For software companies, it’s no longer viable for designers and engineers to build a product, then toss it over the wall for marketers to sell it. Product positioning and go-to-market strategy needs to adapt as fast as customer needs and product features do, so pretty much constantly. Enter product marketing.
Product marketing is hard to define, because it tends to fill the gaps in any given organization. If could help marketing better highlight product differentiation that customers aren’t understanding, it could help product build the features that customers will pay the most for, or it could provide sales enablement to pick up sales velocity. No matter what shape it ends up taking, product marketing can be tricky because its goals are almost always shared with other functions, most notably product and marketing. Big technology companies may have entire product marketing departments, but for a small and growing business, where should product marketing sit?
If you DON’T have dedicated product marketing managers…
In a small company, much of marketing’s job is product marketing, so marketing leaders need to have deep knowledge of their product. If bandwidth is limited, the most important activities include packaging product value and positioning, identifying and targeting personas, and defining the go-to-market plan. Product can and should help with articulating the value of the features and products they’re releasing.
Watch out for: Traditional marketers who mechanically drive volume without thoughtful focus. If your marketing leader is wearing the product marketing hat, make sure that they are assessing their market, and positioning your product intentionally, rather than just driving volume at the top of the funnel generally. Continue reading “Who should own product marketing?”