Part 5: 10 Books for Product Marketing

     

This blog is one part of our Product Marketing for Product Managers. We understand the pain that product managers are feeling when they have to also fill the shoes of a product marketer. This series is intended to give a good and bite-sized outline on Product Marketing that Product Managers can include in their roles easily and confidently.

Being in a product management firm allows us to be immersed in product management in all shapes and form. We have internal knowledge that is passed on between ourselves along with exposure from product managers in many different companies. Last year, I had the fantastic opportunity to interview with the top of the industry professionals and thought leaders. Surprisingly, (or not) I had managed to compile a list of books that the product management industry is reading. Although there are more relevant books in Product Management, these books specialize in Product Marketing.

Value Merchant

James C. Anderson, Nirmalya Kumar, & James A. Narus

***At Tolpagorni, we almost swear by this book. One of the books that we have on Value Engineering is largely based upon Value Merchants as well. Which is why it is top in our list of Product Marketing books!

Do your salespeople feel under extreme pressure to retain accounts or gain new business at any cost? If so, you may be leaving big money on the table. Consider the integrated-circuit supplier representative who lost $500,000 of potential profit on a single transaction, just to “win” a deal that he would have closed anyway at the higher price.

Do not make price concessions. Become a value merchant instead. In this authoritative book, James Anderson, Nirmalya Kumar, and James Narus explain how companies in business markets can use customer value management techniques to estimate the value of your market offerings, create value propositions that resonate with your customers, and maximize the return you will get on the superior value that you deliver.

Drawing on extensive research and detailed case studies of companies like Sonoco, Tata Steel, and Quaker Chemical, Value Merchants will change the mindset and behaviour of your executives, sales management, representatives, and marketers—as well as your customers.

Product Launch the Microsoft Way

James Mastan

As I was coming up with this list, Bossman(my boss) started waving this book around quite vigorously. We call him the product marketing guru/coach here so if he says this book is good, I think we can take his word for it!

 

Product Launch the Microsoft Way distills years of Microsoft marketing and product launch expertise into one convenient book, providing an in-depth "How-to" for all aspects of a product launch. Increase the effectiveness of your product launch process, strategy and execution and learn the product launch techniques, tips, and best practices of the Microsoft marketing machine. Topics covered include launch strategy, roll-out plan creation, partnership deal creation, public relations, product positioning, pre-launch channel and customer programs, marketing tools and collateral, channel sell-in, marketing ROI, customer relationship management, analysis techniques, marketing opportunity sizing, segmentation, research techniques, channel strategy, naming, customer service, loyalty programs, product packaging, international considerations, sales pipeline creation/management, and much more. Visit www.bluerainmarketing.com for business/marketing strategy, and marketing program execution consulting services.

Marketing of High-Technology Products and Innovations (3rd Edition) 

Stanley J. Slater, Jakki J. Mohr, & Sanjit Sengupta


This comprehensive introduction to the world of tech marketing explains all the variables you'll need to consider when launching a product, as well as the logistics for managing the process. From migration paths and types of innovations to managing customer relationships, you'll find a good balance of theory and real-world examples to get the knowledge you need on the world of tech marketing.

In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing Disasters 

Merrill R. Chapman


Some products never take off, and others flop spectacularly. Learn from their mistakes to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you! Chapman points out all-too-common missteps so you can watch out for them in your own work. It turns out you don’t always have to have the best or most innovative product — you just have to make smart decisions.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind 

Al Ries & Jack Trout


Your customers have a zillion people talking to them, and they’ve learned to tune out the noise. How do you get through to them and grab their attention in a positive way? Learn how to choose the best name for your product, build a strategy for making the most of your current market position, use the right metrics to improve your campaigns, and pinpoint your competition’s weaknesses.

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Daniel Pink


Whether you’re pitching a colleague on a new idea, convincing your manager to support a passion project, or trying to sway a customer to switch from freemium to paid, we all spend our days trying to move others to act. Bestselling author Daniel Pink teaches you how to truly understand another person’s perspective, and craft clear, persuasive marketing messaging.

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers (3rd Edition) 

Geoffrey Moore

This book has come up several times by many different Product managers and marketers, including Bossman.


Spur adoption not just among early users, but across every customer segment. Moore defines four stages of how a product spreads among its customer base: early adopters, the early majority, late majority, and laggards. The trick is crossing the gap between early adopters and the early majority, a chasm that many products and companies fail to bridge. Find out how you can spur adoption not just among your early users, but your entire customer base by capturing the attention of each vital user segment.

Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets  

Geoffrey Moore


Once your product launches, you have a very small window of opportunity to convince mainstream customers to embrace it. This whirlwind is what Moore calls “the tornado,” and he presents marketers with strategies for reaching customers quickly so their products don’t take a nose dive after launch. In this follow-up to Crossing the Chasm, you’ll find strategies for moving between niche markets and winning as many customers as possible, as quickly as possible.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany

Steve Blank

 

Stop focusing on methodologies and start focusing on customers. Too often development teams build a product and when customers don’t bite, they scrap it and try again. Instead, Steve Blank focuses on Customer Development — a concept that’s since become one of the three pillars of the Lean startup. Learn how to pinpoint the right product for your specific market, using techniques Blank now teaches at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the Columbia/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program.

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to Go from $0 to $100 Million

Mark Roberge


As an MIT alum with an engineering background, Mark Roberge challenges conventional sales methods with a metrics-driven, process-oriented approach. Applying his formula as SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services at HubSpot, Roberge helped the company grow from a three-person startup to an IPO with 15,000+ customers and a billion-dollar valuation. Learn Roberge’s techniques for applying data to accelerate sales and generate demand for your product. 

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About The Author

Background in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Product Management. My professional roles have ranged from a design engineer, product development engineer and product manager where I primarily worked on commercial products to make it market ready. I am constantly curious and intrigued by technological advancements in all areas and the impact it has in the world and our lives. It’s a good era for me to be in!