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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.