Product Marketing Mastery: 5 Must-Know Tips
By Daniel Murray
I am STOKED for you to meet today’s guest, Alexandria Snow.
Alexandria is a customer-first marketer specializing in what people NEED.
Currently a sales and marketing technology consultant, Alexandria has more than 9 years of SaaS experience.
Let’s dive into what she had to say about product marketing on The Marketing Millennials Podcast, in her own liiiightly edited words.
1. Do this in your first 30 days in a new product marketing role:
“Product marketing exists to help bridge the gap between marketing and the rest of the organization.
When you start a new role, the first thing to understand is how the business views itself.
Then discover how the customers view the business, and how the market at large views the industry you’re in.
Within your first 30 days, set up interviews with leadership, customers and sales teams.
Those conversations need to be very candid.
Let them tell you their pitch. What does the organization do and how is it different? Look for similarities between the way people describe it.
Then interview the customers themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to get them on a call, but review recorded calls.
Look at the interactions that have happened between customers and listen to the way they speak.
You can also dive into Google or Reddit to identify the articles people are writing about your organization and the reviews.
The first 30 days is digging deep to understand what the internal feeling is in the organization.
From that, you need to produce a foundational documentation.
Who is your target market? Who is your ideal customer? Why do they buy your product or service?
Have that written down within your first 30 days.
2. The misunderstanding between influencers and marketers:
The attention marketing is getting because of the influencer culture is extremely high.
But there is a misunderstanding of what an influencer is and what a marketer is.
It’s important that every marketer establishes some level of personal brand.
We’re not all going to have hundreds of thousands of followers, but you still need a platform.
(Companies who embrace their employees personal brands>>>>)
Post regularly, interact with your organization, and offer value to the conversation whenever possible.
If you’re commenting “congrats” on a LinkedIn post, that’s not engagement.
You need to offer something back. Begin a conversation. Share thought leadership.
When someone is looking at you for a potential role or promotion, you need to have some clout (Gen Z slang right here LOL).
And the only way you can do that is if you have a personal brand.
3. One of the biggest challenges with being a product marketer:
The first hurdle is telling the organization what you are.
Vocalize what you’re going to be focusing on and how you will help the rest of the organization.
Once you do that, work to make sure that you don’t become an order taker.
Your team may expect you to be reactionary, where your job is to send emails to customers letting them know there’s been an update to the product.
If you allow it, you’re going to be building hundreds of sales decks.
Instead, you have to lead those teams (besties LEAD the way).
The best way to overcome being an order taker is to be proactive and maintain collaboration sessions.
If a product is going to be launching in two weeks, don’t wait for someone to tell you what you need to do.
Set up the meeting with the internal stakeholders. Customer teams, product teams, and sales need to be involved.
Find those leaders within the organization, bring them together and start your collaboration.
4. The problem with messaging templates:
Marketers always have a template for messaging in their mind when they’re writing.
It’s the classic, value, proof point, and call to action.
But this is a TRAP.
If you’re writing copy, the first thing you have to ask is, what is the person thinking when they are reading this?
When they are listening to you, are you answering those questions?
If not, you just are producing content that looks like everything else.
So many marketing sites have the hero image as “we fuel revenue, we are a platform that is going to make it easier to do x, get a free trial.”
They’re all mirror images of one another. Every section is the same thing, value, proof point, CTA.
If you have a template that you use every time, throw it away ASAP.
You need to look at your messaging and ask, what are the questions that we need to answer and how do we differentiate?
5. Advice for product marketers:
There are 2 things beginner product marketers need to know:
If you didn’t go to school for marketing, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a product marketer (retweeting this a million times).
To be a product marketer you need to have a passion for the market you are selling to, it doesn’t matter what the product is.
You must understand the buyer and the market, along with the problems they have and be passionate about solving those problems.
The second piece of advice is that Google is your best friend (YES). You need to be the person that can find the answer, even if you don’t know where to look.
Anytime you are tackling a new project, dig into the wealth of information that is available out there. Search for the answer in a variety of different ways.
If your question is, how do I write a message? Don’t Google, how do I write a message?
Instead, pick brands that you respect and dig into their messaging.
Don’t get inside your own head. Use your network and resources to help get you along your way.”