If you're new to a product marketing leadership position, the first 90 days can be a big challenge. You'll have a lot of work and questions to answer, but if you're prepared and confident in your abilities, it'll be smooth sailing from here on out! Here are some tips for getting started on the right foot:
Build credibility in the first 90 days.
Being visible and accessible.
You can't be a team player if you don't hang out with the team. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty and work alongside them, even if it means cleaning up after a particularly messy project launch or helping someone move furniture around the office. If you want the respect of your colleagues, they need to know that you care about the same things they do—and that starts by spending time with them in their day-to-day environment.
Being open to feedback and criticism
For your company culture to grow organically, everyone needs an honest assessment of where things stand at any given moment. It doesn't mean taking every bit of feedback personally (it will never be all bad), but instead, being receptive when people share their honest thoughts and feelings on how something could be better done moving forward.
Talk to the field or the sales team to learn about their pain points.
You need to get out in the field. Talk with your customers. It's no secret that customer service is one of the most critical aspects of product management, but there are many ways to do this effectively. For example:
- Talk with your sales team and customer service reps by phone or in person. Learn directly from them what they see as customers' problems. It will give you an idea of where things are going wrong and issues that need fixing.
- Ask each rep and each frontline worker what challenges they hear the most frequently and what product features they seem to like the most. Keep all the product usage data aside and listen to these reps' insights intently.
- If possible, visit customers' offices instead of calling them--this shows how much value we place on each client relationship by ensuring we're spending enough time together during our interactions rather than just asking questions over email.
Look for quick wins in the first 90 days.
You'll have plenty of time to tackle big projects in the future, but it's essential to start with some smaller wins as well. These quick wins will help build momentum and credibility in your new role. For example, if you want to get a handle on the product marketing plan, you could create an interactive visual that helps product marketers understand what concurrent projects are happening now or coming up next month—and also show them how their work contributes to the company objectives. Quick wins like this can give everyone involved a sense of accomplishment and help them feel more connected to one another's work.
Learn what your team is doing.
As the product marketing leader, you need to know what your team is working on and how they are progressing. To effectively manage them, you have to have a deep understanding of their work.
- Learn about the current initiatives and projects that your team is working on. Learn about their goals and objectives, who are involved in each project (including internal stakeholders), when things are due, etc.
- Learn about the strengths of each member of your team, as well as any weaknesses they may have which could hinder their performance or slow down progress toward reaching goals/objectives.
- Understand how your organization works internally — not just from an official structure point-of-view but also culturally (e.g., company values). As a leader in this environment, it's helpful to understand cultural values because they will likely be reflected in how people interact, either positively or negatively. Seemingly small details can provide insight into whether there's alignment between various groups within an organization and highlight areas where improvements could be made based on those observations alone.
Ensure that you have the right personnel on board to support your goals.
Make sure you have the right personnel to support your goals. It is not always easy, especially if you hire people for a new role. Ensure your team members are aligned with their specific goals and responsibilities. The wrong person can create derail your product marketing efforts. They may not share their manager's vision or objectives, they might not be able to get along with other employees involved in similar tasks, and they may not work out because they weren't suitable for the job after all.
You must invest time upfront to ensure that each new hire is a good fit before making any commitments or signing contracts. When interviewing candidates, try asking them what kind of experiences they've had working on previous projects—if something seems off about someone's responses during an interview session, don't hesitate to ask more questions until everything feels right again! Remember: this isn't just about bringing onboard talented individuals; it's also about finding people who can work well together towards common goals!
If you're new to your role as Head of Product Marketing, I'm sure the first 90 days will be exciting and daunting. You have a lot of responsibility on your plate. You have to ramp up quickly on everything you need to know about the product, its business strategy, and team members' preferences (so that you can align everyone's goals).
To succeed, you need to start on the right foot and ensure that your team is well-informed about why they're doing what they're doing. You can do this by starting with a clear vision of what success looks like, identifying quick wins in the first 90 days, and making sure your team is ready for anything that may come their way during these three months (or longer).