Lately, I have been working with Product Marketing. It is a fascinating department within a company. I drew a picture of where they sit in the organization.
Product Marketing has the role of translating specific product features into more outbound messages. They create messaging “marchitectures” (It’s a play on words, get it?) and frameworks where all of the features support a grander vision of the company story. Great product marketing creates a narrative that puts the sales and marketing departments in a place to beat the competition.
It’s incredibly specialized and difficult work, when done properly. A great story doesn’t come from thin air. The “turn of the phrase” is a key skill that makes all the difference in the world. It’s almost like writing lyrics for a song. Coming up with that perfect phrase, the perfect rhyme, the perfect idea will make the difference between a hit and a dud.
Recently, I have been watching Mad Men. Don Draper is the classic genius at product marketing and advertising. He wants to control the conversation through messaging and storytelling. When a company can control the conversation, they will win. In fact, it’s not just a company that does this. Politicians whole careers are based on their ability to control the conversation.
The turn of the phrase is so important. I make the same wish every year over some issue, but I will make it one more time. I wish our education system had REQUIRED classes on things that really matter. Like:
- Public Speaking and making compelling presentations
- Managing a bank account
- Creative problem solving
- Business writing (like emails and memos)
- Business Storytelling
- Mentoring / Managing
- Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Access)
I’ll make the wish again next year. When you hear a good way of putting something, think about the elegance of it and how you can use it. A good phrase is worth a thousand bullet points.