One of the most critical components of product management is product marketing. Product marketers play a crucial role in new product development and product launches. Their efforts can be the difference between a successful product and a failed product. Therefore, it’s essential to hire the right person, and you can do that using the right product marketing interview questions.
Product marketers usually work at the same level. As a result, you can use product marketing interview questions as product marketing manager interview questions.
In this article, we’ll dive into what product marketers do for organizations and what the most common product marketing interview questions are. If you’re an aspiring product marketer, you can read to learn how to answer these common interview questions.
Let's check them out.
What Do Product Marketers Do Exactly?
Product marketers typically have to take care of all the marketing aspects of a product. However, some smaller companies tend to mix their roles with product managers. In any case, there’s a clear difference between product managers and product marketing managers (or product marketers, in general).
Product managers are mostly responsible for managing a product in its entirety. Product marketers, on the other hand, need to develop a marketing strategy, marketing campaigns, and a social media strategy for the product. With the help of the product manager, product owner, and the marketing team, product marketers develop a complete product marketing strategy.
The product marketing role can be very dynamic, depending on the organization. Their job description can also require them to be good with digital marketing, conversion rates, go-to-market strategies, churn reduction strategies, and other marketing efforts.
Many good product marketers have work experience with several marketing jobs. Many of them have been a part of the sales team, the customer success team, or even the product development team. Their combined experience makes them an excellent product marketing candidate.
Furthermore, product marketers are responsible for increasing brand/product awareness. They use email campaigns, pricing adjustments, and targeted product positioning to achieve their goals. Therefore, product marketers require an extensive skill set and excellent analytical skills.
Along with developing marketing strategies, product marketers also need to communicate a product’s value to the sales team. All team members need to be on the same page to ensure product success. Product marketers have to make sure everyone understands how the product will be positioned. That helps the sales teams develop a more targeted sales strategy.
The product marketing career can start with any number of marketing positions. After years of working with several products, marketers often end up specializing in product marketing.
Product Marketing Interview Questions and Answers
Asking the right questions during a job interview can help make the hiring process more efficient. It also makes the interview process smoother while making onboarding easier for the hiring manager.
Product marketing interview questions tend to be the same for most companies. Even larger companies such as Google, HubSpot, and Glassdoor tend to ask the following questions. More importantly, these questions can also be a part of the product marketing manager’s (PMM) interview.
Here are the common product marketing interview questions you can expect, in no particular order. Each question is followed by the best way to answer them.
1. Describe one product that you think is marketed poorly. Also, explain what you would do differently, and why.
Good marketing can single-handedly make a product successful. For that, you need an excellent marketing campaign that’s derived through inspiration from multiple sources. Alternatively, bad or failed marketing campaigns and efforts can be equally inspiring. They provide insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what could have been done differently. The question above is a test to see how aware the candidate is and how creatively they can fix a bad situation.
The best way to answer this question is to figure out one product that you have failed to acknowledge. Products that were unable to persuade you with marketing efforts should be your first choice. Keep in mind that for this question, you should avoid bad personal experiences. When you decide on a product, try to explain why their current campaign is ineffective. Use yourself as a customer baseline and provide a strategy that would help improve the campaign. Include real-world applications and creative solutions to sell your answer.
2. How would you inform customers of new product feature launches? How would you justify any price changes?
New product features launches can go both ways when you go for a direct launch without any demo or beta. There’s also a price change involved. In any case, it can lead to negative reactions and churn. A question like this helps you see how much the product marketers understand the customers. It would show you how they would deal with customers under unpredictable circumstances.
Typically, the answer should be given in steps. It’s important to understand where to start; It’s important to law
+ays start with the customer and then consider the process. It’s also best to list down some potential marketing tactics or and promotions that could work. It will help to answer the question if you choose a product and answer according to that product.
3. You believe the market is too saturated to be profitable for a new product. What would you do in this case?
The customer perspective is often overshadowed by excessive research and development. Many organizations move forward with a product because they’ve invested so much time and money into it. They often overlook how the customer would perceive it and end up suffering a sales crunch. It’s a product marketer’s job to make sure the right product reaches the customer with the right message. It’s also their job to explain the market situation to the company on time.
When you answer such questions, it’s always better to be direct. Product decisions are very time-sensitive, and that makes it a priority to explain any unwanted circumstances to internal stakeholders. You have to be able to outline a complete strategy to deal with internal management; explain to them potential market shares, profits, and sales using hard data. Furthermore, in case the product needs to be released, you should be able to provide a marketing plan under those circumstances.
Product Marketing Role-Based Questions
4. What products have you previously marketed, and how?
Such questions are purely there to gauge how well you understand product marketing, and how much you’ve been involved in it. An active ability to recall all the products and projects you’ve worked on is a positive sign. It shows that you were always involved, provided substantial input, and followed through. Furthermore, it’s also a chance to sell yourself by mentioning successful products and your contributions to its success.
The best way to answer such a question is to prepare beforehand. Pre-interview research and preparedness will help you recall your memory faster. List down all the products you’ve worked on, so you remember them. When you’re answering the question, explain what marketing tactics, strategies, and campaigns were used for marketing the products. After that, explain how you contributed at every step. Answering such questions is a great way to showcase your product marketing prowess.
5. What’s the best way to measure the success of a product launch?
Every interview has its share of technical questions, and this is one of them. While talking about past product experiences gives insight into how well you can articulate yourself, such questions show how much you know. These questions show how much marketing and product knowledge you have. It also shows how up-to-date you are with current marketing and industry trends.
To answer this question, you need to be aware of the latest marketing tools. You have to be able to list down the KPIs and metrics that need tracking to assess the success of a product launch.
That includes launch campaign metrics such as lead generated, page views, news coverage, and promotional channel metrics. You should also mention product adoption metrics, such as product trials, user retention, and customer usage. Furthermore, market impact metrics such as revenue, market share, and competitive win rate may seem like a given, but they need a mention. Lastly, you should also explain why qualitative internal and external feedback is important in determining product launch success.
6. How do you make sure that the sales team understands how to present the product in an engaging manner?
Product marketers should understand that the marketing and sales teams need to work together. Product marketers have to help sales teams understand the product and marketing strategy to make sure the right sales approach is adopted. Since product marketers are responsible for how a product is perceived in the market, it’s their job to convey that to the sales team. They have to validate value propositions and explain them forward.
The best way to answer such a question is by using your previous experience. You should detail and explain how you collaborated with sales teams in the past to ensure product success. You should also mention how the sales team used your information and how successful they were. Your answer should include communication and collaboration methods and tools. You should mention things like weekly meetings, daily discussions, two-way feedback sessions, and more.
7. Have you been involved in a failed product marketing campaign? If yes, what do you think went wrong, and what was your lesson from it?
Such questions are the perfect and only opportunity to talk about previous failures. Every product marketer has been a part of a failed product marketing campaign. If not failed, then a campaign that didn’t do as good as it was supposed to do. Those experiences help you understand what to do and what not to do. They’re valuable lessons and help you grow, and become more aware.
Pre preparation is the best way to answer such questions. Recall any failed product marketing campaigns you were a part of previously. You should already know what went wrong and why it failed; you just have to explain it in a concise yet understandable manner. Most importantly, you should focus on what you learned from that failure. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a direct or indirect failure, talk about what you learned as a result of it.
If you haven’t been part of a failed campaign, you can always give an example of someone else’s case study.
8. How do you make sure you and your team members communicate effectively?
A large part of why products succeed is effective communication among teams. Interdepartmental communication and collaboration are vital to every product’s success. Everyone has to be on the same page to avoid any issues and discrepancies. Product marketers are the most crucial team players because they’re responsible for communicating effectively with customers.
To answer the question correctly, you need to be aware of communication tools. More importantly, you should understand the proper flow of information. You should explain how to set up communication channels, two-way feedback systems, reminders, and what tools are best for communication. You should also mention the difference between personal information, public information, and research information. Explain when each kind of information should be and can be communicated.
9. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest industry and market trends?
Such a question aims to check how involved you are with your industry. It helps paint a picture of how much you know, how much effort you make to be on top, and how aware you are of your surroundings generally. It’s also an opportunity to portray your understanding of product marketing, the industry, and the market.
The best way to answer such questions is to talk about industry changes, unique market trends, and updates. After that, you can mention how you came across that information. Mention any blogs, books, or sessions you have attended or read. Furthermore, you should mention any courses or certifications you completed recently. For market trends, you can site activities such as effective user interviews as your source.
Acing Product Marketing Interview Questions
Most product marketing interview questions tend to be more marketing-oriented rather than product-oriented. Therefore, you should brush up on your marketing knowledge.
Furthermore, product marketing is more about how a product is perceived and identifying the reasons behind that perception. Eventually, those reasons are utilized for effective marketing efforts. True product marketers use that perspective to tackle product marketing challenges.
Recruiters should adjust their product marketing interview questions to reflect that. Alternatively, product marketers should commit to product marketing from a user’s perspective; that would automatically help you ace your product marketing interview questions.
If you are new to product management and are looking to break into your first product role, we recommend taking our One Week PM course, where you will learn fundamentals of product management, launch your own product, and get on the fast track towards landing your first product job.
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