Product Marketing

‘Product marketing’ is specific discipline within the marketing environment – it interprets the ‘voice of the customer’ and acts as a hub on which the other marketing and business disciplines can base their activities.  In smaller, specialised and highly dynamic organisations the product management, product marketing, marketing operations and marketing communications functions all overlap – this requires agile and experienced marketers to address all the diverse needs of the customer and business.

My product marketing services include:

  • market intelligence (trend/technology/product/customer/competitor)
  • positioning and messaging
  • proposition and commercialisation
  • product marketing plan creation
  • product launch and life-cycle management
  • sales tools and training
  • demand generation (strategy, tactics and programs)

A ‘proposition’ is the whole story that is told to and experienced by customers – it involves every aspect of the customer journey and every function within a business.  A proposition doesn’t happen by magic – you need to orchestrate and manage it.

When developing a commercial or technology propositions I always start with the customer and work backwards through the organisation addressing each element and function individually – the resultant proposition is then tested and refined in small increments using agile methodology.  This proven methodology is designed to deal with unpredictable events and processes and delivers a robust proposition that can be clearly communicated and executed by everybody charged with implementing it.

My proposition development services include:

  • New technology and service proposition development
  • Customer, organisation and market insight and mapping
  • Proposition development – cross functional team leadership
  • Marketing operations, product management, marketing communications process mapping

Marketing operations is now a highly technical function within the business environment that uses technology, data and systems to engage with an organisation’s customers and systems users.  The creation of and integration with complex systems from CRM, ERP, website, search, mobile applications and external systems such as logistics and finance requires a wide range of technical and business skills and experience to implement effectively.

With my wide experience I have an understanding of the capabilities of the major communication and information technologies which I believe are critical to helping my clients to choose, design and implement the right marketing systems.  And, a deep understanding of the business environment and customers’ needs help to create and refine processes to deliver the best and most efficient experience for all.

As with many information technology based systems much of the implementation is executed by external contractors.  My role is to act for its client as an advisor and independent project manager – preparing the technical brief and ensuring that their interests are properly served throughout the implementation.

My marketing operations services include:

  • marketing processes design + mapping
  • CRM process mapping + development project management
  • web – architecture, design + development project management
  • back-end system integration project management
  • external systems integration project management
  • mobile application development project management
  • independent systems and supplier audits

Innovation is real time evolution.  It needs a collaborative mindset coupled with the vision and confidence to challenge the system and know that there is always a better way to do something.

My role is to help organisations to question and define what their customers and businesses need tomorrow – then provide leadership, knowledge, experience and skills on which they can build and commercialise their innovations.  I work with individuals, teams and organisations to inspire, persuade and encourage constant (often small) iterative changes that build into major differentiators.

My innovation services include:

  • innovation culture leadership
  • product innovation management leadership
  • product and service market audits
  • customer, market and trend insight
  • business and commercial modelling
  • channel and partner audit and modelling

Channel Planning and Execution

With multiple channels to market becoming the norm and more open Internet based international trading – the choice and management of channels is becoming ever more complex.  Coupled with these accelerating trends is the increasing requirement for manufacturers to disintermediate and communicate (and potentially trade) directly with end-customers – placing traditional and previously exclusive partnerships under new pressures.

Understanding that building a robust and flexible channel model is crucial – and I know through experience the keys to creating the flexibility to constantly adapt to market conditions are based in the organisation’s culture and ability to model and plan effectively.

My channel management services include:

  • channel dynamics insight
  • multi-channel modelling
  • ‘what if?’ scenario modelling
  • sales team messaging and communication
  • partner messaging and communication

Sales Tools and Training

With the rapid consumerisation of the business to business selling process having effective tools and training has become as important to the sales team as lead generation.  Highly complex technical products and services need well conceived and executed materials to convey the value of the product or service – value that is often embed deep in the full proposition. The package generally needs to be concise, deliverable on and off-line, highly visual and fully translatable (in both language and culture).

I have wide experience in creating a variety of training, presentational and business tools for field and office based sales teams.

My sales tools and training services include:

  • sales tools
    • features + benefits
    • consultative selling guides
    • costing and return on investment models
    • sampling programs
  • end-customer / channel partner / sales team training
    • capability / performance review
    • planning
    • execution
    • audit
  • competitive analysis frameworks
  • modular on-line training courses
  • one-to-one training and support

Research and Insight

I have a strong belief in rigor and the use of hard data when and where it’s available – often researching directly or commissioning it for my clients.  But, where time and cost prohibit formal data gathering our common-sense, intellect and intuition help to analyse and understand my clients’ fluid environments that often have no measurable trends or reliable information.

My belief is that existing customer satisfaction information is generally the most important information for developing and growing technology businesses.  This information is often collected through automated surveys but in reality face-to-face interviews give a clearer understanding of real-life performance – the design, execution and analysis of this type of research and survey information requires experience and resources to manage effectively.

My research and insight services include:

  • qualitative + quantitative research design
  • research / survey project management
  • market insight + analysis
  • user experience surveys
  • competitor activity
  • customer satisfaction
  • product + service performance
  • channel performance
  • technology + trend insight + analysis

Marketing Communications

Communications is at the heart of any marketing function – I have hands-on experience of conveying new and complex ideas and technologies to developing markets.  My extensive marcoms skills to deliver on our clients’ product marketing objectives – however, I am not a creative or marketing communications agency. My role is to provide clear and concise messaging, campaign and event management, technical copywriting and content, brand development and media relationship management on a project basis.

I understand the complexities of delivering communications in a digital age where the skill sets required in managing online and digital campaigns often don’t cross over to commercial product and service marketing management. And, believe that technical specialists should execute these functions with information and guidance provided by proficient product and service marketing specialists.

My marketing communications services include:

  • brand audit + development
  • pr + media relations
  • messaging
  • copywriting + content development
  • campaign + event management