Kristen Brophy

Kristen BrophyShare

VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association
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Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

It's hard to pick a favorite because most of my interviews look different from candidate to candidate. Often, my questions are focused on deeply understanding their past experience and asking for relevant examples that demonstrate the skills and compentencies that will be unqiue to the role and business need. Or, we unpack a case study together.

I also go beyond the resume when I'm interviewing. One question that I typically ask is where the candidates want to learn and grow. The best answers to those also demonstrate steps they've taken recently and proactively to grow in a specific area.

Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

Product marketing is a relatively new function so this is a question I get a lot. 

A great way to help companies undestand the PMM function is by helping them understand the value of product marketing. There are all sorts of way to establish value. One place to start is by clearly defining what you and your team's contribution will be (which should map to the overarching business goals) and then delivering against those goals.

Socializing your team's stated goals and objectives with internal roadshows could be your first step in helping the organization understand the PMM role, responsibilties, and objectives. Once you've established and socialized your goals, check back in with your organization (frequently!) when you have results and achievements to share. These results should show how your team delievered against the objectives you laid out in your intial plan and how your team has positively and measurably impacted the business.  

Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

One effective way to scale a PMM team is to understand what the business needs and align PMMs to support those needs or goals. But, what a business needs can range from gaps in employee skill sets to stalling revenue growth. 

For example,

  • Is your business investing in entering a new vertical? Maybe they need PMM support in understanding the market dynamics and consumer behaviors in that industry or space 
  • Is your Product team building new feature bundles or entirely new product suites? They might need customer research to support product development, pricing, or go-to-market support when the product is ready to launch. 
  • Is there a product or feature that is struggling to get adoption? Is your sales team aware of their target customer? Are they enabled with product and feature knowledge that helps them communicate the value? 

You can start with looking for the gaps in the organization that PMMs are uniquely positioned to fill and fill them. Or, look for goals that aren't being met and try to deliver on them. Or, find a growth opporunity that the business may want to double down on and support that growth Anytime you can add value to an organziation, your team will likely scale. 

Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

Structuring a product marketing team is unique to every business. You could start by asking questions like: 

  1. What are the business metrics that the organization needs to drive and how can your product marketing team contribute to those top line goals? I like tying product marketing to topline business goals because it's easier to point directly to impact that the organization care most about. 
  2. What are the key outcomes and objectives for our team and what are the intiatives, roles, and responsibilities I need to achieve those objectives? From there you can prioritize headcount against those priorities.
  3. What are the jobs to be done for our customer? How can this answer help identify the most important customer jobs to be done and staff against those priorities? 
  4. How is the the Product organized?

Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association | Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibsMarch 23

This is a great question! Developing and building relationships with your colleagues is so important, espeically in a remote world. Here are a few ways that I've seen success in building relationships with product managers: 

  • Shared goals. Align on what's most important to the business (e.g. revenue goals, a user growth goal, a feature growth goal) and how each of you (or your teams) will uniquely contribute to those topline goals. For example: If the goal is to drive overall feature growth, will PMM be responsible for driving feature awareness and PMs be responsible for feature rentention? 
  • Common projects. Based on those shared goals and objectives that your teams agreed to in the step above, you and your PM(s) can then establish discrete projects that each of you is responsible for and that ladder up to your shared goals and objectives. Ideally, in your regular cadence of meetings, you can update ach other on the progress and success of each of your intiatives. 
  • Build for the future together by instituionlizing roadmap alignement and product marketing input throught the product development cycle. Since you and your team will be responsible for positioning products and features and bringing them to market, product marketing needs to both understand and input into the product roadmap. This ensures that the products you're responsible for growing will have marketable potential and will be desirable to customers. It also allows you to prepare for when and how to bring those products to market. Establishing a regular, frequest roadmap checkin with your product manager or product team is a good way to in sync. 
Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing, National Basketball Association
Credentials & Highlights
VP, Direct to Consumer Marketing at National Basketball Association
Formerly Uber, Square, 1stdibs
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Product Marketing Interviews, Influencing the Product Roadmap, Product Marketing 30/6...more