Product marketing is an understated marketing role in most product organizations. Be it a consumer product, technology, or software product.
Product marketing has many definitions. However, I like to look at it as “Market your product to the right customer.” This may seem very straightforward and simple, yet there is a lot more to product marketing so keep reading.
Let’s revisit the statement “Market your product to the right customer.”
Here I see three key focus areas, product, market, and the right customer. Add GTM, and the role of the product marketing manager is defined.
A product marketing manager possesses a deep understanding of their product, market, and customers.
They can harmonize crucial components to develop a persuasive marketing strategy to engage their target customers for their product.
This comprehensive approach refers to a product marketing strategy, which resonates with the target audience.
Now the target audience is another factor that needs to be looked at very closely.
I’m not referring to only the customer who will use the product. My target audience includes decision-makers, sales, customer success, digital marketing, product managers, and engineers. These are all internal stakeholders.
(Read our article: To communicate to your audience.)
We have defined what a PMM does. Let’s explore each element of product marketing in more detail.
Understanding the product and its feature set is the first responsibility of a product marketing manager.
This is true irrespective of the type of product or the category in which they operate.
So, to have this information, some of the questions to ask are:
Effective product marketing management requires close collaboration with product development teams. Unfortunately, this crucial partnership is often overlooked, leading to a suboptimal product launch. Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) must take the initiative to be part of the product development process. They should engage with stakeholders, such as product managers, engineering managers, and sales teams.
PMMs can better understand the product’s features and value proposition by doing so. They can also use this understanding to communicate the information to potential customers.
Ultimately, embedding PMMs within the product development process can lead to more successful product launches.
The product marketing manager has an important responsibility: liaising with internal stakeholders who work closely with the product. Engagement is key.
The product marketing manager must collaborate with internal stakeholders. They must also work closely together. This will help the manager answer key questions, allowing them to successfully do their job. (Questions mentioned above)
(Product marketing: Collaboration with internal stakeholders and getting answers to critical questions)
A product marketing manager needs to be user-centric. User-centricity is critical for product adoption and growth.
So, what is user-centricity? Why is this so important for a product marketing manager?
User-centricity is an approach focused on the user. It involves designing and promoting products based on the target user’s needs, preferences, and behaviour.
Creating successful products is essential. These products must meet the user’s needs and wants. Additionally, they must provide a positive user experience.
User-centricity is important in today’s technology industry. It builds customer loyalty, increases engagement, and encourages revenue growth.
To achieve user-centricity, the product marketing manager must conduct thorough user research, gather feedback, and prioritize user needs and preferences.
Product marketing managers should center their focus on the user. This approach can help ensure the product resonates with the target audience. It can also increase customer satisfaction and drive business success.
(Read More: Product marketing and user-centricity)
Let’s understand this with a hypothetical example.
Imagine you are a real estate agent. You have an inventory of single-family homes to sell. You are meeting with a potential buyer. What would you do when you meet them?
You would like to know more about the buyer’s requirements. These include the type of house they want, the number of rooms, family member requirements and budget.
You would like to understand the decision makers and key hooks that will help you close the sale.
Understand the buyers’ requirements. Show them the house which meets their criteria. If there are multiple options in the market, present your property in a way that makes it stand out. Ensure that it best meets the need of the buyer.
The role of a product marketing manager is no different. They need to be the voice of the customer and understand user needs effectively. To do this they need to develop a mindset of user-centricity.
User-centricity is essential for product marketing. It ensures that product development meets the specific needs of its target users. This increases customer satisfaction, differentiation, adoption, and long-term success.
(Read more: Product marketing and user-centricity)
Let’s define a market. A market is a collective of potential customers or users. They have a requirement for your product and are prepared to pay for it.
The market can include stakeholders such as distributors, resellers, and partners. They are involved in the distribution and promotion of the product.
It is essential for a product marketing manager to understand the target market. This understanding should include the characteristics and dynamics of the market. By effectively marketing and selling their product, the product’s success can be ensured through adoption, sales, or retention.
So, what is about the market that a product marketing manager should know, explore, or research?
It is important to understand your business model, mission statement, long-term vision and short-term vision to answer this question.
What steps are needed to succeed and achieve these goals?
Finally, what feature or update is being worked on?
It is essential to define a market. To do this, it is necessary to identify the target audience and comprehend their needs, preferences, and behaviours. Additionally, factors such as demographics, purchasing habits, and competition should be taken into account.
Some of the key elements are:
(Read more to know in detail: Product marketing and Market research)
We have discussed understanding our product, gaining a perspective of our target customers, their needs and requirements, and comprehending our market.
Product marketing managers must now focus on the last role: go-to-market strategy. To do this, they must have a proper understanding of their product, target customer, and the market.
GTM is an extremely important part of product marketer jobs.
While GTM is about taking the product to market, there is a lot of work behind a successful GTM,
A few of these we have talked about earlier (product, market, and right customers.)
I like to look at GTM in two parts, internal launch/release and external launch.
While a lot gets exposed about an external GTM, I feel the success of an internal GTM is equally important.
So, what is this internal GTM?
Internal GTM is about informing and exciting your internal stakeholders about the product. It also means getting feedback and recommendations.
Internal GTM success has a great influence on external GTM. The success of external GTM depends on how effectively the product message is communicated to target customers.
Working with stakeholders is necessary to communicate your product message effectively. These stakeholders include digital marketing, events, PR, brand, communication teams, and analytics. By understanding the right channel to use, successful communication is possible.
(Read more about How to launch a successful GTM campaign for your product)
Product marketing is an exciting role to pursue. It is essential for product success that a product marketer is involved. They bring a user-centric approach and marketing insight. This is crucial for product success.
This is a high-exposure role. It requires the individual to assume many responsibilities. These include researching, collaborating, marketing and analyzing.
It is not necessary to have a degree to be successful in this role. However, it is recommended to have curiosity, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn. These qualities will help you to succeed.