In a world where new roles are born seemingly every few months, a product marketer’s role is one taking on a special place in the limelight of top tech companies. As a Product Marketer, Field Marketer, and Customer Insights professional, you know better than anyone else that creating timely and reliable data to help your friends in product and marketing make decisions is essential for the company and your own success.
The Skills You Need to Have to Get Ahead
Certain professional traits aren’t mentioned in typical job descriptions but are at the heart of what you do.
- Excellent communication skills: The ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas is a critical skill for Product Marketers and Researchers. Communication, empathy, and strong storytelling capabilities play a central part in many daily tasks Product Marketing teams fulfill. Support within the team is also essential, allowing everyone to remain on the same page and preventing misunderstandings around the customer research and product development process.
- Collaboration: Collaboration is always important when teams work together towards a goal, but it can make or break market research. 21% of Product Marketers work solo. They miss out on benefitting from different points of view. Teamwork will lead everyone in the right direction based on shared market assumptions, and when it’s time to launch the product, the results of this collaboration will be in the spotlight.
- Confident decision-making: Product Marketers’ conclusions regarding market needs serve as the base for countless choices. This calls for strong decision-making capabilities and a lot of confidence. Not to be confused with blind arrogance, this assertiveness is based on in-depth research and factual data.
Best Practices To Live By
Stepping into customers’ shoes to gather relevant data for the company’s new features and product requires the following go-to tactics.
- Establishing the product’s fundamentals via market research: The building blocks of product market research include pricing motivation and models, target audiences and personas, market goals, and more. These are topics that customer research can and should investigate from day one. Listing these key areas and attending to them first and throughout the process can make all the difference.
- Choosing the right tools: When mapping the market research process, deciding on the right tools for each stage is important. How we do B2B Market Research is changing, and the tools to do it have evolved. A+ players know that every task requires specific tools, and finding a single platform that offers as many of these tools as possible will save time, trouble, and unfortunate errors.
- Recruiting and nurturing potential users: So much of product market research depends on those participating in the process, making user recruitment a central task. Reaching the most accurate audiences and communicating with them to drive participation builds trust-based relationships. Over time, this nurturing process will help gather valuable insights that create better products, all within time and budget limitations.
- Data gathering and vetting: After recruiting the right participants, Product Researchers must also vet their relevancy and the data they offer. The next stage is to build questionnaires that help reach reliable conclusions and ensure that the data is accurate and comprehensive. Being able to update all of the above on an ongoing basis is another best practice to add to your list.
- Data analysis and interpretation: After suitable users are recruited and the data from various research stages is gathered, it’s time to make sense of it all. The analysis and interpretation of data is a process that turns figures into insights and numbers into features. This is where the confident decision-making skills we’ve discussed come into play.
The Tools it Takes to Manage Customer Research
There are many steps to research. Recruiting vetted users, gathering data, running user tests, and analyzing results are only some of the steps requiring attention. Some researchers use a variety of technologies for each step in the research process however, doing so can make for a clumsy process. The researcher needs to question users on a survey platform, then collaborate with team members on google docs, after which reporting the results is done on yet another platform, creating more opportunities for error and misalignment.
- Finding the best tools before you embark on this journey is recommended. Many of your decisions throughout the Product Market Research process will be affected by the tools you choose to work with and the data they need to deliver results.
- It’s also important to keep in mind that the same tools should serve different research milestones. For example, tools used for interviews must also fit follow-up sessions and quick feedback updated. Otherwise, you’ll have to find separate tools for this part of the process and then combine the data from each step to paint one cohesive picture.
- We’ve mentioned the option of running user tests, and it is an excellent example of technologies that offer real B2B customer experience research delivering concrete lessons. Product market research tools should get you as close to the actual market as possible.
- Communicating with users at any point in the research is crucial. More than 90% of users believe that listening to people’s needs should fuel innovation, and we couldn’t agree more. Robust communication tools will allow you to run ideas by target audiences, get instant feedback, understand how users respond to different messaging strategies, and more.
We don’t need to tell you, having a successful launch of a new product or idea can rocket your career in this competitive industry. Ensuring a product’s success is a challenging task that carries heavy responsibilities.
That’s why companies need brilliant Product Marketers who understand both analytics and creativity, bringing different worlds into their daily work. Embracing the right mindset, technologies, and methods can lead market research teams to better and faster results. Get in touch for more techniques and strategies to improve your customer research skills.