All related (52)
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Director of Product Marketing & Customer Marketing, Mode AnalyticsJanuary 18

My perspective here is whether you are starting at a larger organization with hundreds of employees or a startup with 40 employees - the first 30 days look roughly the same. This is your window to build up as much context as possible, understand the goals, mission and prioritiies of the business, and identify gaps and areas for impact. The advantage of being at a smaller company is this access to information is much more accessible. People are easier to reach, things are probably still very evergreen - which means a lot of blank space for you to think about how you'd like to build things vs negotiating to adapt what others have built. So I'd spend those first 30 days really getting to know those 40 people - envisioning what you'd like marketing and pmm to look like in the long term and deciding what you can do today that will get you to that longer term vision - ie. start building those bi-lateral product/engineering relationships now. 

Within the first quarter at a scaling B2B SaaS business, I'd imagine you'd want to take a look at how your story is showing up in the market - for your core audience. Do you know who your core audience is? Who is your ideal customer profile, what is their role, industry, company size etc. This is the time that you want to do the work to define this audience, and develop your positioning and messaging so as you scale you know where and how to reach these prospects in a way that converts. Once you have solid positioning and messaging it should be the foundation that your website it built off of, and your sales narratives are crafted from, etc. 

Outside of core positioning and messaging, I'd take some time in the first quarter to define your GTM process, specifically for how to take new products and features to market. If you are starting to scale, and fast - you'll want a repeatable process in place that all of your cross-functional counterparts are aligned with - so you can spend less time re-creating the wheel each launch. 

And lastly (although this list could probably go on and on), another advantage of being at a smaller and earlier stage company is access to customers. Carve out time every week to talk to customers, talk to prospects, listen in on calls - and start to build relationship with these early customers. Those relationships can often times lead to co-marketing, where customers are open to sharing your story through testimonials, customer stories, and positive reviews. These endorsements are crucial for early stage businesses. 

Your first 30 days - 90 days will offer many areas to tackle that will have immediate and often big impact, your key role will be in defining how to prioritize. 

Adam Kerin
SVP of Marketing, TrueworkJanuary 17

I’ll caveat this answer largely depends on your company’s goals, existing team structure, and culture. One should never parachute into a new company with a rigid 30/60/90 plan or assume the recipe for success in your last role will apply here.

First month = Big picture

Learn both your people and your products. Overload on 1:1s, get your hands dirty with the product, and speak to customers. “First seek to understand, then to be understood.”

First quarter = Build the basics

Hiring plan, messaging and positioning frameworks, etc. This could also be establishing the norms like announcement tiers and turnaround times or requirements like customer references before launch.

First year = Boom!

Once you have the understanding and foundation, this is when you can really start to have a more meaningful impact within the company. While you may play catch-up your first quarter launching products ready long before you arrived, the subsequent months are when you can demonstrate the value of a PMM to influence product and sales strategies if involved earlier. Definitely seek smaller wins earlier before this to establish some trust and credibility, but plan to get the basics established before steering the ship.

Lauren Barraco
VP, Marketing, InscribeNovember 19

Start building the foundational materials - product positioning, the pitch deck, messaging guides, launch processes, etc. and get alignment on these early! It's critical to get these pieces done first so that you can scale effectively. As a team of 1, you are going to need to rely on the other people in your org to help you get your product (and message) to market. By having these core materials created and getting buy-in from your execs and cross-functional teams in your first few months, you'll be enabling your team to be more self-sufficient and get some of those critical pieces done without having to wait on you for content or approvals.

Harsha Kalapala
Vice President, Product Marketing, AlertMedia | Formerly TrustRadius, Levelset, WalmartApril 15

There are a lot of things you could do - and it's easy to get distracted as a product marketer. 

First 30 days - Listen, listen, listen. Ask a TON of questions. Hold back from providing ideas unless you are really sure about it. Help others behind the scenes on ongoing projects with work you are good at - like writing or editing copy, preparing slides, etc. Help them look good and make allies. This is also a great way to learn the business. Talk to customers - jump in on existing calls and ask good questions. Get familiar with basic analytics and KPIs - need to know what needle to move and what drives it. 

30-60 days - Make a success plan & set concrete expectations. Create a list of things you are going to focus on to make the most impact on the business. Separate quick wins from strategic work. Have a healthy debate with your boss and cross-functional leaders in sales, product, and customer success. Focus on your first big win that can be accomplished in under 30 days. Get an A in that even if you let everything else fail or push to the next 30 days. Figure out which fires you are going to let burn. Also, do most of your work in the open - it's often not a good idea to wait for the "big reveal". Surprises are not your friends. We tend to miss out on helpful feedback others can provide when we are missing context - this is critical during the early days. 

60-90 days - Create momentum. Ask leadership for informal feedback - how you are doing and where you can tweak things. Once aligned, I would focus on the next big win while delivering smaller, tangible outcomes that line up with your success plan. The most important thing a product marketer should be doing through this journey is saying "no" enough. Smaller companies tend to see everything that is not about generating leads to be product marketing's job. While you could make that argument, it is important to say no to those seemingly urgent things and let those fires burn. Jumping on things because the CEO/CMO said so without considering the tradeoffs to your current priorities can be your biggest enemy. 

Natalie Louie
GTM Marketing & Pricing Leader, | Formerly MobileCoin, Zuora, Hired, Oracle, ResponsysJanuary 11

Look at my phases of success for a PMM in your first 100 days, it has the building blocks on what to focus on so you can be prepared to help scale with your company. This can be tailored and used at a 40 person company or larger one as it covers all the fundamentals any full stack PMM should be able to deliver on. I created this when I was working at a 2-sided marketplace and in B2B but it’s also relevant to B2C. We are all selling to humans at the end of the day so B2B companies should also think like a B2C company as people expect things to 'just work' and enterprises are becoming more consumerized. Many of the more successful B2B companies run and operate like a B2C company from their marketing tactics to software adoption strategy (Zoom, Slack, Zuora, Dropbox).

In your first month you need to focus on discovery and building positive relationships. Be self aware of your gaps and learn as much about your industry, product, problem you are solving, customer journey, competitors, etc… by interviewing key internal stakeholders. During this time it is key to find and deliver on a win. See here for ideas on quick wins.

A 40 person startup is small and many people likely don’t know the power a product marketer can bring. If this is the case, read this. Offer to do a presentation on your strategy if you didn’t already during your interview. You must both 'show and tell' for everyone to appreciate your value.