All related (45)
Grant Shirk
Head of Product Marketing, Cisco Meraki, Cisco | Formerly Tellme Networks, Microsoft, Box, Vera, Scout RFP, and Sisu Data, to name a few.August 16

I'm not certain if you mean category management in the retail/B2C space or the category management specific to sourcing and procurement.

Either way, I don't think I'd rule someone out on this alone, but they are very different skillsets. While great PMMs come from all walks of life and all backgrounds (for me that's History major -> UX design -> Planning and Finance -> Vertical Marketing -> PMM), there are a few things that are always critical:

- Structured thinking

- Deep product and customer curiosity

- Strong writing and communication skills

If you're coming in from outside of PMM (Industry or Core), I'd recommend really focusing on your messaging and storytelling acumen. What did you bring to the GTM that accelerated growth or credibility with a specific customer type? 

Jon Rooney
Group Vice President, Industry Marketing, OracleApril 10

I imagine any company would be open to hiring people for PMM roles with this range of experiences. There are multiple paths to product marketing and all of these functions cover part of the responsibility of the role. PMMs are, at least in my experience in enterprise software, a true hub role - with connections and visibility into seemingly every part of the business from strategy to product to customer success. Category Management, or Brand Management, at a CPG company might not always immediately translate to an enterprise PMM role, particularly if it's a senior role and requires experience working with Gartner/Forrester/IDC, etc and building sales plays, but in my experience any of these functions would be a valuable onramp.

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, MomentiveMarch 9

I’m not sure what you mean by “category management”, but many of the experiences you list are key experiences that any PMM should have. Having said that, many hiring managers (including myself) look for PMMs with traditional product marketing experience. Many PMMs who’ve made the leap from non-traditional backgrounds do that within the company they’re already working in (and therefore have established credibility) or know someone personally at the company who can vouch for them.

Henrique Saboia
Vice President of Growth, Hinge HealthJuly 23

I hope I understand your question correctly, but some of the most successful PMMs I've hired include some that came from more traditional, non-tech companies before. There are many transferable skills, like the ones you outlined above. That said, it can be difficult to find a Product Marketing leader open to hiring someone from a different background. My advice is to network aggressively so you can find a leader that will invest in your development.

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
First off, I'll say that I'm never a fan of making someone create messaging/positioning and defining a GTM plan about the interviewing company's product because you're never going to get to the level of knowledge as someone in the company...and it takes way longer to do it right. OK, rant over. :) Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they clearly understand t...
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), Square
This very much depends on the company and individual team lead vision so I will just chime in with what it is like at Square.   In general, PMMs at Square cover a wide range of responsibilities regardless of level. These responsibilities include: 1. Develop product or feature launch/ GTM strategy and plans, including positioning and messaging 2. Quarterback marketing and sales partners (e.g., paid marketing, SEO, content marketing, lead generation) to execute GTM and growth plans 3. Lead customer research and collaborate with PMs on product strategy and roadmap 4. Lead pr...
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
Not trying to deflect this, but this depends on your role, organization size, team structure, budget, target customer, and goals. That list sounds solid to me if you're a midsize company with some startup bend still. Some other tools to consider: * Leadpages or Unbounce are solid tools for building lead generating landing pages fast. * Mixpanel for instrumentation. * Marketo for scaled lifecycle communications (SFDC integration is helpful) * Mailchimp for scrappy email work. * Redash.io is a solid SQL interface. * Get Adobe suite if you can. Makes content collaboration easier sinc...
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, Prove
Make sure you have periodic meetings scheduled with each separate and some times with both together. As PMM, we bring the "voice of the customer" and the "Voice of the market" from the outside in, and we provide the messaging and positioning for the go-to-market strategy for the "inside out", so we need to get sales input and feedback intro product to influence the roadmap, and make sure we educate sales on the product in the best way possible so it resonates with their customers.