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AMA: Zendesk Director of Product Marketing, Teresa Haun
on Developing Your Product Marketing Career
February 04 @ 10:00am PST

View AMA Answers

Product Marketing With Teresa Haun, Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
Top Questions
What is your favorite product marketing interview question and the best answer you've heard?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I often like to ask, “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” as well as, “In your last performance review, what were your opportunities to improve and how have you worked to address them?” I like the question “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” because it often helps me understand w...more
What's a typical career path for a product marketing manager?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
For product marketers that want to stay in product marketing, the classic career path I usually see in terms of roles and titles is PMM → Senior PMM → Group or Principal PMM → Director → Senior Director → VP → SVP → CMO. From my experience, I’ve seen managing a report or a team typically starts a...more
I have worked in b2b product marketing for several years but have not been promoted yet. What is your advice for me on how to approach the conversation with my manager?
I started a new role recently at the PMM level, and already have several years of PMM experience. both roles were in enterprise software, but the industries / products are very different so there is a big learning curve in the new role
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
If you haven’t already, I would start by making sure your manager actually knows that you aspire to become a Senior PMM and would like to work towards getting promoted. It’s often implied as most people want to continuously work towards the next level, but that’s definitely not always the case an...more
As a new product marketer I am struggling with messaging. What is the best way to develop this skill?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
You are definitely not alone! I think a lot of new and experienced PMMs struggle with messaging and I absolutely did and still think I have plenty of room to improve. Since I’m unfortunately running out of time in this AMA, I wanted to at least suggest this similar question and thread that has a ...more
What is the career path from sales development to product marketing? Is it a direct path?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
In my experience, I’ve never seen Sales → Product Marketing as a direct path, but like someone else asked about here, it’s definitely one you can pursue and I think many product marketing hiring managers would be open to it if you displayed you had the right skill set and potential. Here’s what m...more
What would you rec highlighting in prod mar portfolio? Writing samples? Case studies? What would make a candidate stand out to you? Thx!
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I would try to highlight anything that shows you have the key skills to be an effective product marketer. That definitely includes strong writing samples and case studies like you suggested, but also: * Presentations that show you can create a compelling narrative and convince an audience ...more
What's the best way to enter the product marketing field?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
This question is very similar to this one someone else asked https://sharebird.com/how-can-a-junior-digital-marketing-generalist-stand-out-as-a-pmm-candidate-in-a-role-that-requires-3-years-of-product-marketing-experience?answer=nOrEYkp4B7 so going to share my answer from there here too: I think...more
I have just moved into Product Marketing from Customer Retention. My questions are, 1) what is the core job of a product marketer, and 2) what skills do I need to work on?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
There’s an awesome blog post that I’d highly recommend written by Dave Gerhardt (super impressive marketer who produces a lot of solid, thoughtful content) for your question what does product marketing do and what are we responsible for: https://www.drift.com/blog/what-is-product-marketing/. For ...more
What metrics do you use to justify a pay raise?
I’m the only product marketer in our company and I’m definitely overworked.
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I think this blog post https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-succeed-at-asking-for-a-pay-raise-2071868 does a nice job walking through key considerations and things to do when generally asking for a raise, including specifically in the “Research” section highlighting some of the classic source...more
What are the biggest frustrations you have as a product marketing manager?
The role of product marketing has become more strategic. How is it affecting you?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I’m going to split my answer here because the additional question details suggest you may be feeling frustrated that PMM has become more strategic, but for me, the strategic work in product marketing is a large part of why I love the function so much :). I’m hoping I can still be helpful to you i...more
Where should product marketing report into? Product management or marketing?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I personally think Product Marketing should report into Marketing with the head of the whole product marketing function reporting directly to the CMO. This is exactly how we’re organized at Zendesk and I’ve found this reporting structure seems to work well for our team. I believe it’s because eve...more
What is your advice to someone with a background in software sales who wants to move into Product Marketing? Have you hired someone with a sales background for a PM role? If so, what convinced you to hire that person? What are the top skills someone with a background in sales might be lacking that are critical for a PM role? What about skills that would translate well?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
This is a great question, but unfortunately not one I have much personal experience with as I haven’t made that particular transition and also haven’t hired anyone with a Sales background so far. I would absolutely be open to hiring someone from Sales though if they showed they had the potential ...more
How can a junior digital marketing generalist stand out as a PMM candidate in a role that requires 3+ years of product marketing experience?
Senior Director, Technology Marketing and Communications at Zendesk
I think it’s all about making it clear that you have relevant skills and experience that will apply. Also, that you have tremendous potential and are so eager to learn! If you really don’t have a lot of experience that you can make clear is very relevant for product marketing (although I bet you ...more
Ask Teresa About
  • Transitioning into PMM from other functions and roles
  • Honing key habits of a highly effective product marketer
  • Showing up as a leader in PMM before you have any direct reports
  • Moving into a PMM leadership role and managing a team