It’s not very often that I get to talk to a group of purely product management and product marketing folks so when he Rymatech folks asked if I wanted to do a webinar with them I was quick to say yes (the webinar is happening Wed. Feb. 9th at 12 EST and you can register here).

The topic I am going to focus on for that webinar is the changing nature of marketing in general and what that means for product marketing professionals in particular (a topic I have been thinking about since I spoke at ProductCamp Amsterdam).   Here’s a brief overview of the topic:

1/ Traditional Marketing Sucks – People hate traditional marketing. It’s interrupt-driven, untargeted and pushy.  People are pretty good at ignoring things that bother them so that style of marketing has become less and less effective.

2/ Customers Want to Control the Sales ProcessProspects don’t want to be “sold.” Customers are interested in researching products themselves and tend to resist interacting with a vendor to as late in the buying process as possible.

3/ The Only Way to Enage With Customers Early in the Buying Cycle is to Provide Useful Stuff – So if your prospects don’t want to be sold to – how should you interact with them?  By helping them rather than selling to them.  Inbound marketing (in my definition anyway) consists of providing things that help prospects.  That might be best practices or tips.  It could mean helping them understand specific technologies in the market and when they should be used.  It might mean educating them on different approaches to solving a problem. Whatever it means, it does not mean giving them a sales pitch until they are ready for one.

4/ What Does This Have to Do with Product Marketing?  A LOT! – So if your only hope in engaging customers early in the buying cycle is to provide them with helpful information, who better to do that than product marketing?  We have deep market expertise and we understand the pains our customers are experiencing.  Who better to be creating content that is useful to customers?

Can product marketing save marketing from itself? You’ll just have to come to the webinar and find out.  And make sure you come with some hard questions!