Alan McAlpine, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Onfido, heard about the Product Marketing Alliance Mentorship program through our PMA Slack community. The team often posts new initiatives we’re working on—he saw that post appear and had to check it out!

In this case study, Alan discusses

  • Why he enrolled,
  • Why he picked us,
  • The mentor programs main benefits,
  • Key outcomes, and
  • Why you should enroll

Alan’s motivation

Alan was working on a personal development plan, which is something Onfido takes very seriously. As a relatively junior PMM he was looking to build confidence in the tools of his trade and advice on how to become a product marketing champion within the business, so having an external party to talk through that journey with just made total sense.

“We’re a relatively new profession,” Alan explained. “And so a sense of community is really essential to our collective development. Initiatives like the PMA mentor program are brilliant examples of that coming to life. I was quite simply looking for folks within product marketing with complementary skills and considerable experience that I could learn from. It wasn’t so much about “tell me what to do”, but rather about bouncing ideas off someone who’s “been there, done that” in the profession.”

Why the PMA mentor program?

Before Alan came across the mentor program he’d looked at online courses, books, podcasts, forums, etc. to hear what other product marketers were doing, “picking it up on the fly”, as it were.

After his initial research, he was especially impressed by the registration process in which you sign-up, select areas of focus, and select a mentor from the list. “It was great to see the scope of mentors on display—their experience, where they’re strong, and where they’re looking for mentorship themselves. Simply providing this much information is a great first step and means that I was able to make an informed decision on my PMA Mentor,” he said.

“I was particularly impressed by the ability to select areas in which I feel strong in, and areas in which I feel I’m lacking at the moment. The PMA program then matches mentees with mentors based on complementing skill sets. Crucially, this really forces you to think about the areas you want to learn more about, and what you think, on reflection “oh yeah, I actually feel pretty confident about that!”.

What are the mentor programs’ main benefits?

Alan benefited most from setting goals with his mentor and checking in at certain points to access actionable advice and support.  He was also impressed by the rolling cadence of the mentor/mentee meetings.

“As a starting point, the program stretches over a few months, with a monthly touchpoint booked in by default. This was a brilliant opportunity to check-in, chat through what you’ve done over the past month, and create action items to crack on with for the next month. It’s a simple process in essence but keeps the question of “how do I improve item-by-item?” in the front of your mind.”

Key outcomes

Taking part in the mentor program has increased Alan’s confidence in his day-to-day product marketing activities and even helped him move up the ranks to Senior Product Marketing Manager.

“Having a regular cadence of feedback in terms of “in my experience, this is a helpful framework, or good practice” from Sean, my PMA mentor during the Program, was super helpful in terms of having another trained, external perspective on my day-to-day.

“I received a professional promotion at Onfido during the mentorship program, being promoted to the role of Senior Product Marketing Manager. The mentorship program was super helpful in the months leading up to this, as my check-ins with Sean were a great opportunity to ask questions from an external viewer around how I can make that leap.”

Alan plans on returning to the program materials and the tools he gained throughout as he looks towards a bright future in the industry.

“Firstly, I’ll continue to use the assessment I made of myself during the registration process as a guide when asking “how am I doing relative to where I’d like to be as a product marketer”, optimizing for those areas I’d like to double-down on.

“Secondly, I intend to use the PMA Mentor Program again in the future as a mentor!

“I’d highly recommend the PMA mentor program to anyone looking to get involved! It’s a great opportunity to (a) reflect on how you’re doing in your own professional world, and (b) have regular check-ins with someone external to your professional setting who can provide tips and pointers in an unbiased manner.

If you’d like to tap into invaluable expertise as a mentee or help other product marketers reach their full potential as a mentor,  sign up for our Product Marketing Mentorship program.