No PMM on your team? No problem
What do you do if you don’t have a product marketer on your team? We’re going to discuss what a product marketing manager or PMM does, why product marketing is hard, what getting better at product marketing can do for you, and some tips on how to get better at doing so. So let’s jump into it.
What is a PMM?
Well, a PMM or product marketing manager or product marketer is the person who works to get people to buy your product.
You as the PM are worried about building the product. They’re generally worried about everything else.
When you are ready to say, “Hey, we have this thing, it’s ready to go live. Let’s launch it” the PMM takes care of everything from marketing messages to customer support training for new features.
If you’re in a small company, it’s likely that you don’t have a PMM on your team. It’s either you or someone from marketing or sales or customer support or heck… even the founder taking on some of the product marketer’s traditional tasks.
You’re probably already swamped with managing the development and direction of your product. Now also have to figure out how the heck to get this thing that you built out into the market.
Marketing is hard
And marketing is hard. You need to get to be in your customers mind already when they’re about to make a decision.
To get you into their mind, you’re going to need to learn how to see things from the customer’s perspective, tell a great story, and set your product apart from the rest of the competition.
That’s a lot to do. Why bother?
All that being said, if you can get good at product marketing, it’s going to open up a world of opportunity.
Obviously all of us want our products to be used by people. And if you can become a better product marketer, you’re going to have a product with more customers and more customers equals more motivation, more momentum, and maybe even more budget for you to do the fun things that you want to do as a product manager.
You’ll also learn what goes into building a successful product beyond just the product. And you’re going to better understand your customers and your non-customers, which is going to help you build something that will really stand out in the market.
Learning product marketing
Okay. So how the heck do you get better at product marketing?
Well, let’s go back to basics. If you remember from basic business 101, the four PS of marketing are product price, place, and promotion.
I’ll assume that you have that product part on lock and you just need a little help and understanding about pricing, placement, and promotion.
So to learn a little bit more about pricing, you can do a bunch of reading. There’s a lot out there on this subject. You’re going to want to get familiar with different pricing strategies. These are things like value based pricing, cost based pricing, competitor based pricing.
You may also want to learn how to run a pricing survey to find the optimal price for your product.
This is where your customers are hanging out. If you don’t know where your customers are hanging out right now, you really need to get on that. So try to figure out where they’re hanging out, if you want to talk as a customer, next time you’re talking to them, just see where they like to get their information from.
Quick google searches are also going to be helpful. See what they read, what forums they’re on, what conferences they attend.
For getting better at placement, you just want to be where they are.
This is the trickiest one and this is what most people equate marketing with. And there’s a lot of ways to tackle this one.
If you’re just starting out, you’re going to want to test out some different marketing channels. There are a lot out there that are available to you. To see a list of them, I would definitely recommend checking out the book Traction. That’s going to give you a whole bunch that you can start from.
Start playing with one promotion channel and really see if you can get that one to stick before moving onto another. Use that one channel to work on figuring out what your positioning is, learn how to write some ad copy, and figure out placement.
This may be a different kind of writing and creative work than you’re used to, so don’t worry if you’re not excellent at it at first.
…but the more you do it the more comfortable you’re going to be with it.