All related (20)
Jameelah Calhoun
Global Head of Product Marketing, Eventbrite | Formerly Amazon, Ex-AmexMarch 9

Thanks for this awesome question! The great news is that there are many pathways and many skillsets that can lead to a successful career in product marketing. In my case, I started my career as a financial analyst and consultant. These skills have been invaluable for me as product marketing requires you to quickly understand large customer data sets and distill insights as well as being able to think strategically about short term and long term market trends. As I've gone deeper into product management and marketing, this fundamental training has still served me well. This is all to say focus on the transferable skills that you want to develop in your career trajectory to get into product marketing or that you want to demonstrate in your interviews for a product marketing role.

For product marketing, here's what I emphasize:

* Customer empathy and insights

* Synthesizing data into action steps

* Communication and influencing 

* Project management

* Building business cases

Additionally, product marketers thrive on enthusiasm for products, ideas and communication. Come to your interviews prepared with ideas on how you would change their product and why. Conduct your own mini-market research exercise by asking friends and family who use the product for input. The interview is the first opportunity to put your product marketing hat on and show what you are can do. 

Good luck!

Katie Levinson
Head of Product Marketing, HandshakeJanuary 28

It seems like there aren’t that many entry level PMM jobs, outside of established associate PMM programs at larger tech companies. If you don’t get one of those (or another PMM role), try looking for other marketing roles that put you in a highly cross-functional position. This could be a program manager, marketing manager, or even brand manager; if there are opportunities for you to do research and run a go-to-market campaign in these roles, do it! From a B2B lens, I’ve seen many people make a successful jump from customer success to PMM, because both involve a lot of customer empathy and communication.

Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing, 3GtmsMarch 30

The problem is that there still aren't too many good entry-level PMM roles out there (assuming you're talking about coming out of undergrad). My best advice (as someone who didn't come to PMM until they were in their mid-30s) would be: Find a role that allows you to develop the skills PMMs ultimately need to bring. Don't worry too much about industry, just make sure it's one where you're curious enough about the products, customers and problems to keep you intellectually motivated. That will serve you well when making that jump to PMM. 

Evelyn O'Keeffe
Product Marketing Lead, SquareFebruary 15

Prepare Early

- Find relevant internships or part-time work experience to enhance your resume. e.g market research, sales, digital marketing 

- Start a side-project, e.g blog, podcast, freelance services etc. to gain hands-on experience in launching a product

Upskill Regularly

- Enhance your resume by taking in-demand courses with recognised certifications that will complement your practical experience 

- Check established PMM LinkedIn profiles for relevant courses/certifications and keep your LinkedIn profile updated as you learn 

Target Specifically

- Use LinkedIn to check for connections, ask for an introduction to a Product Marketer and find out about the team and opportunities

- Look for established Associate Product Marketing Manager programs where les experienced PMMs join structured programs

Mary (Shirley) Sheehan
Head of Lightroom Product Marketing, Adobe
I answered this in a similar post - see it here:
Katie Levinson
Head of Product Marketing, Handshake
Sure do! I like to start with some qualitative research first to help get at any nuances in messaging, especially across different audience segments. Then, run a survey (max diff is a great technique) to understand what resonates most with your different segments. If you also have the budget and/or time, running your messaging by focus groups is another good option, so you can get a deeper understanding of their reactions and sentiment.
Agustina Sacerdote
Global Head of PMM and Content Marketing, TIDAL, Square
Most of the cost associated with research is actually the cost of accessing a sample, so if you can figure out that piece, you should be in a much better spot. A couple of ideas:  1/ Talk to your happiest, unhappiest customers, customers that churned, and "prospects", if possible. Use your budget for incentives. This sample will at least give you the "extremes" of attitudes.  2/ There are some helpful online tools that you can sign up for and "trial" them at no cost- Optimal Sort, UserTesting, SurveyMoney, GetFeedback all have some sort of free trial. You can even take respondents through...
Sonia Moaiery
Product Marketing, Intercom | Formerly Glassdoor, Prophet, Kraft
I always start with positioning ideas as hypotheses (a fancy term for your hunches). This approach is helpful to show stakeholders that you’re open to their input/feedback, and potentially being wrong. When you have hypotheses, you come to the conversation saying “here’s something I have a hunch about, but I don’t have enough data yet to tell me this is a good idea or the right thing, I’d love to hear your thoughts or help me poke holes in this” I think about building consensus in three stages to bring stakeholders along the journey with you so none of your ideas feel like a surprise by th...
John Hurley
Vice President Product Marketing, Amplitude
What I love about product design teams is how differently they think and create. They tend to be really amazing at information design. PMM can create strong foundations – let's say user personas – and UX researchers and designers might totally reimagine how to display personas relative to their own projects. That can open up a new world of thinking for PMM – and more practically become an asset used by PMM for a variety of work (onboarding new hires, design new creative takes on messaging, channels and campaigns).  Those nuanced new panes of perspective can help PMM explore new ideas, ke...
Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing, 3Gtms
The part I am most experienced with is the business case justification. Indeed, I tend to build business case justifications and personas into a single narrative in order to make my story lines speak to the issues most important to each stakeholder. Primary market research (1:1 interviews) is the best way to build personas (that inform what stakeholders think about most/most often, and the incentives they're responding to). The resulting personas/profiles are by far the greatest driver of the ultimate business case. The information in those personas can also inform my colleagues in Conte...