Earlier this year, I shifted from general marketing into product marketing. Since the move, I’ve found myself explaining the differences between the two. Yet I’ve realized there are many similarities. I’ve noticed these 3 ways that these roles are similar and different at the same time
- 1. Messaging and positioning – Product marketing requires strong skills in messaging and positioning like any good marketer. While a marketer may focus on corporate-level messages, product marketers drive how a company talks about their products internally and externally.
- 2. Personas – While the marketer focused on the buyer persona, a product marketer focuses on the user. Don’t get me wrong, a user may also be a buyer of the product. Rather than understanding how buyers move through the funnel, product marketing focuses on making the user instantly fall in love with the product and continue using it. The questions we ask include why does she use the product, how does she use the product, what feature(s) is she most concerned about and why, etc.
- 3. Research & surveys – The research I’ve done throughout my career tended to be with the dual goal of one – what is newsworthy to drive PR and thought leadership and two – how will this drive demand gen efforts. While these are considerations for product marketing, the main goal is to help support the product development cycle. Rather than relying on gut or anecdotal data, this research helps pinpoint feature gaps, user behavior and sentiment, and technology trends that product management can reference when planning what features to incorporate into the product.
- 4. Competitive Intelligence – Every role requires keeping track of competitors. Due to the number of priorities in marketing, competitive intelligence was more cursory into pricing, key messages, and maybe a handful of strengths and weaknesses. In product marketing, competitive intelligence is definitely more nuanced. It is one of the key responsibilities alongside product management. The competitive intelligence work I do today definitely cascades to sales, marketing and beyond.
For organizations with smaller team, marketers oftentimes take on projects or tasks related to “product marketing.” As I’ve transitioned from general marketing to product marketing, I’m realizing just how important this role is. Product marketers help translate the “tech speak” of product management and development into clear, concise and understandable sound bites. Without them, we may all be talking about bits and bytes.
What are your thoughts?
According to a study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 93% of marketers use content marketing today. I would even argue that public relations professionals whole job is about content marketing in one form or another.
I had the opportunity to look at content marketing from the PR side as well as the marketing. Regardless of who’s doing it, content is more than putting words to paper and hoping that someone will read them.
It starts with understanding the 5 “W’s” of Content:
Who will consume the content I’m creating;
What type of content will resonate best with that person;
Why are they motivated to seek out my content in the first place;
Where will that content be for them to easily find it; so
When they are searching or looking for that content, your content is front and center.
Oftentimes, we jump to the writing and neglect to clearly answer these 5 “W’s”. To ensure that each writing project is clearly define, I recommend creating a content marketing form template that is used prior to each content project.
I’ve found that this greatly helps clarify the purpose of each proposed content piece or to determine what gaps we have before starting to write one word.
What other “W’s” are there?
I understand your job is difficult. You have to make dozens if not hundreds of calls every day. You have quotas to make. You’re judged not by the quality of your conversations but by the quantity that you make and how many result in the desired outcome. You have it rough and I don’t envy you.
I receive a lot of these calls. On average 3-5 a week. I’m not sure how I ended up on these lists but I have a sneaky suspicion that those “free”subscriptions to industry publications exact the price of selling my name for marketing purposes. Continue reading »
The last two weeks has been a master class on how to present brilliantly or poorly as that may be. While I am admittedly a Democrat and mainly watched the Democrat National Conference, my points are not based on party affiliation. Rather it’s about the power of speaking simply to convey a message.
This is an issue not related solely to politicians, but any person who presents publicly. A powerful speaker is remembered long after the speech has concluded. And the single quality that all memorable speakers have? Simplicity.
Here are four tips to brilliant speaking: Continue reading »
When used well, LinkedInis a powerful business networking community and tool. I personally am more apt to accept a LinkedIn invitation to connect than Facebook. However, there are some pet peeves I have about LinkedIn. Here are my top 5 don’ts, in no particular order:
Sending generic invitations to connect: I’ve received dozens of invitations to connect via LinkedIn. In the past, I would automatically accept invitations, even from complete strangers. However, as LinkedIn members have become more aggressive with emails and connections, I evaluate each request carefully. One mistake is not customizing the canned invitation. Take 2 minutes to explain why you want to connect – prospective partnership, mentorship, job hunting, etc. Otherwise, I will click on reject versus accept.
Incomplete and boring profiles: Yes, I have to admit that my profile is slightly out of date for my current position With that said, my profile is more than just a listing of positions I’ve held over the past 15 years. It needs to read more than just a timeline. Rather, I’ve taken time to consider who may be viewing my profile – recruiters, current colleagues, prospective employees and more. And for those seeking employment, write your profile to capture someone’s attention within the first 10-15 seconds. Be bold. Be eye-catching.
Keeping profiles private: This one totally confuses me. While Facebook is for family and friends; hence why I maintain a private profile, to me LinkedIn, it’s about business networking. Keeping a profile private communicates you’re seeking to hide something. Not a good start for any relationship.
Spamming groups: I see more and more spam in my LinkedIn Groups. This reminds me of spam comments on blogs. While there is a way to limit this on blogs, it’s up to group managers or community managers to monitor groups. Take a step back and reconsider how your participate on LinkedIn Groups – it should always be educational and helpful. Otherwise this reflects poorly on you and your company/employer.
Mass LinkedIn messages: As LinkedIn has opened up premium services, I’m seeing more spam in my LinkedIn in box. I am receptive to receiving emails from individuals who have clearly reviewed and pre-qualified me based on my profile. Otherwise, sending LinkedIn messages is worthless spam.
What are your don’ts for LinkedIn?
Over the past few years, I’ve counseled and assisted companies establish their social media programs. As I think back to these program, I believe there are four key stages intrinsic to the evolution of a successful social media program: broadcast, inquisitive, participatory, and conversation. While I don’t want to oversimplify this process – some organizations may skip or combine these stages – I do think this is helpful for framing the general growth of a social media program:
Broadcast stage:While we recognize that social media is about conversations and engagement, I’ve found that the first stage is getting comfortable with publishing on this medium. As such, the first phase will mainly be broadcasting – upcoming events, new blog postings, product announcements, etc.
Inquisitive stage: Once an organization becomes comfortable publishing on social media, the next stage is being inquisitive – asking others for their comments, feedback, including polls and other similar activities. From my perspective, this is the first step from broadcast toward engagement.
Participatory stage: It is at this stage that an organization moves from broadcast to a participatory level. In addition to promoting it’s own content, an organization begins recognizing the contribution of others. This includes retweeting, commenting, and sharing links to blog postings, articles and other content of interest to your followers/target audiences.
Conversation stage: This is the most intensive aspect of a social media program and most desired stage that all aspire to. At this stage, an organization is engaging in an active conversation with their audiences – responding in real-time to constituents while adding value.
Are there other stages to consider when starting a social media program?
I subscribe to quite a few enewsletters and RSS feeds, so it’s always surprising to receive an enewsletter that I never subscribed to. How did they find my email? Then I recognize the “from” address and I realize, I gave someone in that company my business card in the past.
A business card is meant to develop a relationship between people, not a person and a company. However, the first tendency is to take all business cards back to the office, dump them into a sales database and automatically subscribe them to all the company emails. Come on, you know you’ve done it!
From my perspective, this is the quickest path to 1) decrease people’s interest to work with your company and 2) for future emails to be blocked. In the end, this is about permission marketing (as eloquently written by Seth Godin in the book with the same name). Here are my three tips to gaining permission and starting your marketing relationship on the right foot.
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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