Is partner PMM a dedicated function and why is that the case or not? What's the line between partner PMM and partner marketing?
That’s a great question. Let me start with some background.
In many traditional large organizations, partner marketing teams up with system integrators (SIs), large area resellers (LARs)/licensing solution partners (LSPs) and a variety of resellers. These would make the bulk of your partner sales. Hence organizations focused on the relationship with the best SIs, LSPs and resellers. Independent software vendors (ISVs) only played a minor role.
In today’s SaaS world, organizations realize that marketing and selling with other technology partners (ISVs) is as important. This is often accomplished through APIs within the product. This is where product marketing comes in. In addition to typical product marketing for new features, partner product marketing involves a deep understanding of the value of both products together instead of individually. This is an additional layer of complexity compared to typical product marketing, which I find very exciting.
When starting out, partner PMM work should be an experiment run under core product marketing. The fundamental principles are all the same. What changes in the environment in which you operate, your audience mix, and the non-traditional opportunities you can uncover to get creative in your GTM? Once you see traction and results with the experiments, and the product team is producing a roadmap of new partnerships, it is time to spin off a dedicated partner marketing function to stay ahead of the game. In many instances, the product team leads the calendar on partnerships, and companies are catching up on GTM activities. Flipping this and putting marketing planning ahead of product releases always ends up being a great asset to the company.