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Product marketing questions week #66

Trending Questions

It’s been a busy old week in our Slack community as PMMs continue to impart product marketing wisdom, tips and top drawer recommendations across every time-zone imaginable.

It’s been typically busy over at PMA HQ too, last week we dropped another stellar report for your viewing pleasure and we can’t wait for you to unpack it.

The Competitive Intelligence Trends 2020 is now ready to download - and boy! Did we unearth some VERY interesting data.

Before you settle down with some CI insights, let’s check out some highlights from the PMA Slack community…

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

Q: I am currently doing some staff planning for next year and already I'm looking to build up the team with a content writer and another PMM. However, I was wondering how the PMM teams in your companies are structured? Are there any roles you have in your team? How is the set-up? By country/ topic, etc.?

A: “We have 3 groups and about 40 PMMs. Our groups are Core Product PMM, Market Strategy/Competitive, and P&P.

Core PMM is the largest team. In this group we have PMMs aligned to each of our product offerings and folks look after their respective areas, working closely with their PM counterparts. These are more or less full-stack PMMs.

Market Strategy/Competitive includes our teams that focus on research, competitive analysis/deal support, segment marketing, and industry marketing.

P&P is fairly straightforward, they look after collective P&P-related things.”

Andrew Forbes, Group Product Marketing Manager at Zendesk

“In my last company we had 20+ PMMs. Most were aligned to a specific product and in charge of product performance (new bookings, up-sell/upgrades). We also had a Field PMM group, focused on supporting the international markets but also some strategic segments (e.g. Enterprise or GSIs - globally). Lastly, we had a few overlay PMMs who were domain experts on topics like Pricing & Packaging.”

Bertrand Hazard, Vice President of Product Marketing

“At Snowflake the PMM team had three main groups: Core, Solutions, and Content. The ‘Core’ group was responsible for the main product, main use cases, and competitive. The ‘Solutions’ group focuses on vertical messaging and solution messaging while the ‘Content’ team is comprised of content marketers for content creation, editing, etc.

At Atlassian we have the PMMs grouped by main product area and within each main product area sub-groups for specific product lines. Each PMM team for a particular product line has someone for competitive, campaign and content, etc.”

Daniel Kuperman, Head of Product Marketing, Jira Align at Atlassian

Q: As we all know, Developers hate everything that looks, sounds, smells, like marketing, however, they are one of our most powerful allies to go "viral" inside a company. Do you have examples of companies who are doing Developer Marketing or Developer Outreach in a great way? What are best practices and pitfalls to avoid?

A: “We at Spryker are doing both, Marketing for Biz and Tech people. It usually is a question of information and writing styles. IT people usually don't care too much about the fluff, obviously, but are very interested in numbers - especially if it makes their lives easier. If you can, comparisons to competitors or legacy software also makes things a bit easier. But, hard facts and numbers are the go-to information for Tech audiences.”

Sarah Halbrehder, Head of Product Marketing at Spryker

“I’d say Stripe is kind of my gold standard here, and also GitHub.”

Justin Dunham, Product Marketing Manager at Github

Q: Has anyone had success with templates to communicate with internal stakeholders on a weekly basis? Thinking metrics of interest, updates to important product items (roadmap, customer success). I’m wondering if this type of work is genuinely helpful or becomes more inbox noise.

“No template per se, but we do the following with respect to internal communication:

At the end of each week, our VP of Product hosts a meeting where he reviews work in flight across various product teams, with a light status update on the work and the technical nature of some of it. I attend that meeting and package that in to a more non-technical update, grouping the work in to 3 buckets: shipped (anything released that week, however minor, that had customer impact), probable (releases with >50% confidence of shipping the following week) and possible (releases with <50% confidence of shipping the following week). I email this update Monday morning to customer-facing teams most weeks.

In addition, as releases hit our production environment (live in the webapp), I keep teams informed via Slack through another non-technical #release-updates channel, where I relay written info about the release, along with a combination of screenshots, .gifs, short videos or other assets as necessary. These updates also follow a loose template, outlining the following: features (what has changed), benefits (why the change is important), users affected (specific user roles, specific customer segments), messaging (are we messaging from PMM and how? If not, what can teams say to their customers?)

Depending on how active our development state is across the webapp and how impactful the releases are, the processes above vary in frequency and length.”

Ben McNelly, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education

Q: We’re budgeting for 2021, and I’m curious - what are the pieces of technology you cannot live without? Gong, Crayon, Seismic, Mindtickle, Sendoso are a few in our swiss army knife.

A: “I can't live without Camtasia, an XP-pen or Wacom Tablet for whiteboarding, and Broadcast quality mics. That's for the content production. For herding the cats, Monday.com, to distribute content Kompyte and Highspot. And currently evaluating GaggleAmp for social engagement.”

Angel Camacho, Director of Product at Aerospike

“Our stack:

Gong (call recording/sales coaching)

Sendoso (sending swag/gifts)

Outreach (1:1 emails from SDRs and AEs)

Marketo (emails from Marketing)

Salesforce (CRM)

Sisense (data analytics)

Slack (internal comms)

And, Tray (our platform) - to automate everything!

If I could include other tech, I might include a sales enablement platform (Highspot) and a video hosting platform like (Wistia).”

Sander Buitelaar, Marketing at Tray.io

Q: I’m curious to hear what concrete metrics Product marketers are using as goals/benchmarks? Particularly as you look at next year.

A: “Similar to demand gen - MQLs, SQLs. We’re also tied to pipeline and revenue.”

Sara Arthrell, Global Director of Product Marketing at Brightpearl

“We focus on the number of opportunities, on a source-by-source basis (essentially pipeline) and number of units sold (essentially revenue).”

Dekker Fraser, SaaS Marketing Consultant

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 #66