With PowerApps and their continued support in Access Desktop databases I think the bases for transition are covered. Technically they are still including Microsoft Access Services and Access Web App in the next version of SharePoint Server since they are still supporting on-prem. So who’s to say it’s really gone. But as of April,if you’re running a Microsoft Access-based app… you won’t be for long.
Technical marketing and storytelling
B2B technical marketing really struggles to get away from the product detail and just tell a story. Technical Marketing solutions only come alive when there’s a story that frames it. Those client successes of how a product really made a difference for a customer can spark imagination and innovation and generate discussion.
This may sound like an oversimplification, but both established firms and young startups are still falling into these same traps.
As a startup, proudly displaying your VC funding or partner badges won’t tell me what problems you’re going to solve. It just tells me who’s money you’re burning through, not the point of why you exist.
The key is passion
Deep technical demos might wet an architect’s palate and show off how much effort you’ve poured into the product. However, these often lack the context in which the solution solved a problem. When that happens, you’ve lost the buying audience. The key is to have passion for your product. When you demo your product, make it relevant and relatable, not a point and click training course.
Product Marketing still has a long way to go to get out of the weeds and stop using fluffy generic terms. Instead, create engaging content for a wider audience. As a quick example – if your talking about the color of new UI, or if you’re using the latest buzzword from Gartner, you’ve already lost the discussion.
As a quick self-check, if you can’t tell me:
- Why your product exists.
- How it can resolve a pain or need or how it can make a difference.
- Where the value of using the solution or service comes from.
- Who it will help the most or who it has helped.
- When I can get my hands on it or when will it make a difference.
Then stop what you’re doing and think again.
Storytelling shows awareness of how the brand is perceived in the market. It shows the knowledge of the technology behind the product and how it is differentiated, and the relationship with the customer experience.
Storytelling also allows you to express an opinion. Opinions matter, even if they’re controversial. They help marketers convey a sense of urgency about the story. Without an opinion, there’s very little passion, and both clients and employees will see right through this. Clients relish opinions, it challenges them to think.
Lastly, it’s about taking these stories and using them to connect with various departments within the organization, as well as clients. This allows marketing departments to connect better with pre-sales and sales efforts, delivering a more consistent and concise message. That message feeds back into the product roadmap, allowing for consistent improvement and adaptation to market needs.