On 19th January EaPConnect partners and members of the South East Europe region from the international R&E community took part in the online service marketing workshop hosted by GÉANT.

Karl Meyer, Product Marketing Manager for GÉANT kicked off the event with an introduction to Service and Product Marketing defining it as a specialist field that requires an understanding of technologies and services as well as of marketing concepts.

To highlight the niche aspect of this field, Karl quoted an official statistics shared at The Product Marketing Association Conference in December 2022: ‘In 2022 only 6000 product marketers were working in the UK.’

Karl explained that product marketing requires a different skills set, it’s more like a bridge between technologies and services, and end-users. It plays a translation role, as product marketing specialists need to understand the technology, they need to be able to speak the same language as product developers and users too, in order to be able to explain concepts that the targeted end-users can understand. In addition, product marketers need to be able to take marketing aspects into the stages of product development to ensure that the final product or service is what users really need. Karl commented:

Marketing is not just about websites and promotional items, our job is to market benefits not features and more than that, show the impact of the use of a product or service, we need stories highlighting how products are used and how they change people’s lives; think about the use of eduroam during COVID for instance.

Karl Meyer, Product Marketing Manager, GÉANT

Participants took part in some practical exercises in break-out sessions where they discussed ways to apply the concepts and principles illustrated and presented.

Karl also highlighted the importance of customer education as one of the biggest marketing challenges in the development process of new products. ‘Do your customer know that they have a problem?’ Then, when talking about awareness and information, ‘how do we direct people to our website if nobody knows they need our service and they aren’t searching for us or following us on Social Media?’

The workshop closed with an introduction to cross/up-selling as an opportunity and a risk for NRENs as they progressively move into value-added services (above the net), and whilst both cross selling and up-selling deepen their relationship with users, it also expose them to commercial competition.

For any information about GÉANT services, please get in touch with Karl Meyer