All related (101)
Mandy Schafer
Group Product Marketing Manager- Enterprise, MiroJune 11

I'm going to talk about my experience at really early stage companies, at this point, everyone is doing everything, so the priority is to create some strcuture to help every get aligned on the same goals. When I’ve been the first Product Marketer, or only one establishing the PMM function the first thing I do is meet with sales, product and the rest of marketing to identify the gaps. Generally is there's that piece missing between Product and marketing/sales to message what has been built, and so forth. To solve for this I start building out a a messaging map to help define what our core persona is, the main problems we are solivng for and what are key messages should be. I also use this messaging map to help structure out how we should talk about our features by grouping like features and ideas together 

This map creates the foundation requirements I need to help starting to
1) Build collateral with your marketing and sales teams
2) Create a cohesive narrative across the company to help keep everyone aligned.
3) Set up the foundation of how you want to structure the PMM team as it aligns to the product and features that your company offers. This will help you build out additional PMM roles and define responsibilities as your company grows.

Sarah Khogyani
Group Product Marketing Manager, CoinbaseMay 25

First, I listen. It's important to understand in depth why these needs/deliverables are being asked of Product Marketing. What is the underlying problem? How can Product Marketing solve this? 

Then, I assess company goals and revenue by product. The Product Marketing function is meant to support the company goals and I find that using this as a guidepost for prioritization is key. Assessing revenue by product helps as another factor in prioritization, but isn't the only factor as some companies may prioritize growth of a new product rather than optimizing their existing successful one.

From there, it's an exercise of documenting the asks and prioritizing what will make the most impact in terms of supporting company goals and return on investment. Alignment with leadership and communicating these priorities internally is a great way to keep your team focused on the most impactful work.

Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®October 7

At Zapier I approached this by starting with a mission statement to describe why our team exists and the work we aim to uniquely do for the company: “PMM exists to maximize Zapier’s market opportunities by (1) clarifying where we win and (2) driving GTM strategy for product success.” I then defined responsibilities that align to (1) like TAM, market segmentation, personas, positioning, competitive analysis, etc. and separately to (2) like working with Product validate market opportunities, designing and executing betas that ensure product/market fit, and of course planning and executing launches. Lastly, I made sure to socialize this charter around the org to ensure awareness and buy-in that this was the direction we were heading as a team.

This is a very different scope from what PMM was doing when I joined — I often talk about it as charting a course from PMM 1.0 to PMM 2.0 with the expectation that getting to the full potential of PMM 2.0 will take quarters if not years. Thus when it comes to prioritization, I’m always asking myself “where do I see a combination of ripe business context, willing partners/stakeholders, and PMM team capacity for us to tackle an initiative that will take us more in the direction of PMM 2.0?” This requires hard prioritization conversations with stakeholder teams where we say no to some requests that come in in order to create the space for the bigger, more strategic efforts that pay long-term dividends. But without those tough conversations, the team wouldn’t ever get to PMM 2.0.

Jennifer Kay
Senior Director Product Marketing, HomebaseOctober 11

Every company and every growth stage is different so the evaluative framework you utilize needs some flexibility. I recommend that your framework is developed in tandem with your partner stakeholders early on and is communicated often. A reliable framework includes a clear organizing principal, inputs, outputs/ impact, measurements, and timelines. As a first product marketer, I'd also advocate including a line item for dependencies and cross functional asks. Once you start building momentum in an organization, the asks come in quickly and from multiple directions. Your framework will allow you better yield management and help you organize and prioritize where you dedicate your efforts.

Jasmine Jaume
Director, PMM - Support & Platform, IntercomOctober 23

I don't have a set framework as such, but this is the approach I'd take:

  • Meet with stakeholders across the business to understand what's working, where the gaps are that PMM might be able to fill, and ask what they think is the highest priority. Ask lots of questions to understand what the underlying need/problem is, as the 'solution' people ask for might not always be the best way to solve the problem or might be better solved by another team. This is also a great opportunity to start educating others on what PMM does and how they should expect to work with you, if it's a new function. Identifying some small 'quick wins' can help establish your credibility and build relationships with those stakeholders. 
  • Understand the business strategy and goals. This will help you know what you're working towards, and then you can prioritise needs based on whether they will help towards those goals. 
  • Get to know your customers and your market. As well as understanding the pain points internally, it's also helpful to understand your current position in the market, how your product is perceived, how you stack up against competitors, what your customers say about you and so on. This should help you identify the highest priority areas - especially where these align with internal needs (for example, if your sales team is complaining you are losing deals to a specific competitor, and then you also find that the market doesn't know how you're differentiated, that may be a sign that you need to strengthen your messaging and enablement against that competitor)
  • Think about what you want you and your team to be focused on. It's easy for PMM to end up as a 'catch all' and end up doing a ton of things that aren't really product marketing, especially if the marketing team overall is small. That might be what the business needs at that time, and that's ok, but knowing where you want to get to will help you advocate for more resources and moving that work out of the team in the longer term. 
Natalie Louie
Head of Marketing, MobileCoinJanuary 11

I start with my phases of success for a PMM in my first 100 days here. Through this process I create my priorities and ensure I have executive alignment on them. I always get feedback from my leadership team.

I find that people often want the same thing but are saying it differently – identify this when it happens to bring alignment back on your priorities. Before any cross-functional meeting to get alignment or approval, make sure you’ve already shown your ideas to one or more people to get their advanced feedback and buyin. Some people, especially leaders have other context you don’t have. This is key to getting successful alignment.

Also look here on how to build internal consensus on what you want to deliver. 

Jason Oakley
Sr. Director of Product Marketing, KlueJanuary 2

I'm still trying to master this one, but here's what I'm doing at Klue (I'm in my first month at the company). 

Create your PMM Charter

With the input of your boss and other leaders in the company, you'll first want to define what PMM looks like at your org. This helps set the guardrails for what product marketing is repsonsible for at your org and what your main objectives are. This will take into consideration what the top priorities are for company leadership.  

Set out on a priority finding mission

In your first month or so, you have the opportunity to have a ton of 1:1 conversations as a new employee. During these conversations, I ask everyone if they have any priorities or asks for product marketing. I use all of this to create a master list of all the internal priorities/projects that people would "like" my team to focus on. 

I also like to do a content audit, focusing on all of the collateral that's leveraged throughout the sales cycle. I'll map the existing assets to the sales process and try to uncover gaps, or things that need updating. 

After all of the steps above, you'll likely have a sizeable list of competing projects that you need to prioritize. Some factors to include in how you weight each project:

  • What impact can this have on revenue and how soon?
  • Is it tied to an existing deadline, like an upcoming product launch?
  • Who is requesting it? Is the CEO asking for this, or is it a one-off request from a sales rep? 
  • Does it fall within your charter, or is it outside the scope of product marketing at your org?
  • Where does it fit into your strategic objectives for that year, quarter, etc. 

I would map this all out in a spreadsheet or project board and circulate it between a few key stakeholders in the company, ie. your boss, Head of Product, Head of Sales, Head of CS, the CEO, etc. You could even send them the raw list and ask them to rank it in terms of priority. 

Using this feedback I'd create your final, prioritized project list. They key is to then make it available to everyone in your company so everyone can see where things fall and why. 

Sharadhi (Gadagkar) Patel
Director, Product and Solutions Marketing, HopinJune 1

As mentioned before, product marketing is one of the most cross-functional roles of any in most companies. And as such, you’ll be getting requests for projects and deliverables from every angle. The first thing I try to understand is: what responsibilities fall under me vs. another team (ie: is there a separate pricing team? Enablement team? Market research team?)

Once my purview is clear, I put together a Product Marketing Charter (my PMM mission, PMM pillars, responsibilities under each pillar) to share with my stakeholders, to help structure our conversations around what is top of mind for them and where they need support. I like to create a table of all these requests, the stakeholders who have requested them, and understand the effort level of each request. More often than not, you’ll start to see overlapping requests or challenges across multiple teams. That’s where I like to focus first, to help make the biggest impact with the limited time or resources I have.

Jessica Webb Kennedy
Head Of Marketing, Tailscale | Formerly Atlassian (Trello), HubSpot, LyftJune 16

As stated above, PMM wears so many hats it's important to recognize what is needed at any stage of a company. When first coming into an organization as the first PMM I think the most important thing to do is establish what does and doesn't exist. I think this is the right order of things that should happen first but if you come into an organization and feel that some of these things are already in a good place you can skip to the next step. That being said, when you are new to a company you have a fresh and unbiased perspective that only lasts for a few months - use those fresh eyes to your advantage! Write down all of your thoughts and learnings so you can look back at them later.

1. Interview internal stakeholders

2. Interview end-users

3. Competitive analysis

4. Align on and/or tweak the positioning

5. Sales enablement 

6. Design GTM plans

Andy Schumeister
Director of Product Marketing, SourcegraphJune 4

I generally use a modified version of the Eisenhower Matrix (I just learned the name). On the spectrum of "not urgent to urgent" and "not important to important," you should prioritize the deliverables/needs that are both urgent and important. When you're the first product marketer, it's easy to fall into the trap of just prioritizing the urgent needs without evaluating the relative importance. 

When you're building out a new function, spend time meeting with the teams you'll be working with to understand their pain points and needs. Then, layer in your understanding of which pain points/needs product marketing is uniquely fit to support and create a plan. This will help you understand the urgency and importance of the various opportunities.

Document your thoughts and share them broadly to confirm you're tackling the right things and in the right order of priority. Having a shared/common understanding of priorities will make it easier to justify why you are/aren't working on something.

More importantly, give yourself time to build out the function. If you reactively tackle every request that comes your way, you won't be able to build the foundation that you need to be successful or spend time hiring the right team.

Meredith Davis Shields
Head of Product Marketing and Insights, ChimeJuly 26

Chances are you will inherit a number of projects in queue Day 1. Do your best to deliver on those projects to drive results out of the gate. This will instantly help you build credibility with colleagues. That said, start thinking about a learning agenda for each of your org's big areas. At Chime we have built LAs for banking, credit, liquidity and insurance. The PMMs on my team work lock step with PM, UX, etc. to translate Chime's goals into a series of powerful initiatives twice a year. From there they set up a series of experiments and /or new feature - product launches. They work together to 1- knowledge map existing insights and data to inform the LA and 2- outline what is still left to learn. They then sequence the work. Having a formidable LA for each "vertical" really helps everyone with a single point of truth document. New opportunties, partnerships, scope will inevitably crop up. Having really solid LAs will help you more easily re-negotiate the work within each agenda and have thoughtful conversations with your partners ala, "Is [blank] now higher leverage than [blank] or do we stay the course, look for additional resourcing and capacity or backlog something else to make it happen?"

Jasmine Anderson Taylor
Senior Director, Product Marketing, InstacartJune 2

Only a few weeks into my current role, I’m living this one in real-time! For myself, I’ve created the following approach: Listen → Set Expectations → Execute → Close the Loop. For prioritizing needs/deliverables, I spend as much time as possible listening and understanding what is most pressing for the business immediately (and then mid and longer term). The key here is to determine where the business needs product marketing the most. When you’re the first PMM, it can be incredibly natural for everyone to welcome you on to their project -- there will be so much product marketing to do! So it’s important in the early days that you never bite off more than you can chew and no one is under the impression that you’ll work on more than you feasibly can.

Perhaps you’re coming in during planning, then you’re focused on helping identify key insights that can help shape the roadmap. If you’re coming in mid-stream, then you dive in to try to strengthen the most immediate and high stakes launches. Often it’s a mix of both. Wherever you’re coming into the cycle, choose these initiatives intentionally and ensure key partners agree with your prioritization.

From there, it’s about flawless execution and communicating internally as projects reach milestones and meet objectives.

JD Prater
Head Of Marketing, OsmosJanuary 7

This can definitely be a challenge whether you're the first or tenth PMM at a company. I'm a fan of working backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for the product team or from the sales team. From there, I like to ladder needs/deliverables up to team goals and business goals (impact). Then I'll stackrank them based on perceived effort of the deliverable. 

Essentially, I'm creating an 2X2 grid based on business impact and perceived effort to complete the task.

JD Prater
Head Of Marketing, Osmos
I suggest combining pieces from my answers to these questions.  1. What's your framework to prioritizing needs/deliverables when you're the first Product Marketer at a company establishing the function?   2. How do you think about your first 30/60/90 day goals when coming in as the Head of Product Marketing in a startup that didn't have product marketing before? 
Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
Not sure I completely answer the question. Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they effectively launch a product/feature and properly engage the right cross-functional partners to make that launch a success? Are they outcome-oriented and think about the metrics they're trying to drive with a given launch? Those are just a few things that I would be looking for ...
Brianne Shally
Head of Product Marketing, Nextdoor
* B2B and B2C are both H2H (human to human) marketing at the end of the day. I’ve seen folks try to say there's a strong distinction and to ‘pick a lane’. I’m of the mindset that B2B and B2C are more similar than different. I’ve found my experience in B2B especially, in demand gen, has helped me with B2C thinking through app store activations and vice versa.  * That said, here’s the minor nuances that I’m oversimplifying:  * Sales Enablement: You must work closely with the Sales team to ensure they are prepared with a deep understanding of the marketplace, personas, ...
Laura Jones
Chief Marketing Officer, Instacart
  To establish credibility with a new team, the first step is understanding the team's need, laying out a vision for how you can best add value, and aligning around expectations. It is important to know the user, the market, and the product so that you can engage with the cross-functional team in a meaningful way from day one. With a clear set of objectives and foundational understanding of the space, you can quickly begin to make an impact on the team.  
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®
30 days: Balance being an absolute sponge and learning by doing. Be a sponge by reading every doc you can get your hands on (enablement materials, case studies, team quarterly/annual plans, research studies, etc.), talking to as many prospects and customers as possible, and scheduling 1:1s with both stakeholders and company leadership. Learn by doing by getting involved in low-risk, low-hanging fruit activities where a PMM touch is needed but perhaps don’t require a ton of context. 60 days: Hopefully you’ve gained enough context by 30 days to start to get an idea of what the big challenges...
Carrie Zhang
Product Lead (fmr Head of Product Marketing), 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...
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Airtable
Everyone’s definition of soft and hard skills differs, but here are the nine skills that I think are the most important for a product marketer to have. I've used these skills as a compass to help me grow in my own career and have turned them into a success guide for my team at Envoy to use: Soft skills: * Cross-functional excellence: As a PMM, you have the opportunity to lead without being a manager of people. A strong product marketer is someone who takes others along with them, rather than telling people exactly what they want them to do. They’re able to create strong relation...
LeTisha Shaw
Director, Product Marketing, 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 :)
Mike Polner
VP Marketing, Cameo | Formerly Uber, Fivestars, Electronic Arts
I think there has been a massive shift in just the awareness and momentum around Consumer Product Marketing overall. When I joined Eats 3 years ago as the first Consumer PMM, everybody was asking what this role was and how we were different than Brand Marketing or Performance Marketing. Not only at Uber has that changed dramatically, but also, within the industry there has been a really evolution of folks who would traditionally be in "Brand Management" roles at CPG companies starting to move into PMM roles at tech companies. I think there are a lot of similiarities between those two actual...