I began my career in marketing, with a specific focus on performance marketing. This concentration honed my skills in several pivotal concepts, including:
- CRO (conversion rate optimization)
- Optimization of user funnels and mapping user journeys
- User segmentation (e.g., new users, returning users, churned users)
- Development of personas
- Utilization of Google Analytics
- Designing retention and loyalty campaigns
These concepts proved invaluable for my progression in the product domain. Fortunately, my existing expertise in these areas made it easier for me to grasp marketing challenges and proactively design superior solutions.
I'd advise against starting directly as a PM. The most accomplished PMs I've encountered didn't begin their careers as PMs. Instead, many initiated their journeys as:
- Product designers
- Growth hackers
- Operational specialists
Each of these roles can pave the way to becoming an exceptional PM. They equip you with a unique perspective and specialized knowledge, both of which can significantly impact your organization.
An often-overlooked benefit from my marketing days was my role as a stakeholder. I was on the "other side", striving to convey the significance of my requests to the Product/Tech teams. Having been a stakeholder is invaluable for a PM. It fosters a genuine understanding and empathy towards others in different departments seeking your support. Trust me, empathizing with a stakeholder's position is entirely different when you've been in their shoes.