Whether you are a product manager or a product marketer, you need to get over your product. I know, you spend your days – and nights – thinking how wonderful your product is, how you can improve it, and why others haven’t seen the same vision you do. Maybe, just maybe, the answer is – your product is not what they seek.
What?!? Heresy you say! Of course they need, and want, my product. Well, maybe not. Think about it. It’s about the customer, the buyer, the market – not you.
It’s not about the product, it’s about them. It’s about their problem and how you solve it. Do you understand their problem? Do you understand their buying process? Do you understand their language? Do you have buyer personas that are real?
It’s a simple formula. (And, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m into simple.) Once you have the persona who speaks for the buyer, you can start looking at your market strategy position. Once you understand the strategy you can start to work on positioning. Once you understand the positioning, you can align it with their buying process.
In aligning with their buying process (not what you think they do or what they should do, but how they actually buy the product,) you have to develop a story. The more memorable the story, the better it will be for you. The story has to be about how you have helped others solve similar problems, remembering it’s not about your product. Once you have a story, you can engage in a relationship. The relationship will lead to trust, and buyers always – and only – buy from those they trust. Until you have their trust, you can’t promote the product. Product don’t garner trust, people do.
Looking in from the outside, it’s not about the product. As a product professional, you have to keep the customer, the prospect, first. It’s their problems that matter. They control the process; and, they control the checkbook. Your understanding, and acceptance of this, is the only way to drive the product success.