Getting Started in Industry and Solutions Marketing in 7 Steps - The Solution Marketing Blog

  • 1,198 views
Uploaded on

Lately, I’ve come across the following question a few times: …

Lately, I’ve come across the following question a few times:
How do I get started in industry marketing?

Today, I’ll share tips based on nearly six years of starting and then running the industry and solutions marketing function for an enterprise software company. I’m proud of the work that my team and I accomplished, which was emulated by other companies in our industry.

As you might suspect, industry marketing is a subset of solution marketing, focused on specific verticals such as financial services or government or energy. Solution marketing principles apply to industry marketing as well. Following are 7 steps to get started in industry marketing.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,198
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1

Actions

Shares
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Getting Started in Industry and Solutions Marketing in 7 Steps December, 20, 2010- By Steve RobinsLately, I’ve come across the following question a few times:How do I get started in industry marketing?Today, I’ll share tips based on nearly six years of starting and then running the industry and solutions marketingfunction for an enterprise software company. I’m proud of the work that my team and I accomplished, which wasemulated by other companies in our industry.As you might suspect, industry marketing is a subset of solution marketing, focused on specific verticals such asfinancial services or government or energy. Solution marketing principles apply to industry marketing as well.Following are 7 steps to get started in industry marketing.Step #1: Run the industry litmus testBefore you do anything else, research your company’s sales history to understand which industries (e.g., banking,energy, life sciences) and business functions (e.g., accounting, sales, marketing, manufacturing) are buying yourofferings. Is your company’s revenue growing, steady or declining for particular industries and functions? Howcould a different strategy change those trends? If you don’t find critical mass in any industries, you mayhave a horizontal offering that won’t lend itself to an industry marketing strategy.Step #2: Research the marketNotice that I haven’t said anything about marketing yet! Use secondary and primary research to identify and sizethe opportunity in industries that most need the solutions and technologies that your company can provide.Match their needs against the technical capabilities and industry expertise of your company and partners.Prioritize the top 3 or so industries and solution opportunities based on revenue and profit potential.Step #3: Understand the competitionWhat are your current or potential competitors doing? What’s working – and not working for them? Whatlessons can you learn? How can you differentiate your offering and gain competitive advantage?Step #4: Gain alignmentLet’s face it: industry marketing is usually a cross-functional discipline, so you’re going to need alignment witheveryone from the c-suite to sales, channels, partners, product management, and all areas of marketing. Start bygathering their input on your company’s industry opportunities. What opportunities do they see? How canindustry and solutions marketing help them to meet their goals? Continue to engage your stakeholders as youdevelop, implement and measure the results of your plans.Step #5: Develop the solution planNow that you understand the market, develop your industry and solution plan. On which vertical industries willyou focus? What solutions will you offer for each? How will you price those solutions (hint: price based on valueto the customer)? How far will you go to build them out? What role will partners play? How will you roll outsolutions over time? Hint: start slow – build out your first industry template and then move on to additional
  • 2. industries. A small company might focus on just one industry/function while a larger company may focus onseveral.Step #6: Build the go-to-market planNow that you know what you’re going to market, it’s time to figure out how to take it to market. First, understandyour prospects’ buying cycles – how do they budget for technology and how do they usually make decisions? Howcan your sales effort support this process?Next, ensure that your direct and/or indirect sales/channel can sell the solutions to industries. Augment channelsas needed with training, new partners and new staff. To succeed in selling to an industry and/or businessfunction, the channel needs to be able to understand the industry and its pain points, and have contacts in thatindustry. I.e., look for partners with deep expertise in the industry and/or function. If not, you’ll need to figureout how to gain the expertise and contacts yourself. Look for sales people that understand how to do solutionselling rather than product-oriented sales.Step #7: Create, execute and measure the industry marketing planNext, develop the industry marketing plan. Identify your target audience – titles, demographics, companyprofiles, personas. Create vertically targeted messages and value propositions that speak to industry issues in theuser’s lingo. Next, determine the best channels to reach your target audience for awareness, demand gen and leadnurturing campaigns, such as trade shows, trade pubs, direct mail, email, webinars. Remember that each industryresponds differently to different marketing channels/tools. You’ll also need to recruit industry marketing talentbut I’ll take that up in my next post. Finally, measure and report on results.It’s impossible to summarize a complete strategy in a single blog post but I hope that this gives you a sense of howto get started with industry marketing.Questions? Please contact me by email at snrobins [at] solutionmkt dot com.Download this post in PDF formAdditional Resources • Originally published at SolutionMarketingBlog.com/2010/12/20/getting-started-in-industry-marketing • SolutionMarketingBlog.com/2009/02/27/fixing-the-mix/December, 2010 - The Solution Marketing Blogwww.SolutionMarketingBlog.com