What is Product Marketing?
Product marketing is the process by which products are created and then made available to target audiences. Product marketers use many tools to push their product’s message. The process of product marketing involves managing the relationship between the company and its customers. The following are all types of product marketing firms: advertising agencies, direct mail firms, digital agencies/internet search engine optimization companies (SEO), public relations agencies or in-house corporate communications departments that handle promotions or trade show exhibitors that manage the booth displays for a product line.
Product Marketing is a cross-functional team of experts who plan, create, and implement a product marketing strategy to sell the company’s products over the course of its life cycle. The team develops strategies to drive customer demand for product offerings. They devise pricing strategies, communicate with sales teams on where to position products in the sales process, and develop programs to enhance sales channels. The team also gathers customer feedback on new features for improvement purposes.
Product Marketing emphasizes data-driven decision making about which products will succeed in both domestic and international markets by assessing market trends through qualitative research, quantitative analysis of competitive data sets, and gauging consumer sentiment toward new products or features that may be introduced into existing lines or brands.
What is the role of Product Marketing within a Firm?
Product marketing is a function that encompasses three major activities: Product development, Product launch, and Product management. Product marketing plans and manages the full life cycle of a product. 3 Key roles are identified:
- Defines the features of new products and services.
- Develops and implements marketing strategies aligned with strategic goals and
- Maintains strong relationships with internal stakeholders, such as engineering; finance; sales; customer support; production; and human resources.
What is the Purpose of Product Marketing?
The main purpose of product management is to get the right products to the right customers at the right time. It also supports strategy execution. In a typical product management role, a product manager works closely with the marketing department, the sales team, and product engineering, to ensure that new products or processes meet customer needs while minimizing costs.
Main Responsibilities of all Product Managers
- Communicate across organizational boundaries and with customers to better understand requirements and requirements changes.
- Identify market changes and emerging trends.
- Ensure the team follows up on all requirements so they can be incorporated into products or products can be canceled. The TPPM model helps in this process also. Depending on the firm’s approach to this job function, different roles may exist in interpreting product management data gathered during this process.
- Ensure that all of the appropriate functional groups are informed about the requirements gathered from the market. This includes marketing, sales, customer support, operations, design engineering, finance etc.
- Involve key business partners in the process of gathering requirements by including them in detailed planning phase of any new product or service introduction or enhancements to existing products.
- Monitor market changes to ensure that products are meeting customer needs. This includes making sure competitors’ strategies are being monitored and communicated to other stakeholders so alternatives can be pursued if needed. To do this effectively it may be necessary for a product manager to engage with customers directly on a regular basis.
Product management requires extensive market research to determine how products can be positioned in the market. The product manager must stay current with changes in the marketplace, including technology trends, competitors’ plans, and customer preferences. It is also important for a product manager to understand the company’s business objectives and how they relate to the individual products. Product managers are responsible for interfacing with key company stakeholders.
The following list includes some of the key stakeholders in most firms:
1) Marketing – Product Managers are responsible for planning product launches and communicating new features to marketing teams so they can produce creative supporting materials. They also supervise creative designers in order to help ensure that the strategy supports product positioning/promotion plan.
2) Sales – Product Managers communicate product features (and sometimes price, depending on how it is developed) to sales reps in order to get them started with the sales process. They also oversee this process to ensure that the launching of the product is properly executed.
3) Operations – Product Managers are responsible for overseeing new releases, integrating changes, and ensuring outstanding customer support. They also report back to other members of the team on any issues.
4) Engineering – Product Managers oversee design teams throughout development of new products. They review all design decisions and recommendations that affect launch dates, cost, functionality etc..
5) Marketing and Sales – Product Managers will also collaborate with marketing and sales in order to get the maximum benefit from new products to customers. Marketing and sales will review the product once it is launched, and this information will inform their decisions regarding pricing, distribution channels etc..
6) Finance – Product Managers work closely with finance in order to ensure that their product is selling well, that there are no unwanted overcharges, and that the budget is well allocated. They review manufacturing costs to ensure they are within budgeted targets. They oversee production purchases and production schedules to ensure they stay on track.
7) Customer Support – Product Managers oversee customer support for all products, and coordinate with marketing and sales on ways to improve support effectiveness. They also review the status of existing products with customer support to make sure product issues are resolved as quickly as possible.
8) Regulatory Affairs – Product Managers review new releases to ensure that they meet any regulatory requirements that may affect the marketability of the product. They work with their respective departments and/or outside sources (manufacturers, distributors etc.) for information regarding changes in regulations.
9) Human Resources– Product Managers work with human resources in order to review staffing levels, training needs, and performance evaluations for teams.
10) Legal – Product Managers work with legal in order to ensure that they have all of the proper documentation for launching a new product or modifying an existing product. They also work with legal in the event that a new product raises any questions that need to be answered by them.
11) R&D – Product Managers work closely with R&D to make sure their product launches are successful. They communicate expectations, provide feedback on development status, and review the final product before launch.
12) Sales and Marketing – Product Managers work with marketing and sales to evaluate product performance and determine how well it is meeting the company’s goals. They also work with these departments to plan training for their product support staff.
A product manager’s responsibilities are wide-ranging, yet the role is highly important in the success of a company. A successful product manager can help any organization gain a competitive advantage by offering high-quality products that meet the needs of customers. Product managers must have excellent communication skills, an understanding of business operations, and an ability to research emerging trends. They must also be able to clearly define what they need from other departments in order to develop successful products that benefit customers, shareholders, and employees alike.
The following is a template of how Product Marketing Consultants in Fintalent, the hiring and collaboration platform for tier-1 Strategy and M&A Professionals, use product marketing to answer a question:
Question: “How do I increase my market share for the online streaming of videos?”
Step 1: Define the correct target market. For this example, we’ll use the U.S., ages 18-40 with good credit and a broadband connection. This will include the ability to pay on a monthly basis and some prior history on purchasing similar products (movie subscription, cable television service, etc.). That’s our target demographic. I would start by asking, who are these customers? Who are your competitors? What other products do you offer to the same customers’ demographics?
Step 2: Define the features of your product/service. For this example, we’ll define the features of our product as subscription-based streaming for movies. Then define the benefits to these customers based on other products they have purchased. If you were selling cable television service to this customer group, what makes you better than the other cable company or other streaming services out there? What should make your customers want to buy from you over your competitors?
Step 3: Define the targeted audience. Create a content marketing campaign targeting this online streaming service to the above-listed demographic. I would start with building a digital presence on most of the social networking sites. I would create a website specifically for this product. I would create email campaigns with different offers based on specific stages of the customer lifecycle.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have enough momentum to launch your product onto the market. For this example, after a few months of continued growth in subscribers, you could start development.
Product Marketing is a significant and multifaceted function in most modern organizations that aims to create and market products for purchase by customers. The function typically combines aspects of Product Development, Product Management, Sales, Advertising, Promotion, Research and other influences on the creation or sale of a company’s products. For managers seeking external consultants to handle this responsibility or its components, Fintalent, the hiring and collaboration platform for tier-1 Strategy and M&A Professionals presents a pool of Consultants available for hire around the clock.