How do you structure your Product Marketing team?
My PMM team is built like a funnel. Our focus is to land new customers, which we only count when those customers start to pay. Therefore, the job of my PMM team ranges from raising awareness of our brand to getting new customers to upgrade to our paid editions.
I have three groups focused on the following parts of the funnel:
Buyer Journey: This team focuses on connecting our marketing efforts at the top of the funnel through to the product. This team is goaled on Day1-6 Daily Active Instances to ensure high-quality sign-ups come into our funnel and they are happy when they get there. The teams' activities include running marketing paid campaigns, SEO, website optimizations, messaging & onboarding.
Core product: This team focuses on keeping our customers informed of new product releases, updating our core product messaging, and partnering closely with our product counterparts on product & GTM strategy.
Monetization & Expansion: This team is focused on driving our upsell motions within the product experience, driving customers from free to paid licenses, and cross-sell driving users to try and use other products and apps in our ecosystem.
It's important to note that my team is primarily focused on SMB self-serve motions.
Airtable’s product marketing team has a bit of a unique structure in that we don’t have one “Head of Product Marketing”, we have two. Myself (Self-Serve PMM lead) and my counterpart (Enterprise PMM lead) are responsible for the two sides of our business and both report into our CMO. The other thing to note is that product marketing is a fairly nascent function at Airtable. The company has seen really impressive growth and success over the last few years with only a few dedicated marketing folks - which was one of the things that was most attractive to me when I was interviewing. Because PMM is so new, the structure we have today will probably look wildly different than the structure we’ll have next year.
The self-serve PMM team is a scrappy 2 people right now (myself included) with three additional open headcount. I’m actively hiring and would love to have some great PMMs join my team, so if you’re reading this and interested in helping us build out PMM please reach out :) Our Enterprise/Platform PMM team is a team of 4 folks with two open headcount as well. So all told, our PMM organization should have 11 people (with 2 leads included) by end of year. Who knows what it will look like in 2021. It'll depend on the needs of the business but I can pretty much guarantee it will continue to grow.
Each person’s role is focused on a specific focus area (ex: we have a PMM full time focused on activation, another PMM focused full time on our platform) and their role is tied to specific product usage, ARR, or internal metrics to gauge success. A PMM's sucess at Airtable is determined by the metrics they're responsible for, the impact of the programs, processes, and initiatives they run, the feedback they recieve from their cross-functional partners, and their skill at core PMM competencies like messaging and positioning.
My team is responsible for product messaging & positioning for Salesforce's core solutions for small businesses across our high-growth industries and customer & community marketing initiatives. On my team:
- One PMM per key Salesforce solution for SMBs
- One PMM leading our high-growth SMB Industry verticals
- One PMM leading our customer and community marketing initiatives
- One technical PMM
This helps us align team members with the right revenue goals, balances the work on the team while creating individual growth paths for each team member. Its all about the revenue for us and that's a shared responsibility between my team and our campaigns/demand gen teams.
The structure of any team needs to be driven by the success criteria for that team. At Atlassian, we typically look at KPIs like # of paid users and pipeline (MQLs) for PMM. Enterprise-focused PMM teams typically have a couple more things they need to solve for: Sales enablement, and account-based programs (which can vary from events to ABM campaigns to EDR programs). Currently, my team is a mix of core PMM who own the GTM for specific products, as well as “horizontal” PMMs who own programs (like campaigns, enablement, content) that stripe across all products.
The structure of the team will evolve over time based on factors like the Sales team structure, new product rollouts, etc.
A lot of it depends on the types of products you're marketing. Some teams can be easily organized into solution-based pods, so if you have a lot of products in your portfolio, you might have product marketers who focus on individual products reporting up to a solutions marketer, who represents a broader category.
At Box, our products are more horizontal, so we have a team of product-focused marketers who work closely with the product and engineering teams, and then a team of solutions marketers who work more closely with the go-to-market teams like sales and customer success. These teams are like two sides of a coin and work really closely together.
One other quick point: It's common for product marketing to mirror the product management team structure, but these two teams often have different mandates. For example, a technically complex product that requires a lot of product management and engineering resources might actually be a table-stakes capability or competitive neutralizer rather than a differentiated value driver for customers. I'd encourage product marketing leaders to look beyond PM-to-PMM ratios and think critically about what will really drive value for customers, then staff their teams that way.
In general, PMM roles at Intercom are more of the 'full stack' variety - i.e we cover the whole journey from feeding into the roadmap to launch, including competitive research, buyer/persona/market research, GTM strategy, positioning and messaging, enablement, launch planning etc.
Our team sits in marketing and reports into a Senior Director of PMM. Our team structure has shifted several times in the time I've been here, based on changes to the company strategy, product team structure and where we most need to focus resources. Currently, we're split into 3 'groups' based primarily around product areas:
- Solutions (a Group PMM + 3 PMMs): Each PMM is focused on one of (or part of) the 3 solutions/audiences we position Intercom for specific solution. Each PMM owns positioning, messaging and GTM for their solutions, and partner with the relevant product managers for their solutions and product areas.
- Platform and Core (that's my group - me plus 3 PMMs) - we look after overarching/high level positioning and messaging, and cross-solution features such as the Messenger, data platform, and our partner ecosystem (incl. apps and integrations). We often partner with solution PMMs on things like launches for platform features. We also partner closely with the platform group in R&D, as well as the Business Development team on partnerships.
- Pricing and packaging (a principal PMM) - fairly self explanatory, owns pricing and packaging strategy/decisions, as well as buyer personas and research
In terms of measurement, it varies according to focus area and the projects we're working on. We currently don't have specific metrics for each role but we look at launch metrics (depending on the goal - adoption, upsells etc), feedback from cross-functional stakeholders and so on. For the partnerships part of my group, we also look at metrics such as co-selling revenue (in partnership with BD), growth in the no of partners, and app adoption.
Team structure is always a hot topic in product marketing, and there's a lot of different ways of doing it. The product marketing team at Iterable recently re-organized into 5 groups: Release Marketing, Solutions Marketing, Pricing & Packaging, Platform Marketing, and Market Intelligence.
Each group has a specific charter and KPIs that align up to company initiatives and OKRs as well. Briefly, the mission of each team is:
- Release Marketing: Tell Iterable's innovation story, and effectively communicate launches to the market through our launch strategy.
- Solutions Marketing: Tell Iterable's value story for specific verticals and segments of the market, and work cross-functionally across GTM teams (Marketing, Sales, CS, Etc) to effectively power campaigns and content that resonates.
- Pricing & Packaging: This one speaks for itself, but drivings strategic initiatives connected to how we price and package our solution.
- Platform Marketing: Responsible for telling our "better together" story with technology partners.
- Market Intelligence: Collect market insights to power company strategy, roadmap, positioning/messaging, campaigns, and more.
The team right now is approaching 10, and will be growing signficiantly in the coming months.
The above isn't the only way to structure a team -- and structure can be aligned to product, function, segment, and more. As your company grows it's important to think about how product marketing can strategically support the business. I'm happy to chat 1:1 on how this can come to fruition as well.