How do you measure the contribution of Product Marketing to the growth result?
I encourage my team to be the ‘mini CMO’ for the products they cover. That means the single biggest metric to measure is pipeline (with a focus on pipeline generation).
Depending on the specific in-quarter activities we have going on around sales enablement, we can see a dedicated focus on sales enablement and education show up in our sales-sourced pipeline in the trailing quarter.
My advice here is to track a few things:
Attributed pipeline = how are all your content activities showing up in your pipeline efforts, eBooks, webinars, etc.
Sales-Sourced Pipeline = Did you focus on a specific and deliberate effort around sales enablement that you can tie to an increase in sales sourced pipeline around a specific product or use case?
Product Marketing plays a critical role in launching products, but it is harder to measure. This question can come up frequently in performance reviews and setting OKRs for the coming year. Product Marketing owns several key areas of product launch - from defining customer needs and key features to launch strategy and target channels. Multiple goals may be binary - Did you do customer research? Did you create a launch plan? The challenge comes when you want to tie these activities to specific revenue results and try to separate what team contributed what percentage.
The type of product also has an impact on what gets measured. For some it’s about active usage, or upgrades to premium features, while for others it’s about how many units are moved off the shelf. Product Marketing should help define the baseline goals and track improvements against these metrics as you optimize your marketing and outreach.
One of the best options is to create shared goals. Frequently you can see conflicts between sales and marketing when the goals are different. Marketing may reach MQL goals, but sales may complain that the quality of leads were not high enough. The more you can align on the same goal, the more the teams work together to reach your overall revenue and profit goals. Ideally you can get to a point where everyone - from product management to product marketing to sales - are measured on the same target. Then each team can focus on how they can optimize their specific part of the process.
In my current role, Product Managers, Product Marketing, and Growth Marketing all have common revenue targets. This enables us to all aim towards the same end goal. We can start with the customer journey and how we can contribute to bottom-line growth. Often it works well to create a prioritized list with all potential tactics back. Then we can easily determine if it’s more important to build a new feature or optimize our email messaging.
In well run marketing teams, the metrics for the business are assessed holistically instead of piecemeal among each marketing function.
The contribution of Product Marketing to a growth result is setting up the strategic positioning, messaging, and core assets that can be used by your demand generation teams. The contribution of demand generation teams is taking that understanding of the audience, problem, and markets and selecting channels that best reach and resonate with those audiences and then proving out that resonance with metrics. A brilliant PMM strategy is useless without a way to reach audiences, and an amazing event or nurture campaign is useless without something to say.
Instead of thinking of XX% of growth is driven by PMM, instead think about the overall success of the business and how marketing can contribute to it. What are the goals that you are trying to achieve as a team and how is everyone giving to it?
Product Marketing and Growth perform different roles in a marketing team and need to be measured in different ways. Whereas Growth is often easier to quantify, concrete measurements that can be attributed to Product Marketing only become clearer as you get further down the funnel, once deals have been created and the effectiveness of positioning is easier to see on a case-by-case basis. However, Product Marketing does meaningfully contribute to every stage of the GTM journey.
At a high level, whereas Growth Marketers focus both on volume of leads and conversion from stage to stage, Product Marketers more directly impact conversion of leads. That said, a good Product Marketer should also understand what’s driving lead creation and be able to identify where positioning and messaging can be adjusted to support additional leads, e.g. through messaging on the website and other top of funnel assets.
Having a solid win/loss analysis program to understand reasons for conversions is one of the most powerful measurement tools of a Product Marketer. Ideally a win/loss program should extend earlier in the pipeline, beyond even when deals are created (where many win/loss programs traditionally focus). Product Marketing teams should be able to understand wins and losses throughout the pipeline to identify what’s driving conversions across the board, create specific hypotheses around how different positioning or messaging can help, and test whether these hypotheses were correct. The impact of Product Marketing should ideally be quantified. However, measuring specific KPIs can be impractical, so more commonly impact is shown qualitatively.
The challenge with measuring Product Marketing contribution is that it’s a combination of art and science. Demonstrating impact requires a strong understanding of how PMM orchestrates GTM strategy and the ability to highlight specific contributions. The best approaches I’ve seen involve a combination of explaining work that was done and why it was done, project-based outcomes that Product Marketing drove (e.g. number of case studies, improving conversions against competitors, driving adoption before and after campaigns, etc.), quantitative and qualitative feedback on messaging effectiveness, and partnering with Demand Gen and Sales to show collective revenue outcomes and specific contributions.