- 30th May 2013
“The full monty” is British slang for “the works.” American equivalents might be “the whole nine yards,” “the whole ball of wax,” “the whole enchilada” or “the whole shebang.” As b-to-b companies have shifted their focus from product to solution, the traditional role of product marketing has evolved into a “full monty” function. We observe industry, solution, service, product and business unit aligned marketing professionals all working under the guise of a competency commonly referred to as “product marketing.”
The problem is that the term “product marketing” no longer accurately categorizes the function if the organization is doing more than marketing discrete products. Companies are trying to fix this naming issue by bolting on the terms “solution,” “industry,” “service,” “segment” and so on, within the umbrella category of “product marketing.” This results in a complex and grammatically incorrect set of naming conventions.
Products, and solutions, and industries…oh my!
SiriusDecisions’ perspective is that the traditional catch-all term “product marketing” cannot encapsulate the go-to-market functional competency of a b-to-b company – the categorization is too narrow. Though product marketing is still an absolutely necessary role in the marketing ecosystem, the term doesn’t accurately describe the holistic high-level marketing competency required to bring a b-to-b organization’s portfolio to market. And bolting on “solution,” “segment” etc. within the “product marketing” category is not the right answer.
How does this internal naming problem get solved? We recommend that “portfolio marketing” become the new umbrella functional categorization term representing all job roles focused on marketing segmentation/sizing, persona definition, content ideation, launch, sales enablement and go-to-market planning for all elements of an organization’s portfolio across products, services, industries, audiences and solutions.
Let’s be clear. We are not advocating that product marketing, solution marketing or industry marketing go away, or that those folks’ job roles or titles change. All we are suggesting is that when these roles come together under one functional unit, that unit should be referred to as “portfolio marketing.”
“Product marketing” is about marketing products. “Solution marketing” is about marketing solutions. “Portfolio marketing” is the term that captures “all of the above” and accurately reflects a company’s full monty of go-to-market strategies, no matter what the offering portfolio is. This naming convention helps ensure that all roles encompassed by portfolio marketing are dedicated to architecting and optimizing the organization’s entire offering portfolio to deliver customer value and drive growth.
View our archived Webcast to learn more about the evolving function of Portfolio Marketing.
About the Author
Marisa Kopec is Vice President and Group Director, Go-to-Market, at SiriusDecisions. She leads SiriusDecisions’ Portfolio Marketing, Strategic Communications, and Product Management services. Follow Marisa on Twitter @Marisa_Kopec