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Product marketing questions week #62

Trending Questions

This week we’re counting down to another exciting, exclusive event!

On November 10th and 17th, we’re giving you the chance to delve into the story of Xbox with the product marketer at the heart of the action for over 12 years, Harvey Lee.

This event marks the launch of Xbox’s new generation of video game consoles.

Take part in 2 x 3 hour sessions across all time zones.  

Tickets are limited! Don’t miss out, book your place HERE.

Staying firmly on the topic  of PMM expertise, let’s check out the latest and greatest advice 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 best practices around aligning internally on terminology. As a fintech company we tend to use “deposit” “transfer” and “send” to describe the same production operation, depending on who you talk to, and in which function. Any success stories about getting everyone speaking the same language within the company?

A: “My example is from a scenario where it was wider than internal terminology and more about a shift in messaging overall from a core platform to persona-based use cases, but if the inconsistency is pervasive and causing business pain you could try these steps:

Start with a project plan - who do you need to influence, whose buy-in and support do you need and can you quantify that this is causing business pain?

From there, running an audit of marketing content sales assets, shadowing customer calls etc, to identify where the discrepancies lie.

Then figure out what the ideal positioning and messaging is by running a positioning alignment exercise such as April Dunford's process in Obviously Awesome and validating with customers to find language that makes sense for their use cases. By building this with your stakeholders they buy into the process and you have validated reasons for choosing one direction over another.

Give a full toolkit - updated assets, a guide for how to use, etc.

To get buy in, running a launch + training helps. If it's a significant change having a best in class version (EG an onbrand updated terminology pitch deck) by a manager or a successful sales rep who can show why it works and how it helped in client facing scenarios is also usedful

Manager reinforcement is key to stop individuals sliding back to old behaviours.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“I've run into this a few times. Aligning with UX and Product about a taxonomy is how I approach it. If there's pushback, you supply some examples of where it's broken deals, caused churn, confused customers, etc.”

Tom Heys, Product Marketing Lead at Monitaur

Q: How do you segment MQLs? Once you do, any interesting campaigns you have done to push them through a funnel to become a SQL?

A: “At our org we start with very clear MQL definitions and bucket them based on responses/triggers. For example, retail MQLs vs restaurant MQLs - both are pushed through different email / nurture sequences, thet may answer the phone call but have low intent to buy - we then handover from sales to marketing to a nurture/intent building funnel. MQLs that are not yet SQLs are also plugged into advertising funnels ( We call them Stage 4) that are value focused and highly benefit/case study driven.”

Xin-Ci Chin Head of Marketing at StoreHub

Q: What is the best article/book you ever read on storytelling?

A: “Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. Entertaining and a great framework/guidance. I'd also recommend Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic - great resource for developing presentations/stories with visual data.”

Eileen Licitra, B2B Product Marketing Master at Inside Out Marketing Inc

“Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly by  Bernadette Jiwa.”
Matt Powell, Product Marketing Manager at Docebo

Q: We're looking to start up a voice of the customer initiative internally and I need all your experience! We plan to start with an initial internal meeting to sort of harness the information and help formulate strategies around the feedback but what else has worked for you guys? How frequently are you meeting? Are the participants ready and willing? Challenges? Tactics?

A: “I set up a monthly VoC meeting where customer-facing teams bring insight. Here’s the intro email I sent the team that provides a nice overview of how it works:

We will be holding a monthly voice of customer meeting for our customer-facing teams to share insights and knowledge with Product, Product Marketing, and Engineering. This is not a feature request meeting, but rather an opportunity for teams to learn more about our customers—a learning meeting.

Each month, a representative from each of our 3 customer-facing teams will bring key aggregated, top-of-the-mind insights following the structure seen below. These insights do not have to be product-related, although I’m sure many will be. The insights can also be around support, a specific experience, lack of information, or even a tool or asset. Think of the full experience to become a happy, buying, and successful TeamSnap customer—with product playing a central role, but not the only role.

For our customer-facing stakeholders, please connect with your individual teams on a monthly basis to come up with the key insights/topics you want to bring to each meeting. It is okay if there is repeat month-over-month.

For product, product marketing, and engineering stakeholders, this will primarily be a listening opportunity for us. We can and should definitely ask questions if needed, but only if it is to learn more about the specific insights.

The meeting format:

  • Sales (10 minutes)
  • Top 3 things that are helping prospects to move forward with TeamSnap
  • Top 3 things getting in the way of your team closing prospects
  • Top 3 areas where the team could use additional support
  • CSMs (10 minutes)
  • Top 3 things that our customers love and enjoy about TeamSnap
  • Top 3 things that are getting in the way of customer delight
  • Top 3 areas where the team could use additional support
  • CX/Support (10 minutes)
  • Top 3 things that our customers love and enjoy about TeamSnap
  • Top 3 things that are getting in the way of customer delight
  • Top 3 areas where the team could use additional support

For further context, here is an article on how Lola runs a similar meeting, although theirs is strictly product-focused https://venturebeat.com/2020/01/26/i-hate-every-meeting-except-this-one.”

Anand Patel, Senior Product Marketing Manager at TeamSnap

Q: I have a Customer Advisory Board question. How do you go about selecting a day/time for a meeting? Is it better to select a time and confirm it works for CAB members or do you use something like Doodle to figure out the best time for the group?

A: “I recently set up a CAB meeting and just selected a time and date. We have members both in Europe and the US and it was easier to ensure they all were participating at a reasonable time. Everyone accepted!”

Ashley Herbert. Product Marketing Manager at Recruitee

“We have typically just selected a day/time far enough out that there was so there was less chance of conflict.”

Brianna O’Hara, Product Marketing Manager at BizLibrary

“I had done both, depending on the style of your company. In a startup where high-touch white-glove experience was important, we called ahead and offered a few times to select from (kind of doodle but 1:1) and picked one that worked for most. At another startup we just selected a date and time.”

Angel Camacho, Product Strategy Advisor at MindVoyant

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 #62