Chad Kimner

AMA: Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VR, Chad Kimner on Market Research

November 16 @ 9:00AM PST
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Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VR, Chad Kimner on Market Research
Top Questions
How and where do you store your buyer personas, messaging and positioning? What is the format that you use?
I've recently joined a new company and I'm struggling to find out the best way to share new assets with our teams. I was thinking about putting this into some kind of e-book that would become some kind of "bible" about our products (we have 3). Do you have any other ideas?
Chad Kimner
Chad Kimner
Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VRNovember 17
When you join a new organization, always invest in some anthropology work to figure out what works best for the culture and don't assume that whatever has worked for you in the past will translate to new teams. And I might suggest re-framing the question from "storing" to "displaying". How can you merchandise these foundational ideas so that they stay top of mind in every conversation you're having with product, sales or other teams? Consider: * Putting them in the header on the agenda for regular GTM check-ins * Asking someone on the xfn team to name them before you kick off roadmap discussions * Finding ways to bring them to life in posts that describe real-world interactions with personas and how the messaging and positioning spoke to solutions they needed Developing these ideas is critical and difficult work. Keeping them vital and actionable inside an organization is often harder. Experimenting with ways to make them the basis for decision making and ideation might lead you to promising results.
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Chad Kimner
Chad Kimner
Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VRNovember 17
The answer will depend on the size of the organization and the resource network available to PMM teams. Today, my team enjoys dedicated Marketing Insights and UXR teams and so the critical work is writing an excellent brief that clearly defines: * What we're trying to learn? And why it's important to solving a business problem. The reality of large organizations is often that research teams are getting multiple requests for projects with significant overlap in purpose. Clarity around these topics might allow you jump on board another project that has already cleared organizational hurdles and save your budget for other research. * The target audience. If this is exploratory research, the audience may be less socialized and understood across teams so defining great personas for research teams to go find is critical. * Legal, ethical, competitive constraints. We're closest to understanding the challenges research teams may face in getting work into field given limits on what certain teams are comfortable sharing outside the company walls. * An expected plan for socialization. Who will care about the results of the work and how can we make sure we're tailoring the project to generate the kinds of data that will influence your key stakeholders?
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Chad Kimner
Chad Kimner
Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VRNovember 17
The first step is to anticipate this ahead of time by developing a stakeholder analysis as part of your research brief. Identifying potential detractors who may be intent on fending off challenges to their own theories and trying to get buy-in on the project might help down the road as you debate research findings. You don't want to be arguing over methodology and whether or not you "asked the right questions" after the work is done. At the same time, recruit a few senior leaders who can help push back against unfair criticism. Make sure you've got a team who supports the brief and the methods. And seek alignment with them on your conclusions and recommendations during the synthesis stage. Also, be humble in recognizing that most market research is far from a silver bullet. Embrace that ambiguity as you roadshow the findings, while also standing by your own analysis and using the data to support your own arguments.
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Chad Kimner
Chad Kimner
Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VRNovember 17
Because the role of PMM can vary greatly between organizations, your best bet may be to find the company where the PMM contribution is weighted more to inbound, product-development work. I've also structured teams with one or two roles that focus on inbound work across a portfolio while most of my team's energy was tied to GTM efforts. So, I think you can stay a PMM who specializes in research, insights and product development, it just may require digging a little deeper to find the right fit. And, depending on where you are in your career journey, you might consider taking a rotation in a purer research-heavy role (e.g., Strategy, Marketing Insights, Policy) to see if its a better match for your passions.
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Chad Kimner
Chad Kimner
Meta Product Marketing Director, AR/VRNovember 17
I'm going to take this question in a slightly different direction and make a pitch for collaborating with Product (and many other teams) on a comprehensive "Understand Synthesis" as the basis for annual planning/roadmapping. This can be a transformative way for teams to generate better shared understanding and align on market research priorities for the next planning cycle. How it works: 1\ As a kick-off to annual planning, align with Product and other key stakeholders on the biggest questions you need to answer in order to be successful in the coming year-plus. 2\ Scour existing research to figure out what data and insights you can already bring to bear on those questions. In many cases, you might find that you can generate a decent answer to one of your fundamental questions without doing any new research! 3\ Where there are major disputes about existing data and/or gaps in understanding, create a research roadmap to generate new insights that should answer the big questions. Aligning with Product on the research roadmap and more important generating a shared POV on key questions - perhaps without having to invest any more time in answer them - can turbo-charge the roadmapping and annual planning process.
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