View Only

Projects-to-Products: A Clarification about Product Marketing

By Brian Nathanson posted Nov 20, 2019 04:59 PM

Before I jump into the models I promised, I felt like I should quickly clarify something because -- when you bring up the topic of marketing -- many tech people's brains immediately begin thinking of tradeshow booths and cool swag (or similar fun & games as immortalized in this Dilbert comic strip) rather than the steps in the product management process.

Event marketing is the most visible type of marketing, which is also why (I believe) that people in technology most associate marketing with what they see during large events -- colorful booths with demo/discussion stations and giveaways that compete for your attention. This type of marketing works well for brand awareness and industry presence -- signaling to people that you are a player in your respective field -- but it does not do much for building the type of lasting durable relationships we will need with customers to survive in the long-run.

Product marketing instead focuses on a targeted, often data-driven campaign to attract, develop, and retain customers by anticipating their wants or needs and providing an appropriate interaction at the appropriate time to keep them engaged. In many cases, this interaction has little to do with the "core" product; more often, it has to do with providing the proper support around the core product so that customers feel empathy from the provider for solving their problems and addressing any challenges they may have in realizing the product's full value.

Because let's face it: Especially with regards to technology products like software, buying the product isn't even half the battle. Learning to leverage it to its fullest is far more important.

NOW I can turn to product marketing models to help understand customer psychology. I can also address any comments you may have.