Finding yourself at a crossroads in your career? Perhaps you’re looking for your next professional challenge. You may be looking to specialize, or your path could be steering you head-on into the world of product marketing. Is this the career for you?

A career in product marketing will take you to the highest of places, with a chance to experience growth, success, and glory – and it will take you to the lowest of places of frustration, despair, and doing some of your least favorite tasks.

Product marketing is fast becoming one of the most popular marketing disciplines to specialize in, but it ain’t for the faint-hearted. For those courageous enough to take on the challenge, a role in the field can bring great rewards and make you a trusted advisor to many in your organization.

Key PMM responsibilities

The journey of a product marketing manager (PMM) can be an exciting yet challenging one with lots of ups and downs, trials and disappointments, and great learnings and successes. You may find yourself facing in all directions almost at once, leaving you spinning. Plus, you'll often find yourself at the center of the stakeholder universe, with all eyes on you.

As a key member of your marketing organization, you’ll become the go-to for other marketers, much like a design resource is to a marketing team. There will always be something that someone would like you to do. 

You’ll become the glue that binds all facets of marketing. From weaving product messaging into campaigns, to providing insights for new markets, regions, or product opportunities, your role becomes the source of knowledge that your co-workers will lean on.

Your cross-functional stakeholders

Product marketers work hand-in-hand with product and engineering teams to orchestrate product positioning, messaging, and go-to-market activity. These teams rely on your communication chops to translate the technical into consumer-facing language, and to deliver products, features, and communications to market at exactly the right time, in the right place, to the right audience.

Walking in lockstep with client-facing teams like sales, customer success, and support, you’ll need to uncover the inner workings and behavior of prospects and customers, create enablement assets, build ideal customer profiles, and craft customer personas.

As if that weren’t enough, you’ll also need to identify ways to influence and impact the customer journey with your brand and product – paying particular attention to what your customers or the market are saying about it. 

The feedback and insights you collect are worth their weight in gold, and it will be up to you to ensure they’re communicated back to your internal stakeholders for future product development or to create new, better opportunities for engagement and advocacy.

In your role, you’ll report to senior leadership and be comfortable communicating up the line to an executive or board. In the same vein, you’ll build relationships across the entire organization, creating connections with individuals who operate in different spheres to you. 

Get used to working with finance and operations – they care about performance and so should you. You'll most likely be talking to them about pricing, how to communicate price changes to customers, and how your work is affecting the budget and targets. Internally, you‘ll also be breaking down discipline-specific language barriers across departments.

What I’ve described here is not an exhaustive list of responsibilities. Product marketing roles vary from organization to organization, between industries, and depending on the maturity of the organization and the level of resources at its disposal.

Is product marketing the right fit for you?

Through my years of working in product marketing and connecting with some of the best product marketers I know, I’ve learned that there are certain superpowers you need to survive and thrive in a PMM role. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what those superpowers are. If these descriptions sound familiar, then product marketing might be for you!


A product marketer needs to be engaged in a constant quest for answers about all things, product, customer, and company – how product features work, what customers think, why customers behave a certain way, what the data shows, how to improve the customer journey, and how to do things better and faster next time. 

The brains of product marketers often zoom from one thought to the next, but that’s a skill that enables them to focus on the thing that most deserves their attention at that point in time.

“Endless questioning and exploration!… You can uncover that mysterious x-factor that brings everything together by going down the rabbit hole. But you do need to be self-aware and able to practice self-restraint to come back to the surface before you waste all your time!” 
Kristen Lee

A passion for the product you’re marketing

It’s vital to love what you do, and that should extend to the products or services you promote and sell. You need to have that conviction to bring people on the journey with you and make potential nay-sayers realize the value of an idea, product, or service. 

So, resist taking a product marketing role in a company that doesn’t align with your values or ethics. You won’t pull it off and if you do, you’re going to be exhausted trying.

Never lost in translation 

Communication skills are key. That’s because, as a product marketer, you play an essential role in communicating the value of your product to potential customers. Your job is to take the technical information provided by the product team and translate it into language that is easy for the marketing and sales teams to use. 

It's crucial to use the right tone of voice and language that will resonate with your target audience. By doing so, you can effectively connect the dots between your product and the problem it solves for your customers.

“The power of translation allows an effective product marketing manager to connect the solution to the pain point of your target market, and customer base, in a way that the value can be concisely understood.” 
Chloe Wilson

The ability to pivot and move quickly 

The world of product marketing is seldom boring. If anything, it’s the marketing discipline most likely to keep you on your toes. You need to have the ability to operate in a fast-paced environment and be prepared to pivot. 

While you may have the best laid-out plans, they can quickly come unstuck with shifting priorities, moving targets, and product delays, all of which are common in the world of SaaS. Your ability to go with the flow and have a backup plan up your sleeve will save you a lot of tears and heartache.

“​​Act as a puzzle master. You need to be able to not only spot the problem but find multiple ways to solve it. One is never enough… You need to be ready to pivot fast to option B… Or C!” 
Kristen Lee

“Hold the power of adaptation. The market is constantly changing, as a PMM, be someone who can quickly adapt to new customer demands and technology will thrive.” 
Eduardo Siqueira


Many of the decisions that cause you to pivot will be out of your control, especially when it comes to product releases or top-down redirection. 

In these moments, you need to stay strong and recognize this isn’t a failure on your part. You’re just one star in the universe that needs to align for an activity to proceed successfully. You can prepare by building great relationships; that way, you’ll know what’s coming up on the horizon before it slaps you in the face.

Thriving in ambiguity 

As a product marketing manager, you’re going to face some uncertainty, whether that’s unclear briefs on tasks, shifting deadlines for releases, changing direction of the product ecosystem, or simply changes in the company structure. 

You need to be okay with feeling uncomfortable, and happy in a position where you might not have all the answers but are willing to search for them. You need to take this all in your stride and be the rock that doesn’t crumble. When people are unsure of how to proceed, you need to be the one who steps up and searches for the information you need to march on.

A connector of people in the organization

As a product marketer, you don't necessarily have to be an extrovert. However, it takes a bit of courage as an introvert to step out of your team and mingle with others. As marketers, we share a common understanding regardless of our discipline, be it field, digital, brand, or growth. We share the same objectives and work towards the same goals within the organization. 

However, as a product marketer, you have to be the bridge between people from different worlds such as product, engineering, finance, sales, and support. You need to be willing to learn the language they speak, what drives them, and the objectives they have. It's a journey of enlightenment and understanding, leading to newfound friendships that will reward you tenfold.

“You need to be a people person and be great at building relationships with other teams and stakeholders” 
Bonita Reck

“As a PMM you need to be a shapeshifter. You need to be able to wear many different hats and have a tone of empathy to become “the glue” between teams to make a product successful.” 
Javier Casanova

The ability to speak with customers. 

One of the critical roles of a product marketer is to delve into the world of the customer, listen, and take on their insights and feedback. Often this relates to general product usage, inclusion, and insights into beta trials or collection of testimonials and case studies. 

Sometimes that means having an uncomfortable conversation with an unhappy bunch of customers and then switching over to calls with true admirers of your product. 

While you may have technology at your disposal to assist you, in this role you need to have the confidence to speak with customers, whether that’s in-person, online, or over the phone. This is a skill you can learn, but you need to be prepared to jump in and sometimes do the uncomfortable tasks.

“Ultimately, customer insight either directly or indirectly is critical to the role of the product marketing manager; you need to be able to connect and speak with them”.
David Allinson

There are plenty of resources and communities available to support you as you start your product marketing journey, whether you’re the sole product marketer in a company or part of a team

Finding a mentor who can help you is a great place to start. It's as simple as connecting with a marketing leader or product marketing professional and asking for their guidance. 

Product Marketing Alliance is just one global network that provides learning resources, certifications, and a community to support your journey in this dynamic role.