A new term emerging in the world of Product Marketing is Portfolio Product Marketing.
Starting at the beginning, the process is already well known: a technology company usually launches with a product. By proving product/market-fit, you can add new solutions to your shelf. Thus, it starts to serve more segments, multiplies its revenue lines and establishes itself more broadly and solidly in the market. Another way to incorporate new products is through mergers and acquisitions, in which already established companies are purchased by/merge with larger players.
Thus, companies become more complex, as does their relationship with their audiences. Decolar.com started as an airline ticket marketplace; it incorporated accommodation, car rental and tours. iFood started with restaurant delivery and today offers markets, pharmacy, deliveries and pet items.
With this context, we return to Portfolio Product Marketing. There is a keyword here: “portfolio” means a set of offers (be they products, solutions or services). In this way, we are talking about developing Product Marketing for multiple lines of business and, potentially, for multiple audiences.
Getting straight to the point, see the following three questions and answers:
1. But I already take care of several solutions, since the PMM team is smaller than the product team in my company. What’s new?
It’s quite natural for product marketers to touch 5 or 6 products at once. It turns out that product marketing generally thinks about them individually — that is, we build positioning, segmentation, communication strategy and launch plan for each product, in isolation. It is important to remember that positioning involves relativity, that is, you position a product in relation to others. Therefore, the challenge is to help your target audience understand not only your product, but also your portfolio, that is: each product has its own value proposition, but the set can also have one (for example: one-stop-shop ). In addition to positioning each product, it may be interesting to also position the portfolio.
2. It is difficult to consistently take care of 5 or 6 products, especially because PMM work is continuous and must always be revisited. How to define which is most important? How to prioritize actions accurately?
Historically, technology has not been a cost-focused area, but in the current context, they all need to be. Profitability is the name of the game now. Therefore, it is essential that PMMs have a basic understanding of the P&L (profit & losses) of each product in the portfolio. With this understanding, if it is not yet very clear in the leadership’s speeches, it will be possible to visualize which are the hero and satellite products, and thus PMM will be able to prioritize actions in its roadmap. For example: hero products should have their positioning reviewed every quarter, while adjacent products can be revisited every six months. Nothing prevents you from asking your leadership to rank the products under your management from most to least relevant, just to be sure.
It is also important to know the CAC (customer acquisition cost) and LTV (life time value) of users of each product, to determine their financial break-even point. For example: imagine that for a product the cost to acquire a customer is R$1,000 and the return on the investment made occurs in the 7th month. PMMs must develop engagement strategies seeking to keep users active at least until this moment (ideally for longer!).
And then, thinking about go-to-market: based on understanding the reality of each product and establishing their individual missions, product marketers must plan coherent launches. At a time of resource optimization, those who take care of the portfolio should avoid bloated GTMs and always think about synergy. This means looking at potential opportunities for cross-selling, up-selling and general use of resources and investments. Campaigns for one product can bring others along for the ride.
3. How should the division be? Which PMM should handle which product group and why?
The intuitive breakdown is that PMM mirrors the product tribes. However, this will not always be the ideal structure for efficient portfolio management, as squads can be dedicated to specific functionalities, which will serve as cross-functional solutions; Furthermore, squads have their own missions that can change from one quarter to another.
Therefore, it is recommended that PMMs be divided by segmentation. PMMs responsible for a portfolio can interact with several tribes simultaneously, being experts in certain audiences, understanding their behavior end-to-end. For example: I don’t know exactly what the Product Marketing structure is like at Rappi, but imagine that delivery drivers receive very different communications when they are delivering different product categories. The recommendation would be for a single team of PMMs to take care of the product portfolio for this audience, generating a consistent experience.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Portfolio Product Marketing is a new discipline in the world of PMM, and it may take a while for companies to structure themselves like this. It is, however, the most customer-centric structure in which Product Marketing teams can organize themselves. If your company doesn’t already operate this way, you can proactively seek to align with PMM teams that develop products for your customers.
I hope this article helps you reflect on the concepts and you can apply it to your daily decision-making.
*Fernanda Sujto is PMM at Hotmart