Do you simply have Product Marketers by product/portfolio? Do you have a release communications manager? Someone in sales enablement? What other roles exist in your product marketing teams today?
11 answers
All related (143)
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

See the answer above to the question "I wanna make the case to hire some more product marketers - we're a team of 2 for a company of 400. Whats the ratio where you are? Have you seen any external data on this?" -- I think I mostly covered this in that answer. 

In short, we have a Go-to-Market team focused on the commercialization of our product straetgy and a Sales Readiness team focused on competitve/market intel, analyst relations and sales content developmenet. And our key partners are Solutions Engineers and Sales Enablement. 

Holly Watson
Product Marketing SME, AWS, AmazonFebruary 9

Product Marketing org structures can vary by organization. Previously at Attentive, our PMM organization is comprised of the following teams: Product Marketing Core (focused on our product offering, more to come here), Sales Enablement & Competitve, Technical Writers, and Training. Our PMM Core team is split by our products with a 2-3 PMMs managing a single product offering usually comprised of several features. Collectively we all report into a VP of PMM who reports into our CPO. Yes, Attentive's PMM team is under the Product org. and we partner very closely with our Marketing counterparts. 

Jameelah Calhoun
Global Head of Product Marketing, Eventbrite | Formerly Amazon, Ex-AmexFebruary 8

Organization structures for the PMM team vary depending on your companies’ stage, customer base, and product suite. There are 4 basic approaches for designing PMM teams: 1) functional (i.e. sales enablement, monetization, GTM, product strategy), 2) product lines (i.e. subscriptions, retail), 3) customer segments (i.e. enterprise, small business, consumer), or 4) Lifecycle (i.e. acquisition, engagement, retention.)

When determining a new PMM team org structure, I think about these 3 questions:

1) What drives distinction in the sales/conversion cycle? For some companies that will be customer-based, such as selling to enterprise clients versus small business or business versus consumer for marketplaces. For others, the product drives the most distinction, such as a consumer subscription service versus consumer a la carte/retail. For other companies with smaller product suites and a less complex client base, it may be best to align against areas of the funnel (i.e. acquisition, engagement, retention). Lastly, depending on the functional areas that PMM teams are responsible for it may make sense to organize against these areas to recruit for specific skill sets.

2) What domain knowledge will be most important to develop and maintain within the team? Which team members will benefit most from collaboration? This again is often tied to the answer in question one. Sometimes deep expertise on one customer segment will be critical relative to deep expertise on one specific product or vice versa.

3) How are your stakeholder teams organized? Aligning closely with product management teams will smooth the team’s ability to become trusted and consistent partners with that team.

As PMM organizations become larger and more complex, I have often combined two of the organizational approaches for maximum impact. For example, organizing my PMM teams by product lines, but having dedicated functional PMM roles underneath each product line team.

Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 17

We've changed our structure several times over the years as the business has grown and priorities have shifted, but because PMM at Intercom works very closely with product we have always largely mapped PMMs to specific solutions or product areas.

Our current team structure roughly mirrors that of the product team. That means we have 1 or more PMMs mapped to each specific product group, which are either focused on a solution (for example our support solution) or a product area (for example, platform which covers our data platform, app ecosystem etc.) Some groups have multiple PMMs, depending on how big the group in R&D is - we aim for a ratio of 1 PMM to 2 or 3 PMs. 

These PMM roles are what's typically called 'full stack' - i.e. they do everything from inputting to the product strategy, to taking those products to market including messaging and positioning, launches, and enabling marketing and sales. We do this because we've found that lots of PMMs find satisfaction in being involved in the whole product lifecycle.

We also have some additional groups within PMM that aren't directly tied to a specific solution or product area. These include our Enablement group - focused on enabling our sales and demand teams - and our 'Core' group - which owns our overarching positioning and GTM strategy (inc. personas, support analyst relations etc).

I recently wrote a post on the Intercom blog that gets into a bit more detail about how we work.

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, Mode AnalyticsMarch 16

Our product marketing org strucuture is made up of 6 groups. Most of our groups are aligned directly to product, and how product strucutres their org. So each product group that is focused on building customer facing product - has a PMM group aligned to it. We refer to these PMMs as "full stack" PMMs partnering closely with product in defining roadmap and scope and GTM teams in bringing new products and features to market. 

We also have a group focused on enablement - supporting our customer facing teams with industry and segment positioning and messaging, customer facing assets, content and more. 

I will say that our team has evolved many times over the years, and we continue to be flexible and adapt to the needs of the business. PMM orgs need to take into account a companies gtm strategy, product strategy, etc and adapt as those things evolve as well. 

Jack Wei
Head of Product Marketing, Sendbird | Formerly SmartRecruiters, Mixpanel, DeloitteJanuary 22

I go back to ensuring that the team structure is aligned to business objectives and associated KPIs. My company does have aggressive sales, customer satisfaction, and product adoption metrics (spans across the board) so I like to structure the team accordingly. 

I'll use a buyer journey framework to illustrate my ideal state team structure given these objectives (moving from top to bottom of funnel):

  1. Content Marketer: Focuses on creating top of funnel assets to drive demand & support category creation
  2. Technical PMM: Partners with our platform and alliances team to create mid-funnel assets and target a new persona, drive new business
  3. PMM - Core and Launches: Subject matter expert of our main product, focusing on quarterly and ongoing product releases, drive activation
  4. PMM - Add-ons: Subject matter expert of a group of add-on products, drive attach rate and category creation
  5. Product Marketing associate/analyst: Support across to gain experience/ownership, build data-driven muscle

Other roles not technically PMM, but on team:

  • Customer marketer
  • Lifecycle marketer
  • Advocacy & community manager
  • Marketing designer 1
  • Marketing designer 2
Sarah Din
VP of Product Marketing, QuickbaseJanuary 19

This is a question I get a LOT. Everyone wants to know whats the idea PMM team structure. The short answer is there isn't one.

Firstly, the role of a PMM looks different in every company. Secondly, the role of a PMM is not static. The role should evolve based on business priorities. So while you may structure the team a particular way today, know that you might need to change that structure a year from now if your priorities shift, especially at a start-up where things change quickly. Here are a few things to keep in mind though:

  • Look at the ratio of PM to PMM as a starting point, especially if you have a product-led organization. You want to keep this ratio as small as possible because if you have multiple products and launches to manage, you will need more PMMs to help manage them.
  • If your priority is more sales-led then try to focus your team on either personas or GTM segments. For example, if you sell into different verticals, you might also want to think about how you divide vertical expertise within the team.
  • Another approach is to structure a team based on functional areas: Sales-enablement, competitive intel, product launches, etc. This is not my favorite tBH but I've seen people do this. I believe this pigeonholes your team and leaves no room for their growth.
  • A hybrid approach is also ideal for small teams. You want to build a matrix of priorities and then divide them amongst the team but make sure you have clear swim lanes and that each person has ownership of a certain area. This will help career growth, give you a more well-rounded team and it makes it easy for people to move around and work on different, interesting projects.

Currently, my PMM team is structured on the different parts of our platform because that's where I need my team to be focused. Additionally, I also own content strategy so we have that role on our team - since that person is a hybrid for marketing and product content. (Lots of open roles on my team if you are interested, reach out :) )

Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®October 7

There’s two main drivers I think about with respect to org structure. Important caveat on the below being I primarily have worked at smaller organizations where org structures across the company are often highly nimble.

  1. How established the function is - When the PMM function is new, oftentimes you might be the only Product Marketer or have just one report. In that scenario I think it’s important to keep yourself and your report as generalists and prioritize the most important projects across the business as opposed to specializing by product/persona/etc. This enables you to learn the business much faster and build a lot of credibility by adding value on the most pressing opportunities — both essential precursors to being able to figure out the longer-term org structure and advocate for growing your team since you know where the need is. As the function becomes more established, I like to add in a Market/Customer Insights function within PMM and start aligning the rest of the team around business strategy.
  2. Business strategy - Org structure should reflect the direction the business is going, not the other way around (this is true outside of PMM, too!). Sometimes that means I’ll have one PMM staffed to each core product, other times it might be audience focused (e.g. SMB vs. ENT; partners vs. customers), and still other times it might be based on a strategic priority like expanding into a new self-serve transaction GTM channel. I’ll also be clear with my team or candidates I’m interviewing how the competencies required differ based on which part of the business strategy they align against where there might be more or less focus on things like upstream market opportunity validation vs. messaging and launches vs. growth marketing.
Kristen Ribero
Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, HandshakeJuly 18

In my experience, it varies based on your product portfolio/customer segments...

When my company had only 1 product we were separated by function (i.e. pricing/packaging, sales enablement, product launches, market research, etc.), but in other companies we were focused on segment (enterprise vs SMB product marketing and then had teams that supported us).

Other roles that i've seen in smaller companies - customer marketing, content, even PR/AR (bc product marketing is usually the keeper of the message)

Clare Hegg
Director of Product Marketing, SkopenowAugust 18

I've seen it work in many different ways. It's usually dependent upon where the PMM org lives, and what the other organizations look like along side of it. If it's in Marketing, it's very dependent on who the leader of marketing is. If it's in Product Management, it's usually broken out by product or vertical. I'm currently building up the team at Socrata, so we're broken out more by strategy vs. execusion and a person who owns the website. We'll go to a more verticalized approach as we expand. We live within Marketing, but I report to the SVP of Marketing/Biz Dev and there's a separate Director of Marketing who runs Demand Gen and Customer Marketing. 

Tracy Montour
Head of Product Marketing, HiredScoreJuly 26

Like many have said here, Product Marketing org structures can be vastly different. I believe the organizational structure starts with where Product Marketing sits in the org. Traditionally, there are three options for this: marketing, product, and reporting directly to the CEO. In my experience, PMM teams that report outside of marketing are more likely to be aligned to product strategy and the strategic roadmap planning and therefore might reflect a similar structure as the Product Management org (by product line, solution, vertical, etc). It's important to look at the needs of the company, the size of the PMM team, and how the product is positioned in the market. 

The short answer is there is no "right" answer.