It was business as usual last week as our Slack community continued to deliver top-drawer product marketing expertise, from SEO tips and metrics insights.

Last week, we worked around the clock to deliver the latest in a string of exciting virtual events, Product Marketing Off-Piste - our upcoming 3-day spectacular taking place 8th-10th December, featuring 30+ hours of specialist insights from 30+ experts in the field.

Plus, we're also set to add another hum-dinger of a report to our collection: The 2020 Product Marketing Salary Survey. You can get involved here.

For now, let's check out some of the highlights to emerge from the community in the last 7 days...

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Q: We have one visit merchants’ on our platform and it’s been really hard to reach them for interviews. We’ve maybe thirty such merchants and I’ve been able to interview only two; the COVID-19 situation only makes it worse. The salesperson has been asking prospective merchants if they’re willing to be interviewed and that’s not working. Can anyone recommend any alternative strategies?

A: “Do you lead with the incentive? How you phrase the ask makes a difference. I’d also be curious to find out if you include a link for them to book directly in the request?

“Alternatively, is it possible to reach them via email? I imagine people are more receptive to email than over the phone. Otherwise, what's being said when you ask for an interview over the phone?

“I would put together a script covering the following components: Lead with the incentive, tell them you're only asking a few power users (so they feel special and like it's an exclusive invite), tell them you only have X slots left, make it about them and how you want to understand and learn from their experience, tell them this is not a sales call and there’ll be no trick questions, etc.”

Hannah Shamji, Conversion Research Lead at Copyhackers

Q: What kind of KPIs do you use to measure product marketing success? I know there are a lot of possibilities, but I'm not sure I'm able to evaluate the ‘risks’ of using those KPIs.

A: “This depends on the type of work you're doing. Personally, if you have a brand & demand teams/colleagues, I don't find demand gen metrics to be the most effective way to measure PMM. I think PMM is more strategic & should be focused on more pressing issues. I'd much prefer metrics around Opp Stage conversion rates. i.e. increase Stage 3 > 4 conversion rates by 5%, etc.”

Adam New-Waterson, Fractional CMO at HYE Partners

“It does vary very much on what problem you’re solving. I've been measured in growth by month/quarter for adoption of integrations; # new signups for a SaaS offering; revenue for a SaaS offering; MQL for partnership marketing - there’s no set formula.”

Sharon Markowitz, Senior Strategic Partner Marketing Manager

Q: When starting a new job as a PMM, what are some of the critical questions you like to ask different stakeholders across your team(s) to ramp up quickly and begin adding value?

A: “I started with VP/Heads of teams for each of my stakeholders across the field, marketing and sales to get an overview.

“I asked for an overview of their team, as well as questions to understand what systems/apps/documents were essential in their day-to-day, as well as what reading material they give new hires.

“Add to that, I was also keen to understand how often their team met, where meetings took place, and when. Perhaps most importantly, I asked how they measured success, and what the key things are in their calendar in the coming months.

“It’s also important to understand what's working and to understand what the biggest obstacles are this quarter, and if your goals are missed, what would be the reason?

“Finally, I did a readout to them all to present findings, recommended strategy, and PRMK quarterly goals and get their alignment before I started to roll out key projects.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“You need to ask why we win? Why do we lose? If prospects aren't using our product, what are they doing instead? Who is our target audience? Who are we not targeting?

“If you aren't getting consistent answers to those questions, or if you find that your customers are saying different things than your internal folks, then you know the first problem you need to solve.”

Leah Langston, Product Marketer at Zapproved

Q: When launching a new feature that expands your product positioning, how do you protect the SEO rankings for the previous messaging? Are there specific tools or research you are using to understand the SEO impact of messaging and positioning changes?

A: “301 redirect to a new URL can do that. Although there's a shelf-life for that. If it's driving tons of traffic, maybe don't change that page too much but add a sidebar / in-text / pop-up for the full-featured page? Waiting for some SEO genius to teach me better but that's just what I might do.

“I once created the first major GDPR fine tracker, and before our acquisition, it was #1 on Google and responsible for 33%+ of our site traffic... then we deprioritized our GDPR features. I built a lot around the main content with sidebars, etc. to try and drive leads that way (and it worked sometimes).”

Mitchel Forney, Director of Marketing at I-nnovate

Q: Do you own either ASP or close rate as a goal metric? And if so, what have you been able to point to, to show your impact on either of those metrics?

A: “I’d say this depends on your relationship with and control over the sellers. I would be scared of both of those in many previous gigs, but I also would hope that I could demonstrate impact on them.”

Tom Heys, Product Marketing Lead at Monitaur

“That's a hard one; even if you use an asset management tool like Highspot or Seismic which links PMK-created assets to opportunities, it's a loose correlation (and dependent on sales using the tool).

“I'm a fan of doing bi-annual surveys to the field to capture these direct PMK metrics. We use the survey to measure things like: how confident is the field in their ability to pitch? To win? How helpful (scale) has each asset/tool launched by PMK been in helping them pitch/win? What % of sales agree we've enabled them to beat the competition?

“Then in addition to commercial metrics like win rate and ASP, we set goals around these survey metrics that are much more within our control to influence.”

Amelia Carry, Director of Product Marketing, Market Intelligence at Khoros