All related (85)
Robin Pam
Product Marketing Lead, StripeFebruary 26

Become an expert in a data set that's close to revenue. Knowing as much as you can about how market interest turns into revenue (i.e. your entire marketing & sales funnel) is the easiest way to make yourself indispensible to both product and company strategy. 

When you know more than anyone else in the company about how leads turn into pipeline turn into closed business for your product line or area of ownership, product will start to seek you out for your insights. 

Also, be a good editor. They will inevitably write a blog post or PRD or some kind of document that requires some critical feedback. Get good at editing and being a thought partner on external facing materials. 

Laura Jones
Chief Marketing Officer, InstacartDecember 9

As you establish a relationship with your Product Manager, it is important to align on expectations. You should understand their needs and pain points and share with them your vision for how PMM can add value to the team. From there, it is often helpful to draft a set of goals that reflect the output of that conversation and get your PM's buy-in. Once you have established those goals, they can help in your day-to-day prioritization of work, and enable you to prove impact against those benchmarks over time.

Vishal Naik
Product Marketing Lead, Google | Formerly DocuSignDecember 6

I'd reframe the question a bit from proving value to adding value. Proving value is a little defensive, vs adding value puts the onus on PMM to show up every day with a task to be done. I think about adding value to PMs in two parts:

  1.  Trust: If I had to simplify it to a few key things, its a strong understanding of the customer and their problems and then a strong understanding of the competitive space and market. I think its also important to have a point of view. If you bring those insights to your day-to-day meetings, you can establish your line of thinking with your PM stakeholders. If you have a point of view -- meaning have an opinion, dont defer all decisions to the group -- then you can engage in productive conversations and brainstorms with your stakeholders. This will help to earn trust. 
  2.  Results: From there, the second part is to deliver results. That comes in a variety of ways, but some areas where I've built up my internal brand with my PMs have been in creating decks for customer events--taking the onus off product to craft a presentation, and delivering it in a concise, new, and engaging manner. Thus the PM's job is easier and theyre getting a better output. Other areas have been in supplying notes, bullet points, and data points for customer/partner briefings that PMs have led. In one case, I worked on one slide for a customer meeting, and that slide ended up being where our PM team spent a bulk of their time with the customer and that led to the PM proactively asking for my input in other areas. 

At the end of the day, product teams are in really high demand. If you, as a PMM, can own some of the areas in which a PM might get pulled into different meetings/projects and can deliver high value work back--then the PM doesnt need think like they have to do everything. I read a LinkedIn post a few months ago from a CS leader who wrote about how great CS work comes from a great relationship with PM, so that the product can stay top of mind with CSMs and get its way to customers. And while I think thats true as an end result, I also think it showcases a gap where PMM should have filled. PMMs should know the market and know the product, and that should be able to inform multiple internal teams. While PMs probably dont have an issue meeting with XFN teams, I'm sure they'd appreciate the luxury of focus--and thats where PMMs can help. 

So while it's obviously great if that established model exists and PMMs can show up with their value to the org known, its much easier (IMO) to take back control and not hope for infrastructure change in an org at the expense of creating your own fortune. 

Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, Mode AnalyticsJanuary 19

This is a great question - especially because I think this relationship between product and marketing (product marketing) is one that often takes time. Trust needs to be built and that often comes from being able to show value. 

I think inately part of Product Marketing's role is to become a subject matter expert in your space. This means deeply understanding the market (trends, competitors, hot topics), prospects and ideal customer profiles - their pain points and how your product helps solve them (and what gaps exist), and existing customers - both the power user super fans, and those that haven't yet gotten to deep usage or adoption. 

All of this knowledge is extremely powerful for product teams. It will help offer a more macro lens to their roadmapping and strategy planning. Oftentimes product teams will do their own research to help define their roadmaps, but it can usually be very narrow aligned to their core focus area and limited to feature gaps. Package your knowledge and insights in a way that offers insight beyond existing customer feedback - to help paint a broader picture. It may take awhile for teams to know exactly how to take action - but it will never be an unvaluable resource, and will undoubtedly add valuable context - and you will position yourself as a valuable partner representing the market. 

Jeff Beckham
Sr. Director and Head of Product Marketing, GemMay 7

It’s a good question, but also a loaded one! Product management needs to prove their value to the company too, right?

The dynamic you’re describing is common though, unfortunately. I’ve lived it many times.

The best working relationship comes when both sides have shared goals. If that’s not reality, one thing I’ve advised PMMs on my team to do is figure out what the PMs they work with care about and are goaled on. What are their OKRs or objectives? Assuming it’s not something crazy and counterproductive for the business, get a quick win and help them improve the thing they’re measured on (adoption, revenue, etc) to earn their trust.

In terms of how to be most helpful, each PM I’ve worked with has a unique skillset. PMMs are most valuable when they are complementary. For example, if the PM is technical but not a great writer, make them look good by doing the heavy lifting on the blog and slides for the new launch. If they’re business-savvy and just need more insights from the field to form their strategy, do some market research and collect insights from customers and sales.

If I were to generalize from my experiences, working with the sales team is the most common thing that PMs appreciate help with. When you’re creating great collateral and running trainings that enable the field to sell the PM’s product, they’ll be ecstatic.

Unless your company is overstaffed, there’s always going to be enough work for both Product and Product Marketing. The key is finding the balance where you’re “better together,” to use a corny phrase. When the product is being adopted and driving revenue, both sides look good.

Sangita Sarkar
Head Of Marketing, ImmutableNovember 13

Analytics, Attribution and Awareness (of the consumer)

Analytics
Product Managers are constantly looking at key metrics and data to inform roadmap and resource allocation decisions. To speak the quantitative language, I recommend creating and referencing a marketing dashboard to track not only core marketing KPIs but also products’s core metrics on a campaign level. Then, use those numbers and data to show effectiveness or learnings of your marketing strategy.

Attribution

I recently integrated Branch, a third party vendor, to help with deep linking and attribution for Words With Friends’ Friendiversary campaign (via reengagement- focused email and social campaigns). Having a deeper level of attribution per channel was valuable to PMs to understand how better to support and resource ongoing initiatives based on where our high value reacts were coming from.

Awareness

Again, PMMs represent the consumer voice. Coming to the table with aggregated data on consumers’ top issues week after week should give your voice the heaviest weight in the room. No one can argue with the end user! 

Dan Laufer
CEO, PipeDreams VenturesJanuary 14

I think a good PMM should take the stance that "I'm going to know everything about the product, competitive landscape and our customers." If you do that well there are several ways to prove value to PMs, for example: 

1. Provide competitive insights/positioning they may be missing. 

2. Share a perspective or understanding of customers they may be lacking or not have exposure to. 

3. And of course being skilled at bringing products to market and messaging in a way that's differentiated, clear and compelling. 

Let's not sell ourselves short, these are touchpoints/inights that are critical for a product's success and many PMs won't have a robust purview to. 

Natalie Louie
GTM Marketing & Pricing Leader, | Formerly MobileCoin, Zuora, Hired, Oracle, ResponsysJanuary 12

Remind them that in your title 'product' is first, you are a Product Marketer. You see yourself as part of their org and are an active participant in all their meetings. You are team members who always need to be aligned. Initially you rely on them for KT (knowledge transfer) of the product roadmap so you can help with GTM activities and launch the product. But over time, you are talking to customers and you need to collect feedback and bring it back to PM’s to help influence the roadmap. A circular relationship is the goal. 

You also help improve the roadmap by always asking why they are building something, so you can tie it back to your customer pain points and the value you are delivering. You help bring clarity to what they are building and help make sure you stay accurate. You also do research together to both understand your market, customers and competitors. You also make your PMs look good – help ghost write a blog with them, have them be SME’s on your webinars, help them craft a story to present at a conference, clean up a deck they are presenting. You are two peas in a pod.

Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director, EightfoldOctober 26

I say: "You don't have to deal with the sales people anymore. Just send them to me." Tears in their eyes...

[There is a 300 character minimum, but my answer was already complete so I'll fill this out with haiku.

Sales guy got too drunk

Who can save our key meeting?

Product marketing

Six cups of coffee

A CIO sips daily

Persona research

]

Xuefei ZHANG
Product marketer, WIZZCADSeptember 13

Product Marketing Manager is kind of the role project management for marketing & internal communications.  

the PM & PMM are the two core role of product-market/customer bi-directionel communication. 

As PM, the direction is more of external(market/customer) to internal - to study the market needs & trends, to learn about what caters for the clients; whereas the PMM on the contrary - to translate the product info in marketer's way while keeping aligned with the market or customer needs. 

Personally, these 2 roles in binominal collaboration can be combined in some not-too-granulared structures. 

Dave Daniels
Founder, BrainKraftApril 12

In a word - results. Your product managers should have a goal defined for the product you're supporting. It may not be the most realistic goal, but there should be a goal you can anchor to. Take that goal and break it down into bite size pieces. Think about what it's going to take to get a buyer from Attention to Acquisition (assuming a new customer goal).

Break a purchase into individual buying steps. Identify the buyers (on average) that influence a purchase and find out what they need. Then measure like crazy. Use my favorite - Win/Loss - to track as many deals as you can. Find out why they bought and why they didn't. Use that to refine your understanding of a buyer's journey. 

If it's not a revenue goal but a retention goal, find out why they renew and why they don't. Then recommend a course of action to fix it. 

I have a class on this to help you build a Buyer's Journey Decision Map (self-paced video). Take a look and if you have questions I'd be happy to answer them. --D

Felix Huang
Senior User Acquisition Manager, Hopper | Formerly Skillz, Telus Health,February 4

One of the best ways Product Marketers can provide value is through market and consumer insights. Often times Product Management teams are laser-focused on understanding existing customers and developing features to meet their specific needs. Product Marketers can provide perspective on the broader market and the needs/use cases for segments that a company hasn’t yet targeted. Product Marketers are testing different messages and value-props in-market every day and those learnings can help guide a Product Teams' future roadmap. 

Prove that the Product Strategy delivers what it promises.

Some multinational companies build the Product Strategy on three elements:

- Product technical performance, what the product does at work. When the performance is weak against competitors there is room for improvement (eg, like removing spots for heavy-duty detergents).

- Product design, how the product looks and works. When the design is weak against competitors there is room for improvement (eg, like for the boxes of Baby Diapers to be used with a single hand).

- Customer acceptance, hence the appreciation of consumers for the other two elements of the PS

If it is all good, turn to the Copy Strategy, which is built on:

- Product benefit, what the customer gets

- Support to the benefit, it makes the benefit believable

- Tone of the communication, like speaking to modern as opposed to traditional people

Although I do not like the term product marketing, there is a lot you can do to prove your value to product management. 

Just, begin from strategies.

Marlein Karina Anaya García
Product Marketing Leader, OCCMundialDecember 19

Since Prodduct Marketing is in charge of messaging (internal / and guidance for external) has a really good value with Product Management for translating the usability, functionality and benefits of any product. Product Manager should be more focus on release products, and Product Marketing focus on translate that products into the correct message (how it works? or how that product should be used?). 

 

Btw Product Marketing should understand users/consumers needs for transmitting them to Product Managers and the products can be improved or develop new ones.