Carrie Zhang

AMA: Square Product Lead, Carrie Zhang on Product Management vs Product Marketing

February 02 @ 9:00am PST

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Top Questions
How would you describe the key differences between the product manager role and product marketer role?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
The product manager (PM) decides “what” to build and “when”, and is accountable for delivering the product or feature that delights customers. The product marketer (PMM) informs “what” to build, and is accountable for driving the demand for what has been built. Both require deep customer and mar...more
What are the commonly shared responsibilities between product management and product marketing?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
* Revenue, P&L ownership. * Customer discovery. Our PMs and designers tend to lead more qualitative research while our PMMs tend to lead more quantitative surveys. * Product strategy. At Square, PM is the ultimate DRI (Directly Responsible Individual). * Pricing and packaging. At Square...more
Who should own pricing? Product management or product marketing? And what role should each play?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
It’s a joint decision between product management and product marketing at Square. In general our PMMs tend to have more ownership here. They will lead competitive analysis and commission qual/ quant research to inform pricing decisions. That said, from what I observed, when you zoom into the spe...more
Should product marketing report to product management or marketing?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
Ha, organizational design questions are always the fun ones. :) These types of questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. Each design will have its pros and cons and it’s all about what you are trying to optimize. When I started in product marketing at Square, we reported into marketing. Abo...more
At what point do you pull in the product marketing team while working on a new feature enhancement?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
From the very beginning and throughout the development process. This is very much related to the previous question. I will try to bring to life how the process works on the Square teams. * For any new feature development, we hold a kickoff/ problem alignment with PM, PMM, Design, Eng and Da...more
What advice would you give to a product marketer looking to transition to product management, or vice versa?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
* It’s a good idea to try internal transfer if you want to transition from PMM to PM, or vice versa. Learning the craft of a new discipline is not easy. You are more likely to set yourself up for success if you minimize other variables like new company, new product, new team. * Anchor ...more
From your experience, what are some best practices for product management and product managers to work together effectively?
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
Good question. I view product management and product marketing as close partners since we co-own the strategy and business outcome. Cannot say I have best practices, rather some guiding principles of how I would like to see us work together. 1. Involve each other early. I hate the model where t...more