Product marketing is a tough job for the sole reason that you essentially need to create your own role. The job specs tend to be open-ended: “develop marketing collateral that reflects the vision of our company…”
What in the world does that mean in practice?
It means that you have one of the most exciting jobs of all time. You are the glue of your marketing team. You are responsible for connecting the dots between sales, marketing, engineering, product, and growth. Where should you focus first?
Here are some tips to help you develop a product marketing strategy from the ground, up. Or, if you have a product marketing strategy in place, here’s a framework to help you revisit and refresh what you already have:
Step 1: Start with Customer Interviews
As a product marketer, your role is to translate the language of your company into the language of your customers. What better way to capture the language of your customers than to use the exact words and phrases they use?
Spend some time browsing through your customer database to figure out what stories look interesting to explore.
Schedule 30-minute calls that you record and transcribe. Listen to them. Read through the transcript. Ask questions about your product to identify what keywords they’re using. Let your customers take the hard work out of forming a narrative about your product.
Step 2: Start Writing Customer Stories
The research from the first step becomes the narratives you can share within your company. Write up short stories about your customers, and start sharing them with different teams.
You can draft a few bullet points, or write up a paragraph. You don’t need to create anything fancy. Your goal should be to gather feedback from your team internally. What surprises your engineering team? What surprises your C-suite?
Based on the information you collect in your research endeavors, identify gaps between what you intend to communicate and what you actually communicate.
Put your thoughts on paper. Figure out where your communication isn’t spot-on.
Step 3: Put Some Content Out into the Wild
Rewrite the language of your website into the language of your customers. Start testing blog posts, product marketing collateral, and case studies. See how your customers react.
Here are some best practices to consider as you think about developing your product marketing strategy over the long-term:
- Potential compliance barriers and bottlenecks
- Alignment with all teams and stakeholders around public-facing communication
- Integration with your overall marketing strategy
Wherever and whenever possible, invest in creating evergreen content that you can repurpose across different marketing contexts. For instance, write a case study as a blog post that you can use for both sales and for running a retargeting campaign.
Do more with less. Have fun. You got this.