Monday, October 3, 2016

Key Skills for Successful Product Marketers

What are the key skills someone needs to be good a Product Marketer? I first asked that question when I was about 18 months into my first job out of college and was ready to figure out what my next role should be. I had started in a web analyst role, but figured out it was not for me. I was drawn to Product Marketing for a variety of reasons and started trying to figure out what it would take. I had the chance to sit down with a dozen or so Product Marketers I had worked with at my company and ask them that question. Fast forward a few years and I've now spent a number of years in Product Marketing and at a few different reputable tech companies. This is my personal take on....what it takes.

product marketing skills meme

1. Strong communicator. This means you must be able to easily communicate in varied situations. You can easily switch your communication style to handle diverse groups like executives, engineers, marketers, designers etc. This includes the ability to be very diplomatic and very persuasive if the situation requires it.

2. Very collaborative. Product Marketers are often the liaison between product and the sales team, support team and maybe other groups. It's your job to make sure everyone is up to speed and the right people are involved. A collaborative mindset is a must!

3. Quick learner. One quarter you may be doing a in-depth research study, the next you might be training the sales team. Few product marketers do the same thing each quarter you must evolve as the business evolves. It's impossible to be a deep expert on all you will be asked to do, so you must learn fast.

4. See what others don't see. This could apply to seeing a feature that needs to be built, that others will need some convincing to make it happen. It might be a gap in the industry you can get your product to fill. It could be an emerging trend that you can use in your marketing. No matter what it is, you must always be looking and willing to make some bets. This includes having decent analytical chops for a marketer.

5. Presentation skills. When I first tried to get into Product Marketing through an internal transfer, I got rejected. The feedback I got was to boost my presentation skills. Product Marketers needs to be able to present in a compelling way. They are master storytellers that can get their ideas across to an executive, on stage in a keynote or to the sales team. If you dread or are a terrible presenter, it might no be the job for you.

I hope this helps, this is very slanted towards B2B software companies in the bay area, but hopefully you've found this helpful.