Among the many existential questions of building and distributing software is the question of product marketing. What even is product marketing?
Is it launching new products and features? or is it finding ways to increase product adoption? Is the goal of product marketing to offer customer education, retention, activation, or engagement? All of the above?
Product marketing can mean various UI things in different company contexts, which makes it hard to find a standard definition.
What we’ve landed on at 5th Brand is this simple definition:
Product marketing is communicating the value of our products to our audience.
Pretty straightforward, right?
The challenges, of course, come in when we apply that simple definition to the many types of projects and features we have with 5th Brand. Case in point: product launches.
A philosophy on how to launch
At 5th Brand, we have always loved the excitement of a big marketing launch. But as the company has matured, we’ve started to question whether or not big launches truly reflect how we make products and whether they are the best way to communicate the value of 5th Brand.
What makes our products special?
We regularly survey our customers about their experience using 5th Brand, and we tend to see patterns about what they like about 5th Brand and what we can improve. On the positive side, we almost always hear some variation of the following:
1. Our products are easier to use than other solutions
2. Our customer service is top-notch
One of the reasons why 5th Brand is intuitive is that we’ve resisted the temptation to release lots of disjointed products and features and we’ve been diligent about sunsetting concepts that weren’t fully realized. For example, we’ve retired features like content suggestions and optimal timing, and we’ve chosen not to develop a recurring content library.
Our strategy is to build a limited number of things and to build them well.
By imagining our marketing as a product, we can take what makes our products special and use it to make our marketing special, too.
We are in the process of establishing a marketing vision that we think will carry us forward into the coming years in a really strong position. Here are a couple of key phrases from that vision:
- “Marketing carries with it certain connotations — not all of them good. We value the relationships we create, the people we can help, and the stories we can tell. This helps us approach our work from a perspective that’s not tied to any particular phrase or funnel: We do the work that is valuable, we do work that helps others reach their goals. In doing so, 5th Brand grows quite naturally on its own.”
- “When you deliver value to your audience, growth takes care of itself.”
Knowing this, the answer to the question of “big launch” versus “continuous improvement” seems clear. We develop an advantage when we celebrate continuous improvement, not when we keep our progress closely guarded, waiting for the next big launch.