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Episode 61: Interview with Marcus Andrews - Product Marketing, Launches, Narrative Design & More

by Doug Davidoff | Sep 8, 2020 10:00:00 AM

What is product marketing? Is it really a thing? And if it is a thing, how is it different from marketing? A lot gets answered in today's episode as we have guest Marcus Andrews, Product Marketing Group Lead for the Marketing Hub at HubSpot, joining us to fill in all the gaps surrounding product marketing. And for the first time, co-host and founder of Seventh Sense, Mike Donnelly, is unable to make the recording, so things are extra interesting this episode.




Show Notes

Black Line Podcast_MarcusAndrews

To start answering the questions above, product marketing is a thing. It's taking a group of creative, generalist marketers and embedding them with the product team to position the company's products and organize them into launches. You have to have a good message behind your product if you want to get customers. 

How is product marketing different than marketing? There are two forces associated with product marketing: competition and being product driven. Marketing tends to start with being product driven, but the focus usually ends up elsewhere. 

A big part of what's unique with product marketing is that the team makes it easy to understand the value of the more technical products. You have to break down the product for the consumer to digest it. It's hard to tell a story when you have a bunch of different products and no way to connect them. 

What is a launch? A launch is simply a marketing campaign that's very product driven. It's an alignment exercise and Marcus believes they're very underrated. Most companies are running campaigns while also pushing out other products and they're missing out on the benefits of including those other products in their own launches. He goes on to say that while launches are hard, big, messy, and complicated, they work. 

When a company pushes out a lot of new products/launches frequently, it can feel like they are trying to oversell you. How do you maintain a launch pace and not make your customers feel like you're selling them on things they don't want? Marcus explains that if the launches aren't rooted in the stuff customers care about, they could be too product driven, or the targeting could be off. In terms of your story and direction, narrative design is the place to start. Narrative design is your opportunity to build, design, and be strategic about how you want to present the product. There's a lot of companies coming out with new games and the biggest mistake they're making is that it's all BS. If you aren't talking about what's changing and being real, people will reject it. 

The last thing Marcus lets us in on is the process he uses when it comes to product presentation, and it's based around the same 5 slides that Brian Halligan used with HubSpot.

1. What's the change

2. How the change is creating winners and losers

3. How should people react

4. Why it's so hard

5. Your solution

Thank you Marcus for joining us on today's episode. If you want to know more about product marketing, you can connect with Marcus Andrews on LinkedIn. You can also follow his podcast, The Product Marketing Experts on Spotify.