Fables of Marketing

Role of Product Marketing Managers in Building User-Centric Products

Jack Ma (Founder, Alibaba Group) had once said – “Forget about your competitors, just focus on your customers.”

One cannot over emphasize the importance of being customer centric, more so for product marketing managers (PMMs) as they represent the voice of the customers

About product marketing and user centricity

In this article we are going to decode the definition of user centricity and share some guides and resources to understand and implement user centricity.

I have tried to get the best understand and context of user centric mindset from my own experience and external resources, blogs, and tweets. If you have any examples or stores to share from your experience. I would still love to hear your

Understanding user centricity?

Simply put user centricity is the mindset. Being user centric is to focus on the customer’s needs, preferences, and experience as the core while creating products and services.

It all starts with active listening, researching, and empathising with the needs of the users.

PMMs should understand their perspective, motivation, and emotions.

I like to refer to it as the process of peeling an onion. Like an onion there are multiple layers to the process of being user centric. Will try and decode this more in detail

PMM role in building a user centric product?

PMMs role can be broadly defined as below.

  • Understanding user’s needs,
  • Shaping the product’s value proposition, and
  • Effectively communicating the product’s benefits to the target audience.

PMM user centric loop

Product Marketing and user centricity

Understanding user need

Getting closer to customer requires research and building relationship.

PMMs are responsible for getting their customers to the doorsteps of your product.

The key objective should be:

  • Understand user mentality and behaviour.
  • Identify the problem worth solving.
User and their research method

How to understand user requirements

User Research

Product marketing managers conduct user research to gain a deep understanding of the target audience, user behaviors, preferences, and pain points.

With these insights, PMM can influence and enable product development decisions and ensure that the product teams address specific requirements of the users.


Quick look at the research methodology

Various methods can be used to achieve the goals, namely:

  • Interviews,
  • surveys,
  • Usability testing.
  • Contextual research &observation:

Understanding and observing users in their natural environment. This is especially important in consumer product or ecommerce where the demography, behaviour and preferences are highly influenced by the environment in which the users operate.

I have written an in-depth article on the user research do give it a read.

Shaping the product value proposition

The product value proposition refers to the unique combination of features, benefits, and value that a product offers to its target customers. It is a concise statement or message that communicates why a customer should choose your product over available alternatives. The value proposition should explain how the product solves a customer’s problem, meets their needs, or provides a desirable outcome.


A strong value proposition answers the fundamental question in the customer’s mind: “What’s in it for me?” It highlights the value and advantages that the product brings, focusing on the benefits that are most important to the target customers. The value proposition should differentiate the product from competitors and clearly articulate why it is the superior choice.

A well-crafted value proposition should be:

6 Cs of compelling value proposition.

Clear: Easily understood without confusion or ambiguity.

Concise: Communicate succinctly in a few sentences or a short statement.

Customer-centric: Focus on the customer’s needs, desires, and pain points.

Competitive edge (Unique): Highlight what makes the product distinct and stand out from competitors.

Compelling: Create a strong desire or motivation for the customer to choose the product.

Credible: Supported by evidence or proof points that establish the product’s credibility and trustworthiness.

PMMs can use a well-crafted value proposition as a tool to:

  • Position the product in the market.
  • Differentiate the product from competitors, and
  • Create a strong value perception among the target audience.
  • Influence customer decision

Developing a compelling value proposition requires a deep understanding of the target customers, their pain points, and the benefits they seek. It should be regularly reviewed and refined based on customer feedback, market dynamics, and changes in customer needs and preferences.

Effectively communicate product value

PMMs work with a lot of internal stakeholders like sales, digital marketing to design and execute a communication strategy. They should also bring forth a user centric approach to effective communication to have an impact with their customers.

PMMs should identify right channel and the best format to use to communicate the value proposition.

Below are the key points to consider while crafting a communication strategy:

  • ICP: Define the buyer person or the ideal customer profile (ICP) to represent each segment of your customers.
  • Consistent and customization: While messaging needs to be consistent across channel, it should be customized to be effective based on the channel used.
  • Use of right visuals and story design
  • Iteration and adapting: Effective communication can be an iterative process and require testing, comparing, and pivoting to arrive the most effective mix of message and channel.


Being user-centric allows product marketing managers to align their strategies, messaging, and product development efforts with the needs and preferences of their target users. By putting users at the center of their decision-making process, they can drive customer satisfaction, gain a competitive edge, and build long-term success for their products.

Resources to follow:

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