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It’s time to break the rules

I just read David Meerman Scott’s post about the reaction he’™s getting to the ideas in his terrific new book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. This started me thinking aboutChris, the product marketing persona that I wrote about last week. I wonder whether Chris is the kind of guy who will be interested in following new rules.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR includes loads of actionable, practical ideas, plus plenty of case studies and success stories. But no one is likely to stand up and cheer when the Chris I know tries to introduce new ideas inside his company. I wonder what he’ll do when he encounters that resistance.

In case you haven’t met Chris, he is the product marketing manager persona that I introduced in last week’s blog post. I appreciate all of your comments and emails — your input has been great. Keep it coming.

David got me wondering whether we are all missing one of the most important aspects of the Chris persona. Is it part of the deal that he is extremely motivated to meet internal expectations? This would make it difficult for Chris to learn new rules and then drive changes into his marketing strategies and activities.

David’s book is about different rules than I teach in the Effective Product Marketing seminar, although he does quote me and talk about buyer personas (thanks David). But I also ask the seminar attendees who are like Chris to think and act differently than they did before the class. For instance, I ask marketers to evaluate their messages and program strategies from their buyers’ perspectives, violating the old rules that marketing is all about the product, its benefits and competitive advantages. I also ask them to stop trying to solve the sales-problem-of-the-day, which isn’t a very popular thing to do in a company that is sales-driven. Attendees sometimes tell me that they want these changes to come from the top down.

So more feedback on Chris, please. Is he receptive to new rules? Is there anything I can do to make it easier for him to break the old rules?

June 10, 2007
Categories : Buyer Personas, Market Research, Product Marketing Redefined
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Comments

  1. Hey Adele,
    Thanks for writing about my new book. THe more web based thought leadership and viral marketing stuff I do for myself or in advising others, the more I realize that buyer personas are the critical first step to getting it right. Without buyer personas driving online marketing, you just end up with nonsense that falls flat.
    Cheers, David

  2. Kim G. says:

    Hi Adele,
    For your product marketing persona, I think the basics of the persona are right on. I’ve worked at 3 companies now with product marketing staff – from a very small company to very large. In answer to your question about Chris’ receptivity to new rules, I think to some degree, that depends on the culture of the organization where he works. I’ve worked at companies that are very receptive to new suggestions. I’ve worked at others where it feels like you’re banging your head against the wall to make even the smallest change work. In my experience, smaller companies have less bureacracy and are more likely to embrace change. To that end, I suggest adding details to your persona about the size of the company where Chris works, its culture, etc. I do believe any good product marketing person needs an entrepreneurial attitude no matter where they work, and I also suggest adding that facet into Chris’ persona. However, the company culture and receptivity to new ideas has a lot to do with if those ideas are fairly evaluated, discussed and eventually implemented.

  3. Kim G. says:

    Hi Adele,
    For your product marketing persona, I think the basics of the persona are right on. I’ve worked at 3 companies now with product marketing staff – from a very small company to very large. In answer to your question about Chris’ receptivity to new rules, I think to some degree, that depends on the culture of the organization where he works. I’ve worked at companies that are very receptive to new suggestions. I’ve worked at others where it feels like you’re banging your head against the wall to make even the smallest change work. In my experience, smaller companies have less bureacracy and are more likely to embrace change. To that end, I suggest adding details to your persona about the size of the company where Chris works, its culture, etc. I do believe any good product marketing person needs an entrepreneurial attitude no matter where they work, and I also suggest adding that facet into Chris’ persona. However, the company culture and receptivity to new ideas has a lot to do with if those ideas are fairly evaluated, discussed and eventually implemented.

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