Product Marketing An Invetment that Helps Startups Scale Quickly

The latest in an occasional column on bringing products to market in emerging technologies, by industry marketing expert Amy T. Wiegand: Go-to-Market Propeller.  The deep dive on product marketing: an invetment in growth.

by Amy T. Wiegand

Product marketing is often the key to success for start-ups needing to scale quickly and effectively. While many factors contribute to this growth, product marketing drives customer adoption, market penetration, and revenue acceleration. But what is product marketing? How does it work? What are the benefits? How many product marketers do you need? Who does it well, and why should you invest? We’ll look at how this game-changing role has benefitted organizations in the drone technology sector.

What is Product Marketing?

The Product Marketing Alliance (PMA) defines product marketing as the function within a business responsible for getting products to market – and keeping them there. It involves understanding the target market, positioning the product, creating go-to-market strategies, and driving demand and adoption. Product marketing bridges the gap between product management, customer operations, and sales by translating product details into compelling solutions that resonate with customers.

How Does Product Marketing Work?

Product Marketing is essential for aligning product development with market needs, ensuring that the product meets customer expectations and achieves business objectives. As the Venn Diagram below suggests, product marketers intersect sales, marketing, customer success, and product management – aligning goals and collaborating with these departments.

To achieve alignment, a product marketer plays a crucial role in key initiatives:

  1. Market Research and Understanding: Conducts thorough market research to understand customer needs, market trends, and the competitive landscape.
  2. Positioning and Messaging: Crafts clear and compelling product positioning and messaging that differentiates the product from competitors. Defines clear value propositions.
  3. Go-to-Market Strategy: Develops and executes strategies to launch the product successfully, including pricing, distribution, and promotional tactics.
  4. Sales Enablement: Equips the sales team with the tools, training, and content they need to sell the product effectively.
  5. Demand Generation: Creates and implements marketing campaigns to drive awareness, interest, and demand for the product.
  6. Customer Feedback and Iteration: Collects and analyzes customer feedback to refine product offerings and improve marketing strategies.


You may wonder how product marketing differs from traditional marketing. The distinctions below highlight the specialized nature of product marketing in ensuring the success of a specific product or products, while traditional marketing handles broader brand and market strategy responsibilities.​ While the distinctions are fundamental, excellent product marketing serves to kickstart and power up brand marketing.

“There is nothing a demand generation marketer loves more than a product marketer’s expertise in customers’ desire, how to position a product, and how to explain it in compelling ways to different buyers and users,” said Rebecca Wilson, Head of Marketing at Zeitview, a company that specializes in aerial inspections for renewable energy infrastructure, facilities, and utilities.

 The Difference Between Product Marketing & Traditional Marketing

Aspect Product Marketing Traditional Marketing
Focus and Scope It focuses on specific products or services and deals with positioning, messaging, and go-to-market strategies. It encompasses brand awareness, paid media, lead generation, and general market presence.
Objectives It aims to drive product adoption and usage, support sales with product-specific knowledge, and gather feedback for product development. It seeks to build brand equity, attract and retain customers, and generate leads. It focuses on overall market communication strategies.
Activities It includes customer and market research, product positioning and messaging, developing go-to-market strategies, training sales teams, and managing product launches. It involves creating and managing advertising campaigns, developing content for various channels, managing social media presence, conducting SEO, and handling public relations.
Collaboration It works closely with product management, sales, and customer support to ensure the product is effectively promoted and meets market needs. It works with marketing to ensure the company’s website product is aligned. It collaborates with various departments, including product marketing, sales, and external agencies, to ensure a consistent brand message across all channels.


What are the Benefits of Employing a Product Marketer?

 Having a product marketer on your start-up team is not just an investment but a strategic move that offers several quantifiable benefits. Here are five key quantifiable benefits that can significantly impact your start-up’s growth trajectory:

  1. Increased Customer Acquisition Rates: Product marketers identify and address potential customers’ pain points, improving campaign conversion rates. According to HubSpot in the PMA State of Marketing Report, targeted and well-executed marketing strategies can increase conversion rates by up to 300%​​.
  2. Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Product marketers can reduce the cost of acquiring new customers with a strategic approach to marketing and sales enablement. Salesforce reports that companies with solid product marketing strategies see a significant reduction in CAC, often by 25-50%.​ (Sources: Product Marketing Alliance; Product Marketing Certified)​
  3. Higher Customer Retention Rates: Product marketers focus on understanding customer needs and ensuring the product delivers value, leading to improved customer satisfaction and retention. Bain & Company states, “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can boost profits by 25-95%, underscoring the financial impact of a strong retention strategy.”
  4. Increased Sales Revenue: Effective product marketing aligns with sales efforts, equipping the sales team with the right tools and messaging. This leads to higher sales efficiency. According to the Product Marketing Alliance report, companies that integrate product marketing see a 20-30% increase in sales revenue due to improved sales enablement and market alignment​.
  5. Shorter Sales Cycles: By providing sales teams with targeted content and insights, product marketers help streamline the sales process, reducing the time it takes to close deals. This efficiency leads to faster revenue generation and improved cash flow. PMA reported that well-executed product marketing strategies can shorten sales cycles by up to 50%, allowing start-ups to scale more rapidly​.

These quantifiable benefits demonstrate the significant impact that a dedicated product marketer can have on a start-up’s growth trajectory, making it a crucial role for companies aiming to scale fast.

How Many Product Marketers Do You Need? 

Of course, the ideal number of product marketers on a team can vary depending on the size and needs of the organization. Small start-ups typically don’t have any, and that is a mistake. Yet, they benefit significantly from hiring a product marketer dedicated to their business objectives – perhaps it is even best for the product marketer to be the first marketing hire.

One way for early-stage companies to bridge the gap is with content marketing. “A great content marketer can often fulfill some of the product marketing functions because they prioritize clear communication about the value, benefits, and usage of a product to different audiences,” said Rebecca Wilson. “They likely handle release communications, user guides, and product webinars, all key product marketing functions.”

As a growing start-up scales, adding a second product marketer can help divide tasks more effectively. For instance, one can focus on market research, positioning, and customer feedback loops, while the other can concentrate on sales enablement and go-to-market strategies.

Who does Product Marketing Well?

Drone technology organizations, such as DJI Enterprise, DroneDeploy, and Skydio, are examples of effective product marketing strategies and success stories that can inspire start-up entrepreneurs. They have understood their target audience, articulated unique value propositions, and leveraged compelling storytelling to drive customer adoption and business growth. Each has successfully established a strong market presence and brand reputation through strategic product marketing initiatives.

  1. DJI Enterprise: DJI Enterprise is a leader in providing drone solutions for industries such as oil and gas, utilities, construction, public safety, and more. It showcases its products through detailed user stories, webinars, and blogs highlighting its drone-specific applications and benefits in various sectors. DJI’s product marketing emphasizes its drones’ reliability, performance, and versatility, demonstrating how they enable businesses to improve efficiency, safety, and data collection. It is also known for its customer maintenance and care program.
  2. DroneDeploy: DroneDeploy’s product marketing strength lies in its ability to deeply understand and address customer needs, provide valuable educational content, form strategic partnerships, execute comprehensive marketing campaigns, and continuously innovate based on user feedback. Having recently launched the DroneDeploy Insider to bring all its educational value into one place, these strategies collectively drive its success and establish it as a leader in the drone technology industry.
  3. Skydio: Skydio is known for its advanced autonomous drone technology for defense, inspection, public safety, and infrastructure monitoring applications. Its product marketing highlights the unique capabilities of its drones to navigate complex scenes with intelligent flight modes and the ultimate security provisions. Skydio’s marketing materials often feature demonstrations of its drones operating in critical environments, showcasing its ability to perform tasks that traditional drones cannot. It targets industries requiring highly reliable and safe solutions.

Executing strategic approaches to product marketing is crucial in accelerating business growth, and the companies above are succeeding in these efforts.

Who else is mastering product marketing? Are you?

Product marketing is a game-changer for start-ups that need to scale quickly and effectively. It drives customer adoption, market penetration, and revenue acceleration by ensuring a clear value proposition, targeted messaging, and effective go-to-market strategies. By investing in a product marketing role and strategy, a start-up can establish a strong foundation that supports rapid scaling and market expansion.

Missed a previous column?  Catch up here:

Amy T. Wiegand is a go-to-market professional, having worked with the best of tech start-ups and notables like Walmart, The Coca-Cola Company, NATO, UPS, local, state, and federal governments, colleges and universities, top ad agencies, and more. She has realized revenue generation growth throughout her career and champions brand management, pipeline strategy, organizational process and implementation, content, product and digital marketing, public and investor relations – and profitability. Amy is also a project architect and master director, having developed award-winning programs in aviation, technology, and special military operations. Amy was the first person to facilitate a sUAS training program for The State of Virginia in 2014, is an enthusiastic leader of STEM initiatives, and distant cousin to the notable Amelia Earhart. She is the founder of Earhart Alden & Associates, LLC, a go-to-market consulting firm, and the proud single mom of a college-age daughter.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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