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?