Growth is very quantitatively focused and product marketing is qualitatively focused. How do you create a shared KPI between both functions?
Finding the best possible KPI to measure the success of a product both qualitatively and quantitatively is incredibly challenging, and very few companies ever get it right. I have found that the OKR process can be a great help in that process. Specifically, if Growth and Product Marketing share the same objective, they can own different Key Results.
Here is a made-up example:
At Amazon e-commerce, they may look like this.
Goal: To be the first place where prospective buyers search for products on the internet.
Growth KR: To increase traffic and conversion on Amazon.com
PMM KR: To create trust and preference for Amazon.com
The further away you organize the growth and PMM organizations, the harder it is to have this level of alignment.
First off, I love shared KPIs between departments (particularly between product management and product marketing management)! I’m happy you’re thinking this way.
Historically, some organizations did measure product marketing qualitatively. Did XYZ department feel supported by PMM?
Or even in a “binary” fashion. Did product marketing launch the product? Did they train sales? Did they help conduct research? Yes or no?
Increasingly, though, companies are measuring product marketing more quantitatively. How much did the launch impact demand generation? How much did product marketing help increase adoption of a feature? To achieve these goals, cross-department collaboration is essential.
What I like to do is talk to my cross-department partners (e.g., for sales, the sales-enablement leader and VPs; for marketing, demand gen leader and content/brand/PR leaders; for product, our product managers), about two weeks before a quarter starts and find out what their KPIs are. Then, where it makes sense, we offer to share certain KPIs with them. Then, we announce our shared KPIs right before the start of the quarter so we can hit the ground running for a three-month sprint (and often continuing for six months or more) to achieve the shared KPI, reporting back along the way.
There may be times that a product marketer has qualitative goals, but I’d say product marketing (in my experience) has had quantifiable goals more often than not. I think it’s good practice for both growth marketing and product marketing to think critically about how they are driving value to the business that ultimately moves product adoption, user engagement, and subsequently revenue.
More tactically, I’ve often seen growth and product marketing create shared goals on user engagement metrics (e.g. increase user activation by X%) or on product adoption goals (get X% of active user to adopt XYZ product).
Both Product Marketing and Growth Product Marketing should focus on quantitative impact.
Both roles should focus on and track revenue, customer acquisition, and retention, including both lapsed customers (those who are still technically using the platform or service but haven't engaged in a certain period) and churn (customers who have left the platform or product).
The key performance indicators (KPIs) used will vary based on business goals and objectives. To fully understand the effectiveness of growth and product marketing efforts, it is often necessary to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics. However, many qualitative metrics can be converted into quantitative metrics for easier analysis at scale, such as Net Promoter Score, social sentiment analysis, etc.
I would disagree that Product Marketing is very qualitatively focused. I think the challenge that PMMs typically have is that they primarily influence or support the teams that drive impact towards specific KPIs. For example, the most typical KPIs are pipeline/revenue if it’s a product that can be purchased or product adoption if it’s free. At the end of the day, both teams care about the user journey and that’s where I would start in creating shared goals.
Identify key metrics that span the entire user journey, from acquisition and awareness to adoption and retention. This could include metrics such as sign-up rates, website conversion rates, PQL rate (product qualified lead), user retention rates, etc.