All related (34)
Mike Berger
VP, Product Marketing, ClickUp | Formerly Momentive, Gainsight, MarketoNovember 11

Here's what is top of mind for me as it relates to making a big impact in a startup environment:

  • Understanding of the customer - not just a surface level understanding of the customer, but a deep understanding of customers incuding their pains and motivations. This is knowledge that no one can take away from you, and it is highly valued across many functions.
  • The answer to the question of "Why now?" - many startups fail, or fail to grow quickly, because they can't clearly convey why customers should change the status quo. This is a big problem and leads to many "closed - no decision" statuses in the CRM. Figure out the answer to this question!
  • Be an "orchestrator" - in a startup environment, the go to market motion is often disconnected across functions. Ideally, efforts across sales, marketing, CS and product should be aligned around a cohesive strategy, and PMM should play a leading role in both defining that strategy and orchestrating the cross-functional execution of that strategy. This is one of the biggest differences between a strategic and tactical PMM function in a startup environment.
  • Pricing and packaging - pricing and packaging at startups is almost always more art than science, and if you join at a relatively early stage (Series C or earlier), it's almost never dialed in. Changes to pricing and packaging can be an incredible growth lever, and PMM can lead the charge in tweaking the model to drive better monetization.
  • Value-based messaging (and selling) - in many cases, startups tend to focus on product features without strongly speaking to value. Bringing the value story into the core messaging typically a significant opportunity for a PMM to make an immediate impact. And beyond content, efforts to enable sales to have value-based conversation and for SEs/SCs to deliver value-based demos is really important too.
Christiana Rattazzi
VP, Industry & Solutions Marketing, OktaNovember 2

Totally agree with this comment. The response varies a little based on the stage of the business and GTM motion (e.g. self-serve vs sales-lead). That said, I think the top areas would be (in no particular order) 

  1. Messaging and positioning 
  2. New product introduction (launches) 
  3. A core set of field-facing materials (e.g. Pitch Deck)

Other honorable mentions for me might include: 

  • Sales enablement / training
  • Demo flow and script
  • Product adoption and engagement
  • Pricing and packaging
  • Competitive
Julien Sauvage
VP, Corporate and Product Marketing, ClariDecember 6

Well, you need to have an impact on your company's big strategic priorities. Easier said than done, right?

So I'd look at your company OKRs or top priorities and align the 3-5 focus areas to that.

Need an example?

- if your company mostly cares about awareness then work on Category programs ( Category creation, Thought Leadership, AR, PR) to optimize DLs, views, mentions, Share of Voice etc.

- If your CEO and CMO care about pipe first, then work on PMM programs and campaigns that will influenced that (campaigns, launches, online assets)

- If conversion rates or sales velocity are a big priority, you'll likely work on some sales messaging and decks, demo flows, etc.

Win Rates (to competitor, status quo)

The list goes on!

Remember - PMM is in Marketing but has the potential to touch all the metrics that your CEO cares about. 😊 

Lauren Barraco
VP, Marketing, InscribeDecember 14

I'll start by saying that there are two major variables on this one: 1) what the organization needs - this can be very different depending on size of the company, stage of growth, etc. and 2) the reporting structure of the PMM team - do you report to the CTO or CPO? Or do you report to the CMO? Depending on the answers to the questions above, your top 3-5 areas may vary. But in general, I think it's safe to say that your top list should include some form of the following: 

  1. Messaging / positioning / storytelling
  2. GTM strategy 
  3. Product launches
  4. Enablement 
  5. User persona / use case / best practices
  6. Voice of customer

(yes, I know that's more than 3-5 but it was tough to narrow it down!!) 

Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, ProveSeptember 6

I would say that providing the voice of the customer and the voice of the marker to the product manager so we can build products that resonate with our audience is key. I would also say that providing the appropriate messaging and positioing for our products to go to marker is critical. In order to do so, we need to understand the competitive landscape well.