What trends and shifts is consumer product marketing experiencing?
I think there has been a massive shift in just the awareness and momentum around Consumer Product Marketing overall. When I joined Eats 3 years ago as the first Consumer PMM, everybody was asking what this role was and how we were different than Brand Marketing or Performance Marketing. Not only at Uber has that changed dramatically, but also, within the industry there has been a really evolution of folks who would traditionally be in "Brand Management" roles at CPG companies starting to move into PMM roles at tech companies. I think there are a lot of similiarities between those two actually.
As more and more industries and companies continue evolving to be "tech" companies, I really expect to continue seeing a lot of growth in Product Marketing as a function. The industry needs a lot more people who can think both analytically and creatively, bringing the user into all our decisions, and these are PMMs! Really optimistic about the long-term prospects for PMM and Consumer PMM in particular.
Though there are many we could talk about, here are a few I’ve been reflecting on lately.
📈 Trend: The era of “build it and they will come” messaging is dead
👀 What’s next: Product marketers need to up their positioning game
For a long time, it worked to market consumer tech products in a way that was very centered on what the business did. We built a thing, here’s what it does. Straightforward.
This worked for a while because the innovations felt more meaningful and there was less noise in channels. Now, however, customers have many options (and ever expanding), and they’re less willing to spend time trying to figure out how your product solves their problems.
PMMs need to do deeper positioning exercises to understand their precise target, their top problems, and how to talk about their product in a way that gets at the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) for customers far faster.
📈 Trend: There’s more competition for consumers’ attention at every turn
👀 What’s next: Product marketers need to diversify channels and better understand the customer journey
There are now so many outlets and channels competing for attention. From TikTok to streaming platforms and new entrants like BeReal, there are less reliable places to put your bets for marketing dollars.
This means you need to expand beyond bread-and-butter channels like Facebook/Instagram and Google to find other avenues that work. Try more experiments with channels and tactics than you have in the past to see where you can strike gold.
You also need to better understand how customers make buying decisions. Where do they look for information? What makes them confident in that choice? Google recently reported that Gen Z is using Google Maps less and less to decide where to eat, shop, and explore in cities and is using TikTok more and more.
📈 Trend: The unfavorable economic environment is affecting consumer outlook
👀 What’s next: Product marketers need to speak directly to this and build trust with consumers faster
The looming fear of a recession is already affecting consumers’ attitudes and how they think about purchases. If and when a recession does come, it will assuredly impact what customers are willing to spend money on, how long they think about purchase decisions, and how price sensitive they are.
Marketers should anticipate this by taking a look at their messaging frameworks and making sure they speak directly to concerns. For instance, it may be a good time to start talking more about savings, value for money, and superior product quality.
On top of this, customers will become less willing to part with their dollars overall. That means increased skepticism when evaluating new products. Work to build trust as quickly as possible in your marketing materials to help counteract this. It could come in the form of adding social proof, using authority figures, doing product testing, and beyond.
Human attention and distribution.
These things aren't new - they just increasingly get harder every year.
There are a million apps and products out there. It's more important than ever to differentiate yourself and position yourself accordingly. Also, the days of buying consumers through paid ads are over (wayyyy too expensive and not scalable). So, distribution has to be well-thought-out.
Plus, the time to value has to be short. If someone isn't able to find value the first time they use your app, you'll lose them!
I’ve been noticing a shift towards brand marketing and campaign management in the PMM space. More joint titles, more case studies around the brand being product and product as the brand. Another shift I’ve noticed is that everything is B2C. Who your C is changes but B2B isn’t just about internal sales teams, there seems to be a turn to reach the end user more. At the core of marketing is the market, so staying up to speed on what is happening on the macro economic levels and noticing those trends and shifts, can be the crystal ball to what you see happening in each marketing vertical.