HomeBlog Four Signs a Product Expert Is a Product Marketing Candidate

Four Signs a Product Expert Is a Product Marketing Candidate

March 30, 2017|Suzy Meriwether

  • A shortage of qualified product marketing candidates continues to impede b-to-b organizations
  • Recruiting technical experts from within the company is an option if candidates have demonstrated critical knowledge and skills
  • Candidates will need access to product marketing best practices and tools to succeed in their new role

Clients of all sizes regularly lament, “We cannot find skilled product marketers.”  According to the 2016 Workplace Trends report by Randstad, the lack of qualified talent is the second biggest threat to a company’s ability to meet revenue targets. SiriusDecisions has recommended ways to think outside the box when recruiting, but some organizations are constrained to recruiting from an internal pool of candidates with technical skills. The question we most often hear from these clients is, “How do I identify candidates with technical expertise who also have high product marketing potential?”

Some of our clients with complex, specialized offerings have been able to successfully recruit technical experts such as product managers or solutions consultants from within their organization and transform them into product marketers. They first identified candidates with essential skills such as critical thinking, writing talent and leadership abilities, and then leveraged SiriusDecisions frameworks and best practices to teach them crucial product marketing techniques.

When considering internal candidates, confirm they have the capability to translate their knowledge into the insights required to devise and lead a go-to-market strategy. Look for examples where the candidate has demonstrated the following:  

  • Buyer empathy. Select candidates who can position the offering to solve business problems. Do they naturally gravitate to buyers and want to understand what motivates them? Are they able to articulate the buyers’ critical business challenges, initiatives and needs? Would they be able to create a buyer’s journey map outlining the process a buyer goes through from identifying a need to signing a purchase order?
  • Cross-functional leadership. Identify candidates who have demonstrated the ability to effectively work across functions and motivate peers from different teams. Does the candidate have the ability to unify cross-functional teams and drive decisions? Would he or she be able to drive the desired results working with marketing to create targeted content, creating launch plans with product management and driving adoption with sales for their products?
  • Critical thinking. Seek candidates who have exhibited the ability to think critically and strategically. Does the candidate have the ability to see the total enterprise, to spot trends, understand the competitive landscape, and see where the business needs to go? Would he or she be able to define target market segments and create plans to drive revenue from that market?
  • Creativity and innovation. Consider candidates who have demonstrated inventiveness. Are they able to clearly communicate ideas, both written and in slides?  Are they able to create value propositions and messaging along with sales tools and presentations that are easily understood? Do they have the innate ability to make the complex simple?

Once a qualified internal candidate is identified, do you have the tools, process, and infrastructure required to teach the skills they need to succeed? New product marketers need to refine their critical thinking and have frameworks to focus on targeted buyers. Clients of SiriusDecisions’ Portfolio Marketing service have access to a complete set of industry best practices and frameworks required to develop successful product marketers. Remember, internal recruiting is not poaching; it is rewarding great employees with new career opportunities!   

Suzy Meriwether

Suzy Meriwether is a Research Director, Portfolio Marketing, at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, sales enablement and demand generation. Follow her on Twitter @SuzyMeriwether.

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