A New Marketing Framework

05/19/2010

***Please note: I’ve released a new version of this framework: A Startup Marketing Framework V2***

Most product managers and product marketers I know, including myself have studied the Pragmatic Marketing Framework.  I first did over 10 years ago and it continues to be a very useful tool for explaining what product management is all about.  As I’ve been working with companies on product marketing plans however, I’ve wondered what something similar to the Pragmatic Framework would look like from a purely marketing point of view.  I took what I’ve done with companies and what I’ve seen smart product marketers around me doing and constructed a marketing framework that looks like the diagram below.  Also, you lean startup types should note that this is applicable for companies that are beyond product/market fit.  Feedback is appreciated!

Marketing framework1 A New Marketing Framework

Segments – Based on your interaction with early customers, these are the segments that have the most affinity for your offering and are the target of your marketing efforts.  These need to be well defined and very specific and includes personas.

Market Needs – From your experience with early customers you will be able to articulate the unmet needs in the market related to your segments (and beyond).

Key Points of Value – These are the most critical key differentiated points of value that your product offers.  This is not a long list of features but rather small number of key attributes that customers in your segment love about your product.

Competitive Alternatives - These are the alternatives ways that customers can attempt to service their needs.  These may be competitive offerings, features or pieces of solutions in other spaces or “do nothing”.

Business Model – This describes how the company makes money from the offering.

Sales Strategy – How the company will sell the product including the channel strategy (if applicable).

Sales Process – The sales process is the detailed step by step process that a prospect goes through on the way to becoming a customer.

Market Strategy – The market strategy is a higher level view of how the company plans to scale in the market from early adopters to a broad market, including the segments to be targeted and in what order. (in Crossing the Chasm, this would be the description of your lead pin and the adjacent pins)

Lead Generation – That plan including tasks and budget for lead generation tactics.

Retention – The plan and budget for tactics aimed solely at retaining existing customers (really important for SaaS offerings).

Visibility – This is the bucket for all tactics related to ensuring that non-users of the product can observe that others are using it.  This includes product features that encourage people invite their friends or display to a person’s network some facet of using the product, referral incentives, website badges, shareable content, reviews and awards, customer testimonials and success marketing, etc. (I talk about this in Startup Marketing 101)

Messaging – This includes the company messaging, product value proposition, company and offering stories, responses to common questions, objection handling and reassurances for perceived risks.

Content Strategy – The content strategy will lay out what content will get created and for which purposes.  This will include blogs, video, podcasts, whitepapers and ebooks, research and data analysis, press releases, shared presentations, and anything else that is informative and helpful to prospects and customers.

Sales Tools – Includes presentations, demos, data sheets, brochures, ROI calculators and other tools that are used to help customers make a buying decision.

Media Outreach – Actions, programs and tactics related to working with reporters, writers and bloggers.

Funnel Optimization – The ongoing process of tracking and analyzing each stage of the sales funnel with the goal of making incremental improvements.

ROI Tracking – For each item of marketing spend, tracking the return on that investment with the goal of doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Customer Learning – The ongoing process of meeting with customers and testing the assumptions you have about their needs, environment, information sources and influencers, competitive alternatives, market trends, etc., capturing that information and feeding it back to the rest of the organization.

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