As global and local competitive forces are stronger than ever, organizations are constantly worried about new entrants. There always seems to be a new competitor on the horizon able to deliver an adequate product at a lower price thereby stealing your clients. What can product people do to alleviate this ongoing threat?
My Queen’s MBA Prof said over and over (and probably is still saying it to this day), customers won’t pay for your product if they can find a cheaper alternative somewhere else – you need to deliver value. For the sake of argument, let’s say you are delivering fantastic value, there is still a caveat: you need to be delivering what the customer needs. Delivering too many bells and whistles can increase your cost and reduce your margin as well as alienate customers who don’t need so much.
Product Marketers can help organizations focus on delivering the right value via listening to customers and watching how customers use the product or a prototype (i.e. Voice of the Customer). Harmed with objective and subjective data, Product Marketers can synthesize and present the information in the context of the competitive market. At this point, insightful recommendations can be made for delivering the right value.
The right product value can be created by:
- Breaking down a complex offering into modules so that customers can purchase the right elements for them.
- Identifying your market segments and tailoring your offering accordingly.
- Looking at the whole customer experience and seeing how improvements in operational processes (e.g. ordering, implementation, technical support) could deliver a better overall product experience.
- Producing simple and clear tools (including visuals) to explain how your product saves clients money, deliver more convenience, increase productivity, etc…
- Working with business intelligence to ensure the right client engagement data points are captured throughout the product experience.
Product Marketing today is more than product positioning, creating sales tools, developing training materials and launching products. Product Marketers should actively engage clients and influence leaders so that their organization can stay relevant and competitive.