In the recent past, product marketing has moved from focusing on product to the portfolio, which gives importance to product, industry, and solutions. The product Marketing team has a wide range of responsibilities to manage, but when you were what they are working on, a common answer you get it is – depends on the scenario. We still have a lot of work on educating and creating awareness of how and where a product marketing team adds value to the company.
Since everyone has a different definition of the roles and responsibilities of Product Marketing Manager, first we need to identify the gaps, define Product Marketing and offer clarity in the role. We can start with the basic question like – does it matter where your Product Marketing Manager is sitting in the organization?
1. Company Culture
State of Product Marketing Report by Product Marketing Alliance surveyed 600+ product marketers and reveled the responsibilities of the Product Marketing Manager depends on the business need and maturity of the company. Modern companies have product marketing managers to align the initiatives of the product team, plan on roadmap promotion, communication, product launches, etc. and they are reporting to Chief Product Officer. The report also mentioned that most of the product marketers work at product-first companies (54%), also some are working in sales first (34%) and marketing-first (5.1%) companies too.
2. Role Clarity
Early-stage startups hire Product Marketing Manager to take things off from the ground and also to build awareness about their product. Product Marketing Manager can also help the organization in prioritizing multiple projects. They can wear multiple hats and can do things that can help with product success. They can help in doing things that can fill in the gaps of existing in the organization. But one thing which an organization should keep in mind is, when the organization grows, they don’t need to do everything.
The primary responsibility of a Product Marketing Manager is to launch the product, strategize on the positioning of the product and manage the product communications. Since the bigger companies have five or more products in their organization, the role is shifting towards persona led to go to market strategy, which includes product, industry, and solutions. Since the role is unclear and their responsibilities depend on the organization, are we doing justice in naming them as Product Marketing Manager?
Here is how a conversation with your team goes,
- With product team – We are managing marketing and responsible for communication, creating marketing and sales collaterals and managing website and product updates.
- With the marketing team – We are managing product updates and responsible for media and public relationships, enabling sales channels and translate the complex features to simple value-based outcomes.
We as a Product Marketing Manager are responsible for managing the company’s position and manage product, platform, and solutions – it’s time for us to take responsibility to manage our own role and offer clarity in our responsibilities. Our primary responsibility is “Portfolio Messaging”, and all other activities which we do are just the outcome from messaging and positioning. We are the voice of the product and help customers solve their pain points using our product and accelerate business growth.
Product Marketing Manager is a cross-functional role, and it supports other core business roles like the product, marketing, and sales. There is no team in the organization which doesn’t require coordination with you – from the product (product management, solution management, user-experience management, etc.) to marketing (lead generation, corporate marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, partner marketing, etc.) to sales enablement, partner and business development.
Product Management is similar to Product Marketing Manager and has shared goals and objectives. Sometimes teams ask for content development from the product marketing team. If the organization has a content marketing team, they would be responsible for content development and the Product Marketing Manager contributes with strategizing, messaging, positioning across product, industry, and solutions.
Here are few things to consider next time which can help in prioritizing your efforts,
- Check if you are helping in fulfilling the gap today, and how long you will continue to do so?
- Check if the task you are doing is a priority across the company or if it’s just for the project
- Check if this is the best use of your time and effort or you have something else important to manage?
- Check if this is 20% effort which can give 80% result or if its 80% effort which can give you a 20% result?
We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and we need to focus on what is important and whatnot and focus on things with clarity.
3. Success Metrics
How do we measure the success of the Product Marketing Manager? Since our efforts are not directly quantifiable like generating leads or sales – how do we measure our influence and manage our Key Performance Indicators?
One strategy is to create a Product Marketing Manager dashboard which can help you focus your time with 20% of efforts which can give you 80% results. Keeping a tick on your objectives and Key Performance Indicators can help you in prioritizing your efforts and should be circulated to your management team to bring in transparency on your initiatives.
Product Marketing Manager is the key person who can find a balance between customer, product, sales, and marketing. Creating persona mapping for the product is important to identify the right persona’s in your buyer’s journey and offer personalization and integrated marketing which can be one size which hits all approach. However, remember to keep it simple, so everyone understands the value.
Product Marketing Manager also has a role in creating a product roadmap, which can influence and share the voice of the market. A Product Marketing Manager can help to project the value of the product, which can avoid feature comparison or price war. Using competitive intelligence can help you gain a competitive advantage and manage your resources. All these efforts can help you optimize your go-to-market strategy and help in increasing your cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Every project in your organization is the priority for your organization. Product Marketing Manager has to fill in the gaps and identify cross-functional priorities that can help you generate more revenue. You also need to improve positioning and communication strategy, which can help you achieve your organization goals.