What is product marketing?
To me, product marketing is the process of strategically determining the 10 to 20 words that uniquely positions, acquires, sustains and defends a product's share in the market. These 10 to 20 words fit into a framework called the value proposition that provides the the lens through which the product comes to life. A lot of insights and analysis go into the process to determine the who (to target), the what (which features to talk about), and the how (to talk about those features). To stay ahead of the competition with positioning that stands the test of time, analytics based on what has happened in the past is not sufficient. An intimate understanding of the trajectory of underlying technology and trends that go below the surface of marketing is required. Whether an organization treats product development as separate from product marketing, the marketability of the product must be kept in mind during product ideation and definition.
When positioning a product for success I rely on a few rules of thumb that I have adopted over the years.
Anchor new technology in the familiar
Advances in technology empower consumers to do things that they never thought possible and interact with the world around them in ways that are richer and more powerful than before. But sometimes it's hard to quickly grasp the benefit of new technology. Whether you're trying to describe the output of a steam engine - horsepower. Or you're trying to explain the benefit of purchasing a 5G smartphone today - everything you love to do on a smartphone, Hyperfast. Anchoring things in the familiar helps consumers make the psychological leap of understanding how new technology that they have never experienced before fits.
Introducing 5G - Everything You Love, Hyperfast
Position Battery Performance Without Tech Jargon of mAh
Create a platform
The positioning of a product, just like the development of software, should be built on a platform that can scale overtime. Without it the marketing team is constantly marketing something new. A positioning platform ensures that overtime your product uniquely stands for something and it's a space that competitors will find difficult to penetrate. Taking a framework driven approach to positioning ensure that consumers will view the product through a lens that you have uniquely crafted overtime. As with any platform, the structure and content should be evaluated and upgraded in response to changing market and competitive dynamics.
The Performance You Can Expect In Galaxy - Galaxy Foundation of Features
Position to lockout the competition
The best defense is a good offense as the saying goes. The same is true in product marketing. Position products in competitive white spaces that are authentic to your company and product's strengths and offensively positioned away from where your closest competitors are playing. When you position away from read oceans you successfully break through the clutter with minimal expenditure in marketing.
Overtime, every profitable industry reaches a point where the playing field levels and differentiation based purely on technology becomes difficult. There are also instances, as in the case of smartphone technology, where the end user output is created as the result of the interplay of complex variables (megapixels, sensor size, ISP, aperture, etc.). Brand the technology around the key user benefit and not the literal name of the technology.