How To Start A SaaS Product Marketing Career
So, you’re thinking of starting a product marketing career in a SaaS company. You’ve been eyeing that role for a while but have been wondering how to get into this exciting role. In this article, we’ll provide a detailed guide to getting into product marketing at entry level.
What is Product marketing?
What is product marketing responsible for?
Simply put, product marketing brings your product solutions to the client. For a SaaS business, it means applying the right strategies and tricks to create demand for your products to the intended end user. Product marketing is responsible for product positioning, messaging, and onboarding.
To become a good product marketer you need to have certain qualities. You’re required to be a good storyteller, know your target audience and know how to produce a perfect product-led marketing plan which aims to make the product speak for itself.
How is product marketing different from traditional marketing?
This is quite easy to understand, actually. Product marketing focuses on creating demand for products from the target audience, while marketing involves creating brand awareness and generating leads.
Skills required for a product marketing career in SaaS
So you know what a product marketer typically does. Let’s look at some of the skills you need for a successful career in SaaS product marketing.
Good relationship-building and cross-functional skills
This is a no-brainer. As a product marketer, you should be a natural at building relationships. You should be able to get along with people in the SaaS industry and your target audience circle. This is important for establishing trust between them.
Aside from having good relationship skills, you need to be able to cross-function seamlessly. As a product marketing manager, you’re sandwiched between sales, product, communications, and marketing. You should be able to work across the various teams and their departments quickly and effortlessly.
Ability to blend strategic and creative thinking.
Creative and strategic planning is an essential skill every product marketing manager requires. You need to be able to put your strategic and creative caps on to pull off great campaigns.
This includes sharpening your storytelling skills through books and podcasts on SaaS. Imagine using the wrong choice of words or failing to deliver your product’s message to the intended user. You’d struggle to convince them that your product is their best option.
Zapier’s SEO campaign, Mailchimp’s curious ad campaign, and Zoho’s referral marketing are excellent examples of successful product marketing campaigns. These campaigns were tailored to the company’s unique brand, implementing marketing techniques like SEO, creativity, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Confidence in your Skill and Knowledge
Being confident is everything. Confidence sprouts from being well-learned in your field and upgrading your skills. This enhances your job performance, improves your engagement and interaction both at work and outside work, and helps you solve problems.
Getting your first product marketing job in SaaS
It’s time to know some tips for landing your first product marketing job – the experience you need, networking, and knowing all about the product and the customer.
Most companies require 2+ years of experience as a product marketing manager. To get started, you need a degree in Marketing. However, there have been exceptions where product marketing managers learned the ropes from others in the company or the Industry. The reward for this role is quite lucrative as salaries can vary based on experience and performance.
For those just starting out in product marketing (0-1 years of experience), the average salary can range from $50,000 to $70,000 per year. For product marketers with a few years of experience (2-5 years), the average salary can range from $70,000 to $100,000 per year. For experienced product marketers (6+ years), the average salary can range from $100,000 to $150,000 per year or more. For director or executive roles in product marketing, salaries can range from $150,000 to $250,000+ per year.
You need to attend seminars and industry events as and when they happen. Try to keep up with all the latest trends in product marketing communities and learn new tricks from other industry players.
Know more about the industry, product, and customer
You can’t “sell” to someone when you don’t know what you’re selling. You must always be up-to-date with how products work. That way, you can be very confident when promoting the product to the customer.
Knowing the product isn’t enough.You need to know your customers. You can’t bring a product intended for customer A, who fits in your target audience, to customer B who is interested in something other than your product. That’s like throwing money into the ocean. Not only would you be wasting your time and the company’s resources, you’ll be losing your intended customer to competition before reaching them.
Finally you need to have your nose dived deep into analyst review and research sites like Capterra and G2. This helps you learn more about the industry.
Product Marketing Journey
Before embarking on your product marketing journey, you must answer these essential questions.
Why product marketing?
There are various careers in SaaS, but why are you geared toward product marketing? Is it passion? The skill set you have? Or the benefits that come with it?
What are the challenges of product marketing?
- Burnout can seriously mess with your focus and productivity, turn you into a work cynic, and even sour your mood around colleagues and clients.
- It’s easy to lose focus on what you’re aiming for, especially when dealing with multiple teams.
What are some benefits of product marketing?
- Product marketers work closely with the market and customers, giving them a deep understanding of customer pain points, needs, and desires.
- Product marketing can increase user adoption by communicating the benefits of the product.
- Product Marketers ensure that the product launch is well-coordinated and that all relevant stakeholders are informed and excited.
- Product marketers can help shape the product roadmap. This can lead to the development of new features or products that drive revenue growth.
Now that you know what to expect and what is expected of you in product marketing, you can shadow a product marketer for a while to see if it’s really for you. Reading on SaaS product marketing and listening to SaaS product marketing podcasts can also help you kickstart your new journey.