What can I include in my marketing portfolio to standout from the crowd as a product marketing candidate.
This is a great question, and one that I ask most of the candidates I interview at some point in the process. The kinds of materials I like to see are dependent on the job they’re being hired for, but generally speaking pitch decks, sales one-pagers, competitive battlecards, messaging docs, launch strategies, buyer personas - these are all helpful bodies of work to share with your PMM hiring manager.
If you’re brand new to Product Marketing or even Marketing in general, don’t feel shy about making that known to your hiring manager when sending work samples. Lots of candidates transition to Product Marketing via customer success, sales engineering or even product management. In this case, relevant work examples to include would be any customer facing presentations, custom demos, market or buyer research, or really any body of work that showcases your expertise in either the product or understanding of your customer.
First - anyone inviting you to interview will see from your resume whether you’ve done product marketing. If you haven’t and you still get invited to interview, then there’s no need to worry about being new to PMM. Instead keep in mind there are likely a few key areas your interviewer will want to assess. Take your past work and reframe it to demonstrate your ability to grow into your role, while proving you’re showing up Day 1 with skills to contribute:
- Identifying Insights: Share a way in which you helped a business or team identify something they did not know before
- Positioning and Messaging: Demonstrate your writing skills
- Go-to-market prowess: Share ways you’ve had to work on complex projects with multiple stakeholders with audacious goals and you got it done
Try to align your portfolio with the job description:
- If the job description focuses on messaging and positioning, share an example of a messaging framework or landing page that you put together.
- If the job description focuses on launching products, share an example of an Asana board or spreadsheet you'd use to coordinate a cross-functional launch.
- If the job description focuses on writing, share a blog post, case study, or e-mail you've crafted.
If your portfolio doesn't align with the job description or you want to stand out, create something new for the company you're applying to. Take a stab at a new positioning doc for a particular feature, write a sample blog post announcing a feature that already exists, etc. While you don't want to spend too much time on this, it will show the hiring manager that you're serious about the company.
Not sure I completely answer the question. 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 effectively launch a product/feature and properly engage the right cross-functional partners to make that launch a success? Are they outcome-oriented and think about the metrics they're trying to drive with a given launch? Those are just a few things that I would be looking for in a presentation.
I would also add: Can they clearly understand the customer pain points and technical capabilities of the product, and translate that into clear marketing messages that resonate?
The folks that I've seen who stood out were able to tell a story with their presentation and were clearly outcome-oriented vs tactic-oriented. I don't want someone who's just going to go through the motions. I want a critical thinker who will think outside the box.
Welcome to the PMM world! ;) My approach to this would be:
- Take a closer look at the particular job responsibilities. If the job responsibilities are heavy on content creation, I'd include samples of the content you've created in your marketing portfolio.
- In addition, include a variety of different content pieces too. This will help the hiring team know your diverse skills as well as give them ideas on what they can do -- making you a standout winner.
- You can also look at the company's website to understand their current content mix, voice, etc. And see if you can include things you've created to fit that approach.
- Extra credit would be to always add things you've worked on or created to your LinkedIn profile. I usually add my interviews, webpages, videos, customer stories, blogs that I've created to my profile with some context.
In summary, go for a mix of different channels/ideas you've done to give them a taste of what they can expect from you. Good luck!
Maybe I'm unique but I've been in Product Marketing for a long time and I've never been asked to present a "marketing portfolio". I have, on the other hand, been asked to present on specific topics or share specific experiences on many occasions.
If someone is asking you to present a "marketing portfolio" and you are new to product marketing, I would ask the person asking you to provide more detail on what they are looking for.
If you don't have a portfolio, then I would tell them that you are very interested in the role and I would ask them whether or not they can think of a specific exercise you could do to prove you have the right skills for the role.
For hiring I've done, I always have candidates go through an exercise designed to prove that they are a good fit for the role. The exercise usually involves either relating past experiences relevant to the role, or to analyze content and make recommendations for improvements. In some of the roles I am hiring for now, I am asking candidates to tell me what they like and dislike about our messaging versus a few key competitors, and what changes they would make and why.
If you were previously on the creative side, or the campaign side of marketing, then maybe they are looking for previous examples of your work? Hard to say without more info.
I would be super metrics-dr :iven here.
Maybe show a few functions you've owned (or contributed to), from top of the funnel to middle and bottom of the funnel, with the corresponding programs and the metrics you've optimized for each.
- Owned awareness plan - running exec programs and targeted PR, I could increase the share of voice of my company by x%
- Built strategic narrative - creating company messaging and enabling field, resulting in y% in sales velocity and z% competitive win rates
Hope it makes sense!
Think creatively about marketing-adjacent work you've done, and put together a series of case studies that you can share with the hiring team. Examples can include:
- Identifying customer insights and defining a scalable solution or creating a piece of collateral, e.g. identified a trend in X vertical, and built a vertical playbook to help customers in that vertical grow
- Website work that shows how you structure problems and present information
- Presentations you've created that could be customer facing
- Work you've done to help a nonprofit or organization grow
- Examples of design work
- A product or flow you've created or helped design
- User research you helped drive, and the recommendations you put together
In all cases, be sure to present the context behind the work in a way that helps position you as a marketer, with the following framework:
- Challenge: What was the problem you were trying to solve? Why was it important? What were the challenges or constraints you had to work within and why?
- Solution: What work did you do? Why did you pick this solution? How did you do this work - who did you work with, what tools did you use, whose feedback did you consider?
- Results: How did this help solve the problem at hand? Can you qualitatively and quantitatively demonstrate success?
There's a lot of potential variability here depending on company, exact role, industry, and more. That said, here are a few ideas of what you can show:
- Cross-functional Initiative: If you've directly led a cross-functional initiatve that drovesome key business results, showcase them! For example, a sales deck that you created that drove win rates in that vertical. Talk through how you worked with Sales to create the deck and enabled the team doing so.
- Launch campagin: This is similar to above, but showcase a launch campaign that you worked on and the results it had on the business. If you haven't worked on a product launch, that's OK. Instead show a piece of content that went through your development cycle, or virtually anything else that relates to a launch.
- Content you've written: One of the ways I evaluate new PMMs is to look at a piece they've written, or in a writing sample. Showing that you've thought about how to talk about the business or a key aspect of your product and the value it provides is important here and doesn't require a formal Product Marketing title to do.
- Write a launch restrospective and plan: I've advised dozens of aspiring PMMs on this one in particular, and they've picked an industry or a particular company and a recent launch, and recapped what they think worked well, and what could have been improved. The important part is this shouldn't be punitive, but it shows you're thinking strategically about the business and the market and those are two critical aspects to breaking into product marketing.
Hope these help! As I mentioned in another answer, don't hesitate to reach out 1:1 and I"m happy to help with this.
Real deliverables in market are always great. When I was transitioning to a PMM, I would point my interviewers towards my company website. I led the project to overhaul it and wrote most of the copy. I then backed it up with success metrics around the launch.
All together, it made for a really crisp story—here’s the way I lead, collaborate, and deliver strong results.
First, welcome to PMM. It would depend on what kind of PMM they are looking to hire. I would do three buckets. (1) a thought leadership piece or website/landing page (2) a launch plan or GTM plan (3) examples of enablement like slides etc. They want to see if you have done core PMM activities: messaging, launch, and strategy.
Given the diverse range of individuals who may review your portfolio, each with their own unique role, company, and industry, it's prudent to categorize the content you share into four distinct categories. This approach ensures that you effectively showcase your skills and accomplishments, regardless of the specific context. Here's a breakdown of these categories:
Marketing collateral: This category encompasses compelling materials like case studies, thought leadership content, whitepapers, etc. Including these showcases your prowess in developing and executing effective marketing strategies, and positions you as a valuable asset in driving business growth.
Sales collateral: In addition to marketing materials, it's crucial to highlight your ability to support sales teams. Incorporate sales pitches, one-pagers, battlecards, and other relevant assets that demonstrate your contribution to driving successful sales outcomes. This category emphasizes your proficiency in aligning marketing efforts with sales objectives.
Frameworks and plans: To exhibit your strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities, showcase different frameworks you have utilized. For instance, include a go-to-market plan tailored to a specific product (ensuring sensitive data is omitted) or a messaging framework that effectively communicates value propositions. Sharing these frameworks exemplifies your ability to develop structured approaches for achieving marketing goals.
Online presence and impact: In today's digital landscape, it's crucial to showcase your online presence and the impact you've made. Include examples such as a professionally crafted LinkedIn profile, interviews you've conducted, webpages you've created, videos you've produced, articles you've written, and customer success stories you've contributed to. This category demonstrates your ability to engage and connect with your target audience while leaving a lasting impression.
In my eyes, when organizing your portfolio content into these four categories, you can provide a comprehensive view of your skills, experiences, and achievements.
The product marketing portfolio could be:
Messaging: key messaging on the products you worked on
GTM: links to your part launches (landing pages)
GTM: launch brief which you can share
Content: links to case studies you have prepared
Sales enablement: sales presentations, personas, sales emails
You can also share articles explaining your work approach. For example, I talked about incorporating user empathy and it explained how I actually did it. You can see it here
Awesome question and welcome to the world of searching for a PMM role!
I have interviewed for more product marketing roles than I can count and have come up with a few observations and tricks/tips along the way.
People do not read your resume closely. I have links to samples of my work in my resume, and I am always asked to forward specific pieces of content or send links to my work. So have those pdfs and blog and video links handy.
Sometimes companies ask for a project. Be cautious here. When a company asks for you to write a press release on a product announcement or come up with a product launch plan for one of their products, and you are not being compensated... I would highly recommend taking a step back and evaluating whether or not this is worth it. Is the company trying to find free work? In some cases, it is worth taking the risk, and at other times, you will want to walk away. It is a judgment call.
You might be asked to give a presentation. This could be on either a past project of yours or could be a pitch of how you would approach product marketing in your first 30, 60, and 90 days. These can be fun for you to showcase your stellar skills. The sky is the limit on how you can approach this one!
Like with your resume, have your portfolio line up with the job description. PMM roles can vary quite a bit, so you might need to showcase your different experiences and skills. I like having a master slide deck of all my work handy to tailor to each specific role. Many people have an online portfolio as well. Your own website or a Google Site can work here. As what to include, here are a few examples:
Analyst relations: Ever help on a report and get the leadership spot? Grab that analyst logo and show off your product landed in the leader's quadrant.
Public speaking: Do you have a link to a recording of a virtual or in-person presentation? Get a screengrab of your slide or you on video and paste the link right on your slide.
Launching a product: Do you have a template to share? Can you display any final assets like a web page, success story, blog, datasheet, press release, video, metrics, etc.?
Sales enablement: Do you have a framework, templates, and stats of how sales engaged with your content? Find an eye-catching way to display those on a slide or your web page.
And there is so much more like competitive intelligence, customer research, win-loss, etc.
When you can, tout stats and metrics. People love to see metrics. Were you able to increase the pipeline? Improve win rates? Did sales engage with your cheat sheets and battelcards? Etc.
I wrote a blog on a similar topic that might be helpful as well: Tips on How to Transition into a Product Marketing Role
A big part of being an effective product marketer is being able to tell a great story through messaging and longer-form marketing content. If you've built marketing assets (webpages, product briefs, infographics, webinars, explainer videos, etc.), share them with prospective employers as examples that highlight your ability to explain complex technical concepts in a simple way.
Metrics are key, as another commenter pointed out. If you can show how your work created an impact across the marketing funnel, it would be compelling.