Patrick Cuttica

Patrick CutticaShare

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Square
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Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

See the answer above to the question "I wanna make the case to hire some more product marketers - we're a team of 2 for a company of 400. Whats the ratio where you are? Have you seen any external data on this?" -- I think I mostly covered this in that answer. 

In short, we have a Go-to-Market team focused on the commercialization of our product straetgy and a Sales Readiness team focused on competitve/market intel, analyst relations and sales content developmenet. And our key partners are Solutions Engineers and Sales Enablement. 

Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

This depends heavily on the make-up of your company and your product portfolio. Early on, I thought of our team as product marketing generalists. Each PMM covered a wide range of responsibilites tied to the commercialization of our product straetgy including: core product positioning, product launches and release management, various sales enablement efforts, assisting with in-app copywriting, executing internal product enablement (technical trainings, demo environment, etc.). Over time, we began to further specialize. 

I think the key is understanding the core needs of your main stakeholders in Product, Sales and Marketing. If you can identify the highest impact work across those groups (which can be difficult), then you can start to build a blueprint for how the various functions within the Product Marketing umbrella start to take shape. 

For what it's worth, the way the team structure unfolded for us (at Sprout) in terms of role types and focus areas was roughly the following:

  • Product experts and go-to-market generalists
  • General sales support (internal communications, lite enablement)
  • Competitive/market intel 
  • Sales content 
  • Analyst relations

Moving forward, I have my eye on things like:

  • Strategic customer insights
  • Partner marketing 
  • Pricing strategy/intel
Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

This is a great question. A fair amount has been written about where Product Marketing should exist within the broader company structure—just Google "where should Product Marketing report" and you'll find a bunch of articles on the topic. During my time at Sprout Social, we spent more than 3 years as part of the Product Team and nearly 2 reporting within Maketing, which is where we currently sit. All of this is to say, being thoughtful about how you position your product marketing team within the company, regardless of where you officially report, is paramount to earning trust and establishing clear expectations with stakeholders and business partners.

Here are two specific thoughts from my experience with regards to positioning:

  1. An ethos I've tried to instill with my team from the beginning is "Do great work, and be great partners to work with." This may sound like a platitude (it sorta is) but it implicitly highlights the cross-functional nature of the product marketer's job. I've been intentional in socializaing this ethos across the company through All-Hands meetings, cross-departmental emails/newsletters, etc. to make it incredibly clear that our success as a product marketing team is inextricably linked to the success of the teams with which we partner. 
  2. Another way I've positioned the team is to be product experts. In our job descriptions we explicitly state: "You possess the desire and capacity to garner a deep product knowledge while understanding the need to zoom out and tell concrete, compelling, benefit-focused stories about our platform and solutions. Your skills are part creative, part analytical and always centered around delivering relevant content that enhances our brand." Being an expert on the product doesn't mean having all the answers, but it does mean knowing where to go to get the answer. 

As far as challenges in collaboration go, I’d say it really comes down to two things: explicit role clarity and clearly defining where the handoff point is for a given responsibility or initiative. It's easy as product marketers to want to see the process all the way through from end-to-end. As your business scales, that becomes almost impossbile.

Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

This is an awesome question and one that I've thought a ton about as we've scaled. I touched on this a bit in another answer (“When thinking about adding new talent to your team - how do you structure focus areas?”) but will reiterate and expand here.

As our company has scaled, I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that our key stakeholders as a Product Marketing team have changed, per se—rather, I think of it more along the lines that our key partners in supporting those stakeholders have evolved. Meaning: on a macro level our key stakeholders still remain:

  • Product management: supporting the commercialization of our product strategy through integrated go-to-market efforts
  • Sales: empowering our Sales Org (which includes both Acquisition and Customer Success) to communicate the value of our solutions in a concrete, differentiated manner
  • Marketing: educating our Marketing Org on the core value props, providing insight into upcoming product launches and just generally keeping them aprised of all things relating to our go-to-market efforts

On a more tactical level, it becomes necessary as the organization grows to develop key partnerships with other teams in order to effectively support these stakeholders. This is partially true simply because Product Marketing traditionally does not scale in headcount at the same rate that the rest of the Product and Sales Orgs do. For example, we’ve gone from 2 product managers and a few product designers when I started at Sprout Social nearly 6 years ago to having nearly 20 PMs and 20 product designers supporting a much bigger product portfolio today. Even more impressive, we’ve scaled a 50 person Sales team which was almost entirely inbound when I started to a proper inbound/outsound Sales Org with well over 300 people and comprised of Acquisition, Customer Success, Growth and Onboarding.

In order to continue to provide the level of support and service we've developed key partnerships with the following teams:

  • Solutions Engineers have become an incredible partner in technical know-how and truly understanding the needs of the buyer. We partner closely with our SE team to execute betas, maintain our demo environments, better understand pain points and gaps in the product, and to facilitate product feedback mechanisms to our Product Team. This has been one of the most valuable parnterships for us.
  • Sales Enablement has helped us scale our sales training efforts by taking on much of the tactical execution and providing great insight into the varied needs of each sales team—something that was incredibly time intensive for us prior to them coming onboard.
  • Product Ops is a newer discipline for our company but one that has been invaluable in bridging the communucation and partnership gap between Product and the rest of the company. This is something that Product Marketing historically took on in the absence of a dedicated Product Ops person/team. This is more of a nascent discipline. If you want to learn more about Product Ops, Kim Blight is a great person to connect with! 
Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

This will vary from company to company depending on what industry you’re in, the make-up of your product portfolio, what your go-to-market and sales strategy looks like (are you strictly enterprise-focused or SMB-focused? Do you sell across all segments? etc.), the overall stage of the company, and probably many other factors.

At Sprout, we started with a dedicated Go-to-Market team that was made up of essentially product marketing generalists who owned a large swath of responsibilities. This team was myself and one other person to start. It has grown to 5 focused on go-to-market (not including myself) today. Organizationally, we aligned a Product Marketer with a Product Manager and set the expectation that they become domain experts on that specific product or product area. As we were scaling, that product marketer was responsible for supporting their product area with core product positioning, product launches and release management, various sales enablement efforts, assisting with in-app copywriting, executing internal product enablement (technical trainings, demo environment, etc.). The list was really quite long.

Over time, as our company has grown and stakeholder needs have become more sophisticated, we started to see areas where we either needed to add specialization on our team, or we could actually handoff some of that existing work to other teams that were growing and establishing specializations themselves. For example, we (Product Marketing) added a dedicated Competitive Intelligence person and a Sales Content Writer. We grouped them under a sub-team we call Sales Readiness. This mightly team of two covers competitive intel, win/loss analysis, analyst relations and the production of all sales assets (slides, sell sheets, case studies, talk tracks/objection handling, etc.)

At the same time, our Sales Org and Product Team were growing (fast!) and they built out a focused Sales Enablement team consisting of proper sales trainers and a pre-sales Solutions Engineering team. We saw this as a huge opportunity for partnership. Both of these new teams allowed us to handoff ownership of many responsibilities like sales and technical trainings and the upkeep of the demo environment which had become large efforts.

The important thing to keep in mind is to not bite off more than you can chew. It's easy for Product Marketing to be the catch all for any content, strategy or initiative that the Product, Sales and Marketing teams need supported. Be intentional in where you dedicate your time/effort and work with your stakeholders to priortize which areas you can expand into as you grow. 

Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

Retaining good talent for high demand roles in a competitive market is, obviously, tough. But I think it's also easy to overthink it. Not to oversimplify, but two things I always try to keep in mind are:

  • Continuously providing new opportunities: It's easy to get stuck in a rut if you feel you've been "assigned" to support a specific product or product area and all you do is manage launches and releases. There is so much more to the commercialization of product straetgy (which is how I would define product marketing in a nutshell). Giving your PMMs a chance to go deep on things like pricing strategy, market research, branding and naming exercises, and even seemingly negative things like sunsetting a product or facilitating a sticky change management release—these are all ways to keep the work interesting. 
  • Make them feel valued: This is (hopefully) obvious, but it's so incredibly important. Oftentimes I feel that Product Marketing can be a thankless job. In some ways, once you get past the initial straetgy building aspect, our role is to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the release. Finding ways to celebrate the seemingly little moments and efforts is important. Call out when your PMM finds a way to communicate a partciularly tricky release in an understandable way, or when they propose a name or word choice change that aligns better with the product value or user experience. 
Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, SquareOctober 15

I don’t know that this is really any different than creating and reenforcing a culture for any team, really. I think a great place to look for inspiration is your company's overall value system and culture. 

For example, at Sprout Social, a few of our core values are to:

  • Celebrate chnage
  • Solve hard problems 
  • Seek simplicity
  • Promote open, authentic communication

These are values that are obviously core to being an effective and successful product marketer as well.

Also, I kind of think about the culture of our team along the same lines of how we approach product development: the it will iterate over time. It's not something you can define from the top down. Staying open to having your team shape the culture is important and providing the right environment and opportunities for them to do so is key. 

Patrick Cuttica
Patrick Cuttica
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Square
Credentials & Highlights
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Square
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Knows About Consumer Product Marketing, Influencing the Product Roadmap, Product Marketing Career...more