“The day I had my first interview, I googled ‘product marketing’ to figure out what it was. That was my level of knowledge. I had marketing knowledge and software knowledge but had no clue what product marketing was. I could piece it together, but it wasn’t like I had deep expertise.” That is how Lindsay Bayuk, one of our summit speakers (and many of us) got her start in product marketing. it’s also how product marketing got its humble start at Infusionsoft.
The first thing I built out was the release process. Having a launch plan,” Bayuk says, “A little bit of messaging, a little bit of launch plan. Our role was largely just coordinating cross-departmental efforts and getting clear about product benefits.” Two and a half years later, Bayuk was running the core product marketing and product management teams at Infusionsoft. The first thing Bayuk authored messaging and a launch plan for was Infusionsoft’s Microsoft Outlook plugin (the smallest possible software product!). She said she had to enlist the help of a developer to install it and the release had several glitches. It was from this experience that implementing ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ releases became standard operating procedure. Bayuk concentrated on perfecting her process, and then applying it to products that had been neglected. Suddenly, ancillary products that had lived in the shadows received a new life. The sales floor knew how to speak to and sell the products. Next, Bayuk focused on research and data-driven decision making. She knew she wanted to make market research and customer stories more of a focus. “We realized we needed to understand our customers on a deeper level,” she says. To achieve this, she enlisted help. She partnered with a research firm to conduct her first annual customer survey, then hired an employee with a background in market research.

“The day I had my first interview, I googled ‘product marketing’ to figure out what it was. That was my level of knowledge. I had marketing knowledge and software knowledge but had no clue what product marketing was.

It’s common for companies to believe they have to do it all. Bayuk realized and accepted that if velocity was the main goal, that approach would not work. If she didn’t have the money for a full time employee, she fought for the budget to contract with a firm to temporarily fill the need (and teach her how to do it correctly).

Shortly after her first hire, she hired two other product marketers. One of them was me. Bayuk focused on expanding the department’s oversight and activities. After a while, “we had coverage across the portfolio and were really strong in all of our core disciplines–messaging, research, strategy and launch.” After this, Bayuk focused on becoming excellent in those functional areas, as to become trusted, respected and impactful to the organization.

Bayuk concentrated on perfecting her process, and then applying it to products that had been neglected. Suddenly, ancillary products that had lived in the shadows received a new life.

For a long time, I had imposter syndrome. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing,” says Bayuk. Again, she reached out for help. After calling product friends at LinkedIn, Pearson, Zendesk and GoDaddy, she became confident that she was on the right track.

Bayuk agrees that there are no great  resources for product marketers. “It’s too new or too specialized,” she says. Additionally, she argues that product marketing goes beyond just sales enablement. “[Sales enablement] isn’t the core focus. If you’re doing product marketing and product management right, it’s basically growth hacking. If you think about what growth hacking is, it’s data-driven growth achieved by focusing on customers. That’s what product marketing and product management is–part marketer, part data, part engineer.”

Bayuk left Infusionsoft in mid-2015 to join a startup. She now leads product at PureChat, a live chat software company based in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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