I actually did a Wynter talk on that very topic! You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNyoCOToq-c
It focuses on building a product marketing org in a hypergrowth startup, but a lot of the principles apply to any first PMM hire.
The tl;dr: there is no one playbook. I outline a process you can go through to identify the most important areas for you to focus, how you can think about establishing a baseline, and how to get cross-functional partners and leadership onboard with your strategy.
One thing I'd add that's very tactical to the great stuff that David has already laid out: Find your allies.
Talk to everyone within the org that you can and assemble a shortlist of people who have good understandings of things like the customers, the tech etc...
Befriend a good sales rep, the best sales reps in complex sales cycles are often product marketers in disguise. If they've been there for a bit they have a ton of knowledge that has never ever been documented or made sense of and they can accelerate your understanding immensely.
I suggest combining pieces from my answers to these questions.
Congrats on the new role! Very excited for you. I agree that it is good to have a 30-60-90 day plan and to make sure you can show progress and positive impact early yo make a good impression. That said, I would suggest you give yourself some time during the first 30 days to absorb as much as you can about the company, the interpersonal dynamics, the challenges and opportunities so you can then define and priorities in month 2 and deliver something of value in month 3 on the top 3 opportunities you identified in month 1 and worked on month 2 and 3.
One of the main skills I see to success in PMM im Empathy. Empathy in the sense of being able to to put yourself in other people's shoes. You are the customer and market advocate internallt and the product advocate externally, so understanding those different perspectives can help a LOT in any PMM materials you are developing, from slides to demos to websites to campaigns.
Its important to have a maanger who believes in you and supports your career. I'd break the meetings apart into weekly tactical conversations about what needs to be done, blockers, etc. Monthly convos around areas for improvement and then quarterly convos regarding career development. If you have a manager who's not willing to support you, there's plenty of others out there who are actively hiring and will help you develop your career. Hang in there!
Seed funding is when I've generally seen PMMs hired. They're generally hired at the same time or just after a PM. Legendary HBS professor Clayton Christensen's research shows that 95% of products fail because there is no market fit. A product marketer's role in an early stage company should be to validate the market, research the customer, and identify the pain points. This type of qualitative and quantitative research is necessary to ensure your company is developing a product the market needs.
I was one of the first marketing hires at Chili Piper. I personally think there's an arguement to hire product marketing first or second. Positioning, messaging, segmentation, sales enablement, these are all critical things that should be focused on early. If not, you'll waste a lot of time and money churning out content and ads that miss the mark.
The two startups I joined as the first PMM were ~100 employees and both were for technical software products.
In this space, my perspective is the founding and technical teams should be maniacally focused on building for a target customer or segment. Once they’ve established those early adopters, PMM can be the one to help that product-market-fit scale to the next customer or next segment.
I think PMMs are more impactful at a smaller organization, simply because you own a bigger portion of the GTM efforts than at a larger company.
Earliest stage: soon as you have a product in customers hands, you could use product marketing. That's not always realistic... sales, engineering, product resources take priority. And there's always that question in leadership, why do you need PMM so early if you have product management? But the ealier you have someone learning, building a knowledge base of customer insights that'll help the GTM teams excel like bringing new features to your early adopters, establishing an understanding of where you fit in your market, those things can pay off huge as you scale the business.
Great question. Yes, been there & struggled there before. Think ultimately the more you can make product marketing a group of strategic thinkers and enablement gurus to marketing, the more clout your team will build. If demand gen wants to parnter with PMM to understand how to market features for a campaign, if content looks to product marketing for competitive intel or market insights to build content, those are all signs you've built a PMM with real value to the marketing org.
Interesting question. I'll say Demand Gen (a.k.a campaigns team) owns the offer and executive associated with the campaign the product marketing team owns the strategy and intel for that campaign. Depends on how the demand gen and product marketing team as staffed as well. Usually demand gen has more people to handle the execution and can own reporting too.