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5 min read

Product marketing questions week #61

Trending Questions

Another week, another exciting launch!

We've mapped out each key stage of the PMM process: discovery, strategize, define, get set, and grow. This definitive deep-dive into the industry's essential areas are here to help you discover new topics, refine existing knowledge, and enhance your expertise with this comprehensive round-up. Check it out HERE.

Five distinct stages, 33  topics, one Product Marketing Framework.

For now, let’s check out the latest expertise from product markers within the Slack community.

Not in Slack already? Not a problem. Get in on the action (for free!) here.

Q: I’m looking for some advice on how best to train sales on new product releases (not a major launch but new version releases). Any methods that have worked well for you or formats you are willing to share?

A: “I would still use the same format for product training & bill of materials but the main watch out is change management - boring but true!

If it's an iterative update what do they need to stop saying/start saying and update in their sales conversations?

Also, if this impacts your overall brand proposition. Sometimes for releases PMK create lovely slideware but if Sales always use one master deck they'll have to go update that 1:1 with more scope for mistakes and dilution of messaging.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“At Voices, we release new features/updates weekly, and it's my job to train/inform internally as well as externally. We typically train internally in a variety of ways:

  • Preview upcoming releases bi-weekly during Product- led Demo Days
  • Review recent releases bi-weekly during Product Marketing led Update Recap sessions (these alternate with our Demo Days)
  • Internal release review emails on the day of release with a link to supporting communications/documentation
  • Review of releases at monthly Sales Kick-Off Meetings
  • Weekly sessions with Support to review that week's release and address potential customer objections

I know that seems like a lot but often updates (big or small) need to be repeated multiple times across a variety of media before the message/update sticks.”

Mark Assini, Product Marketing Manager at Voices.com

“We do a couple of things. We host a meeting to run through what’s new/changed, why it’s changed, the major benefits, how it compares to competitive offerings, FAQs, etc. Depending on what the change is the product manager will demo the changes or enhancements. Usually this meeting is under 30 minutes. We always record this meeting and put it in our LMS (we use Bridge as a company) and have a track specifically for product releases and enhancements. Additionally, we create what we call a ‘sales talk sheet’ which are internal only documents that are short and talk through some of the things we present during the meeting. These are saved in a central place that sales can access.”

Michelle Lundberg, Director of Product Marketing at NetDocuments

Q: Has anyone held a sweepstakes/contest to drive free-trial sign-ups? I'm considering this for two projects marketing SaaS to professionals: veterinarians and accountants.

A: “We've been trying things like AirPods as an incentive to drive webinar/demo sign-ups and we saw a surprisingly low impact. No difference compared to our typical webinar outreach.”

Jon Lewis, Product Marketing Manager at CIRA

“We've tried swag like t-shirts and AirPods as well and saw little impact. Have seen a much bigger impact with promos offering things like 20% off your first month (this month only!), your first two months free, etc.”

Madelyn Wing, Director of Product Marketing at CallRail

“Maybe you should consider doing a smaller free gift per demo rather than a sweepstake? It adds complexity and people can be skeptical on whether there is a prize. Plus there are additional rules depending on where you're based that you might have to adhere to. I'm assuming it's a high-ticket item you're promoting? Are they footing the bill themselves? If so, it does need to at least seem expensive ($50+), you can always bulk-buy on Alibaba and have your logo on the item.”

Miguel Marshall, Chief Marketing Officer at MeetingAtlas

Q: I’m two years into my role as a Social Media Coordinator. I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s next and really want to get into product marketing. So far, the biggest challenge I’m facing is proving that I’m capable of doing product marketing work. Any advice on how I can make the transition? If I were to work on a side project to show potential employers, what type of project would best showcase my thinking? I’m mostly looking for guidance on where to start.

A: “One thing you can try and do is start creating a portfolio of work that highlights your potential skills in product marketing. I had a colleague create a simple website that she posted her work around content creation, and other topics related to PMM. See if you can also pair up with some within marketing to do PMM-related work during your spare time. Even if they don't have a formal PMM team, somewhere within marketing, they are doing product marketing related tasks so see if you can shadow or help with a project. Good luck!”

Jean-Paul Weaver, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Augury

Q: I'm looking to create case study/success story pages on our website but I'm wondering what's the standard procedure you follow to do this? Do you do an interview with a client? Do you have a standard set of questions?

A: "Typically, I work with our sales and CS team to identify good targets (in the right market, happy customer, good story to tell), then set up a day to do an interview and collect video. You should brainstorm prior to build a basic set of questions, but during the interview just have a conversation with them. During the interview I want to focus on A) what was the challenge/why did they look for a solution B) what has life been like since using our solution. It is always best to get stats from them, for those you might send a couple questions ahead so they can think on it prior.”

Mitchell Comstock, Product Marketing Manager at AkitaBox

”You should first ask yourself what do you really need?. Full-blown case studies or customer testimonials? If you are looking for the latter, I highly encourage you to tap into review platforms to acquire customer testimonials at scale. You'll get to volume faster but you'll also be able to re-use the content dynamically on your web pages and other marketing/sales assets. I can point you in the right direction. Also and fwiw case studies should really only be used if you are trying to promote a specific solution and/or deep dive into a specific scenario.”

Bertrand Hazard, VP of Product marketing

Q: When you’re naming new features, does the Product Management team initiate that conversation typically as part of their process (especially when names are going to be surfaced in the product itself) or does Product Marketing have to force the conversation?

A: "Product, Product marketing and User Research teams are involved. Each area provides a couple of names that are introduced to the user by interviews handled by the research team. The final one will be the most successful with the target user.”

Aitor Abonjo, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Delivery Hero

“In my last company a co-founder came up with names, Product did our job and presented the alternatives and some tests, at the end the other co-founder (CEO) overruled everybody, for 3 months we didn’t get any traction, then we switched names to one of our proposed names and wow, suddenly search engines started to find us and our phones started to ring!”

Angel Camacho, Director of Product at Kidaptive, Inc

Written by:

Emma Bilardi

Emma Bilardi

Emma is a Manchester-based freelance writer. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, and in the last few years predominantly about product design.

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Product marketing questions week #61