As we begin the new year, we’ve been reflecting on 2020 and what that’s meant for PMA, and we’d love your input.
Help shape your roadmap and tell us what you loved about PMA last year, (or what you didn’t love!) and what you’d like to see more of this year.
Is there anything we’re not doing that you think we should? Fill out this super short survey and help make 2021 the best year in PMA history for valuable output.
Speaking of valuable output, let’s see what the Slack community brought to the table as 2021 finally kicked off.
Q: I am gearing up for an exciting product launch and working on building customer interview questions. I'd love to learn from anyone who has had success aggregating the data around interviews what you use to track and stay organized. Do you like to use a survey tool like Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, etc? Collect answers via Smartsheet or other shareable cloud based touchpoint? I've used both, but curious to learn what organizational tools have been working well for others.
A: “Our system is relatively simple yet valuable.
- We use a Slack workflow that generates a survey for the interview note-taker or facilitator to complete. It has the same questions we ask in the feedback sessions plus a space for extra notes/comments.
- That information is then available as a CSV download from Slack. We take this file periodically and update a core spreadsheet.
- Then, because a spreadsheet full of interviews doesn’t make for great reading or action, we synthesize the information into cards, which are Google Slides.
“The process of synthesizing helps us pull out the most valuable information from the interviews, making them more readable and accessible. And then the slides allow us flexibility of moving, categorizing them, etc.
“I include demographic or other logistical information on the slides; I also like to include profound words as a section. These are statements of emotion (positive or negative). The positive gives us opportunities to use in messaging and for confirmation of product direction. Negative ones help us dig deeper into possible product opportunities”
Daniel Scibienski, PMM at Ellevation Education
Q: Does anyone here work with sales on generating new b2b customers - do you help come up with the offers (for example, sign on now and get a free month etc.)? If yes, I'd love to hear any offers you've used? I feel like we're using the same things over and over.
A: “With resonant messaging and a good product, you should be able to generate new B2B customers without using discounts (which can devalue you). Ultimately, the price is never the problem, but what they understand they are (or are not) getting for that price.”
James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing at headstart.io
“We tried offering one part of our product as a free trial for much of last year. I only have a small amount of data, but it wasn’t very effective for us. Most leads weren’t quality. I think if you do offer one part free, then the upsell needs to be obvious and embedded in-product (ours wasn’t).”
Carly Chalmers, Marketing Manager at HigherMe
“I personally don't get involved with discounting at all. That is up to the sales teams. I look for ways to increase the pipe and also to close faster. This mostly is technical content, looking at integrations to partners, webinars. Anything to make us more memorable. I find if marketing is working on discounts then the customers just expect it to keep coming down. If sales negotiates one that is fine and they also can offer other terms or something.”
Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at Open Legacy
“Our sales team determines the actual offer amount. We have seen some decent results from % off new account sign up offers vs free months.”
Amy Owens, Product Marketing Manager at Time Doctor
Q: I’m curious to understand whether product marketing is responsible for creating and rolling out standard product demos to pre-sales/sales engineering teams. Is this common practice in your organization? If not, who is responsible for this?
A: “In our team, I was a Product Marketing Team of one. I came up with strategy, execution, and scheduling for feature rollouts, new product, and enhancements.
“I was also in charge of onboarding new employees with product information such as product walkthroughs and demos.”
Sarah Kilmon, Product Marketing for SAAS businesses
“In my company, I’m the only one responsible for demo content (I’m a PMM team of one as well). Product management wants nothing to do with it and frankly with some junior PM’s I’m not sure I want them creating demo content.”
Brian Dreyer, Head of Product Marketing at Qrvey
“It’s not atypical for PMM to be responsible (or jointly-responsible) for product demos for presales. Often I see PMM partnered with Sales Engineering and/or Prod Mgmt to create the demos. But PMM should definitely be involved in the messaging/positioning of each demo, i.e. is it for an exec audience vs. technical audience, what is the point/illustration of the demo, and what is the desired outcome / next-step.”
Ken Oestreich, Product Marketing Leader and Team Builder for B2B / SaaS
“My experience varied based on the situation, but usually needed some level of involvement from product to ideate a good use case for the demo and create the demo itself, but all things talk track talking points and then further optimizing and making that demo relevant fell to product marketing. We became masters of the demo and then trained sales in the talking points around it to equip them.”
Rebecca Geraghty, Director of Product Marketing, Publicis Media
“In a B2B SaaS space, product usually trains folks on the demo and then marketing shares the high level talking points, messaging, benefits, use cases, etc.
“However, the latter usually stems from product. In a hardware space, I'd say that product may have some ideas for the demo and what you show from a functionalist perspective, but it's marketing's role to define what the narrative and flow of it is. Sales engineering actually builds the demo. It varies based on product and business type.”
Asya Bashina, Senior Marketing Manager at Humatics
Q: I’m currently finding it challenging to get Sales leads to agree to PMM adding questions into SFDC to support win / loss info. If you could only ask one win/loss question of your Sales team, what would it be?
A: “This is a tough one. I can understand why reps don’t want to talk about it. Especially losses. Too much drama and there is no benefit to the sales rep. For wins - How about you include a win questionnaire for the customer and make it part of the onboarding process?”
Gaurav Harode, Founder of Enablix
“I'd do a drop down to select 'primary reason for loss'. Drop down is easiest for reps. Keep the list to 6-8 reasons (price, missing feature, buyer lacking authority, timing delay, etc -- customize to know biz and what you think your loss reasons are today).”
Amelia Carry, Director of Product Marketing, Market Intelligence at Khoros
Q: I'm starting to get involved in developing customer retention/CRM programmes and wanted to check-in if I may be deviating from my core PMM role?
A: “As a product marketer, I have always been split between working to support acquisition efforts and retaining customers. It has almost always depended on quarterly company objectives, although if I saw a real opportunity to benefit retention efforts, I have only been encouraged by execs to jump on it. Definitely a good use of a product marketer's time bc whatever is learned from keeping customers can be brought to the top of the funnel and used to acquire new ones as well!”
Q: Where/how do most of you start your product marketing planning for the year? I’m thinking about my 2021 product marketing roadmap.
A: “I tend to think of it as more of a continuum rather than a yearly planning thing. Yes you might have to map to resources that come available as part of marketing but overall I try to just continually update the plans.”
Martin Bakal, Product Marketing Director and Evangelist at Open Legacy
“I always start with company objectives and then fill in with tactical ways to work toward achieving them. Or, if that approach isn't possible, I'll meet with Sales, Customer Success, and Product leads to understand their goals and how I might fit into them.”
Taylor Blessing, Product Marketing Manager at Limeade