Navigating Product Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide (+ Examples)

April 19, 2024
10 minute read

Product marketing is a crucial skill to learn if you want your product to thrive in the market for a long time. By understanding the principles of effective marketing, you can create a strong brand image, identify your target audience, and develop strategies to reach and engage with them. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the marketing of a product. We'll explore the essential tools, techniques, and real-life examples you might find helpful in your product marketing journey. 


What is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is a branch of marketing that dedicates itself to preparing, launching, and maintaining relevant and profitable products. A product marketer’s job involves deeply understanding the target audience and competition, correctly positioning their product, creating compelling stories, content, and messaging, and coordinating with cross-functional teams, among other things.


Product Marketing Manager Responsibilities

Product and Market Insight

The core of every product marketing strategy is insight. Product marketing managers must deeply understand their product and the industry to identify and connect with their target audience. It’s their job to gather information about the target audience and consolidate it into actionable information that can guide the rest of the team in making future decisions.

Strategic Communication

With so many products and options available in the market, it’s essential for a product manager to nail their strategy. Nowadays, thousands of channels are available to communicate with audiences –from physical means such as events and brick-and-mortar store locations to the vast expanse of blogs and social media. A product marketing manager’s job is to identify the most impactful messages and channels that would yield the most benefit from their budget and effort. 

Collaboration and Management

Creating relevant content involves continued communications across cross-functional teams. A product marketing manager would want to collaborate closely with the product manager and development team so they can understand the product roadmap and provide recommendations based on the sentiments of the target audience. Product marketing managers will need to connect with the community managers, customer service teams, and other direct-to-consumer touchpoints to continuously track audience sentiment and their evolving values They’ll also need to collaborate with sales teams to ensure that the benefits are being communicated effectively to prospects. And so on.

Pivoting along the way might be crucial. Spotting relevant trends, taking advantage of them, and being agile are relevant for product marketing managers today.


Key Functions of Product Marketing

Strategic Positioning and Messaging

Product positioning and messaging are two essential components of any successful marketing strategy. While they may seem similar, they serve different purposes and play distinct roles in communicating with the target audience. 

Product positioning refers to how a company positions its product in the market, highlighting its unique selling propositions and differentiating it from competitors. It involves determining the target market, identifying the product's key benefits, and creating a perception in the consumers' minds.

On the other hand, messaging refers to the actual communication of those key benefits and unique selling propositions to the target audience. It involves crafting compelling messages that resonate with customers and effectively convey the value of the product. For this, social listening is highly recommended to use the voice of the customer (VoC).

Case Study: Goodr Sunglasses



For the longest time, sports sunglasses for cyclists, athletics, and other adventure sports have been dominated by several brands that feature various specialty specs built with polycarbonate materials that are durable and protect the eyes of the players from harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. A lot of investment and research has been given to these products, which justifies their $100+ price tags. And with the rise of interest in health, wellness, and sports, more and more have desired to invest in their own specs. However with several factors hindering the younger audience, Goodr managed to carve their niche.

For the young athletes who just want to have fun and don’t have the money yet to invest in gear that’s too expensive, Goodr realized that “running sunglasses and all active lifestyle sunglasses are ugly, expensive, and over-engineered,” says Goodr co-founder and CEO, Stephen Lease. “Our goal from the beginning was to make them fashionable, affordable, and performance without the extra bulls—.” 

A refreshing difference from sports shades with hefty price tags, Goodr offered lightweight, vibrant, and functional sports sunglasses for $25. “For $25, we’re giving them permission to have some fun,” Lease said. “If you’re buying a pair of $200 sunglasses, you can’t be buying the brightest, loudest ones that you’re not going to wear as much.” This strategic positioning allowed Goodr to grow massively since its inception in 2015.

Target Audience and Market Insight

Identifying and understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to marketing your product effectively. By knowing who your customers are, you can tailor your voice, messaging, and unique selling proposition (USP) to meet their specific needs and desires. This allows you to effectively communicate the value and benefits of your product to them. 

Furthermore, understanding your target audience provides valuable insights to the product development team. It helps them prioritize which features to develop next for the product roadmap, ensuring that you continue to meet your customer's evolving needs and stay ahead of the competition.

Case Study: Loop Earplugs

Source: Loop Earplugs


Loop Earplugs are revolutionizing the way we think about earplugs. With their focus on style and comfort, they have created a product that not only protects our ears but also looks great while doing it. 

Since its founding in 2016, Loop has experienced incredible success, growing into a €125.6 million business by 2023. It's no wonder that they were named the fastest-growing tech company by Deloitte's 2022 Technology Fast 50.

Loop Earplugs were designed with party-goers in mind, aiming to provide a solution to noise stress without compromising sound quality. However, with the pandemic causing party cancellations, Loop Earplugs had to adapt and find a new target audience.

Through user surveys, they discovered use cases that allowed them to discover new market segments: parents and kids, noise-sensitive individuals, those with ADHD or autism, people looking to focus on work and improve sleep, and even motorcycle riders seeking noise reduction. 

Loop offers 3 earplug variants. (Source: Amazon)


Identifying new key target audiences has set Loop up for massive momentum. “With the refined target audience, we were able to create a strategy focused on creating commercial, informational, and editorial content to rank for relevant keyphrases about this audience, ensuring we engaged with customers at each stage of the buying cycle,” Loop shares with The Drum.

Today, Loop Earplugs continues to grow and win awards because of their insight-driven product development.

Launch Plan and Growth

Launching a product requires careful planning and strategizing to ensure success. The launch sets the tone for the product, builds anticipation, and creates momentum that can propel it to new heights.

However, it's important to remember that the work doesn't stop once the product is launched. To truly achieve long-term success, it is necessary to have plans in place on how to continue growing the product. This could involve ongoing marketing efforts, customer engagement strategies, and continuous improvement based on feedback and market trends.

Case Study: Valorant

Source: Valorant Wiki


In May-June 2020, renowned game developer Riot Games released its second major game, Valorant. Valorant is a tactical first-person shooter (FPS). By utilizing Twitch, the largest game streaming platform in the West, Riot was able to reach a massive audience and generate momentum for its launch.

Twitch not only allowed users to stream games but also enabled them to connect their Twitch accounts to in-game accounts. For Valorant’s launch, Riot collaborated with Twitch streamers by giving them exclusive access to the game. For other interested players to gain access, they would need to link their Riot Games account to their Twitch account and watch Valorant streams. From here, Valorant access (beta keys) would be randomly given out to the viewers via “loot drops” on Twitch.

This strategy allowed Valorant to do many things at once: become the most popular game on Twitch, reach and target the FPS audience, effectively build anticipation, and convert it to enthusiasm because of their earned reward, which was access to the game. With the viewership on Twitch growing by 117% in 2020 while everyone needed to stay indoors during the global pandemic, Riot’s approach proved to be massively successful. 

But Valorant’s work didn’t stop there. As of March 2024, the population of Valorant is estimated at about 19.6M players, sustaining consistent growth since its launch almost 4 years ago. The developers have been working tirelessly to keep the game fresh and exciting, regularly releasing updates that introduce new characters, in-game content, promotional material, and collaborations. This continuous stream of new features ensures that players always have something to look forward to and keeps the community engaged.

Moreover, Valorant has also made significant strides in the world of eSports, organizing events that cater to both competitive players and casual viewers. All these efforts contribute to helping Valorant remain –and become even more relevant, to players for a long time. 

Post-Launch and Scaling

It's not enough to create and launch a great product. For businesses to be successful, it's crucial to ensure that the product stays relevant in the market as well. This can be achieved by actively listening to the needs and feedback of the community. 

By understanding what customers want and need, product marketers can develop new features or resources to support them. This active listening and adaptation is key to staying ahead of the competition and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, product marketing can contribute to market expansion, upselling, and cross-selling. By understanding the target audience's needs and analyzing market trends, product marketers can identify growth opportunities, develop strategies to tap into new markets and recommend new product features.

Case Study: Notion

Source: Medium


Notion, an innovative productivity tool, has come a long way since its founding in 2013. From the very beginning, Notion had a clear vision and unique selling proposition. It understood the power of word-of-mouth and utilized social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Product Hunt to build a strong, loyal fanbase

By actively engaging with their community, Notion fostered a group of passionate enthusiasts who soon became influencers in their own right. This community went on to create valuable resources such as tutorials, templates, and use cases for Notion, further enhancing its reputation and attracting more users.

In her guest appearance on the podcast Grow & Tell, Notion’s former head of marketing, Camille Rickets, talked about how listening to the community and actively supporting their initiatives paved the way toward their product's growth. On the B2B end, they ensured that they captured data on the types of users who visited their website.

On the B2C side, they created a Slack channel and remained observant of new behaviors they could support and leverage by helping remove friction and empowering them by providing resources that they could use to further that goal. This allowed many independent community managers to build Facebook groups, Reddit threads, and other communities that function independently but collectively contribute to Notion’s growth.

Today, Notion boasts a user base of 20 million worldwide. Alongside influencers, we now see the rise of Notion template creators, who provide pre-designed templates to enhance productivity and streamline workflows, and Notion consultants, who offer their expertise in helping individuals and businesses optimize their usage of the platform. We also see its continued evolution as it facilitates acquisitions and adapts new technologies (such as its new AI assistant) to improve its users’ experiences.


Product Marketing Manager Responsibilities

Product marketing is a challenging responsibility that requires a diverse skill set. Product marketers are responsible for gaining a deep understanding of their product and the market in which it operates. This means staying up-to-date with the latest trends and consumer preferences and using this knowledge to inform their marketing strategies.

In addition, a product marketer also plays a crucial role in strategic communication and material development. This involves creating compelling messaging and content that effectively communicates the product's value and benefits to potential customers.

Finally, collaboration with key stakeholders is another important aspect of being a product marketer. Working closely with various teams, such as product development, sales, and customer support, to ensure a cohesive and effective marketing strategy is essential to gather valuable insights that will help refine the product marketing team’s approach and drive better results.


Challenges in Product Marketing and Useful Tools

Audience Targeting

Defining your target audience is a challenge. But done right, it opens doors to massive opportunities. By identifying who would benefit the most from your product, you can tailor your marketing efforts and product features to meet their specific needs and desires. 

Don't be afraid to narrow down your focus –catering to a specific audience allows you to connect with them on a deeper level and truly understand their pain points. This targeted approach will not only increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns but also result in more valuable returns for your company.

One of the tools you can use to help you identify your key target audience is your social media analytics. By analyzing the demographics and interests of your followers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can gain valuable insights into who your target audience is. Another helpful tool is Google Analytics, which allows you to track the behavior of visitors on your website. This data can give you a better understanding of the characteristics and preferences of your target audience. 

Additionally, conducting surveys and interviews can provide direct customer feedback and help you tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. With these tools at your disposal, you can confidently identify and reach your target audience with precision.

Communication and Collaboration

Collaboration across cross-functional teams is essential for product marketing to be successful. Each team brings a unique perspective and set of skills that can contribute to the overall success of the product. For example, development teams can provide input on technology and product features. However, the customer service teams would be more attuned to the most bothersome pain points experienced by the customers. The sales team would also have the most insight when it comes to expectations and price points. All these insights allow for product-led marketing.

Siloed communication is a natural tendency within each team, focusing only on their specific tasks and goals. However, this can hinder the progress and effectiveness of the product marketing efforts, so it’s important to actively manage and encourage collaboration between teams. By fostering open communication channels and creating opportunities for cross-functional collaboration, the product marketing process can be streamlined and more effective.


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Project management software such as Workamajig can streamline the process by facilitating communication and alignment among cross-functional teams.

Product Positioning and Messaging

The way you position and message your product can truly make or break its success. This is why it is crucial to invest time and effort into understanding your target audience and designing a strategy that will resonate with them.

Good product positioning involves identifying the unique selling points of your product and highlighting them in a way that sets it apart from competitors. Additionally, crafting compelling messaging is essential in capturing the attention of potential customers and convincing them to choose your product over others. One of the tools you can use to help you identify your positioning would be the brand positioning map


Brand Perception Map (Source: Determ)

The key challenge in creating your perception map is identifying the X and Y axis attributes that will position your brand at a prominent corner.

For example, if you’re Goodr, using price and quality may not be a good choice of attributes if Goodr is merely at par with its competitors in this category. This attribute won’t make it stand out. 

Instead, using aesthetics and price might land them at a prominent corner in the positioning map because they would likely have the most vibrant aesthetic and the most affordable prices in their category. So in terms of positioning, they can boast about having the same level of quality as other sports shades but highlight that they’re the most aesthetic and affordable specs.

Demonstrating ROI

Demonstrating return on investment (ROI) is crucial for product marketing success, and aligning it with your product lifecycle can make a significant difference. By understanding where your product stands in its lifecycle, you can tailor your marketing messages, tactics, and product marketing metrics accordingly.

Source: Eightception

When you strategically connect your marketing efforts with the different stages of your product's lifecycle, you can better showcase the value of your efforts in terms of how it’s contributing to your product’s long-term growth.


Wrapping Up

Product marketing supports the success of your product or service because it helps to create awareness and generate demand among your target audience. The scope of the work of a product marketing manager spans from product development and continues for as long as the product stays on the market. 

By diligently researching their target audience, strategically positioning their product, artfully crafting their messaging, and continuously evolving their product features and communication tactics, marketers can succeed in the dynamic and competitive world of product marketing.

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