The Rise of the Product Marketer


Last week we had a guest post from Dave Wolpert that resulted in a thoughtful discussion on the role of Product Marketing and whether or not it was on the decline. In this follow-up, I am going to give my thoughts on the role.

In most businesses there is a gap between marketing and product that must be filled. Without an audience, a great product has nowhere to go. Likewise, a great marketing strategy can’t save you from a woeful product.

I believe that business success can be found when you match a great product with a great marketing plan and this is where Product Marketing can have the most impact.

Boaz Ronkin and Tim Johnson added comments to the post that I think are spot on. Product Managers need to focus on the voice of the customer to make sure that the product delivers the necessary benefits to the users. However, the product users are often not the only ones with input when it comes to purchasing the product, especially in B2B products. This is where Product Marketing can deliver on the voice of the prospect and make sure that the story being told is correctly positioned.

A list of technical specifications does not make for a good product message.

Product Marketers need to create and evolve the product story to best attract the right prospects. This story then drives the development of marketing and sales materials – from data sheets to webinars to social media. Product Marketing may not be responsible for producing all of this content but it is their job to make sure that the message is consistent until it is time to evolve.

My opinion is that there is a need for the strategic Product Marketer and it is not just a tactical role. Look at the Zero Moment of Truth and the End of Business as Usual as recent examples highlighting the need for great product marketing in the age of the connected consumer.

Enough about my thoughts, where do you see the role of Product Marketing?

 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Published by

  • I love the thought that the product marketer is the translator between the technical dev and the end user (or prospect, as you mentioned). It takes a talent, a special finesse to be able to communicate the product’s story and value to the right audience. Heck, even locating the right audience requires the right brains. It’s truly a job that embraces both hemispheres of the brain.

    Do you see the most successful product marketers coming from the technical side or the business side? I can see the benefits to both backgrounds.

    • Lauren,

      Thank you for the comment and the share. 

      I think in technical organizations it does help to have both backgrounds. That way you can work directly with the technical teams and alongside marcom. 

      Thanks again,

      Josh

      • I agree. Product marketers do best when they have a good understanding of both technology and marketing. If you have to pick one over the other, then it will depend on the relative skills and technical complexity of the product.

        When a marcomms team has a strong understanding of the technology and the business case i.e. why are business buying your software then a product marketer does not need much marketing experience. Just a willingness to learn.

        Similarly if your product team includes strong product managers who are not only familiar with how users use it, but know from assisting with pre-sales what buyers need, then a product marketer does not need to drill down into the technology.

        Basically the more complex the B2B software is, the bigger the gap will be between users and buyers. And for the software vendor, that means a bigger gap between product manager and marketing. 

        In product marketing, we’re gap fillers 🙂 smaller gaps are easier to fill. Chasms need experience of both sides and willingness to learn to straddle them.

  • Pingback: Software Marketing Tweetables - 30 January 2012 | Smart Software Marketing()