How Product Marketing is Changing the B2B Landscape
On this week’s episode, we explore the ever-changing world of B2B product marketing with Bhavesh Mistry (Director Product Marketing, Q4). During our conversation, Bhavesh elaborates on the many challenges that product marketers face, how current disruptions are altering the entire ecosystem from a constructive perspective, and how data as well as personalization can be leveraged to create better customer experiences.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Christian Klepp, Bhavesh Mistry
Christian Klepp 00:08
Hi, and welcome to the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host Christian Klepp, and one of the founders of EINBLICK Consulting. Our goal is to share inspirational stories, tips and insights from b2b marketers, digital entrepreneurs, and industry experts that will help you to think differently, succeed and scale your business.
Alright. Hey, everyone, and welcome to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I’m excited to welcome a guest into the show who is not only an experienced b2b marketer, but he’s also spent his career building impactful as well as successful global go to market strategies. He’s helped innovative tech organizations to better position their products, tell a complete story and drive growth focused b2b strategy. So Mr. Bhavesh Mistry. Welcome to the show, sir.
Bhavesh Mistry 00:58
Thanks so much, Christian. Thank you for having me today.
Christian Klepp 01:01
All right, well, let’s get the show started. And you know, just give the listeners a little bit of background about yourself.
Bhavesh Mistry 01:06
Sure. Christian, love to. As you mentioned, I’ve built a career in b2b marketing, particularly focused on the product side. Something that made a lot of sense to me, but seems strange to others, is my career actually began, as an engineer. I went to school as an electrical engineer, here in Canada. Yeah, the University of Waterloo. And I was all set for a pretty tech focused career, to be honest, but I found pretty early on that whereas I enjoyed the tech, I kind of enjoyed the storytelling element a little bit more. And so getting past just the features and specifications where I got excited was when that got translated into tangible value. So I had a little bit of a gig as a consultant doing some development work, and then found myself at this incredible company, a market leader in industrial automation based out of Austin in the US and kind of really quickly found this incredible role called product marketing that most organizations like to invest in. And so built a career is really about that storytelling element, taking what is usually a very technical story and trying to make it tangible – show impact, show the potential of transforming an industry with the right type of technology. And so I’ve had career stops in product marketing and product management. I had a stint in sales. I’ve done that across industrial automation at tech. And now FinTech. So had a great, great story going kind of going from engineering into the work I do today.
Christian Klepp 03:00
Wow that is a truly amazing story, Bhavesh. Thanks so much for sharing that. And let me… talk about like a true b2b marketing like renaissance man. (laugh) I mean, and, you know, your story is, um, you know, one that I’ve heard from other individuals before that, you know, that they didn’t start out their career in marketing, but were, in fact, in another field of expertise. So, you know, to your point, you started out in engineering and other started out in sales. But you brought up such an amazing point. And I think that’s definitely one of the most important aspects of product marketing is like, you know, telling the story in a way that it resonates with the target market, right?
Bhavesh Mistry 03:40
Yep. Definitely. And I think that that’s something as I’ve started to work with also, smaller companies and startups, it’s something that, you know, the CEO or the visionary of a company can do and does on a regular basis. But as you start to scale, institutionalizing that story, making it something accessible to every facet of the organization, I think that’s when, you know, having the right structure to do that is so critical. And that’s where I think, you know, folks like myself and my peers in the market, spend a lot of their time and then that’s what’s so important about it.
Christian Klepp 04:20
Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, you know that storytelling element of it is so crucial, and I’d like to jam on that a little bit later on. But, um, in the meantime, talk to us about a recent project that you’re working on, that’s, you know, gotten you really excited.
Bhavesh Mistry 04:35
So I think, thinking two off the top of my head, but one in particular, which has given me such a level of respect for some of my colleagues out there was, I completely revamped a website. So I started at a fintech scale up this year. Their website had kind of organically grown over many years, and there was an opportunity to refresh it with a new story. Really elevate not only the tech, but also the larger story of how, you know, there’s a white glove service that there’s value coming from, you know, members of the organization and so completely revamped, that is something I architected along with the VP of Marketing. And it was a really fascinating project, just when you have such a limited space and time with a website to tell your story, you know, you can’t have it scroll forever, you want it to be impactful, you want it to kind of hit the point as quickly as possible. It really is a process take to really nail that story in. And it was probably one of the most challenging just from the moment, the amount of time and effort it took to get that one line just perfect. But it was a great project. And I’m just so happy with kind of the way that it came out. And now we’re starting to see the traffic kind of increase, the better engagement. So it’s a project that that that I love. And like I said, so much, so much respect now for my web design colleagues that do this on the daily, making these websites work.
And then I guess the second story, you know, I mentioned my engineering background, part of what comes with that, fortunately or unfortunately, as you become a little bit of a numbers and data nerd, and I’ve been digging further and further and deeper and deeper into segmentation data, you know, understanding my current client base understanding, you know, where they are, what drives them to make a decision, and that it’s been a pretty awesome project, just spending a day or two stuck in a spreadsheet or a database here and there. So couple of projects that have been timely, but a lot of fun for me.
Christian Klepp 06:57
Well, well, that sounds like you’ve had your hands full of late. I think that’s probably the understatement of the year. But like, but I I’m well aware of that website project you were involved with. I think I’ve seen the website and it looks incredible.
Bhavesh Mistry 07:12
Appreciate that Christian. Yeah, it was a labor of love. Yeah, definitely something that… appreciate that feedback.
Christian Klepp 07:19
Yeah, no, no, no, really. I think I had a look at it. Like, before we jumped on that first call and the, you know, where we were, you know, getting to know each other and discuss, like the topics for this interview.
Bhavesh Mistry 07:33
Christian Klepp 07:34
Yeah. Speaking of topics, let’s explore or just jam further on a topic that, you know, you’ve… As you’ve alluded to, in the past couple of minutes, you’ve built your career and expertise upon and so that’s Product Marketing for b2b. Right? So, we all know that b2b marketing, for the most part is a fairly complex process. All right, and it requires continuous learning and improvement. I mean, you require that and, you know, across different disciplines, you know, but more often than not, it feels even more so in B2B, right, in order to help implement a solid strategy, and what have you. So what do you think are some of the greatest challenges that b2b product marketers face? And how should these challenges be addressed?
Bhavesh Mistry 08:19
Sure, I’ve always felt, and I think it’s hopefully well known that you know, the value of product marketing in an organization is this API between the part of the organization that’s thinking about the end user, and then other part of the organization that’s thinking about how we sell it. So you know, you’re working with product and engineering. How do you how do you make sure the product really hits on the needs of the end user, but then, you know, you’re working with sellers who are navigating really complex buying processes, four to five personas, you know, sitting at the table, making a decision. Each one of them with three to four things they’re worrying about, you know, so. So I think Product Marketing kind of sits at this nexus point of this really complex area of how do you take the product? How do you translate it into value? How do you build a story around that, and then make sure you’re, you know, the channel is speaking about it eloquently and articulating the value that you really want to have emphasized? So I think a lot of the challenge, I think, for product marketing, you know, everyone has to do with prioritization and all of those fun things, but I do think that that cross functional juncture at which product marketing sits as a challenge, you have sales folks that are thinking at a quarter at a time, you know, how do I just get the business in? You have product and engineering that they’re thinking 12, 18, 24 months at a time on this larger product roadmap. And having to work through that, having to prioritize the right activity, obviously, but also navigating that challenge of being responsive to the needs of the sales team and the channel teams while also building out this long term vision for product, it is challenging, I’m sure it’s, you know, the type of thing you’ve had to deal with a lot in your past roles as well, Christian. But I think, you know, I think as we move forward, I think born of that challenge was the idea of Product Marketing, being go to market specialists, they, they are the ones that are meant to quarterback, this fairly complex problem of bringing a solution or product to market. And I think that the more I’ve seen, particularly in the past five to six years of go to market living with Product Marketing and product marketing, owning that the interlocks, the engagements, the timeline. I think that’s been a major reason why we’ve seen improved processes, we’ve seen better enablement, and content and handoffs. So I really believe that go to market has been that mechanism of tackling this pretty standard challenge in many b2b organizations.
Christian Klepp 11:14
Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s right. I mean, first of all, thanks for sharing those. Those are really incredible insights. And I mean, and I love how you use the, the sporting analogy, and I’m gonna throw my own analogy in there, but being European, I tend to, like lean on to like football while but you guys call soccer over here in North America. But it’s certainly is not just a team effort. But like, you know, based on what you’ve been saying, in the past couple of minutes. It’s also, I would say, a profound understanding of each person’s roles and responsibilities within that ecosystem. So all functions, you know, like, like a homogeneous unit, for lack of a better description.
You know, Bhavesh, I mean, like, many companies out there, of course, you know, you guys started off the year with a plan or a strategy. And that was going to be implemented. Well, and then, and then COVID happened, and that lockdown, and the, you know, the economic turmoil, and what have you. So talk to us about some of the changes that you have seen in this b2b Product Marketing landscape and what these mean for professionals in your field of expertise.
Bhavesh Mistry 12:33
Yeah, like, I have to start usually, I think product marketers are fairly well dressed. I think most of us are wearing like the same sweatshirt every now and again. I think that’s a pretty big change. I have no use for my blazers or shirts right now. (laugh) But I think I, one of the things I think after our first conversation, Christian that I started to think about was just how much I relied on face to face interaction, particularly when it came to things like competitive insights. I think you and I have chatted. You know, I’ve been my careers about 14-15 years now in marketing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where I wasn’t at a trade show, physically, I think you said something similar, right?
Christian Klepp 13:22
Yes, yes. I remember having that conversation. Yeah.
Bhavesh Mistry 13:24
And so I just remember how much that event, those types of events were critical for me to understand the marketplace, how it was evolving, how messaging was evolving, how customers are interacting with that, you know, actually speaking to competitors face to face, you know, I think we kind of all live and breathe the same topics. And it was always kind of an interesting opportunity in those face to face interactions, both with customers and prospects and, you know, other participants in your market to get a sense of where we all stood and to be able to be that competitive insights. I think a lot of what product marketing has to do is understand what’s going on in the market and with competitors. And that’s been a major change, I think, for me in the past 11 months. And I think it’s been interesting to see that pivot. I think I’ve seen product marketers become more obviously better detectives, if you will, online trying to dig into insights, leverage what’s available from you know, the big analysts, companies and things like that. I’ve seen the increasing need for these competitive intelligence platforms that are automating and aggregating information on insights that are critical, and I think there’s some great companies, you know, that are out there that have really built platforms that have the possibility to take competitive information and make that accessible to an organization. So I think for me personally, I think that’s been one of the big elements, you know, we can all talk about, you know, driving those engagements with sales, and you know, the process. But I think that was, for me, one of my big realizations as I’ve completely had to up end, how I look at my competitors, and, you know, rethink what, what, what those processes and methods are?
Christian Klepp 15:25
Yeah, indeed. And I mean, you know, you brought up so many great points, I mean, like, you know, talk about like some, you know, an incredible period of disruption. And, you know, some of the some of the challenges that you’ve shared in the past couple of minutes. I mean, you know, these are, these are things that I’ve heard from markers also in other areas of expertise. So, you know, clearly, you guys are not alone in this struggle, is one thing to say. The other one, which I thought, you know, the point that you raised, which I thought was incredibly interesting. And I’d like to get your thoughts on that as like, you know, what kind of role going forward do you think that data and continued digitalization are going to play in your field of expertise? Because let’s face it, even if things do roll back to normal, we’re probably going to see a bit of a hybrid of what we’re doing right now. And what we’ve kind of done in the past, or do you see that differently?
Bhavesh Mistry 16:21
No, I totally agree that I think we’ve created this new market, or new expectation of digital delivery of content, of communicating, of meetings, etc. And I think we’ve all acknowledged that there’s an element of is that like the face to face, but I do think that the value in the digitalization is just the scale that’s coming with it. What was, you know, if you use conferences, again, our trade shows, as an example, those were dependent on travel budgets and engagements like that, the ability for us to have virtualized conferences and events that scale globally. And you know, the fact that a product marketer in in Melbourne, or in Singapore, or in Toronto, or wherever, can all be attending and hearing that great talk from a thought leader. There is a wonderful new opportunity to leverage that. So I think I see there being obviously, that’d be a very tactical example. But I see when we do come out of the current lockdown situation, digitization can’t go away, I think we’ve borne fruit of its efficiencies and its scale. But I think working out how that gets merged into the hybrid engagements where we also deal with some physical interaction will be such an interesting dynamic in the market. And I think, for product marketers, that’s just an incredible opportunity, you got the advantage of that scale and broadcasting it, but then also, you can work out the most efficient ways to engage with your target customer base in person when you know, situations can deem it appropriate.
Christian Klepp 18:13
Indeed, and I mean, that that is such a great point, it kind of brings to mind this, this old adage, or this quote about like, you know, the whole necessity being the mother of invention right?
Bhavesh Mistry 18:24
Yeah. Totally. Yeah.
Christian Klepp 18:26
Like under the current circumstances, or given constraints, which everyone has, to a certain extent, right? Like, what can you do, regardless of, you know, these certain, well, you can call them impediments, or you can call them opportunities, right? Well, how can you flip that around and turn that what previously was a roadblock into something that could potentially be an opportunity, right?
Bhavesh Mistry 18:51
Yeah, totally. And I think that’s been, I think, for me in this 11 months, one of the, you know, the great learning processes, and you know, whether you’re reading it on magazines, or you’ve been, you know, consuming it through, you know, podcast, or podcasts like this one Christian, obviously. Yeah, I think it’s been great to see how marketing and business professionals have looked at this is as that opportunity to try new things to experiment of being innovative, of leveraging new technology. So I think, yeah, I think, to your point, I think it’s been fascinating to see the innovation and I can’t wait, frankly, to see what it looks like in that new kind of hybrid, hybridized world of how we leverage these new best practices we’ve all been developing and apply them to kind of legacy or traditional ways of engagement.
Christian Klepp 19:42
Yeah, yeah, no, Indeed, indeed. I mean, like, you know, exciting times ahead.
Bhavesh, for the next two questions. Before I asked them, let me drop some statistics on you. So, um, there was a report that came out that was put together by Accenture. So some of the points that they brought up were I would say, especially for someone like yourself, some of these insights are probably no big surprise. Others are pretty interesting. Right?
So the first point is many b2b marketers, so including, obviously, those in the product marketing space. They’ve recognized the urgency to adapt customer experiences, and focus on personalization. Which, you know, it’s not to say that it’s not to say that there was never any personalization of any marketing, it’s just that it’s suddenly now does have priority, right?
Second point is, in fact, 73% know that customer expectations in b2b, for more meaningful products, services and experiences are now much higher than they were just a few years ago.
So here’s the question. So based on this, what strategies would you recommend to b2b product marketers to help them to boost sales and conversion?
Bhavesh Mistry 20:59
Yeah, it’s such a kind of fascinating study that you’re kind of chatting through Christian and yet, like this notion of personalization… it’s fascinating how it is still nascent, within many b2b organizations, as you mentioned, I think many are playing catch up.
Christian Klepp 21:18
Bhavesh Mistry 21:20
You know, there’s this, why shouldn’t you know, my website, kind of know who I am so that it can tailor content and messaging and things like that, to me. And similarly, the sales engagement also. I think, you know, Product Marketing has this great role to hopefully be innovative. And I think, you know, the inclusion of new technologies already like, you know, if you’re in the hardware space, things like AR as a way to, hopefully, leverage data that’s coming in to better support that specific view of your technology. I think the notion, even though things like chatbots, you know, could be such a great adage to your average b2b marketing approach. I was thinking about this question for some time. And I think the other thing I was thinking about is just coming back to that notion of it being somewhat nascent in many organizations, I still think there’s opportunities to improve personalization in ways that are, you know, analog, or even, quote, unquote, low tech to begin with, you know, the number of times a marketing organization has one particular message and sales is speaking from a different playbook. Yeah, I think b2b product marketers still have an incredible role to play in standardizing and centralizing you know, the vocabulary and the value proposition and the articulation of that message to the market. And so I think, you know, that consistency is something you know, we can still drive today, and allow and enable our sales enablement, and etc., to have the level of personalization needed. No, I still, you know, hold to heart and the notion of how much research your average consumer has done before they actually pick up the phone to contact you, you know, like, it’s still, it’s still incredible. And I think that the ability for us to be, you know, have our content kind of flow through that, and then create those opportunities for our website content to hopefully leverage vast amounts of data and analysis to be able to be more segmented in the data that’s being presented to that customer, or when, while they’re doing research to amplify our message, but also to accelerate how quickly they are to pick up that phone. I think there’s some great opportunities in there once we build out that foundational element. But yeah, I think there’s just so much that technology on that AR and AI perspective will bring to us, I think I’m certainly excited to see what that looks like, particularly as we get into these more personalized elements. But I still think there’s foundational work to be done as well.
Christian Klepp 24:11
Yeah, no, absolutely right. And I think you brought up something that was I thought was really just such a golden insight, if I may say so. How you perceive Product Marketing, and its role in continuously innovating on the entire ecosystem. And I think that’s so important, because whether that’s Product Marketing, or market research and data analytics, and it would be interesting to see like moving forward, how all of these different functions and disciplines can harmonize, to improve on not just the company’s organizations like products and solutions all first, but also the overall experience that they give to customers, right?
Bhavesh Mistry 24:53
100%. And I think, you know, I love the way you kind of comment on that harmonization between those roles. I think, you know, as companies get larger and larger, there’s more and more kind of, I hate to say siloed, but certainly specialized roles that develop. And it really is in the collaboration and that Venn diagram of everyone’s function that there is some of these incredible insights. And I think, you know, as we get more data, and we have the ability for these functions to work closer and better together, you know, I think personalization is not obviously going to be just the role of product marketing, it is going to really take the village, if you will, that, you know, every colleague that’s generally on a zoom call that you’re speaking to right now, to be able to implement that and to be able to ensure we have that experience. And you know, it will start in the website, of course. But we need to make sure that that follows through, you know, to other parts, you know, there’s a notion of that omni channel experience, you know, that what I find on my website should really be reflected when the conversation I have with the salesperson, or with a… even if it’s with that chat bot, so yeah, I think there’s an incredible opportunity, how we stitch that together and weave it together. It’s probably one of the big challenges we’ll face as b2b marketers in the next, you know, 5-10 years, but I think it’s where the, again, the it’s going to be that the driver of opportunity as well.
Christian Klepp 26:21
Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, by the way, you went there, man. You said the “S” word. (laugh) But I totally know what you mean. Yeah. So, you know, this, the same report that I was talking about, there was another section of it, where, you know, it goes on to discuss trends and top priorities for b2b businesses within the next two years. The list is pretty exhaustive, but I pulled out like, 3 of the key ones, right. So at least from the companies that were interviewed by Accenture. The trends were as follows:
50% said that providing an omni channel experience would be at the very top. Right. And I think, and that’s certainly something that you brought up as well, a couple of minutes ago.
Then there was 46% believe providing end to end order visibility was important. Right? I tend to agree with that.
Point #3, 40% is capturing a 360-degree customer view. And this probably, you know, is something that you cannot stress enough how important that is, but like over to you, in your professional opinion. What are some of your future predictions? And you talked about them a little bit earlier on, but what are your some of your future predictions for product marketing for b2b? So name the top three.
Bhavesh Mistry 27:50
Top three, wow. Can I just name the three that you just mentioned? And say that those are it? (laugh) I think that list of three is pretty insightful. Christian, you know, I tried to dig deep into things that I thought could be, you know, additional to that, but I think those three, capture a lot. I think, if I was to think really about what’s going to hit Product Marketing for b2b, I think one of the things that’s going to be so critical as we move forward, and it’s reflected in the three you just mentioned, is the notion of everything that pertains to that customer, you know, it’s the 360 degree view, it’s omni channel, like it’s how do we ensure that the customer is getting everything they need in that engagement and, and I think that there’s a need for us to rethink how we approach product marketing to be able to deliver that. I think Product Marketing historically has been so focused on one particular, you know, skew, part number product, whatever, whatever, however we define it, but it’s been very focused and siloed I think, you know, there are companies that call it solution marketing there, there are other terms for it. But the notion of this function being truly inclusive of everything, that customer will need that experience from not only the technology or the software, the SaaS based platform, the hardware, whatever it be, but also the services and the accessories, the full, complete whole solution. I think that that’s going to be one of the key things that changes how we approach b2b product marketing. It’s not enough to describe, you know, one singular product, it’s how it exists within the ecosystem of solutions, its ecosystem of services and accessories. I was thinking about recently I’ve been working with some external vendors for… and it’s funny how through that much of the sales process we spoke about, the technology almost siloed and independent, and then you know, towards the end, we start to get into the value that’s being added by kind of these additional services that are, you know, addition, you know, an individual or human being that’s also helping to support or doing setup or you know, taking what I thought I was purchasing and elevating its value. And I think that that notion of marketing and putting value and emphasis on the whole, rather than individual components is going to be critical for product marketing. And, you know, I’m obviously cheating by not giving you two others, but I do think that, you know, the shift towards solution marketing, and whether that requires a change in function name, or just we acknowledge that change, I think is gonna be an incredibly important trend for what the function is today, and how it needs to evolve towards what you know, customer wants, which is in the b2b space, you know, everything that’s going to make their lives, you know, better and solve the problem that’s been challenging them.
Christian Klepp 31:12
Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here, we’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your b2b business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.
Let me just say that you are on fire. I mean, I really hope that the listeners were taking notes as you were talking, because like I was scribbling down some of the things that you were saying. This is absolutely like, I mean, not just insightful and informative, but it also it hopefully will help marketers to like stop and think right? Stop and think and think back to your point about like, Okay, how can we take this to the next level? How can we continue to improve this? How can we see this as a whole instead of you know, compartmentalizing it, or to use that word again, silo-ing it? How do you focus on it as a whole and elevate its value? And I think you brought up so many great points about like, you know, where, if done properly, product marketers can take this, right?
Bhavesh Mistry 32:39
Yeah, I’ve been super fortunate, honestly, Christian, to like, work with super smart people throughout my career.
Christian Klepp 32:47
Well, you’re one of them, clearly. (laugh)
Bhavesh Mistry 32:48
I hope I am, or I’m just very good at parroting what they’ve taught me. But I think it truly has been insightful, like particularly and in a previous role where we were working on building out a new product, and we want to take it to market just acknowledging that, you know, we have to be thinking holistically. And, yeah, I think that the more that the product marketing organization can think in that capacity, I think the more value we continue to bring the organization and ultimately, we can accelerate and amplify business results because of that.
Christian Klepp 33:23
Yeah, no, absolutely. Bhavesh, we’re gonna, we’re reaching the one of the favorite parts or my favorite part, at least, of the interview, and that’s talking about like, you know, every area of expertise or discipline has what they call conventional wisdom, or commonly held beliefs, right. And there certainly are some of those in b2b product marketing. So just name one in b2b product marketing, so talk to us about one such belief and why you strongly disagree with it.
Bhavesh Mistry 34:00
Sure, I think, we’ll see how once I’ve explained it, whether it’s still strong, or I’m a little hand wavy, but I feel strong, I feel overall strongly about it. It’s the notion that I think when you know, you have a new product marketer come on board, or you start a new company, a lot of time and emphasis gets placed on, you know, meet with the customer, get to know the customer. And I think it almost breeds a lot of time and effort with that. And I think it’s so… Don’t get me wrong. I think that’s where I mentioned the gray, I think it’s a wonderful activity to do because you need to understand where you’re successful. I think product marketing needs to spend more and more time speaking to losses, you know, I think we need to spend more time and understand why we didn’t win that opportunity. I think we need to, to really get down into the weeds of that. And I think there are product marketers out there that will you know, probably would probably comment ‘no no we do a lot of this. I think we need to do more, I think we need to get into that mentality of that last opportunity was something that we can learn from, we need to understand why our value proposition didn’t hit, we need to understand what it is that can potentially be modified from a product perspective, and then take those inbound elements back to our dev teams and product teams. Understand why what you said that got them on the phone or in the meeting, but that wasn’t able to get them over the proverbial finish line. And I think that that notion of getting your product marketing teams to spend more time to understand your losses is critical. And I think that that’s, like I said, it is, you know, I’m sure people are doing it, I think we need to do more of it, I think we can we can learn more about you know, how to how to improve, you know, our output as an organization.
Christian Klepp 36:03
Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, you know, you brought up so many like, points, which I think are absolutely incredible. And it brings to mind, something a former, like, General Manager of mine used to say in my days as a product marketer. He said, Well, on those, like those loss cases, or those close cases, um, why don’t you guys go ahead and conduct an autopsy? Right?
Bhavesh Mistry 36:32
I love that.
Christian Klepp 36:32
Yeah. Your point it’s, it’s, it’s to analyze, to understand what went wrong, and where, and what were those, in fact, those objections that clients were throwing at us, and why were they objecting to it? or Why? Why did they push back on the certain attributes? And these are obviously conversations that we then needed to have with sales, which as you can imagine, probably was a little bit challenging. Right? But it’s one of the ways in which you can, you know, improve the entire process, and in fact, the product offer, right so.
Bhavesh Mistry 37:06
Yeah, 100%. And I think, again, Christian, just to, like, I know, people are doing it, I think, you know, I’ve been guilty of having, you know, new product marketers work for me, and I’ve had them focus on like the wins, you know, and I think, even myself. I think there’s just often a likelihood to end up in the echo chamber that you kind of hear, hear back, you know, the value proposition you put out there, and it kind of gets sent back to you. Whereas I think that there are those group of customers where, if you can do the quote, unquote, autopsies, as you described, there’s just so much to be taken from that. And I’d love to see product marketers just do more of that. And I think, more time needs to be allocated for that you get so pulled into a world of pitch decks and messaging frameworks and audience frameworks. And, you know, and they’re all critical to success, but we’re not spending that time understanding how we resonated or didn’t resonate. It’s just, it’s a challenge, I think moving forward.
Christian Klepp 38:11
Yeah. No, that’s absolutely right. So we go from commonly held beliefs to the next section, which is name one thing that you think people should start, and one thing that people should stop doing, when it comes to marketing for b2b?
Bhavesh Mistry 38:28
I think this start, I think the more we should nurture storytelling and product marketing, the better. I think we often in, you know, whether it’s job descriptions or onboarding, we put a ton of emphasis and time into the, you know, the process elements that are critical for product marketing to be successful. And, you know, I certainly, you know, without question, do those on a daily basis, and that’s, that’s my life, even in lockdown. That’s my life. I think the storytelling element, though, needs to be continually nurtured. And I think that’s been the secret sauce for successful product marketers throughout my career. The ones that want to think about that product or solution or service within the context of the customers need, and weave a story. And it comes across in everything that they do from the website to pitch decks to you name at it. It becomes it helps it resonate. I think, you know, I had a VP who was an amazing storyteller, you know, watching him do a keynote was inspirational. I even wrote one of those and that was the most inspirational obviously, but really inspirational to see him and just knowing that he would be up there telling how technology is changing lives and the stories that came with it. I think that that has it seen it time and time again be the proverbial cherry on top, the difference maker between a good product marketer and a great product marketer.
Christian Klepp 40:15
Bhavesh Mistry 40:15
I’m on the stop end. I think that the relationship between product marketing and sales is so critical. And I think building a plan with them is an important thing that every product marketer should do. But I think we should stop reacting to feedback as gospel, if you will. I think, again, coming back to timelines, I mentioned earlier that sales are often thinking, you know, a quarter at a time and they’re, sometimes the feedback may come with a little bit of focus just on one particular customer rather than on the market. And so I think that we, as a product marketing organization need to build better stronger relationships with sales, which are built on a strategy that are going to enable us to be successful, but not be simply reacted to the last email that comes through.
Christian Klepp 41:16
Absolutely. And you know, what, that’s such great advice. I mean, like, you know, just to your point about, you know, the feedback and not reacting to it. I mean, I suppose what you can say is like you, you have to put in like a kind of like a filtering layer, right? to just make sure that… it’s not necessarily a bad thing to react, but it’s just to make sure that you’re reacting to the right feedback and the feedback that you know, is actually going to help everyone move forward and improve.
Bhavesh Mistry 41:43
100%. And I hope that that part of my kind of my view of the world is clear. This is I think that the relationship between prod… there’s every product marketer will live or breathe by the relationship with their product team and with their sales teams. I think that those relationships are so critical, and the trust and credibility that has built along those two interlocks is just, it’s what can build a great b2b company. And so I think making sure that we’re building the right assets, the right enablement, the right content for sales, and not just necessarily reacting to the words on the piece of paper are critical, you know, the number of times, you may be asked for just like a feature sheet, what would be better is a better articulation of benefits or multimedia or interactive content that can help to enable that. And I think that at that interface, the better we can we can get actually dig into the request into what is needed, rather than what’s just being requested. I think we can come out with a better stronger relationship with sales. And I think that that’s one of the things I’d love to see Product Marketing do more of, and kind of stop being just a knee jerk reactions.
Christian Klepp 43:02
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, you set up man. I mean, like no rest for the wicked, right. So… (laugh)
Bhavesh Mistry 43:10
Always, always happy to chat, love to learn more about how other people see the world of b2b marketing. And yeah, please, please hit me up LinkedIn or email.
Christian Klepp 43:19
Perfect. Bhavesh. This has been such an amazing conversation. Thanks again for your time. So be well, stay safe, and I’ll talk to you soon.
Bhavesh Mistry 43:28
You too Christian, Thanks so much.
Christian Klepp 43:29
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co. And be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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