How to Prepare for the Google Product Marketing Manager Interview

October 14th, 2013 by lewis

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SEE ALSO: Google Product Marketing Manager Interview Questions and Answers

The Google product marketing manager (PMM) interview is different from other marketing job interviews. There are more questions about hypothetical marketing cases. And they value creativity more than other companies. This post will discuss what to expect and how to prepare for the Google PMM interview.

What to Expect

Google evaluates PMM candidates in 4 different areas:

  • Marketing aptitude. Google PMMs can architect a marketing plan that logically drives specific business goals. PMMs sweat the details too. For instance, they write communication 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. PMMs are well-versed in SEO, SEM, and social media tactics. They understand the value of A/B testing ad copy and landing pages. They can write first draft for a viral marketing video script. For your interview, expect questions such as:
    • 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 thinking of increasing its minimum cost-per-click from $.01 to $.10. How would you communicate this change to advertisers?
  • Analytical skills. Google PMMs can calculate the maximum bid for an advertising tactic 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 effort, and Android’s co-branding efforts with KitKat. Expect questions such as:
    • Come up with 3 creative ideas to promote Google Docs.

How to Prepare

  • 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? Lastly, while it hasn’t been common in the past, Google interviewers are increasingly relying on behavioral interview questions.

Photo credit: Robert Scoble

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