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How do you coordinate and work cross functionally with the product marketing team to create commonly shared KPIs?

3 Answers
Becky Trevino
Becky Trevino
Snow Software Executive Vice President ProductsOctober 26

Great question. 

To create a powerful partnership between Product Marketing (PMM) and Product Management (PM) it's essential for you to have a common set of KPIs that help you understand whether your work is generating the intended results. 

Warning: For this to work best, it's great for these KPIs to be established as early as you can in the product lifecycle. PMs who wait until the last-minute (think 1-2 sprints before a feature/product will be released) risk not getting the most from this partnership. 

Here's a process I would follow:

1. Provide the PMM sufficient strategic context of your product (e.g. target customer, intended outcomes product will deliver, business case/written narrative)

2. With the strategic context understood, determine which go-to-market (GTM) metrics matter most in your organization (e.g. Monthly Recurring Revenue, Daily Active Users, etc.) These are the metrics that your leaders would look when gauging whether your product is successful post-launch. Often, this data can be found in #1. 

3. With objectives (e.g. what you want to see happen if you everything went as planned) defined in #2, align with PMM on who owns what. For example, do you co-own Daily Active Users (DAU)? Or is DAU only owned by PMM? If DAU is owned by PMM, what key results (e.g. the actions that need to be taken to get to a favorable objective) need to happen for the output to be true (e.g. # of signups need to be X to get to a DAU of Y). 

4. Now that you've documented the objectives, key results, and ownership then discuss how you progress will be communicated between PM and PMM and the broader organization. Here it's important ot establish cadence and who communicates what.

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Ashka Vakil
Ashka Vakil
strongDM Sr. Director, Product ManagementDecember 13

Product teams that don't have strong collaboration and communication with the product marketing team fail to deliver a delightful customer experience. These siloed product and marketing departments that do not work together result in failed customer expectations. Marketing teams without having proper knowledge of actual product capabilities will end up building messaging and running campaigns that either overpromise or underpromise products to the customers resulting in mismatched customer expectations. To provide the best customer experience and grow a product, it is critical for product management and product marketing teams to work closely together. 

I believe product managers (PM) and product marketing managers (PMM) are doppelgangers - product managers build products that solve customer problems and product marketing managers help take the product to prospective buyers and help them understand its value. They need to be in lockstep and the best way to align and hold each other accountable is via shared KPIs. 

Once the KPIs are defined and agreed upon by PM and PMM, it is important to establish clear communication and collaboration channels. This can involve regular meetings (synchronous) and/or asynchronous collaboration via Slack to discuss the progress and goals of the launch or research project. Another way to keep both teams accountable for their tasks is the creation of shared documents and dashboards to track the KPIs and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It can also be helpful to establish a directly responsible person (DRI) on each team to facilitate communication and coordination. Additionally, making sure key stakeholders from both teams are kept informed of the decisions and involved as necessary can help ensure that the KPIs are aligned with the overall goals of the organization and the product.

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Sailaja Kalle
Sailaja Kalle
Gainsight Director, Product ManagementJanuary 10

A seamless way to created Shared KPIs would be to blend and work together on building features. While defining say a PRD, work with Product Marketing team to create a 1 pager on how to market the feature and why it is important to build the feature.

This ensures, we have buy in from both teams - one who wants to build a feature and also on one who ultimately is responsible for marketing the feature that the right problems are picked and being addressed by the teams. This also allows for the teams to colloborate and build the right experiences for the customers.

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