Content Marketing Specialist, teasing everyone into taking cute pictures for Instagram. Discovering the tech world bit by bit, and writing it all down on the agency's blog. Enthusiastic about everything visual. And sweets and dogs.
As a full-stack mobile app development agency, we were delighted to be a part of MK4IT, the only conference in Romania focused on the specifics of marketing IT products and services. We spent an entire day side by side fellow specialists in the business discussing, debating, and learning what product marketing in the ever-evolving IT industry is all about.
We were part of the Product Marketing panel, represented by our CEO, Gabriel Dombri. We shared our insights on the particularities of marketing mobile apps and were happy to discuss the reasoning behind our golden rule when it comes to product marketing: the outset of any product should be the solution to a specific problem.
And you know what else was clearly stated by all the speakers in the Product Marketing panel?
Despite common misconception, marketing is not about the product or the service to be sold. Marketing is about the user and a good user experience with the product in question.
But let’s take this one step at a time. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion during the Product Marketing panel:
IT Product Marketing is about: solutions, not just ideas
- Starting point for any product or service out there should be the market it’s supposed to conquer – not just a simple idea, no matter how creative.
- Product marketing is all about the user’s successful journey using the product. It should all start with shaping the product specifically for the target user, and communicating what the target user is interested in.
- Someone else’s success story is not your recipe for success. You know what is? Your own experience and the lessons that come out of it along the way.
IT Product Marketing is about: getting out of the office, and into your client’s head
- Get out of the office every once in awhile. Get to know your clients and what their real problems are.
- And about your clients’ problems: your product should be built to solve those, address those in an effective manner, maybe even one that hasn’t been tried before. Do your research thoroughly in order to clear things up: is the problem we’re talking about worth the investment? Does it have a good enough frequency? Is there a sense of urgency?
- Consumer psychology is the real deal. Get some reading done on the matter every chance you get. Your target audience’s culture is not something to be taken lightly either.
IT Product Marketing is about: the right metrics and user scenarios
- The most important metrics to keep in mind: CTR, CR, CAC, AOV, CLV, active-to-paid and time-to-close. And whatever other metrics are important to your business, make sure you never lose sight of them.
- User scenarios are a great way of understanding how your product should look and work like in order to really help (and delight) the user. Apply design thinking techniques wisely. But make sure to use design to your product’s advantage.
IT Product Marketing is about: the user-problem mindset
No matter the role you have in the marketing or product department you’re in, or the task you have to fulfill, it’s essential to have the right mindset.
Talking about the product’s features might make some people pay attention. Few of them might even remember what your product or service is about.
But talking about how your product (or service) solves a particular problem for a particular cohort of people is what will bring your business in the spotlight. It’s this approach that will help the users that can benefit from your product understand its core value.
Which brings us to the second part of the discussion.
IT Product Marketing is about: customer segment and value proposition
The basis of every marketing strategy or decision is the customer segment the business is dealing with, and the value proposition it’s making to said customer segment.
Now, how will you ensure that these two play well together? Here’s what to keep in mind:
IT Product Marketing is about: validation and identifying the user’s motivation
- Don’t skip idea validation, customer validation, or any other kind of validation that could come back and bite you in the future if it’s missing.
- What’s in it for the user? Plain and simple. No one’s gonna throw their money at you unless they feel there’s something in it for them, something they really care about. This person you claim is your “target audience”, how do they go about solving their problem at the moment? What does their life look like without your product (or service)? How would using your product impact them? Make sure your image of your target audience is well-defined and reality based.
- Market and target persona should dictate the positioning of your product as well. Focus on the pain(s) your product solves, not its features.
IT Product Marketing is about: speaking the user’s language
- Mind your language. Be original, steer clear of buzzwords, be sincere, and use the language of the audience. This is not only about using their native language. It’s about using the right words and expressions considering their socio-demographic profile just as much.
IT Product Marketing is about: people and their nuances
- Don’t think of people as solid colors. Think of people as different shades and nuances. Always think of a culture’s particularities, when you’re shaping up the product, as well as when you’re communicating around it.
While technology is ever-changing, people aren’t. As part of this industry, we have to keep up with the discoveries, and the updates, and the competition’s features. But ultimately, it’s still people, and their needs, and pains we’re dealing with.
Product marketers for IT products and services have to keep up with people’s nuances in judging and decision-making, just as much as they do with technology’s innovative findings.