x close
Nothing to display...
5 min read

Product marketing questions week #23

Product Marketing | Trending Questions | Promoted Posts

Remote working tips, pricing plan names, competitor analysis processes and NPS tool recommendations. Just some of the takeaways from the last week in Slack.

As the community continues to grow (we’re over 6,500 members now!), more and more super useful questions are being put forward - far too many for us to cover off in one article. For complete access to questions like these around the clock, get yourself signed up here.

Q: What are your favourite questions to ask salespeople when marketing’s in the room?

A: Great question. Here’s what some PMMs in Slack put forward:

  • What’s the most common pain point you come across during your interactions?
  • What product/solution-related questions do you get that the sales training doesn't answer?
  • How did your customers respond to the assets/tools/etc. marketing has provided you with?
  • In your opinion, what are the most useful and most useless pieces of content?
  • What is the message that you believe resonates the most with prospects during your sales calls?
  • What collateral or tool do you wish you could have?
  • What are the best and worst leads you have gotten in the last quarter?
  • Which tradeshow do you believe was the most/least successful?
  • What questions do you get that marketing could be proactively answering for you or that you need supporting materials to use as back-up?

Q: I’m curious to know how people manage their competitors’ data? What information do you collect and how? And how often do you update it?

A: Lots of great advice came in for this one.

Here’s Product Marketing Manager at Seenit, Ed Stennet’s, process:

“We use a tool called Notion that everyone at the company has access to. They have a default ‘Competitive Analysis’ template you can use. Notion as a tool has completely transformed our business as it keeps everything in one place. Anytime we find new information, anyone can update it. We also use a ‘competition’ channel on Slack where people post competitor info so I can update the Notion page as and when.

“The info we collect by default is:

  • Company
  • Website
  • Category
  • Relevance (out of 5)
  • Summary
  • Deals won
  • Deals lost
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Employees
  • Location
  • Branding
  • Revenue
  • Added by
  • Date added

“We also use the competitor tracker on HubSpot. It’s quite primitive but churns out a marketing score for you and your competitors which can be really useful when looking to improve blogs etc.”

And here’s some more great advice from Zachary Fox, Director of Product + Customer Marketing at Resultados Digitais:

1. We have a mega table that has all of our competitors, their feature offerings, positioning/core messaging, pricing plans, etc. in a Google sheet. This is mainly for our PMM and PM team to use as a reference but we do let others in the company access it if they wish.

2. We have competitive battlecards that are mainly for sales and CS to use in deal negotiations (we have a template but could be better).

3. We started doing what we call “deep-dives” on certain competitors that are our top threats (we just did our first one), where we have two sets of materials: one is a document compiled by PMM + PM that has a robust analysis of the product, their customer, reasons customers choose us or choose them (we run interviews), how we position ourselves and win/lose for different types of customers.

This serves as a reference for product and positioning/marketing actions we may take based on what we find. We then create a “deep dive” sales training asset that is tailored to what we found from that competitor (for example, in this material for sales we created a 2x2 of two key facets of customers and then a custom sales argument for each quadrant on the 2x2. We also created a specific slide to argue for each of our three key industries, etc).

4. We also have a “competitor” channel on Slack where people can ask questions, propose new ones to analyze etc. Usually, our PMM team and/or other salespeople will respond with materials or just quick tidbits.

Q: Does anyone have any recommendations for an NPS tool?

A: Here are a few that came tried, tested and recommended from PMMs in Slack:

And here are a couple that didn’t come recommended but might be worth checking out:

Q: Does anyone have any experience of remote working as a PMM? How do you ensure it works well? Typically, the PMM role requires a lot of collaboration and relationship building, any advice on how to overcome these?

A: This is a really interesting question and we’re actually distributed ourselves, so we have a few thoughts. First off, make sure you find communication tools that work for everyone and make keeping in touch easy. For us, that’s Slack.

Secondly, make sure you’re proactive. Building and maintaining great working relationships is a two-way street and as with any type of relationship - in or out of work - it takes effort. Make conscious and concerted efforts to keep people in the loop and don’t forget to catch-up about general life too, little gestures like “How are you?”, “How was your weekend?” or “What are your plans for tonight?” can go a long way in creating a lasting relationship.

Next up, put things in the diary to make sure they don’t slip. Using ourselves as an example, we have a recurring team meeting in the diary for every Monday. We have ad hoc calls outside of that too, of course, but those Monday ones are sacred.

While we’re on the topic of calls, make some of them via video. It can be easier to connect with someone when you can actually see them and it’s also just nice to put a face to a name.

That’s our two cents’ worth, here’s some advice from fellow PMAers too:

“I enjoy remote work for the reason that when it comes to collaboration and investing time into something it is easier to focus on that time. I will schedule zoom meetings with regularity and have the video cam turned on for communication designated specifically for the task we are handling. This also allows me to focus uninterrupted by distractions when I don't have meetings.”

- Jacqueline Suttin, Full Stack Marketer at Digital Creative Institute

“My PMM team’s in Phoenix, Chicago, London and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our peers in other departments are also distributed. It's about the right tools and schedules - Zoom, Slack, Trello and an open line of communication keeps us connected and provides visibility. Our calls and our Slack channels always have some sort of "water cooler" chat.”

- Rene Hardtke, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Integrate Inc.

“I've done PMM remotely for two companies and in-office for two. Because PMM requires precision in communication, that part lends itself to working remotely, but I found it was on my shoulders to initiate communication in order to be included and for collaboration. The tools above really help if you keep in the back of your mind that you have to take the initiative to keep the communication flowing. Video calls make a huge difference.”

- David Simutis, Director of Product Marketing, Identity Resolution Products at FullContact

A: The common consensus here is you’ve done pretty much everything you should. When naming pricing plans - or anything, for that matter, people often try to be too edgy and although creativity’s obviously great, there’s an important balance to be had and it needs to be clear what your pricing plans actually stand for. We get everyone wants to stand out from the crowd but sometimes, familiarity is more beneficial.

Written by:

Richard King

Richard King

Founder, Product Marketing Alliance

Read More
Product marketing questions week #23