I’m Irit Schwartz and I’m the Director of Product Marketing at Digital Turbine.

Before I move into the main topic of this article, I'll tell you a bit about me.

I've spent six years in the product marketing space, five of them leading PMM efforts at Facebook for SMBs.

Last year, I took on the role of Director of Product Marketing at Fyber, which was recently acquired by Digital Turbine, and now I'm building out their product marketing organization.

I've spent 12 years in the advertising industry, first in digital advertising, then moving to traditional advertising, before switching back to digital advertising.

I've moved around quite a bit, from Tel Aviv to Dublin to now being based in London. I'm a proud mom of two, and my girls keep me busy. I'm a relentless coffee drinker. I love everything about coffee and probably should have more coffee right now. That's me in a nutshell.

In this article, I'll explain:

  • What a connector is.
  • How to explain what it is that you do.
  • How to communicate effectively when you're launching a product.
  • What to do when product is speaking about features while clients care only about outcomes.

What is a connector?

I'm here to share my thoughts on how we PMMs are connectors and how we lean on this strength to bring teams together and drive actions.

Let’s delve into that “connector” term for a sec. I first encountered the word connector as a strength in the StandOut strengths assessment, which I did while I was working at Facebook.

The StandOut strengths assessment was created by Marcus Buckingham in 2011. The idea is to identify the strengths or natural talents that people lean on in their day-to-day work and how they can become even better by nurturing these strengths. That assessment identifies nine different strengths and highlights the top two.

My top strength was being a connector. That didn't really tell me anything, but when I looked at the definition, I found out that connectors are multipliers, always trying to bring people and ideas together to make things better than they are now. Connectors are also catalysts, speeding up reactions between people and groups.

Cool, I thought to myself. But ironically, I didn't really connect with the definition. I was in sales at that stage and I didn't understand how the idea of a connector related to me.

It was only when I became a PMM that I realized that, you know what, I am a connector. I do lean on my connecting abilities to bring different teams and different processes together – I should own that! So I did.

The way that I found out that I was a connector is by finding and fixing the disconnects in communication and processes I saw every day at work. Here are the three main disconnects I used to find myself coming up against:

  1. People didn’t understand what I do.
  2. Teams were not communicating properly during product launches.
  3. Product was communicating features, but my clients care about value.

I found that through the processes that I will happily share today, I was able to overcome these obstacles and connect teams, ideas, and people. Let’s dive into how.

Help! People don’t understand what I do!

Let's face it: the PMM role is not as straightforward as that of an engineer or a sales manager, so it kind of makes sense that people don't understand what we do. In fact, 70% of PMMs don't feel like the product marketing role is fully understood, and this is according to a Product Marketing Alliance report, so you know it's true.

So what do you do when people don't know what you do? Well, you explain and you explain again.

What is Product Marketing? - Your Complete Guide
Product marketing is the driving force behind getting products to market - and keeping them there. Product marketers are the overarching voices of the customer, masterminds of messaging, enablers of sales, and accelerators of adoption. Learn more in this complete guide.

I'd like to share the framework I use to explain to stakeholders what my organization does and delivers on. I built this framework when I first joined Fyber. Since the acquisition, there's been even more need to introduce what my function does because I meet people every day who have never worked with a PMM before.

Here’s how I like to summarize product marketing:

My organization's objective is to drive business growth by bridging between our products and business teams and translating product capabilities into business value and outcomes and amplifying this through our messaging and activations.

Ten points to me for including everything product marketing does!

This is true for Fyber specifically. We're a B2B company and highly sales-led, so we lean on our sales teams to push product adoption forward. I also shared how we do this, and what we deliver on, so our main stakeholders are very aware of what to expect from us.

I also shared how we measure success, and this is key to the success of every marketer, right?

A lot of the time marketing is not considered as connected to the business’ end goals, so to me, it was important for my stakeholders to know that I'm helping them to drive our business.

I'm helping through quantitative abilities like increasing product adoption and increasing revenue through product, as well as by collecting client quotes and case studies. I also contribute through more qualitative aspects like gathering positive feedback from clients and helping to create a positive perception of the company overall.

Another thing I did was talk about product marketing overall for my stakeholders to understand that product marketing doesn't look the same at every company and that our scope, responsibilities, and day-to-day activities vary quite a lot.

I explained our inbound activities that influence the product and the product roadmap – the areas where PMMs lean more towards product and less towards marketing. We can support product with opportunity sizing, customer segmentation, competitive analysis, and client feedback.

I also highlighted the activities of an outbound-facing PMM. They tend to focus on activities that influence launches and the growth of a product in the market. They also look at things like growth planning, go-to-market plans, sales enablement, and all that good stuff.

I went a step further and gave my stakeholders tangible examples of what we had delivered in the last quarter, so they would know, for instance, that this product was growing due to an activity that product marketing had led.

Some tips to help you explain your role

  • Have a good grasp of what you do and how this contributes to business results.
  • Share that with your teams and stakeholders.
  • Share with teams how they contribute to your work and how you contribute to theirs.
  • Give specific examples.
  • Train and onboard new hires so that whenever they come to your team, they know what to expect.
  • Be okay with people not knowing what you do. It's not a straightforward role, so be willing to explain and explain again.

Help! There’s a product launch happening and the teams are not communicating properly!

Let's move to the next disconnect: broken communication between teams during product launches. I've encountered this in multiple roles within Facebook and Fyber.