My largest client for the last decade has been Pragmatic Marketing, the company that inspired and marketed the Effective Product Marketing seminar that I developed in 2001. When I sold the seminar to Pragmatic Marketing in 2007 and trained another instructor, I knew that I would someday leave the seminar behind. So I started thinking about what the attendees needed after they left the seminar.
This wasn’t really a new line of thinking. After every class I’d wondered whether the attendees would be able to put their enthusiasm for strategic marketing into action in the weeks and months that followed. Confronted with the day-to-day reality of sales requests and tactical checklists, would they be able to rally the rest of the company around their new role?
How many people, I wondered, would get permission to participate in qualitative win/loss calls? Would they create buyer personas that were so real and convincing that the company would be willing to take direction from them? Would they use their new insights to prioritize investments around activities that directly impacted revenue and buyers?
I always knew that the strategic role of product marketing represented a major change for many of the participants, and that the seminar could not address all of the specific challenges the participants would face in any particular company.
So I decided that my next step should align with the seminar attendees’ next step. I decided to dedicate the next few years to supporting the three areas that thousands of attendees have described as impediments to buyer-focused marketing:
- Coaching individuals and teams through win/loss analysis and the other efforts that result in powerful buyer personas.
- Using buyer personas to guide the planning and execution phases of a specific marketing goal, launch, strategy or campaign.
- Developing top-down and cross-organizational support for a strategic, buyer-focused marketing effort.
This type of consulting isn’t new to me – I’ve continued to consult throughout the years that I was teaching the Pragmatic Marketing seminar. But because the class was my top priority, it was impossible to work on the projects that I’ve accepted over the last few months. I think I’m beginning to crack the code on what it takes to create the result that motivated me every time I taught the seminar to a new group of marketers.
I’m still teaching through the end of April, and by adding the consulting projects I’ve been too busy to develop a website that explains the new services. I should have it live within the next two months. If you have any ideas about the services I should offer, please let me know.
I admit that I’ll miss the stage, but I know that I’m better prepared than ever before to make a huge impact on my clients’ success. And as those who have seen me teach know very well, I never confuse efforts with results.