Thursday, October 16, 2014

What Makes a Great Tech Product Marketer

A few months ago I was working on a product keynote for one of our events. I shared some of my ideas with my manager and the first thing she asked me was "What's the story?". This is not the first time she has asked me that question. In fact, I've noticed a pattern. Whether it's a product launch, an internal business case or a blog post, she pushes me and the rest of our team to incorporate a story into whatever we are doing. In my opinion, the ability to tell a compelling story is something that can make a tech Product Marketer great. This got me thinking about what else makes a great tech Product Marketer. I reached out to some leaders in tech Product Marketing to hear what they think and wanted to share their expertise with all of you. Whether you're a student considering Product Marketing as a career or a Product Marketer right now, I think you'll be inspired by what they have to say.

Product marketing word cloud of best PMMs


"A great product marketer is someone who can create a genuine “movement” around their product. Internally, they act as the product’s champion and work tirelessly to understand their market, and nail the product’s messaging, value prop and all other modalities to get stakeholder teams (product, sales, 
leadership) stoked up about going to market. 
 Externally, they are the product’s ambassador—helping prospects envision a world where the product can truly make them a better version of themselves, and authentically channeling that success via the customer’s voice." 


Indy Sen, Google



“Product marketers adapt quickly and drive for results amidst ever changing tech organizations and industries. They empathize with the unique needs of their customers and address those needs throughout every stage of the customer journey.”

Kari Ann Sewell- Symantec



"A great product marketer stays close to the customer. Understanding how your customers use your product, learning their pain points, and what more they want from your offering informs great product strategy and marketing."

Corinne Roberts, Campaign Monitor


"A great product marketer is a skilled translator, synthesizer, and story-teller. Her goal in every activity - whether it's working with customers, writing content, or improving sales effectiveness - is to find the point where her product uniquely satisfies a potential customers' specific need. To do that, you must understand your product, your market, and your customers from multiple points of view.

Grant Shirk, Vera


"Great tech product marketers understand how technology can enhance the customer's life. Engineers often fall in love with their "babies" but great tech product marketers have the vision of what features will ultimately matter to the customer. They create the emotional connection between the product and the customer."

Gabriel Jaquier, Dell


"I don't know if I qualify as a great product marketer, but I do have one quality in abundance that I think any great one (tech or otherwise) should possess: Empathy. It's a product marketer's job to practice empathy, and then strategically and continually insert it into the development and GTM processes. This is equally important in cultivating a deep, nuanced understanding of customers and in applying to internal dynamics with eng, design, and product counterparts. Empathy is a key soft skill that will never let a product marketer down. (Word of caution, though: It must often be paired with data!)"

Omar Garriott, Salesforce.org


"We product marketers used to dub ourselves 'mini CEOs' of our products. While lifecycle ownership is indeed pertinent, the best product marketers position themselves as hubs, conduits and conductors. This is the only way to achieve velocity and quality at the same time. Conductors produce beautiful symphonies because they empower each section of the orchestra, not because they try and play every instrument themselves."