If you're reading this, you probably have found it a bit difficult to define product marketing and many other terms in the marketing world. You're not alone; many people find it confusing to tell product marketing from other similar terms.
This article is meant to clear the air, define product marketing and compare it with other marketing terms clustered around it.
What is product marketing exactly?
All the activities involved in bringing a product to market and its introduction to the target audience is product marketing. That includes understanding the market, product positioning, messaging, shaping the product, and launching it.
A product marketer commutes between the market and the production team with the intention to perfect the product. They are responsible for designing the buyer personas, creating a product marketing strategy, defining the product positioning in the market, tailoring the product to the audience's needs, and working with sales to introduce and attract customers.
Product Marketing vs Product Management
Product management focuses on customizing the product to market needs and delivering it on schedule, and product marketing works on bringing the product to the market and generating customers and consequently revenue for the company.
A product marketer works closely with sales and product management while a product manager coordinates the teams that build the product: product marketing and development team.
Product manager is responsible for tailoring the product to the audience's demands and needs. Product marketer tailors messaging and packaging according to the target group's preferences.
Product Marketing vs Marketing
Marketing is a more general term. Product marketing is a sort of marketing that works on the sales funnel. The product marketing team works with marketing, product, sales, and customer success teams.
Marketing is about driving brand awareness, acquiring new leads, and creating demand, while product marketing focuses on getting the leads, so-called potential customers, to try the product and pay for it.
To put it in simple words, product marketing starts almost when marketing ends.
Also read: Seven Consumer Research Methods
Product Marketing vs Brand Marketing
Product marketing is when you promote the product itself, whereas brand marketing focuses on promoting the products founded on your brand's identification and values.
Brand marketing tries to make a consistent image in the audience's mind and sells the story of your company or brand. Product marketing sells the product itself by differentiating it from other options in the market.
Product marketing and brand marketing are two sides of the same coin. They can work interchangeably if one or the other lacks efficacy.
Product Marketing vs. Marketing Communications
A product marketer must have a high command of marketing communications. It's one of their main responsibilities. However, some big or growing companies expand their personnel and hire someone specifically for marketing communication (Marcom) to take care of the following:
- Channeling messages about the product or the service through different mediums and directing at the consumers.
- Designing messages to communicate with consumers and adapting them for different means: website, email, brochure, banner, etc in order to create brand awareness or inform the audience about a product.
- Contributing to sales promotions, advertisements, sponsorship events, publicity, public relations, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Product Marketing vs. Service Marketing
Service marketing means the activities (services) a company offers in exchange for adequate consideration. For example, insurance for a computer or consulting services.
While product marketing tries to sell value to the audience, service marketing focuses on building relationships with the customers.
Services are intangible, customized, and cannot be returned after they are delivered, whereas products are tangible, fixed, and returnable after purchase.
Product marketing works with marketing 4Ps (product, place, price, promotion), but service marketing adds 3 other Ps when it comes into use (people, process, physical evidence).
Product Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
Product marketing applies the funnel AARRR: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue. Digital marketing only contributes to the first stage: acquiring potential customers.
Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, utilizes digital technologies and channels to promote a brand or product on the internet. That includes social media, websites, search engines, and email.
Digital marketing is a vast field that is made up of various marketing types:
SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, PPC, affiliate marketing, email marketing, marketing automation, inbound marketing, sponsored content, SEM, instant message marketing, and native advertising.
Product Marketing vs. Growth Marketing
Growth marketing focuses on creating value for the customers after the sales to create loyalty and increase revenue. Product marketing, though, works on offering value to potential customers before their purchase.
Product marketing works for acquisition, whereas growth marketing goal is retention.
Their roles are complementary. One helps the other to generate revenue consistently.
Product Marketing vs. Field Marketing
Field marketing, also known as direct marketing, is the practice of demonstrating the product in front of customers. Field marketing tries to build brand awareness and relationships with customers with the goal of selling directly to them.
Field marketing contributes to product marketing. In other words, field marketing cannot replace product marketing even though they both attempt to increase revenue.
Also Read: Sales Promotion; A to Z for Marketers
Product Marketing vs. Demand Generation
The demand growth team receives raw data from the product marketing team and turns them into consumer insights. Then, they plan strategies to promote tailored messages with the intention of converting potential customers to actual customers.
A demand growth team is responsible for the most searched keywords, finding the suitable platforms to run ads, and deciding when and how to do it in order to get the best results.
Demand generation works like an accelerator to product marketing.
Product Marketing vs. Sales Enablement
Product marketing and sales teams collaborate together to drive revenue.
The product marketing team equips the sales team with all the up-to-minute information about the products. The sales team must understand the product thoroughly and be aware of all its features and why it's unique.
They get instructed by the product marketing team and in return, they collect consumer insights and deliver them to the product marketing team to make improvements.
Also read: Sales Promotion Types; Plus 18 Examples
Product Marketing vs. Retail Marketing
Producers sell bulk products to retailers and wholesalers at an arranged lower price. After that step, the retailers build awareness and interest in the products in order to sell them. That, simply put, is retail marketing. Retail marketing also consists of 4 main elements: product, price, place, and promotion.
So, product marketing takes place at the company where the product is manufactured and retail marketing starts when the producer sells the product to the retailers at wholesale price.
Product Marketing vs. Customer Success
The customer success team works aligned to and contributes to product marketing.
Customer success aims to drive retention, as well as new lead acquisition. The customer success team is responsible for:
- Creating communication strategy.
- Creating informative content and resources for customers.
- Turning customers into advocates and promoters of your brand in their own network.
Product Marketing vs. Content Marketing
Content marketing is all about producing informative and engaging content to build brand awareness and authority. Product marketing, on the other hand, has a clearer goal and that is bringing the product to the market.
Content marketing is formed in different formats: blog posts, photos, social media posts, videos, and so on.
The final goal of content marketing is to attract potential customers and keep the present customers engaged with your brand. The idea is to make a remarkable image of your brand in their head.
Product marketing is more expensive, whereas content marketing is quite cost-effective. However, a balanced mix of both works best for the company.
Also read: Product Marketing Strategy
At the End
Not all companies need all the teams mentioned above. Every product and every team has its own needs, strategies, and goals. A sophisticated mix of marketing forms above should be created and directed to navigate the company towards more revenue generation.