I’d like to recommend a book today. I came across it a couple of weeks ago and whilst I don’t know the author, it felt like it was written by someone I knew. It’s well worth a read if you’re in product marketing, product management or strategic marketing planning. It’s called quite simply “Product Marketing for Technology Companies” and it’s written by a guy called Mark Butje.
If you’re in a hurry then it’s a simple as that. Go buy the book. You won’t regret it. If you want to know why I recommend it. Read on.
I’ve been developing marketing strategies for many companies for many years. My thinking, methods, exercises and strategies have been influenced by many fantastically talented people over the years but probably one of the earliest influences on my thinking was a guy called Tim de Boer. Why? And how is all this related to a book by Mark Butje? Well I’ll tell you.
“I used to be a software development manager but I moved into marketing when I realised that despite developing the best software in the world, I was still having to let people go. I couldn’t reconcile having fantastic software without commercial success. I wanted to change that.”
I’m paraphrasing so apologies for the quote marks, but that’s roughly what Tim de Boer told me when I first met him about 10 years ago. I could relate to this completely having found myself in marketing from a technical background and also having had less success than I had expected with some pretty excellent software.
Tim is the Dutch CEO of the international marketing consultancy Pleon. When we first worked together Tim was working for a company called Schoep and van der Toorn, which later became Brodeur which in turn became Pleon. I was working as European Product Marketing Manager for Progress Software at the time and Tim’s company was helping us with internal business and strategy planning. We were also helping some of our software partners to develop better business strategies. Tim and I ran a number of planning workshops together and I really enjoyed the experience.
Anyway, as I was reading the book by Mark Butje I remembered thinking that some of the contents were very familiar. I conduct a lot of similar exercises with our clients that he advocates in his book. I couldn’t figure it out until I read the foreword where Mark thanks a certain Tim de Boer. It appears that Mark also worked for Brodeur and presumably for/with Tim. So that explains it.
A good book full of practical exercises and detailed processes that will help anyone planning offensive, defensive or business-as-usual product strategies.