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 Vicki Robertson, Product Marketing Manager at Fuze.
ED: What is your role, and what does your company do?
VR: I’m a Product Marketing Manager at Fuze, a communications platform for enterprises. The Fuze product combines calling, meeting, and messaging into one easy to use application on desktop, mobile, or in the browser. I split the Fuze portfolio with the Director of Product Marketing. My responsibilities are to manage product launches, and create compelling messaging and content that demonstrates the value of the Fuze product while also differentiating from the competition.
ED: Tell me a little bit about your career. What led up to you becoming a PMM at Fuze? What sparked the transition to product marketing for you?
VR: My first two jobs after college were in recruiting, first at an agency and then in-house. When pitching different companies and roles to candidates, I found myself more interested in the companies and jobs that I was pitching versus the role of recruiting. I quickly learned that I wanted to join a marketing organization at a fast-growing tech company. Joining a small marketing team would give me the opportunity to learn all aspects of B2B marketing from the ground up, and eventually, find the niche within marketing that interested me the most.
When I first joined Fuze, I was a customer marketing coordinator but I found that I was more interested in the product launches, product messaging, and tracking the competition. After a year in customer marketing, I transitioned into a product launch marketing manager role. The company was going through a huge period of growth. It felt like we were launching a new product every week. I was in this role to bring some organization to the launch madness. Once the launches leveled out, I transitioned into a traditional product marketing manager role.
ED: How do you measure product launch success?
VR: The obvious metric, attach rate, but also sales and customer feedback. In B2B, the sales team is product marketing’s customer. It’s important to create content and messaging the sales team actually uses and proves to be effective when speaking to customers.
ED: How do you incorporate competitive intelligence into your role?
VR: The market for unified communications is massive with only 20% penetration. This large market opportunity introduces a large number of competitors in our space — a few direct competitors that we track closely and many others that we keep tabs on. For this reason, it’s really important that we’re keeping our competitive differentiators in mind for all external and internal content — everything from the website, solution overviews, and campaigns, to internal training and enablement.
ED: How has your day-to-day been impacted by current events? Has it impacted the way you execute on a product launch or refreshed messaging?
VR: My day-to-day has not been impacted greatly by current events. We were uniquely positioned at Fuze to benefit from the WFH movement because our software enables people to work from anywhere. Prior to COVID-19, our company had a strong WFH culture, with the majority of employees working from home at least 1-2 days a week, if not full-time. Our company hasn’t missed a beat in terms of productivity.
The Fuze culture has been “work from anywhere” for the last three years. So, from a marketing standpoint, this WFH movement plays perfectly into the campaigns, content, and thought leadership we’ve been producing and promoting for the last couple of years.
ED: What advice would you give to someone looking to pivot into a product marketing role?
VR: Product marketing is a relatively new function. Therefore, the role can be very different depending on the company, the makeup of a team, the team leader, company objectives, and whether the role sits in marketing, product, or sales enablement. Ask the right questions when interviewing and make sure that the key initiatives of that product marketing role are aligned to your career goals and interests.
ED: Which product marketing resources (blogs, newsletters, books, podcasts, etc.) have you found most useful?
VR: The Product Marketing Alliance is a great community. PMA offers tons of online resources but also hosts great events. I attended a summit back in February and was very impressed with the quality of presentation content and the number of connections I made.
ED: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
VR: Do what you enjoy and the money will follow. If you are passionate about what you do, it will shine through your work, and people will take notice.
ED: When you’re not hard at work, what’s your favorite thing to do?
VR: I’m a big foodie. I love going out to eat and sharing the experience with my friends and family. I plan my weeks around dinner reservations and keeping tabs on new restaurant openings.
Topics: Product Marketing Spotlight