Stephanie Kelman, Head of Product Marketing at Keap, gives us an insight into her experience with the Product Marketing Core: Teams certification we have here at Product Marketing Alliance.

In our chat, we discussed:

  • Why Keap enrolled
  • Why they chose Product Marketing Core: Teams
  • Stephanie’s favorite parts of the certification
  • How it’s enhanced her credentials
  • The impact it’s had on her career
  • Her advice for those looking to sign up

Why Keap enrolled

What was your motivation for signing up for the team certification?

My previous leader at Keap is the one who first introduced us to Product Marketing Alliance, and presented it as a great opportunity for our team to get some more education on product marketing and get certified.

And I think what was so awesome about it is product marketers come from all different companies, all different backgrounds - maybe they came from different orgs at your company - and this was a way for us to learn together. So, to get on the same page and to start to get that foundation.

For some people, it was a refresher course as maybe they'd been doing product marketing for a while. For other people, it's brand new information. But with this course, we're all on the same page. We're all starting from the same information and things that we can now apply to our day to day about product marketing. So that was the motivation - getting the team all together in one half of one certification course.

Why they chose PMMC teams

Why did you choose the team certification? Why did it stand out above market alternatives?

It was just the only one out there that is so focused on product marketing, and if you're a product marketer… it's the most unique job in the world and having a certification course that's just a little bit about this, and a little bit about that, it's not really going to work for you.

This was the one that was like “we live and breathe product marketing”, and that's what's gonna attract product marketers to take that course.

Stephanie’s favorite parts of the certification

What was your favorite part of the team certification, and how have you transferred insights into your day-to-day practice?

I love the course curriculum. But that wasn't necessarily my favorite part because that's just being in school - it’s what you're learning. My favorite part was the recordings of the lectures that you could watch towards the end of each segment. It was amazing to see these all-star product marketers speaking at a conference. And I understand it's not live, but it felt like they were talking to me.

It felt very special that I got to see that presentation of something I just learned in the course. But seeing these all-star product marketers, someone who I'm aspiring to be, showing me exactly how to do that in real life just felt like such a value, because we’d normally be paying 1000s of dollars to go to a conference like that to hear those lectures. And I got to experience it as part of the course!

The other thing I love that I did take advantage of for a long time is the weekly live Zoom meetings with other product marketers, and you got to talk to an expert product marketer - a senior leader. And so that was an amazing opportunity for me. I work at a small midsize tech company and there are only a few product marketers. So, that was awesome for me to be able to log on once a week and ask these crazy off the wall questions that I have about my daily business and my daily strategy, and they gave me great insights and great answers to help me with my day-to-day.

How it’s enhanced her credentials

How has the team certification enhanced your product marketing credentials?

I was so excited because I was able to add it to my LinkedIn profile. [Product Marketing Alliance’s] a really well-known name out there. So people definitely recognize it when they see it on your profile and on your resume. And the other thing, too, is just seeing other leaders out there and seeing their names, seeing the companies they work for the types of things they do, it helps to expand my understanding of the market and future career opportunities that I may have.

The impact it’s had on her career

If you hadn’t signed up for the team certification, what impact do you think this would’ve had on your product marketing career?

Well, it definitely had an impact most recently because I've been hiring some newer people. So, I brought on people who are relatively new to product marketing, and we now sign them up for the course.

And that in itself is so helpful for me because they are getting the best education and the best learning about being a product marketer and I'm not having to do that teaching myself. So, it's a great way to outsource some of that. And again, it's now getting those newer PMMs on the same page as me, as we now take that strategy together and execute it into our business.

Her advice for those looking to sign up

What would be your advice for PMMs who may be considering signing up for the team certification?

I mean, obviously, you'd say 'just do it'. But I understand that's not so easy for everyone. Because, yeah, it's an expense; a time expense, and a monetary expense. What I would really encourage product marketers to do is: bring it to your leaders.

Whether it's your VP of Product Marketing, your CMO, or maybe even your HR team in charge of benefits, show them that this is something that you want to do to become better at your job, and you're able to serve the company better. And a lot of times you'll find that they're super willing to pay for or give you a stipend for it because they just see the great benefits of that.

And as a leader myself, with direct reports, I would be just so impressed if one of them came to me with this curriculum core saying, “Hey, this is something I want to do to become a better product marketer”, I'd say “wow, yes. Here's the money to go do it. Good for you for finding that for yourself.”

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