Monday, August 24, 2009

Strategy and Pragmatic Marketing's Framework

Pragmatic Marketing has a framework for creating and marketing successful, market-driven products. A grid familiar to many product managers and marketers depicts an overview of the framework:

The left side of the grid shows the more strategic marketing activities, while the right side of the grid shows the more tactical marketing activities. On the far left side of the grid, we find research activities such as understanding market problems, the competitive landscape, and distinctive competence. On the far right side of the grid, we find presentations and demos, sales or other "special" calls, and event and channel support.

The grid is an enormously useful tool for finding the gaps in your company's marketing efforts. Most of us who have taken Pragmatic Marketing classes know that most companies are severely deficient in the left side of the grid. They either have no coherent strategy or have developed strategies without a thorough understanding of the market.

Does your company have a marketing "strategy gap"? Here are some questions to ponder:
  • Has anyone at your company interviewed (not on a sales call) a broad cross-section of prospective customers one-on-one about the challenges they face?
  • Is there a shared understanding in your company of the top three problems your product solves in the marketplace?
  • Has anyone at your company conducted win/loss analysis, with someone other than a sales person interviewing prospects who opted to buy or not to buy your product?
  • Is there a shared understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each competing product as they are perceived by prospective customers in the market?
  • Has someone identified, and is there a shared understanding of, a competency that sets your company apart from all of the competition and gives your company a unique and sustainable ability to deliver value to prospects in the market?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then you have gaps in the most fundamental strategic aspects of your product development and marketing efforts.

1 comment:

Steve said...

The absence of strategy becomes even more apparent in agile organizations when the product owner attempts to use opinion instead of market facts to prioritize the work.

When people talk about titles, I point them to the framework and ask, "who owns these activities?" In too many cases, the answer is "nobody."

Use the Pragmatic Marketing Framework to identify all the tasks for defining and delivering products to market. Then assign those tasks to titles.