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#15: 3 Surprising PMM Stats

I love numbers.

There’s something so compelling about a piece of information that’s been validated with data.

Which is why I couldn’t wait to read the 2023 State of Product Marketing Leadership report by the PMA when it hit shelves earlier this month.

The report’s 71 pages, so I won’t judge if you didn’t make it through. But luckily, I read it, so you don’t need to.

In today’s edition, I’ll share the three stats that stood out to me the most and how we can action on this data as product marketers.

The One on the Rise

The Stat:

33% feel the term “product marketing” does not adequately describe their role. This is up from the 25% who said the same in 2022.

My Take:

This one didn’t surprise me in the least. Personally, I’ve never really resonated with the term product marketing. It’s limiting in that it anchors our value based on the definition of two other teams (product and marketing).

I wrote about this on LinkedIn last week and the response was overwhelming. Many others (I’m guessing way more than the 33% in the survey) don’t quite love the term either. The consensus was that in order to provide clarity into our value and role, it may be time to start moving to more specialized job titles. For example: growth product marketer, portfolio product marketer or sales enablement manager.

PMM Action Items:

  • Put your positioning skills to use! Identify your area of expertise as a product marketer. What are you uniquely qualified to do? Where can you have the biggest impact? Every PMM needs a short elevator pitch that describes their unique value.

  • If you do happen to think of a better term than “product marketer”, shoot me a DM!

The Big Surprise

The Stat:

Only 6% of PMM leaders are responsible for pricing and packaging. And out of a possible 12 skills listed, PMM leaders value pricing/packaging skills and persona/segmentation skills the least.

My Take:

I’m shook. But actually, I almost fell out of my chair when I read this one. I truly believe that segmentation is the foundation to any successful go-to-market strategy. It all starts with the customer. You need to identify and understand your best customers before you can begin to price, package and position your value for them. Segmentation is the cheat sheet to powerful product launches.

Pricing is one of the most under-utilized product marketing strategies right now. I’m not sure if this is because it feels intimidating, or because PMMs don’t feel empowered to build monetization into their regular launch processes. Either way, it’s a missed opportunity to drive impact.

PMM Action Items:

  • For every product launch or go-to-market campaign you run, ask yourself “who are we building this for”. Get clear on the customer segment and the customer problem you’re solving. This should guide the rest of your strategy.

  • Integrate pricing into your launch processes. Even the simplest of releases requires a pricing strategy - should it be packaged into a specific tier, should it be available as an add-on, should there be a usage based component? If you’re not asking these questions, chances are no one will.

The One to Improve

The Stat:

55% of PMM leaders only analyze their target market quarterly (and another 10% only do this annually).

My Take:

This is way too low. Now, understandably, most PMM teams don’t have time to prioritize lengthy market studies weekly, but I’d expect some level of market analysis on a regular basis. As the voice of the market within the organization, we have a responsibility as PMMs to stay informed and up-to-date.

For my teams, this means utilizing competitive enablement software like Klue that helps us track any and all shifts in the market. And for each new feature and product we launch, I ask for a competitive analysis on functionality, price and positioning. We also manage our company’s competitive radar Slack channel and produce monthly competitive one pagers. I can’t imagine how we would build effective strategy if we went a quarter without doing any of these activities.

PMM Action Items:

  • Set up Google Alerts for your main competitors. When something notable happens, share it with the rest of your organization. Don’t forget to add your own personal insight into why this news is important.

  • Create a competitor-focused Slack channel to centralize conversations. Encourage all teams to contribute - this will help to lighten the load for PMM.

Which stat surprised you the most? Any others that I missed?