Aneri Shah

Aneri ShahShare

Head of Product Marketing, Ethos Life
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Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 15

Think creatively about marketing-adjacent work you've done, and put together a series of case studies that you can share with the hiring team. Examples can include: 

  • Identifying customer insights and defining a scalable solution or creating a piece of collateral, e.g. identified a trend in X vertical, and built a vertical playbook to help customers in that vertical grow 
  • Website work that shows how you structure problems and present information
  • Presentations you've created that could be customer facing 
  • Work you've done to help a nonprofit or organization grow 
  • Examples of design work 
  • A product or flow you've created or helped design
  • User research you helped drive, and the recommendations you put together 

In all cases, be sure to present the context behind the work in a way that helps position you as a marketer, with the following framework: 

  • Challenge: What was the problem you were trying to solve? Why was it important? What were the challenges or constraints you had to work within and why?
  • Solution: What work did you do? Why did you pick this solution? How did you do this work - who did you work with, what tools did you use, whose feedback did you consider? 
  • Results: How did this help solve the problem at hand? Can you qualitatively and quantitatively demonstrate success? 
Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 18

Yes, great question! As a PMM, I've always worked closely with a separate integrated/brand marketing function. The PMM sits closer to product/eng, is more initimately familiar with the product, owns inbound product marketing (including user insights, strategy, competitive benchmarking, roadmap prioritization etc.). When it comes to outbound marketing, PMM sets GTM strategy and works with a variety of GTM stakeholders, including comms and integrated marketing, to bring a launch or campaign to life. The integrated marketing team usually works with a group of PMMs covering an entire product area, which has the benefit of upleveling how the brand shows up to consumers and ensuring you're telling the right brand narrative, versus a product specific narrative. They also have more specialized skillsets, such as working closely with creative teams (or being creatives themselves), are accountable to brand/campaign goals rather than product goals (e.g. driving Q4 sales vs. driving adoption of X feature) and are great thought partners for how a product will show up to consumers. 

Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 15

Having worked across both, the key differences in my mind fall into 2 key categories: 1) ability to get customer insights, 2) role in the GTM motion.

1. Customer insights - In B2B, it's relatively easy to get on a customer call and get deep insights from some engaged customers. There are also certain customers (e.g. enterprise clients) whose feedback it's easy to skew towards as they contribute disproportionately high revenue. In B2C, you need to get feedback at scale, which is better done through user research, and you need to ensure the users you survey/interview are more representative of your whole customer base. In B2B, I've found that PMM's role in gathering and surfacing customer insights is stronger, whereas in B2C, you're more likely to rely on your Marketing Insights/User Research partners. 

2. Role in GTM - The key difference here is having a Sales or Partnerships team in B2B, versus usually using more scaled marketing tactics in B2C. This means a PMM's role will shift closer to one or the other - e.g. in B2B, you spend more time on enablement and ensuring that these teams can take your messaging and communicate it, whereas in B2C, you work more closely with in-product and scaled messaging channels to share your messaging. The messaging itself varies significantly too - consumer messaging is focused on being concise, clearly articulating benefits, and, often, driving immediate action, whereas business-focused messaging must consider all client scenarios, whether a product is solving their exact needs, edge cases and specific requests. Tactically - my messaging docs in B2B end up being 4-5x longer than those when I was in B2C! 

Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 17

I also love Drift and Intercom's blogs and handbooks! First Round Review also has some great case studies. 

For courses, I like Pragmatic Marketing [great PMM frameworks] and Reforge [growth-focused, but really valuable for PMM too]. 

I find a lot of PM-focused resources to be helpful too since there's often a lot of overlap between the roles - I've subscribed to the Product Manager HQ newsletter for years and often find valuable resources that way. 

Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 17

I've thought about this a lot as I've worked across both B2B and B2C and wondered if it makes sense to specialize and how transferrable skills are. This is also something I've asked many leaders and mentors. The overwhelming advice I've gotten is to focus on being a good marketer and not focus on B2B vs. B2C - instead, think about the types of problems you're interested in solving, the day to day work that most engages and challenges you, and how much you'll learn in a certain job. Additionally, marketing leadership roles often span both B2B and B2C, so having a good knowledge of both can be an advantage. 

When looking at candidates, I think strategic thinking and willingness to learn are the top traits I prioritize - whether the candidate comes from a B2B vs. B2C (or even non-PMM) background is secondary. 

Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 15

Lead with insights. The best way to get involved as a PMM is show that you have both the breadth and depth of insights that articulate the customer problem, and can help shape the designs. Positioning yourself as this expert makes it a much more natural solution for you to be involved. Some ways to do this are: 

  1. Bringing in competitive insights for how others have solved similar problems - better yet, show differences in competitors' solutions and think about where your company should lie along the solution spectrum and why
  2. Showcasing customer stories - deeply showcase the pain point and job to be done, other solutions the customer considered, why they need X product. Customer interviews are a great way to do this. Use media (video, photos, quotes), or better yet, have your product/design team sit in on the interview. 
  3. Do the pre-work: What can you demonstrate to your PM counterpart that suggests that your POV would be valuable in the design process? Rather than keeping 1:1s casual, use the time for thought-provoking questions/ideas, or walking through some of this work you've done thinking through the problem space. This could be as simple as putting together a 1-pager framing your thoughts, but that structure and foresight will have you regarded as an expert on the problem. 
Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos | Formerly Meta, MicrosoftFebruary 15

PMM role definitions and skills do vary significantly across companies (and even teams within the same company!) but I see this as an opportunity. 

The main skills are still foundational across all roles: 

1. Having a deep understanding of the customer - being able to clearly grasp customer pain points and communicate them to the product team, and ensure you're solving for them with any messaging. This also includes being able to ramp up on a new space quickly and learn the nuances of a product/industry

2. Clear and structured communication - being able to succinctly communicate and articulate complex considerations clearly, both internally and externally

3. Working cross-functionally and often being the "quarterback" or glue across multiple functions

If you're able to excel at these key skills, no matter how much the role changes, you can still take these skills between them. Soft skills are more important to invest in, and even if a job at another company is defined slightly differently, proving you have stellar soft skills and can learn a new space/slightly different role quickly goes a long way. 

Aneri Shah
Aneri Shah
Head of Product Marketing, Ethos Life
Credentials & Highlights
Head of Product Marketing at Ethos
Formerly Meta, Microsoft
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, CA
Knows About Consumer Product Marketing, SMB Product Marketing, Enterprise Product Marketing, Infl...more