The top 3 challenges for product marketing managers in 2023


The top 3 challenges for product marketing managers in 2023

The top three challenges from our 2023 report, and how to overcome them.

Momentive Staff

April 11, 2023 | 4 min read


Product marketing managers (PMMs) are busier than ever. They are working overtime to unite their company’s product, marketing, and sales efforts while staying laser-focused on their customers’ constantly shifting needs.

In 2023, PMMs will have even more to do. They must find a way to cut through an increasingly crowded marketplace, stay ahead of their customers’ needs, and keep their competitive edge as the economy threatens to cool.

To help PMMs tackle this workload, we’ve created new research and analysis.

Our 2023 product marketing report: Top challenges and opportunities outlines the most pressing challenges PMMs face and how to overcome them. In this article, we’ll walk you through the three biggest challenges PMMs must focus on in 2023.

Challenge 1: Adapting to changing industry landscapes

Companies are seeking growth from new initiatives. Fifty-nine percent of PMMs say their company is focusing on market expansion in 2023, while 44% believe their company will change its strategic direction to achieve this growth.

PMMs believe their companies must focus on brand growth and new products to achieve this expansion. 84% of PMMs believe brand growth is critically important, and 48% state that developing new products and features is a primary focus in 2023.

The takeaway: PMMs must help their companies expand in 2023. To need to grow the reach and position of their brand through competitive new products and features.

Challenge 2: Performing under pressure

Companies are asking more from their PMMs; 75% of PMMs say their performance expectations have increased over last year, despite only 17% saying they met all of their goals in 2022, and only 31% expecting to hit their H1 2023 targets.

PMMs are also simultaneously coping with fewer resources, as 36% of PMMs say their budgets are decreasing or staying the same in 2023 and 45% believe they lack autonomy and influence. On top of that, 24% state their work is undervalued or not valued at all.

The takeaway: PMMs must deliver in 2023. They must earn greater respect and agency within their companies by hitting or exceeding their performance goals.

Challenge 3: Understanding their customers

Lastly, companies are struggling to move with agility and act from a deep understanding of their customers. Forty percent of PMMs say their company can’t keep up with changing market needs, and 36% don’t receive feedback fast enough to understand their market.

PMMs know they lack the data and insights they need. Thirty-seven percent of PMMs state that accessing data-driven insights is key to their job, but 30% don’t have enough data to deeply understand their customers and 22% lack the data they need to act on.

The takeaway: PMMs must become more data-driven in 2023. To do so, they need to proactively collect, analyze, and act on the data their companies aren’t giving them.

How to navigate these challenges: ask, listen, act

In 2023, PMMs must find a way to beat their growing competition, hit their rising performance targets, and understand their customers on a deeper level. To do all three, they must collect more customer data, derive actionable insights from that data, and bring those insights to life in new campaigns.

Here’s how.

  • Ask: Make sure your ads and messages work before you launch them. With concept testing you can run new concepts by your target audience in less than an hour. Generate precise data, leverage AI to quickly identify which concepts scored well and why, and develop a clear picture of which ideas are winners.
  • Listen: Track your success and prove your value. With Net Promoter Score® (NPS) tracking programs you can quantify and measurably improve your NPS. Learn exactly who—and what—drives your NPS, focus on serving your highest-value customers, and increase customer retention, loyalty, and win-backs. 
  • Act: Quantify your brand’s performance and watch it grow over time. With brand tracking you can monitor your brand’s health metrics like awareness, consideration, loyalty, and associations. Gain actionable brand insights, competitive benchmarks, and hard-data proof your work’s delivering results.

The takeaway: PMMs who ask, listen, and act, and who use the right tools, can adopt a data-driven approach to overcoming their biggest challenges in 2023.

Everyone has to navigate these challenges. Those that do can capture some significant opportunities. Ninety-five percent state their company has made brand growth a real priority this year, 86% feel positive about their industry’s future, and nine out of ten feel optimistic about their company’s position in their industry. In sum: 2023 may be a challenging year for PMMs, but they can still win big.

Want to know the whole landscape of challenges and opportunities? Learn 2023’s top challenges, opportunities, and next steps for marketers with detailed data and analysis in our 2023 report.

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