What is Product Marketing?

explained pmm-01

Product Marketing represents the voice of the customer, state of the market, they are creators of product messaging and the ones who enable sales team to sell the product. They put the product on the shelf along with all materials and messages and prepare internal force for selling. Product marketers closely collaborate with three parts of a magic triangle – Sales/CSM, Product Management and Marketing.

How that works? They work on product roadmap and understanding customer needs with Product Managers who then translate those pains, needs and jobs to be done into features. They are the ones who should always understand their potential customers, their painpoints and what values they expect to get from the product; and from that understanding they are able to build a compelling and impactful story around the product – value proposition and whole messaging. When the product is ready, they drive the entire release process and involve key stakeholders to deliver novelties to customers. Meaning – they are a connector between a market and the product – understanding the market, shaping the product and materials, and then communicating back to market.

But let’s go into details. In order to avoid “we think” approach and building core messages based on assumption, rather build a PMM team/or hire a solo player, and let them create everything based on the research and facts and customer interviews. So, a Product Marketer (often called PMM from Product Marketing Manager) is responsible for:

  • Go-to-Market strategy
  • Conducting customer and market research
  • Building buyer personas, defining ICP, value proposition, positioning and messaging
  • Conducting competitive analysis and building battle cards
  • Creating sales enablement toolkit¬†
  • Driving release management and product updates

Depending on the size of the team; PMMs also work on pricing, product website, creating content such as blog posts or case studies, onboarding customers, collaborate with digital marketing to build automatied nurturing flows, work on retention tactics and so on.

I love this overview from Product Marketing Alliance.

product marketing

Product marketers should be able to translate what (feature) to why (benefit) and ultimate impact (value) – all of that should be the result of interviews with target audience. For example “Amazon Prime purchases are delivered in 2 days (feature), so that you can get your items quickly (benefit). Because your items arrive quickly, you can skip the store and eliminate the hassle of driving and waiting in long lines.(value)” here you can see how they combine feature-benefit-value.

PMMs should give you answers to questions like:

  • What problem we are addressing with our product? What value we bring that customer cares about?
  • Who are competitiors, why we win, why we might loose, how to answer to different challenging questions?
  • What are our benefits? How do I explain our product?
  • Who are we targeting and why?
  • What are market trends? How are competitiors reacting?
  • How are we going to handle this big product change?
  • …and so on.

What are PMM’s key metrics that they monitor? Here are just some which are very important: qualified leads, product signups/free trials, lead-to-customer rate, revenue, feature adoption and active product usage, cost per acquisition, NPS, CLS, content views and downloads and many more.

Product marketers should be creative challengers, think in different ways, optimize and follow market trends to be able to react promptly. As their work is cross-functional, highly collaborative and diverse from week to week, they need to have clear goals and need to know how to prioritize their projects. The organization should empower them with ownership and visibility. I often like to say to PMMs – be the ambassador of your role inside the organization, specially if it is a big one! Explain your role, build your little mission team with people from different teams to collaborate efficiently. PMM when set up properly really rocks!





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