What is a product marketing manager?
Product Marketing Manager collaborates with the likes of product development, marketing, and sales, to develop and implement strategies for company products and/or services.
What do Product Marketing Managers do?
Product Marketing Managers are responsible for:
- Positioning and messaging
- Competitive intelligence
- Market research
- Supporting sales with value propositions
- Demand-gen marketing campaigns
- Voice of the Customer
Product Manager vs Product Marketing Manager
There’s often a misconception that a Product Manager is the same as a Product Marketing Manager.
We’ve outlined the differences between a PM and a PMM to ensure you don’t confuse the two.
Qualifications for Product Marketing Managers
To perform as a Product Marketing Manager, it’s pivotal that you understand the intricacies of the product marketing role and develop your skills.
Here at Product Marketing Alliance, we’ve got a collection of courses to help you refine your understanding of key principles.
Enroll now and improve your performance.
PMM career expectations
Product marketing is an area that’s growing in popularity within the job market; there’re more people harboring ambitions of transitioning into the profession and beginning their journey as a PMM.
But what’s in store for them when they begin, and what can they expect?
Here, we’ve provided an overview of the expectations of a product marketing career to prepare you for what lies ahead.
How can a product marketing manager stand out?
Selling your skills is an important part of being a successful Product Marketing Manager. After all, what good is it having an array of qualities, if you can’t show them off?
Abby Barsky, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Cord, gave her advice on how to sell your product marketing skills and stand out as a Product Marketing Manager.
Account management vs product marketing skills
Mark Assini, Product Marketing Manager at Jobber, offered his insights into three skills an account manager should leverage to become a Product Marketing Manager:
Skill 1: Translating client problems into marketing solutions
I’m sure many Account Managers have experienced being approached (sometimes frantically) by their client with an urgent, and oftentimes vague, request for support with a time-sensitive project.
The client has been asked by their boss to accomplish a specific goal or reach a specific metric, but with little direction as to how other than to go to the agency partner for help.
When confronted with this problem as an Account Manager, it’s often your job to contextualize that problem, understand it, work with internal creatives to conceptualize a solution, and then ‘chunk’ that solution into tangible deliverables with the help of your Project Managers and creative team.
As a Product Marketing Manager, you’re often asked to do the exact same thing, your customers, and not your clients, often come to you with vague problems that they want you to help solve.
Sometimes you have to do a lot of digging to uncover those problems, as customers aren’t always fully aware or able to communicate the problem effectively, but one way or another it becomes your job to help solve those problems.
Next, assisted by input from customers (both existing and potential), market research, input from sales, and competitive intelligence, you work with the product team to conceptualize a solution.
Product Managers, working closely with you, will chunk that solution into various projects and iterations that will eventually turn into a tangible solution in the form of a new feature or service.
The contextualize, understand, conceptualize, chunk, and deliver process may appear on its surface to be vastly different depending on whether you’re an Account Manager or a Product Marketing Manager, but fundamentally, it’s the same.
Skill 2: Communicating with empathy and clarity
During my time as an Account Manager, I often chatted with clients about the professional and personal impact of the problems the agency was helping them to solve.
Whether the client was an independent business owner, whose livelihood depended on the success of their business, or they were an employee of a larger organization, those problems impacted them in a variety of ways.
Some felt the pressure of solving a problem they’d been assigned by their manager, while others spoke with excitement about the value the solution to their problem would bring.
After sharing those feelings, these clients expected a clear and concise solution or way forward.
A good Account Manager makes their client’s problems (or opportunities) their own, and the best way to demonstrate that shared ownership is through empathy. It’s vital that Account Managers put themselves in the shoes of their clients, or their client’s customers, to fully understand the problem or opportunity they’re facing. It’s arguably even more crucial to show them that you care and understand as much as they do.
Demonstrating this care tells the client that you get it, that you’re there to help because you know how they feel, and that you’re the best person to help, because of that shared understanding.
Equally important for an Account Manager is to then share and communicate your recommended solution clearly and concisely - clients, and more importantly, their customers, don’t have time for fluff.
They want to know what you plan on doing, how you plan on doing it, and why it’s the right course of action—in as few words and in the shortest amount of time possible.
They’re busy people, any time wasted getting from problem to solution is wasting billable hours, which, for the Account Manager and the agency may feel like a monetary win, but in the long term it often has a detrimental impact on the agency-client relationship.
Skill 3: Juggling multiple clients and their numerous projects
This last skill is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s surprising to me how few Account Managers use it to their benefit when applying to new roles.
Everyone says in an interview that they’re a multi-tasker, or can do two things at once, but few roles can demonstrate and back up this skill better than an Account Manager.
As an Account Manager, you’ve probably got a roster of clients across a variety of industries, each ranging in size (both in terms of headcount and sales).
Each of these clients serves a vast array, and vastly different, sets of customers, all of which are targeted and sold to, again, very differently.
Each client will have their own unique set of needs, specific to their organization and their style of work, which means across clients it’s unlikely that two projects will ever be the same.
The end deliverable might be similar, but the creation, management, and execution of any project are almost never identical. A great Account Manager is an expert at not only juggling clients and their respective projects but also at prioritization and over-delivering.
As a Product Marketing Manager, you’re at the center of it all - you collaborate and support the marketing, product, sales, and support teams.
More importantly, you ultimately support your customer. If you consider all of these people to be your clients, everything I’ve said about being an Account Manager is clearly applicable.
The internal teams a Product Marketing Manager supports ultimately serve the same customer, but the teams have their own needs and ways of doing things that are specific to their own unique relationship with those customers.
As a result, depending on the time of year, initiative, or goals, those teams will have a variety of projects that a Product Marketing Manager would either be leading or working on. Ensuring your internal teams, and their customers, are happy by staying on top of those projects is the mark of a true Product Marketing Manager.
Bonus: Account Manager responsibilities that are similar to Product Marketing Manager responsibilities
When I was making the jump from Account Manager to Product Marketing Manager, I was surprised by how closely some of the projects I’d worked on as an Account Manager resembled the types of responsibilities and projects I’d be working on as a Product Marketing Manager.
As a bonus, I’ll list some of those below, some aren’t a one-to-one comparison, but are related enough that you could reference them in an interview.
In some instances, the work you might do as an Account Manager is in fact exactly the type of work you’d be expected to do as a Product Marketing Manager, for example:
- market research;
- positioning and messaging;
- developing marketing and communications plans;
- market segmentation, and;
- storytelling, to name a few.
With these three skills and this bonus list, you should be in good shape to start preparing for your first PMM interview.
If you’re looking for even more resources, might I suggest PMM Hired?
Once you’ve taken a look, the only thing holding you back from your adventure into a PMM career is you. So what are you waiting for? Good luck!
25 skills required to be a Product Marketing Manager
There’s so much that product marketers must juggle within their day-to-day responsibilities, including competitive intelligence, project management, customer and market research, and sales enablement, to name a few.
With product marketing continuing to evolve and develop into such a multi-faceted industry, there are an array of industry-specific skills PMMs need to master to reach the peak of their powers.
We reached out to the product marketing community to see what skills they thought were absolutely essential for every product marketer to have.
Based on all this feedback, we refined the list to 25 of the most important skills that PMMs should be taking into 2022.
NB: Some job titles may have changed since these quotes were provided.
“Product Marketing Managers are, and always should be, customer-centric. We value the voice of the customer and are proud to advocate for their wants, needs, and pain points. It’s our responsibility to make them feel heard, so always find time to speak to your customers.
“Put your customer at the heart of everything that you do. “With research, ensure you get a blend of both quantitative and qualitative insights to cover all bases and provide the best possible solutions to their problems.
“Also, with your team, be your customers’ internal representative, and always bring these insights to the table. Consistently remind your internal stakeholders of the importance of customer intelligence. They are the most important part of your business, after all.”
An extract from the Product Marketing Manifesto
“I've always been a "product person'' and I thrive on unlocking previously untapped opportunities for consumers through a product offering, like helping our users understand how they can listen to Spotify in their car, or how to listen to their favorite playlist in the background while playing the latest console game.
“For me, a good product marketer understands, and puts the customer at the forefront of everything they do, and then works meticulously to help unlock those opportunities.”
Rupert Englander, Global Consumer Product Marketing Lead - Platform and Partner Experiences at Spotify
Tune in to an insightful presentation by Chris Hines, VP of Product Marketing & Strategy at Axis Security, on the subtle art of winning through customer centricity.
“Your product and your customer are the two most important elements of being a product marketer, and must always be your primary focus.
“We need people who can deeply understand these products because, for all intents and purposes, they are the subject matter expert internally for the marketing and the sales organizations.
“So, they need to be intensely curious, they need to be able to break down this product, and they need to be able to articulate it concisely to peers and customers. So strong product orientation and curiosity is a must.”
Francis Larkin, VP of Product Marketing at Clockwise
“Given how marketing has moved from an ‘art fest’ to a ‘science fair’ the ability to find, analyze and interpret data is a critical skill set to master.”
Axel Kirstetter, Vice President of Product Marketing at Datasite
“PMMs need the ability to make hypotheses and run experiments at scale with an optimized framework for priority across the user journey. Testing, iterating and repeating (answering from a more hands-on day to day execution).”
Malav Warke, Founder and CEO at Creatosaurus
“They must be storytellers. All other skills can be taught, but if you can’t tell a good story you can’t be in product marketing”
Jason Friedlander, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Edgecast
“Product marketing’s about telling stories that connect the technical value of a product or service to the desire to use it. A good product marketer helps drive this narrative through content creation, digital campaigns, sales enablement, and launches.
“A better product marketer helps thread a consistent story arc through these marketing motions, so your audiences hearing a familiar story grow and become familiar.
“This requires skills like stakeholder management, excellent communication, strong writing, organization, and some creativity.”
Holly Watson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon Web Services
Sign up for our Storytelling Certified: Masters course and learn from an expert in the field, Elliott Rayner, CMO at ARION, to truly optimize your storytelling skills.
Elliott also hosts our specialist storytelling podcast, Storyselling, in which he and a range of product marketing leaders from the likes of Adidas, Asics, and Gymshark, break down the four stages of the storytelling process: the story, the speaker, the listener, and the response.
“A good product marketer’s empathetic. They’re able to put themselves in the shoes of someone else and see the product through their eyes.”
Phill Agnew, Senior Product Marketer at Hotjar
“The best product marketers are people who have deep customer empathy - once you know the deepest fears, passions, and concerns of your customer, you're able to do anything!”
Madison Leonard, Product Marketing Lead at ClickUp
Multi management/working cross-functionally
“The job of a product marketer’s like sitting in the center of the universe.
“You can influence each stage of the customer journey because the customer lifecycle is intrinsically tied to whether (and how) they use your product.
“This means you have the potential to create strategies that power the growth of your entire organization.
“You’re the first to know about new products, inform sales and customers, and you can partner with many cross-functional teams.”
Jennifer Bunting, Head of Product Marketing for EMEA & LATAM at LinkedIn
“A good product marketer will be able to work well with any team within an organization – the role spans from product to delivery/customer success and understanding that your role as a product marketer is a keystone role will serve all product marketers well. “
Melis Carroll, Vice President of Product Marketing at Majesco
“I think good product marketing is the foundation of good marketing. A good product marketer has their finger on the pulse of the entire market - both the vendors within it, as well as the needs and behavior of buyers.”
April Dunford, Founder of Ambient Strategy
“I think today’s product marketers should be big-picture thinkers. They should know their customers, know their business and how it makes money, know their products, and then lastly know how sales effectively position and sell them.
“In my opinion, outside of that, the criteria for a good product marketer can vary.
“All should be passionate about their customers and advocate for them, but some product marketers enjoy going deep on products, while others prefer to focus more on supporting sales and distribution. Neither is right nor wrong. So, identify your passion and go for it.
“Whichever path you take, the most important thing is to make sure you can always put yourself in the shoes of today’s customers and sellers, and be able to visualize and/or orchestrate the experience and journeys you want them to have. And then, of course, be able to tell a great story.”
Tiffany Tooley, Head of Product Marketing at HubSpot
“Advocacy - representing our customer, representing the business goals, and the skill to navigate around to drive the best outcomes.”
James Doman-Pipe, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Remote
“I think the best PMMs have an excellent grasp of product development, customer needs, business strategy, and have the creative ability to distill this knowledge into simple and effective communications.”
Eve Brill, Director of Product Marketing at Farfetch
“I believe a good product marketer has the ability to understand the complexities of the product and the complexities of the market and customers and translate it to a language everyone understands.
“It's imperative that this person has great communication skills to be able to take a product and help people buy it with the best possible experience.”
Felipe Cardoso Barbosa, Product Marketing Manager at VTEX
“Product marketing’s central to the success of any tech company. It's truly the "hub of the wheel" connecting many teams like sales, customer success, community, product, and other marketing functions.
“A good product marketer understands this position within the company and can speak the different languages of the many stakeholders required to successfully drive feature positioning and adoption. It’s a multidimensional role that requires a lot of context shifting and information management.
“These are also the reasons why I love product marketing and think it's such a vital role in any tech organization's success.”
Sean Lauer, Head of Product Marketing at MURAL
“‘I got your back.’ How many jobs get to say that about their customers, sales teams, marketing teams, and product teams? I love product marketing because it makes all four worlds better.
“Each group needs the other to be successful, and product marketing ties them all together. That's the magic of a true partnership.
“Good product marketers understand each group's needs. Awesome product marketers understand their needs, bring them together, and help them solve the problem as a team.”
Alyce Erikson, APAC Product Marketing Lead for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
“In essence, product marketing is a central nervous system of companies. So, interaction with everybody is equally important.
“I think product marketing is kind of an aggregator in many ways. You're aggregating what's going on from the product side of the world.
“For example, you’re helping enable the sales teams by doing the sales enablement, talking to customer experience and understanding what's going on with customer experience, what's going on with the consumers and customers, whether it's a B2B buyer, or whether it's a B2C buyer, what are they really giving the feedback on?
“So every different department is important in this case.”
Su Simha, Chief Marketing Officer at Morressier
“The role of a good product marketer is to dig into and decode the ‘why’. For me, curiosity comes naturally – in former roles, ‘why’ was always the first question I asked when I was assigned a new task, sometimes to the annoyance of my manager.
"When that level of curiosity meets with the required empathy to do the job day-in and day-out, that’s where the impact of product marketing really felt."
Laura Foster, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Innovid
“I truly believe that product marketing is the linchpin to sustainable business growth, and that product marketers will be the next generation of CEOs.
“For me, a great product marketer has an unsatiated curiosity about customers and the market, a high level of business acumen, and the ability to build and share a compelling narrative.”
Tamara Grominsky, Chief Strategy Officer at Unbounce
“Whether you’ve spent a year or two in product marketing or are completely new to the field, it’s important to establish that you enjoy products and are generally curious about them.
"Curiosity’s one of the most important skill sets to cultivate as a product marketer, and it’s something that drives my interest in the role today.”
Yasmeen Turayhi, Founder of Modern Product and Product Marketing Consultant and Advisor
“Product marketing, as a discipline and a mindset, allows me to bring my full self, every day, into my work.
“There are no wrong answers, just better experiments, all in an effort to tell just the story that has yet to be told, to just the audience that has yet to hear it.
“So to me? A good product marketer simply looks like that: someone whose natural curiosity, insatiability, and drive to find gaps and solve problems brings them closer and closer to their (and their product's) why, every day.”
Aubyn Casady, Principal Product Marketing Manager at G2
In a world brimming with products and companies fighting to be seen and heard, product marketers must continue to think outside of the box and help their products and organizations stand out from the crowd.
So, using your creative skills is essential as you’ll need to explore and implement multiple ways to continue to differentiate your product- particularly in a saturated market.
“Creativity - you need to think beyond templates, frameworks and copy-pasting.”
Anatolii Iakimets, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Bold Commerce
Motivation and productivity are two skills that are essential to the success of the role. As a product marketer, you need to have a passion for what you do and what they’re selling. After all, if you don’t believe in your product, how can you expect your consumer to?
You must push yourself to continue working, refining, and improving your products, and your product marketing strategies to continue to grow in a market that is constantly changing and evolving.
Use your work ethic to get ahead of the competition, and refuse to settle for less than what you are capable of.
Tune in to The Goald Standard podcast with Scott Shapiro, Principle Product Marketer at Qualtrics, where he speaks with PMM experts on how to achieve and surpass your personal and professional goals.
"A good product marketer is a strong problem solver who can analyze a problem, come up with creative remedies, and ruthlessly prioritize the solution to pursue.”
Jana Frejova, Product Marketing Lead at Spendesk
“Product marketing is not just about high-level mission and vision planning. You need to understand where you are now, the intended outcomes, and make choices that’ll move you from A to B.”
James Doman-Pipe, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Remote
“Product marketing’s such a central and strategic role, interacting with almost every part of the business. Plus there's a lot of problem-solving involved, which is really satisfying.
“For me, a good product marketer’s someone who gets a genuine kick from collaboration and has a knack for great storytelling and strong copywriting. There's a lot more to it, but those are the standout factors.”
Rory Woodbridge, Head of Product Marketing at Pleo
“[A good PMM is] A natural leader who drives collaboration inspires others to dig in behind a common goal, but also someone who’s not afraid to speak up to senior stakeholders.”
Jana Frejova, Product Marketing Lead at Spendesk
“Without a strong PMM, innovative products may never find their audience. We can end up with technical "solutions" that are searching for a problem to solve. A PMM gives products a better chance of finding traction and building momentum.
“A great PMM is able to: 1) lead and inspire without formal authority, 2) tell stories that build identity and community, and 3) operate at every level of thinking from strategy to implementation.”
Alex McDonnell, Marketing Intelligence Lead at Airtable
“I believe that a good product marketer should be curious, self-motivated, and self-manageable. They should also be very empathetic to customers' and internal teams' needs and always listen to their feedback.
“A good product marketer should be able to prioritize things and should always know how to say "no" to people.”
Natasha Katson, Product Marketing Manager at Bananatag
“I’ve always been a generalist at heart. Call it work FOMO if you want, but I’m happiest when I get to have an impact on all aspects of the business. Product marketing allows me to strategically influence the success of product, marketing, and sales.
“The downside to this is that a product marketer’s time is in high demand—there is always an abundance of projects to tackle. But just because a product marketer can do it all, doesn’t mean they should.
"An excellent product marketer recognizes this and works with their leadership team to ensure they are working on things that will have the greatest business impact.”
Morgan Molnar, Director of Product Marketing, Global Insights Business at Momentive
“Product marketing’s exciting because it’s strategic and lies at the intersection of many teams.
“Product marketing requires an awareness of the market, competitors, and customers to build informed strategies and launches.
“A successful product marketer’s someone who factors in all of these broader realities into their plans, while also managing and influencing the many cross-functional stakeholders.”
Adam Kerin, Vice President of Product Marketing at Truework
Sales writing impacts audience engagement, and engagement impacts your direct sales. So, this is a particularly important skill for product marketers to master.
“The world’s getting more complex, more technical, and more distributed. Generalists that can collect, distill, collaborate and effectively communicate this information to make different stakeholders care is only getting more and more important.
“Product marketers are almost like a swiss-army knife for an organization - they can lean in closer on sales strategy, product strategy, marketing strategy, and generally always can bring different perspectives and voices to most meetings and viewpoints - always focused around the customer.”
Nick McLachlan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon
“Product marketing, when done right, is really the glue that connects together otherwise quite detached organizations.
“A good product marketer spans the diversity of skills required within the function, though everyone will have a natural penchant towards one side or the other.
“Whether it's inbound research, product strategy, GTM operations, or creative storytelling, identify your strengths within that and capitalize on them.”
Samer Ragheb, Product Marketing Lead at TikTok
“Active Listening - whether it’s listening to a prospect, user, analyst, or internal teams, you need to fully understand the information that you’re getting and be able to play it back in your own words.
“Being able to effectively communicate (written and verbal) is essential for bridging internal teams (product, sales, marketing, etc.) with external audiences (buyers, users, prospects, etc.)”
Jeff Rezabek, Director of Product Marketing at Testlio
“Product marketing has become essential to every company's strategy and execution. We are the glue between our internal stakeholders (sales, product, customer success, exec team, the rest of marketing) and our external ones (customers, prospects, partners, analysts, reporters, influencers, etc.).
“Because of that highly cross-functional aspect, great product marketers tend to be connectors - they are able to listen, synthesize, educate and liaise the different parties in a seamless and strategic manner.”
Julien Sauvage, Vice President of Product Marketing at Gong
Strategic and tactical thinking
“A good product marketer’s equally strategic as they are tactical. They must be able to both define and understand the vision, as well as break it down into an action plan to execute against that’ll bring it to fruition.”
Cody Bernard, Head of Product Marketing at Dooly
“PMMs need the ability to build relationships and influence. If you can't do that, you won't get anything done.”
Maureen West, Vice President, Product Marketing Strategist at Publicis Groupe
“A good product marketer is very clear about the benefits and strengths of his/her product and understands the competition in & out. They’re sharp, analytical, lead with confidence and have an ability to influence their peers, assertive and comfortable taking the back seat when the time comes.”
Syed Azharuddin, Marketing, Strategy, and Growth Manager at Luminous Power Technologies
“A mix of both hard skills and soft skills is required to be an effective product marketer.
"Unlike engineering, or roles that require logical and analytical thinking entirely, product marketing requires both analytical and logical thinking as well as emotional and intuitive intelligence.
“You need both reasoning, intellect, emotional intelligence, and intuition to master the first principles of Product Marketing.”
Yasmeen Turayhi, Founder of Modern Product and Product Marketing Consultant and Advisor
When running big projects and launches, it’s essential to be organized so that:
- Things run as smoothly as possible,
- All the right people know what they’re doing,
- Your stakeholders are happy, and
- You’re not having to waste time repeatedly explaining processes, or finding things that aren’t organized correctly.
At the end of 2020, we released the Top 100 Product Marketing Influencers 2020 report, a celebration of practitioners who’d left their mark throughout the year.
Within the report, we asked the creme de la creme of PMMs, as voted for by their peers, what they think makes a great product marketer - here are some of the responses we received.
NB: Some job titles may have changed since the publication of the report.
“Great product marketers have three things.“They’re a creative generalist marketer, an amazing storyteller, and advocate for their customer and space.“Also, they know how to create cross-functional momentum inside a company, big or small.”
Marcus Andrews, Group Lead, Product Marketing at HubSpot
“A great product marketer is both curious and influential. Curious product marketers gawk at the product and gawk at the customers.
"An influential product marketer can better champion customers' needs throughout the product's life cycle, increasing the success rate of the product from cradle to grave.”
Carolyn Bao, Product Marketing Consultant at Intuit
“A great product marketer thrives in ambiguity. They can move effortlessly from forest to trees and everything in between. They are naturally curious and a fantastic communicator.”
Lindsay Bayuk, CMO at Pluralsight
“A great product marketer can be defined as someone who is both an athlete AND a specialist. They can operate as a generalist if on a small team tackling a multitude of different projects across the business. They can also go super deep into something that requires more strategic thinking and attention to detail.”
Cody Bernard, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Drift
“A great product market is an alchemist, a juggler, and a gossip. PMMs ultimately find ways to turn products into something that our customers need and the sales team can sell. We manage multiple touchpoints, from beta testing to sales enablement to storytelling with data, to masterfully manage go-to-market strategies that drive revenue.”
Jennifer Bunting, Head of EMEA Product Marketing at LinkedIn
“The Japanese embrace a concept called Kaizen, which is the focus on continuous improvement to get 1% better every day.
“I believe a standout product marketer remains curious, empathetic to the customer needs while staying bullish on the quality and excellence of the customer experience.
“Internally, a strong product marketer brings the company purpose to life by evangelizing customer insights and are the connectors and glue that bind the organization behind a common goal.”
Bree Bunzel, Head of Global Customer Marketing at Dropbox
“In my view, an essential skill for a PMM is the ability to build bridges across internal and external functions where myriad perspectives from product, marketing and sales combine to create a single company-wide strategy and voice that resonates with buyers.”
John Clark, VP of Product Marketing at Genesys
“An insatiable and exhausting drive of curiosity is 100% necessary to be in this field. Truly great product marketers are skeptical optimists who question the structures and expectations around them.
“To effectively create change, however, PMMs must know how to question gently, with a sense of humility, being careful not to let opinions and ego derail a genuine outcome for the customer experience.”
Tania Clarke, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Atlassian
“Understanding both the commercial and product side of the product. Being a multitasker that can sort through vast material to provide the right input. To succeed, being able to know what should be delegated to other specialists in a team to be able to focus on growth-enhancing activities.”
Liza Collin, Market Readiness Director at Visma
“Great product marketers have an unbreakable connection with their customers and the markets they serve.
“Without deeply understanding customer needs, we as product marketers lose our ability to influence strategic decisions around product, pricing, and positioning. We become a supporting role, and product marketing is meant to be so much more than that.
“The best product marketers know who their customers are, what they want, what they need, and how to bring those desired solutions to market. They know how to use data to turn hypotheses into concrete, indisputable insights.
"They refuse to take orders and earn a seat at the table with a track record of driving measurable growth. None of this can be achieved without a relentless focus on what our customers need from us.”
Lauren Culbertson, Co-Founder and CEO at LoopVOC
“Empathy. I believe ‘empathy is currency’ – and as long as we continue to focus on listening, understanding our clients, and finding ways to make their lives easier and more full of happiness, we’ve done our jobs. If we focus on those things – the revenue will come.”
Karyn De Jong, Director of Product Marketing at Morningstar
“One of the key characteristics of a great PMM is the ability to take a step back and approach a problem with a strategic framework in mind, one that helps to snap everything into place in an elegant way, and ultimately execute and operationalize a great solution to that problem.”
Nikhil Dhingra, Director of Product Marketing at ringDNA
“A great product marketer is someone who likes variety and thrives on challenge. On any given day, they might be asked to quarterback a product launch, or dig into data on their pipeline issues, or lead a partner enablement session, or explain their product's positioning. It's important to have the attitude of "hey we'll figure this out" because every day is a little bit different.”
Priya Doty, VP of Product Marketing at IBM
“In my opinion, a great product marketer sees the bigger picture. Great product marketers don't get distracted by the tactical details of running better campaigns, telling better stories, or building better content.
“They obsessively focus on running the right campaigns, telling the right stories, and building the right content. Great product marketers drive strategic alignment across product, marketing, and sales.”
April Dunford, Founder at Ambient Strategy
“Agility, commitment to the end-user experience, and a strong understanding of how, and when consumers consume information.”
Serena Ehrlich, Director of Product Marketing Management at Business Wire
“A great product marketer connects the dots - they think of the implications of their launch on not just sales and marketing campaigns, but also customer success, pricing strategy, and operations.
“When they talk to a customer, a sales rep, or a support team member, they read through their own product's messaging and how they can make it better. They get the numbers and metrics that matter to their business and build strategies, campaigns, and new ideas for their product line that move the metrics.”
Kelly Esten, VP of Partner and Product Marketing at Toast
“A great product marketer never compromises on delivering the best possible experience for customers. Great product marketers paint a compelling, ambitious vision, and then work across multiple teams on behalf of customers to bring it to life. Great PMMs thrive at the intersection of data, creativity, and empathy.”
Carrie Friedrich Narla, Principal Product Marketing Manager at Amazon Prime Video
“In addition to core PMM competencies on (i.e. messaging and positioning, product launch, enablement, etc.) great product marketers can tell compelling, contextual stories that inspire action, work collaboratively with invisible influence and prioritize projects and programs based on revenue impact.
“This requires them to communicate clearly and drive accountability so they can demonstrate their value as an information connector and facilitator of outcomes.”
Jarod Greene, VP of Product Marketing at Apptio
“A great product marketer is driven by curiosity, approaches problems from a place of empathy, and can simplify complex concepts through the art of storytelling.”
Tamara Grominsky, VP of Strategic Growth at Unbounce
“I think one of the things that make a great PMM is their ability to use lateral thinking in everything they do. Learning to use an indirect and creative approach to problem-solving and coming up with reasoning that is not immediately obvious is quite beneficial when you are an integrator.
“PMMs need to connect the dots across disciplines, industries, and ICPs to do their job well. It's almost impossible to follow a playbook with so many moving parts, which is why lateral thinking is such a great skill for PMMs.”
Maya Grossman, VP of Marketing at Jumpstart
“I’d say the most important product marketing skills are passion, great communication skills, and expertise.”
Mary Hall, Director of Blockchain Product Marketing at Oracle
“Curiosity and empathy! To truly understand and empathize with your user or customer, you need to understand their needs and care about making things better.”
Sara Hall, Head of Product Marketing and Brand Solutions at TikTok
“Don't just try to know your customer. Use this time to meet with them (virtually). Walk-in their shoes. Find out what matters to them. Find out how to help them on whatever journey they are on.
“What you'll be left with are stories that matter and share those successes with others. If that's not marketing I don't know what is.”
Dain Hansen, Director of Product Marketing for Database, Analytics, & Business Application Platform at Google
“Being an engaging and inspiring storyteller to affect change. Not just when it comes to crafting and telling compelling messages, but also to use the art and science behind that skill to lead others through a successful product launch in new ways, or to excite sales teams in how they can challenge their prospect's and customer's status quo thinking, or aligning product and development teams to build real value for clients, and not only reacting to feature requests.”
Ali Hanyaloglu, Head of Global Product Marketing at Akeneo
“Trustworthiness. Product Marketers influence teams to work better together and generate stronger results. If they can't gain trust, they will be relegated to fluffy projects with less impact.”
Rene Hardtke, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Integrate Inc.
How to improve product marketing skills
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