As an analyst, I’m often asked: “What does the future product or solution marketer look like?” The answer is that the need to shift from downstream launch execution (content and demand creation) to become more involved upstream in the strategy phase (discovery and design) will be mandatory. The product/solution marketer of the future must be equipped to make key contributions that enable customer-driven innovation. Deeper customer domain knowledge, analytical abilities and the skills to collaborate cross-functionally will be required competencies.
The hurdle (real or perceived) is a lack of the requisite skills or knowledge to contribute the analytical thinking and business leadership necessary to evolve beyond product launch practitioners and become more strategic marketers. So, how does product marketing gain a seat at the table with product management to not only launch but innovate offerings?
Whether starting off in the field or transitioning into a new role, newcomers to the process must continuously hone their capabilities. Here are five winning attributes I see displayed by rising stars in product/solution marketing:
Product and solution marketers who fail to adjust to changes within their organization or external trends will lose relevance and diminish their credibility with sales and product management. Getting a seat at the innovation table can be accomplished only by bringing the skills and knowledge that will enable the product marketer of the future to make a genuine contribution to the breakthrough thinking necessary to create commercially successful offerings.