Learn it yourself

outsideinview.comYou start a new role. It’s a new product. It’s a new company. You spend your first 30-60-90 days going to meetings and trying to soak it all in. You want to “understand” the environment before you can jump in. Well…. stop depending on everyone else to learn what you need to know. 

If you are a product marketing professional, no doubt in this timeframe, your first three months, your manager will ask you to produce something. Anything. You then run around trying to get all the information you think you need to have to produce something of quality. But, all you’re doing is gathering information – you’re not learning! Stop.

It’s your responsibility to learn, really learn, what you need to know. Listening to product managers explain the features and benefits is great. But, you have to learn the product yourself. Get access and dive in. If it’s a new industry, you need to review competitive websites and industry blogs. read what others are saying are the important trends to evaluate. Look at what these trends mean to your product.

Where do you start? Start talking to customers on day 2. Well, at least start talking to them immediately after your “orientation” session is complete. What you learn from the internal sources is nice. It’s important. What you learn from your customers and the market is INVALUABLE! Their opinion is the only one that matters. Their opinion, what they like and don’t, what they use and don’t, and seek that isn’t there is what will drive your work. It’s their goals, attitudes and behaviors that matter.

Looking in from the outside – your internal teams will tell you what has been done; your external market will tell you what needs to be done. And, needs translates to success.

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