5 must-have skills to be a successful product marketer
Product marketing is an increasingly important and trending issue for SaaS companies. Effective product marketing is the key to reducing churn and ensuring the long-term success of your product. Your responsibilities go beyond simply generating leads – you are also in charge of generating demand in the right niche, ensuring the product solves the specific needs of customers, announcing new features and overseeing the product growth and development.
Product marketers also need to work closely with other departments like marketing and product management to make sure they have a clear view of the big picture. It’s a complicated thing to get right!
So what are the specific skills that make a product marketer successful?
Based on some of the most successful companies and product marketing campaigns, here are the five must-have skills to be a successful product marketer.
Understanding the demand
The first and most important skill of being a successful product marketer is understanding the demand for your product. With SaaS, it’s interesting because you have a “product” that is actually a versatile function that often many different users can potentially find value in. It’s the product marketer’s job to work to understand the different buyer personas. When you create buyer personas, you’re trying to narrow down and build a complete picture of who is will find your product valuable. Buyer personas are created through measurable, real data collected on how your ideal customers behave. You can create a complete profile of their likes, dislikes, online activity, demographics, etc. You have to work to map out their behavior, their biggest pain points and struggles, and how they are searching for solutions like yours. Next, product marketers have to determine how to successfully position the product for these personas as the solution for each of them.
With SaaS, there are new players joining the game constantly. There are often many different direct competitors and alternatives that users can choose from. Many products overlap in capability and features. This can be confusing for users and complicate the buying process. Knowledge of all of these different players in the market, how they are selling to users, how they are positioning themselves, and what their value is to users is imperative for a successful product marketer. You have to know how to simplify the decision for users searching for solutions by communicating your product’s value over competitors and substitutes. Knowing where to communicate with customers and what to focus on to separate your product against others in the marketplace is important. Successful product marketers can use the current market to their advantage. For example, UberConference, a video and audio conferencing tool, knew that one of the biggest issues with their competitor Slack was that people had to create accounts to quickly call those outside the platform. With UberConference, there are toll free conference calls so teams can schedule calls with those outside the platform with no hassle.
It may seem common sense, but truly knowing the product and how it can be used for maximum value for your customers is key to being able to effectively market it. This goes beyond just knowing the feature list and basic functionality. Your potential users are not just buying a one-off product, they are adding a tool to the processes they use every day. How that works is going to vary from customer to customer. Especially for bigger contracts and in the beginning when launching a product, you will be working closely with them to convey the value to them specifically during the sales process during demos, it’s imperative you know how your product solves their problems and applies to each use case. Sales with SaaS also goes beyond just the initial sale. You have to ensure customer success so they do not churn out. Additional onboarding help and support will also require that you have a high level understanding of the product for specific use cases.
Creative branding and messaging:
Product marketers need to be able to use content creation to generate brand consciousness and provide educational and interesting resources for their target audience as a way to drive organic growth. The messaging needs to be tailored for the target audience and unique enough to stand out amongst competitors. With so many products being competitors or substitutes of one another, content really can become important to separate yourself. The way you present your product as a solution, the colors and visual elements you use, as well as the type of copy and content all affects how potential leads react to your brand across platforms and choose to engage further. Effective product marketers are consistent with informative, helpful content that leads to generating organic traffic and converting by addressing the target audience’s biggest questions and problems.
Listening and pivoting:
One of the most important skills for a successful product marketer to have is the ability to continuously listen and apply what customers are saying to the marketing and product development process. With so much data being collected all the time, your customers are basically always telling you what they like and don’t like. People are much more willing to share their opinions online with companies in the form of comments, suggestions, and ratings. Excellent product marketers make sure to always include ways to collect data on customer opinion and use it to make improvements to the way they approach customers and the way their actual product changes. Continuing to track key metrics such as NPS, engagement, etc. is vital to understanding what your customers want. Learn more about the top customer engagement metrics you should be tracking.
A great way to get detailed data on what your customers want and boost engagement is Beamer. Beamer is an interactive news feed that sits within your product and website. All users have to do is click “What’s New” in your navigation and an icon in your product interface to open up the news feed in a discreet sidebar that looks native. You can announce anything on your Beamer feed: new features, updates, news, new content, etc. It’s important you continually update users on product changes to keep them engaged and aware that your product is only improving to meet their needs.
“Keep the conversations going beyond the routine emails. Take advantage of customer behavior to send timely messages.” – Neil Patel
Beamer goes beyond just updating users by allowing you to send the right update to the right people with segmenting. You can segment your updates by demographic, location, language, and past behavior to maximize engagement and keep users at all stages of the sales and onboarding process with you.
Being a successful product marketer requires you’re constantly learning how to improve these areas and staying in the know on quick moving trends and upcoming tools. For the best way to improve engagement and reach your users and potential users, try Beamer on your site and in your product.