Digital Marketing is NOT Product Marketing.
Even for digital-only products, this remains true.
Time and again, I have been observing this hiring trend where a digital marketer has been hired and is expected to perform the overall product marketing role. When I asked the reason behind this from one of the companies whom I was consulting recently, the answer was:
“Oh we have a limited budget for marketing and we just want to do some Facebook campaigns”.
Ok, that could be for now but what about later?
“Even later, we think our prime marketing channels to promote our products will be digital only”.
Sounds simple and fair enough, isn’t it?
But it’s not that simple in the real scenario. It’s a small company and this marketer is expected to own up the overall “growth” of the product – from awareness to consideration, from lead generation to conversion. Yes, the channels to be used are of course digital.
Considering I have worked in startups for long, I totally understand the need for resource optimization in smaller companies. I have also been a huge evangelist for digital medium ever since the start of my career but, just because your prime channel of promotion is going to be “digital”, you can not expect a digital marketer to do the overall job of product marketing.
The candidate could be an expert in understanding Facebook or might be a specialist in search engine optimization but these can’t be the be all end all of product marketing.
The role of a product marketer ideally starts from as early as the market validation stage, right when the product team starts to conceptualize the product. A typical product marketing role during launch would look something like this:
These roles may vary a bit depending upon the product category and organization, but overall a product marketer needs to have a holistic understanding of marketing and not just channel-specific approach.
Depending upon the growth stage of your organization and product, you may decide to hire the person at an appropriate time but before hiring, do invest some time in deciding your goals and objectives and hire the candidate with the right skills accordingly. You may even decide to give your digital marketer the overall product marketing role in future but this upskilling will take time and may not necessarily work always.
Thank you for visiting my blog & reading this post.