All related (82)
Loren Elia
Director of Product Marketing at HoneyBook

Ah, that's the million dollar question. At the beginning of each half we align with the leadership team which features and projects we're going to work on. This helps set expectations. Then I socialize with PMs what PMM is working on, which usually includes other projects besides feature launches. It's important for them to know what else you're working on to set expectations. Having said that, there's always adhoc requests and we either say no, and explain why we don't think supporting that request makes sense strategically, or provide some ammount of support.

Eileen Buenviaje Reyes
VP, Product and Growth Marketing at 1Password | Formerly Dropbox, SurveyMonkey, LinkedIn
The quarterly planning process is critical in order to set expectations up-front about what product marketing can and cannot tackle. Ideally as part of that process, each PMM leaves a bit of capacity unaccounted for (my goal would be 10-20%). This buffer should accommodate any last-minute emergencies, scope creep on the priority initiatives, and professional development. As a rule, I don’t encourage the habit of accommodating ad-hoc requests. It’s a slippery slope that leads directly into product marketing “peanut-buttering” and being perceived as a “ticket-taking” service organization, so...more
Kristen Ribero
Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Handshake
Insights are extremely important and should always be an input into your messaging architecture or recommendation. Market and customer insights are one of the best ways to make a case for your recommendation, in fact.  So you don't get stuck in an analysis paralysis state, I'd do a quick audit to understand the current state of data and insights as it pertains to your product/market/etc. Find out: * What research is complete and available? This could be something like a survey to your database that was run in the past, research you paid for, data and analysis from things like a T...more
Judy Abad
Global Director, Business Strategy and Comms at TripActions
This is a tricky one because you need to prioritize your work and hit your goals. At the same time, you want to be flexible if new projects come up that supersede what you’re working on.    There are ways to ensure you arrive at the best decision for the good of the company. At the end of the day, everyone is working to make the company successful, and if your teams are functioning well, people will get that. A win for the company doesn’t always mean a win for you, personally.    The best thing you can do here is communicate and share your goals and what you’re working on with your manag...more
Angela Zhang
Director, Product Marketing at DocuSign
That’s always a challenge in a resource-constrained world! My goal is to spend 80% of time on 1-2 big strategic projects, routine launches, process improvements, and leave 10%-20% of time for ad-hoc requests which I’ll prioritize based on some combination of interest in problem, development opportunity, and relationship-building.  During planning, I'll involve my key stakeholders (PM, design, and sales) into the process and walk them through how much PMM support they can expect. Things will invariably come up through the quarter, so I keep in mind and communicate what are must-do's, and ...more
Sarah Lambert
SVP, Marketing at Buckzy Payments

There are a lot of messaging frameworks out there to choose from, but I take a bottom up approach: I start with the differentiators and proof points and then build my elevator pitch, value prop statements and long descriptions from those foundational components. I also use the rule of 3 for my differentiators and proof points. If you find yourself with a laundry list of differentiators or proof points, start looking for similiarities among those components to create larger "buckets" so that your audience has an easier time remembering your message.

Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling

So I use sprint planning for business. When it works well and we're compliant, it works beautifully. Here, we break our work into two week sprints and continously prune backlogs and review ad hoc requests. We also try to allocate 'white space" within the two week sprints for things that may pop up as needed. And we also have things like V2MOMs at Salesforce along with strategy / alignment decks that ensure we are marching towards the big uber goals. 

Daniel Waas
VP Product Marketing at AppFolio
There are many answers to this question depending on how large your team is, how much budget you have, etc.  Some pointers: * Get clear on your goals for your product marketing team (even if it's just you) and how they ladder to the business goals.  * Build an annual plan. It's surprising how much you can get done in a year. It's also surprising how little you sometimes achieve in a week. By having an annual plan you can chip away at your long-term goals whenever time allows. * Take an honest look at the value of the outputs you produce. What can you stop doing? Ask the r...more
Diana Smith
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, Twilio.org at Twilio

These are all interrelated.

Messaging: Includes value propositions, your story, and pitch. Also includes things like naming, alternatives, and taglines.
Value Proposition: These are the top benefits you want to focus on for your product based on customer and competitive unput
Pitch & Story: These should be the same. Your pitch about the world before your product, the current approach, why it’s bad, the business consequences, and the new world with your product should tell a story. This story should hit on your main messaging points and value propositions.

Hope that helps!

Catlyn Origitano
Senior Director Product Marketing at Fivetran

We work with our PM team to create a quarterly roadmap. This helps us align with them on the major releases that are happening, discovery work we need to do, and align on key activities to influence growth. 

We also then do a big marketing team-wide planning every quarter to ensure that, for example, those big product releases are also on Content & Demand Generation's calendar.

We then have a ticketing system where folks can input requests. We review these on a bi-weekly basis to see if someone has bandwidth to support. 

Grace Kuo
Product Marketing at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative | Formerly Udemy
Great question and something I deal with on the daily!  Ad-hoc requests:  * Set expectations: Be clear with the requestor on timelines (why you can't get to it immediately, etc.) and try to let them know when you can get to it.  * Gauge importance of the request. If it's HIGH priority for your VP, CEO, etc. or something essential for a key initiative, then quite possibly you'll have to get to it sooner. * Ask questions: On top of how important it is, ask how the request will be utilized, or who it's geared towards. Often the more questions you ask, the better you can p...more
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing at Ouster.io
Painted door tests are your friend here (google it). You could create two or three landing pages with different message variants, each of which leads to a "request access" form. Depending on what your campaign is for, your message testing could be as simple as running it by product managers or account managers. Or you could grab a few web visitors through a Qualaroo survey and interview them. You could grab people and buy them a coffee at a conference. Basically, there's no big trick to this - you just have to do it. If you're getting feedback on your messaging from your target audience or ...more
Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director at Eightfold.ai
This is a great question. I have at least a half-dozen executives whose interests I seek to manage with my workstream. I keep a running list of my main projects and bring it with me anytime I meet one of these execs. I show my priority among them which is driven by immovable dates on the calendar (events and launches) and then by seniority of who is asking for a project. If I get asked for something new I explicitly push the bottom project, and it is 50/50 if the ad-hoc request will be withdrawn.     Whenever possible, I design a deliverable or positioning that meets the goals of several...more
RJ Gazarek
Group Product Marketing Manager at Amplitude

We do this in our team at Veracode! So we actually operate in a SCRUM/Agile fashion, with 2 week sprints. We point all of our work, and plan for an 80% capacity. This ensure we have time to drive ad-hoc requests and return immediate value to the business when they come up. In the event that we don't get ad-hoc requests for this sprint, and we find efficiencies, we bring in stories/work from the next sprint!

Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing at Momentive
As counterintuitive as this may sound, simple messaging isn’t always the way to go. It really comes down to your target buyer(s) and the set of messages that resonate with them, which may need to be simple for a line of business buyer like Marketing or HR or more complex/technical for an IT/Developer buyer. But it always comes back to understanding your target audience and their pain points, and ensuring you're tailoring your messaging for them. Also, depending on the channel/medium where your messaging is shared, it may necessitate varying altitudes. For example, Social Media is a clear c...more
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing at Oyster®
I think a lot of it has to do with a combination of setting expectations and being realistic that important ad hoc requests will -- not might, but will -- come up.  The most important time to make sure you're in that mindset and proactively communicating with your manager, team, and stakeholders is during quarterly/annual planning. Think hard about what your bandwidth will look like and what you need to do to hold 10-20% in reserve (likely means saying no to a few projects some folks have asked for). If you don't know how much work goes into something and you're finding it hard to foreca...more
Matt Hodges
Head of Product Marketing Craft at Atlassian

I'm out of time, but real quick, Patagonia and Apple are favorites of mine. They both have brands that stand for something, and they continually demonstrate their commitment to their vision in their actions. On top of that, they both have high-quality products.

 

I  believe that product and marketing are two sides of the same coin–you can't be a successful, sustainable business without one or the other.