So much of what product marketing managers do is fed with secondary research. Content mining and curation underlie and support buyer persona development, competitive and market research, messaging and positioning development, and much more.
Shouldn’t something that’s so integral to a PMMs work be easier, more straightforward, or at the very least manageable? What is it that makes content research and mining so hard for PMMs, and how can they overcome these challenges?
6 key challenges PMMs face with content mining
Product marketing managers have a wealth of information at their disposal. Customers are more available than ever before, thanks to remote meeting technologies. Sales teams can make notes immediately after calls right into a CRM, for product marketers to review at any time. And there are literally millions of pieces of content published to the Web on a daily basis.
Of course, all of that information takes time to go through, understand, and develop insights from. According to the Product Marketing Alliance’s State of Product Marketing Report 2021, lack of bandwidth is one of the biggest challenges PMMs face. PMMs simply don’t have the time to wade through all of the content available to unearth the diamonds in the rough they need, even if those gems hold the key to increased leads or better messaging.
Varied reasons and purposes for content mining
It’s not just that there is a lot of content available, either. Additionally, the content that is available may not be relevant to the purpose. For instance, if you’re looking for indicators that a new competitor is about to enter the market, information about existing competitors doesn’t do you any good. Or, if you’re trying to find customer sentiment on competitive products, financial reports from those competitors probably won’t help.
To be efficient with your time and to get the information you need, you must be focused with your content research so that you can mine the right information. If you are shotgunning your search or are only using information from major sources, you’re likely spending a lot of time looking at content that doesn’t relate to your purpose and won’t provide you with meaningful insights.
Serving many stakeholders with varying needs and goals
Product marketers have many stakeholders that rely on the positioning, messaging, and insights that they provide. Each of these stakeholders has different needs and different perspectives that need to be fleshed out. Even a single item may require multiple takes. For example, if a competitor is making noise about a new feature in their product, a product marketer may need to make a product manager aware of the feature and how it relates to customer sentiment, while sales will want to know what the messaging and positioning of the feature is and how to respond. And that’s just one example.
When you add in the need to feed multiple stakeholders across multiple products, the problem with finding and parsing the right content becomes clear. In the PMA report, 55% of PMMs reported supporting multiple product managers, with ratios ranging from 1 PMM to 2 product managers up to 1 to 5. Thirty-four percent of the PMMs surveyed for that report also noted that they are responsible for five or more products.
The sporadic nature of competitive research
In the midst of a daily barrage of information, the fact that competitors only update their official content – websites, sales assets, messaging, and so on – only periodically can seem like a welcome break. It’s the reason that many PMMs only check in on competitors rarely. Although 32.9% say they complete competitive intelligence tasks weekly, nearly as many (29.4%) only do it once a month and nearly 13% only check in quarterly.
There are two problems with this approach. First, changes to the competitive landscape can happen at any time. Sure, you could take time on a daily or weekly basis to do competitive research and come up with nothing. But how often are PMMs faced with having to answer questions about a big competitor announcement that they knew nothing about?
Plus, when you only do competitive research periodically, it never gains a rhythm, nor do you find opportunities to improve the process. If you’re only looking at competitor information monthly or quarterly, you may need to remind yourself of the best resources for information (beyond their website, of course). That causes the task to take even more time as you fumble with finding your notes or dredging up sources from previous snippets.
While it may seem time-consuming, regularly checking in on competitors saves time and prevents you and your organization from being blindsided. While it can be challenging to fit it into an already packed schedule, it’s worth investigating ways to simplify or streamline this particular task.
Content research and mining for PMMs is too important to be difficult
Secondary research starts with content mining. Delving into what competitors are doing, industry advancements, buyer needs, and customer sentiment require uncovering content, close to the source that can be used to educate stakeholders and inform messaging and tactics. It’s a task that product marketing managers can’t afford to be difficult or minimize.
Of course, developing a content mining strategy involves more than just a creating repeatable process. There is simply too much content published on a daily basis to be sure you’re not missing important information or conversations.
Croncyle’s AI-driven market intelligence platform makes discovering, harvesting, and sharing insights from content published across the globe easier than you thought possible. Create targeted searches around a specific topic, focused on the perspectives you care about to receive only the most relevant content published on a daily basis. Then, save that content to boards for easy intelligence development and retrieval, as well as collaboration with teammates.
Plus, Cronycle’s tools make it easy to share your insights with stakeholders, through newsletters developed right in the platform or by sharing your findings directly into your stakeholder’s existing flow of work. All for far less than you imagine. Contact us today for a demo of Cronycle’s powerful platform and see for yourself how it can change the way you do secondary research.