GuidesProduct developmentAn essential guide to product marketing

An essential guide to product marketing

Last updated

29 June 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Hugh Good

Effective product marketing plays an important role in building interest in your business and its products among current and potential customers. This article gives an overview of what product marketing is, how it differs from similar roles, and why it is an essential aspect of your business.

What is product marketing?

Product marketing involves sharing information about your business's new products with your target audience. Building interest in a product before and shortly after its release will increase the likelihood that it will achieve a strong ROI and meet your customers' needs.

Why is product marketing important?

Your current and potential customers cannot effectively support your business if they don’t know what it has to offer and how your products can improve their lives. Product marketing plays a key role in introducing your target audience to your products and helping them picture themselves using and benefiting from them.

This aspect of your business's overall marketing strategy can help you:

  • Learn what your customer base wants from your brand

  • Design products that appeal to them and meet specific needs

  • Keep your target audience informed about new and upcoming products that may be just what they’re looking for

Taking your customers' opinions and suggestions into account when considering potential new products shows your customers you care about what they have to say and what products they would like to see your brand offer.

It will also ensure you market those products in ways that effectively reach your target audience. It is an important step in making it as easy as possible for customers to get the most out of everything your brand has to offer.

What is product marketing responsible for?

Product marketing has a range of responsibilities when it comes to helping your business effectively market your products to your customers. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Building interest in upcoming products to increase demand once they’re released

  • Positioning your brand's products to most effectively reach customers

  • Studying buyer personas to determine who your customers are and what they’re looking for in your products

  • Assessing customer needs to identify potential new products

  • Creating product demos to help your customers see the benefits of your products for themselves

  • Analyzing a range of metrics to help you determine in what areas your product marketing strategy is currently succeeding, and where it can most benefit from improvement

How is product marketing different from other marketing roles?

Knowing how product marketing fits into your brand's overall marketing strategy is important if you are to use each marketing role as effectively as possible. Product marketing is just one angle of the multifaceted approach your brand should be taking to keep your target audience informed about your brand.

Similar concepts to product marketing include:

Understanding the specific areas that your marketing strategy should cover is key when it comes to successfully leveraging each of these roles to create the best possible outcomes for your business.

Product marketing vs. brand marketing

Brand marketing and product marketing both play important roles in making sure your target audience knows as much as possible about everything your brand has to offer, and what sets it apart. These marketing teams often work together to create the best possible impression of your brand and its products.

Brand marketing takes a broad approach to getting your target audience excited about your brand as a whole, without focusing heavily on individual products. Product marketing zeros in on sharing specific products and their benefits with your current and potential customers.

Product marketers and brand marketers ultimately have similar goals, although they use different approaches to reach them. It’s helpful for these individuals or teams to work closely with one another to ensure their methods and marketing materials create similar impressions for your target audience.

Product marketing vs. demand generation

Demand generation is a similar concept to product marketing, but it focuses more on how your products can fill a specific need for your customers. This concept primarily involves identifying a specific problem that members of your target audience are experiencing and showing them how your product can solve that problem.

While this is generally one aspect of product marketing, a more complex product marketing strategy involves:

  • Informing your target audience about other potential benefits of your products

  • Showing how they work alongside other products your brand offers to create the best overall experience

  • Sharing details about how your brand's values align with theirs and set you apart from your competitors

Demand generation can be an excellent solution when it comes to creating quick sales. Product marketing generally provides more long-term success by giving your target audience a wider range of details about your brand over time and the information they need to build a lasting relationship with your business.

For this reason, many of the most successful marketing teams know how to leverage both concepts effectively to meet different goals.

Product marketing vs. field marketing

Field marketing supports the end goals of product marketing by working to increase brand awareness and form relationships between businesses and customers.

While both concepts are generally present in a strong product marketing strategy, field marketing takes a more surface-level approach to helping your business reach its customers. Product marketing is a more complex concept that uses these areas as a starting point for digging deeper into a wider array of marketing aspects.

Product marketing vs. product management

Strong product management contributes to strong product marketing because your business's product management team handles the majority of the work involved in developing your product and getting it ready to sell.

Product management is more involved in the early stages of planning and creating a new product than product marketing.

Product marketing examples

Here are some most key ways your business can use product marketing to your advantage.

Product messaging and positioning

Making sure your marketing materials convey the right message is important for capturing and keeping your target audience's interest. A strong product marketing team will thoroughly evaluate your adverts and commercials from every angle to ensure they portray your products, and how you expect your customers to use them, in the best possible light.

Your customers will lose interest if your marketing materials:

  • Inadvertently create a negative impression of your brand

  • Are tone-deaf about the problem your customers are experiencing

  • Are excessively rude about your competitors

Taking a close look at the messages within any new marketing material is important in making sure it’s as positive, effective, and professional as possible.

Managing product launches

The most successful product launches happen when brands give their customer base plenty of time to get excited about a new product or collection and plan a meaningful way to celebrate its release.

Although it may not be realistic to plan an elaborate release for every new product your business creates, your most exciting new collections that your customers have been asking for are worth the extra fanfare.

Special discounts or giveaways during the first few days of your product's availability or in-store release parties that allow your customers to learn about your new releases in person provide great product marketing opportunities.

Creating sales collateral

Effective product marketing involves reaching your target audience in as many ways as possible. Creating a variety of types of quality sales collateral will allow each customer to learn about your new products in the way that makes the most sense for them.

Your business's social media content, blog posts, flyers, ebooks, and other types of digital or printed marketing material play an important role in providing many ways for your customer base to hear about what your brand can offer them and supporting your customers through every stage of the sales funnel.

Customer and market research

Understanding what your target audience wants from your brand is key when it comes to creating products. Market research can give your marketing team a better idea of what new or redesigned products might be best for your customer base.

Your business can use a variety of strategies to discover what your current and potential customers want, including:

  • Sending out surveys

  • Evaluating internal data about your recent sales

  • Studying trends and statistics in your industry

Compiling information from several types of sources can give you the most complete picture of what might improve your customers' overall experience with your brand.

Reporting on product marketing success

Having an in-depth understanding of how previous product marketing efforts have performed can help your business adjust future strategies to better serve your customers and increase sales.

Your customers' interpretation of your marketing materials may not always align with your goals. Following up with the success (or failure!) of each of your overall campaigns and specific materials will help you make more of your product marketing align with what your customer base wants to see.

Content marketing

A strong content marketing strategy can be a particularly effective tool in helping your target audience learn as much about your products and your business as possible.

There is a vast range of types of content marketing that will keep your customers engaged, including:

  • Blog posts

  • Social media pages

  • Interactive content

  • User-generated content (UGC)

  • Other innovative options using modern technology

Managing your website

Keeping your website current will help your customers to easily find the most recent version of the information they are looking for at any given time. A well-designed website shows your online visitors that your business prioritizes keeping up with the latest developments in your industry.

Having a strong team manage your website content will ensure your overall site design and inclusion of product marketing information reach the highest standards possible.

Product roadmap planning

A strong product roadmap is key when it comes to bringing each new product idea from the initial vision to store shelves.

Getting your target audience excited about upcoming products and letting them know when they become available will increase the likelihood that they will meet your customers' needs.

Considering early on how you will market your products will ensure that each step in your product roadmap supports your end goals.

Onboarding customers

Making a sale is an important milestone in your brand's journey with each customer, but it is important to remember that your responsibility doesn’t stop at providing the best possible customer experience.

Creating a strong onboarding program will make it as easy as possible for your new customers to get used to using your brand's more complex products.

Creating an effective product marketer job description

Two important things to keep in mind when creating an effective job description for a new product marketer for your business are responsibilities and salary.

Product marketer responsibilities

Some of the most common product marketer responsibilities include:

Product marketer salary

Although the specific salary of your brand's product marketers may be impacted by different factors, product marketers in the United States currently earn an average of $72,338 per year.

In summary

An effective product marketing strategy can make the difference between the success and failure of your new products.

By understanding the role that product marketing plays in the development and launch of your products, you will greatly increase the chances that your target customers will relate to them and make a purchase.

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