6 ways to structure your PMM team

Published Date
September 15, 2022
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Product Marketing leaders — how are you structuring your team?

One of my favorite articles on this topic is by

Lindsay Bayuk

— I put a link to her post in the comments.

Here’s a quick summary of some common team structures, inspired by Lindsay's article 👇

1️⃣ By Function

PMMs are focused on specific product marketing pillars, like positioning/messaging, product releases, competitive enablement, analyst relations, customer marketing, etc.

Each PMM can master their specific function, but miss the complete picture. For example, a PMM focused on product releases will lack the context that comes from competitive research and analysis.

2️⃣ By Feature:

Each PMM is paired with a product manager (or multiple) to own the go-to-market for their specific feature or product.

This makes for very clear lines of communication but can lead to PMMs focusing too much on features instead of customers. Your go-to-market ends up being a laundry list of features, products, and services.

3️⃣ By Market Segment:

Organizing your team according to sales segment, based on things like company size or industry.

If building relationships with sales is critical, this will help strengthen those lines of communication. The downside is that it’s hard to figure out who owns things that span across all segments, like major product launches or competitive enablement. You could have four PMMs working on the same things?

4️⃣ By Objective/Theme:

With this approach, PMMs work together on specific projects each quarter that support a broader objective or theme. Like major product launches, deep-dive market research, and driving product engagement.

It allows leaders to align resources to the greatest customer or business need, but requires a lot of coordination and proactive communication across the company, especially when priorities shift.

5️⃣ Solo PMM:

This is the situation many startup PMM leaders find themselves in, at least in the beginning. Without a team, you need to juggle all core disciplines of product marketing and prioritize your work based on the most pressing business need.

Starting as a solo PMM gives you the opportunity to touch on all areas of PMM and figure out which of the former team structures will be best suited for your org. The downside is that it’s a lot of work and requires ruthless prioritization.

6️⃣ Hybrid:

This concept wasn’t included in Lindsay’s article, but having led multiple small PMM teams I feel there is a case where a hybrid of these structures can be used. For example, a PMM can own a specific discipline, but also work on objective-based projects to support a broader business need.

The challenge is that this requires hiring PMMs that have a broad range of skills and focus (or the desire to build them).

What do you think? Did I miss any?

#productmarketing #marketing #leadership


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