Lead, Product Development and Marketing, Meta
It is critical for product marketers to ruthlessly prioritize opportunities where market insights are most valuable for the business.
By Rachel Hastings
Raised in Argentina by a family of entrepreneurs, Federico Queirolo T’14 had global business ambitions from a young age.
“Being inspired by my family’s ability to create value through business at a local level, I realized that I too could make a difference on a global scale,” he says.
Today, Queirolo connects millions of companies with billions of customers around the world as product development and marketing lead for Meta, where he oversees initiatives to drive sustainable adoption and growth of global business messaging products for Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
As Queirolo explains, it’s a common misconception that product marketers focus solely on go-to-market strategy. In fact, he believes the function—which touches product, marketing, and sales—is uniquely positioned to accelerate businesses growth through deep product portfolio expertise and market understanding. We asked him to share his insights on what aspiring product marketers need to know—and why selling toothpaste might not be so different from selling an app.
Prepare to wear a lot of hats.
The role of a product marketer varies by industry and organization. In some companies, product marketers may be responsible for conducting market research or analysis to inform product development decisions. In others, they may focus more on crafting messages or creating marketing collateral. My current role at Meta has both mandates, but I spend most of my time influencing product strategy and development decisions given the early stage of the product I’m currently working on. My previous positions at Rosetta Stone and Zulily focused on accelerating business growth efficiently by developing and executing simple yet resonant narratives and lifecycle marketing initiatives. With more established products at large companies, you can specialize even more by focusing on a particular vertical or audience.
Understand three key roles of the product marketing function.
The first is understanding the market for the company’s products. As the neutral and expert party across sales or channel marketers and product, it is our job to synthesize and prioritize market feedback to align product development and go-to-market strategy. It is critical for product marketers to ruthlessly prioritize opportunities where market insights are most valuable for the business.
The second role is to ensure appropriate positioning. As a product or feature approaches launch, we create holistic product go-to-market strategies, positioning products across a portfolio, to lead go-to-market operations that enable growth.
The third role of the product marketer is accelerator. Product marketers can help unlock targeted, local opportunities and enable channels with product expertise, scaled education, and in-market activations to drive growth.
Execution and feedback loops are critical along the way.
We’re responsible for executing the product or feature’s rollout, coordinating and tracking metrics, and making adjustments based on market feed-back. That’s where the cycle begins again.
The line between physical and digital products is blurring—and I see the biggest difference in the speed of innovation. Physical products traditionally had longer lead times before they went to market, and iterations on established or mature products tend to be more incremental. They may also have relatively straightforward value propositions compared to digital products, which often require a more complex communications approach. I used to see more significant differences in marketing channels—CPG companies tended to rely on TV and other traditional advertisements, and tech companies leaned more on digital advertising—but that’s no longer the case. Whether you’re selling consumer goods or apps, the foundational skills a product marketer needs are essentially the same.
To understand your industry, you need to understand data.
Product marketers must think critically about the market and its ecosystem to target customers effectively. That requires using data to identify trends and opportunities, often in collaboration with researchers and data scientists. We don’t need to be data experts—but we do need to be data literate.
Learn to communicate with product teams as well as consumers.
It’s our role to articulate a market need and communicate that clearly to the team developing a product. At the same time, we have to craft compelling messages that help technical and nontechnical audiences understand the product’s value and benefits.
Build a mindset of continuous learning.
It’s never too late to learn new tools and abilities. Commit to improving and refining your foundational skills through learning, reading, and professional experiences like conferences and networking. Stay up to date with emerging best practices, and seek out feedback from your colleagues, your managers, and your customers. Remember, professional athletes practice the same basic skills over and over so they remain second nature. Marketers should do the same.
This story originally appeared in print in the summer 2023 issue of Tuck Today magazine.
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