What is Product Marketing?

For many companies, especially start-ups, product marketing is not yet a structured, disciplined process governing the definition of product offerings and prescribing their introduction to their target market.

Here are the essential elements of a robust product marketing function and role within your company:

  1. Ownership of the definition of the business or market problemwhich the product will address: market requirements
    • The classic trap for organizations is to define market requirements from the “inside out,” versus “outside in.”
  2. Ownership of the definition of the addressable marketfor the product: target market
    • Companies frequently launch products with vaguely defined target markets, resulting in vague messages and dull programming to drive demand
    • Complete addressable market analysis includes robust assessment of the competition
  3. Validation of alignment between market requirements (product marketing) and product requirements (product management)
    • The product that emerges from development often loses its resemblance to the product that addresses the market requirements defined at the beginning of the product lifecycle
  4. Definition of market launch and tactics to drive visibility for the product within target market communities: demand creation
    • The tactics which are appropriate for a product targeted at financial services firms (vertical industry) is very different from those for an offering serving Human Resources staff across all industries (horizontal, functional)
  5. Measurement and reportingof product – market fit, demand creation tactics’ effectiveness, performance against key business plan objectives including revenue, target market penetration, win rate versus key competitors
    • In many companies, marketing continues to be denied a seat at the strategy table because accountability for marketing investments is rarely supported by rigorous target-setting and performance measurement

What does product marketing look like in your company?  There are many different ways to divide up the activity across product management, product marketing and marketing communications, but the essential thing is that all of the five elements are covered by one team or another.   If your product marketing plan has gaps to fill, contact us  for an assessment of your product marketing function.