Field Guide on Product Marketing

The Growth Report #41

Happy Friday You Sexy Soul!

It’s the home stretch. 🙌

Two more weeks. We’re almost there.

Let’s end the year strong so we get to fully enjoy whatever’s left of Christmas with that bloody virus still raging (the Grinch sure is a happy camper this year).

FYI: Next week is going to be the last Newsletter for 2020. I’ll be crunching some numbers and will do a little yearly review of what has been one hell of a ride.🎢

But for now, let’s dive right into….


...Today's topics

📈 Product Marketing:
Field Guide on Product Marketing

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
The Tensions Between Old and New


📈 Product Marketing

Field Guide on Product Marketing

The Product Marketer is a new-ish and often confusing role.

Most companies still don't think about product marketing as its own function at all and I think it's one of the major reasons for failed product- and feature launches.

So let's have a look at what a product marketer's role entails and how it's different to product management.

I love this quote by Growth Marketing Legend Casey Winters that sheds some light on this issue:

“Product marketing has suffered from an identity crisis as long as I have known the term. Product marketing, when done correctly (which rarely happens), is usually in charge of three things: First, deciding a soon to be released product’s positioning and messaging. Second, launching the product and making sure users (in B2C) or customers and salespeople (in B2B) understand its value. Third, drive demand and usage of the product.”

The Three Responsibilities of a Product Marketer

So let's unpack that quote:

  1. Before the Launch of a product or feature, product marketers typically own positioning, messaging, customer development and the overall go to market strategy for a product

  2. During the Launch of a product or feature, the product marketer makes sure the users, customers and sales people understand the value of what's being released out to the market.

  3. After the Launch of a product or feature, product marketers help with sales enablement and focus on driving demand, adoption and the overall success of the product.

The Deliverables of a Product Marketer

Knowing this, it’s important that product marketers have a deep understanding of the customer and the market, to ensure that:

  • A product and its new features are appropriately positioned

  • Sales and marketing teams have all the necessary knowledge and materials to attract new customers

  • The product will satisfy the target audience’s needs and overcome their pain points

  • The product remains relevant as the market evolves

The tangible results of a product marketer’s work typically include:

  • Buyer personas that provide structure and insight for a company

  • Positioning and messaging that attracts and converts prospects and leads

  • Sales enablement materials that help reps close more deals

  • Competitive intelligence that gives the team a deep understanding of the market

  • Go-to-market strategy and launch plans that outline how the product should be promoted and sold

The Difference between Product Management and Product Marketing

In their beginner article on product marketing, Drift explains the main difference between a product marketer in this infographic:

Lessons from the Expert: Naike Romain

I hope you start to see as well how crucial this role is to close the gap between the product and the market (as well as the customer and the sales team).

And if you want to know more and actually listen to real life stories of a product marketer at work, there are few that have more experience than Naike Romain who held this role and lead teams in this function for HubSpot, Wistia, Foursquare and Localytics.

The following conversation delivers a fantastic overview of what the job of a product marketers entails and the impact it has on the entire organization.

👉 Listen to the interview with Product Marketer Naike Romain

I highly recommend to start familiarizing yourself with the role of the product marketer as you build up your marketing team. Especially if you feel there is a disconnect between your customers' perception of your product and the product vision that's lived or pushed internally.


🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

Picture of the day:

Marketing & Leadership Education

Brands and (Digital) Products that caught my eye

  • 💑 Thursday - It's like a minimalist Tinder. The app only works and matches people on Thursdays, which gets rid of the dating-fatigue as they call it. Also, I like their copy!

  • 🔈 Oda - A beautiful speaker that connects you directly to live-concerts curated by a group of musicians. Such an ambitious project!

  • 👶 Open Phone - It's like if Slack and Google Voice had a baby.

Interesting reads

  • 🤙🏼 Squad Wealth - An important idea that offers an alternative to the self-employed hustler creator stereotype. Also check out the other forward-thinking writing by the folks of 'other-internet'.

  • 💭 How to Think for Yourself - A thoughtful essay on cultivating creative courage by startup god father Paul Graham.


⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

The Tensions Between Old and New

We often complain about the old and dismiss what has been.

Every generation chases the horizon and forgets that they stand on the very ground that has been nurtured and paved by the people who came before them.

Every generation is convinced they have all the answers to century-old problems. But we fail to remember that soon our very own ideas and understanding of the world will be the one labeled ignorant and backwards.

I am currently reading the book Lessons from History, and this quote stuck out to me:

"The conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it—perhaps as much more valuable as roots are more vital than grafts. It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovations must survive before being allowed to enter the human race. It is good that the old should resist the young, and that the young should prod the old; out of this tension, as out of the strife of the sexes and the classes, comes a creative tensile strength, a stimulated development, a secret and basic unity and movement of the whole."

My heart belongs to the future and to all possibilities not yet materialized. I too am eager to make this world a little better before I leave.

And for all the resistance, obstacles and hardship in our ways, somehow it is calming for me to know that the tension between the old and the new is the very process to achieve just that.


That's it for this week.

Enjoy your well-earned weekend 🏡

See you next week,

Sandro