AMA: Google Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform, Madeline Ng on Stakeholder Management

December 21 @ 10:00am PST

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Top Questions
How do you continue to innovate when your product team(s) have stalled and are no longer bringing new developments to the table?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
This is an interesting one where I'd want to understand more. Is the innovation slowdown temporary? What is the cause or strategy behind it? What are the expectations on your organization in light of this? In many ways I see this as an opportunity for your team to step up as experts in the marke...more
How does your company define the difference between product marketing and integrated/brand/customer marketing? Do you see value in having both roles, e.g. Integrated team works more closely with the creative team on seasonal/holiday/brand campaigns whereas Product Marketing works more closely with the Product team on product launches, user research/insights, positioning strategy, etc. I have found it challenging for Product Marketing to own all of this, and often see different skill sets from marketers who are great at creative brand campaigns vs. PMMs who are skilled at positioning a new product and bringing it to market.
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
At my current company, these roles are different and lean on the different skills that you mention! That said, at smaller organizations, or even smaller marketing organizations, you may not have the luxury of having different individuals occupy each role.  If you are in a spot where you aren't a...more
I just joined a new company, and their pitch decks are AWFUL and the sales teams are losing deals because of poor pitches. I'm working with a few key stakeholders to create better pitch decks, but several CSuite team members are apprehensive about trying something new because we'll be filing for IPO soon. They'd rather be consistently bad, then differently good. Any advice for how to get the Csuite team to see that trying a new pitch deck is worth it?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
First off, great job on finding a problem and bringing people together to fix it! I'd suggest having a little bit more curiosity and empathy around why the CSuite members are hesitant. I'm guessing there might be more going around the IPO and that there isn't actually a desire to be "consistentl...more
How to identify stakeholders of a certain product launch? And if the stakeholders change in the process (either some roles become less vital with launch activities pushing forward or vice versa), how to manage that?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
The best way to identify the stakeholders is to identify the success metric for the launch, and then figure out who is directly responsible for hitting that metric. Typically your product manager is a stakeholder, but often you'll have a customer success/sales organization involved and also engin...more
What kinds of ongoing, cross-functional meetings do you think are important to have? Which teams are involved, and what agenda items do you recommend?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
Here's what I have done in the past, but your mileage may vary based on your company. Quarterly: Meet with leadership in your go-to-market teams, product teams, and marketing teams. Understand goals, dependencies, and expectations and make sure you set up instrumentation for tracking success. M...more
What pointed recommendations do you have on gaining influence as a new member of an organization or as a junior product marketing team member?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
Your best play is to show up with an insight backed by data. I think many product marketers over-index on the product and not the market and you have an opportunity to bring market insight into the organization. Being new is actually an advantage because you won't be skewed by the history of the ...more
What approach do you take to build internal consensus among stakeholders when you have limited data to prove/disprove an idea?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
Start by understanding your stakeholders. What are their overall goals? What are their concerns regarding your proposal? And who in your organization influences the decision makers? Once you know what you need, I would determine if there is a way to have more data to support your idea. It may no...more
How do product marketing key stakeholders from other departments change as your company grows?
Ex) <10 employees you meet with CEO and Head of Product—how does this change when you're 100, 500, 1000 employees?
Madeline Ng
Head of Marketing, Google Maps Platform at Google
The short answer is that there are more, and the desires each stakeholder has become more specific! Essentially, as companies grow they have the opportunity to bring in more specialized talent. This could be teams in finance that are focused on products, specialized support organizations, strate...more