Product Marketing and being Violet
I’ve interviewed over 100 PMMs around the world and I’ve seen the definition of the role vary as much as shades of white in a Dulux colour palette.
Everything from Absolute white — the narrowest definition of the discipline, tightly bound to positioning, messaging and go-to-market strategy, through to Violet white — where PMMs influence everything from what we build for customers to the ad campaigns we run on marketing channels.
At Wise we’re very much into the Violet shade of things.
What’s the role of product marketing?
Zoom out, and the overarching goal of product marketing is to ensure the right customers adopt the right products at the right time. PMMs do this by knowing the customers and the products inside out, and working with product and marketing teams to drive adoption and build for customer needs.
How PMMs work at Wise
At Wise, PMMs are embedded in product teams. That means they sit with them, do quarterly planning with them, attend team meetings and standups, and interact with them on the day to day. They work most closely with the Product Manager, and, done well, that becomes a slick Batman and Robin relationship. Put a great PM and PMM together and you’ve got yourself a Holy smokes situation — just sit back and watch them kick ass.
The Wise PMM framework
As PMMs we think of our work across the four pillars of our product marketing framework — customer insight, positioning and messaging, product launches, and ongoing product adoption.
Everything starts with customer insight. PMMs deeply understand our customer segments, use cases, needs and pain points, and use this to inform product and marketing teams. PMMs bring the voice of the customer to product teams to influence the product roadmap — this often means collaborating with UX research and analysts, as well as the PM — to help the team make smart decisions on what we build next to solve customer problems.
Positioning and messaging
We’ll also take this insight to develop the positioning and messaging of the product, to develop the proposition and optimise marketing campaigns. This work can sound a bit fluffy and vague, but done well it’s a hugely strategic part of the job. In short, it’s a case of, “Ok cool, we built this awesome new product, how do we tell the world as clearly as possible what it is, how it works, and why it adds value to their lives.”
At Wise, we rigorously test positioning and messaging. Everything we’re putting out into the world gets validated by customers and prospects — there’s no room for opinion here. We’ll start by building a hypothesis, run user testing, narrow our approach, then run A/B testing to continuously optimise our messaging against conversion metrics. It’s one thing to think you’ve landed the strongest possible message, but at the end of the day, your customers should dictate that, and data doesn’t lie.
A big part of the PMM role is bringing new products to market for the first time. That means developing the proposition and go-to-market strategy from scratch and bringing all the teams you need together to execute on a launch campaign. For a big product launch it’s a massive body of work, but it’s also probably the most fun part of the job.
You’re responsible for delivering the strategy to marketing teams on target customers, competitive landscape, channel mix, and key messaging, and you work with creative teams to deliver all the assets you need to communicate the proposition to customers — think landing pages, explainer videos, app intro screens, email campaigns, marketing channel assets, launch video, the whole nine yards.
The PMM will own and manage the launch campaign end to end, working with teams across the org — product, performance marketing, PR, customer service, compliance, legal — often a huge variety of stakeholders. So being a highly effective collaborator is key. You have to have the hustle to get things done.
Ongoing product adoption
But it doesn’t stop there. Once the launch campaign is out the door, we think about ongoing product adoption — our fourth pillar. That means figuring out how we can help customers get even more value out of our products and drive continuous growth. This can mean running experiments to increase conversion through the funnel, running cross-sell campaigns to introduce customers to new products and features, or running marketing channel tests to attract new segments of customers.
Wise PMM DNA
All in all you get to do a huge variety of work in a PMM role — you’re right across the spectrum from analytical to creative. And it’s a super cross-functional, highly collaborative role, so we look for people with the right PMM DNA to really thrive at Wise. In the team we’ve narrowed that down to four key characteristics you need to succeed at any level as a PMM at Wise:
- A positive hustler — someone with the enthusiasm and drive to motivate people and get things done across teams / tribes / continents
- A customer addict — someone who loves hearing from customers, seeks to really understand their needs, and naturally puts the customer first
- A curious data-seeker — someone who’s always thinking about what datapoints they have or what methods we can use to validate our decisions
- A quality champion — someone who’s always pushing for our marketing to be the highest quality bar possible down to every word, every image, every pixel
Spoiler alert, we’re hiring. So if you’re a kickass PMM and want to come and help us solve complex customer problems, we’d love to hear from you. It’s not an exaggeration to say I think we have the best job in the company — Violet all the way. So if that’s your colour, get in touch.