How does product marketing integrate with the PM team? Who decides what features to focus on in each launch? What documentation is provided to PMMs to help in crafting messaging?
At HubSpot our PMMs are aligned by product line and are aligned to a Product director and GM, although we still meet regularly with our individual PMs.
I think in general we try and tell a higher level story that doesn't really focus too much on any one feature but often certain features are very marketable. This is primarly the PMM's job to call out. To make it known that they are very excited about a certain feature and blow it up in the marketing launch. I think my product managers really apreciate that and are generally always very supportive.
Successful product marketing, even outside of launches, requires close collaboration with the product management team. I encourage the PM team to consider product marketing as part of their team. Attending their staff meetings, business/planning meetings, and regular sync-ups are a must to understand and execute on the business.
Choosing which features and products to focus on is a joint effort between the two groups. PMMs work with the PMs to understand what problem these new capabilities will solve or the opportunity this brings to customers. We also work with them to understand feature revenue potential, target market, etc. At the same time, PMMs are looking at our bigger story to the market and how these capabilities support that. All this helps us decide what to focus on….
We have two standard messaging templates (one long, one short) that include who we are targeting, the problem we are addressing, customer benefits, and key proof points. The longer version will include competitive information, the narrative, etc.
It's critical for PMM to be in lock-step with Product. In fact, the two teams should be joined at the hip. There are many ways to integrate with the PM team but here are some tips: 1) establish PM to PMM mapping to ensure you have coverage across your product portfolio 2) have weekly 1-1s with your PMs 3) join PM's sprint & product planning and daily stands-up when needed (especially as you get closer to GA),
Decisions on what features to focus on in each launch are usually a joint effort between the two teams. And it'll depend on many different factors including customer feedback/needs, your business broader goals/strategy, and market trends (e.g. when AI became the "it" thing, no company wanted to be left behind, causing many companies to shift their prioritization towards AI).
Here at Zendesk, we have a "Market Requirement Doc" or MRD that helps PMM with launch planning. It includes product specifications, user stories, competitive analysis, market research, and more - all to help PMM with crafting messaging, GTM strategy and launch planning. All of these details are populated and aligned on between PM & PMM.
Product and Product Marketing need to be closely integrated in order to be successful. I like to think of Product Marketing as the bridge between the technical product details (which the PM owns) and the rest of the business. The PM should provide your with details on the feature in the form of a feature brief. View my response here to get more details on that.
PMMs must be able to bundie launches or discern which features will be most impactful to push forward more aggressively. I recommend having a launch sizing framework you can utilize to understand what effort and which stakeholders to pull into each launch.