In this episode of Product Marketing Life, host Mark Assini, speaks with Jason Oakley, founder of Productive PMM, about what it means to be a founding product marketing manager (PMM).

As the first PMM hired at a company, founding product marketers have the opportunity to build the product marketing function from the ground up. However, this also comes with the responsibility of getting alignment across the organization on what product marketing is and does.

Jason shares his experiences as a founding PMM at several tech startups. He explains how the role requires an entrepreneurial spirit, as you often have to "fly the plane while building it." 

Founding PMMs need to balance executing tactical work like upcoming product launches, while also putting foundational elements in place like positioning, messaging, and go-to-market processes.

‎Product Marketing Life: How to launch the PMM function from scratch, with Jason Oakley, founder of Productive PMM on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Product Marketing Life, Ep How to launch the PMM function from scratch, with Jason Oakley, founder of Productive PMM - Feb 2, 2024

About our guest

Jason Oakley, founder of Productive PMM

Jason is a product marketing coach, consultant, and creator with 10+ years of experience building PMM functions from scratch.

He’s built product marketing teams at three different companies (Klue, Chili Piper, and Uberflip) — each time starting as a founding PMM.

Now, Jason’s on a mission to help founding product marketers and early-stage PMM teams scale faster, focus on the right work, and drive real impact within their organization.

Also a proud father, Newfoundlander, Raptors fan, morning person, and lover of dad jokes. Jason once wrote a children’s book about a fox named Rocco.

Key takeaways

  • The importance of tapping into the minds of founders
  • Why you need to look for someone who can fill skill gaps (but also has an entrepreneurial spirit) when hiring a PMM
  • Why founding PMMs should aim to have a seat at the table with key executives
  • Who should product marketing should report to, marketing or product?
  • Why focusing on buyer enablement content makes it easier for prospects to buy

And more!

Get involved

Keen to join the conversation?

Why not take a look at our Slack channel? Not to boast, but our Slack community is the biggest gathering of product marketing enthusiasts on the planet (okay, that was a bit of a boast 😉).

We discuss everything from sales engagement to messaging strategies, and there’s a constant flow of templates, resources, and even the odd ‘roast’. And it's completely free to join!

Don't miss a beat – you can catch all of your favorite product marketing episodes right here: Product Marketing Life.