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Product marketing questions week #82

Trending Questions

Last week saw the super successful launch of Product Marketing Rendezvous! 💘 3 immense days of incredible presentations, expert-led discussions, and recruitment matchmaking from the likes of Linkedin, Microsoft, Whatsapp, and Facebook.

Missed the live-action? Don’t worry!

You can catch the replays with a PMA Membership😉

Speaking of memberships, we're offering a very special event this week, which is free to attend for PMA members (or just $50 for non-members 😀).

Thursday, Feb 25th, (6:30 pm GMT | 10:30 am PST | 13:30pm EST) Position yourself for success with PMA expert Harvey Lee.

He’ll be spilling the secret sauce on how to enhance your product marketing career path and future prospects.

Our Slack community has also been busy helping each other out with stellar career advice this week.

Let’s check it out.

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


Q: How do you go about naming your personas?
I have three separate user segments that I'm working on and I'm not sure what the best practice should be. I've research personas online and seen it go a few different ways:

1. Alliterations with first names, "Marketing Mary"
2. A full sample job title or first name with a descriptive quote for more context:
3. Nancy/Nurse: "I love serving people in whatever way I can. I love my job and volunteering within my community."

Sample full names with more detail & context in the rest of persona "Jon Rollins."
My company has never put together personas before, so half the battle is defining the distinct personas, and how I present this to the rest of the company will build their first foundations of working with marketing and also define how they consider users moving forward.

A: “At a previous company, we just kept it real simple. First names.

Mark, Molly, Alex. Mark was a self-identified marketer, Molly was “mom blogger” / content creator. Alex was an affiliate. The whole organization referred to them all the time. This was pre-Covid, and we had posters of them (good non-stocky stock photos) throughout the whole office and in meeting rooms.

“I appreciated that whole experience and it was successful for us. The alliteration helps a ton, but I don’t think you need to add it to the naming convention. Nancy is the nurse. Mary is the marketer. I think people will get it and remember it without saying, Marketing Mary or Nurse Nancy.”

Tom Tate, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Phenom People

“It was recommended to us that we stopped using names and stuck with titles only. CMO, Product Marketer, Sales Manager, etc. We have several personas and found that it was hard for everyone to remember the names and roles together. We are a 100% remote company.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

“Names are a nice way of making personas accessible and inviting empathy, but can also be confusing or a distraction. To that point, try to stay focused on the attributes that are relevant for how marketing and sales should identify and interact with these roles. Personality can distract from that with extraneous information or reinforcing stereotypes (have you thought about using Nick?).

“If this is your first foundation of working with marketing, try to pilot the personas with a smaller group within marketing or sales to create a messaging guide or prospecting script based on the personas. A common misstep is to roll out the personas without showing how they're relevant to making the company effective which can lead to misperceptions of marketing as out of touch.”


Q: Which tool do you use to organize your launches? I need a tool with a lot of integrations like Jira, Mailchimp, Intercom, Lessonly. For now, we are using Monday but it is a bit limited when it comes to product.

A: “Excel. I don't feel I need a cool tool.”

Yitzy Tannenbaum, Product Marketing Manager at AlgoSec

“For high-level cross-departmental project management - SmartSheets. For Marketing project workflow and intake - Wrike.”

Melanie Karunaratne, VP of Marketing at Ivanti


Q: Does anyone here have any experience in productizing a service? I have a couple of questions. As a matter of fact, I have lots of questions, but let’s start with the basics: how did you start?

A: “This would make a great learning conversation. There are tons of companies that cannot package their services correctly. Does PMA have an informal learning option - maybe an AMA, but also a lunch/dinner/drink ‘n’ learn?”

Maureen West, Director of Product Marketing at 6sense

“This would be a great discussion at next month’s PMA Watercooler chat - this will be on Friday, March 12th.

Rose Johnstone, Community Director at Product Marketing Alliance


Q: We are a small startup (B2C) hiring our second full-time marketing hire. We want to prioritize exceptional content (social media mainly) as we're a D2C brand. What is your experience in hiring creatives vs. marketers? In my experience, the two skills are very separate - you usually either have skilled designers or skilled marketers.

A: I’ll share my experience with the caveat that I come from a B2B background.

“I went to school for design and did design/creative work for the first 3 years of my career. Now I'm in marketing leadership roles. It's not an uncommon trait to find, at least in B2B marketers. Most social media and content folks with small-company experience know that they'll need to wear a lot of hats and have picked up skills in Canva or similar tools. My advice is to think about what's most important to you and optimize for that set of skills. How can you set that person up to support their weaker side (i.e. if you hire for marketing skills, can you get them part-time access to a freelance designer? Pay a freelancer to set up a lot of templates in Canva? etc.)”

Justine Jordan, Head of marketing at Wildbit

“Depending on the product and the market you are in, content could be a big differential for your company. Having a good creative early on means you'll have a strong brand from the start - and you can always "use" a creative mind to develop more technical content down the road, from SEO pages and email marketing content to creating an entire event from scratch! At least that's what we did here at SouSmile.”

Laís Domeneghetti, Head of CRM at SouSmile


Q: Have you ever surveyed your sales team? If so, what questions did you ask? I know we’re not 100% meeting the expectations of sales and I’m looking for ways to get more detail/data on how we can improve enablement and sales confidence.

A: “I know this isn't answering your specific question, but in my experience, the best way to meet expectations is to attend sales calls with them. I've found that this builds empathy for their role and helps PMM better understand customer challenges and needs as they move through the sales cycle.

“When I've used sales surveys or had open forums during sales training events, much of it turns into a complaint session. Sitting next to them during sales calls with prospects and customers, from my experience, breaks down silos and opens up better communication. You can then improve enablement and confidence.”

Eileen Licitra, Product Marketing Strategist at Insight Out Marketing

“I try and set expectations about what I can deliver and my remit (serving the market, not individual sales deals), give examples of where I see an opportunity for me to support using data as a proof point (e.g. win/loss shows this competitor is causing us quantifiable business pain in X industry) and then try and ask in a positive light "Which of these assets/projects would help you be more effective next quarter".

“I was transparent about the results and prioritized projects that were fundamentals first (e.g. we lacked a 1-page overview as a starting point) and then moved on to the tasks that had the most reach by rep/market/quantifiable business impact.

“Given you mentioned your team is a lot of reps and not a lot of PMMs it could also be worth dividing and conquering between the team to support based on buyer persona (e.g. delivering persona-based assets that are adapted to their requirements) or by pain point (e.g. competitor deep dives for new hires, product deep dives for another group) so they understand you're contributing to their success, even if you can't do everything on the list.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“My colleague and fellow PMM recently sent an enablement survey to our sales team. Here are some questions we asked via Google Form.

  1. How confident are you in articulating the features and benefits of our product X, Y, or Z? (Different questions for each product)
  2. What features are most challenging to articulate the key benefits for?
  3. What features do you usually get the most questions about in your demos or conversations?
  4. I have enough Marketing resources at my disposal in order to push deals through my pipeline for X, Y, or Z (Likert)
  5. I know where to go to find the resources I need to include in my prospecting or follow-up efforts. (Likert)
  6. How often do you share marketing resources in your follow-up?
  7. Of our available Marketing content, what type of resource do you use the most (in your demo follow-up, in your prospecting, etc)?
  8. Based on your conversations, what types of resources do prospective or current customers request the most?
  9. What is your favorite resource to share (your Ace card) during the sales process? Why is it valuable?
  10. If you could have one new resource that we don’t currently have, what would that be?”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education


Written by:

Emma Bilardi

Emma Bilardi

Emma is a Manchester-based freelance writer. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, and in the last few years predominantly about product design.

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Product marketing questions week #82