Summary: Product data is often siloed in engineering, despite the value it offers to a manufacturer’s marketing and sales strategy.
The role of sales and marketing in an organization is to get people interested in purchasing a product.
Which is why it’s so important these departments know the product they sell inside and out.
And while teams do this the best they can, access to product data makes this a whole lot easier for sales and marketing teams.
Before we dive deeper into this topic, let’s pause and clarify what product data actually is.
Product data is any information about a product. It includes anything from product specs, 2D and 3D CAD drawings and renderings, feature requests, ECRs, and product development schedules.
Regardless of its format, product data gives sales and marketing teams a clearer understanding of a product.
Today we look at why access to product data is a key part of a successful marketing and sales strategy in the manufacturing industry.
Let’s get started.
1. Data-driven messaging
When you equip sales and marketing with product data, they gain a holistic understanding of your product and where it’s going.
Armed with this knowledge, they establish the best markets for your product long-term and curate messaging that speaks to your target audience.
When your marketing and sales strategy incorporates product data like release schedules, teams create long-term strategies centered around where a product is heading.
For marketing, this means creating a product story with continuity. Access to product data lets marketing teams build out campaigns in alignment with future product iterations, and results in more effective messaging.
Access to product data allows marketing to tell a story that excites existing and potential customers and has customers ready to purchase products before they’re released.
The improvements to messaging and positioning that a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy enables also makes things easier for sales as it improves lead quality, which in turn, lets sales close more deals and generates higher revenue.
2. Incorporate customer feedback into product development
Since sales and marketing teams work the most directly with consumers, they have the best understanding of what the market needs.
And while this insight is regularly applied to their own work, it rarely makes its way back to development teams beyond a requirements list.
But a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy changes all this.
When sales and marketing teams know what product development teams are up to, they can get involved in the process and share the feedback they hear from customers.
When this happens new features and product designs reflect the needs of customers and keep them happy.
An added bonus is that organizations also benefit from customer-centric product development.
A recent IDC report found that when organizations create high-quality products that met the needs of their customers, satisfaction rates skyrocket to 90%.
3. Create a positive customer experience
Sales and marketing are prone to making outlandish promises to customers.
Promises that frustrate product development teams because they are basically impossible.
In these instances, customers are promised something, be it a new feature, or an early release date, that just isn’t going to happen.
The reality that follows is angry customers that hold a negative impression of your company. And with customer experience a top priority for customers when it comes to purchasing, this proves detrimental to organizations.
The flipside to this is when sales and marketing teams have an accurate understanding of the capacity of product development.
When a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy is used, teams have access to information like project deadlines, feature releases, and production schedules, and as a result, relay correct information to customers. Which in turn creates a positive experience for customers.
And a good experience doesn’t just benefit the customer. Research by PWC found that a positive customer experience makes people more likely to:
- Be a repeat shopper
- Share their positive experience with others
- Stay loyal to your company
All of which help organizations outperform the market.
A positive customer experience helps you outperform the market.
How to give teams product data
Now that we’ve reviewed why a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy is important, let’s look at how to make it happen.
Manually transferring product data between product development and sales / marketing teams is an option.
But it isn’t the most effective, or secure way to achieve a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy.
Cloud-based product data management tools like PLM or PDM, on the other hand, are particularly useful when it comes to implementing a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy.
These tools automate the process of sharing data by providing users organization-wide with access to the most up to date data. They also stop the problem of data replication as a shared source of truth is hosted in the cloud for all stakeholders to access.
A product data-driven marketing and sales strategy is beneficial to manufacturers in three major ways:
- Data-driven messaging. When sales / marketing understand the direction a product is headed, they create strategies that support the product long-term.
- Incorporate customer feedback into product development. When sales / marketing can access product data, they can ensure customer feedback is incorporated in future iterations of a product.
- Create a positive customer experience. Access to accurate, up to date information helps sales / marketing make promises to customers that they can actually deliver on.
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Interested in implementing a product data-driven marketing and sales strategy? See how cloud PLM helps. Request a demo today.