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Product Marketers often get pulled in several directions and everything feels urgent. How do we work with our CMO and Exec team to help narrow down what we focus on?

Eric Petitt
Eric Petitt
Glassdoor Senior Vice President MarketingMarch 17

Product marketing is so often misunderstood, and a lot of CMO’s didn’t grow up with it so they don’t particularly understand it. Still other CMO’s struggle with the PMM orgs that seem to spend more time on things they can’t see or aren’t held accountable for inside their own marketing org. And, like you said, while pmm plays a cross-org glue role, it can leave it stretched way too thin as a result.

I think having a charter for your team is a really important place to start. It should last you a good year or two or more, or at least until your company hits another important milestone. On top of that you need annual team objectives that you’ve reached alignment on with your key c-level stakeholders. We have a little “PMM pitch deck” that I try to update every year and refresh for senior stakeholders. It includes our charter, objectives, strategy as a team, structure, OKRs for the quarter ahead. I think it helps to think about how to draw clear connections between CPO and business and marketing outcomes, and ensure your team’s efforts are working at that intersection.

1288 Views
Jon Rooney
Jon Rooney
Unity Vice President Product MarketingApril 23

In order to narrow down what PMM works on as to not be pulled in a million directions and get stuck being short order cooks for every random initiative, you need to invest heavily in understanding and internalizing the company's priorities and goals, as communicated via OKRs, KPIs or however your company manages these things. Chances are there's a list of things, in priority order, that sit at the CEO level that your work needs to ladder up to. Once you REALLY understand where the company is trying to go (expand product offerings? reach new audiences? shift pricing or packaging? scale back the portfolio for focus? gain more operational efficiency?), then you need to develop PMM's top goals that align work to the most important stuff for the company, put those goals in priority order and make that list a regular topic for alignment and review with your most important stakeholders (CMO, head of sales, head of product, etc).

As the PMM leader, I make this a regular topic in my 1:1's with my most important stakeholders to make sure my big rocks are the right big rocks. This allows my team to set expectations across orgs that these 3-4 things are most important to the business and will thus be getting the most resources and attention. Having these big rocks flips the dynamics so you're not constantly fielding and assessing inbound requests from all over the place in a vacuum (so you're not saying "no" to this PM or that events team or that partner team, you're reaffirming your "yes" to your company's most important priorities). Stay focused by mapping all PMM work to the most important goals for the company. If you can't map an inbound request to a big rock, you're empowered to pass. Inquiries and demands are always going to come in and, if you don't have a strong perspective, you leave yourself open to what every other team thinks you should be doing. That's being a short order cook and, trust me, that's no way to live or work as a PMM.

478 Views
Tracy Montour
Tracy Montour
HiredScore Head of Product MarketingJuly 28

Your executive team and CMO should be looking to you to prioritize your workload.If you wait for someone to prioritize your workload for you, you'll end up working on things that skew completely in the wrong direction or may be overindexed on a particular metric. PMM has many stakeholders and its important to balance priorities across sales, CS, product, and marketing. Always defer back to the company-wide objectives. How can you best serve those objectives and drive impact? How can you make a measurable impact? How can you build for scale? These are all important things to consider when prioritizing. Good luck!

237 Views
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