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The Definitive Guide to Product Marketing

Product marketing is vital in every industry. For instance, in B2B marketing, buying processes are more complex. More buyers are involved and products are technically complex. That’s where product marketing (solutions marketing) comes in.

Picture this scenario: You are part of the marketing management team and together with the research and development team, you dedicate resources, time, and effort to creating a new gadget that has everyone in the company excited. But on the day of the launch, not many people show up. Potential customers aren’t excited about the device as your team is. There’s little to no interest in your new tech device. 

How did this happen? Well, the product launch flopped because you didn’t have a product marketing plan. As a result, you failed to reach the right audience.

Most marketers today are too focused on the tactical aspects of their job: getting leads, increasing brand visibility, social media marketing, and the like. But they overlook one important thing: product marketing. 

Product marketing is vital in every industry. For instance, in B2B marketing, buying processes are more complex. More buyers are involved and products are technically complex. That’s where product marketing (solutions marketing) comes in project management.

What is product marketing?

A lot of people have difficulty answering this question, so we’ll give you a simple answer. Product marketing simply means bringing a product to market. It includes product positioning, messaging, and launching. As a marketer, you have to position the product well to ensure customers understand it. In simple terms, product marketing is all about driving product demand and usage.

Product marketing is one of the few roles that touches product, marketing, and sales. You have to know the target customer, assess market demand, find ways to interact with potential customers, and then sell to them.

Without product marketing, your marketing efforts will lack a key ingredient for success. It helps you learn and understand the product, become familiar with customers and different buyer personas, and create marketing strategies that help your company target the right audiences in the marketplace.

How does product marketing differ from traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing has two major goals:

  • to promote a company’s entire product offering
  • and increase brand visibility.

On the other hand, product marketing focuses on marketing the products—executing product releases and crafting go-to-market messaging. A product marketer has a narrower focus than a marketer.

They sell or create interest around one specific product. A marketer often promotes a company’s entire suite of product offerings.

Oftentimes, it is product marketers who are responsible for truly understanding buyers and their buying journey. They spend a lot of time talking to customers, understanding their pain points, and finding out the products they use. Armed with this information, they work with the research and development team to create solutions that address customers’ pain points. 

The role of product marketing in 2022

In 2020, Coronavirus turned our world upside down. Social distancing and remote working became the norm, making marketers work even harder. But now that we’ve gotten used to the new normal, product marketing has started gathering momentum again. Here’s how product marketing is impacting our world this year:

  • More business leaders now understand the true value of product marketing. That it’s not just about following a marketing strategy but building it.
  • Product marketers are now using SaaS tools like Kissflow Project to collaborate and work deeply. They use these tools to give feedback on product designs, create bug reports, and participate in product roadmap sessions.
  • The marketing field is slowly splintering into 4 focus areas: Go-To-Market, Positioning & Messaging, Competitive Intelligence, and Sales Enablement. This may create new roles and job titles in the future, breaking up the product marketing manager’s role.
  • Video calls have become a common feature in the sales cycle and the adoption of new technology gives product marketers a treasure trove of insights. Marketers are using these insights to gather competitive and market intelligence because the entire sales cycle now happens remotely.
  • There’s more Brand Activism now. More companies are becoming vocal about their beliefs on subjects like Black Lives Matter and vaccinations. This is helping them connect with end-users on a more personal level.

What does a great product marketing team consist of?

Depending on the size of your organization, you might only have a product marketing manager (PMM). And as the organization grows and you have more resources to invest in product marketing, you may hire product marketers with expertise in different areas. These are the 4 most important functions great product marketing teams play: 

1. Competitive Intelligence

Many times, product marketing teams oversee the competitive and market intelligence for their companies. An organization might have a dedicated product marketing manager who is an expert in competitive intelligence. They are responsible for the entire competitive intelligence process:

  • collecting,
  • analyzing,
  • and sharing competitive intelligence across the organization. 

2. Product Launch Expertise

Some companies that launch new products or features frequently have product marketers who only focus on product launches. They are responsible for product positioning and messaging and craft narratives on the latest product updates. They may also focus on customer adoption and retention. 

3. Sales Enablement

A product marketer who focuses on sales enablement can help the sales team reach its highest potential. They provide resources such as content, tools, knowledge, and information to help the marketing team effectively sell products or services to customers.

The product marketer may also be an expert in competitive intelligence and combine the 2 faculties to help their sales team market products better. 

4. Product Messaging and Positioning Mastery

Product messaging and positioning are extremely important because they help carve out space for a product within the market and differentiate it from others in the marketplace. Product marketers who are skilled in this field know how to showcase the value of a product or service. They create messaging for campaigns to drive product awareness and adoption. 

How to effectively streamline your product marketing campaigns

1. Create guidelines for your team

Define your product marketing process. This will greatly help with internal collaboration. You can create shared resource documents for the voice and tone, customer acquisition, customer engagement, and marketing mediums. These resources will help you streamline the work required to train new marketers and help you steer clear of costly mistakes.

2. Establish a marketing schedule

A schedule will help you stay on track. Create a marketing calendar to ensure everything runs smoothly. You can use a free marketing calendar template and customize it to house your marketing schedule. It’s also important to have a project management tool that holds all of your marketing content. You can set deadlines, share files, and organize work all around.

3. Choose the best marketing channels

One way to reduce the resources you spend on marketing is to use the best marketing channels for your audience. Customers have different preferences, so take time to conduct market research to establish what channels your customers prefer. The most common marketing channels are email, social media, and traditional marketing.

Study your market and competitors and know customer expectations before choosing marketing channels.

4. Automate what you can

You can streamline your marketing, or portions of it, through automation. There are tools for lead generation, customer acquisition, content marketing, and much more. Many marketing processes can be automated, so identify them and do it. But ensure you automate the right marketing tasks and processes. Automation provides an easy way to lighten your marketing burden.

5. Make changes when necessary

Change your marketing process when necessary. The marketing world keeps changing, and stubbornly sticking to a product marketing strategy can quickly make your product irrelevant. Keep up with industry news and track results to see how your marketing strategies are performing. Every now and then, tweak your product marketing process to streamline it.

Examples of the best product marketing strategies by top companies

1. Nike: promotes its values

Nike is one of the most popular companies on the planet. From the beginning, it differentiated itself by focusing on promoting brand values like innovation and overcoming adversity. To advance this culture with every product it releases, Nike relies on storytelling through ads. Its ads tell inspiring stories that provoke positive emotions.

The company has taught us that brand values shouldn’t just be present in your marketing but in everything you do. 

2. GoPro: trusts user-generated content

GoPro cameras are loved by adrenaline junkies and athletes because they record content conventional cameras can’t. They make it very easy for users to share branded content. GoPro’s editing programs allow users to create videos with easily recognizable frames that feature the company’s logo and branding. GoPro then shares the videos on social media, inspiring more people to buy its cameras and create similar videos. 

3. Spotify: offers a different user experience

There are many music streaming services, but Spotify is the most popular because it offers listeners a totally new experience. It helps users discover new content uniquely. They can choose music based on their moods, workouts, and activities (like sleeping or showering). Users quickly discover songs they would never have thought of and build a strong connection with the brand. Spotify also uses artificial intelligence to curate playlists based on users’ habits. 

6 ways product marketing can help your product

1. It gives you in-depth knowledge

Product marketing helps you to understand your product’s potential and customer desires better. You can use research to identify new and emerging technologies and carry out consumer research to know the product traits customers desire. This makes for focused product development and effective promotional messages.

2. Sells your product

Product marketing sells your product. It lets people know what makes your product different—what separates it from the competition. Potential customers have a better understanding of the product’s specs, price, and style. They know exactly how the product will benefit them.

3. Presents the benefits

Product marketing communicates the product’s value and benefits to customers. A product marketer can use promotional messages to show how their brand’s product is different and better than the competitor’s. Your company may have the best product on the market, but if you don’t market it, customers won’t know. 

4. Attracts new customers

As a company adds new features to its product over time, product marketing can help it to attract new customers. For instance, fast-food eateries began adding healthier menu options after the emergence of sandwich shops promoting healthy eating. This helped the eateries to attract health-conscious customers. More customers translate to higher profits.

5. Leads to higher product demand

One of the biggest benefits of product marketing is it increases demand for your product. When you develop a product that meets the needs of customers and market it well, demand goes up. As a result, you can make more products and increase revenue. 

6. Better tracking of metrics

The trouble with marketing a service is it’s not always easy to determine the impact. With the help of project tracking software, product marketing solves this problem by honing in on what’s being marketed, making marketing efforts easier to evaluate over time. If you discover that a certain marketing strategy hasn’t led to an increase in sales, you can ditch it and move on to something new. 

Take your product marketing to the next level with Kissflow Project

Marketing is an endless balancing act. You have to use the right combination of tools and strategies to outperform your competitors. If you want to take your marketing game to the next level, use Kissflow Project’s product templates.  Visit the templates page and sign-up today

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