Product Marketing
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AMA: Gong Vice President, Product Marketing, Julien Sauvage on Developing Your Product Marketing Career
December 07 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Julien Sauvage , Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Top Questions
Product Marketing can end up being a catch-all in terms of responsibilities. What would you say are the top 3 - 5 areas PMM should always be focused on that can make the biggest impact at a growing start-up?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Well, you need to have an impact on your company's big strategic priorities. Easier said than done, right? So I'd look at your company OKRs or top priorities and align the 3-5 focus areas to that. Need an example? - if your company mostly cares about awareness then work on Category programs ...more
What is the single most important skill / expertise for a relatively junior PMM to cultivate that separates the good from the (potentially) great?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
I think Messaging / Positioning / Storytelling are absolute must-haves, but then - in true Product Marketing fashion, you have to clearly identify your edge. What’s your core differentiation on the market? I personally love skills such as * Customer facing skills (if you come from a sales/ CS ...more
I'm new to Product Marketing. In the interviews that I've done, I am being asked to present a marketing portfolio. I'm not sure what would be the best to present so I stand out from the crowd. What would you present? Can you give specific examples please?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
I would be super metrics-dr :iven here. Maybe show a few functions you've owned (or contributed to), from top of the funnel to middle and bottom of the funnel, with the corresponding programs and the metrics you've optimized for each. For ex: - Owned awareness plan - running exec programs an...more
What are the SaaS you think is doing product marketing exceptionally well globally and it's competitors and also please explain how is the one able to stay ahead than the rest?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Gong, of course :) Come join us (https://gong.io/careers) I mean I'm biased but on top of that, I think Salesforce took the Product Marketing to the next level back in the days, and helps elevate the function in the industry. At the end of the day, it is all about cutting through the noise ...more
I am moving into a new product marketing leadership role and working adjacent to product managers/directors for the first time. I will also be responsible for managing one direct report. I imagine I will lead the GTM strategy side of things and my DR will focus on tactical execution, but I am curious if there are recommended best practices for structuring PMM roles and responsibilities.
In over 12 years of B2B mktg exp, I've only worked on corporate marketing teams reporting to General Management, so the switch to a product management structure is new for me.
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Great question. I would challenge that a bit, and think that good strategic needs to be based on flawless execution and vice-versa. Maybe you can own 80% of the strategy but execute on 205 of the stuff, to keep a pulse of the market? And vice versa for your DR. Or divide and conquer by the fun...more
What's a typical career path for a product marketing manager?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
That is a broad and awesome question. In a Product Marketing Alliance talk I talk about the 7 career steps for PMM: 1. The Beginning 2. Find Your Groove 3. Learn From Your Mistakes 4. Flex Your PMM Muscles 5. Measure, Measure, Measure 6. Learn the Frameworks 7. CHILL 8. Repeat… but Cha...more
What non PMM skills set someone up to be a good PMM?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Some of the soft skills and qualities that I seek: Strategic yet hands-on , Storytellers yet tech savvy , Measured yet creative , Customer and sales facing , Running the business . Then in terms of values: * Collaborative. We ask others for ideas. We listen to their inputs. We share infor...more
What are the best firms to look for associate PMM roles?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
See above. Gong, of course :) Come join us (https://gong.io/careers) I mean I'm biased but on top of that, I think Salesforce took the Product Marketing to the next level back in the days, and helps elevate the function in the industry. At the end of the day, it is all about cutting through ...more
When moving from a Sr PMM role to ‘lead’, what are those attributes that person should embody?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Owning an entire product line! Or an entire fucntion - like awareness, enablement, etc. I actually think soft skills is what your CMO/ VP PMM is likely to look at - your ability to manage your cross-functional partners, measure and show impact, build your annual strategic plan, etc. Need ex...more
What is your opinion on “role over company” vs “any seat on a rocketship” for a PMM early in their career?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Early in your career, I'd totally go for the rocketship option to be honest. Best way to learn a lot all the facets of GTM, get your hands dirty, influence key strategic initiatives, show impact, etc. - that'll follow you for the rest of your career! Moving fast is the best way to learn fas...more
With respect to mergers and acquisitions, what are the steps and priorities you take to integrate the newly acquired product into your overall product marketing strategy?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
Excellent question. I would start listening to the newly acquired company's customers. Go on a lsitening tour. Understand the buyer and user's pains, challenges, wins, why they love your product, what's missing, how they measure success. From that, you'll be able to start mapping these new ...more
What do you look for when promoting a Product Marketer from individual contributor to people manager?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
The ultimate test is: are you passionate about helping people grow? If not, and that's ok, then people management might not be for you. People learn and grow with new experiences. I like to nurture learning for people looking for experiences & stretch goals, with tactics like: yearly rotation, ...more
How do you make the jump from senior manager to director level in product marketing?
Vice President, Product Marketing at Gong.io
The expansion in scope! A director owns a function. Is able to partner with senior leaders and build strong relationships in other departments to establish strategic plans and objectives. Be as metric driven as you can in your current senior manager role, show the impact, then your manager sh...more