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What are the most important relationships to get right as a Product Marketing Manager?

7 Answers
Hila Segal
Hila Segal
WalkMe Vice President, Product MarketingJanuary 28

Building diverse working relationships with different stakeholders across the organization is one of the most critical secret powers of a successful product marketer. Doing that not only gives you access to information and knowledge, but it will also help you collaborate more effectively on major projects. Here are the tops internal relationships you need to master:

  • Product managers - think about this relationship like a true marriage, and your children are the products you bring to market together (and raise them to become successful adults). Trust, honesty, and open communications are key to success here. 
  • Growth & content marketers - these are your partners in driving demand for your products. Make sure they are educated and excited about new product capabilities and work with them to design high-impact campaigns. 
  • Sellers and sales leaders - I don't believe you can be successful as a PMM if you're not engaged with the sales team regularly. Hear what's working and what's not, work with them on new tools to drive deal velocity, learn from them about the competition, and help them win. Invest here and build relationships from the individual rep level to the regional VPs and revenue leaders. 
  • Customer success - If you're in SaaS, driving cross-sell and up-sell revenue from existing customers is as important as generating net new dollars from your product. Customer success are your partners in driving customer interest and engagement.
1702 Views
Holly Watson
Holly Watson
Amazon Product Marketing SME, AWSFebruary 10

Product Marketing sits in a highly cross-functional area of the organization. The relationships with Product, Sales, and Marketing are crucial to foster and ensure you get right. This is not an easy tasks and it is never really done. Establish recurring syncs and opportunities to align on big projects, objectives, and goals. Encourage each PMM on the team to nurture 1:1 relationships with their colleagues in these departments. We can often fall into the habit of large group calls or big team meetings - while these are necessary, sometimes a simple 1:1 slack and a short call between individuals can be very powerful in not only getting the job done, but also developing a strong trust between partners.

1226 Views
Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Snowflake Head (VP) of Global Sales EnablementMarch 11

For B2B sales, based on my experience, I would say its the following (1) Product (2) Sales/SEs and (3) Corporate Marketing.   

Product: because well you need to know about the "product" in product marketing! 

Sales/SEs/CSG because they will be your first customers and users of your products. Pitch to them before you considering pitching to customers. 

And lastly, Corporate Marketing because you need those relationships for the outbound portion of your job - campaigns, blogs, SEO, lead generation, etc. 

767 Views
Kevin Au
Kevin Au
BILL Vice President Of Product ManagementFebruary 24

A PMM has one of the most cross-functional roles in most organizations and developing those strong relationships with key stakeholders is critical. While there are many relationships you have to develop, I believe the top three most important relationships to cultivate and get right are:

1) Product Manager/UX designer - One of the keys to a successful product launch is to ensure you're providing the right product experience. By having a strong relationship with your PM and UX designer will allow you to effectively influence the product roadmap 

2) Sales / Customer Success - Assuming you have a B2B PMM role with a salesforce, sales and customer success are your key channels to market your product as well as provide that continual customer feedback loop.

3) Growth marketer - you're ready to launch and are ready to scale. You want to be 100% aligned with your demand generation marketer to ensure you are implementing the right channel strategy to generate the buzz and awareness of your new product launch.

674 Views
Jeff Beckham
Jeff Beckham
Gem Head of MarketingMay 7

Product and Sales are always the biggest, at least at B2B companies. The one that matters more depends on whether you’re in a product-led or sales-led organization. There’s no circumstance in which you can neglect one of the two, but when you need to make hard tradeoffs about where to spend time, I recommend optimizing for how your company operates.

Those are obvious, so I’ll give you two that have really helped me, but may be more unconventional.

  1. Design. A product marketer is only half what they could be without a great designer. You need incredible visuals for your pitch deck narratives to shine and for the carefully-crafted messaging on your website to have maximum effect. I’m fortunate to have an incredible design team at Mixpanel that makes the PMM team’s work stand out (shout out to Mike and Alex!). To get this relationship right, design needs to be real partners in the vision for what you’re producing, and not just executors, or they won’t do their best work.
  2. Your own management chain. This especially applies if your CMO / Head of Marketing came up on the demand gen or brand side of the house. Someone with that background may not intuitively understand the value product marketing provides, because they haven’t operated in the role. Compounding things, PMM work can be hard to measure at times, even though it’s essential. It’s easy to tie paid marketing to an ROI, but when PMM is done right, it’s not always that simple.

    If you want the head of marketing to advocate for you, it’s important to understand their priorities and how PMM can fit in. Is the head of product always breathing down their neck that the right things aren’t being marketed? Or is the bigger problem that the sales team doesn’t feel supported with the right collateral and talking points? If you help solve the problems that matter to your department head (and the company) they’ll forever be in your corner.
829 Views
Leandro Margulis
Leandro Margulis
Prove Head of ProductSeptember 8

While all relationships are important, having the right relationship with Product (Product Manager counterparts) is critical, so you can provide them the input about customers and market that can influence the PM's roadmap in a positive way. That said, relationship with Sales are also critical, as you may be supporting them with the right materials for them to do their job.

325 Views
Yvonne Chow
Yvonne Chow
Zennify Director of Product MarketingOctober 12

Product marketers can make the most impact by deeply understanding the entire buyer-to-user lifecycle. In addition to working very closely with the Product org, I would add that we need to work closely with:

  • The Sales org:

    • Presales and Sales: These teams help us understand what makes a prospect a potential buyer. I ask to listen into sales calls or discovery calls to:

      • Understand what questions they ask

      • See if the pitch is resonating

      In return, I use these insights to refine messaging, value prop, and sometimes even the personas if we have too many lost deals.

  • The Success/Delivery org:

    • CSMs, Professional Services: These teams help us understand what keeps a user on our platform. I get my success stories from these relationships. I also identify key accounts that I may want as pilot customers for a launch (which typically is a sweetener for some customers as they get first access, and usually free/discounted access, to new products/features).

      In return, I get feedback on what features or developments need to be prioritized, which may help with some sticky deals.

237 Views
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