Silicon Valley Business Catalyst Blog

Marketing is not just about promotions and advertising

Posted by Grace Hu-Morley on Friday, October 17, 2008 Under: Marketing (general)


Just the other day a serial entrepreneur, who had a few failed businesses, told me that he painfully learned that marketing is needed way before product development.  Like many others, he unfortunately waited to bring on marketers because he thought there was no reason to promote a product that wasn’t been built yet.

Marketing is mostly portrayed and perceived as an outbound “marketing communications” function—promotions, PR, advertising, event management, etc.  However, for companies to be successful, they need more than (what I consider to be) the tactical branch of marketing.  Organizations also need the strategic arms of marketing—product management and product marketing.  These are market-driven, outside-in marketing roles.

Product management is the voice and messenger of the market for the organization, as well as the product (-line) “business owner”.  Product managers take market information to drive product and development direction.  They are also cross functional leads, liaisons and catalysts for departments, organizations, customers, and partners.   It is NOT about creating a need for products through advertising.

Product marketing is also strategic in that it takes market information to drive go-to-market strategies.  The launch method and support is provided by product marketing and executed on by marketing communications.  Understanding why and which buyers buy allows for more targeted promotions.

When I manage product lines, I run them as the “business owner”.  I personally believe overseeing the entire marketing process from product concept to launch to sustaining to grave is necessary to drive the success of the products I manage.  However, few marketing managers have the know-how or the desire to do both product management and product marketing.  Managing the entire process allows me to tie the products, benefits, and messaging tightly together.  When product management and product marketing functions are separated, I always make sure that the product marketing manager is brought in early on the product development process, even as early as the concept phase.

Of course promotions are important, but companies need marketers who focus on the market to drive product positioning and direction as well as determine go-to-market strategies.


In : Marketing (general) 


Tags: grace hu-morley  silicon valley  marketing  marketing communications  product management  product marketing  outbound marketing  inbound marketing  outside-in marketing 
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My motivation to begin this blog is to share my ideas mainly around technical marketing management, specifically product management and product marketing in the Silicon Valley. I am passionate about learning and want to help others who are also interested in building their expertise.

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