All related (96)
Andrew Forbes
Director, Product Marketing, FigmaJune 29

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 working closely with your product teams, you can get a sense if things may slip and dates may change. When you get that feeling, it's important to have a conversation with your PMs about it so that you can relay information to your team as soon as possible.

I have three tips...

First, turn delays into a positive. Not always possible, but when you can, it's a big help. For instance, if a launch slips a month or quarter, position it to the group as an opportunity to do that extra thing on the website that could help increase conversion or write those extra blog posts to be used in social that could drive better awareness. Again, it's not always possible, especially if you work for a larger business where teams workloads are planned out, but it can help. 

Second, always come with a new plan. This goes hand in hand with the above point, but if you hear from your PMs that a launch is delayed, make sure to go to your stakeholders with new dates and timelines - echoing that they have more time to build out these deliverables.

Third, drive home the point that building software or launching new products is really, really hard. Oftentimes, development teams hit unforeseen complications that delay things - it's to be expected. From the beginning, set this tone with the team and let them know that there may be changes in scope and that it's important to be flexible, because at the end of the day whatever you're launching is going to have a great impact on your business or customers. 

Priya Patel
Vice President Product Marketing, TripActionsMarch 16

I've never worked anywhere where releases don't get delayed - delays happen. The best you can do is to stay in as close communication with your key stakeholders as possible - informing them of updates in real-time. You won't lose trust with your team if you're open and honest: put a stake in the ground and establish a launch date if there isn't one, so that everyone can start planning their respective workstreams and you can ensure a successful launch. But also clearly communicate that there's a chance the date may slip. You can hold a launch planning session on a regular cadence (every week, leading up to a critical launch) where you bring stakeholders together to discuss latest timelines and workstream updates.

Leah Brite
Head of Product Marketing, Core Product, GustoApril 27

My advice is to separate the ship and launch functions. In my experience when they are paired together, there is so much unproductive internal thrash when eng encounters delays and all the downstream teams have to re-adjust their plans. Instead, group new products and features into larger campaigns where if something doesn’t get released on time, you still have a compelling story to tell and your campaign doesn’t get derailed. Set expectations that all features must ship by X date to be included in the campaign.

This also has the benefit of creating more impactful launch moments where you can tell a bigger, richer story about the value you are delivering to customers through a plethora of new offerings.

Jodi Innerfield
Senior Director, Product Marketing, Salesforce
First--well done for having a post-mortem! It's really easy to just get caught up in the next thing that comes along, but post-mortems are super important! This is your time to reflect on the launch planning, the launch itself, and whatever happens next.  Launch Planning Reflection - Get feedback from stakeholders involved in the planning. Did everyone have what they need to do their jobs? Was there adequate time to get everything done? Were the right people involved from the beginning or at the right time? This information should inform changes in your bill of materials or launch plannin...
Sherry Wu
Director, Product Marketing, MaintainX | Formerly Samsara, Comfy, Cisco
The tactics behind a product launch all boil down to three strategic questions:  1. Why does this matter for the business? 2. - 3. Why does this matter for your customers? 4. Why now? These are deceptively simple, but think about all of the answers that you need to have.  Having the answers to these two questions will determine This will determine the resources that you put into a launch, how you promote it, and who you promote it
Mary (Shirley) Sheehan
Group Manager, Engagement & Retention Campaigns, Adobe
Ideally, it's a combination of the GM, product management and product marketing. The GM would set the overall business goals for the year or quarter including revenue. The PM often drives the product launch adoption and revenue goals for that product. PMM often builds the plan with the metrics to help back into those goals.  The important thing is that if you see a gap, make sure that someone is owning all of these goals, otherwise, it will be meaningless to have launch metrics. 
Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
Not sure I completely answer the question. Typically when I ask candidates to give a presentation, it's less about the specific products they're presenting, but rather HOW they present it. Can the candidate articulate how they effectively approached their GTM strategy, from ideation to execution and beyond. Can they effectively launch a product/feature and properly engage the right cross-functional partners to make that launch a success? Are they outcome-oriented and think about the metrics they're trying to drive with a given launch? Those are just a few things that I would be looking for ...
Manav Khurana
GM & SVP Product Growth, New Relic
First the failure mode (for contrast): PMM does a kick ass job with product decks and slicks. There is a training session where some people seem to be paying attention, but most people are distracted by their day-to-day job of sales. Then when a sales person gets an opportunity, they ask the PMM or PM to come in and help. Or worse, the sales lead complains at the company QBR that her team is not enabled properly.    What I think is better: Start with what's in it for the sales person... Is it higher deal value to satisfy quota? Higher win rate? Then, think through how your sales people...
Brianne Shally
Head of Product Marketing, Nextdoor
Sharing the product roadmap externally is a great way to share the company's vision, investment in innovation, and upcoming features to get prospects and customers excited about the potential. It can be a strong selling tool to get prospects on board and a resource to get current customers to invest more. What's important is that the roadmap isn't standing on it own, but partnered with an overall vision to show how product efforts later up to a great vision. This is where Product Marketing can play a strong role in storytelling and positioning to bring it all together. I've seen this execut...