As a fairly new and growing profession, Product Marketing can sometimes seem like the Wild West. With skills that typically include strategy, communications, analysis, and project management, there are a wide range of projects we can tackle. Product Marketing may include some marketing, strategy, product management, and sales enablement – all depending on the company’s needs. But the core need that drives any Product Marketer’s priorities is a relentless pursuit on the organization’s sustainable growth.
Here are examples of some projects that we often do:
- Product and solutions positioning and messaging
- Go-to-market support
- Competitive analysis and sales talking points
- Sales training and sales materials
- Marketing content
- Internal communications
- Case studies and testimonials
- Launch performance metrics and analysis
- Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC) research
Before you scan the list and spot either something that’s either missing or the responsibility of another role in your organization, here’s my first tip for Product Marketing leaders:
Side Step Areas That Are Already Well Covered
If another person or team in your organization already owns a specific type of project (ex. Product managing VOC research, or a content team writing for digital marketing), then move towards other projects where you can add greater value. There is always much more work than there are ever product marketers to cover. Embrace these additional resources and support them where it makes sense. For instance, I often help craft VOC interview scripts or set up an interview with an international subject-matter expert to assist content writers. This helps Product Marketers to accelerate work outside of their direct project ownership and increase overall growth incrementally.
Take in the Bigger Picture
I often encourage my Product Marketers to take a step back from their roles and ask: “Where can my efforts make the greatest influence on the growth of my product portfolio?” This leads to questions like:
What are we doing well that could be expanded?
What’s causing any of our efforts to underperform?
Do people in our organization have the right information to make good decisions?
Do we have smart processes for anything we do multiple times?
Sometimes the answers can lead to major changes in approach to improve outcomes. This is particularly true around processes that support new products coming to market. Other times it can be the little actions that make the difference. I once wrote a basic monthly internal newsletter that helped shift a large global company’s towards adopting change and selling a major new product. Other times, it can be as simple as introducing colleagues in different parts of the business with similar focus for greater synergy.
Use Available Data to See a Clearer Picture
Thanks to the platforms that help us manage customers (CRMs), learning (LMS), content (CMSs), and marketing (MAPs) we have plenty of data available to understand more objectively what’s working in Product Marketing programs and what is underperforming. But be prepared that perceptions by many stakeholders may not necessarily match the data points you find. Product Marketing may need to advocate for data-backed information vs. how staff may have felt about a GTM launch or a sales collateral piece.
I hope some of these ideas prove useful to you.
Wishing you all success in your endeavors,
Note: As always, opinions and insights in this article reflect my nearly 30-year career and do not represent the views or circumstances of my employers or clients – past or present.