Book Image

Cracking the Product Marketing Code

By : Iman Bayatra, Daniel Kuperman
Book Image

Cracking the Product Marketing Code

By: Iman Bayatra, Daniel Kuperman

Overview of this book

In the ever-evolving product landscape, the significance of building the right product and bringing it effectively to the right market cannot be overstated. With this book, you’ll learn how to bridge the gap between your product and the market to meet customer needs effectively. Equipped with a comprehensive understanding of product marketing and its key functions—inbound and outbound strategies—you’ll discover how these strategies interweave throughout the product launch process and how to effectively leverage them to bring a product to market. This product marketing book will help you master the inbound strategies, influencing product development by conducting market and customer research, analyzing the competitive landscape, identifying customer segments, and building buyer personas to identify gaps and drive product innovation. Next, you’ll get to grips with outbound strategies, the driving force behind product adoption and sustained exponential growth. You’ll create and test messaging and positioning, build the go-to-market (GTM) plan, enable your sales team to maximize effectiveness, and ensure a product-market fit throughout the different stages of the buyer journey with impactful collaboration internally and externally for creating value. By the end of this book, you’ll have transformed into a product marketing expert enhancing product innovation, driving product adoption, and accelerating growth.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Driving Product Enhancement with Inbound Strategies
Part 3 – Outbound: Strategies for Product Adoption and Exponential Growth
Part 4 – Impactful Collaboration and Value Creation

Understanding the impact of company size and structure on the product marketing role

Product marketing is a critical function in any organization, as it is about connecting the right product with the right audience at the right time with the right message to ensure product adoption and drive growth. However, the scope of product marketers' responsibilities and their involvement in the organization are often defined by the size of the company. In larger organizations with ample resources, product marketers typically have a more specialized role, focusing on specific aspects of product marketing and collaborating with various teams. In contrast, smaller companies with limited resources require product marketers to wear multiple hats and take on diverse tasks. This demands a broad skill set and a deep understanding of the market, the customer, and the product.

In a small company or a start-up, the role of the product marketer is closely tied to the product's growth stage. As the company or product grows and evolves, the product marketer's responsibilities will also shift and expand to align with the product's changing needs. In the early stages of a small company or start-up, the product marketer's role may be focused on market validation, conducting customer research, defining the product's value proposition, and developing a go-to-market strategy. This may involve working closely with the product development team to ensure that the product meets customer needs and that the messaging and positioning align with the product's features and benefits. As the product moves into the growth phase, the product marketer's role may shift toward driving customer acquisition and retention. This may involve developing marketing campaigns, optimizing the sales funnel, and developing customer loyalty programs. The product marketer may also be responsible for analyzing customer data to gain insights into user behavior and preferences. In the maturity phase, the product marketer's role may shift toward optimizing profitability and maintaining market share. This may involve identifying new revenue streams and exploring expansion opportunities.

Figure 1.3 – Product marketer's role in the start-up product life cycle: Raymond Vernon – The Product Lifecycle Theory

As previously mentioned, product marketers in smaller organizations have a broader role that may encompass both the technical aspects of inbound product marketing, which focus on activities around the product, as well as the execution-oriented aspects of outbound product marketing, which involve product adoption. For mid-stage organizations and enterprises, product marketers have a more specific focus on particular aspects, and their roles are more clearly divided between technical, inbound product marketing and execution-oriented, outbound product marketing. These companies typically have more available resources, including product and sales teams, as well as various marketing teams, such as customer acquisition, content creation, and brand marketing. However, having more resources may make the launch process more complex due to the need to coordinate and enable more teams, which requires additional efforts to ensure effective communication and organization to foster collaboration between different teams. As a result, product marketers tend to focus on developing repeatable processes and clear templates and frameworks to ensure alignment between teams and maximize effectiveness. This includes the use of launch checklists, sales collateral templates, messaging frameworks, and other tools to streamline the launch process.

For mid-stage organizations and enterprises, the role of product marketers is to focus on a handful of key products, typically distributed by region. At this stage, there may be several verticals to consider, and the core goals of the product marketer will be defined by the maturity of the product and the sales and marketing teams. Product marketers also work closely with cross-functional teams, including sales, product management, and customer success, to ensure that the product is effectively positioned and that sales teams have the necessary tools and resources to sell the product. As a result, team enablement becomes critical, with product marketers focusing on developing sales and marketing collaterals at each stage of the customer journey.

Figure 1.4 – Contrasting product marketing roles in enterprises versus small businesses

Simultaneously, a company's culture, leadership, and team structure can greatly impact the product marketer's role, and working within the existing culture and structure is equally as important as understanding the market and customer needs. For example, in a company that is product-led, such as Facebook, the product is at the core of the company's culture and is the main driver of innovation and growth. In this type of culture, the role of the product marketer is to work closely with the product development team to ensure that the product meets the needs of the target audience and that the messaging effectively communicates the value of the product to users. On the other hand, in a company that is marketing-led, such as Apple, the role of the product marketer is to work closely with the marketing team to develop messaging and positioning that resonates with the target audience. In this type of culture, the product marketer must understand the features and benefits of the product and develop messaging that highlights its unique selling proposition. In a company that is design-led, such as Airbnb, the role of the product marketer is to work closely with the design team to ensure that the user experience of the product is aligned with the brand and meets the needs of the target audience. In this type of culture, the product marketer must understand the user journey and work with the design team to develop user interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use.

Product marketers play an essential role in ensuring the success of a product in the market. They work closely with cross-functional teams to understand the needs of the target audience and ensure that the product meets those needs while effectively communicating with users to bring the right product to the right audience at the right time with the right message. The activities and responsibilities of product marketers can vary significantly depending on the company culture and team structure. However, they typically fall into two categories: inbound and outbound.