Products in the business to small business sales channel (B2SMB) are growing more numerous, rapidly innovating, and becoming more diverse and customized. That makes the product marketing team a vital part of the business.
Comcast Business Senior Director Scott Biondi, speaking with B2SMBi co-founder Peter Hutto on the Playbooks 19 web-based conference today, noted the company has dramatically evolved its product set from its launch seven years ago, when it narrowly focused on video, Internet and voice. Today, it extends those features with a wide range of services that include SMB marketing (via Thrivehive), smart office, and security.
“If you focus on one product that you will sell for ever and ever, you are looking at ….Blockbuster Video,” warns Biondi. Comcast’s approach is to build or partner for products that boost customer functionality. “The products should sell themselves,” he says.
Comcast’s product development is based on a sophisticated look at various usage data and its customer feedback. “Customer feedback is often overlooked,” says Biondi. It is especially critical to hone in on the right data and building the right “data lake,” consisting of such elements as news/events, data analysis, customer segmenting, and sales data.
The role of the product marketing team is to be able to use that data to build or adapt new products, target the right vertical customers, and forecast sales. For instance, Comcast saw that many of its customers had video cameras. It used that data to create a video surveillance product for its Smart Office bundle. “You build a case” for rolling out a product and committing resources, says Biondi.