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A peek inside The Art of Conversation report

Customer Marketing

You might have only just cooled down from the red-hot content in the 2021 State of Product Marketing report we launched recently but we’re here with a brand-new report hot off the press. 🥵

This time, it’s The Art of Conversation - a deep-dive into how revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence are influencing the future for product marketing functions all around the world.

Wanna skip the sample and dive right in? Download your copy. 👇

The report was built in partnership with Gong and Chorus.ai - two leading AI-based platforms changing the game with forward-thinking RI and CI services. We also wrangled a group of interviewees from our PMM network to tap into their firsthand insights of how they’re using tools like this to bolster their efforts.

A massive thank you to Gong, Chorus.ai, and our interviewees for being the superstars they are. 🌟 We hope you enjoy reading the report as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Wanna try before you… download for free? Keep scrollin’ for a taste of what’s to come.

What you can expect to find between the covers

  • An overview of what revenue intelligence and conversion intelligence encompass.
  • A comparison of the old method (assumptions) and the new way of doing things (following VoC).
  • A look at the key features, benefits, and use cases for product marketers specifically.
  • Understanding how PMMs are using voice of the customer to turn conversations into actionable, data-driven strategies.
  • How often PMMs are currently using conversation/revenue intelligence tools as part of their function.
  • The importance of tying product marketing to revenue, and how to go about it.
  • How tools like these might impact the future of the product marketing function.

Plus, loads more!

An extract from the report

As part of our exploration into how PMMs are utilizing and maximizing customer conversation intel, we wanted to find where they stand on company assumptions versus listening to the voice of the customer (VoC).

Are product marketers now moving away from speculative assumptions in favor of black and white  VoC insights - or is there still room for both?

Assumptions vs. VoC: out with the old and in with the new

To find out more about what Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks dubs “an untapped resource” for PMMs, we grilled those on the industry frontline to get their insights.

When quizzed about where his alliances fall when it comes to assumption versus VoC, Jon Lewis, Product Marketer Manager at MongoDB said:

“Assumptions make an ass of you and me. It means we don’t know what our customers are actually saying or how they’re reacting. Not even just our actual customers - it’s about internal customers too, like sales. If we don’t know what they’re saying and what they’re doing, then we’re just guessing.”

When we put the debate out to 200+ PMMs and marketers in the form of a simple survey, Selene Suau Ignacio, Marketing Manager at Witivio threw the ball back in our court by asking: “ the real question is: what was first, the chicken or the egg?” and she’s right - we do have a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg kind of situation on our hands here.

Why’s that? Because, without making assumptions, how are you going to know which customers to approach to listen to their voices? And vice versa: it’s pretty difficult to generate theories or preconceived ideas without some sort of customer-based insight at the origin; even assumptions have roots in fact and reality.

So, what did come first, assumption or VoC?

15% of product marketers surveyed said assumptions should always take the forefront, including Dario Dallefrate, Product Marketing Manager at Guardsquare:

“Assumptions! I can't imagine a VoC that starts without any assumption. For instance, PMMs make implicit assumptions when they select the prospect to interview. Why prospect X rather than Y? Why industry Z rather than industry W?”

For the majority (85%) though, voice of the customer is what should always take precedence in any product marketing effort. That said, when we did a little digging behind these decisions, it seems the secret to real success would be some combination of both approaches.

Here’s what the PMMs had to say:

“In an ideal world, you rely more on the voice of the customer, but I think too often we fall back on relying on internal assumptions because our plates are so full and we don’t have the time we’d like to do thorough customer research.
“If you have a trustworthy internal SME (subject matter expert), it saves an awful lot of time to take their word for it. But in an ideal world, you’d then want to follow that up with primary research to validate the assumptions and put some hard numbers behind them. And it’s always valuable for PMMs to talk to customers as much as possible to hear it directly from their mouths.”

Lea Schweitzer, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at View

“I don't think that relying on internal assumptions is something you should be ashamed of. In a company, I'd assume that the majority of the stakeholders should be familiar with the product, and in most cases, customers would also be - whether by using the competitors' products or your own. Therefore you should take their opinion into consideration. That's why a mixture of the internal assumptions within an organization and the voice of the customers through market research is the best combination for me.”

Martin Rusev, Product Marketing Manager at Gameloft

“I see that in the PMM role, there is always a mix of assumptions and market research. You make assumptions regarding the market and the target audience to select potential customers to interview. Then with the VoC, you surface the uncovered needs. With the results, you make other assumptions to proceed or not with the initial new product idea. Bottom line: I would add the option of both.”

Dario Dallefrate, Product Marketing Manager at Guardsquare

“You validate an internal assumption by data and/or listening to your customers. Bottom-line metrics do not always give correlation. Customer feedback can help to determine that. But sometimes you need to test internal assumptions first to see if you can replicate the bottom-line data: experiment.”

Jasper de Vaal, Product Marketer - Marketing, Development and Optimization at NEN

“I find that any one data channel is not sufficient to make properly informed decisions. The more channels, touchpoints, stakeholders, and inputs that are used, the better the outcome. Being a good PMM requires finding the best path forward, within all the noise coming in from a diverse set of channels.”

Dylan McPhetres, Product Marketing Manager at Sedaru

In true PMA style, you can find all this and way more in the full version of the report. We’ve never skimped on providing you with the best content in the biz and we certainly ain’t gonna start now. 😎

Once again, a massive thank you to our report partners, Gong and Chorus.ai, and to our awesome rabble of interviewees who let us grill them on all things revenue intelligence and conversation intelligence. We couldn’t have done it without you. 🙌

So, ready to sink your teeth into the main course now you’ve had a taster?

Download your free copy. 👇

Written by:

Stephanie Whalley

Stephanie Whalley

Steph is Senior Copywriter here at PMA and you can usually find her crafting content, writing words and sniffing out typos (or making a cup of tea!)

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A peek inside The Art of Conversation report