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Building an Effective Product Marketing Team

Sharon Biggar, Head of Marketing at TestGorilla, has built an impressive career over 15 years, working across various sectors including growth, marketing, analytics, and customer insights. Recognised as an insightful voice in HR and recruitment, she brings a wealth of experience to the table.

With TestGorilla’s product being data-driven talent assessments designed to help businesses make more informed hiring decisions, they themselves know firsthand that the importance of a well-placed hire cannot be overstated. It has a domino effect, influencing team dynamics, productivity, and even company profitability. Conversely, the cost of a poor hire can be a setback for any growing

TestGorilla’s robust testing solutions aim to mitigate this risk. Working in partnership, Zeren’s team actively listened to and deeply understood TestGorilla’s specific needs and wider business objectives when it came to the task of building their Product Marketing team. This collaborative effort not only produced just the right product marketing team they were looking for but also exemplified the significance of Zeren’s role in ensuring TestGorilla made precisely the right hires for their own thriving business.


Defining Product Marketing

When Sharon joined TestGorilla, she encountered a common challenge in growing companies: the absence of a clearly defined product marketing role. Sharon noted, “Many companies inadvertently start with product marketing without knowing that’s what they’re starting with because when you’re very small, you tend to have very generalist marketers.” The challenge was to define the role of product marketing and appoint someone to it. This move allowed the product teams to have a direct liaison without distracting other team members.


The Need for Trained Leadership

Recognising the importance of trained product marketers, Sharon emphasised, “What we needed was a leader because what we had were people that were being asked to.” With the help of Zeren, we hired an experienced product marketer to lead the team.

Additionally, Sharon hired someone to handle sales enablement, acknowledging the importance of supporting the sales team allowing the marketing team more bandwidth to focus on marketing specifics.


Measuring Product Marketing Success

One of the key challenges Sharon highlighted was measuring the success of a product marketing team. She pointed out, “The biggest challenge in today’s market can be measuring the success of a product marketing team.” Unlike performance marketing, where results are clear, product marketing’s impact can be harder to quantify. Sharon’s team focuses on metrics like the conversion rate from free to paid and product usage to gauge success.


The Role of Product Marketing in TestGorilla

Discussing the integration of product marketing into the hierarchy of TestGorilla, Sharon believes that the exact placement, whether in marketing or product, isn’t crucial. “I actually don’t think it matters too much where it is just as long as they are seen as an integral part of the product development teams and that partner with the product manager.” Currently, product marketing handles lifecycle marketing, but Sharon anticipates that it could become its own team in the future.


Challenges in Hiring Product Marketers

“Hiring experienced product marketers can indeed be quite a challenge,” as Sharon candidly pointed out. Candidates often face the hurdle of “quantifying their achievements,” which can make expressing their experiences diffcult. Defining the role itself, as Sharon noted, “is just trying to figure out if they match our definition of product marketing,” and that can be perplexing. The demand for product marketers and salary disparities further complicates the process. Sharon emphasises the importance of not only finding someone with the right experience but also with charisma to effectively collaborate with diverse teams.


Global Operations and Localisation

TestGorilla operates as a fully remote company with employees in 51 different countries with no physical offices. Presently, the major geography that TestGorilla sells into is the US market. They primarily tailor their messaging for the US market but experiment with slight cultural adaptations for Latin America, recognising the importance of localising marketing efforts.


Successful Partnership with Zeren: A Catalyst for Success

TestGorilla’s successful partnership with Zeren in building out their product marketing team reflects the changing landscape of HR and recruitment. It demonstrates the power of a collaborative and well-aligned approach. Sharon’s experiences with Zeren emphasises the point that truly listening and understanding what a company needs can save them from costly mishires. This is absolutely key when it comes to growing and retaining a successful team ultimately securing the success of the product and wider business.


Key Insights

  • Avoiding mishires is crucial; they can be exceptionally costly and result in substantial setbacks.
  • Clear role defnition and training are key in building an effective product marketing team.
  • Metrics like conversion rate from free to paid and product usage are important for measuring product marketing success.
  • Product marketing’s exact placement can vary but should always integrate closely with product development.
  • Hiring experienced product marketers can be challenging due to the broad skill set required.
  • Charisma and confidence are valuable qualities in a product marketing leader.
  • Remote teams offer flexibility and diverse perspectives, making localisation an evolving consideration.


Product Marketing and Zeren

If you’re thinking about hiring or have already hired a product marketer for your B2B business, you’re on the right track. And we’re here to help you build an exceptional team.

Our Zeren Product Marketing Practice identifies and places VP and Director level leaders and builds teams of world-class Product Marketing Managers.
Get in touch with us to discover how we can support you and your business.


Whether you’re in the midst of hiring or just getting started, let’s talk. We have the experience, network, and proven track record to locate accomplished marketers that your marketing team needs to thrive and grow.


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