/ Product Marketing Management

How to Become an Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM)

What is an APMM?

The Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM), program is Google’s global, renowned early-career program, which was started in 2003 by Marissa Mayer at a similar time she started the Associate Product Manager (APM) program. It was designed to help build future business leaders in the Marketing organization at Google.

The APMM Program provides the skills needed to become a world-class digital Marketer. Benefits of the program include:

  • Rigorous learning and development
  • International trip to learn more about our business in global markets
  • Two rotations to gain exposure to different products, Marketing functions, and/or global locations
  • Extensive opportunities for networking across Marketing with APMM peers and alumni and mentoring from senior leaders

Famous alumni of the program include Kevin Systrom of Instagram. The APMM program offers many unique opportunities including getting international experience. APMMs are hired across 35 different countries and 40% of them are now based outside the U.S so you often get a chance to rotate and work in a new country. The purpose of the program is to develop the next generation of leaders at Google and equip them with the freedom and responsibility to have strategic impact very quickly.

What makes a good APMM candidate?

APMMs are a diverse group of self-starters with backgrounds ranging from business to psychology to science. There's no single path to be a great candidate - I studied Chemistry at university and had no formal training in marketing or tech. Here are some key attributes they look for:

  • A clear passion for innovative technology and marketing: While APMMs come from many different backgrounds, they share one common trait: passion. APMMs are passionate about technology and marketing.
  • Demonstrated analytical aptitude and creative intuition: There is no one way to think at Google, but APMMs are known for combining analytical aptitude with creative intuition. This balance of strengths helps them tackle and project.
  • Problem-solving skills: APMMs have a proactive approach to problem-solving that helps them navigate any challenge. They can handle complexity and can deal with ambiguity and change well.
  • Being a self-starter and having an entrepreneurial spirit: APMMs are self-starters and naturally motivated. They have leadership qualities that they have demonstrated through experience. They work well with a team and they thrive in a collaborative environment.

What happens after the company receives your resume?

Once the company receives your resume, a recruiter will typically scan it within a couple of minutes (often less) and determine whether they think you might be a good fit for the program based on the above attributes. See our previous post on How to write a great PMM resume for tips to ensure yours stands out. Ensure it gets to the point and has content that stands out. It also helps if you call out your PMM attributes such as any experience in developing Product Marketing skills.

What is the APMM interview process like?

APMM interviews can vary a lot depending on the company, industry, and role. In general, like most entry-level jobs, they are looking more for potential than experience. Interviewers care more about the way you think and how you get to a potential answer vs the outcome. They want to see that you're passionate about the space and product marketing in general. It's important that you can empathize with users and clearly explain what their user needs might be. Interviewers will also mark you on how clearly you are able to communicate concepts and strategies. As part of communication, it's always important to be receptive to feedback and the interviewer's thoughts. They're likely to help steer you on a specific path so you should work with them, not against! Product marketing interviewers also want to see that you can exhibit a creative zeal: can you come up with any innovative feature ideas or guerilla marketing tactics? Some APMM roles are quite analytical so make sure you structure your approach in a methodical manner and give a clear rationale to your answer.

Sample APMM interview questions

There are five broad buckets of interview questions that can be asked during an APMM interview: Marketing Strategy, Marketing Case, Cross-Functional, Product Sense, and User Insights.

Here are some typical interview questions you may be asked that fall into the above buckets:

Tips for interview prep

  • Read up on the background of the company and product. What was the theme of their last marketing campaign? Have there been any recent product launches? Imagine if you were the Head of Marketing, how would you build their next marketing campaign?
  • Read up on marketing in the space. What industry is the company in? Who are their competitors? How do they position themselves? What type of marketing strategies do they use and why? What can the company learned from the success and failures of their industry and others?
  • Prepare for behavioral interviews—remember experiences that you plan to cite that demonstrate your ability to work in a team, be a leader, deal with ambiguity and empathize with others.

Some APMM programs

Here are some examples of the most popular Associate Product Marketing Manager programs. Some of these positions might be labelled as Junior Product Marketing Manager or Marketing Associate.

Check out pmmlist.com for more PMM roles.

For more PMM interview prep help, check out Exponent's PMM interview prep course.

‌Read more about Product Marketing Management from our blog:

Robin Bhaduri

Robin Bhaduri

PM @GooglePodcasts, Founding team for Podcasts. Previously: PMM #GoogleSearch and @GoogleIndia, Founder of Luna Robin is currently the PM lead for audio ecosystem efforts across Google

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