Product marketing has always been a little bit difficult to define, and that’s because it encompasses everything from product development and demand generation to sales and customer success.
However, the main differentiation between product marketing and traditional marketing is that product marketing is focused on a single product, whereas traditional marketing is generally focused on the business as a whole. In other words, product marketing takes into consideration not only a successful go-to-market but also the continued success of the product as it develops.
Because product marketing is so encompassing, it can be tough to get right. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are the four product marketing secrets you wish you knew.
4 Product Marketing Secrets You Wish You Knew
1. Product marketing is incredibly customer-oriented.
You might’ve thought that product marketing strategies would be primarily product-focused, as the name entails. Instead, product marketing is centered around the way that the product improves the buyers’ day to day lives.
By identifying who your ideal buyer personas are, what they care about and how they use their product to solve for their challenges, you can build a product marketing strategy that truly resonates. However, keep in mind that the way you position your product will vary slightly depending on the persona.
Ideally, try to develop a keen understanding of your customers as early on in the product lifecycle as possible; for example, AirBnB built a great product for the mass market by initially spending time, money and effort to get to know their customers and collect feedback.
2. When we say “customer-oriented” we don’t just mean new customers.
If customers aren’t extracting value from your product, they’re not going to remain customers — that’s why a product marketing strategy cannot be complete until it includes a customer success strategy as well.
When developing a product marketing strategy, you should zero in on two overarching goals:
By teaching your customers how to extract value from your product, you ensure that they’re using it to its fullest potential and, therefore, will want to continue using it in the future. Make sure you offer educational resources and have a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) to help your customers when they need it.
3. Consider using a partner program to take product marketing to the next level.
Add another layer of impact to your product marketing efforts by enabling your partners to sell it more effectively, too.
For example, HubSpot offers a number of ways to purchase its platform, depending on what’s best for the company. Someone could go to the website and sign up for free, purchase a starter program or buy it through one of HubSpot’s service-oriented channel partners like New Breed.
Leveraging service-oriented channel partners for product marketing takes a huge expense off your plate and helps you grow your product substantially. For example, HubSpot updates and educates us at New Breed with new product developments, so we’re able to service our clients’ HubSpot challenges without the HubSpot team ever getting involved.
Of course, you’ll still need a CSM, but a group of channel partners enables one CSM to handle many clients more efficiently — and they can use the extra time to focus more on upselling and increasing revenue than on actually servicing clients.
4. Understand the core value of your product — and see if it fits into a freemium model.
By understanding the core value of your product — the one unique feature that buyers can get from your product, not a competitor’s — you can shape the messaging for your product marketing strategy as well as your pricing strategy.
We’ve talked a lot about freemium business models on the New Breed blog, and our sentiment remains the same: When you build a freemium pricing strategy around the core value of your product, you can expose a ton of new users to your product and create a frictionless sale down the line.
This is especially true if your product has a “viral element.” Software with a viral element is any kind of software that requires communication between multiple users in order to leverage it at all; Slack, the workplace communication platform, is a perfect example of this. Calendly is another great example because people can’t use it by themselves — so every new user creates additional demand, accelerating your product growth.
As many marketers know, product marketing is hard to define and even harder to put into action. However, it’s still a critical piece of your overall marketing strategy, so you have to keep iterating on it — and with these four product marketing secrets, you’ll be that much closer to getting it right.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.