This ties into convincing teams that a feature or change is needed. What level of evidence or research is needed to show that a certain feature or requirement is a "must have" on the product roadmap. "The competitor has it" is not always justifiable evidence.
3 answers
All related (38)
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 29
  1. Focus group or survey data from customers or prospects
  2. Market research study showing the need for certain capabilities
  3. Survey data from sales, customer success showing the need
  4. Deal loss analysis showing that lack of a capability is killing deals

If you have all of these, thats a perfect storm. But even one of these, provided its accurate and unique data can go a long way in convincing PM.

Mandy Schafer
Group Product Marketing Manager- Enterprise, MiroJuly 14

It's definitely should never be about just one thing - the customer wants it, our competitor has it, etc. This is a mistake that's often made when product teams build without including PMM, or other teams. There is that requirement to have multiple levels of evidence before a decision is made, however one I think is most overlooked is - ROI, mainly because it takes so much time and effort. I started my career as a financial analyst, and spent my days doing line by line forecasting of our product SKUs on a monthly basis to understand what our projected revenue forecast would be. I've tried to bring this discipline to my work as I suggest product features to be built. This additional information, whether or not we can expect return on investment by having it or not should be calculated, and I suggest PMMs try and work more with finance. It can be done based on current requests (win/loss analysis), growth rates, and understanding the type of customers that tend to buy, then working with the finance teams that are already doing the growth analysis and revenue prediction to identify how this new feature could impact based on the cost to build it. We are working on a similar project at Miro, looking at the overall cost from engineering support requirement, customer support, infrastructure costs, etc. Having this level of evidience along side your market research becomes invaluable. 

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, MomentiveJune 30

You need to prove that there's market demand for it and that the customer is willing to pay for it. Or that it's a major cause of churn which clearly shows monetary impact. That can be validated in a number of ways: analyst validation, customer/prospect validation, willingness to pay research. A good place to start would be talking to Sales. Are we losing deals because we don't have that feature? What was the impact of that loss? What risk does it pose to the business by not building that capability? I would also talk to Customer Success (if you have that team). What are they hearing from customers? Are we seeing customers churn because we don't have that capability?

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
Funny enough, this was completely a Marketing led rebrand. Product roadmap didn't play a role in guiding the process because we already had the right set of products, we just didn't have the right message or name in the market. An important part of this repositioning was strongly signaling to the market that we are no longer just a surveys company. This has actually been true for a while, but even our own customers had little awareness of some of the other products in our portfolio. But it’s hard to convince the outside world that we’re more than a surveys company with a name like SurveyMon...
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...
Laura Jones
Chief Marketing Officer, Instacart
In my experience, the most powerful tool for influencing the Product Roadmap as a PMM is customer insights. If you can clearly demonstrate customer pain points and inspire empathy, that tees up the opportunity to be part of the discussion around how you might meet those needs through product solutions. From a timeline standpoint, I find aligning on prioritization to be the most effective lever. One way to approach this is to look at the roadmap, estimate the business impact of all key initiatives, and assess whether delivery dates should be re-stacked to address the most impactful projects ...
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing, Oyster®
It's all about doing great work that matters to the business, matters to your partner, and fits into the context of the relationship! The playbook below can help get the ball rolling. Sorry for the long answer, but it's a complex question with big implications for your ability to add value as a PMM. 1) It's essential to understand your business — the market you play in, the strengths/weaknesses of the competition, how customers feel about you, etc. — better than just about anyone else in the company. Your level of fluency (or lack thereof!) will be visible in how you show up: the insight...
Jeffrey Vocell
Head of Product Marketing, Narvar | Formerly Iterable, HubSpot, IBM
Great question! A lot of collaboration can come from shared KPIs, so it's great to align where possible. I'll divide this into two groups, on-going and launches. On-going KPIs: * These should largely be goals you can both impact over time. Things like adoption, revenue (particularly if there's a freemium, or PLG motion at your company), retention, NPS.  * For example, with adoption there are product changes that can likely be made as well as dedicated marketing done to drive success. At Iterable, we were working to drive adoption of one of our AI products and did just this...
Robin Pam
Product Marketing Lead, Stripe
* Be objective: Use customers' exact words and quotes as much as possible. Be the notetaker, the objective observer, and people will start to trust your observations. * Be concise: Once you've listened, sat in on meetings, taken good notes, get good at synthesizing them into short summaries. Most people don't read long emails or sit through long meetings, so it's important to be brief. I got into product marketing with a liberal arts background, and synthesizing customer research and insights is a great way to put your writing skills to work. * Be consistent: The mos...