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What are the challenges one should be aware of when setting up a new PMM function inside the org? How can one overcome them -- any tips?

5 Answers
Meredith Davis Shields
Meredith Davis Shields
LendingClub VP, Product MarketingJuly 26

If PMM is a new discipline within your org chances are other teams were "covering" PMM unofficially. This could mean product managers trying to wear marketing hats or lifecycle / brand marketers pitching in to support product. My advice is to start developing a rapport with PM leadership out of the gate. Set up team norms, artifacts and practices to operationalize PMM. Look at the product - eng roadmap and create work back dates to maximize marketing impact. If PMs have been doing product marketing, it has likely been side of desk. Most of the time they will welcome your dedicated capacity and collaboration to drive home an even bigger GTM moment. Practically speaking, start setting up boundaries and RACIs so that appropriate transitions can happen to enable your new PMM team and set them up for greater success. Also! Align on creative reviewers but mostly approvers and decision makers. Standardize test, learn, optimize to take any sort of legacy subjectivity out of claims writing, creative reviews, etc. 

861 Views
Sarah Din
Sarah Din
Quickbase VP of Product MarketingFebruary 22

One of the biggest challenges I always see is internal education. Most companies where PMM is new will not understand what PMM can and should do and how to work with them. 

One of the most important things to do when establishing a new PMM function is defining a clear charter, goals, and even a defined list of deliverables and doing internal roadshows to educate different cross-functional teams on what you are responsible for, when to come to you and when to loop you in.

The second most important thing to do is to define key processes very early on - such as the product launch process.

521 Views
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Crossbeam Senior Director Product MarketingMay 10

Setting up a new product marketing function can be a challenging but rewarding task. Here are some challenges you should be aware of and some tips for overcoming them:

  1. Defining the scope: One of the biggest challenges is defining the scope of the product marketing function. This involves determining what the function will be responsible for, such as positioning, messaging, competitive analysis, sales enablement, etc. It's important to ensure that the scope is well-defined and aligned with the company's goals and objectives.

Tip: Work closely with senior leaders to understand their vision for the company and align the product marketing function's scope with that vision.

  1. Building the team: Finding the right talent to build the product marketing function can be difficult, especially if the company is new to product marketing. Hiring the right people with the right skills and experience is critical to the success of the function.

Tip: Look for people who have experience in product marketing, but who also have a strong understanding of the company's industry and customer base. Consider hiring a mix of senior and junior talent to balance expertise and fresh perspectives.

  1. Aligning with other teams: Product marketing functions often work closely with other teams, such as product management, sales, and marketing. It's important to establish strong relationships with these teams and ensure that everyone is aligned in terms of goals and priorities.

Tip: Hold regular meetings with other teams to share updates and collaborate on initiatives. Create clear communication channels and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

  1. Measuring success: Product marketing functions are often responsible for driving key metrics such as revenue, customer acquisition, and retention. It's important to have a clear understanding of what success looks like and how it will be measured.

Tip: Define clear KPIs and track progress regularly. Use data to inform decision-making and adjust strategies as needed.

Overall, the key to successfully setting up a new product marketing function is to be patient, adaptable, and open to learning. By building strong relationships, defining clear goals and metrics, and hiring the right talent, you can overcome these challenges and build a successful product marketing function.

582 Views
Charlene Wang
Charlene Wang
Qualia VP of MarketingJune 6

Product Marketing is a highly cross-functional team that sits at the intersection of all customer-facing and product teams, which can be exciting and create a lot of challenges. Product Marketers often end up falling into one of two categories: a catch all for content requests or the engine of go-to-market strategy. To be a strategic partner to the business, Product Marketing leaders need to build trust-based relationships across teams and prioritize areas that move the needle.

 

A common challenge is that other teams don’t understand the role of Product Marketing, which leads to conflict over roles and responsibilities or missed opportunities to collaborate. This can happen with teams that work closest with Product Marketing, such as Product Management, Demand Generation, Sales Ops or Enablement, and more. To address this, Product Marketing needs to clearly communicate what Product Marketing does, develop an understanding of how other teams work, and demonstrate the value of a strong Product Marketing function, including articulating how this helps everyone win.

 

Another challenge is setting expectations. Teams throughout the organization generally want additional collateral and enablement. Product Marketers who say yes to all these requests end up peanut buttered across too many projects and unable to move the needle. Product Marketing leaders need to prioritize work based on impact to revenue and customers, saying no to projects that prevent the team from focusing on the most important areas. To do so effectively, leaders should also demonstrate accountability back to the organization by explaining where Product Marketing is focused and why some asks are deprioritized. When done well, a focused Product Marketing team will drive better outcomes, while earning the trust of people throughout the organization.

475 Views
Tracy Montour
Tracy Montour
HiredScore Head of Product MarketingAugust 2

Standing up a new Product Marketing function is both a great opportunity and a great challenge. Over the last year, I have been standing up the PMM function at my current company. I can share that is has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career!

On the plus side, you are not inheriting any inefficient processes or bad habits. But on the other side, there is no organizational muscle memory for how to work with PMM - this will be your biggest challenge.

Start building relationships early. Meet with key stakeholders every week, push to get into the meetings you need to be in, and get alignment on how you can help them meet their goals.

Another thing I've done, which has been very successful, was creating a "How to Work with Product Marketing" deck. i show every new person in the company this deck during their first week and let me know clear examples of how to work with my team. 

I hope this helps!

297 Views
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