Let's say for a product like Slack, how would you leverage marketing, product, sales and CS functions to increase Slack adoption across the company. I read this article on how IBM adopted Slack (https://medium.com/design-ibm/listen-to-the-wild-ducks-how-ibm-adopted-slack-2bcfd3732680) and I was wondering how the product marketing team at Slack would formulate it?
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Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, AirtableNovember 17

I can’t speak for how a team at a company I haven’t worked for but here’s how I’ve seen land and expand work well in the past. The TL;DR is that your land strategy should be very focused on the initial purchase/use of your product and your expand strategy should focus on building on momentum from the existing product and making clear that expanding the use of your products will provide exponential value for your customers.

With a “land” strategy, the big goal is to start small/manageable, especially if your customer is a small team. A land strategy is focused on getting the first foothold in a company. For us at Airtable, our “land” happens with the first use case that you decide to use Airtable to help you manage (ex: content calendars). When I was at Envoy, our focus was landing in our first product line, Visitors, and expanding from there. Tactically, the things you need for the “land” portion of land and expand is a strong acquisition strategy, an onboarding process that is as easy and frictionless as possible, and, as much as you can, messaging and information that tells the user up front that there is more to your product for the customer to discover so you can seed expansion from the get-go.

For the expand strategy, the key is to make it easy for your product to spread. You can do this via a sharing and collaboration model, like Airtable, where you invite more team members to join you in the tool, via a feature-gating model where you incentivize customers to upgrade to higher tier plans for access to more advanced features, or via multi-product where you try to get your current customers of one product to start using another of your available products.

There are two major ways expand happens:

  • Natural, easy growth within one team or company: The goal here is to make it so the user doesn’t even really think about expansion. Make it easy in your product to add more teammates, or to quickly try a new feature for a period of time that’s on a higher tier plan. You want the customer to expand because they’re seeing increasing value from the product, and all the communication you send via email or in product upsells are focused on the value and what someone can do with the product, rather than a hard upsell. 
  • Viral growth and consolidation: At larger companies, you often have ‘pockets’ of usage of a tool across teams or locations. Usually, these teams have signed up for your product independently of one another without knowledge that anyone from their company is using the product. Once that growth becomes large enough, a sales team can come in and chat with a decision maker (often IT) to consolidate the use of the tool and give administrators more control over usage.
Claire Maynard
Marketing, MagicalFebruary 10

I cannot speak to how the Slack team built their land and expand strategy but I can speak to how I understand and think about the strategy at Atlassian. 

We have two methods of land and expand. 

1) Product expansion - a user, let's say a product manager, lands in one product, Jira, and finds a ton of value. They then discover that Atlassian also offers Confluence, a knowledge management product that they can also use, so they expand into that. Then they discover one of the new products in our portfolio, Jira Product Discovery, designed specifically for product managers, so they adopt that. In this case, the same user expands from product A (Jira) to product B (Confluence) to product C (Jira Product Discovery). 

2) Team/Company expansion - Let's say a product team is using Confluence to write up their product specs. They share a spec with their product marketing counterparts to consume for an upcoming launch. The product marketing team quickly sees how they may be able to use Confluence for their own needs such as writing messaging or sharing customer interviews. In this case, Confluence has expanded from team A (product) team B (marketing) and so on.

This is Atlassian's bread and butter and it doesn't happen by accident. All teams including product, marketing, sales, and CS are aligned and focused on accelerating this motion. 

On my new products team specifically, we think a lot about our land and expand strategy. Many of the products in my portfolio were built by thinking through our existing audience needs and jobs to be done, and how we could solve for them.  

When I was working on Confluence, we thought a lot about how we could extend the use-cases of the product to not only meet the needs of technical teams but increased the breadth of use cases to non-technical teams like HR, Marketing, etc. 

A few concepts come to mind when thinking about building a portfolio: 

  • Adjacent jobs to be done (JTBD): Think about your existing product. What JTBD does it solve and for what audience? Does that audience have another JTBD that you could build for? An Atlassian example: Product teams need project tracking so they need Jira > they also need project documentation so they need Confluence.  
  • Adjacent audiences: Think about your existing audience. What other teams does this audience work with? What other audience has the same pain as your existing audience has? An Atlassian example: Product teams use Jira for project tracking > Marketing teams also need project tracking. 

Once you have the product strategy, here are a few ways to think about accelerating motion:

  • Use cases: have a variety of use cases and examples on how real customers are using your products in different ways. On Confluence, we built a giant template library so that any type of team from Product to Marketing or HR could get started with a use case that was related to their job. Also, have customer use cases that describe how your customers use your products together to solve an overarching JTBD. 
  • In-app cross-sell: We talked about this earlier but the best expand tactics we've tried are in-product. Think of how you can create contextual experiences in your product to help take a user from one product to another within their workflow. For example, one of our best expand experiences in Jira is the "Pages" tab in the sidebar that takes a user to Confluence in one click. 
  • Feature-limit vs user-limit: You want as many people using your product and getting value from it as possible. If you limit the number of users who can use your product, you're limiting the spread. Instead, think about limiting the features they can use and implementing a free tier so existing users can share with as many folks they like. 
Claire Maynard
Marketing, Magical
At Atlassian, we use many methods for understanding customers both qualitatively and quantitatively.  The most standardized, larger-scale tool we use across all of our cloud products is our Happiness Tracking Survey known as HaTS (developed by Google). Our research teams sends out weekly emails to employees who subscribe that give the overall customer satisfaction score and short clips of customer feedback such as what customers find frustrating about our products or what they like best. This is a helpful way to keep customer feedback top of mind.  For more in-depth research on a particul...
Christy Roach
Head of Portfolio & Engagement Product Marketing, Airtable
Buckle up, I've got a lot of opinions here. I think the first question PMMs should ask themselves is, what unique value do they want to provide to the roadmapping process? Oftentimes, PMMs feel like they should be included in things without having a clear POV as to why. I’ve been guilty of this. It's natural to hear hear about something that feels related to your work and wonder why you’re not there. In this situation, you need to be clear about what goes into the product roadmapping process today without your involvement, what input is already being given, and how successful the roadmap is...
Anna Wiggins
Sr. Director Product Marketing, BlueVine
There are a few ways to collect customer insights. First, you can look at your own data to understand how your customers are using the product and what they are doing on your site. Tools like Google Analytics, MixPanel, Crazy Egg, and Segment are great for journey mapping customer behavior at scale. Next, you can do qualitative and quantitative studies to understand why your customers are using your product and who they are - this is important for segmentation. You can run surveys in-house using tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics or you can outsource studies to an agency. I recommend get...
Kacy Boone
Head of Growth Marketing, Clockwise
Great question! I’ve sat in product marketing roles at both consumer/product-led companies and B2B companies so I’ve seen both. In a B2B setting, product marketing is making its impact on revenue and user growth by enabling Sales. Well, in a self-serve world, your end goal is the same but the methods by which you do that are different. Let’s take monetization and generating revenue as an example. With B2B, you’re arming the Sales team with killer decks with just the right sizzle and proof points to close the deal. In self-serve, you’re still trying to “sell” your users but you’re doin...