The Dilemma of Product Marketing versus Product Management
Product Marketing versus Product Management: Which is which?
Product marketing versus Product management: the Dilemma
What makes a business, a business is that there is always something to trade off; either a service or a product that is very much in demand in an open market.
Of course, just because it’s in demand in the market doesn’t guaranty its popularity with the consumers or even their knowledge of it. It’s like the saying, ‘what you need may be right in front of you without you knowing it’.
And yes, products or services we need may often be at our door step without us knowing about it, till we are made to realize we just might need them.
This definitely is the point of product marketing.
There is a product, there are available consumers ready to pounce on it the very minute it shows up, but then, there is that other factor that makes it all make sense; the Knowledge of the product.
Hence, product marketing is basically giving consumers or the market the idea that a product they very much crave for, exists. It is a manufacturer or an entrepreneur announcing the product to the world and to the target market.
And this is done by structuring the ways the Hows, the Whys and the Whens are answered if they eventually get asked.
The product marketer decides on how to position the brand’s message, how and when the product is launched and tells the people why the product exists and why they should buy them.
The main idea is to influence demand and usage.
Take for instance, in a rural town where water is well in abundance, you coming in with a product that ironically is water, would need a marketing format for the people of that town to even consider your product.
This is what ‘Product Marketing’ is all about; giving a brand a fighting chance in the competitive market space.
In essence, product marketing doesn’t just stop with a product going into the market, it continues with marketers or producers understanding the feedback of the customers/consumers while being conscious of the product’s life-cycle.
Like it is with sentient life, a product has its mortal life span, and would perish should its marketing become stagnated or redundant.
For a product to stay forever relevant, the idea that it is needed more than its competition should continually be reinforced and this is using the triangular format of: Attract—engage—Delight.
The market should be attracted to a product first and foremost, because it’s the reason anyone would even consider giving it a thought.
It’s like a romantic relationship where a guy and girl give into the thought of dating each other because of an attraction. But attraction alone doesn’t determine the flow or the buildup of interest. There has to be a consistent engagement.
Both of them really need to be into each other, not just by the attraction but other factors that keep both of them involved.
And taken into note that they can only get involved for so long as long as the two do not get too comfortable with each other to stay relaxed else, the relationship becomes stale or redundant.
This is where bringing in new elements comes in to create a delight that refreshes the whole thing again.
It is like an evolution and a revolution combined. It is a revolution in that it the whole thing has a life cycle and in as much as there is a beginning, there has to be an end, but the revolution comes in when prior to the product reaching its last phase in the market, the producer or the marketer, reinvents it again.
But what about Product Management?
This is a whole different animal again, and just because it is different, doesn’t mean both has to be separated. It’s like a mother and a child. They are both different beings but one cannot be separated without talking about the other.
Product management concerns itself with a products development. It starts as the bases for product marketing.
It basically in lay terms is the plan and the processes that keep a product on its feet. It informs and plans out the life circle of a product.
The concept can be traced to 1931 from a memo by Procter & Gamble President Neil H McElroy, who requested additional employees in a firm focused instead on brand management.
He dubbed them the ‘Brand Men’ whose duty it was to manage products, package them, position them for distribution and monitor them for how they perform in the market.
We can definitely say that Product Management is the full syllable compared to Product Marketing that is just the scheme of a syllable.
For the product marketers, their duty is to understand the content and its distribution patterns, create budgets for marketing campaign, work with content creators to ensure the marketing message reflects what the product and the brand is all about.
For the product managers, they use the information gathered from customer research to analyze the competition, the industry itself, the trends and the economic situation of the period that is in focus.