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How do you motivate your product marketing direct reports with upward movement when there may not be opportunities for people management.

How do you show them their scope/responsibility is increasing and clearly mark career advancement?
7 Answers
Max A.
Max A.
Google ProductMay 8

1. Give them interesting and stretching projects: from writing content to pricing and competitive intelligence.

2. Facilitate and incentivize cross-functional work: let them own and drive projects with other teams, e.g. customer sucess, bizops, etc – so that they learn a lot.

3. If you work for a high-growth company, the situation might change in a few quarters and the upward opportunities might appear – so people on your team should be ready.

917 Views
Mary Sheehan
Mary Sheehan
Adobe Head of Lightroom Product MarketingAugust 9

This is a great question. People are motivated by different things, and there obviously aren't people management roles for everyone (nor does everyone WANT to be a people manager). I think asking what motivates them is a great start, then here are some great, other ways to keep them motivated: 

- Give your best people the best projects. Highest level company visibility + executive exposure. Helps give them more experience, connections, and also builds their resumes. 

- Mini- management roles: If there are newbies on your team, designate a more senior person as their mentor. They can treat this as a management role with regular 1:1s, feedback, help with projects, etc. Or if you have interns for a short period, this is a great opportunity to give them the reigns. 

- Get them into company-sponsored programs. For example, if you have any leadership programs, cross-office programs, make sure you champion your best people to get into those. 

Hope this helps! 

841 Views
Carrie Zhang
Carrie Zhang
Square Product LeadJanuary 15

Think about it the other way. PMM is one of the most cross-functional roles in a company. You are essentially quarterbacking the entire go-to-market efforts. The leadership qualities required to motivate people who don't report to you is arguably more challenging than direct people management. While people management doesn't come easy in this function, there are plenty of opportunities to hone leadership skills.

1076 Views
Steve Feyer
Steve Feyer
Eightfold Product Marketing DirectorJanuary 13

Product marketing doesn't get people management opportunities as fast as other functions, so consider supporting a move into another role. Many sales and marketing jobs will be appropriate for an experienced PMM, and will include people management. You'll struggle to retain the people who really want to try becoming managers if product marketing is the extent of their opportunity in your company.

447 Views
Derek Frome
Derek Frome
Ouster Vice President MarketingJuly 19

Honestly, pay them more. You can also look at getting them MBA interns for the summer, etc. Also, depending on how big your marketing team is, you can give them expanded scope outside of PMM, if that interests them. e.g. have them manage a couple copywriters who are contractors.


443 Views
Dave Daniels
Dave Daniels
BrainKraft FounderMarch 21

Improve their skills. Prepare them to replace you (so you can get promoted). Or prepare them for their next opportunity. Help them build their resume. Not only is it the right thing to do, it builds loyalty.

577 Views
Clare Hegg
Clare Hegg
Skopenow Director of Product MarketingAugust 19

Keep them motivated, working on interesting things, help them continue their growth even if that growth means they're leaving the company. And the harder part in some ways... tell them your own aspiratations for growth and the potential for you to move up (and/or on) yourself. 

394 Views
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