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AMA: Atlassian Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise, Akshay Kerkar on Stakeholder Management
December 22 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Akshay Kerkar, Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
Top Questions
How have your product marketing teams traditionally worked with your demand generation / growth marketing team?
At our company, demand gen is a much bigger function than product marketing so they drive all of the campaigns with our input, but I came from an organization where we lead the campaign strategy a bit more since we had more numbers. Anyone have a good solid process they use with their demand gen team?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
Great question! Demand Gen team tend to be bigger than PMM teams, and also have access to a lot more budget :) Modern PMM teams should consider pipeline (and ultimately revenue) to be their primary success metric. If PMM teams are led based on this approach, it drives perfect alignment with our D...more
What is the best cadence for gathering stakeholder feedback in preparation for a launch?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
Not all launches are created equal, so it’s important to have a t-shirt sizing exercise upfront to determine how large a launch is (and hence what level of effort/mix of activities should be dedicated to launch). Once that’s done, the sooner we can put a launch plan in place, socialize that, and ...more
How do you approach getting approval for messaging from internal stakeholders like Product, Sales, and Customer Success?
What format do you present the messaging for review by internal stakeholders?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
Messaging is tricky, since everyone and their uncle tends to have an opinion on messaging :) The challenge with not having a clear approval process and roles/responsibilities defined upfront is that the review exercise will then typically lead to a lot of churn and take a long time to boot. So i...more
How do you measure your own success in your role? How much have those performance indicators evolved as you grew within your role?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
Success should be measured based on impact to the org, and in B2B Marketing that really means pipeline (and ultimately conversion to revenue). PMMs that take this “full stack” approach to our craft will not only maximize their ability to have meaningful impact at their company, but will also put ...more
I am product marketer for an enterprise-level ERP. I am faced with a situation where I do not have access to the end-users of the software. The account managers are willing to help me acquire the user list but we are debating the best ways to acquire the same. Have you been in a such a situation and done something great about it?
The list of end-users with their details will allow us to target educational product content that will help them do their jobs better. We would like to engage them via such content and also the Product Managers will benefit a lot from this direct access to end-users.
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
The ability to really engage with our end users - whether through 1:1 conversations or broader campaigns - is critical to the success of any PMM team. If we aren’t able to continuously keep a pulse on our users and what they care about, we won’t really be able to do our jobs effectively. I’m not...more
How do you structure your Product Marketing team? How big is it, what does everyone do? How do you measure success of each function/person?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
The structure of any team needs to be driven by the success criteria for that team. At Atlassian, we typically look at KPIs like # of paid users and pipeline (MQLs) for PMM. Enterprise-focused PMM teams typically have a couple more things they need to solve for: Sales enablement, and account-base...more
How is the PMM team structured there by product line, segment, function or by objective (ie. revenue retention, product engagement, etc)?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
The structure of the PMM team is usually a function of the size of the company and it’s GTM model. The “typical” SaaS PMM team has a set of Core PMMs that are focused on product, and usually a sister PMM team in the form of Industry/Solutions Marketing that is focused on solutions for specific ve...more
As a product marketer, how do you handle design disagreements on something you're working on with your designer?
Head of Marketing, Cloud Enterprise at Atlassian
I must admit that design disagreements have been rare in my experience. The best way to ensure alignment is to really think of your design partner as a true partner (vs. just a service role), bring them in early and upfront, provide them with context (e.g. maybe even have them be part of planning...more