Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Product vs Solution Marketing

Product Marketing

Product marketing is a more traditional way to look at marketing. Typically it encompasses the first four Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. I've heard it said that's laughably vague, but when you consider everything necessary to market a product, vague may be necessary to encompass all aspects of expertise.

The product marketer promotes the features and benefits of a product without really considering all of the needs of the target persona. I don't mean they're ignoring those needs with respect to the product, but they may not think about contingent needs. The product marketer simply doesn't consider partner products, services or other components common to solution marketing in the product marketing strategy. Because of this, the person undertaking this kind of marketing needs to be an expert on their product in every capacity including market research and strategy, technology, competitor offerings, tactics and analytics. This allows for product-based differentiation and positioning rather than solution-based.

Solution Marketing

Solution marketing, on the other hand, takes those features and explains how they are going to benefit the customer and offers an entire suite of options available to them in order to answer whatever needs the customer has – in their entirety. In other words, the solution marketer not only needs to understand the product but also the segment or industry landscape, the partner products, industry trends and how they all fit together. In addition, a solution-oriented marketing strategy is typically an enterprise-wide undertaking, so the professional must be able to operate in a much more cross-functional leadership role. Steve Robins, the founder of explains it this way in his presentation Introduction to Solution Marketing:

Product MarketingSolution Marketing
ProductFeatures and Benefits
  • Best features
  • Newest capabilities
  • Technically advanced
  • Fastest processor
Customer Needs
  • Streamline processes
  • Improve customer service
  • Lower costs
  • Ensure compliance
PromotionPush or Outbound MarketingCustomer Engagement
PriceCost PlusCost vs Benefit

As you can see above, the 4Ps can still apply to solution marketing but I think they could be better updated to reflect the more customer-centric paradigm. We replace product with solution; promotion with engagement; price with value; and place with access. These four elements are much more reflective of how we need to update our marketing techniques to better engage the most current generations of X, Y and Z. They expect an experience not just a product.

The fact that we are asking more encompassing questions doesn’t change the process we go through in order to answer those questions but we do have to step into our customers’ shoes. We need to understand how to solve their problem so we need to be able to look at the bigger picture. It’s no longer “They need their CRM software to have features 1, 2 and 3” but rather a more all encompassing, “What regulations are there? What is their current system not doing? Will they need training? Is there a partner product that will fill a need we don’t quite have the answer to? Will it integrate with their other applications” and more.

We no longer push the information out to them with interruption marketing but rather engage them in a dialogue. We research where our customers are going to learn about our products. We find out who they’re talking to and what they’re watching. This is true whether we’re marketing B2B or B2C. The B2B customers are paying attention to what the end-users who purchased the product from the distributor are saying, just as much as the B2C customers are listening to their peers.

The price is no longer necessarily based in an “I get this many features for this price” mentality. The customers want to know not only what the features are, but is the product the right fit for the job and what else comes along with it. They’re no longer as willing to pay a higher price for unwanted features. They are willing, however, to pay a higher price if the product comes with extra training they need, or it integrates easier with software they already have in place, or a technical support plan is offered. Our customers want a value package for their money, not just the assurance that, “Yes, this product has all the features you need and it will integrate with XYZ software”.

Finally, we need to know where they want to purchase the item and how they want it delivered. We need to know if they want to buy direct, through a reseller, maybe on contract or any number of other channels. Once we know that, we need to figure out how they want it delivered. Do they want instant download? Maybe they want it shipped. And in the end, maybe there are new channels that we didn’t know about that we can take advantage of.


Solution marketing requires a much more in-depth approach than product marketing, but in the end, it’s the more effective strategy. It increases the customer lifetime value and satisfaction as well as increasing brand equity. The value is perceived as higher so margins increase and, taking the entire ecosystem into consideration, the potential is there for a more differentiated offering. Back in 2003, McKinsey & Company estimated, in their August 2003 McKinsey Quarterly that it could result in a 3-7% increased return on sales, but I wasn’t able to find any updated results.


  1. Very nice article & have great information. spa810 professionals utilize the most advanced laser hair removal Lakeway system, the Alma Soprano ICE laser, to give you smooth skin that is free from hair. check out page >

  2. I think this article will fully complement you article. PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from Always Open Commerce

  3. Thanks for creating the blog! I am positive that it will be very popular. It has good and useful article which is very rare these days.
    product marketing

  4. Hi Dear,

    i Like Your Blog Very Much..I see Daily Your Blog ,is A Very Useful For me.

    Marketing Solutions we work with you to build and communicate your brand stories across online and offline marketing platforms that generate leads and convert sales.Brand, Digital & Marketing Strategy.

    Visit Now -

  5. very interesting post.this is my first time visit here.i found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion..thanks for the post!
    online marketing with backlinks


  6. It was also a demand of the union that the government should recognise their performance the same way it punishes teachers, he added. “We thank SED Secretary, School Education Minister and Chief Minister for the initiative.”

    check online pec 5th class result
    5th class 2018 result
    pec 8th class result 2018 school wise

  7. I found this blog after a long time which is really helpful to let understand different approaches. I am going to adopt these new point to my career and thankful for this help.
    pedicure heemskerk

  8. Wow! This is the perfect blog I am looking this type of blog its awesome blog here , share great information about this topic. This informative blog helps many readers with their decision-making regarding the situation. Great articles and will look forward for more!
    พิมพ์ สติ๊กเกอร์

  9. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
    พิมพ์ สติ๊กเกอร์ ฉลาก สินค้า

  10. Fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I'm confident, you have a great readers' base already!

  11. I am delighted to come to such a wonderful blog. I am really very impressed to read from top to bottom. I read every single line and understand the essence of every single word. I appreciate all efforts.
    เทรด forex คือ

  12. Sometime it becomes very hard to find a well written and well established bog which give you correct and useful information. However, I found this blog and got some relevant information which are really helpful for me.
    โปรโมชั่น บัตรเครดิต

  13. The site is really beneficial for everyone to know about this topic. I think if you read blog than you will get some more information from blog. This is really useful blog.
    เรียน a level ที่ไหนดี

  14. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. plateforme collaborative

  15. Reading this post gave me a lot of useful info. I can understand the need for solution based marketing in today’s world. We are also working on such a marketing approach for our business. Since customer engagement is essential, so we want to connect with them through regular sms, with the help of text messaging service for business.

  16. Right here is the right webpage for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to?HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that's been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just excellent!
    kệ tivi gỗ

  17. Right here is the right website for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to�HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!
    giường ngủ đẹp giá rẻ