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AMA: Google Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform, Madeline Ng on Developing Your Product Marketing Career
May 12 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Madeline Ng, Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
Top Questions
What are the fundamental differences between a PMM and a senior PMM? What are some clear indicators that someone is ready to take on a senior PMM role and the responsibilities that come with it? And, when in the senior PMM role, what are the key stages that distinguish the different levels of senior PMMs?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
This is a hard question because I've found that even the nature of product marketing and the title "PMM" means different things at different companies. Generally, however, I'd look at the framework for seniority against the following dimensions:  * Product coverage: Early in your career you may...more
What do you look for when promoting a Product Marketer from individual contributor to people manager?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
My first question would be to determine if this person would thrive as a people manager. Often in product marketing, the trajectory up is through individual contributor to people manager, but it's not necessarily the best path for everyone.   Good reasons to want to be a people manager:  * Y...more
How do you define success leading PMMs? What are the KPIs you track?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
The most important KPIs to track are the ones that align closely to the business. Are you in a new product area? The KPI might be the number of customers you close and the number of references you can provide publicly or to your sales team. Are you in a competitive consumer product, but an incumb...more
What comes after head of PMM, e.g. if you want to move to VP of a marketing team, how to do that? And how to ensure that you're getting knowledge of other marketing functions (e.g. paid) so that you are equipped to lead an entire marketing team (vs. just a PMM discipline)?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
The great thing about being in product marketing is that it's a discipline that, by nature, is quite broad in strategic thinking and interacts with the key go-to-market functions in a business. This gives you a huge advantage if you can craft your story to be a VP of marketing!  Broadly speaki...more
Did shelter in place change the way how PMM teams work at Google? What are the lessons learned so far? Thanks for sharing!
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
Here are a few changes that came top-of-mind and probably aren't unique to my company:  * Focus: We have become hyper-focused on our priorities as everyone is working under very different conditions and we want to preserve our collective well-being. We're in the mindset of fewer, better, ...more
As an individual coming off of a Covid-19 related lay-off and looking to enter Product Marketing in the tech industry, what action items can be done during this time to strengthen one's resume for future recruitment? Futhermore, I previously worked in infleuncer, product, and global marketing in the beauty e-commerce industry. How can I make my experience relevant and attractive to tech companies/product marketing roles with little experience in the tech industry?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
First of all, I'm sorry to hear that you were affected by a Covid-19 related lay-off. When pivoting your career, I'm going to parrot back some good advice that I've received in the past. When it comes to making changes in a career, there are usually 3 big facets of change:  1. Industry 2. F...more
Do you recommend product marketers focus in on being great at one specific niche (skill, industry, etc.) or try to be more of a generalist.
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
"It depends" is the most infuriating answer but this is an "it depends" moment. This is all dependent on where you are in your career, what you want in your career, and also what your propensity is.  In terms of pure marketability, the broad strokes I'd make (and your mileage may vary) is:  ...more
For individuals who have an account management background looking to pivot into product marketing, do you have tips on how one should navigate technical questions during the interview knowing that one has not had hands-on experience in their current / past roles?
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
You're actually in a good position if you are moving from a B2B account management role into a B2B product marketing role because you have knowledge of the audience you're serving and a deep understanding of the product. This is a chance to turn a bug into a feature. This whole pivot is actual...more