Beth McGrath

AMA: Coda Head of Product Marketing, Beth McGrath on Product Marketing KPI's

March 26 @ 11:00AM PST
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Coda Head of Product Marketing, Beth McGrath on Product Marketing KPI's
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Beth McGrath
Beth McGrath
Coda Head of Product MarketingMarch 26
Good PMM work should always be measurable. It’s easy for PMM to become a catch-all for things that don’t fit anywhere else. Without measurement it’s hard to stick to prioritization and drive meaningful impact. That said, it can be very hard to track Product Marketing KPIs, especially on short timelines. I have found in several PMM roles I’ve held and in some teams I have led that the team can fall back onto output or activity metrics and lose focus on actually driving impact. Setting input metric / leading indicator goals for the team that can be impacted in-quarter is a best practice for measurement within the team and to ensure you’re demonstrating your impact to cross-functional teams and external co-marketing partners. The most critical metrics PMM should focus on: 1. Product adoptions -- If PMM does nothing else, the function should drive awareness and adoption of new product features. For new companies and established companies, the goal of product marketing should consistently be driving adoption for new and existing products. 2. In-Product Activation -- In-Product activation is something that should similarly be owned by product marketing, both from strategy to execution. This gives product marketing the opportunity to segment the audience and deliver targeted messages to different audiences,build and test a content strategy with different customer segments and drive direct impact on product goals -- all with limited budget investment. 3. Organic Passive Reach -- Passive reach is anywhere potential customers or current customers are engaging with the company -- but they are not yet a qualified lead. (e.g. content on .com, blogs, community posts, changelogs, social content, thought-leadership content on external sites) It’s also critical to be clear with cross-functional and external stakeholders the importance of patience with product marketing’s impact. I have found that the metrics I use to measure my team’s impact often take a long time to shift, with both large and small populations. Building a good measurement model, with leading and lagging indicators and strong hypotheses on how the indicators interact is critical. The above three metrics are the most critical for PMM; any other metric in the traditional software marketing funnel can be affected by someone else in the organization, but these are measures that PMM should always take responsibility for.
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Beth McGrath
Beth McGrath
Coda Head of Product MarketingMarch 26
This is a PMM best practice. Any company should have a larger strategic framework that supports it’s future growth. Cascading out of that larger framework should be both product and revenue goals. I think about aligning PMM first to revenue goals, because I’ve focused most of my career in B2B marketing. Secondarily, I’d focus on product goals. The above is how I’d rank the focus of my team’s impact, but I find that in practice the way measurement typically works is that you measure product impact first, and revenue impact second. My input metrics / leading indicators most often align most closely to product goals or are most easily measurable in partnership with my product colleagues, while it can be more challenging to attribute PMM impact to revenue goals. I think about it in two vectors: 1. input metrics / leading indicators <-- these most often align closely with a product team 2. output metrics / lagging indicators <-- these most often align closely with a revenue team More specifically: Input metrics (things PMM can drive directly) 1. Organic Passive Reach (e.g. content on .com, blogs, community posts, changelogs, social content, thought-leadership content on external sites) 2. Organic Active Reach (also sometimes called “hand raisers”) (e.g. lead form completions, webinars, event attendance) 3. In-Product Activation (e.g. in-product notifications) 4. Paid Scale (e.g. advertising, paid social, retargeting) 5. Co-Marketing (e.g. co-marketing with strategic partners, affiliate programs, resellers) Output metrics (things PMM is expected to have an impact on) 1. Product adoptions 2. New revenue 3. Upsell revenue 4. Churn / retention 5. NPS My goal is to take a mix of the metrics above, map them to the company’s broader OKRs and then build out marketing programs designed to move each of the metrics. Starting with the metrics and the quantitative goal for the marketing programs makes both expectation setting with cross-functional partners clear, and the measurement of my team’s impact. 
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Beth McGrath
Beth McGrath
Coda Head of Product MarketingMarch 26
Though I think of PMM as being quite different from traditional marketing, I often focus my PMM teams on a relatively standard marketing funnel. Splitting feature adoption KPIs between product marketing and the product team for a B2B self-serve SaaS requires collaboration and alignment on goals. Here's a suggested approach: I think about it in two vectors: 1. input metrics / leading indicators <-- these most often align closely with a product team 2. output metrics / lagging indicators <-- these most often align closely with a revenue team More specifically: Input metrics (things PMM can directly have impact / deliver) 1. Organic Passive Reach (e.g. content on .com, blogs, community posts, changelogs, social content, thought-leadership content on external sites) 2. Organic Active Reach (also sometimes called “hand raisers”) (e.g. lead form completions, webinars, event attendance) 3. In-Product Activation (e.g. in-product notifications) 4. Paid Scale (e.g. advertising, paid social, retargeting) 5. Co-Marketing (e.g. co-marketing with strategic partners, affiliate programs, resellers) Output metrics (things PMM is expected to have an impact on) 1. Product adoptions 2. New revenue 3. Upsell revenue 4. Churn / retention 5. NPS Other things to consider: Bringing people along: Product marketing and the product management team should collaborate to define key feature adoption KPIs. I typically think about doing this in three separate steps: 1. Collaborate and brainstorm together on the expected impact of PMM, 2. Lead a collaborative process with the product and revenue teams on prioritizing which metrics are the most important, 3. Report out on these metrics on a monthly basis in both Product Management and with the Revenue-focused teams. Keeping a customer-first mindset: Product marketing should consistently bring the voice of the customer to the product development process. There are many different ways to do this. First, you should focus on being as close as possible to the front line sellers and build personal relationships with them. Second, PMM should build channels where customers can give product managers direct feedback like customer roundtables and advisory boards. Third, PMM should interact with customers whenever possible by presenting things like product roadmaps, doing live product demos in customer meetings and attending industry events.
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