The Strategy-Driven Guide to Product Marketing in 2024

Think about the products you sell. More likely than not, your products have different value to different customer segments. Even if you only sell one product, its value proposition is probably unique for each segment, too. Product marketing is what enables you to market each offering in a targeted way to the audiences that need them most.

When you have a solid product marketing strategy in place, you can maintain a consistent brand message while optimizing the marketing and sales potential of each product you sell. In the sections that follow we’ll cover more about why effective product marketing is so essential, and 7 areas of focus for launching a product marketing strategy that delivers.

Quick Takeaways

  • Product marketing lives at the intersection of marketing, sales, and product development.
  • Fundamental components of a solid product marketing strategy include: ICPs, buyer personas, defined goals, and value-driven content.
  • Product marketers know, understand, and work to differentiate from competitors.
  • They spend a significant amount of time collaborating with other teams to ensure the product experience is seamless for customers.
  • An effective go-to-market (GTM) strategy can make or break product success.

What is product marketing?

Product marketing is a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. It focuses on marketing specific products to the right audiences with a customer-focused approach. Organizationally, product marketing lives at the intersection of marketing, sales, and product development. 

Venn diagram showing that product marketing lives at the center of marketing, sales, and product development

Image Source

Product marketing requires a deep understanding of:

  • Product features and benefits
  • Target audiences and customer needs
  • Value-driven marketing messages
  • Sales execution tactics

Product marketers then use this knowledge to align your teams and create a consistent buyer experience from the first touchpoint to final purchase. Whether your company sells one product or many, you need a product marketing strategy to differentiate product-focused efforts from your overall brand promotion. 

With a strong product marketing strategy in place, you can be confident in your ability to accurately target the right customers, maintain better competitive positioning, remain more agile, and convert sales at a higher rate.

Components of a product marketing strategy that works

The key to product marketing success is to create a true strategy—not to rely on a set of tactics that may or may not work together. While your product marketing strategy is different from your overall marketing strategy, it should still be rooted in the same goals. Product marketing is most successful when it’s aligned with your company’s overall business objectives.

In short: The success of your product marketing strategy should be a driver of larger business success for your brand.

So how do you do it? Let’s dive into 7 important areas of focus to make your product marketing efforts truly strategy-driven.

ICPs and buyer personas

Ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas are fundamental to every good product marketing strategy because they help you figure out which products to target to which audiences. ICPs define your customers by company type, and personas define them by individual decision-maker characteristics.

Graphic defining your ideal customer profile vs. buyer persona

Image Source

Product marketers must understand both ICPs and buyer personas to develop messaging that resonates with each unique customer segment. Messaging must be aligned with the specific needs and pain points each segment experiences, demonstrating how your product solutions can solve them.

Defined goals and objectives

Measurable, KPI-driven goals are important, and the process of defining these goals should be executed at the product level. Different products you sell might drive different types of value for your brand, and to report on the success of your product marketing strategy, you’ll need to define that value separately for each product. For example, your company might develop new products to:

  • Increase revenue
  • Fill a competitive gap
  • Enter a new market
  • Diversify the product portfolio
  • Boost market share
  • Address new customer needs

Product marketers are responsible for collaborating with teams across the business—from the C-suite to marketing and sales teams to product development teams and more—to determine what these goals are and how to develop marketing messaging that helps to accomplish them.

It’s not surprising then, that more than 80% of product marketers say they spend a significant amount of their time collaborating with other teams.

Graphs show that more than 80% of product marketers say they spend time collaborating with other teams

Image Source

Value-driven content

What do the best product marketing brands—Apple, Nike, and Red Bull, for example—do that make them so successful? They ignore product features and instead focus on the value their product brings to customers. 

Think different. Just do it. Red Bull gives you wings.

These slogans don’t tell you anything about the products themselves. They tell you what you’ll be able to do when you use them.

Ultimately, this is all customers care about. Content that demonstrates value engages new customers better than features-focused content every time. Product marketers understand this principle and make it a core tenet of every product marketing campaign.

Apple’s “Shot and Edited on iPhone” commercials are a great example. They don’t mention the actual iPhone camera once, let alone its features. Instead, they let real customer photos speak for the product themselves.

Competitive positioning

Product marketers have the responsibility of expanding their brand’s competitive positioning to each specific product it sells. They must know not only which other brands are competitors, but which product offerings present the most competition to their own.

This requires determining differences in features and benefits, then highlighting the ones that make theirs stand out. Apple is again a standout in this category. The Mac vs. PC commercials from the early 2010s are a great example of clever competitive product marketing:

Go-to-market strategy

A robust go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a cornerstone of successful product marketing. It’s not just about launching a product; it’s about crafting a journey that aligns with your brand’s values and resonates with your target audience. Your GTM strategy is the blueprint for how you introduce your products to the market, ensuring they reach the right people, in the right way, at the right time.

For new product launches and startups, the stakes are especially high. A staggering 90% of startups fail, and often, a misaligned or poorly executed go-to-market strategy is to blame. This underscores the critical importance of a well-thought-out GTM plan. It’s not just a roadmap for your product; it’s often the difference between your product’s success or failure.

Sales enablement

Once your brand’s product marketing strategy is in place, product marketers should develop and provide sales enablement materials to help the sales team succeed. This mostly comes in the form of content to explain value propositions, target customer segments, messaging, pricing, and more.

Examples of sales enablement materials include:

  • Detailed pricing models
  • Product guides
  • Branded sales presentations
  • Email templates
  • Messaging examples/guides
  • Demo or how-to videos
  • ICP and buyer persona details

This step requires collaboration between product marketers (who have product expertise) and sales leaders (who have the sales expertise) to develop well-rounded sales enablement materials that provide all the important information sales reps need to successfully close product sales.

Customer feedback and product development

After product launch, the work continues in every good product marketing strategy. It’s important to monitor the response to new product launches and collect customer feedback on every product you sell, using it to continually refine and improve your offerings.

The payoff is significant—customer-centric companies are able to grow their revenues 4-8% faster than their competitors.

Putting it All Together

In the world of product sales, a detailed and well-planned product marketing strategy is a must. It keeps your product marketing focused, targeted, and aligned with your larger business goals. It ensures you are reaching the right audiences for each offering in your portfolio, and maximizes ROI on the investments you’re making in product development, branding, and campaigns.

Perhaps most impactfully, product marketing aligns the many teams involved in making your product launch and continued sales a success, serving as the connector between marketing, sales, and product teams to deliver a complete and seamless buyer experience to your customers.

Revboss’s outbound email software and lead-gen services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with our team to find out how we can help you win more clients.