Has product marketing suddenly become a "thing"?

Technologies have been constantly evolving at a blistering pace. You see this all the time in and around tech startups.

In concert with this has been the fast adoption (and ultimately fast abandonment) of tech-related trends.

Take Big Data, for example. Or how about chatbots, the Internet of Things, apps as a self-thriving industry, wearable devices for the quantified self, predictive analytics, and ICOs?

They have all built up incredible momentum and hype, only to be forgotten after 8-24 months or so. In San Francisco, I’ve seen many conferences spring up around these trendy developments, only to see them die out after just a year or two.

The tech startup ecosystem is also known for dramatically boosting the trendiness of careers such as product design, UX / UI design, web development, and digital marketing with its multitude of sub-specialities.

What’s the deal with product marketing?

Recently, I’ve been seeing quite a bit more chatter in various online forums about product marketing. The typical participant is from a startup. I’ve also noticed on these forums and elsewhere quite a few open positions for product marketing managers, again, for startups.

At least two product marketing-related conferences have emerged recently (over the past two years), with a focus on tech-relevant cities such as San Francisco and Boston.

I attended one of them, and I have to admit it was very good and valuable (to a product marketing professional like myself). Unsurprisingly, most attendees there work for startups.

Let’s be clear about one thing: product marketing is nothing new. It’s an important aspect of a company’s function in communicating its offerings, both internally and externally. It’s long been part of traditional or well-established companies.

Here’s to hoping we’re seeing a long-awaited recognition of product marketing as a respected profession…

… and not just another trendy career dependent on the general health of the tech startup ecosystem.