a top down manner, be implemented for any/all targeted marketing collateral included in the effort if the campaign is to be successful.
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