All related (32)
Daniel Kuperman
Head of Core Product Marketing & GTM, ITSM Solutions, AtlassianApril 8

I believe that adding more people to your team needs to follow the needs of the business. This means making sure you can break down the goals or OKRs that you, as a PMM leader, is responsible for and outlining the key initiatives that will help you achieve them. Part of this exercise is to also identify what you can and what you cannot do with the current team. For example, you may list out things such as "create competitor battle cards, conduct win/loss analysis, write 3 new whitepapers, implement a new campaign strategy". Great, you have all of these key initiatives that you have connected with key business goals. Now, who on your team will do that? If you only have one person reporting to you, there's only so much you two can do. The next step then is to explicitly call out what you will NOT be able to do. A good idea is to put your plan on a page with items that are your high priority and items that fall "below the line", i.e. not enough resources to execute.

As you share this with your boss and the rest of the executive team at your company, one of two things will happen. You will either be told OK, we understand there are things you won't be able to do and we don't have the budget to get you more help; or you will then be told OK, we see that you need more people to help execute! 

So getting back to the question about scaling the team, I believe that if you are able to make a case for more resources and you get the budget to hire one, two, three, or more people for your team you gotta think about them in terms of what key priorities they will have so that you can look for the right skills to hire. Make sure that as your team scales your contribution to the business grows proportionally and you will be able to scale the right way.

Alexa Scordato
PMO, TikTokAugust 14

The first 2 PMM's are going to wear many hats and serve many masters. There's unfortunately no way around that given the breadth of the function. The biggest tension is striking the balance between supporting product, supporting sales, and establishing an operational cadence for go-to-market (GTM) within the organization. I believe that a pod of 3-4 PMMs is really when the team can start hitting its stride by working across insights, GTM, and sales enablement. Until then, there are always going to be many competing priorities and the need to do more with less. My best advice for how to advocate for more resources: 1) Address the pain points of your functional leaders in sales and product. "If I had one more person, this is what I'd be able to do for you and your team..." Having 2 functions go to a C-level advocating for a full-time hire is a lot easier than 1! 2) Address the pain points of the business. "Churn is a real problem at the company and here are the initiatives that product marketing can do to support that..." Speak in terms of overall business KPI's vs. tactics or functional responsibilities 

Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 16

This depends a lot on the companies business goals. In the beginning you'll be on the hook to support the GTM with assets so focus on content creation. It's pointless trying to be too strategic in the early stages. Look to the exec team for priorities and focus on the most important use cases and value drivers your GTM needs help with. 

As the team grows think about the best way to support your messaging and positioning. Is if easier to focus on the personas for your product (good when there are multiple buyers) or to focus on value pillars (good when the solution is more complex). That gives a blueprint for how to start to organize your team. 

Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing, Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, SalesforceMay 19

Make sure every early hire you go for has a clear "mission" - what are you going to get from that person. What problem are you going to target them at. Once you start to get past hiring to solve specific problems - refer to my other answer about how you think about coverage of market / product intersections, that's where you start to get scale.

Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

One effective way to scale a PMM team is to understand what the business needs and align PMMs to support those needs or goals. But, what a business needs can range from gaps in employee skill sets to stalling revenue growth. 

For example,

  • Is your business investing in entering a new vertical? Maybe they need PMM support in understanding the market dynamics and consumer behaviors in that industry or space 
  • Is your Product team building new feature bundles or entirely new product suites? They might need customer research to support product development, pricing, or go-to-market support when the product is ready to launch. 
  • Is there a product or feature that is struggling to get adoption? Is your sales team aware of their target customer? Are they enabled with product and feature knowledge that helps them communicate the value? 

You can start with looking for the gaps in the organization that PMMs are uniquely positioned to fill and fill them. Or, look for goals that aren't being met and try to deliver on them. Or, find a growth opporunity that the business may want to double down on and support that growth Anytime you can add value to an organziation, your team will likely scale. 

Sarah Din
VP of Product Marketing, QuickbaseJanuary 20

To scale any team you want to do it thoughtfully, and have a clear plan in place before you go on a hiring binge. 

  • Have the right foundation in place before you bring on more PMMs. For instance, have the basic tools or processes in place because once you scale your team, it's much harder to define those. For instance, a GTM process, a basic messaging framework, etc.
  • You also want to make sure that the role of PMM in your org is clearly defined and communicated throughout. It's important to first establish what the roles and responsibilities of this team should be /will be so that when you hire new people, there is no ambiguity in what they are responsible for.
  • Create your ideal org chart, regardless of the headcount you do have, and then prioritize the roles that are the most critical and focus on hiring those first. This will vary for each org and depend on the current priorities of your organization, but it's important to have an idea of how you want to structure the team, and how they will work with each other as well.
JD Prater
Head Of Marketing, ArcadeJanuary 8

The first PMM must provide a ton of value for the company. Generally speaking, it's value measured by impact on revenue. They also need to get along with other stakeholders (sales, product, CS, marketing). Lastly, they need to have execuitve sponsorship. That's the trifecta all PMMs should strive for.

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

Hire contractors to fill in gaps as they pop up and if they are rockstars and you find yourself with open head count, convert them to full time.

Know what your weaknesses are and hire PMMs who balance those. Hire PMMs with different superpowers – you want a well rounded team. PMM teams are in constant reorg pending what our marketing, product or sales teams are doing, given we support them all. You will want PMMs with different skill sets to be able to dive in quickly when needed.

Spend time developing your PMM’s into full stack ones who can then hire and train junior ones.

If you know you will be hiring several headcount and scaling quickly, hire your senior roles first so that they can help hire your junior roles. It is harder to hire your junior role first, then put a senior person between you both. Also, if you have junior and senior JD’s (job descriptions) out at the same time, everyone is going to want to apply to the senior role.