Writing My Job Description
Alfred Lua / Written on 13 May 2020
I'm excited to introduce a new addition to your subscription, Weekly Notes.
They are my private notes on the things I'm working on at Buffer and on the side. Weekly Notes are only for paying subscribers.
I personally enjoy chatting with fellow marketers and people in tech about the projects they are working on, including the challenges and results. I want to use Weekly Notes to give you a look into my day-to-day at Buffer and to hopefully spark some discussions that will be beneficial for both of us.
Here are a few things I'm thinking of sharing over the next few weeks:
- Running bundle experiments
- Collaborating with a product manager and product designer
- Sunsetting Buffer Reply
- Writing research briefs for new features
If there's anything you'd like me to share, let me know!
Weekly Notes will be sent to you every Wednesday morning (US). You'll also get the Weekly Analyses on Friday mornings (US).
Here is this week's Weekly Notes:
Figuring out my product marketing role
I'm lucky to have taken on a few roles at Buffer. I joined as a Community Champion, worked as a Content Crafter for two years, and am now a Product Marketer for the analytics in Buffer.
Each time I switched roles, I was given a general idea of what needs to be done and had the freedom to decide what I want to do and how. For example, when I became a Content Crafter, I knew I had to write blog posts. I noticed that our long-form guides were getting a great amount of organic traffic over a sustained period of time. So I invested my time in writing and updating our long-form guides. Over two years, we grew our monthly sessions from one million to 1.5 million.
When I took on the product marketer role early last year, I could again decide what I want to do. The two things I knew I should work on immediately were product launches and customer communications. A few months in, I helped launch Buffer Analyze, our standalone analytics tool, which generated 1,758 trials starts.
While I enjoyed my work, I felt very reactive. Whenever a new feature is almost completed, I'd rush to prepare a product launch. There wasn't a structure to my role. To a certain extent, I think that was reasonable. I was new to the role and the product team that I joined. So there was a lot of figuring out to do.
How does the product team do things? What is lacking? Where can I help?
In the past year, I tested new ideas, picked up new responsibilities (e.g. research), and dropped some projects (e.g. website experiments). I gradually got a grasp of how I can best structure my product marketing role at Buffer. One morning, I jotted down my thoughts in my Moleskine notebook to help clarify the ideas in my head.
My product marketer job description
A bit of context first: Buffer doesn't have a sales team so I support our customers directly. We don't have anyone dedicated to research but several teammates do occasionally chat with customers. We sell a marketing software, so being a marketer, I do have a good understanding of our customers.
My job description might not apply to your situation entirely but I hope it can serve as a reference.
Because things change quickly at Buffer, my job description is always a work-in-progress. When priority changes, I expect to adjust my role and tweak this job description. As you will see below, there are things that I'm not 100 percent certain yet.
I see my role as educating three groups of people: team, customers, and partners.
- Educating our team about our customers and the market (50%)
- Educating our customers about our product (45%)
- Educating our partners about how Buffer can benefit their customers or how to make the most of Buffer (5%)?
As someone close to our customers and the market, I’m in a good position to help our team understand our customers and the market. The insights can help Product plan the roadmap, help Design build better UX and UI, and help Marketing with messaging, website copy, and pricing. In general, it feels like it’ll be helpful for the team to have a better understanding of our customers than what we know now. So I want to devote half of my time here.
What this looks like in practice: Research (interviews, surveys, market studies, case studies), recommendations for product roadmap and prioritization, recommendations for UX and UI design, recommendations for website structure and copy
What tools could be helpful: EnjoyHQ for putting research in one place, Iterate/Typeform for running surveys, Calendly for scheduling interviews, Webflow for putting case studies together, Paper/Threads for sharing recommendations
Because I work closely with the product team to design and build new features, I can help our customers understand the value of Buffer and how to use Buffer well. Essentially, the product team builds features while the product marketers translate them into values for our customers and educate our customers on how to use those features. I will partner with Arielle (my marketing teammate) for email work and Advocacy for things related to the Help Center and webinars and, of course, Mike E. (another product marketer) for everything.
What this looks like in practice: Product launches, lifecycle emails, onboarding emails, product newsletters, in-app tooltips & tours, how to use Buffer guides (in Help Center), suggestions for new landing pages or updating the copy on existing landing pages, webinars, case studies
What tools could be helpful: CIO for sending emails, Appcues for in-app messages, Zendesk for guides, Webflow for putting case studies together, Paper/Threads for sharing recommendations
This part is a work-in-progress because I’m not really sure Buffer needs this at the moment.
In this aspect, I see myself supporting Amanda (our strategic partnership manager) in her partnership work so I’ll discuss this with her. I’m assuming what could be helpful is writing use cases and examples of how customers are using current integrations and sharing research on what other integrations customers are interested in.
As Amanda is still tidying things up for our partnerships, I imagine this isn’t really required until later half of this year or next year.
Do you work with your product and marketing teams, too? If you do, I'd love to learn more about your role and how you plan your projects.
Let me know if you have any questions!