Jasmine Jaume

Jasmine JaumeShare

Director, Product Marketing, Intercom
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Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, Intercom
Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 26

My experience was actually the other way round - I went from a company where I was the first PMM and helped establish the PMM team, to a company where there was already an established PMM team (and PMM already had 'a seat at the table'). Some of the learnings from that experience:

  • It's much easier to create effective messaging for a launch when you were involved in the development of the feature in the first place (i.e. giving input on the customer pain points, inputting into scoping decisions etc), rather than trying to retroactively figure out why your audience should care about something when it comes to launching it
  • Many people don't understand what product marketing is/does, or the value we can add, even if the team has been around a while - so don't assume they do! Once they understand and see the value, most PMs and others in the company want PMM involved and will seek out your input. 
  • There is no one 'right' way to structure a PMM team. What works for your team is heavily dependent on your business model, stage, product portfolio and maturity, sales motion and so on. And what works will likely change as those things change also. 
  • Many of the challenges product marketing teams face are similar, regardless of the size or maturity of the team. The specifics may change but, having talked to many PMMs at many different companies, there are clear commonalities and themese in the challenges we face!
Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 26

This is a big question! It would be impossible for me to detail all the ways we work with these teams, but at a high level:

  • Sales & CSM: I'm bundling these two together, as the type of work we do with each is similar at a high level. We work closely with sales leaders and the sales enablement team to understand sales' needs, develop messaging and content for them to use with both existing and prospective customers, understand how that messaging is resonating, and creating training and other enablement materials. We have a sales enablement group within PMM who drive the strategy here and work with other PMMs to create the content for specific solutions/areas. 
  • Marketing: We work with all parts of marketing (at Intercom, marketing is split into 4 main areas - PMM, Corporate Marketing, Demand Marketing and Growth). This includes everything from partnering with our brand team on our narratives and campaign strategy, enabling the demand teams on who to target and what messaging to use, co-ordinating launches across the whole team, working with growth on improving our web journey and landing pages, and so on. In short, we work with all areas of marketing very closely, both on an ongoing basis and on specific projects like launches. 
  • Product: PMMs are partnered directly with PMs for their specific product area and meet regularly (usually weekly). They work closely together, with PMM providing market and customer insights, and inputting into the product strategy and roadmaps. PMM also develops the positioning, messaging and launch plans for our solutions and new features, ensuring the PM is aligned along the way.
Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 26

Many of us in PMM came from a different discipline, so know that it's very common and very doable! I myself came from an editorial background (I studied journalism and worked for an online magazine), then moved into an analytics/reporting role, then into community management, and then into PMM!

It depends on what your existing experience is, but some general tips:

  • Look for opportunities to do PMM-related work. Many times, especially in smaller companies, other roles are doing bits of PMM such as messaging or customer research. If there aren't opportunities to get involved at work, then look for opportunities to do so outside of work - volunteering, side projects etc. 
  • Doing some kind of PMM training or learning can be helpful. Although in general I think on-the-job is the best way to learn, doing some courses or reading can help with giving you the foundations but also shows prospective employers that you're invested in your own learning and growth
  • When interviewing for PMM roles, make sure you can speak to why you want to move into PMM and be clear about what you're doing to learn, and any previous experience that relates to the role - even if not direct PMM experience.
  • Know what kind of PMM role you're interested in - product marketing varies at every company, so having a sense of what parts of PMM most interest you will be helpful when evaluating potential roles. For example, are you excited about enablement? Or more interested in product strategy? Some roles will include both of those things, but some roles may lean more heavily to one than the other (as just one small example!) 
  • It can sometimes be easier to move internally into a PMM role than find one at a new company, especially if you have no direct PMM experience. If your company has a PMM team, build relationships with that team and ask about opportunities/open roles, or opportunities for getting involved.
Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 25
  • Being clear about what PMM's role and mission is, and ensuring other marketing leaders understand what your team does and doesn't do. Have open discussions about where there might be overlap between teams, and agree on how you'll handle it.
  • Building relationships with others across the marketing org - both leaders but also at the IC level - and communicating openly, sharing your goals and plans, developing processes together, and getting buy-in as you plan 
  • Having a clear framework for prioritising requests that come in to the team, so others know how and why we prioritise some things over others

My experience has been that challenges collaborating with other teams can usually be overcome by doing the above and by communicating openly with leaders of the other teams within marketing - giving and asking for feedback, identifying problem areas, and tackling them together

Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 25

I wrote about this in another answer, so I'll copy it below but also add this additional point -

When thinking about team structure and new roles, we think about 3 things:

  1. What does the business need? Are there areas we need to support better? New areas coming up we'll need to support? Where are we over capacity?
  2. What does the individual want to be doing? What are their strengths? 
  3. Will this person have a clear career path? Is it clear what their next step will be? How will they be able to expand in this role? How do they fit into the wider team?

How we structure our team:

We've changed our structure several times over the years as the business has grown and priorities have shifted, but because PMM at Intercom works very closely with product we have always largely mapped PMMs to specific solutions or product areas.

Our current team structure roughly mirrors that of the product team. That means we have 1 or more PMMs mapped to each specific product group, which are either focused on a solution (for example our support solution) or a product area (for example, platform which covers our data platform, app ecosystem etc.) Some groups have multiple PMMs, depending on how big the group in R&D is - we aim for a ratio of 1 PMM to 2 or 3 PMs. 

These PMM roles are what's typically called 'full stack' - i.e. they do everything from inputting to the product strategy, to taking those products to market including messaging and positioning, launches, and enabling marketing and sales. We do this because we've found that lots of PMMs find satisfaction in being involved in the whole product lifecycle.

We also have some additional groups within PMM that aren't directly tied to a specific solution or product area. These include our Enablement group - focused on enabling our sales and demand teams - and our 'Core' group - which owns our overarching positioning and GTM strategy (inc. personas, support analyst relations etc). I recently wrote a post on the Intercom blog that gets into a bit more detail about how we work.

Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 25

I'm biased of course, but I believe PMMs should be one of your first marketing hires. The insight PMMs can bring in terms of product-market fit, positioning and messaging are just as valuable, if not moreso, at a smaller org as in a big one. Having a PMM early on will help you set the foundations for the future, and help ensure you have the right product, the right target audience, and them messaging that's going to resonate with them before you start spending a ton of money and resources on marketing and sales activities. Plus, you need someone to help you launch things right? ;)

Of course, often this work is already being done to some extent by others in the company - but this is PMM's area of expertise so, why not hire an expert? 

Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 24

It depends a little on what the situation is with PMM in the company you join (i.e. size and maturity, what the team is currently doing, what your role is going to be, whether you're an IC or a manager), but here's some things to think about:

30 days - this first month is all about getting the lay of the land and meeting everyone you'll be working with, building relationships and establishing your credibility! You won't get all of this done in the first 30 days but it's good to get started on these areas. 

I think it's really important to listen and understand in this early stage, rather than come in and start immediately changing things - every business is different, and what you've done before might not necessarily be right at your new place. So seek to learn and understand first, before making a ton of changes. 

  • Build relationships: Meet with stakeholders across the business to understand how they work with PMM, what's working, what's not, and what they think is the highest priority. Ask lots of questions! This is also a great opportunity to start establishing how you'll work together. Identifying some small 'quick wins' can help establish your credibility and build relationships with those stakeholders.
  • Get to know your team: If you're starting in a management role, start getting to know your team and building a relationship. Establish with each person how they like to work, what support they need, how they like to be given feedback etc, and set expectations about how you like to work also. Get up to speed on what they're working on, what they think is working in the team, and what could be improved. Also get to know them as people!
  • Get to know the product: Understand what it does (actually use it!), what's good and bad, and understand the journey customers go on from prospect>customer 
  • Start to learn the business strategy and goals: This will help you know what you're working towards, and then you can prioritise what to focus on. Understand from your manager what the expectations of your role and team are, and start to identify where you can have most impact.
  • Get to know your customers and your market: 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. Read everything, listen to calls, talk to your sales team, research your competitors etc

60 days - as you begin to understand the current state of things, start to think about what you want prioritise working on and build out a plan. I like to identify some small quick wins and some bigger meatier longer-term projects. If you're a manager, you'll likely be building out a roadmap of sorts on what you want the team to work on, what your goals will be, and then getting buy-in from your team and other stakeholders.

You'll also want to start having more in-depth discussions with your team members about their career growth and ambitions.

90 days - start executing on your plan! It really depends on what you've identified as the highest priority things to work on but hopefully you've got some quick wins under your belt and are starting on some of your meatier initiatives. 

Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, IntercomOctober 24

This is a classic challenge for PMM teams and the unhelpful answer is it will somewhat depend on how your company is set up. However, ultimately it comes down to demonstrating the value you can bring and building credibility with stakeholders so that PMM get a 'seat at the table'. 

Some tips that I've found effective:

  • Show how you can add value, outside of launches (and be proactive - don't wait to be asked to do so!). This could be packaging up competitive and market insights for the product team, proactively providing feedback and input into product roadmaps, or proposing a new strategy for enablement. At Intercom, for example, a couple of years ago PMM started creating new 'GTM Strategies' which included info about our target audience, competitors, messaging etc. These are now used as an input into our product and marketing strategies.
  • Build relationships with and educate stakeholders on what product marketing is/does so they understand your role and where they should be involving you. PMM differs in every company so setting expectations, understanding others' goals and helping them understand where you can help builds credibility
  • Raise visibility of the work you/your team are doing and the results you drive, in whatever way makes sense at your company (Posting in Slack/email, presenting at company show & tell etc)
  • Protect PMM's time for non-launch work - in many product-led companies it can be really easy to have all your time taken up doing launches. It's really important to not let them take over and end up with no time to actually do more strategic work. Some ways to do this include things like tiering frameworks and bundling launches, so you're prioritising efforts on the most impactful things
  • Push for inclusion - it's going to feel a little uncomfortable, but you might have to push to be involved and insert yourself into meetings/processes where you think PMM should be included. Proactively ask to be added to meetings or to be able to review docs, for example, and call it out when you've not been involved when you should've been. Don't sit back and wait to be asked to input, and also don't assume you've not been included for malicious reasons - sometimes people might just not know it's something PMM should be involved in (which is why point 2 above about building relationships and setting expectations is so important!). 

Know that it will take time for things to change, but if people are seeing that you're adding value, they will over time involve you in more and more. Over time, this will lead to PMM being considered a key contributor to strategy and will then give you more freedom to work on more strategic things.

Jasmine Jaume
Jasmine Jaume
Director, Product Marketing, 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. 
Credentials & Highlights
Director, Product Marketing at Intercom
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Top 10 Product Marketing Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Developer Product Marketing, Category Creation, Partner Product Marketing, Product Ma...more