Abdul Rastagar

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GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach
Customer advocacy is everyone's responsibility
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Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
I’d say it’s not just the sales team, but executives also. The #1 rule to remember is that people are busy so they prioritize based on subject lines and skim on the first pass if they do open your email. So when it’s an extra-ordinary email that needs action, I follow the below format because it is extremely effective. (I once had a CEO tell me that this was one of the most clear emails he had ever received.) 1. Subject line - one thing I do if I need immediate action or input from an exec is to write it in capital letters in the subject line. For example: “ACTION: attend today’s client c...
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
I admit, that’s a tough one. When you say ‘critical’ feedback, I hope it’s still constructive rather than just tearing you down. 1) If the feedback is just criticism, it’s time to move on to a new boss. It’s not your job to mentor your boss on how to work positively with people. 2) If the feedback is meant to be constructive but you don’t know what to do with it, ask your boss to be very specific. “You need to write better,” is not helpful. “You can improve your writing skills by writing more concise and solution-oriented emails,” is better. “And here’s how,” is best. 3) As for agreeing wi...
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
For me personally, it's really straightforward: 1) high EQ, 2) strong written and verbal communication skills, 3) empathy. As product marketer, you are constantly working with 5 core audiences (executives, customers, sales, marketing, product management) and you need to be able to connect with all of them, albeit in somewhat different ways. Developing those 3 capabilities listed above will allow you to do that. Empathy here to me means not just the ability to listen, but taking it to the next level, which is the ability to understand others’ perspectives. Empathy allows one to think creati...
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
The ideal candidate will have both but that’s often not possible. For me personally, I think the soft skills are far more important. Especially at the more junior and even mid-management levels, the hard skills can be taught. The soft skills are much more difficult to teach. As an executive, you should really be proficient in both.
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
Written and oral communication are probably the most important skills you can develop, as they will help you get a foot in the door early in your career and also will continue to be useful throughout your whole career. Going straight into product marketing without any background in it is difficult, but not impossible. You’d want to look for an associate product marketing position or if you have technical skills, look for a technical product marketer. I’ve seen others go through the content or documentation paths to product marketing because both of these roles require writing and customer-...
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
I came from a scientific background myself. I won’t lie, it was difficult. You have certain strengths and certain weaknesses as an engineer transitioning to marketing. Your goal is to highlight the strengths while neutralizing your weaknesses. Strengths – chances are you are analytical and good at math. You are likely data-driven. Those are all strengths that marketers can benefit from. For example, as a MOPS or DemandGen marketer, it’s important to have a strong analytical skill set. Weaknesses – unfortunately, there is a stereotype that engineers and scientists don’t communicate well. Y...
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
I suppose that answer varies for everyone. For me, it was simply about being more comfortable with marketing than with product management. I didn’t really know what product marketing was until a few years into my marketing career but once I got into it, I loved it. In hindsight, I don't regret it for a second. Having said that, there is obviously an overlap and each position must intimately understand the other. 
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, November 19
While interviewers focus on your response to the hard skills question, they are simultaneously evaluating your soft skills as well. Generally, they are evaluating your EQ and your communication skills, your ability to interpret questions and think critically in real time, and your ability to provide direct and concrete answers. Here is an example that I hope really illustrates my point: if an interviewer asks “Tell me about yourself,” they are looking for a concise career narrative but also watching how the candidate will respond more generally. Is the answer succinct and can the candidate...
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Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach
Abdul Rastagar
Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach, June 11
Personally, I don't consider those two examples as being "above and beyond" - I consider them as a baseline for any marketing candidate. Ironically, I recently spoke with a former colleague about this very topic and he was in full agreement.  If you want to prove to the prospective employer that you can add value, then you should be prepared to cover these things without even hesitating if it comes up during your interview. 
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GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach
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Lives In California
Knows About Product Marketing Soft and Hard Skills, Customer Research, Analyst Relations, Influen...more