What is product marketing and how to break in with zero experience?

Zach Roberts
Break Into Product Marketing
4 min readMar 10


Thank you again, Henry, for having me on your show!

A few weeks ago, I met Henry Wang on LinkedIn. We both connected over our passion to help others launch and grow their career in product marketing (PMM). That’s why I threw a Jersey Shore fist pump in the air when he asked me to join his YouTube show to talk on how to break into PMM with zero experience.

Watch the interview above and when you’re done, read below on how you too can break into product marketing!

Product marketing is a nontraditional career path. There is no direct college degree for it and many PMMs break into it from prior career paths. Sales, graphic design, and program management to name a few.

The key to breaking into PMM is to figure out how to define ‘product marketing’ to your prior experiences. Before you do that, read this 4-minute article to figure out…

  • What exactly does product marketing mean
  • Skills you need for a successful pivot
  • One tip to start after you read it

What Is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is about positioning products and services to accelerate sales. A product your target customer understands is easier to sell. That’s why product marketers work closely with their sales team to understand customer needs and develop strategies for meeting those needs.

Product marketing is very cross-functional. Product marketers also work with design, engineering, and product teams to ensure that products meet customer demands. If your job today impacts revenue or helps customers, then you’ve already worked as a product marketer in some capacity.

I was in sales for five years before my pivot to product marketing. How I defined PMM in my interviews then:

“Product marketers help make selling easier to increase revenue. By extension that work impacts my work. So who no better to hire than a former sales rep to be your next product marketer?”

Product marketing involves more than just understanding customer needs — it also requires a deep knowledge of the competitive landscape. What are your competitors doing? How can you differentiate yourself from them in order to capture more market share? These are all questions that a product marketer must be able to answer to be effective.

Finally, part of product marketing involves understanding how different channels can be used to reach customers. This includes traditional media: TV, radio, and print; as well as digital channels: social media, email campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO). Find your key message through market research and understanding the problems your target audience care about.

A successful product marketer will be able to craft effective messaging across multiple channels in order to reach their target audience.

Skills Needed for Product Marketing

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Product marketers need strong analytical skills in order to identify customer needs and develop effective strategies for meeting those needs. They must also have excellent communication skills — both written and verbal — in order to effectively communicate with stakeholders across the organization. Finally, they need strong problem-solving skills in order to identify creative solutions under tight deadlines or when faced with challenging problems or complex situations.

Skills you’ve already expressed in your day-to-day and what you can still refine to make your break into PMM today.

One Tip to Start Now — Informational Interviews on LinkedIn

It was a 360 moment to have this sit-down interview on Henry’s YouTube show. 2.5 years ago, I was the one interviewing product marketers to learn how to break in.

Use LinkedIn to find product marketers and request an informational interview. This career search technique is an informal conversation between two people, where you seek information and advice from another who has relevant experience or knowledge.

Learn from the experiences of others to understand how their journey relates to your own. I can’t imagine being in product marketing without using informational interviews to do so.

Steal this template for your next (personalized) LinkedIn connection request:

“Hi [Name], I came across your profile and am impressed by your experience in [industry/field]. Would you be open to an informational interview? I’d love to learn more about your career journey. Thank you!”

That template above is battle-tested to meet the 140-character limit for LinkedIn requests. Edit it to your needs!

In Conclusion

Product marketing simplifies how organizations make money through positioning products to the right people. It requires an understanding of customer needs as well as a deep knowledge of the competitive landscape and different promotional channels available for reaching them.

If you decide to make the pivot, you must possess strong analytical skills, excellent communication abilities, and creative problem-solving capabilities. With these skills under your belt, you’ll be well on your way towards becoming an effective product marketer!

I am a product marketer who wants to help you make your break into product marketing with zero experience and stick the landing. I offer a 90-minute video course at $49 on how to do so from start to finish.

A small investment towards massive career transformation only at breakintoproductmarketing.com.



Zach Roberts
Break Into Product Marketing

Demystify product marketing. 2022 Product Marketing Alliance Newcomer of the Year. Living in San Francisco.