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AMA: Square Head of Product Marketing, Carrie Zhang on Product Marketing
November 16 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Carrie Zhang, Head of Product Marketing at Square
Top Questions
Why do you think the turnover for product marketing jobs is so high?
Most of my marketing colleagues have either gotten fired, laid off, or found a new job within the past 18 months. I've personally have been laid off 5 times and left on my own 5 times in the past 10 years. Why such high churn in marketing?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
I have a different perspective. Most of the turnovers I have seen are voluntary - people moving on to different companies, different roles. So to me it's not necessarily a bad thing. Personally I get bored doing the same thing for more than 2 years. So if my role does not present new learning opp...more
What kind of visibility do you have in regards to what pieces of content your reps use most often or which pieces are actually closing deals?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
Our sales team are always asking us for 3 things: * A kick ass product intro/ overview deck - generally used for reps to go over with prospects * Competitive battlecards - how we stack up against our competition and where we win * Case studies - tangible upside that customers have gotte...more
How do you find overlapping interest/commonality with product management that goes beyond wanting to connect the product to the customer?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
At the end of the day, the common interest between a PM and a PMM is to build and grow a product or business. That means a few areas of common grounds: * Product strategy - are we building the right product for the right target customers? * Growth strategy - what are the in-product and mark...more
What has worked well (or has not worked) as far as positioning your product marketing team within a larger marketing org? What are some of the challenges you've faced collaborating with other teams and how have you overcome them?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
Great question. I always tell my team that as product marketers we are the bridge between product development and the broader marketing & sales teams. We focus relationship building and collaboration in 3 areas: 1. Product (development) team. At Square PMMs are embedded within the product t...more
Given that PMM role definitions and skills vary so much by company, how do you develop a transferrable career path if you end up switching firms along the way?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
Yes, PMM role varies a lot by industry and company. So you have to ask yourself what you want to do and what ultimately interest you. When you choose what companies, PMM groups to join, you need to evaluate whether that helps you get to where you want to be. For example, I am not into enterprise ...more
What's a typical career path for a product marketing manager?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
I see 3 ways to grow our career: 1. Continue down the product marketing career path. At some point, you will be capped at a VP or Director of product marketing role 2. Get broader channel marketing experience (the most important one being paid marketing) and become a CMO somewhere. Cho...more
What are some examples of different projects that PMMs at different levels would own? For example, a PMM vs a Senior PMM vs a Director of Product Marketing?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
This very much depends on the company and individual team lead vision so I will just chime in with what it is like at Square.   In general, PMMs at Square cover a wide range of responsibilities regardless of level. These responsibilities include: 1. Develop product or feature launch/ GTM stra...more
Our product management team is more focused on timelines, than on customer needs. How do we get them to be more customer focused?
Head of Product Marketing at Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our cus...more