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21 Pragmatic Rules for Product Marketing

Last updated 6 years ago

In putting together my last post about the marketing value chain I found some great resources by the folks over at Pragmatic Marketing.  I have not used their services but am impressed with the depth of content about product marketing on their website.  I particularly like their 21 pragmatic rules of marketing and will definitely apply them as we work on our user experience (UX) and sales tools.  

Here's the list.

  1. If product management doesn't do its job, the other departments will fill the void. 
  2. An outside-in approach increases the likelihood of product success.
  3. Time spent on the strategic reduces time wasted on the tactical. [this relates to the expression "if you don't know where you want to go any road will take you there"]
  4. The building is full of product experts. Your company needs market experts. [closely tied to #8 -- product managers must get out in the field and regularly interact with sales people and clients to truly understand their challenges and unmet needs]
  5. Only build solutions for problems that are urgent, pervasive and the market will pay to solve. 
  6. Your opinion, although interesting is irrelevant. [everyone brings bias, and it increases the higher you go up the executive ranks. You need data because data trumps opinion]
  7. Don't expect your sales channel to conduct win/loss analysis. [and if they do, all losses will be due to missing product features but wins will be due to their skill as a salesperson]
  8. The answer to most of your questions is not in the building. [again, get out an visit customers at least once a month and be sure to "pretotype" - more on that in my next post]
  9. Be able to articulate your distinctive competence. [if you can't do this succinctly and eloquently then you shouldn't be a product manager]
  10. Find market segments that value your distinctive competence.
  11. Align your distribution strategy with personas and their problems.
  12. Every "product" needs product management and a business plan. [and IMHO it needs UX too]
  13. In the absence of market facts, he who builds the product wins.
  14. With positioning, the focus is on what you can do for the buyers.
  15. Positioning should be complete before you start developing.
  16. You need a positioning document for each buyer persona. [you also need detailed value props and key messages with the top 3 weighted by importance]
  17. Product management owns the message; marketing communications owns the rest. [this is often a gap and why a rigorous 
  18. Name the product after positioning is finished.
  19. Map your sales process to the buying process.
  20. Product management should help sales channels, not individual salespeople.
  21. Market problems determine what goes in the product. [they saved the best for last - the world is filled with products that failed because they were a solution looking for a problem]


Todd Ebert is interested in B2B marketing strategies including the intersection of search, social, local and mobile marketing.  He is SVP Marketing at local online marketing leader ReachLocal.


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