Untangling content and product marketing

As the discipline of content marketing matures I’ve had an increasing number of questions about it’s relationship to product marketing. The question arises in many forms. Do product and content marketers do the same job? Should every product marketer be a content marketer? Does product marketing need to exist any more? Do great product marketers need content marketing at all? Should content marketing report to product marketing?

I believe that product and content marketing are different disciplines. In fact, product marketing hasn’t really changed since the introduction of content marketing.  Rather, content marketing filled a gap product marketers were rarely able to fill.

Product marketing has always been focused on planning for and supporting, company growth through clear differentiated messaging, sales enablement and market research. A product marketer cares deeply about buyers but in the context of their organization’s products and services.

We gave birth to content marketing as a response to an increased desire for buyers to be educated on the market rather than just on vendor offerings.

As a result, the two functions address very different needs. Here’s a simple way to look at the work each function does:

How are your content and product marketing teams set up for success?