What is product marketing? Can you have a comprehensive definition for it? Do you know how it works and how it differs from other types of marketing and who is responsible for it? If you do not know the answers to these questions, read on.
It is difficult to explain what product marketing is. It varies from business to business and depends on many factors. To make it clear, first, we need to differentiate what is product marketing and what is not.
Types of marketing that does not fall under Product Marketing
Since it is hard to exactly define product marketing, we begin with clarifying the types of marketing that do not constitute product marketing.
- Digital Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Product Marketing
- Brand Marketing
- Growth Marketing
- Service Marketing
However, it is important to understand that advanced product marketing is inter-application and encompasses almost all types of marketing.
If you do a Google search for “product marketing definition”, guess what will you find? You will not find a fixed meaning; Instead, you come across many definitions. There is no universally agreed definition for this. For example, Wikipedia defines it as a way to advertise and sell a product to a customer. Here are some other definitions:
the process of attracting people’s attention to a product and persuading them to buy it. – Source: the Cambridge Business Dictionary
Product marketing is the process of getting a product to market. That includes deciding on the position of the product, its publication, and assuring sellers and customers that it is well understood. Product marketing creates demand and uses it. – source: HubSpot
Product marketing is the overall process of properly transmitting information about a product or service to potential customers. This includes defining the product line, identifying potential markets, determining the right price through market pricing methods and strategies, encouraging potential customers to decide to buy the product or service, and finding the most appropriate distribution methods to deliver the product to customers or finding suitable sales locations. – Source: Dictionary of Marketing
We could say that product marketing is a “strategy”, or in other words, the science and art of bringing a product to market and building a sustainable business based on it.
Product marketing is a holy grail for businesses.
Product marketing helps bringing the product to market in the same way a bridge helps crossing the river. The task of the product marketer is to collect and analyze data from different channels, to have a deep understanding of the customer’s demands and to spread a deep understanding of the product among his audience.
Marketing starts even before a product comes to existence. Marketing is a task for the company to find out what people need and what the company should produce. – Philip Kotler
It is important to understand that product marketing is not just about discussing the value or position of a product. Rather, it is about creating the whole strategy for your product.
Product marketing is responsible for stimulating demand, understanding the market, and attracting new and existing customers. It helps ensure the customer’s satisfaction. It also includes market analysis to free the product from bottlenecks. Honestly, this list has no end.
Without product marketing, even the highest quality and most flawless products are bound to fail.
Who is a product marketing manager?
Product Marketing Manager, or PMM, who can also be called a product marketer.
The main goal of the product marketer is to deliver the right product to the customer at the right time.
Since PMM is a relatively new role, there is a lot of ambiguity about its core responsibilities. In the following section, you can find a summary of job posts on indeed.com that describe PMM tasks.
- Competitors analysis and market research
- Analysis and proposal of pricing and profit margins
- Creating marketing strategies including distribution channels, pricing and promotion, Product development and commercialization
- Teaching product information to team members
- Rationalizing the product platform and identifying new market opportunities for products
- Understanding the technical and commercial needs and limitations of the product, for strategic marketing development and planning
- Ownership, development, and sharing of product contents such as blogs, presentations, demos, white papers, videos, marketing campaigns, etc.
- Establishing deep collaboration between different teams to ensure that marketing strategies are coordinated
- Being always available to customers, partners, vendors and analysts for introduction and explanation
These two job positions in companies 1 and 2 have a lot in common. However, clearly the two companies have different views on the responsibilities of a product marketer. The reason is that the goals of companies and their growth stages are different.
Marketing will vary from stage to stage. For example, in the development phase, you plan what activities should be done before the product is released. Marketing at this stage requires the provision of solutions to properly inform potential customers about the product.
Or suppose your product is in the growing
stage. This means that customers are already aware of the product and the sales rate is growing. This is a good time to invest in brand development.
As you can see, changing the responsibilities of a “product marketing manager” depends on the different needs and stages of the product.
How product marketing could benefit you?
Product marketing is crucial for products that have already entered the market, or those that are trying to gain a foothold in the market Product marketing is a hard task, as it requires a deep understanding of customers and their needs. Even if your product is currently in the market and face severe challenges, a serious mistake could cost you thousands of dollars.
Product marketing provides an insight into how unique your product is, what are customer problems, and how to better define a story for your products.
Let’s look at some great examples.
Examples of product marketing
Have you ever heard of the Burbn brand? The answer is probably no!
Burbn was a complex social network application. The app allowed users to share schedules and photos with friends and earn points.
When Burbn co-founder Kevin Systrom analyzed the behavior of people who used the app, he found out that image-sharing was a very popular feature.
At the time, an app called Hipstamatic was gaining popularity because of the cool filters it applied to images. But there was no way to share those images on other social networks like Facebook. Kevin saw an opportunity that others had missed. He and his partner Mike Krieger removed all other features from the app, leaving only uploading images, comments and likes. Then they changed the name of the application to Instagram.
On the first day, 25,000 users started using Instagram. At the end of 2010, Instagram had a large number of users, and you can see its continued success today.
Let’s look at another example. Have you ever heard of Zimride? No? How about Lyft? Yes! you are right. It is a taxi subscription service formerly known as Zimride.
When Lyft hit the market in 2012, Uber was on the market for three years already. The chances that Lyft would succeed was slim. However, this small player soon grows to be a competitor. Lyft claims that it currently owns 28.4% of the total US taxi market. In comparison, Uber holds 69.2% of the market share.
“Lyft was initially known as a brand that is trying to be like Uber. But now, thanks to viral growth and a great marketing campaign, Lyft is known as an alternative service.”
Lyft marketing is friendlier and more surprising to that of Uber. This makes it attractive to the younger generation. Attention to community and entertainment makes Lyft stand out from its competitors.
This brand has created a unique ecosystem. It is a clear example of a company that differentiates its brand by the values it has produced.
The brand was founded in 2009 by two Yahoo employees, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and now has 1.5 billion users. It has achieved this level of success in a very short period of time.
What exactly makes WhatsApp the world’s largest messaging platform?
First of all, its founders realized how much people hated annoying ads in apps, so they made it free of any ads. They both hated advertising, so much so that Jan even wrote a note on his desk saying “No advertising! No games! No tricks!”
Second, the idea of the app was very simple and clear: it allowed people to connect with relatives, friends and family wherever they were. In addition, it focused on the younger generation who did not want to bear the additional costs of SMS.
The original idea was as listed:
- No Advertising
- Satisfactory experience
- Privacy (WhatsApp did not save messages)
On top of that, WhatsApp is completely free. No restrictions on messages or calls.
Jan and Brian had a clear vision for their product. They were both on the same track. They knew what their product is, and what it was supposed to be.
We hope that this article gives you a better idea of the importance of product marketing, and how it affects your business. If you have any questions about this or would like to have a free consultation with the Liopal Team, please contact us.