Most of us know that Product Marketing is responsible for the product’s market presence and its success but, in reality, there is a lot more than we know that goes into making it successful for life. This article is my understanding of what the product marketing team does to ensure this.
The very reason for having a product marketing team is to bring in leads for the sales team, make sure that existing customers adopt and engage, and create brand presence. Just like product management, the product marketing team is also involved right from the start till the end of customer’s association with the product. In most cases, the team’s contribution is quite significant in bringing back churned customers as well. Let’s look at how they are involved in each stage of the product lifecycle.
The why part of every product i.e. the product definition and its purpose will be provided by the product management team but that alone is not sufficient for the customers to understand what is going on. Product marketers try to pitch in the value and what it can do for potential customers rather than the product itself and extensive market research goes into this. Making sure that there is no ambiguity, the research results in a definite product description and buyer persona. Creating content that represents the product description and coming up with plans to pitch this to the targeted buyer persona is owned by the product marketing team before sale.
During Sales Cycle
Until this point, the marketing team focuses on the customers where as now, it concentrates on GTM teams as well for Sales Enablement. Companies expect all customer facing teams to have utmost product knowledge and the medium through which this can be achieved is created by the marketing team. For example, when there is a new product release or an update in the existing product, teams are educated on understanding it and what to expect from customers using mocks and other collaterals. This might seem a lot similar to what is done to engage with the customers but is very essential for a successful sales cycle. On the other hand, various plans to pitch the product/engage with the customers such as ad campaigns, in product announcement, seasonal engagement etc are explored to see which one yields the maximum result.
Educating and engaging with the customers does not just stop at the completion of a sales cycle. There are constant updates on the product and about the company that needs to be communicated – be it a new feature within the product or the shifting of the company’s HQ. This could be achieved not just through online methods like e-mail or chat campaigns, but also events like AMA, webinars on product or thought leadership, seminars, meetups, user conferences, promotions etc and the end result is to maintain a healthy customer engagement. Bonus point, maintaining good relationship with the customer leads to cross selling or upselling of the product as well in most cases.
Product Marketing in SAAS
How a product is marketed is common across all verticals of businesses and contrary to popular belief, the SAAS market is not an exclusion. There might be a few tweaks here and there based on different factors such as providing free trial, complexity, integration but those are things done irrespective of the industry. If you feel otherwise, fell free to drop a comment!
*This article is to give the readers a basic understanding of Product Marketing from the views of a person who has been in the Product industry all their career. If you find something wrong, feel free to drop in a comment. Suggestions are always welcome!