A raw first-hand account of what product marketers actually do at tech companies
I spent the last year as the Global Head of Product Marketing at a tech startup called Near which just announced its IPO. Prior to that, I spent 2 years as the Head of Marketing at a product-led SAAS startup. I learned a lot about Product Marketing during this journey. Now, I’m sharing everything I learned here.
No One Knows What Product Marketing Does
Product marketing has been described in numerous ways — not all of them useful. You will often hear that product marketing is the glue that holds Sales, Product Development, Marketing, and Customer Success together. You may also hear that product marketers are the voice of the customer, the company storytellers, the support team for sales, and the ones who help make a product sticky and increase adoption.
These are all true. But these descriptions don’t actually say anything about how product marketers do these things. Very few descriptions of product marketing actually say anything about what a product marketer actually does in their role.
If we are going to foster collaboration with other departments and show the value of product marketing, we need to be able to clearly explain how product marketing brings value to a company.
The Painful Hype around Product Marketing
When trying to figure out what Product Marketers do, you will come across a lot of fluffy explanations like this:
Product marketing sits at the heart, the intersection, and the core of all successful companies. PMMs collaborate with key teams such as the marketing team, sales, customer success, and plays a critical role in helping the business achieve its goals. -Product Marketing Alliance
What’s the problem with a description like this? Well, it is both true and also meaningless. Imagine I swap out another title in there.
Sales sits at the heart, the intersection, and the core of all successful companies. Salespeople collaborate with key teams such as marketing, operations, and customer success, and play a critical role in helping the business achieve its goals.