Software engineering and marketing are often considered to be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum but when put together they can become a powerful team. This article lists some of the things you, as a software engineer, can do to help your product marketing team.
Engineers have access to tooling to help visualize the health of the application. If you start to notice an elevated error rate or a degrading performance make sure to communicate this to your product marketing team.
They are then prepared when the inevitable questions come from your customers or they can keep the status page up-to-date with the latest findings. We’ve previously written about what it means to be a knowledge-first company and why it is so essential to share information proactively.
Keep them in the loop about invisible changes
There are certain technical improvements that you make that are not immediately noticeable to end users such as optimizing the performance of a heavy algorithm. Product marketers can still turn this into a communication opportunity by telling the right story.
Back in 2021, Notion was suffering from performance issues and people started to notice. Their engineering team got to work and managed to make improvements. Next, Notion used it as a marketing opportunity to reach out to engineers looking for a job.
Involve product marketers early for best results
Typically, product marketing is only involved when a feature is very close to being released which is very late in the process. By involving them early, marketers are able to help make the feature you’re working on better. You should see them as an integral part of your team.
Even before the first line of code is written, they can already help shape the story around the feature and define the target audience.
If you have a culture of regularly giving demos then you can involve product marketing in two ways. Invite a product marketer to a demo so they can give their feedback or encourage them to host a user testing session to get feedback from actual users.
Once a feature is closer to completion, the marketers will already have a lot of information on how it works. They can start creating marketing assets more easily and organize the release of the feature and the communication surrounding it.
Building software is one thing; making sure it solves the problem of the person using it is another. Sitting together with a product marketer can help identify which are the crucial parts that should be measured and tracked. This will also help them investigate how well a certain feature is being received by customers.
As you can see there are many ways for a software engineer to collaborate with a product marketer. The key things they bring to the table are:
- Early feedback (from customers)
- A better understanding of the value of what you are building
- The story you want to tell
- Defining target metrics to gauge usage and interest
It’s important to have a good relationship with product marketers as it will result in building a better product overall.