The term ‘product marketing’ is a part of every company’s vernacular. But what exactly does the concept mean, and how can you measure success of the function?

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is that the function, despite its importance, is a bit abstract. At some companies, product marketing encompasses all marketing activity from traffic acquisition to conversion and retention. At other companies, the function pertains to communication and messaging, only.

What’s the best path forward for you and your company? The short answer: it depends. Marketing is about your customers, and every audience has different needs and priorities. What you can do, to wrap your mind around the concept, is focus on the following anchors:

1. Empathy

You think your product is great, but why should your prospects care?

This foundational question is the reason why product marketing exists. You need to make sure that your products and services resonate with key needs in the market. As part of your role, you need to interview your target the audience, monitor the language that they’re using, and integrate that knowledge into your company’s messaging.

Focus on uncovering what your personas care about and what they value. What pain points are they looking to tackle? How does your product fit into the picture?

Pay attention to the subtleties, and think about your product and marketing messages from the perspective of the individuals you’re trying to reach. This vantage point will empower your communication strategy with the value proposition that it needs to take off.

2. Education

How can you help your prospects learn?

Today’s buyer journeys are highly self-directed and span multiple layers of research. In fact, B2B buyers go through 57% of the buyer’s journey before ever reaching out to a sales rep. 

Especially in the software marketing world, sales success is dependent on education and credibility in the marketplace. Products and services can be confusing, and you want to demonstrate that your company is an industry expert.

Give your prospects the resources that they need to make empowered decisions. Share case studies, provide transparency into your process, and share industry research. You’re no longer a brand or a seller—you’re a teacher.

3. Iteration

How can you get better?

Messaging isn’t a static thing. It will change alongside your prospects’ needs. As a product marketer, you need to be running A/B tests and conducting ongoing research to shorten the sales cycle for prospects.

Talk to your sales and account management reps for inspiration. They’re in the trenches every day and know exactly how your potential customers are responding to your messages.

Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. Just take slow and steady steps: A/B test a small proportion of your lead traffic, and source ideas across departments.

No matter how good you are, there’s always room to get better.

Final thoughts

B2B product marketing, at its heart, is about messaging and presentation. It’s crucial that your product/market fit is clear for your entire audience. Keep testing, and position yourself as a teacher rather than a marketer. Get laser focused on keeping your prospects happy, engaged, and informed.

Ritika Puri

About Ritika Puri

Ritika Puri is an entrepreneur who founded Storyhackers, a company that helps business create impactful and inspiring content programs. She enjoys writing about data, teaching others things that she’s learning, and helping other business owners succeed. In past lives, she built enterprise analytics programs and created revenue streams for an ad tech company. She is also an advisor to a mobile app startup, Sortly.

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