The strategic marketing team could provide direction on where the business has the greatest growth potential: where there is a strong product-market fit and room to capture a greater share of demand. They may already have target growth numbers in place. Next, you’ll need to determine whether you can identify the industry for each customer segment in the customer relationship management (CRM) system (e.g. Salesforce) and track their progress through the pipeline. With this information, your marketing operations or analytics team can build dashboards to track progress over time.
When a company has a broad portfolio of products and serves multiple vertical markets, it is useful to have product marketers dedicated to reaching those audiences. This helps ensure resources are focused on under-represented audiences and that messaging is relevant to them so they clearly understand product benefits for their needs
All product marketers, no matter their focus area, need to understand both their product and their buyer -- but industry marketers tend to overindex on understanding the industry market, ICP, and Personas and the key messages that will resonate with them. In contract, more product-focused product marketers may need to be deeper into the product roadmap and release cadance, and how it impacts the overall go-to-market.
Industry product marketers need to have a solid knowledge of the pain points and needs for the audience they serve and be able to translate product benefits into customer outcomes. They partner with product-focused solution marketers and campaign teams on go-to-market plans. However, their quarterly and annual plans are not as tightly coupled with product release cycles, but rather with industry events and outreaches targeting user personas and buying segments.
I've tackled this question a bit in other answers already, and I encourage you to check those out as well, but in essence -- industry marketing is one specialization in a mature product marketing organization, focused on key value propositions and message by industry. It's required when your ideal customer profile's needs, challenges, and the value that you can bring to their problems varies enough by industry that it's difficult to have "universal" positioning apply to each of your target industries.
Industry Marketing is useful when a company has a wide portfolio of products or solutions that create value for a number of industry segments. The Industry (or Audience) Marketing team tells an integrated story about the outcomes that a set of solutions can deliver for that set of customers. When the sales organization is organized around customer segments, having Industry Marketing counterparts can be an effective way to make sure they get the right messaging for their prospective customers throughout the sales funnel.
The book by Martina Lauchengco is an excellent resource on product marketing. She includes a section on moving from product to solution, service or customer-centric go-to-market.
by Chris Golec, et al, addresses how to target marketing efforts to specific accounts and industries. I also recommend looking at resources related to Content Marketing and Campaign Marketing, since Industry Product Marketers collaborate closely with these functions.
There are multiple key metrics I look at to see how our industry programs are performing and positively influencing the right outcomes, sliced by industry:
At the end of the day, it all comes back to revenue, but it’s hard to directly quantify impact to revenue without seeing how you’ve influenced the other areas.
Full funnel pipeline metrics are the most important metric overall. We can look at each stage of the pipeline and consider what kinds of activities will increase and accelerate the pipeline; where we are moving the needle; and where we need to rethink our strategy. In parallel, response rates, A/B test results, and other measures are indicators of the effectiveness of specific activities and messaging.
Once there's not only product market fit (which almost all companies prematurely declare victory around - sorry but it's totally true) but also determination and commitment that a given industry or industies are the decided way to GTM. If products are horizontal and sales teams are horizontal then having just the marketers aligned vertically spells trouble. An industry-first approach has to be resourced beyond marketing, dabbling's not going to get anyone anywhere.