Insight: SaaS (43) Some of my unconventional views on Product Marketing

We talked about how our CSM solved the retention challenge in the previous article ‘Insight: SaaS (42) Bridging the Chasm: From Active to Renewal’. We’ll discuss two SaaS-related issues that are still up for debate today: What does Product Marketing actually mean? What does a Product Marketing Manager do?

I was a little perplexed when I first learned about the idea of Product Marketing. I’m not really sure what this idea is trying to say. It appears that Product-Led Growth can address this element pretty effectively if you want to focus on product-centric marketing. It’s a little dated to emphasize that the main focus of marketing is the product. No SaaS company performs marketing activity without a product because this is the era of the Product. I began looking for information on the Product Market with some skepticism and caution.

In conclusion, I believe there are a few things to consider in product marketing that it is worthwhile sharing with my readers.

The definition of Product Marketing remains vague.

Product marketing is described as follows in the Hubspot blog:

Product marketing is the process of bringing a product to market. This includes deciding the product’s positioning and messaging, launching the product, and ensuring salespeople and customers understand it. Product marketing aims to drive the demand and usage of the product.

It is a little sloppy to define product marketing as the act of bringing a product to market. This description resembles a Go-To-Market plan description.

In Pulkit Agrawal’s article, he defined PM as:

Product Marketing is what connects the dots between the product and the market in both directions. This means that the Product Marketing role is responsible for two flows: understanding the market (demand/need), shaping the product, and communicating the product (solution) to the market.

Compared to the prior definition, this one is superior. Product marketing is at the intersection of marketing and products.

What does Product Marketing actually mean?

Product Marketing is a product-centric marketing strategy. This indicates that product marketing includes instructing clients to use the product and delivering product value to the prospects.

The marketing department should handle product marketing, and the primary objective should be marketing. As we previously stated, obtaining MQLs is the primary goal of SaaS company marketing. This fundamental necessity must also be met by Product Marketing. The specifics of the content should be different from other marketing strategies, but the fundamental idea of bringing in more MQLs for the business should remain the same.

What responsibilities should a PMM perform?

Or what exactly is Product Marketing?

Let’s look at what a PMM on a job site is expected to do.

Salesforce PMM: you will be responsible for working cross-functionally with marketing, sales, and product teams to drive relevant product messaging and positioning, go-to-market programs, product launches, analyst and media relations, and experiences across campaigns, content, and events.

Google Play PMM: As a Product Marketing Manager in Merchandising for Google Play, you will impact users every day by owning merchandising efforts end-to-end for the apps sector

Slack PMM: Engage directly with customers, prospects, sales, and customer success teams to develop your POV, working with customer research teams to test and refine messaging

Summarize the main job responsibilities of PMM:

1. Tier the customer group and identify the customer personas.

Create a consumer persona that is appropriate for your SaaS product. Customers’ problems, demands, preferred solutions, payment patterns, and appropriate advertising content are all things that PMMs need to be aware of. SaaS solutions’ features are ranked to accommodate consumers’ preferences at various levels.

2. In order to increase the competitiveness of products in the market, PMM must employ a variety of strategies, both before and after product release. Increase the market acceptance of products, communicate the value of products to current and new customers, use products to draw in customers, and encourage people to buy products successfully.

These comprise building a marketing plan for product updates, planning a product release, and sales enablement.

3. Positioning and messaging. Positioning products in line with the company’s vision. Use positioning to guide messaging. The following ideas should be included in messaging.

What is? (What is your product?)

Who? (Who is the target customer of your product?)

Why now? (Why use your product now?)

How are you different? (Why pick you and not someone else?)

All material and copy should follow the messaging. It should be consistent with posting and messaging when introducing a certain feature of the product.

4. Collaborate. PMM frequently has to collaborate with the CSM, Developer, and Sales, particularly with the Product Manager. PMM must explain to the Product Manager why these tasks are necessary, what problems they are intended to address for customers, and what specific marketing strategy will be used to promote them. Why are these features popular with customers?

The specific tasks of PMM are as follows:

Marketing strategy creation and setting the product launch plan

Competitive intelligence

User persona development and segmentation

Sales enablement, including first-call pitch decks, training, and more

Content creation, including for internal and external placement, supporting prospects and customers

What is the difference between Product Market Manager and other Market roles?

Product Market Manager vs other Marketings

Traditional Marketing covers more extensive areas but also includes some content marketing, brand marketing, performance marketing, and Corporate Marketing.

Content Marketing is more inclined toward the diversity of content. In contrast to product marketing, it pays more attention to the utilization of channels and is not just confined to using products as the primary content source. The right material must be delivered to the right audience through the right channel. For instance, many content marketers are YouTube influencers. They have weapons and the know-how to hit their targets.

Brand marketing focuses more on the brand and services of the company. To demonstrate the brand’s style, they wish to become more creative. The reputation of our brand and customers’ perception of the company is what they want to continue to guide.

Performance Marketing is the math whiz in Marketing. To assist businesses in achieving their marketing objectives, they should be adept at assessing the return on investment (ROI) of each campaign, optimizing channels, and leveraging some cutting-edge technology.

Corporate Marketing are the folks gathered at the summit of the mountain. They have the clearest vision. They can know our situation and formulate the best posting and messaging plan. Compared with PMs, they are more about formulating guidelines and leading the overall situation. They are also responsible for Public relations and internal communications.

What makes PMM significant in SaaS? Why hire PMMs?

Sales used to dominate deal closure in the software sector, and a software company’s revenue depended on how many capable sales it had. Products with poor sales can still be bought. Customers could only choose organizations with great sales capabilities during that time because they had little access to information and had no idea what other products looked like.

The SaaS market nowadays is driven by products to attract customers. The market will be won by a good productbut not without any promotion at all. So how can you spread the word about the product’s worth? Making products is the responsibility of the product team, and product-focused marketing necessitates devoted marketers. Because of this, SaaS companies hire PMMs, and Product Marketing is vital.

Every new work role is created through the process of specializations being separated. Each of our work types is a subset of the specialized work that was subtracted from its preceding parent type. For instance, there was only Engineers in the past; no AI Engineer. The engineer discovered that the AI program needed to be more focused and have more specialized knowledge during the job process, therefore it was divided into an AI engineer. The same is true of PMMs.

How can the newly launched PMM’s work be included in the company’s general growth engine given that there isn’t currently a PMM in place?

Every business has its own growth engine, and in the prior post ‘Insight: SaaS (24) Use one metric to boost sales and find your growth engine’ I described some of the engines SaaS providers experiment with, such as those that employ the Freemium model:

Freemium SaaS  growth engine
Freemium SaaS growth engine

What actions does the PMM take to affect this engine?

The easiest and most straightforward approach is for PMM to produce more content in order to draw in more Free Customers. PMM’s work is successful as long as this work is finished initially.

To play the part, we don’t require all of the newcomer’s abilities. The key is to learn to choose. Find the position that has the biggest impact on your growth engine, and let new hires concentrate on that.

For instance, if a PMM position enters a team for the first time, a lot of his effort will be aimless and blind. The rest of the crew was equally unaware of his responsibilities and how to work with him. The positioning of a new role within the team is made easier when only one high-impact task is performed.

How does PMM impact the work being done on the product?

Some of the articles give a very high def of the PMM’s job and even provide product direction. This raises an alarm. Don’t you think it’s a little dangerous to let marketing handle the most crucial product design?

From my perspective, only professionals carry out professional actions. While PMM just needs to inform the Product of the market’s voice, the product has entire decision-making authority over product creation. In product design, PMM plays a supporting function. Products should have their own thinking and judgment in addition to developing for the ‘voice of the market’.

Does the customer know their own needs?

Nobody ever truly knows themselves. The customer’s voice could likewise seem distorted in a similar way. The desired function might not be the best option. Products ought to be capable of making reasonable decisions on their own.

Additionally, PMM is merely a component of marketing and the clients that PMM contacts are at the top of the funnel. We often argue that the features that sales like are not necessarily the things that ongoing paying customers like the most, but rather the characteristics that make it simplest to close existing clients. Sales and marketing may both provide product opinions to customers that are negative that paying customers aren’t even liked. The sound the product needs to hear is from the CSM.

How does PMM specify job responsibilities while working with CSM?

The delivery of product value and feature adoption are frequently among the duties of the PMM. Many of the duties of the CSM are in contradiction with this. The PMM ought to create material that explains the value of the product and directs feature usage. These assets may be utilized by CSM as well as for marketing purposes. Specific advice and its execution fall under the purview of the CSM.

When job obligations collide, take into account who is in charge of that responsibility in the first place. Don’t let the same thing be done by two roles; make the work’s scope as clear as feasible. Naturally, PMM excels at producing materials, whereas CSM excels at interacting with clients. Conflict over their respective job tasks can therefore be resolved through complementarity and cooperation.

Don’t merely apply a fresh idea to your business map as we come across one. Do you wish to learn what it accomplishes? Are there any subjects worth studying? Many ideas are just that — ideas — or they are recycled in order to appeal to gimmicks. These factors do not support the growth of businesses. The greatest method to launch a business is to follow your convictions rather than follow trends.

After comprehending a novel idea like PMM, you can mix it with other ideas to make it a part of your system. Be skeptical of any expert’s advice; the opinions I share are based solely on what I know at the time and may be outdated in ten years. It is necessary to get rid of a lot of repetitious items as well as those that are deemed to be incorrect.

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