I need to hire my first product marketer. Who should they report into?

  • Deeply embedded with the product team
  • Influence the product roadmap with customer insights so you’re building something people will want to use and buy
  • The transition between product development to go-to-market is smoother vs a “throwing it over the fence” situation
  • Increased support for PMs who don’t have time to do buyer research
  • Incentive structures that don’t align
  • Example 1: In some cases Product Managers (PMs) have a specific feature or vision they want to build but data contradicts them. If the PMM’s role is to bring in buyer research and insights, it is more challenging to stay objective if they fall under a PM.
  • Example 2: PMs rightfully have a launch and test mentality. Sometimes based on their performance metrics, they’ll just want to “ship it” to the mass market. In the world of marketing, you understand there is a fine line between launching too early and losing the customer’s trust and waiting for perfection. A PM and a PMM’s priorities for go-to-market are different.
  • Better access and control to marketing resources (e.g. creative, communication channels) because metrics of success are aligned as a Marketing team.
  • Common understanding that products and features need to be articulated in the form of values and benefits and not a feature list.
  • Little involvement with the product development process. Sometimes a product has been built and only upon go-to-market do you realize there is not a clear reason as to why a certain product or feature was built (i.e. is there market demand).
  • Challenges to feeding seller insights directly into the product development
  • Marketing teams tend to care about ToF while many Product Marketers care about BoF and ongoing product usage. A product marketer that sits in Marketing may think more about product awareness and not focus enough on BoF, product activation, and onboarding. Product activation and onboarding is better influenced directly with the Product and Design teams.

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Michelle Yee

Michelle Yee

PMM @Square — NYC l Proud CDN l Traveller (pre-COVID)