How do you treat minor releases and enhancements in your GTM process?
These are typically small launches with functionality that maintains market position, parity, and performance. Communication channels should include but are not limited to: internal - slack announcement with positioning brief, external - cs/sales outreach template, targeted email announcement, newsletter, help docs update.
For small piel updates, you can think of these as your soft/quiet launches that don’t require broad messaging/awareness. (Pixel changes). Communicaiton channels should include but are not limited to: internal - slack announcement with positioning brief, cs outreach comm if relevant, help doc update.
I use a framework that is based on launch tiers! Minor releases would normally fall under a tier 3 or tier 4 launch and could be defined as:
Tier 1 - Evolves the companies narrative in the marketplace
Tier 2 - Gets us to feature parity or enables us to compete in the marketplace and win new customers
Tier 3 - An improvement or enhancement to an existing feature
Tier 4 - An update to the UI, superuser flag, etc. No visible impact to the customer
For tier 3/4 (minor) releases I usually include it in our monthly newsletter, release notes, internal product enablement and a UI announcement (when applicable).
Also, with minor releases there's also an opportunity to bundle a bunch of smaller releases into a greater theme and release it in a larger way! For example, if you have a bunch of small releases in regards to your reporting, you could release these together externally for a bigger splash.
I've partnered with PM to assign a launch level to a release based on a grade (is it new/innovative, is it going to match the market, impact to customers, impact to the market, etc.). If something doesn't fall into the launch level threshold, it's an opportunity to release it, collect data, and see if it makes sense to package the feature announcement with future releases to help tell a bigger story.
Creating a process to address minor releases and enhancements is often as important as your major product launch, especially if you're in a multi-matrixed business with lots of product teams releasing constantly. The two core elements to consider boils down to: 1) customer messaging and 2) sales enablement.
Customer Messaging: Product Marketing 101: Identify the customer problem the feature solves and message it with this as the core of the sentence. Borrowing from my PMO days, the Agile user story format makes this incredibly simple - "as a
Sales Enablement: One of the biggest challenges of iterative development to the sales enablement function is not pulling Sales off of selling to train constantly. Build a readout of these minor enhancements based on your customer messaging and build it into existing monthly trainings, or even make it purely a "digest" format out to the sales teams. If this brings the offering to parity (or parity plus) with a competitor, highlight it as such! Minor enhancements may be a deal-maker to some prospects particularly if it's not found broadly in the market.
As always, gather feedback from Sales and Product and in your regular syncs with them call out areas where the feedback has driven change in the content or process. This will show your stakeholders you listen and follow through.