Hopefully, I’m not the only martech or marketing operations (MOps) practitioner who sometimes feels disconnected from our companies’ products. We’re not product marketers; when we’re involved in campaign planning and execution, we’re focused on technical configurations and performance. We work on delivering the message — not the messaging itself.
While there’s little difference in managing an email nurture campaign, for example, to sell blenders or airplanes, that doesn’t mean understanding the specific product is not essential for the folks administering the marketing automation platform.
Knowing the company’s products helps us understand stakeholder motivations, needs and requirements and better tie their work to the organization’s goals and performance metrics. Here are some examples from my career where making an effort to understand the product led to greater marketing results.
B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
A high-level understanding of the product is always handy in B2B SaaS. While working for Zuora, I learned what the company’s products are trying to solve for revenue professionals. This doesn’t require taking a finance or accounting class or earning an MBA.
Keywords, for instance, play a key role in digital marketing — from paid ads to running an account-based marketing platform. When the product marketing and creative folks provide a list of relevant keywords, knowing about them helps with system administration.
If a system allows for keyword ranking, it helps to know which ones are most relevant to the target audience. This can also help when designing messaging (webpages, emails, text messages, etc.) by ensuring they are visible or providing guidance for A/B testing of email subject lines and landing page UX.
Learning about such topics made it easier for me to grasp direction from my colleagues and translate that into system configurations or coordination with vendors. That makes things easier for everyone. Understanding — and speaking to — prospective customers’ pain points isn’t just for the business development, account executive and customer success folks.
Dig deeper: Product-led growth: 3 important lessons from the front line
As part of my current gig with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, I learned that hospitality has significant similarities with fast food. The vast majority of properties are franchised. Wyndham manages the overall portfolio of brands, provides guidance and support to franchisors, builds overall brand awareness and offers other services. Thus, I’m helping sell far more than hotel rooms and amenities — including opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Along those lines, although the B2C side of the travel sector is very apparent, there’s more to the picture. Understanding how our martech systems are useful to our franchise partners who deal directly with guests in person when they’re at a property is beneficial.
Further, like many other companies, loyalty programs are a big part of the business. They’re a huge deal. “The disclosed pro-forma valuations of AAdvantage and MileagePlus exceeded the airlines’ [American and United, respectively] own market capitalizations,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
These programs provided associated airlines with financial cover as travel plummeted during the pandemic. They also allowed companies to continue engaging customers and generating revenue through partners like associated credit cards and retail affiliations.
Dig deeper: Why we care about loyalty marketing
Product understanding informs your efforts
When martech and MOps practitioners better understand their company’s products, they can skillfully partner with colleagues to coordinate marketing campaigns and better tie efforts to corporate goals.
This helps decrease the time butting heads with others to decipher the target audience and broader organizational needs, providing informed insight that can garner success for all
We’re the practitioners with technical acumen. A significant part of our duties is to help translate our colleagues’ persuasive brilliance into the digital realm.
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