Rekha Srivatsan

Rekha SrivatsanShare

VP of Product Marketing, Salesforce
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Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, Salesforce
Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceAugust 8
  • Don't box yourself, ever! 
  • Don't always stick to how things are always done. 
  • And ask questions more. 
  • And observe and take notes. 
  • And don't pretend to know it all! 

Here's the thing: When you are early in your career, you are often embarrassed to ask questions or ask "why?" But asking those questions more would help you understand things wayyyyy better. Some of my best learnings have come from asking questions to understand things better. Think about it — if you can't understand a feature as a marketer, chances are that your customers won't. That's your biggest advantage; use it!

Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceAugust 8

I am familiar with this situation as I was here not too long ago. ;) Here's what worked well for me: 

  • As a new leader, establish your 30-60-90 days goals with your manager. Align on the big bets, so there are no big surprises. 
  • You are also likely to re-org the team to make it more efficient. Chances are that your manager might also have a few thoughts/ideas. Pick their brain earlier to understand more, so it can influence your plans. 
  • Ask your manager for the critical stakeholders for you to build relationships across the organization and genuinely pursue that. 
  • Ask 3 things during your every 1:1 - "What's top of mind for them? What can you do to help? Any feedback for you?" Asking these questions often earlier will help you understand their thought process and help you build a trustworthy relationship. 

The most important thing your boss can do for you when you start is offer their time and give you the time and space to onboard. It's a balance of pushing you to execute while allowing you to onboard and truly depends on the state of the business. 

Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceAugust 8

Product marketing is the core of any organization. We are the product experts, which means: 

  • We work closely with the demand gen teams to create compelling ads in the market. 
  • We partner with the awareness teams to hype the product / upcoming features.
  • We align with the product teams on feature prioritization and the right short-term and long-term product strategy.
  • We work with the field to arm the sellers with the latest product innovation and how to sell them. 
  • We work with the AR and PR teams to ensure we stay relevant in the market. 

Can you name another team that's central to an organization? ;)

Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceAugust 8

Great question! You can consider your target buyers and prioritize messaging based on your top personas. This will help your field tremendously too. You can also identify common customer outcomes and make sure you map your buyers to expected outcomes to the general vision of the platform. Aligning all of this will help you really synthesize the top value prop of your platform. 

Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceAugust 8

I've done it in so many different ways! Few quick pointers: 

  • The most important thing is to ensure every team member has a good swim lane and growth path. 
  • Take your revenue goal and slice that evenly across the team to see what makes the most sense — product line, segment, or objective. 
  • If you have a big product organization, try aligning your team with leaders. This will help you ensure PM-PMM alignment for a stronger product strategy. 
  • If you have several SKUs/product lines, it might be worthwhile to have a person or a team dedicated to overall messaging and narrative to ensure consistency. 
  • Depending on how PMMs are defined in your organization, you can create teams for every aspect of the customer journey. 
Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceApril 16

I'm a huge fan of shorter, concise resumes. If you can articulate your journey and experience on one page, it will help me to process your resume well. Some red flags I've observed:

  • Typos/grammatical errors on resumes - Attention to detail is a core skill for a PMM, so it is a big turn-off for me if your resume has these errors.
  • Lack of customer narrative - Customer conversations are integral to a PMM role, so if it's not mentioned in during the interview that's a red flag for me.
  • Run-on sentences - As a PMM, you are expected to have clear, concise communication -- verbal and written.
  • Too much fluff - When stating your experience, be real and practical. Don't exaggerate it too much or make it super jargon-y that its difficult to follow.
Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceApril 16

For more senior roles, I'd ask more about their decision-making skills around the team and PMM. For example:

  • Tell me about a time when your product launch budget was cut by half. What did you prioritize and why?
  • You have 2 great team members both looking to grow their careers and you can promote only one. What factors do you consider in this decision? 
  • Tell me about one of the products that you worked on that was not successful. What did you learn from that experience? 

For more junior roles, I'd ask about their marketing experience. For example:

  • Your fav marketing campaign and why?
  • You launch a new feature and there Is low adoption by your customers. What data would you evaluate and how would you respond?
  • What do you think about the messaging on the website. One thing you like and one thing you don't like?

Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceApril 16

This is a fun challenge! Because most junior candidates are extremely eager to learn and super coachable. I'd ask:

  • Does the candidate have excitement around the product? Or do they believe in the vision? Ask them how they connect to the product or company? For example: when I hired junior PMMs for my SMB business, I'd ask them for their favorite small business. 
  • Ask them to do a trial of your product and see what feedback they provide. This one is a good one because that's the product they will be working on and it helps to see how they think about product strategy. 
  • Ask them to come up with a tagline for the new product/feature. This would help you see what factors they take into consideration and how creative they can be. 
  • If you are in the B2C business, ask them for their favorite product and why. Gives you a glimpse into how they analyze a product and what catches their attention. 
Rekha Srivatsan
Rekha Srivatsan
VP of Product Marketing, SalesforceApril 16

I love when candidates go above and beyond! I always do when I interview for my next role. A 30-60-90 is extremely helpful for the hiring manager to know how you prioritize and candidly, will also help you decide if the role is the right one for you. I'd almost always have a deck with my 30-60-90, SWOT of the product, the target persona analysis for any role you are applying for.

Credentials & Highlights
VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Top 10 Product Marketing Contributor
Lives In San Francisco, California
Knows About Establishing Product Marketing, Product Marketing Interviews, Messaging, Competitive ...more