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#32 A closer look at product marketing ft. Jess Petrella

Like many product marketers, Jess Petrella had an unusual journey to her current role. As a young professional, having spent a few years working in in-house marketing teams, she embarked on a freelance journey as a graphic designer and marketer. It was during this time, working with different teams on various projects, that she uncovered which parts of marketing she really enjoyed. Turns out, those things were the bits and pieces that make up a product marketing role.

This winding path is something that’s not uncommon for most product marketers. As a relatively new function, it’s not like you can go to school for product marketing, so a lot of the people in these roles have taken very intentional steps to follow the type of work they’re passionate about. 

Listen in on Jess’s chat with Pierce to hear more about what it means to be a product marketer and how you can get there.

In this episode, you’ll also learn:

1) All about product marketing

2) How Jess found her way to product marketing

3) Where and how marketing and product marketing come together

Show Notes

Ask Jess Petrella for career advice, and she’ll tell you that a mantra that always works for her is “just go for it.” It’s this fearlessness and commitment to trying new things that has gotten Jess where she is in her career today.

Like many product marketers, Jess had an unusual journey to her current role. As a young professional, having spent a few years working on in-house marketing teams, she embarked on a freelance journey as a graphic designer and marketer. It was during this time, working with different teams on various projects, that she uncovered the parts of marketing she really enjoyed. Turns out, those things were the bits and pieces that make up a product marketing role.

This winding path is something that’s not uncommon for most product marketers. As a relatively new function, it’s not like you can go to school for product marketing, so a lot of the people in these roles have taken very intentional steps to follow the type of work they’re passionate about. For Jess, it’s that passion that makes a good product marketer. 

“An interest in the role and honing the craft of product marketing is something that really stands out to me. When I talk to a candidate that understands the role and sees it as an opportunity to really grow into it as a specialization, I feel the right synapses happen. Someone who has the potential to become a really good product marketer understands how they personally fit into it.”

Other important skills in the role include high empathy and a drive to communicate with a number of different internal teams and connect the dots for them from a positioning standpoint. 

For people looking to enter this space, Jess has some pieces of helpful advice. For starters, get involved in product marketing communities like the Product Marketing Alliance. It’s filled with professionals that are keen to pass on their knowledge to eager newcomers. Beyond that, start exploring what interests you about the role. Use LinkedIn and scroll through the available product marketer. Are the skills they’re looking for aligned with what you have to offer?

Follow Jess on LinkedIn.

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Thanks for listening to Unsubscribed! • a podcast created by Knak. If you enjoyed this episode, please do subscribe and leave a review on your favourite podcast player. 

Join the Conversation

If you have any feedback, or want to chat, feel free to reach out to Pierce on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @marketing_101.

Pierce Ujjainwalla has years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and marketing leader. He has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo, and he launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help Marketers simplify email creation. Visit his personal blog, Unsubscribed!, for more of the insight he’s gained as founder and CEO of Knak.

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