Aligning the jobs that your product is meant to do with the roles that use your product and the reason why your functionality is best to fill that gap is the name of the game.
MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What is ‘Marketing’ to you?
MATTHEW PARISI: Sure! I handle product marketing at a SaaS company called Tealium, makers of what we call the Customer Data Hub. It’s a tool allowing companies to collect and use data to form a complete picture of customer behavior, then automate customer engagement using that understanding.
I grew up working at traditional and digital marketing agencies before jumping over to the brand side for marketing technology tools, like Tealium. I got my start running websites and online campaigns but transitioned to product marketing basically for tools where I was a good target prospect.
I take a broad view of marketing as a critical and strategic function for a company. It’s not the campaigns and tactics that many people commonly use to define marketing, but rather it’s everything that goes into how a product is used to solve issues for customers. Even deciding what to build is marketing. How the product gets leveraged in large part is marketing. Marketing is the complete orchestra working together to create value.
M7: What according to you is the best way to find a qualified audience for your product?
MP: I would say, organically. By organically, I mean in the flow of someone’s normal life. I don’t mean “unpaid”, but rather making an effort to meet people “in the moment.” You can do that via virtually any channel (though I’d argue certain channels intentionally try to disrupt the people they’re targeting). And you can do that with many different messages, but the message must match the moment. I’m a big fan of creating some sort of transparent and equitable value exchange, intentionally over time.
It’s also easy to spend too much of your time trying to create the perfect piece of content that eventually never even gets read. So there is a time and a place for all forms- just make sure the amount of time you spend on each is aligned with that.
M7: How do you ensure that your sales team understands and presents the products in an engaging manner?
MP: Simplicity and enablement. Aligning the jobs that your product is meant to do with the roles that use your product and the reason why your functionality is best to fill that gap is the name of the game. The shorter you can do that, the better. We also think a lot about enabling at the snorkel level and the scuba diving level. Providing a map for going from high level to details and back to a high level is really critical for a technical product. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds and many salespeople haven��t necessarily been a practitioner in the thing they’re selling— so you have to give a framework for the high-level value message, how that maps to details, and then how you get back to that value message.
M7: What role does content play for product marketers? Which content format performs best for your product?
MP: Content plays a huge role, but it’s easy to become too focused on it. It’s also easy to spend too much of your time trying to create the perfect piece of content that eventually never even gets read. These days, people don’t do much long-form reading— unless of course, the ‘informational scent’ is there. So there is a time and a place for all forms…just make sure the amount of time you spend on each is aligned with that. Video content works really well for us. Also a big fan of diagrams and infographics.
Be here now – it can be easy to get too wrapped up planning the perfect future, but if you can truly focus on what’s most important at the moment, you’ll almost always be producing the most value now and into the future.
M7: What do you believe are the top three product marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
MP: First off, it really crowded the digital space, so you had to react to not only changing behavior but also new competitive behavior. For example, B2B marketing solutions commonly use webinars as a centerpiece of demand gen— that space got a lot more crowded.
Secondly, in the midst of big changes, humans will generally get cold feet. Post COVID-19, many companies just paused everything. In retrospect, those who pivoted fastest to digital and omnichannel got big-time rewards. So overcoming inaction was initially a challenge, maybe less so now.
And thirdly, I’d say the omnichannel nature of customer behavior. Before COVID-19, companies already had a fragmented landscape of technologies and venues. That got pushed across even more places. As a B2B marketing department, without the manpower of a B2C brand, that can be difficult to adapt to.
M7: What do you read, and how do you consume information to stay at the top of your game?
MP: For professional info, I subscribe to email lists, read Reddit and Twitter, and use Google Alerts. Sometimes podcasts, but generally based on a recommendation for a particular episode. Then, I automate my inbox to help me filter. Some of my favorite lists: AVC, Almost Timely News, Morning Brew/Marketing Brew, Other Valleys. In my personal time, I’m pretty much a philosophy nerd.
M7: The best advice that you have ever received?
MP: Be here now – it can be easy to get too wrapped up planning the perfect future thing, or worrying about if something didn’t go perfectly before…but if you can truly focus on what’s most important at the moment, you’ll almost always be producing the most value now and into the future.