Many people have trouble responding to this question, but it’s not your fault. Even though product marketing is a crucial division in both B2B and B2C businesses, it can be challenging to locate a comprehensive definition of the term online.

One of the few job duties that touches on product, marketing, and sales makes it particularly challenging. It all comes down to knowing your target audience and testing different approaches to better understand them and interact with them.

In this article we will be discussing:

What Is Product Marketing?

Why Is Product Marketing Important?

What Is Product Marketing Actually Responsible For?

Seven Important Product Marketing Steps

What Is Product Marketing?

The process of introducing a product to the market is called product marketing. Choosing the product’s positioning and messaging, bringing it to market, and making sure both salespeople and customers understand it are all included in this. The goal of product marketing is to increase consumer demand and product usage.

When a product enters the market, product marketing doesn’t end (if it did, product marketers at a company with only one product wouldn’t have much to do after the product’s launch). Making sure the right people are aware of a product is the final step in the marketing process. Over the course of the product’s lifecycle, customers’ needs and feedback are taken into consideration in addition to those who know how to use it.

Let’s discuss how to begin marketing your product and what other areas of your company can help this product as it develops.

Incorporating inbound marketing methodology into your strategic plan is a good place to start when coming up with ideas for your campaign. As we previously mentioned, product marketing is ongoing, so your strategy should reflect this. The goal of inbound marketing is to draw in new customers while retaining existing ones who will promote your brand.

Other facets of your business, such as tactics that pinpoint your target market, offer a crystal-clear positioning or marketing message, and countless other concepts, can help you draw in, keep, and delight your customers. But in short, using this model as the foundation of your product marketing strategy and having a firm grasp of inbound methodology can position your company for success.

Why Is Product Marketing Important?

A Simple Explanation of "What is Product Marketing?"

Product marketing is in charge of building the foundation that teams use to successfully position and promote products, as you can see from the list of related duties and deliverables. To ensure a successful launch, the product marketing team will collaborate with the sales, customer success, and product teams.

Additionally, product marketing is crucial in supporting the team’s initiatives when it comes to marketing. We’ll now concentrate on product marketing in relation to a marketing team’s objectives.

Product marketing is crucial because it not only makes sure that your products are marketable but also adds to the brand story. And as any marketer will tell you, your brand is what will set you apart from the competition.

The new B2B marketing and sales era has given buyers more choices than ever. As a result, consumers today have a hard time telling apart similar-looking products sold by different vendors.

The modern product marketer is the only one who has a better grasp of what customers are thinking. Because of this, you should rely on them to help you stand out in a market environment that is becoming increasingly crowded.

Product marketers develop a program narrative after marketing leaders decide which campaigns they intend to run and the demand generation team determines which audience segments we will target. These stories concentrate on a particular target market and overarching theme, which then influences the creation of the offers.

In other words, product marketers create the broad narratives that serve as the framework for each program. These stories give your brand its distinctiveness and enable you to interact with customers at every stage of the purchasing process, positioning you to be the first company that comes to mind when it’s time to make a purchase.

What Is Product Marketing Actually Responsible For?

A Simple Explanation of "What is Product Marketing?"

The duties of a product marketer are constant and are central to products and customers before, during, and after launch. Our 2022 State of Product Marketing report identified the following as their most frequent projects:

  • Positioning and messaging for products (92.6%)
  • Developing sales materials (82.2%)
  • In charge of product launches (80.4%)
  • Research on consumers and marketing (67.5%)
  • Telling stories (66.9%)
  • Website administration (58.9%)
  • Reporting on successful product marketing (56.4%)
  • marketing with content (54.6%
  • Getting new clients (20.9%)
  • Planning the product roadmap (18.4%)
  1. Product positioning and messaging

Having a great product is great, but trying to persuade an entire market to buy it with a single, overarching message is not so great. It simply falls short, and this is where product marketers play a key role. Understanding what makes your market tick and what doesn’t allows you to frame your product in a way that resonates with them. Positioning statements and messaging hierarchies are two templates that are widely used in this industry and are useful (spoiler, we have frameworks for each in our membership plans).

Together, these respond to crucial queries like: Who is the product for?
What special issues does it resolve?
Why is it different from the rivals?
What is the advantage for our audience?

  1. Managing product launches

Launches are the foundation of the product marketing position, whether they are minor feature updates or completely new products.

We’ve all heard of the iceberg metaphor, right? Well, product marketers are in charge of that spotless tip that floats effortlessly above the water while juggling the chaos below.

Because the role sits at the intersection of several departments, including sales, product, customer success, finance, and engineering, the word “intersection” is frequently used in product marketing. This is because the role is responsible for ensuring that each of these departments is informed, capable, and pulling their weight.

  1. Creating sales collateral

There are many different types of sales collateral, and the quantity needed will largely depend on the type of launch.

For instance, a minor website wording change and a quick meeting with Sales and Customer Success to discuss the details may be all that is required for a feature update that only affects a small portion of current customers.

On the other hand, a new product might need the whole nine yards: battlecards, new messaging and positioning, brand-new websites, sales training, and so on.

A Simple Explanation of "What is Product Marketing?"
  1. Market and consumer research

Pre-work is the next step. Any type of launch requires research before, during, and after.

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What conditions must be met?
  • What distinguishing traits do they have?
  • What aspects of our product do they like and dislike?
  • Why did they pick the rivalry instead of us?
  • How do they believe we could improve even more?
  • What kind words do they have that could be used as a case study?

Since none of this is present, your only option is to whack your finger in the air and see what sticks.

  1. Reporting on product marketing success

KPIs in product marketing could be characterized as a bit of a gray area because many people use them while many others do not. Here are a few illustrations from our podcasts and Slack to give you a sense of what you’re looking at:

Usage of product marketing resources, overall revenue goals, daily, active, and/or monthly user count, win rates
Sales confidence, or how assured your sales team is when presenting your product,
Using metrics like NPS scores, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and customer satisfaction.

  1. Content marketing

Blogs, whitepapers, case studies, social media posts, product guides, and sales one-pagers are all examples of content marketing.
We briefly touched on this earlier, but how much you’ll need to unleash your inner poet will vary depending on how the business is set up. There’s a good chance you won’t always need to take ownership if a team of copywriters is integrated.

Anyway, it goes without saying that some product marketers are more at ease with their copywriting abilities than others, and we’ve received a good number of requests for course recommendations in this area. Here are a few of the ones we shared in a round-up a few months ago.

7: Taking care of the website

There will always be exceptions, but it’s uncommon for product marketing to be in charge of a company’s entire website. It is more important to ensure that:

  • The site reflects new features and products, messaging and positioning components are current and functional, everything is optimized for user experience (UX) and product usage, and in-app messages are scheduled and working as intended.

just to name a few.

  1. Planning a product roadmap

There is no point in sugarcoating the fact that some product marketers have a better deal than others in this regard, but in theory, the data-driven and customer-focused intelligence you gather should assist in determining product roadmaps.

For instance, should and when will feature Y be added to the pipeline if you find that a sizable percentage of customers demand it? What preparations do you need to make if it has already been decided that Product Z will be released in July?

The product roadmap is the overarching road map, even though Go-To-Market strategies are the product marketer’s road map to success; without it, you wouldn’t have anything to launch. 2

  1. Onboarding customers

 What happens after you acquire that fresh client? Nothing? In that case, they might not last as long as you had hoped. A strong onboarding procedure ensures that everyone gets off to a good start and has everything they need to get the most value out of your product. First impressions matter .

The mechanics of this will largely depend on the kind of product you market when it comes down to it; for instance, a B2B SaaS product will look very different from a B2C consumer goods product. 

Seven Important Product Marketing Steps

A Simple Explanation of "What is Product Marketing?"

The marketing process can start once product marketers are clear about who their product is intended for. Seven actions that product marketers can take before, during, and after the launch of their product are listed below:

  1. Product research:

Both the creation and marketing of a useful, well-made product don’t take place in a vacuum. Product marketers collaborate with the product’s developers in the weeks and months prior to a product launch to test the product both internally and externally through controlled beta environments.

  1. Product Story:

 Products are also marketed using a narrative format. What issue is resolved by the product? Who is dealing with this issue? How does it address this issue? What distinguishes it from rival products?

  1. Product-Focused Content:

The desks of content producers are the next stop for product marketing. Here, product marketers can develop and A/B test various product-focused marketing copy, blog posts, case studies, and landing pages on their website.

  1. Product Launch Plan:

 Without a written launch plan outlining each step of the marketing process and who is in charge at each one, no product marketing team is complete.

  1. Product Launch Meeting:

On the day the product is released, all parties involved have a meeting. This is the product marketer’s finest hour; it’s the culmination of a campaign, much like a rocket launch.

  1. Community Engagement:

 The marketing team frequently takes advantage of what the market is saying about them once product marketing has created enough buzz about the product within the industry. This entails requesting feedback from partners, influencers, and current clients.

  1. Sales Enablement:

  The sales team is waiting in the wings to create a sales strategy around this new business opportunity as a product is being prepared for the market. Meeting with sales staff before, during, and after the product is released to the general public is the responsibility of the product marketing team. Through the first sales call, the messaging developed for this product will be consistent thanks to this.

Conclusion

Consider how the aforementioned components might manifest as you build your product marketing team and strategy, and who you’ll need to collaborate with to succeed. Consider these issues when creating your next effective product marketing strategy.

Read the Importance of Product Marketing Strategy and Product Marketing Content Examples on our earlier post for further information.

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