While functional org structures can provide deep expertise and specialization within a specific area, they may also lead to silos and lack of collaboration across the team. As such, it's important to balance specialization with cross-functional collaboration and communication.

When building a high-functioning product marketing team, the org structure you adopt is the foundation for future success. Start by setting out the key roles that need to be filled as you scale your team. Product marketing teams can be large or small. There are many different ways of organizing them—but no matter what shape yours takes, a good org structure will support your company’s goals by scaling efficiently and in lockstep with how the company itself matures. A bad one will trip up your team and make their job harder.

Your team structure is the foundation of your product marketing organization.

To start, you need to set out the key roles that will make up your team. Product marketing teams can be large or small depending on several factors, but some core roles will likely appear in every kind of org structure.

The right org structure acts as the foundation for your product marketing organization. It ensures all the right elements are in place and everyone works together toward company goals. A wrong org structure gets in the way, creating confusion around responsibilities and slowing down execution.

Most organizations can be described as either flat or hierarchical. Flatter structures will have fewer levels between top leadership and front-line employees, while hierarchical structures have multiple layers of management between leaders and those doing the work.

Define what good looks like for your product marketing team.

To determine what a “good” product marketing team looks like for your organization, you must first define your organization's goals and values.

Here are some helpful questions to get you started:

  • What is your company's mission statement? What about the sales, marketing, and product team's visions and goals? Although it can be tempting to look at other companies for inspiration, you should always start by getting clarity on what's essential for your organization.
  • What are your company's values? Are there certain values that must show up in everything you do to achieve those goals? If so, they should also determine how you will build a successful PMM function.
An effective org structure is critical to building a solid product marketing function. As the role of product marketing continues to evolve within companies, it is important that your Product Marketing org structure and process support this evolution. The wrong org structure can stifle a PMM's ability to do their best work, so you need to get it right.
Understand how your teams are structured and work with that—don't try to force a square peg into a round hole.

Having a vision for how you'd like your org structure to work is great, but don't fight your company's existing structure too much. You also don't want to be the person who is constantly going around, over and under different teams, to get things done. Understand how your teams are structured and work with that.

Nearly every company will have some areas of overlap in its org structure, especially if they have multiple stakeholders. For example, one team might have a lot more influence than others regarding marketing campaigns or product launches. Or a sales team might have more sway on what gets built versus an engineering team. These overlapping areas can be strengths and weaknesses; they offer more opportunities for collaboration but can also complicate things when each side thinks they know best.

Your team's ideal size and makeup will depend on your company's growth stage, the nature of your products, and your personal preference.

The size of the team will depend on a few factors: the stage of your company's growth, the nature of your products, and your personal preference. Let's take a look at these in turn.

You want to be sure that you have enough people on your team to handle all the different product marketing functions. This can be a tricky balance—too many people become unmanageable, and too few become ineffective. As a rule of thumb, we recommend one person per channel (for example, content marketing, sales enablement) and one person per vertical (if you have multiple products or product lines). If you have several channels and verticals, it may make sense to bring someone to oversee and coordinate them all.

If your business is brand new and holds only one product with minimal features, then it makes sense for just about anyone on your team to wear their PMM hat part-time. However, if you're releasing several new products each year with tons of features across all platforms—you may need an entire PMM team focused on keeping up with demand! We recommend having at least 1 PMM for every 20 engineers or so.

The ideal size will also depend on how complex or straightforward each individual product is. HubSpot, for example, had hundreds of products that were constantly being added to, updated, and improved upon—so they needed an entire PMM department just to keep track! I guess that HubSpot has around 100+ people working in the product marketing function. That's pretty wild when you think about it!

Make sure you have enough people to cover all the necessary areas for your company.

When determining how many people to hire and what roles they should have, consider the following three factors:

  • The size of your company. A small startup with just a few hundred customers can get by with one PMM, whereas a larger company with thousands of customers might need four or five PMMs on its team. You need to communicate the value of your product across different markets and industries, so having enough people will help you do that effectively.
  • The nature of your products. If you have multiple products with unique benefits, you'll want more people on your team and more specialization within each role. This way, there will be at least one expert for every product who can explain how it works and why it's beneficial without being too general about details like pricing plans or feature lists.
  • Your preferences for managing others versus yourself (i.e., working solo). If you prefer leading people over doing all the work yourself, then hiring them may be worth considering; however, if managing others isn't something that excites you, sticking to one person per role could make more sense.

Choose an org structure that supports collaboration, versatility, and growth in scale.

As you begin to think about the right type of org structure for your team, it's crucial to understand how different structures can impact your performance. When you're part of a small startup, it's not uncommon for roles and responsibilities to be less defined. New hires often wear many hats, and you may find yourself working on various tasks that fall outside your job title. In most cases, this is a good thing because it ensures that every team member understands the ins and outs of each pillar to maximize collaboration and communication.

But as companies grow, traditional org structures become more common—and these types of hierarchies often result in silos where product marketing isn't as ingrained in other parts of an organization. To avoid this issue from happening at your company (or if it has already happened), choose an org structure that supports collaboration and versatility so that you can easily adapt as your product matures or the needs of customers change over time.

Manager vs. IC Responsibilities in Product Marketing

Responsibility Manager Individual Contributor
Setting team goals and priorities
Developing product marketing strategy
Managing cross-functional relationships
Leading and managing team members
Developing and executing product marketing plans
Conducting market research
Developing marketing content and collateral
Creating sales enablement materials
Analyzing market data and metrics
Contributing to cross-functional collaboration


1. What is a product marketing team, and what do they do?

A product marketing team is a group of professionals responsible for promoting a company's products or services. This team works closely with other departments, such as product management, sales, and marketing, to develop and execute marketing strategies that increase product awareness, generate leads, and drive revenue. A product marketing team's key responsibilities include identifying target markets, conducting market research, developing messaging and positioning, creating sales collateral, and supporting product launches.

2. What are the benefits of having a well-structured product marketing team?

A well-structured product marketing team can bring numerous benefits to an organization, including:

  • Improved communication and collaboration between departments
  • Better alignment of product and marketing strategies
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Faster time-to-market for new products
  • Higher-quality marketing campaigns
  • More effective sales enablement
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty

3. What are some common challenges faced by product marketing teams, and how can a well-structured team address them?

Some common challenges faced by product marketing teams include:

  • Lack of clear roles and responsibilities
  • Poor communication and collaboration between departments
  • Misalignment of product and marketing strategies
  • Insufficient resources and budget
  • Limited understanding of customer needs and preferences

A well-structured product marketing team can address these challenges by defining clear roles and responsibilities, establishing regular communication channels with other departments, conducting market research to inform product and marketing strategies, securing adequate resources and budget, and developing a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences.

4. How does the organizational structure of a product marketing team differ from that of other marketing teams?

The organizational structure of a product marketing team typically differs from that of other marketing teams in that it is more closely aligned with product management and sales. Product marketing teams are often organized by product lines or business units, whereas other marketing teams may be organized by functional area (e.g., digital marketing, brand marketing, content marketing). Product marketing teams may also have more direct involvement in the product development process and may work more closely with sales teams to ensure effective lead generation and sales enablement.

5. What are some key roles and responsibilities of a product marketing team?

Some key roles and responsibilities of a product marketing team include:

  • Conducting market research to identify customer needs, preferences, and buying behavior
  • Developing messaging and positioning that effectively communicates the value of the product to target customers
  • Creating sales collateral, such as product sheets, case studies, and presentations, that support the sales process
  • Supporting product launches and go-to-market strategies
  • Collaborating with product management to ensure that the product roadmap aligns with customer needs and market trends
  • Analyzing customer and market data to inform product and marketing strategies

There are several popular org structures for product marketing teams, including:

  • Functional: In this structure, product marketing professionals are organized by functional area, such as research, messaging, and sales enablement.
  • Geographic: In this structure, product marketing professionals are organized by region, with each region responsible for promoting products within its market.
  • Product-focused: In this structure, product marketing professionals are organized by product line or business unit, with each team responsible for promoting specific products or services.
  • Hybrid: In this structure, product marketing professionals are organized using a combination of the above structures, depending on the organization's needs.

Each org structure has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right structure for a given organization will depend on factors such as company size, product portfolio, and market strategy.

7. How do you determine the right org structure for your product marketing team?

To determine the right org structure for your product marketing team, you should consider several factors, including:

  • Company size and complexity
  • Product portfolio and market strategy
  • Level of interdepartmental collaboration required
  • Available resources and budget
  • Employee skills and experience

You may also want to consult with other department heads and conduct employee surveys to better understand the needs and preferences of your team.

8. How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your product marketing team's org structure?

To evaluate the effectiveness of your product marketing team's org structure, you can consider several metrics, including:

  • Time-to-market for new products
  • Product revenue and profitability
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Employee satisfaction and retention
  • Cross-functional collaboration and communication

You may also want to conduct regular employee surveys and gather feedback from other department heads to identify areas for improvement.

9. What are some best practices for managing and leading a product marketing team?

Some best practices for managing and leading a product marketing team include:

  • Setting clear goals and expectations
  • Providing regular feedback and coaching
  • Encouraging collaboration and cross-functional communication
  • Investing in employee development and training
  • Recognizing and rewarding performance
  • Continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies based on market feedback and data.

10. How can you ensure alignment between your product marketing team and other departments within your organization?

To ensure alignment between your product marketing team and other departments within your organization, you can take several steps, including:

  • Establishing regular communication channels and collaboration processes
  • Conducting joint planning and strategy sessions
  • Sharing customer and market insights across departments
  • Developing cross-functional training and education programs
  • Aligning incentives and goals across departments

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your product marketing team is aligned with the needs and goals of the larger organization, which can lead to more effective and efficient product marketing campaigns.