Six Traits Product Marketing Leaders Won’t Hire Candidates Without

Hiring a Product Marketer is never an easy task. It takes the right person, with a mix of marketing and product skills, to deliver messaging that resonates with users. Often, the Product Marketing hire signifies a brand has scaled or is scaling to the point where they need more sophisticated product messaging - making this role highly critical for growth. 

There are so many skills and qualities that make up a Product Marketing Manager so we asked the experts and here are their top 6 traits they look for when seeking a GREAT vs GOOD Product Marketer:


Product Marketers are essentially the mediator and translator between the Product/Dev and Sales/Marketing teams. They need to be able to quickly understand the motivations, reasoning, occasional political machinations and metrics of success for each stakeholder group, and then be able to "translate" it into terms that others will immediately understand. Product marketers need to understand how Product teams are run, and products are built, in order to set the right expectations for Sales, Marketing and the external market. 

Elissa Riddell, Director of Marketing, Coconut Software


Product marketers have to interact with internal and external customers on many different levels. Buyers, users, prospects, customers, engineers, sales people, marketers - you name it, product marketing has to connect and work with them all. The ability to empathize with each of their unique perspectives allows product marketers to truly understand the problems the company needs to address in order to be successful. 

Brad Matsugu, Director Product Strategy, Sensibill


Product marketers work across various teams within an organization contributing throughout the entire customer journey. Product marketers understand who the prospects are, their pain points, and industry trends. They translate feature functionality provided by product management teams into value propositions that sales teams can use to effectively communicate with prospects during a sale. They also engage with customer success teams to ensure that customers are realizing the success they were sold.

Barb Betts, Director of Marketing, Security Compass


Tell customers about the problems you solve for them. Don't make them guess. Good product marketing is clear and concise about how the features you have solve the top of mind problems. Bad product marketing are lists of features and specifications that ask the customer to do your job and try to figure out how your "stuff" will make life easier. I have also found the same holds true for selling internally within the enterprise. As technical people we can bog executives down with jargon and stuff when we really need to focus on clarity of the business problem being solved and how our solutions will solve them. 

Mark Farmer, Group Product Manager, Merchandising at Walmart Labs

Left & Right Brained

As a product marketer, you're responsible for the growth and profitability of your products, so you need to be great at strategy. You're also responsible for the messaging of your products into the market and need to collaborate with creative directors, writers and designers. If you can thrive on the business side and you're also creative, you'll be a great product marketer. 

Emily Pace, Director of Product Marketing, Ecobee


Product marketers need to be strong communicators, and even stronger storytellers. To me, it’s not enough to just tell potential buyers what your product is and the features it includes, you have to convey why your product matters and how it will enable them to accomplish their specific goals. To do this effectively, product marketers must have a deep understanding of their target buyer or business. I look for product marketers who have the creative and analytical skills to connect data points from a number of sources to come up with a compelling story and out-of-the-box solutions that customers need and respond to. 

Taryn Shulman, VP Global Marketing, Q4

Looking for more hiring tips to help differentiate those GOOD vs truly GREAT candidates? Download our free hiring tips ebook