Goodbye, 2021! We’re ringing in the new year with a sense of accomplishment for all we’ve achieved within the product marketing community. As it continues to gain traction, more and more PMMs are being seen as an integral part of the business structure - and for good reason!
But this isn’t where it ends. Product marketing has so much more to offer, and the upcoming year is open to so many exciting opportunities that we can’t help but create our own predictions of what’ll happen in 2022.
So, we asked the masses, gathered up the responses, and have put together a list of the best guesses of what the upcoming year has to offer.
The most common trends amongst them were:
- Customer trends
- Emerging tech
- Marketing strategies
- Collaborations and connections
- Bigger and better opportunities
- Hiring changes
So, without further ado, here are the product marketing predictions for 2022...
“B2B buyer personas will begin to sway with the impact of millennials and Gen Z as a viable and influencing contributor to SaaS purchases. The data will be anything but predictable, but foundational for the next round of the impact of the digital generations.”
Sharon Maxfield, Solutions Engineer at 360insights.com
“Brands will be working to understand how to build hybrid experiences for customers, keeping the in-person gatherings special, while also working to create an inclusive experience for remote customers at scale.”
Bree Bunzel, Head of Global Customer Marketing at Dropbox
“I think we're going to see more AI-supported content creation. Services like Jarvis.ai are already helping marketers speed up content production 4-5X. And the market is seeing even more services for video and audio production. This creates interesting possibilities where PMMs get to focus on the more strategic aspects of the role - aka positioning and alignment - while relying on augmentation for other aspects of their roles.”
Abhishek Ratna, Head of AI/ML Developer Marketing at Google
“I think product marketing will get more data-driven. Right now, it’s too much of an art, and tools and strategies for PMMs are emerging fast.
“There are a bunch of new ways for us to become more data-driven and more product marketing from black magic to more of a repeatable science. I think a tech stack for PMMs is coming soon.”
Marcus Andrews, Director of Product Marketing at Pendo.io
“I’m excited about two:
- Cybersecurity conversations will move from purely IT/CISO spheres to mainstream culture for the first time. With work from home becoming the new accepted norm, and nation-states waging economic wars digitally, homes and small businesses for the first time are under massive threats without the formal infrastructure to secure themselves holistically. This will lead to interesting opportunities for security solutions.
- Blockchain is finally not just a buzzword. It's already creating investment opportunities for a novel generation and several innovative business models. Nearly a billion people still don't have bank accounts and a big chunk has been left behind because of the systemic corruption of large financial institutions. Digital currencies, DeFi, and NFTs can likely bring the much-awaited change.”
Karan Nigam, Senior Director of Marketing at Palo Alto Networks
“As the economy opens back up in 2022 differentiation and GTM will become even more important as competition heats up. Product marketing teams will be asked to find optimal paths to revenue, so start being creative now.”
Daniil Karp, GTM Product Marketing Lead at Asana
“Successful PMM teams will migrate away from templatizing launches and bill-of-materials management and focus on product ownership. Knowing when to jump from creating a unique launch plan to a when-to-influence roadmap on when to work with sales. The PMM function will begin to serve less as a means to get products and features to market and more as a product-line CMO.”
Vishal Naik, Director of Product Marketing at DocuSign
“Everywhere you turn there’s another business offering their service or product on a subscription basis - enterprise software, streaming entertainment to even skincare and toothbrushes. With so much of the B2B and B2C world turning to subscription business models, landing ongoing value to customers is even more critical than ever; you need to continually earn the customer’s subscription.
“Product marketers are best positioned to help transform organizations to focus on value creation instead of old-school feature-led messaging. Based on this, I have two predictions for PMMs in 2022.
“First, product marketers will need to invest in their revenue management skillset and pipeline management to better orchestrate full-funnel strategies from qualified leads to conversion and usage. Second, as more business models turn to subscriptions, PMMs will be hired earlier and more often to start-ups or growth companies to help them continue earning the opportunity to expand their user base and avoid customer churn.”
Scott Shapiro, Principal Product Marketer at Qualtrics
“I have two:
- “Simplicity will be king. As life adjusts to the new normal in 2022, we'll see a bevy of new products and messages coming to market. Products and messages that focus on solving a single, focused user need - with clarity & simplicity - will break through over those that are overly artful or complex.
- “Product marketing has grown quickly in the last few years and is reaching the next stage in its maturity. Product organizations that embrace product marketing's contribution to product development & the product roadmap will realize the full potential & business value of the function sooner than others.”
Ali Wiezbowski, Director of Global Product Marketing at Peloton
More collaborations and connections
“I think we’ll continue to see more CMOs with a foundation in PMM experience.”
Mary Sheehan, Group Manager, Engagement & Retention Campaigns at Adobe
“For me, product marketing’s the central linchpin which drives the right focus and priorities across multiple cross-functional teams - product, sales, and marketing. If the leadership doesn't understand the value of product marketing and how to best leverage this, it defeats the purpose.
“It starts with understanding the buyer persona and their pain points and then sharing valuable resources to help them in their journey. For 2022 and beyond, we need to build more human connections and rely less on technology to solve our problems.”
Div Manickam, Mentor, Author, and Product Marketing Influencer
“New motions of go-to-market strategy to align with product-led growth will be essential; looking beyond traditional SaaS channels or product delivery dependencies to speed up time to market and reduce the cost of acquisition are going to propel some companies and PMM teams ahead (and leave others behind!)”
Fiona Finn, Director of Product Marketing at Unbounce
“In 2022, consumer product companies will increasingly tie their brands to the product experience and vice versa. Product moments and the design of the product experience will be a more notable driver of brand strategy. Media and editorial content will be created with an in-product experience in mind, driving engagement, return, and retention, not just off-platform acquisition.
“Product marketing will be the team responsible for translating between product design and brand marketing teams in order to bind all the different user interactions together more cohesively than ever.”
Ryan Goldman, Global Vice President of Product Marketing at SoundCloud
“Product marketing has a new partner-in-crime, and 2022 will be the year this partnership will make waves: Demand generation marketing. The traditional sales process has changed dramatically - especially after the pandemic of 2020. Individual and enterprise buyers are more informed and further along in their decision-making journeys before they even want to engage with a vendor.
“Thanks to initiatives like product and community-led growth, they may even be ready to buy when they decide to contact a sales rep. The days of contacting a rep for initial product details or a first-look demo are coming to an end (their role’s still vital yet changing - but that's a separate prediction).
“Therefore, demand generation activities need to be where those decision-makers are at. That takes thoughtful investment, which needs to be focused and prioritized on the activities that matter, else we are just creating noise. How do we determine where to focus, with whom, and with what message, and that's where product marketing comes in!
“These two disciplines can collaborate on building the strategic framework of how to create and execute an integrated campaign that enables customers to make well-informed buying decisions that everyone’s happy with. We have been doing some of this as a team already, but the partnership will become more data-driven and results-oriented than ever before. Get ready to dance!”
Ali Hanyaloglu, Director of Product Marketing at Akeneo
“Helping product-led growth companies go upmarket by successfully adding a sales team will continue to be the most in-demand role in product marketing. Hundreds of product-led growth companies (with self-serve credit card sales) eventually add sales teams to help negotiate larger deals with multiple stakeholders in bigger companies.
“Yet, most of these product-led companies stumble as they struggle to integrate a product-led culture (automated selling) with a sales-assisted one (human, high-touch selling). With product marketers' knack for serving as the glue between product, sales, CS, and marketing, it only makes sense for PMMs to help everyone work better together.”
Jeff Hardison, Head of Product Marketing at Calendly
“We so often focus on putting all our eggs into the launch basket. However, buying habits have shifted and we need more "always-on" education for customers and prospects. In 2022, I expect product marketing teams to get much more in lockstep with demand generation teams focusing on campaigns.”
Sapphire Reels, Director of Portfolio and Integrated Marketing at Pluralsight
Bigger and better opportunities
“I know we are all bored and fatigued with Covid, but I still think we have to take this new normal into consideration - how do we create an improved, sustainable, and inclusive way of working? Let’s make sure we still ‘get real’ and focus on de-cluttering our language and use the ability to meet face to face again to be even more honest and simple.”
Neil Cameron, Vice President of Product Marketing at Criteo
“Access to more diverse product marketing paths. I want to see a more diverse and inclusive community of product marketers growing - especially in Europe and the UK. Unlike the multi-talented folks leading FAANG giants and hypergrowth scaleups, startup product marketers know what it takes to build a product, a brand, a GTM strategy— from scratch.
“In 2022, I hope to see more paths for marketers to grow and deepen their product marketing expertise, and I hope to see my fellow scaleup peers leading the charge to increase access to opportunities for the next generation of product marketers.”
Alicia Carney, Head of Product Marketing at Lune Climate
“The value of the product marketer role as a strategist, connector, and marketer will be increasingly understood in a growing number and variety of B2B enterprises.
“Practitioners have visibility into multiple areas of the company and can quickly identify the intersections between industry or customer needs and the company's value proposition. This knowledge can be leveraged to generate revenue. For this reason, PMMs will be viewed as indispensable contributors - earning a seat at the table.”
Kirsten Jepson, Product Marketing Director at TELUS International
“The career path will diverge from PMM → CMO to PMM → General Manager/Leaders of new business units.”
Farhan Manjiyani, Technical Product Marketing Manager at Rev.ai
“We’re already seeing a huge demand for product marketing roles across tech. I think this is partly due to the increasing demand for tech products in general that we saw during the pandemic. With more demand, we’re seeing more product launches, stronger competitive forces across industries, and increasing interest from legacy enterprise companies looking to modernize their processes.
“I assume PMM will take a similar journey that product management has had in the past few years. We’ll see more coursework and best practices available to ramp up new PMMs and fill empty roles and we’ll start seeing PMMs coming from a variety of backgrounds from consulting to traditional engineering roles that may want a career change. I think demand will only continue to increase for these reasons.”
Chakshu Mehta, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Datadog
“Companies are really starting to understand the value product marketing can add to an organization and, as a result, PMMs are in high demand! 2022 will see the Product marketing function evolve to a standard scope covering positioning & messaging, persona development, GTM, and competitive intel - instead of a catch-all that drastically differs across businesses. PMMs will be successful if they can focus on these four key areas, manage their stakeholder expectations, and measure their impact.”
Kalyn New, Senior Director of Product and Customer Marketing at Campaign Monitor Group
“Product marketers will become a must-have in any organization that strives for growth or innovation, and the go-to professionals to support the strategic decisions at the top level – a very exciting year ahead!”
Dario Perez, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager for Payments at Expedia Group
“As long as the economy and funding environment continues as is, it’ll get even harder to compete for PMM talent (and it’s already hard!) and salaries will rise 10-20% across the board, with no localized cost of living adjustments because companies will be willing to pay for remote talent. We'll continue to see the rise in product marketing vs. demand gen as the first marketing hire.”
Christine Tran, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Quantum Metric
“Product marketing will increasingly be seen as an operational strategy differentiator. Companies that recruit and retain strong PMM teams will win in the market.”
Dave Steer, Vice President of Marketing at LogDNA
“My prediction’s that the supply and demand issues we are seeing across the world are not just limited to your favorite goods and products, but also to product marketers! There’s a huge demand for PMMs right now, which is making it very difficult to hire.”
Al Dea, Host of Product Marketing Careers, PMA Podcast Series
“More organizations will hire PMMs strictly dedicated to competitive intel (rather than making it one part of a PMM's responsibilities).”
Andrew McCotter-Bicknell, Head of Competitive Intelligence at ClickUp
“[Andrew McCotter Bicknell’s prediction] is 1000% my prediction as well. As a competitive intelligence specialist, I’ve seen a huge spike in competitive intelligence manager roles in the last several months. I also think it’s a role that works best when dedicated to competitive/market intelligence.”
Mindy Regnell, Senior Market Intelligence at Postscript
“B2B businesses will invest in more PMM roles. The reason for this is that PMMs are skilled in bringing together the product/service/solution, marketing, and sales in a collaborative way. Ultimately this results in higher revenue.”
Kirsten Jepson, Product Marketing Director at TELUS International
We’re excited to see how this next year pans out. Here’s to a bigger and better 2022 for us all. Happy New Year! 🎉