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Product marketing questions week #68

Trending Questions | Product Marketing

If you're a member of our Slack community you’ll know first hand just how generous our PMMs are with their knowledge and experience, as demonstrated below!

And thanks to their generosity and experience we got another awesome launch off the ground last week, PMM Hired! A hub for every resource you’ll ever need for a successful, fulfilling product marketing career.

Through PMM Hired you’ll be able to access exclusive content, mock interviews and questions real PMMs were asked in real PMM job interviews.

If you're not in Slack already you're really missing out on a wealth of knowledge, get in on the action (for free!) here

Let’s see what’s been happening this week.

Q: I’m looking for some ideas for messaging. The products that we compete with in our space are notoriously complicated and complex... so much so that many small companies choose to contract out the work to outside firms, or use a manual process. I'm trying to position our product as a "lite" alternative that's easier to use and doesn't have all the bells and whistles that small orgs don't really need. Can anyone think of any companies that do this type of messaging well? I feel like I've run out of creative ways to say "easy to use".

A: “The ultimate goal of why a product is easy and how that benefits someone is around helping them do their OWN job better... maybe try to dig into why we even care it’s easy. The result of this (based on the actual product) may help you say it a bit differently. Is it helping them work better?More efficiently?Excel in their own roles?”

Shirin Shahin, Product Marketer, Consultant, Mentor

Q: I’m looking for some direction as I try to enter product marketing. I have a couple of internships from college but unfortunately, most of the ‘entry-level’ PMM roles in my area want 2+ years of experience. I’m just looking for a little bit of insight to learn what your journey was like. What was your first full-time role out of college? If it wasn’t in product marketing, how were you able to leverage your experience to transition to PMM?

A: “My background is in marketing management - what has helped me since undergrad is to work with startups that allow you to wear several hats and to take on more product-centric roles than the job description may specify. This would also allow you time to learn skills from PMMs and integrate knowledge from the industry you’re coming from. Good luck in your search!

Madeline Grimes, Director of Marketing at REACH

“Out of college I started as a temp in the marketing department doing admin work and helping with getting materials for our ad spots sent in, which was my first step into in demand gen marketing. I was doing that for about two years, while also networking and volunteering to write content which eventually led to product marketing.”

Ariele Scharff, Product Marketing Manager at Hint Health

“I would look at smaller companies or start-ups! I was an entry level product marketing associate (but it was really product marketing, campaign management and corporate marketing). You will be able to wear many hats within marketing, collaborate with the right stakeholders and get that experience!”

Ashley Klepach, Product Marketing Manager, B2B and SaaS

Q: I work as a PMM at a company that is scaling fast with very productive product/eng teams. We've begun launching so many features so rapidly that I need to come up with a game plan for "fewer, bigger, louder" product marketing announcements. Do any of you have a framework you use for bundling feature launches and collaborating with Product orgs on strategic GTM timing?

A: “Many organizations I’ve seen roadmaps for bundle their developments by persona / use case / business pain, which helps translate to value so that might be one way to streamline the story?

In terms of bundling features for a launch, I would suggest aligning with the PMs and relevant stakeholders and categorising product team output into updates / new features / major new functionality and building a scalable launch plan that everyone understands the rationale for - for example, only a major new functionality gets a webinar, but do a monthly recap blog / newsletter announcement for all the latest features using your release notes.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“I’ll get a little theoretical and practical here because I don’t know enough about your company and what it’s putting out. It sounds like a tiered launch approach as well as a tiered action spreadsheet that provides determining what actions you can take for a given tier 1, 2 or 3 launch may be useful to help people understand what is worthy of a bigger splash and what is not. I’ve also wondered whether a software company pursuing agile approaches should have a lower level feature communication as well for all of those things that users would be appreciative of but that don’t rise to the occasion of a specific marketing launch. For instance, Elastic does this and I always liked the comms.”

David Lorti, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Armor Cloud Security

Q: What's the average open rate for your marketing emails to consumers? For example, I work for a company that connects used ag equipment dealerships with people searching for used agricultural equipment (cars.com for ag basically) and we send a weekly email out of equipment listings by theme (ex: Check out these low hour tractors). It's not behaviorally based. Curious what other people see as open rates for this type of email?  I don't know if we're low or average and I’m trying to figure that out.

A: “I work in the education technology space and we typically see the following: new business outreach - 30-40% open, current customers (engagement, etc) - 25%-50% depending on segment.”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education

“For those types of campaigns (generic and recurring timing of send outs) I would not expect more than 30% open rate if the segment being targeted are users that simply opted in. It will change quite a lot depending on the recency of the user being in the platform (new users will open it more). If you can, creating different segments (number of purchases, interactions with campaigns, last visit to the page, etc - even for the same content/campaign) will help you understand what’s the optimal campaign type, frequency, etc. You could then optimise the journey or content easier than just having a big pool of users.”

Aitor Abonjo, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Delivery Hero

Q: Could you please share your approach to feature launches (new releases) for SaaS products, especially if you have 10+ new features and improvements within one launch?

A: Every company I worked at we basically had an agreed upon tiering system (tier 1, 2, 3, etc.) where product managers helped identify which tier a particular feature would fall under. We would then have a different approach for launch, communication, enablement, etc for each particular tier. E.g. Tier 1 receives all the attention in the world, while Tier 3 is a mention on a monthly blog post. The other thing we’ve done is group features for either a monthly or quarterly launch instead of having them be announced every other week.”

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

“I can't really speak from a prioritization point of view as my boss takes care of that and agrees on upcoming features with the developers. The closest we've ever gotten to having a prioritization framework is using feedback from the chat, our customer club (Facebook group) or our sales people when they do onboardings. (Important to mention, however, we don't actively collect that feedback but rather take it into consideration if/when a few people express similar concerns).

I've seen some companies have a public vote board - but in my opinion this can be very harsh if you have a small team - especially if you're trying to do something different than competitors (where people end up suggesting what they already know).

However, from a communication/marketing perspective, we make things really simple for everyone to see and follow with our public roadmap and changelog. They have worked so well for us that we even put them on our important landing pages.

One thing I’ve noticed so far is that on big releases people tend to not notice all the changes. That's why we'd sometimes even send out an email to active trials and customers and even run remarketing Facebook Ads with a short summary video if it's a set of important features.”

Martin Petrov, Head of Marketing at Morningscore.io

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 #68