Answering this question has a few sides to it. After all, product marketing, revenue, and analyst teams are all hugely important within the company structure. There are many elements to each team, including some different goals and objectives.
Short answer: Ultimately, every team is working towards the same overarching goal - that of the organization’s success. And internal departmental relationships, whether good or bad, will affect this success.
But don’t just stop here- there’s so much more to it.
This article is sure to help you recognize where you’re perhaps going wrong within your own product marketing efforts and will show you how to revolutionize your relationships with revenue and analyst teams to accomplish each of your goals.
We’ll be looking specifically at:
- How product marketers collaborate with colleagues.
- The importance of cross-communication between teams.
- The benefits of coordinating departmental goals.
- How to align product marketing with company objectives.
- PMM’s relationship with revenue and analyst teams.
- How to coordinate product marketing, analyst, and revenue goals.
How product marketers collaborate with colleagues
In the 2021 State of Product Marketing report, we spoke to a variety of product marketers from different levels of seniority to understand a broader view of what the industry currently looks like.
When asked which team(s) they work most closely with, a vast majority of product marketers said Product (89%), with a similar amount also responding with Marketing (85%) - but there should be no great surprises there, right? In fact, it’s interesting to note that 11% and 15% of PMMs don’t work closely with Product and Marketing respectively.
With PMM being such a cross-functional role, supporting so many other departments within a company, it comes as no surprise that survey participants also cited several other teams they work in close proximity.
Over three-quarters (77%) report working closely with Sales, whilst just under half (44%) directly support customer success.
2021’s findings were almost identical to 2020’s results, except for Engineering. It seems that over the past 12 months, PMMs have distanced themselves slightly from this department; last year, 20% of product marketers said they worked closely with Engineering but this year, only 13% said the same.
NB: Of the 3% who responded with ‘other’, alternative answers included ‘finance’, ‘customer support’, ‘client services’, ‘research & analytics’, and ‘CS enablement’.
The importance of cross-communication between teams
No matter the level of the role, the size of the company, or the stage of growth, there’s one thing that unites product marketing functions around the world and that’s the paramount importance of cross-communication with other teams within an organization.
Here’s what some PMMs had to say on the matter:
“To develop a cohesive GTM strategy, and align teams around it, we must first be great at using other teams’ unique insights and objectives to extract a holistic picture.
“You’d be amazed how often Feature X is a core selling point for sales, yet a suboptimal/deprioritized product experience causes headaches for support, and nobody knows. Just like with customer insights, internal insights start with discovery chats with your various stakeholders.”
Derek Osgood, Founder & CEO at Ignition
“This is quite obvious to me. The product marketing role is about collecting and sharing expertise. For example, insights from customer success might help to craft better sales pitches.
“Another example: insights from sales might help to polish an ideal customer profile, and might help marketers develop materials that cover all possible concerns and questions of prospects, or educate customers on topics.”
Daria Gogoleva, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Xsolla
“I think that product marketers need to be available and ever-present amongst other teams of colleagues. Companies too often shove their PMMs off to the side, effectively making them into a glorified sales enablement team. Product marketers are natural collectors and disseminators of information so clear lines of communication between PMM and other departments can only be a good thing.
“If done properly, product marketing could be looked at as a focal point between key revenue-driving departments and can serve both as a conduit of information between those groups, and as a source of truth for the entire organization on topics like messaging, packaging, pricing, and more.”
Erik Mansur, VP of Product Marketing at Crayon
“Product marketing is at the core of working with different teams and stakeholders across product, sales, and marketing. A tight alignment is crucial, but also making sure that we are communicating all of our efforts so that there are no duplicative efforts, and also so that we can amplify some of our core initiatives.”
Div Manickam, Author, Interviewer, and Product Marketing Influencer
How to align product marketing with your company objectives
In our article on essential product marketing OKRs and metrics, we stated that,
“Ideally, an organization should have an overarching objective that everyone within the business should be working towards. Then, individual teams should be setting their objectives in terms of achieving that overall goal.
“So, establishing strong OKRs for both the organization and your team will give you a clearer vision as to what you’re aiming to achieve and simplify the product marketing process.”
So we know it’s important to align product marketing with your company objectives… but how do we carry this out?
Connect product marketing efforts with their impact
Belen Caeiro, VP of Product Management at Babbel Live, gave a presentation on this topic to help others within the industry to ensure they’re working towards the same goals, and strengthening the entire organizational process.
In the presentation, she said,
“I'm a bit biased here because I came more from the marketing side, but it's really about connecting product teams to the marketing impact they're having. Normally, you'd have agile teams measuring their work depending on the session they're building; typical metrics a product organization would look into. That's well and fine but for us, it was very important to show them they also were having an impact on revenue generation and brand differentiation.
“For instance, we were redesigning our app registration funnel. We asked the product teams, as we were doing the qualitative research of different MVPs we tested, how these different funnel processes scored in brand attributes. So not just the messaging and the design, but also the functionality, we would have users go through the different versions, and at the end, ask them about several brand attributes.
“After four versions, we arrived at an app funnel that scored higher in most of our brand attributes. We were able to show our product teams that it has value to not only look into the direct impact or short-term impact you're generating with this change.
“Not only have I increased monthly active users and the visit to the sale of this funnel, but I've built a funnel that delivers a more salient product position. People after going through my funnel, have not thought, "Okay, one more language translation app, next" but instead “I can connect this specific brand to certain attributes we want to be recognized by.”
How to align goals and achieve OKRs
Here’s a checklist that you can follow to ensure that you’re achieving your OKRs:
- Identify the methods you’re already using. This’ll help you see in which areas you’re lacking, and motivate you to find ones to compensate.
- Find a metric - or OKR- that’ll fill in the gap you’ve found. By doing this, you’re ensuring that you’re covering as many bases as you can, which gives you a greater chance of discovering many potential areas that need improvement.
- Continually and consistently track and review them. It’s okay to put these metrics in place, but you need to truly analyze the data you’re receiving from them consistently to continue improving your product. The same goes for your OKRs. Are you on track to meeting your goals?
- Include your team in the process. Collaboration on the data side of your project will ensure its importance is spread throughout your company and adopted into the standard procedure for your organization.
Product marketing’s relationship with revenue and analyst teams
In our first report of 2022, The State of Product Marketing Leadership, we took a closer look at the relationship between product marketing, and revenue and analyst teams.
Here is a little extract from the report, explaining the insights we received from our product marketing leaders:
Product marketing and revenue relations
Revenue is the heart and soul of any business - period. When an organization struggles to make money, it ceases to exist.
Naturally, most businesses have aspirations of increasing profits, but first, you need to increase your revenue. So, how is product marketing being tied to revenue by industry leaders?
The three most common OKRs used by leaders we surveyed for tying PMM to revenue were win rates (31.2%), campaign performance (29%), and feature adoption (28%).
Other OKRs included up and cross-sell revenue and leads influenced by PMM content (22.6%), sales confidence and product-market fit (20.4%), and active users and retention rate (19.4%).
Erik Mansur, VP of Product Marketing at Crayon said:
“With competitive intelligence becoming a more prominent task for enterprise product marketers, it doesn’t surprise me at all that win rates were looked at as a way to tie product marketing performance to bottom-line revenue goals.
“In the future, I’d expect to see additional competitive intelligence-related metrics bubble up into PMM OKRs, including Influenced Revenue, which makes an even deeper connection - and it comes with a dollar sign attached!”
Product marketing and analyst relations
It’s commonplace for companies to enlist the expertise of external market research analysts to gain an enhanced understanding of market conditions, competitors, and buying patterns of prospective customers.
We wanted to establish whether analyst relations fell under the duty of a PMM leader and what their relationship is like.
Are leaders responsible for analyst relations?
42% of product marketing leaders say they’re responsible for analyst relations, a 5% increase from last year.
The number of respondents who said analyst relations aren’t part of their duties increased ever so slightly, with 43% falling into this category in comparison to 42% in 2021.
How well do leaders get on with analysts?
There isn’t enough of a disparity between the results to definitively say it’s the responsibility of leaders to maintain relationships with analysts.
Nonetheless, this didn’t deter us from exploring the strength of the relationships that are in place, and when we asked leaders to rate their bond on a scale of one to five, this generated an average of 3.6.
How to align product marketing, revenue, and analyst goals
So we’ve established the relationship between each team. Let’s take a look at the overarching goals of each department:
Product marketing is focused on getting a product to market and keeping it there.
Revenue is focused on bringing in sales for the company.
Analysts are focused on measuring company performance and bringing solutions to any issues that teams may be having for overall success.
So, in actuality, these teams do have very similar goals. After all, the main objective of any company is to boost engagement, and product performance, and increase overall sales.
However, sometimes this overarching goal is overlooked for their own departmental goals. Meaning that the departments forget to communicate and collaborate on projects that often could benefit from such efforts. This leads us to our first piece of advice for aligning these goals…
Collaborate and communicate early and often
At the risk of sounding cliche, communication and collaboration are two practices that are crucial for any organization and are in fact included as the main principles each product marketer should have in the Product Marketing Manifesto.
In the manifesto, it says “without the support of all departments within our business, we would - and will - never be able to reach our full potential.”
It’s a simple adjustment. So much so, that you’d be a fool to ignore it.
Work together with different internal teams to effectively align your goals to ensure that you reach these objectives smoothly and successfully.
Don’t forget your customers
One of the largest and most common purposes that should connect your internal departments with their goals is making the customer happy. The aim of each team should be to ensure that the customer is having a positive experience, whether that is with the product or the company itself.
After all, it’s the customer who will be buying the product, bringing in the sales for your company, and giving you the data you need to measure your teams’ success.
Choose compatible strategies and metrics
Working on conflicting strategies, or measuring a multitude of different metrics can be negative for a few reasons:
- It is not cost or quality-effective.
- You’re ultimately not working towards the same goals if measuring different data.
- Using different strategies is potentially going to create different outcomes.
So, it’s important to work with your internal departments and discover which ones will work best for your customer and your teams in order to rake in the best engagement and revenue.
Wanna boost your analyst relations?
Smart product marketers know that you can get competitive insights, brand awareness, and even increase sales if you know how to leverage analyst relations.
Whether you are a startup battling incumbents or an established company that needs to remain a leader, knowing how to work with analysts will make your life in product marketing much easier.
That’s why we’re developing an Analyst Relations Certified: Masters course here at Product Marketing Alliance.
Led by Product Marketing Leader at Atlassian, Daniel Kuperman, this course will give you the knowledge needed to confidently:
👊 Understand the different approaches to analyst relations based on your company's stage and team size.
🔥 Create a comprehensive plan of attack to engage with the right analyst firms.
🚀 Leverage best practices to succeed at analyst briefings and inquiries.
🤑 Ensure your company is well represented in analyst reports and analyst communications.
Don’t miss out!