Woman in the Middle:
The People Aspects
of Product Marketing
Product marketing must seamlessly code-switch
across multiple functions.
Realm of Influence
Product marketers’ roles can
be painful if they’re not able—
or empowered—to lead by
● Lack of communication
● Cross-functional tension
● Limited visibility
● Disjointed positioning
● Low-performing programs
● Operational inefficiencies
● Execution barriers
of false positives
Lack of visibility &
Consistency Social Proof
Liking Authority Scarcity
Principles of Persuasion
Source: icons8.com; Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Product marketing must always
Be clear on the purpose of and need
for the tactic or program, and
continue to highlight successes.
Don’t just align the individual with the
outcome and impact on the business.
Bring the individual’s perspective into
Establish a reciprocal relationship in
which influenced success is valuable
to the individual.
Either stick to a process or communicate
Promote the process–until
it is completely and
Set the example for
timeliness and quality of
changes or setbacks,
including reasoning and
1 2 3
Maintain a strong, consistent
reputation–whatever it may be.
● Be purposeful in developing a reputation
within the organization–and quickly!
● Remember branding is both at the company
and peer-to-peer level. Keep a consistent
● Recognize that your peers will rely on your
brand image to determine interactions.
Gain public buy-in by proving
your ability to influence
success and apply feedback.
● Establish a reputation through quick, small wins.
● Be clear, direct, and consultative.
● Focus on proven results.
● Openly recognize failures and experiments.
● Invest in great ideas, not self-created ideas.
● Show your ability to collaborate.
Listen to your peers as much as you
listen to your audience.
Put in the effort to build personal relationships that aren’t purely
centered around commiserating about work.
Feedback Prove your ability to actively listen to your peers.
Build strong, strategic relationships and quickly shift your approach
based on changes in the organization.
Recognize the difference between bi-directional and unidirectional
relationships and invest accordingly.
Develop authority that goes beyond years
of experience or title.
Prove your domain expertise and
genuine interest in the specific market
Gain executive sponsorship to reinforce
Drive consistent results that are visible to
your key stakeholders
Establish yourself as an engaged
thought leader in the industry
Create motivation for engaging in a
program or tactic.
Highlight the individual value of the engagement,
as well as the limited nature.
Limited Thought Leaders
Create purpose behind every deadline–especially
Be specific by aligning motivational drivers to
personal career goals, interests, and job