A few weeks ago, we shared the top 3 challenges employers face when hiring Product Marketing talent in the cloud computing industry, whether network infrastructure, PaaS, ZTNA, SASE, SSE, SDWAN, virtualization, or cybersecurity.
Today we explore the 3 common traits among the top product marketers we've recruited:
A Value Narrative
The number one and hardest-to-find attribute is a product marketer with the ability to market technically complex products through a value-based narrative to a business buyer. Those who can create messaging that helps show businesses how they can reach their specific, ambitious goals.
The best example of a candidate who embodies this attribute said the following during a recruitment interview:
"At its core, we're selling SD-WAN to hospital campuses to enable fast connectivity speed and availability. While we have a list of the tech specs that makes our products faster, the value narrative to the CEO of that hospital may include delivering world-class patient care by ensuring medical & surgical teams can treat and care for patients in a globally distributed context."
This ability to identify the value messaging to a business buyer is at the heart of what makes a product marketer successful.
It can not be overemphasized enough that curiosity is a benefit whether you are in product marketing or any other role in an ever-changing, rapidly-moving industry like tech.
However, curiosity is an especially valued soft skill for product marketers because of the matrixed and collaborative nature of their role within a tech org. Our friends at Hubspot said it best, "it's one of the few job functions that touches product, marketing, and sales."
Curiosity is helpful because when working across teams on highly technical products like cloud computing software it's often natural to focus on the tech vs the reason the tech matters (aka value). Curiosity will seek to understand:
- Why does it matter?
- How is this different - or not - from our competition?
- What are customers using NOW? Why might they spend money to change?
Insatiably curious product marketers are those who our team has identified as top product marketers for global cloud networking tech companies because of their ability to look past the tech specs and get to the heart of the product or service.
The cloud networking industry is filled with household names. These are tech companies with brand affinity that Gartner has been following for years, whose solutions help run banks, tech companies, governments, service providers, and large enterprises. So, it’s no surprise that most cloud networking tech companies have thousands of employees.
Our Recruiters have identified that the third trait of top product marketers is their ability to work within highly matrixed organizational structures and still get stuff done.
Listening to top talent describe the business problems they have been hired to solve, the state of the teams they have worked with and the way they work can tell you everything you need to know about the candidate and their skills.
Cloud networking Product Marketing Managers often work in a self-directed model, focused on an outcome, which in itself is a testament to the level of skill a successful product marketer brings.
By contrast, those not considered top talent are more likely to work in nimble teams, reporting to a first-level leader who manages them in order to achieve an outcome that most likely includes sales enablement, web content and GTM assets.
Looking to hire a top Product Marketing Leader with Cloud Computing experience? Contact us today to learn more about the current hiring market, salary insights and our past work placing product professionals within this category.