The New “Ps” for Marketing in a Global Economy
[Make sure that you read Part One]
Now comes some additional Ps that I think need to be brought into the mix in this global economy.
I keep bringing up a global economy that we are dealing with. Products can now be shipped all over the world and there are more competitors across the world than ever before. It’s critically important that you know your market and look for unaddressed needs among prospects (and customers).
How you position your product in this business environment may make or break the product’s success. Ideally, for an existing market you want to perform a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). See where your product stands and what are potential threats – physical, environmental, social, political. When you do that be sure to be open to self-criticism and out-of-the-box thinking. Better to be prepared than sorry you missed something.
The most important thing in positioning is your product’s Value Proposition. It has to be unique and should be cast is stone. I always joke that the third tablet that Moses carried down the mountain was a Value Proposition. That’s the one he dropped.
- Who is/are your target market(s)?
- What is your frame of reference to the market(s)? (Manufacturer, Value-Added Reseller, etc.)
- What are your key product differentiators?
- What does your product do that other products don’t or can’t?
- What is the reason(s) to believe?
- What proof points can you present a prospect with?
PROCESS & PEOPLE:
This goes to the heart of how you develop products and how your people interact with your processes. You definitely need a process. Once I worked at a mid-size telecom company where I attended Monday morning meetings with the Director of Product Management and about eight Product Managers. The Director asked a question one morning, “How would you take a product idea from a cup of coffee discussion in the cafeteria to out the door?”
No one answered. There was no process. Next thing I know is a couple of days later the Director is coming down the hall to me with thirteen product roadmaps in three-ring binders. “Dom, see if you can get some synergy out of these?”
So, I did my homework and talked with various staff throughout the company. I then developed a stage-gate process that could take an idea to production completion. The stage-gate process forced teams to work together and get “buy-in” on time, budget, and resources.
At Lucent Technologies, back in the days of 150,000 employees, I worked on another process problem. Seems that management had no way to improve sales of Professional Services Offers. Account Executives would sell a customer a PBX and maintenance agreement then walk out the door. The company was missing out on an enormous potential revenue stream. I worked with the then Director of Enterprise Marketing to scope out the problem. I was tasked with going throughout the then huge organization structure to find out all the professional services offers. I came up with 156 offers that were being missed by the sales teams. The existing offer documents were 50-pages long that no one really read. Working with my Director of Enterprise Marketing, we developed a system of customer needs that could be contrasted to existing offers. Then I went about paring all the offers into a 2-page format that concisely described what the offer actually did for the customer.
We than made a digital web tool that allowed the account executives to pick the customer needs. The digital process then displayed all the appropriate offers the account executive could discuss with the prospect. It essentially was creating a new sales framework for the sales teams.
Today, teams can work with Agile Development to instill speed into their development processes. It originates in the software development industry but could be adapted to other industries.
Agile development is a set of development methods in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.
This is what can be achieved using Agile methods:
Focus, Commitment, and Motivation can be transitioned into…
The Agile Triad: Cooperation, Collaboration, and Coordination
Scrum is an iterative (repeating) and incremental Agile development methodology for managing product development. It defines “a flexible holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal.”
Think about looking into the many different methods of agile that are available to assist both production, and software development.
Again, we go back to that global economy we live and work in. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Plan out where you are going to sell and remember our earlier discussion on customer service. See if you can find existing partners who can help get your product to market faster. Speed is of the essence when working on product development but getting it right is most important. Who has skills that compliment your development team? Who has an existing sales and distribution networks? Who could extend your customer service capability?
I think you get the idea. Don’t try to be everything – be open to partnering.
In conclusion, I believe the 4Ps are still important, relevant, and must be addressed. However, Positioning, Process & People, and Partnering are essential in today’s challenging business environment.
Dominic J. Frúges
Dominic J. Frúges
Dominic J. Frúges is an experienced Product Marketer and Strategist across B2B, B2C, High Tech, and Services. He has worked on twelve product launches from inception to completion in both B2B and B2C industries. He also holds Scrum Product Owner Certified Credential from the Scrum Alliance. He has an MBA – Rutgers University, Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing – Rutgers University, and CloudMASTER® certification from NJIT University.
Cell & Primary: 732-684-4029