All related (47)
Josh Bean
Senior Director Product Marketing, ZendeskJanuary 26

In order to add value, you need to first consider the priorities of the business and the leadership team. You could be doing some pretty great work, but if it doesn't advance the business's priorities it will likely get wasted. Once you're doing work which aligns to the business goals, its a good idea to set goals on a quarterly basis. 

At the end of each quarter or project, put together a summary of the improvements you made, and review it with business leadership. If you have a team be sure you're setting your team up for these opportunities too. Often times these presentations become very long and wordy. Avoid this. A simple deck with key results and objectives should get the job done.

Once you're ready to go to your next job and want to highlight everything you accomplished, you will have all these decks to look back on as a reminder.

Kevin Wu
Head of Solution & Category Product Marketing, AirtableMarch 2

Stakeholder management is an important skill of all PMMs. If you're actively driving an important program or initiative, there are a few tactics you can try out.

1. Organize, structure, and lead regular "cadence meetings" - For cross-functional initiatives, people often don't want to volunteer to be the program manager. If you're willing to put in the work and set up the calendar invites, manage the agenda, run the meetings effectively, and foster healthy participation and collaboration - you'll dramatically increase your influence. These are opportunities to speak up and share ideas. Not an easy thing to do.

2. Reporting - Every important project will require some level of reporting. If you provide transparency at the right level and offer consistent reports on a regular cadence, you can surface issues early and gain visibility. Again, reporting is not often seen as a fun thing to do.

3. 1:1s - You may get shot down but it doesn't hurt to set up a monthly or quarterly 1:1 with senior leaders to get feedback and mentorship. It's not a daily tactic but if you rotate through key senior stakeholders you'll build rapport over time.

4. Customer feedback - There's feature feedback that will come through the software but that doesn't capture customer feedback at the sales level. Sales teams often struggle to collate and prioritize feedback on why they lost a deal. As PMMs, you can help make this a regular report back to the leadership team with ACV numbers attached. Hugely influential.

The other effective thing you can do is deeply understand your persona, solution, product, market, industry - whatever. Become a subject matter expert (SME). Be the person people come to for insights and expertise. There's no quick fix for this. You have to be willing to put in the time to study the market, talk to experts, talk to customers, and get close to the sales team.

Naman Khan
Chief Marketing Officer, BlendJuly 7

It's tough to answer broadly as different business will have different needs but if I were to pick one area that PMM can uniquely add value its: A compelling understanding of the customer.

There are so many teams that have knowledge & insight into the customer but PMM is in a unique position to synthesize customer insight across several areas including product, sales, success, support, market & competition and more. It takes a ton of work and time to develop this level of customer knowledge but if you are able to build it, you will be among a small group of people that can credibly represent your target customer.

No matter what topic is being discussed or who is in the meeting room, when someone says "I've spent time with 8 customers, 3 analysts and our sales team this month and this is consistently what I'm hearing", there is very little that can challenge that.

So, know your customer well. Know why they hire your product, know what problem it solves for them, know how big of a problem it is, know what benefit it provides, know why they don't churn, know how they buy. Know it all. Know your customer and you'll be able to add lots of value.

Natalie Louie
GTM Marketing & Pricing Leader, | Formerly MobileCoin, Zuora, Hired, Oracle, ResponsysJanuary 11

Understand the needs each leader has as they will be different from your CEO to your CFO, CRO, CMO (personas), etc...and mental map what value you can bring through your playbooks, framework and content (customery journey). You are bascially running your own integrated marketing campaign and you are the product. Launch yourself with the right data and strategy that you would want for a successful product launch. 

Build relationships and find your champion in each of their orgs. I talk more about managing different stakeholders here.   

When you present your ideas, make sure you aren't going in cold and that it isn't your first time presenting it. You should have practiced it at least 3 times, already presented it to your champions for feedback, iterated on it and label it draft. By the time you get to your leaders they should've already heard about it from someone else. I talk more about consenus building here.  

When you see one of your leaders and are chatting with them in the office, on zoom or elsewhere -- use this opportunity to present your ideas as questions and get feedback and their thoughts. This will help shape your ideas and keep you aligned with them. Don't let those micro interactions go to waste, they are very valuable! Be prepared with a list of questions you want to ask them and chat away.