what is product marketing

What is Product Marketing?

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Spencer Coon
Jun 19, 2019

Product marking is crucial for SaaS nowadays. Product marketing can be confused as just marketing but its scope is more inclusive and integrated than that. In the world of SaaS, what’s as important as converting the user is keeping the user engaged, getting value out of the product, and paying month over month. Product marketing goes far beyond just “advertising” and “marketing”. Product marketing sits at the intersection between marketing, sales, and product development. All three are more connected in SaaS than other industries.

product marketing

Product development and product marketing have become roles that are continuously blending. A product marketer markets your SaaS product in a way that is focused on understanding the user and their problems, introducing and teaching about the product, and ensuring its implementation successfully for users. They go beyond conversion into education and guidance for users to work your product into their existing processes and make sure that it sticks so they become regular, satisfied users who are getting the full value of your product.

Here are SaaS Product Marketing’s main goals and the best ways to achieve them successfully

Understand customer problems and create brand awareness:

Initially, product marketers are responsible for understanding customers biggest problems and questions and positioning the product correctly to be the solution. This is why it’s important that product marketers are closely involved in the development and evolution of the product. To position the product correctly, product marketers need to narrow down the target markets and identify key personas. Product marketing heavily depend on market research and understanding target market problems and challenges. Personas are a complete profile of what the ideal customer looks like, including their demographics, their purchasing process, what their biggest pain points are, what they are researching, and where they are looking for information. Product marketers use this to create the messaging, copy, and content that attracts, engages, and converts the right leads. Product marketing includes focusing on and being specific about go-to-market strategy and discovering how to market within the suitable channels for target markets. It’s important that product marketers position the brand where the target audiences are actively searching.

product marketing - understand customer problems

Communicate the value of the product:

Product marketers aims to explain the product and its value correctly for the right lead. Often times with SaaS, there are multiple personas with different needs that need to be addressed by product marketers. 71% of B2B SaaS leads in one study say they regularly read blog posts as part of their buyer journey. Writing content that speaks to key personas and their biggest pain points is a big part of converting users for SaaS companies. The bigger part of the buyer process is going to be discovery and research with many leads making a decision on this alone. Product marketers should be focused on showing leads how the product solves their biggest pain points. To communicate this, product marketers can use industry-specific guides, case studies, focused blogs, etc. With this should be actionable CTAs and funnels that push leads towards sign up with as little friction as possible.

Educate and onboard users:

Once leads are converted, unlike other forms of marketing, product marketing work is not done. This is where the real revenue-securing work begins. SaaS’s bread and butter is monthly recurring revenue from existing customers. To keep customers engaged, product marketers have to plan how to educate and onboard users well so they do not leave feeling as if the product is not a fit. Having a solid onboarding process helps users learn how to get the most value out of the product.

Some educational onboarding elements that tend to work very well are:

  • Actionable product tours that are actionable in showing users how to begin using the product
  • Continuous feature discovery elements
  • Guides and case studies
  • Consistent, informative blogs on best practices

The success of users with the product guarantees their long term commitment.

Keep users engaged:

One of the key goals of product marketing is keeping users engaged in the long term. A good way to keep users engaged is to show them how your product is constantly evolving and improving. Without an evolving product that is continuously solving pain points, users will eventually (or quickly) find an alternative. It’s important that you communicate product changes successfully. Most companies send update emails or announce new features and updates on social media but this is not really effective. Update emails get low open rates and posts and social media are out of context.

Without an evolving product that is continuously solving pain points, users will eventually (or quickly) find an alternative.The best way to make product updates and new feature announcements is in context: in your product or on your site. Beamer is the best tool to update your users. Beamer is a changelog that opens up within your app or website where your team can share updates to users for anything: new features, product updates, bug fixes, general news, etc. Users just have to click a “What’s New” tab on your site or an icon within your interface that opens up the newsfeed in a sidebar that looks and feels native. You can add photos, videos, and GIFs to your updates to make them super visual and engaging. You can add CTAs to your updates to get users engaging right away.

communicate product changes

The announcements are much more in context than in email. But if you need to reach users outside the product and bring them back, you can use push notifications as well with Beamer. With Beamer, you can segment updates so updates are targeted to a user’s demographic, language, and past behavior so you don’t create “notification fatigue” with your users.

Collect feedback and apply it:

Product marketing is a continual, evolving process. There really is no end to the cycle as you really don’t want there to be an end to the paying user’s contract. The business world and landscape of competitors is always evolving so the product needs to always be evolving to keep up with users’ needs. A big part of product marketers job in the long run is to listen to what customers are saying about the product and turn it into action to improve the product and communicate updates to users to keep them on board. Change happens fast so product marketers need to have this process down. Along with swift pivoting and roll out of new features and updates, product marketers need to find an effective way to collect feedback from previous features and updates and collect data to have better direction when working on upcoming product improvements that meet customer needs.

product marketing - collect feedback

With SaaS, the role of marketing has transformed into “product marketing” and the responsibilities and skill set has expanded as well. But those who are able to take a holistic approach to marketing and product development and simplify it all into a cohesive strategy as outlined here will be successful. If you haven’t yet thought of yourself or your team as a product marketing team, you should shift towards this perspective to stay ahead. To improve your product marketing strategy, communicate and engage better with users try Beamer today.