Yours truly, Product Marketing

What if product marketing decided to write an open letter to its other chums? It signs off with truth, while also breaking a few myths.

Hey you,

It’s been a while since I wrote to you, and I hope you’re taking some time off the work schedules to unwind. :)

Just as the week starts, I wanted to share something that kept me thinking over the weekend—what if product marketing decided to write an open letter to its other product chums? The result was such a letter—signed off with truth, and breaking a few myths in the way.

Original article @ aishashok.com


The chums of the product family decided to break the age-old question of what product marketing stands for. So, is it like a question on an examination paper with a page-long answer? Does it sound fancy? Or, is it as vague as you thought it’d be?

So, what if product marketing stepped into the arena to let the chums know that it belongs to the clan? Well, nothing like it! So, yeah, here goes a brief, open letter that product marketing writes to everyone who has wondered its meaning, existence, or sustenance—breaking one myth at a time.

Product marketers KNOW the product

Yes, repeat this a couple of times until it sinks into you. Most often in the product space, marketing is considered to be an after-job, something that has to do with posting three lines of content or waltzing around with what everyone calls as stories. The very word marketing gets associated with the daydreams of social media, content, budget, campaign, promotions, metrics—all of them flying in the air. What’s missed out is the fact that product marketers are very much a part of the making of the product, which means, they obviously know the product they market. No more you-only-write-content or it’s-time-for-promotions dialogues.

Product marketing lies at the intersection of business, technology, and market—ultimately, a combination approach to product, sales, and marketing. So, product marketers plan their work as much as to sell your product while helping in building it too. A question of why product marketers need to know the product could arise—it’s your time to know this:

To that product marketer in your clan, 

They are the bridge between the product team and end users.

They make products align better with customers.

They bring the story behind a product’s existence.

And, it shouldn’t now take more than a few seconds to connect the dots and see why product knowledge goes in strong for a product marketer. It’s a two-way channel, and to get the right balance between the customers using the product and the product teams waiting to fulfil the customers’ needs, the fulcrum of the marketing team (and their leverage) is crucial—ultimately, mastering the product as well as the market.

Product marketing isn’t a standalone, static job

Misconception at its epitome is when product marketing is considered a single checklist-ed team, trying to tick every little activity of fanciness and calling it a day. Well, there are two blunders here—marketing can’t be contained in a checklist, and it never goes the same for outcomes. Product marketing is not yet another corner team that clocks in hours silently, rather, their work involves coordinating with their product chums to ensure smooth operations for customers.

In any given day, product marketers work with folks from:

◘ Sales and Pre-Sales

◘ Support and Consulting

◘ Product Management

◘ Development

◘ Design

◘ Testing & Quality Assurance

From product management and support to sales and design—product marketers collaboratively contribute to every feature building, customer journey, closed deal, and lead generated. While each of these people work significantly deep in their respective domains, marketing works in tandem, just as the core job of ‘taking product to the market’ functions. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of what it takes for product marketers’ activities in the picture of other product departments. 

Best part you ask? Work is dynamic, every single day! So, erase the vision of sitting with social media tabs in a corner or negotiating to the finance team about ad budgets, because there’s so much more to it.

Product marketers don’t always shadow competitors

Finding a brand’s voice and story is highly looked into as following what competitors in the market do and the way they outperform. Unfortunately, many think product marketers find the product’s value propositions by only conducting extensive competitor analyses. While competitors are definitely checked, the positioning, messaging, and value propositions take only one thing as a priority—the customers in the market. Product marketing after all boils down to understanding the customers, in a tad better and bigger way. 

Updating ourselves of the competitors’ progress is required, but not at the expense of thinking that product marketers mirror what the surrounding says—it’s more about what a customer wants. 

Good product marketers listen, great product marketers turn conversational. And, if you carefully look out for conversations, customers tell you their problems, and that’s what you need to build and market your brand, helping customers in their way.

Some questions that product marketers constantly brood over regarding their market aka customers: (by this time you should have taken the sole competitor focus off your mind)

‌Why do customers use it?

What do they want?

How to provide better?

Where do they need help?

When to launch more?

Product marketing isn’t just about the D-day aka release 

Amidst the frenzy rush of building a product, the sheen of product marketing gets seen at its peak time—the launch. That said, most of them think the product marketing heyday circles around releases, but a product company can’t keep doing only that, can they? As much as work goes into preparing for the public launches, the backend (read grunt) work comes back to your product marketing team. 

Success? Oh, what a work, team-sans-product-marketing! Didn’t go well? Ey, call those product marketers who called it a day! 

So, what do you think those no-release and after-release periods would have in store for marketing? This is where the hard job of accounting for signups, looking out to increase the leads, committing to inbound and outbound activities for nurturing and engagement, and ultimately, ensuring every system is in place just like in an automobile functioning. 

A quick sneak-peek into the tidbits of product marketing avenues around generating, acquiring, engaging, and retaining more users. 

While only a few points could take a place in this open letter, product marketing signs this off with the truth that their other product chums know everyone’s going to share the seats at the table.

Yours truly,

Product Marketing


Have a great week ahead!


Regards,

Aishwarya