The Product Marketer is a new-ish and often confusing role.
Most companies still don't think about product marketing as its own function at all and I think it's one of the major reasons for failed product- and feature launches.
So let's have a look at what a product marketer's role entails and how it's different to product management.
I love this quote by Growth Marketing Legend Casey Winters that sheds some light on this issue:
“Product marketing has suffered from an identity crisis as long as I have known the term. Product marketing, when done correctly (which rarely happens), is usually in charge of three things: First, deciding a soon to be released product’s positioning and messaging. Second, launching the product and making sure users (in B2C) or customers and salespeople (in B2B) understand its value. Third, drive demand and usage of the product.”
The Three Responsibilities of a Product Marketer
So let's unpack that quote:
- Before the Launch of a product or feature, product marketers typically own positioning, messaging, customer development and the overall go to market strategy for a product
- During the Launch of a product or feature, the product marketer makes sure the users, customers and sales people understand the value of what's being released out to the market.
- After the Launch of a product or feature, product marketers help with sales enablement and focus on driving demand, adoption and the overall success of the product.
The Deliverables of a Product Marketer
Knowing this, it’s important that product marketers have a deep understanding of the customer and the market, to ensure that:
- A product and its new features are appropriately positioned
- Sales and marketing teams have all the necessary knowledge and materials to attract new customers
- The product will satisfy the target audience’s needs and overcome their pain points
- The product remains relevant as the market evolves
The tangible results of a product marketer’s work typically include:
- Buyer personas that provide structure and insight for a company
- Positioning and messaging that attracts and converts prospects and leads
- Sales enablement materials that help reps close more deals
- Competitive intelligence that gives the team a deep understanding of the market
- Go-to-market strategy and launch plans that outline how the product should be promoted and sold
The Difference between Product Management and Product Marketing
In their beginner article on product marketing, Drift explains the main difference between a product marketer in this infographic:
Lessons from the Expert: Naike Romain
I hope you start to see as well how crucial this role is to close the gap between the product and the market (as well as the customer and the sales team).
And if you want to know more and actually listen to real life stories of a product marketer at work, there are few that have more experience than Naike Romain who held this role and lead teams in this function for HubSpot, Wistia, Foursquare and Localytics.
The following conversation delivers a fantastic overview of what the job of a product marketers entails and the impact it has on the entire organization.
I highly recommend to start familiarizing yourself with the role of the product marketer as you build up your marketing team. Especially if you feel there is a disconnect between your customers' perception of your product and the product vision that's lived or pushed internally.