Christy Roach

AMA: Airtable Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Christy Roach on Product Launches

December 09 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Launches With Christy Roach, Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable Already a member? Sign In
Top Questions
What are the main components of your GTM strategy? How do those vary by product type?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
Your GTM strategy for a launch starts by determining the audience and “tier” of your launch. I use a framework that has 4 different tiers: * Tier 1: Large, newsworthy updates that happen 1-2x per year. These change the positioning for your overall product, will appeal to your current custome...more
How do you decide what to include in a launch or tie products together if they're not necessarily around a common business problem or for a common persona?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
This is something I deal with a lot. Often, for a large launch, you’ve got multiple product components that you’re bringing together for one big moment. I find that launch teams often have that "more is more" mentality, where our product teams push to get something else completed with the energy ...more
What process have you taken to enable your sales team to demo a new version of a feature while it's in Beta?
- At what point did you allow them to start demoing? X weeks prior to GA? - What training was necessary prior to making the change? Workramp, etc. - When did you make it mandatory for Sales to only demo the new version? - Were there any concerns that the feature might be sold as one thing, then the final product might look slightly different?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
This can be really hard to manage! Like everything, it really depends on the feature and product readiness. I’ve often done this is in a few stages: * Early product development: We start by educating our internal teams on what we’re building, the problems we want to solve, and our target cus...more
How do you manage small product releases that don't warrant a big splash, but are important for users to know about? What kinds of activities and deliverables do you use?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
I count these as “Tier 3” launches which I define as: Relatively small product updates that a subset of your current customer base will care about deeply. You are spot-on that they’re important for users to know about. Usually, it’s a specific group that needs to know about it. For example, we u...more
What are the most successful enablement practices you have conducted in your experience to help assist with small, medium, or large product launches?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
Enablement is one of the most critical and often most difficult parts of the launch. The key to remember is that, usually, the product launch is just part of the overall sales process, and you need to treat your enablement as such. Very rarely will a customer-facing team drop everything for a new...more
What's your favorite launch to date and why?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
Every single launch, even the ones that made me crazy, taught me something valuable. As I’ve gotten more senior, I’ve done less of the launch coordination but I still get deeply involved in our product launches because I believe there’s nothing that encapsulates the feeling, energy, and excitemen...more
When you look at the best launches that you have done, what did you get right that made them so successful?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
I think more than anything, the things we got right were the fundamentals: * Product need: We were launching a product that truly solved customers’ needs. We were crystal clear in our product spec about who we were solving for and what problems we were focused on. We validated that and go...more
How does Product Marketing measure the success of a launch?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
This totally depends on the product. Some launches are meant to grow top of funnel signups, others drive expansion with your current customer base, others reduce churn or expand product stickiness. Your goals should line up with the problems you’re solving. They should also have a tie back to you...more
Who do you typically obtain launch goals from within the organization, especially when matrixes. For example a GM of a business unit, the Product Manager for a Product and the Product Marketing Manager.
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
This is one of those times that PMM’s role as a “connector” shines most brightly. There are so many teams involved in a launch, and usually, they have differences in their POV on what the launch should do. I get goal ideas, questions, and suggestions from across the org, but I’ve worked to keep P...more
How do you track and sequence the activities leading up to a product or feature launch?
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing at Airtable
If you take one thing away from this AMA, it’s that you need a source of truth for your launch activities. Please don’t run a launch without one, I’m begging you. Unsurprisingly, at Airtable we use Airtable to do this. I’d recommend it, it’s worked well for us. But I won’t give you too much of a...more