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Product marketing questions week #73

Trending Questions

🎵 Well, 2020’s been frightful, but PMA’s content’s delightful. PMMs have had no place to go, but they’ve helped our community grow!🎵

PMA Christmas number 1 incoming. 🕺

With the festive season around the corner, members of the PMM community gave each other the greatest gift of all: the benefit of their product marketing knowledge.

At PMA, we also embrace the Christmas festivities. Our gift to you guys and gals this year? (In addition to 2020’s endless PMM material, of course!) A handy salary calculator, as well as an invite to our demo and Q&A for Product Marketing Core.

As the year draws to a close, PMMs in the Slack community shared their insights and helped their peers prep for 2021.

Not in Slack already? Well, that isn’t very festive! You're missing out on a wealth of information, including red-hot tips, great job opportunities, and interesting debates. Unwrap one of the most valuable (free!) resources you’ll come across, right here.

Q: I am interested in learning more about activation and adoption best practices for products that are purchased by department leads, managers, etc for employees lower in the organizational hierarchy to use.

Two quick examples include a school district superintendent purchases an ed-tech tool for all the teachers to use, or how a hospital purchases software for doctors and nurses to use.

In some cases, there are compliance requirements that will drive usage with the product. In other cases, how do we best encourage engagement with the end-users? Would love to see articles, hear anecdotes, etc.

A: “I would try to find out about the team/person responsible for distributing the product within the buyer organization, and work with that team to map out an adoption plan, which should probably include: content/tutorials/one-sheeters/onsite lunch and learn/regular follow up for questions, etc.”

Scully Wan, Host Marketing Manager at Turo

“We have a similar situation where marketing buys the tool for the sales team.

“Sales leadership has a say during the purchase cycle. But the reps not so much. To make sure there is adoption we focus on making sure the internal-launch (when marketers onboard the sales users) is solid. This means optimizing the event for the most success. For instance, after practicing this with several customers, we pared down the agenda for the launch as we realized that we were overwhelming the sales team. So now we focus only on things that have a high correlation to adoption.

“We also build client-specific training material. So instead of sharing a generic video of how to use our product, we share videos that are recorded in their instance. So reps have complete context of the feature and things are not lost due to a generic demo recording.

“Also, we try to encourage our customers to do a soft launch with  2-3 reps. This helps a lot. Reps feel that we care and that the tool is not pushed on to them. Some of our clients use high adopters to present to the rest of the team on how they use the tool. Better to hear it directly from your peers than from others.

“Some of our clients have also tried motivational tactics to scale adoption. Give gifts and recognition for active users. I believe, in the end, it comes down to how we, as a vendor, can listen to the reps who are one degree separated from us. If we can engage with them (directly/indirectly), they are more likely to give it a shot.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

Q: I know practicing is a large part of it, but does anyone have any tips around improving our communication or presentation skills internally?

A: “It's painful, but there's nothing like recording a video of yourself practicing and then watching it. Practicing in front of a mirror has a similar effect. Painful but hugely developmental if you stick with it. This is all tactical advice assuming that you have the story you want to tell to that particular audience well sketched out, etc.”

Tom Heys, Product Marketing Lead at Monitaur

“A couple of tips:

Use a template: Similar to what Tom said above, map out what you’ll present. Frame your presentations in a structured way and people will grow accustomed to your approach. Simplified example: What we know, what I will teach you, why it’s important, what you’ll do next.

Stand up: I was accustomed to giving presentations/trainings standing in front of others. When we went all remote and was sitting at a desk, I felt stifled. By standing up and presenting, I feel more natural, less constrained. (Easier if you have a standing desk.)

Smile: Start by forcing a smile or reviewing something humorous/enjoyable beforehand. A smile will change your voice, it helps people become more interested in hearing from you.”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education

Q: I have a question about moving from Sales led to Product led. We are a SaaS business and just starting to embark on this change. The product is not ready for it so there is product development ongoing as well as changes to the rest of the organization. Has anybody been through this change? How do you feel your role changes and what did you have to focus on more or should have focused on more with hindsight?

I am really excited by it especially as I only joined the company as Product Marketing Manager 3 months ago as a new position, so I’m not too embedded in the current thinking/culture and my role is still a bit fluid for me to define. I am finally getting time to take a step back from firefighting and review positioning and messaging.

A: “I am not sure if I know exactly what sales led means. I think you mean services-led. i.e. you always say yes to every type of project even if  it takes you further from your core competencies. The biggest change is in building a product that helps sales find repeatable scenarios, building partners that aren't just service companies leveraging the fact that each job is unique, etc. Plus building product-focused assets that take you to the repeatable scenario path and still being willing to pivot, based on scenarios you see.”

Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at OpenLegacy

Q: I'm writing our About Us page (we're a B2B collaboration software). Anyone have any good examples that don't make you think, "Okay but who cares?"

Alternatively, if you were researching a new tool (say you're trying to find good remote tools and stumble upon us), what would you be looking for there?

A: “ The about page can be a spot for you to literally define what it is you are building. Most people use the home page for "customer value" kind of messaging like "improve your inbound conversion rate. Get started now." Whereas the about page is a chance to get really specific "At _______, we build an analytics platform that automatically identifies why customers are bouncing from your landing page."

Luke Renner, Senior Director of Marketing at Manceps

“This could be a place to describe why you are building what you're building i.e. why other software is not serving your target market well. I'd also softly highlight why you are equipped to solve this better than others - not so much talking about features but more about other unique components e.g., founders with experience in a specific industry or problem.

“Plus, if you are a smaller company with not a lot of brand equity, I'd soft promote some information that would increase confidence among specific customer groups such as funding levels, investors, years in business, customers, and so on. Finally, don't forget other audiences going there beyond customers e.g., analysts, the media, folks looking for jobs, etc.”

Christos Apartoglou, experienced marketing and growth leader

“We are in a crowded and broad space of “Sales Enablement.” One thing we did on the About Us page is to describe “What we don’t do?” And when we had inbound leads a few of them told us that they appreciated that part on the About Us page.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

Q: We're in the process of sourcing PMM candidates and are looking to expand the role awareness nationwide. What are some successful tactics in garnering a consistent pipeline of talented PMM candidates? On top of that, what do PMM candidates find attractive in a product marketing position (aside from salary, benefits, and culture)?

A: “I think one element that job seekers look for in a company or organizational mission is does the work connect with my worldview, beliefs, etc?

"Also, what is the potential for growth: is the gig challenging? How will I have opportunities to develop as a person and a professional?”

Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education

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 #73