Product Marketing isn’t the same as it was a decade ago. Heck, it isn’t the same as it was two years ago. 2020 radically accelerated trends that have been happening to my profession for a while. Customers aren’t engaging with our content in the conventional ways they used to. Traditional social media posts are not successfully converting into web page traffic. Millennials and digital natives who research and compare products in new ways make up a third of our buyers and that number will only grow.
As product marketers, we are dedicated to bringing great products to market – products that delight customers, drive profitability and that help change the way people work and live. To that end, we need to use the best methodologies, tools and techniques to be most effective. But what do we adopt to best bring products to market? How do we promote them and sell them with all the changes in how we should engage customers in this new normal?
Well, that is the question I posed to my team earlier this year and together we came up with a series of “intentions” for how a modern product marketeer should act to be successful. And could we capture those new directions in a way that we can use in recruiting, as a regular touchstone, and as something to communicate to the company at large?
Well, the team went off and noodled, iterated and reviewed with me and we came up with the following “manifesto” for how a modern Product Marketeer should, behave:
Lead the Adventure
We are the adventure guide and as such will be the voice of the product to teach instead of sell by sharing knowledge and expertise. We are both internal and external thought leaders. We will guide customers on their journey with engaging and insightful content based on our deep understanding of customer needs, the market, technology, competition, press, analysts, trends.
In a New Tone
The landscape is crowded with competitors all making similar claims in the same dull way. We will engage in authentic communication and speak insightfully, creatively, and candidly – occasionally using snark and humor to be slightly unconventional – to engage and delight our customers.
Be Digital Native
Digital is transforming the way our customers interact with and respond to technology. We will shift from primarily written content to heavy use of video, podcasts, social, AR, interactive content and emerging platforms.
Content Uber Alles
We will create timely, compelling anchor pieces that speak to business and personal pain, that will be refactored to target the “watering holes” where our audiences gather. As a result, we will work smarter not harder. We will engage our customers with compelling content across the latest digital platforms.
Act, and Act Now
What we say and write is the raw material for the rest of the company’s marketing functions. We must be the catalyst for these changes. There is no time for a long and drawn-out evolution. We must take it upon ourselves to act with urgency and implement these changes immediately to champion these new ways of communicating with our audiences.
Making the Manifesto Reflexive
We originally created the manifesto as a written document with significant explanations and calls-to-action each for each of the above points. But a whitepaper style document actually defeats the goal of what we are trying to achieve – it’s a lengthy written document that doesn’t embody many of the commandments of the manifesto. So, I challenged the team to live the manifesto in how we publish it and thus “Manifesto Destiny”, a comic book, was born.
It tells the story of a product marketeer (who does not look like me) – lost in an unforgiving jungle, hounded by ravenous sales teams, and at risk of being stampeded by ravenous customers – who discovers the manifesto and uses it to help his colleagues escape common challenges and pitfalls we face.
It definitely has helped the team to focus on driving a new set of priorities and I am looking forward to seeing how it works in recruiting. Check it out below, and bonus points if you can spot the easter eggs – because of course all good content has some!