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The basics

Name: Jessica Bohm
Location: London, UK
Title: Product Marketing Manager
Company: SimilarWeb
Education: MA Economics, University of Cambridge

Tell us about your path into the tech world and your product marketing role.

How long do you have? Prior to starting university I was accepted onto a Scholarship program at Deloitte where I worked in my gap year and university vacations in the Audit and later Consulting department, after which I received an offer for a graduate position in Consulting. However, upon graduating from university I decided to move to Tel Aviv, Israel (who wouldn’t want sunshine 10 months of the year?) and after a year working at Deloitte in Israel I realized that the best industry to work in is Technology, where Israel is a world leader.

My first entry into the tech sector was working at an agency, running the display advertising for one of Google’s B2B products. I then decided to do what is very common in the ‘Startup Nation’ and create my own mobile app startup. This was my own personal MBA, but like all good things it came to an end. At this point, I joined SimilarWeb as a Product Marketing Manager.

How did you know product marketing was for you?

I had never heard of the Product Marketing Manager role before I applied for my current position, but when I looked at the job description I felt I ticked every box. As someone that studied a lot of maths and economics, but loves working with people, I felt the combination of  analytical and people skills was the perfect fit for me.

How did you learn about product marketing and gain specific skills?

I believe the diverse start to my career stood me in great stead for this role. The combination of skills I gained from management consulting, online performance advertising, and running my own startup provided me with the ability to analyze markets, understand our customers (digital marketers, and analysts), and communicate the value proposition of our product.

How would you describe product marketing? To a peer? To your parents?

Product Marketers analyze the market, competitors and customers, and feed this knowledge into the product roadmap, marketing messaging and sales pitch.

In your words, how is product marketing different from product management or traditional marketing?

Product Marketing gathers the information from the market and competitors to ensure we are building the right product to solve customer pain points and help them achieve their business goals.

Following this ‘needs identification’ process, Product Management comes up with the exact features and/or products that solve our customers’ problems and pain points. Traditional Marketing uses the value proposition and messaging created by Product Marketing to create & distribute quality targeted content to the relevant audiences.

What’s a particularly fulfilling project you’ve worked on?

There was an ongoing challenge at our company that the marketing team was creating a great deal of content, however customer-facing teams were unable to find what they were looking for when they needed it, and the content-creation teams had zero insight into what was actually working.

I started researching ways to solve this and discovered a ton of sales enablement tools on the market doing just this. It seemed like we were not the only ones facing this problem!

It took a total of six months from the research phase, to short-listing solutions, getting stakeholder buy-in, and finally purchasing the tool of choice. A period of implementation, training and roll-out to the customer-facing teams then followed this.

Being able to measure and track the successful adoption of the tool is very fulfilling, and attributing sales success to specific content is invaluable for the entire company!

What’s your secret to staying productive?

The role of a Product Marketing Manager is so diverse, and projects tend to involve both strategic and operational elements. In the morning I could be working on communicating the value of a new feature release, then after a coffee putting together a marketing campaign strategy, interviewing a customer after lunch for a case study, and presenting a webinar to our target audience before heading home for the evening. That means there’s never a dull moment, which helps me stay motivated, productive and efficient.

I also use a number of tools to organize my time and work – Google Inbox (not Gmail – love the concept of Inbox Zero), Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, plus Trello.

Why do you think product marketing is an important function?  

You could be the best developer ever, and build the best product, but no one would know why they should buy it. To be clichéd, Product Marketing is the voice of the customer and the market, feeding the company with knowledge to help take that product off the shelves and into the hands of those that need and are willing to pay for it.

Want to be featured in our “Coffee with a Product Marketer” series? Email justin@productmarketingsummit.com.

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