Choosing a major was difficult. Now that you are interested in marketing there are a few ways that you can go. Finding the right fit for you can be overwhelming. There is digital marketing, direct marketing, brand marketing, and the list goes on and on.
Product marketing is an interesting field. Even the littlest of differences in how a product is marketed can make significant changes to overall ROI. On one hand, if you add a promotional product with a mixture of other marketing tricks can increase your effectiveness by 44 percent.
Keep reading to learn how product marketing can impact your life.
What is Product Marketing?
Product marketing is the process of introducing the product to the market and making the product successful.
Have you ever turned on the TV and watched a stunning Apple product commercial? They usually are very sleek with gorgeous designs. Now, have you ever seen how the MacBook Air is portrayed versus the Apple Watch?
This is where product marketing comes into play. Each product is given its personal touches and flavor to make the product stand out. The Apple Watch shows off all the different aspects that it includes; whereas, the MacBook Air flaunts how light and sleek the design is.
Where Does Product Marketing Fit?
Product marketing overlaps between sales, product development, and marketing. Being in the middle allows for more visibility; however, it can lead to different styles of product marketing being inadvertently used. That is why a standard person that is in charge of product marketing is vital to keep communication clear between the three teams.
Within sales, product marketers have to come up with creative ways to show off the new features and present key differences to potential clients. These product marketers will need to have a deep understanding of the product to even start to understand what to say to the sales teams. Along with traditional marketers, product marketers have more stringent deadlines to meet and develop messaging according to the company brand voice while distinguishing the new product.
Going back to our Apple products comparison, we can guess that somewhere in the pitch meeting the word “floating” and “weightless” were used to describe the MacBook Air by the product management team. Then the sales team pitched in with a “perfect for students!” The marketers were probably saying “keep the branding.” Meanwhile, the product marketer was taking notes to finalize the perfect pre-release marketing of the new product.
Product marketers have a lot of running around to do to make the product successful. However, they have to make sure that they don’t step on the toes of the product managers!
Releasing a Product
There are two phases to making the product release a major success: nailing the promotion and hype of the product and then continuing the process of driving demand into adoption.
Within this stage, product marketers are looking for ways to present the product in a new and flashy light. Here is a simple checklist of ways that you can make sure that you don’t miss anything major:
- Description of product
- Product page update
- News release with a media list
- Product price
Many of these items have a lot of overlap with product management. Especially when it comes to setting the price and the description of the product.
After the initial product release, now is the time to start gearing up for even more promotion. Post-release promotion can include:
- Highlight customer stories
- Create a loyalty program
- Run a contest
- Engage with customers on social media
- Ask for ratings
The post-release stage is a nail-biting experience. Unless you have a well-established brand, you can almost guarantee that this stage will take a little bit of time to show profits. However, if done correctly, the product marketer will be able to show their company that they earned their paycheck.
Top Names in Product Marketing
Now that you know a little bit more about what product marketing looks like, time to meet some of the people around the world that have made a living off it.
- Michael Berger, senior director of product marketing at Marketo
- Jim Eup, senior director of product marketing at Salesforce
- Jeff Schaeffler, director of product marketing of online revenue at HootSuite
- Loni Stark, senior director of strategy & product marketing at Adobe
- Jeffrey Vocell, principal marketing manager at HubSpot
Although some companies haven’t adopted a specific title for product managers, they are vitally important. This is especially true in SaaS companies and also any B2B companies that are looking to stand out from their competitors.
Let’s talk money for a second. Sure, we would all love to be able to write poems in Paris while drinking on the veranda while watching the sunset. However, someone has to pay the bills. Thankfully, product marketing has a pretty good salary range according to Glassdoor.
Product Marketing Manager via Glassdoor
Product Marketing Books
One of my favorite ways to understand an industry is to hear the carefully crafted words of other people in that industry. Here is a list of some great books to find inspiration for product marketers.
- INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- Positioning: How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace by Al Ries and Jack Trout
- Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey Moore
- Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Product Marketing Skills
Many of the traditional skills from marketing and communications overlap. However, if you can manage to learn some of these extra skills, you might find yourself at an advantage.
Common product marketing skills include:
- Customer service
- Creative problem solvers
- Research and analytics
- Concise writing
- Collaboration with team
- Communication between departments
TL; DR (or conclusion)
Product marketing can be an interesting field in marketing. The overlapping of multiple departments gives you control to interact with many interesting parts of the company.
Don’t just take it from me. Here is what marketing/entrepreneur guru Seth Godin has to say, “Don’t find customers for your products. Find products for your customers.”
If you are interested in learning about other types of marketing, check out the courses that BYU offers by following this link. The link takes you to more information on how to master digital strategy and communications through SEO, media relations, content marketing, and more.