Last week, we delivered unveiled our summer extravaganza: Product Marketing Festival. 🔥
Join us June 14th-18th for presentations from the likes of Adobe, Gong, Peloton, TikTok, and IBM, as well as recruitment networking- it’s gonna be awesome.
And the fun didn’t stop there. PMMs in the Slack community shared their questions and insights on topics including:
- How to make an impact as a product marketer
- How to structure a customer insights team
- How to position a B2B product
- How to grow an internal team
- How to develop personas
Take a look at some of the highlights. 👇
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How to make an impact as a product marketer
Q: I’m the first product marketer at the company and don’t feel I’m making an impact. Has anyone else has been through this? If so, has your situation changed much now?
A: “I went through this before and it’s an interesting question. For me, it always boils down to making sure you are creating content, training, etc people actually need and assisting them in every way possible.
“I hold regular meetings with sales team members, customer success, etc. They tell me which competitive assets they need, which case studies they’d like, or which sales enablement they’d like on a given topic.
“After a while, you make sure those things get done along with any strategic executive initiatives and people start coming to you - but it does take time.”
Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at OpenLegacy
“Do you have buy-in from the c-suite? The fact that PMM is entirely a cross-functional role, buy-in is the first thing you need to ensure.
“Next, you’ve got to make yourself available to people in teams such as sales, product, customer success, and help them out. You might be required to do a lot of initiating yourself.
“You can talk to the sales guys and let them know that you can help them with any of their content/ insights need. Walk up to the product team and help them/take responsibility for smaller tasks, such as running a feedback survey with beta testers.
“Talk to the success team and ask their help for conducting user interviews (in return for key insights on upgrading/ upselling/cross-selling), etc.”
Anand Vatsya, Product Marketing at WebEngage
How to structure a customer insights team
Q: What's a good team structure for a customer insights/user research team that you've encountered?
“What I've seen work well is a very experienced person with an experienced manager beneath that person. The rest gets contracted out on an as-needed basis: e.g., focus groups, panel research. Then there's a separate team for analytics.
“I've also seen no dedicated customer insights team. Just PMMs (manager-level to director level) who handle research and a product designer who does research as well. Then the analytics/business intelligence team to help with the quant data. This doesn't work as well because there will be missing capabilities like cluster analysis to segment audiences. No one is truly a research specialist so they don't do everything as well as they could. You can end up with, for example, sticky but completely dysfunctional personas.
“A lot of customer insights work is handled by external agencies or suppliers who focus solely on it. This works really well in startups from what I've seen because a single research report can form the groundwork for pricing, value propositions, etc. moving forward. Saves you from wasting a ton of money.”
Dekker Fraser, SaaS Marketing Consultant
“I’ve seen agency models work really well:
“The PM of a product team would come to the collective of user researchers/customer insights, pitch their problem, and then the collective would decide which one gets to take on this ‘gig’ on a problem by problem basis.
“This ensures that the user researchers/customer insights person most excited/engaged about a problem is assigned that problem.
“They also benefit in that the entire insights are also available as a resource.
“These insights can be shared internally and help communicate what they’re working on to help each other achieve goals and targets.”
Yuting Chu, Product Manager at Taiwan Trade Center Barcelona
How to position a B2B product
Q: How can I position a B2B product that converts existing marketing content into short-form audio clips?
“I think the most important strategy of marketing for all size companies (SMEs) in 2021 and 2022 is content marketing and you add and deliver a good value in it.
“I think you can start with a good go-to-market plan for your target customer pool. Research the market in-depth and search for the reasons companies should engage with your product/service.”
Saleh Khajedalouei, Product Marketing Manager at First Eurasian eCommerce
“You might get some ideas by taking a step or two back and keep asking how? For example, how does your product generate more leads for marketers? How does it nurture prospects?
“The content could also be used to create audiobooks, podcast episodes, and educational video content to support your resource hub.”
Emily Ryan, Head of Marketing at Mentorloop
“You’ll have to try out various positioning statements and then do a short survey to see which one resonates the most with your target audience.
“Hand the votes over to your sales team - they’ll start testing them out in the field with prospects, and pretty soon, you’ll figure out which one works.”
Yuting Chu, Product Manager at Taiwan Trade Center Barcelona
How to grow an internal team
Q: I'm currently the sole product marketer at my organization. My team will grow soon, which is exciting, but I'm thinking about how to structure the product marketing and marketing teams moving forward? There is currently no marketing dept at my org. How are these teams are structured in high-growth startups?
A: “In startups, I usually see someone dedicated to paid marketing (usually a PPC specialist). Then you might have an SEO expert who could be the same person. You might add in someone more on the content/copywriting side.
“The core function of marketing in the early stages is demand generation (B2B) or performance marketing (B2C). You might have to assume the position of VP of Demand Generation. If you don't know anything about demand gen, then that should probably be your first hire, perhaps someone you report to as you assume more of a general marketing role.
“Product marketing is the de facto Head of Marketing for startups because it's a strategic, experienced position. So all the specialized positions will likely report to you initially as you focus primarily on-demand gen rather than product marketing management per se.”
Dekker Fraser, Saas Marketing Consultant
How to develop personas
Q: Does anyone have any advice for reaching out to people to develop personas to set positioning? My boss wants a mix of customers and non-customers. I’m quite an insular person and don't always know what to say to get people to talk to me.
A: “Don’t make the ask about you and your product. Say you want people to share their opinions/experiences/expertise.
“Also consider offering incentives to encourage participation. Something as simple as a gift card is a great way to compensate people for their time.”
Daniel Scibienski, Product Marketing Manager at Ellevation Education
“Create a list of standards questions in advance. It's your cheat sheet and if you need to read them, that's OK.
“Explain these are standard questions making it easier to compile results. Here are a few questions to ask:
- What caused you to become a buyer? This will uncover the problems that made they a buyer.
- Why did you buy from us? Or why didn't you buy from us?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of our product?”
Lawson Abinanti, Vettd Evangelist, Vettd.ai
“We are in the midst of this. And this is what I have found:
- If you are asking for feedback and not selling, people are more gracious with their time.
- Make sure your ask is very crisp. And tell them the why behind your ask. If they know why you are asking them, they are likely to oblige.
- There will be some who will still ignore the message. It’s a genuine ask so nothing to feel bad about.”
Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix
“When reaching out through email or in-app I offer:
- Introduction (including confirmation that you’re not a salesperson)
- Request for feedback/thoughts/insights (people feel important and valued when asked this)
- Recognition of the value of their time (either through the expression of gratitude, or $ incentive to get involved like a gift card)
- An easy out (eg: “I understand if you don’t have time”, so they don’t feel guilty for saying no).”
Harry Woods, Product Marketing Manager at Plexus