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Product marketing questions week #79

Trending Questions

Last week, we celebrated PMA membership’s first birthday! 🎉

And with a breadth of exclusive content, access to our mentorship program, and a variety of templates and frameworks (plus much more), there are plenty of PMMs getting bang for their buck. 😉

Not a member yet? There’s no time like the present. Sign-up with code PMABIRTHDAY, get 10% off an annual membership (expires February 5th, 2021), and start believing the hype.

In the meantime, check out the latest activity in our Slack community, where every day is a celebration. 👇

Wanna join a product marketing community this year? Head over to our slack community for real-time responses from fellow product marketers.

Q: At what stage of a startup’s lifecycle (i.e., angel, seed, series a, etc.) is a Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager hired?

A: “Product Managers are hired very early - as soon as the CPO/VP of product needs help managing the engineering teams.

“Product Marketing Managers are recruited once the PMs are not able to successfully bring their products to market because of the size of the team or velocity of development.”

Nick Ziech-Lopez, Director of Product Strategy at MessageGears

“Somewhat anecdotal, but I would say a PM hire takes place after Seed, while a PMM is recruited after Series A or B.

“The CEO is the PM and PMM in the beginning, then she/he delegates to a PM. Once you have a few PMs, your PMM is hired as a multiplier and starts taking over some of the strategic market stuff the CEO used to handle.

“Before PMM, marketing is just demand generation. After PMM, Marketing starts growing broader into brand marketing, customer insights, etc.”

Dekker Fraser, Vice President of Marketing at Talkatoo

Q: What does the structure of your Product Marketing team look like? I’m currently tasked with planning out the hiring of this year and I’m the only Product Marketing Manager. My first hire will be a copywriter since I am sharing one with other team members. But what positions should I  keep in mind later on?

A: “I was the first PMM hire at my current company and joined six months ago.

“After I'd defined Product Marketing remit across key areas of responsibility, I identified priority projects that aligned with stakeholder and business objectives and fundamentals that needed to be put in place to be able to execute my role.

“Then, chatting with my line manager we did some analysis on what could be carved up either by external support, 3rd party tools, or hiring. In my case, it was finding a dedicated resource who could fully own Market Intelligence and we hired that person 3 months ago.

“I did a similar "Red Orange Green" analysis to see where I was making progress and where there were gaps and now we're hiring a third person to focus on customer comms and product adoption.

“Being able to quantify business impact versus alternatives (outsourcing/tech) helped a lot!”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“For myself, it's been a copywriter and designer first. Following that is dedicated PMMs to Sales Enablement, Competitive Intel, Branding/Messaging, the go-to-market process, etc.”

Stephen Burg, Director of Product Marketing at Cyberbit

“I used UpWork to hire designers and copywriters on contract. For full-timers, I began with a growth marketing specialist, then a marketing analytics expert to help us dig into the marketing engine and iterate on weak spots.

“Finally, since our product was pretty technical and required a good amount of enablement/education, I hired a technical readiness specialist who focused on educating and building assets for the sales teams to do their jobs.”

Rukma Sen, Product Marketing Manager, Cybersecurity Solutions at Microsoft

Q: Have any of you moved from customer success to product marketing? If so, what are 3-5 tips or things you wish you knew?

I am moving a CSM over to report to me and I want to make sure I set her up for success. She has been taking on marketing projects for the past 6-9 months now and has been interested in making the move over. Any advice is appreciated!

A: “I’m currently a CSM who works closely with product as my team’s product liaison. I’m actively pursuing a PMM position at my company so am eager to hear others’ insights here!

“For me, learning how CS and Sales’ needs differ when it comes to the go-to-market has been eye-opening. If your CSM is not handling the upsell and renewal process, that is also a good starting point to learn more about product positioning and need-based pitches.”

Jada Gale, Senior Partner Success Strategist, Product Liaison at FreeWill

“I started my career in Customer Success and I'm in a similar situation to you with a current CSM making the jump to my product marketing team next week!

  • “So much CSM work is about immediate solutions (product is broken, customer has a deadline, etc) for a specific customer/use case, that I found I had to break myself of my bias for fast, specific solutions. I had to intentionally shift my focus toward looking at problems/processes/questions from a mid and long-term viewpoint and look at how they impacted a larger swath of customers.
  • “So setting your new hire up with any projects that forces her to stretch those muscles might be helpful. I remember that working on enablement pieces that were used across the customer lifecycle and industry verticals was something that helped me shift from looking at solving one customer's problem today to thinking about a broader audience in a longer time horizon.

“Similarly, so much of a CSM's daily schedule and prioritization is dictated by client needs and internal processes like onboarding schedules and QBRs that it was a bit daunting to have full control over prioritizing tasks and getting work done. So support here with clear prioritization and check-ins was helpful.”

“Getting quick exposure to other parts of the org that I wasn't so ingrained in (new biz sales, product, ops/finance/legal) who are important partners was key. It helped balance my natural bias to do what made the most sense for the CS team because I knew their world the best and got me bought into the whole scope of PMM work outside of just enablement.”

Matt Heng, Product Marketing Manager, B2B, and Self-Serve at Ibotta, Inc.

A: “Why wait that long?

“If I download a copy of Veeam's backup, I generally get an email within an hour or less providing some info on use cases, and if I need any help getting up and running - so the download is registered as a lead and placed in an inside sales rep's inbox.

“Then, there's the drip campaign to highlight particular features, encouraging me to try them out and create some stickiness, etc.

“Can you tell when someone's installed the product vs. just downloaded it, and add some logic into the drip campaign? It might be a good trigger for a follow-up after 1-2 days - they had intended to download to begin with, so why didn't they follow through and install?

“Also, is anyone in your org tracking how long till sales reach out to a lead? Do they reach out within a business day or two?

“Finally, gather any feedback from successfully converted customers as to whether the existing emails helped, or weren't right/customers still had to go to support /they wanted something else during their trial process.”

Luke Walker, Marketing Specialist

“You can push them to download on the website immediately after they submit the form. Or just push them to download first, and then require login (account creation) to access the software.

“You can use marketing automation in HubSpot (or whatever) to push people to download, but this won't be required if your first CTA is to download (vs sign up) and also: the reason they are not downloading may be one of motivation...so keep pushing the benefits of the software, even if the goal is getting the download.”

Dekker Fraser, Vice President of Marketing at Talkatoo

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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Product marketing questions week #79