Digital Product Marketing – Why Every Organisation Needs it
So you’ve listened to the market and, through lean digital innovation methods, you’ve developed a product you believe the market needs. Congratulations! So, what next? Well if you’re lucky you can launch your product and the market will come and find you. But this rarely happens. You identified your target market during the product development process and now you need to target them effectively.
Who is responsible for this? Once a digital product is built it is often handed over to the marketing and sales departments whose job it is then to position and sell it. For their target market segment they need to identify the buyers, articulate their buying reasons and craft compelling propositions around the new product. Yet the target market, the market problem and the product features to address this problem were all identified by the product team during the product development process. To leave them out of the marketing process now just doesn’t make sense.
Digital Product Marketing
What we need is someone who understands the product in depth yet can speak the language of marketing. And this someone is known as a ‘Product Marketer’ – or for our purposes a Digital Product Marketer. This is often a misunderstood role and is sometimes seen as one that should fall under the responsibility of the marketing department. A marketing department might do a great job at marketing communications but they rarely have an intuitive understanding for the product. Product marketers who fall under the marketing department often get overloaded with marketing communication responsibilities and rarely get around to doing any actual product marketing.
No, our digital product marketer needs to sit within the product team, someone who was involved in the product development process, someone who knows and understands the product. But wait, isn’t the product team responsible for building the product rather than marketing it? This is certainly part of their brief, but in order to build the product they have to listen to the market. And having listened to the market they are in the best position to communicate back to it, to bring to the market a product it actually wants.
Product Management Triad
This points to there being a variety of skills being needed within the product function which you will very rarely find in one person. The team at Pragmatic Marketing have done a great job of articulating that via their Product Management Triad. For them, there are three essential roles within product management, each with their own skills and specialisms. There is a business, or strategic, product manager who is responsible for product strategy, a technical product manager who articulates to developers what needs to be built and lastly there is our (digital) product marketing manager.
The product marketing manager has an affinity for the world of sales and marketing – can speak their language – yet also has a full understanding of the product and the market it is intended to serve. Product marketing managers need to work closely with the sales and marketing teams without being embedded within them, for fear of being distracted from their main duties. They need to define buyer personas for our target market, understand their reasons for buying and create compelling propositions for them. They work closely with sales and marketing in order to deliver that messaging and in turn deliver market feedback on the product to the strategic product manager. They are an invaluable link to what is being built and how it is being sold.
Digital product marketing is critical to the success of any tech-focused, market-driven company and organisations need to be internally structured correctly to master it. Your competitors have already done so – time you did too.
Picture credits – Pragmatic Marketing Inc