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What advise would you give someone who is trying to break into product marketing?

4 Answers
Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Intercom Director, Product MarketingOctober 27

Many of us in PMM came from a different discipline, so know that it's very common and very doable! I myself came from an editorial background (I studied journalism and worked for an online magazine), then moved into an analytics/reporting role, then into community management, and then into PMM!

It depends on what your existing experience is, but some general tips:

  • Look for opportunities to do PMM-related work. Many times, especially in smaller companies, other roles are doing bits of PMM such as messaging or customer research. If there aren't opportunities to get involved at work, then look for opportunities to do so outside of work - volunteering, side projects etc. 
  • Doing some kind of PMM training or learning can be helpful. Although in general I think on-the-job is the best way to learn, doing some courses or reading can help with giving you the foundations but also shows prospective employers that you're invested in your own learning and growth
  • When interviewing for PMM roles, make sure you can speak to why you want to move into PMM and be clear about what you're doing to learn, and any previous experience that relates to the role - even if not direct PMM experience.
  • Know what kind of PMM role you're interested in - product marketing varies at every company, so having a sense of what parts of PMM most interest you will be helpful when evaluating potential roles. For example, are you excited about enablement? Or more interested in product strategy? Some roles will include both of those things, but some roles may lean more heavily to one than the other (as just one small example!) 
  • It can sometimes be easier to move internally into a PMM role than find one at a new company, especially if you have no direct PMM experience. If your company has a PMM team, build relationships with that team and ask about opportunities/open roles, or opportunities for getting involved.
1027 Views
Meredith Davis Shields
Meredith Davis Shields
LendingClub VP, Product MarketingJuly 27

Project Diversity.  Terrific PMMs can oversee a number of projects at different life stages simultaneously (incubation - insights - strategy - planning - beta / pilot - GTM). This requires great attention to detail but more importantly the ability to flex, pivot and be very nimble across initiatives. I came from a strategic planning background in the agency world and managed multiple accounts from wide spans of brands and categories. I also worked at CBS in journalism and there is nothing like the pace of a newsroom and having to react very quickly with varying degrees of information. These were two pivotal career moments that scaffolded where I am today as a PMM leader. I think having a high aptitude for change is critical. I also worry less about deep PMM experience when I am hiring someone new. I am far more interested in the individual's curiosity (eg. do they obsess over people) and their ability to tether a truth to an insight (and then ultimately a strategy). Any of these fields are stepping stones to product marketing:  insights, communications, account planning, account management, journalism, other marketing disciplines (lifecycle, performance), corporate strategy / consulting.

314 Views
Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
Salesforce Vice President Product MarketingDecember 8

The easiest way to break into product marketing is within your current company. Don't try to break into product marketing at a new company — it will be an uphill battle. You have a few pros trying to break into PMM at the current company: You already know the product, target market, and the business. Here's what you can do:

  • Start having coffee chats with your PMM team. PMM at every company is very different, so understand their role and responsibilities more.

  • See if you can do a joint project with the PMM team. Customer stories, demos, focus groups, events, etc. That gives you a good glimpse into the everyday life of a PMM.

  • Share with your manager your goal and get their support right off the bat, so they will also identify opportunities for you to move to PMM.

1951 Views
Ambika Aggarwal
Ambika Aggarwal
Tremendous Head of Product and Corporate MarketingApril 10

I think the best way to do this is to try and get PMM experience and exposure at your current company. I've seen really successful content marketers and solutions engineers and sellers pivot into PMM and you have an advantage because you already understand your target market, business model, and the product. Here's what I'd recommend

  • Familiarize yourself with general PMM concepts & frameworks through Sharebird, PMA etc. Take a course so you can start speaking the same language as your PMM team.

  • Schedule coffee chats with existing PMMs at your company. Understand their core responsibilities, how they measure success, what their top priorities are.

  • Figure out opportunities where you can partner with PMM on projects. There are SO many opportunities here whether its customer research, demos, events, competitive research, etc.

  • Work with your manager and see if you can do a rotation in PMM or build it into your career growth plan

340 Views
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