The Impact of Real Buyer Insights on Product Management and Marketing Decisions

If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.

– Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape

Who or what is driving your product decisions?

If you’ve spent your career in product marketing/management in tech companies, you can relate to the above quote from the perspective of both mid-level and senior product marketing executives.

Up and coming product manager/marketers are regularly champions of features, or product positioning that face an uphill battle against the priorities of the Engineering team and the demands of the sales team – stemming from existing customer asks and the most recent competitive sales loss. Add on top of that the biases of a boss, and you’ve got to overcome a lot to bring about a change in emphasis (never mind direction).

product management

Making these directional and investment decisions isn’t actually any easier sitting in the product management/marketing leadership role. They need to make significant go-to-market investments almost weekly, while running an organization, mediating compelling and conflicting arguments from highly opinionated and smart groups – all while trying to listen to the customer. Just a few of the decisions that need to be made:

  • Which feature enhancements need to make the cut in the next release because of customer demand or competitive factors?
  • Which initiatives/project drivers MUST be on your site’s home page and which can be de-emphasized?
  • Are there market niches that are growing or that your company ignores that you could address with a different positioning or marketing campaign?
  • In sales collateral/training, what are the key competitor weaknesses to make sure the reps understand?

Buyer insight provides more clarity for decision-making – if you find the right sources 

Product and positioning decisions are never easy, but almost any internal debate can be swayed by quantifiable insight on buyer preferences and purchasing behavior. However, most companies struggle to bring relevant and accurate data to bear at the right time. Part of the reason is most of the easily available data has a significant bias problem, such as:

  • Insights from deals that your company has won or lost doesn’t reflect the perspective of buyers that were never part of your sales pipeline. TechTarget data shows that unless you are a major player, this is typically much greater than 50% of the market.
  • When you talk with prospects or customers (or getting data that is filtered by sales reps), you know you are not getting the complete story as they try to protect or promote key details that support their position.
  • Custom research efforts take time to kick off and are point in time. These approaches are a poor match for a market that is constantly changing and you must make decisions year-round.
  • Most industry research is written from the perspective of an experienced industry analyst who interprets broader trends or future looking insights furnished by suppliers. This is a very valuable part of understanding the market, but different than buyer data.

How TechTarget helps   

To help product management/marketing leaders find the right representative buyer insight, TechTarget Research has developed Deal ScoreCard. Deal ScoreCard describes how buyers for 20 different Cloud, Data Center, Storage and EUC markets perceive their needs, requirements and vendor opinions at the essential moments of their purchasing cycles, every quarter. Just a few of the insights that it delivers include:

  • Features, project initiatives, workloads – For a specific market, which specific factors (by each category) are most important in a product-market, which are trending up and down quarter over quarter and which are the major vendors in the market perceived to be weak or strong on.
  • What’s important at shortlist v. important at product evaluation – Which issues are most important as buyers shape their plans for a project (budget, product space, important vendors) v. which issues do they see as important when they are deep into rep discussions and technology evaluation. The difference between these moments leads to very different go-to-market investments.
  • Where are market leaders weak – Most challenger technology company strategies are built around a growing weakness or blind spot of a market leader. Deal ScoreCard goes to great lengths to quantify those blind spots.

You can see some of the foundational analyses of a Deal ScoreCard here. If you are interested in learning more about how the in-depth data in Deal ScoreCard can help your organization, please visit TechTarget.com/Research.

[“Source-techtarget”]

Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate to launch six projects in FY18

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group entered the affordable housing segment last year by joining hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC and the Asian Development Bank.

Diversified Shapoorji Pallonji group’s real estate arm is lining up at least six projects across the country in 2017-18, with two in the affordable housing segment, a senior company official said.

“We plan to launch at least six projects this financial year. Out of these, we would be developing two projects under our ‘Joyville’ brand to build affordable homes,” Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate chief executive Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan told PTI in Mumbai.

Of the six, 2-3 projects are being planned to come up in the megapolis, two in Pune and one in the National Capital Region (NCR), he said, adding that the company already has 40 million sq ft land bank across the country.

“We will be officially launching our affordable housing project in Virar by September-October. The second project under the Joyville brand at Hinjewadi in Pune will be launched by March 2018,” Gopalakrishnan said.

The SP Group entered the affordable housing segment last year by joining hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity, International Finance Corp. (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Under the agreement, the partnership will invest about $250 million, which will be used primarily for buying land and setting up initial infrastructure. The company launched its first project under the brand Joyville at Howrah near Kolkata.

Asked whether the company is looking to raise funds for these projects, he said, “We already have the land, so the funds would be raised on project to project basis. This would be mainly through debt.”

About the impact of the new Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and the goods and services tax (GST), he said there will be certain teething issues in the beginning, but then developers will have to adapt to the change.

“As per the RERA, we have registered five ongoing projects, with four in Maharashtra and one in Bengaluru where the rules are out. We have projects in West Bengal and the north, but the rules there are not yet out,” Gopalakrishnan added.

Source:-.livemint.

Real Madrid gear up for crucial Sevilla clash

Image result for Real Madrid gear up for crucial Sevilla clashReal Madrid appeared relaxed as they readied themselves for Sunday’s crucial match against Sevilla.

Zinedine Zidane’s side trained in the Spanish sunshine knowing that they hold the destiny of the La Liga title in their own hands ahead of their final three matches of the season.

Cristiano Ronaldo looked in good spirits as he was put through his paces while Toni Kroos was seen horsing around with winger Lucas Vazquez.

Isco, who scored in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Atletico Madrid, seemed focused as he practised his shooting at the session.

But Madrid will have to make do without Gareth Bale for the match, as Zidane revealed the winger will once again be unavailable for selection due to a calf injury sustained last month against Bayern Munich.

The Frenchman told reporters: ‘We have to see day to day with Gareth Bale. He is continuing in the gym, working, trying to get rid of his discomfort.

‘It’s getting better, but you have to go day by day. But he’s not even training with us. I cannot tell you when he will return, but hopefully it is soon.’

Also missing will be defender Pepe, who is struggling with a rib problem.

Pepe has been linked with a move away from Madrid when his contract expires in the summer and Zidane sought to pay tribute to the long-serving centre-back.

Pepe’s career has been spectacular,’ said the Madrid coach.

‘It’s been 10 years where he’s done fantastic things, but with this I’m not telling you what is going to happen next year because I do not know.

‘He will not be in the squad tomorrow because of his rib. He trained with us, but it’s not quite right.’

Madrid sit second in La Liga to Barcelona but are level on points with their rivals and crucially hold a game in hand.

Barcelona have league matches against Las Palmas and Eibar remaining while Real Madrid travel to Celta Vigo and Malaga after the Sevilla clash.

Zidane’s men qualified for the Champions League final against Juventus on Wednesday after they beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 on aggregate in the semi-final.

[“source-ndtv”]

Leading Cause of Death of Startups: Real Estate

Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText, and a long-time blogger himself, is finally getting an office.

For two years his company has operated virtually, with employees working from their homes across the United States. He calls it “net-enabled bootstrapping” because the company has used technology tools to operate at a low cost and grow from within.

He says real estate is the leading cause of death of startups, and notes:

“I am convinced that being virtual is the best way to start a company. The benefits go beyond cost (although the culture of frugality can go a very long way). In our case, it improves the product. But generally it is more productive. When the bandwidth for collaboration is constrained at times, you gain a certain focus.”

Be sure to read the entire post, including the comments. He also notes the downsides of virtual businesses.

Two other blogs have picked up on the post and added their own insights — check them out too: Steve Shu, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg who notes that the WordPress team operates virtually, also. (WordPress is a popular Open Source blogging software.)

I find blogs such as Ross’s and Steve’s and Matt’s — which discuss their own experiences and observations — to be excellent sources of insight to “see” trends.

In this case, they give a great sense of how technology startups operate today.

Forget three guys in a garage — that was your father’s startup. Today it’s 3 people spread out across the country or even across continents, each in their home offices or back porches with laptops, mobile phones, and WiFi.

For more, read my essay “Trend: Small Businesses Go Virtual.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]