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6 min read

Product marketing questions week #83

Trending Questions | Product Marketing

In recent weeks, we’ve launched two awesome certifications, focusing on persona essentials and narrative design - this week, we’ve made a decadent double a tantalizing treble, in announcing the upcoming segmentation masterclass, delivered by Tamara Grominsky, VP of Strategic Growth at Unbounce.

For those among us who can’t wait to discover the key deets, we’ve popped together a sneak peek into the course, taking place March 4th, (9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm GMT); you’ll even have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. 🧠

Register now and unearth a snippet of what’s to come - it’s gonna be magical. 🤩

Until then, put your PMA membership to good use and quench your thirst for PMM knowledge with exclusive access to the highlights from Product Marketing Rendezvous. Not a member yet? You may wanna consider signing up - the benefits are pretty awesome. 😉

For now, let’s check out last week’s highlights from the Slack community.

Not a member of the Slack community already? That’s a shame! Sign up now for real-time responses from fellow product marketers, at absolutely no charge…

Q: What are the recommended methods for surfacing market intelligence from dozens of sales calls that happen every week? Salespeople take notes in the CRM of course, and while that’s good at an account level, it’s not necessarily surfacing trends, comments or questions across multiple accounts.

A: “The tagging and transcript search in Gong is fantastic, but I also go to the call recordings with a specific task or question in mind.

“For example, I specifically listen back to calls that are closed/won or closed/lost against a competitor using win/loss data and use this to build out updated competitor messaging.

“I look into specific industry calls for repeat asks, spotlight functionality, and objections.

“I check buyer personas vs customer size and track questions, where messaging resonates etc.

“Creating a short template of what you're tracking in each call will make this easy to analyze and share as market-level insights.”

Louise Dunne, Product Marketing Manager at Linnworks

“Attend the weekly (recurring) sales team calls, this will give you direction on what deals/situations Sales find the most interesting and where they're having the most difficulty.

“Based on this, go back and dive into the recordings; we use Gong, but I've heard good things about Chorus too.”

Charlie Ferrao, Customer Success Manager at Klue

“I like getting all feedback - notes, call snippets, etc - automatically posted into a Slack channel and keep an eye on the trends and patterns that emerge.

“I use it as a pulse check; in my opinion, this is the most useful reason for every system being so interconnected.”

James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing, Headstart.io

Q: What are your best practices when asking for a case study or testimonials? How do you get quick, positive answers? What would you include in your email?

A: “We've been struggling with this issue, as our clients are usually large brand names with a lot of red tape. Here’s a couple of thoughts:

“When asking, make it about celebrating their success' or something like that - if it feels like they've done something special they'll be more likely to say yes.

“Prepare something they can look at and potentially approve, make it seem so easy for them.

“A last resort is to look into the contract or MSA they signed and reference that in the ask - but that can get dicey quickly.”

Nick Ziech-Lopez, Director, Product Strategy at MessageGears

“Identify CS triggers that are best to ask for case studies, and educate the CS teams about these triggers. This is likely to increase the likelihood of getting timely positive answers.

“Some common triggers: Completion of an integration, fixed ran important bug promptly, discount during renewal, flexibility in adding more users, the delivery of a feature that was important to the customer, or the completion of a training session for new customer users.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

Q: Is it usually the CMO in a large organization who hires PMMs?

A: “For us historically it’s been the Director of Product Marketing who hires PMMs, but we’re moving soon to a structure where a product line GM will hire PMMs.”

Jen Allen, Product Marketing Manager at Granular

“As Head of Marketing, I oversee hiring PMs, but would leave the recruiting/final candidate selection to my Dir of PMM.”

Emma Brooks, Head of Marketing at Wattpad

“It's rare for the CMO to be the lead in hiring in large organizations. They may be part of the process, but generally, it's the line manager over the PMM Group - Director or Senior Manager in PMM or PM that works with HR, creates the description, shortlists and interviews.”

Melanie Karunaratne, VP of Marketing at Ivanti

“Our department leader is our VP of Marketing, who has hiring authority over PMMs and sits on the company leadership team.”

Ben McNelly, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education

Q: Do you have any recommendations for sharing knowledge about your product internally so that your coworkers in all positions can speak intelligently to the value and functionality of your product?

A: “Short videos 1-2 minutes. Tailored to your different internal audiences (marketing teams, sales, etc) - what it is, uniques, elevator pitch, etc. This will allow them to go back and watch again. Email, post on your intranet, use as part of a larger training session.”

Melanie Karunaratne, VP of Marketing at Ivanti

“We have an internal product updates page where we share announcements on projects coming down the pipe and also do a weekly roundup.

“Put together a quick 5-minute video running through these changes with links out to our internal product roadmap, epics, walkthroughs, and sales enablement collateral.

“Also, tag these into different categories which we can subscribe different audiences to; this removes any heavy lifting at our end!”

Michael Simmons, Senior Solutions Manager at LaunchNotes

“We create super high-level PMM Briefs for any major product, feature, launch, and critical experiment. Those docs give a quick overview of the problem we're solving, addressable market, audience/customer, major dev/GTM initiatives tied to it, etc. Then it's about disseminating - post in Slack, do a video explainer of it, all hands/office hours, etc.”

Jon Lewis, Product Marketing Manager at MongoDB

“I host a monthly GTM meeting with the product roadmap, updates, and new deliverables for all departments.”

Tere Kovacs, Director of Product Marketing at uShip

“We have a slack channel but what we find the most helpful is having everyone on our team join in for a “knowledge base session” where we set aside a few hours and collectively update the knowledge base with the latest product updates and FAQs from customers.”

Neil McLean, Co-Founder at Navattic

“In our case, it’s part of the quarterly review and SKOl; even if they don't use it or cut their own  master deck with a script that explains it, always have recordings.

“Work off the assumption that you’re audience has a short attention span. If the content is complicated, videos that are 2-3 minutes in length are great.”

Andrew C.Oliver, Director of Product Marketing and Evangelism at Couchbase

Q: Recently, my colleague and I have developed, or been asked to develop, various surveys for internal and external audiences. For example, sales enablement surveys, new product discovery surveys for customers, market research surveys to prospects/customers.

Does anyone have any resources or best practices for how to approach survey writing and/or qualitative survey methodology? We feel like we've been able to ask the right questions so far, but sometimes we start from scratch and any tips or best practices may help with the approach.

A: “I love that you guys are focusing on this, as I think staying close to customers is often overlooked as a core part of doing product marketing well.

“The key for me has been to keep surveys as short and straightforward as possible.This ensures you are maximizing the time of your respondent to get the best insights possible. Here are some core guidelines I usually go by to do this:

“First, start with the insights you want to gain and work backward. It seems obvious, but it helps to identify filler questions that aren’t actionable. If you can’t act on the info you get back (by informing positioning, product roadmap, sales enablement, etc) then it is probably not a great question.

“Secondly, make sure every question you ask provides unique insights. Don’t ask the same question several different ways - this helps keep the survey simpler, shorter, and more direct about what insights you are looking to achieve.

“Also, don’t ask for info you can get elsewhere. For example, asking a customer to answer a question about the products they use or their job title should be stuff you can get from your CRM or product data without asking them.

“This is specific to product discovery, but make sure the questions are focused on problems they are trying to solve versus what they want the product to do. Focus on their pains and needs outside the context of your solution as much as possible so you can get to the root of what they are trying to accomplish versus how they can accomplish it with your product.”

Lauren Culbertson, Cofounder, and CEO of LoopVOC

“Working backward is the best way to think about research.

“For example, start with a business objective (we need higher conversion rates), translate that to a research objective (we need to improve our messaging).

“All the research inputs (e.g., interview guide, questionnaire, sampling plan, analysis plan, etc.) are evaluated against the research objective(s).

“The research objective also helps you separate the nice to know (which is everything!) from the need to know, and helps you manage survey/interview length.”

Renee Cameron, Founder and Chief Strategist at Reframe Strategies

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 #83