Wondering what life as a PMM at Intercom looks like? Look no further. We got a sneak peek into what a day of their Group Product Marketing Manager, Jasmine Jaume, goes like...and as you might imagine, it's busy and varied!
Bryony Pearce - PMA 00:01
Hi everyone, and welcome to the Product Marketing Life podcast brought to you by Product Marketing Alliance. My name’s Bryony Pearce and I’m the Content Manager here at PMA. This week’s pod’s sponsored by the Product Marketing Festival. For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, it’ll be coming to a screen near you between June 8th and June 14th, and will featuring headline acts from companies like Amazon, Uber, Adobe and Facebook, talking about everything from research all the way through to optimisation. To get your ticket, just head over to the site, festival.productmarketingalliance.com. Back to today’s show...to give you a glimpse into the world of other product marketers, in this show, we’ll be talking to Jasmine Jaume, the Group Product Marketing Manager for Intercom's core PMM team and developer platform, about what a day in her shoes looks like. Jasmine first joined Intercom back in May 2016 and before that spent just under four and a half years at BrandWatch holding Product Marketing Manager and Product Marketing Lead roles. When it comes to a day in this industry, as many product marketers know, there isn't really such thing as a standard. So to get around that, we're going to be focusing on Jasmine's most recent working day. Before we do that, though, welcome to the show Jasmine.
Jasmine Jaume 00:47
Hi thanks for having me.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 00:48
It's our pleasure. Before we get going, to provide a bit of context, could you just give people a bit of a background into your role at Intercom and about Intercom itself?
Jasmine Jaume 00:58
Yeah, sure. So Intercom is a customer messaging platform, we help businesses talk to their customers in a more personal way and build relationships across the customer lifecycle. And I am one of our group product marketing managers and I look after, as you mentioned, our core and platform group. So my team looks after any of our platform technologies that span across the use cases we sell to, so that includes the messenger, the data platform, the developer platform, as well as core overarching positioning. So the 'what Intercom is' level of messaging.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 01:37
Yeah. And then in terms of your actual team, what does that look like in terms of numbers and roles?
Jasmine Jaume 01:42
Yep. So I have three people in my direct team. One person who's focused on our self-serve segments, so a sort of downmarket audience. One person who's focused on the partner-facing side of our app ecosystems so getting partners to build apps, and one person who's focused on the customer-facing side of our partner ecosystem, so getting customers to actually use and get value from those apps. The wider product marketing team, there are two other groups, one group focused on our use cases so they own positioning and messaging for each of our target audiences. And one group that is currently just one person who's focused on our pricing and packaging.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 02:23
Yeah. I know you mentioned off-air that you kind of started in Dublin's Intercom office and now you're in San Francisco, in terms of those teams are they all based with you in San Francisco, or do you have to negotiate different time zones?
Jasmine Jaume 02:35
Yeah, so all of the product marketing team is here in San Francisco. So the two years I was in Dublin, I was kind of the lone PMM over in Europe and then moved over to be with the team. But our product teams are split across London, Dublin and San Francisco. So time zones can definitely be a challenge with working with some of those teams.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 02:57
And then how did you find it when you were in Dublin by yourself? How did you find that dynamic?
Jasmine Jaume 03:02
It had its pros and cons. When I joined Intercom I was a senior PMM focused purely on the developer platform. And it was very early for us in terms of our platform in those days. And so it was kind of me and our PM Hue at the time who was focused on the platform, as well as a team. And it was quite nice to be our own little unit, doing our own thing over in Dublin. But obviously being apart from the rest of the team and not being able to learn from the other PMMs as much because you're not getting as much interaction, that was definitely challenging, as well as having our brand and most of our demand Gen marketing team over here made things like launches much harder in terms of coordinating things over two time zones.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 03:51
Yeah. And how would you coordinate that? Would it be voice calls, video calls, or?
Jasmine Jaume 03:56
Yeah, a lot of evening meetings. So we use Google Hangouts here and so we do a lot of video calls. And obviously use things like Slack and Google Suite and things to keep things on track. So yeah, just a lot of coordination back and forth. I mean, there are some benefits in that you can give feedback on something, and then they can be doing it during their day. And then when you wake up it's ready for you to review and that can actually be quite helpful. But if you need to just get in a room and figure out a copy doc or messaging or something that's obviously much harder to do over VC.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 04:38
Yeah, for sure. I feel the pain with the time zones, I've been quite lucky so far but obviously with PMA we have a lot of people in different time zones. So I'm doing podcasts and persona calls with people from Australia, and I get on the phone and I'm like "What time is it for you?" and they're like "Oh, it's 10 o'clock at night" and I'm like "I'm so sorry!".
Jasmine Jaume 04:59
We call the crossover hours, the golden hours. It's kind of like an unspoken agreement that you don't really book meetings with people in your office during that crossover time, because it's so valuable and precious to have those meetings with people on the other side.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 05:15
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It's a good idea. Then I guess before we move on to your current day, just to provide a bit of additional context, what kind of launch cycle would you say you're in at the minute?
Jasmine Jaume 05:29
Yeah, so we've just kicked off our new financial year, so we're kind of a month out from the calendar year. So we've just got out doing lots of planning both at company level, company strategy and financial planning, but also for the marketing team. We had a three-day marketing offsite last week where everyone from Dublin came over as well. So we're really kicking off a bunch of new projects, which is exciting. We just did a product launch yesterday of our API 2.0. So the second version of our API was a major update, so that was exciting, nice to have just come off the back of a launch. And then for me, personally, I'm kind of mid-project, I've been working on our story and messaging for that core overarching level and working on our messaging hierarchy. So continuing it within that we're probably mid to two-thirds of the way through that current project.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 06:32
Okay, well, that's really nice that you had the launch yesterday because that will make this next bit really interesting. So I touched on in the intro that we're just gonna focus on your most recent working day, just because every day is so different. And this is an area that a lot of PMMs are just really interested in, we've seen a lot of people ask it in Slack, when I was doing these persona calls I mentioned, a lot of people were really interested in that area of product marketing. So could you just talk us through your day from start to finish yesterday in terms of what teams you were interacting with, what projects you were working on, and that kind of thing.
Jasmine Jaume 07:07
For sure. So the launch was run by two people on my team, Ashley and Mark, the two people who are focused on that ecosystem. And so there are two, kind of strange, launch one towards partners and one towards customers. And so that went out pretty much first thing in the morning for us. They were mostly managing it, but I took a look at the messages and made sure they were happy and everything was going okay since the first check-in in the morning. And then I had a bunch of meetings throughout the day. So first off, we had a meeting with our head of platform partnerships and our head of sales who's also kind of running Biz Dev. On the app side, we had a meeting with a potential partner, who I can't speak to, discussing some potential partnerships there. Then we have a monthly meeting with our sales enablement team, where we discussed the upcoming annual sales kickoff, which we're doing in a couple of months. And so talking about which bits we'll attend as PMMs. I then had a meeting with our SVP of marketing, Shane, about the story work I'm doing and we had some discussions about how we're describing Intercom and that was a pretty free form brainstorm, it felt like we made good progress. And then Jonathan on our team was running a sales training session on pricing. So I attended that to see how we're training sales team around pricing and give him some moral support as well. And then I met with Christine who's our other PMM manager, so she manages the group for use cases, we check in weekly just to make sure how things are going with her team, how things are going with my team, anything we need to coordinate on like goals and things like that, and just catch up and make sure we're both aligned. We recently got a new Senior Director of Product Marketing but before that, Christina and I had been looking after the team while we were searching for a new director. So it was even more important then for us to get into this rhythm of talking with each other and making sure that everything was running smoothly with the teams. I then had my last meeting of the day which was a slightly random meeting, helping a colleague write a Boolean query for a social media tool, which is basically the kind of query you write to bring back mentions of your brand. We're setting up a new social media tool that we bought and I used to work for a social media tool called BrandWatch and so just helped her out with some tips on how to write that query. Outside of meetings, I did like a lot of bits and pieces, a lot of my day is reviewing things like answering emails, like talking to people. So I had to send some reminders out about doing our goal setting as I mentioned, start of the quarter, so getting those finalised. We're also kicking off our performance review season, so making sure people have followed the steps they need to do to request reviews, reviewed some testimonial copy for my team and took a look at some launch materials. I did some reading related to the story work, I had to prep for that meeting with our SVP. I reviewed our new roadmap which the product team recently shared. And then on the more tactical side, I helped out writing some tooltips copy for inside the product. So just like some short explanations of features, so pretty varied as you can see.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 10:59
I was going to say was that a 12 or 13 hour workday? How did you fit it all in?
Jasmine Jaume 11:06
I'm pretty efficient with my time, it was eight to five probably. Yeah, I spend a fair amount of time in meetings, but there's always like little bits and pieces in between as well.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 11:18
Yeah. And then so you mentioned obviously the launch yesterday, you did that first thing in the morning. Is that quite typical of your launches? Do you try and get them out the door first thing?
Jasmine Jaume 11:28
Yeah, we usually aim for an 8 or 9am launch time. It depends, some launches are rolled out more gradually, like softer launches. But when we want to do everything at once, it's usually around that time. And the reason for that time is, it's often teams in Dublin who are actually making things live. So we want to make sure it's within their workday, and they don't have to stay up really late to make features live. But it also helps us hit our audience in different time zones. It's the best compromise time in between without having to make the San Francisco team get up stupidly early, which we have also done in the past. But we generally target that time and it also gives time to make sure everything has gone out okay, nothing has gone wrong with a product or messages or anything while both teams are still online.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 12:24
And is the time of the week, so yesterday will have been a Tuesday, is that a tried and tested time of the week to do it as well? Or was that just by chance?
Jasmine Jaume 12:32
We generally will launch Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, one of those days, Friday is just not a great day because everyone's off for the weekend. And Monday is also challenging for a similar reason with people coming back in and having lots of stuff to deal with and vying for their attention. So yeah, we usually go for one of those middle days and then which day it is will depend on a lot of different factors in terms of other messages we have going out to our audience or other things going on with us or in our industry. So we try to choose the best day that works both from when the product is ready, but also from a GTM perspective.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 13:12
Yeah, sure. And then you mentioned you had the monthly sales enablement meeting. Do you have a dedicated sales enablement team at Intercom? So would they have led that?
Jasmine Jaume 13:21
We do yeah, recently expanded as well, so we now have someone on that team who's focused on sales training specifically as well. So that meeting is a fairly recent meeting we've added to help us figure out as that team is growing, how we work best with them and how we kind of keep in sync can make sure they know everything that's coming out from a product standpoint and things we're working on and we can make sure we tie into things they're doing. Like if we want to train the sales team about a new feature how do we fit into their existing training schedules and things like that.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 14:00
Yep. And then is that meeting just product marketing and sales enablement? Just the two?
Jasmine Jaume 14:05
Yeah. So the three of us who run the different groups within the product marketing team, and then the sales enablement team.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 14:14
And then you mentioned that's a fairly new function. So did that fall under Product Marketing previously and you've now branched out into sales enablement, or how did that work?
Jasmine Jaume 14:22
So there has been someone in a sales enablement role on the sales side for some time. It's just recently that we've got a director of sales enablement come in and then added people to that team. So we do different bits, like PMM has always done sales enablement, and will continue to do it. On the sales enablement team on the sales side they take on more of the, you know, figuring out the best ways to train the sales team and providing us with feedback from sales team on what they need, how they're using the things we're providing already, what could be improved, and what kind of challenges they're having. And then we work together to make sure that we're enabling the team in the best way possible.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 15:10
Yeah. And then you also mentioned you were reviewing the roadmap that product sent over yesterday. So I know this can be a bugbear for some product marketers in that they just don't get any insight into the product roadmap, then all of a sudden, it's like, "Oh, hey, we're launching this next week, can you get it to market?" Is it quite good at Intercom in terms of getting exposure? Like how far out do you get notice for that kind of stuff?
Jasmine Jaume 15:33
Yeah, it's the classic PMM problem, I'd say we're pretty good at Intercom. All of our PMMs have like counterpart PMs and so they're very tightly embedded in those teams and will have been involved in helping inform the roadmap, helping with prioritisation, giving feedback on what they're seeing in the market and things like that and so they're really feeding in And then the way our product team works is that they'll then put together a roadmap and there's a series of review sessions with different people and PMM will be involved in those as well and given an opportunity to provide feedback or input there, and so the roadmap I received yesterday was mostly an amalgamation of all of the teams roadmaps, so they kind of put together one deck for the whole company so everyone can see what's coming up. And I'm aware of the things the people in my team and their PMs are working on but have less visibility into Christine's teams. And so just having the whole thing together is really helpful for reviewing what's coming up and staying aware and having that visibility.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 16:46
Yeah, that makes sense. So there's obviously a lot of variety to your day and in general to product marketers days. Would you say there any constants to your days?
Jasmine Jaume 16:59
I'd say the main constants are things like one-to-ones with my team members, one-to-ones with our Director of PMM. Just generally meetings, I have regular meetings with my counterparts on the PM product side. So the relevant directors and partnerships people on that side. So every day is slightly different but there's always those kinds of meetings every day. That's probably the biggest constant.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 17:32
Yeah. And then do you enjoy that variety to your day? Is that something you like about the role?
Jasmine Jaume 17:36
Yeah, I mean, it's something I've always liked and told people about product marketing. It's a great role for just getting to try lots of different things and interact with lots of different people across the business. And every day is different. So it never gets old or boring. I mean, there are definitely days where I wish I had less meetings and more focused time, especially for something meaty I want to get into, or doing some kind of strategic work, something like that. But generally, I see having those meetings and talking to other people is kind of a core part of my role, especially as a manager, it's on me to make sure my team is set up for success and that we're coordinating with other departments as well.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 18:27
Do you notice any kind of drastic shifts at all on your day to day depending on what stage of a cycle you're at?
Jasmine Jaume 18:35
Yeah, there are definitely some shifts depending on what's going on at the time. So as I mentioned, at the moment, it's like lots of planning and that requires a lot more coordination with both the product team in terms of road mapping but then also the rest of the marketing team on marketing plans for the year. When we're in the middle of a big launch, there's a lot more product meetings such as product forums which are kind of the working group of designers and PMS and PMMs reviewing progress on a launch. And then things like my work fluctuates based on what I'm focused on, when I do more individual contributor work so at the moment, I'm working on that story and messaging type of project, and that means I'm working much more with our brand strategy team and our comms team and those kinds of people in marketing whereas sometimes I might be working more on a more product-focused project, and then I'll be working much more closely with other PMs.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 19:37
How does that process actually work? So you say you're working on the storytelling side of it, will you take the lead and then it's a case of them reviewing and signing off what you do or is it a collaboration from the start or?
Jasmine Jaume 19:48
Yeah, it's different in different phases of the work. So the early stages of defining the story was very close collaboration with our brand strategist Brooks and Christine our other group PMM. So working together really closely as a group to figure out what the story needs to be, what the approach should be, and then actually trying to define that story. We also worked with some of the others in our brand team on getting customer research in and things like that to help us. At the moment now we're getting down towards more of the "Okay, how do we describe Intercom?", then it's more working with our Director of integrated marketing and our head of comms to get them to review and input and provide feedback while I'm driving it.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 20:43
Yeah. Okay. Cool. And then final question kind of around a day in the life of you. So, for product marketers who are new to the industry, I guess it could be a bit daunting maybe just the sheer variety of it. Do you have any advice for people who are maybe struggling to get to grips with that side of it?
Jasmine Jaume 21:01
Yeah, I mean there's practical advice which is try and stay organised, I love a to-do list, I use a tool called Coda to manage all of my tasks. And I like to have a routine where I come in in the morning, I check all my emails on Slack, review my to-do list, review my calendar, just to ground myself and like, "Okay, what am I actually doing today?", because it's very easy when you're switching context and moving from meeting to meeting and things to just feel like you're getting lost and don't actually know what you're trying to get done. So on the practical side, I'd say just making sure you're staying organised and know what your priorities are. On the less practical side, some of it is just a mindset like being flexible and adaptable is really key in product marketing, generally for the role, but also especially if you work in a startup type environment where things are changing all the time. So just learning to embrace and even enjoy variety you know, we talked a little bit about how that's one of the key things about product marketing is it's great you get to do lots of different things and meet with lots of different people, so trying to see the positive side of that whilst accepting that sometimes it's gonna be a little bit challenging with the context switching.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 22:23
Yeah, for sure. I'm with you on the to-do list too. I love a good to-do list. My issue is I have a to-do list on my notepad and then sometimes I don't have my notepad right there so I start a little to-do list on a sticky note and then stick that on my notepad. And I'll end up with like three different to-do lists but it's just so satisfying being able to tick off your to-do list. I'm 100% that type of person where if I don't have something on my to-do list and I've done it I'll write it on the to-do list just to highlight it off.
Jasmine Jaume 22:53
Same, I also used to have the post-it note process but similarly I kept losing post its or I'd have to work from home one day and realise I didn't have all the post its. So I moved to using Coder for that so that it's all browser-based so I can get to it from wherever. And like checkboxes, so I can just check off things. And it also means I can look back at this list I've done if I want to, whereas with post its I'd always just end up chucking them away.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 23:28
Okay, well, awesome. Thanks for answering those questions kind of about your day. I'm going to move onto next some questions just to help people understand a bit more about you, your drivers you experience and that kind of thing. So the first question, if you could go back to the start of your career, knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself?
Jasmine Jaume 23:48
Yeah, that's a good question. I think like many I ended up in Product Marketing sort of by accident, there was a role that I was working at BrandWatch as a kind of Social Media Manager content type role and then they needed someone to do Product Marketing. And I was like, I know quite a lot about the product that sounds fine I'll do that. And I think going into that now, I would advise myself to learn more about the different types of product marketing, there are different strains of it. Some of its more sales enablement focus, some of it's more product focus, some of it's more GTM marketing focus, brand focus. So I think I would have spent more time talking to other product marketers and learning what product marketing looks like in different types of companies to better understand which bits of it I most enjoyed or wanted to pursue. I mean I've enjoyed trying out all different types of product marketing, but I think figuring that out earlier on would have been helpful. And then the other thing is just learning, outside of product marketing, just learning more about the other functions within marketing, because I think in order to grow into a leadership position and be a leader in the marketing team more broadly, you need to understand how demand Gen works and how the sales team works and how the company goals and financials work and all those kind of things so that you can really lead from a GTM side. So I think I would tell myself back in the day to spend more time learning about those other disciplines as well.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 25:28
Okay, cool. And then next one, can you kind of pinpoint any sort of mantra or belief or tip or anything like that, that's most influenced your product marketing career?
Jasmine Jaume 25:40
I mean, some people might disagree with this, but I have always said that you should err on the side of over-communication in product marketing. A lot of our role is about communicating information to other people, whether it's like feeding in insights into the product team or training sales about launch or whatever it might be. And you often have to repeat things for them to really sink in for people. You know, you can't assume someone's seen that one Slack message you sent or the one email you sent. And especially when you're working on launches, where there's like a lot of things going on, and you're trying to coordinate a lot of different teams, I've always just erred on repeat things, make sure everyone knows what's happening at any stage and staying organised and the to-do lists come back in here there are some project management skills. And I think that communication builds trust, people will know that they can count on you and understand what's happening and don't feel kind of left to the wind, and also just help you get your message across more and be more effective. So I think that's something I've always kind of tried to stick by and continue to do so now.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 26:57
Yeah. And is that something you feel like you've just had since you first got into Product Marketing, it is something that you've maybe learned from lack-of in previous years or?
Jasmine Jaume 27:07
Yeah, that's a good question. I think I am naturally a pretty organised person. So some of the project management side of managing launches and things I just did that communication piece naturally. I think over time, the way it's evolved is learning how to communicate with people like what's going to be the most effective way, learning what works with the sales team, which might be different to what works with the product team and learning how to change your communications for those different audiences.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 27:39
That makes sense. So I guess this is quite common in any industry but you always get best practices and kind of standard bits of advice that you see everywhere. Can you think of any best practices in product marketing that you see a lot, but wouldn't necessarily recommend people to follow?
Jasmine Jaume 27:58
Yeah, this is a really tricky question. And I was thinking about it yesterday when you sent it over. And I also asked our product marketing team if they had any examples and was really struggling to think of things. And I wonder if it's because there are not a huge amount of product marketing best practices, it's still being defined. But the two things I did think of was one, and this is correct advice, be benefits-focused and don't just describe features, make sure you're highlighting the valued customers. And that is good advice and is what we should be aiming to do as Product Marketing. I do you think there's a version of that that goes too far where if you keep asking why for a benefit, like why is that good? Why is that good? You'll almost always end up if you're selling to other businesses with 'it'll make you more money'. And it becomes so far removed from what you're actually selling that it becomes meaningless. And so I think, yes be benefits-focused, but make sure it's at the right level and figure out what that level is. So it's still connected to what you're actually selling and not so far removed that it just feels like fluff. So that would be one. And then the other one, which I'm not sure is advice people give but happens very frequently and we've kind of touched on it already. But having product lead too much on product launches, and kind of not making sure that product marketing are involved in you know the decisions and influencing the roadmap, things like launch dates, when's actually the best time to launch, naming, all of those things that if you work in a product-led company can be difficult to insert yourself in. But it happens a lot. So I guess like a best practice is to make sure that doesn't happen.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 29:59
Yeah. I guess I should maybe ask this question again in another five years time when product marketing is even more established and loads of best practices have come out of the woodwork and then I'll revisit it. Okay, next one. So if someone was looking to move up the product marketing ladder, and they could only focus on one skill, what should that skill be? And why?
Jasmine Jaume 30:21
Yeah, so I think it would be hard to narrow down to just one but I think learning how to communicate and influence across the business I think is really important. And this is kind of a cheat one, a cheat answer because it encapsulates a lot of things. But basically understanding other departments goals, understanding what's important to them or what they care about, understanding how to communicate with them and what kind of information they need. That's like really key to building trust with your cross-functional stakeholders and trust is really key to making sure you're effective in product marketing, and so you want the product marketing to respect your input and opinion and have them actively seek that out and you want sales to respect what you're telling them so that they will try and sell the new thing or whatever it might be. So I think just focusing on those communication skills, and learning how to influence at all different levels of the business and all different departments is really key.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 31:25
Yeah. And then how would you say like focusing on that influence element? How much influence would you say products and marketing has at Intercom? And then do you find because I know this is another common Product Marketing problem is that a lot of people struggle in that other business areas just don't understand the role and the value, which can obviously negatively impacts how much influence they have. How does that work for you?
Jasmine Jaume 31:49
Yeah, I think we're pretty lucky in that the first marketer at Intercom was a product marketer, it is a very product-driven company and I'm great grateful to our founders for valuing Product Marketing from the start. And so that definitely helped early on having product marketing in the marketing team, I'd say we probably have more influence than a lot of product marketers feel like they do. And certainly chatting with other product marketers, I know that is a common struggle. It's changed over time as well, when I joined Intercom it was much harder to get agreement on launch dates, it would be product are ready to ship it and they just want to ship it immediately. And we had to do education and compromising on finding the sweet spot for GTM as well. And so it's definitely evolved over time. But as I mentioned our PMMs are kind of embedded with those product teams and work side by side with them so we have a pretty good track record of helping influence and having a seat at the table, which is great.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 33:03
Yep. And then in terms of that education piece, because I think this is something that a lot of product marketers are looking to introduce into their company. What did that look like for you? How did you go about doing that?
Jasmine Jaume 33:15
I think some of it is just helping people understand what product marketing is and the value we bring, which, especially if they're a PM who haven't worked with PMMs before just helping them understand here's what I can bring to you and this is how I can add value and help you, and some of it is just trying to convince them and then proving out that value. So, you know, compromising on a launch day and showing them, "Okay, actually, if we wait two weeks, then you'll get this instead, or this extra thing or this better thing", and then showing them that result afterwards. And so it again comes back to that trust thing of if you stand by what you say and prove that you can provide that value and actually show them rather than just telling them because it's your opinion, that's kind of key to helping bring people around.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 34:16
Yep. Out of curiosity, how long has Intercom had a fully established product marketing team?
Jasmine Jaume 34:24
That is a good question. I mean the company's been around for about nine years. And I think the first marketing hire was maybe seven years ago, so yeah pretty early on.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 34:42
Yeah. Okay, cool. Um, so I guess sometimes Product Marketing, as well because of the variety but also because you're interacting with so many other teams, I imagine it can maybe get a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially when you kind of build-up that credibility internally and you've got all of a sudden everyone coming to you wanting a bit of the action. So in times when you do maybe feel a bit overwhelmed or unfocused is there anything that you do or tell yourself to kind of regain composure?
Jasmine Jaume 35:12
Yeah, I think on the practical side again, coming back to lists...
Bryony Pearce - PMA 35:21
Are you on commission with Coder?
Jasmine Jaume 35:25
I like to list out everything I'm working on and then figure out okay, what actually are the priorities? What can I delegate? What can I drop? You know, obviously talking through with my manager if needs be about what the priorities are as well. I find that really helpful. So just visually seeing everything I'm working on and figuring out what needs to be done first. So that would probably be my main thing on the practical side. On a more kind of mental side, one is just taking a moment for myself. It's very easy, especially when you're in like launch planning, and you're like in the middle of everything, and it's all like chaotic and you feel like you can't take a moment to breathe because you already don't have enough time, actually taking a few minutes out to like have a chat with someone, or just rant to someone or go for a walk or have a coffee or whatever it might be, is actually much more helpful than just like drowning without taking a break. So I try and make myself do that when I'm feeling overwhelmed. And then also just acknowledging that these are just moments in time, I've had moments like that in the past, we'll have more in the future. Everything's always fine. We'll get through it. And acknowledging like yes, it's stressful right now. But it won't be forever. And that just helps me dig in and get on with it.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 36:51
And then following on from that time side of things. So if hypothetically, that time got chopped in half and you only had half your working day left, where would you focus that remaining time that you had left?
Jasmine Jaume 37:03
Yeah, I think for me, I would drop the IC work I do. And if I only had half the time, I'd focus the majority of that time on my team and making sure they're set up for success and have everything they need, and enabling them to be successful in their roles and in their careers. I think that's what I consider most important in my role as a manager. So that would be the thing i'd prioritise and keep.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 37:31
Yep. Cool. And then what aspect of Product Marketing would you say you're most curious about and why?
Jasmine Jaume 37:39
I've recently with this work I've been doing on this story, I've been working more closely with our brand strategy team and I'm starting to really find it interesting to explore that brand side of product marketing. So more on the high level messaging, how we turn messaging into a brand narrative, how we bring that to life in everything we do. And so I'm really interested in exploring more of that brand side. In the past, my work has been very product-focused, even at BrandWatch and in my earlier days at Intercom is much more product-focused and has gradually moved a bit more towards the go-to-market side and now even more into the brand side. So that's something I'm excited about exploring more and, and kind of expanding my skills into is doing more of that brand structure, brand hierarchy, and bringing the brand to life.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 38:37
And in terms of those team structures, what does that look like? So for example, do you and the brand strategy team report into marketing or are you under product, or?
Jasmine Jaume 38:45
Yeah, so the product marketing team here reports into our SVP of marketing and the brand strategy team within the brand team overall, which also reports into the SVP of Marketing.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 39:01
Okay, and is that similar? Did you report into marketing when you were at BrandWatch?
Jasmine Jaume 39:06
I did yeah, I reported into our CMO at BrandWatch. It was kind of a different setup, like a smaller marketing team overall, and a smaller product marketing team, but still very much in the marketing side of things. I've never worked in a product marketing role that reports into product and my gut feeling is that I prefer when it's within the marketing team because I think it builds a healthy tension with the product team. But obviously, it depends on the business and how things work within that business.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 39:43
Yeah I think it's one of those things as well that'll always divide opinion, there's always going to be people who prefer it under products or marketing. And I always do ask when I ask this question if it's similar to past companies, because I'm always intrigued to know how people compare for reporting to one or the other, but you get a different answer every time you ask. All right, final few questions, what would you say the best lesson is that you've learned during your time in product marketing?
Jasmine Jaume 40:12
Good question. I think the best thing I've learned is probably that launches are important, but not everything. I think especially in product-driven companies, a lot of product marketers get bogged down in doing lots of launches because lots of shipping and there's like a lot of momentum and that's great, it's actually really good as a marketer to have lots of new things. But it also can mean you neglect all the other longer-term strategic parts of product marketing, like positioning, even remarketing existing product and increasing adoption and things like that. So, launches are definitely really valuable and useful for helping with growth and getting out there and having new things to take to market, but it shouldn't be all of your time. And I think it's very easy to end up just spending all of your time doing launches and the other stuff which has like less of a strict deadline gets put to the wayside. And so I think over my time, I've learned actually if we keep some of that time for that more strategic work, we can have more long term impact.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 41:28
What does it look like in terms of launches? My assumption is that there's a lot in Intercom given your product and feature set, like how often does that typically happen for you, new launches?
Jasmine Jaume 41:39
Yeah, I mean, we have a tiering framework for our launches. So tier one is like the biggest, big new features or big new products. And then tier four is like small updates. I'd say we have tier three and four launches probably every week. Just little bits and pieces here and there and then tier ones are probably like one to two a year. And then with some tier twos kind of scattered throughout, but it is a lot of our time. And it does ebb and flow like we've had some years where we've had a lot more product launches, or like bigger product launches. And then we've had other periods where we're focusing on making like more incremental updates, and so it kind of comes in waves, or ebbs and flows a bit like that. But yeah, it's a lot. There's a lot of launches. And that's why we have a fairly sizable product marketing team, because our product's quite large. There's lots of different areas and different audiences. So to keep up with those launches, we need those PMMs in place.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 42:43
Yep makes sense. And then penultimate question. What do you think is the biggest problem the product marketing industry faces as a whole? Either right now or in the future?
Jasmine Jaume 42:55
I mean, we've touched on this a little bit but product Product Marketing is still early as a career and still very varied, there's little standard Product Marketing role. And so I don't think that's necessarily a problem, I think there was always going to be some differences in how different companies structure product marketing teams, it makes it difficult to get information if you're trying to find best practices like we restructured our Product Marketing team a few months ago and trying to find out how other people structure their teams, there's just so much variety, it's very hard to understand, there are no standards to guide you so that's challenging. And then the other side is obviously, Product Marketing doesn't always have a seat at the table. And I think there's still work to do to prove the value of product marketing to businesses and in companies where it isn't as valued, being able to really have that influence and have that seat at the table is still a challenge for some PMMs.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 44:13
And do you think that's kind of an industry-wide problem to tackle in terms of getting, for example, the C suite to understand the value? Or is that kind of on individual product marketers in their company to go and demonstrate that?
Jasmine Jaume 44:25
I think it's a bit of both, I believe that a product-led company selling, especially if you're in kind of SaaS and selling b2b, needs a product marketing team to be successful. And I think that is the trend, the direction things are going in, which is great. So I think some of it is like as an industry that will just gradually happen more and more and people will see that that's key, but I think there is also you know, work individual PMMS can do to help their immediate situations within their own companies as well. And it's also the job of the heads of marketing and other marketing leaders and even product leaders to help as well. And good product leaders will recognise that having a strong product marketing team will help them as well. And so should also be advocating for a strong Product Marketing presence as well.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 45:27
Yep. Awesome. Okay, final question. So I guess it's another one of those kinds of catch 22 problems in that when product marketing, kind of people start understanding the value of it, you get lots of people coming to you for requests, I need this, I need that. But you obviously can't say yes to everything. And I think it's not just a product marketing problem but sometimes people can struggle to say no. So is there anything that you've become better at saying no to in recent years and are there things that you still struggle to say no to people too?
Jasmine Jaume 45:58
Yeah. So going back to launches, I think I and us as a team have got better over time about not necessarily saying no, but setting expectations around what a particular feature is going to get in terms of a launch. And we have a tiering framework and tiering guidelines that everyone can look at and understand why we've said something is a tier two versus a tier four and set expectations around what that means in terms of the comms we'll do for that launch. Given we ship so much, we have to be really careful about not over messaging customers and just kind of drowning ourselves out with like too many updates. And so I think over time, we've got better at saying, no, we're not going to do a massive launch for this small thing and things like that. It's still a challenge. Sometimes, you know, there are other factors that tie into why people might want a larger launch, even if it's just sort of for internal reasons, like morale and things, so still tricky, but I think that's something we've got better at over time. I think on a personal level on what I struggle to say no to is I find it hard to say no, like helping out or just getting stuck into things even when it's technically not my role. I was doing air quotes there. But even when I'm busy, I still value being a helpful and collaborative teammate to people I work with. And so I will struggle to say no to things even if I'm busy, and it was an additional ask.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 47:44
Yeah, I guess as well this is something I would assume most people struggle with, especially when you're first starting at a company. Because when you first start it's all about building those relationships and getting off on the right foot and just getting that trust off people. So it's probably easy to fall into the trap of just saying yes to everyone thinking I want to build that relationship, I want to get into the good books, if I say no I might tarnish the relationship. But then you obviously just shoot yourself in the foot because there's only so much you can do. And I guess it's just a balancing act in those first few months to get those relationships you need, but also not kind of set expectations that you will say yes to everything.
Jasmine Jaume 48:17
Yeah, definitely. I mean, you want to be seen as helpful and not just blocking and, you know, not a bottleneck for things. But yeah, there's definitely a balance that you also don't want people to just think they can ask you to do whatever and you'll do it no questions asked, you know, learning how there's a way to say no, or not right now, or yes but less or whatever it might be that can still provide that balance, where you're not just saying no to everything and being this blocker. You're still being helpful, but you're not drowning yourself by taking on all these additional things.
Bryony Pearce - PMA 48:54
Yeah, cool. Okay well, that's all my questions today, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day and letting us know a bit more about you and your standard working day. I really appreciate it.
Jasmine Jaume 49:04
You're welcome. It's been a pleasure.