Product Management Marketing: A Guide for Building Successful Products
How do product management and marketing teams work together to build successful products?
If you’re looking for the answer to this question, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s get right to it!
- Product managers define the overall product direction and oversee the entire product lifecycle.
- Their responsibilities include product discovery, developing product vision, prioritization, roadmapping, analyzing product performance and its iterative development, and leading the product team.
- Product marketing sits between product development and the market. Its main goal is to bring the product to the market and ensure it’s well-received by the target customers.
- The product marketing manager role involves conducting customer research, developing the GTM strategy, refining product positioning and messaging, managing product launches, and creating onboarding experiences.
- Product management focuses on the overall strategic direction and champions the product inside the organization. Product marketing, on the other hand, promotes the product to the outside world.
- Marketers can help product teams with competitive analysis and market research so that the product achieves the product-market fit.
- When creating user personas, PMs can contribute their knowledge of the product while marketers can share detailed insights into customer needs.
- Product marketers can help product teams identify the product’s USPs and communicate its value proposition to customers.
- The two teams focus on different aspects of product performance and can pull different levers to improve their overall success.
- The marketing team could help the PM identify ways to improve product usability and user experience by collecting customer feedback.
- Both teams need to work closely with other teams and stakeholders to ensure everybody has the information they need to do the work.
- Book the demo to see how Userpilot can help your product and marketing teams drive product success!
What is product management?
Product management is a process that involves overseeing product development at all stages of its life cycle.
The primary goal of product management is to develop products that satisfy the market demand on the one hand and are aligned with the organizational goals on the other.
What are the responsibilities of product managers?
The product manager role is very complex. PMs are responsible for:
- Developing the product vision and product strategy
- Prioritizing initiatives and managing the product roadmap
- Setting product goals and tracking key metrics
- Performing iterative testing and incremental innovation
- Building and leading the product management team
- Liaising with stakeholders, both internal and external
- Carrying out continuous product discovery
What is product marketing?
Product marketing is a critical function that focuses on promoting and selling the product to the target audience. But that’s just a part of the picture as this role is much more important.
One could say that marketing is a bridge between product development and the market. Product marketers help to ensure that the product meets the needs of the users and that its value is communicated effectively to them.
What are the responsibilities of a product marketing manager?
Product marketing managers in SaaS organizations are responsible for processes like:
- Customer research and competitive analysis
- Product positioning, differentiation, and messaging
- Developing the Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy
- Orchestrating product launches
- Creating marketing collateral and content
- Planning marketing campaigns and tracking their performance
- Collecting customer feedback
- Developing onboarding experiences to drive product adoption and account expansion
- Leading the product marketing team
Product management vs. product marketing
Product management is primarily concerned with guiding the strategic direction and development of a product.
A product manager oversees the entire product management process, from conception to launch and beyond. They understand customers and their needs, market trends, and the competitive landscape to prioritize development efforts and make strategic decisions.
On the other hand, product marketing management focuses on product promotion and sales.
How can product marketers and managers work towards a product’s success?
Despite the difference in focus and scope, product marketing and product management work towards the same goal: building a successful product that brings a positive change in customers’ lives.
Let’s look at a few areas where the two functions work closely together and capitalize on each other’s strengths.
Conduct market research before the development process
Market research and customer discovery are a couple of areas where the two roles should work together.
Product managers have a good understanding of the general market and industry trends and intimate knowledge of the product as well as the organizational goals.
To identify relevant opportunities, however, they need in-depth insights into customer needs and preferences. That’s where product marketing managers can help.
Marketing professionals often have the skills necessary to conduct market research to obtain valid data. They’re also adept at analyzing the competitive landscape and the preferences of the target audience.
Combining the two skill sets can result in a more complete and accurate picture of the market to guide product development.
Create user personas of potential customers
Product managers, on the other hand, have a better understanding of the product and its functionality, as well as how it fits into the overall company mission.
By working together, the two functions will be able to define detailed user personas and ensure that product development is aligned with their needs.
Define the value proposition and product positioning
As they’re more familiar with the product, PMs are in a better position to define the product’s value proposition based on its features and benefits.
Track product success metrics
While working towards the same overall goal, marketers and product managers focus on different aspects of product performance.
This collaborative approach allows for a comprehensive assessment of the product’s success, taking into account both its development and marketing aspects.
What’s more, each team can pull different levers to improve aspects of the performance. For example, to improve adoption, the product team could improve the UI design while the marketing teams can remove friction from the funnel with in-app messages.
Gather customer insights about product usability and experience
Just like with initial market and customer research, the marketing team can help the product team collect actionable insights that they need to improve product usability and user experience.
How could this work?
The marketing team could run in-app surveys to track the Customer Effort Score (CES). This would enable the teams to monitor trends over time. More importantly, the qualitative follow-up questions could provide them with data on which aspects of the product usability or experience need improving.
Product managers, with a good understanding of the product design and available technology, would then be able to translate the insights into specific solutions that address customer pain points in an innovative way.
Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders
The product management and product marketing teams are only two of the many links involved in product development in SaaS organizations. Each team needs to collaborate with other teams from across the organization to drive product success and growth.
For example, the product marketer communicates the insights from market research to the product team and uses the information about their new product initiatives to adjust the marketing strategy and develop new marketing and sales assets.
The product manager uses the data from the marketing and sales colleagues to make product decisions and ‘sell’ them to the top leadership. Next, they also need to communicate what exactly needs to be done to the development team while being constantly open to their feedback and ideas.
As the work on new functionality is happening, they need to keep communicating the relevant details to the marketing, sales, and customer success teams so that they are ready for its launch.
Product management and product marketing are two complementary functions in SaaS organizations that work together to develop products that satisfy unmet market needs.
If you want to see how Userpilot can help your product and marketing teams carry out market research and communicate effectively with customers, book the demo!