All related (32)
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform, GoogleMay 12

"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: 

  • Generalist >> you will have the most flexibility in the companies you work at but you may not rise as rapidly or command the most senior roles upfront. But you'll never be pigeonholed. This is really useful particularly when you start your career (first 5-10 years) before you figure out what you like.
  • Super focused in an industry >> you will bounce around all of the companies in that industry and get to know them intimately, giving you a chance to be a real specialist and command niche roles. Just make sure the industry you're focused on is growing. 
  • Super focused on a skill >> you will most likely end up in a larger company doing that skill. Smaller companies will probably not be able to afford you nor be able to employ you for that skill alone.
  • Super focused on a type of company >> you can be a really good product marketer or marketing leader who works in particular type of company (ex. the first product marketing hire who builds the first team). This can be incredibly fun if you are interested in sticking to a type of organization and then moving from them as they grow. 

Just take a hard look at yourself and what you're curious about if you decide to specialize. The best part about product marketing is getting deep into what you're doing so make sure if you decide to specialize, that you really want to know the audience, the market, and the products. 

Vidya Drego
VP of Product and Solutions Marketing, HubspotJanuary 17

I think either is a valid path to a rewarding product marketing career but can depend on your own interest. If you're interested in the dynamics of different industries and you find that an inspiring aspect of being a product marketer, it makes sense to diversify your industry experience. If you find you're a rockstar at messaging and positioning, maybe you want to go deep into the skill and apply it to different companies in a similar space.

Ajit Ghuman
Director of Pricing and Packaging, Twilio Flex, Twilio | Formerly Narvar, Medallia, Helpshift, Feedzai, Reputation.comMay 8

This is an interesting question. Sometimes it is hard to think of oneself as a product. 

What we're really trying to do here is to position ourselves for the maximum market impact. (I'm a PMM after all)

One of the concepts that stuck with me from Geoffrey Moore's book was the concept of the bowling alley. You only change either your market segment or your app (skills) at one time. (image below)

The most rational approach would be to find a large enough industry/domain,( I have just happened to work a lot in Customer Experience, Customer Service related domains selling into B2C companies), and then grow your skills continuously to improve your market power.  

Not evolving outside of (App1), i.e. niche skill is going to limit your market potential, so you better make sure your (Seg1) is large enough to sustain you. PMM is niche as it is, so I personally would not counsel folks to be stuck in a further niche. 


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...
LeTisha Shaw
Director, Product Marketing, UserTesting
Yes, this is a pretty standard PMM interview question. When I ask, I am typically looking to see if the candidate understands product launch and go-to-market fundamentals. I'm also interested in which parts of the launch they led (i.e. was it a specific marketing channel or soup-to-nuts?).  I also like to ask different variations of this question, like "tell me about a product launch that did not go well and you had to get back on track" because let's be honest, not every launch goes exactly the way we plan :)
Ross Overline
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Fivestars
Asking for a raise is tricky. Ultimately, you need to be driving value, right? That can be broken down quantitatively, but also qualitatively.   Quant: What impact are you having on funnels? Run A/B tests to prove that your strategies are driving impact. How have NPS and sentiment changed?   Qual: Do you have strong relationships with stakeholders? Are you driving value through strategy, creative, and channel partnerships?   I would also recommend using your companies job ladder as a tool, or if you don't have one, job descriptions for other similar roles. If you're a PMM and the expe...
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, Prove
Well, the question of "What is Product Marketing" Could mean different things at different companies, but my answer is that we provide the voice of the market and the voice of the customer internally to the product manager so we can build products that resonate with our audience, and we are the voice of the product externally providing the appropriate messaging and positioning to go to market.
Lindsay Bayuk
CMO, Pluralsight
Great question! This is so important. Because product marketing is often the "glue", it’s easy to miss how critical it is to driving company alignment and growth. Make sure that you have a regular cadence of updates and clear/measurable metrics reported to your CMO and Executive team. Being proactive about advocating for your function is part of being a great marketer!