Crayon's Product Marketing Spotlight is an interview series where we chat with product marketers to get a glimpse into their careers and gain unique insight into product marketing strategy. In this edition of the Product Marketing Spotlight Series, we shine the light on Sophia Chang of Bullhorn.
MC: What is your role?
SC: At Bullhorn, I’m the product marketing lead for the healthcare staffing vertical in North America. I conduct research to understand the market, launch new features and capabilities within our platform geared towards the healthcare staffing industry, define our go-to-market strategy and positioning to increase market penetration, and enable sales to win and grow accounts.
MC: What does Bullhorn do?
SC: Bullhorn is a SaaS company that helps staffing firms across the globe transform and grow their business through digitizing their operations, automating their processes, and empowering workers so they can find jobs and work on their terms. Bullhorn helps firms to unlock the power of their teams to do what they do best – put the world to work.
MC: Tell me a little bit about your career path. What was your first job, and what else happened along the way to bring you to where you are now?
SC: My career has been a jungle gym with a rich and varied background that makes me a stronger product marketer. Like many folks in Product Marketing, I didn’t start my career knowing anything about the profession. I took advantage of opportunities to expand my role and tackle something new, which eventually led me to product marketing.
Right out of college, I was a test coordinator at Portland State University in Oregon where I administered exams to students and members of the broader Portland community. These exams included makeups, regular exams with testing accommodations for students with disabilities, exams that helped diagnose students with ADHD and/or a learning disability, and more. I worked with some of the most generous and kindest people I’ve ever met, and they taught me how to be a better human and build strong relationships.
Next, I did project management at the WiMAX Forum, a technical standards development nonprofit organization helping member companies in the telecom space enter new markets in Aviation and Smart Energy, and I expanded my role into marketing. Initially, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, but my desire to work at fast-growing companies won out. I went back to the drawing board, and through reflecting and talking with close friends, I identified that I loved the right and left brain of marketing so much that I wanted to do it full-time rather than have it be only a part of my job.
This led me to do B2B content marketing at Tripadvisor where I told stories of how hoteliers could grow their business on our platform, launched a new product, and generated demand for that product across our prospects and customers. I went to Toast Inc. next in a partner marketing role to co-create content with our partners. Two months in, my manager joined the product marketing team, and I expanded my role into launching integration partnerships, defining our go-to-market strategy with those partners, and enabling sales on our partner ecosystem.
Through all these experiences, I learned to build cross-functional relationships and gain alignment, tell stories, develop go-to-market strategies, and launch and position products and integration partnerships. And that’s how I pivoted into product marketing — an area I’ve been in for the past year and a half at companies like ZoomInfo and Bullhorn (we’re hiring!).
MC: What is one of your career highlights as a PMM?
SC: One of my career highlights as a PMM was launching new Intent products at ZoomInfo, using the assets from Clickagy, a company that ZoomInfo acquired, to deliver Intent signals in real-time with customizable topics you can track. With these targeted buying signals, sellers and marketers could effectively prioritize their outreach and campaigns. These Intent products created new revenue streams and increased revenue for that product +100% YoY.
MC: What role does competitive intelligence (CI) play in your position?
SC: CI plays a big role in understanding the market. It influences our future roadmap, helps with our positioning to differentiate Bullhorn, and provides sales with a view into how to win against the competition. By understanding the competition, we can better inform prospects so they’re confident they’re buying and partnering with the best solution for their business.
MC: How does CI help sales teams thrive?
SC: CI helps sales know how to go up against competitors in conversations, especially when it comes to knowing why we win against those competitors with supporting evidence. It’s an important part of educating buyers about the space, and CI can be powerful at increasing win rates and giving sales confidence. It’s crucial to make CI a two-way conversation with sales since it’s truly a team sport.
MC: What sales enablement resources have you found to be especially impactful?
SC: The best assets for your sales team are dependent on the size and structure of the team and how they sell. Generally, internal value messaging frameworks, internal FAQs, battlecards, sales pitch decks with proof points, one-pagers, and case studies have been the most valuable. It’s key to ensure these resources are consistent and regularly updated for sales.
MC: What are some key things to keep in mind when launching a new product?
SC: Hone in on who is the target market, understanding their challenges and needs. You can’t be everything to everyone, and there will always be a specific segment where you have the strongest product-market fit. This has a downstream impact on your positioning and messaging, sales enablement, and other go-to-market activities.
MC: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
SC: I read 40-50 books a year, primarily contemporary fiction. I love to learn, escape, or just be entertained, relying heavily on the library to fuel my reading habit. I typically squeeze in a few pages at breakfast and lunch as well as in between activities throughout the day. I wind down with reading in bed. My recent favorite read is Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller. Her storytelling is amazing. She brilliantly ties her own experience and finding meaning in our world to uncovering how David Starr Jordan, a prominent scientist, remained optimistic despite the almost complete destruction of his life’s work. I’m always on the hunt for my next read so please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and send recommendations!