Do You Need Product Marketing Help?

It feels like everyone is hiring Product Marketing Managers at the moment, but does that mean that you need one? Maybe you do, and maybe you don't.

You may be lucky and not need support with Product Marketing. If all your products are selling quickly and your only feedback is kind notes from happy customers, you likely have a successful product marketing strategy. However, these covert signs might indicate that you need help:

  • Decisions about audience, features, and pricing are made by people who don’t have the data or understand the market (or by the HiPPO)

  • Products are developed and put into the market without a launch plan or a budget.

  • Sales staff have to create their own collateral and spec sheets.

  • Your company doesn’t have relevant data about its customers, market share, and sales.

  • The role of marketing is simply to write web copy or social media messages or design brochures.

  • Don’t hire product marketing professionals simply to help your overworked product development team get the product finished. The jobs, while related, are not the same.

  • Product marketing will not make the product faster. It will make the product better, because they understand what your audience needs.

Product Manager vs. Product Marketing Manager

Sometimes, the role of a Product Manager and a Product Marketing manager can noticeably overlap. At times, it's unclear where the handoff between Product Management and Product Marketing begins and ends.

In some organizations, the Product Marketing Manager and the Product Manager may struggle for ownership over a particular function. Conversely, other jobs may fall through the cracks because no-one feels like a particular area is "their job".

Generally a Product Manager takes overall responsibility for the product (the product's strategy, developing and managing the product roadmap, and conveying the roadmap to the development team).

The role of the Product Marketing Manager is to communicate the value of the product to market. This could include training the sales force on how to sell the product, creating marketing materials that communicate the product features, and developing the tools and campaigns, as well as the Messaging that underpins that.