This post will guide you through the basic skills you need to become a good product marketer. All of these have been written from my experience in B2B SaaS product marketing in one of the top product companies in the world.
Develop excellent communication skills: Product Marketing sits between sales, marketing and product, you will find yourself in the middle of these three functions, often meeting multiple people on a daily basis. You need to be able to articulate your needs and requirements to these teams and also balance expectations. It is up to you and your team to set the expectations right without damaging your relationships with any of these verticals as you will be collaborating with them regularly.
Be a good writer: You don’t have to be the next Hemingway, but you do need to clearly articulate your value proposition. You need to understand your customer’s needs and convince the reader how your product solves their problem. Write simple, be precise and avoid fluff, however tempting it may be.
Understand the industry: Product marketing is a strategic function. You need to know your industry well, know the players and how it is changing over time. All the teams will look to you for this valuable information.
Become a product expert: You should know your product inside out. You should know your competitor’s product too to an extent. When I first started out, I was given the task of writing/revamping our knowledge base. This may seem to be the task of a technical writer but this exercise helped me understand my product tremendously. Once I understood my product I was much more confident in explaining its benefits and becoming an advocate for it.
Thrive in uncertainty: As a product marketer, many things are outside your control. For example, the product roadmap, although you can give your inputs it is up to the product team to build what they want to. Marketing might have its own initiatives and sales will always ask for more. This can be overwhelming at times, your goals will keep changing and you will find yourself being pulled into different directions. You need to keep the eye on the ball and focus on one task at a time with the belief that it will work out for the good, mostly it does.