In the world of marketing, there are numerous types of strategies up for grabs - from content marketing and search engine marketing to guerilla marketing and digital marketing and more. With so many options, it can be easy to overlook a specific type of marketing that deserves its own spotlight: product marketing.
I know what you’re thinking "Isn't all marketing about products?" Yes and no. While (almost) all marketing efforts aim to increase sales of a product or service, product marketing has a more specific focus on a particular product rather than the overall brand or company. And unlike those other types of marketing I mentioned, product marketing starts further upstream helping ensure marketing success by informing product development from the start. Let's get into it.
What is product marketing?
Product marketers directly impact the product and help ensure it will be loved by customers and successful in the marketplace. They influence product features (like actual development), price, packaging, and positioning in the market. They also get to know the product well enough to understand what will make it sell, and they share those insights with other marketing and messaging teams so they can help get the word out with product-informed messaging for their marketing campaigns.
What do product marketers do?
Product marketers are deeply involved in product development. In fact, they help define the product's space in the market. This involves understanding the product's potential target audiences and identifying unique selling points that would differentiate it from competitors. Product marketers become opportunity experts in answering questions like “what do people need?” and “what will people buy?”. They find out exactly what elements will resonate and then they work with engineering teams to ensure the product is created in a way that stands out.
In short, product marketers make certain a specific product aligns with the target audience's needs and preferences so marketers further down the path will have a better, more market-friendly product to sell.
Product marketer 🤝other marketing teams
Product marketers also play a key role in informing marketing plans executed by other teams. While they don't necessarily create the marketing content or draft the talking points themselves, they inform these efforts by providing relevant insights on the product to the marketers who do. After all, it’s clear from the description so far, nobody knows what about the product will resonate with audiences more than the product marketers do.
In essence, the product marketer plays a crucial role in creating a product that will do its own "marketing" which helps the product achieve its full potential and become a success. But then they use the insights from that work to help other marketing efforts build on the product’s existing trajectory.
Product marketer 🤝 lifecycle stages
It’s true that product marketers have a lot to do when a product is first in development, but their work continues throughout a product’s life. They become advocates for customers as well as the financial bottom line. They report back to the development team to inform updates and changes, ensuring that the product roadmap stays aligned with the overall customer and market opportunity.
The lifecycle of a product doesn't end with its initial launch; rather, there are new cycles that occur every time there's an update, new release, or product evolution. After the initial launch excitement fades, the focus shifts to onboarding customers for the first time and ensuring that the marketing and visibility efforts maintain momentum.
Even after the product is established, there's a continued lifecycle for its users, which involves a lot of education and onboarding efforts, keeping users engaged, managing updates, and encouraging users to use more features more often. Product marketers need to ensure that the product is set up to thrive throughout its life and the lifespans of its users, including reclaiming customers who have gone dark and bringing back people who have used the product before.
Product marketers are like superheroes of the marketing world. They're specialized to operate upstream, playing a crucial role in product development. They're the ones who define the customer initially and represent their experience back to the dev team over time, making sure that the product evolves to meet the customers' needs. They're not just launching campaigns, they're empowering other teams to do so. And depending on the lifecycle of the product, their role and involvement may change.
Don't let your product get lost in the noise. Drop us a line and see how our product marketing services can help you soar above the competition.