Zachary Reiss-Davis

Zachary Reiss-DavisShare

Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore Technologies
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Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

I don't think I can help you on the full assignment within the scope of an AMA; especially since the sub-question reads like the company probably is going to be using this question for other candidates in the future. However, here are a few tips for any take-home interview round like this:

  • If you're given the opportunity to ask follow-up questions, make sure you do so; one key part of the exercise is seeing how you learn and research.
  • Make sure you do your homework; know what the current messaging, positioning, audience, and content available is.
  • Spend the time to proofread and polish your content. It should sing, and show you know how to both write, edit, and (lightly) design.
  • Know the "brand voice" of the company interviewing you, and stay within it.
  • Edit, edit, edit. If someone asks for two pages, don't get them three. Brevity is hard, but very important.
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

Every single company, starting on the very first day that the founders have an idea on a napkin, should think, and resource, industry-first. Surprising? Well, that's because early stage startups need to have an extremely narrow focus on their ideal customer, which tends to be within a single industry at first.

After that, and at scale, it can really depend on the type of product you're marketing, and how different the value propositions are by industry. At Procore, we've found that our core solutions are an amazing fit for anyone in the broader construction industry, but the way we the solutions are used -- the cooresponding messaging -- differs enough that we needed to segment out first by General Contractors (our initial audience), then by Specialty Contractors, then project Owners, in order to have success in the sales cycle.

Once your team realizes they have (1) captured a substantial part of the initial launch industry, and (2) the "core" messaging won't be successful in other industries for whatever reason -- it's time to specialize. 

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

When industry marketing is working successfully, this question becames harder to answer because it is a core component of the product marketing organization, and so it's harder to tease apart.

In general, pricing & packaging, win-loss analysis, competitive research, release marketing, product launches, and core assets such as pitch decks or demo videos tend to be the most industry (or audience) agnostic, while positioning and messaging needs to be divided out by industry, as does much of the partnership with demand generation organizations. 

The best industry marketers could change desks with the best centralized product marketers without major disruption, and the reverse is also true -- speaking as someone who has worn both hats; at Procore, I lead a team of industry marketers, but at Salesforce, I was very product focused. 

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

All product marketers, no matter their focus area, need to understand both their product and their buyer -- but industry marketers tend to overindex on understanding the industry market, ICP, and Personas and the key messages that will resonate with them. In contract, more product-focused product marketers may need to be deeper into the product roadmap and release cadance, and how it impacts the overall go-to-market. 

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

I love this question -- and it's actually one I ask candidates during my interview process as well, because the way that Product Marketing is measured overall varies widely across organizations. 

Right now, I think of it across these five areas:

  1. Stakeholder alignment. This sounds "soft", but in industry marketing, your stakeholders are often even more broad than product marketing, and each group -- this includes Sales, P&T / R&D, Demand Gen / Campaigns, Enablement, Customer Success, and Partners.
  2. Command of Message. This is can be measured in a varient of ways -- but in general includes what positioning you've put in market, to each of your key industries and segments, across all of your channels, and parts of the marketing funnel (ads / third party sites, your website, your sales collateral, how your sellers and CSMs tell stories to the market. 
  3. Industry / audience / segment NARR. Maybe self-explanatory, but revenue coming in the door in the form of Net Annual Recurring Revenue is where the rubber really hits the road.
  4. Gross Pipeline. This is a shared metric with demand generation or campaigns, and often with web, but is an area that great content, messaging, and positioning can help a lot.
  5. Win / close rates. This is the flip side of the pipeline coin; do your sellers have what they need to close the deal? Do you understand your market or industry well enough? 
  6. Segment/Audience ASP. Tracking deal sizes, not just velocity.

As an important note, "amount of content produced" -- number of blog posts, number of webinars, number of slicks -- simply doesn't make my list, and I recommend being tied to business outcomes, not how many acts of marketing that you do.

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 14

I've tackled this question a bit in other answers already, and I encourage you to check those out as well, but in essence -- industry marketing is one specialization in a mature product marketing organization, focused on key value propositions and message by industry. It's required when your ideal customer profile's needs, challenges, and the value that you can bring to their problems varies enough by industry that it's difficult to have "universal" positioning apply to each of your target industries.

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

Research has to be an ongoing, continual process -- if you aren't continually talking to market experts, customers, and prospects, you lose credibility both with your sales organization and with your product organization. 

True standardization is less critical than repetition and at-bats, and building the muscles to produce high quality results quickly.

If you can do that well, you'll have earned a seat that the product leadership table to influence roadmap because it won't be "so-and-so the product marketer said so", but "this specific market research said so, and here's five quotes from prospects to back it up". 

I tend to think of product marketers -- especially including industry marketers -- as the voice of the market and of prospects back to product, and CSMs as the voice of customers. 

Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 13

This is really tricky to do well, and requires strong executive leadership and business operations support to pull off. Right now, at Procore, I work in an environment where our sales teams -- and thus revenue targets -- are set by our three primary segments, so I don't have this issue, but our Product teams do -- and I've talked to them a lot about it, and I have also had this experience back when I was at Salesforce. 

A few recommendations:

  • Use modeling based on prior year attainment by industry, and model growth on top of that.
  • Look at your TAM/SAM/SOM by industry, and what amount of growth is possible based on your current market share.
  • Know, and get agreement from leadership, on where your product feature/function gaps are, and which industries are going to be a really uphill climb. 
  • Get explicit buy-in from sales and revenue leadership on your program and how you and other industry-focused experts will be held accountable to any numbers if sales "doesn't have to care". 
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing, Procore TechnologiesJuly 14

First off, I think of both industry and solution marketing as specializations within product marketing; and there are cetainly successful companies that don't divide out their product marketing organization this way. The key distinction is the focus, and what the marketer needs to be a true expert in. 

All product marketers, of course, need to "know" their products, solutions, buyers, and market and the key messages and value propositions of the union between each of those things. But in companies with mature industry marketing functions, part of the product marketing organization focuses on the way to message and create value for specific industries and aligns closely with demand generation, sales, and (often) customer success functions also orientated towards those industries.

This create the opportunity to become deep experts into that component of the addressable market. 

Credentials & Highlights
Head of Industry/Audience Marketing; Director of Product Marketing at Procore Technologies
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Oakland, California
Knows About SMB Product Marketing, Influencing the Product Roadmap, Release Marketing, Vertical P...more