All related (70)
Tamara Grominsky
Chief Strategy Officer, UnbounceMay 9

In the beginning, you'll most likely have a smaller PMM team - maybe with just one PMM. That means you'll need a well-rounded PMM generalist. Someone who is comfortable taking on everything from product launch to sales enablement to segmentation. Prioritization will be key to make sure the team is working on the highest-impact projects. 

As you scale, I'd recommend that you start structuring the team in a way that enhances and amplifies the partnership between product marketing and product management. This will usually mean aligning product marketers with product portfolios or value streams. It won't always be a 1:1 match of PM to PMM though. 

For this type of role, you're looking for PMMs who can go deeper, rather than broader. As the "owner" of their portfolio, they'll need to deeply understand the customer problem and opportunity space, and then identify go-to-market strategies throughout the entire product development lifecycle, leading into launch.

In addition to portfolio PMMs, I always invest in one really strong growth product marketer. This role should be portfolio agnostic (ie. they support all PMMs on the team, think of it a bit like a consultant), and usually drives market research, segmentation and pricing initiatives across all product lines.

Josh Bean
Sr Director Product Marketing, ZendeskJanuary 26

I've had a bit of a unique journey including leading a small marketing team responsible for everything, as well as focused PMM teams.
I don't believe in general blueprints like "your first hire should be competitive and second should be core product" since every business is different. More complex or technical products likely need more "product" PMMs as a early hire and a simpler product in a competitive market may need more PMM muscle around messaging to stand out and competitive marketing. 

In regards to strategic hires; having a strong biz ops or analytics PMM who can help build a team that's metric driven will be useful in the long run.
If I were to build out a PMM team from scratch today, I'd probably just look for the strongest person I could find and continue to make a case for more headcount.

Anna Wiggins
Sr. Director Product Marketing, BlueVineAugust 11

Since ManyChat is a younger company, we don’t yet have a lot of product lines that merit the traditional squad PM <> PMM structure. Today the Product Marketing team is structured based on target customer personas with each PMM also responsible for a functional area like research or competitive intelligence. As we grow, I could see us moving to the squad model.

Also we are a global company with diverse english language proficiencies and as a result product marketers ended up acting as copy editors for the team. The most strategic hires I’ve made so far is a roster of copywriters who have taken on the editing so the PMMs can maximize the value they bring to our customers and PMs.

Natala Menezes
Global Head of Product Marketing, Grammarly | Formerly at: GOOG, MSFT, AMZN, SFDC + startupsFebruary 9

When I started at Grammarly, I did an audit of how PMM mapped to the product organization, our consumer acquisition and growth teams, and our B2B sales teams. The audit revealed that we were significantly understaffed (did I mention we are hiring?) And as a result, PMM was focused on launches more than product strategy and messaging. My first cut of the org chart focused on coverage – ensuring that our product partners had identified partners and that we aligned to the sales org. I also developed different PMM roles within our organization to deliver lateral growth. Our PMM team has 4 flavors of PMM: 

  • Segment. Consumer PMMs focused acquisition, retention, and growth of a specific segment of users. 
  • GTM. B2B PMMs focused on a segment (enterprise, mid-market, or self-serve/smb) and aligned to a sales org. 
  • Core. PMMs focused on a specific product or set of features. For example, mobile or desktop experiences or our core writing experience. Features that are cross segment and cross line of business. 
  • Specialists. Specialist PMMs are unique in that they provide expertise across the PMM org. For example, competitive intelligence or monetization/pricing&packaging. 

These specialist roles have helped me bring unique skills into the team as we grow and invest in our relationships with product and sales.

I also reorganized my leadership team to map to product and built out an 18-month growth plan. It was straightforward to identify significant gaps in current coverage – but going through and understanding the roadmap and growth of partner organizations helped develop a long-term growth plan. It also allows us to be a bit opportunistic in hiring. We know which roles are critical today and which ones will be important soon. So, suppose we meet a fantastic candidate that meets the criteria for a position we might hire in the next quarter. In that case, we have some flexibility to pull that headcount forward. 

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
Not sure I completely answer the question. Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they effectively launch a product/feature and properly engage the right cross-functional partners to make that launch a success? Are they outcome-oriented and think about the metrics they're trying to drive with a given launch? Those are just a few things that I would be looking for ...
Brianne Shally
Head of Product Marketing, Nextdoor
Sharing the product roadmap externally is a great way to share the company's vision, investment in innovation, and upcoming features to get prospects and customers excited about the potential. It can be a strong selling tool to get prospects on board and a resource to get current customers to invest more. What's important is that the roadmap isn't standing on it own, but partnered with an overall vision to show how product efforts later up to a great vision. This is where Product Marketing can play a strong role in storytelling and positioning to bring it all together. I've seen this execut...
Laura Jones
Chief Marketing Officer, Instacart
  To establish credibility with a new team, the first step is understanding the team's need, laying out a vision for how you can best add value, and aligning around expectations. It is important to know the user, the market, and the product so that you can engage with the cross-functional team in a meaningful way from day one. With a clear set of objectives and foundational understanding of the space, you can quickly begin to make an impact on the team.  
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®
It's all about doing great work that matters to the business, matters to your partner, and fits into the context of the relationship! The playbook below can help get the ball rolling. Sorry for the long answer, but it's a complex question with big implications for your ability to add value as a PMM. 1) It's essential to understand your business — the market you play in, the strengths/weaknesses of the competition, how customers feel about you, etc. — better than just about anyone else in the company. Your level of fluency (or lack thereof!) will be visible in how you show up: the insight...
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our customers. No research can compare to the insights you get by actually being in the shoes of our customers - in our case, small businesses * Talk to customer facing teams (Sales, Account Management, Support) and synthesize feedback. They are on the frontline all the time. You will be surpr...
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Airtable
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: having the product marketing title doesn’t automatically mean you get to influence the roadmap. You have to put in the work and show your value to get a seat at the table. There are three big levers to pull here to help you shift the way product marketing works from a team that’s just responsible for the launch of a product to one that’s involved in the entire product process. 1. Create a partnership with your PM: When you’re thinking about how to influence, you’re probably thinking about managing up and influencing people who are more se...