Our first report of 2020 has officially landed 🙌...and it’s a good’un. This time, we looked at product marketing from a different lens and got inside the minds of 173 C-suiters to see how they perceive the PMM role.
Since we came onto the scene in 2019, we’ve done a lot to elevate the role of product marketing with those in the industry. We published our State of Product Marketing report, we launched two podcast series (here and here if you wanna tune in), we released the salary survey results, we named our Top 50 Product Marketing Influencers, and we did a whole load more too.
With this report though, we wanted to flip it on its head and understand what needs to be done to raise awareness of the role based on how those on the top floor perceive product marketing. After all, they’re the ones with the final say.
The end goal? To make sure everyone understands the role, importance and value of product marketing.
Here are just some of the report’s highlights:
1. Product marketing is pretty pervasive
Of the 173 execs we spoke to, six in 10 said they currently have a product marketing function in their company and of those that don’t have a PMM on board, the vast majority (90%) were aware the role existed.
However, that means one in 10 did not - and that’s one in 10 too many. Ask anyone what a sales rep is, or an accountant, or a copywriter, or a customer success advisor, and they’ll at least know of their existence. That’s what we want for product marketing.
2. Definitions are varied
...but let’s be honest, they’re not exactly unified within the industry, either.
More than half (57%) of the C-suiters agreed on this definition:
“Product marketers represent the voice of the customer before, during and after launch to drive growth, profit, and satisfaction.”
Disappointingly though, more than a quarter (26%) pinned the position down as:
“Product marketers support the marketing and sales functions by creating various types of collateral and assets.”
Check out our ‘What is product marketing?’ piece to see how these compare to product marketers’ definitions.
3. There’s a bit of misalignment when it comes to responsibilities
When we asked product marketers what their main responsibilities are in last year’s State of Product Marketing report, the top four tasks were:
- Product messaging and positioning (92%),
- Managing product launches (83%),
- Creating sales collateral (76%), and
- Customer and market research (73%).
Although the C-suite’s responses weren’t a million miles apart and the top four responsibilities matched, there wasn’t quite as much emphasis across the board and there’s certainly space for closer alignment.
4. The future’s pretty bright
Internally, we have a pretty staple understanding of what the product marketing career ladder looks like:
Associate Product Marketing Manager → Product Marketing Manager → Senior Product Marketing Manager → Director of Product Marketing → VP of Product Marketing
But we wanted to know what execs thought the next steps were for someone who’s already worked their way up to that VP status. Almost half (49%) said becoming a Chief Marketing Officer comes next, three in 10 (29%) predicted VPs of Product Marketing will soon form part of the leadership team, and 13% capped the career ladder at that VP pinnacle.
Okay, that’s enough teasers for now! Download the full report for more detail on all of the above, as well as insights into:
- How execs value the role of product marketing
- PMM plans for the next 12 months
- The C-suite’s take on strategic vs tactical vs support
- What C-suite:PMM interactions look like
- Whether product marketers get a seat at the table
- How much support execs give their PMM functions…
- Versus how much support they give Product, Sales, Marketing and Customer Success
- The level of perceived influence product marketers have
- Who the PMM function should report to
- Tons more quotes on the role and value of product marketing.
Until then, here’s a nice feel-good quote pulled from page 36:
“Good product marketing is invaluable. At many of the early-stage start-ups I have personally worked with, this has been a hole and the pain is felt throughout the company. Good product marketing is mission-critical, and good product marketing people are extremely valuable.”