Hiring the perfect product marketer for your organization is not an easy feat. A product marketer is responsible for a wide range of tasks including go-to-market strategy, messaging, and competitive intelligence, requiring a wide range of skills and experience that can be hard to find in one person. It’s been said that a great product marketer is built, not born. So while someone may not have a lot of experience in product marketing, the skills that they bring to the table may be the perfect addition to your team. We asked product marketing leaders what they look for when they hire product marketers, and here are seven common traits they look for when hiring on their product marketing teams.
1. Strong Communicator
Not only do product marketers need to be strong verbal communicators, but they also need to be great storytellers with the ability to use technical language and simple language.
“Must be a strong communicator, whether that is written or spoken. I also look for people with analytical minds and intellectual curiosity. They need to be able to build trust in many departments: sales, PM, engineering, and customer success.” - Rachel Dines, Senior Director of Product Marketing, CloudHealth Technologies, Inc.
2. Ability to Work Cross Functionally
Product marketers need to communicate and collaborate with all teams within an organization to ensure smooth product launches and promotions. For many product marketers, they work closely with marketing, product, sales, and customer success teams. Working collaboratively with multiple teams helps the product marketer gain insight into market needs, customer reviews, as well as overall successes.
3. Competitive Mentality
Having the best product and the best messaging to sell a product is a key way to differentiate yourself against your competition. Having a competitive mindset will assist the product marketing manager in gaining a competitive edge. Commonly, competitive intelligence research is an integral component of a product marketers job. If the product marketer thinks competitively, they will be able to analyze competitive intelligence data better, and string together pieces of intel to infer their competitors’ strategies.
4. Entrepreneurial Mindset
While a product marketer is part of a team, an entrepreneurial mindset is important to have because it encompasses creativity, positivity, innovation, and results.
“For product marketers, I look for individuals who can break down situations well, and work backward from a team goal. The biggest challenge of being in product marketing is working cross-functionally and cross-team to be able to win more deals, launch successful products, and move important metrics such as pipeline creation. Some of the smartest product marketers I know are fantastic communicators and have an entrepreneurial mindset.” -Ryan MacInnis, Director of Marketing, Notarize
Being customer-focused is a critical skill needed for a product marketer. Understanding the customer and the market is necessary in order to craft messages in a way that the market will understand, and also be able to deliver what customers want. A great way for product marketers to craft strong messaging is by listening to what customers are saying about the product. By integrating customer language into your messaging, you’ll be sure to craft messaging that resonates with your target market.
6. Technical Knowledge
Technical knowledge is especially important for those who work with hardware or software. This gives a product marketer a leg up when translating the engineering description into an easy to understand public facing message.
“When hiring PMMs, I look for a blend of technical aptitude, go-to-market experience, and storytelling ability. In addition, for each PMM role that I hire, I'm keenly focused on the attributes that I can train-up versus what I need someone to have walking in the door - this will vary from role to role based on the needs of the product line and its stage of lifecycle maturity, competitive landscape, etc.” - Greg Lord, VP of Marketing, Moltin
7. Problem Solver
In product marketing, many different issues could arise with product launches, messaging, or other internal initiatives. Product marketers should be strong problem solvers so that they can handle whatever comes their way.
“The skills that I look for are technical knowledge, empathy, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving abilities.” - Product Marketing Leader, Software Company
Product marketers wear many hats within their organization. While not every product marketing role is the same, the skill sets sought out by product marketing leaders have a lot of overlap. Next time you’re hiring for a product marketer, keep these traits in mind to help you hire the best product marketer for your team.