Google Product Marketing Manager (PMM or APMM) Interview: What to Expect and How to Prepare

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SEE ALSO: Google Product Marketing Manager Interview Questions and Answers

What to Expect: Google Product Marketing Manager Interview

Google evaluates product marketing (PMM) candidates in 4 different areas:

Marketing aptitude
Google PMMs can architect a marketing plan, but they can also sweat the marketing details. For instance, they write the communications doc that serves as a source of truth for all product marketing materials, whether it's a sales training deck, website copy, or TV ad campaign. They understand the value of A/B testing ad copy and landing pages. They can write first draft of a viral marketing video script. PMMs are also well-versed in SEO, SEM, and social media tactics. For your interview, expect questions like:

  • Tell me a terrible product that’s marketed well.
  • Tell me a good product that’s marketed poorly.
  • How would you position the Samsung Chromebook?
  • If you are PMM for Google’s AdWords, how do you plan to market it?
  • Name a piece of technology you've read about recently. Now tell me your own creative execution for an ad for that product.

Communication skills
Google PMMs can communicate difficult concepts to both novice and expert audiences. For example, they can describe a generalized second price auction to AdWords advertisers. Or explain to the California State Legislature that Gmail doesn’t violate users’ privacy. Anticipate questions such as:

  • Google is increasing AdWords' minimum cost-per-click from $.01 to $.10. How would you communicate this change to advertisers?

Analytical skills
Google PMMs can calculate an advertising tactic's maximum bid to achieve a 10X ROAS goal. They understand statistics as it relates to A/B testing and know what high p-values mean. Anticipate questions include:

  • How much money does Gmail make from ads?
  • How many iPhones are sold in the US each year?

Creativity
Google PMMs think big. Moonshot big. They don’t do marketing campaigns or creative execution just because Apple did it. They come up with clever ideas like Chrome’s Sophie campaign, YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra, and Android’s co-branding efforts with Hershey's KitKat. Expect questions such as:

  • Come up with 3 creative ideas to promote Google Docs.

How to Prepare: Google Product Marketing Interview

Marketing aptitude
Practice leading discussions around marketing plans and strategy using a structured framework. Start with the business and marketing objective, evaluate the segments, and identify a target segment. Develop a positioning statement and then brainstorm promotional tactics. Mention pricing, distribution, and product changes — as necessary. Also practice critiquing creative execution using logical judging criteria.

Communication skills
Think about how to communicate difficult product changes that’s in-line with Google’s philosophy of focusing on users first.

Analytical skills
Practice estimation questions. Be prepared to do an ROI analysis on a marketing campaign. Refer to marketing ROI calculators for inspiration.

Creativity
Practice how to brainstorm lots of innovative ideas quickly. Brainstorming frameworks can help.

Also expect traditional interview questions, such as Tell Me About Yourself and Why Google? Finally, while it hasn't been common in the past, Google interviewers are increasingly relying on behavioral interview questions.

For more tips on the Google Product Marketing Manger interview, refer to my class, How to Ace the Google Product Marketing Manager Interview.

Photo credit: Robert Scoble


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