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Leah Brite
Head of Product Marketing, Core Product at Gusto April 27

We break down product marketing’s work into four buckets and work with product as follows during each of the phases:

  1. Market Strategy, Customer Insights & Product Roadmap. PMM leads market, competitive, and customer/prospect research to uncover key customer problems. We analyze market data, hone competitive intelligence, and draw on prospect and customer insights to illuminate product/market fit. We collaborate with the product team throughout this whole process to identify and prioritize big questions to answer and then share all the intel with them to influence and inform the product strategy and roadmap decisions. Product of course wants to solve customers’ biggest problems, so most find this research invaluable and welcome the thoughtful, data driven influence.
  2. Positioning, Messaging, Packaging, & Pricing. PMM develops a customer-facing strategy to uniquely differentiate our offer in the marketplace. Product provides inputs on features, COGs, considerations, etc to help inform pricing and packaging - we generally co-pilot pricing with them. We also have them review drafts and provide input on the positioning and messaging, ensuring we’ve done a good job of highlighting all the ways we provide value and appeal to prospects and users.
  3. Go-to-Market Strategy. PMM partners with product on defining the product market readiness criteria. We’ll present our GTM strategy, getting alignment on the level of the launch as well as goals and KPIs. Finally, we’ll make sure we’re aligned on all of the associated launch activities before handing the plan off to marketing and sales teams to help bring the campaign to life and execute against the strategy.
  4. Amplification, Feedback & Refinement. Post launch, we’ll work with product to monitor campaign and product adoption metrics as well as check in with xfn stakeholders like CX, marketing, sales, rev ops, and data science to get the fullest picture of launch success. We’ll jointly strategize on how to make improvements, and host a retro so that we can be on a continual path of improvement.
Caroline Walthall
Director of Product Marketing at Quizlet | Formerly UdemyJanuary 30

We have a product pod structure at Quizlet. Each product pod has 1-2 very clear business goals and usually owns certain product lines or domain areas. Every pod has a PM, a PMM, a designer, a product analyst, a product support specialist, an engineering manager, and an engineering team. 

This structure allows teams to determine the best working cadences and divisions of labor that work for them. I've found it to be a very liberating structure because it gives the teams a lot of autonomy over decision making and it promotes true cross-functional collaboration. 

Each PM I've worked with has been different. The pod structure has given us the space we need to negotiate our divisions of labor in the ways that make the most sense for us as individuals and to help us meet the team's business goals.

Ryan Van Wagoner
Senior Director, Head of Marketing at Forethought September 16

At Forethought, product marketing works very closely with the product teams to bring products to market. I hold regular check-ins with product marketing and the Head of Product, as well as separate check-ins with individual product managers. These check-ins enable us to:

- Align on product strategy and product messaging. This is especially important if new products are in development. 

- Provide feedback from customers (either through Sales or Customer Success) that will be helpful for the development of new features.

- Develop our product launch strategy and roadmap.

- Get feedback on specific PMM initiatives.

Shezana Manji
VP of Marketing at BenchSci October 12

I believe most organizations product marketers are leverage as either Inbound PMMs or Outbound PMMs. 

Inbound PMMs are focused on insights that feed the product roadmap; pricing and packaging, and product positioning that feeds into the marketing strategy. 

Outbound PMMs are focused on go-to-market planning and execution of launches and adoption KPIs (The PMs are responsible for building the product/feature and their PMM counterpart is responsible for strategy and execution to drive the KPIs)

It's more of a spectrum, not one or the other, but there is a dominant expectation on what success looks like. 

Most of the organizations I've worked in skew more towards "outbound product marketing".

We need to be totally in sync with our PMs, working as partners towards the same goal of building something awesome and getting people to use it. We just have different roles in making that happen.

Sangita Sarkar
Head Of Marketing at Immutable November 12

Very closely!
We sit together, work together, debate together and ultimately take shared ownership and accountability over each strategy.

As Director, I am a stakeholder in the roadmap meeting to discuss prioritization of key feature development based on my perspective of the consumer needs.

Each PMM on my team is paired with a PM to own and deliver on a key feature that the teams have aligned on. The Words with Friends team has a thorough spec process which involves Marketing’s input from the outset of the process, allowing for appropriate resourcing from the dev team across design, engineering, producers, etc..

Recently, we’ve adapted the process to ensure that Marketing signs off on the product spec at each phase before being greenlit to the next phase.

Madelyn Newman
Director of Product and Customer Marketing at CallRail April 4

We work with our Product Team in three key ways:

  1. Competitive intel. PMM's own all competitive research and documentation, and we make sure the rest of the Product Team - dev's and especially PM's - are in the know whenever a competitor has changed their messaging or released a new feature.
  2. Help with planning the roadmap, ensuring alignment with the needs of our customers and the market. Just because Product thinks it's cool tech and wants to build it, doesn't always mean its best for our users. We handle all feature request from the customer-facing teams, filtering through and making certain that the Product team has a sound understanding of what the use case and need is for each product.
  3. Owning product launch strategy and execution. We let the Product team focusing on building what's next and getting good features out the door by taking on all of the activities surrounding feature activation. We definitely keep them involved with all of the go-to-market planning so they can feel confident, but we actually share the metric for feature usage.

Our team is structured so each PMM is aligned directly with 1-2 PM's, so they can really work together to strategize about market needs as well promotion of a new product.

Lisa Dziuba
Head of Product Marketing at LottieFiles | Formerly WeLoveNoCode (made $3.6M ARR), Abstract, Flawless App (sold)December 3

My PMM teams usually work very closely with the product teams, as we need to ensure that the product is positioned and marketed effectively. These are shared goals of PMs + PMMs.

We usually 

  • Run user research to gather insights and feedback from users.
  • Collaborate on product development by providing input and feedback on the product roadmap and new features (PMMs know what customer wants).
  • Align on the go-to-market strategies to be sure releases are happening on time and launches will happen smoothly.
  • Align on the PMM strategies and programs to get timely support from product teams.

I was lucky with PM teams who wanted to collaborate and work together (this made everything much easier).