Think of products like Hubspot, Buffer, Intercom, and Typeform. Now think, “Why do you use them?”
It may sound like a difficult question, but in our opinion, it has a simple and straightforward answer. The brands mentioned above are built on a foundation of a great product which has added to their impressive growth.
If you’ve been in the SaaS space for long, chances are that you are already witnessing a change in the way brands are adopting a ‘product first’ approach.
But building a great product isn’t easy.
A great product entails hours spent on testing, perfecting processes and positioning, investing time in customer research and defining customer journeys. Sealing the product’s value proposition and crafting a clear strategy for bringing it out in the market also require sufficient attention.
It is clear that a job that was once handled by independent departments, has now become the responsibility of Product Marketers within a company.
According to automation tool Drift, Product Marketing is one of the few job functions that touches product, marketing, and sales– giving it a unique profile.
Needless to say, Product Marketers are expected to know the latest trends in the industry, devise strategies that work and always be on top of their product game. It is also obvious that they require a lot of handy and easy to absorb information at their disposal.
Being the busy Product Marketer that you are, we’ve got just the right repository of resources for you. This article covers a bevy of knowledge resources for every Product Marketer. So whether you are someone with an interest in product marketing, or a Product Marketer who’s just starting out, or someone who is been in the game for a long time, this article will help you find the right resources and channels to get and keep you up-to-date on Product Marketing trends.
Let’s get started.
Section 1 – 14 Handpicked Books For Product Marketers
Reading a book is like rewriting it for yourself, isn’t it how the saying goes? Product Marketing is a dynamic way to approach and sort out available information,, which is why so much is being said about the topic. We’ve hand-picked 15 books to get you started, both hardcover and Ebooks.
Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products
Popularly known as ‘Hooked,’ Nir Eyal’s book is an insanely profound take on building habit-forming products. This book is full of insights that can help Product Marketers build products that will stick with their users. The book also throws light on the behavioral techniques and the ‘hook model’ used by successful products such as Twitter, Instagram, and others. Eyal has used a definitive research approach and explored umpteen methodologies to explain this concept, which has been applauded by industry veterans such as Andrew Chen.
If you’ve been in the SaaS world, chances are that you’ve explored every new blog post on the Kissmetrics Blog. So when its founder Hiten Shah, launches a book explaining “Product Habits” required by teams to grow their business faster, it automatically gets a spot on a Product Marketer’s bookshelf.
Hiten’s insightful Ebook explains Kissmetrics’ Golden Motion Process, where his entire team devoted two-weeks to build product features to improve a single metric.
“Product Habits” is a first-hand experience guide for Product Marketers who want to excel at solving problems better than anyone else.
“Hacking Growth” was one of the most awaited books within the SaaS ecosystem. This highly-charged book by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis is full of insights on how to identify and test growth levers and how to evaluate results using a non-traditional approach.
Even though “Hacking Growth” is more focused on customers than the product per se (how to attain, retain, engage and monetize them), it is an essential read for understanding the broader impacts of methodologies on the product as a whole.
Product Marketers want to launch awesome products and build successful teams. “Product Leadership” is about this and more. The book contains insights from over 100 leading Product Managers from around the world. Authors Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw take the readers through decades of product design, leaving them with valuable and easy to implement strategies.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
When you are a Product Marketer you are accountable for hundreds of tasks and decisions. This can get pretty exhausting, especially in a high-growth SaaS setup. “Sprint” is all about simplifying this process.
The book is based on the experiences of Designer Jake Knapp, Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky, all ex-Googlers who used this approach to answer critical business decisions. “Sprint” explores ‘a unique five-day process for solving tough problems, proven at more than a hundred companies.’
- Intercom on Product Management
“Intercom on Product Management” comes from a team that has created a benchmark for SaaS companies to strive for.
“This book gives you the tools to decide which features to improve, which features to ignore, and how to better address your customers.” Ryan Singer, Product Manager at Basecamp
The book helps Product Marketers evaluate their product and features, take calls on adding and implementing new features, and prepares them to take tough decisions as PMs.
Download Intercom on Product Management here.
Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences (Voices That Matter)
Written by Stephen P Anderson, “Seductive Interaction Design” explores the most persistent issue faced by SaaS Product Marketers– motivating people to act on the website or the app. In this book, Anderson explores the psychology and aesthetics of a good design and how it impacts user reaction. The book is full of examples and how they’ve been applied successfully to achieve desired goals.
Seductive Interaction Design is available as a Paperback.
Burndown is from the team at Drift. Here’s a video by the team about the book:
Burndown is available in various formats. Check all of them here.
Intercom on Onboarding
“Intercom on Onboarding” is another gem from the team at Intercom who have shared deep insights on user onboarding, a critical part of Product Marketing. A good onboarding experience is the high-point of a product and ensures that users come back. This book is full of insights on making users reach their AHA moments.
Intercom on Jobs To Be Done
While we are at it, it would be foolish not to consider “Intercom on Jobs To Be Done.” This book is a guide for Product Marketers who are keen to understand the competition and learn how to convince users to switch to their product.
100 Days of Growth
Much time is spent identifying the ‘growth tactics’ that help a product scale. “100 Days of Growth” by Sujan Patel and Rob Wormley is a compilation of a hundred effective growth strategies used by them to grow their business. This book is an essential read for any PM who wants to test and implement growth techniques quickly.
“Hypergrowth” is yet another brilliant book from the folks at Drift. It is written by their CEO David Cancel, who has worked at Performable and Hubspot. In this book, he shares a modern approach to building products by keeping customer communication at the center of decision making.
Find your preferred format of “Hypergrowth” here.
Contagious – Why Things Catch On
Every Product Marketer dreams of building ‘viral products,’ products that have an inherent word of mouth appeal. Jonah Berger’s “Contagious – Why Things Catch On” dissects the exact science behind viral products.
In this video, Jonah explains what makes products viral.
The book is available for purchase on various online platforms.
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
“Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore is considered a bible for Product Marketers. Already in its 3rd Edition, this book discusses technology adoption life cycle and models suited for high-tech consumer markets.
Section 2 – The Go-To Podcasts For Product Marketers
Product Marketers are busy. They are immersed in numerous different tasks at any given time and finding time to read and absorb the content of a book can be a luxury. So here are 7 podcasts whose audio format makes it easier to devour the learnings in a non-restrictive, on-the-go format.
Here are the ones we found the most useful; there are plenty, so we are listing the very best.
“Product People” by Justin Jackson is ‘focussed on great products and people who make them.’ This podcast is available on iTunes.
Inside Intercom Podcast
In this podcast, the team from Intercom ‘interviews makers and doers from the world of product management, design, startups, and marketing.’ Find all the episodes here.
“Seeking Wisdom” is run by David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt from Drift. Talking about its launch, CEO David explains:
“But we didn’t really start Seeking Wisdom because we wanted to have a podcast — we started it as a way to get a bunch of thoughts out there.”
Given Drift’s extensive focus on Product Marketing, it is a must listen for all PMs. Here’s a great episode to get you started.
This Is Product Management
In this podcast, host Mike Fishbein, interviews people involved in building modern products and discusses everything from creative strategy, APIs, and other aspects that determine the final product.
The mission of “100 Product Managers” is ‘to interview one hundred active Product Managers in Los Angeles – from startups to enterprise.’ It is spearheaded by Suzanne Abate and is powered by General Assembly, The Development Factory, and TDF Labs. The podcast features experienced PM’s sharing decades of experiences and strategies. Here’s an interesting episode:
The Everyday Innovator Podcast
As the name implies, “The Everyday Innovator Podcast” helps Product Managers and innovators get the knowledge they need to advance in their careers. The episodes are organized by the BEAT competition system, which is a 4-level funnel, as shown below:
The end result is to elevate the subscriber from Product Manager to Product master.
Build & Launch
“Build & Launch” is Justin Jackson’s podcast following his “Product People.” Jackson has worked as a PM with Mailout.com and Sprint.ly. Through his podcast, he shares his own and other peoples’ experiences of how to create and ship products. While this isn’t an exclusive SaaS PM oriented podcast, it is full of nuggets that can be applied to a growing business.
Section 3 – The Best Newsletters For Product Marketers
Newsletters are a great avenue for PMs to keep a tab on the latest trends in product marketing. Unfortunately, there aren’t many that have been successful in attracting and keeping the interest of their subscribers for long. In this section, we’ve listed a few notable newsletters that have provided consistent value. If you haven’t already, subscribe to them now.
Product Habits Newsletter
This weekly newsletter is curated by none other than Hiten Shah. Apart from exceptional curation, this newsletter also features ‘Hiten’s Pick’ of the week and a weekly tip for readers.
#GrowthIdeas Email Newsletter
Enabled by the team at GrowthHackers, this newsletter shares a daily idea with subscribers. These ideas cover a vast range from product and growth to marketing and sales. Users with a GH account can save this idea to their account.
Product & Traction
This weekly newsletter is from Justin Jackson and is designed to serve as an inspiration for independent product makers. Here’s what the newsletter promises:
Raise The Bar
“Raise the Bar” is an industry recognized newsletter by Nick Frost from MatterMark. In this daily newsletter, Nick covers must-read posts on sales, marketing, and growth. Not focussed on product marketing per se, “Raise The Bar” offers deep insights on trends that impact and shape products.
Love Your Customers Newsletter
“Love Your Customers” Newsletter by Claire Suellentrop is a must for PMs who are always looking for new strategies and insights to amp up their products. Claire was Director of Marketing at Calendly, and these newsletters are infused with her experience.
“Drift” is the go-to newsletter for Product Marketers and growth enthusiasts. Given the brand’s focus on ‘Product Marketing,’ it is a must-read for most PMs.
— John Bonini (@Bonini84) December 7, 2015
The GetUplift Newsletter
The “GetUplift Newsletter” is from Talia Wolf, a Conversion Rate Optimization Expert. Her newsletters hover around the context of psychology and other CRO principles that make or break a product. You can sign up for her newsletter via her blog.
Section 4 – Communities For Product Marketers
Having support from your immediate team may not be enough at all times. Thanks to a sense of community within start-ups, that isn’t a limiting factor anymore. In fact, there’s a thriving community of PMs across the globe, connected via exclusive channels, forums, and platforms. We’ve listed the ones that have been in the news for the engagement and value they offer community members.
Product Hunt is one of the biggest community of makers under one roof. From their focus on showcasing new and upcoming products, Product Hunt also facilitates meetups across the globe to boost offline interactions within their massive community.
Product ManagerHQ offers both an interactive website and a Slack community which boasts of PMs from Shopify, Google, Yahoo, Pinterest and other coveted names in the Product Marketing world. Sign up to get the weekly newsletter and 60-page PM Handbook. The Slack group has multiple channels, allowing umpteen ‘conversations’ to wade into, while the website lists insightful AMAs (ask me anything) sessions with noteworthy PMs.
This community also offers exclusive access and periodic discounts.
MindTheProduct is another engaging international community for Product Marketers. This community offers a Slack channel, meetups, conferences and even a course for interested PMs.
Women In Product Management
Women In Product Management is a Slack community spearheaded by Merci Victoria Grace, head of product growth at Slack. This is an exclusive community for women and was created to provide an active venue for female PMs – an often overlooked subset.
Product People Club
Product People Club is the brainchild of Justin Jackson, conceptualized to make the process of shipping products more accountable for PMs. It offers a private forum as well as a Slack community to help PMs reach their goals.
Product Marketing Community by Drift
The Product Marketing Community by Drift is a Slack community with numerous channels for PMs to explore jobs, ask questions, share resources and more.
Product Marketing Community
Product Marketing Community, launched in 2016, is a recent entrant to the ecosystem. In their own words, this community is part workshop, part networking forum and part masterclass to share, incite and inspire PMs. At present, the website lists upcoming conferences in Toronto, Austin, and San Francisco
Wrapping It Up!
The expectations from a Product Marketers are at an all time high. They are building strategies to drive demand for their products and features, and they are also involved in messaging and positioning. With a shift in the way products are shipped, staying updated and relevant is the only way to succeed.
We sincerely hope that the books, podcasts, newsletters, and communities mentioned in this article not only help you to stay ahead of your competition, but also provide you with a platform to build meaningful connections and gauge the best trends and strategies to win and retain your customers.
Have we missed anything noteworthy here? Do share with us in the comments, below.
Cover Photo: Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash