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Figma Director, Product Marketing
AMA: Zendesk Former Director of Product Marketing, Andrew Forbes on Product Launches and Release Marketing
June 29 @ 10:00AM PST
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Zendesk Former Director of Product Marketing, Andrew Forbes on Product Launches and Release Marketing
Yes, we do! We use a number of frameworks depending on the tier (T1 to T3) of the launch. These have changed throughout the year as we've grown, but at their core they include the information below... * Core PMM Deliverables - Things like a Messaging Source Document (MSD) which outlines our......Read More
How do you think about the scope or deliverables for various launches?
Do you have a tiering system? What factors do you consider?
Great question! Yes, we have historically used a tiering system that's based on two factors: customer and business impact. These two criterion help us determine if a launch is a T1 to T3 launch. Depending on the tier, the scope of deliverables changes quite significantly. Here's how we br......Read More
Hey - Thanks for the question! Short answer - Early. and. often. Get stakeholders in a room early on and set the cadence with them. When I was at Zendesk, we used a RACI model when it comes to ownership and development of launch assets. Set this and then decide when you want folks to revi......Read More
Ah, Sales Enablement. In my opinion, one of the MOST important pieces of a launch. I have no shortage of tips, but for the sake of time, I'll keep it to four... 1. Align with sales leadership early on your enablement plans and make sure they're a part of the planning process. This will he......Read More
How can I make it easier for my team and stakeholders to work with me on the marketing launch timeline when engineering releases are sometimes delayed?
Any tips for setting expectations and not losing team’s trust while ensuring we have a timeline to work towards?
I think it's safe to say that all product releases come with some sort of delay or scope change, it's to be expected. But, it can oftentimes impact the morale of the team if there are repetitive delays. The biggest thing you can do is be transparent from the beginning. Oftentimes, if you're wo......Read More
This is a tough one! We've worked on so many awesome launches at Zendesk - and as the team who's responsible for our quarterly launch programs, we've had no shortage of fun launches to work on. If I had to pick one, I would honestly say it was my first launch at Zendesk - our analytics produc......Read More
How do you assess organizational readiness ahead of a product launch?
Too often product marketing is seen as a collateral producing engine. But with substantial new launches, we are sometimes the only ones integrating needs, insights, and potential operational bottlenecks across all stakeholders, internal or external. I’m curious both of how you think of org readiness and how you incorporate this dimension into your launch motion.
This is an awesome question. The way we've gotten ahead of it when I was at Zendesk - which has worked well - is by creating an "Operations Council" who is responsible for reviewing the operational components of a launch. This includes reviews of things like billing readiness, pricing & packa......Read More
There are a lot of different ways to prioritize releases - and we're currently updating how we do it right now. If anyone else has any tips, let us know!! For the most part, we consider two things: business impact and customer impact. For instance, if something has a large customer and busines......Read More
What are your creative ideas, tips, or resources that can help to improve storytelling skills?
I'd love to get better at using storytelling in my product launches. I know of the basics e.g. knowing your audience, focusing on the benefit and value over features etc. but I'm looking any creative ideas, examples, or resources that could help me really sharpen things up and hone my skills. I'd love to hear peoples recommendations and experiences of how they developed their skills in this area.
Hey - Thanks for the question! In my opinion, the best way of telling a great story is to really have an understanding of everything you're talking about - especially the heroes of your story. And to do that, it comes down to meeting with the people who are going to use the product you're pla......Read More