Product Marketing. It's a field that has exploded in popularity, with tech companies of all sizes competing for the best product marketing managers.
But what exactly is product marketing?
In this post, we'll dive into the world of product marketing, exploring its different aspects and shedding light on what it takes to be a successful product marketing manager!
Product marketing managers in the tech industry work on different types of products, each catering to specific target audiences. The three main types are:
B2C products can be further divided into software and hardware.
Examples of B2C software products include:
On the other hand, B2C hardware products include:
Some products, like Notion, offer solutions for both B2C and B2B audiences.
B2B products are designed for businesses and organizations.
Product marketing managers in this space focus on understanding the needs of businesses and tailoring campaigns to their requirements.
B2D products target developers and provide them with tools and resources to create applications.
iOS and Android are examples of B2D products that cater to developers by offering software development kits (SDKs) and app stores.
Due to the distinct needs of each target audience, it is common for product marketing managers to work on separate campaigns for the same product.
The time spent by product marketing managers varies depending on the company and product. However, based on my experience, the breakdown typically looks like this:
Only 5-10% of the time is dedicated to the final outcome or end result. This includes launching the landing page of an event, email communications, and the actual event itself.
40-45% of the time is spent on communication.
Product marketing managers collaborate with internal stakeholders and external partners, aligning on narratives, coordinating with creative agencies, and ensuring brand guidelines are followed.
The remaining 40-45% is what I call "alone work."
It involves tasks like creating briefing slides, tracking sign-ups on spreadsheets, and summarizing meeting notes into actionable next steps. This phase allows for introspective work and individual contribution.
I actually have an entire video teaching you how to plan events step by step, check that out here.
By understanding this distribution, you can appreciate the behind-the-scenes efforts involved in bringing a product or event to fruition.
Being a successful product marketing manager requires a combination of hard and soft skills. Let's explore these qualities in more detail:
Hard skills are particularly relevant for B2B and B2D product marketing roles, where the products are more technical.
For example, if you aspire to be a product marketing manager for TikTok Ads, having prior experience as an Account Manager at TikTok or using the product yourself gives you valuable insights into its strengths and shortcomings.
Understanding the product inside out enables you to effectively market it to businesses.
Soft skills play a crucial role in the success of product marketing managers. Here are three essential soft skills to cultivate:
Whether or not you should pursue a career as a product marketing manager depends on the stage of the product's lifecycle and your interests. Here's a brief overview:
In this phase, extensive market research is required to determine audience needs and decide on the initial product features. If you enjoy conducting research, gathering insights, and shaping the direction of a product from its inception, the pre-launch phase may be exciting for you.
During the growth stage, the product gains traction, and the focus shifts to gathering feedback from an expanding user base and prioritizing impactful changes. If you thrive on user engagement, feedback analysis, and strategic decision-making, the growth phase might be a great fit.
When a product faces increased competition, product marketing managers must find ways to maintain its relevance and appeal to users. If you enjoy crafting creative solutions, finding unique value propositions, and differentiating your product from competitors, the mature phase might be where your skills shine.
Remember, the stage of the product's life cycle plays a significant role in determining your responsibilities as a product marketing manager.
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