Product Marketing. The name says it all. Or does it?

This discipline is only slightly more defined than product management itself. Like product managers, product marketers often play an intermediary role in their organizations, bringing together product expertise, marketing flair, and business acumen. They help companies better communicate their product’s value to customers and would-be-customers, and they help enable sales organizations. They listen to the market and try to understand use cases. In many ways, they’re not unlike product managers.

It was therefore not a surprise that for the first time we had a straight tie in our weekly poll: an exact 50/50 split about whether product marketing should report to marketing or to product. To mark the occasion, we gave our debaters (all product people) the week off and let a CMO and a CPO go head-to-head.

Marketing

PM's purpose in the universe is to build the right product by translating customer needs into products they can't live without. PMMs role is to translate these products into value propositions that move customers to action. On the basis of this definition, I can't imagine why PMM would report anywhere but marketing. The alternative is an unnecessarily awkward disconnect between message and media.

Jake Sorofman

CMO, Pendo

Product

Honestly, there are several good reasons product marketing should live in the marketing organization. I am a reasonable man. But in the world of Venn diagrams, there is simply more overlap between PM and PMM. In fact, the first word in their title is PRODUCT. But joking aside, if a product marketer wants to be successful, they must be close to the product, understand the WHY, develop deep customer empathy, and be familiar with the competition. This is best achieved when a PMM resides within Product. It’s what we eat for breakfast. Sales enablement and powerful messaging simply become a byproduct.

Brian Crofts

CPO, Pendo