Katherine Kelly

AMA: Slack Former VP of Product & Solutions Marketing, Katherine Kelly on Influencing the Product Roadmap

December 07 @ 9:00am PST

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Top Questions
How do you advocate for adding a new feature to the roadmap when it's something competitors have launched and customers are asking for, but internally it isn't seen as a priority?
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
A critical piece of information is missing from this question: why isn't it seen as a priority internally? There are several valid reasons not to launch something even if your competitor has it and customers want it - the main one that comes to mind is that it takes you too far out of your core ...more
Our product management team is more focused on timelines, than on customer needs. How do we get them to be more customer focused?
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
This feels like an executive level misalignment of goals. I don't know the specifics in your company but if product management / product leadership is being measured by how well they hit their timelines, then that will trickle down to their teams and be what those teams focus on. This is probably...more
Have you ever been part of a launch where the eng/product team brought in product marketers or customers after work has kicked off (but before launch) and influenced feature development? What was that like?
Sometimes when product kicks off work they have assumptions about how people think about certain features. Marketing, support, and even customers can come to the table with real stories that may invalidate the assumptions product had early on in the feature dev process.
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
I'm potentially not understanding this question - all of the companies I've worked at beta test features and products prior to launch, so product always explicitly solicits this type of feedback prior to a launch. In fact it's a great place for product marketing to get feedback and customer stori...more
What type of marketing activities should be considered in parallel while products are in development?
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
While products are in development the best thing to focus on to get a jump on your GTM is defining the target audience. The specific features may change and that may impact your specific messaging and content etc, but the overall use case should be fairly stable if it's in development so you can ...more
How do you change the culture of your company so that product marketers have more of a voice to influence the product roadmap?
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
The hard way - you earn it.  First, I should clarify that when I think about influencing roadmap, I'm not thinking about it as "getting a feature I think is important onto the roadmap" - if that's the approach you're putting yourself in the same category as every other person who lobs requests a...more
How do you develop a voice of customer (VOC) program when there is only an ad-hoc feedback process in place?
Katherine Kelly
Head of Product Marketing at Benchling | Formerly ExactTarget (Salesforce Marketing Cloud), Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce
VOC is so powerful and it's a great place for PMM to help build that connection between product and GTM. If there's already an ad-hoc process in place, essentially what you're looking to do is add guardrails and formalize a process. Here's three things I'd focus on developing: * What informatio...more