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As a product marketer, how do you build informal relationships with your product managers to stay up to date on things in a remote company?

6 Answers
Anna Wiggins
Anna Wiggins
Bluevine Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Content, Customer ResearchAugust 11

I think this question is relevant for all of us across all teams right now. And to be honest, I don’t have a good answer because in a lot of ways we are all still figuring out this new world.

However here are some things that worked for our team:
- Schedule 15 min Zoom coffee chats with PMs you don’t normally work with to stay connected.

- Be present and active in PM slack channels. Goof around and show your personality when appropriate because when you are remote you lose the ability to get to know people through casual non-work related conversations

- Get access to the roadmap in Airtable, Product Board or whatever tool the team uses, keep track of changes and ask questions.

- Attend prioritization meetings -- even if you are a fly on the wall -- so that you have context for what was discussed.

1104 Views
Jessica Webb Kennedy
Jessica Webb Kennedy
Hummingbirds Head Of MarketingDecember 8

One of the biggest things people get wrong when working remotely is accidentally forgetting to create space for human connection. It can be so easy to end up in a very transactional workflow where you only meet to check-in on statuses of projects and to talk about timelines. This can go on for months when all of a sudden you look around and realize your team is burnt out and disconnected. Something that helps me stay connected with all types of teammates, but in this case my PM is making time for a consistent 1-1 meeting. Of course, we tackle work-related convo as well, but we always spend the first portion of it talking about "life stuff" - when you pause to take a moment and remember the human on the other end of the zoom it creates space to work together while also keeping the human connection intact. We've written a ton of great content about how to maintain bonds when working remotely (something Trellists has been doing for many years), one post my coworker Chris wrote has some great tips on Ways To Make Strong Connections As A Remote Worker.

961 Views
Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Snowflake Head (VP) of Global Sales EnablementMarch 10

Planning ahead for those connects - whether it's scheduled coffee or regular 1:1s or even sometimes inviting them to your team meetings for "fun" is always a great way to build and maintain relationsips - even in this virtual world. And in your 1:1s, don't jump into business all the time right away - make time for bantor and chit chat - too often, especially as we all struggle to combat Zoom fatigue, this becomes especially important. I personally find things become a lot easier / productive when you find common ground with everyone I meet with.

682 Views
April Rassa
April Rassa
Aventi Group Product Marketing ConsultantJanuary 19

If your organization uses Slack, set up "Donut" time. Or simply set up 30 minutes monthly 1:1 with your product managers. It can be informal, build relationships. If you see a report that may be relevant to their specific product area, share it with them. If a customer insight is relevant, share it with them. Build trust and credibility and get to know your product managers personally. What are their hobbies? Do you share any interests? People are people, so get to know the people you interact with daily. 

380 Views
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Senior Director of Product MarketingMarch 17

Although our company hasn't been officially remote, our Product teams all sit in Dublin, Ireland - while our PMMs are all sitting in San Francisco. Of course this physical (and time) difference poses some challenges - we've worked on some strategies that have helped bridge the gap. 

- Make sure to set up regular checkins with your product counterparts. This may not feel informal, but it's important to stay connected - even if there isn't anything immenent to ship to market. Take the time to understand whats top of mind for product. what they wish they had more of, if they had more time. 

- Ask to join their product forums, or product rituals. Even if they are not at a time that works for you, ask they be recorded (especially if important information is being shared). 

- Carve out time to understand your market better, do some competitive research, or customer interviews - and share your findings with your product teams (proactively). 

It may take time to build these relationships, so also be patient - and slowly work on breaking down any walls or being willing to meet product where they are. 

628 Views
Kristen Brophy
Kristen Brophy
ThredUP SVP, MarketingMarch 24

This is a great question! Developing and building relationships with your colleagues is so important, espeically in a remote world. Here are a few ways that I've seen success in building relationships with product managers: 

  • Shared goals. Align on what's most important to the business (e.g. revenue goals, a user growth goal, a feature growth goal) and how each of you (or your teams) will uniquely contribute to those topline goals. For example: If the goal is to drive overall feature growth, will PMM be responsible for driving feature awareness and PMs be responsible for feature rentention? 
  • Common projects. Based on those shared goals and objectives that your teams agreed to in the step above, you and your PM(s) can then establish discrete projects that each of you is responsible for and that ladder up to your shared goals and objectives. Ideally, in your regular cadence of meetings, you can update ach other on the progress and success of each of your intiatives. 
  • Build for the future together by instituionlizing roadmap alignement and product marketing input throught the product development cycle. Since you and your team will be responsible for positioning products and features and bringing them to market, product marketing needs to both understand and input into the product roadmap. This ensures that the products you're responsible for growing will have marketable potential and will be desirable to customers. It also allows you to prepare for when and how to bring those products to market. Establishing a regular, frequest roadmap checkin with your product manager or product team is a good way to in sync. 
453 Views
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