In a hyper-competitive economy, product marketers have never had more responsibility than in the coming years. On top of that many brands are turning into software companies with an expectation to compete on building products rather than just selling them.
The “who does product marketing report to” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer is that the Product Marketing Manager reports to the VP of Product.
Volkswagen sold a bus in the 1950s. Despite the fact that it is now regarded a historic vehicle, the bus has remained an emblem for the firm for decades.
What’s the best part? Volkswagen has unveiled their new VW Bus, which is electric and has a sleek, contemporary design. Volkswagen’s marketing for the car is eye-catching, creative, and exciting, and it fits nicely with the company’s previous “hippie” image.
Volkswagen also launched a creative, simple, and on-brand TV ad for the bus. The song The Sound of Silence plays in the background while it introduces the new vehicle (hint: electric vehicles are quiet) and finishes with a brief statement on the screen for viewers to read: “Introducing a new era of electric driving.”
Volkswagen’s contribution to society’s interest in electric, environmentally friendly automobiles is reflected in this attitude. It also has to do with the fact that the bus is entering a new age.
So, who is responsible for this kind of marketing? Who contributes to the creation of information that piques customers’ interest in new and updated items, such as the Volkswagen bus? Who motivates customers to buy? Product marketers are those who sell products.
What is the definition of product marketing?
The process of bringing a product to market, promoting it, and selling it to a consumer is known as product marketing. Understanding the target audience for a product and employing strategic positioning and messaging to increase income and demand are both important aspects of product marketing.
What distinguishes product marketing from other types of marketing? What distinguishes it from traditional marketing? Let’s take a look at the differences.
Traditional Marketing vs. Product Marketing
Traditional marketing is all-encompassing, while product marketing is strategic.
Product marketing is seen as a kind of traditional marketing. Indeed, product marketing is one of the most significant components of a company’s marketing operations, as shown by the seven Ps of marketing.
Product marketing is to increase current consumers’ desire for and adoption of a product. It focuses on the processes customers take to buy your product so that product marketers may create campaigns to promote it.
Product marketing is gaining a thorough grasp of a product’s target market and tailoring the product’s positioning and message to appeal to that market. It includes both the launch and execution of a product as well as the product’s marketing strategy, which is why a product marketer’s job is at the heart of a company’s marketing, sales, and product teams.
Traditional marketing focuses on a larger range of issues within the marketing umbrella, such as lead generation, SEO, and anything else that has to do with collecting and converting new leads and consumers. It’s all about marketing the business and brand as a whole, as well as the items that are offered. These marketers ensure that all of the company’s material has a consistent, on-brand message.
What is the significance of product marketing?
Product marketing is an essential component of any marketing plan. Your product will not reach its full potential among your target audience without it. Let’s take a look at the aims of product marketing to see how important it is.
Product Marketing Objectives
Improve your understanding of your clients.
Your target audience can understand the worth of having that particular product in their life when you use a product marketing approach. Customer research may be conducted after you know how many clients are drawn to your product.
Effectively target your buyer personas.
You may choose the sort of buyer persona to target in the future by analyzing your consumers in general. Knowing your target’s particular requirements might assist you in better tailoring your product to meet those requirements.
Find out who your competition are (products and marketing tactics).
You may compare your approach and outcomes to those of your rivals while marketing your product. What are the qualities and advantages of their goods that stand out in the market? What concepts haven’t they looked into? What is it about their product that you don’t have? When developing your product marketing plan, you may benefit from this study.
Ensure that the marketing, product, and sales teams all have the same information.
It is mutually helpful to make your product offering plainly obvious for both consumers and staff. Every team in your company that works together may have a deeper knowledge of the product’s purpose and better express it in their daily operations.
Place the product in the market where it belongs.
In product marketing, you want your product, brand image, and tone to be consistent and generate the appropriate emotions in your target market. Some questions to think about while brainstorming your brand positioning are:
1. Is this product appropriate for the current market? 2. What sets our product apart from those of our competitors? 3. Is there a way to make our product stand out even more from our rivals’ offerings? 4. Are there any things that we have previously sold that we would not advertise or sell? If that’s the case, why not?
Increase income and increase sales.
As a product marketer, you’ll have to ask yourself and reflect on a number of questions about your product. These questions will assist you in ensuring that your product is a success with clients.
1. Is this product appropriate for the current market? 2. Is this product suitable for our current customers? 3. What distinguishes our product from comparable items from our competitors? 4. Is there a way to make our product stand out even more from our competitors’? 5. Looking back, are there any things we’ve sold in the past that we wouldn’t advertise or sell again? If that’s the case, why not?
As you can see, product marketing necessitates a systematic approach to your items in order to assure their success among clients in your present market.
Let’s look at the precise obligations that you have as a product marketer now (or product marketing manager).
As a product marketer, your tasks may differ somewhat depending on the industry, business, goods, and company size and resources. Due to limited resources and cash, you may be a product marketer who also assists in the creation of content by the larger marketing team if you work for a startup. As the company expands, you may be assigned to a team whose main responsibility is product marketing.
Responsibilities in Product Marketing
- Determine your product’s customer personas and target demographic.
- Create and implement a successful product marketing plan.
- To attract the proper buyers for your new product, work with and assist sales.
- Determine the market position of your product.
- Ascertain that the product fits the requirements of your target market.
- Maintain the relevance of your product throughout time.
Let’s take a look at six typical roles in product marketing.
1. Determine your product’s customer personas and target audience.
You’ll need to figure out who your buyer personas are and who your target market is so you can market to them in a manner that persuades them to buy. This will enable you to customize your product and its features to address the issues that your target customer is encountering.
To construct buyer personas for your company, use templates. Having a clear picture of who you’re catering to may help your company’s various departments work together and better position your product in the marketplace.
2. Create, manage, and execute a successful product marketing plan.
A product marketing strategy (which we’ll go over momentarily) enables you to conceive, produce, and execute content and campaigns, which supports the stages that lead to your buyer personas and consumers making a purchase.
3. Collaborate with sales to bring in the suitable buyers for your new product.
You must keep a direct interaction with sales as a product marketer. You’ll collaborate with sales to discover and attract the suitable clients for the product in question, as well as give representatives with sales enablement materials to ensure they fully comprehend the product and all of its benefits.
This ensures that you and your team are on the same page when it comes to what information is shared with customers, allowing you to deliver a consistent, on-brand experience to anyone who interacts with the product.
4. Determine the market position of your product.
Determining the product’s market placement is one of the most crucial aspects of your work. Consider this approach in terms of storytelling: your positioning necessitates the creation and presentation of your product’s narrative.
As a product marketer, you’ll collaborate with the product team and the rest of the marketing team to communicate this narrative by addressing key questions like:
- Why was this item created?
- Who is this item designed for?
- What problems is this product supposed to solve?
- What distinguishes this product from others?
5. Make that your product satisfies the demands of your target market.
You must also ensure that your product satisfies the requirements of your clients and target market. You should have discovered the pain points and issues you’re trying to tackle with your product via the research you did to develop your customer personas and target audience.
If your product does not suit your consumers’ demands, they will have no incentive to buy it or prefer it over a competitor’s.
6. Ensure that your product remains relevant over time.
Your product must maintain its relevance over time. It’s your duty to ensure that your product marketing strategy, as well as the items themselves, stay relevant among consumers as demands, expectations, and difficulties change and develop.
This means you may need to make minor adjustments to your product marketing strategy (which we’ll go over next), as well as updates and alterations to the product itself (which you’ll most likely accomplish in collaboration with the product team, who builds the product).
Marketing Strategy for Products
The positioning, price, and promotion of your new product are all guided by your product marketing plan. It guides you through the creation of your product and advises you on which new audiences and markets to target for launch and marketing.
Let’s look at five steps that can help you improve your product marketing approach.
1. Define the target audience and buyer personas for your product.
As a product marketer, one of your primary responsibilities is to establish a particular target demographic and build buyer personas for the product being sold (different products will likely have different target audiences). The first step in promoting your product is to create a website.
You’ll be able to personalize all parts of your product marketing strategy (as in, the remainder of the stages we’ll specify below) to that target consumer and persona if you understand your customers and their requirements, difficulties, and pain points. This manner, your audience will connect with the product and the marketing material you develop for it.
2. Decide on your product’s positioning and message to set it distinct.
You’ll have discovered their requirements, difficulties, and pain areas after doing consumer research and understanding about your target audience. You may next consider how to emphasize the manner in which your solution addresses those problems for your clients.
However, just because you’ve separated yourself from your competition doesn’t imply you’ve succeeded. They are, after all, your competition since they provide comparable solutions to your consumers’ demands.
Positioning (which we discussed before) and message are crucial in differentiating your goods. Positioning and messaging respond to significant questions your buyers may have about your product and what makes it special, and then transforms those responses into the primary elements of your marketing campaign.
As a product marketer, it’s your duty to make sure that your customers and audience know the answers to these questions and don’t have to look for them (or make assumptions about them).
You’ll need to answer the following questions to build your product’s positioning and messaging:
- What distinguishes our product from others?
- What makes our product superior than those of our competitors?
- Why are the attributes of our product good for our target market?
- What will our consumers receive out of our product that they won’t get out of the goods of our competitors?
- Why should our consumers believe in us and our goods and put their confidence in us?
After you’ve answered these questions, consolidate your replies into a single, powerful, and shareable statement that encapsulates your overall positioning and message. Follow these steps to do this:
- Make an elevator pitch using the answers to the positioning and messaging questions.
- To pique your consumers’ interest, use action words.
- Ascertain that the tone of your statement is consistent with the tone of your brand.
- Concentrate on the overall benefit of your product (not just one specific feature).
Pro Tip: As product marketers, you should make sure that the sales, product, and (broader) marketing teams are all aware of the product’s positioning and messaging so that they can share the same information with prospective and existing customers.
This helps you to guarantee that your whole company’s content and information about your product is consistent. Additionally, if you believe it is important, you may send this information to your support staff, since they may be taking support calls and interacting with your customers who have already purchased the product.
3. Define your product’s objectives.
The next step is to set objectives for your product. These may differ depending on your product, the sort of firm you work for, your overall marketing goals, and more – your objectives will be unique to your organization and scenario. Let’s take a look at some of the most common objectives for product marketers:
- Boost your income
- Customers should be contacted.
- Increase your market share.
- Obtain consumers from rivals
- Increase brand awareness
Pro Tip: Feel free to mix many of these goals or concentrate on just one – each firm and product will have its own set of objectives. The idea is to view and establish these goals in the SMART goal style, which means they should be precise, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Create and accomplish your SMART objectives with the aid of a free template.
4. Set a price for your goods.
As a product marketer, you’ll be expected to participate in discussions about your product’s pricing. Depending on the firm, you may collaborate with other teams on this aspect of the strategy, or it may be a task just for you and your coworkers. You may think about competitive vs. value-based pricing in any case.
Product Pricing: Competitive vs. Value-Based
Competitive pricing refers to basing the price of your product on the prices of comparable items sold by your rivals. It’s perfect for businesses who have manufactured a product that is identical to one sold by a number of other businesses.
You could opt to price your product more than comparable items on the market if you feel your unique characteristics deserve a much higher price than those of your rivals. Examining financial data and industry trends is an useful approach to assess the fairness of all of your rivals’ prices.
Although it takes a little longer to set up than competitive pricing, value-based pricing enables you to optimize your earnings. It’s perfect for businesses offering a product with few rivals or one that has a lot of fresh and distinctive features.
Value-based pricing measures the worth of your product in terms that your customers can understand. It enables you to set the pricing of your product based on the value it provides to your customers rather than what the market, industry trends, or your rivals say.
5. Put your product on the market.
Now comes the most essential — and also the most thrilling — aspect of your job as a product marketer: the launch of the product you’ve been selling.
As a product marketer, you should concentrate on two aspects of the launch: the internal launch (what happens inside your firm when the product is released) and the external launch (what goes on outside of your company, with customers and audience members, upon product launch).
Aspects of a Product Launch from Within
As previously said, a product marketer’s role comprises ensuring that everyone in the company is on the same page regarding your product. As a result, your consumers will only get consistent and accurate product information.
The following information should be shared with your company’s marketing, product, and sales teams:
- The advantages of the product
- Any product demo information that is accessible
- Opportunities for sales training on your product, as well as facts on how it’s utilized
- What the messages and positioning look like
- Who are your buyer personas and ideal clients?
- What are the objectives of your product?
- What are the benefits of your product?
- Your product’s price point
- How is your product introduced to customers?
You may now be asking how to get this information to marketing, product development, and sales. Which channels are best for communicating these data to your coworkers?
Here are some ideas of how to go about it:
Aspects of a Product Launch from the Outside
There are a variety of strategies to promote your product launch externally so that your present customers, prospects, and target audience understand about what you’re offering.
Determine where you’ll concentrate your product marketing efforts first. Here are several channels and locations where you can accomplish this (you might choose several of these or just one to focus on depending on your needs, goals, and resources).
- Use of social media
- The debut of a new product
- The landing page of a website
- A sneak peek at a new product (prior to the official launch)
- Promotional event/campaign (offline and/or in person)
You should provide relevant product information (centered on your positioning and message) on whichever channel you choose to concentrate your product launch marketing efforts so prospects and customers can learn all they need to know about your product and why they need it. This covers the characteristics of your product, what makes it distinctive, price, customer demonstrations, training, and any other things you’ve generated and wish to share.
Congrats! You’ve just completed the marketing process for a product. Remember that when your goods change and develop, this approach should be considered and updated to ensure that they stay relevant to your consumers. (This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a product marketing specialist on your team, since it’s one of their primary roles.)
Examples of Product Marketing
Let’s take a look at four real-world examples of great product marketing.
Apple is well-known for its cutting-edge technology and applications. Its items are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also really functional. However, Apple’s product marketing emphasizes the user advantages rather than the many product features.
Apple doesn’t just list the remarkable features of its goods; the company utilizes them to inform customers who they might be and how they could function if they had those items. Apple uses its goods to create a story, and in the process, it pushes consumers to purchase.
Billie is a razor for ladies. Billie has made the company’s goods stand out in a crowded market. How? It gained a competitive advantage (no pun intended) by promoting body hair, something no other razor brand had done previously.
This advertising strategy not only got Billie’s audience talking about the brand, but it also had them appreciating the brand’s realistic representation of women’s bodies and body hair. These features were sufficient to distinguish Billie from other razor brands and products.
Pepsi Cola No. 3
Pepsi has positioned itself as a brand that is full of young energy and excitement, as seen by its product marketing efforts.
Pepsi’s clientele are mostly between the ages of 13 and 35, with contemporary and busy lives, therefore hiring prominent personalities like Doja Cat for a commercial at a homecoming tailgate makes perfect sense.
Pepsi has become a really worldwide household name and commodity because to highly targeted positioning, repeated advertising, and consistent branding.
MailChimp is number four.
Despite the fact that there are hundreds of email marketing solutions on the market, MailChimp has remained unfazed. In fact, the firm has soared above its competitors by portraying itself as more than just an email marketing tool: it’s an all-in-one marketing platform that helps companies flourish.
MailChimp, like Apple, emphasizes the end-user advantages rather than the product characteristics. This story is reinforced by a recent rebranding and site overhaul.
Begin promoting your products.
The process through which a corporation takes a product to market is known as product marketing. Being a product marketer (or product marketing manager) implies you’re in charge of the marketing, sales, and product teams at your organization.
You’re crucial to your product’s success because you not only establish and manage your product’s specialized marketing plan, but you also act as a liaison between all three of these departments, ensuring that everyone understands your product’s features, capabilities, and more. So, begin to work on your newest product’s marketing plan to assure its success with your target demographic and consumers.
This article was first published in February 2020 and has been updated for accuracy.
The “product marketing team roles” is a guide that looks at the future of product marketing. The article discusses the different types of roles and how they will change in the next few years.
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