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How do you think about product marketing for B2C vs. B2B audiences and SMB vs. Enterprise audiences? What are the key differences and similarities? Do you find the messaging conflict at times and how do you prioritize or solve?

1 Answer
Naman Khan
Naman Khan
Personio Chief Marketing OfficerMarch 17

In terms of similarities, I think the craft of Product Marketing stays the same across B2C & B2B (SMB & ENT). The functional competencies required are generally consistent: Target Market Definition, Audience Definition, Pain Point/Needs Definition, Value Prop Definition, Core Messaging & Positioning, Core Content Development, Launch Planning etc. In fact, I have found that PMM’s with B2C backgrounds that move to B2B perform exceptionally well! One theory is that Product Marketing has been a long standing function at B2C companies, starting at Proctor & Gamble, where PMM’s were business owners functioning as the GM of the product line (ie, a PMM at P&G could tell you the impact of moving a box of Tide detergent on the shelf by 2cm to the annual contribution margin) whereas Product Marketing in B2B is relatively new in comparison.

In terms of differences, I think the buyer journey changes significantly across B2C and B2B as well as across SMB & ENT. As a B2C PMM, your target user is likely also the buyer which will influence your messaging, pricing, feature packaging, content development and more. As a B2B PMM within an ENT target audience, you might need to sub segment your audiences across Business Decision Makers and End Users, effecting your messaging, content & more. In terms of messaging, I strongly believe in creating unique messaging frameworks for each target audience. With this approach, there should be no messaging conflicts. For example, when I was a PMM at Microsoft, we would define value propositions for Microsoft Office with separate messaging frameworks for Consumers, SMB’s and ENT, we would even go deeper with specific versions for various industries, all to ensure that we were getting as close as possible to the specific needs of the target audience. Keeping the customer in mind, you might find that different audiences have different needs and you’ll need to define different RTB’s (reasons to believe) from your product truths to inform your messaging!

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