So, you’re thinking of becoming a product marketer, and wondering what it would feel like to be one? I have been a product marketer at companies of different sizes, and have noticed how it can differ quite a bit based on team structure, company phase, etc. However, I have experienced three common pillars across all those companies.
I use these three pillars as the anchors to organize my efforts and prioritize my progress. I like to call it the CIP Framework: Customers, Impact and People.
Let me paint you a picture using this framework to explain what goes on in a day in the life of a product marketer.
Customers are at the heart of why we exist and what we do. We’re always thinking of who our customers are and what problems we’re solving for them. How can we help them drive their business? How are we helping them be more efficient? How do they perceive our products? We gather these insights and feedback by speaking with sales teams, engaging with customers, and conducting market research.
Next, we map these with our product offerings, which we then communicate to existing and potential customers through content in relevant formats. On a typical day this could translate into activities related to content development like blogs, whitepapers, business benefits presentations, training, demos, videos, product trials, assessment tools and case studies, or hosting a webinar, engaging with customers at events, etc.
The focus is always on helping customers in their journey of finding, evaluating, testing, and decision-making as they look to solve specific problems and meet their goals.
We work across our organization to bring new product innovations to the market, empowering customers to start, run, or grow their business.
Understanding the big picture through industry trends, market forecast, competitive insights, and connecting it to internal product and marketing roadmaps is essential. How do our products solve specific problems now, and how can we continue to support customers as their business grows or technology advances? We use this insight to enable sales training and guide content development.
We also continually build our subject matter expertise to address product-specific input or questions. Product marketers, in their cross-functional role, ensure that messaging is consistent, so the world has a singular view of how they perceive the product.
Correspondingly, working with teams to build the marketing strategy and executing it is at the core of product marketing. Whether you’re launching new products or growing the market share of existing products, you should be focused on who is it for and how, when, and where you can reach your customers? What are the internal and external channels for promotions and communication?
As you can tell, there's a constant feedback loop that drives our activities in sprints. Some example deliverables here are go-to-market and launch plans, campaigns, website pages, performance metrics, etc. The objectives, timelines, resources all factor into prioritizing our day-to-day deliverables.
The size and structure of the team influence the activities we drive, partner with, or support. We collaborate with external and internal stakeholders, from different backgrounds, who are driven by a set of incentives, to evangelize our products, share initiatives, and achieve common goals. We need to switch context between meetings and persuade lots of different types of people while we power through idea creation, rationalizing concepts, and, most importantly, socializing our customer story across different teams. It almost feels like we’re traveling across dimensions!
There are a variety of tools that we interface with, including communication apps, customer relationship management services, business intelligence platform, project management, content management system, marketing automation, analytics, etc.
I think it’s fair to say that things can get chaotic in the product marketing world as we juggle between these three pillars. However, there’s a great mix of problems to be solved, and we get to exercise different mental muscles like critical thinking, communication, persuasion, and analytics, which is very stimulating.
Ultimately, I stay motivated because we empower customers, and drive impact for their business and our organization, and I learn a thing or two about human psychology every single day. Incredible, isn’t it?! If you’d like to learn more about product marketing and refine your skills for your next job interview, just click on the link below and sign up for one of PMA’s industry-leading PMM courses.