Recently, I moved from a Product Management to a Product Marketing role. This post is an attempt to explore my early impressions about product marketing and what I learned during my first 100 days as a Product Marketer. BTW, I am not trying to explain what Product Marketing is, if you want details on that then please read what Is Product Marketing?
First thing that I observed was, although PMMs gets more visibility in the field, they definitely get less importance than PMs. I felt that it probably happens because PMs have keys to the roadmap (which PMMs don’t). The lack of product control by a PMM is judged less favorably by everyone else in the organization.
Instead of pontificating about whether its right or wrong let’s just live in the reality.
So, with that sidebar, let me talk about what I am learned in my new role.
1. Product marketing provides more scope to hone one’s creative skills.
It’s not that earlier I wouldn’t engage in creative efforts at work. But because as a PM I was the center of my product’s universe I didn’t get much time to get my creative juices going. When you are a PM everyone wants something from you. Even when, I calendared in “quite time”, I always ended up getting pulled into operations for one reason or the other.
Product marketing role is working out differently on that front. I am able to calendar in “quiet time” and have it as well. I guess that’s because creativity is also required for one to deliver the goods as a PMM. Everyone knows that creative juices take time to ooze and “quiet time” gives that.
Imagine a drab slide with three or five bullet slide vs. a one which shows those same points in more creative manner. You won’t expect the former from a Product Marketer.
2. Product marketing helps one become better organizer – of both content & thoughts.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
I had read that quote from the brainy guy many times earlier. I also understood what it meant. But its value became clear when I started to write more as a product marketer. Now I try to make sure that I understand the product feature from every angle before I say a word about it. It’s not easy, but that is probably one thing I want to improve most while I am in this role.
Will I achieve it? Time will tell.
3. Product marketing teaches you how to use your channels to amplify your message.
It became clear to me on how we product folks, generally miss an opportunity to leverage our channels while trying to amplify the message. Its harder to gain broader coverage if you don’t use your channels effectively.
As a PMM, I create content but if I don’t use campaign, field, and social marketers effectively then I won’t get the amplification I need.
I also learned that the type of content I create and the communication channel I use also determines the impact of that content. Here is an infographic that has statistics about longevity of the content. It appears that like their length the tweets last least and the blogs last the most. I am glad that I blog more than I tweet ;).
Now my thoughts on Product Marketing itself…
Product marketing is explaining why your product is different from your competition.
Product marketing is saying what you want to say about your product but in a persuasive manner.
Product marketing is about creating enough interest in your products so that everyone among your target customers wants to at least to try your product.
Note, I have stopped at try…not use. That is because as a Product Marketer one can’t really influence the experience of the product.
I have understood that Product Marketing is not about just saying more or saying it more often. It is about authentically stating what your product really stands for.
I am a student of the product business and my journey as a product professional continues. Lets see how this pans out :).
I will post another update when I think I have something to say. One thing is clear though product marketing can be fun when the product you market is really good.