emily dumas discussing content marketing on the market mentors podcast
Sep 6, 2022

How B2B Content Marketers Can Elevate Their Impact Through Product Marketing

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer


Are you a B2B content marketer that’s looking to have more impact within the business you work for?

One way of doing that is to get more involved in product marketing. Because, amongst other things, doing that enables you to participate in more strategic conversations across the business.

But how do you do that?

Well today’s guest has done exactly this.  Emily Dumas, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Evernote, talks about her experience in content marketing and how she’s been able to have more impact by getting involved in product marketing.

About Our Guest

Who they are: Emily Dumas, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Evernote.

A bit of background: Emily has eight years of experience in content marketing, first starting her career by blogging and progressing from there. Working mostly within the tech sector, she’s since developed into a multi-skilled marketer by taking on product marketing responsibilities as well. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Emily is also a member of the Product Marketing Alliance. 

Where you can find her:

Prefer Video? Watch a full video of the podcast here…

Episode Takeaways

Here you’ll find some of the best advice from the podcast that you can easily digest and learn from.

1. As a content marketer, how has becoming more involved in product marketing allowed you to elevate the impact of your work?  

Whether we’re talking about content marketing, product marketing, demand generation, or anything in between, the key to successful marketing is connecting with your target audience. 

For content marketing, the better you understand your audience, the more successful your content is going to be

Of course, an important responsibility of product marketing is to define the ideal customer for your product or service. Naturally, then, if a content marketer is involved in that process, or at least has some exposure to it, they’ll have a better understanding of the audience their content needs to resonate with. 

For B2B tech companies, content marketers also need an in-depth understanding of how your product provides value to those prospective customers. Having more involvement in the product marketing side of things will also allow content marketers to clearly demonstrate the benefits and outcomes your product can deliver for your target audience. 

Emily said, “I think it’s important for content marketers to fully understand product and product marketing, because there are different elements of content that come from the product team and seen by the market.”

“You really need to understand what goes into the product, and why they’re building the things they are. That feeds back from content marketing, because you’re interacting with your market and getting a better understanding of what they need and what they’re asking for. You can then communicate that to product and product marketing. So, you have the product, you’ve got product marketing translating all that technical stuff into what you actually need, then you’ve got the content team making it more fun and exciting and really grabbing people in.”

“But if you’re just focusing on that creative part, you’re not going to understand the technical part, and there’s going to be some missing pieces when you’re sending something out to the market. So, it’s really important to have this product marketing background or experience when you’re a content marketer, just to get that well-rounded understanding of what you’re putting out into the market.”

“And then, you can iterate on that. You can learn more, you can better understand your customers or your prospects, and you can create more engaging content that’s going to reach a wider audience and really benefit the business.”

2. What other advantages can a B2B tech company gain from aligning content marketing with product marketing?

The closer everyone in your marketing team works together, the greater impact their work will have on the growth and success of your business. Working in silos is never a good thing, especially in a company where you’re trying to sell a sophisticated technology-based product in a highly competitive market. 

Content marketing and product marketing should go hand-in-hand because, ultimately, they’re both aiming to communicate the value of your product to your target audience. 

Having said that, it’s wise to have two separate roles with their own responsibilities if possible, rather than trying to cut corners, expecting one person to cram everything into one job. While content marketing and product marketing should be working closely together towards the same goal, there are some important differences which warrant distinct roles in an ideal world.

Emily said, “I honestly think you need both, a content marketer and a product marketer. I think there’s a lot of overlap, but product marketing is so robust. You can’t have your product marketer creating white papers and eBooks while also supporting the product. Similarly, content marketers are not always fluent in the product world. So, while there are benefits to hiring someone that crosses over, I’d say hire both.”

For any B2B tech start-ups yet to hire either a content marketing role or a product marketing role, it’s usually wise to start with product marketing first. As we’ve heard before on this podcast, product marketers are often the best roles to introduce first for B2B tech companies that are building a marketing function.   

Emily agreed with this, saying, “I’d probably hire a product marketer first, because you can’t really sell a product to the market if you don’t have a clear narrative, if you don’t know what story your product is trying to tell, if you don’t know the benefits.”

“You really need that product marketing expertise in there first. And because product marketers are such great storytellers, they can double as your content marketer while you’re waiting to really scale that content team.”

Interested in launching a product marketing function for your B2B tech start-up? Listen to our recent podcast episode here for some excellent guidance. 

3. What skills and attributes would you look for when hiring someone for a content marketing role today? 

Content marketing can be a difficult role to hire for. There are so many skills content marketers need in order to be successful within a B2B tech company, but some of these may not be obvious to you if you’re not from a marketing background.

Emily summarised four key areas to focus on when hiring a content marketer, and candidates can also use these as a guideline when applying for jobs: 

  1. Writing skills
  2. Analytical thinking
  3. Creativity 
  4. Product marketing knowledge.

She explained, “Obviously, you’ve got to be a great writer. If you’re not, I don’t know what you’re doing in content marketing. So, writing skills are important. I’d also love to have someone who’s analytical. I think that’s often an overlooked skill in content marketing, but you need to be able to measure what you’re doing.” 

“Creativity is another big one. And, selfishly, someone who has some product marketing chops, because that’s really going to help you. Especially if you have a little bit of competitive intelligence background, that can really help as well. Those are the top four things I would look for in a content marketer.”

Looking to hire a content marketing manager, but not sure where to start? Check out our in-depth guide to hiring content marketing roles for plenty of useful advice.  

A few other highlights to look out for in this episode:

  1. Insight into how content marketing and product marketing work together in Emily’s current organisation, Evernote.
  2. Further advice for content marketers to improve their performance by getting more exposure to product marketing.
  3. Emily’s thoughts on how start-ups should balance the need for multi-disciplined marketers in their early stages. 
  4. Recommendations for how content marketers can get more involved in the product marketing side of things and learn more about that discipline.