Welcome to The Sample, where we whirl the dial on the interwebs, hit record and sample what we find about the topic we’ve focused on in this issue.

In this issue we are looking at the relationship between marketing and the product teams (the ‘features creatures’) and here are some articles that caught our eye:

Product Marketing at a Tech Startup

In this splendid article, VP Marketing at Buffer, Kevan Lee shares a really detailed break down of the six things his team has learned as it has grown to 80 people, offering some great tips on how scale and manage a team as it grows. We particularly like this:

“The earlier, the better, when it comes to marketing and product conversations”


By the way, it’s a sentiment that is echoed in an article by Dennis Shiao in this issue – How soon is now?

Getting the balance between investing in marketing and product

Still, on the start-up theme, we came across this on the Soapboxly blog, apparently authored by the team, but maybe it’s the work of founder Kameron Jenkins. The article sets out to discuss the age-old challenge for product companies:

“Your time and money are limited whether you’ve taken outside investment or self-funded your startup. Do you spend them on growing the product or growing the users? Should your time go-to product or marketing?

It’s loaded with great quotes as it makes the argument for both sides, whether to focus on a better product or better marketing, the conclusion, of course, is both.


Bridging the gaps

In “How do CEOs define and value product marketing?” on the Product Marketing Alliance blog, Mark Shapiro makes this great point as he discusses the role of product marketing sitting between the product guys and marcoms:

Buyers seek information, not products.

We agree and his article lists five points that can help validate the role of product marketing to the CEO and build connections in the business. [ READ MORE ]

Building an audience

The traditional role of marketing when taking a product to market is to build an audience for that product, often after it’s been finished, with consumer research and then convincing the unwary to engage with the product.

In The Art of Audience-Driven Marketing: Stop Selling Products, Start Building Audiences by Lytics CTO and co-founder Aaron Raddon on CMSWire, Aaron suggests we shift this consumer research earlier into the process.

“customer data isn’t a tool to help refine their marketing messaging — it’s the engine that runs their business


155 Failed Products

Let’s leave you with a big list, CBInsights have listed 155 failed products from 10 different categories. Some failed despite being the better product but missed the market and some you have to wonder what they were thinking with the product that no amount of marketing can help.

Maybe a game to play next time you get a few marketers and product guys around a table, did it fail because of the product or marketing?


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