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Valerie Angelkos
VP of Product Marketing at Howl | Formerly GoogleMay 23

I started my career in Marketing (Brand Marketing, CPG) and always loved the intersection of consumer/customers, brand building, and business ownership. I went to business school to transition industries - from CPG into Tech - and locations - from Latin America to the US. MBA folks would know that most schools advise to only switch one out of three variables (industry, location, function). I chose two.

During this search, I explored and interviewed for both options: Product Marketing and Product Management. What drove me towards Product Marketing is that I still got to experience the aspects of Brand Marketing and Business that I loved, but now with product(s) as the core of my role, a vast amount of space to learn more, the ability to move from high-level strategy to detailed execution, and a much more innovative and fast-pacing environment.

I had to develop a number of skillsets, including: 1) Going deeper on user insights and behaviors, designing and executing end-to-end market research, 2) Understanding technology both on the Consumer Apps (Video Calling, YouTube) and B2B side (Google Ads, and now Plaid), 3) Develop deep data-knowledge for any of the products I worked at in order to speak the same language as the rest of my tech counterparts, and more. 

Jessica Webb Kennedy
Head Of Marketing at Tailscale | Formerly Atlassian (Trello), HubSpot, LyftDecember 8

Great question and I've thought about this a lot, I LOVE watching Product Managers work and think that the problems they tackle are super fascinating, that being said, I'm a marketer at heart. I think PMMs are lucky to be in a position where we get to work super closely with PMs but our jobs are very different. I like Product Marketing because it's so versatile, what I do from day-to-day can really vary but I also get to really own things and take them from start to finish, collaborating with tons of people along the way. Product Marketing to me is the "connector" role, your job requires interfacing with so many different teams and people and that is what makes it so exciting to me. PMs are in the nitty-gritty a lot, and for me personally, I prefer looking at the big picture and zooming in on the details but not spending my entire day focusing on one particular thing.

Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach at November 19

I suppose that answer varies for everyone. For me, it was simply about being more comfortable with marketing than with product management. I didn’t really know what product marketing was until a few years into my marketing career but once I got into it, I loved it. In hindsight, I don't regret it for a second. Having said that, there is obviously an overlap and each position must intimately understand the other. 

Lauren Barraco
VP, Marketing at Inscribe November 17

Oh I love this question! For me, my background is in both PMM and PM... and I believe that my future will be too. As you continue in your product career, you'll find that every organization has their own "classification" of these two roles and that a lot of the responsibilities really blend across the two teams. Sometimes PMM is responsible for pricing, sometimes PM is. Sometimes PMM is responsible for competitive intel, sometimes PM is. So, it's really about what you like about your PMM role and finding an organization that aligns to that.