Last week, we launched our first report of the year: The State of Product Marketing Leadership 2021 Report. 📖

In the first of its kind, we hone in on all things senior PMM, including the strategic and team management elements of the role, career progression, organizational structure, PMM hires, and tying PMM to revenue - we’ve covered all bases. Check it out.

Rebecca Geraghty, Director of Product Marketing at Publicis Media, also took the reins on an insightful discussion on messaging in our second Clubhouse meeting, while the Slack community contributed their insights.

Not a member of the Slack community already?! Sign up now for free access to real-time responses from fellow product marketers.

Product marketing interview questions and tasks

Q: Does anyone have a good task and/or assignment that can be given to an aspiring product marketing during their interview process?

A: “We recently hired a Head of Product Marketing and I asked him to fill out a 30-60-90 day document and review it with us during his second interview. I know this was a senior-level role, but my HR team really liked this concept and so did the applicant as he felt it gave him a starting place for when he came on board as well.

“I think these types of documents give hiring managers insight into how much research an applicant does on the company and the role, and whether or not the applicant has a grasp on how they would tackle the role in the first 30, 60, 90 days, I find this is super helpful regardless of the level of the role.”

Lisa Weaver, Head of Marketing, Americas at DigitalRoute

“We usually give them a product launch exercise - give them a new product/version/feature and ask them for a complete launch plan (without prompting this, it ideally covers everything from product messaging through sales enablement through launch day tactics through PMM metrics, as well as key people they would work with, etc.)”

Jeff Boehm, Chief Marketing Officer at Formlabs

“I always have a pretty standard set of questions I ask them to prepare answers for. The point for me is to see how people think, that they can research, and think critically but also creatively. The effort put into answering is also helpful to show me the kind of output I can expect from them as well (eg. word doc vs presentations - though my caveat with the task is I never expect a presentation - I think that could be overkill on someone's time!!)

  1. Why might someone benefit from the type of product you offer?
  2. How would you impart value/drive adoption of XYZ products?
  3. Knowing that product X does Y, how would you go about calculating the ROI of using that product?
  4. Imagine that someone in sales needs help with a client for XYZ reason, what kind of assets or help would you offer and why?

“Completion leads to an interview, and in the interview, we go deeper on GTM plan development and deployment and much more into the nitty-gritty product marketing stuff - during the interview I am looking to see if they can speak the same language as me from a product marketing level and do the work ahead.”

Stephanie Pilon, Global Head of Product Marketing at The Adecco Group

“You could propose both and let candidates decide on which company they select, or you could randomly assign different companies to each candidate.”

Laís Domeneghetti. Head of CRM at SouSmile

Looking to progress your product marketing career? Then you’ll wanna check out PMM Hired, our resource featuring everything you need to ascend the PMM job ladder.

Welcome to the PMM Hired: Everything you need to climb the career ladder
We created PMM Hired to provide a rich resource of information, advice and tools to help all PMMs advance in their professional lives, regardless of what stage of their career they’re currently at.

How to improve internal training

Q: Does anyone have any tips on how to bring out creativity during a messaging workshop? Or any best practices on leading one?

A: “Icebreaker exercises that encourage creativity have used ‘the brick’ exercise.

“Make it clear this session is a green light session, and there are no wrong answers, anything said by anyone will be captured, however silly it might sound.”

James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing at

“I’d recommend looking into some of the elements of a Design Sprint such as drawing ideas, allowing participants to think on their own and then share out loud, voting on ideas, and more.”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at PMM Ellevation Education

“People think differently - some need audio or visual cues, some need mechanical or electrical, some need quiet, some need to think out loud.

“A mixture of odds and ends, maybe some from your industry/niche for people to look at and play with will help.”

Keith Brooks, Chief Executive Officer at B2B Whisperer

“It’d take some creativity to make this virtual, but one of the more successful things I've done in the past is to come up with questions and doing a speed session, where everyone has a pad of post-its and a sharpie and people write answers to the question and stick the post it's on the wall, anywhere they want. Then you categorize them after and see where there are commonalities or unique ideas.

“Pretend you work for Dunder Mifflin, the paper company from The Office. One question could be ‘what are your favorite things made out of paper?’, or ‘what is a reason why someone might not buy paper anymore?’ However, you want to structure the direction of the discussion — and make sure the answers can be written down in just a few words.”

Phoebe Noce, Director of Marketing at FreightFriend

How to revise a product launch timeline

Q: I'm in a messy product launch situation. Our product was scheduled to launch in a fortnight and our team created lots of buzz around this.

We’ve recently learned not only will it not launch but looks like it can be months of delays due to bugs. We have to move consumers back to an ‘old’ product.

How do we create messaging without a future launch date to avoid our business reputation tanking and making promises about a replacement product? We don’t want to upset our customers.

A: “I think you’ve got to be transparent about it.

“This could be something as simple as: ‘we want to ensure the best product experience, and that means pushing back the launch of X. I know this may come as a shock and we apologize for the inconvenience.’

“I’d maybe also use it to generate a waitlist/beta list of interested customers who you could use to test it with.”

James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing at

“I’ve been in the same situation before and you need to be transparent.

“Be upfront about the delay and commit to sharing more details when you can, even if that means that you say you don’t have a new date yet. Tell them you’ll give them an update in X number of weeks; again, even if that update is ‘no new news yet.

“Lean into wanting to ensure customer product experience is good thus not wanting to release a product until you are confident it will meet customer needs/be better than the product they are using already.”

Jeff Boehm, Chief Marketing Officer at Formlabs

How to build an effective customer engagement model

Q: If an organization was going through a consolidation period (e.g. fixing platform infrastructure and bug) rather than actively releasing high-impact new features, how would you keep customers engaged with the development of the platform without overpromising and under-delivering?

A: “I've found customers rarely know all the features and bells/whistles of the platform. This could be different for your product if it is a very simple product.

“Even at moderate complexity, all the options and features can be overwhelming for users/admins to absorb. If that is the case, I would start there and bring users up to date with the available features.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

“You can put out content sharing the story behind your product philosophy and how this ties into the current work happening.

“You can also bundle some of those infrastructure and bug fixes into an interesting benefit to share with customers, even if that benefit means the ability to build something faster in the future.”

Anand Patel, Senior Product Marketing Manager at TeamSnap

“I’d create a statement of direction with three themes, e.g. stability, user experience, data integrity.

“Then, share regular updates on the progress being made and tie everything back to things that customers value.”

James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing at

How to collect market feedback

Q: What's the best way to get info from customers and what questions do you ask?

A: “It might be helpful to step back for a moment and ask: What is your goal in speaking with customers? What do you want to learn from market feedback?

“Answering those questions should help you decide who to speak with and which questions to ask.

“We’ve often started outreach by sending a quick survey to customers which includes an option to book a feedback conversation for a small reward like an Amazon or Starbucks gift card.

“I might put together a five-question survey and send it to a small group of customers. That way you can test your questions, see if you’re getting answers that will help you accomplish your goal. If the answers you get are not meaningful, you can shift the questions and try with another cohort of customers.

“Also, nothing can beat chatting with customers. Surveys are often just easier.”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at PMM Ellevation Education

“This depends on which industry you’re in. I work in B2B and we have a small customer base - a startup that closes reasonably large deals.

“For us, a survey would be useless as we would never be able to get enough responses. For a B2C company, they are quite useful. Also, when I worked in an established BtoB it made some sense. We had a lot of long-time customers and hence got enough responses to make it worth it.

“I agree to chat with customers is my favorite but just remember the ones willing to chat with you may not be representative especially if they are filtered by sales.

“When I get to talk to someone it usually is more in-depth since my customers typically are technical and their reward is the ability to give direct feedback about the product and explain how/why they use it. This also is what I want to hear anyway so it matches well.”

Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at OpenLegacy