by Edward M. Yang
How Product Marketing Can Help Every Company
Product marketing is something that almost all
companies wish they had, but few do effectively.
Regardless if it’s a physical product, a software
product or even a service offering that is productized,
companies large and small need to put some thought
and structure to holistic product marketing.
Today we chat with Dean Ara, founder and principal of
Total Product Marketing:
Q: What is the role of Product Marketing in an
Product Marketing’s primary role in an organization
is to work with product management and development,
first making sure that your product is “market-ready”,
then delivering the product to your target customer base.
Q: What are some specific tasks in this area?
Product Marketing will prepare the launch plans,
create the appropriate messaging, positioning,
features/benefits and define your Unique Selling
In addition, Product Marketing is your sales channel’s
best friend – they will train the sales channels,
create collateral, help define your content marketing
strategy, run webinars, beta programs, work with PR,
generate customer success stories, do competitive
analysis, win/loss analysis… and the list goes on.
Effectively, they will work with all of your departments
to ensure that the product is effectively introduced
into the market.
Q: How can Product Marketing help my organization?
It depends, but making sure firstly, that the product
is “fit-to-market” is crucial. This means understanding
your market intimately, which means understanding all
the user types and the buyers and their personas. What
do they gain from using/purchasing your product? How
do you measure its impact?
Next is being able to stand out amongst your competition
and your substitutes with clear and concise messaging
and positioning is key. You may have the best product
in the world, but if it’s positioned and messaged
incorrectly or poorly your user will never have a
chance to enjoy what your product can do.
Q: Can smaller organizations with fewer resources
afford Product Marketing?
Absolutely. Like many other corporate functions,
out-sourcing Product Marketing services is clearly
now a viable alternative with many talented professionals
enjoying and preferring short term engagements with
Q: Why are “on demand” Product Marketing services
increasing in popularity and usage?
First, on demand product marketing helps you maintain
cost-certainty and flexibility. A true “all-in” full
time employee (FTE)’s cost is not only their salary
but also all the other expenses such as benefits, 401k,
administrative, IT, training etc. This bumps up the
entire cost of a FTE by another 25% to 30%.
Secondly, your ability to purchase customized services
on an à la carte basis ensures you get what you need and
only that. Lastly, on-demand product marketing can
drive innovation. Having resources who have “been there,
done that” and who have the most current knowledge-base,
can give tech companies the just strategic advantage
necessary to reach new levels.
Q: What is a common mistake made by companies with
respect to Product Marketing’s role in an organization?
A common mistake made by many organizations of all sizes,
is not having a Product Marketing department. A recent
study by CBS Money Watch stated that the Product
Marketer/Manager was the fourth most valuable corporate
job in America.
What this means is that others in the organization end
up filling the void and the role of a “product marketer”,
i.e. development, sales, CEO, tech support, training, etc.,
many of whom are not trained in this role and not suited
to perform it given their other job responsibilities.
The result is that the product and the launch is a mish-mash
of inputs from a number of folks whose expertise is not
in product marketing and ultimately resulting in failure.
Q: What are common mistakes made by Product Marketing
There is a free report that you can download entitled
the “7 Big Mistakes Made by Product Marketing”.
You can download it at http://www.totalproductmarketing.com.