Tools for Product Marketing (that your company probably already has)
Working for small or medium sized businesses often means that budgets are tight. Any little bit of money should be maximized as much as possible.
The good thing about Product Marketing is that your team probably already has most of the tools needed to build product marketing campaigns.
There are four main categories of tools you will absolutely need. Below, I explain what they are and a couple of my favorite options for each.
Campaign Execution and Scheduling
Training Tools (for internal team and customer)
With analytics, you’ll be able to see exactly how your product marketing campaigns impact user adoption. For example, “user adoption for feature X went up by 24% after the launch of our campaign”.
Getting product analytics set up will require a little work from your engineering team. Your product team may already have analytics set up, make sure to see what they have before investing in a new tool.
Some analytics tools require adding a tracking code on each button you want to track. This requires having to go to the engineering team and confirm they have added the code, checking to make sure it’s collecting data and moving to your production environment all before getting started with your actual campaign. Hardly conducive for fast-moving teams...so I opt for tools where I can “set it and forget it”.
Tools I love
Pendo - Pendo kills two birds with one stone. It has extensive product analytics, but it is also used for in-app announcements and product walkthroughs.
Heap - While more expensive than Pendo (at least the quotes I have received), if you love data and use it to make decisions, Heap has the most to offer here.
Good Budget Options
Mixpanel - Don't let the marketing fool you. This tool will require ongoing maintenance from your engineering team, but it can produce some pretty good reports if you are collecting data properly.
This tool is made for product teams and has an extensive collection of video tutorials to show you how to understand the data you receive.
Google Analytics - the marketing man's go-to. You may already have this installed so it can be a great place to start collecting page data. You will have to get a bit more crafty to use it to collect product data, as it not specifically made for monitoring products.
With any marketing campaign, you are going to need graphics of different sizes for social media, video covers, in-app announcements, and more. You will also wind up needing screen recording tools, video editing, software, and more.
I'm not saying you need to be an expert here, but learning the basics of these tools can come in handy. Speaking from experience here, use whatever design tools the design team already invests in. That makes it easy to transfer files and create iterations.
Focus on these three areas:
Graphics Creation - You'll need to post about your new feature on social media or promote your awesome new webinar. If you don't have a designer, you might wind up needing to do it yourself. Products like Canva, Illustrator, Photoshop, Figma, or Sketch are popular tools here.
Video Editing - Learning how to make little snippets of webinars, or even make product demos will lead to a more robust campaign. If you like Adobe Products, Premiere Rush is an easy tool to learn (especially if your team already uses Adobe Products). Another EASY tool is iMovie (no lie, it can get the job done!)
Prototype Tools - Your product designers live here. But you might need to check it out every once in a while to get the perfect product shot. Other options might include handy HTML editing (if your product is web-based), but sometimes you might have to go right to the source. As I mentioned before, you might have to work with what your team works with. For prototypicing, Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD seem to be pretty popular right now. You'll also find Invision and Zeplin in the mix here as well.
Campaign Execution and Scheduling
Once you have developed your campaign strategy, now it’s time to execute. This will require asset building, but it will also require a timeline.
Schedule social media, emails, and in-app announcements in advance so that you can ‘set it and forget it’ and move onto the next campaign (and monitor results as things roll out).
Best tools for Execution
Pendo - mentioned before, Pendo allows you create in-app announcements and walkthroughs. They can be scheduled in advance, or show only when users meet certain criteria.
Note: There are PLENTY of tools that create walkthroughs and in-app announcements. Pendo has just become my favorite over the years because it's so easy to set up and analytics come included.
Hubspot - Hubspot is a great all-in-one tool. If your website is set up on Hubspot, you can manage your blog posts, emails to customers, and social media posts all through their campaign tool. This allows you to see exactly how your campaign is performing.
It's also SO easy to learn. They offer a ton of training courses, and their product is simple enough that you can figure it out as you go.
Mailchimp - Email marketing tool that will allow you to segment your customer base to send targeted emails or campaign messaging.
Sprout Social - If you aren’t using Hubspot, find a tool like Sprout Social that will allow you to schedule your social media posts in advance.
Buffer - This is a tool I have used more frequently for my social media clients. It's simple and easy to use (and pretty cheap), and worth checking out if your team doesn't have a social media scheduling tool yet.
Product (and Customer) Training
With any product rollout, you may be required to explain or do a walkthrough of your product. There are plenty of ways to do this. I focus on creating content that is ‘evergreen’ here.
Yes, I love doing webinars to show customers new features and get them excited...but if your product is stable (design and user layout will not change dramatically), then create content that can be used over and over by your team.
This can include things like:
Product walkthroughs that can go into your Help Center
Examples of feature usage like Blog Posts that show the new feature with examples of how to use it
Evergreen webinars like “Here’s how you can use X feature with your team” instead of “Check out our new features this month”
Tools of this trade
Zendesk - Have a hub where users can go to learn more about your product without having to reach out to your team every time. They will start to get used to going here for answers, and that’s what you want.
Note: Zendesk used to be dirt cheap to set up a Knowledge Center. They recently changed their pricing, so you'll have to check it out and see if this is still the best solution for how much it costs.
BigMarker - BigMarker is a great tool for creating evergreen webinar content. It will record your webinar, including poll questions, chat, and handouts so that even if it’s accessed at a later date it still feels like it’s live and exciting.
♪ ♪ Put them together and what do you got? ♪ ♪ Bippity, boppity, you have all the pieces you need to make a great product marketing campaign.
Now, you just need someone to put in the time to get your product marketing rolling!
Product marketing can empower your sales and customer success teams to speak confidently about your product and sell with ease.