3 Reasons I moved to Product Marketing — Or Why Marketing is Super Cool

Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
Walt Whitman

When I first joined Sumo Logic I wrote a blog about joining Sumo Logic. As I am sure you know, this is expected when one joins a company, because, of course, everyone is on pins and needles to understand your momentous decision. When your young children (or pets) looked in your eyes and said “Daddy/Mommy — I don’t understand why Ben Newton joined Sumo Logic” — they needed to have an answer! Well, as I move to Product Marketing at Sumo Logic, I feel that I owe it to you, readers, to provide you that piece of mind when you wake up in a cold sweat at 2 AM screaming “Why?! Why did he do it?!!”. You’re welcome.

Reason 1: Marketing has all of the fun

No, you say. It can’t be! Well, first off, just look at the name — Product Management vs. Product Marketing. It just seems more fun. Picture this — It is a rainy California winter day as I step to the front of my 6 year old daughter’s 1st grade classroom on “Bring your Daddy to School” day. The teacher looks at me and asks — “Mr. Newton, can you explain what your job is to the class?” “Of course. I develop Strategic Product Plans, Gather Requirements from Customers, and collaborate with engineers to develop … [I am interrupted as one of the children cries after falling asleep and hitting their head on the desk]”. My daughter cries in embarrassment, and we have to change elementary schools in shame.

Ok. Now, let’s picture the new scenario. It is a beautiful, sunny California day as I drive up in my new Ferrari, pull it to the curb, and toss the keys to the principal. As I stride confidently into the classroom, the children draw a collective breath as they admire my Armani suit, Italian silk tie, and perfectly groomed hair. The teacher looks over at me and say “Mr. Newton, can you explain to the class how they can grow up to be awesome like you?” Don’t you want to be in Product Marketing now? Of course you do.

Reason 2: I have more time to be creative and smell the roses

As my brain slowly releases the stored up vocabulary of the Product Management scene (think Quarterly Release Planning, Quality Testing and Documentation, Acceptance Criteria), there is now more room for the sweet, sweet language of the Marketing Scene (e.g. “AWS After-party”, “Product Release After-party”, “Cool Swag for the After-Party”). And, now I have time to think deep thoughts (did you know that you are more likely to be bitten by a shark than win the lottery? Crazy right?! Never swimming in the ocean again!), write blogs with questionable premises, and say really cool things like “I really think we can increase our Brand Awareness by adopting a strategy of User-Generated Content Marketing predicated on the top keywords identified by our Search Optimization strategy”. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

Reason 3: Alternative Facts

This last year or so has been one long case study for the power of Social Media marketing. If you don’t like the feedback you are getting from the pundits, you can nullify their feedback by labeling it as Fake News! Brilliant! Before the last two years I honestly had no idea what Twitter was for. It seemed like the digital version of yelling into an empty room. It just seemed exhausting. Now I know what I was doing wrong! Wrong-headedly (Is that a word? No?! FAKE NEWS. It is. Those are my alternative facts. SEE! It works. I win.), I was trying to spread useful information to others and make the world a better informed place. If, on the other hand, I just focused more on Winning, tweeting about how I was winning, and just in general writing about the most outlandish, crazy stuff that enters my brain — I would be more successful. Once Again. BRILLIANT! Also, by the way, another clear lesson I learned was that, if you are going to meet with “the Russians”, you should meet in a diner in New Jersey (vs in a skyscraper with your name emblazoned on it in 6-ft high letters), bring your lawyers, and , whatever you do, never, never, ever tell Steve Bannnon about it. He will get quoted in a best-selling book, and it will just be a hot mess after that. Lesson learned!

Now, at this point, you might still be confused, and asking “What does Product Marketing do exactly?”. It’s ok. Don’t feel bad. That’s what I am here. Read this article and summarize it for me (I’m serious. I really need to figure this out before my 2 week grace period runs out). In summary, just remember that Product Marketing brings the winning to victory and puts the “me” in awesome. You’re welcome.

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