Product Marketing Managers (PMM) have a tough job. Writing, recording, sharing, strategizing, creating, thinking, speaking, presenting, analyzing – the activity is constant.
They also interact with multiple departments on a daily basis. Working with so many moving parts can be a frustrating experience.
– Jaded Product Marketer Who Prefers To Remain Unnamed
Sometimes it feels like I’m rolling a stone up a hill only to watch it roll back down and crush an entire village.
Think of all the different ways that sales, marketing, and engineering teams can drive a PMM crazy. It’s really not their fault, most of us don’t know how seemingly innocuous behaviors can make a PMM feel – like watching a sales rep butcher a Powerpoint deck that took 12 hours to create.
With that said, it doesn’t take a lot to make a PMM feel joy. Here are 8 things you can do today to make your Product Marketers happy.
1. Don’t Alter the Content PMMs Give You
I know, it’s tempting. We all have such great ideas.
What does marketing know about making a great sales deck anyway?
Slide 5 would look much better with a giant pie chart…or a 20GB embedded video! Let’s just swap sections 1 and 3 and add some wipe transitions a la Windows 98!
What’s that? You broke the slide deck and need help fixing it?
Our advice is to use the deck as is. If you need to add content, just create an appendix. If you think your contribution is really good, then show it to your PMM. Great product marketers love to collaborate. Chances are they will thank you for the idea and incorporate it into the next release.
2. Use the Demo your PMM Made
Why can’t you use the demo? What’s wrong with the demo? You don’t like the demo?
PMMs work hard to create the product demos you need to succeed. They study customer requests, listen to feedback, and produce demonstrations that they hope would make Steve Jobs proud.
If you think a demo isn’t good enough, ask for a new one. It’s better than recording a last minute video yourself in bad lighting.
There are few things more gut wrenching than a Product Marketer finding out the big budget demonstration they handcrafted for you was swapped out for a 240p video that looks like it was recorded on a potato.
The bar for product demos has gotten really high with interactive tours and high quality videos. Don’t risk the customer being unimpressed by using half-baked content.
Trust your product marketing team, use the
3. Don’t Mess With the Branding
I get it, fonts are dumb, right? No one is going to notice if you use Calibri instead of Helvetica Neue 🙄
Why hurt your own chance of success by messing with the company brand?
Customers pay attention to detail. They notice every broken image, missing punctuation, spelling error, and inconsistency in your marketing assets. Every tiny mishap can affect your brand’s credibility. Even a seemingly minor error like displaying the wrong copyright year can impact your chance of closing a deal.
Don’t give anyone a reason to doubt the maturity or integrity of your product. Leave the branding elements alone.
George Avetisov, 1up.ai
I once had a rep who took it upon themselves to create a completely separate brand guide. The color scheme, fonts, even the tagline were changed. To customers, it looked like they worked at a totally different company. They even proposed a new company logo.
4. Pay Attention During Training
Put the phone down. Those sportsball scores can wait.
If you work in product marketing, chances are someone has asked you to repeat something you spent 20 minutes covering at the last training session.
PMMs run training sessions for your benefit. They want to impart knowledge to help you succeed in your role. Few things are more painful than realizing that the audience wasn’t paying attention.
Give product marketing your undivided attention. They will feel heard, and you will close more deals.
5. Actually READ the Content Provided
FAQs. How-to guides. Explainer videos. Sales and Marketing Assets.
Product marketers create content designed to empower other teams. Unfortunately, it does not always get consumed, or even looked at.
Want to make your PMM happy? Read the material they send you and give them feedback. Even if it’s negative, your product marketing manager will appreciate that you took the time to review the tools they made for you.
Here’s a tip for PMM’s – hide some completely random text in your content that makes no sense. It could be song lyrics, a poem, or a famous quote. See if anyone notices. That’s how you know they’re actually reading. Snuffleupagus.
6. Stop Asking for Content That Already Exists
OK, you can ask for it. Just please try looking for it first. It takes longer to ask than it does to search.
That demo you need ASAP? It’s in the videos section on our website.
The most recent Sales Battlecard? It’s on Google Drive, just search for “BATTLE CARD.”
Oh, you need a super specific feature comparison against one of our obscure competitors in a region where we don’t actually sell our product? Coming right up! 😐
7. Share Information You Learned in the Field
Customer feedback, market insights, even competitor rumors…this information can be a goldmine for product marketing teams.
An effective product marketer is one who knows what’s going on outside the 4 walls of the company. To do that, they need your help.
Did a customer just send you a 100-page RFP? Share it with your PMM. They can turn some of the toughest customer requests and objections into powerful content.
Make it a habit to send intel to your PMM. You could even invite them to your Slack channels or have them listen in on calls. At the end of the day, the more intel you bring back from the field, the more effective they will be.
8. Take Your Product Marketing Team Out for Dinner
They deserve it. If you’re too busy or can’t make it in person, here’s a link to Uber Eats.
Buy them dinner.