Product marketing embraces all activities concerned with bringing your product to market. These include product naming, visual identity design, proposition messaging, email marketing and product launch campaigns.
Product benefits are usually the main marketing driver, but other factors such as reputation, innovation, team members and after-sales service are equally important in selling the difference.
The hidden value of anecdotes
Traditional marketing rarely considers information beyond the audience and product data profiles. But when you look beyond the briefing meetings, product presentations and marketing information, there are hidden assets to be found.
They lie in the informal discussions between meetings and on the factory floor. When people are in meetings they speak cautiously, but this changes during the coffee break. Conversations over coffee in the corridor are more relaxed and people open up. I found these chats extremely useful.
Some years back I was working for a large aerospace company. During a coffee break with the head of engineering, I discovered the ‘asset’ that would give them an important negotiating advantage.
The company manufactured carbon brakes to major airlines. They also equipped the land speed record-breaking car (Thrust SSC) with carbon brakes. The British driver said American engineers told him “if the parachutes fail, it would be impossible to stop the car at 600 mph using carbon disc brakes.”
Well, during tests in the Nevada desert, both parachutes failed and the carbon brakes succeeded in safely stopping the car. This exceeded everyone’s expectations and demonstrated the product’s outstanding performance.
Dramatic anecdotes like the above are often discussed privately among colleagues and rarely documented in the product marketing message.
It’s important to write them down as they inspire new employees and clients as well as help secure important contracts. They’re also genuine as they emanate from direct experience and can’t be copied by rivals.