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How do you establish research as a product marketing function when there is a UX research team already owning most research initiatives?

And how to you create ownership of that function when UX research believes they should be the sole owner of all research?
3 Answers
Jon Rooney
Jon Rooney
Unity Vice President Product MarketingJune 9

The rise of UX research as a practice over the past 10+ years has unfortunately created it's share of organizational overlap, friction and feudal rivalries (leading to wasteful, demoralizing outcomes like different teams at the same company having completely different persona profiles that don't cohere at all) but it doesn't have to be that way. Just as, if defined poorly, PMM can seem to blur into roles like PM or Growth/Demand Gen, the same happens all the time with UX teams. The most natural role delineation is the core positioning statement and value prop ("we solve x problems for y people in z awesome ways") live with PMM while the detailed analysis and classifications of said x, y and z live with the UX team and drive their research. For example, the Y people for your business could be DevOps engineers or Insurance Claims Adjusters that the UX research further flushes out, defining their how they work and what tools they use while working. The output of that research is super useful for PM prioritizing backlog as well as PMM refining messaging but it doesn't supersede either function. So messaging research (validation, refinement) should be a clear PMM responsibility that complements, rather than overlaps with what the UX team is driving. So mapping out who does what and where one team begins and the other ends up front will save you a ton of time and heartache once work gets moving. If the UX team starts staffing up with copywriters or messaging folks, however, you've really got a problem. Stamp out fuzziness with clarity, clarity is a PMM's best friend.

879 Views
Lauren Craigie
Lauren Craigie
Cortex Head of Product MarketingAugust 31

Oh I love that you have a UX team that does a lot of this work!

TLDR your UX team is building for what your ICP expects to see in product. You (the PMM) are building the ICP that they’re building for.

Here’s how I’ve worked alongside that group in the past, but I’m sure it could be different fro everyone. Collaboration here is key. In my experience the UX team is usually thrilled to know someone else cares about this work :)

UX research-led (I attend or listen to calls):

  • Jobs, pains, gains

  • Jobs to be done

  • Onboarding interviews (looking for what’s difficult)

  • Previous alternatives (what bias do they come to the table with—how do they expect to use the product)

  • System Usability Survey

PMM-led:

  • Win/loss analysis

  • New market validation

  • New persona validation

  • Org structure mapping (who has pain versus buying authority)

  • Language-market fit (what words do they use to describe their problems and solutions)

  • Adjacent market solutions

  • Competitive analysis (positioning rather than what the UX team might look at which is what their product experience offers)

364 Views
Alissa Lydon
Alissa Lydon
Dovetail Head of Product MarketingMay 10

UX research should be viewed as a valuable partner to product marketing. They are often researchers by training and can offer guidance on leveraging best practices to ensure that research data is high-quality.

Just like any stakeholder, product marketing should strive to build a connection with this team and partner early and often. It's not that different from building relationships with product or GTM.

Work with UX research to understand their goals, clearly share product marketing's key metrics, and look for those places of overlap to get some quick wins. Doing that unlocks future opportunities to bring new initiatives to the table, and increases the chances that product marketing can influence the research roadmap.

379 Views
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