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The topic for this episode is one I have wanted to explore for a long time – the connection between product management and content marketing. If you look at a recent marketing textbook, you’ll see sections that address product management and likely some coverage of content marketing as well. I have found similarities between the two and I went to the most authoritative source I know for content marketing – the folks at CopyBlogger, which is now Rainmaker Digital. They have been writing and teaching about content market for several years. My guest is VP of Marketing for Rainmaker Digital. He also creates educational content and digital products that help people develop and grow rewarding, profitable online businesses. The content he creates for Rainmaker Digital includes The Showrunner Podcast (with Jon Nastor) and The Digital Entrepreneur podcast (with Brian Clark).
His name is Jerod Morris and I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I did, learning:
- what content marketing is,
- how content marketing and product management are similar, and
- applying content marketing to product management.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers and Innovators
Summary of questions discussed:
- Let’s dive into an area that product managers and innovators need to know but few do – content marketing. Can you unpack that… what is content marketing? It’s free content to educate customers. It takes various forms, such as articles, videos, and podcasts that allow potential customers to get to know you or your product, then like you, then trust you.
- I would like to get your insights into a few of the fundamental concepts that cross content marketing and product management… namely, identifying a market that matters, understanding your customers’ problem, and validating a product concept. People can make a mistake with product development by first creating the product and then trying to fit it to a market after it is created. We teach the inverse of that, which is to identify a market, build an audience with participants in that market, and then use your relationship with that audience and the insights you gain from them to inform the development of your product. We can end up wasting time and money by developing something that people don’t want because we didn’t take the time to develop the relationship and listen to our audience.
- What are some ways content marketers learn about their customers/audience and problems they have that need solving? You begin with a notion of who your market is and over time learn more about them. Every single time you share a piece of content, it’s an opportunity for your target market, or your hypothesis of the target market, to interact with it and give you more information. You may realize that the people who are responding to this content are skewing in one direction or another. It can inform your choices and influence what you thought. It will give you much better insights into the market and their problems. Then with their responses you can adjust as you need to and figure out what you need to do differently, what you need to double-down on, and what may be missing that is an opportunity for you to create a product to fill that need. It’s all about getting feedback from the audience.
- Once we have a product concept that might solve a customer problem, how can we validate it really meets their needs? Once you have a minimum viable product, you need to get your audience to use it and provide feedback. The feedback mechanisms are straight forward and include emails, phone calls, forums, and social media (such as private Facebook groups).
- Rainmaker Digital, where Jerod is VP of Marketing
- Digital Commerce Institute, who Jerod creates training for
- The Showrunner podcast and The Digital Entrepreneur podcast that Jerod co-hosts.
- Jerod’s LinkedIn profile
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” — C.S. Lewis
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.