Good morning everyone. Welcome to the advance track of Product Camp.My name is Amrita and I am here to talk about Product Marketing and the role in plays in the overall scheme of Product Management.For those of you who don’t know me – I currently work as a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at the Toronto Board of Trade. I have worked for many tech companies in a previous life. In fact this is the first time I am working for an organization that isn't in the high-tech space. But technology and specifically product management and marketing is very close to my heart.A couple of house-keeping items:The twitter hash-tag for this Product Camp is #pct2010This particular session is really meant to be more of a discussion. As Siobhan put it – it is supposed to ‘warm up’ the crowd and prepare them for the slightly more intense sessions later in the day. And so what I am going to do is to take the first 15 min to really set the basis for the discussion.And what I need from you guys is to be very, very vocal. Anything that comes of our discussion today will hopefully fuel a future session in the next ProductCamp.That being said, if I put something out there and you’re like – wait a sec – that’s not how it works in my organization – or that’s not how it should work – then write it down. The whole point of this session is to say ‘this’ is what Product Management is supposed to do; ‘this’ is what Product Marketing is supposed to do, ‘this’ is how they align and ‘here’ is a set of responsibilities and accountabilities.So lets have a quick show of hands:1.How many people here are NOT Product Managers?Great! So there's at least a few people who wont throw a shoe at me ;) OR Oh boy, I’m in trouble.2. How many people here are from a Start-up environment? Either currently or have previously worked in a small tech company?3 And how many people are at large, enterprise type companies? Like the Rogers, Telus, OpenText, IBM etcGreat! Looks like we have a pretty diverse crowd. I ask you this because as you may have already guesses – the PM and PMM functions overlap and differ based on the size and scale of the organization.
Product Marketing is a key position in any technology company. It is also very different in a technology company compares to other industries.Marketing is “getting and keeping the right customers” and so Product Marketing is basically “focused marketing” – focused on a particular product/service being brought to market. We will look at specific functions of a Product Marketing person shortly.But basically, Product Marketers aim to answer three main questions:WHAT products will be offered?WHO will be the target customers?HOW will the products reach those target customers?
And at the end of the day, Product Marketing’s role is all about optimizing sales. Or in other words, optimizing the product lifecycle and keeping the product in the growth and/or maturity phase as long as possible.
In some companies the terms 'Product Management' and 'Product Marketing' are used synonymously and one person is responsible for all activities. This is typically the case in a small tech company or in a start-up environment.In most other tech companies there are separate 'Product Management' and 'Product Marketing' groups. The problem is that sometimes PM and PMM operate in silos and that really dilutes the messaging for the product. There needs to be a hugely symbiotic relationship between product management and product marketing in order for any product to be successful through its lifecycle.Typically, the PMM owns the messaging for the product, while he PM owns the Requirements doc and positioning of the product. Product marketing serves as one of several sources of input to product requirements. Similarly, the product manager isone of the several sources of input into the marketing messages.A common way that many organization describe this, is by saying that Product Managers do more of the ‘inbound’ stuff, while Product Marketing does more of the ‘outbound’ stuff. I kind of don’t think that is absolutely accurate. It is almost better to say that Product Marketing “talks” to the market while Product Management “listens” to the market.
Ideation: this is the trigger the processDesign: this is the part where the product is properly defined. And based on careful analysis and constant re-tweaking of the requirements document, a product is built. Typically this phase is more technical.Develop: this phase is a mix of both technical and non-technical. The actual realization, testing, tweaking, de-bugging etc is done here.Launch: Probably the most important stage in the lifecycle – this phase is where the product goes into actual production, in most cases typically for one or two core customers that the product was built for anyway. Selling and Maintenance are also huge function as part of this stage. This is usually where Product Marketing plays a big role and Product Marketing is typcailly the owner of the Launch Plan.Improvement phase: of course this is pretty straight forward, any requirements for features or enhancements that were indentified are taken care of in the improvement phase.QUESTION: So the bulk of Product Marketing stuff is done in the Launch phase and that feeds into the improvement phase of the product. Can anyone tell me if any Product Marketing would happen prior to the launch phase? And if yes, in what scenario?
Everybody knows this chart right? We’ve seen it a zillion times…
This is the same chart split into functional groups. I’m sure you’ve seen this too – I stole this from Rich Mironov’s material. It shows the the functions that lie under the Product Marketing Manager vs. the Technical Product Manager. I know Tom Grant will be talking about strategic product management in his 2:00 pm session – so perhaps we can do a deeper dive into some of these functions later this afternoon.But just wanted to point out that there is a bit of a grey area (here) where sometimes things fall under either role.
This diagram represents the overlap we just talked about. WHAT functions overlap and HOW MUCH they overlap is based on many things – such as the stage of your product sits, the size of your company, what markets your company plays in and sometimes even company culture.But today, we are going to focus on what SHOULD be Product Marketing functions. And anything that’s left over – the Product Management department can take care of.So let me take you through what I think Product Marketing should consist of and we’ll begin our discussions based on that.
All Product Marketing functions roll-up into 2 main categories: 1) Content Creation and 2) Connecting with the Market.And actually, once you start thinking about it this way – it makes the delineation between Product Management and Product Marketing much more clear.CONTENT CREATION:Messaging and Value Proposition – this the is the verbiage you use to describe the unique value of the product. This is above and beyond Feature, Function, Benefit. Your messaging should also include verbiage to address alternative options and prospect objections.Segments and prospect definition – this means defining the actualmarket segment that the product is a fit for and the process or characteristics used to identify the people in that market. Presentations and Demos – this is so straight forward. Product Marketing must own the standard presentations and sales scripts to be used by the sales team, exec team and product managers in a typical sales processCollateral – there are many different types of collateral. Stuff like company and product portfolio type brochures do not necessarily have to be owned by the product marketing person – that is typically taken care of my marcom. But what product marketing MUST own and produce is stuff like data-sheets, case-studies, whitepapers. Sometimes you need various different data sheets for the same product based on industry or buyer persona or even market segment – all this should be owned by the Product marketing person or team.Last but not the least – ROI tracking and Win/Loss analysis – this is controversial one. This actually might be something that both the product manager and product marketing person have to do together, in conjunction with the sales team. But the owner should still be the product marketing manager – simply because THEY are the ones producing the messaging, they are the ones writing the case-study. So not only is it important for them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the product – but also how to deal with it for multiple market segments.Lets take a break here and discuss this stuff. Do you guys agree? Disagree? Should we be adding something here?Launch planning – the entire plan for the launch of a new product or re-launch of an existing product with new features etc should be owned by Product Marketing. They will coordinate and manage all the activities that are needed to be complete before launching the product externally. In the case of new products, Product marketing also needs to figure out how the product will be first introduced into market and how it will move from early adoption to a more widespread customer base.Thought Leadership – Thought leadership is basically done thru the delivery of (for the lack of a better word) less-salesly content. Content that is able to influence potential customers, buyers, industry analysts and even media. This doesn't necessarily have to be all done by the PMM – sometimes it is the CTO, Director or VP of Product Management or Marketing and even the CEO. But all this content, in whatever capacity, needs to be owned and regulated by Product Marketing. Thought leadership is done is various ways – it can be through Webinars, Speaking Engagements, CEO roundtables, blogs and editorial content. All of this should be filtered through Product Marketing.Customer acquisition and Demand Gen – The plans, processes and sometimes budget, that is needed to acquire new customers – including converting hot leads into qualified leads, to opportunities, so on and so forth – should be defined by Product Marketing. Product Marketing doesn't have to administer this process – but “what” is a hot lead, “what” is an opportunity etc is the PMM’s baby. Input is taken from the Product Manager, where these definitions are mapped to the buying process and user personas.Reference programs – whether referrals are given adhoc or you actually have a ‘structured’ reference program – is up to the size and scale of the organization, the number of customers you have. But the actual ‘identification’ of which customer or which user is willing to give you a quote or a testimonial, be featured in a case-study or an editorial in a magazine or even be a reference account – this whole process belongs to Product Marketing.
My email is AmritaMathur at M E .comSo if you loved my session, hated it, whatever – drop me a lineTwitter handle is pretty straightforward – its just my name. So again, feel free to ping me once in a while.And lastly, I hope that by the time we all meet at the next ProductCamp, I have my blog/video journal is up.
Product Marketing in the overall scheme of Product Management
Product Marketingin the overall scheme of Product Management<br />A discussion<br />By<br />Amrita mathur<br />
Product Marketing in a technology company is different (sometimes very different) than companies in other industries<br />Product Marketing is “focused marketing” – focused on a particular product/service being brought to market<br />High-level considerations:<br />WHAT products will be offered?<br />WHO will be the target customers?<br />HOW will the products reach those target customers?<br />Introduction<br />