Get unlimited access, starting at $12.42 / month - Get Access

How Snowflake’s Product Marketing Team Develops and Lands Their Messaging

Alex GutowAlex Gutow
Snowflake Director of Product Marketing

As the Director of Product Marketing at Snowflake, a key challenge our team faced in 2023 was launching over 18 top-tier features at our major user conference, Snowflake Summit. This was the moment to clearly articulate our innovation and our vision for the future, particularly in the areas of AI and application development.

Our messaging strategy was crucial. We needed to consider how we stacked our messaging, tailoring it according to audience, use cases, and vertical focus. We also recognized the value of team effort, encouraging everyone in product marketing and marketing to contribute, share insights, and help each other. This was realized through our "lunch time reviews" - casual meetings where anyone could bring a project for feedback.

At the Snowflake Summit, we launched all 18 features, landed our key messages with the media, enabled the field team (Account Executives and Sales Engineers), and delivered over 400 sessions with high audience satisfaction. We achieved this by combining clear, compelling messaging, rigorous planning, and execution. And the key takeaway was - feedback and iteration is your friend. It helps refine messages and ensure they resonate with the audience.

Who this is for:

This playbook is relevant for PMMs who are launching many features at once, though can be applied to smaller scale launches, and need to develop messaging that lands.

What you will learn:

  1. How to involve your entire team in the messaging process: Create an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute their ideas, insights, and feedback. This can be done through regular meetings or events like "lunchtime reviews".

  2. How to master the Messaging Stacking Strategy: Understanding your audience and adjusting your messaging accordingly is key. This strategy helps ensure that your core differentiation is consistently communicated across all levels and teams.

  3. Why to take time for feedback: It's crucial to take the time to collect and incorporate feedback into your messaging. This can make a significant difference in the overall quality and effectiveness of your messaging.

  4. How to create compelling messaging: Focus on your audience's needs and interests, stay focused on your core message, and differentiate where necessary.

  5. How to effectively schedule messaging feedback meetings: Schedule short, focused meetings for feedback discussions. Provide context and guide your stakeholders to give you the feedback you need, not just the feedback they want to give.

Table of Contents:
Playbook Content

The Need to Land Messaging

When we started this project at Snowflake, we were gearing up for one of our major launch moments, Snowflake Summit. This is our big user conference that takes place every year. It's a significant event where we bring a number of new innovations to market and customers come to learn and get hands-on with the features. 

For this particular year (2023), we had over 18 top-tier features that we needed to launch successfully at this event. This is our biggest positioning moment of the year, and the stakes were high to land these messages.

Key Goals

Our high level goal for our user conference was to signal our key areas of innovation to the market and clearly articulate our vision for the future. In particular, for this year, a key focus area was AI and application development. 

More specifically:

  1. Content Execution - Create and collaborate across all of the sessions, launch assets, and keynotes. This allowed us to land our key messaging themes.

  2. Sales Enablement -  Get all of the field team enabled and comfortable with our key messages.

  3. Content Rating System - we set a target for audience-provided content ratings. This was a quality indicator for our content.


Before we jump into this success study, let’s chat about an important concept to keep in mind with messaging.

Remember your Messaging Stacking Strategy

When it comes to landing your messaging, it's vital to think about how you stack your messaging. As our product grows and we branch into more industries, we often find ourselves talking about specific features or use cases. But it's crucial to remember that there is a limit to how much your teams, the market, and customers can absorb.

To develop a message stacking strategy:

  1. Start with the main message: I always start from the top down. I take a holistic view of the business, the company, and the product, and ask myself, what is the most important message we want our audience to walk away with? At Snowflake we want our audience to walk away associating us with AI and app development.

  2. Develop your three themes: I then create three overarching themes that will guide our storytelling. These aren't made-up themes, but ones closely aligned with our product's key features and what's top of mind for our product management leads. Each theme is designed to speak to a different aspect of our offering. It could be something that appeals to the enterprise audience, or something targeting a particular stage of the development journey. It's important to keep these themes broad and flexible.

  3. Assign features to each theme: I take a bottom-up approach by making a list of all the features being launched. I then assign each feature to one of the themes. Sometimes, this exercise might lead to the emergence of a new theme, or cause us to rethink an existing one.

  4. Craft your feature and theme messaging: Once all the features are bucketed under the themes, we start crafting the actual messaging for the features and the themes. This is the fun part where we get specific about the key words or differentiating factors we want to emphasize. The goal is to ensure that the messaging for each feature reinforces its respective theme.

Diagram: How to Stack Your Messaging

For instance, let's say we want to emphasize the security of our product. We'd begin by highlighting that our product offers the most secure way to accomplish a certain task. Then, we'd dive into what makes our product's security features unique. For Snowflake, it was the fact that we offer a single platform, so data never needs to leave the security boundaries and there’s only one consistent security model to deal with. We would then make sure to reinforce this security message in the feature messaging.

This approach to messaging strategy can be applied to individual product launches as well. No matter the scale, the goal is to ensure that our messaging is clear, compelling, and consistent across all touchpoints.

6-Step Process to Developing and Landing Messaging

Our approach to developing and landing messaging included these six steps:

  • Develop Your Workback Plan

  • Build out the Launch Docs and Messaging

  • Get a Bunch of Feedback

  • Finalize the Messaging

  • Perform the Stakeholder Roadshow

  • Communicate Through the Launch

Get unlimited access to the product marketing playbooks that the fastest growing companies use to scale:
Improve your process with step by step frameworks
Get inspiration with real life examples
Avoid mistakes with their lessons learned and tactics
Get playbooks from these companies:
Popular Playbooks
How HubSpot's Product Marketing Team Refreshes Messaging To Improve Sales Win Rates
How Unity VP of Product Marketing, Jon Rooney, Validates Messaging To Hit Product Launch Stretch Goals
How ClickUp VP of Product Marketing Mike Berger Structures Product Marketing Teams (Examples from Marketo, Gainsight, SurveyMonkey and ClickUp)
See more