Question Page

How do you show the responsibilities of product marketing (and differentiated value from other marketing teams) to executives and your organization?

Jarod Greene
Jarod Greene
Vivun Chief Marketing OfficerAugust 10

I author a Product Marketing Playbook at the start of each year and use it in every interaction with my team, peers, and executive leaders. It clearly lays out what Product Marketing does for the business and more importantly, what we don't do. That extra step is really important because our discipline is still widely misunderstood. We cannot assume that everyone knows what Product Marketers do, so the best advice I've ever received is to tell your stakeholders in no uncertain terms what you're focused on, how you can help them, and what value you're bringing to the table. I develop my annual scorecard and send quarterly updates to our leadership team to tell them what we've delivered, what's coming next, where we are stuck and need help, and how to hook into our rhythm. Not everyone will respond or engage, but the goal is to leave no ambiguity about the role and function. 

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Francisco M. T. Bram
Francisco M. T. Bram
Albertsons Companies Vice President of MarketingSeptember 7

Product marketing is the process of taking the right product to the right market with the right narrative at the right time. Key stakeholders within an organization should look for product marketing to help inform them on what market segments or industry verticals the business should prioritize. As a product marketing manager, you will partner with each marketing team to build a comprehensive, multi-channel integrated marketing plan. 

Think of the marketing organization as an orchestra, where each individual function plays a key role in the overall symphony. If one instrument or musician is off, the result will be noise. To ensure everyone is aligned and in synchrony, there needs to be one consistent music sheet that outlines when each instrument plays, its duration, tone and one conductor that is keeping everyone informed and on the same page of the music sheet. That’s the role of Product Marketing. PMMs develop the GTM plan (the music sheet) in collaboration with each function. Once that plan is developed, resourced and sign-off by everyone, then PMMs turn into conductors, ensuring everyone is following the same plan, keeping everyone informed of the progress and phase of the plan and ensuring everyone is acting under one narrative, one tone of voice.

You may also work with each function to clearly define each role and then share a GTM R&R framework. Below is my interpretation of the high-level definition of the most important marketing functions, however I recommend that you validate these assumptions within your organization:

Product marketing. Owns the GTM strategy and are the marketing campaign architects. They leverage insights to develop a product narrative, segment the market and coordinate an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy.

Brand marketing. Owns the strategy, voice and narrative for the business brand. Their goal is to drive business volume by increasing the company's brand equity & reputation.

Creative marketing: Owns art direction, tone of voice, visual guidelines and campaign creative headlines and taglines. They bring concepts to life.

CRM: Owns lifecycle communication to the existing and prospective contact lists. They can deploy comms through owned channels, such as email and in-app messaging.

Performance marketing: Owns paid media strategy and deployment. They deploy search and social ads and optimize SEO strategies.

Web marketing: Owns web content strategy and conversion. They create web content, design web infrastructure for optimal performance, measure traffic and engagement.

Content marketing: Owns customer content. Mostly relevant for B2B orgs, they create content to drive marketing leads, educate customers and promote thought leadership. They create content that is gated, meaning, to access this content, users need to provide their contact information (e.g., eBooks, whitepapers, case studies).

PR & media: Owns earned channels, such as media relations. They write press releases, brief the press and manage media & industry analysts.

Regional marketing: Owns regional growth strategies. They generate sales leads through demand generation campaigns and account-based marketing tactics.

656 Views
Kevin Garcia
Kevin Garcia
Anthropic Product Marketing LeaderOctober 7

This will vary depending on how large or small your company and PMM team are, but let me share a few frameworks to keep in mind for different scenarios.

Early-stage startup (0-50 people): It is likely you are the only PMM and one of few marketers. In this case, I think showing the value of product marketing comes through aligning with the company's top priorities (in what you do) and being results-oriented (in what you measure). If the company is looking to grow new self-serve users, use product launches to tap into new markets and use cases. If the company wants to go enterprise, help develop the enterprise pitch and customer proof points that will help land the first few deals. And be results-oriented. Early founders want their company to survive and grow. Being too theoretical/heady/abstract in how you describe your impact will earn you no points with founders.

Scaling startup (50-250 people): You're likely one of a few PMMs and a growing marketing team. I think in this case it's good to start differentiating from other marketing roles by outlining 1) what initiatives your team OWNS and 2) how you fit into the company strategy. Don't focus on who writes blogs or launches campaigns. Focus on the specific company initiatives that could benefit from the discrete skills PMMs bring to the table—and communicate that! In terms of value sharing, your company is growing, so be a team that helps bring customer proof points, unified messaging, and market insights into every project you're a part of. The more you set the expectation that PMM will come to the table well-researched, the more tables you'll be invited to.

Larger startups (250-1000 people): There's a PMM team and marketing department. Now is a great time to define swimlanes, set PM/PMM rules of engagement, and write playbooks based on your benchmarks from early launches. I like to showcase the strategy projects PMM is working on separately from launch/campaign work in our OKRs to reinforce the roles we play in marketing. And now is the time to become a master of your impact. To help the company keep investing in product launches, show how you enable new sales, expand customer relationships, and reinforce a great brand. Every launch, big and small, is a chance to reshare the value of PMM—and keeping executive buy-in requires that you communicate the outcomes FOR EVERY LAUNCH. Make it part of your process, and you'll see that buy-in stays earned.

Bigger than that... I've never worked, so no advice! 

606 Views
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