Josh Mendelsohn is the Director of Product Marketing and Demand Generation at Salsify. Follow him on Twitter.
Product marketing can be a tough role to define. How do you explain what you do at Salsify?
It’s probably a little egocentric, but I describe product marketing
as being at the center of the relationship between product management and the rest of the world. That means we’re responsible for bringing the voice of the market to the product team to guide long term decisions, working with our customer success team to do the same from a customer point of view, and listening to sales calls to help identify critical gaps or opportunities we should prioritize. Conversely, we try to translate all of the product enhancements we roll out into a language that sales, customer success, and marketing can easily consume and use to grow the business.
How are you measured? What metrics do you focus on?
At Salsify, I oversee both product marketing and demand generation which makes measuring my own success pretty straightforward. I do think that being attached to a number really helps focus product marketing activities on the things that will grow the business so it’s something I think more companies should adopt. I can easily see how our messaging and product enhancements are directly impacting our sales and marketing metrics and what needs adjusting.
What’s the hardest part of your job as a product marketer today?
One of the biggest challenges with product marketing for me has always been that it’s largely a role of influence and not one of ownership. Being the first product marketer at a high growth company means that not only do you need to influence people based on market insight for the first time, you’re also challenging assumptions that have helped us grow from nothing into something which can be a very personal thing. Being closely aligned with a number can help focus that conversation on the tangible outputs of those bigger picture conversations.
How do you stay up to date on the latest in product marketing?
There’s not a single place I go to read about product marketing specifically – although I’m excited that Drifft can become that place. But I do read a lot about product and about marketing. Blogs from First Round Capital, Unbounce, HubSpot, TechCrunch, For Entrepenuers, and general articles from media post, marketing charts, and eMarketer get a lot of time in my life.
Do you have examples of companies that nail product marketing or product marketing that inspires you?
The one that jumps to mind right away is Apple. For years they have done an amazing job of selling product by really understanding and re-creating the experience that their users have with their products, but without ignoring the functional information that people want to make a buying decision.