👋 Hey everyone, I’m Mark Assini (@pmm_mark), product marketing manager at @GetJobber and your guest author for this week! For those that didn’t know, it’s a short week here in 🇨🇦, so I’m getting things started on a Tuesday.
I’m pumped to share my product marketing hot takes and random musings over the next 4️⃣ days! 💪
First, a massive shout out to @NatashaKatson not only for inviting me to take over the account for the week, but for starting it in the first place. Product marketing is on the rise, and it’s largely due to community-driven initiatives like this. 🙌
Before I get to the good stuff, let me quickly rundown all the places at which I’ve held a product marketing role. 🌎
I started my product marketing journey at @BigVikingGames, an independent gaming studio 🎮 focused on making fans while being masters of running live-ops–based, free-to-play mobile and social games.
Alright, enough about me (for now). Instead, let me tell you about what I plan to cover this week.
1️⃣ First, I want explore the pros and "things to consider" when evaluating joining an org. as a #lonewolf 🐺 product marketer compared to joining a product marketing team 👥 based on my own experiences in both situations.
2️⃣ Then I want to touch on the differences between being a product marketing generalist (or athlete🏃♀️, as Mark Huber at @metadataio recently described them to me) compared to being a product marketing specialist 🧠 (someone focused on a specific area of product marketing).
3️⃣ Finally, I want to end the week by highlighting companies that I think are doing some great things in the product marketing space, as well as some members of the community I regularly look to for advice, inspiration, and ideas.💡 pic.twitter.com/mm86T4AH8I
But enough of my jibber jabbering 🙊. I want to pose a question:
For current product marketers, had you heard about or really understood product marketing before applying to, or landing, a product marketing role?
Full disclosure, I had no clue what product marketing was when I took my first product marketing gig. That may sound crazy, but it’s true, and definitely the BEST career choice I’ve ever made. 💯
When I was looking for my first role post-MBA, I knew I wanted to get into tech in a marketing-role, ideally in gaming. Fortunately enough, I had an in through a family friend (#networking 🤝) at a local studio who put me in touch with their head of HR.
At my first informal chat, she asked me: “Well we’ve got two opportunities, one in product marketing, and one in corporate marketing.” 🤔
I had just finished chatting with a product manager who had recently transitioned into the role from product marketing. He seemed like a decent guy, and something about “corporate marketing” sounded really boring. 😑
So, in a moment of mild panic, I said: “Product marketing, definitely product marketing.” And with that, a product marketer was born. 🐣
In hindsight it was the better of the two options, especially when you consider the person they hired to do corporate marketing was let go several months later and the role was never backfilled. 😅
Alright, that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the life of a lone wolf 🐺 product marketer compared to that of life within a product marketing team 👥.
Morning Twitter! I’m back for day 2️⃣ as guest author, and as promised, I’ll be taking a look at what it’s like being a lone wolf product marketer vs. what it’s like being part of a team of product marketers.
Product Marketing MisUnderstood begins in just 1 hour! 🥳
In one day, you’ll have the insights you need to prove your value as a product marketer.
It’s not too late to register and tune in now!
Let's start with a poll: would you rather be a solo product marketer, or, would you rather be part of a product marketing team?
As someone who’s done both, it’s hard for me to pick a clear winner. However, there are definitely some pros and things to consider for each. Let’s start with the lone wolf approach.
🐺✅1️⃣ - As a lone wolf, you have as much control as your manager (CEO/CMO/CPO) will give you, which is often quite a bit. This autonomy allows you to define product marketing as you see fit, ideally based on the needs of the broader org. and your customers.
🐺✅2️⃣ - Working solo often (but not always) gives you the space to experiment freely. You can try new things, see what works and what doesn’t, and essentially steer the product marketing ship in any direction you choose.
🐺✅3️⃣ - When you’re the lone product marketer, you become the subject matter expert within your org. People will come to you with asks, questions, and for input. Who doesn’t love feeling needed?
But it’s not always rainbows 🌈 and butterflies 🦋 when there’s no batman to your robin. Here are some important things to consider and keep in mind if you’re pursuing a role as a lone wolf product marketer.
🐺🤔1️⃣ - The pressure is real. As the sole product marketer, expectations are high, esp. in an org. where some may have experience working with, or a preconceived notion of, what product marketing can/should deliver. Not having support to back you can put you under fast.
🐺🤔2️⃣ - Not having a partner or partners in crime can be isolating. Without a team, you don’t have like-minded product marketers to bounce ideas off of, seek advice from, or benchmark against. You know what they say, it’s lonely at the top.
🐺🤔3️⃣ - If you’re not only the sole product marketer, but also the first, you’ll likely spend a lot of your time explaining what product marketing is. There’s nothing quite like introducing yourself, and then spending 10-15 minutes explaining what you’ve been hired to do.
What about being part of a product marketing team?
🤝 Even if it’s a team of two, there are some definite perks, and again, things to consider, of not going solo.
👥✅1️⃣ - More hands make light work. Being part of a team helps share the product marketing load, oftentimes allowing each member to support a smaller number of product teams, or focus on a specific area of product marketing.
👥✅2️⃣ - One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about joining a team of product marketers is having a group of people to give my work, ideas, or questions, a second, third or fourth set of eyes. This has always improved the quality of the deliverable.
👥✅3️⃣ - Having more product marketers within an org. helps to spread the product marketing gospel. This in turn means people are more likely to “get” and respect what product marketing does and is capable of, allowing you to have built-in credibility.
Being part of a team is great, but it’s not always for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind.
👥🤔1️⃣ - You have to be good at sharing your toys. When you’re on a team, you can’t expect to be given everything, and every decision won’t be up to you. This almost always yields better results, but for some, that loss of autonomy and ownership is hard.
👥🤔2️⃣ - You’re not always in the spotlight. Working at the intersection of marketing, product, sales and success, product marketers are used to being in the thick of it. On a team, you’re not always involved in every conversation or decision that impacts product marketing.
👥🤔3️⃣ - If you find yourself on a rockstar team, you the bar only gets higher and higher, set at the level of your team’s strongest performer. For those just starting out, it can feel like a real challenge to deliver at the same level and live up to lofty expectations.
That’s a wrap for today everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow to share my thoughts on being a product marketing athlete 🏃♀️compared to being a product marketing specialist. 🏋️♂️
It's day 3️⃣ of my tour as guest author, but I want to briefly shift away from product marketing and acknowledge what's happening in Ukraine. I know I, and many product marketers hope for the safety of the people of Ukraine and innocent Russians caught up in what's going on.
Are you a product marketing athlete 🏃♀️ (i.e. a skilled generalist that is responsible for many, if not all, aspects of product marketing at your org.) or a specialist 🧠 (i.e. focused on one specific area, like comp. intel., go-to-market, market/customer research etc.)?
I consider myself lucky 🍀 to have started my product marketing journey as an athlete, before transitioning into a more specialized role where I am today at @GetJobber.
When considering your next product marketing move, it's important to be aware of the type of role on offer. Depending on your skills, personal preferences, and areas of interest, you may prioritize being an athlete 🏃♀️ over being a specialist 🧠, or vice versa.
Let's explore the benefits of each, as well as some important things to keep in mind.
🏃♀️✅1️⃣ - As an athlete, you get exposure to a range of product marketing responsibilities. This will help build out a robust tool kit that can be leveraged in future roles, even ones outside of product marketing.
🏃♀️✅2️⃣ - You'll quickly learn what you enjoy doing, and what you don't. The only way to discover what does or doesn't interest you is to try. As an athlete, you can see if you're into comp. intel., positioning messaging, pricing and packaging, or go-to-market.
🏃♀️✅3️⃣ - The variety of work you'll be doing is sure to keep you busy and each day different. Some days or projects will require you to focus in on certain areas more than others, but it's unlikely any two days will ever be the same.
Of course, being a product marketing athlete 🏃♀️ can be mentally exhausting, so there are definitely some things to consider if you're looking at becoming one yourself.
🏃♀️🤔1️⃣ - What's that saying? Jack of all trades, master of none, right? As an athlete, you may develop a broad toolkit, but it might not be overly deep in certain areas. By trying to cover it all, you may find projects that require focus in one area more challenging.
🏃♀️🤔2️⃣ - While variety is refreshing and keeps you on your toes, it can become very tiresome. Having to constantly context switch and flex different muscles can be exciting at first, but eventually you may find that you need time for deep thinking in one particular area.
🏃♀️🤔3️⃣ - As you become more senior in your career and as product marketing evolves and matures, new roles within the space may require a depth of knowledge in a particular area that you haven't developed fully, making getting out of a generalized role more challenging.
But what about the specialist opportunities 🧠? I've seen more and more product marketing roles being posted that ask candidates to be experienced in, and take ownership of (if hired) specific areas of product marketing, like comp. intel., go-to-market, research etc.
Let's look at some of the benefits ✅ and things to consider 🤔 when exploring those opportunities.
🧠✅1️⃣ - By being specialized, you have a clear understand of the size and scope of your sandbox. There is less ambiguity around what you can and can't influence, as well as the degree of autonomy you have to make decisions and recommendations.
🧠✅2️⃣ - Focusing on a specific area allows you to become even more of a subject matter expert by developing a deep understanding of your solution, customers, and the KPIs you can directly influence through the lens of your area of focus.
🧠✅3️⃣ - You can hone in on an area of product marketing that you enjoy. I've found in my current role that I ❤️ go-to-market and positioning and messaging. While focused on GTM myself, I still get to dabble in comp. intel and research, but within the context of my GTM efforts.
If you agree on positioning/messaging, you've poured the foundation—the basement is in place.
But if you change value props/benefit statements on V3 of website copy, you're tearing down drywall to relocate the basement.
Specialization is great, don't get me wrong, but it's not for everyone. Let's explore some of the things someone looking to specialize should keep in mind.
🧠🤔1️⃣ - When you specialize, you might not be able to keep up with/can develop a blindspot for other areas within your org. or more generally within the product marketing space. This requires you to be more proactive about learning (if you can find the time to).
🧠🤔2️⃣ - What if you decide to specialize, but grow tired of the specialization? As someone who hates being bored at work, I was careful to select a specialization that still involved a certain degree of variety and change. Not all specialized roles can offer that.
🧠🤔3️⃣ - Much like being part of a broader team, the more specialized you become, the less involvement you have in key decisions that could indirectly impact your slice of product marketing. Taking a step back in one area to focus on another can be scary.
That's a wrap on day 3️⃣. I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow where I'll be shining the spotlight on some rockstar marketers and product marketers that I am often inspired by. See you tomorrow!
It's the final day as my time as guest host of @pmmunderhood 😭 - I'm sad to see it end, but I'm excited about what I am going to share today: some of the best and brightest in the product marketing and marketing community!
As host of the Product Marketing Life podcast 🎧🎙, I have a love of product marketing-related podcasts. You can see a list of my favourites here. twitter.com/pmm_mark/statu…
Time to take a look at the non-product marketers I regularly look to for marketing advice and inspiration.
Of course there's @davegerhardt, who I first heard about through one his podcasts (surprise, surprise). His LinkedIn takes are 🧑🍳💋 and his@DGMGmarketingg community is a great source of marketing info. and opportunities. Check out his new book tooB
Another fellow 🇨🇦 is Alex McDonnell. A former product marketer, Alex is one of the go-to voices i#competitiveintelligencece. His Dance Battle podcast (surprisingly not about dancing) is another one of my recommended listens. Check him out on LinkedIlinkedin.com/in/alexqmcdonn…pd
Speaking of #competitiveintelligence, I'm a big fan of Adam McQueen's work. Adam and his team regularly pump out quality content for @kluein. Whether it's the Competitive Enablement Show or top-shelf LinkedIn posts, Adam is another must-follow. linkedin.com/in/adam-mcquee…
A former product marketer himself, @_danieljmurphy is another person worth a follow. If you like what you see (and you definitely will), you should check out this Product Launch Masterclass, a great place to learn about all-things go-to-market. theproductlaunchmasterclass.com
Another former product marketer (now founder, podcast host, author, & career advisor - where does he find the time?!) is @alex_dea. I had him on the Product Marketing Life pod & could have talked to him for hours & hours. Al's doing great things for aspiring product marketers.
When it comes to #positioning, there are few experts better than @aprildunford, who literally wrote the book on it. Anyone tackling positioning for their own product HAS TO read Obviously Awesome. If they haven't, they're obviously not awesome... aprildunford.com
Last, but certainly not least, there's @peeplaja - he's definitely shared some of the most insightful and spicy takes I've ever come across, and they're all gold. Check him out and the great things he's doing over at wynter.com - a tool I've been following closely.
Alright, here comes the big one. My long list of product marketers that are worth following here or on LinkedIn. I'll keep it short and sweet for each one, otherwise I'd be here tweeting all night...
There are many many many more I've missed. Check out my Connections on LinkedIn for a detailed list! linkedin.com/in/markassini/