Pat Ma

Pat MaShare

Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Samsung Next
I have 10 years experience in product marketing working at Oracle, Cisco, Nokia, and consulting with startup companies. Learn more at
Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungJuly 27

In my opinion, I think the most important skill needed to be a great product marketer is sales (specifically pitching). You have to be able to get in front of a customer and pitch your product well. This means understanding your customer's needs, explaining your value proposition in the first 90 seconds, succinctly showing how your product can solve your customer's problems, and why your product is better than other products that s/he is considering.

My ex-boss (CEO of Leadspace and former CMO of Salesforce) told me that 75% of my value as a product marketer comes from creating the perfect pitch. I know the market, I understand customer problems, I know the product, I see the competition, now I come up with a pitch that resonates with his customer base. That's why he's paying me.

If your pitch is not good, then the rest of the marketing collateral you create won't be effective. Perfect the pitch, then replicate it throughout your marketing and sales materials.

After you have your pitch down, then you can work on the other product marketing skills such as scaling your knowledge and providing strategic guidance for your business.

I explain these skills more in this blog post:

Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungJuly 19

Do you have a weekly product training with the go-to-market team (marketing, SDRs, sales, and customer success)?

We did this at Oracle and Leadspace and it worked well. It's a weekly, 1 hour live training forum where we introduce product updates, new sales tools, and deep dive into customer use cases. At Oracle, over 350 sales reps joined the weekly meetings and they were recorded, so more people go to see the replay if they couldn't join live. For tech, any web conferencing software would do. But you have to be the one getting input from sales for training topics, setting the agenda, and, finding speakers.

Content will change depending on the needs of sales and where they need the most help. Content could be more messaging focused or product focused.

As a baseline, you should cover this:

  1. Targeting* - Who are your buyers, what do they care about, what problems are they trying to solve.
  2. Prospecting* - How to penetrate accounts, what's your 30 second elevator pitch, how to book a meeting.
  3. Discovery Questions* - What questions to ask prospects to uncover need.
  4. Pitch Deck* - How to pitch the product, what to say, how to communicate value in a 7 minute pitch.
  5. Product Demo* - See the product, communicate the value of the product with a live demo.
  6. Product Features* - Get deep into product features and functionality. What's the underlying technology.
  7. Use Cases* - How customers are using the product, what are the results.
  8. Competitive Differentiation* - How is the product different than competitors? How do you respond when prospects ask about a specific competitor?
  9. Pricing and Packaging* - How to price the product. What packages are available?
  10. Roadmap* - What's in the future for the product. The rhyme and reason for this schedule is thinking in terms of a sales process.

A sales rep is going to want to know who to target, what to say, how to differentiate, how to demo, and how to price - usually in that order. You'll cover all your bases, then you can figure out where your team is most "stuck" in the sales process and focus more on that - maybe do a repeat session on that topic.

Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungJuly 19

Marketing is the only job in a company that everybody thinks they can do. You’ll propose an idea and get conflicting feedback from everyone.

How I handle the situation is saying something like, “I’ve considered everybody’s feedback, tried to incorporate as much of your feedback as possible, and on the conflicting feedback made a judgement on the best path forward.”

You can’t please everyone. But most people just want to be heard and recognized.

Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungNovember 4

On the B2C side, check out

This is a visual library of really good emails sorted by industry and category. I think B2B marketers can learn a lot about email from their B2C counterparts by making their emails visual, attention grabbing, with clear calls to action.

Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungJuly 22

Short answer, certifications are somewhat irrelevant when it comes to getting a job.

It doesn't hurt to get more education. I have an MA and MBA. But if you want to break into product marketing, then you have to show you can do the job. I think Certifications < Formal Education < Passion < Relevant Experience < Direct Experience for any job.

Understand the company's needs and show that you can solve their problems. If you haven't done the job before, then show that you are interested in doing the job. Certifications are the "icing on the cake."

Pat Ma
Pat Ma
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SamsungNovember 4

Product: This is your product or platfrom (e.g. Salesforce Sales Cloud)
Feature: This is a specific part of the platfrom that customers can use (e.g. Contacts, Leads, Accounts, Opportunities)
Solution: This is a use case for your product - by need, industry, or persona (e.g. I need to track sales, SFDC for Financial Services, SFDC for VP of Sales)

Credentials & Highlights
Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Samsung
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Messaging, Platform and Solutions Product Marketing, Product Marketing Career Path, P...more