Temitope is extremely passionate about leveraging technology to build solutions that solve real-time problems. This passion has driven her career as a product marketer, spending her time building and taking digital products to market. She currently works with Oze, a business management platform for SMEs in Africa.

Explain your job to a five-year-old

I have a special superpower that brings the best solution to problems people have using technology. I do this by understanding people and their problems. 

What’s something you wish you knew earlier in your career/life?

Okay, this might sound funny, but I wish I let the little girl in me go earlier in my career. She’s fun to have around, but not at the workplace. I quickly had to understand work politics without feeling bad, negotiating what I wanted, and learning to lead a team even when it was tough.

This was especially unique for me because I have a background in computer engineering and spent the first few years of my career in marketing communications, which I knew nothing about…lol.

I am glad the story has changed now, and I have found my path into a career that is a combination of the two things I love so much: tech and marketing.

Is product marketing a career you decided to go into? Or did you stumble onto it?

Oh my! I definitely stumbled into product marketing. I started my career in marketing communications, specifically in an ad agency. Although I loved what I did, I wanted to bring my love for technology into play. I tried transitioning into several careers, from digital marketing to business analysis, but they didn’t pan out. 

Sometime in 2019, I heard of product marketing, and with a little research, I discovered it was all I had been searching for all the while. Transitioning from marketing communications to product marketing meant I had to understand my transferable skills first and then upskill.

As a product marketer, what’s one misconception people have about your job?

So, the field of product marketing is still fairly new, especially in our ecosystem. I am sure there are people functioning as product marketers at their organisations without knowing it. I think it’s because when most people think of marketing and tech, what comes to their minds is digital marketing. I cannot count the number of times I’ve had to explain the difference between what I do and what a digital marketer does.  Product marketing seems to get a better understanding now, but there is still room for growth.

In your own words, can you describe the difference between product marketing and digital marketing?

In my own words, a product marketer serves as the point of contact representing the entire customer-facing unit of the business on the product/engineering team. 

The product marketer is involved in the product development journey right from the very beginning and sets the foundation for how the product will be taken to market. All this has to do with messaging, positioning, pricing, development of sales enablement materials, etc.

Now a digital marketer is an essential part of the marketing team that works with the product marketer to ensure that every digital marketing strategy arched into the overall go-to-market (GTM) plan is properly executed.

In your experience, which product marketing hacks actually work, and which are pure scams?👀

I would say there are really no hacks in product marketing if you want to get the best results. However, 2 things I think every product marketer should have in their playbook are empathy and data. 

It’s important every product marketer understands how empathy can ‌drive their messaging, positioning, and overall GTMs, because if you understand where the shoe pinches your intended users, you will find it easier being the voice of the customer on the product team. Empathy will also help you communicate exactly what they want to hear.

However, we can not just be emotional and forget that the functional goal of a business is to make money. Hence, we have to find a balance and back our empathy with data. Numbers don’t lie, and they are good for guiding our emotions.

What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?

I would have to say pushing myself to successfully discover and transition into a career that I truly love. Although it was challenging at first and I had to be self-taught most of the time. This singular decision has given me a lot of opportunities that I am really grateful for.

What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at? And something you really do not like doing that you’re great at?

I really love travelling and going places, but I do not know how to drive. Every time, I make up my mind to learn, I hear a funny story that changes my mind. Plus, I live in Lagos and it’s not so much fun driving around in traffic.

I really do not like talking for long, but when I have to, I do it well. Especially when it comes to sharing my knowledge, I can talk for hours. Then I go back home with a headache, but it’s definitely worth it.

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