Become a star in product marketing even if you’ve never touched a marketing book

calendar Apr 18, 2023
author Written by Artur Glukhovskyy

product marketing women working

When we think about major brands like Apple and Coca-Cola, we remember what they’ve given us. The benefits they brought into our lives. Apple reminds us of convenience and communication. Coca-Cola of friendship and adventure. This is what marketing is most often seen with the communication of benefits to the customer.


However, product marketing differs from these activities because it sticks to a single product and its specifications.



Product marketers help to build trust by talking about the specifications of a product and the product story to highlight its benefits to the user.



To fully grasp the differences between branding and product marketing, we’ll guide you through this wonderful specialisation in the article below.

 

JUMP TO SECTION

1. What is product marketing?

2. Why do we need product marketers?

3. The responsibilities of a product marketer

4. Think like a product marketer

5. Product marketing trends to look out for in 2023

6. Want to learn more about product marketing?

7. FAQs

 

 

What is product marketing?

Marketing is about getting leads and making sales. Product marketing is no different. But its focus is solely on the product.


There’s no corporate branding done, no umbrella story about how the founder started in his parent’s garage.


Its focus is to help bring a product to market in a way that both sales and customers understand what it is. Think about positioning, messaging, and actually launching the product itself. 

 

 A product marketer is basically the product’s parent. From its birth, the product marketer is by its side, making sure it survives in the chaotic real world and is understood by those around it.



Even years after launch, a product marketer continues to oversee things like ad campaigns and marketing strategy. 

 

what is product marketing

 

 

Why is product marketing important?

Especially with small businesses, having a high-quality product simply isn’t enough to succeed.

 

If Apple would bring out a new iPhone right now, even if there was no product marketing manager taking care of it, people would buy it.

 

This is what happens with an established brand and a long history of successful customer experiences.

 

But if you’re relatively small and/or new to the game, you need a product marketing manager to give your product the wings it needs. 

 

Product marketers help to establish an effective strategy to educate potential customers about its benefits and value.

 

Without them, a product has a high chance (no matter how amazing it is) of experiencing a quick and quiet death.

 

Hubspot gives us an excellent overview of their inbound marketing model tailored to product marketers. And we’re still just scratching the surface of it.


Try to see the product marketer more as a foreman. They have the helicopter view when it comes to the product itself and guide the creative teams during the marketing and development process, armed with data.

 

What do product marketers do?

The responsibilities of product marketers are broad and varied. As long as it has to do with the successful sale of a product, they’re in on it. Here’s a shortlist of the most important tasks:

 

  • Understanding what the market needs

    Knowing a customer’s pain points is something every marketer knows. But product marketers also investigate the cost of a product so it doesn’t burn a hole in the customer’s wallet.

 

  • Exploring and identifying target audiences

    Now, not everyone might agree with a buyer persona these days, but they do lay the groundwork for a solid marketing strategy.


    Even if it's just one to start with. Even if it fails, you’ll still have a ton of new data to work with. In marketing, there’s either winning or learning. 

 

  • Developing the product messaging

    Before customers clutch their credit cards and seek the nearest cashier, a product marketer makes sure they understand the features, how to use the product, and what value it brings into their lives.

 

  • Creating content that boosts loyalty and sales

    Some might shake their heads now, but the product marketers don’t really do much with content themselves.


    They often hire creative teams to do it for them. The product marketers take up a mostly strategic and advisory role here.

 

  • Working together with sales

    Data. Data. Data. Marketing always comes down to data and product marketing is no different.


    The product marketers work closely together with sales to analyse sales metrics and adjust the course of marketing campaigns to maximise sales.

     

  • Using customer feedback to optimise

    One surefire way of maintaining retention and loyalty is to focus on customer feedback. This invaluable data can turn an ‘okay’ product into an amazing one.


    It works especially well when you use that data to cater to different segments instead of using a blanket strategy.

     

Check out this page here for some interesting use cases when it comes to marketing a product. 

 

 

Think like a product marketer

Perhaps you’re thinking of becoming a product marketing manager or to join a product marketing team in the future.

 

It’s always good to be prepared. Below are a series of questions to spark your creativity.

 

Imagine you are applying to become a product marketer. What would you answer?

 

  1. What is a product with excellent value and features, but is not being marketed properly?

  2. How would you handle a change in product pricing to old customers?

  3. How would you market a [insert product] to [insert user segment]?

  4. After a thorough analysis, you notice the current market is too saturated for a new product. As a product marketing manager what do you do now?

  5. How would you inform the sales team on how to properly present the product to stakeholders? How do you help them understand?

 

As you can see, being a product marketer is very much about the success of the product itself. There’s nothing about a tear-jerking brand story, or how the company helps to save the Amazon rainforest.

 

It's about the features and the value that the product brings to the target market and the customer. The problem is how a product marketing team can communicate this without losing a sale.


It's about the features and the value that the product brings to the target market and the customer. 

 


Product Marketing Trends in 2023

Marketing is about going with the flow of the world. Every second, a consumer changes their mind. And so should product marketers.


To keep up with the latest changes, it’s important to keep up with the rapid developments in product marketing and its trends. It will be crucial for any product marketing team.


Let’s take a look at the list of trends that’ll influence the strategies of many of product marketers in the coming years.

 

Product Marketing trends 2023

Deepfakes

AI technology is skyrocketing lately. Always wanted to become the protagonist in one of your favourite movies? Simply head on over to 'Reface'  and slap your face on the hundreds of movie clips in its gallery.

 

Marketers can use this so-called deepfake technology to involve their customers more - to make them part of the product itself. 

 

While Spotify didn’t exactly use deepfake tech during their last ‘Wrapped’ campaign, they did use extensive data to make the customer experience as personable as possible.

 

They did so by showing how many minutes you and your friends listened to the same song for example. People love customised campaigns.

 

Intent monitoring

Knowing a customer's intent is key for product marketers. Knowing the difference between a customer who is considering buying or one who is ready to buy can save a ton of money. It shapes the entire marketing mix.


There’s a specific moment called the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ which is the exact moment the target audience is experiencing a challenge.

 

That is the best moment to engage and take action, according to the experts at strategicabm


There’s a ton of research in this area, and various ways to explore customer intent by gathering predictive intent data. Keep an eye out for ‘intent monitoring’ developments!

 

Influencer marketing

This might not be -that- new to you, but the way it’s changing will be.

 

When Instagram took to the spotlights, brands used (and still use) celebrities to advocate their brand.

 

Videos and images popped up everywhere with celebs stating things like “I can’t leave the house without my precious [insert product]” or “These [insert product] by [insert brand] make my skin so soft”.

 

The current trend is not to go for these big celebs anymore. This is not just for money reasons. The ‘little guy’ or tinyfluencer is still part of the community.

 

They aren’t elevated like some media deity and thus act like a friendly and trustworthy neighbour. These opinions are rated higher on the scale of credibility than a celebrity opinion. 

 

People are learning that celebrities will say anything for a bit of cash. The tinyfluencer has a smaller fanbase but are also more picky in what brands they support and their opinions feel more genuine.

 

Smart product marketers sees opportunities here by not hiring one very expensive celebrity, but a bunch of lower cost tinyfluencers as a sea of voices.

 

Social media algorithms love this technique. 

 

 

Want to learn more about product marketing?

If you’re interested in learning more about everything in marketing, check out our marketing course! 


Perhaps you’ll be the next product marketers' rockstar or take on the mantle of digital marketeer in the near future.

 

And remember, the success of marketing team or a new product rests on your shoulders.

FAQs

What are some examples of product marketing?

Apple is known for its innovative marketing campaigns, often featuring stylish imagery and bold messages. Their advertisements emphasise the unique features of their products and position them as must-have items for tech-savvy consumers.


Nike's product marketing strategy focuses on inspiring and motivating customers. Their advertisements feature high-energy music and athletes performing incredible feats, making their products perceived as aspirational and exciting. Their product marketers are never bored!


 

How is product marketing different from marketing?

Product marketing focuses on promoting and selling a specific product, while general marketing includes broader marketing activities such as branding, advertising, and market research.

 

Product marketing aims to generate demand and increase sales of a specific product, while general marketing focuses on promoting the brand in general and its values.

 

Product marketing vs product management

Product Marketers are responsible for promoting and positioning a product to the target audience, while Product Managers focus on the development and creation of the product itself.

 

Product Marketers ensure the product meets the needs of the customer and create messaging, while Product Managers oversee the product roadmap, design, and development.

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