Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing at Momentive

It first starts with identifying who your target buyers are, and building a set of “persona packs” that establish a baseline of key information in understanding buyer needs and evaluation criteria. This is critical to have so that you can properly educate your sales teams to have more effective conversations with prospects. At a high level, they include:

  • Distinct buying roles that exist within an organization
  • Desired business outcomes driven by each role
  • Sample org charts within each function
  • Your products/solutions related to their business goals and objectives
  • Key customer stories by persona

Once I have this established, my teams update them every 6 months.

This is only part of the research needed in order to influence the product roadmap. There are other insights you should gather, such as industry analyst insights (if applicable), competitive landscape, customer feedback, sales feedback, CS feedback — and use this data to inform the evolution of your recommendations around product strategy and messaging. It’s this collective insight and expertise that separates great PMMs from good PMMs, and the type of expertise that Product values.

Alex Lobert
Product Marketing Lead, Creator Promotion at Spotify
During roadmapping, each product team articulates the "understand needs" for their product area and what we will do with the information to improve the product. This process is often led by the PMM.  From there, we work with the product team to document hypothesis to test based on information we...more
Raman Kalyan
Director Product Marketing at Microsoft
We establish multiple listening channels ranging from our field to direct customer conversations to engagements with analysts. The insights we receive from these channels allow us to then identify the general areas of opportunity which we then partner with engineering on researching further throu...more
Laura Jones
Head of Marketing at Instacart
In establishing segments, it is critical to get cross-org alignment so that all functions are working off of the same definitions. Methodologies for defining segments can vary depending on how you plan to use them, so I would recommend investing heavily in the upfront phase of gathering requireme...more
Matt Kaufman
VP of Marketing at Qualia
There are a variety of low touch and high touch research methods we've used over time. Most recently what's been on my mind has been the value of Closed Won/Lost interviews for earlier stage products.  As companies scale they're likely to have existing products that have been in the market for...more
Zachary Reiss-Davis
Product Marketing (and Solutions Marketing) at Procore Technologies
Research has to be an ongoing, continual process -- if you aren't continually talking to market experts, customers, and prospects, you lose credibility both with your sales organization and with your product organization.  True standardization is less critical than repetition and at-bats, and ...more
Gregg Miller
VP of Product Marketing at Oyster®
One thing worth adding to Laura's great reply is that "systematically influencing the product roadmap" can be viewed as an ongoing process. Once you have a set of segments and persona needs per Laura's playbook above, it's important to regularly reinforce this as the "single source of truth." As ...more