The marketing world, especially product marketing, has changed a lot in the past few years. Few years back, product marketers adopted digital transformation, covid-19 pandemic changed business landscapes, making them virtual/hybrid and now we are witnessing a surge in consumption of online content.
Choosing the product’s positioning and messaging, bringing it to market, and making sure both salespeople and buyers understand it, are basic activities which product marketers perform. Earlier, the goal of product marketing was to create content to enable sales of the product. But we have been seeing a significant change and extension of responsibilities. Product marketers are expected to enable sales, create top performing contents, generate leads and work with sales for quick closure.
To help businesses build cutting-edge and competitive marketing strategies let’s have a look at some of the top trends in product marketing to watch for in 2022.
Drivers leading the change in product marketing in 2022
a) Change in consumer behavior
There has been a significant change in buying behavior of B2B consumers. Gone are the days when sales used to completely drive the B2B purchases and were single-point contact with the customer. Consumers today have created a bias towards paid marketing ads and campaigns and prefer searching themselves for the content for the products and services they are interested in.
Consumers today prefer a sales-free or minimum sales-involved buying process. Organizations are moving away from contract-based pricing and are adopting flexible subscription-based pricing models, which reflect a change in their buying process. At each step in the buying process, consumers are looking up to reliable, quick content to understand and reflect quickly.
b) Restrictions on user data by organizations
With a few regulations wrt to data-privacy implemented by technology giants, there has been a significant impact on digital advertisements. Let us have a look at some of these regulations:
Google plans to phase out 3rd party cookies by 2023
An update has been implemented by Google that prevents third-party tracking cookies. This will be bad news for many digital advertisers. However, this might be good for users who don’t want advertisers to track them and their activities all over the internet.
Apple restricts data with the iOS 14 update, killing IDFA
Just like Google’s advertising identifier (GAID), Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) helps mobile marketers attribute ad spend. All of the attribution and profiling facilities in Apple will go away with the iOS 14 update. If an app wants to use the IDFA, iOS 14 will present mobile users with a permission message – “Do you want the ABC app to allow tracking?”. In my opinion, 99% of consumers would not allow it, thereby killing IDFA. Consequently, the profiling could not be done, and hence ads are going to be ineffective.
Meta faces regulatory headwinds and Ad-tech privacy reckoning
Meta’s advertisement business is certainly heavily exposed to any regulatory hurricane of enforcement against permission-less internet tracking. As of today, Meta doesn’t offer its own users any options to opt out from behavioral targeting. With a growing body of legislation — headlined by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — aimed at protecting consumer data privacy on the internet, it is evident that the road ahead for Meta will be full of regulatory headwinds.
c) Emerging technologies
Over the years, technology has become increasingly important to the development of marketing. Marketers must stay current with trends when new technologies emerge in order to be understood by their target audience. Marketing has changed as a result of technology, which has made campaigns more individualized and immersive for consumers, and more integrated and targeted for marketers.
Technologies such as AI, augmented reality, blockchain, etc. have brought marketing teams closer to their target consumers thereby enabling them to communicate, develop trust and build better relations with their customers.
d) Marketing to be ROI driven
Marketers are currently operating on tighter budgets than ever, and battling to balance lead conversion and return on investment. Now more than ever, every perception counts, but it needs to be realigned with value.
Calculating the return on marketing investment at the organizational level can assist in directing company decisions and maximizing marketing initiatives. Allocating funds and resources for marketing initiatives is constantly listed as a top priority by CMOs. However, it is imperative that current marketing spend and budget be justified at the executive level in order to secure funding and resources for future initiatives. To do this, marketers must precisely determine the return on investment (ROI) that their marketing initiatives are generating for the company. For instance, they want to be aware of whether native advertisements are generating conversions and ROI while display ads are ineffective.
Top trends in product marketing in 2022
a) Product led strategy
To manage as many leads as possible, SaaS companies no longer require a sizable sales crew. A product-led strategy uses the product as the main, value-adding resource to address the issues and demands of your users. To attract, convert, and upsell, the new strategy focuses solely on selecting the right prospects and demonstrating the value of the product. Publicly listed enterprises, as well as startups and bootstrapped businesses, will continue to embrace product-led strategies.
Important parts of product marketing in this situation:
- Understanding the product-qualified lead profile
- Creating the appropriate messaging and positioning
- Obtaining input to identify the impending new features and upgrades needed to suit the changing demand and environment
The world does not require any more content. People are overburdened with information. Every day, they are bombarded with advertisements, social posts, feeds, emails, search results, and endless information, the majority of which they do not want. Prospects and customers do not want company and product hyperbole or sales pitches, regardless of how trendy the package is. They seek assistance, insight, and relevant information. This necessitates a customer-focused approach to content creation.
Customer-focused content is delivered in a style that appeals to them and is informed by target audience expertise. Customer-centric businesses may set themselves apart from the competition by creating content that offers more value. Prioritizing audience demands will lay the groundwork for accomplishing corporate objectives and increased success. Before ideating content topics, formats, and channels, product marketers need to understand the who, what, and when drivers behind the content creation.
b) Content focused on generating leads
It goes without saying that in the last ten years, content marketing has evolved quickly. As digital experiences have grown to be a major influence on expectations, it has matured. We no longer need to make assumptions about why and how to produce, distribute, and exploit content. There is now sufficient data to determine what works and what does not. Although in different methods, the principles of marketing remain applicable. It involves putting the demands of your audience ahead of your advertising goals and developing content that is really user-centric.
The continual competition for audience attention among content creators forces product marketers to consistently produce fresh, engaging, and interactive content.
c) Educational resource creation
For product marketing teams to create demand, draw in product-qualified leads, and establish themselves as an industry authority, content marketing is essential. Product marketing team should produce material that is specially intended to inform prospects, users, and customers, as well as information that aims to boost search engine rankings.
In order to reach a large number of potential leads and prospects at once and demonstrate the value of your product, webinars are now essential for SaaS products. A more individualized call will be preferred by some clients, but a webinar gives you more access and reduces your reliance on the sales team.
d) Monitoring, analyzing, and recreating marketing strategy
Product marketing is no longer a siloed job with the only task of creating the content; it has become an ROI-based process with marketing qualified lead generation as the final outcome. Product marketing and sales teams are now working together toward contributing to the growth of revenue.
Hence, it becomes extremely important for product marketing teams to continuously monitor the performance of their content, analyze, and improve them. If there is no significant progress in terms of impressions or leads for their content, product marketers are required to research, re-define, and re-create their marketing strategy.
e) Video Marketing
Over the past few years, video has drastically outperformed other media. Social media platforms like YouTube are rapidly becoming the primary platform for users.
Marketers who use video increase revenue 49% faster than those who don’t. A wonderful approach to increase audience engagement is with promotional videos and informational videos, which perform better than straightforward branded postings. Even for professionally produced videos, video production can be pricey, but marketing teams can also swiftly create excellent videos using free online video-making tools.
f) Multichannel Marketing
Multichannel marketing is the process through which businesses engage with customers through a variety of direct and indirect channels to sell them products and services. Organizations either use direct channels — such as physical storefronts, catalogs, and direct mail — to proactively reach customers. Otherwise, they may use indirect channels (also known as inbound marketing), in which they push materials via websites or social media.
The idea behind multichannel marketing is that consumers now have more options than ever for how they want to learn about items. Marketing departments have increased their presence on these channels in order to advance their customer relationship management initiatives as a result of the proliferation of available channels — including the rise of email, social media, and mobile.
Product Marketers need to be in sync with the trends that marketing is witnessing in 2022, and hence need to continuously learn, update, and follow the best practices. Product marketers need to make a shift from a prescriptive to a proactive approach, create quality content with the right strategy for MQLs, and continuously focus on ROI. They need to understand the audience and content, which needs to be prepared for increasing website visitors and generating highly qualified leads.
Innoventsoft offers an ICM platform built by product marketers for product marketers, to identify the right content for the target audience. Try ICM today and overcome B2B sales and marketing challenges by building the right content to gain your audience’s trust, which is the key to success in present-day B2B sales.