Who owns messaging and positioning in a product marketing org?
With a team of two product marketers, I'd opt for collaboration. Why? Well, product marketing teams are small, but collaboration is how we make 1+1 = 3. Differentiating your roles by function on a small team doesn't make sense, especially for foundational, strategic exercises like positioning and messaging. Even if one PMM takes the lead on drafting the positioning and messaging, I suggest the other PMM follows fast with feedback, and both partner closely to finalize and align on the output. One of the most critical skills product marketers offer is the ability to collaborate closely to compound value. Together, your work will be more valuable, and you'll elevate the importance of product marketing in your organization, which is critical to the team's success and future growth.
I would first define ownership of each product marketer - whether that is by product, solution, vertical, etc. depending on your business and market.
I would then work on positioning guardrails together to collaborate on how you will and will not tell the story of your products. At the end, the most important thing is that your product narrative is consistent across all channels and your audience should see it as coming from one cohesive voice. Collaboration is important, but just as important is ownership. There are several approaches to get messaging and positioning right. The product marketer who owns it makes the call on which path is the right one to take.
At Fivetran, product marketing owns it. One of the main reasons is because our buyers and users are very technical folks who are turned off by fluffy marketing. As a result, our messaging must be very straight forward, factual, and concise. So it makes sense for that to originate with our Product Marketing team who knows the Product well and are constantly in communication with customers. We are only now developing more of our brand messaging - and even then Product Marketing is heavily involved to ensure we don't over promise or stray too far from what customers say about us.
On a more granular level, across a PMM team, I don't believe there is one way to divy up messaging. We developed core messaging around our product itself and what customers - regardless of use case or feature - love about us. If we all align on that, then any additional messaging we create should ladder back up or supplement that. For example, one of our pillars for our messaging is that we are easy to use. This comes across in discussions of our automation, easy set up, etc. But, then, when we were bringing a new product to marketing - transformations - and we thought about our messaging there we knew it had to funnel up to ease of use. So a lot of our messaging there is about how transformations in particular is easy to use.
All of that to say, my advice would be for you two to align on the key messaging and then you can better divide and conquer your particular areas, use cases, or products.
I'd ask: What is you most significant marketing effort where you have to align on messaging and positioning? Is it your website? Is it sales kickoff? Is it a brand campaign? Look for the place where your most important stakeholders are organically engaging, whoever is most critical in this effort, should also own your messaging and positioning.
It's very hard to create energy and momentum for messaging without a compelling event or tactic. Use that compelling event and date....and whoever is aligned to that compelling event.