We recently sat down with Auth0 fmr SVP of Marketing & Growth, Martin Gontovnikas, to discuss all things product marketing. It’s a great talk for those that understand that the success of a product is made all the more likely by great marketing and want to learn more about it.
Auth0 fmr SVP of Marketing & Growth, Martin Gontovnikas, and Product Talk host and product executive, Thomas Daly, talked about product marketing and Martin’s path into it. You can listen to the full episode of Product Talk above. A few excerpts from the episode are detailed below.
On how he approaches product marketing
Product marketing, like the process for building great products, requires listening to your customers.
“If you think about marketing, it’s about tapping into people’s habits. So, we do a lot of qualitative research with interviews. We never sell them the product, we just ask about their habits.”
On how marketing and product work together at Auth0
When the product marketing and product teams are communicating, the best results are achieved.
“If we talk about the quarterly planning, the team starts thinking about what are the experiments or the things that they want to try in the next quarter. And then what we do is two things. One is before any of the teams wants to run an experiment, they will run the other teams through experiments. So they will tell them for example, these are the mockups people were thinking of doing these are the KPIs. What are your thoughts? And then they will get feedback from the other team and adopt it. And then similarly, before they merge the pull request, meaning pay for the shipping to production, they also do a final check. We’d like this is the final experience, how do you feel about it?
On what makes a great product manager
Even from a product marketing perspective, what makes a product leader great is consistent with what we hear from PMs.
“Focus on understanding the problem and the pain first, and then move to the solution model. I see a lot of people starting with solutions versus focusing on the problem first.”
On his advice for product teams
Gonto, like Nike, believes in a “just do it” approach.
“I see a lot of first-time managers or product managers, but enough times are scared to make a decision because of being wrong. That’s why I talk a lot about like failure and stuff like that. So my advice is just to decide more. And if you fail, that doesn’t matter. Just learn from bad decisions and iterate faster.”
About the speaker
Martin Gontovnikas, a.k.a Gonto, is a software engineer at heart that moved to the “dark side” and is now SVP of Growth and Marketing at Auth0. With this career transition, he found a way to combine his 2 passions by applying his “engineering thinking” model to Marketing. As a software engineer, Gonto built a framework for AngularJS called Restangular that eventually became popular and is used today by companies like weather.com, Reuters, CNN and others. During this process, he realized that he really enjoyed making Restangular popular, by creating content for his blog, answering questions in stackoverflow, and speaking at events, more than he had enjoyed actually building the framework. The “dark side was calling .... Thanks to his engineering roots, Gonto is a very analytical person that loves creating new experiments to continuously accelerate Auth0’s revenue growth, which has historically been 90% inbound and marketing driven. When not leading the growth and marketing team at Auth0, Gonto can be found enjoying gourmet food at new restaurants, having beers with friends at every local brewery he can find, and traveling the globe in search of new experiences. You can follow him on Twitter (@mgonto) or read his (not so frequent) blog posts on his website.
About the host
Thomas Daly is Principal Product Manager at Samsung NEXT leading zero to one initiatives. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Product Officer for Spacious.com, which was later acquired by The We Company (WeWork). Before that, Daly was at Samsung Electronics by way of an acquisition of BOXEE, a TV-connected streaming device. He has worked in various product roles for nearly 15 years.