Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Questions: how does your market engage to buy products and services?

Lesson learned:
as a product marketing person, I am constantly explaining tactics & educating about tools of the trade (strategic perspectives).  The more the tech landscape shifts, the more the basic tenets of market listening, engaging customers, creating community and fulfilling needs, remain vital to developing useful products that generate revenue.

There is a learning curve to every new tool...

Many years ago, I held the position of Online Marketing Manager at FileMaker, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple. I thought by now, since there has been much progress in understanding and harnessing the marketing potential of the world wide web (i.e., marketing is more content-driven, measurable and modifiable than ever) that understanding whats involved in effective online marketing would be more wide spread, and yet business leaders still remain clueless about the basics.

Product Marketing Questions regarding Online Marketing Tactics:

  • Web Search:  How does the mechanism of web search affect how interested buyers find your products and services?
  • Social Media: How are the growing conversations including expanded visual content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp and other social websites driving the discussion about your products and your business?
  • Websites: What story are you telling your customers in the content and design of your website?  Is your content useful, clear, complete and include a call to action?
  • Blogs: How are blogs and review sites changing the way industry experts communicate and deliver news and information to your market?
  • Email marketing: How can you offer timely and relevant email content to prospects and customers that establishes and extends the accessibility of your product and services, engages customers in an ongoing relationship and enables them to purchase, promote and publicize your brand?
  • Mobile: How are mobile devices (i.e. smartphones, netbooks, ipads) changing how people get information and interact with your company?  Is location a factor in your business?
  • Content: What useful content and information do you offer to attract and engage customers 24/7?
  • Community & Crowdsourcing: How are your customers, prospects and competitors providing content about your industry, product, and services?  How can you engage a community around your business and extend your brand awareness?
  • Customer Service: What avenues do you provide to assist customers, answer questions, provide service and solve problems 24/7?
  • Touchpoints: What encouragement, acknowledgment and training do you provide so that everyone who engages with your product - from development to packaging to customers - is an enthusiastic sales person for your brand, your mission, and quality/experience of your products and services?
This is a work in progress to break through the stealth nature of juggling client business challenges before they are fully worked out...please contribute your feedback!

Have you met the "marketing virgin"?
Warning: This is their first attempt at working strategically. These types of stakeholders are not hard to spot. They will shift their focus and their goals back and forth. They are the type that will ask you to throw as many balls in the air at a time and then see how many you can catch.

Need help with developing your marketing strategy and implementation? 
twitter: @cindyfsolomon
email: cfsolomon at g mail dot com
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