Expert's Panel

A collection of timely and important topics posed to our panel of experts.

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    What is the skill set and how do you grow into a good product marketer?

  1. The most important thing is a solid knowledge base and direction you can provide to the company. Knowledge of market requirements and communication skills would be the key. You must know what you want to do and be able to clearly communicate it or you become meaningless.
  2. Passion about what you do along with the ability to work with everyone in the organization, using what I would call diplomatic leadership. You have to be a leader, while at the same time being humble. You need to be able to resolve interface issues between marketing and sales, marketing and engineering and other interfaces. Another great attribute is having a positive mental attitude—being positive about your future, your product, and your ideas. Everyone in the organization is looking to the product manager as the driver of the product line.
  3. You need to either understand the application you are responsible for or at least the "what" and "why" of the application. Without that you cannot have a senior position in marketing. You can't get into the strategic side of things and you can't be convincing if you don't understand the application.
  4. This has been touched upon, but I would clearly emphasize it is "leadership" You can't just be an implementer, you have to lead the way. You have to combine knowledge, enthusiasm, and persuasive skills to get people to buy-in to your vision.
  5. Certainly risk-taking. People who are risk-takers tend to go through 3 or 4 jobs before they are recognized as the great marketer of the world—that is often the price you have to pay. Also being flexible—if you get locked-in on one thing you will find extreme disappointment on a day-to-day basis. You also have to be able to put yourself on the mountain at the end of the day and see the big picture down in the valley.
  6. You should find a good mentor; someone who knows what she or he is talking about, and stick to them like glue. For the women in the group there is an organization called SWAN (Semiconductor Women's Alliance Network). Jackie Tubas, President of Schluberger ATE talked to us and there is actually an organization, within Schlumberger, of women who would like to mentor others. There is also a women's group in Silicon Valley that meets for breakfast and provides lots of mentoring opportunities.