Last week, we announced product positioning expert and Obviously Awesome author *drumroll please* April Dunford will be spilling-all in a 3.5-hour virtual, positioning masterclass.
This exclusive event takes place on Thursday, September 17th, and with places capped at 50, make sure you secure your spot ASAP - we’d hate for you to miss out!
Following the general theme of PMM education this week, our resident Product Marketing expert Harvey Lee will be hosting a FREE 45-minute, live, and online Product Marketing Core taster session On Tuesday, August 11th. This is a great opportunity for anyone thinking about taking the course to try before you buy. There’s still time to sign up here.
While we were busy launching ridiculously informative educational classes, the Slack community were asking and answering a whole host of clever and informative questions, so let’s take a look at some of the hot topics, shall we?
Not in Slack already? Not a problem. Get in on the action (for free!) here.
Q: I have a question for my fellow B2B SaaS folks. How does your organization define a ‘client’ internally, that is, the number of active clients? Is it the number of logos, contracts, instances, etc.? We recently did a poll across our organization and discovered it’s all over the place.
A: The definition of a client will vary from company to company. Jenkin Lee, Chief Product Officer at Baze gave his insight on how he defines a client.
“We loosely refer to clients as logos. But we would easily say we have X users across, Y clients. "Clients" would have the commercial slant to understand buyer personas and "users" would have the operational slant of actual users that new features are being developed for. When talking to investors, both numbers are used to diagnose trends. Losing/gaining one client that has thousands of users can be a story spun in two different ways.”
Q: I'm looking for some advice on how I can transition to product marketing. For some context, I have four years of experience in media and digital marketing, mostly on the agency-side. What would be the best approach to get into product marketing? Most of the positions I find are for PMMs with 3-5 years of experience. There aren't really any entry-level positions being posted in my area. I'm going to start the PMA Product Marketing Core Course as soon as I finish a couple of books that I'm reading to be more prepared for it.
A: Product marketers in the Slack community gave their advice on how to apply skills gained in a previous role, and how entry-level PMMs can apply them in their new product marketing position.
“Your experience with messaging and positioning is certainly going to be the most relevant. I would play up your experience with these types of tasks.
“Also, think about situations where you've been able to build transferable skills like strategic planning, working across teams and departments, and customer focus.
“Finally, play up the benefits of hiring a product marketer who has worked in many different roles in marketing; what advantage does that give you?”
Leah Langston, Product Marketing at Zapproved
“I'm a big fan of volunteering as a way to build up and demonstrate strengths. Perhaps your local government or nonprofit has a program or service that needs some promotion. It's a great way to learn while doing good.
“Also, recognize that the experience requirement may not be specifically for PMM but rather for marketing in general, so I wouldn't not apply for those roles simply because you don't fit the letter.”
Jesse Friedman, Marketing and Communications Strategist, OSET Institute
Q: We’ll be looking to expand our product marketing division from a one-person army to a committed team of 3-4 soon. I am really curious to see examples of typical org structures, particularly regarding subdivisions around CX, Insights and Sales Enablement.
A: “I've built PMM teams from scratch several times now. My approach has refined over time, but the one thing that has always helped to scale is horizontal roles across segments, products, industries, etc with a few discrete PMMs in areas where the business needs to dive in deep.
“For example, one person on my team manages just GTM, then another just does compete, another customer comms, another value, and then another case studies and references. These roles work across business units, product lines, industries, segments, etc. We then also have PMMs for product lines as well as for segments to support sales structure.”
Jonathan Hinz, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Seismic Software
Q: What's your strategy for communicating all the great (sometimes behind the scenes) product marketing projects within your company and up to exec?
A: “I had a lot of behind the scenes work at my last company, so we created a ‘year in review’ deck and reviewed all the projects we worked on (and their impact!). This might be a start!”
Ashley Klepach, Product Marketing Manager
“I'm working on a ‘one source of truth’ playbook which will become the go-to for all PM projects under my remit, to be shared internally.
“Secondly, make sure you push for allocated time to share updates in all-hands meetings. This is really challenging but it's the best forum to get visibility especially at exec level.
“A quarterly, six-month or yearly review deck is also beneficial to share key achievements. We tend to plan ahead for each quarter and do a full retrospective every six months.”
Daniella Latham, Product Marketing Manager at Kahoot
Q: What would you say is the key difference between product marketing and demand generation and where do the responsibilities split?
A: “Product Marketing is all about knowing your customers/prospects and building content that meets their needs or promotes to them.
“Demand Gen is primarily about execution - running marketing plans, gathering data about how well they executed. These people collaborate on the strategies but the product marketing people know your product, Demand Gen typically knows marketing tools for executing that plan.”
Martin Bakal, Product Leader at OpenLegacy
“For us, responsibilities and KPIs are split between TOFU (DG) vs MOFU/BOFU/retention (PM) metrics. We collaborated very closely with DG and did a lot of soul searching around this given the amount of overlap.
"I’d focus on net new win rates. Competitive win-rate might make sense in situations where your solution and competition regularly coexist and the question is really about where the expansion dollar goes.”
Jing Gu, Product Marketer at Shutterstock
“When I became a PMM, my mentor wisely told me that demand gen without product-market fit is a churn machine.
“In a nutshell, demand-gen is very focused on acquisition efforts, but product marketing needs to be present in all the stages of the buyer journey.
“If you don't understand your customers and the dynamics of your market, you'll make demand gen extra challenging. As April Dunford says: bad positioning is like rolling a huge rock up on a hill.”
Thiago Neres, Product Marketing Manager at Vendasta