This article is based on Jordana’s presentation at the Product Marketing Summit in Tel Aviv. Use your PMA membership to watch the session in its full unedited glory here, and head to your membership dashboard for access to an abundance of other talks and resources.

Have you ever been blindsided by major features or a product that you didn't know about?

Have you ever encountered features that didn't really fit into your product but were included because they sounded cool? We've all been there, haven't we?

A good framework will break organizational silos

Then there's the challenge of working in silos, with product, sales, engineering, and customer success all pulling in different directions.

At its core, the problem lies in not planning and measuring together, and not setting ourselves up for success. A good framework shatters these organizational silos and gets everyone to focus on a single goal – and that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you today.

A good framework breaks organizational silos

I’m Jordana Mozer, VP of Product Marketing at WalkMe. I've been with WalkMe for about four years now, and over the last couple of years, we've introduced a framework for new product introduction and market readiness.

This project has been a source of immense pride for me. While I can't take credit for the framework itself, I've been instrumental in its application. I'm going to share that framework to help you defeat those pesky go-to-market challenges and ensure that your product marketing team becomes a strategic backbone in your organization.

The focus today will be on three key areas:

  1. New product introduction vs. go-to-market readiness
  2. Identifying key stakeholders and driving accountability across the organization.
  3. A five-stage plan to set your organization up with a mature go-to-market framework.

Meet the WalkMe product marketing team

Before we dive into it, let's talk a bit about WalkMe. We're essentially a digital adoption platform – a category that we created. We take a product management approach to how organizations view software, providing them with data on how employees use software and the tools necessary to use the software successfully. We boast over 2,000 customers and 35 million users.

Today, we have around 1,100 employees worldwide. When I joined four years ago, we were half that size. Our product marketing team is fairly new, having been re-established after a reshuffle about a year ago. We've combined product marketing and content marketing into one team, a setup that might not be the norm in every organization but works really well for us.

WalkMe's product marketing team

Our product marketing team is divided into four main areas:

  • First off, we have the solutions marketing team, who focus on our audiences.
  • Next up is the platform team, which works hand-in-hand with product management on all our upcoming releases.
  • Then there's the content marketing team – the creative minds behind all our marketing programs.
  • Finally, we have the expansion and retention team, who work in close conjunction with our customer success group, focusing on customer-specific needs and driving adoption, expansion, and retention.

New product introduction vs. go-to-market readiness

So let's dig into two key areas: new product introduction (NPI) and go-to-market readiness (GTMR). They're two different things, yet they go hand-in-hand.

Ideally, a new product introduction happens about 18 months before the product’s general release. That might seem surprising; I bet you’ve been in situations where you were told about a new product hitting the market only a few weeks before the launch – that’s a nightmare that we want to avoid. Instead, we get in front of the executive team early, so we can properly prioritize our GTM motions as a company.

The second piece is go-to-market readiness, which ideally takes place between twelve and nine months ahead of the actual release. It's an ongoing process, and we'll dive into what that looks like in a bit.

Now, none of this is to say you can't run multiple NPIs and GTMR processes at the same time. At WalkMe, we're probably running about three, four, or even five as we speak. But each one gets its own particular focus.

However, before you even start planning your NPI and GTMR, it's crucial to create a mindset change within your organization. You need teams, from executives to cross-functional groups, to start owning the process of introducing a new product to the market. It's not just about the product or product marketing, it's a cross-functional responsibility.

The goal is to make them accountable. For instance, we want our sales engineers to be as accountable as the product team for ensuring a successful product launch. Ultimately, you want to set your organization up for success and get everyone aligned on what that success looks like.

In short, you need to plan, align, and measure. Let's take a closer look at what that looks like.

The framework

There are two vital components of this framework: the executive readiness team, which is focused on our C-suite, and the go-to-market readiness team, which is more hands-on.

The GTM framework

The executive readiness team is where the process kicks off, where we present a new product proposal to our C-level team to secure their buy-in. This is usually presented by the product and product marketing teams, who secure resource allocation, and then we get to work.