What is Product Marketing? Anyone?

Paul Connor
Jan 17, 2018 · 5 min read

Almost 2 years into my product marketing career and I still struggle to offer a concrete definition of what it is I do.

When asked, I can give a list of specialities, projects and daily tasks that tells someone the type of things I do. However, the simple definition still eludes me; the one that clearly explains Product Marketing to my friends family & colleagues, the one that convinces people within my workplace that I’m a key part to projects they’re working on, and my primary concern, the one I should write on my Linkedin bio

Product Marketers could be destined to live in the perpetual limbo of the Intermediate strength Linkedin Profile if something isn’t done soon.

So what is Product Marketing?

A friend once told me that if you can’t explain something in a Venn diagram then it’s probably not worth explaining. Luckily, when you Google “What is Product Marketing?”, you’re likely to come across this one from the good people at Drift.

Much like the Product Manager who exists in the middle of UX, Tech & Business, it shows that the Product Marketer can find themselves at the crossover of Product, Sales & Marketing.

The full article is a great introductory overview to the field of Product Marketing in tech. However, the one problem I find with the diagram, is that visualising a role as a blurry intersection of three other disciplines doesn’t really help in defining it.

Instead, I’m starting to see Product Marketing as the lines of communication that exist between our main stakeholders:

  • The Product
  • The Sales Team
  • The Customer

Visualising it this way has helped me understand Product Marketing a bit more. You can start to build a picture of the role, by adding the kind of work the Product Marketer does in order to support and grow each of these relationships.

A role defined by circumstance.

It feels like a lot for one role to cover simultaneously…

In truth, the Product Marketer is unlikely to be undertaking all of those tasks at the same time. There can be a lot of variable factors that determines what they do on a day-to-day basis.

As Ada Chen puts it;

Drift’s article splits out its definition of Product Marketing by pre & post product launch.

Yasmeen Turayhi’s Making of a Product Marketing Managergives us three main Product Marketing hats to consider.

Speaking with other PMM’s, a big commonality we share seems to be how we all do things differently.

There’s a lot left still to understand.

What’s the answer?

“What is Product Marketing?” is not answered by a single definition.

The definition becomes clearer by answering a growing number of questions relating to Product Marketing.

  • What do product marketers need to know about product management?
  • How is it different from product management?
  • Does a PMM sit within the Marketing, Product or Sales team?
  • What are the key differences between a Product Marketing Manager and Marketing Manager?
  • How do we educate internal teams about Product Marketing?
  • How does the PMM build effective feedback loops between Product, Sales & customers?
  • What does B2B vs B2C Product Marketing look like?
  • How does the role adapt as the business grows and changes?

I could go on…

Product Marketing, as told by the people doing the job.

This blog, We are Product Marketing, is to understand Product Marketing from the people doing the job.

It’s an opportunity to define the role of the Product Marketer and the work that we do, not from one company or influencer, but from the entire community.

Think about the advances Product Management as a discipline has made over the last 5 years. It’s now an established and credible field within tech, with a thriving community and a growing number of resources on the subject to support it.

The time is right for Product Marketing to emulate the same success.

Understanding the Product Marketer’s circumstances, the type of work that we’re doing, the challenges and successes we’ve had, will only help us build a stronger definition for the role.

I truly believe that by doing this, that as a community of Product Marketers, we can cement the role as one that every tech company should care about.

Who’s with me? Anyone?

I’m looking for contributors to this blog. You can be a Product Marketer at the start of your career or with years of experience under your belt. I want people to write open, honest posts about their experience in Product Marketing, and how it works in their organisation.

Email weareproductmarketing@gmail.com or comment below to take part.

How to help other Product Marketers find this blog.

  • 👏 on the article.
  • Share it if you liked it 🤓
  • Follow We are Product Marketing on Medium.

For more Product Marketing chat, join us on Facebook.

We are Product Marketing

Understanding the role of Product Marketing from the people…

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