AMA: Bill.com Director of Product Marketing, Angus Maclaurin on Establishing Product Marketing

February 02 @ 10:00am PST

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Top Questions
What do you consider to be the stages of the product marketing cycle?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
In the ideal state, I consider Product Marketing to have 5 stages starting from market insights. 1. Understand the Market: outline the potential opportunity and existing competition 2. Define Personas and Needs: define the core customer, their needs, and their current solution 3. Deve...more
What is your process for collecting user feedback? Do you use ever use NPS or any other survey style?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
I use every resource I can to gather customer and user feedback, both internally and externally. First and foremost, I always prioritize talking directly to customers. Make time for customer conversations every month at a minimum. In addition, I leverage many of the following sources of feedback:...more
How can I get into product marketing from my current technical sales/enablement role?
I'm a product specialist at Meltwater and I'm looking to move into product marketing but would prefer to look externally. I currently support the sales team by setting up and demoing customized environments to prospects, sparring use cases, and doing some enablement work. I've been doing some small projects with both the product marketing team and the broader marketing team - most recently a competitive VS style landing page and vertical-specific landing page copy. For a side project, I'm in the midst of starting a podcast for aspiring marketers where I interview people from different disciplines so students and others looking to get into the field can see what best aligns with their interests. Is there anything else I should be doing? Am I looking two steps ahead and I need to get more experience first? Feel like I wouldn't even get an interview if I applied to a PMM job in the tech space.
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
First off, I would say that Product Marketing is in demand in the market and the most critical skill set is a passion for understanding the customer and crafting messaging. If you can show a deep empathy for customers and research how a product actually matches a specific customer need, then you ...more
When thinking about adding new talent to your team - how do you structure focus areas? Customer lifecycle stage? Persona? Areas of the product? Functional expertise?
We only have one product at HoneyBook but PMM does a lot of different things, ie, lifecycle marketing, research, competitive, feature launches, etc.
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
PMMs are often tied to specific products more than lifecycle stages. In general we aim for a 3:1 PMM to PM ratio - meaning the PMM needs to have deep knowledge about each of those products, market needs, and personas. They should be the expert in a product from end to end. It’s not ideal if a PM ...more
Product Marketing is often a very flat team, with very little hierarchy (except at larger companies) how do you prepare yourself to become a Director and manage a team, without any experience managing anyone previously?
I'm on my 5th year of product marketing in my career, with another 5 years before that in general demand gen at very small companies. I've had management experience in the past, but not in a Product Marketing role. Often times in smaller companies, there will be 1 or 2 PMMs, usually in a very flat hierarchy, or a single boss, with no room to really move up a proverbial ladder and into management experience. So what are ways that I can prepare myself now, so that if the time comes to apply for a Director position (either internally or at another company) that I can be considered even without recent people management experience? Are there any courses for this that are highly regarded in the management arena?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
I’ve been a one person PMM-team several times in the last decade and encountered the same challenges. More of my management experience comes from my analytics and innovation roles in the past. I'd recommend that you find ways to onboard people or be a mentor or teacher to others. A chunk of these...more
What is your 30-60-90 day plan when you go into an org with the intention of setting up PMM function for the first time?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
I’ve come in as the first PMM at several companies. My experience has been different every time, and I’ve learned a few hard lessons on rushing in too quickly. A large chunk of the first 90 days centers around education and getting quick wins. 30 days: Understand Figure out who does what. If yo...more
How do you define product marketing differently in a product-led growth company vs. a traditional company with a normal sales and marketing funnel?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
My experience in PMM has often been defined more by organizational structure and openness more than a type of product. The three biggest factors I’ve seen that impact product marketing’s role in an organization are the following: Reporting structure: Where does PMM report to? To the CEO, the CMO...more
How do you measure the contribution of Product Marketing to the growth result?
Oftentimes, PMM does not directly execute the campaign but rather provides a foundation or collaterals for sales and marketing to use. How do we calculate our percentage of contribution to the final results?
Angus Maclaurin
Director of Product Marketing at Bill.com
Product Marketing plays a critical role in launching products, but it is harder to measure. This question can come up frequently in performance reviews and setting OKRs for the coming year. Product Marketing owns several key areas of product launch - from defining customer needs and key features ...more