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The Simplest Answer to, “What Is Product Marketing?”

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The Simplest Answer to, "What Is Product Marketing?"


Pop quiz: If you had to define product marketing right now, what would you say?

A lot of folks have difficulty answering this question, but it’s not your fault. Although product marketing is a prominent department across both B2B and B2C companies, it’s pretty hard to find a good definition of it anywhere — even on Google.

What makes it especially difficult is that it’s one of the few job functions that touches product, marketing, and sales. It all comes down to knowing the target customer and testing to find ways to learn more about them and how best to interact with them.

Product marketing doesn’t stop once the product has gone to market (if it did, well, product marketers at a one-product company wouldn’t have much to do after the product’s launch). The process of marketing a product as the final step is to ensure the right people are aware of the product. Those people who know how to use it, according to the needs and feedback of customers are being listened to over the product’s lifecycle.

Let’s talk about where to start in product marketing and what other aspects of your business can support this product as it grows.

A good way to begin brainstorming your campaign is through implementing inbound marketing methodology into your strategic plan. We mentioned before that product marketing is continual, and your approach should be the same. Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting your audience and turning them into loyal customers that advocate for your product.

This is demonstrated in our “Attact, Engage, Delight” model below.

attract engage delight inbound methodology model for product marketing

You can attract, engage, and delight your customers with other aspects of your business including strategies that identify your target audience, provide a clear positioning or marketing message, and countless other ideas. But in short, starting your product marketing plan with this model and an understanding of inbound methodology can set your business up for success.

Now that we have a sturdy foundation to build upon, let’s get into it.

What does a product marketing process look like before, during, and after a product is launched?

Product Marketing Starts With Your Customer

HubSpot’s early years faced a challenge that many small businesses face: product ambiguity. Except for the slight majority of people who perceived HubSpot as “marketing services” — which is indeed part of our product stack — our perception consisted of numerous other terms that our audience used to describe us.

This is a primary reason businesses implement a formal product marketing operation, and it starts with your buyer persona.

A great product means nothing if it doesn’t get the attention of the people who would benefit from it. So, who’s your audience for this product? How (and where) are you reaching them, and what’s the story you’re telling to present this product to them? When preparing to launch a product, working with the rest of your marketing team to identify your customer and develop the messaging is critical.

Seven Critical Steps of Product Marketing

When product marketers know exactly whom their product caters to, the marketing can begin. Here are seven things product marketers may do before, during, and after their product enters the market:

1. Product Research: A helpful and well-made product isn’t made in a vacuum, and it also isn’t marketed in one. In the weeks and months before a product launch, product marketers work with the product’s developers to test the product both internally and externally through controlled beta environments.

2. Product Story: Products are also brought to market in the form of a story. What problem does the product solve? Who’s facing this problem? How does it solve this problem? What does it do that competitors don’t?

3. Product-Focused Content: Product marketing’s next stop is at the desks of the content creators. Here, product marketers may create and A/B test various marketing copy, blog content, case studies, and landing pages on their website — all dedicated to describing the product.

4. Product Launch Plan: No product marketing team is complete without a written launch plan, spelling out every last stage of the marketing process and who’s responsible at each point.

5. Product Launch Meeting: When the product is launched, everyone involved meets the day it’s rolled out. Much like a rocket launch, this is the product marketer’s finest hour — it’s the climax of a product marketing campaign.

6. Community Engagement: As product marketing generates enough buzz around the product within the industry, it’s common for the marketing team to capitalize on what the market is saying about them. This includes reaching out to partners, influencers, and existing customers for commentary.

7. Sales Enablement: As a product is being prepared for the marketplace, the sales team is waiting in the wings to develop a sales strategy around this new business opportunity. It’s the product marketing team’s job to meet with sales staff before, during, and after the product is rolled out to the public. This ensures the messaging created for this product is consistent through to the first sales call.

With all of this in mind, you may be wondering what exactly a product marketer has to do to see these projects to completion. Let’s dive into it.

Product Marketer Job Description

A Product Marketer, or Product Marketing Manager, promotes products and their features to an organization’s target audience. Their duties include studying the company’s products, highlighting key features to attract customers and creating marketing campaigns for products.

Product Marketer Responsibilities

A product marketer’s main responsibility is to promote a product’s value to the target audience. This goal is achieved through a combination of strategy and ideation such as:

  • Determining the mix of marketing content for creation and distribution
  • Creating and managing budgets for marketing campaigns
  • Working with content creators to make content that reflects the product and brand image
  • Managing a calendar of content and creating the schedule

Product Marketer Salary

A product marketer, or product marketing manager’s salary in the United States varies greatly depending on the experience and tier. According to 2021 industry averages, the median salary of different tiers are as follows:

  • Entry-Level Product Marketer or Product Marketing Assistant: $43,630
  • Product Marketer or Product Marketing Manager: $111,890
  • Director of Product Marketing: $166,928

Promote Your Product with a Plan

As you develop your product marketing team and strategy, think about how the elements above might take shape, and who you’ll need to work with to make it a success. Take these questions into consideration in your next great product marketing plan.

Product Marketing Kit



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The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing A Twitter Handle

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The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing A Twitter Handle


With over 200 million daily users, using Twitter right offers you massive benefits as a new or existing business. (more…)

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Want to Build a Content Marketing Career Path? Here’s What to Do

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Want to Build a Content Marketing Career Path? Here's What to Do


What Does a Content Marketing Career Path Look Like?

Are you looking to pursue a content marketing career path? You’re in a good place. Content marketing is blowing up, set to be worth $600 billion in 2024 (Technavio research).

What’s more, 89% of companies that hire content marketers plan to either continue or increase their current investments throughout 2022.

If you have natural writing ability, a knack for creativity, and are driven by data, content marketing may just be your dream field.

But, what does it take to be successful in content marketing? Are there specific hard skills you need to have? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Choose a Career in Content Marketing?

For starters, it’s a growing field with a lot of opportunities. Additionally, it allows you to be creative and work independently – two things that are increasingly important in the modern workforce.

Growth Industry

Content marketing continues to grow as an industry for one main reason; it works. In a recent Semrush survey, 73% of companies who increased their content marketing spending from 10% to 70% of their total marketing budget were very successful.

In addition, 72% of companies have stated they plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022. As the industry continues to grow, the need for individuals in the field also increases.

Pay

While having a career that feeds your creativity can be rewarding, the paycheck is a significant factor.

As a content marketer, you can create a stable and solid income. The average base salary for a content marketer in the United States is $56,036. Not too shabby for an entry-level position.

It only goes up from there. According to PayScale, the median base salary for a management position is $70,332 and $168.183 for an executive-level role.

Continued Learning

One thing a career in content marketing won’t be is stagnant. The way people consume content is constantly changing, meaning the way you create it will also shift. You’ll need to stay updated with the latest trends and best business practices.

The learning doesn’t end there. Depending on your role, you may be creating content for various industries. This means you may have to educate yourself on topics you have no experience in.

The more you increase your knowledge, the more room you have for personal and professional growth.

If you consider yourself a lifelong learner, this is an excellent career.

What type of marketer are you?

What Does a Content Marketing Career Path Look Like?

The content marketing industry is a sprouting field with many opportunities for those willing to invest time and effort. While a bachelor’s degree may help you start on the right foot, it’s not a surefire ticket into the industry anymore. Instead, think of building skills that clients and employers will immediately hire for.

There are specific skills that are vital to your success in content marketing.

6 Key Skills You Need to Succeed in a Content Marketing Career

This rapidly growing field will require essential hard skills to land jobs. While this may slightly vary depending on your specific role, we found the skill set listed below as being necessary for all positions within content marketing:

  1. Writing skills: This is a must. The majority of content marketing is writing, so it is vital that you can craft compelling copy that draws in your target audience.
  2. Knowledge of SEO: To ensure you create the content your audience wants to consume, you need a basic understanding of search engine optimization.
  3. Data & analytics skills: This is essential in determining the success of the content; whether it’s measuring engagement, subscriptions, or clients, you need to be able to quantify your success.
  4. Social media literacy: You may need to craft and distribute content for a range of platforms, knowing how to leverage multiple channels will set you apart in the industry.
  5. Research skills: Depending on your role, you may be crafting content for several industries. You need to know how to find reliable and factual information no matter the field.
  6. Time management skills: Your content is only strong if it’s still relevant. Adhering to deadlines is crucial so employers can publish on time, in season.

Seem to be missing one or two skills from your portfolio? Don’t get discouraged. We offer a wide range of resources that can set you up for success, such as our Head of Marketing Bootcamp.

While the knowledge mentioned above is going to be key to getting you into the door you can’t forget about some essential soft skills.

To truly enjoy your career and continue to grow in your field, the additional skills below are another essential set to add to your content marketing toolkit:

  • Curiosity
  • Persuasion
  • Creativity
  • Good intuition
  • Growth mindset

Content Marketing Roles

A career path in content marketing can look different for everyone. In fact, content marketing is a pretty broad term, and you’ll have your pick from various roles within the industry.

Typical roles within a content marketing team include:

  • Community Manager: The middleman. The community manager acts as the brand voice through content distribution, community support, and digital engagement.
  • Social Media Manager: Responsible for creating and distributing content across social media platforms. This can also include content strategy, analyzing analytics, and digital campaigns.
  • Video Marketing Manager: Helps brands tell their story through engaging videos to connect with potential customers on a deeper level.
  • Brand Journalist: Produces a variety of written content that communicates the capabilities and values of the company. They grab the attention of potential clients and turn them into customers.
  • SEO Specialist: A research and analytical guru that uses search engine optimization to create strategies and in-demand content.
  • Graphic Designer: Responsible for the visual aspect. From websites to logos, the graphic designer creates engaging visuals that are brand and captivate the audience.
  • Copy Editor: Ensures all written content is in tip-top shape before distribution.
  • Managing Editor: Also known as a content manager, this individual often oversees designers, writers, and researchers to ensure the success of all visual and written content.
  • Director of Editorial: The boss of the boss. This editor manages a team of producers, along with creating and implementing strategies and upholding vendor relations.
  • Chief Content Officer: This is the top dog. The CCO oversees all content creation and distribution, ensuring it is on par with the company’s brand.

Start Your Content Marketing Career

In today’s digital age, content is king. The best way to succeed in content marketing is by producing high-quality content that engages your audience.

If you want to start a career in content marketing, we can help. We offer courses and training that will give you the skills you need to succeed. Check out our Content Marketing Mastery course to start your content marketing career path.




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