Jason Perocho

Jason PerochoShare

Vice President, Product Marketing, Braze
US Veteran and life long learner who brings his loves matching people with technology that improve their lives.
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

I wish I understood how product marketing ideally works. Based on my experience, here's how product marketing teams should work together:

  1. A Product marketing lead identifes a goal. The three goals are usually to create pipe, mature pipe, or close deals.
  2. The PMM will select a target based off what the business needs. They can double down on a region/segment/geo that is working, or try to lift a poor performing area. 
  3. They'll create a positioning statement and messaging hierarchy that will be used for this initiative. 
  4. They'll allocate a portion of their budget to spread across campaigns and GTM to execute.

At this point, a PMM would bring in campaigns and work with them on the following: 

  1. Identifiy the goal of the campaign.
  2. Allcoate budget from demand gen.
  3. Create campaign messaging. This messaging should shift the customer's mindset from one state to another (as defined by the positioning statement)
  4. Select what channels and content form factors the campaign will use to reach prospects
  5. Create the customer flows (both targeting and re-targeting in order to get a prospect to fill out a form).

If new content needs to be created, then the PMM will work with creative/agency to produce that content. 

Finally, a GTM lead will work with sales ops to priortize a selling motion.

  1. The GTM team will set a specific sales goal with sales ops
  2. PMM will create a playbook with discovery questions intentionally selected to hit on the campaign.
  3. PMM will determine if they want to incentivize sales.
  4. PMM will reach out to a specific sales "horse" depending on the objective. Sales horses are SDRs (inbound leads), BDRs (outbound leads), AEs (Account owners), Specilaist (LOB buyers), or SE (Solutions Engineers).
  5. PMM will define teh sales action this horse is suppose to take
  6. PMM will define the CTA where they can send customers to learn more or deepen them in the sales funnel
  7. PMM will work with sales ops to create a tracking dashboard that measures success. 

Ultimately, that's it! There are nuances that are glossed over, especially when it comes to certain channels like AR or PR. 

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

I am not aware of any one key certification for product marketers. I work with PMMs that come from backgrounds in campaigns, sales, engineering, and product management. Each of those backgrounds lend themselves to a specific function in product marketing. 

In my experience, there are three types of product marketers: 

  1. Technical PMM
  2. Market Programs PMM
  3. Go-to-Market PMM. 

An aspiring product marketer should identify their entry point into one of the aforementioned functions. If there was one skill that unites each type of PMM, it is their ability to diagnose a market, create a positioning statement, and craft messaging that is clear, concise, and relatable. This skill can be picked up in intro marketing classes undergrad, MBA, or MOOCs. 

  • Technical PMMs - I would look for certifications or experience in the functional area of the product. Solution Engineers are usually the perfect fit because they can create demos and deliver messaging.
  • Market Programs PMMs - I would look for someone who is intimately familiar with the customer or who has experience demand generation programs. Customer marketing or campaign leads are usually a great fit because they understand the customer journey.
  • GTM PMM - I would look for someone who has sales experience. Sales has no time for marketing BS. Those who were on the front lines remember what training works and what doesn't. I've also hired folks who have a teaching background because in the end, that's what sales enablement is.
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

PMMs are responsible for the following:

  • Positioning Statement & Messaging - This is the heart of Product Marketing. Using our expertise, we'll create the positioning and messages we want in the market.
  • Business Goal - We'll define what impact we're trying to have on the business. This includes what segment / industry / geo we need to go after to lift our business.
  • Market / TAM - We'll identify and define the market and opportunity we're going after
  • Sales Enablement - We will work with sales ops to create a standard BOM that includes training, a playbook, customer stories, a first call deck, discovery questions, CTAs, and incentives (if budget)

Campaigns are responsible for the following:

  • Campaign messaging - Campaigns will take our positioning and create campaign messaging that shifts a customer's perspective on your product.
  • Channels - Campaigns will identify what channels they will use to reach the prospective buyer. This includes identify content types for each channel.
  • Customer Journey - Campaigns will craft how the prospect will become a marketing qualified lead. 
  • Account list - They will work with field demand gen teams to identify what accounts to go after.
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

The number one skill is influencing without authority. More specifically, influencing authority in a matrixed organization. By design, product marketing sits at the intersection of a multitude of functions, each with their individual KPIs. Your job is to balance the needs of your various stakeholders to drive revenue and adoption for your product(s). If your company has one product, then this task may be fairly straight forward. If your company has multiple products or multiple portfolios, then the task becomes exponentially harder. 

The most important hard skills are positioning and messaging. In the end, the product marketer determines what market to go after, how the product will stand out, and what benefits resonate with end consumer. It is extremely tough to take a complex idea and break it into a clear, concise, and relatable benefit statement that anyone can understand.

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

The best approach would be to ensure you have some great facing public content that you can attach to your CV when applying for a job. Post-MBA PMMs tend to be content workhorses. Leaders need PMMs that can write clearly, concisely, and relatably. 

I also recommend MBAs go out and get some practical demand gen marketing experience. Start a blog and then invest a few dollars to promote it. Try and get syndicated on a content hungry site like Business Insider, HuffPo, or Forbes. This will give you a great story in interviews marketing something that you're truly passionate about. 

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

Product Marketing is an interesting role because it puts you at the intersection of so many different functions, allowing you to "run the business". Outside of CMO, a couple other logical steps I've seen PMMs take are Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) or General Manager (GM).

Chief Revenue Officer is the most interesting of the bunch because it puts you at the center of all revenue growth. Most of the time, you would find a sales leader occupying this role, but I have seen several with a strong product marketing background.

General Manager is perhaps the easiest to get into beause the ultimate job of the GM is to drive revenue by understanding the end customer and delivering a product and message that solves their problem or need. The important difference is that they must also must manage product development as well as influence sales GTM motions.

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

You're absolutley right! The first starts by understanding how much emphasis the company puts on distribution vs. product. An observation I've made is that companies who have a CEO with a sales/marketing background give PMMs more authority over product development and GTM. Companies with CEOs with an engineering/product background tend to give PMMs a more limited scope focused on market validation, positioning, and messaging. 

What has made me successful in a PMM career was starting on a nascent product in which we were "firefighting" every single day. I thrive in startups or ambiguous environment when we're trying to prioritize what's important. 

When I first joined, our programs in my product group were not complex to begin with. It was about getting the bare necessities out to customers and sales in order to drive demand, mature pipe, and close deals. I shuffled from function to function, experimenting and quickly learning about all the levers I could pull to drive revenue. 

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

First, remember there is a difference between a product marketing and campaigns/demand generation lead. Product Marketers focus their time on customer research, value prop, go-to-market plan, competitive landscape, and market programs. In companies big and small, you would probably have a demand gen specialist who would keep up to date on marketing tools in order to optimize spend across channels. 

If you are part of the team that is investing in marketing technologies, you should talk to your customer, refresh your personas, and track changes in preferences over time. As a product marketer, your ultimate job is to know the customer better than anyone else. Identify what channel your customers want to be communicated through and then investigate technologies that would help you optimize your outreach. 

I keep abreast of innovations in marketing technologies by networking, attending conferences, or coffee chats with mentors. When talking with peers, I usually ask what's the most impactful book or blog they read that helped them in their careers. I'm also a huge believer in having mentors that help navigate what technologies companies are investing in. When I notice a trend, I'll research and start learning the tool as a side project.

Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

When hiring a junior product marketer, I try and balance between hard and soft skills. For hard skills, I check to see if they are good at 

  1. Diagnosing the market
  2. Identifying pains and benefits
  3. Writing. 

I can't emphasize that last point enough. Make sure your junior PMM is a great writer because they will tend to be your content engine. 

For soft skills, I check to see if they're good at influencing direction and are genuinely a good person to be around. 

Questions that I would ask to test the aforementioned would be:

  • Tell me about a product that's good, but not marketed well.
  • How would you describe to someone who was not familiar with our company or products?
  • Tell me about a time you've influenced people without any authority?
  • What is your favorite product? (It could be anything)
    • Who is the target?
    • What are the key benefits?
    • Who are the competitors?
    • How should it be packaged, if differently than it is now?
  • Tell me about a time you encountered a road block and had to change direction?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • What are two professional development areas where you would like to or that you are working to improve?
Jason Perocho
Jason Perocho
Vice President, Product Marketing, BrazeMarch 10

Tough question since titles vary from company to company. My answer for this question is strictly from a Salesforce perspective. 

My expectation for a Sr. PMM to Director would be that they are able to build a team across all functions of PMM and align cross functional partners (PMs, AR, PR, Campaigns, Content) around an initiative that has a significant business impact. This includes, but not limited to, launching a product, repositioning a product in the marketplace, coordinating a worldwide enablement effort, or driving new, innovative marketing programs across a large area. Each of these requires mastery of your specific area of PMM and the ability to influence senior stakeholders across the business.

Credentials & Highlights
Vice President, Product Marketing at Braze
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Herndon, Virginia
Knows About Consumer Product Marketing, Product Marketing Interviews, Enterprise Product Marketin...more