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AMA: Cameo Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Mike Polner
on Product Launches
June 10 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Launches With Mike Polner, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
Top Questions
What are some innovative launch activities you've done that were successful (or not so successful)?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
One of my favorite activations that we did was super early on Uber Eats was we produced a bunch of fortune cookies with fun fortunes and promo codes in them. Then we distributed them to drivers to give to passengers in the back of their Ubers. The idea was to help convert Riders to try Uber Eats....more
What are some unique external (customer facing) activities you include for promoting a new product?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
It may not be unique, but I think one that both startups and large companies alike don't prioritize enough is a clear, concise PR strategy with launch. Early on Eats we didn't have a lot of money to spend on paid media or flashy integrated campaigns to get the word out, but we had the fortune of ...more
How do you think about the scope or deliverables for various launches? Do you have a tiering system? What factors do you consider?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
I've tried a tiering system a few times, but honestly, have never made it stick. There needs to be a relative sizing of a launch, but I don't think it's so black and white where you can say this is Tier 1 and Tier 1 gets XYZ and this is Tier 3 and Tier 3 only gets X. I think a better way to do it...more
What are your creative ideas, tips, or resources that can help to improve storytelling skills?
I'd love to get better at using storytelling in my product launches. I know of the basics e.g. knowing your audience, focusing on the benefit and value over features etc. but I'm looking any creative ideas, examples, or resources that could help me really sharpen things up and hone my skills. I'd love to hear peoples recommendations and experiences of how they developed their skills in this area.
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
I think the basics called out here are nice building blocks, but a few more tactical examples to help: * Listen to customers. "Know your audience" is too broad of a term, but actually listening to what they have to say - and most importantly - what they react to is key to a great story. S...more
After an initial product launch, how do you think about the subsequent, smaller launches/updates? How does the strategy/channels/process change? How do you identify where smaller launches can be bundled into a bigger story?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
The biggest change between an initial product launch and subsequent smaller launches comes with how you move between truly top-of-funnel tactics into more mid or lower funnel engagement. In an initial launch you're trying to tell people that this new thing that you could have never imagined now e...more
What type of customer research do you do pre-launch to help you have a great product launch?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
Love this question. I take a 1 is greater than 0, even if it's less than 100 strategy here. Talking to any customers is better than talking to no customers. Obviously if you have sufficient time you'll want to gather feedback (qual + quant) on both the product experience, the positioning, and any...more
What systems/tools do you swear by for product launches to keep all stakeholders informed and engaged?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
I wish I could say I have some secret weapon tool that's truly magical, unfortunately, I am just a Google Docs power user. More broadly, I should say that keeping stakeholders engaged comes more from a tight operating cadence than just a tool. This boils down to: 1. Have a clear goal and vision....more
Is it better to do smaller but more regular product launches, or the occasional BIG one?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
Good question! A lot of this nuance comes from what stage you're at and the type of excitement you're looking to drive. A steady drumbleat of regular product launches keeps momentum up - helps shape an ongoing story, and can build excitement up for a big launch. I generally prefer the big splash....more
How do you coordinate and work cross functionally with the product team to create commonly shared KPIs? Any advice on KPIs tied to product launches?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
Broadly, alignment with Product should happen in an OKR or goals planning process at some regular interval. That's the real moment to align with you product partners on what problems you're trying to solve and what success means for a number of initiatives.  More specifically, I push that Prod...more
Do you have a product launch template that shows what teams (and when) to incorporate into the preparation of a strategy/plan? How should I think about that?
Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Cameo
Every organization looks dramatically different, so I don't think there's one size fits all for a template. I would generally say: 1. Understand what problem you're solving 2. Understand what skills are important in solving this problem (ie., you'll need somebody creative, you'll need some re...more
Ask Mike About
  • How to time a launch for greatest impact
  • How to measure your product launch results
  • What people get wrong about product launches