Solving problems is at the heart of any technology company. However, IBM had its own problem in 2018. The company was losing the confidence of developers. At the same time, the global population was facing natural disasters of apocalyptic proportions. IBM’s technology product marketing team realized that the best way to let the company’s ethos shine is to put its technology in the hands of new audiences. Thus, Code and Response was born, a hackathon-led movement that gave 18-34-year-old developers from around the world an opportunity to take center stage as they used IBM’s code to solve a problem they cared about the most. As for the outcome:
Besides having a strong distribution network and quality products, successful companies have a deep understanding of their customers. Here’s how technology companies can utilize their product marketing arm to integrate their customer voices into what they create.
Listen: Product usage data saves the day
Everything from ‘sign up’ and ‘watch video’ to ‘add to cart’: in-product user interactions generate the most useful product usage data. Moreover, this data gives you an insight into who the end-user of your product is and when/how they’re interacting with it.
Analyzing product usage data can help technology product marketing teams to
- Increase engagement by understanding how engaged different user segments are
- Drive messaging by using in-product user actions
- Improve retention by diving into user workflows to eliminate friction
- Boost adoption by recognizing the popularity of specific features
Success story: Customer behavior analysis for increasing product usage
Learn: Consider the user’s perception of your brand
Customers perceive a brand based on what they believe it stands for. This perception consists of two crucial elements: first-hand experience and reputation. A technology product marketer must work towards creating brand equity. This means that even if your product is identical in every other way to your competition’s, people will be drawn to your product more if they’ve heard of you, they remember your name, and they associate your brand with quality. If you know what quality means to them, you will be able to forge an unbreakable connection.
Furthermore, by employing the best consumer research methods, technology product marketing teams can measure brand awareness, recall, recognition, identity, and trust. Consider the case of Apple. Multitudes of people are willing to pay thousands and queue for days for each new Apple product release. But, how did the brand cultivate such dedication? Among other things, the company listened to what customers needed and delivered to meet their desire.
User insights can help technology product marketing teams build a positive perception of their brand. They can:
- Understand what tone will resonate with your consumers and craft your brand voice accordingly
- Add an aspirational element to your offering and market it effectively on the right channels
- Establish credibility by utilizing thought leadership content marketing strategies
- Find customer testimonials to increase your authority in the marketplace
Leverage: Bring product managers and marketers together to maximize user engagement
The product marketing and product management teams can no longer afford to work in silos. For example, Samsung leverages user insights by tapping into the age of a smartphone device to target specific user segments with a ‘time-to-upgrade-your-device’ marketing communication. The company also provides an inbuilt all-in-one content platform on its device to understand what kind of content the user engages with the most (thriller movies, gaming, music videos, et al). Eventually, the insights derived from this platform help Samsung pitch specific technology products and models to their users over time.
Product managers can assist product marketing teams through pre-, ongoing-, and post-campaign collaboration:
- Prior to running a campaign, product managers put a strong emphasis on what a product capability is, as well as what the core of the campaign should be. They collaborate with the product marketing team to dive deeper into the historical user data including how the users have discovered a particular product in the past. Such insights help marketers to devise a suitable campaign for a rather technical product.
- During a technology product marketing campaign, it is important to keep monitoring the dashboards. The product analyst team needs to work closely with the marketing team to derive correct insights from a dashboard and align these with the holistic goal of the campaign.
- To understand the ‘why’ behind the quantitative data collected during the campaign, qualitative user testing is crucial. This is where live experimentation such as beta testing can also help to provide real-time insights into why a user takes a certain journey to complete a transaction and if there’s a scope of making this journey easier for them. Product managers are the voice of the core product and when they are involved in gathering user insights alongside marketing teams, the end result of the campaign can be significantly more meaningful.
Moving forward with the data-driven user engagement
Technology product marketing teams can understand gaps in product adoption and utilization by
- Using actionable insights to get a comprehensive view of customers throughout their life cycle,
- Continuously tracking and monitoring customer perception to drive action, and
- Proactively guiding customers to value.