All related (33)
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

You're absolutley right! The first starts by understanding how much emphasis the company puts on distribution vs. product. An observation I've made is that companies who have a CEO with a sales/marketing background give PMMs more authority over product development and GTM. Companies with CEOs with an engineering/product background tend to give PMMs a more limited scope focused on market validation, positioning, and messaging. 

What has made me successful in a PMM career was starting on a nascent product in which we were "firefighting" every single day. I thrive in startups or ambiguous environment when we're trying to prioritize what's important. 

When I first joined, our programs in my product group were not complex to begin with. It was about getting the bare necessities out to customers and sales in order to drive demand, mature pipe, and close deals. I shuffled from function to function, experimenting and quickly learning about all the levers I could pull to drive revenue. 

Josh Bean
Sr Director Product Marketing, ZendeskJanuary 26

I always think of PMM as the glue that connects the various functions of a business (product/sales/rest of marketing/etc). A PMM's responsibility is to understand the needs of prospects and customers and communicate that internally. Additinoally, it's PMMs job to take all the innovation and programs a company is creating and wrap that in an easy to consume message/narrative for prospects/customers/employees/analysts. 

Hoever, if you're in product marketing and find yourself reporting to Product, that could be a challenging situation. I believe Product and Product Marketng should be peers who work together.

Indy Sen
VP Marketing, PopSQL | Formerly Matterport, WeWork, Google, Mulesoft, Box, SalesforceJuly 23

Yes, in my experience there are definitely a few org considerations that will shape your fortunes as a PMM, and navigating those will determine whether you're set up for success. 

  1. The first, as you allude to is the function you report into. I've been in orgs where PMM has been in marketing, product or sales. IMO, PMM should always be part of marketing because, while you're no doubt deeply embedded with the latter two functions, you are by definition a marketer and need to be evaluated as such. The problem with being in product or sales orgs is that your contributions--while appreciated--will not be top of mind when it comes to calibration and performance assessment. And that's just physics--a PM leader will likely dole out comp and stock refreshes to the top PM talent they want to retain. Ditto with sales, which can be an even harder case to make as performance is quota based and you are the "cost center". Note that it's fine and even a good idea to be dotted to product/sales. 
  2. The second is more company specific, and has to do with the dominant company culture. You've probably heard of companies that are more sales centric, or others where engineering is "king". Now you can do amazing work as a marketer at either one of these, and grow your skillset commensurately, but do pay attention to how "valued" marketing really is as that's what will ultimately affect your long term growth trajectory. Things to watch out for: PMM viewed as a "service bureau" i..e "so we're launching this product in 3 weeks and need a blog post" or if you feel stuck constantly doing reactive and ad hoc work vs fleshing out programs and shaping strategy. 

As you can tell there's a bunch of situational stuff and pattern matching you should try and stock of as quickly as you can. But if you're at least confident that you're set up for success from a reporting and cultural standpoint, then the rest is up to you. And that's the fun part.  

Melinda Chung
Director of Product Marketing, AdobeJanuary 11

1. Ensure that your focus areas are aligned with what is most important to the company. For example, if Enterprise is the core segment, you might not get the support and interest you need/want if you are focused on B2C. Doing what is most important to the company means that you are delivering value where it matters and where people have investment and attention paid.

2. Ensure that you are doing what you are most passionate about. I always say that we manage against two objectives in any job: doing what's best for the company but also doing what's best for you. So in the example above, maybe B2C is just your passion. You've tried Enterprise (which I always recommend anyways) and you still want to grow your career in B2C. That's fine - perhaps then it means finding another group or company that is aligned on that value, and grow from there. People typically give more in areas that they are passionate about.

Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our customers. No research can compare to the insights you get by actually being in the shoes of our customers - in our case, small businesses * Talk to customer facing teams (Sales, Account Management, Support) and synthesize feedback. They are on the frontline all the time. You will be surpr...
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Airtable
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: having the product marketing title doesn’t automatically mean you get to influence the roadmap. You have to put in the work and show your value to get a seat at the table. There are three big levers to pull here to help you shift the way product marketing works from a team that’s just responsible for the launch of a product to one that’s involved in the entire product process. 1. Create a partnership with your PM: When you’re thinking about how to influence, you’re probably thinking about managing up and influencing people who are more se...
LeTisha Shaw
Director, Product Marketing, UserTesting
Yes, this is a pretty standard PMM interview question. When I ask, I am typically looking to see if the candidate understands product launch and go-to-market fundamentals. I'm also interested in which parts of the launch they led (i.e. was it a specific marketing channel or soup-to-nuts?).  I also like to ask different variations of this question, like "tell me about a product launch that did not go well and you had to get back on track" because let's be honest, not every launch goes exactly the way we plan :)
Ross Overline
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Fivestars
Asking for a raise is tricky. Ultimately, you need to be driving value, right? That can be broken down quantitatively, but also qualitatively.   Quant: What impact are you having on funnels? Run A/B tests to prove that your strategies are driving impact. How have NPS and sentiment changed?   Qual: Do you have strong relationships with stakeholders? Are you driving value through strategy, creative, and channel partnerships?   I would also recommend using your companies job ladder as a tool, or if you don't have one, job descriptions for other similar roles. If you're a PMM and the expe...
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing, Prove
Well, the question of "What is Product Marketing" Could mean different things at different companies, but my answer is that we provide the voice of the market and the voice of the customer internally to the product manager so we can build products that resonate with our audience, and we are the voice of the product externally providing the appropriate messaging and positioning to go to market.
Lindsay Bayuk
CMO, Pluralsight
Great question! This is so important. Because product marketing is often the "glue", it’s easy to miss how critical it is to driving company alignment and growth. Make sure that you have a regular cadence of updates and clear/measurable metrics reported to your CMO and Executive team. Being proactive about advocating for your function is part of being a great marketer!