Ryan Van Wagoner

AMA: Forethought Head of Product Marketing, Ryan Van Wagoner on Developing Your Product Marketing Career

September 16 @ 10:00AM PST
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Forethought Head of Product Marketing, Ryan Van Wagoner on Developing Your Product Marketing Career
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Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 17
Great question! Product marketing has been getting a lot of attention recently as a top career choice for anyone interested in marketing or strategy, but the truth is everyone's career path is different and product marketing may look different from one role or company to the next.  The product m......Read More
5712 Views
3 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 17
At Forethought, product marketing works very closely with the product teams to bring products to market. I hold regular check-ins with product marketing and the Head of Product, as well as separate check-ins with individual product managers. These check-ins enable us to: - Align on product strat......Read More
3869 Views
1 request
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
Everything! But really...I was pretty clueless. I wish I knew how product marketing works with sales, customer success, product, and core marketing to be successful. I wish I knew to spend time asking questions and getting as much information as possible before starting a project. I wish I kne......Read More
433 Views
3 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
I'd have to go with this classic: "Describe your process for launching a new product." Why? A product launch is the quintessential act of product marketing. It places the product marketer as the orchestrator between product, sales, customer success, and core marketing. If you understand how to s......Read More
4725 Views
3 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 17
The truth is, almost every product marketer I know switched to a career in product marketing from a different field (I came from Sales!). This is very rarely a career that people start out in right out of undergrad (but it does happen! Check out my good friend Lauren Hanson's post). Because produ......Read More
505 Views
2 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 17
Over the course of my career, I've seen incredible product marketers enter the field in all sorts of ways: - Pursuing an MBA and getting an internship at a large tech company - Getting sales experience and then moving into a sales-enablement-focused PMM role as an entry point to the field - St......Read More
379 Views
2 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
What the interviewer really wants to know by asking this question is how you would handle a product launch, and you don't need direct experience to ace this question. You DO, however, need to do your homework and genuinely understand the launch process. I would highly recommend talking with seve......Read More
322 Views
1 request
How do you perform extensive competitive product research?
I've been tasked with it but I'm missing the mark. This research is for the CEO and Product/Engineering teams who want to know how our tech stacks up in the market. Do you have any tips?
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
My first recommendation would be to make sure you understand exactly what exactly your stakeholders are wanting to know (and why). Are they looking at making product decisions based on this information? Adjusting the pricing? Refining the messaging? Knowing the strategic goals behind the request ......Read More
424 Views
2 requests
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
Be sure you understand and articulate *why* you're building out the team. We all want to grow the marketing team, but growing for the sake of growing can often cause more problems than it solves. To be effective at a small company with a small team, you need to grow strategically and focus on the......Read More
581 Views
1 request
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 16
This is a fantastic question and often where PMMs either excel or fail. Product marketing is the glue between product, sales, customer success, and core marketing, and understanding how to align those four functions is the key to success. Start with listening. Talk with each stakeholder (in your......Read More
612 Views
1 request
Ryan Van Wagoner
Ryan Van Wagoner
Forethought Senior Director, Head of MarketingSeptember 17
Generally as you become more senior in your product marketing career (or any career), your role will become more strategic and cross-functional. As you begin to show that you can not only work well in the trenches (create compelling messaging and content, etc.) but also come to the table with new......Read More
728 Views
2 requests