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Product marketing questions week #72

Trending Questions

And that’s a wrap! Last week, we veered into enthralling terrain with Product Marketing Off-Piste - and we (and the 7000+ PMMs who joined us 😉) had a blast.

Didn’t catch some of the presentations the first time around? Turn that frown upside down, ‘cos you can catch every minute of the 30+ hours of Product Marketing Off-Piste on-demand.

Among a throng of innovation, excitement, and simply stunning insights, product marketers in the Slack community were also busy sharing their expertise with compadres of the PMM world.

Here are some of the highlights. 👇

If you're not in Slack already you're missing out on a wealth of information, including red-hot tips, great job opportunities, and interesting debates. Get in on the action (for free!) here.

Q: I recently joined a startup and am going to do my first set of customer interviews. I'm wondering if anyone has a good script or set of questions they have found helpful for getting good, constructive feedback?

What I'd like to get at is 1. overall experience with product 2. what is missing / most used features 3. perceptions of the brand (what made them choose our product vs competitors) 4. if there is anything else we can do for them outside of product (e.g. interest in joining a community, being connected with other customers, hearing more / less from us, etc.)

A: “Some general advice: gear your questions toward value, personal goals, and problems to solve. The features, experience, brand, and buying decision will fall out along the way.”

Tom Heys, Product Marketing Lead at Monitaur

“It’s very important to focus more on the problems they have, and how you can solve it. For me, that's  the hard part to get unless it is a very narrowly focused product. I always want to hear from them about the pain first.”

Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at OpenLegacy

“Here are some questions that could help you:

  • How were you tackling this problem before you started using us?
  • What made you choose us over other alternatives?
  • What other alternatives did you consider?
  • What were the aspects of the product that stood out to you the most?
  • Who was involved in deciding to purchase?
  • What was your experience like getting everyone on board? Who did you have to convince?
  • What was most helpful for you in preparing your business case? Was there anything that the seller /website provided that helped bolster your proposal?
  • What would you change about the product if you could?
  • Tell me about how adoption/implementation went? What were the challenges?
  • If you had to summarize in a sentence or two, what is the top benefit you've gained?

“I hope you find these to be useful!”

Leah Langston, Product Marketing Manager at Zapproved

Psst. We have a whole bunch of awesome questions to choose from as part of our Product Marketing Core certification and membership plans. 😉

Q: How can I successfully prospect from specified lists, criteria of business and marketing channel leads that generate a sales pipeline, specific to a long sales cycle within ed-tech?

Also, what’s the best way to develop criteria that disqualify leads, so sales are more efficient in converting?

How do you approach best practices for accurate forecasting and pipeline management within Salesforce.com (which I am familiar with, but not yet proficient) and work with SalesOps to increase sales velocity?

A: “If you are selling to institutions, then the good news is that most purchase decisions and contracts are public info. Some companies will sell you this insight on an individual basis or sales intelligence tools that your sales team can subscribe to.

“Automating an email campaign to qualify leads is quite easy because you can set up direct questions about buying interest.”

Niket Anjaria, Marketing Director at Pragya Systems

Q: Does anyone have partner marketing under the product marketing umbrella at their company? We just restructured our team and I’m now managing someone responsible for the GTM and existing relationships of our partners.

A: “I’ve experienced this setup before. It worked well because so much of partner marketing is co-messaging and PR.

“Someone else managed the relationships, but we sat looking at each other, so it was easy.”

Jenn Steele, Chief Revenue Officer at ORSNN

“We had this at a few companies--Salesforce, Google Cloud. It works quite well, as most of the messaging and marketing can get partnered more easily if your two teams are in lockstep. Also, if partners are a big part of your GTM it’s a no-brainer.

“It’s better to have partner marketing as part of product marketing than say business development or sales.”

Indy Sen, VP of Product Marketing at Matterport

Q: I am currently working in a hybrid Product Manager/Product Marketing Manager role but my role is ‘Marketing Manager’. We want to express that I am influencing the product and working closely with engineering, does the PMM title encompass that or is there a more suitable title? Does it matter?

“My take is to go with PMM and embed your strategic functions in your PMM process. Maybe define an accountability chart or DACI model to show stakeholders exactly where PMM is accountable and driving value beyond GTM execution.”

Nichole Dyer, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Rewind

“It depends. In some companies (less common now than even 5 years ago) product management and product marketing is the same role. In companies where the roles are split up, I see PMMs as an influencer to the product roadmap, but PMs own the decision. In product-led companies (think Slack or other companies with a freemium pricing model), PMM will generally have more influence on the product, since product use is part of the buying cycle.”

Leah Langston, Product Marketing Manager at Zapproved

Written by:

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence is our Copywriter here at PMA who loves crafting content to keep readers informed, entertained, and enthralled. He's always open to feedback and would be thrilled to hear from you!

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Product marketing questions week #72