top of page

31 items found for ""

Pages (10)

  • Grow & Thrive in Your Dream Job Coaching | Courageous Careers

    Stop the stress. Take control of your career. Step confidently into your new role. Transform into the leader you are meant to be with coaching programs designed to foster career growth. Product Marketing Career and Leadership Coaching Book a Free Consult See Program Details Where My Current Clients Work At Struggling with imposter syndrome? Feel like you always get passed up for promotions? Need more career support? If so, I understand your challenges because I have been in your shoes. After successfully landing my product marketing job with no background in the field, I learned the hard way how to add immediate value, gain visibility, and advocate for myself - particularly as an immigrant woman of color. Having secured two consecutive promotions and reached the Director level within three years, I am eager to share my exact process with you and help you achieve your career goals. By working with me, you will go: From To By working with me, you will go from: What clients say Noelle Tomlin Product Marketing Manager As I began my new role as a solo PMM, Yi Lin's guidance was crucial during my onboarding process - she helped me structure my approach for immediate wins while also laying the groundwork for long-term strategic initiatives. I felt more confident and assured after working with her, as she has set me up for success! Carley Stugelmayer Director of Product Marketing Yi Lin provided tremendous value to me as I moved to the director level. Her wealth of insights and best practices helped me quickly stand up our PMM team processes, and gave me the framework I needed to build the most important bridges across our organization. She was an invaluable sounding board and coach as I built my confidence as a leader. I'm so grateful to have worked with her! Sara Miteva Sr Product Marketing Manager Through working with Yi Lin, I was able to get clear on my PMM career growth roadmap at a critical juncture, identify my priority and craft an action plan that I was able to immediately put into action. I highly recommend Yi Lin's coaching if you are looking to level up and/or looking for more career clarity! Don Atkins Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin masterfully blends clear communication, refreshing transparency, highly specific advice, and a positive mindset. After every session, I can better see the bigger picture, walk away with clear next steps, and--not to be underestimated--benefit from much-needed emotional guidance. Peter Nakamura Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin has been a fantastic career coach - she's helped me uncover new ways of thinking and approaching my career development. She is kind and thoughtful while also being direct, which is a rare combination! Her PMM community has also been a game changer as I get to connect with other brilliant PMMs. Angelea Ennamorato Product Marketing Lead As I am tackling my role as a startup's founding PMM, I knew I needed help.Yi Lin brought in amazing qualities as a coach—perspective, wisdom, and empathy (to name a few)—that propelled me to a new phase of my career and job where I felt empowered to tackle opportunities and challenges. Neal Patel Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin provided me with incredible product marketing advice. She simplifies complex PMM concepts such as GTM product launches to create a scenario where all stakeholders involved are aligned to hit key milestones. During my time working with her, I had many aha moments, and I'm already seeing results! Peggy Pan Head of Product Marketing Yi Lin helped me land a role in my dream field (even when the job market was so difficult). After my job search, I decided to continue working with Yi Lin in my new role to help me onboard. Because I value her insights, and also because I truly enjoy this meaningful coaching relationship with Yi Lin. Read 50 more Testimonials on LinkedIn (Recommendations Section) Choose Your Program Learn More Grow Program ​Succeed in your product marketing role in the first 90 days. Deliver value quickly and minimize stress. Learn More Thrive Program Thrive in your product marketing role. Achieve your career goals and get to the next level. Grow Program Succeed in your product marketing role in the first 90 days. Deliver value quickly and minimize stress. This program is valid for 4 months. While the coaching topics are fully customizable, here are sample topics I can help you with: ​ Build your onboarding strategy Master product marketing fundamentals such as GTM strategy, positioning messaging and enablement Overcome imposter syndrome and new job stress Deliver quick wins and prioritization Master networking and relationship building Build your success plan beyond 90 days What this program includes: ​ 6x 60-min 1-1 coaching sessions Customized templates and guides Customized homework Full email and Slack support with 1 business day response time Access to the private student community Access to monthly live group workshops (average 2 per month) Access to the entire content library of recordings, guides and templates Starting a new product marketing role and looking to make a strong impact Starting your first leadership role as a head of, director or founding PMM ​ ​ Investment (company-sponsored): $2,995 all in, or $895 per month for 4 months Investment (self-sponsored): $2,495 all in, or $750 per month for 4 months Schedule a Free Consult This is perfect if you are... Thrive Program Thrive in your product marketing role - achieve your career goals and get to the next level. ​ This program is valid for 4 months. Feeling like an imposter in a new role Standing out as a great new hire, and feeling confident that you’re bringing value to the organization. Stressed and burnt out in a new role, unsure if you’re making an immediate impact Getting quick wins with the help of expert strategies, playbooks, and templates. Struggling to speak up for yourself, build influence, and be seen as a leader Letting your authentic personality shine through as you establish yourself as a leader in the organization. Struggling to build a personal brand for yourself despite wanting to for years Having the tools and confidence to make yourself a known quantity in your industry Feeling stuck in your career and not sure how to grow to the next level Navigating your career growth with confidence and clarity While the coaching topics are fully customizable, here are sample topics I can help you with: ​ Create your promotion plan or career roadmap Develop and refine your leadership style Create, lead, and grow a team of PMMs Overcome imposter syndrome Manage difficult personalities Build your executive presence Build your personal brand Thrive as a mom, minority or woman of color in leadership What this program includes: ​ 6x 60-min 1-1 coaching sessions Customized templates and guides Customized homework Full email and Slack support with 1 business day response time Access to the private student community Access to monthly live group workshops (average 2 per month) Access to the entire content library of recordings, guides and templates FAQs I would like my company to pay for this - do you have any information that can help me make the case? That is great! Most of my clients can get coaching reimbursed easily through their L and D budgets. If your company needs more proof, I am happy to provide additional documentation, and also speak directly to your manager. We can discuss this during our discovery call. I am a manager, and I would like to do to get my team coached, do you offer team coaching packages or rates? Absolutely. I have worked with multiple or entire product marketing teams to provide coaching and training. Please contact me at peiyilin09@gmail.com for custom program information and pricing. I already worked with you on a program and would love to sign up for another one. Do you offer a discount? Yes, existing clients receive a discount. In fact, many clients who have taken my job searching program go on to take my Grow Program. Grow Program clients often work with me on an ongoing basis, or come back later to go through my Thrive Program. Will I directly work with you? Yes, you will work directly with me on every aspect of your job search. There is absolutely no outsourcing to other coaches. When are you available to meet? Once we decide to work together, I will send you the payment link and the contract — when that is all signed and paid, I send over a welcome email with instructions and a Calendly link to book a time with me. Availability is first come, first serve basis. What kind of group workshops can I expect? I host of variety of group workshops and networking events. These typically last around 1 hour and are geared around specific career growth and leadership topics. I’ve brought on experts from top tech companies like Clari, Square, and more. We host IRL events from time to time, mostly in NYC. Can you tell me more about your client community? When you start working with me, you’ll instantly gain access to my private Slack community of supportive product marketers and leaders. Our Slack is active daily with Q&A, referral opportunities, resources, memes, and more! You’ll be able to directly network with dozens of product marketing professionals who you can share your wins and challenges with. Ready to elevate your career? Schedule a Free Consult An emerging product marketing leader or current product marketing leader looking to get unstuck and reach your career potential. ​ Investment (company-sponsored): $2,995 all in, or $895 per month for 4 months Investment (self-sponsored): $2,495 all in, or $750 per month for 4 months Schedule a Free Consult This is perfect if you are...

  • Testimonials

    Going from a team of product marketers to be the first dedicated PMM for a tech startup was a big transition for me. I knew I needed help from someone who had done something similar to navigate my role successfully. Yi Lin brought in amazing qualities as a coach—perspective, wisdom, and empathy (to name a few)—that propelled me to a new phase of my career and job where I felt empowered to tackle opportunities and challenges . I would strongly recommend her to other product marketers who want to learn how to grow in their PMM careers, harnessing the value of their experience in a new environment. Angelea Ennamorato Product Marketing Lead Yi Lin provided tremendous value to me as I moved from an individual contributor to a director role within product marketing. Her wealth of insights and best practices helped me quickly stand up and refine our PMM team processes, and gave me the framework I needed to build the most important bridges across our organization. She was an invaluable sounding board and coach as I built my confidence as a leader. I'm so grateful to have worked with her! Carley Stugelmayer Director of Product Marketing I had the pleasure to work with Yi Lin as one of her career coaching clients. Yi Lin was so helpful throughout the process - her communication was great, she was very empathetic to my specific career journey and she gave really great insights throughout the entire process. Working with Yi Lin, I was able to find a job within 3 months. Also, job searching is never easy, and I felt that her guidance helped to make the process a little less daunting. I have recommended her to friends and would certainly work with her again in the future. Carrie Silver Social Media Manager "I decided to work with Yi Lin after following her and getting significant value from her content on LinkedIn. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made for my career, as I landed my dream role I am super excited about, within 2.5 months after working with her, even in a tough job market! What I loved about working with Yi Lin is that her materials and instructions were value packed, straight to the point with zero fluff. This helped me articulate the value I brought and tell a cohesive story. It also ensured I focused on the most impactful activities in the job search process - allowing me to be efficient and conserve energy. One unique element of the program is that Yi Lin also has a supportive private community that provided an opportunity to connect with and learn alongside other talented individuals at all levels of seniority. And to top it off Yi Lin holds incredible group coaching sessions on a regular basis which supported me both with my job search and as a marketer. Some of the workshops she hosted include AI in product marketing, positioning/messaging, GTM strategies, to name a few. All in all, I received significantly more value than the investment, and the ROI is well worth it. Having worked with other coaches, I will say her coaching is far more valuable than standard programs which would not offer you the opportunity to refine your skills in such a way and learn with industry peers. I 100% recommend working with her if you need a helpful, empathetic guide along your job search and growth journey!" Cecilia Makinde Marketing Programs Manager, GTM Before I connected with Yi Lin, I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of my next job search. I knew I wanted a new challenge, but I wasn't sure where to start. Yi helped me gain clarity through insightful coaching sessions, asking powerful questions that helped me define my ideal role and career goals. Her one-on-one approach felt personalized and supportive, like having a cheerleader in my corner. She asked insightful questions about prior products that helped me completely revamp my resume, highlighting my strengths and achievements in a way that resonated with recruiters and hiring managers. She's also cracked the code for writing cover letters that land interviews; she helped me craft compelling narratives that showcased my unique value proposition. Yi Lin's library of resources and templates made my search process smoother and less daunting. The connections I made with other product marketing professionals in her community allowed me to build a valuable network that continues to offer support and advice as I prepare to dive into a new role. I am grateful to Yi for empowering me to take control of my career and navigate the journey with clarity and confidence. She was a game-changer for me, and I can't recommend her services highly enough. Christine Moore Director of Product Marketing, Forj "I chose to work with Yi Lin because of her sheer knowledge in the field as well as her genuine desire to help her clients work towards landing their dream roles. Despite it being a tough time in the job market, Yi Lin never once doubted that I would find a great role, which truly helped me maintain my confidenc e and calm as I continued my job search. With her help, I have been able to land a great role and I am truly excited to continue working with Yi Lin moving forward as I progress in my journey." Deepa Pillalamarri Customer Enablement Specialist As someone who has been managed and coached by Yi Lin, I’ve experienced first-hand her genuine commitment to my growth and transformation. Yi Lin hired me while at Teachable, and she has since been my biggest advocate, providing me with strategic expertise and coaching through complex situations and tasks. As a result, I continued seeking advice from her when she became a full-time coach. As a coach, Yi Lin masterfully blends clear communication, refreshing transparency, highly specific advice, and a positive mindset. After every session, I can better see the bigger picture, walk away with clear next steps, and--not to be underestimated--benefit from much-needed emotional guidance. In my view, Yi Lin’s effectiveness as a coach derives from a truly unique point of view informed firstly by her background as a career pivoter, not only once, but multiple times, which provides her with a deep well of empathy for people of diverse backgrounds who often experience myriad challenges on their journey; and secondly, her varied interests and backgrounds as an artist, consultant, and someone who has lived in many places, all of which make her keenly observant of people’s specific needs and superpowers. If you want to grow in your PMM career, I can’t recommend her highly enough, no matter your background. Don Atkins Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin’s coaching program transformed my job search. Her expert guidance taught me effective methods to focus my efforts for maximum impact. Working closely with Yi Lin on interview techniques was invaluable. Unlike other resources that simply give you questions and example answers, Yi Lin took the time to work through questions with me and helped me to understand how my experience could translate into answers that showcased how I was the best candidate for the role. This totally changed the game for me when interviewing. Thank you, Yi Lin, for equipping me to succeed! Gwen Kessinger Senior Product Marketing Manager Harry Dhaliwal Product Marketing Manager More specifically, I started working with Yi Lin after a layoff— she provided me with instant relief from our very first call. It was her expert understanding of the field and concrete strategy that helped to lift some of the weight off of my shoulders. I credit the ease with which I was able to land a new role that I love— within the time frame I set out for myself— to her coaching. She helped me identify my strengths and impactful stories to focus on in interviews, gave me feedback on my materials, created a supportive community of tech folks, and is my most trusted advisor. In fact, I have enrolled to work with her again as I enter a new phase as a product marketer. I highly recommend working with Yi Lin in any stage of your career. Attention anyone looking for expert support in their tech career: Like many others, I first came across Yi Lin's content on LinkedIn and noticed her name circulating as an influential voice in tech and product marketing. As I considered reaching out, I remember being uncertain of the level of support I would receive from a tech career coach -- would this be similar to prior job placement services that were too general to be useful to me? Absolutely not. As someone who has now completed a full coaching cycle and various workshops with Yi Lin I am 100% sure I made the right decision to schedule that initial call with her. Jordan Adler Product Marketing Manager, KickUp I am thrilled to share my experience working with Yi Lin - as her guidance played an instrumental role in helping me secure a coveted Product Marketing Director role that aligned perfectly with my goals. The journey was challenging, but the payoff was worth every effort invested. My objective was to transition from an enterprise setting to a startup. However, given the tough job market, I found myself facing a lot of rejections despite my experience. The turning point came with Yi Lin’s guidance on targeting only companies that fit my background and domain. Then, using her PSAR frameworks and highly personalized messaging house, my value was able to shine and I was able to stand out. Additionally, her program and community also allowed me to transform into a better product marketer. The exposure to diverse product marketing perspectives allowed me to improve my strategic thinking and point of view - an unexpected but welcomed outcome of this journey. The comprehensive support I received—from group meetings and guest speakers to practice interviews—was pivotal in preparing me for the challenges of my new role. I express my deepest gratitude to Yi Lin and her client community for their unwavering support, invaluable tips, and encouragement throughout this journey. Job searching can be isolating, but with this team, I never felt alone. Josh Porter Director of Product Marketing, Kore AI Yi Lin and I worked together when I was searching for my latest role and I would and have recommended her to anyone in the hunt who'd like an expert set of PMM eyes to help give them a leg up on the competition. I'm a very seasoned PMM leader, but she is a framework master and was instrumental in helping me clarify what I was trying to say. She was pivotal in taking my work from good to great and my investment in working with her has definitely already proven to have a positive ROI. Kelsey Kamp Director of Product Marketing, Marin Software TESTIMONIALS ​ My Clients Say

  • Courageous Careers | Product Marketing Career Coach

    As heard on : Where My Recent Clients Work At Through working together, my clients have landed roles from big tech companies to startups, in as little as 2 months while earning up to $50K more annually. They are career switchers, leaders, parents, immigrants, and minorities who have gone on to thrive in their roles. They make tech better by being in it. It’s not easy to face endless applications, interviews, and rejections. ​ It's also frustrating to feel imposter syndrome in a new position, feeling stuck in your career, or getting passed over for promotions. ​ After successfully landing my first product marketing job with no background in the field and achieving two consecutive promotions to reach the Director level within three years, I understand exactly what you are going through. ​ And I am here to help you. If your job search has hit a dead-end, you're not alone. Check out Coaching Programs Find the right roles Create a personal narrative Build a killer resume and LinkedIn Ace interviews and assignments Negotiate offers Secure your dream role using my hard-won insights to: Check out the Online Course Check out Coaching Programs Build your onboarding strategy Master product marketing fundamentals Conquer imposter syndrome Build your executive presence Get the promotion Grow and thrive in your dream role by: I will teach you how to: Success Stories Read 60+ Testimonials on LinkedIn (Recommendations Section) Peggy Pan Head of Product Marketing Yi Lin helped me land a role in my dream field (even when the job market was so difficult). After my job search, I decided to continue working with Yi Lin in my new role to help me onboard. Because I value her insights, and also because I truly enjoy this meaningful coaching relationship with Yi Lin. Simeon Atkins Sr Product Marketing Manager, Mention Me Thanks to working with Yi Lin, I was able to land a Senior PMM position, with a rise in salary, at my first choice opportunity. Without her help, I would have not been able to land such a great role so quickly. Josh Porter Director of Product Marketing, Kore AI I secured a coveted Director role that aligned perfectly with my goals. I express my deepest gratitude to Yi Lin and her community for their unwavering support, invaluable tips, and encouragement throughout this journey. Job searching can be isolating, but with this team, I never felt alone. Mathew Forte Sr Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin provided me with clarity in defining exactly what I needed to improve my work life and find balance, which was super helpful! With that clarity, I found and landed a role that best fit what I needed to succeed and I am really grateful for connecting with her when I did! Cecilia Makinde Marketing Programs Manager, GTM I landed my dream role I am super excited about, within 2.5 months after working with Yi Lin, even in a tough job market! Apart from 1-1 coaching, Yi Lin also has a supportive private community that provided an opportunity to connect with and learn alongside other talented individuals at all levels of seniority. Surbhi Gupta Product Marketing Manager I'm so grateful to have met Yi Lin. She really helped me understand the space, provided insights on the right companies to target, and held my hand through it all. With her help and support, I finally landed my dream role! She is honest and dedicated and will be your best friend through your journey! Kelsey Kamp Director of Product Marketing, Marin Software I'm a very seasoned PMM leader, but Yi Lin is a framework master and was instrumental in taking my work from good to great. I would recommend her program to anyone who'd like an expert to help give them a leg up on the competition. Don Atkins Product Marketing Manager Yi Lin masterfully blends clear communication, refreshing transparency, highly specific advice, and a positive mindset. After every session, I can better see the bigger picture, walk away with clear next steps, and--not to be underestimated--benefit from much-needed emotional guidance. Maryann Akinboyewa Senior Product Marketing Manager, Hubspot Yi Lin is unique in that she broke down exactly what to expect and how to best approach each stage of the interview process. There is no fluff with Yi Lin as she offered practical career advice that can be implemented immediately. I help high-achieving professionals land and thrive in their product marketing careers even without experience or network. I have helped over 150 professionals land their dream jobs in product marketing and thrive in it, even if they don't have experience or network. I have over 14 years of experience across big tech and startups in product marketing, brand/content marketing, and consulting across Silicon Valley and NYC. I have been PMA’s Top 100 Product Marketing Influencer (2024, 2023), Top 5 PMM Career Coach (2024), and a LinkedIn Top Product Marketing Voice with 20,000 followers. I am a frequent guest on podcasts and have been featured in The Exit 5 Podcast, The Marchitects Podcast, The Product Marketing Mastros, and The Product Marketing Life Podcasts I have an M.B.A., from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech. I also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida. I am a mom, an immigrant, and a woman of color. I am here to help you and create a more diverse world in tech. Read more about my mission and journey. Hi, I'm Yi Lin Pei, coach and founder of Courageous Careers. Ready to Transform Your Product Marketing Career? Book a Free Consult Product Marketing Job Search and Career Coaching Stop feeling stuck. Go after your dream career, courageously . Enroll in a coaching program built for product marketers to secure your dream role, master onboarding, and thrive beyond that. Book a Free Consult Learn More

View All

Posts (21)

  • How to Align Product Marketing Strategy with the Business Stage

    Today, I will share my framework for building a strong product marketing strategy - the foundation you need to up-level as a product marketer or leader. Today’s content covers part two  in a multi-part series on How to Build Your Product Marketing Strategy : ​ Part 1: The 3-step product marketing strategy framework ​ Part 2: Aligning the strategy with the business stage (today’s newsletter  😍 ) Part 3: Operationalizing the strategy through growth tactics Part 4: Scaling the strategy to action by building a team What to level up in your product marketing career? Then my Grow and Thrive programs might just be for you. Being a startup PMM can be stressful and lonely, but you don't have to do it alone. Through my 1-1 coaching programs, you can succeed in your role and level up faster and more confidently by having a trusted guide. Learn more about the program here. How To Build A PMM Strategy Part 2: Product Marketing Strategy by Business Stage I recently advised a service-based startup that has been in business for 20 years and has thousands of customers. When they first reached out, I assumed they wanted to scale their business and optimize their GTM. However, I quickly realized that’s not what they need. Despite being an established growth-stage company, they had one newly hired PMM and no established processes. Even though it was a mature company, its new product—its first-ever SaaS product—required significant learning and market feedback, much like an early-stage startup. So, instead of building out processes for them or suggesting they spend months on extensive research for positioning and messaging, I guided them to leverage the collective knowledge of their entire team to create a V1 version of their positioning and messaging for the new product. I also helped them establish a quick launch process and trained the team to launch it and capture customer feedback. This saved months of work and helped them quickly capture market feedback to iterate their GTM. I share this because while the core components of a strong product marketing strategy should be the same across companies, their applications can differ significantly by company stage. This article highlights the differences and sets the right expectations for product marketing strategy at three different company sizes: early, growth, and mature stages. For current PMMs and job seekers:  I hope this newsletter helps you understand the companies most suited to your skill set. For managers, founders, and team leaders:  This newsletter will help you better understand how to scope out product marketing and hire the right PMM for your stage. Early Stage: Validating Product/Market Fit and Rising Awareness (Series A) Early-stage startups are all about quick iterations and learning. This is not a time to obsess over processes or invest heavily in deep research—you won’t have the resources to afford it, nor do you have enough confidence in your PMF to pour money into scaling it yet. This is about being scrappy and making educated guesses to find your best customers who will consistently choose you over others. Research : Research at this stage should be gathered directly from any team that has direct contact with customers: Product Management, Founders, Customer Success, Sales, etc. The job of a PMM is to be able to synthesize this information quickly to provide insights. Primary research, e.g., customer interviews done at this stage, should generally take weeks and not months and focus on methods that will generate the most useful information with the smallest possible resource requirements. Positioning and messaging : The insights from the research gathered should immediately inform the positioning and messaging. For early-stage startups, it’s important to create positioning with a strong point of view. This POV needs to capture the market's attention to drive awareness, which the company desperately needs at this stage of the business. The PMM should pay attention to market feedback on the positioning and messaging (e.g., from sales conversations) to iteratively improve it. GTM strategy : The GTM strategy should focus on identifying a few channels that will deliver 80% of results. For instance, if you are in the LLM or developer space, prioritizing channel partnerships within the ecosystems may give you much higher returns than paid media. The PMM’s role here is to provide insights into the customer’s journey to help determine the critical channels of focus. This is also a time to create the first version of the sales playbook and sales process. PMM profile : At this stage, there is likely a solo PMM acting as the head of product marketing. Given that this PMM needs to be scrappy, fast-moving, and able to deliver a wide range of tasks with relatively little supervision, this hire will need to be a senior PMM level hire, at minimum, with some prior entrepreneurial experience or tendency. Example: When I was the founding PMM at a Series A startup (when AI was in its infancy), the company led with a very strong AI-focused messaging. Yet, while initial customers were excited about AI, the company had trouble capturing more “mainstream” customers. I took on a challenge to conduct some research by talking directly to salespeople and reviewing Chorus calls. I realized many customers had no technical background, didn’t understand AI, and even feared it would eliminate their jobs. This led me to create an AI demo video and shift our positioning to focus on improving their jobs and elevating their status in the company. Growth Stage: Scaling For Rapid Growth (Series B -> C) Let’s say your early-stage startup found PMF. The next stage is the growth stage. This stage is “all hands on deck” and is about scaling success as quickly as possible. This is the time to build repeatable processes and ensure all three growth levers (acquisition, retention, and monetization) are on fire. Research : At the growth stage, there should be a more standardized effort to regularly conduct market, competitive, and customer research, including investing resources in routines to conduct interviews, surveys, and other analytical methods (either through third-party agencies or internal employees). The results of the research should help refine a detailed understanding of buyer personas, market trends, and competitive dynamics. Positioning and messaging : At this stage, PMM should have created clear, tested, and differentiated positioning. Multiple products could also be present at this point, so an aligned product portfolio and brand-level messaging will also be important. The positioning and messaging should also be revisited and reviewed frequently to reflect changing market dynamics and customer insights. GTM strategy : In addition to core channels, product marketers should provide insights to cultivate additional channels for growth and support multi-channel marketing campaigns throughout the funnel, from awareness campaigns to retention campaigns. There should also be a fully built-out sales enablement process to support a growing salesforce, as well as a repeatable and tested product launch process. PMM profile : The PMMs who will succeed here are business strategists with proven experience executing. Given that many of the responsibilities here are focused on enabling field teams to scale their efforts, the PMM must also have exceptional skills in building relationships, influencing without authority, and making convincing business cases. The head of PMM, in this case, is usually a director-level person who is a strong coach-player. A strong early-stage founding PMM may NOT make a great director at this stage, as the key strengths differ. Founding PMMs trying to get promoted here must reframe their roles to be focused on scaling, building processes, and enabling others instead of being the Swiss Army knife do-it-all. Example: As the director of product marketing at Teachable, my main mission was to build and scale product marketing to enable the rest of the organization. As Teachable is product-led, one of my main focuses was piloting a product launch process. I then scaled our team to launch products effectively to the market to maximize each launch effort and support four separate product teams. Mature Stage: Maintain Sustained Growth And Market Share (Series D+) When a company has reached the mature stage, it’s likely to have a significant market share and be a category leader. At this stage, product marketing activities are more specialized to provide more advanced and deeper support. The goal for this stage is to maintain sustained growth and find new market entry opportunities for expansion. Research : At a mature company, there are usually fully dedicated insights teams that provide detailed customer, competitive, market, and product-level insights. Product marketing aims to uncover insights to drive business growth (e.g., reducing churn, expanding to a new market, and optimizing pricing). The data here has robust depths and breadths, and PMMs should have the skillsets to analyze and interpret the data and use it to influence the product roadmap regularly. Positioning and messaging : While the core positioning should be well established, this stage will likely focus on strengthening the positioning to prevent competitors and challengers from taking over market share. This could also involve repositioning efforts that respond to major product developments, mergers and acquisitions, or expansions into new markets and verticals. Positioning for product suites and portfolios will continue to be important, given the scope of products at this point. GTM strategy : In addition to dominating every channel, PMMs here generally need to support and lead large-scale, global, and regional launches and campaigns to reach business goals. Sales enablement here will also have reached its most mature state, with dedicated sales enablement roles that provide even more in-depth support. PMM profile :—The PMMs at large mature companies are generally more specialized and have a narrower scope but much larger impact from a business perspective. This means they need to be able to think extremely critically about the proposals they put forth, as each will have major financial consequences. In addition, they need to be comfortable presenting business cases, getting buy-in, and knowing how to navigate the organizational culture deftly. Example: When I was a newbie marketer at Autodesk, the flagship AutoCAD brand faced increasing competition from cheaper imitation brands. So, my team created a global campaign to strengthen AutoCAD's positioning as the original brand for original thinkers. I led the development of major customer stories around the world that became a main pillar of the campaign. This helped re-establish and reinforce AutoCAD's value in customers' minds. Wrapping up The point here is that while the foundations of PMM are the same, its scope, application, and complexity change by stage. The best PMMs should be able to adapt to the growth stage, clearly communicate that to others in the company, and act as evangelists for the function. Of course, these are guidelines (not hard rules), and as some of my examples demonstrated, mature companies can have the product marketing maturity of a small start-up. The most important thing is that you understand which stage your company is at and act accordingly. There’s so much confusion around what a modern go-to-market is, and what marketing’s role is in developing and executing against a successful GTM strategy. Are you a modern marketer? Check out my Episode with the Marchitect In the first episode of The Marchitect, Sangram Vajre, Founder at GTM Partners, Trinity Nguyen, VP Marketing at UserGems, and Yi Lin Pei, Founder at Courageous Careers share: The modern go-to-market, and the role of the CMO and their PMM leader The difference between marketing the business and the business of marketing The key characteristics of a modern CMO & PMM leader What GTM motions should be top of mind for modern marketers ​Listen to the episode here. ​ That's all for today. See you next time! Yi Lin

  • The 3-Step Product Marketing Strategy Framework

    Welcome to the Courageous Careers newsletter! My goal is to help you land, grow, and thrive in your dream product marketing role with confidence and courage. Today, I will share my framework for building a strong product marketing strategy - the foundation you need to up-level as a product marketer or leader. Today’s content kicks off the first part in a multi-part series on How to Build Your Product Marketing Strategy 🎉 Part 1: The 3-step product marketing strategy ← this newsletter 😍 Part 2: Aligning the strategy with the growth stage and funnel Part 3: Operationalizing the strategy so you can see results Part 4: Scaling the strategy through building a team ​ But first, I would like to start with an announcement. Everything You Need To Land Your Dream Job For the last five months, I’ve been working on something that will be the most valuable tool for helping you land your next role as a product marketer: The Dream Job Blueprint Course for Product Marketers. This is the culmination of my work as a job search coach. It includes everything you need to land your dream job (in weeks, not months). It is the ONLY system designed for product marketers and has been vigorously tested over three years. The course combines my own proven pathway to job success plus a supportive community to help you stay focused and committed. The public launch is coming in May, but I am excited to invite you to join the waitlist to access early bird discounts and get exclusive content and bonuses. The 3-Step Product Marketing Strategy Framework No matter the organization, product marketing almost always struggles to show/generate tangible results, is poorly understood across the organization, and is at risk of being delegated as a supportive function. Product marketing often struggles to emerge as a strategic role at the same table as product, sales, or other marketing functions. While there are many reasons for these challenges, the root cause is a lack of a clear, simple-to-follow framework. While tactics can get us started and may result in quick wins, only true SYSTEMS can help us deliver sustained results that will lead to the right growth for the business. So what foundational system should we adopt? Over the years, I have studied and researched half a dozen PMM strategy frameworks ranging from highly complex to overtly simple. But none of them did the trick for me. So, I came up with a three-step framework that is both easy to understand and comprehensive. I have used this framework in my roles (it helped me go from newbie PMM to director in three years) and coached my clients to adopt it and rapidly gain traction in their roles. Understanding and building your product marketing strategy using this framework is the first key step to creating a powerful PMM engine for the company. So, let’s look at the components. Step 0: Pre-requisite (not included in the above chart) You need to have product-market fit (or at least be on the way to finding that). If your product doesn't address customer needs, no matter how much marketing is done, it won't generate results. If you can do a detailed breakdown of your product capabilities and how that leads to value, you'll be in a much better spot to begin setting a strong product marketing foundation. Step 1: Research The most important question any business should answer is “Who do we target?” But this should go beyond merely a persona profile. It should include segmenting customers, understanding their market, knowing what frustrations and problems they face, and understanding the customer journey. For that, you need to conduct three kinds of research: customer, competitive, and market research. Market Research: This is really important to help you understand the market today and in the future to determine the most viable customer segment to focus on and how to position against emerging threats/opportunities. It will also help you understand the partner ecosystem. Competitive Research: This will help you map out the competitive landscape within your market segment, understand the strengths and weaknesses of similar products that solve the same JTBD for target customers Customer Research: This is the most important research activity you should do. This is how you get a detailed understanding of target customers' jobs to be done, needs, and how they make purchase decisions and use your product. Together, these three research activities will help you build a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and detailed buyer personas. A product marketing team should spend a minimum of 20% of their time engaged in research to get insights and power strategy, messaging, and GTM. The table below lists the most important research activities to undertake. Step 2: Positioning and Messaging The insights from activities in Step 1 should power positioning and messaging - the most important role of a product marketer, as we are the storytellers of the product. According to the book, LOVED: Positioning is the place a product occupies in people’s minds. It sets a context in which the value prop of a product is clear. Messaging is what teams use to communicate the positioning to customers. A narrative is a story that stitches all of that together to make it stick. There are various positioning and messaging gurus like April Dunford and Emma Stratton out there sharing valuable tips, so I won’t dive into this step in too much detail. One call out I want to make is that if you work at a one-product company, your brand's and product's positioning may be hard to distinguish. They should be the same when it’s one product. As the company matures and you have multiple product lines, the positioning for the brand and the product will need to be separated (e.g., Adobe the brand vs. Photoshop the product). ​See my post​ here to distinguish the two. As product marketers, we need to spend at least 30% of our time on positioning and messaging and revisit it often based on the specific dynamics in the market and product marketing industry. Step 3: GTM You developed strong positioning and messaging, but how can customers learn about your product and buy it? You need a clear GTM plan that aligns with business goals. To have a great GTM strategy plan, you have to consider the specific channels customers are most likely to find your product, price, and package the product to align with perceived value and enable internal teams. Hence, they understand the product's value and can communicate that to customers. While most B2B teams focus on sales enablement, it’s equally important to enable other teams, such as marketing and customer success (which I collectively call field enablement). One of the most useful frameworks on GTM I have seen is from the book LOVED: the GTM Launch Canvas. Instead of an extended deck or checklists, having a dynamic, big-picture canvas that all teams can see and contribute to will help drive better transparency and ownership. This is my recreation of her canvas with my examples. To read more about how to create one, ​read this post here.​ Effective PMM strategies require an organic flywheel to work together. A strong process like this creates a feedback loop, with one step feeding into the next. Once this foundation is built, you can customize the framework for your needs. We’ll explore this in the next newsletter. Ready to land your next job? If you don’t want to spend MONTHS looking for your next product marketing role, this is the course for you. The ​Dream Job Blueprint Course for Product Marketers​ is the ONLY system designed for product marketers and has been vigorously tested over 3 years. It covers the A-Z of job search and includes everything you need to land your dream job in weeks and not months.

  • Accelerate Your Product Marketing Career by Building Your Career Team

    Welcome to my newsletter! And Happy International Women’s Day! 🦸 You should have four different types of people in your career: mentors, sponsors, coaches, and thought partners. No one is just self-made. We all stand on the shoulders of people who came before us and propped us up along the way. And if you’re strategic about the different kinds of support you seek, you’ll be more successful. Mentorship, sponsorship, partnership, and coaching are greater together than the sum of their parts. I’ll explain what I mean. Let’s dive in. When I started my journey in product marketing, I was completely new to the industry. Feeling isolated, I contacted a VP at my new company who went to the same school as me for a coffee chat. She didn’t respond for several weeks, and I gave up on the idea that she might. But one day, she approached me at my desk, apologized for not reaching out sooner, and we went for lunch that day. Over lunch, I learned about her journey from non-profit to tech and then her rise from manager to VP of Sales in just a few years. Her story inspired me, and I told her I would love to assist her team on sales deals. Surprisingly, she took me up on my offer. Over the next six months, I helped the team on several special enterprise deals by providing collateral and research support (in addition to performing my core duties). Through consistently providing reliable and quality support, I started getting more opportunities at work to enable larger and larger deals, including jumping on planes to fly cross-country with Sales leaders. Then, the Sales team nominated me for a company award, which gave me great visibility and helped me secure a promotion within one year. I think back to this story often because if I had not sent that initial email to the VP, I don’t believe I would have had the same opportunity or success. My product marketing career was accelerated because someone advocated for me. This is an example of a career sponsor. The VP of Sales gave me a chance to work on something I didn’t have easy access to, which opened the door for future opportunities, promotions, etc. (Note: I did have to work hard to earn a lot of the things that resulted, but that wouldn’t have been possible had she not taken a chance on me). But I certainly didn’t start my career there. When I first came to the US, I had no relatives, family, or friends to support me. As someone who came from a traditional Asian culture, I grew up with the belief instilled in me that “you have to do things by yourself; otherwise, you’re a failure.” It was only through hard lessons that I realized I could not succeed alone and asking for help is not a sign of weakness but strength. No One Succeeds Alone: Build a Career Team to Accelerate you Product Marketing Career My personal story is one proof point, but research supports what I’ve experienced to be true. Our success is positively correlated with the number of people who want to help us succeed. Recently, I learned about the concept of a career team, a term from my friend ​Al Dea​ (check him out!). A career team is comprised of four main types of people: 1️⃣ Thought partners These are peers to bounce ideas off of. Early in my career, I was fortunate enough to meet awesome peers who challenged my thinking in all the right ways. They can also advise you on sensitive matters and act as confidants—they are right alongside you in their careers and know what you’re going through. 2️⃣ Sponsors It’s nice to have many people who are your peers, but you need people in positions of power, too. Sponsors are generally senior to you and have the power to give you more opportunities. These could be the head of sales, the head of product, your boss, or more. My VP was my sponsor. 3️⃣ Mentors Mentors are people who are more senior to you and can give you advice and inspire you. You generally have to proactively manage the mentor relationship. Most of my mentors are outside of the companies I worked for, and they helped me think through sticky situations, provided insights, and helped me see around corners. 4️⃣ Coaches Coaches are dedicated professionals who help you reach your goals in a structured fashion. They provide you with frameworks, structure, and accountability to a higher degree than mentors. I benefited significantly from the coaches. My coaches taught me how to advocate for myself, earn trust, and be a better leader. Their advice fundamentally changed my mindset. This is the reason why I became a coach to others. Mentors vs. Sponsors The line between mentors and sponsors can be blurry. But they are decidedly not the same thing. According to Deb Liu, author of Take Back Your Power, a mentor supports you by giving advice, whereas a sponsor lifts you up and opens doors. Sponsors are more powerful because they use their reputations to help you grow and create opportunities in a way a mentor could not. So, how do you build your team and specifically find more sponsors? Start by identifying individuals within your company/network whom you admire and may already have a good relationship with. Go to them to seek advice on something specific they can help with. Take their advice, implement that, share with them how you improved based on the advice they have, and offer to help them as well. Continue to do that, and you will develop a trusted relationship over time. Then, ask them to advocate for you to get a new project or put in a good word for your promotion. As you saw in my story, part of the deal with my sponsorship was that I also did more work outside of my core responsibilities, which unlocked doors for me. Sponsorships can’t be forced. When you get a sponsor, you will know it. You will feel they are willing to invest the time and effort to help you. You can use the same technique to find thought partners within your company at similar levels as you. What about coaches? When do you need them? While sponsors, thought partners, and mentors are essential, they cannot provide a coach's structured guidance and neutral perspective. Most people get a coach for the first time when approaching a major career milestone, like wanting to secure a promotion or managing a team for the first time. However, having a coach earlier in your career will help you map out a career roadmap and develop the necessary skills early on to be successful in the long term. I suggest reading ​this article by HBR​ to understand when you should hire a coach. Next steps: So, as you finish reading this article, I suggest doing this exercise (inspired by my friend Al Dea’s work once again) to map out your career team. Specifically: Who was/were the most helpful in your career so far? What relationships do you want to invest in more in 2024 (old or new)? Here is a table you can use to capture the information. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Other resources How to Choose the Right Company To Work For The company you choose will have a HUGE impact on how you feel about your career. BUT how do you choose a company in your job search when you have been burnt by toxic work environments, suddenly laid off with zero warning, ghosted multiple times, or have generally lost faith in the system? I know how awful this can be and feel. So here is a 3-step process to make an informed choice on selecting the right company on your job search journey. It includes: How to vet the company How to vet the team How to vet the role ​Read the full post here!​ Related… 23 Reverse Interview Questions (Things To Ask Your Future Boss) Sometimes, your direct manager can have a bigger impact on your mental health than the company you work for. Even though we all know it’s important to find the right manager, most people don't know how to determine the quality of the hiring manager during the interview process. ​Read the full list here!​ From Layoff to Job Offer: Navigating Product Marketing Job Transitions I was recently featured on an episode of Product Marketing Maestros: Tales From the Front Lines. Nitin and I discussed a time when I helped a client land a job in product marketing within two months during a challenging job market. ​Listen to the full podcast episode here.​ Find Coaching and Thought Partners Here: If you want to make a career move, my ​Job Search Membership Program​ is a budget-friendly way to dip your toes into coaching and thought partnership. It combines group coaching and a supportive community of peers you need in this critical juncture. Membership gives you access to: Up to 4 live monthly group coaching calls and workshops, including interview prep, resume review, guest speakers, and more! We’ve had some heavy-weight guest speakers lately, from Emma Stratton, to Anthony Pierri, to Julien Sauvage. Recordings are included in the community as well. My full Job Search Resources Hub has 20+ templates and guides on every stage of the job search journey. The private Slack community with 100+ members and alumni to ask questions, participate in the discussion, connect with others, and access exclusive job opportunities Special offer available now. ​Check out the Membership Program here.

View All

Search Tech Growth Coach

bottom of page