What is product marketing?

Product marketing is the process of communicating a product's unique value to customers and internal teams alike. This means articulating what customers are struggling with, how the product or service can solve their problems, and what sets the product apart in the market. To accomplish this, product marketers help create buyer personas, conduct competitive analysis, craft messaging and positioning, lead demos, and more.

Product marketing is a great role for someone who thrives in a dynamic and cross-functional environment. People who are drawn to this work tend to enjoy planning, storytelling, deeply understanding what customers need, and working across multiple teams to produce a wide variety of deliverables.

Build and deliver product marketing plans. Try Aha! Roadmaps — free for 30 days.

In most organizations, the function of product marketing sits at the intersection of product management, marketing, and sales. The goal of product marketing is to translate technical functionality into benefits that resonate with users. By highlighting the benefits of the offering clearly and convincingly, product marketers help to differentiate the product and increase both demand and usage. No matter what type of product or service your company provides, a strong product marketing team plays an essential role in implementing the company's go-to-market strategy and driving the growth of the business.

Product marketing deliverables

Product marketers deeply understand the product, market, and customers. They then apply this expert knowledge in a number of ways. Here are some of the key deliverables product marketing teams produce — often in collaboration with product management:

Buyer personas

Buyer personas describe your ideal customer and include key characteristics, such as their goals, challenges, likes, and dislikes. This helps other cross-functional teams (including the broader marketing team) craft tailored messaging that resonates with target buyers.

Case studies

Case studies (or “success stories”) describe how customers are realizing their goals by using your product and show how your product is delivering real benefits. These content pieces can provide social proof for potential buyers.

Channel partner support

Channel partners can play an important role in the business success of a product. There are different types of partnerships — such as reseller and VAR partners, technology partners, service partners, and OEM partners. Product marketers work closely with partners to ensure they have the support and materials they need to be successful.

Demos and presentations

Product marketing delivers demonstrations to illustrate a product’s functionality and benefits. Product marketing may present this information to an individual customer, in virtual webinar events, or as part of a conference.

Launch plans

Launch plans include all of the cross-functional activities required to support a new product or release — including marketing, sales, and support. A launch checklist can help team members communicate regularly and hold them accountable.

Messaging

Messaging is how you describe your product externally. It distills the fundamental value your product provides into concise statements and is used to guide the development of marketing activities, such as website copy, advertising campaigns, social media posts, and press releases. The goal is to have a consistent product message across all channels.

Positioning

Positioning is an internally focused document that describes the unique benefits of your product or service and why your solution is better than what your competitors have to offer. This is a strategic exercise and can be developed for new products or to frame up enhancements to an existing product, such as new functionality.

Press and analyst briefings

Press and analyst briefings provide an opportunity to share relevant strategic developments. Vendors present their business strategy and share important product releases. Product marketing often creates the briefing presentation, translating technical concepts into a compelling story about how the product is addressing market and customer needs.

Pricing

Pricing is a core component of the marketing mix. Pricing models should be a simple equation optimized for your target market that indicates how your product will be sold. Common strategies for software products include per-seat, concurrent usage, or usage-based pricing.

Sales enablement materials

Sales enablement materials — such as competitor analysis, presentation decks, data sheets, evaluation guides, or an ROI calculator — support the sales team as they guide the buyer through different stages in the customer journey.

Target channels

Product marketers understand which channels their customers use to inform purchase decisions. They provide channel-specific messaging to reach and engage their target audience. Product marketers often participate directly in industry forums, conferences, and other places where customers interact.


Effective product marketing communicates a product’s value and drives business growth. The best product marketing managers convey their passion for the product to both internal and external audiences. They work cross-functionally to deliver a Complete Product Experience that customers love.

Careers in product marketing

Are you considering a career in product marketing? Bringing new customer experiences to market can be highly exciting and rewarding work, with plenty of opportunities for learning and growth. You are responsible for creating launch plans, coordinating cross-functional activities, and coming up with ideas to improve the next launch. While the work of planning launches or releases is certainly vital, this is just one part of what most product marketing managers do each day.

Product marketing managers also:

  • Research the competitive landscape and define buyer personas so you can determine the best way to market your product.

  • Craft positioning and messaging to make sure that products and features (new and existing) are presented in a consistent way that resonates with target buyers.

  • Make sure customer-facing teams — such as sales and support — know how to talk about the product externally and have the training and sales collateral they need.

  • Collaborate with the broader marketing team on a variety of programs that drive customer adoption, such as webinars, success stories, and website updates.

As you can see from the list above, product marketing is responsible for many types of work across multiple teams. Succeeding in the role requires you to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong empathy for customers, and technical product expertise.

Learn more about education, skills, and salary ranges for product marketers: What skills do I need to be a product marketer?

Of course, you also need a purpose-built tool for strategizing, collaborating, and planning. With Aha! Roadmaps, you can define a go-to-market strategy and craft positioning. Then create buyer personas and link them directly to your activities. Multiple Gantt chart and roadmap views make it easier to manage complex plans and navigate cross-functional dependencies — all in a single tool.

Frequently asked questions about product marketing

What is the purpose of product marketing?

The aim of product marketing is to ensure that customers and internal teams understand what makes a product unique. Product marketers articulate the benefits of a product and how those benefits deliver value to the target audience. The best product marketers can clearly explain why a prospect should buy a product over the other offerings on the market.

What is the difference between product marketing and product management?

Product marketing and product management work together closely to evangelize the product and bring new customer experiences to market. While product management focuses on planning the product roadmap and delivering new functionality, product marketing communicates the benefits of using the product and implements the go-to-market strategy. Both roles collaborate with internal teams at various stages of the product lifecycle.

How does product marketing differ from traditional marketing?

While marketing has traditionally focused on acquiring customers and increasing brand awareness, product marketing is more holistic. It ranges from educating prospects and training new customers to managing the release of new functionality. In fact, product marketers often collaborate most closely with product management rather than other marketers. And in many organizations, product marketers are valued members of the cross-functional product team.

What does it take to succeed in product marketing?

Succeeding in product marketing requires a combination of the right knowledge, skills, and temperament. Besides having deep product expertise, the best product marketers usually feel meaningful empathy for customers. You want to help solve their problems and improve their daily lives. You need strong communication skills to convey the benefits customers will experience from using specific product features. You should also enjoy storytelling, planning complex releases, and collaborating cross-functionally.

Build marketing plans like you always wanted. Sign up for a free 30-day trial.