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Jeff Beckham is the Director of Product and Content Marketing at Mixpanel. He’s been in the product marketing field for over 12 years and has had the chance to launch products of all kinds, from video conferencing to video games, to business phone systems and analytics.

His passion is B2B products that make work easier, more effective, more fun, or all of the above. The two years he spent at SEGA were awesome too, but mostly a detour from an Enterprise SaaS journey. 

Before his career in tech, Jeff grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Michigan. As expected, he loves football, crisp Fall mornings, and comfort food. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife and a 10-lb Cavapoo puppy named Cali.

You can ask Jeff about whatever is on your mind, but he can likely be most helpful if the question is related to a topic listed below:

  • Messaging & positioning

  • The difference between bottoms-up and top-down go-to market strategies and their implications for product marketing

  • Product launch

  • Working with Sales, including running useful trainings and getting involved with deals

  • Managing PMMs and building a collaborative culture

  • Choosing metrics, measuring impact, and setting expectations with execs

  • The different types of PMs and how to best work with each

Connect with him on LinkedIn. And if you’re looking for a new PMM, content, or customer marketing role, he’s hiring!

  • JN

    Jane Nevins

    11 days ago #

    Hi Jeff, Product marketing means a lot of things to a lot of people. If I want to advance my career as a PMM what are 1-2 things that I should focus on?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      What you say is so true! There’s no universal definition for what product marketers do. But to be honest, that’s kind of what I love about the field.

      To me, the best product marketers are great storytellers, collaborators, and problem solvers. I often joke with my friends outside the PMM world that I’m an internal consultant. When the organization finds something that’s broken, I’m often asked to figure out a way to bring the right people together to fix it.

      For example:
      • Win rates in a specific customer segment are down… why? And how can we reverse the trend?
      • Website traffic is way up, but signups are almost flat. Do we have the wrong messaging or are we bringing in the wrong people?
      • We just made a bunch of awesome product changes so the sales pitch feels stale. How should it evolve?

      You get the idea :)

      Going back to your question about advancing your career, my best advice is to find a problem that’s driving everyone at the company crazy and use your unique skills to fix it. Then do it again and again. The aim is to eventually build a reputation as someone who knows how to get things done. That makes you indispensable, because no matter how business needs evolve, you’re someone who can always be relied on to do impactful work.

      If your question was intending to get at more specific PMM skills you should practice, I’d suggest writing and speaking more – no matter how often you do those things already. They take practice, but when you start to stand out from the pack, your product marketing career will take off.

      1 Share
  • GN

    Gustavo Nunes

    8 days ago #

    Hey Jeff! Thanks for joining us for an AMA

    1) When developing content and product marketing for two different products, where should I start? If you could enumerate 3 tips, what would you say?

    2) Which metrics are not so usual, but you think that marketers should be watching more closely?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      Thanks for your question! It sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate with two products, and when that’s the case, setting priorities can be the best first step.

      When I do quarterly planning, and before I start on any big project, I always ask and answer these three questions:

      1 - What am I trying to accomplish?
      2 - What are the potential paths to get there?
      3 - Which tactics should I prioritize, in which order? (I use the ICE framework, which evaluates each activity in terms of potential Impact, Confidence in that impact, and Ease of implementation)

      To get more specific to your problem, if you’re supporting two products, what does success look like? Are you trying to drive site traffic? Signups? Adoption? Depending on the goal, focusing on one product over the other may be a much surer bet for boosting these numbers.

      If you don’t have the option to weigh tradeoffs and prioritize globally, you may want to start with projects that help both products. For example, if they’re in the same portfolio, you could develop one pitch deck that covers them both. Not sure if this addresses what you had in mind with part 1 of your question, but I’d be happy to answer any follow-ups that are top of mind.

      In part 2, you asked about uncommon metrics for marketers… I’ll give you two:

      1 - ACTIVATION: So often, I see marketers obsessed with driving website traffic, but what’s the point of that? For traffic to be useful to the company, it needs to be the right people, and they need to express interest in the product. If you have a freemium offer or free trial, you should be looking at the number of people who sign up and “activate” to experience your product’s value. Otherwise, you didn’t get them to the destination.

      2 - MONTHLY ACTIVE READERS: This is one we use on our blog at Mixpanel because it’s a leading indicator of long-term success. It measures the number of people who read two or more articles in a month, which is a proxy for loyal readership. Measuring newsletter subscribers doesn’t tell you that, because it doesn’t capture whether the people in your database actually read the articles. And measuring total article views doesn’t tell you if people like your content enough to keep coming back.

      2 Share
  • AF

    Anne Fleshman

    8 days ago #

    Hi Jeff, any advice on hiring the best B2B SaaS PMMs? What to look for? Where to look?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      This may be a controversial opinion, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as an objective criteria for “the best B2B SaaS PMMs.” Company and role fit matter a ton in B2B. At least that’s been my experience.

      Take my current company, Mixpanel. Our top customers are tech companies, and our power users are product managers and engineers. To market to these audiences effectively, you need technical acumen, so I look for people who have experience marketing technical products. Even though PMM roles at top-notch B2B companies like Salesforce or Asana may be prestigious, I don’t focus my hiring efforts there because they target different personas.

      I also look for people with experience at similar-sized companies (doesn’t have to be the most recent role). PMM responsibilities are very different at a 500-person company than at a 10,000-person company. Generally speaking, PMMs have more end-to-end ownership at startups. Rather than just creating a messaging doc that they ship to a corporate marketing team, they’ll build the website and sales content themselves. I really value that versatility.

      To be more specific about qualities I look for, these are my top 3:

      1. Track record of success: has the person been successful at other places over a sustained period of time? Have they made a tangible impact that resulted in promotions or role expansions?

      2. Storytelling: can they make the complex, simple? Can they explain what their product does, who it’s for, and why it matters in a clear and compelling way?

      3. Intellectual curiosity: do they ask good questions and are they eager to learn and make a difference? If given a problem to solve, will they experiment with a variety of ideas and find unique solutions?

      In terms of where to look, I don’t have any hidden tricks. LinkedIn is my go-to, but I actually use Sales Navigator to do very specific searches, then send the top candidates to the recruiting team to reach out to. You can filter by current company, past company, time in role, level of seniority, and tons more. It’s very granular.

      Posting roles in PMM forums is smart too. GrowthHackers is obviously awesome :) Beyond this forum, I’m a member of Sharebird and Product Marketing Alliance. Both have great communities, awesome content, and job boards you can post on.

      2 Share
  • MJ

    Marie Jaksman

    7 days ago #

    Hi Jeff!
    We are developing tools for mobile app developers. So far our strategy has been to provide developers with the high quality tutorials on various topics (not limited to our product). The reason for that is that developers are curious souls looking for solutions for their programming problems. And not often googling about the general ideas. Our main KPI is signups and although we have seen this strategy has served us well we have hit a wall and are enot able to increase the signup rate.
    My question is 1) how would you recommend to continue here with content mapping? What content type would be best for us and how to validate it?
    2) I am concerned that we are attracting too much beginners and not much professional developers. How would you validate this concern?
    Thank you!

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      It sounds like you’re finding a lot of success in growing signups, which is great! When you say the rate is leveling off, do you mean the conversion rate from website visits to signups?

      When that happens, there are usually one of three explanations:

      1. You’re approaching your product’s natural signup rate. This happens when products get more mature. It can only go so high unless you artificially limit your audience, which limits growth. This isn’t terrible as long as your signup volume is still going up.

      2. You’ve found all the low-hanging fruit and the quality of traffic – in terms of fit for your product – is starting to dip. This would be a red flag and a potential sign that your addressable market is on the small side.

      3. Your audience is still high-quality, but more diverse, so your content may be too generic to relate to all of them. Building out more personalization and nurture tracks often helps here.

      The content approach would be different for solving each of these problems. But in any situation, my approach to finding the right solution would be the same: to pair quantitative and qualitative research.

      On the quantitative side, I’d keep looking at your funnel and segmenting it every which way. Are certain articles, books, or pages producing conversion rates that are way outside the norm? If so, why? How does it vary by acquisition channel and by call-to-action on the signup page? What about by company size? The deeper you dig, the more likely you’ll find the answer. Shameless plug: Mixpanel, the product, specializes in this.

      On the qualitative side, I’m big on interviewing people in the target audience. You get so much more context when you ask people what they want to read about, what their problems are as they relate to your product, and so on. My team is actually doing this right now to better understand the friction points in our sign-up process.

      Almost all of my best content ideas and improvements to content mapping have come after spending the time to gather the right data.

      I wish I could be more specific, but I hope this helps! I’d be happy to answer follow-up questions if you have any.

  • NA

    Nataly Avanesova

    7 days ago #

    Hi, Jeff👋 what's the toughest part of your job. And what makes you happy?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      What makes me happy, more than anything else, is seeing people on my team succeed! My job is ultimately to create an environment in which talented people can thrive and make a positive impact on the company. When someone works their tail off and earns a well-deserved promotion, it brings a smile to my face every time. There’s nothing better than delivering that news.

      At a more tactical level, the product marketer in me loves “launch day.” When someone spends months to build a GTM strategy for a new product or to write an in-depth content piece, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the launch email go out and the impact of the work start to take effect. Whether I was the project lead, an advisor, or just a cheerleader, it’s all the same joyful feeling to me when my team was involved.

      The toughest part of my job is managing expectations. I say “no” way more often than I’d like to, but I have to in order to do what’s best for the company. There’s only so much time in the day, and you can’t sprint a marathon.

      The challenge is rooted in a really good thing; product marketing is an essential function that the whole company relies on. The product team relies on you to get the word out about all the cool things they ship, and why people need them. And the sales team relies on you to package that up into useful collateral and stories that they can share.

      Why wouldn’t they want more of all of the above? It’s only natural. In my current situation, I’m fortunate to work with great cross-functional partners who are very understanding.

      Often, when it’s impossible to do more, we’ll brainstorm a bit on the pros and cons of re-arranging our priorities. If we put Project A on hold in order to prioritize Project C, would that produce a better result for the company? Being at a startup can make these types of conversations easier, because the company’s success is a north star everyone can rally around. You’re all shareholders with a meaningful stake in the company’s success, so you look out for needs beyond your own department.

      2 Share
  • VN

    Vaibhav N

    7 days ago #

    Hey Jeff! I think the toughest part of establishing a team is going from 0 to 10. I've done the journey and it was a tedious year both professionally and personally. Would be great if you can share your journey whilst also establishing a relationship with different departments.

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      Hiring is hard! Kudos to you for scaling that much in only a year. I’m with you that it can be difficult to focus on day-to-day responsibilities when you’re in hours of interviews each day.

      I always try to remind myself that hiring is actually one of my core responsibilities and not a side project – even though it can seem like one. The burning tasks that need to get done asap may help the company for a month, or even a year. But bringing in great people gives the company – and your team – a foundation for much farther into the future. That mindset helps me stay sane in the most trying times.

      To your question on forming relationships with different departments while you’re swamped with hiring, I don’t have the perfect answer to be honest. In the past, I’ve found prioritization to be key. As much as you’d like to spend lots of time with all your cross-functional partners, which relationships matter the absolute most to your team and company’s success?

      Often, I’ve found that being busy forces me to delegate more effectively. Many times, I’ve made the mistake of thinking I needed to run point on certain projects and relationships, and when I was forced to hand them off, the person who took them over actually produced better results because they could devote more focus to the task at hand.

      Hope this helps!

  • DS

    Dmitry Sergeev

    7 days ago #

    Hi Jeff, what plan of getting more interviews with ICPs would you recommend for Enterprise targeted product? The initial ICP is VP of IT.

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      The big question is always, “what’s in it for them?” When it comes to busy, in-demand people like VPs, it’s usually money, access, or reciprocity.

      [Money] This doesn’t always work, because VPs are paid well. But there are services out there that focus on building communities of senior executives explicitly for market research. You’ll just need to be willing to pay a hefty amount for their time. It can cost multiple hundreds of dollars per hour to land a VP for a research interview, but it’s often worth it. Can your product succeed if you don’t understand the buyer?

      [Access] If you have a customer advisory board and can offer things like input into your roadmap, or early access to beta features, people are often willing to trade their time for that privilege. They get that being a sounding board for market research is part of the deal.

      [Reciprocity] If people in your network are connected to the people you want to talk to, you can often get conversations through favors. I do this all the time, although it definitely gets harder the higher the level you’re targeting.

      The last thing I’ll mention is that the analyst firms, like Gartner and Forrester, were created to solve this exact problem. Enterprise IT is the core market they serve (although they’ve broadened considerably in recent years). The analysts talk to IT leaders all the time, and they’ll be able to aggregate their learnings in a way that should be helpful for you.

      If you pay for access to those services, I’d suggest scheduling “inquiry calls.” I’ve done this a lot when I wanted to gather information for market research. Many of these analysts have even been executives themselves, in the exact roles you’re hoping to understand better.

      1 Share
  • YS

    Yulia Severina

    7 days ago #

    Hi Jeff! What do you think is the best approach to align content to user journey?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      Great question! I always start by mapping out the user journey from the user’s perspective. At each stage, what’s on their mind and what questions do they likely have? Usually, these questions get more specific as the person learns more about whether your product is a potential solution to their pain points.

      If you aren’t sure what potential users are thinking, do some market research. A combination of interviews and surveys usually does the trick.

      Once you’ve mapped the journey, you can slot your existing content into it and identify gaps that inform what you focus on going forward. I typically do this in a spreadsheet, but you could do it in a bunch of different tools.

      In terms of filling the gaps, the right approach will depend on the stage of the journey. If it’s top-of-funnel, you’ll likely want to maximize reach through an SEO play, in which case you’d want to build a bunch of relevant content because it can be hard to predict which will rank best. Deeper into the funnel, I take a “less but better” approach. You don’t need 10 articles explaining why people need your product. In fact, that can be confusing, as well as hard to maintain as your product evolves.

      Hope this helps!

      2 Share
  • SY

    Shivendra Yadav

    6 days ago #

    Hello Jeff! Thanks for joining us for an AMA.

    I'd like to have your advice on below queries:

    1. I am a Channel Account Manager in a heavy industry manufacturing firm, with almost 5 years experience post my MBA. I'd like to change my industry and role. I want to become an AE/AM with a B2B SaaS sales organization and progress from there to a Product Marketing Manager. Is that doable?

    2. If yes, what skills/learnings do you think I should add/develop in myself to get there. Any course/training which you'd recommend?

  • DM

    Diego Morales

    5 days ago #

    How do should you build a product marketing team (in the marketing department) and how should they interact with the product team?

  • JR

    Jameel Randeree

    5 days ago #

    Hey Jeff 🤓
    What would you consider as the best strategy for promoting a B2B podcast?
    Thank you

  • VB

    Vahe Bagdasaryan

    5 days ago #

    Hey Jeff, Thanks for joining for an AMA.

    1) How do you evaluate the effectiveness of product marketing campaigns? How to make GTM campaigns more data-driven (e.g. choosing metrics, measuring impact, setting baselines)
    2) What your typical GTM strategy includes?
    3) How to bring more parity between marketing and product teams?

    Thanks!

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    5 days ago #

    Question from Saliha Ayaz

    What's the most important thing in product marketing?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      Great question! if you ask 10 product marketers, you may get 10 different answers. If I had to boil it down to one that's most important, I'd say storytelling.

      The world is fully of great products that never worked out because people didn't understand them. The ability to connect the dots between a product's functionality and a buyer's pain points is tablestakes for a company / product to take off. The more compelling you can make the narrative, the more people will latch onto it.

  • QA

    Q&A AMA

    5 days ago #

    Question from Amit Kakkar

    What are some of the best techniques for product marketing?

  • BG

    Brad G

    5 days ago #

    What are strategies for the multivariate testing of copy and messaging using a web platform which has integrated Mixpanel?

  • BG

    Brad G

    5 days ago #

    What is your take on piloting a product in one major US market, then scaling the launch of the product to a multitude of US markets? If it helps, our product is _not_ SaaS, it is projects solid in the residential home services and construction industry.

  • IJ

    iskandar jaman

    5 days ago #

    how to make domain authority increase shortly ?

  • SJ

    Sieu thi Nhat Ban Japana

    3 days ago #

    How to make website indexing faster ?

  • WG

    White Bear Garage

    1 day ago #

    hi jeff, can uou give some tips for organic affiliate marketing
    thanks

  • VN

    Valerie Neumann

    12 days ago #

    I have been in the content field for 10+ years and am interested in learning more about Product Marketing - possibly as a career change. How do you recommend getting started?

    • JB

      Jeff Beckham

      5 days ago #

      A great starting point would be to do informational interviews. I may be biased, but I’ve found product marketers to be helpful, collaborative types :) People at your company, or in your network, would likely be up for a free Zoom coffee to let you pick their brain. Reading forums like this one is also a great idea.

      A more hands-on approach would be to volunteer for product marketing projects, even if that means working a little extra to make time for them outside your content responsibilities. That’s what someone on my team did, and she actually switched from content to product marketing about 9 months ago. She took on a bunch of projects that showed she could do the job, so it was a no brainer to move her into a product marketing role when she asked. I knew she’d be great at it.

      1 Share
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