In smaller companies, the product manager also markets the product, while larger companies have an in-house product marketing manager. Either way, it’s important to be aware of how the product marketing manager approaches marketing. This way, you understand how they do their job and where you can help on marketing your product.
First, let’s take a quick look at what separates the two roles:
Product Manager vs. Product Marketing Manager
The product marketing manager is responsible for getting users to the product or upgrading the status of current users by introducing new features. The Product Manager is responsible for the experience when the user is inside and actively using the product.
Without the Product Manager, there is no product (or at least, not a very good one!) and without the Product Marketing Manager…no one knows about it.
This was only a quick look, there’s obviously many more differences between a PM and a PMM.
How to Bring in New Users
Just because you’re a PM and not a PMM, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an awareness of what happens in marketing! To create growth loops, you need to be thinking about marketing all along the roadmap, not just at the end. And in any case, you need to have a seamless working relationship with your PMM, so having an awareness of what they do is key.
Product marketing grows a product by activating new users or keeping existing users around longer. There are many ways to accomplish both of these objectives, some which overlap with one another. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Word of mouth
The best salespeople are existing happy customers who get behind your product and want to share it their friends, families, and co-workers. You’re more likely to go to a restaurant that your friend suggests that if you see an add on Facebook, right? This type of marketing is priceless, and if you’ve gained it, that means you’ve earned it, and you’ve built something people will want to recommend.
You can encourage word of mouth by encouraging users to write reviews and to generate their own content involving your product.
You can offer discounts or credit (“for every friend who signs up, you’ll get $5 credit to spend in our online store” etc). You can also tie in referrals to any gamification system you have already built into your product.
This is when new customers sign up because of existing customers, through what we call “The Network Effect” which is when a product gains value solely because more people are using it. We see this a lot on Facebook and Twitter.
The Network Effect leads to FOMO – or Fear Of Missing Out. People use your products to stay up to date, and don’t want to miss anything by putting it down.
It’s the responsibility of the product manager to make sure that this is handled ethically. While it’s beneficial to have our products become habit, you don’t want to encourage addiction.
The most popular form of paid advertising in SEO and buying. SEO is based on developing great content, which lasts much longer than SEO. Buying ads has a stronger, yet short, impact on sales strategy.
Your PMM will be constantly testing different paid add campaigns, whether they’re social or PPC (Pay Per Click).
Social Media Marketing
Social has gone from being a vastly underrated channel, to being the bread-and-butter of some marketing departments. Some businesses don’t even have a website and operate entirely via social media. So if you’re still turning your nose up when someone tries to tell you about the importance of Facebook, think again!
Your organization might even have a few Growth Hackers weaving their way around LinkedIn to get you some important B2B contacts, or working their magic on the TikTok account you have no idea you needed! You’d be amazed by the sheer scope of the social media scene!
How to Keep Existing Users Engaged
Customer Retention Programs
The programs are designed to reduce the client Churn rate, which means the amount of people who stop using your product. One way to organize a retention program is to speak directly to the customers that are leaving, and seeing out their pain points to develop new features that improve their experience.
If your customers are happy, there is a good chance they will want to invest more in the product or are interested in new features. Studies have shown that getting purchases from existing customers are much easier and less expensive than winning new customers. So it’s vital to pay attention to what they want. The show them the value of additional products that complement what they currently have.
These are just a few of the basic marketing techniques widely used in product marketing. It’s important always to consider the customer needs, understand what they want, and build great products they want to share, for a product to be successful.
So maybe a PM and a PMM aren’t so different after all!