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It can sometimes be a struggle for those on the executive team, or in higher leadership roles, to see the value that product marketing is bringing to the business - especially if they do not have regular interaction. How do you build visibility for you and/or your team, and clearly communicate the achievements and activities throughout the year?
5 answers
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Lindsey Weinig
Director of Product Marketing at Twilio March 14

Marketing your accomplishments is critical! It is epecially important to align leadership expectations with reality since product marketing roles and responsiblities can vary greatly from business to business or even across products/BUs. 

My team and I address this in a few ways. First, we share quarterly email updates with a broad distribution list. These emails include our topline priorities, related initiatives, shoutouts to our key stakeholders (since most of what we do is collaborative), learnings and pivots, as well as a link to an archive doc with all of our previous updates for easy reference. I also ensure my direct leadership is aware of our goals and accomplishments so they can know what we're focused on and can speak up when given the opportunity in higher level meetings. Finally, not leadership specific, but we are active on team slack channels sharing key activities across sales, marketing, and product teams in real time.

Lauren Hakim
Group Product Marketing Manager at Zendesk January 13

Great question. At Zendesk, we do a lot of monthly/quarterly syncs with product leadership, sales leadership, marketing leadership, etc to discuss top programs and communicate achievements. Quarterly business reviews are another great way to share top wins and learnings. We also leverage supplemental channels like Slack, company/team all hands and our GTM newsletter.

This can vary by company. To determine what works best for you and your team, you’ll need to figure out a way to speak the same language of the people that you’re trying to communicate with. Take the time to understand the priorities of your key stakeholders and executives so you can align your outcomes to their measures of success. Identify their communication preferences so you can establish a communication approach that best meets their needs. When you’ve taken these steps, it’s much easier to build visibility and communicate achievements in a way that resonates with your audience.

Priyanka Srinivasan
Head of Product & Growth Marketing at Qualia August 13

I love this question. I’ll step away from PMM for a minute and say - regardless of what function you’re in at a company, you should be championing yourself and your team constantly. People who ‘get ahead’ in business not only create value, they make sure others know that they create value.

What makes PMM hard is that you don’t own a number -- there’s no clear attribution. You can’t say “at the end of Q2 we grew revenue by X% YoY” in the way a sales or DG team can. So you need to constantly be talking about what you are delivering and how you are partnering with teams who do own numbers.

What are the channels for communication in your business? At Gainsight, Slack is a major channel. I post often to our Sales channel about projects we’re working on, things we’ve delivered, and I give kudos to others. I do so in a very clear and consistent way.

Another idea is asking for your team to be a part of regular weekly business reviews with the Exec team (or asking to be featured one week) if they exist. There’s always some kind of exec alignment session that happens every week or month - find it at figure out who owns it and how to get on it.

Also - this is part of your manager’s job (to both trumpet your work and figure out the right forums to do so) so ask them directly how you can get more visibility for you or your team’s work.

LaShaun Williams
VP, Marketing at Observable | Formerly Figma, AbstractJanuary 12

Tying your work to tangible outcomes, specifically those related to product growth and revenue, and socializing it has worked well for me. Here's my approach:

Have a revenue-first mindset. Businesses exist to make money. One of the first questions I ask myself about any launch is "how can we leverage this to drive revenue?" Before getting strategic or tactical, I explore the different angles we could position or message the launch to drive revenue. Releases small, medium, and large have the potential for revenue impact. 

Work backwards. When setting launch goals, I work backwards from the company goals, and map the connection so I know where tactical efforts and outcomes ladder up. This trail is helpful when communicating the value of your work, especially at the executive level. 

Map your tactics to the growth framework of choice (flywheel, funnel...). This has worked really for me when presenting GTM plans and running reviews. Organizing your tactics into a strategic framework helps folks see all of the areas Product Marketing touches, understand what areas your work is contributing to and how it all works together. 

Socialize wins and learnings. Beating your own drum brings visibility to your work while also increasing morale (wins) and knowledge (learnings) across the company. 

Celebrate others. Spread the love and it will come back around to you. Word of mouth is a great internal marketing tool. I've found that when you celebrate and champion the work of others, they are more inclined to do it for you — which increases your visbility throughout the organization. 

Candice Sparks
Director of Product Marketing at Attentive March 14

One of the key challenges with communicating product marketing achievements is often times there are less concrete KPIs. For example, demand gen is looking at MQLs and sales is looking at quota attainment. For that reason, communicating PMM success can sometimes come off as "fluffy".

I believe there are some organic ways to drive transparency and visibility into your team for example presenting at All Hands on recent releases, in sales team meetings on new collateral created or sales plays, and in training to your internal teams on recent product releases. This naturally builds visibility into your team and the impact they are having across the organization.

I also like to do a monthly recap or roundup of all the progress made against your quarterly PMM plans. What I touched on in a prior question on building plans, you should be reporting on the progress made against these plans. For example, if it's to increase your demo pipeline - what are we doing to accomplish this on a monthly basis and how are we tracking against these key metrics?

The great news is that PMM is a high-impact and visible role across the organization so naturally your team will be involved in a lot of large cross-functional initiatives.