This week on the latest Marketing Cloudcast episode we dive into the world of Product Marketing. We talk with Eric Stahl, Product Marketing veteran and Salesforce Marketing Cloud's Senior Vice President of Product Marketing. We’ll learn how Product Marketing impacts key components of an organization.
Tune into the full conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Reach out and let us know if you have an interesting topic for the Marketing Cloudcast.
Here are some highlights from the episode:
1. Have Empathy
Product marketing is about thinking about the end customer and creating value for them in the form of awareness and generating sales. “When I think of a great product marketer, and I had to boil it all the way down to one word, I would say it's empathy,” Eric says, and he’s not just talking about empathy for the customer. It’s also about empathy for the sales rep who is new to the job and trying to understand who your company is, what you do, what your value proposition is, and use that information to hit their targets. Are you thinking about who is going to read your message and what their experience will be?
For Eric, “If you can't draw a line between that activity and some eventual awareness, traffic, lead, pipeline, and sale, then you're probably working on the wrong thing.”
2. Create a Compelling Message
The bottom line is that, as Eric says, “People don’t want to be marketed to, they want to be educated,” so you need to figure out how you create compelling messaging and content that will convince them to exchange their time for something of value, something that will educate them and will help them do their job better, but you still need to keep in mind that it’s an exchange.
The other key is to make sure that you’re measuring whether or not what you’re doing is working. Are people actually clicking on your ad or opening your email? Do they end up visiting your website? If you put an offer in front of them, do they take it? You can only improve something if you start measuring it.
3. If Product Marketing Were a Movie…
We asked Eric an off-the-wall question: if product marketing were a movie, what genre would it be? We think his answer was pretty interesting: “First of all, it’s an action-thriller, because we are running as fast as we can, every day, towards some short-term goal,” Eric says, “there’s always something coming down the line.” At the same time, it’s a drama, because you’re negotiating through a matrixed organization where not everyone always shares the same priorities at any given time.
Finally, Eric says, “I would say it's like a documentary. It seems like fun and games when you see those mascots jumping around, but behind the scenes, there is a giant machine thinking about budgets, calendars, and how we can manage hundreds of marketers working on a given project at any given time.” That sounds like quite a flick!
4. The Changing Context of Product Marketing
Today, we’re living in a time of massive quick changes that have drastically affected what marketers can do, and how they get their messages out there. Facebook and the iPhone are both just barely over a decade old. When Eric joined Salesforce, there were only a couple thousand employees, and now there are 30,000.
“That's what keeps me motivated,” Eric says, “working with fun, awesome, smart, cool people like yourself and Megan, and the rest of our team, and really just working for a company that values creativity, but also gets stuff done. It's just an amazing combination of all those things.”
5. What Makes a Trailblazer?
A lot of enterprise software companies talk about their customers and the business results they get: “such-and-such bank increased year-end open rates by 20%.” But really, who are the people behind these things? How do they use our products? How does our product improve not just their career but also their life, and how does it improve the business they work for?”
A trailblazer is someone like Stephanie Herrera, who stumbled her way into becoming a Salesforce Admin at Dell. This changed her life and career, and then she found a way to help others learn Salesforce and give back to the community through Women in Tech. It’s not only a great marketing strategy, but it’s also a way to feel a deeper impact than helping some bank increase their open rates.