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Solutions Marketing vs Product Marketing – What You Need to Know

Solutions marketing is a unique and growing field in the world of marketing. It is a hybrid of product marketing and traditional marketing, focusing on providing solutions to customer problems.

While it is similar to product marketing, some key distinctions set it apart. This article will define solutions marketing, discuss its benefits for businesses, and explore how to create and run a successful solutions marketing team.

What is solutions marketing?

Solutions marketing focuses its efforts on solutions for customer problems — not the products and services created by its company.

Solutions marketing leverages many of the same practices as product marketing but takes the broader focus on business challenges and use cases.

Everything delivered by solutions marketers is through a specific business challenge lens.

What is product marketing?

Product marketing focuses its efforts on products and services sold by the business.

Everything delivered by product marketers is through the lens of a specific product.

Quick Take

Solutions marketing focuses on solutions to customer challenges, and product marketing focuses on the products and services sold by the business.

Marketing Driven vs. Product Driven

How do you know if you need product or solutions marketing — Or both?

This question is as simple as determining if the business is led by product or marketing strategies.

Product-Driven

In a product-driven company, the product is the star of the show. The business strategy is based on new products and features, and executives decide what’s best for the product.

This approach can work well for consumer technology, software, and other businesses where end-user adoption happens more organically, where the more people using the product create more value.

For example, companies like Slack, Drift, Facebook, iTunes become more valuable as more users use the platform, creating or sharing content.

Marketing-Driven

In a marketing-driven company, the focus is on customer needs and wants. The business strategy is based on understanding customer problems and then developing solutions.

This approach can work well for companies in healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.

Hybrid

Most businesses operate somewhere in the middle of these two options and benefit from having both solutions and product marketing teams.

Tips for Success

Understand the product roadmap

Your product roadmap represents your best guess about the features required, in what order, and along what timeline.

The roadmap must take into account both visible functionality as well as less visible areas such as:

  • セキュリティ
  • Maintainability
  • Scalability
  • etc

Your product roadmap will change based on several internal and external factors. Understand that it is not locked in stone.

You need to know what capabilities are on the way to ensure you have time to create the necessary marketing materials for new product releases.

In this capacity, the product marketer will often work closely with product management to stay close to the roadmap and near-term release schedules.

Be a Translator

Product Managers should be able to translate between product capabilities and market needs, but many cannot do so.

The product marketer must have this skill.

They must be experts with the products and be able to translate new capabilities into language and business needs that will compel buyers to purchase your products.

Product Marketing teams will generally work with プロダクトイネーブルメント to ensure sales-focused content is delivered to the field.

Create Content from the Right Perspective

We have already touched upon the difference between these two roles, but it’s worth repeating.

Solutions marketing focuses on solutions to customer challenges, and product marketing focuses on the products and services sold by the business.

Solutions marketers must explain to buyers how new features will help them solve business challenges your business solves.

Product marketers must explain to buyers why the new product is better than the competitor’s offerings and will focus on features and capabilities.

概要

We will come back to this article soon to add more — but that’s it for now.

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