Top Five Responsibilities of a Product Marketing Manager
Your job as a Product Marketing Manager is to fill the gap that commonly exists between your sales and marketing teams. The sales team requires the proper information to sell the product, while the marketing team requires the proper information to market the product. Information that is passed from R&D or from Product Management is oftentimes too technical. This is where your skillset shines. You must be an expert in your product, your customer and the market to which your company sells. Not only that, but you are expected to translate all of the great technical features and functionality from R&D and Product Management into benefits that your customers will understand.
- Product Positioning and Messaging – In order for marketing and sales to do their jobs, the right message is essential. It must be unique and differentiate your product from the competition. Knowing who your buyers are, the problems they face, the benefits your product provides and why your product matters will help you craft the perfect message that will drive sales and marketing efforts.
- Sales Enablement – You can’t just give your sales team a product and tell them to “go sell.” Most of them will not be successful. In order to remain productive, a sales team needs tools and resources that help them have valuable conversations with prospective customers, including product and messaging training and content to use in the sales process. These tools may include PowerPoint presentations, videos, brochures, competitor cheat sheets and customer success stories.
- Product Launch – Whether it’s a brand new product or service you’re launching or an upgrade to an existing product/service, there are an endless number of moving parts. What are the new capabilities? Does it need to be tested by customers? Is there a price change? Will you deliver a press release? Is there an event to celebrate the launch? How will customers find out about it? As a product marketer you have the unique ability to not only define and project manage all of these activities, but also orchestrate people and teams who are responsible for launch tasks even though they don’t report to you.
- Market Intelligence – It’s essential to understand both the audience buying your product and the other products you are competing against. We all know customers are going to evaluate multiple products/services and choose the most suitable option. Their choice may be based on price, recommendation, capabilities or perceived value. The best way to gain a deep understanding of your customers is to build relationships with them and ask them how they make their decisions, what problems they are trying to solve and why they chose your product over the competition. Even better, speak with folks who you lost to the competition. Ask them why they chose the competing product or service. Gaining a holistic understanding of your customers and your competitors will give you priceless information that will help in all aspects of your work.
- Demand Generation – You might think that generating leads and demand for your product is the responsibility of the marketing team, but how do they know what to talk about? This is where you come in. You spend a lot of your time talking with customers, studying the competition and understand what’s hot in the market. It’s your responsibility to advise the marketing team on the right campaign topics that will educate your customers and also provide quality content to support these campaigns, such as whitepapers, eBooks, blogs and webinars.
What other responsibilities fall on your plate as a Product Marketing Manager?