This article was taken from a presentation for the Product Marketing Summit, San Francisco 2019 by Vidhya Ravi, when she was the Head of Brand Marketing and Communication at Automattic. She is now the Principal UX Research Manager at Microsoft. Catch up on all presentations with our OnDemand feature.

A quick question before I dig in: did you start your career in product marketing straight out of school? I didn’t.

I started my career in traditional CPG brand marketing with Procter and Gamble, and then a couple of other CPG companies. What was interesting about starting in that area is that I thought that my role and responsibilities would translate directly into other marketing jobs when I left that industry. I quickly found out that I was completely wrong.

In this article, I’ll be looking at:

  • Understanding your customer - who’s job is it anyway?
  • Why product marketing is essential to your brand.
  • When to start building your product marketing team.
  • How to start building your product marketing function.
  • Conditions for success.
  • Writing your own destiny.

Understanding your customer – whose job is it anyway?

I transitioned from brand marketing into tech, and all of the things that I’d previously done, like understanding consumers and figuring out how best to talk to them, were suddenly off my plate. I was expected to create assets – lots of them – and that was a problem when I didn't quite understand the consumer or what they did.