All related (44)
Eric Chang
Director, Product Marketing at 1Password
You'll often see something like go-to-market strategy/planning/execution mentioned as the most important skill for product marketers. While this isn't untrue, there is a key blend of hard/soft skills that enable a product marketer to really drive a successful GTM motion. I'll share my thoughts on the top 3 soft and hard skills that every great product marketer should have. Soft Skills 1. Navigating Ambiguity - This is really a blend of multiple soft skills (adaptability, problem solving, organization) but is a good way to summarize THE key soft skill that every PMM should have. P...more
Indy Sen
VP Marketing at PopSQL | Formerly Matterport, WeWork, Google, Mulesoft, Box, Salesforce
Influencing: You need the ability to inspire and drive cross-functional teams, often without any of the "authority". Cross matrixed orgs FTW, baby. Storytelling: You can turn a plot into a narrative (see answer above). You have a knack for finding that storytelling hook that gets to your why this solution, and why now? Positioning: You can distill a product's features and benefits into something that's aspirational and make the audience feel like this product is uniquely suited to their needs, and can even turn them into a better version of themselves. This is true whether you're marketin...more
Marcus Andrews
Director of Product Marketing at Pendo.io
Here are the biggest 2 - communication and teamwork.  PMMs are one of the most cross functional roles in marketing / most companies. You have to be able to bring teams together and create momentum where none exists. This is hard to do if you're not a good collaborater / teammate. Skills like empathy, low ego, enthusiasm, transparency, and more come in real handy here.  The other big one is communication. Maybe it's controversial but PMM is a communications job. A huge part of our value is taking product updates and packaging and positioing them so they are easier to understand and sell or...more
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable

I answered this above in my answer around soft and hard skills but if I were to pick my top, universally important skills for a PMM they would be: 

  • Messaging and positioning 
  • Cross-functional excellence 
  • Understanding of data
  • Market, customer and competitor knowledge
  • Process management

From there, it really depends on your specific role and where you want to specialize. The skills each PMM has really depends on what's needed for them in their role. 

Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Samsung
In my opinion, I think the most important skill needed to be a great product marketer is sales (specifically pitching). You have to be able to get in front of a customer and pitch your product well. This means understanding your customer's needs, explaining your value proposition in the first 90 seconds, succinctly showing how your product can solve your customer's problems, and why your product is better than other products that s/he is considering. My ex-boss (CEO of Leadspace and former CMO of Salesforce) told me that 75% of my value as a product marketer comes from creating the perf...more
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing) at Square
Covered this a bit in another question. PMM can bring a very strong customer perspective when it comes to product development. To have a seat at the table though, you have to do the work. This is what we do to bring customers perspective to our product teams: * Visit, shadow, do work at our customers. No research can compare to the insights you get by actually being in the shoes of our customers - in our case, small businesses * Talk to customer facing teams (Sales, Account Management, Support) and synthesize feedback. They are on the frontline all the time. You will be surpr...more
Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director at Eightfold.ai

I'll take a more nuts & bolts approach to this question. The two skills I see as mandatory are writing ability and presentation ability. With the ability to write and speak well, a PMM just isn't going to be effective and is more likely to be a great product manager.

Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing at 3Gtms
I completely agree with 3/4 of James' list (project management is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have, IMO). But I'll go ahead and get even less obvious: 1. Introversion. Introverts make great product marketers because we're typically keen observers. Empathy and observational skills enable the product marketer to really understand a wide variety of audiences. 2. Writing. It doesn't help to understand a wide range of audiences if you can't communicate effectively with them. Know how to write, and how to write and what format is appropriate for a particular audience and situation. 3. ...more
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: having the product marketing title doesn’t automatically mean you get to influence the roadmap. You have to put in the work and show your value to get a seat at the table. There are three big levers to pull here to help you shift the way product marketing works from a team that’s just responsible for the launch of a product to one that’s involved in the entire product process. 1. Create a partnership with your PM: When you’re thinking about how to influence, you’re probably thinking about managing up and influencing people who are more se...more
James Winter
VP of Marketing at Spekit
I'll touch on a few of the slightly less obvious ones: Curiosity: I think curiosity is one of the most important traits you can have in product marketing. The role is often ambiguously defined and many times it will fall on product marketing to discover where the most effective areas to spend their time are. Empathy: If, like me, you subscribe to the idea that product marketing is primarily a customer centric function, that means that you must be able to quickly and effectively grasp things that are important to the customer. Internal Communication: Product marketing should be i...more
Scott Hornstein
Partner at B2P Partners

Empathy is a critical skill, and it is in short supply. Your customers only care about what matters to them. Engage them in structured conversations. Listen carefully. Then reread your messaging to see if it resonates. Look to see if your message is in channels they trust. Data will tell you alot, but actual people will tell you what matters.

LeTisha Shaw
Director, Product Marketing at UserTesting

Yes, this is a pretty standard PMM interview question. When I ask, I am typically looking to see if the candidate understands product launch and go-to-market fundamentals. I'm also interested in which parts of the launch they led (i.e. was it a specific marketing channel or soup-to-nuts?). 

I also like to ask different variations of this question, like "tell me about a product launch that did not go well and you had to get back on track" because let's be honest, not every launch goes exactly the way we plan :)

Ross Overline
Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Fivestars
Asking for a raise is tricky. Ultimately, you need to be driving value, right? That can be broken down quantitatively, but also qualitatively.   Quant: What impact are you having on funnels? Run A/B tests to prove that your strategies are driving impact. How have NPS and sentiment changed?   Qual: Do you have strong relationships with stakeholders? Are you driving value through strategy, creative, and channel partnerships?   I would also recommend using your companies job ladder as a tool, or if you don't have one, job descriptions for other similar roles. If you're a PMM and the expe...more
Leandro Margulis
Head of Product Marketing at Prove

Well, the question of "What is Product Marketing" Could mean different things at different companies, but my answer is that we provide the voice of the market and the voice of the customer internally to the product manager so we can build products that resonate with our audience, and we are the voice of the product externally providing the appropriate messaging and positioning to go to market.