Asya Bashina, Marketing Director at LinkSquares was searching for a mentor. Usually, she’d search LinkedIn to find the most prominent, successful marketer in the field, this time she decided to leverage the power of the Product Marketing Alliance community, and in doing so found the perfect mentor through our Product Marketing Mentorship Program.
In this case study, she discusses:
- Why she signed up
- PMA's Mentorship program's main benefits, and
- Key outcomes
Asya’s main motivation behind taking part in the program was a sense of product marketing camaraderie she was missing out on as the lone PMM on her team, in the middle of the pandemic.
“2020 has been a nutty year in the world of work: face-to-face meetings have turned into Zoom calls, casual water cooler gossip is now a barrage of Slack messages, and our bedrooms and dining rooms are the offices. As a lone marketer on my team, COVID-era work made me feel like my marketing island was even farther away from the rest of the company, and so I decided to find a mentor.”
“Unlike most mentor searches where I would search LinkedIn to find the most prominent, successful marketer in the field, I decided to take a slightly different approach: leveraging the power of the Product Marketing Alliance community to find someone (ideally another tech marketer) who was already at the Director level (I was a Senior Manager at the time).
What are the mentor programs’ main benefits?
For Asya, a significant highlight of the program is the relationship she’s built with her mentor Rebecca.
“Rebecca, a Product Marketing Director who had worked in both tech startups and enterprise businesses, deeply understood the challenges I’ve faced in my role. She, too, had experienced life as a near-solo-act marketer once upon a time. Over the course of the past year, we’ve developed a strong relationship. We have open and candid conversations about a variety of product marketing topics ranging from positioning, managing stakeholders cross-functionally, and building stronger relationships with product management to name just a few.
“In preparation for my meetings with Rebecca, I usually send her a couple of questions or topics I’d like to discuss in advance so that she’s aware of what I’m looking to discuss and can be prepared. I also take my time to prepare for the meeting by thinking through how I’d like to present my questions so that they’re clear and concise. This experience has also taught me to be clear and to-the-point when I present my case or views in work meetings as well, a lesson that’s especially important for product marketers.
“Rebecca and I strategized on how to land on strong messaging for my company’s products, she suggested I schedule a workshop for our go-to-market team to run through a messaging and positioning exercise as a way to hone on our core product value proposition and pillars. Knowing that taking a week away from the team for a messaging exercise wasn’t possible at my startup, we discussed other options to bake a messaging exercise into other activities, such as a website update or a sales deck--which could double as a forcing function to get the team to agree on the central narrative and message to resonate with our prospects. This turned out to be the right approach versus using formal messaging frameworks to arrive at the same result.”
“I’m grateful I reached out to Rebecca when I did because I’ve learned some valuable lessons about marketing and mentorship along the way! Her insights gave me the courage and the insight to not only lead marketing in my prior role but also, make a job switch into a new company. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to apply some of my learnings from my relationship with Rebecca in a new role in an entirely different industry.”
“What’s next for us? We’ve decided to kick off a book club together! So if you’d like to hear more from Rebecca and me, join our Power Hour Bookclub for Sales and Marketing folks to discuss hot books in our industries! Reach out to us to join firstname.lastname@example.org.