Sample Job Description for Product Marketing: The Ideal Candidate

This sample product marketing job description just might ruffle a few feathers. Why? First, it’s not your typical “get the product off the shelf” job description. Second, there may be people in product marketing roles that don’t fit this description.

Don’t sweat it. It’s a job description for the “ideal” candidate, and we all know how that goes. It’s like finding your dream home in the perfect neighborhood at a bargain price. It’s a needle in a haystack. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Sample Product Marketing Job Description for B2B

Add these criteria to your next product marketing job posting and see what happens.

  • A happy, outgoing, glass-half-full, people person. Downer-Daves, Negative-Nancys and introverted cubicle trolls need not apply. A big part of the product marketing job is cheerleading – keeping the salesforce energized, inspired, motivated and proficient at selling solutions that will always and forever have shortcomings.
  • 1-3 years experience in direct sales. A lot of people aren’t cut out for direct sales but make fine product marketing managers! Most product marketing responsibilities require strong selling skills. They just don’t come with the pressures of meeting a sales quota.
  • Must have strong domain expertise in a particular industry (healthcare, banking, etc.) and/or business function (HR, IT, Finance, etc.) where products are used.
  • Has no interest in becoming a “product expert.” There are plenty of product experts in product management. No need to duplicate. Product marketing’s top focus is helping salespeople understand their target customers as well as those customers understand themselves, and then positioning product solutions accordingly. Credibility is a salesperson’s best asset!
  • Understands the purpose of presentation slides – a series of visually appealing cue cards that tell a compelling value story, not product documentation in PowerPoint format!
  • Must be an awesome presenter. As the person who trains the salesforce on product and competitive positioning, product marketing has to deliver presentations to the salesforce in the same inspirational manner they want salespeople to deliver them to customers.
  • Starts every conversation with WHO, WHAT & WHY (the market dynamics and/or business goals of the customer) before ending with the HOW (product capabilities).
  • Insert other requisite skills here.

The Audition/First Interview

Line up your top candidates (internal and external) and cut to the chase on the first interview. Forget the obligatory screening questions up front. Have each candidate audition for the job by making a positioning presentation for something they’re passionate about and assess their ability to inspire and sell you something. If they pass muster, proceed with your standard interviewing process.

Just an FYI…people with the most technical product knowledge generally make the worst product marketing managers because they’re encumbered with too much product knowledge. Product marketing is 80% WHO, WHAT & WHY (market and customers) and 20% HOW (product). Okay, maybe 70/30. My point is…the comfort zone of most product experts is just the opposite.

Today’s product marketing manager is more of a sales enablement role than anything else. The development of messaging and collateral in today’s role is more focused on making the salesforce skilled at selling and differentiating your solutions versus creating the obligatory artifacts for the launch checklist as it was in its infancy.

The toughest part of finding a great product marketing manager isn’t as much about the skills and experience as it is finding the energetic, articulate and charming personality that brings those skills to life. It has to be a credible person that your salesforce respects and looks to for guidance and leadership in tough situations.

It might be a needle in a haystack. But that shouldn’t stop you from looking. The more effective your product marketing function, the more you’ll sell. It’s that simple. I’ve seen the proof in the numbers too many times to believe otherwise.

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