Last week saw the launch of PMA’s definitive product marketing reading list.
Product marketers from all over the globe recommended essential product marketing titles to help inspire and engage, as you start the next chapter of your PMM career.
In addition to recommending great product marketing books, PMMs in our Slack community have been contributing their questions and collective wisdom all week. Here’s just a few of the topics covered.
Q: We have a good product and are in the process of adding a new way to generate reports. Would the official ‘announcement’ just be an internal email and an email to existing customers? Has anyone prepared a minor product launch for a small feature?
A: “If you have in-platform messaging I’d send an in-platform message and include it in a recurring newsletter (if you have one).”
Sarim Ahmed, Product Marketing Manager at AlphaSense
“I think it comes down to what your customers will perceive as a ‘small’ or ‘big’ release. Sarim's advice to use in-app messaging and updating knowledgebase articles is appropriate but if it adds a lot of value to your customers calling that out more would be great.”
Jerod Greenisen, Product Marketing Manager at SalesReach.io
Q: What are the differences between a sales-led company and a product-led company?
A: “Sales-led is faster paced, highly reactive, and focuses on short-term results and tactics, with a strong emphasis on demand generation pipeline & ROI, while product-led is slow-paced with an emphasis on strategic analysis and mid-long-term results, there’s also a strong emphasis on testing.
“With product-led, you have to be politically sensitive about trying to sell the product without Sales (non-sales-assisted bookings). You want to ensure product-usage information is communicated to the sales rep via the CRM, instead of just content consumption habits, etc. With product-led, you may have a harder time getting alignment on what constitutes an MQL: is every free trial user really worthy of sales outreach?”
Dekker Fraser, Product Marketing Consultant
“I agree with Dekker on the key focus for a sales-led organization, which means optimizing the effectiveness of the sales team and the materials around that (as opposed to product-led where you'll optimize the trial-to-deal funnel).
“For setting a baseline for the sales team you have to break it down into the different stages:
- Pitch and demo
- Negotiation and objection handling
“You have to understand current metrics to establish a baseline, for example, how long does it take for a new rep to be fully onboarded and ramped up? How does your company measure this today? What would the 'ideal' be?
“Same for the other steps. This will require a lot of communication with the sales leader and you’ll need to start mapping out what is today (to the best of your ability) vs what is the 'future state'. For example, you may look at demo conversion rates and try to optimize that (review demo scripts and scenarios, train salespeople on best practices, etc.) or look at competitive win rates and optimize that (create better battlecards, conduct training, etc.).
Daniel Kuperman, Director of Product Marketing at Snowflake
Q: Does anyone have any advice on sharing competitive intel internally?
A: Here are a few suggestions on sharing intel:
- At minimum a weekly newsletter/post where people will consume it (email, slack/teams, etc., so across multiple channels)
- Include CI in new hire/onboarding
- Have a central source of truth so people know where to go to find existing content (the more complex, distributed you are, the more benefit you'll get from tools that help in this area)
“That said, sharing content assumes you have relevant intel to begin with. This should include external and internal intel and some kind of feedback loop so when you share content, your recipients can give you feedback to help you improve it.
Adam Houghton, Vice President of Customer Success at Klue
“Creating a competitive Slack channel is helpful and encouraging all to contribute, works well. Don’t forget to set Google Alerts on your top competitors so you can keep track of competitor news and share with everyone.
“Some CI tools integrate right into salesforce, which is a great way to share info with the sales team. If you have regular sales training meetings devote time to competitive intel and share it in the meeting.”
Robin Verderosa, Product Marketer at Fintechs
Q: Can anyone recommend tools for measuring brand awareness/brand sentiment?
A: “I love branded search terms as a measure for growing awareness. It's easy to get too.”
Janessa Lantz, Head of Marketing at Fishtown Analytics
“If your company uses any sort of intent data, you could back into brand awareness that way.”
Maureen West, Director of Product Marketing at 6sense
Q: I'm thinking about signing up for the PMMC course. I'd love to hear from folks here who've taken the course - I feel like the on-demand course would be more convenient, but I don't want to miss out on the kind of discussions the live course might have to offer.
Hiring managers! Would seeing a certification on a candidate's resume influence your decision to interview/hire them?
A: “I’m currently taking the live weekly PMMC course with Harvey Lee (he's done a fantastic job and also offers a lot of personal lessons learned which are invaluable). I find having it weekly for four consecutive weeks also allows me to better digest the material.
"An additional thing that made taking it live a 'no brainer' for me was that you also do get access to the on-demand materials (recorded video lessons, etc.) so you can review anything you feel like you've missed from the live lessons.”
Kevin Chan - Product and Growth Marketing Manager, ClearDent
“I’ve just finished my one-day certification. I have learned so much more than I expected! The course really helped me to gain perspective on the role at 360 clearly showing the area I am lacking experience. I have also used the insight to build my yearly objectives. At the moment I have no people working for me but I had in the past and I definitely set aside a budget for them to take the course. Really worth it from my point of view!”
Silvia Kiely Frucci, Product Marketing Manager, Wilmington Healthcare