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28 min read

Product Marketing Insider [podcast]: Amy Shortman


Full transcript:

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  0:02

Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to the latest episode of the Product Marketing Insider podcast which is brought to you by Product Marketing Alliance. My name is Lawrence Chapman and I'm a copywriter here at PMA.

This week's episode is brought to you by Product Marketing Off-Piste, our 3-day virtual event celebrating innovative practice within product marketing. From December the 8th to December the 10th, we'll be joined by PMMs from companies such as Uber Eats, IBM, and PayPal, as we bring you 30 plus hours of content from 30 plus product marketing visionaries. Head to innovate.productmarketingalliance.com to secure your place, and end 2020 on a high. And remember, don't remember, if you're a PMA member, this event is included as part of your subscription.

To establish and elevate the role of product marketing, we're on a mission to speak to 50 plus PMMs to pick their brains on everything from their journey into the industry, which teams they interact with most, what skills they believe are critical for the role and a whole lot more. And this week, I'm delighted to be joined by Amy Shortman, Director of Product Marketing at Overhaul. Amy has 23 years of experience working across operations, sales and business development, and of course, product marketing. And we're going to be discussing her PMM journey and further detail during the course of the episode. But for now, welcome to the show Amy, and thanks so much for joining me.

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  1:19

Hello, Lawrence. And thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited to be here and to talk with you today.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  1:24

Oh, it's not a problem. It's our pleasure. So, first and foremost, I just wondered if you could give the listeners a brief insight into the services that Overhaul provides its customers, please?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  1:36

Of course. So Overhaul is a SaaS solution. And we provide global visibility and risk management to the supply chain transportation industry. So it's a pretty niche area. And that will within if we think of anything that's moving around the world, all of the goods, the healthcare, medicines, technology, what we really do is create a platform, and this can be used by anyone from fortune 10 companies all the way through to transportation road freight haulers to monitor their shipments moving around and to manage risks that they're incurring. So temperature, control goods, vaccines are very topical at the moment, we aggregate and bring all of that data together and manage what's happening in real time against a workflow, which would be their standard operating procedures of what should happen for compliance purposes. And any non conformances we flag so that they can react in real time and protect their ecosystems.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  2:35

Okay, awesome. And what is it that made you want to become a product marketer in the first place?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  2:42

Actually Lawrence, I didn't want to become a product marketer. I think that having listened over the past five, six months to a lot of your other podcasts, I found product marketing or rather it found me and I'm very happy to have found it. But it was not something that I originally set out to be. And the journey there as a lot of other participants that you've had on your podcast was a pretty interesting one. I started out my career, working in operations for a logistics company that moved clinical trial goods. So that was very tactical and operational role, and kind of moved from there into business development roles, all staying within the sort of sphere of pharmaceutical and high value logistics goods, what working for startup companies, who had temperature control, packaging, and setting up offices, in the UK, over in Australasia for them as well. And working within the logistics industry, within business development and kind of key account management. So within that sort of process, I have gained, as you mentioned in the intro, a lot of operational hands on experience of the industry, and also sort of sales and business development as well.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  4:12

You say you had experience of working at startups, and then experienced a variation of companies. Have you noticed the difference in the way in which product marketing is set up? Depending on the size of the company?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  4:32

I think one of the interesting things about product marketing is I didn't really know that it existed certainly not at the beginning of my career, but it was always something that I was drawn to. And now I understand the kind of components that make up product marketing. It's much more evident to me that naturally I would have found it at some point. And I think that having worked in small companies and startup companies and then also very well established fortune 20 companies as well, the role has developed over the years. And I think it really wasn't there initially. But the kind of building blocks for it have always been something that I've been keen on implementing and pushing into organisations. So my penultimate role before joining Overhaul was actually setting up my own consultancy, which is now being run by my husband. And with that as well, that really, I didn't realise I was doing product marketing and consulting on product marketing. And so I think that, yeah, definitely has changed over the years. And there's an increasing awareness of it now. And I hope that's something that we can continue to develop as well.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  5:51

Yeah, sure. And kind of just touching on what you said, with the consultancy side of things. Obviously, with COVID unfortunately rearing its head here, there are quite a few product marketers who are moving over to the consultancy side, but what would be almost like your, your key piece of advice for any product marketer who's considering taking that approach and going down that path?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  6:16

So I think that one of the biggest steps when I when I became a consultant was that, you know, you're so used to selling products, and what companies are doing, you actually have to flip that on its head and start selling yourself and really having a clear understanding of what your value proposition is, to a prospective client. And make sure that the messaging there is things that product marketers do really well, is very clear and concise as to what kind of what you're offering. And I think that the switch is a big one. Because of course, when you are consulting, you don't have this kind of back end office and all the other support that you normally have. And also just from being a product marketeer and being very used to that sort of hectic environment of being with quite a lot of different departments and juggling a lot of balls, going into a much more sort of solo environment can be a big cultural shake change. So just be prepared for that as well. And because you might not get that same sort of work environment that you're used to.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  7:21

And, in terms of, you know, your current role. In many ways, I don't really, really like asking this question, because I always get the same or very similar answer from a lot of people that speak to but if there is such a thing, what does a standard day in your role as a product marketer look like?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  7:40

Well, the first thing that I try and do every day is to do some exercise in the morning before I before I start work, and that over the past five or six months has been akin to listening to the Product Marketing Alliance podcast, which sets me in a really good frame of mind for working and think that sort of squeezing that exercise in and also is that transition from normal life to work. So that's the first thing to do. And that's very routine. And in terms of coming into the office, looking at what I have my tasks for the week, my task for the day, ensuring that prioritisation is still there, because I think that flexibility and agility are two skills that product marketers really need. And things change. And things change very fast. And particularly within the startup environment that I'm working with, at the moment, you have to be able to adapt to those changes. So just a quick check in as to that, what I think I want to do for today is the right thing; I work with predominantly a big team in the US, they're based in Austin, so they don't really wake up until about three o'clock UK time. So a lot of our communications are synchronous. And so within the teams that I'm working with, it's really important that we have very structured ways of communicating tasks. And often, that can be very beneficial when we have short timescales to complete projects because I can of course, help out with that during our mornings so that when they get into work, we have some of those tasks already complete. So the mornings tend to be very EU focused, I have two product managers that are working in Ireland, which is where our European headquarters are based. And I also have a direct report that's based in Ireland as well. So that's really where I would be doing a lot of my heads down strategy, a lot of my project work, and then the afternoon comes around and then that's much more and meetings being involved in in the different departments that product marketing work with.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  9:40

Okay, brilliant. And could you tell us a little bit more about the direct team in terms of the numbers and roles within it?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  9:49

Yeah, of course. So, in terms of direct reports, we're a startup company at the moment, so it's quite small. I have one business analyst who works with me. She's fantastic. She does a lot of the market research, total addressable markets, helps me out with some competitive analysis, intelligence research as well. And it's just that sort of additional support that allows me to really kind of focus on extracting that data and that research and putting that into strategy. Because, of course, research can be quite time consuming. And then I have a couple of kinds of heavy dotted line reports, Content Manager, and also Design Manager who report directly into Marketing, but I have a huge amount of day to day interaction with them as well. And so that's really it in terms of our product marketing team, there's one product marketing person, which is me, I have three Product Marketing Managers that I work with, quite closely within the product team. And I also have, of course, Sales, I work with our Customer Success team as well.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  10:58

Okay. And of those teams, which would you say you interact with most, and what's your relationship with them like?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  11:06

So I think I have a direct report to our growth team, which is headed by our Chief Marketing Officer, and Karen Stephens Is really the lady that introduced me to product marketing, I was consulting and working with Overhaul. And this role came up. And she suggested I do it as most other people that have recorded your podcasts, I went away to Google exactly what that role entailed. And she just had this kind of absolute undeniably positive belief that I could do this role. And because I think in careers, we always tend to look for a new job that has a similar role to the previous ones, there's not a great amount of, from an HR point of view, ability to look at skills, and to move those into new areas, which is exactly what her vision was, it was you have all these skills, your you know, you run training courses, you develop training courses, you have sales experience, you have consultative experience, you know, the market really well. We're going to bring all those things together. And this is the role that we're going to give you. So I work. I'm now working very closely with our Marketing team, we obviously have the lead gen side, the marketing operations side, on the content, I work mostly with that content manager that I spoke with and our design manager. And then with Sales, working for some sales enablement, ensuring that the Sales team is up to date and trained on products that we have, and also understanding really on messaging, positioning our vision and our mission as the company. And as being a startup company we bring on new people, it's really important that they are up to date with what it is we're doing as a company for our clients as well, I think that there is quite a in a startup curve, there's quite a lot of product development, that happens very quickly. And that's really exciting. But it's really important to make sure that everyone is aligned with that as well. Then on the product side, we have a vice president of product. He has three product marketers that I've mentioned, two of which are based in Ireland, and one in Austin in Texas. And really, that's kind of they have segregated out the products that we offer. And I work very closely with them on the go to market, the product launches, and that we do but also ensuring that our products are really designed for our customers. And one of the things that I love, I'm quite a theatrical and dramatic person anyway. But for me, one of the skills that I've always perhaps underrated at some point, and maybe thought was a bit a bit crazy, but it's actually getting into the mindset of anyone that we're working with. So if it's a driver, who is going to be using a component of our technology, I actually want to feel that I am that driver, I'm using it and to really, I guess, you know, empathy is something that I've had a huge amount mentioned on them on your podcast, I think that's really how you develop empathy is to become as close as you can to understanding what someone is going through what their daily challenges are, how your technology can help them individually, as well as the bigger ecosystem of the company benefiting from that as well. So that's, I think something that I give a lot to the product team, in terms of the product managers is actually that's great. But this isn't the real world. This is how it's dealt with. This is what those people are feeling and thinking. And the buyer persona and the user persona is something that's very, I think very different and they have to be looked at in a very different way because you have people that are buying A product but they're not always those people that are actually going to be using it and ensuring that we create something that's going to be mutually beneficial, hopefully, will be in the long term and create customers that are very loyal and value the products that we are creating.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  15:18

Yeah, sure, I totally understand what you mean about empathy, it's definitely something that's been almost like a running theme. Whenever, I've spoke to a product manager on the on the podcast, and just generally speaking, but in terms of how we you align your team, and making sure they're singing off the same hymn sheet, which methods or what techniques do you favour to try to make sure that everyone's pulling in the same direction?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  15:52

So, within Overhaul we have a very supportive executive management team. And I think that that's really critical in terms of the product marketing role, because they are very much involved in our messaging, our positioning of the company. And with that, we've transitioned from being a very startup environment, something's a lot more structured. With that, we've put in place some very robust procedures. So within the product team, we have a product change request, so anyone in the company who has an idea that could that could come from a customer conversation with our customer success team, anything that's kind of fed in goes through a very formal process of being looked at by a product core team, who look and they analyse, and they use all of their industry expertise to actually assess whether this is something that's a viable option. And then in terms of prioritisation on our roadmap, where that would fit in, that then goes through to product counsel, which is again, another cross section, heavily influenced by some of the executive team as well. And therefore decisions are kind of made in a very robust way in terms of filtering that information into the rest of the organisation. I really feel that product marketing is the glue between product sales, marketing and customer success within our team. Now, that's something that as we develop, and one of the challenges of product marketing is actually putting your stamp on the company and making sure that everyone from all these different walks of life and backgrounds have a very clear defined idea of what product marketing is. So that's something that I'm currently working on within my own organisation, and sharing with the teams through having service level agreements, and a very structured process of what I will do, or what my team will do and what we won't do. And that, I think, is time management, we're still very flexible, because we are in a startup environment. And for the first six to 12 months of being with this organisation, I did a lot of other more heavily marketing functions to help support and in a social media engagement and those sort of things that as we've grown, and we have people in now to do those roles really moving away and putting a lot of structure around that as well. So I think that creates a really good solid base, hopefully for the future going forward, where we can ensure that the processes and the agreements that we have between the departments enable that very standardised and cross company information flow.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  18:28

Okay. And then kind of going back to the relationships I know, we don't live in a dream world, but setting that to one side, if you could change anything about the relationships, is there anything that you'd change with your relationships that you have with your team to maybe enhance it and make it a little bit better? Are you happy with the way the things are at the minute?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  19:01

Well, first of all, having for the best part of I think, seven or eight years, been a consultant very much working on my own, I love having a team around me. So I really thrive off the creative flows that you can get from having that collaborative environment. And if I could wave a magic wand, it would be to have everybody instantly in sync with understanding the value of product marketing. Because I think that as a natural progression within our company, that product marketing is incredibly aligned with marketing. And so we've spent a huge amount of time working on a lot of asset creation and getting a lot of systems set up that there is a real affinity and a respect for the roles within Product Marketing and the value that we give and as they branch out further into the organisation. Now if I could click my fingers and everybody has Same relationship that we have with marketing, that would be great. That's not to say that I have any bad relationships with any of the other departments quite the contrary, but it just takes a little bit of time in terms of working together, because it is such a fluid role, and the line sometimes can be very overlapped, that it becomes something that is also depending upon the product manager that you're working with, and their level of experience, their expertise, where you can kind of give or take a little bit more. And so I always try to take a very flexible approach to the individuals that I'm working with making sure that I'm upskilling anybody with industry expertise and knowledge, and that's really critical as well. And I think that, you know, it's a skill set that product marketers have to do, we have to sell ourselves and our department internally within an organisation to get that collaboration. So it's, it's an investment in the future of my department and making sure that everybody does feel the value of product marketing, as opposed to me just telling them that we're really great. And we can support them in lots of ways. So the biggest thrill I get is when you know, somebody in another department puts out a request, it could be competitive intelligence, or you know, that they want to understand a particular market segment, or customer segmentation, and we can provide them with that information. And that helps close the deal or support the customer. And then they then kind of clicks in their head, that's the value. So to get to that eureka moment with everybody instantly would be wonderful, but it's working progress. And yet the tenacious side of me kind of enjoys that as well.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  21:48

Yeah, sure. I mean, even going back to what you were saying about competitive Intel, and we've just published the Competitive Intelligence Trends 2020 eport. And when we're analysing the results of that, it was really encouraging to see the collaboration between different teams, and it not kind of just been a case of like, product marketing, your, you know, taking this and running with it, and to see, you know, sales, customer success, etc. and getting involved in that process is an example. That was really nice to see. And, obviously good indication that it is going in the right direction. So that's always a positive, shall we say? So, um, in terms of your top three skills, and what would you say are the top three skills that have helped you get to a lot today?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  22:46

Tenacity would be one of them, I thrive off a challenge. And that challenge, you know, whether it be somebody seeing the value of the product marketing department, or just making sure that I'm doing the best job that I can, and, you know, never really giving up on something, maybe looking at things from a different perspective and being self analytical as well about how I approach certain things. I think that tenacity is really kind of driven through my career and has been a very positive influence there. In terms of product marketing, I think that imagination and intrigue are really key skills. So like I mentioned, in terms of getting into the personas I find myself like I visualise I'm morphing into these characters when I'm going through a persona exercise. And I'm fortunate enough to have a breadth of experience of working with all of the different personas that we currently work with today. And so I often find myself morphing into individuals that I've perhaps worked with in the past and thinking about, you know, really what makes them tick, what's going to help them, the type of characteristics, what type of, you know, assets they're going to be interested in. So I find that that ability to really be creative, incredibly important, as well. And the other thing that I think is really critical for startup environments one, but also, Product Marketing is being agile and accepting change because our work environment within Product Marketing is really diverse. And it can change literally hour by hour, somebody has an emergency requirement for a customer for some competitive Intel, you have to be able to manage your time really well but also adapt quickly and not sort of be somebody who wants everything very regimented and set in stone. So by nature, I quite like that jumping from one thing to the next. I find it exciting and I think that I'm quite good with change as well, with things like you know, spring releases and engineering changes and things being pushed down. If you were somebody who wanted a very regimented and planned approach, it perhaps wouldn't necessarily be a career that I would say fits very well with that type of personality. So yeah, the ability, embracing change, and just kind of rolling with it and seeing that as a positive in the long term.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  25:19

Okay, sweet. And would you say that there's a crossover between what you do 1pm does a company

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  25:26

in our company, it's quite separated, I think that, as I said, we work very, very closely with the product managers, they are very focused on the kind of functionality of it, the the crossover is really me imparting information on the market and the persona and the users and making sure that a product isn't just functional, it's actually enjoyable. And, and it gives the value in terms of what we have set out as our goals and missions, which are, you know, to to improve outcomes for our customers by intelligently managing the risk within the supply chain. So in order to do that, we really need to kind of have something that is easy to use, and that solves their particular problems, the product marketing team that we have our very engineering lead, and sorry, the product management team that we have a very engineering lead. And that sort of switch over as an organisation from being a startup and perhaps being more engineering lead in terms of what the technology is doing, to now being perhaps more product marketing and marketing lead, has been one that we have created a good balance for, I think, and, you know, the, the challenge with all product managers and product marketing departments is really to find that sweet spot of working together, understanding what were the roles and responsibilities are lying and being flexible enough with the individual product manager to understand what their strengths and weaknesses and industry expertise and experiences so that we can complete a product and get that product to market and launched very successfully. So a huge amount of collaboration there.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  27:20

Okay, and ideally, where does the role of a PMM and a PMM begin and end? Do you think there should be lines and boundaries in terms of responsibilities?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  27:32

I think there has to be a kind of a, like I said, I have a service level agreement, almost like a sort of a set of with each department that I work with what we should be doing and what they should be doing. And then things we should collaborate on just so that there is something written as the baseline, I think that flexibility has to come into play as is that of the individuals, their experience, what they know, all of these things have to be taken into account in order to get the best possible outcome for the company. And so I think a much more experienced product manager may be able to take some of the if in a startup environment where things are very busy, they may be able to take some of those and or they would be able to prepare, maybe a document that's much more towards what product marketing would do so that it makes my life easier, as opposed to somebody that's very new into the company, but I think it's about nurturing and developing individuals. And yeah, I like it to be a little bit flexible, because I think that we need to take into account what's what's best for the organisation. And I wouldn't really want to draw any hard lines with the team that I work with, because collaboration and that sort of team spirit is really important.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  28:50

Okay. And in terms of the process of introducing new products and features, what does that look like at your company? Could you take us through that process?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  29:00

Yeah, of course. So we tier our product releases, so we have tier one, going down to tier four, tier one would be a new and very exciting big product that we'd be releasing to market. And then tier two would be kind of a very valuable enhancement of a feature that we're adding to an existing product. And then the sort of smaller incremental releases all the way down to just kind of basic updates. So we, as I mentioned, a product team in terms of the very beginnings of an idea or development goes through a very formal process. So it's making sure that we have thought about market the user the viability of the product that we are developing and then prioritising that on our product roadmap. And that process is something that I think gives a lot of structure to the organisation and helps the engine. In terms of that planning, as well as the customers, making sure that they're aware of product enhancements, developments, new releases that are coming up as well. So we were actually just this week, we are releasing a tier one product to market, which is very exciting. And it's been a great collaborative process with the departments involved. And it's probably my first really big tear one release that I have done in this role. So again, a great learning experience. And I've listened to some of your podcasts and more specialised ones where you've spoken about product launches. And, you know, the more experience and the more information you can get is just invaluable. So these things have picked up a lot of tips from you along the way, which have been put into action this week. So thank you very much for that. But no product launch is always very exciting. I think that they're the aftermath of them as well, and should not be overlooked. So it's, you know, looking back being analytical, what could we have done better? What would we improve next time, and that sort of continuous quality process of reflection is really important as well. So that will be my next next stage in the next couple of weeks?

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  31:15

Yeah, just going back to what you're saying about doing no analysis, post launch. It is such a critical area, isn't it, just making sure that you don't almost like to rest on your laurels? And just making sure that you don't think that the hard work is done? Because in many ways, it just has only just started? There's always room for improvement, I'd imagine?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  32:53

Yeah, we've got the launch reflection, but then a product's going into the market and engaging with customers and getting that feedback. And that feeding into that continuous improvement loop of product and seeing actually, you know, how this concept that we have spoken about for so many months in development is actually being used and the testing of those, you know, processes and the was the value proposition correct, you know, did that is that what they're actually getting from this project that really is a continual process that goes on, for as long as that product really is in existence. So it's a big sigh of relief when a product is launched, but then it's immediately then looking at the life of that product and, and the enhancements that can be gleaned from customer feedback as well.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  32:36

And in terms of gathering your customer feedback, what kind of methods do you tend to lean towards? And also have you ever had any kickback from customers and have you struggled to get the feedback, that's obviously essential?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  32:53

We're dealing with a very wide and diverse section of users. So it can be anyone from a global quality director for a healthcare company who shipping vaccines using our system to ensure that the procedures and compliance has been maintained during a shipment and if something is going wrong, temperatures are going in Frankfurt Airport, the temperature is going up a little bit, then we actually push corrective actions so that that can be prevented in real time. So it could be anyone from that type of persona all the way down to a driver who is making a collection. So we have a very strong customer success team who work with our customers and have incredible amounts of two-way conversations on everything. And so it's really filtering that information in from customer success and having eyes on that information. And to see where we would need to delve a little bit further to get some further information. So something has somebody who has an idea, or they would like a change in the solution or technology. Maybe that's something that other people are interested in as well. So it's just really kind of, we have a solution that I guess we're not just selling a software product and people buy it and they go away and use it. That's it. It's very much that we have supportive functions that are working with our customers as we go along. So it's quite easy to extract that information from them on a daily weekly basis.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  34:27

And in your opinion, what do you think needs to change our product marketing? I mean, I know that we're bound to be a little bit biased in many ways. But if there's something that you look at and think to yourself, you know, there's room for manoeuvre to change this and enhance it, what would you say that would be?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  34:51

Separating product marketing from marketing, almost like we could have a different name altogether; that would that would help massively! I think understanding in the industry, what the role is, and that's our jobs, all of ours, you know what we're doing today, and what we'll go and take away and push within the companies that we're dealing with as well to actually give Product Marketing its rightful place and the value that it can bring. I think that it's a really exciting role. And it's something that, you know, like I said, at the beginning, I was doing this for years, and I didn't even know that there was a there was a title for all these things that I love doing and looking at looking at the personas and creating sales enablement and training people on product and, you know, looking at markets and where the gaps were and all of a sudden there you rica moment that, that I had I mean, I i've been obviously given this job by a company and was then working on the job and thinking is, is this is my doing this, right, because, you know, there's all these things that are happening, it isn't normal, that it's so kind of chaotic and stuff. And it was actually through the Product Marketing Alliance and listening to, you know, it could be product marketers for HubSpot or LinkedIn, all these amazing companies that were actually kind of reflecting back to me what my day to day work was, and a riff reaffirming that what I was doing was correct. And not only that it was normal. And so that, for me, has really been invaluable, it was a eureka moment finding the Product Marketing Alliance, and then sort of, it's like finding a home I fit. And this is what we do. And this is the right thing that we're doing. And it's a normal day, it feels like this, and there are ways that you can improve some of those aspects. But I think then, you know, the next stage is to get that eureka moment to the wider world and to really kind of share what product marketing can bring to organisations and the value and and really how it differs from other areas of marketing. And so yeah, that's, that's what we'll do going forward.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  37:00

Oh, well, it's nice to have you part of the PMA family! If there are any new or aspiring product marketers listening to this podcast, what would be your advice to them to make sure that they're able to embark on their own product marketing journey and get the most out of that?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  37:23

I think that, you know, learning and listening as much as you can to the industries that you're working in any experience, I think that you can glean from any other departments will be a value within, within Product Marketing, anything operational sales, business development, customer facing all of those roles, including product, I think that people have seemed to develop into kind of metamorphosize like a butterfly from being in those departments, and all of a sudden, they come out into this product marketing world that and they using a lot of those skills. So just really think about product marketing as somewhere that you can be, but the jobs that you're currently doing, and there probably are roles within that, that will be super beneficial for you to get experience and, and really kind of hone your skills within that. So yeah, just be open and open to learning new things, you know, podcasts are a great way of learning and, and never stop learning. You know, I'm 42 years old, and I love learning. And I think that that sort of drive and tenacity for being in new environments, learning about new products, and understanding where perhaps you aren't so experienced. And being honest about it, that's a really hard thing, especially as you get older, it's like, I don't know, everything. So you know, if there's a product manager who can help share some insight, you know, those kinds of mutual symbiotic relationships are really important. And sometimes it may be somebody who's 20 years younger than you that has this amazing knowledge on a subject and being able to kind of say to them, Do you give me you know, half an hour of your time to run through that. And, and for the younger people coming up, you know, that the insight and the new visions and the ideas and your affinity to technology is something that the older generations within industry really values. So it's like, look at what you're good at, and what you can give, and then what you can get, and have that trading relationship all of the way through with everyone that you're working with. Because, you know, we older people within the industry, we have experience, we can share some of that with you, you perhaps have a different perspective, and particularly when we're talking about, you know, users of technology. And so, you know, let's all collaborate in that and just value what you have right now. Because that will only be something you can build on an industry experience and market experience, and things only come with time. So just be patient and see the value that you have today.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  40:13

Absolutely, patience is a virtue. And finally, to round off this amazing episode, with 2021 around the corner, what do you think next year has up its sleeves for product marketers and the industry as a whole?

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  40:36

So, I think that the interesting thing is that we've all been put on a very even pedestal of all working from home. I've been based from home, always, but what's been great is the rest of the team also being in that same environment. So I think that in terms of the industry as a whole adapting to new forms of communication, really enhancing and developing our asynchronous communication, and particularly with different time zones is vital, and developing strategies for prioritizations. And that working from home flow, which some people are very at ease with, and others less so. So I think in terms of just generally 2021, that's some of the hurdles, I think. And then also there will be that reintroduction to office life again. So not remember not to forget that some of us are still working from home remotely, is really important in terms of product marketing, I hope that there is a seismic leap with the adaption of people to understand what the role is, as technology is. And we're kind of as an industry heading towards kind of 4.0 and, and more processes and job roles, potentially moving over to technologies really kind of how we can leverage that to enhance our creative side. So there's a lot of functions that product marketers and a lot of other departments are currently doing, which could be automated or helped by technology, which will allow us to free up some time. And I'm thinking things like, you know, competitive Intel research and just general research things that are very time consuming utilising technology solutions so that we can actually spend a lot more time absorbing that data and giving that data meaning in terms of strategy. So I hope that that's going to be something that we really start to, to see as more people have been pushed to work from home, there's been a more favourable management spend, I guess, on technology that can kind of help a lot of these processes. So if that stays, then it allows us to have a little bit more creative and thought time, which I think is really critical at any way to take that time out of your week to just think.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  43:12

Amy, thank you so much for joining us on this week's episode it's been absolutely amazing talking to you really, really enjoyed it. And I hope you've enjoyed it as well.

Amy Shortman - Overhaul  43:21

I've loved it, thank you so much for having me. And yeah, thank you for all that all that you give the industry, because it really does make a difference to us product marketers, so thank you.

Lawrence Chapman - PMA  43:32

Oh, no, no, it's not a problem. We love doing what we're doing. And we're so but you enjoy consuming our content. So thank you so much, and then all the best for next year.

Bryony Pearce - PMA  43:46

For those of you still tuned in, thanks so much for listening and if you enjoyed the podcast, please help us spread the word to other product marketers. Before we leave you to get on with your day, if you want to get involved, here are a few ways you can: if you're a product marketer, and you want to come on the show and speak about your day, a specific topic or your role in general, that's one option. If you want to flex your podcast hosting skills, being a guest host is another. And finally, if you or your company want to sponsor an episode, there's a third. That's again and have a great morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are.

Written by:

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence is our Copywriter here at PMA who loves crafting content to keep readers informed, entertained, and enthralled. He's always open to feedback and would be thrilled to hear from you!

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