Product Marketing Manager

ABOUT LEAP

Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S.—quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has launched the country’s most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in the classroom.

Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 140 schools across the Chicago area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.

OUR WORK

The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.

LEAP is defining and articulating teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize its research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.

LEAP has built a scaffold trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning—a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths and interests.

Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:

Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas.

National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.

ROLE OVERVIEW

The Product Marketing Manager aligns LEAP’s product strategy and tactics needed to drive success in sales and marketing to achieve defined results. In this role, you will be LEAP’s product evangelist playing an integral role in organizing market research. This role is responsible for communicating insights that answer relevant business and product questions at the right time within the product development cycle informing innovation and relevant product design.

This is a cross-functional position, involving product development, product management and marketing. The individual in this role will collaborate regularly with product managers, marketing-communications team members and recruitment/sales channels. This role requires balancing cross-functional collaboration and requires strong diplomatic skills, including knowing when to push back and when to dive in.

Working with Marketing
You know our competitors like the back of your hand: what they do today and what they plan to do in the future. You also know our buyers better than they know themselves, including how they make their buying decisions. You back up strategic insights with market evidence and then communicate that knowledge to the product team in the form of product insights; and use this knowledge to drive the development of positioning and messaging that resonates with buyers and empowers our sales channels to be successful.

Working with Product Development/Management
You will collaborate with the product development team to understand market needs, inform product strategy and plans aligning with LEAP’s strategy), confirming that all functional areas in the organization are in sync. You will take part in developing innovative programs that drive demand. An attention to detail and eye for quality are critical to your success. You will need the ability to grasp and present product’s value proposition in a way that resonates and clearly articulates how we solve our buyers’ problems. You are keenly focused on tracking product performance, with data to prove what’s working and what isn’t.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Business strategy—Go to market strategy, sales strategy, channel strategy, market strategy definition
  • Market intelligence—be the expert on our buyers, who are they, how they buy and their key buying criteria.v
  • Understand the competitive landscape—be an expert on our competition and how they are positioned.
  • Collaborate with product management and marketing communications to develop product positioning and messaging that resonate with our target buyer personas.
  • Determine customers’ needs and desires by specifying the research needed to obtain market information.
  • Lead market research, then understand and document our buyer’s process, including where they get information, and the who, what, when and why behind the decisions they make. Then communicate product and marketing requirements based on what you learn.
  • Develop marketing and pricing plan for the products you support in conjunction with our marketing team, including key activities and budgets to support the retention of existing customers and the acquisition of new customers.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the marketing programs that support your products on an ongoing basis, and report back to the business on required changes.
  • Plan launches of net-new products and releases of existing products, and manage the cross-functional implementation of the plan.
  • Act as a thought leader for the products you support externally, including speaking engagements and written works.
  • Support LEAP’s sales’ channels; train key stakeholders on the problems we solve for our buyers and users.
  • Develop internal tools and external collateral and teach key stakeholders how and when to use it.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment where expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work. This individual will be a confident self-starter and have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or marketing; MBA preferred
  • Five years of product marketing experience with at least 2 years of experience in a market-facing role (e.g. delivering presentations to customers and prospects, conducting competitor analysis and market research) working with product teams to translate and integrate market insights into product design
  • Experience in software products and education market/products preferred
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, CRM tools, and Slack
  • Power user of networking tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Demonstrated experience with ROI-tracking skills, able to prove what is—or isn’t—working
  • Excellent collaboration and communication skills

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent health benefits, 403b plan and group life insurance.

Start Date: Position available currently.

Application: Phone inquiries are not accepted. Email your cover letter and resume to careers@leapinnovations.org to apply. Please include the position name in the subject line of your email.